Skip to comments.Witness: Movement's roots in creationism (Dover trial 10/6/05)
Posted on 10/06/2005 9:06:46 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
click here to read article
Dembski has three problems. Big ego, bigger mouth, but only a small-to-middling brain.
So it has roots in Creationism. You say that as if it's a bad thing.
In the sixth day of the trial in U.S. Middle District Court, plaintiffs' attorneys used the testimony of Barbara Forrest, a Southeastern Louisiana University philosophy professor, to connect a series of dots regarding the history of the intelligent design movement and creationism.BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
The problem isn't with Christianity, it's with those Christians who want the tenets of their faith taught as science, and who then lie about it.
At one point, an attorney for the defense asked her whether she knew that that document was intended to raise money, that it was part of a fundraising plea. Forrest didn't know.It wasn't just a piece of overheated fundraising copy. That text was lifted whole from the Discovery Institute's (CRSC) About page, as it existed for the first two years of the CRSC's existence (which is still available at The Wayback Machine)...
THE proposition that human beings are created in the image of God is one of the bedrock principles on which Western civilization was built. Its influence can be detected in most, if not all, of the West's greatest achievements, including representative democracy, human rights, free enterprise, and progress in the arts and sciences.
Yet a little over a century ago, this cardinal idea came under wholesale attack by intellectuals drawing on the discoveries of modern science. Debunking the traditional conceptions of both God and man, thinkers such as Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud portrayed human beings not as eternal and accountable beings, but as animals or machines who inhabited a universe ruled by chance and whose behavior and very thoughts were dictated by the unbending forces of biology, chemistry, and environment. This materialistic conception of reality eventually infected virtually every area of our culture, from politics and economics to literature and music.
The cultural consequences of this triumph of materialism were devastating. ... etc. etc. yadda yadda yadda
Oh, I think it's a wonderful thing.
So Dembski is claiming that the Logos is the stage designer? How theatrical.
You were OK until you started talking about atheistic philosophy. Modern science is based on simple observation and reasoning about observations.
Science doesn't claim to be all-knowing. And it's generally indifferent to philosophy, except when the philosophy says don't trust your eyes. If everything we see is a lie, then science shouldn't produce any results like electric appliances, computers or computer networks, which wouldn't be real anyway.
Also you should be aware that modern science has roots in the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). They were not exactly atheist philosophers.
Intelligent Design does fit with all the facts. But that's it's problem, it fits with anything. Whatever we find in the universe you can answer that the "intelligence" made it that way.
If lightning strikes you dead, God did it. If we find fossils in the ground, God put them there. If we found them this way, or that way, with this radiocarbon dating or that, then God did it that way, and we don't know any more than we started out with.
Intelligent Design is the anti-science. It implies that we can't discover anything, because the Intelligence can fool us, or change the facts at His whim. We can never be sure of anything under such a philosophy.
Interesting article from about 1o months ago
ACLU wont put Darwin on trial
Sunday, December 26, 2004
So the Dover Area school boards decision to challenge evolution by requiring the teaching of intelligent design has as many people warned provoked a lawsuit, one that the district is not likely to win.
By ruling in other cases that theories contrary to Darwins theory of how life developed lacks a clear secular purpose in regards to public education, the Supreme Court has established a legal doctrine that American Civil Liberties Union lawyers are sure to seize upon in the Dover case.
Its a pity, really, because instead of addressing the facts about science, all the ACLU has to do is show how Darwinism conforms to the prevailing secular dogma and argue that intelligent design is likely to stir up trouble in public schools by invoking the divine and the miraculous.
The irony is that some of the parents who sued the Dover Area School District said they were worried that under the proposed curriculum students would not be taught sound science. And yet, in a trial focusing on science and which theory best fit the facts, its the Darwinists who would be put on the defensive.
Indeed, for some scientists (albeit what Time magazine characterizes as tiny pockets within the scientific community), the basic arguments supporting the theory that life arose by a happy accident in a cosmos ruled by chaos simply dont stand up. Whats more, when building a case for intelligent design, its supporters draw from discoveries across a range of scientific disciplines.
These scientists point to cosmology and the Big Bang theory, which holds that the universe suddenly burst forth, in the beginning, from what can only be described as some unfathomable source of creative energy. They point to physics, which declare that the basic forces that hold the universe together (and make it suitable for life) are fine-tuned with a mathematical precision that defies belief. They gape at the massive amounts of genetic information filed away inside every single living cell, then take a closer look and ask how anything so complex and perfectly ordered could be formed by a gradual, random process.
Now, its not as though Darwinists are unaware of these grand enigmas or that they fail to feel a sense of awe when confronted with the mysteries of the universe. In fact, many people who believe in evolution have found a way to reconcile the theory with their own religious faith.
But when it comes down to it, the usual response of present-day science to extraordinary phenomena that some would say point to God, is either to relegate it to the soft disciplines of philosophy and theology, or simply to ignore it.
After all, science as it is currently defined deals only with material things and processes. Anything that smacks of the miraculous, then, is of no scientific consequence. It doesnt exist.
So denial serves as a useful tool for many Darwinists. When confronted with the reality of human consciousness, for instance, they vaguely assert that it must be something that emerges when brains reach a certain size, or they pretend it isnt there.
One school of thought among Darwinists holds that what we perceive as consciousness, that yearning to understand why we are here and how we should live, is just an illusion, a byproduct of an organ whose only function is to make sure our physical bodies survive long enough to reproduce. As MITs Marvin Minsky famously put it, the human mind is nothing more than a computer made of meat.
Other glaring flaws in Darwinism follow a similar strain. Its adherents cant produce all the facts they need to bolster their case, so they trot out absurd assertions that they trust cant really be disproved. So in the end Darwinism draws its strength not from rigid scientific truth, but by offering a rather vague philosophical catch-all.
This may seem a rather blatant accusation, but it is echoed even by Darwinists themselves.
Consider the late Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould. A popular champion of modern Darwinism and a pop-culture icon (he was depicted on an episode of The Simpsons), he also came to criticize some of the orthodoxies of the theory.
This is not to suggest that he rejected evolution. His reflections are more like those of an aging bishop who candidly confesses to problems within the faith.
But in an article published this year by Scientific American, Gould seems to be stating that he believes in Darwinism despite what he knows about the facts.
Goulds criticisms are actually quite damaging. He can offer no explanation of how life first emerged, other than to say that geology seems to hint at its inevitability. He declares the fossil record woefully inadequate for showing how various species developed, and that fossils for higher life forms do not even constitute an evolutionary series. He suggests that evolution is not a constant, gradual process but instead occurs in quick and quirky episodes. He argues that there is no reason to believe that evolution moves automatically toward more complex life forms, and that natural selection often is overrated and misused as an explanation for how or why evolution occurs. He says the truth is that evolution is so random that there is no way to predict how life forms ultimately will develop.
Gould feels free to make these statements and then insist that Darwinism holds true. And yet he knew full well, as various York College instructors pointed out in denouncing Dovers proposed intelligent design curriculum, that science is supposed to concern itself with facts that are testable, reproducible and observable.
But if life is nothing more than a cosmic lottery, its hard to see how it can be studied as science. And how does one conduct a controlled experiment for randomness?
Gould ended his article by calling for a rethinking of what he labeled the icons of evolution. Prominent intelligent design advocate Jonathan Wells of the Discovery Institute in Seattle uses similar language in his criticism of Darwinism.
Does that mean theres common ground here? Not really, because whats at issue isnt the scientific method, or even fossils, field studies and ancient rocks. No, the debate in Dover (and in some 40 other states around the country where Darwinism is being challenged) ultimately has to do with picking an official philosophy of origins.
The science of life, it seems, cant be taught without making some references to design and purpose or the lack thereof. And if its one particular philosophy that earns teachers their paychecks and gets scientists grant renewal, then there really isnt much incentive to explore the others no matter how much religious dissenters might complain. Scientific materialism wins.
Still, its worthwhile to consider what law professor Phillip Johnson had to say on the subject. Johnson wrote: Any true metaphysical theory must account for two essential truths which materialism cannot accommodate: first, that mind is more than matter; and second, that such things as truth, beauty and goodness really do exist even if most people do not know how to recognize them.
Just dont expect these essentials to be addressed in science class.
Dave Dentel is a copy editor for the York Daily Record/Sunday News,
One of the big problems of ID and the irreproducible complexity argument is this. If life is so complicated that it needed a designer, then, in order to design the complexity of living things, said Designer must have a similar or higher level of complexity. From whence did that complexity originate. Also, how did a Designer create the various forms of life with their basic body plans. What mechanism or force in nature accomplished this. After all if a Designer did this for life on earth, then man can do the same thing, given the knowledge and resources.
The other problem is that a Designer may 'fit the facts' as you say, but offers no testable predictions like evolution does. Nor is there any test that can show ID is false. Every theory in science has testable hypotheses that can shoot it down. Evolution has withstood, to this time, that challenge. ID does not permit that challenge.
Lewontin has admitted that modern science won't let in creative acts by an outside agency, because it is not of the paradigm of raw, untrammelled "nature" which is widely accepted by many observers and experimenters.
And on that note, the Designer, for ID to be science, must be a part of nature. If the designer can interact with the universe, then the Designer is, in some way, a part of our universe and is part of the natural world. Even humans are part of that natural world.
A good philosophical question to ask, is this... Is the realm of "nature" only what we can observe (by any purely physical means), or is "nature" that which exists, whether we can observe it or not?
That is one of the axioms of science. For something to be observable, it must be detectable. In order to be observed, it must have some interaction in the physical universe. If it cannot interact with the physical universe, it is not observable. If it is not observable, then how can it's existence be determined? It is indeed a good philosophical question, but it is not a scientific question.
Only if you're an idiot. Stochastic processes are easily "studied as science".
Just once, I'd like to read an essay stumping for ID which wasn't clearly written by someone with absolutely no familiarity with any kind of real science or research.
And how does one conduct a controlled experiment for randomness?
I guess the author never heard of statistical analysis, which does that sort of thing all the time, and has been for hundreds of years. Moron.
Kill me now.
Dave Dentel is a disgusting pig for twisting the words of a dead man who he knows can't defend himself.
One of the big problems of ID and the irreproducible complexity argument is this. If life is so complicated that it needed a designer, then, in order to design the complexity of living things, said Designer must have a similar or higher level of complexity. From whence did that complexity originate.
And is it turtles all the way down, then?
The "ID postulate" (it doesn't even rise to the level of "theory") doesn't explain anything at all, it just pushes it back a level so it can be swept under the rug -- while creating even more problems than it "resolves".
Well, most of them weren't :-)
(Hey, even ex-Catholics can make Jesuit jokes. It says so right here in the handbook.)
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You are absolutely correct. I call it scientific capitulation through intellectual affirmative action. In science, it would be like mixing French military strategy with political correctness.
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