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Louisiana Confounds the Science Thought Police - Neo-Darwinism is no longer a protected orthodoxy...
National Review Online ^ | July 08, 2008 | John G. West

Posted on 07/08/2008 11:48:40 AM PDT by neverdem









Louisiana Confounds the Science Thought Police
Neo-Darwinism is no longer a protected orthodoxy in the Bayou State's pedagogy.

By John G. West

To the chagrin of the science thought police, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal has signed into law an act to protect teachers who want to encourage critical thinking about hot-button science issues such as global warming, human cloning, and yes, evolution and the origin of life.

Opponents allege that the Louisiana Science Education Act is “anti-science.” In reality, the opposition’s efforts to silence anyone who disagrees with them is the true affront to scientific inquiry.

Students need to know about the current scientific consensus on a given issue, but they also need to be able to evaluate critically the evidence on which that consensus rests. They need to learn about competing interpretations of the evidence offered by scientists, as well as anomalies that aren’t well explained by existing theories.

Yet in many schools today, instruction about controversial scientific issues is closer to propaganda than education. Teaching about global warming is about as nuanced as Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Discussions about human sexuality recycle the junk science of biologist Alfred Kinsey and other ideologically driven researchers. And lessons about evolution present a caricature of modern evolutionary theory that papers over problems and fails to distinguish between fact and speculation. In these areas, the “scientific” view is increasingly offered to students as a neat package of dogmatic assertions that just happens to parallel the political and cultural agenda of the Left.

Real science, however, is a lot more messy — and interesting — than a set of ideological talking points. Most conservatives recognize this truth already when it comes to global warming. They know that whatever consensus exists among scientists about global warming, legitimate questions remain about its future impact on the environment, its various causes, and the best policies to combat it. They realize that efforts to suppress conflicting evidence and dissenting interpretations related to global warming actually compromise the cause of good science education rather than promote it.

The effort to suppress dissenting views on global warming is a part of a broader campaign to demonize any questioning of the “consensus” view on a whole range of controversial scientific issues — from embryonic stem-cell research to Darwinian evolution — and to brand such interest in healthy debate as a “war on science.”

In this environment of politically correct science, thoughtful teachers who want to acquaint their students with dissenting views and conflicting evidence can expect to run afoul of the science thought police.

The Louisiana Science Education Act offers such teachers a modest measure of protection. Under the law, school districts may permit teachers to “use supplementary textbooks and other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner.” The act is not a license for teachers to do anything they want. Instruction must be “objective,” inappropriate materials may be vetoed by the state board of education, and the law explicitly prohibits teaching religion in the name of science, stating that its provisions “shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine.”

The law was so carefully framed that even the head of the Louisiana ACLU has had to concede that it is constitutional as written.

Of course, that hasn’t stopped the usual suspects from denouncing the bill as a nefarious plot to sneak religion into the classroom. The good news is that the disinformation campaign proved a massive failure in Louisiana. Only three members of the state legislature voted against the measure, which attracted nearly universal support from both political parties. Efforts to prevent local scientists from supporting the bill also failed. At a legislative hearing in May, three college professors (two biologists and one chemist) testified in favor of the bill, specifically challenging the claim that there are no legitimate scientific criticisms of Neo-Darwinism, the modern theory of evolution that accounts for biological complexity through an undirected process of natural selection acting on random mutations.

Fearful of being branded “anti-science,” some conservatives are skittish about such efforts to allow challenges to the consensus view of science. They insist that conservatives should not question currently accepted “facts” of science, only the supposedly misguided application of those facts by scientists to politics, morality, and religion. Such conservatives assume that we can safely cede to scientists the authority to determine the “facts,” so long as we retain the right to challenge their application of the facts to the rest of culture.

But there are significant problems with this view.



First, the idea that a firewall exists between scientific “facts” and their implications for society is not sustainable. Facts have implications. If it really is a “fact” that the evolution of life was an unplanned process of chance and necessity (as Neo-Darwinism asserts), then that fact has consequences for how we view life. It does not lead necessarily to Richard Dawkins’s militant atheism, but it certainly makes less plausible the idea of a God who intentionally directs the development of life toward a specific end. In a Darwinian worldview, even God himself cannot know how evolution will turn out — which is why theistic evolutionist Kenneth Miller argues that human beings are a mere “happenstance” of evolutionary history, and that if evolution played over again it might produce thinking mollusks rather than us.

Second, the idea that the current scientific consensus on any topic deserves slavish deference betrays stunning ignorance of the history of science. Time and again, scientists have shown themselves just as capable of being blinded by fanaticism, prejudice, and error as anyone else. Perhaps the most egregious example in American history was the eugenics movement, the ill-considered crusade to breed better human beings.

During the first decades of the 20th century, the nation’s leading biologists at Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, and Stanford, as well by members of America’s leading scientific organizations such as the National Academy of Sciences, the American Museum of Natural History, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science were all devoted eugenicists. By the time the crusade had run its course, some 60,000 Americans had been sterilized against their will in an effort to keep us from sinning against Darwin’s law of natural selection, which Princeton biologist Edwin Conklin dubbed “the great law of evolution and progress.”

Today, science is typically portrayed as self-correcting, but it took decades for most evolutionary biologists to disassociate themselves from the junk science of eugenics. For years, the most consistent critics of eugenics were traditionalist Roman Catholics, who were denounced by scientists for letting their religion stand in the way of scientific progress. The implication was that religious people had no right to speak out on public issues involving science.

The same argument can be heard today, not only in Louisiana, but around the country. Whether the issue is sex education, embryonic stem-cell research, or evolution, groups claiming to speak for “science” assert that it violates the Constitution for religious citizens to speak out on science-related issues. Really?

America is a deeply religious country, and no doubt many citizens interested in certain hot-button science issues are motivated in part by their religious beliefs. So what? Many opponents of slavery were motivated by their religious beliefs, and many leaders of the civil-rights movement were members of the clergy. Regardless of their motivations, religious citizens have just as much a right to raise their voices in public debates as their secular compatriots, including in debates about science. To suggest otherwise plainly offends the First Amendment’s guarantees of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

It is also short-sighted. The history of the eugenics crusade shows that religiously motivated citizens can play a useful role in evaluating the public claims of the scientific community. It is worth pointing out that unlike such “progressive” states as California, Louisiana was spared a eugenics-inspired forced-sterilization statute largely because of the implacable opposition of its Roman Catholic clergy.

So long as religious citizens offer arguments in the public square based on evidence, logic, and appeals to the moral common ground, they have every right to demand that their ideas be judged on the merits, regardless of their religious views.

This is especially true when the concern over religious motives is so obviously hypocritical. In Louisiana, for example, the person leading the charge against the Science Education Act was Barbara Forrest, herself a militant atheist and a long-time board member of the New Orleans Secular Humanist Association. At the same time she was denouncing the supposed religious motivations of supporters of the bill, Forrest was seeking grassroots support to lobby against the bill on the official website of Oxford atheist Richard Dawkins.

Conservatives should not support such anti-religious bigotry. Neither should they lend credence to the idea that it is anti-science to encourage critical thinking. In truth, the effort to promote thoughtful discussion of competing scientific views is pro-science. As Charles Darwin himself acknowledged, “a fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.”

— John G. West is the author of Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science and a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute.

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TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: bobbyjindal; crevo; education; evolution; jindal; neodarwinism; rageagainstthejindal; science; scienceeducation; sciencethoughtpolice
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To: allmendream
All the I.D. movement has is a philosophical hypothesis that is untestable by Scientific means.

Well, no, that's clearly incorrect.

For example, genetic engineering is a form of intelligent design, as is selective breeding in plants and animals.

The question for you is: could current scientific "theory backed by evidence" correctly identify cases where intelligent design is known to have occurred? For example, we know that most insulin used by diabetics is manufactured through the use of genetically engineered bacteria.

Absent that knowledge, could a scientist correctly describe the means by which that insulin production came about, without allowing him to make a hypothesis of "intelligent design?"

This example shows that sometimes an ID hypothesis is appropriate; and any scientific approach that dismisses it on the grounds you provided is quite simply wrong.

Note, btw, that one need not claim that all variations within and between species are the products of ID; nor does the invokation of an ID hypothesis magically obviate the requirement for evidence.

51 posted on 07/08/2008 1:37:38 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: Non-Sequitur
Absolutely. The FSM has as much support as alien designers of life who had to intervene as necessary (due to biological innovation supposedly being impossible without the intervention of a designer) in the history of life on Earth.

Those aliens must be busy folks. They recently allowed an e.coli to “innovate” and be able to metabolize citric acid. Several decades ago they had to give some bacteria the ability to digest nylon!

52 posted on 07/08/2008 1:38:57 PM PDT by allmendream
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To: r9etb

Then I await your Scientific test that gains supporting evidence for the Intelligent Design hypothesis.

Good luck.


53 posted on 07/08/2008 1:41:26 PM PDT by allmendream
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To: neverdem

Excellent link to the MetS article; completely coincides with the personal experience of Mrs. GB - high BMI, and PCOS that proved to be largely unresponsive to traditional infertility treatments.

3 children later, we have found the “secret cure” to infertility: serious CHO restriction. Since puberty, she was fortunate to be fertile once per year at best. Within two weeks of severe CHO restriction, normal fertility ‘appeared’. Month after month.

Now the issue is how many children are too many to have? Its a much better problem to have, trust me.


54 posted on 07/08/2008 1:55:02 PM PDT by gobucks (Blissful Marriage: A result of a worldly husband's transformation into the Word's wife.)
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To: allmendream
Then I await your Scientific test that gains supporting evidence for the Intelligent Design hypothesis. Good luck.

You're the one with the problem, though. I have handed you a case of undoubted Intelligent Design -- genetically engineered, insulin-producing bacteria.

In doing "science" to determine the source of that phenomenon, you apparently demand that an ID hypothesis is out of bounds. Well, OK -- that's precisely the kind of "protected orthodoxy" that this article describes. And in the example above, it automatically rejects what turns out to be the correct answer, that the bacteria were genetically engineered.

If one were to sequence the DNA of this bacterium, the signature of genetic engineering would, I suspect, be characterized in terms of "sharp edges" around the insulin-producing gene.

Now it's your turn. Tell me how you're going to get the right answer without invoking an ID hypothesis.

55 posted on 07/08/2008 1:56:20 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: Philly Nomad
But anyway, you are asking for mutually exclusive things, first you want to say that “God is outside observation” then you want to say “Traces of God is observable.”

Oh? These are mutually exclusive now? I guess we can dismiss all evidence of subatomic particles now, since they are outside of our ability to observe directly--never mind that we can see their effects.

Funny thing: I've never observed a reptile evolve into a bird. Have you? I never saw the Egyptians build the Great Pyramid? Did you? Have you ever replicated either of these events in the laboratory?

Nope. Yet you still believe in ancient Egyptians, despite the fact that you have never seen one.

I see no more reason that the IDers should have to bear the burden of proof than those who claim that the pyramids were built by human beings should have to defend their belief against the proposition that they're just oddly symmetrical natural mountains.

56 posted on 07/08/2008 1:59:25 PM PDT by Buggman (HebrewRoot.com - Baruch haBa b'Shem ADONAI!)
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To: r9etb
So your contention is that by rejecting the I.D. hypothesis Scientists think that nothing was ever designed by anyone ever? Ridiculous.

The I.D. hypothesis is untestable by Science because it posits an unknown agent acting for unknown reasons using unknown powers and abilities to somehow make biological innovation possible, when it seems to be quite possible on its own without any intervention (as in the case of nylonase bacteria and citrate plus e.coli).

57 posted on 07/08/2008 2:01:32 PM PDT by allmendream
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To: TexasKate

mega-dittoes...it’s about time!


58 posted on 07/08/2008 2:19:01 PM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: allmendream
So your contention is that by rejecting the I.D. hypothesis Scientists think that nothing was ever designed by anyone ever? Ridiculous.

Well, no -- that's you building a strawman.

What I'm contending is that your version of "science" says something equally ridiculous; namely, that as a matter of formal science it is impossible, ever, to recognize something as having been created, rather than arising as a result of natural processes. That is the logical result of saying that the ID hypothesis is "untestable by Science."

Further, if we take your position as being that of "Science" (why the capitalization, btw?) then "science" won't even try to test it, because it a priori assumes it's impossible.

Which is not a very scientific approach, I'm sure you'll agree.

And, as it happens, there are actually scientifically accepted tests for intelligent design in fields such as archaeology, to test the hypothesis that a particular object -- a rock, say -- was "manufactured" into a tool or not.

And, of course, you and I both have seen things in the woods or on the beach that are clearly created objects, and we recognize them as such despite the fact that they came from "an unknown agent acting for unknown reasons using unknown powers and abilities."

For you to somehow hypothesize that humans are somehow incapable of extending this power of recognition to biological manipulation is more akin to a religious belief. It's certainly not a scientific one. And, indeed, I believe I have sketched out for you above a kind of biological equivalent to the aforementioned archaeological test, that would apply to genetically engineered organisms.

So your allegedly scientific position would seem to be distictly lacking.

59 posted on 07/08/2008 2:20:46 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: Non-Sequitur

You are mixing the two matters, not me. The reasoned objections against common descent come from a variety of directions. Those have little to do with a discussion about what kind of intelligent designer might, or might not, exist. And, if at another time the discussion turned to the plausibility of the FSM, I would be more than happy to discuss whether that is a reasonable position to take. I don’t know a serious biblicist that would be afraid to take this on. But, it sounds as though you are afraid to confront the weaknesses of common descent.


60 posted on 07/08/2008 2:20:49 PM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: r9etb
Once again, the hypothesis of Intelligent design is not that somethings are intelligently designed and some are not and that we can distinguish between them. The I.D. hypothesis is that life itself is incapable of any large scale change without the intervention of an intelligent designer.
61 posted on 07/08/2008 2:33:53 PM PDT by allmendream
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To: allmendream
The I.D. hypothesis is that life itself is incapable of any large scale change without the intervention of an intelligent designer.

Another strawman. There is absolutely no requirement for such a constraint.

To demonstrate the validity of the biological ID hypothesis, it is enough to point out that specific examples of intelligent design -- in the form of large scale biological changes --can and do take place, on a daily and industrial-scale basis.

Validation of a hypothesis is not verification, of course (you do understand the difference, I presume). One cannot simply brush off the scientific necessity of producing evidence through testing.

Nevertheless, your suggestion that the post-production detection of such biological efforts is scientifically impossible, and therefore not worth doing, is rather difficult to take seriously.

62 posted on 07/08/2008 2:44:35 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: r9etb
What then do you consider to be the I.D. hypothesis? If everything I say is a “strawman” then perhaps you had better tell me what “man” you posit is under that straw, because so far straw is all I see.

I accept Behe’s contention as being definitive, as he is the only actual Biologist to weigh in on the I.D. side that I know of. His I.D. hypothesis is that ‘The Intelligent Designer is needed to effect any large scale change or innovation in Biological systems’. So what then is YOUR I.D. hypothesis?

If all it is is that there are things that are designed by intelligent agents and that we can detect such, well then of course that is completely Scientifically valid as long as you are not delving off into supernatural agency.

63 posted on 07/08/2008 2:54:35 PM PDT by allmendream
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To: neverdem
Typical Dyscovery Institute anti-science nonsense.

Students need to know about the current scientific consensus on a given issue, but they also need to be able to evaluate critically the evidence on which that consensus rests.

So when teachers teach that creation "science" and intelligent design are fundamentalist religious propaganda dishonestly masquerading as science they will be protected by this new law.

Talk about unintended consequences!

64 posted on 07/08/2008 2:58:01 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: Non-Sequitur

Neither is evolutionary theory “science”. Where are the testable and repeatable hypotheses which illustrate the formation of cells or organs, OR the cross-spcies evolution necessary for the millions of species on the planet to exist? Bob


65 posted on 07/08/2008 3:04:42 PM PDT by alstewartfan
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To: allmendream
I accept Behe’s contention as being definitive, as he is the only actual Biologist to weigh in on the I.D. side that I know of. His I.D. hypothesis is that ‘The Intelligent Designer is needed to effect any large scale change or innovation in Biological systems’. So what then is YOUR I.D. hypothesis?

I believe you have mischaracterized Behe's position. He may well have concluded, based on his observations and interpretation of them, that naturalistic evolution is not sufficient to explain the sorts of large-scale changes one sees in nature. Note, however, that Behe also acknowledges that evolution can and does occur at a certain level.

Clearly there is a balance that can be struck between the two. So I would say that "large scale" is a term that needs to be carefully defined, and you have not done so.

The fact of the matter remains, however, that intelligent design can and does occur on a daily basis. It is clearly not the impossible hypothesis that you make it out to be.

If all it is is that there are things that are designed by intelligent agents and that we can detect such, well then of course that is completely Scientifically valid as long as you are not delving off into supernatural agency.

You're almost there ... but not quite. There's no scientific requirement to rule out a "supernatural agency," either. For one thing, it is as imprecise a term as "large scale." For another, to rule out the actions of a "supernatural" designer a priori assumes that we would not recognize anything that designer did ... but it is not really valid to assume that.

66 posted on 07/08/2008 3:12:06 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: Non-Sequitur
I would also add that the church of the FSM also has a very “credible” theory on Global Warming.

…global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s…As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature.



If ID can be taught as science along with Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, then the FSM certainly has an equal place in any science curriculum.
67 posted on 07/08/2008 3:13:40 PM PDT by Caramelgal (Just a lump of organized protoplasm - braying at the stars :),)
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To: r9etb
Let me ask you a very simple question. If the “designer” is indeed “intelligent”, then is it also possible that the “designer” is just as intentionally cruel as it is intelligent?

If that were not so then explain to me how an “intelligent” and “supernatural” designer would design a system, our own human bodies for just one example, that is sometimes ravaged by genetic abnormalities and disease? And why would an “intelligent” designer bother to create certain species only to later render them extinct?

Either the designer is not a very good designer or the designer intentionally built flaws into its creation out of some sort of cruel whim.

How would you, as a science teacher teaching ID, explain this to students with the same or similar questions without bringing your own personal religious/spiritual beliefs into the conversation?
68 posted on 07/08/2008 3:33:56 PM PDT by Caramelgal (Just a lump of organized protoplasm - braying at the stars :),)
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To: r9etb
If you cannot supply a definition of the intelligent design hypothesis it will be hard to address the issue.

I have provided one based upon Behe’s “irreducible complexity” argument and it seems well in line with what the Discovery Institute is promoting. If you don't like it provide a substitute.

So if one can distinguish engineered human insulin producing bacteria as “intelligently designed”, does that mean that the other bacteria is not designed?

Appeals to a supernatural agency is not and never will be Scientific. Not unless that agency is predictable and measurable; and then it is hardly supernatural anymore is it?

So was Citrate plus e.coli intelligently designed?

Was nylon eating bacteria intelligently designed?

What exactly is your I.D. hypothesis. Hard to address it if you will not state it.

69 posted on 07/08/2008 3:38:23 PM PDT by allmendream
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To: neverdem
"Mr West, I reccommed that you read this book"
70 posted on 07/08/2008 3:40:45 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Society is well governed when the people obey the magistrates, and the magistrates obey the law)
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To: neverdem

I am so pleased to hear this!


71 posted on 07/08/2008 3:54:37 PM PDT by upcountryhorseman (An old fashioned conservative)
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To: gobucks

Thanks for the feedback! Go forth and multiply.


72 posted on 07/08/2008 4:53:37 PM PDT by neverdem (I'm praying for a Divine Intervention.)
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To: alstewartfan
Where are the testable and repeatable hypotheses which illustrate the formation of cells or organs, OR the cross-spcies evolution necessary for the millions of species on the planet to exist?

One could easily ask the same about the intelligent designer? How do you test that?

73 posted on 07/08/2008 4:54:18 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Non-Sequitur

I guess your definition of “intelligent designer” is quite different than mine. Sounds like the word “intelligent” is somewhat foreign to you.


74 posted on 07/08/2008 6:30:32 PM PDT by TexasKate
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To: Non-Sequitur; TexasKate
//Then by all means let's add the Flying Spaghetti Monster to the discussion. It's a form of Intelligent Design//

Now that you mention it, I hope that the evolutionists attempt just that in the classrooms. The kids are a lot sharper than you give them credit for and they will see right through that. It will be obvious to the kids that the evolutionist will do anything, use any trick they can grab to 'avoid confronting the weaknesses of common descent'

Actually in that regard ID is used by the evolutionist as a strawman

75 posted on 07/08/2008 6:52:17 PM PDT by valkyry1
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To: r9etb
Selective breeding is a form of intelligent design ... and life is quite obviously susceptible to it.

Exactly - and breeding produces results which are just the opposite of what we see in nature. The products of breeding often (perhaps usually) cannot survive in the wild at all; when they do survive, the features produced by breeding are generally soon lost.

76 posted on 07/08/2008 9:07:13 PM PDT by Christopher Lincoln
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To: Caramelgal
the “designer” is indeed “intelligent”, then is it also possible that the “designer” is just as intentionally cruel as it is intelligent?

That's not a "simple question," it's just you trying to lure me into a religious debate. Sorry ... not biting.

77 posted on 07/08/2008 9:10:29 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: allmendream
If you cannot supply a definition of the intelligent design hypothesis it will be hard to address the issue.

(Rolls eyes) You're determined to add complexity, aren't you?

The hypothesis would be: "this phenomenon was the result of an intentional action by an intelligent agent."

Simple as that.

Now, verifying the hypothesis may very well be difficult to do -- but the hypothesis itself is much easier than you apparently wish it to be.

For example, when confronted with our insulin-producing bacterium, we can state the following ID hypothesis: "this insulin-producing bacteria does what it does as a result of deliberate genetic modification."

One source of evidence to support the hypothesis would be to sequence the bacterial genome. It will reveal the "extra" human insulin gene among what otherwise appears to be "regular" bacterial DNA -- about what one would expect from the recombination process.

As a "scientist" who rejects the possibility of a valid ID hypothesis, you'd be stuck trying to show how that human insulin gene got into the bacterium by natural means. You could probably even come up with a mechanism -- albeit one that requires a whole lot more, and more tenuous, assumptions than the ID hypothesis does in that case.

78 posted on 07/08/2008 9:23:12 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: neverdem; steve-b
By the time the crusade had run its course, some 60,000 Americans had been sterilized against their will in an effort to keep us from sinning against Darwin’s law of natural selection, which Princeton biologist Edwin Conklin dubbed “the great law of evolution and progress.”

This is the exact opposite of the truth. The point of eugenics is to defeat natural selection, which eugenicists hubristically imagine they are able to do.

steve-b is quite right to point out (in post 2) that eugenics is a form of intelligent design. Not intelligent enough, you say? Exactly: nothing and nobody is intelligent enough. The believer need not dispute this; I have said before that omniscience is not a high level of intelligence, but a different concept altogether.

79 posted on 07/08/2008 9:29:14 PM PDT by Christopher Lincoln
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To: r9etb
So the hypothesis in regards to Biology would be “this complex metabolic pathway was the result of an intentional act by an intelligent agent”?

So what intentional act and what intelligent agent led to the development of citrate plus e.coli?

If one can tell that a gene modified organism was the result of the intentional act of an intelligent agent couldn't this only be detected against the background of an organism that the majority of the genome was not the intentional act of an intelligent agent but the accumulation of millions of rounds of mutation and selective pressure?

80 posted on 07/08/2008 9:33:39 PM PDT by allmendream
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To: allmendream
So what intentional act and what intelligent agent led to the development of citrate plus e.coli?

LOL! The old bait and switch. Rather than scientific evidence, you're now demanding something else, which is actually not necessary to support the hypothesis.

Your other comments simply confirm my point. You're raising "scientific" objections to the possibility of finding specific, observable signs of genetic engineering. You claim without proof that it would be impossible to show intelligent activity. Of course, the flip side of that coin is that it would therefore be likewise impossible to show that the phenomenon was a result of random processes.

Observable phenomena were your original criterion for a scientific hypothesis, and the burden would certainly be on the hypothesizer to to produce compelling evidence in intelligent intervention; and you seem to think it's impossible to isolate it. Then again, those other folks who can trace genes back for a long time don't seem to suffer from the difficulties you bring up.... So perhaps your complaint has more to do with personal emotional attachments, than it reflects any real scientific concerns you might have.

But the fact remains -- by your complaints you simply confirm the validity of the ID hypothesis, AND you kindly offer encouragement to those who might claim to be able to scientifically isolate "ID signal" from "naturalistic noise."

81 posted on 07/08/2008 9:59:11 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: MrB; All

“What harmcomes from a belief in an eternal Creator to which you will be held to account?”

The various parties in the vicious and deadly religious wars of centuries past in Europe all believed in a Creator to which one had to account. Because the had various doctrinal differences they felt it was just fine and even necessary to slaughter hundreds of thousands of people who did not have the same nuance of belief. The survivors fled by the millions to the New World, and decided to keep religion out of politics because they knew the evils that could be promoted in the name of the Creator.

For that matter both Sunni and Shia believe in a Creator named Allah to whom they are accountable. The have killed each other by the hundreds of thousands in recent times.

Let all who wish to believe believe, and let those who don’t alone. Only tolerance will preserve our country as envisioned by our founding fathers.


82 posted on 07/08/2008 10:19:03 PM PDT by gleeaikin
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To: Jim Robinson
"Just wait until the population explosion. You’ll be sorry, you doubter you."

83 posted on 07/08/2008 10:57:19 PM PDT by Fichori (Primitive goat herder, Among those who kneel before a man; Standing.)
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To: MrB
Leading anti-creationist philosopher admits that evolution is a religion
84 posted on 07/08/2008 11:02:44 PM PDT by Fichori (Primitive goat herder, Among those who kneel before a man; Standing.)
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To: Philly Nomad; MrB
"And science won’t let you move the goalposts." [excerpt]
I guess that proves that Evolution is not science.
85 posted on 07/08/2008 11:06:33 PM PDT by Fichori (Primitive goat herder, Among those who kneel before a man; Standing.)
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To: MrB
God would be subjected to the same rules as all other phenomena in science
Anyone can see that THIS is THE idiotic statement of this entire thread.
Yes indeed.

Its like saying a computer programmer is subject to the directives and rules laid out in his or her program.

86 posted on 07/08/2008 11:09:38 PM PDT by Fichori (Primitive goat herder, Among those who kneel before a man; Standing.)
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To: Philly Nomad; MrB
"You need to get out more, I’m a Catholic, you know, God’s one true Church."
Oh yes, that would explain it.

I'll have you know that I'm a Evangelical Christian who believes the Bible takes precedent over atheistic science.

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it. ;)
87 posted on 07/08/2008 11:16:21 PM PDT by Fichori (Primitive goat herder, Among those who kneel before a man; Standing.)
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To: allmendream; r9etb

//If one can tell that a gene modified organism was the result of the intentional act of an intelligent agent couldn’t this only be detected against the background of an organism that the majority of the genome was not the intentional act of an intelligent agent but the accumulation of millions of rounds of mutation and selective pressure?//

Wow that is a lot of words strung together. BTW just what is an organism in your dictionary?

Regards,


88 posted on 07/08/2008 11:32:38 PM PDT by valkyry1
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To: TexasKate
I guess your definition of “intelligent designer” is quite different than mine. Sounds like the word “intelligent” is somewhat foreign to you.

If you are opening up science to non-scientific theories then where do you draw the line? Who decides which theory is worthy of classroom analysis and which are not? Why your 'intelligent designer' and not the Flying Spaghetti Monster or any of the other creation theories out there? When it comes to testing, one intelligent designer is no more testable than another.

89 posted on 07/09/2008 4:00:39 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Non-Sequitur

Excuse me, but ID is just as scientific as the evolutionary theory. Not to mention that it makes a lot more sense then the “Big bang” theory.


90 posted on 07/09/2008 4:37:34 AM PDT by TexasKate
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To: TexasKate
Excuse me, but ID is just as scientific as the evolutionary theory.

OK, who is the intelligent designer and how do you test for that?

Not to mention that it makes a lot more sense then the “Big bang” theory.

Of course it does. A cosmic miracle vs. a cosmic boom.

91 posted on 07/09/2008 4:42:40 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: gleeaikin

OK, tell me about the Utopias created in the name of Atheism?

Communism killed how many 100’s of millions? And brought what “good” to the world?

Yep, that’s a viable alternative.


92 posted on 07/09/2008 5:18:18 AM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: Fichori

“And science won’t let you move the goalposts.”

That would preclude physics from science as well. I don’t presume to have the firepower that Steven Hawking has at his disposal, but when the Big Bang became rather irrefutable, he switched from “steady state” (excluding a Creator) to the “yo-yo universe” in order to try to explain creation without God.

Yep, the goalposts keep getting moved in order to try to avoid the implications of the Creator.

Evolutionarily speaking - the creation of life from non-life is being papered over. The odds and the time involved preclude this happening, and any experiments to the contrary have fudged, to put it mildly, the conditions that existed on the early Earth.


93 posted on 07/09/2008 5:24:19 AM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: Non-Sequitur

Maybe you can explain how the “cosmic boom” originated. And how do you test for that? Explain to me how “DNA” just evolved. Do you understand how complicated DNA is? And if so, how can you logically believe it just happened. One must have faith to believe that-doesn’t sound very scientific to me.


94 posted on 07/09/2008 5:47:08 AM PDT by TexasKate
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To: TexasKate
Maybe you can explain how the “cosmic boom” originated. And how do you test for that?

Back at you. How do you test for intelligent design? How do you identify the ultimate designer? Every criticism you attempt to level at evolution science can easily be applied to ID. Science is about answers. Does it have all of them? No, but it keeps trying to find them. Creationism is strictly about faith. There is no interest in questioning the dogma because it is automatically accepted as true. That is fine in a church or house of worship, but it has no place in a science class.

95 posted on 07/09/2008 5:57:26 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Non-Sequitur

You prove my argument. Evolution science is no different than ID. Neither one can be proved. I’d be more than happy to have ID removed from science class along with evolution. There is no “scientific proof” for either. BUT, if evolution is going to be taught in science class then there is no reason to exclude the ID theory along with it.


96 posted on 07/09/2008 6:06:41 AM PDT by TexasKate
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To: TexasKate
Evolution science is no different than ID. Neither one can be proved.

But science constantly tests evolution theory through new discoveries and new hypothesis, trying to find answers to the question that are still out there. ID does nothing but try to poke holes in evolution and then say, "See? Evolution is wrong so we must be right by default." Science doesn't work that way.

There is no “scientific proof” for either. BUT, if evolution is going to be taught in science class then there is no reason to exclude the ID theory along with it.

Before that shouldn't you try and identify the intelligent designer?

97 posted on 07/09/2008 6:26:38 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Non-Sequitur

What difference does it make who the intelligent designer is? I do know that the answer to this is in every man’s heart. You just refuse to acknowledge this.

Answer this question-if man evolved from apes, why are there still apes? I don’t believe scientists have been able to give an answer to this, and indeed, since there still are apes this would seem to disprove the theory of man’s evolution anyway.


98 posted on 07/09/2008 6:39:48 AM PDT by TexasKate
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To: valkyry1

A living organism is one that consumes energy in order to maintain its organized structure and capable of reproducing that organized structure.


99 posted on 07/09/2008 6:43:49 AM PDT by allmendream
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To: MrB
... but when the Big Bang became rather irrefutable, he switched from “steady state” (excluding a Creator) to the “yo-yo universe” in order to try to explain creation without God.

I'd just love to see you provide a citation from Hawking in which he espouses either a steady-state universe or a yo-yo universe.

100 posted on 07/09/2008 6:44:34 AM PDT by js1138
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