Skip to comments.‘Why?’ versus ‘How?’ [evolution trial in Dover, PA, end of week one]
Posted on 10/01/2005 5:09:16 AM PDT by PatrickHenry
Professor focused on intelligent design as theology, not science, at Dover trial Friday.
HARRISBURG If there is a God, then he could have made the monkey and the human with similar genetic material.
In the fifth day of Dover Area School Districts trial over intelligent design, John Haught, a Georgetown University theology professor, agreed that was true.
So, the idea that we came from some monkey or ape is conjecture at this point? Dovers lead attorney Richard Thompson asked Haught under cross-examination.
In a First Amendment battle in U.S. Middle District Court in Harrisburg, the Dover district is defending its decision last year to include intelligent design in its biology curriculum. Eleven parents filed suit against the district arguing the concept is a veiled attempt to force religion into science class.
On Friday, Thompson, in trying to cast doubt over the theory of evolution referred to as the unifying concept of modern biology raised the issue of common descent.
But Haught said that in the world of science, there is little debate that humans share a common ancestor.
The professor, who spoke deliberately and extensively on the philosophical differences between religion and science, was the days sole witness.
Questioned by plaintiffs attorney Alfred Wilcox, he said intelligent designs basic premise that the complexity of life defies all explanation but the existence of a designer is essentially an old religious argument based on the 13th-century writings of St. Thomas Aquinas and the watchmaker analogy put forth in 1802 by British philosopher William Paley.
A person walking through a field stumbles upon a watch. It is carefully assembled and wouldnt function without all its parts working together. The persons inevitable conclusion? The watch must have a maker.
Under cross-examination, Thompson asked if there was a controversy in the scientific community over the idea of irreducible complexity essentially, the watchmakers observation that if a single working part of an organism were to be removed, the entire system would cease to function.
Haught told him that there exists a controversy between Lehigh University biochemistry professor Michael Behe, who coined the term, and most of the scientific community.
So, you agree there is a controversy? Thompson asked.
While most of plaintiffs expert testimony this week focused on establishing that intelligent design is not science, Haughts focused on why its theology.
Science asks, How? he said. Religion asks, Why?
As an example, Haught compared the differences to water boiling on the stove.
What causes it to boil?
Well, one could answer its because of rapidly vibrating water molecules.
Another answer could be because I want a cup of tea, Haught suggested.
Both are correct answers, but one doesnt discount the other.
One doesnt bring the subject of desiring tea into the study of molecular movement.
Its also a mistake to say, Haught said, Its the molecular movement rather than I want tea.
Yes, that is very true. If there is a God, he obviously made the universe in such a way so that it would appear billions of years old and so that it would appear as if all terrestrial life evolved from a common ancestor.
How can the theory of evolution explain the development of sexual reproduction? The probability that an organizm developed both male sexual organs and male sexual cells through mutuation in close proximity to another that developed both female organs and cells through a mutation, and that the cells and organs were compatible, and that they got the idea to combine the organs in some way, is so staggeringly low as to be laughable.
I have seen probabilitys of the order of 10^-50ish to describe some evolutionary events. Evolutionists argue that "given enough time, it will occur." But mathematicians realize that 1 x 10^-50 is actually zero for all intents and purposes. Something with zero probability can never happen regardless of the time given.
Let's take one of these probabilities. Let's assume that the probability of a species developing sexual organs as described above and then successfully reproducing is 1 x 10^-25, a conservatively high estimate in my opinion.
But let's say that means the probability is 1 x 10^-25 of it happening in any hour.
Given 100,000,000 years (876 billion hours), the probability of it happening in 876 billion hours or less could be characterized by the exponential distribution. The probability would then be 1 - exp(-(1x10^25) x 876 billion), which is still approximately zero.
An Ichneumon post on this subject it's post #68):
Description of one of the many ways that sexual reproduction can arise from asexual origins.
OK, well what is it? Please include the calculation itself and save me the next question.
Let's not. Just post the math and we won't need to assume.
So, are Behe, Dembski, or any others of the ID luminaries gonna testify?
I think the biggies from Discovery Institute have slimed away from this trial -- not wanting to be involved in the consequences of the mess they've helped to create. But I could be mistaken. We've had so many threads on this already that I'm losing it.
Things seem remarkably quiet this fine Saturday morning. So, I haven't been following this trial at all; I can really do without the same tired old ID nonsense and the typical scientific demolishment of it. Anyhow, what I'm wondering is who you think's winning the trial. Any sense of that yet?
PS. Is it a jury trial?
Similarity in no way proves a common ancestor. It's illogical. The argument goes like this: If X is similar to Y in Z, then X and Y must come from Q. The conclusion does not follow the premise. Anything that is illogical is also unscientific, but evolutionists can't be accused of being scientific, since science invites honest inquiry, and the high priest gatekeepers of neodarwinism work overtime to silence all dissent in their attempts to protect their relgion. They are paralyzed with fear at the thought that their raison d'etre will be discredited and rejected.
But, they need not fear, for the power of government is behind them. Indeed, the government has established a de facto state religion in its rulings favoring the teaching neodarwinism in schools, and that religion is atheism. It reminds me of the Soviet Union.
Ahh, another fictional "just-so story." Neowarwinists sure have rich imaginations. Too bad it has nothing to do with science.
Thanks for the ping!
Yes, I learned the distinction in Speech 100 class. inductive logic must follow the RULES of logic, and the monkey DNA hypothesis doesn't. As I said, the conclusion does not follow the premise - that makes it illogical. If you want to refute what I said, you will have to do it within the confines of logical rules. What I said was logically valid - I even gave an example of how the logic flows. You need to address that specifically. Not only does the conclusion not follow the premise (has nothing to do with it), but he law of the excluded middle applies. Third, the attributes of a part cannot be applied to the whole (similar parts does not imply similar origin); third, the word "similar" is not the same as "identical" - that is the fallacy of equovication.
Oh, alright. You said this:
The argument goes like this: If X is similar to Y in Z, then X and Y must come from Q.
That is of course false. Leaving aside the structural incoherence (I can figure out what you're attempting to convey anyhow), evolution does not make "must" statements; it makes "the best apparent explanation" statements. Go to the back of the class now.
If it is false, then give me the correct one. It is quite coherent as the variables represent the evolutionary claims of the monkey DNA hypthesis.
You can huff and puff all you want, but unless you make a counter-argument that directly relates to mine (and you didn't), then you have done nothing to counter my argument. Making pejorative insinations about my education (which is probably better than yours) is an ad hominem - another logical fallacy. If you do not want to debate the point based on rules of logic, that is your choice, but you can drop the intellectually superior attitude. After all, I am the one arguing logically. Evolutionists make the claim about monkey DNA, not me. And I am here to point out that that claim is illogical. If it is not, then you need to provide a logically acceptable line of reasoning on their behalf, without resorting to ad hominem which only enhances the illogic of your position.
That is hardly a refutation of my argument. if my structure is incoherent, then you won't mind correcting it will you? Evolutionists have said that chimps and humans come from the same ancestor. Whether they use the word "must" or "may" or "most likely", their claim is illogical in any case, because the hypothesis is illogical. Period. Prove me wrong with logic, not ad hominems - you only discredit your positionm with such tactics. I am a seasoned debater not some amateur that you are used to. If you aren't up to the task, then just drop the bluster and stop responding.
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