Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Inspiration for Doubters of Darwin

I'm so tired of this debate, mostly because I don't see why there even is any debate. Intelligent Design and Evolution are two completely different things. Evolution is a scientific theory backed up by research and evidence, and Intelligent Design is a belief. Furthermore, they don't even really contradict each other, there could be an outside force that created the universe including the process of Evolution, so there is no reason people can't believe both. But they are not equivalent ideas. And Bush's remarks only further confuse that point. He makes it sound like they are two different opposing views and since we don't know for sure which one is correct, we should teach both. But in reality, one is a scientific theory that is and should be taught in science class, and the other is a belief that cannot be proven, and which has no evidence behind it, and therefore has no place in a science class. And the ongoing debate that Bush references isn't about which one is correct, and therefore we must present both sides of it. The debate is about whether or not Intelligent Design should be taught along side Evolution as science. And of course it shouldn't. If we did that, we'd have to also alter the science curriculum to stop teaching the scientific method, since it would no longer make any sense if we are teaching Intelligent Design in the same classroom. No matter what your thoughts or beliefs about Evolution or Intelligent design, there is no logical reason to teach Intelligent Design as science. How would the people pushing Intelligent Design feel if they were required to hear about Evolution at Church? Clearly, discussions about Evolution are a little out of place at Church, the same way teaching Intelligent Design does not belong in a science class.

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34 comments:

STP said...

Hear Hear!

Bob N. said...

Evolution can't be proven...

Quote: "Evolution is a scientific theory..."

A 'theory' is merely an assumption based on limited information or knowledge; in other words, it's strictly speculation.

Furthermore,
Taken from www.intelligentdesignnetwork.org:
The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. ID is thus a scientific disagreement with the core claim of evolutionary theory that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion.

In a broader sense, Intelligent Design is simply the science of design detection -- how to recognize patterns arranged by an intelligent cause for a purpose. Design detection is used in a number of scientific fields, including anthropology, forensic sciences that seek to explain the cause of events such as a death or fire, cryptanalysis and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). An inference that certain biological information may be the product of an intelligent cause can be tested or evaluated in the same manner as scientists daily test for design in other sciences.

...

Positive evidence of design in living systems consists of the semantic, meaningful or functional nature of biological information, the lack of any known law that can explain the sequence of symbols that carry the "messages," and statistical and experimental evidence that tends to rule out chance as a plausible explanation.

Shakespeare's Sister said...

Yo, Bob N - like many idiots, you are conflating the terms "theory" and "scientific theory," which are totally fucking different.

Link:

In layman’s terms, if something is said to be "just a theory," it usually means that it is a mere guess, or is unproved. It might even lack credibility. But in scientific terms, a theory implies that something has been proven and is generally accepted as being true.

[...]

[A scientific theory] is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. One scientist cannot create a theory; he can only create a hypothesis.

Bob N. said...

I'm not trying to start an online flamewar, because that would be pointless... but, I'm glad you know that you know how to use Google to find things. So do I.

"In science, a theory can never be proven true, because we can never assume we know all there is to know. Instead, theories remain standing until they are disproven, at which point they are thrown out altogether or modified to fit the additional data." ... Thus, it has never been proven.

John Howard said...

Bob, I think you point out exactly the problem in this debate. It's that people don't understand what is being debated. As Shekes notes, a scientific theory is anything but purse speculation, which is what you claim.

As for your evidence of Intelligent Design, absence of laws explaining things is not evidence of anything. It just means we don't know.

John Howard said...

The point, Bob, is that there is plenty of scientific evidence to back up Evolution, and there is nothing even close to that for Intelligent Design.

Shakespeare's Sister said...

In science, a theory can never be proven true, because we can never assume we know all there is to know.

Pointing to that statement as evidence that intelligent design is just as viable a theory as evolution is to exploit the very principle that separates scientific thought from dogma - its willingness to never claim absolutes.

Keri said...

John won't ever change his mind on ID and Evolution and I don't even think to try. If the miracle of conceiving his son didn't prove anything to him, then nothing will.

However, I teach both sides of the debate and let the kids decide. I don't really see where they are at odds unless you're a legalistic fundamentalist that follows the bible letter for letter. I think that there are patterns to life and matter that aren't random and those have to come from somewhere.

maurinsky said...

I think people who espouse the teaching of Intelligent Design in a Science classroom are devoid of faith - they are people for whom it is not enough to hold their beliefs in their hearts, but they insist on reshaping reality to accommodate only their beliefs.

It's fundamentally dishonest to claim Intelligent Design has a place in a science classroom, because you cannot test Intelligent Design using the scientific method. I don't begrudge anyone their beliefs, and I wouldn't want to stop anyone from teaching their children the biblical story of creation at home or in church, but it has no place in a science classroom.

John Howard said...

But our son was conceived using science. And the same people who are pushing Intelligent Design would be all for outlawing IVF, if they could.

I don't have any objection to people knowing about both Intelligent Design and Evolution (and anything else there is), I think information the most important thing you can have when shaping your beliefs. What I object to is teaching Intelligent Design in a science class, because it very simply is not science.

Keri said...

I just wanted to commend you on your respect for bob n.'s different opinion and belief. I realize he barged in on your rah rah session and "polluted the comments" by giving his view on things and you all responded with grace and tolerance for someone else who may believe differently than you do.

Seriously,are you all so completely in love with yourselves that you feel that anyone who believes differently than you do must be an "idiot"?

Nice way to promote your liberal ideals of inclusion and acceptance of all lifestyles.

maurinsky said...

Not to get into an argument with the Mrs. of the author of the hottest blog, but those who are pushing to include Intelligent Design as part of the science curriculum are either operating out of disingenuousness or ignorance. The only way ID can fit in a science curriculum is if you reject actual science.

Like I said above, I have no problem with people teaching their kids the creation story of their choice - but when they start pushing to teach other kids that story, using public schools, and teaching it in a subject where it essentially rejects the rational foundation upon which that subject is built, they have moved beyond living their "lifestyle" to demanding that their faith be upheld as scientifically valid, which faith can never be.

Not to insult Bob S., either, but he's just wrong. Ignorant, disingenous, idiotic - call it what you will, ID has no scientific validity.

Science and Faith are not opposites - one deals with the physical world, one with the metaphysical world.

Always Sourced, Never Disputed said...

First these are government schools therefore they can teach whatever they want.

Secondly Keri is right where is the tolerance and understanding for a alternative view?

I know how much you all hate being reminded of history but try to remember there was a time when only a few people thought the world was round.

Surely, we can all learn from history that we need to not close our minds just because we misguidely think the same belief that those that think a concept has merit for further study are opposed to some other concept. (specifically here I refute this notion that because I may think intelligent design may warrant further study does not mean I am against IVF) I even considered IVF.

maurinsky said...

ID is a view of a Creation Myth using scientific jargon - it is not an alternative scientific viewpoint.

maurinsky said...

And you cannot study ID using the scientific method! ID has a conclusion - there is an intelligent designer. Then they use everything that exists as "proof" for that conclusion. That is not science!

This is not a matter of opinion! ASND, Keri, Bob S., no one is stopping you from having faith that an intelligent being created you. You cannot teach that in science class because there is no scientific validity to the concept of ID.

John Howard said...

I don't think anyone mentioned any particular school, so I'm not sure what schools you're talking about, asnd.

I live with Keri, so I understand her view perfectly well. I have no objection to people believing in God, believing in Intelligent Design, believing in Creationism, or whatever. My only problem is with the claim that it is science, and the attack on Evolution that comes with it.

I'm not sure what how few or how many people believe anything has anything to do with anything, and if that were important, I'm pretty sure I would be in the minority on this one.

My mind is not closed, I am all for study of anything and everything. I think knowledge is a very good thing.

I didn't mean to imply that anyone who believes in Intelligent Design would be against IVF. What I was saying is that in general, the people pushing for Intelligent Design to be taught as science are the creationists who would be pro-life and most likely against IVF.

Also, you say you think Intelligent Design may warrant further study, and I don't have any problem with that, but why would anyone want it taught as science?

Bob N. said...

Keri, thanks for speaking up for me when you said:
Seriously,are you all so completely in love with yourselves that you feel that anyone who believes differently than you do must be an "idiot"? Post from 3:46 PM

Also, maurinsky, you know very liitle about me, yet you still say he's just wrong. Ignorant, disingenous, idiotic... I know very little about you & I don't consider you to be any of those things.

We all have differing opinions & views, that's all... no need to break out the insults.

sumo said...

I'm so lucky with all this stuff...because I don't believe in a God and I'm an only child...so I can believe whatever I want and not get any flack about it...it just is. Yes, I live in my own little world! No religion...yes science...no Bush...no Bush...

Anonymous said...

I know how much you all hate being reminded of history but try to remember there was a time when only a few people thought the world was round.

And the Flat Earth Society still exists, as do those who argue that Intelligent Design is science.

- oddjob

Anonymous said...

If you want to talk about history, please have the sense to openly acknowledge and agree that among the vast majority of scientists, and most especially among those who study these kinds of questions specifically, THIS "DEBATE" OVER EVOLUTION CEASED OVER ONE CENTURY AGO!

Until you do that you're not being "open minded", you're being an ignoramus.

- oddjob

Shakespeare's Sister said...

I'd just like to point out that I was the one who used the term "idiot" and it had absolutely nothing to do with what Bob believes, since I don't even know what he believes - he could have been playing devil's advocate for all I knew - and was in response to, as I noted, "conflating the terms 'theory' and 'scientific theory,' which are totally fucking different."

I don't have any problem with people who believe in intelligent design; I have a problem with people who don't know what they're talking about. There was nothing remotely intolerant about my position; there are, however, some interesting assumptions about my beliefs, which I never even stated.

michelline said...

As the parent of two elementary age children, I feel it is very important to expose them to SCIENCE and not Religion pretending to be science. If I wanted them taught Creationism under a different name, I would enroll them in a private, religious school. Anything that teaches that there is a higher being (and what else could the Designer be?) is teaching about religion and according to the Constitution of the United States, religion and the state are to be separated. If we are to teach ID in the science classroom, then perhaps we should teach the Native American creation belief of the turtle that holds up the sky in the science classroom as well.

Where do we draw the line?

deanosaurus said...

I'd be happy to see ID taught alongside evolution. Scientists have been defending their method against theolgians, politicians, and superstitious explainations of the unknown for 500 years.

Near as I can tell ID draws a line around a few phenomena that, at least so far, don't fit conveniently into evolutionary theory as currently understood and conclude intelligent design. Does anyone doubt that that line will retreat over time? Its been pushed back pretty far already.

Put this debate front and center. Put it in science class. Science won't suffer a bit and we'll all get a good refresher on the power of reason over ignorance.

deanosaurus said...

Michelline,
I understand your position and I certainly wouldn't put my children into any school where they were taught any sort of dogma.

But the threat of ID isn't that it will be taught with evolution, its that it will be taught instead of evolution. A reasoning student exposed to both will not only come to understand the basics of biological evolution but will also see the broader power of science and reason against lazy ignorance.

Chris Howard said...

There was an interesing part of Bob's original comment that I wanted to mention

In a broader sense, Intelligent Design is simply the science of design detection -- how to recognize patterns arranged by an intelligent cause for a purpose. Design detection is used in a number of scientific fields, including anthropology, forensic sciences that seek to explain the cause of events such as a death or fire, cryptanalysis and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). An inference that certain biological information may be the product of an intelligent cause can be tested or evaluated in the same manner as scientists daily test for design in other sciences.

Bob mentions design detection as a tool of ID and points out it's use in anthropology and forensic science. When design dectecton is used in these two fields, the investigators are starting from the certain knowledge that designers do exist. We know that people do set fires, people did make tools in the distant past. Knowing this, we can look examine the evidence in light of this known fact. But using this method with ID is not analogous. There is no evidence based on the scientifc method that a grand designer of life exists. ID begins with the assumption that the designer exists, which is not a proven fact. That's why ID is a fine method for people to reconcile science and religion when they already believe in a creator, but it's not science.

As for the tone of the comments, I think it's been very civil. Bob posted an opposing viewpoint, and te arguments he made were attacked, just as he attacked the arguments made in the original post. That's how debate works. Of course the debate here is mostly just for fun, because neither side is likely to convince the other. We're generally starting with positions that are unreconcilable.

Keri said...

Here's my question, which I posed on my blog, which hardly anyone that reads this one even knows about.

How is this debate for fun? How is it any fun to debate something that is begets such a strong and almost gutteral response any form of pleasantry? All it does is stir up deeply rooted and thinly veiled feelings toward the people that hold the opposing view.

Shakespeare's Sister-I read your blog occasionally and therefor I feel I do somewhat know your views. I stand behind my statement that the responses to bob n. have been harsh and bordering on rude. The responses on your blog where you've quoted this debate have been even ruder.

maurinsky said...

Also, maurinsky, you know very liitle about me, yet you still say he's just wrong. Ignorant, disingenous, idiotic

Actually, I didn't say you were anything but wrong about this subject, which you are. The rest of what I wrote is just various ways it's been stated in this discussion.

I would like Bob S and Keri to please tell me how Science and ID can be alternative viewpoints when one is promoting the rational exploration of identifiable traits, activities, developments, and the other espouses a catch-all superstitious explanation for everything they don't yet understand.

When you are talking about matters of faith, the intolerant viewpoint is the one that pushes one religion's creation story as correct. I'm not trying to be rude here, but you are saying that people's religious beliefs (and not even every religious belief, but the religious beliefs of one specific religion) should be taught as if they represent a valid scientific viewpoint, and that is an outlook that diminishes both the rational, measurable, quantifiable world of science as well as the metaphysical, spiritual, personal world of religious belief.

That is not just intolerant, it is offensive and dishonest.

John Howard said...

I think it is fun to debate these things. Just because someone disagrees with my ideas, arguments or beliefs, I don't think that really has anything to do with how they feel about me as a person. And I like debating these things because regardless of whether anyone'sminds will be chaned, it's nice to know what other people think, regardless of whether they agree with me or not. Someone may bring up something that I haven't thought of and at least make me understand the other side even if I don't agree with it.

maurinsky said...

John, ITA. I am probably coming across as rather brash and aggressive, but I should mention that I do go to church every Sunday.

Chris Howard said...

Well, if it's not for fun, why are we doing it? While I do believe that debate can sway people's positions, I don't think it's going to work in this case, especially not with the kind of people who read and write blogs. I think most of us have certain core convictions that are unshakable. I can be convinced by a good argument, but not about the existence of a deity, just as I'm sure I can't shake your faith in God. So I figure we're just debating for fun. There is a lot of preaching to the choir on Lefty and Righty blogs, so a debate is often a welcome distraction.

Shakespeare's Sister said...

The responses on your blog where you've quoted this debate have been even ruder.

But Keri, I wasn't talking, either here or at my blog, about a debate over evolution vs. intelligent design. I was talking about the tendency of some proponents of intelligent design to misconstrue the layman's use of the word "theory" for "scientific theory." Claiming that evolution is speculative is just patently untrue.

Pointing out ignorance of the scientific method is not akin to taking a side in this debate, nor akin to being intolerant toward someone else's beliefs. And if you read my blog, you know that I'm pretty easily annoyed with anyone using a faulty argument, on any topic.

(And btw, I'm one of the people who does know about your blog and reads it.)

Anonymous said...

There was an interesing part of Bob's original comment that I wanted to mention

Thanks, Chris! I noticed this, but didn't know how to put it into words. You did so very well!

- oddjob

Always Sourced, Never Disputed said...

Where exactly did I say I endorsed ID? I thought the thread started with Bush's statement's about ID.

This is a great topic because it really shows the absolute ignorance of both sides as the debate something they know nothing about.

As for references to some lunatic society called Flat Earth, you are comparing apples to oranges. Try to read all the words I am typing. My reference to history means I am talking about the past and clearly I am pointing to a time when the majority of society thought the Earth was flat. However, this does not mean I endorse or agree with ID. Frankly, I did the same search on Google and I still am no closer to truly grasping what it even is.

gts said...

“Intelligent Design” is a New Age term –– so is it they want to put new age teachings into science classes? How did the crazy people co-opt the terminology? These people are dishonest and they lie to get what they want. Their ‘god’ is one that lies.
If the “designer” is ‘not of this earth’ or if their ‘god’ is a software programmer in another galaxy, then it’s either an “Alien” or “Foreign” Designer. Make them say that.

Whenever they try to use the term ‘Intelligent design” don’t let them, make them use the right terminology so everyone knows what they’re talking about.
“Alien Design” or “Foreign Design” is what they really mean and it should be what they say. Don’t let them get away with subverting and stealing the language. Thieves and liars, the lot of ‘em.