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We're not in Kansas anymore (Krauthammer slams Intelligent Design)
Townhall ^ | 11/18/2005 | Charles Krauthammer

Posted on 11/18/2005 7:58:33 AM PST by Uncledave

Edited on 11/18/2005 6:57:43 PM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]

WASHINGTON -- Because every few years this country, in its infinite tolerance, insists on hearing yet another appeal of the Scopes monkey trial, I feel obliged to point out what would otherwise be superfluous -- that the two greatest scientists in the history of our species were Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, and they were both religious.


(Excerpt) Read more at townhall.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Kansas
KEYWORDS: intelligentdesign; krauthammer; scienceeducation
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To: voltaires_zit
"Presence of "bias" does not show intelligent design (dissipative structures, anyone?), so your "test" does not have the potential to falsify your "hypothesis". It is, therefore... drum roll please .... USELESS, like every other supposed "test" for "ID"."

Flawed logic. Gong! You lose.

Bias is a prerequisite for ID. True, the presence of bias doesn't insure intelligence, but the *absence* of bias precludes it.

Thus, ID can be falsified with a test for bias that shows...none.

Ergo, ID is a testable, falsifiable, scientific theory.

Of course, this stands to reason, as ID already explains genetically altered pigs that are grown in the lab to produce human hormones.

Evolution didn't create those pigs.

251 posted on 02/16/2007 3:31:19 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack

> Ergo, ID is a testable, falsifiable, scientific theory.

"Someone, somewhere, somewhen did something we're not sure of, but then again maybe not."

That's a fair statement of this so-called "theory"?

The explanatory power is mind boggling(ly small).

> Thus, ID can be falsified with a test for bias that shows...none.

If that's the position you want to stake out, it is also falsified by the existence of "bias" where it is known there is no intelligent interposer, and again I say "Dissipative Structures".

End of ID.


252 posted on 02/16/2007 3:37:16 PM PST by voltaires_zit
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To: voltaires_zit
"If that's the position you want to stake out, it is also falsified by the existence of "bias" where it is known there is no intelligent interposer, and again I say "Dissipative Structures". End of ID."

Intriguing. You've managed to grasp that ID is testable and falsifiable. That's quite a leap from your earlier flailing about.

There's hope for you yet.

253 posted on 02/16/2007 3:43:56 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack

> You've managed to grasp that ID is testable and falsifiable.

To keep it in play, you have to come up with something that is falsifiable but NOT obviously false.

I won't hold my breath for an example.


254 posted on 02/16/2007 3:47:21 PM PST by voltaires_zit
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To: voltaires_zit
"To keep it in play, you have to come up with something that is falsifiable but NOT obviously false. I won't hold my breath for an example."

No need to hold your breath waiting for an example, they're plentiful. For instance, simply muster the courage to honestly answer which theory, Evolution or ID, correctly explains the origin of these genetically altered pigs: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=11042380&dopt=Abstract


255 posted on 02/16/2007 8:03:07 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack

Examples that intelligence is capable of doing something are not evidence that intelligence is required to accomplish it.


256 posted on 02/16/2007 8:20:08 PM PST by voltaires_zit
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To: CharlesWayneCT

Were Watching you Mr. Krauthammer..

257 posted on 02/16/2007 8:25:38 PM PST by MaxMax (God Bless America)
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To: voltaires_zit
"Examples that intelligence is capable of doing something are not evidence that intelligence is required to accomplish it."

Examples that conclusively prove that ID created an animal rule out treating ID as unprovable, or unfalsifiable, or untestable, or unscientific.

ID works for some animals. That means that it can't be discarded flippantly.

258 posted on 02/16/2007 8:28:02 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack

> ID works for some animals. That means that it can't be
> discarded flippantly.

Intelligence **can** create any number of things.

For example, it can create a very passable random number series that appears to be a gaussian distribution.

Nobody would claim that all normal distributions are intelligently designed, though, would they?


259 posted on 02/16/2007 8:30:55 PM PST by voltaires_zit
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To: voltaires_zit; Southack
What scientific argument is there for the proposition that intelligence is not required to produce organized matter performing specific functions? The nature and extent of intelligent design is fertile ground for science to explore, information being the very currency of science.

Furthermore, science is always tethered to each observer's philosophy or premises, so it is somewhat disingenuous to suggest proponents of intelligent design theory are operating purely out of religious and philosophical motives while proponents of methodological naturalism are purely objective.
260 posted on 02/16/2007 8:33:21 PM PST by Fester Chugabrew
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To: voltaires_zit
"Nobody would claim that all normal distributions are intelligently designed, though, would they?"

They don't have to make such a claim, as that's not the point.

That *any* distributions are intelligently designed means that you can't rule out ID as a potential cause for their origin.

You can't honestly claim that ID is "unscientific."

You can't honestly claim that ID is "untestable."

You can't honestly claim that ID is "unfalsifiable."

...not when ID is shown to be responsible for *some* instances.

261 posted on 02/16/2007 8:34:18 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: voltaires_zit; Southack; Fester Chugabrew
For example, it can create a very passable random number series that appears to be a gaussian distribution.

How is that "known"?

262 posted on 02/16/2007 8:37:58 PM PST by AndrewC (Duckpond, LLD, JSD (all honorary))
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To: Southack

> That *any* distributions are intelligently designed means
> that you can't rule out ID as a potential cause for their
> origin.

Quick, you better tell the guys at SETI!

They've been ruling out a large number of very organized signals as naturally occurring rather than artificial signals of intelligence.

> You can't honestly claim that ID is "unscientific."

ID is worse than wrong. It's useless. Neither it (generically) nor ANY of its proponents have put forward a single testable, falsifiable hypothesis for a phenomenon that can't be adequately (even better) explained by the dominant paradigm.

Does this "prove" that they're wrong?

Not necessarily, but it does relegate them to the realm of speculation until such time as they do.

Let's take a fairly recent example: special relativity pissed off a lot of physicists. Einstein took a LOT of flack for his paper. But he said: Hey, if I'm right, when you put up clocks on a pair of satellites accelerating away from each other, when you look at the clocks again, they'll be different.

It was testable.

He was right.

When the IDers come up with something similar, do let us know.

Until then, throwing stones at evolution is NOT a sufficient argument for ID.


263 posted on 02/16/2007 8:45:28 PM PST by voltaires_zit
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To: Fester Chugabrew

> What scientific argument is there for the proposition
> that intelligence is not required to produce organized
> matter performing specific functions?

An example of an instance where matter spontaneously organizes to perform a specific function. Dissipative Structures spring immediately to mind.


264 posted on 02/16/2007 8:47:45 PM PST by voltaires_zit
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To: voltaires_zit
"Quick, you better tell the guys at SETI! They've been ruling out a large number of very organized signals as naturally occurring rather than artificial signals of intelligence."

Organization is an incomplete superset of, not subset of, intelligence. Ergo, SETI is right to rule out organized signals that coincide with a star's rotational speed, for instance.

That you miss the above is unsurprising, however, given how badly you've played this debate so far.

265 posted on 02/16/2007 8:52:43 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack

When you find a theory with some measurable explanatory power, do let everyone know.

Until then, intelligent design is (at best) quaint speculation on the order of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.


266 posted on 02/16/2007 8:59:59 PM PST by voltaires_zit
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To: voltaires_zit
"ID is worse than wrong. It's useless. Neither it (generically) nor ANY of its proponents have put forward a single testable, falsifiable hypothesis for a phenomenon that can't be adequately (even better) explained by the dominant paradigm."

You aren't listening/reading/comprehending. You've even contracted your own breakthrough in post #252.

ID isn't wrong...ID has proved to be the explanation for genetically altered pigs. See post #255.

ID is testable...ID has tested positive as the explanation for genetically altered pigs. See post #255.

ID is falsifiable...where ever there is no bias in an Origin, there is no ID.

Thus, on *every* claim that you've made (even contradicting your own post #252), you've been conclusively shown to be in error.

Consequently you are beginning to bore me. It's time that you handed me off to one of your betters. Surely some Darwinist out there somewhere can put up a better debate than simply ignoring genetically altered pigs while simultaneously being bewildered by simple subsets versus supersets.

267 posted on 02/16/2007 9:01:24 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: voltaires_zit
"When you find a theory with some measurable explanatory power, do let everyone know."

I've found it. In contrast, you should let me know when you finally (if ever), muster the courage to explain the question put to you in post #255.

Hint: you can't do it because you aren't intellectually honest enough to admit defeat.

268 posted on 02/16/2007 9:03:43 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack

Bovine fecal matter of the first order.

> ID is falsifiable...where ever there is no bias in an
> Origin, there is no ID.

And yet, ID is not necessary to explain bias, as you admit by dancing past Dissipative Structures, repeatedly.

Therefore, it is NOT falsifiable.

Further, I strongly suspect that you KNOW this, which is why you repeatedly engage in sophistry that would make a medieval monk blush.


269 posted on 02/16/2007 9:08:22 PM PST by voltaires_zit
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To: voltaires_zit
"And yet, ID is not necessary to explain bias, as you admit by dancing past Dissipative Structures, repeatedly. Therefore, it is NOT falsifiable."

Incorrect again.

Yawn. You really *are* boring me. First, ID doesn't have to explain all bias. This is because bias is a prerequisite (you need to look this word up, by the way) for ID, but ID is not a prerequisite for bias.

Second, ID *is* falsifiable. If there is no bias, then there can be no ID...this applies at every level. Test for bias. No bias found with a valid test? OK, then ID can't explain the Origin in question.

Furthermore, ID *is* responsible for modern genetic engineering. This means that anyone who claims that ID is "unfalsifiable" or "untestable" or "unscientific" is dissing an entire field of science (while simultaneously looking like an uneducated poster).

270 posted on 02/16/2007 9:22:25 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: voltaires_zit; Southack
And yet, ID is not necessary to explain bias, as you admit by dancing past Dissipative Structures, repeatedly.

http://www.cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/notebooks/dissipative-structures.html

And then there is the matter of his scientific peers --- not the systems theorists and similar riff-raff, but the experts in thermodynamics and statistical mechanics and pattern formation. One of them (P. Hohenberg, co-author of the latest Review of Modern Physics book on the state of the art on pattern formation) was willing to be quoted by Scientific American (May 1995, "From Complexity to Perplexity") to the effect that "I don't know of a single phenomenon his theory has explained."

This is extreme, but it becomes more plausible the more one looks into the actual experimental literature. For instance, chemical oscillations and waves are supposed to be particularly good Dissipative Structures; Prigogine and his collaborators have devoted hundreds if not thousands of pages to their analysis, with a special devotion to the Belousov-Zhabotisnky reagent, which is the classic chemical oscillator. Unfortunately, as Arthur Winfree points out (When Time Breaks Down, Princeton UP, 1987, pp. 189--90), "the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reagent ... is perfectly stable in its uniform quiescence," but can be distrubed into oscillation and wave-formation. This is precisely what cannot be true, if the theory of Dissipative Structures is to apply, and Winfree accordingly judges that "the first step [in understanding these phenomena], which no theorist would have anticipated, is to set aside the mathematical literature" produced by a "ponderous industry of theoretical elaboration". --- Needless to say, Winfree is not opposed to theory or mathematics, and his superb The Geometry of Biological Time (Springer-Verlag, 1980) is full of both.

Somewhat more diplomatic is Philip W. Anderson, one of the Old Turks of the Santa Fe Institute, and himself a Nobelist. I refer in particular to the very interesting paper he co-authored with Daniel L. Stein, "Broken Symmetry, Emergent Properties, Disspiative Structures, Life: Are They Related", in F. Eugene Yates (ed.), Self-Organizing Systems: The Emergence of Order (NY: Plenum Press, 1987), p. 445--457. The editor's abstract is as follows:

The authors compare symmetry-breaking in thermodynamic equilibrium systems (leading to phase change) and in systems far from equilibrium (leading to dissipative structures). They conclude thgat the only similarity between the two is their ability to lead to the emergent property of spatial variation from a homogeneous background. There is a well-developed theory for the equilbirium case involving the order parameter concept, which leads to a strong correlation of the order parameter over macroscopic distances in the broken symmetry phase (as exists, for example, in a ferromagnetic domain). This correlation endows the structure with a self-scaled stability, rigidity, autonomy or permanence. In contrast, the authors assert that there is no developed thoery of dissipative structures (despite claims to the contrary) and that perhaps there are no stable dissipative structures at all! Symmetry-breaking effects such as vortices and convection cells in fluids --- effects that result from dynamic instability bifurcations --- are considered to be unstable and transitory, rather than stable dissipative structures.

Thus, the authors do not believe that speculation about dissipative structures and their broken symmetries can, at present, be relevant to questions of the origin and persistence of life.

Some quotes from the paper itself:
"Is there a theory of dissipative structures comparable to that of equilibrium structures, explaining the existence of new, stable properties and entities in such systems?"

Contrary to statements in a number of books and articles in this field, we believe that there is no such theory, and it even may be that there are no such structures as they are implied to exist by Prigogine, Haken, and their collaborators. What does exist in this field is rather different from Prigogine's speculations and is the subject of intense experimental and theoretical investigation at this time.... [p. 447]

Prigogine and his school have made a series of attempts to build an analogy between these [dissipative far-from-equilibrium systems which form patterns] and the Landau free energy and its dependence on the order parameter, which leads to the important properties of equilibrium broken symmetry systems. The attempt is to generalize the principle of maximum entropy production, which holds near equilibrium in steady-state dissipative systems, and to find some kind of dissipation function whose extremum determines the state. As far as we can see, in the few cases in which this idea can be given concrete meaning, it is simply incorrect. In any case, it is clearly out of context in relation to the observed chaotic behvaior of real dissipative systems. [pp.454--455]

Anderson and Stein cite two of their own papers (P. W. Anderson, "Can broken symmetry occur in driven systems?" in G. Nicolis, G. Dewel and P. Turner (eds.), Order and Fluctuations in Equilbirium and Non-Equilibirum Statistical Mechanics, pp. 289-297; and D. L. Stein, "Dissipative structures, broken symmetry, and the theory of equilibrium phase transitions," J. Chem. Phys. 72:2869-2874) for the technical details of their critique; I haven't read 'em yet. Their joint paper is reproduced in Anderson's Basic Notions of Condensed Matter Physics, sans illustrations. Prigogine may be observed waxing philosophical in Order Out of Chaos, obscure in From Being to Becoming, and textbookish in Self-Organization in Non-Equilibrium Systems.

Prigogine won the Nobel in 1977. It is now 30 years later. Where's the beef?

271 posted on 02/16/2007 9:25:10 PM PST by AndrewC (Duckpond, LLD, JSD (all honorary))
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To: Southack

> If there is no bias, then there can be no ID...this
> applies at every level. Test for bias. No bias found with
> a valid test? OK, then ID can't explain the Origin in
> question.

And if there IS bias, hey, it doesn't necessarily mean ID.

Lovely.

NOT falsifiable.

NOT valid.

NOT science.

But lovely.

Keep dancing on the head of the pin.


272 posted on 02/16/2007 9:25:29 PM PST by voltaires_zit
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To: voltaires_zit
An example of an instance where matter spontaneously organizes to perform a specific function.

And precisely how is science going to demonstrate "spontaneity" in unfalsifiable terms?

273 posted on 02/16/2007 9:33:32 PM PST by Fester Chugabrew
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To: voltaires_zit
"And if there IS bias, hey, it doesn't necessarily mean ID. Lovely. NOT falsifiable. "

Sigh...

No, Dear Child. No.

If there is bias, then ID is possible. If there is no bias, then ID is not possible. Thus, ID is falsified.

274 posted on 02/16/2007 9:33:37 PM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: AndrewC

The point is that the structures are observed to occur, simply by the fact that the system is far from equilibrium.

No intelligence necessary.


275 posted on 02/16/2007 9:34:56 PM PST by voltaires_zit
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To: voltaires_zit
The point is that the structures are observed to occur, simply by the fact that the system is far from equilibrium.

So? A salt crystal is cubic. It is at equilibrium. Big deal.

276 posted on 02/16/2007 9:39:10 PM PST by AndrewC (Duckpond, LLD, JSD (all honorary))
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To: MaxMax

We're waking up threads from two years ago?


277 posted on 02/16/2007 9:57:56 PM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: CharlesWayneCT; Southack

/Shrug,
Southack had a point to make.


278 posted on 02/16/2007 10:19:29 PM PST by MaxMax (God Bless America)
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