Skip to comments.Future of Conservatism: Darwin or Design? [Human Events goes with ID]
Posted on 12/12/2005 8:01:43 AM PST by PatrickHenry
Occasionally a social issue becomes so ubiquitous that almost everyone wants to talk about it -- even well-meaning but uninformed pundits. For example, Charles Krauthammer preaches that religious conservatives should stop being so darn, well, religious, and should accept his whitewashed version of religion-friendly Darwinism.1 George Will prophesies that disagreements over Darwin could destroy the future of conservatism.2 Both agree that intelligent design is not science.
It is not evident that either of these critics has read much by the design theorists they rebuke. They appear to have gotten most of their information about intelligent design from other critics of the theory, scholars bent on not only distorting the main arguments of intelligent design but also sometimes seeking to deny the academic freedom of design theorists.
In 2001, Iowa State University astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez’s research on galactic habitable zones appeared on the cover of Scientific American. Dr. Gonzalez’s research demonstrates that our universe, galaxy, and solar system were intelligently designed for advanced life. Although Gonzalez does not teach intelligent design in his classes, he nevertheless believes that “[t]he methods [of intelligent design] are scientific, and they don't start with a religious assumption.” But a faculty adviser to the campus atheist club circulated a petition condemning Gonzalez’s scientific views as merely “religious faith.” Attacks such as these should be familiar to the conservative minorities on many university campuses; however, the response to intelligent design has shifted from mere private intolerance to public witch hunts. Gonzalez is up for tenure next year and clearly is being targeted because of his scientific views.
The University of Idaho, in Moscow, Idaho, is home to Scott Minnich, a soft-spoken microbiologist who runs a lab studying the bacterial flagellum, a microscopic rotary engine that he and other scientists believe was intelligently designed -- see "What Is Intelligent Design.") Earlier this year Dr. Minnich testified in favor of intelligent design at the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial over the teaching of intelligent design. Apparently threatened by Dr. Minnich’s views, the university president, Tim White, issued an edict proclaiming that “teaching of views that differ from evolution ... is inappropriate in our life, earth, and physical science courses or curricula.” As Gonzaga University law professor David DeWolf asked in an editorial, “Which Moscow is this?” It’s the Moscow where Minnich’s career advancement is in now jeopardized because of his scientific views.
Scientists like Gonzalez and Minnich deserve not only to be understood, but also their cause should be defended. Conservative champions of intellectual freedom should be horrified by the witch hunts of academics seeking to limit academic freedom to investigate or objectively teach intelligent design. Krauthammer’s and Will’s attacks only add fuel to the fire.
By calling evolution “brilliant,” “elegant,” and “divine,” Krauthammer’s defense of Darwin is grounded in emotional arguments and the mirage that a Neo-Darwinism that is thoroughly friendly towards Western theism. While there is no denying the possibility of belief in God and Darwinism, the descriptions of evolution offered by top Darwinists differ greatly from Krauthammer’s sanitized version. For example, Oxford zoologist Richard Dawkins explains that “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” In addition, Krauthammer’s understanding is in direct opposition to the portrayal of evolution in biology textbooks. Says Douglas Futuyma in the textbook Evolutionary Biology:
“By coupling undirected, purposeless variation to the blind, uncaring process of natural selection, Darwin made theological or spiritual explanations of the life processes superfluous.”3
“Evolution in a pure Darwinian world has no goal or purpose: the exclusive driving force is random mutations sorted out by natural selection from one generation to the next. … However elevated in power over the rest of life, however exalted in self-image, we were descended from animals by the same blind force that created those animals. …”5
Mr. Luskin is an attorney and published scientist working with the Discovery Institute in Seattle, Wash.
"Science doesn't deal in 100% certain proofs. Next."
That's was exactly my point. But as I said before, evolutionists are very skilled at missing the point.
"As for the rest of the rant, I think for myself. I don't have a party line."
Funny, that's exactly what the Democrats say as they rattle off their talking points. Then again, I was not necessarily referring to you in particular in that particular "rant."
"What you don't seem to appreciate is that the arguments you're presenting are transparently specious, and it's not in the least surprising that twenty people, all with a reasonable command of logic, will be able to drive a truck for them."
Congratulations. You've obviously mastered the art of bold assertion.
By the way, I have a question for you (or anyone else who knows the answer). This is a sincere question that I think I know the answer to but am not sure. Has anyone ever directly observed the "evolution" of a single-celled organism to a multi-celled organism?
You addressed it to me.
Has anyone ever directly observed the "evolution" of a single-celled organism to a multi-celled organism?
Boraas (1983) reported the induction of multicellularity in a strain of Chlorella pyrenoidosa (since reclassified as C. vulgaris) by predation. He was growing the unicellular green alga in the first stage of a two stage continuous culture system as for food for a flagellate predator, Ochromonas sp., that was growing in the second stage. Due to the failure of a pump, flagellates washed back into the first stage. Within five days a colonial form of the Chlorella appeared. It rapidly came to dominate the culture. The colony size ranged from 4 cells to 32 cells. Eventually it stabilized at 8 cells. This colonial form has persisted in culture for about a decade. The new form has been keyed out using a number of algal taxonomic keys. They key out now as being in the genus Coelosphaerium, which is in a different family from Chlorella.
Boraas, M. E. 1983. Predator induced evolution in chemostat culture. EOS. Transactions of the American Geophysical Union. 64:1102.
I did -- and I read the original paper:
Lineage-Specific Expansions of Retroviral Insertions within the Genomes of African Great Apes but Not Humans and Orangutans
If the subsequent insertions are truly not orthologs, and "few if any" are, it is still problematic that gorillas and chimps were subject to later re-insertion but humans were not (resistance/susceptibility hypothesis) despite their overlap during the Miocene era.
Resistance/susceptibility is one possibility mentioned in the article, but ScienceDaily failed to mention a few of the others.
First is habitat difference, an epidemic in heavily forested areas but not pandemic onto the lowlands and savanna where humans found their niche.
Second is that PtERV1 sharply reduced survivability of human fetus/children, and the lower fecundity of those with the insertions would have been overwhelmed by the populations without.
Third is an Out-And-Back-to-Africa scenario. An uninfected population (from Asia) returned to Africa after the virus ran its course and subsumed the remaining hominids.
My mind is open and I patiently await the results of further research.
Science partakes of both. If it chooses not to remain within its own set of definitions, then it either ought to say so or it ought to be pointed out. What is "peer review" but "approval by committee" of sorts?
But using the set of definitons often posted by evos on these threads, it is plain to see that intelligent design qualifies as a "theory," and evolution qualifies as not only a "belief" but also, when God is not allowed into the discussion, "dogma."
Your excursion regarding "intelligence" is good. It may be to our advantage to focus on a terse, single definition that fits the debate, much as has been done for the other scientific definitons.
Is the explanation any more than just "evolution" did it"? Substitute your favorite word. A theory is just a general way of interpreting the evidence on a regular basis. The presence of organized matter and physical laws to governing it in predictable fashion can be explained by an almighty intelligence. It may be beyond proof, but then that's not what science is all about, is it?
Yes such as a specific explaination for the pattern of the fossil record, and a specific explaination for the geographical distribution of species. Its explaination for these things is a consequence of the mechanisms it proposes.
ID has no explainations for these things because it proposes no mechanisms which explainations could be based from. An Intelligent Designer could create species in any order at any time and at any place. So ID does not expect a specific order, or fossil record pattern, so it cannot explain the specific order that we see today.
This is the difference between evolution and ID which I am talking about.
Substitute your favorite word. A theory is just a general way of interpreting the evidence on a regular basis.
Nope a theory is a well tested explaination for a phenomenon. If the explaination is not well tested then it is just a hypothesis. If an explaination cannot be tested at all then it isn't even a valid hypothesis in science.
The presence of organized matter and physical laws to governing it in predictable fashion can be explained by an almighty intelligence.
Yep but that cannot be tested so you know what that means. The problem is that the presence of anything can be explained by an almighty intelligence.
Organised matter and physical laws to govern it in a predictable fashion can also be explained as a computer simulation which we are all plugged into. But like ID that explaination has no explainatory power either, as it fits anything. So it's no suprise that both would fit this specific case.
Wrong. First, leading "biblical exegetes" like Luther and Melanchthon denounced Copernicus' theory of heliocentrism.
Martin Luther called Copernicus an "upstart astrologer" and a "fool who wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy." Calvin thundered: "Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit?" Do not Scriptures say that Joshua commanded the sun and not the earth to stand still? That the sun runs from one end of the heavens to the other?Similarly, the Church, citing common sense and biblical passages that seemed to indicate that the earth does not move, warned Galileo that he could not teach that these biblical passages are erroneous. Rather, as Cardinal Bellarmine stated:
I say that if a real proof be found that the sun is fixed and does not revolve round the earth, but the earth round the sun, then it will be necessary, very carefully, to proceed to the explanation of the passages of Scripture which appear to be contrary, and we should rather say that we have misunderstood these than pronounce that to be false which is demonstrated.In fact, Galileo did not have a valid scientific proof for his theory at the time.
Pagan philosophy had become interwoven with traditional Catholic teachings during the time of Augustine.
Plato with Augustine; Aristotle with Aquinas. These were the greatest philosophical syntheses in history.
Therefore, the Church's dogmatic retention of tradition was the major seat of controversy, not the Bible.
The Church's teaching and tradition allowed the reinterpretation of biblical passages in seeming contradiction to heliocentrism, as Cardinal Bellarmine's comment exemplifies.
The so-called reformers, like Luther, Melanchthon, and Calvin, were locked into biblical literalism.
On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel:
"O sun, stand still over Gibeon,
O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon."
So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.
Martin Luther called Copernicus an "upstart astrologer" and a "fool who wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy." Calvin thundered: "Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit?"One of the most important aspects of Galileo's "threat" to education is that he published his writings in Italian, rather than Latin, which was the official language of scholarship. Galileo was attempting to have his ideas accepted by common people, hoping that they would eventually filter into the educational institutions.
This is a classic example of reinterpreting history. The common man rejected heliocentrism as an eccentric theory, since the idea defied common sense. In fact, Copernicus dedicated his book to the pope, hoping that the pope's endorsement would help him to avoid ridicule.
Thus, Galileo was regarded as an enemy of the established scientific authorities and experienced the full weight of their influence and persecution.
"Persecution" like a bishop and cardinal funding Copernicus' research? Or Galileo's personal friendship with the pope?
Again, it was Galileo's demand that the Church teach the errancy of Joshua 10 that got him into trouble. His research went on through several papacies. Copernicus' research was funded by a bishop and cardinal. The Church objected only when Galileo overstepped the bounds of science and ventured into dogmatic teaching regarding the inerrancy of scripture.
In many ways, the historic controversy of creation vs. evolution has been similar to Galileo's conflict, only with a reversal of roles.
In the sixteenth century, Christian theism was the prevailing philosophy and the Catholic Church dominated the educational system. Those, like Galileo, who dedicated themselves to diligently search for truth found themselves at the unmerciful hands of the authorities whose theories they threatened.
Pure historical revisionism. Bishops were funding Copernicus. Galileo was only censured when he criticized the authority of scripture
Galileo drew the greatest criticism from the so-called reformers and biblical literalists, like Luther, Calvin and Melanchthon.
People gave ear to an upstart astrologer who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon . . . This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy, but sacred Scripture tells us (Joshua 10:13) that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth.The lesson to be learned from Galileo, it appears, is not that the Church held too tightly to biblical truths; but rather that it did not hold tightly enough.
Some think it a distinguished achievement to construct such a crazy thing as that Prussian astronomer who moves the earth and fixes the sun. Verily, wise rulers should tame the unrestraint of men's minds.
Certain men, either from the love of novelty, or to make a display of ingenuity, have concluded that the earth moves . . . Now, it is a want of honesty and decency to assert such notions publicly and the example is pernicious. It is the part of a good mind to accept the truth as revealed by God and to acquiesce in it . . . The earth can be nowhere if not in the centre of the universe.
The Church didn't hold tightly enough to biblical literalism, like Luther?
It allowed Greek philosophy to influence its theology
Resulting in such towering achievements as the Summa Theologica.
...and held to tradition rather than to the teachings of the Bible.
Compare the statements of Cardinal Bellarmine with those of Luther, Calvin and Melanchthon.
We must hold strongly to Biblical doctrine which has been achieved through sure methods of exegesis. We must never be satisfied with dogmas built upon philosophic traditions.
We must stop reading history through Protestant preconceptions.
The Bible is the only infallible, inspired revelation of God.
Inerrant and inspired. This non-biblical, Protestant doctrine of biblical literalism led Luther, Melanchthon and Calvin into their errors regarding heliocentrism. It was the Church's non-literalistic approach to biblical exegesis that allowed the funding of and toleration for a theory that seemed to contradict the bible and common sense.
You may have the last word.
Should I throw a monkey wrench into that with quantum physics, or should we not confuse things even more?
Works for me. In fact, my theory is that we know precious little regarding the origins of life, and human life in particular.
Damn atheist Pope.
Good catch. Not just an innocent typo, it made the sentence take on a whole different meaning.
IIRC an ID book in question in the Dover case was originally a creationist tract, re-edited for ID mainly by making all the God references vague. This was the book the IDers perjured themselves over.
ID can explain patterns just as easily.
Nope a theory is a well tested explaination for a phenomenon.
There you go again, adding to a definition. Look at the definition of "theory" again and see of the words "well-tested" are in there.
Yep but that cannot be tested so you know what that means.
The best, but not the only, test for organized matter is whether it can be observed or not. That renders the known universe as supportive evidence of intelligent design. If you want to use another explanation for the presence of organized matter and the laws that govern it, have at it, but please understand your assumptions, like those of ID, will be treated as speculative.
I think I win the obscure reference challenge.
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