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How Intelligent Design Hurts Conservatives (By making us look like crackpots)
The New Republic ^ | 8/16/05 | Ross Douthat

Posted on 08/18/2005 5:17:34 PM PDT by curiosity

The appeal of "intelligent design" to the American right is obvious. For religious conservatives, the theory promises to uncover God's fingerprints on the building blocks of life. For conservative intellectuals in general, it offers hope that Darwinism will yet join Marxism and Freudianism in the dustbin of pseudoscience. And for politicians like George W. Bush, there's little to be lost in expressing a skepticism about evolution that's shared by millions.

In the long run, though, intelligent design will probably prove a political boon to liberals, and a poisoned chalice for conservatives. Like the evolution wars in the early part of the last century, the design debate offers liberals the opportunity to portray every scientific battle--today, stem-cell research, "therapeutic" cloning, and end-of-life issues; tomorrow, perhaps, large-scale genetic engineering--as a face-off between scientific rigor and religious fundamentalism. There's already a public perception, nurtured by the media and by scientists themselves, that conservatives oppose the "scientific" position on most bioethical issues. Once intelligent design runs out of steam, leaving its conservative defenders marooned in a dinner-theater version of Inherit the Wind, this liberal advantage is likely to swell considerably.

And intelligent design will run out of steam--a victim of its own grand ambitions. What began as a critique of Darwinian theory, pointing out aspects of biological life that modification-through-natural-selection has difficulty explaining, is now foolishly proposed as an alternative to Darwinism. On this front, intelligent design fails conspicuously--as even defenders like Rick Santorum are beginning to realize--because it can't offer a consistent, coherent, and testable story of how life developed. The "design inference" is a philosophical point, not a scientific theory: Even if the existence of a designer is a reasonable inference to draw from the complexity of, say, a bacterial flagellum, one would still need to explain how the flagellum moved from design to actuality.

And unless George W. Bush imposes intelligent design on American schools by fiat and orders the scientific establishment to recant its support for Darwin, intelligent design will eventually collapse--like other assaults on evolution that failed to offer an alternative--under the weight of its own overreaching.

If liberals play their cards right, this collapse could provide them with a powerful rhetorical bludgeon. Take the stem-cell debate, where the great questions are moral, not scientific--whether embryonic human life should be created and destroyed to prolong adult human life. Liberals might win that argument on the merits, but it's by no means a sure thing. The conservative embrace of intelligent design, however, reshapes the ideological battlefield. It helps liberals cast the debate as an argument about science, rather than morality, and paint their enemies as a collection of book-burning, Galileo-silencing fanatics.

This would be the liberal line of argument anyway, even without the controversy surrounding intelligent design. "The president is trapped between religion and science over stem cells," declared a Newsweek cover story last year; "Religion shouldn't undercut new science," the San Francisco Chronicle insisted; "Leadership in 'therapeutic cloning' has shifted abroad," the New York Times warned, because American scientists have been "hamstrung" by "religious opposition"--and so on and so forth. But liberalism's science-versus-religion rhetoric is only likely to grow more effective if conservatives continue to play into the stereotype by lining up to take potshots at Darwin.

Already, savvy liberal pundits are linking bioethics to the intelligent design debate. "In a world where Koreans are cloning dogs," Slate's Jacob Weisberg wrote last week, "can the U.S. afford--ethically or economically--to raise our children on fraudulent biology?" (Message: If you're for Darwin, you're automatically for unfettered cloning research.) Or again, this week's TNR makes the pretty-much-airtight "case against intelligent design"; last week, the magazine called opponents of embryo-destroying stem cell research "flat-earthers." The suggested parallel is obvious: "Science" is on the side of evolution and on the side of embryo-killing.

Maureen Dowd, in her inimitable way, summed up the liberal argument earlier this year:

Exploiting God for political ends has set off powerful, scary forces in America: a retreat on teaching evolution, most recently in Kansas; fights over sex education . . . a demonizing of gays; and a fear of stem cell research, which could lead to more of a "culture of life" than keeping one vegetative woman hooked up to a feeding tube.

Terri Schiavo, sex education, stem cell research--on any issue that remotely touches on science, a GOP that's obsessed with downing Darwin will be easily tagged as medieval, reactionary, theocratic. And this formula can be applied to every new bioethical dilemma that comes down the pike. Earlier this year, for instance, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) issued ethical guidelines for research cloning, which blessed the creation of human-animal "chimeras"--animals seeded with human cells. New York Times reporter Nicholas Wade, writing on the guidelines, declared that popular repugnance at the idea of such creatures is based on "the pre-Darwinian notion that species are fixed and penalties [for cross-breeding] are severe." In other words, if you're opposed to creating pig-men--carefully, of course, with safeguards in place (the NAS guidelines suggested that chimeric animals be forbidden from mating)--you're probably stuck back in the pre-Darwinian ooze with Bishop Wilberforce and William Jennings Bryan.

There's an odd reversal-of-roles at work here. In the past, it was often the right that tried to draw societal implications from Darwinism, and the left that stood against them. And for understandable reasons: When people draw political conclusions from Darwin's theory, they're nearly always inegalitarian conclusions. Hence social Darwinism, hence scientific racism, hence eugenics.

Which is why however useful intelligent design may be as a rhetorical ploy, liberals eager to claim the mantle of science in the bioethics battle should beware. The left often thinks of modern science as a child of liberalism, but if anything, the reverse is true. And what scientific thought helped to forge--the belief that all human beings are equal--scientific thought can undermine as well. Conservatives may be wrong about evolution, but they aren't necessarily wrong about the dangers of using Darwin, or the National Academy of Sciences, as a guide to political and moral order.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: creationism; crevolist; education; evolution; hesaidcrackhehheh; immaturetitle; intelligentdesign; politics; science
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To: BMCDA
" Now, not only can this guy make a child from scratch, he also knows every little detail about the future of this kid, i.e. he knows the consequences of every change he makes to the design. For instance he can see that changing certain parameters will make his son decline a friends offer to take cocaine whereas tweaking other parameters will change his future in such a way that he never meets this person."

I see you neither know, or understand God, or Free will. He said that He made man in His image and likeness. That means we have the same capacities as God. Perhaps you've missed the fact that Jesus is God. Gen 1:26 says, "Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." It says Us. Jesus is that omnimax God you speak of. John 8:58 "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"

"this "father" doesn't make his kid the old fashioned way (with the help of a woman) but he assembles him atom by atom, molecule by molecule because he's a man with extraordinary capabilities."

Perhaps you missed what God said, "John 5:27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man." Mary was His mother.

Jesus was not born with the knowledge, understanding and wisdom of the Father. He was taught and developed the same Spirit as the Father. That was of His own Free will. It is written that He was tempted, yet did not sin. In John 9 God makes it clear that other men did the same. Free will means just that, a man is Free to choose between good and evil and that choice is based on the man's own choices of reasoning.

That "Us" that was mentioned in Gen 1 is the Trinity. Just as God is a trinity, so is man. You have a body that functions as a machine that supports the sentient, rational features of your mind. It provides for thinking, emotions, memories, Free will, ect... All those things that machine supports, that are the essence of your living being is your spirit. The soul is the machine that supports your spirit for eternity.

"Now is the death of these people the father's fault (who could have made some more changes to his son's design) or is it the fault of the son?"

Pehaps you think there's something wrong with BTK's machinery, that he just wasn't loved enough, he was deprived, or some other rubbish. There are those that are deficient, but that doesn't apply here. Nor does it apply to such people as the 'toon and his wench. The fact is that he made his own choices and the prominent choice that sticks out is that he places no value on the life, or rights of others. That's not God's doing, his parents, or anyone elses. It's his own doing, because he made his value choices by his own free will.

601 posted on 08/19/2005 10:07:20 AM PDT by spunkets
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To: Modernman; visually_augmented

Most parasites.


602 posted on 08/19/2005 10:08:25 AM PDT by From many - one.
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To: WildTurkey
Amused...not scared.

...By your interpretation of what might be found.

603 posted on 08/19/2005 10:10:58 AM PDT by pby
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To: soupcon
soupcon: ID has nothing to do with theology.

porkchops 4 mahound: No, like it or not, intelligent design is about the hand of GOD.

When you ID guys reach coherence, let us know which of these you intend to teach in biology class.

604 posted on 08/19/2005 10:12:24 AM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: Coyoteman
Is this not theology and religion, and one particular version of theology and religion?

Yep and yep

Satisfied that you got an answer? Ok, lets move on then.

605 posted on 08/19/2005 10:12:32 AM PDT by wallcrawlr (http://www.bionicear.com)
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To: syriacus

Did you note the word "usually"?


606 posted on 08/19/2005 10:12:34 AM PDT by From many - one.
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To: doodlelady
I would never assume you'd like my religion presented to your children in a public school format.

That sounds nice.

How do we deal with historical figures like Joan of Arc? Or Martin Luther? Or Henry VIII?

607 posted on 08/19/2005 10:14:33 AM PDT by syriacus (You are shouting so loudly that I can't "hear" you.)
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To: syriacus

I think you know what I meant.


608 posted on 08/19/2005 10:17:30 AM PDT by b9
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To: curiosity

post Gen 1:11 in entirety: (and I even added verse 12)

11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

The earth did not create life it grew some grass.

What is it about verse 1 thats so tough?

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.


609 posted on 08/19/2005 10:18:44 AM PDT by wallcrawlr (http://www.bionicear.com)
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To: visually_augmented
Obviously, large brains were superior for survival or they would not have propagated. Why is this not the case for other species??

Different traits work to fill different niches. We're smarter than lions, but would you want to be dropped naked and unarmed on the savannah near a pack of these cats?

Other species have hit pretty much optimal designs for what they do. A shark is dumb as dirt, but it would be difficult to improve on the design. What environmental pressures would serve to make sharks evolve higher intelligence? Would being smarter really make a shark a better hunter? It might, but the tradeoff in energy required to feed its larger brain might be an evolutionary drawback.

Our ancestors developed intelligence because it was what they needed to survive. Before the increase in intelligence, hominid species' were not all that succesful and came close to extinction on several occasions.

Even if I am to accept your argument (which has obvious and numerous holes), I must contend that only ONE species has evolved to sentience.

The cheetah is the fastest land animal, of the thousands of species out there. The elephant is the largest land animal, of the thousands of species out there. Similarly, we are the smartest species in existence. However, that's just a matter of degree. Elephants, chimps, gorillas, whales and dolphins are also intelligent, just not as intelligent as humans.

Since a leopard is slower than a cheetah, is that an argument against evolution, in your opinion?

Survival. Is that not the basis for all Darwinistic evolution??? Man could exterminate every horse in the world and they would have no (or very little) power to refuse...

There is no master plan when it comes to survival. Species respond to external stimuli and evolve accordingly. Sometimes, those stimuli occur too rapidly for species to adapt, so they go extinct.

At this time, though, there is no environmental pressure for, say, hippos to evolve a higher degree of intelligence.

610 posted on 08/19/2005 10:21:13 AM PDT by Modernman ("A conservative government is an organized hypocrisy." -Disraeli)
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To: curiosity
It helps liberals cast the debate as an argument about science, rather than morality, and paint their enemies as a collection of book-burning, Galileo-silencing fanatics.

It's interesting that Douthat assumes all liberals are scientifically-savvy evolutionists. My experience with the vast majority of Democrats is that they are, for the most part, scientifically and mathematically illiterate and that they generally believe in creation. The professor/media folks are a different story.

611 posted on 08/19/2005 10:23:48 AM PDT by TaxRelief
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To: doodlelady

The real solution to the evo/crevo/id debate would be to end the middle class welfare system aka "public education".


612 posted on 08/19/2005 10:27:07 AM PDT by TaxRelief
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To: curiosity

Evolution has nothing to do with godlessness.



According to evolutionists like Thomas Huxley it has everything to do with it.


613 posted on 08/19/2005 10:29:40 AM PDT by CAPTAINSUPERMARVELMAN
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To: TaxRelief
The real solution to the evo/crevo/id debate would be to end the middle class welfare system aka "public education".

That should be step one.

614 posted on 08/19/2005 10:31:06 AM PDT by balrog666 (A myth by any other name is still inane.)
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To: Zechariah11
"At least make an effort to put this verse in context. He was referring to His messianic claim being challenged by a skeptical ruling class."

I did give the context. Matt 12:38 "Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, "Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.""
It is written. That means it's addressed to all. The demand applies to anyone making it, not just Pharisees, or teachers of the law. That's why God calls them an evil and adulterous generation. They are all members of an open set that is not defined by title of teacher, or Pharisee, but by evil of heart. The sign of the prophet Jonah is the Holy Spirit, the One who lives and answers those who take His advice, "seek and you shall find."

"To insinuate that the Lord Jesus Christ was saying anything at all supportive of the evolution argument is defamatory and scurrilous."

His words are quite clear about the matter. Any scientific evidence showing that God exists, other than knowing the Holy Spirit, is a miraculous sign. Science uncovers the truth, but not all. Some truths were hidden and are kept protected by "the cherubim with the flaming sword." That is the physics of this world.

"You must be utterly vile to make such a suggestion."

I'm only vile, because I don't believe what you say and instead have chosen to believe what God said.

615 posted on 08/19/2005 10:35:58 AM PDT by spunkets
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To: Wonder Warthog
Sorry, but all that shows is the effect of memetics. If you want to win your point, show me a biology text from pre-1980 that uses "micro" and "macro".

There is no debate. Its a fact. The terms are being taught now as I demonstrated. Pre-1980 is irrevelant. And watch your language if you wish to post at this site.

616 posted on 08/19/2005 10:36:04 AM PDT by plain talk
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To: Right Wing Professor; BMCDA
The proposition that 'design' can objectively be detected is mathematically implausible

Why would the alternative be more scientific than design?

The 'probability calculations' presented to discredit evolution are entirely and transparently specious.

In that case you can put ID in the class, state the reasons why the probability calculations are specious, the allow the proponents to counter and so on. The most reasonable view would win in open debate.

Moreover, according to the modern founders of the 'design' movement, ID is not as you say; ID is a pretext to get the Christian deity into academic discourse and into the classroom. Philip Johnson has explicitly said so.

No, it's been explicitly stated that it could apply to any designer. OTOH, science is a means of understanding reality. If God exists, shouldn't science reflect that?

Uh, how do you want to detect design if you don't even have a model of the designer?

We have a myriad examples of known design. If elements of nature resemble complex items of known design, why not assume design?

617 posted on 08/19/2005 10:40:33 AM PDT by Tribune7
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To: curiosity
"Sounds just like life emerging from soup" ??? I guess if "Earth" translates to "soup" in your book . . . kinda hard to argue that brilliant logic!

Please define "kind," and please cite for me a Bible verse that says one "kind" cannot evolve into another "kind." You have a Bible - look it up and read along . . . Genesis 1:24 And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds." And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the cattle according to their kinds, and everything that creeps upon the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Let's try to dissect this:

1) God made the beasts . . . Notice it didn't say Gaia, martians, or soup of any color.

2) If I "bring forth" a cake from the oven, did the oven make the cake or did I? My logic says I did, your's I cannot speak for.

3) according to their kinds . . . according to its kind This didn't say according to its kind, with a bunch of other kinds, and various soup flavors. The word "their" is possesive. Genesis is differentiating between "kinds".

4) Taxonmomists have been trying to structure life into logical divisions for a long time. We do not have an exact definition of the Bible term "kind" but have probably come close with family (with genus and species). However, scientists are continually finding that some of their assumptions aren't quite accurate - including biological classifications and definitions. (read about wholphins)

Summary: God created the earth and everything in it and around it. If you want to believe He left the specifics of life forms up to a lightning bolt hitting a primordial soup with a splash of meteor dust and some Blue Bell ice cream . . . have at it.

618 posted on 08/19/2005 10:41:40 AM PDT by DesertSapper (I Love God, Family, Country! (and dead terrorists))
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To: Zechariah11
"You learn how Christ feels about evolution by refering to "original sources." (ie. Scripture) Within those sources you'll find Christ making the most adamant statements endorsing the Word of God and creation.That is the pipeline: "Haven't you read," He replied, "that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female." Then, lest you suggest this is not an unqualified declarative statement about God's creative act Christ goes further, "For this reason (ie. creation of the two sexes and by extension the institiution of marriage) a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife . . .""

Where's the mechanics-the how it was done? Hmmm? Is this science?

619 posted on 08/19/2005 10:41:47 AM PDT by spunkets
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To: From many - one.
Did you note the word "usually"?

Yes.

I know that you said,

"The word "evolutionist" is usually used as an epithet implying an unreasonable belief in evolution."

And I was surprised to hear that the word "evolutionist" was ever used as an epithet, (Unless the person saying "evolutionist" spat out the word or did something equally offensive.)

Evolutionist seems like a fine word, to me. And it seems fine to the NIH.

Is there another short1 word that I should use?

1 I'm usually strapped for time.

620 posted on 08/19/2005 10:46:02 AM PDT by syriacus (You are shouting so loudly that I can't "hear" you.)
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To: Havoc

"ID pulls the wool off of people's eyes re natural selection"

I disagree. The faulty presumption behind ID is "complexity" and a feeling that something observed as complex for the observer must have an explanation as coming from a designer.

ID is a thick set of wool.


621 posted on 08/19/2005 10:46:55 AM PDT by Shermy
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To: doodlelady
I think you know what I meant.

That's just the problem. We can't assume everyone is on the same page.

If you want to bar religious discussion from a public classroom, it's only fair for you to clearly explain the rules you want to impose on religious discussion.

622 posted on 08/19/2005 10:53:44 AM PDT by syriacus (You are shouting so loudly that I can't "hear" you.)
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To: Tribune7
In that case you can put ID in the class, state the reasons why the probability calculations are specious, the allow the proponents to counter and so on. The most reasonable view would win in open debate

We don't make a practice of teaching science by presenting bad ideas and then showing they're wrong. And in any case, why pick this one bad idea among so many?

Have you ever taken a science course? How much chemistry do you think we'd get through in a semester if we did it by having a discussion over every concept? I find it amusing so-called conservatives are pushing this mushy, liberal, 'whole-science' approach to pedagogy, after the utter failure of 'whole math' and 'whole language', which also had students 'discover for themselves' the rules of math or language.

An additional irony is that scientists like Pinker, whose views are anathema here, and who is politically quite liberal (though not very liberal) is campaigning for the abandonment of such teaching methods, because they ignore how the brain actually learns things, and because they don't work. So we have mush-brained conservatives and hard-headed liberals; truly a world turned upside down.

No, it's been explicitly stated that it could apply to any designer

Sure; it's also been admitted that this is a prevarication. I'm simply taking people like Johnson at their word.

We have a myriad examples of known design. If elements of nature resemble complex items of known design, why not assume design?

We tend to interpret complex objects in terms of what Dennett calls the 'design stance'; seeing something, we ask ourselves 'what is it for?'. It's hardwired into the way we think, not the object we're looking at.

623 posted on 08/19/2005 10:56:03 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor (Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory - John Marburger, science advisor to George W. Bush)
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To: From many - one.
many many, sigh.
That was a rhetorical question Is this 'more best of the best' contributions of the evo ping list.

I went to your web site and did the same 'data check' you did, and yes a search on the word consciousness yields 19222 items.

All that means is the database hit the word 'consciousness' one or more times in each item. That is all it shows many, that's is all it shows many.

Oh From many - one, the ping list. you said you're not on it, okay. BUT YOU SHOULD BE!! HA HA HA HA HA!!
624 posted on 08/19/2005 11:01:44 AM PDT by mordo
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To: Wonder Warthog

So micro and macro evolution only appeared in text books, and scientific debate because us crackpots inserted the terms? You havee lost me.


625 posted on 08/19/2005 11:02:13 AM PDT by aft_lizard (This space waiting for a post election epiphany it now is: Question Everything)
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To: Right Wing Professor
And in any case, why pick this one bad idea among so many?

Why do you think it's a bad idea?

How much chemistry do you think we'd get through in a semester if we did it by having a discussion over every concept?

How much biology/chemistry/physics are we going through now in middle school/high school? How much global warming/gay gene/gender-myth pop-science crap is being foisted on students now in the name of science.

If we teach that there is a design to life and the universe, and a reason for our existence beyond chance, and truth is real and findable, we will have smarter kids and better scientists.

We tend to interpret complex objects in terms of what Dennett calls the 'design stance'; seeing something, we ask ourselves 'what is it for?'. It's hardwired into the way we think, not the object we're looking at.

Or maybe it's because they are designed :-)

626 posted on 08/19/2005 11:25:12 AM PDT by Tribune7
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To: syriacus

I wonder if you even know what you mean.
I wouldn't dare assume you do.


627 posted on 08/19/2005 11:35:33 AM PDT by b9
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To: Right Wing Professor

I saw your tagline, but I was responding to your comment that likened G. W. Bush to a "crackpot."

Pretty straightforward.


628 posted on 08/19/2005 11:49:34 AM PDT by kidkosmic1 (www.InterviewwithGod.com)
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To: doodlelady
I wonder if you even know what you mean. I wouldn't dare assume you do.

I'd like to know what topics you would forbid in a public classroom.

629 posted on 08/19/2005 11:50:47 AM PDT by syriacus (You are shouting so loudly that I can't "hear" you.)
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To: Tribune7
Why do you think it's a bad idea?

Because you can't calculate a priori probabilities for a process without specifying mechanism in detail.

How much biology/chemistry/physics are we going through now in middle school/high school? How much global warming/gay gene/gender-myth pop-science crap is being foisted on students now in the name of science.

My kids didn't get a whole lot of that. Your Public School System May Vary.

If we teach that there is a design to life and the universe, and a reason for our existence beyond chance, and truth is real and findable, we will have smarter kids and better scientists.

I disagree completely.

630 posted on 08/19/2005 11:53:33 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor (Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory - John Marburger, science advisor to George W. Bush)
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To: kidkosmic1
I was responding to your comment that likened G. W. Bush to a "crackpot."

Huh?

631 posted on 08/19/2005 11:54:24 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor (Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory - John Marburger, science advisor to George W. Bush)
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To: curiosity

Boo Hoo hoo

I'm being called a crackpot, so I'll just slink off into the shadows....

NOT!!!!


632 posted on 08/19/2005 12:08:20 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: PatrickHenry

Dang! 300!

It was 290 last time I saw this!


(The Army could use your recruitment secrets!)


633 posted on 08/19/2005 12:10:13 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: Just mythoughts
Re:was and became...Hebrew words" This "not in vain" is the same Hebrew word as without form = waste. Something happened to cause this earth to become void and without form. "

Here's the English translations from the Hebrew Bible. The translations are not significantly different from what the NIV has. There is no indication anything "became" the word in Gen is properly "was". Isaiah says He created it, not a waste. The whole universe was unformed and void before creation.

Gen 1:2 Now the earth was unformed and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters.

Isaiah 45:18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens, He is God; that formed the earth and made it, He established it, He created it not a waste, He formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD, and there is none else.

"moved"

Moved, hovered, was over...All the same.

" My dictionary says "science" is having knowledge. "

That def is severely lacking and so broad as to be meaningless.

Jeremiah 4 refers simply to the choices and consequences of the exercise of Free will. Following the Holy Spirit leads to Heaven. Rejection leads to the ruin, disaster and devastation of life in hell. That occurs even as and though the Earth passes away.

634 posted on 08/19/2005 12:11:26 PM PDT by spunkets
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To: Modernman
At this time, though, there is no environmental pressure for, say, hippos to evolve a higher degree of intelligence.

And if I wanted a smarter one, just what 'pressure' would have to BE applied?

635 posted on 08/19/2005 12:13:14 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: Elsie
And if I wanted a smarter one, just what 'pressure' would have to BE applied?

An environment where food is scarce and can more readily be accessed through tool use might be one such pressure.

636 posted on 08/19/2005 12:15:17 PM PDT by Modernman ("A conservative government is an organized hypocrisy." -Disraeli)
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To: Modernman

I don't want 'might'.

I want some ACTUAL examples.


637 posted on 08/19/2005 12:17:01 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going....)
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To: Elsie
Dang! 300! It was 290 last time I saw this!

I update the logo whenever I get an additional ten. Actually, I waited until it was 302, in case there were any dropouts. And there is one non-evo name on the list, still very much on probation (sort of an experiment), so it wouldn't be accurate to say I had 300 pro-evolution names until the list had gone comfortably over 300.

638 posted on 08/19/2005 12:18:56 PM PDT by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas. The List-O-Links is at my homepage.)
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To: Elsie
I want some ACTUAL examples.

I can't see into the future to tell what stimuli, if any, will make certain animals more intelligent in the future.

What is the point of your question, anyway? Or is this one of your usual attempts at intellectual masturbation?

639 posted on 08/19/2005 12:20:50 PM PDT by Modernman ("A conservative government is an organized hypocrisy." -Disraeli)
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To: curiosity
In the past, it was often the right that tried to draw societal implications from Darwinism, and the left that stood against them. And for understandable reasons: When people draw political conclusions from Darwin's theory, they're nearly always inegalitarian conclusions. Hence social Darwinism, hence scientific racism, hence eugenics.

Seeing as this writer describes racism & eugenics as traditional right-wing values, I doubt that he genuinely want to prevent harm to the right.

640 posted on 08/19/2005 12:26:15 PM PDT by Sloth (History's greatest monsters: Hitler, Stalin, Mao & Durbin)
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To: DesertSapper
Using the generally-accepted definition above and the fact that we can observe the validity of "micro-evolution" (natural selection and adaptation within the "kind") . . . I say . . . yep! "provable" works quite well.

Observing the validity of "micro-evolution" doesn't prove any scientific theories. Scientific theories are not proven, and your attempt to use rhetoric to distract from the original point does not change this.

The only people who ask that a scientific theory be "provable" are those who do not understand science.
641 posted on 08/19/2005 12:31:45 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: BibChr

Great blogsite.

I especially enjoyed your review of Ebert.

Question: Chaos? Is that the French film being referred to?


642 posted on 08/19/2005 12:33:18 PM PDT by eleni121 ('Thou hast conquered, O Galilean!' (Julian the Apostate))
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To: F.J. Mitchell
I have read the theories about evolution(now being taught to our children as facts rather than mere theories) and survival of the fittest and in my opinion they are as full of holes and overwhelmed by so many could not have happeneds, that in my opinion it should be listed under science fiction.

Could you offer an actual counter rather than the fallacy of argument from incredulity?

Each cell in this warm and functional human body could not survive outside a very limited range of temperature variation that can only be maintained by the temperature controls designed into this human body and that of other species.

So? No one claims that human cells survive on their own, individually, in hostile environments.

It could not exists, except upon a planet, designed to supply it's every need.

Except that you're ignoring that the theory of evolution suggests that life evolved to fit their environments, not that environments were shaped to fit life. It's not that our environment was "designed", it's that our bodies evolved in such a way as to fit within the environment in which we live. Another environment may not have supported life at all (in which case we wouldn't be having this discussion) or it might have supported life in a different configuration, in which case the life in it would have evolved to look and behave differently.

The anthropic principle argument is nothing more than question-begging.
643 posted on 08/19/2005 12:37:16 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: visually_augmented
Fundamentally, evolution relies on the hypothesis that all life forms (or certainly most life forms) trend to higher complexity.

Evolution says no such thing. Higher complexity only comes about where it's able due to environmental selection pressures. In environments where higher "complexity" is of no benefit or even detrimental to reproduction, you'll see lower "complexity" reigning.

So the big question in my mind is why only primates evolved to become sentient. Why are there not a vast array of higher order being? You know, monkey-man, horse-man, cat-man, and maybe even roach-man?

Your confusion is based on a false premise.
644 posted on 08/19/2005 12:38:53 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: visually_augmented
If that is the case, then "science" should stay out of that business.

What "business" exactly?

Theories should be discussed and debated, of course, but we should never lose site that they are theories - not dogma...

Every explanation in science is theory, always subject to change. There is nothing in science greater than theory.
645 posted on 08/19/2005 12:41:42 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: MitchellC
As for why God would create a world that would fall, what is the point of the question? Is it impossible that a perfect God would do such a thing?

It really depends on your definition of "perfect". Perfect simply means conforming to a standard with no deviation whatsoever. Perfect by itself, with no qualifications regarding the standard, is meaningless, so given specific standards it is possible for a "perfect" God to create a world that would fall, even if this "perfect" God was completely capable of creating a world that would not fall. It just depends on what you mean by "perfect".
646 posted on 08/19/2005 12:43:33 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: eleni121
Thanks!

I don't think it's French. here is his original review of the movie.

Dan

647 posted on 08/19/2005 12:44:13 PM PDT by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: CasearianDaoist
The real problem, of course is that much of the evo argument cannot be really be approached from the empirical, experimental methodology that can be found in the so-called "head science" (which from my point of view is really science proper,) while at the same time the Evo side want to claim the surety of "hard science." I really think that some areas of Biology were if fact better characterized by our forebears as "Natural Philosophy."

I see a lot of rhetorical and philosophical hanky panky on both sides, and some of it seems to be even unwitting. I imagine if this get thrust into public scrutiny this will come to the fore and the whole argument will shift completely. You evos might be surprised at the outcome and who you end up arguing against.

My background is in Mathematics and Philosophy, and from that viewpoint, I find much of the claims of much of what we call "science" on today's campuses do have some dubious value, and built on some methodologically unsound footings.

Good thoughts. The true hard sciences (physics, chemistry, etc.) are rigorously testable in ways that evolutionary biology is not. Fossil evidence can be examined to improve the soundness of one's guesses about what happened in the past, but they are still educated guesses.

Other 'soft' sciences like archaeology & anthropology allow for -- necessitate, even -- the assessment of 'intelligent design' to differentiate man-made artifacts (tools and such) from naturally occurring features, so it's not as though such an idea is completely alien to science.

648 posted on 08/19/2005 12:44:36 PM PDT by Sloth (History's greatest monsters: Hitler, Stalin, Mao & Durbin)
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To: From many - one.

I've come to the realisation that mordo isn't exactly altogether sane. Attempting rational discussion with the totally irrational is pointless.


649 posted on 08/19/2005 12:44:53 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: MNJohnnie
And this differs from the arrogant declaration that "Science" proves "Evolution" is a "Fact" how?

Well, I for one acknowledge that no explanations in science are "proven". Got something that isn't a strawman?
650 posted on 08/19/2005 12:46:13 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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