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EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed
http://www.expelledthemovie.com/ ^

Posted on 11/01/2007 5:53:26 PM PDT by truthfinder9

This will be interesting, a documentary movie by Ben Stein on the new wave of thought police and academic suppression in academia and science:

Ben Stein, in the new film EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed

His heroic and, at times, shocking journey confronting the world’s top scientists, educators and philosophers, regarding the persecution of the many by an elite few.

In theatres near you, starting February 2008

Ben travels the world on his quest, and learns an awe-inspiring truth…that bewilders him, then angers him…and then spurs him to action!

Ben realizes that he has been “Expelled,” and that educators and scientists are being ridiculed, denied tenure and even fired – for the “crime” of merely believing that there might be evidence of “design” in nature, and that perhaps life is not just the result of accidental, random chance.

To which Ben Says: "Enough!" And then gets busy. NOBODY messes with Ben.

***

At Big Science Academy we take our motto seriously: “No Intelligence Allowed.” And this year, we are proud to report that in every subject but Science, students and faculty are free to challenge ideas, and seek truth wherever it may lead.

But Science is different. In Science, there is no room for dissent, for dissent is dangerous. That is why we at Big Science simply refuse to allow it. Like dancing, “dissent” can lead to other things.

As Class President Richard Dawkins put it so well: “Shut up!”

As you know…last year we had the misfortune of “presupposition of design” rearing its ugly head, with several students challenging Neo-Darwinian materialism, and arguing incessantly for the right to examine Intelligent Design.

They were all Expelled, of course – but still: it just goes to show where academic freedom can lead, if not shut down immediately!

Sincerely,

Charles Darwin Principal, President, Admissions and Diversity Affairs Officer, Big Science Academy “No Intelligence Allowed”


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: benstein; education; expelled; highereducation; id; intelligentdesign; moviereview; religion; science; stein; universities
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1 posted on 11/01/2007 5:53:27 PM PDT by truthfinder9
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To: DaveLoneRanger

Ping


2 posted on 11/01/2007 5:56:05 PM PDT by TenthAmendmentChampion (Global warming is to Revelations as the theory of evolution is to Genesis.)
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To: truthfinder9

“Bueller?...Bueller??”


3 posted on 11/01/2007 5:57:09 PM PDT by Inspectorette
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To: truthfinder9

4 posted on 11/01/2007 5:59:46 PM PDT by ari-freedom (I am for traditional moral values, a strong national defense, and free markets.)
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To: truthfinder9
But Science is different. In Science, there is no room for dissent, for dissent is dangerous. That is why we at Big Science simply refuse to allow it.

False.

All "dissent" needs to do is bring evidence -- scientific evidence.

But there you encounter the problem: ID is religious belief masquerading as science. It has made a lot of claims, but it has produced no evidence that has withstood scientific scrutiny. Even Behe has backed away from most of his earlier claims.

Look at the efforts of the Dyscovery Institute in support of ID. Check out their blogs. Most are authored by lawyers, with an occasional English major or journalist for diversity. Where is the science? What a joke!

5 posted on 11/01/2007 6:11:24 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: Inspectorette

Has Ben Stein explained why he endorsed Al Franken over Norm Coleman?


6 posted on 11/01/2007 6:14:49 PM PDT by griswold3 (Al queda is guilty of hirabah (war against society) Penalty is death.)
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To: Coyoteman
Image hosted by Photobucket.com where's the science??? it's all in the global warming arena.
7 posted on 11/01/2007 6:16:25 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist)
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To: griswold3

“”Has Ben Stein explained why he endorsed Al Franken over Norm Coleman?””

I recall that he said something about Franken was working ard for the nomination and really trying to earn it or something like that. Not saying I agree, of course. Then again, I’m not sure Coleman would be much more than a numerical loss for the GOP, being the RINO he is.


8 posted on 11/01/2007 6:40:04 PM PDT by Mr Inviso
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To: Coyoteman
All "dissent" needs to do is bring evidence -- scientific evidence.

Well, kinda. Science is a lot more accepting of arguments that say "current thinking is incomplete" than of those that say "current thinking is flat wrong."

9 posted on 11/01/2007 6:47:26 PM PDT by Grut
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To: Grut
Well, kinda. Science is a lot more accepting of arguments that say "current thinking is incomplete" than of those that say "current thinking is flat wrong."

OK, I can agree with that.

But we must remember that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs" (although I would change "proofs" to "evidences").

10 posted on 11/01/2007 6:52:15 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: Coyoteman
Even Behe has backed away from most of his earlier claims. Let's see, I'm reading his new book and it seems he is confirming everything he said 10 years ago in in his first book. If you're going to masquerade as an adult at least try to be believable.
11 posted on 11/01/2007 6:56:56 PM PDT by truthfinder9
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To: Coyoteman

P.S. See how your honest, open-minded academics have tried to silence and edit debate with Behe:

http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.php/literature/2007/10/23/when_will_darwinists_accept_that_evidenc


12 posted on 11/01/2007 7:01:36 PM PDT by truthfinder9
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To: Coyoteman
I see that you start with the same premise as that which IDers decry. Try this on for size, if you can't logically explain your position using deduction, induction and Occam's razor to the common layman, either your position is faulty or you don't understand your subject well enough.

Now I will be the first to agree that logic is not the be all and end all of science. There is more to science than that. But illogic has no place in scientific thinking.

Therefore, I ask you to *logically* explain your position about ID without resorting to argumentum ad hominum or question begging premises (circular logic). Any assumptions will, of course, have to be logically shown to be valid for the purposes of this discussion.

Since this is a logical exercise, then any falsifiability or testability arguments either for or against ID must be waived, since it must be conceded that both sides have problems in this regard. IOW, if a point is made using either of these arguments it is to be assumed that logic is being sidestepped, therefore the point is invalid.

A word to the wise. Be very careful about relying overmuch on "scientific evidence." Scientists seem to be wrong more often than not. As an example, I give you the evidence on climate change, which has flip-flopped at least four times in the last century - each time, the consensus of scientific opinion was absolutely certain they were correct.

Remember, this not a full-blown scientific enquiry, only an exercise in logic. The main purpose for suggesting this logical exercise is to let both sides see the logical strengths and weaknesses of their respective positions. This is not designed to get people to change their minds (since it obviously won't do that), but it will force people to give reasonable apologia for their positions (something I wish our politicians would do).

For those who don't understand the logical rules I have stated, deduction is something you can absolutely show is true from the available facts (e.g. if a girl was 14 in January of 2006, then in June of 2007, it can be shown conclusively that she had passed her 15th birthday), induction is drawing reasonable conclusions with a high probability of accuracy without knowing absolutely for sure from the given facts (if a dog inside a house doesn't bark during a burglary, then it is reasonable to assume an inside job. However, there are burglars who have a way with animals, such that dogs won't bark at them. So while the odds are that it is an inside job, it is not conclusively so) and Occam's razor basically states that the simplest explanation that fits the facts is the answer you are looking for.

So, using the tools of deduction, induction and Occam's razor, en evant mes enfants. Let the games begin.
13 posted on 11/01/2007 7:22:28 PM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: Coyoteman
All "dissent" needs to do is bring evidence -- scientific evidence.
Right. Just like the "science" behind global warming.

14 posted on 11/01/2007 7:36:25 PM PDT by DallasMike
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch
...deduction is something you can absolutely show is true from the available facts (e.g. if a girl was 14 in January of 2006, then in June of 2007, it can be shown conclusively that she had passed her 15th birthday)...

But what is called a fact today might not be a fact tomorrow. Suppose the girl's birthday was February 29th? I don't think 2006 was a leap year, so the day of her birth did not even occur that year. Did the Earth revolve more than once around the Sun during the specified interval? Yes. But what exactly is meant by the concept of "birthday?" I see no absolute truth in the facts presented.

15 posted on 11/01/2007 7:38:55 PM PDT by Socratic (“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.” - Corrie Ten Boom)
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To: TenthAmendmentChampion

Thanks. I pinged a similar thread several weeks ago, and I don’t quite know enough about the movie to give it a rousing endorsement just yet. I did have a lengthy conversation with a representative from the project the other night, though.


16 posted on 11/01/2007 7:47:29 PM PDT by DaveLoneRanger ("Being normal is not necessarily a virtue. It rather denotes a lack of courage.")
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To: Socratic
When you change the facts around as you do, the underlying assumption, of course, changes. Given the facts that I gave you, then it an absolute certainty I was correct. The underlying assumptions, in this case, were that you understood that twelve months equals one year and that January comes before June in the hierarchy of months. Furthermore, the concept of "birthday" is generally well understood to mean the anniversary of the date of one's birth. While the way we count birthdays has changed (we used to speak of a 13 year-old as being in his 14th year), the sequential nature of them has not.

I gave an example to show the use of deduction. Without changing the facts around or the generally acceptable underlying assumptions which I made, can you show that I did not use deductive reasoning?
17 posted on 11/01/2007 7:50:43 PM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: Coyoteman

“The link between belief and behavior raises the stakes considerably. Some propositions are so dangerous that it may be ethical to kill people for believing them. This may seem an extraordinary claim, but it merely enunciates an ordinary fact about the world in which we live.”

Sam Harris. The End of Faith


18 posted on 11/01/2007 7:53:13 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (TAZ:Untamed, Unpredictable, Uninhibited.)
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To: Socratic
Also, your question about whether the earth revolved around the earth more than once in a year is a strawman since, by definition, a year consists of one revolution (except in the case of Bolivia, which has more).

Let us leave out the "what ifs" and logical fallacies please. Too often there are those who are willing to manipulate the facts to fit their worldview (i.e. MSM). Please don't fall into that trap.
19 posted on 11/01/2007 8:00:32 PM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch
...the generally acceptable underlying assumptions which I made, can you show that I did not use deductive reasoning?

You used deductive reasoning quite well, but I was pointing out your "generally acceptable underlying assumptions" may be mistaken for FACTS when they are merely generally acceptable underlying assumptions.

Would you be calling a Socratic, a Sophist? Tread lightly young man.

20 posted on 11/01/2007 8:01:06 PM PDT by Socratic (“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.” - Corrie Ten Boom)
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It’s either magic or ID. Some scientists seem to prefer magic over the concept that there is intelligence greater than them.


21 posted on 11/01/2007 8:13:33 PM PDT by webboy45
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To: Socratic
It is true that generally accepted facts can sometimes be misleading (which is why I pointed out the "barking dog" as an example of inductive reasoning). However, we do the best we can with what we have. Sometimes we don't have enough information and don't know it. Thing is, my example of deduction is pretty solid, because we know all the relevant information. Deduction is used quit often in science and math.

The point of this entire exercise is to show the logical basis of the anti-IDers vs IDers (note that I didn't say anything about evolution. The debate is between those who say ID is suitable for scientific discussion and those who oppose this worldview).

A hint. Neither side can support their positions through deductive analysis. I just threw that in there because those who are three exclamation point posters (evolutionists!!! and IDers!!!) have only two options. Either they must prove their point through the use of deduction, or they are involved in a faith-based belief system.

So, anyone who says that ID is false or has no scientific validity or that ID is absolutely true must back themselves through the use of deduction or risk being tagged as religious cults.

OTOH, anyone who is not so dogmatic is free to use deduction, induction and Occam's razor to their heart's content to make their points.
22 posted on 11/01/2007 8:19:02 PM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch
Therefore, I ask you to *logically* explain your position about ID without resorting to argumentum ad hominum or question begging premises (circular logic). Any assumptions will, of course, have to be logically shown to be valid for the purposes of this discussion.

Fair enough.

ID (intelligent design) is a religious concept that was prevalent in earlier centuries. I think the last major promotion was about 1801 (William Paley's 1801 "Argument from Design").

Thereafter, scientific arguments increasingly showed that religious belief and divine revelation failed to account for observations of the natural world. By about February 18, 1831, the last major creationist (flood) geologist capitulated.

Thereafter ID took a back seat for many years. Then, with creationism being tossed from schools, creation "science" was born. But soon the Edwards decision by the US Supreme Court in the late 1980s tossed that out. So, ID was dusted off in an attempt to pass religious belief off as science (see the Wedge Strategy for the sordid details).

The Wedge Strategy was "designed" by the Dyscovery Institute to promote ID as scienc, but their internal fund-raising document leaked--whoops!

But they went ahead with the plot anyway. Currently, at the Dyscovery Institute, ID is being pushed not by scientists but by lawyers, English majors, and an occasional journalist -- PR flacks all; see their blogs for the sorry details.

And you think that ID is a reasonable substitute for science?

A word to the wise. Be very careful about relying overmuch on "scientific evidence." Scientists seem to be wrong more often than not. As an example, I give you the evidence on climate change, which has flip-flopped at least four times in the last century - each time, the consensus of scientific opinion was absolutely certain they were correct.

Scientists are not "wrong more often than not." Scientists are increasingly more accurate in their descriptions of the natural world.

The current global warming hysteria is not good science, and will shortly be sent to the ash-heap of scientific history. It is not that the earth is not warming -- that has been a fact since the end of the last ice age (with quite a few variations in between). Rather, the idea that the earth is warming because of SUVs and other man-made causes is politics, not science. Check the scientific websites and you will see that real science is starting to catch up with political science.

But this has nothing to do with ID vs. the theory of evolution. ID is religious belief repackaged in order to try and sneak back into the schools. But a federal court decision (Kitzmiller), after examining the testimony and evidence, determined that ID is creationism warmed over.

If you want to promote ID, or any other religious belief, you need to bring scientific evidence.

23 posted on 11/01/2007 8:50:36 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: TASMANIANRED
“The link between belief and behavior raises the stakes considerably. Some propositions are so dangerous that it may be ethical to kill people for believing them. This may seem an extraordinary claim, but it merely enunciates an ordinary fact about the world in which we live.”

Sam Harris. The End of Faith


Belief gets in the way of learning.

Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love, 1973


24 posted on 11/01/2007 8:58:05 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: Coyoteman
Sorry, but you have not logically made your case. Please *logically* show (through deduction, induction and Occam's razor) why ID is invalid. Justify logically, for example, just why ID is merely a religious premise while Darwinian paths are not. Your second paragraph doesn't hold together logically either. It can be shown, for example, that scientific observation and experimentation alone can't account for all phenomona in the natural world (e.g. hunches, intuition). For that matter, one could get into an argument on what makes up the natural world, but that is not logically germane to the argument.

ID being tossed from schools is beside the point. None of your arguments can deductively show that ID is a non-starter.

By it's very definition science *must* be wrong more often than not (a thing called "trial and error"). As time goes on, we (hopefully) improve our understanding, but make many more mistakes than we achieve successes. Its the name of the game. The only problem here is that scientists, like anyone else, can be quite dogmatic in support of their beliefs and pet theories.

One could also discuss the many debates between creationists and anti-creationists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries wherein the antis got thoroughly trounced. But all that is beside the point.

Using the logical constructs indicated, show that ID is a non-starter. Given all the facts we have available to us, show that evolution is *not* ID based. So far all that has been given is open-ended logic. There are too many holes in your presentation. You have a premise that ID is a religious belief, which it well may be, but much the same could be said of evolution also (after all, atheism, itself is a religious belief). Certainly the tactics used by Dawkins, et al are similar in certain aspects to the tactics used by a certain anti-war Baptist church or Code Pink to shut down debate.

All premises (as I've said before) need to also be justified logically. Therefore your premise that ID is invalid because it is religious based needs to be logically validated. For that matter, the assumption that ID is merely religious based also needs to be examined by you.

All you've shown thus far are side issues that have little or nothing to do with the logic of your position. Believe me, I'm not flaming you on your beliefs on this. I just want you to show me logically your position. Please. I do wish to know, just to see how strong your arguments are from a logical standpoint.

This is a far harder exercise than you might imagine - for both sides of the debate. First, you have to strip all ad-hominum from the debate (which you didn't quite succeed with your comments about the Discovery Institute as well as ID being sneaked back into schools). Then you need to take the claims of ID, which can be boiled down to "Something or someone was responsible for creating the universe" and show, logically that this is fallacious. If you use "ID" and "Creationism" as synonyms, then you must show that the IDers are homogeneous in their beliefs. To top it all off, your logic must be bullet-proof (if using deduction) or probable (if using induction) and explained so that any layman can understand.

Frankly, I don't envy you the task, for I think that it is promethean in it's scope.
25 posted on 11/01/2007 9:44:08 PM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch
Yawn.

You are putting the cart before the horse.

Let's first see creationism and its Trojan horse offspring ID show that they should be treated in any way as science.

That's the real issue here; religion wants back in the public schools, and it is trying all sorts of schemes to get there.

And "Darwinism" as religion? What a joke.

Here are a couple of good definitions of religion from my FR homepage:

Religion: Theistic: 1. the belief in a superhuman controlling power, esp. in a personal God or gods entitled to obedience and worship. 2. the expression of this in worship. 3. a particular system of faith and worship.

Religion: Non-Theistic: The word religion has many definitions, all of which can embrace sacred lore and wisdom and knowledge of God or gods, souls and spirits. Religion deals with the spirit in relation to itself, the universe and other life. Essentially, religion is belief in spiritual beings. As it relates to the world, religion is a system of beliefs and practices by means of which a group of people struggles with the ultimate problems of human life.

Do you see science in there anywhere?
26 posted on 11/01/2007 9:58:59 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: Coyoteman

Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge”

A few years ago they found Jericho and were amazed that the walls had fallen outward.


27 posted on 11/01/2007 10:23:44 PM PDT by philetus (Keep doing what you always do and you'll keep getting what you always get.)
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To: Coyoteman
You got it backwards. I asked you to give a logical explanation. Not only do you *not* do this, you also continue to break the rules by using argumentum ad-hominum. You also refuse to give a logical validation of your premises.

Again, you are assuming that Darwinism is science and ID is not. These are premises for which you have yet to give logical support for.

If you wish to continue play this game, please do so by the rules (which I thought you agreed to when you indicated that my challenge was "Fair enough").

Since it now appears that you are a three exclamation point evolutionist, I would suggest that you either have to logically prove the fallacy of ID or accept the fact that your's is merely a religious belief. Of course, you could concede the point and admit ID has validity. Yeah, and it could snow here in the valley in the next five minutes too - but I doubt it. If you are not a three exclamation pointer, then you still need to show your points by, at the very least, induction.

It is off topic a bit, but I did not actually state that Darwinism is a religion, though it certainly could be. Or, to put it another way a faith-based belief.

I have to admit though, that this response of yours, though disappointing, is not entirely unexpected. First you agree to logically show ID is a bunch of bunk. Then when you will not (or cannot), you change the rules of the game and say that it up to me to show whether or not ID is scientifically valid.

Sorry, but that is a cop-out and is not intellectually honest. First, this is a logical exercise as I've indicated time and again. Second, you were supposed to be able to defend yourself logically.

Instead, you hide behind a sophism. This is not about whether or not I can or even desire to defend ID.

If you can't or don't know how to develop a logical construct to support your position, just admit it. That would be, at the very least, honest. Such an admission wouldn't be to your discredit either. Such a logical answer is not easy to come up with, by either side. I seriously doubt that many people could. Certainly not Dawkins who seems to be more interested in shutting down debate than answering uncomfortable questions.

To be taken seriously, you need to come up with a logical explanation as the linchpin of your argument. This especially important since evolutionism uses many hypotheses regularly which haven't met the tests that you postulate are needed for the acceptance of ID (e.g. Open and Closed Darwinian paths). BTW, I merely used the Darwinian paths to make my point about common use of constructs within evolution which are neither falsifiable nor testable. I did not do it as a critique on the tools themselves. That is beside beside the point since we are doing a logical only analysis.
28 posted on 11/01/2007 10:38:13 PM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: Coyoteman
And "Darwinism" as religion?

Yep. When one considers the mathematical odds of all the transitions in the paleontological record which are unrepresented by fossil evidence, from the first coacervate droplets to protozoa, to metazoans, to vertebrates, to Homo sapiens, and all the missing ancestral forms and apparently fully developed mutations which must have occurred in order for humans to evolve, however circuitrously from inorganic compounds, it seems a far greater leap of faith to believe in human genesis through evolution than to believe in the presence of a Creator/Designer.

YMMV

29 posted on 11/01/2007 10:56:27 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: truthfinder9

Oh, I’m sure that this whole thing isn’t that big a deal for Ben. He’ll probably just donate huge sums of cash to a candidate who would make sure that this sort of thing continues.


30 posted on 11/01/2007 10:58:06 PM PDT by Mobile Vulgus
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To: Socratic; Frumious Bandersnatch
Would you be calling a Socratic, a Sophist?

Socrates himself was called a Sophist in his day.

31 posted on 11/01/2007 11:17:30 PM PDT by NutCrackerBoy
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To: Coyoteman

I’m agnostic. I have no God in this fight.

I view ID not so much as an independent scientific theory as I do a -critique- of evolutionary theory. In that, I think it’s proponents argue quite well. Take the simplest and oldest of the ID arguments - the irreducibile complexity of the eye. I’ve seen the evolutionist’s responses to that one - and they’re not only unpersuasive, their responses (such as that of Dawkins) have evidenced deliberate deception. In this case, he claimed a computer model that showed how the eye could have developed. I found this supposed model on the web, and examined it for a good hour. It didn’t even -begin- to show what Dawkins claimed it to show. It was about as persuasive as someone claiming they had calculated the exact value of pi, and when you look at it, it’s a piece of paper with “22 / 7” written on it.

There’s also the lack of transitional forms. I agree with the ID arguments that, for evolution to be true, they ought to be -everywhere-. The evolutionist’s arguments for why they’re so incredibly rare are frankly terrible arguments (and their supposed discoveries of those few transitional forms they claim to have found have been repeatedly debunked as hoaxes).

As a “non-partisan” agnostic observer, I’ve seen a good deal of BS along the lines of global warmism also produced by the evolutionists. You can consider me quite skeptical of evolutionary theory as it stands, and the behavior of those defending it is very much like the behavior of those who consider a successful debunking of evolutionary theory as concrete evidence of the Judeo-Christian God.

My personal opinion? I -do- think that if evolutionary theory doesn’t pan out, then yes, at least for now, the logical deduction is that given no better explanation, “intelligent design” is the most reasonable conclusion for what we can observe. It doesn’t mean it’s the Judeo-Christian God (although it could be). It could also be that we were designed by little green aliens from Alpha Centauri who -did- evolve in a different environment and without any irreducably complex organs. It could be nanobots left over from the intergalactic war between Xenu and the Legion of Ascended Mormons. Who knows.

It is at that step, where they presume that proving Intelligent Design means proving the J-C God, that I think the ID’ers swerve from scientific critique into faith based argumentation. But there’s plenty, -plenty- of places where the evolutionists engage in faith based argumentation as well.

So. For the record. Trying to debunk it by merely asserting that it’s a trojan horse for religionists isn’t going to do a damn thing to convince me. I can tell precisely where the leap goes from a valid scientific critique to a faith based conclusion, and feel myself in no danger of mixing the two up. The line between evolution as a valid theory and the faith based argumentats of it’s proponents is way more blurry, and much more dangerous, IMO, and thus I am forced to treat it with much more skepticism. Ad hominem attacks such as yours only advance that skepticism. Do better.

Qwinn


32 posted on 11/01/2007 11:27:55 PM PDT by Qwinn
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To: Coyoteman
It's probably not a good idea to criticize a group for using lawyers and then close with a "because a judge said so" argument in the same post.
33 posted on 11/01/2007 11:42:44 PM PDT by Hacksaw (Appalachian by the grace of God - Montani Semper Liberi)
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch

I certainly haven’t read all of Coyoteman’s posts, but the many posts I *have* read all seem to boil down to the same few points:

1. The scientific consensus favors Darwinian evolution.

2. ID is creationism disguised as science.

3. Proponents of ID have no scientific evidence to back their position.

He repeatedly asserts these claims — as if the more he asserts them the truer they must be.

Assertion 1 is probably true, but it certainly does not prove that Darwinian evolution is absolute truth. Science is not “democratic.” I think Coyoteman knows that, but he seems to forget it quite often.

Assertion 2 is irrelevant. Coyoteman constantly brings up the so-called “wedge document,” written by a member of the Discovery Institute, as though this document has any scientific significance whatsoever. It does not, and Coyoteman displays his fundamental lack of understanding of the scientific method every time he brings it up.

What Coyoteman and other “evolutionists” fail to understand is the fundamental concept of burden of proof in science. As you suggest, the burden of proof is not on ID advocates to “prove” that ID is real. The burden of proof is on Darwinian evolutionists to “prove” or provide evidence that ID is not real. Until they do that, ID remains the only reasonable explanation for life.

They have done no such thing. To give but one simple example, honest scientists admit that we do not even understand how a person adds “3 + 4” in their head. So how far are we from understanding how Euler performed his mathematical magic — not to mention Shakespeare or any other genius you can think of.

But evolutionists ignore all that and delude themselves into thinking that we understand so much that only a few “gaps” remain in our knowledge. Hence, the concept of “God of the gaps.” What a delusional concept that is! It’s like calling all the open space on planet Earth the “gaps” between man-made buildings!

In any case, I applaud you for trying to nail Coyoteman down to actual logic, but I warn you that you are wasting your time. He will continue with his assertions, and your attempt to bring logic into the discussion will sail a mile over his head just as it does with so many other evolutionists.


34 posted on 11/02/2007 12:00:08 AM PDT by RussP
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To: Qwinn

You make many excellent points. You might be interested in my post #34.


35 posted on 11/02/2007 12:05:09 AM PDT by RussP
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To: RussP
What Coyoteman and other “evolutionists” fail to understand is the fundamental concept of burden of proof in science.

The same argument can be made much more strongly against the ID camp.

Like another poster, I don't have a religious stake in this argument. As a result, I can see the failings of both sides.

As for the evolutionist camp, quit being so scornful of the religious. And realize that evolution has gone through many, many theoretical changes over the years - from gradualism to punctured equilibrium and other variants - and still has difficulty explaining just what is going on. Which means the arrogant treatment of critics is often not warranted - and that the evolutionary camp needs to do a better job of criticizing those in their midst who harbor a hatred for the religious.

As for the ID camp - as long as the Young Earth folks are part of your movement, you've got far more serious problems than any evolutionist in reconciling with reality. The ID camp needs to do a much better job in rejecting the Young Earth arguments to better frame their own. One can argue that it was the hand of God instead of survivial of the fittest that drives the change in form that we see in the fossil record - but to deny the fossil (and geological) record is very old is, quite frankly, absurd. There is a clear progression of species and development in the fossil record - I remember reading a creationist pamphlet that claimed all major forms of life were present after the Cambrian boundary. Which is true if you don't count amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, among other things. Drive through the road cuts in Pennsylvania and tell us again that all that deposition, deformation, uplift and erosion was done in 6,000 years.

So at the end of the day, the serious and sober in this debate need to do a better job framing it - namely, the evolutionary camp needs to sanction those who hate and twist religion, and the ID camp needs to do a better job of those who hate and twist science.

But I don't see that happening. So the evo/ID threads on FR, and the debate in general, will continue to be a lot of heat but little light.

36 posted on 11/02/2007 3:52:37 AM PDT by dirtboy (Ron Paul - shrimp pimp rock schlockster surrender crustacean)
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To: dirtboy; RussP
Too true. There is to much sound and not enough enlightenment in the debate.

This is why I requested that both sides logically present their cases. I was please when Coyoteman accepted my challenge, but disappointed when he tried to change the rules after failing to make the grade.

It is no shame to fail. Heck, I do it all the time. After all, it is not easy to come up with a logically supportable solution. It rarely is in science. It took me many a year to come up with a logical solution and I'm continually refining it and testing it.
37 posted on 11/02/2007 6:06:11 AM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: dirtboy
I agree with your sentiments. But ‘he who pays the piper calls the tune’ and Behe and Dembski and the Discovery Institute are not going to alienate their most ardent supporters with a review of the data that clearly points to an old earth, an older universe, and common descent. Meanwhile anti-religious books by a particularly zealously atheist Scientists (a minority among Scientists)keeps falsely conflating Biological Evolution and Atheism in the public mind.
38 posted on 11/02/2007 7:14:16 AM PDT by allmendream (A binary modality is a sure sign you don't understand the problem. (Hunter 08))
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To: NutCrackerBoy
Socrates himself was called a Sophist in his day.

Which is precisely why popular perception should never be equated with fact - and why the deductive process, when applied to false "facts," does not lead to truth.

39 posted on 11/02/2007 7:18:04 AM PDT by Socratic (“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.” - Corrie Ten Boom)
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To: Coyoteman

But there you encounter the problem: EVOLUTION is religious belief masquerading as science.


40 posted on 11/02/2007 7:22:56 AM PDT by jwatzzzzz (jwatzzzzz)
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch
Since this is a logical exercise, then any falsifiability or testability arguments either for or against ID must be waived, since it must be conceded that both sides have problems in this regard.

Many discoveries have been made since 1859 that could have made evolution and common descent an untenable theory. Among them are at least 50 independent methods of determining the age of objects; millions of fossils, any of which found embedded in the wrong strata would pose serious problems, ERVs, which have been entirely consistent with common descent; thirty years or more of laboratory research searching for "forward looking" mutations, or mutations that respond to need.

To the best of my knowledge, the only explicit testable proposal put forward in support of ID is Behe's "limit" of adaptive change requiring two mutations before either is beneficial. He appears not to have searched the literature before making this proposal.

41 posted on 11/02/2007 8:26:35 AM PDT by js1138
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To: dirtboy

I wrote:

What Coyoteman and other “evolutionists” fail to understand is the fundamental concept of burden of proof in science.

You replied:

The same argument can be made much more strongly against the ID camp.

I reply:

I disagree, and I think this is the fundamental misconception that permeates most if not all of the evolutionist thinking about ID. ID is simply the default, common-sense position that applies when the attempt to explain life by purely natural mechanisms fails. And to say that attempt has failed is an understatement. We are a billion light years from explaining the origin of the first living cell by purely naturalistic mechanisms, for example.

You wrote:

As for the ID camp - as long as the Young Earth folks are part of your movement, you’ve got far more serious problems than any evolutionist in reconciling with reality.

I reply:

Not true. The fact that some ID proponents are “young earthers” has no scientific bearing whatsoever on the validity of ID theory that rejects such a notion. The only bearing it has is in “public relations,” and then only because it helps Coyoteman and others to demagogue the issue by conflating ID with young-earth creationism.


42 posted on 11/02/2007 8:31:32 AM PDT by RussP
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To: truthfinder9
Ben is a bright guy but...


43 posted on 11/02/2007 8:53:58 AM PDT by gondramB (Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.)
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To: js1138
The problem here, is that you are offering an apples and oranges argument. Evolution is not the issue in discussion here. ID is.

My challenge was to those holding to either side to logically validate their positions. Attempting to discredit ID by presenting an argument for and in behalf of evolution is a strawman. In order for that argument to be logically valid, then you have to assume that your premise, evolution and ID are polar opposites, is true. Any such assumptions, themselves, must be supported logically. That is the name of the game.

So your task, if you believe that proving ID automatically disproves evolution is to show how, logically, believing in one automatically generates disbelief in the other. Then you have to show how evolution is logically valid and ID is logically invalid.

Since I believe that you are doomed to be foresworn in trying to logically prove your premise, would it not be better to concede that point? That way, you are relieved of the responsibility of logically validating your premise and evolution and are only left with the problem of logically invalidating ID.

Granted, that logic alone does not actually prove or disprove a position. But a proven position should be able to be logically defended. Otherwise, the position is not valid or not very well understood.
44 posted on 11/02/2007 9:03:59 AM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch

My position is that ID is a tautology unless accompanied by a theory of design, one that says something substantial and predictive about the process of design, the motives and methods of the designer, the processes that implement the design.

Without some forensic statement about the process and implementation of design, it is simply a statement about patterns.

You cannot discuss this without reference to the theory of evolution, which is really about the history and methods of design. In other words, both ID and “Darwinism” acknowledge the existence of design, but “Darwinism” explains how the designs came about, the history of change and the algorithm by which living things adapt and change. ID has no equivalent explanatory theory and is therefore scientifically vacuous.


45 posted on 11/02/2007 9:18:08 AM PDT by js1138
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To: js1138
Again, you miss the point. Explain logically please. Why is ID logically invalid? You claim it is a tautological argument, but without giving logical validation. That's a premise, or at the very least, an assertion. Without logical backup, it is also a "trust me" statement. Sorry, I don't buy that.

While your argument about ID having to be discussed within the context of evolution as a whole *may* be logically valid (I don't know, there are some logical holes in your projections of evolutionism vs ID and I haven't looked into this aspect of it very much), it still doesn't address the issue of the validity of ID. Dismissing out of hand is not only logically absurd, it is not very scientific, either.

In your previous post, you implied that it is either a case of evolution or ID, but not both. If that is what you meant, then this post is a non-sequiter. Indeed, it appears that the question has been begged as in this post you admit the design but deny the designer. Forgive me for using biblical terms, but this is equivalent to straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel.

Even though you don't say so, it appears that you have conceded the fact that you can't logically prove that it has to be either ID or evolution. And you do this by recasting the entire question as a meaningless exercise.

This is disappointing, but again, not unexpected. The entire point of this exercise it to be able to logically defend your position. Making logically unsupported assertions and dogmatic "trust me" statements do not logically invalidate ID.

Surely you can do better than that?
46 posted on 11/02/2007 9:45:08 AM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: js1138

“My position is that ID is a tautology unless accompanied by a theory of design, one that says something substantial and predictive about the process of design, the motives and methods of the designer, the processes that implement the design.”

Ironically, the same can be said about about the Darwinian theroy of evolution. Evolution occurs due to “survival of the fittest,” and how is “fittest” defined? Those who survive, of course. Now *that’s* a tautology.

Also, the Darwinian Theory of evolution has made very few if any actual “predictions” that were actually corroborated. What happens over and over is that empirical findings are explained in terms of the theory *after* they are discovered — not before. In other words, the theory is very good at making “postdictions,” but not so good at predictions.


47 posted on 11/02/2007 11:18:47 AM PDT by RussP
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch
Why is ID logically invalid?

ID is not logically invalid. I haven't said it is. I said it is a vacuous idea in the absence of a theory.

The debate is not over whether design exists, but over the forensic hypotheses. What is the history of life? How do changes in populations occur over time?

Mainstream biology has a forensic theory, at least one that goes back to single celled organisms. To the best of my knowledge, ID asserts that some unspecified entity or entities, having unspecified capabilities and limitations, did some unspecified thing or things at unspecified times and places, for unspecified reasons, using unspecified methods.

This is not wrong. It is vacuous.

Science is not about to replace a theory that has successfully guided research for a century and a half, with one that offers no guidance and proposes no research other than what is being done anyway.

48 posted on 11/02/2007 11:21:52 AM PDT by js1138
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To: js1138

“My position is that ID is a tautology unless accompanied by a theory of design, one that says something substantial and predictive about the process of design, the motives and methods of the designer, the processes that implement the design.”

One more point. The notion that design cannot be detected without understanding the “methods of the designer, the processes that implement the design” is nonsense. Imagine a person who was raised in the wild and who comes to a city for the first time. According to such “reasoning,” he could not identify an automobile as designed until he sees an auto factory and studies engineering. Baloney.


49 posted on 11/02/2007 11:25:28 AM PDT by RussP
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To: RussP
Ironically, the same can be said about about the Darwinian theroy of evolution. Evolution occurs due to “survival of the fittest,” and how is “fittest” defined? Those who survive, of course. Now *that’s* a tautology.

Nonsense.

Evolution occurs because errors in copying genomes occur which affect the probabilities of individuals surviving and reproducing. This is not a tautology; it is an observable fact. It is a phenomenon that can be observed in natural populations, and it is a phenomenon that can be manipulated and studied in the laboratory.

50 posted on 11/02/2007 11:30:08 AM PDT by js1138
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