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Let 'intelligent design' and science rumble
LA times ^ | October 2, 2005 | MICHAEL BALTER

Posted on 10/07/2005 10:03:12 AM PDT by flevit

MICHAEL BALTER is a human evolution writer for Science. The views expressed above are his own....

Pro-evolution scientists have little to lose and everything to gain from a nationwide debate. Let's put the leading proponents of intelligent design and our sharpest evolutionary biologists on a national television panel and let them take their best shots. If biblical literalists want to join in, let them. Let's encourage teachers to stage debates in their classrooms or in assemblies. Students can be assigned to one or the other side, and guest speakers can be invited. Among other things, students would learn that science, when properly done, reaches conclusions via experimentation, evidence and argument, not through majority view.

Would this bring religion into the classroom? Religious faith and thinking are already in the classroom, as the opinion polls strongly suggest. And the courts should stay out of it because educators would not be required nor allowed to advocate a religious point of view....

Given the opportunity to debate, scientists should say: "Bring it on."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: crevolist; id; science
did a search, surprized no post on this..or maybe I missed it.
1 posted on 10/07/2005 10:03:13 AM PDT by flevit
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To: flevit

The problem is an honest debate is very quick

Scientist: What evidence is there fir intelligent design

ID: Faith

Scientist: That doesn't meet the qualifications for science.

ID: Well what is the evidence for evolution

Scientist: long rambling answer

ID: There are problems with that argument

Scientist: Then improve the science, don't give up and introduce religion into science

ID: You are trying to exclude the truth

2 posted on 10/07/2005 10:12:49 AM PDT by gondramB (Conservatism is a positive doctrine. Reactionaryism is a negative doctrine.)
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To: flevit
The history of the theory of evolution is one of bitter debates between religion and science, and the debates continue today. In "On the Origin of Species," Charles Darwin refuted the arguments for intelligent design put forward by the 18th century English philosopher William Paley, who greatly influenced the evolutionary theorist until Darwin witnessed natural selection at work on the Galapagos Islands. Over the ensuing decades, Darwin's theories were rigorously tested and criticized before they won over the majority of scientists.

The best way to teach the theory of evolution is to teach this contentious history. The most effective way to convince students that the theory is correct is to confront, not avoid, continuing challenges to it.

Yep, the debate has already happened and anyone can go on the internet and read it. If this "debate" were recreated and televised, who would actually watch it?
3 posted on 10/07/2005 10:14:56 AM PDT by balrog666 (A myth by any other name is still inane.)
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To: gondramB

Good summary. The only probelm is that the majority of Americans will fall asleep when the scientists get technical. That's how ID can sneak in. It's easier to put in a sound bite. Actually, all it is is a sound bite.

4 posted on 10/07/2005 11:07:08 AM PDT by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
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To: gondramB
An excellent summary of the argument, but still too long.

Evolution doesn't support the Bible. I'm afraid to meet my maker with a stain from wriggling evolutionists where they slipped through my proselytizing fingers.

5 posted on 10/07/2005 11:15:38 AM PDT by laredo44 (Liberty is not the problem)
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To: doc30
"It's easier to put in a sound bite."

Evolution can be sound bit just as easily. But sound biting is a skill perfected by evangelists and foreign to scientists. I don't mean that as a slam on either, just a respect for the skill of persuasive speech.

6 posted on 10/07/2005 11:21:19 AM PDT by elfman2
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To: flevit

NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! If children hear about another possible means of the beginning of the world, they will stop using science, and all become theocrats and ruin everyone else's brilliant understanding of the universe! ID is subversive and destructive to the scientific community!!!!!
(/end dumb humanist scientist rant)

7 posted on 10/07/2005 11:23:54 AM PDT by vpintheak (Liberal = The antithesis of Freedom and Patriotism)
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To: vpintheak

"If children hear about another possible means of the beginning of the world, they will stop using science,"

The way the world began and also theway the universe began is open to debate.

Positions based on evidence should be considered.

Positions based on faith should either wait until there is evidence or should be discussed in the appropirate non-science class.

Not only does the ID movement harm scientific advancement it makes us look dishonest because we would be trying to sneak religion into the classroom in a non-straightforward way.

8 posted on 10/07/2005 11:28:38 AM PDT by gondramB (Conservatism is a positive doctrine. Reactionaryism is a negative doctrine.)
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To: flevit
Intelligent Design Psuedoscience versus Science.

Fixed the title.

9 posted on 10/07/2005 11:30:14 AM PDT by blowfish
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To: gondramB

I wish some creationist would explain to me how the kangaroos got from Mt. Ararat to Australia.

10 posted on 10/07/2005 11:32:39 AM PDT by Taft in '52
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The CrevoSci Archive
Just one of the many services of Darwin Central
"The Conspiracy that Cares"

CrevoSci threads for the past week:

  1. 2005-10-07 Dover, PA Evolution Trial [daily thread for 07 Oct]
  2. 2005-10-07 Evolution and intelligent design Life is a cup of tea
  3. 2005-10-07 Let 'intelligent design' and science rumble
  4. 2005-10-07 The Map that Changed the World [in 1815]
  5. 2005-10-07 University of Idaho Bans All Alternatives to Evolution
  6. 2005-10-07 Why Intelligent Design Is Going to Win
  7. 2005-10-06 Faith, Science and the Persecution of Richard Sternberg
  8. 2005-10-06 Scientist defends Big Bang and God
  9. 2005-10-06 Seeing Creation and Evolution in Grand Canyon (quote below is the most significant item)
  10. 2005-10-06 U of I president:teach only evolution in {University}science classes (Connection to PA court fight)
  11. 2005-10-06 Witness: 'Design' Replaced 'Creation'
  12. 2005-10-06 Witness: Movement's roots in creationism (Dover trial 10/6/05)
  13. 2005-10-05 Professor, teachers to testify in intelligent-design trial [Dover, PA, 05 Oct]
  14. 2005-10-05 Supernova Storm Wiped Out Mammoths?
  15. 2005-10-05 The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2005 goes to Yves Chauvin, Robert H. Grubbs and Richard R. Schrock
  16. 2005-10-04 A space station view on giant lightning (May play role in global warming!)
  17. 2005-10-04 Ancient Peruvians Loved Their Spuds
  18. 2005-10-04 "Cardinal backs evolution and ""intelligent design"""
  19. 2005-10-04 Potatoes came from Peru, US study finds
  20. 2005-10-04 Space Scientists Seek Sprites, Elves and Jets
  21. 2005-10-04 Spider fooled into sex by drop-dead male
  22. 2005-10-04 The Bottom Line: Darwinism Promotes Social Disintegration
  23. 2005-10-04 The Nobel Prize in Physics 2005 is awarded to Roy J. Glauber, John L. Hall and Theodor W. Hänsch
  24. 2005-10-03 How Long Did It Take to Deposit the Geologic Strata? (Hint: Maybe it wasn't millions of years)
  25. 2005-10-03 Live from Pennsylvania: Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District
  26. 2005-10-03 Returning to Dover [evolution trial in Dover, PA: week 2]
  27. 2005-10-03 Systemic determinants of gene evolution and function
  28. 2005-10-03 The timeless truth of creation
  29. 2005-10-01 ‘Why?’ versus ‘How?’ [evolution trial in Dover, PA, end of week one]
  30. 2005-10-01 Eugenie Scott Makes False Claims About Peer-Reviewed Paper on MSNBC
  31. 2005-10-01 For the Anti-Evolutionists, Hope in High Places
  32. 2005-10-01 Liars’ brains make fibbing come naturally
  33. 2005-10-01 Study: Sun's Changes to Blame for Part of Global Warming
  34. 2005-10-01 That Famous Equation and You

CrevoSci Warrior Freepdays for the month of October:

2003-10-09 antiRepublicrat
2004-10-10 Antonello
1998-10-18 AZLiberty
1999-10-14 blam
2000-10-19 cogitator
2001-10-21 Coyoteman
2004-10-26 curiosity
1998-10-29 Dataman
2000-10-29 dila813
2001-10-14 dread78645
1998-10-03 Elsie
1998-10-17 f.Christian
2002-10-08 FairOpinion
2001-10-26 Genesis defender
2000-10-09 Gil4
2000-10-08 guitarist
2004-10-10 joeclarke
1998-10-03 js1138
2001-10-24 k2blader
2000-10-08 LibWhacker
2002-10-25 m1-lightning
2001-10-10 Michael_Michaelangelo
2001-10-09 Mother Abigail
2004-10-25 MRMEAN
2004-10-03 Nicholas Conradin
1999-10-28 PatrickHenry
1998-10-01 Physicist
1998-10-25 plain talk
1998-10-12 Restorer
2005-10-04 ret_medic
2001-10-23 RightWingNilla
2004-10-09 snarks_when_bored
2002-10-22 sumocide
2004-10-21 WildHorseCrash
2001-10-23 yankeedame
2002-10-20 Z in Oregon

In Memoriam
Fallen CrevoSci Warriors:

Area Freeper
Ed Current
peg the prophet

Bring back Modernman and SeaLion!

11 posted on 10/07/2005 12:23:33 PM PDT by Junior (From now on, I'll stick to science, and leave the hunting alien mutants to the experts!)
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We shouldn't shy from debate because "no one will watch it."

Some will, and if the debators are good, more will watch it.

Or listen to it on radio, or watch on CSPAN.

It's a self-defeating proposition to hold that the public is too coarse for educated debate.

I'd pay good money to see Pope Benedict vs. Richard Dawkins.

12 posted on 10/07/2005 12:55:11 PM PDT by D-fendr
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To: flevit
Darwin's theories were rigorously tested and criticized before they won over the majority of scientists.

That seems to sum up the scientific method pretty well.

13 posted on 10/07/2005 6:40:16 PM PDT by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: Coyoteman

scientific method, is made by man, is preformed by man, and conclusion drawn by man..which still can be very wrong.

14 posted on 10/09/2005 9:52:32 AM PDT by flevit
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To: All; flevit; gondramB

OK, now here's a free movie for you, unlocking the mystery of life. This is so mind boggling - details are soooooooo complex, it is a most compelling reason to believe in Intelligent Design.

Make some popcorn, while the movie is downloading. :)

15 posted on 10/11/2005 9:14:01 PM PDT by Sun (Hillary Clinton is pro-ILLEGAL immigration. Don't let her fool you. She has a D- /F immigr. rating.)
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To: Sun

Cool graphics.
The intro is seriously disingenuous

But again the central message here is "give up trying to understand."

That's not how science advances making this a harmful approach.

16 posted on 10/12/2005 7:45:42 AM PDT by gondramB (Conservatism is a positive doctrine. Reactionaryism is a negative doctrine.)
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To: gondramB

Access Research Network
Phillip Johnson Archives

Darwinists Squirm Under Spotlight
Interview with Phillip E. Johnson

This article is reprinted from an interview with Citizen Magazine, January 1992.

Phillip Johnson has been a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley for more than 20 years. As an academic lawyer, one of Johnson's specialties is "analyzing the logic of arguments and identifying the assumptions that lie behind those arguments." A few years ago he began to suspect that Darwinism, far from being an objective fact, was little more than a philosophical position dressed up as science--and poor science at that. Wanting to see whether his initial impression was correct, Johnson decided to take a closer look at the arguments, evidence and assumptions underlying contemporary Darwinism. The result of his investigation is Darwin on Trial, a controversial new book that challenges not only Darwinism but the philosophical mindset that sustains it.

When did you first become aware that Darwinism was in trouble as a scientific theory?

I had been vaguely aware that there were problems, but I'd never had any intention of taking up the subject seriously or in detail until the 1987-88 academic year, when I was a visiting professor in London. Every day on the way to my office I happened to go by a large bookstore devoted to science. I picked up one book after another and became increasingly fascinated with the obvious difficulties in the Darwinist case--difficulties that were being evaded by tricky rhetoric and emphatic repetition. I then began delving into the professional literature, especially in scientific journals such as Nature and Science. At every step, what I found was a failure of the evidence to be in accord with the theory.

What was it that initially made you suspect that Darwinism was more philosophy than hard science?

It was the way my scientific colleagues responded when I asked the hard questions. Instead of taking the intellectual questions seriously and responding to them, they would answer with all sorts of evasions and vague language, making it impossible to discuss the real objections to Darwinism. This is the way people talk when they're trying very hard not to understand something.

Another tip-off was the sharp contrast I noticed between the extremely dogmatic tone that Darwinists use when addressing the general public and the occasional frank acknowledgments, in scientific circles, of serious problems with the theory. For example, I would read Stephen Jay Gould telling the scientific world that Darwinism was effectively dead as a theory. And then in the popular literature, I would read Gould and other scientific writers saying that Darwinism was fundamentally healthy, and that scientists had the remaining problems well under control. There was a contradiction here, and it looked as though there was an effort to keep the outside world from becoming aware of the serious intellectual difficulties.

What are some of the intellectual difficulties? Can you give an example?

The most important is the fossil problem, because this is a direct record of the history of life on earth. If Darwinism were true, you would expect the fossil evidence to contain many examples of Darwinian evolution. You would expect to see fossils that really couldn't be understood except as transitions between one kind of organism and another. You would also expect to see some of the common ancestors that gave birth to different groups like fish and reptiles. You wouldn't expect to find them in every case, of course. It's perfectly reasonable to say that a great deal of the fossil evidence has been lost. But you would continually be finding examples of things that fit well with the theory.

In reality, the fossil record is something that Darwinists have had to explain away, because what it shows is the sudden appearance of organisms that exhibit no trace of step-by-step development from earlier forms. And it shows that once these organisms exist, they remain fundamentally unchanged, despite the passage of millions of years-and despite climatic and environmental changes that should have produced enormous Darwinian evolution if the theory were true. In short, if evolution is the gradual, step-by-step transformation of one kind of thing into another, the outstanding feature of the fossil record is the absence of evidence for evolution.

But isn't it possible, as many Darwinists say, that the fossil evidence is just too scanty to show evidence of Darwinian evolution?

The question is whether or not Darwinism is a scientific theory that can be tested with scientific evidence. If you assume that the theory is true, you can deal with conflicting evidence by saying that the evidence has disappeared. But then the question arises, how do you know it's true if it isn't recorded in the fossils? Where is the proof? It's not in genetics. And it's not in the molecular evidence, which shows similarities between organisms but doesn't tell you how those similarities came about. So the proof isn't anywhere, and it's illegitimate to approach the fossil record with the conclusive assumption that the theory is true so that you can read into the fossil record whatever you need to support the theory.

If Darwinism has been so thoroughly disconfirmed, why do so many scientists say it's a fact?

There are several factors that explain this. One is that Darwinism is fundamentally a religious position, not a scientific position. The project of Darwinism is to explain the world and all its life forms in a way that excludes any role for a creator. And that project is sacred to the scientific naturalist-to the person who denies that God can in any way influence natural events.

It's also an unfortunate fact in the history of science that scientists will stick to a theory which is untrue until they get an acceptable alternative theory-which to a Darwinist means a strictly naturalistic theory. So for them, the question is not whether Darwinism is true. The question is whether there is a better theory that's philosophically acceptable. Any suggestion that Darwinism is false, and that we should admit our ignorance about the origin of complex life-forms, is simply unacceptable. In their eyes, Darwinism is the best naturalistic theory, and therefore effectively true. The argument that it's false can't even be heard.

Surely there are some skeptics in the scientific world. What of them?

Well, there are several, and we can see what happened to them. You have paleontologist Colin Patterson, who's quoted in my first chapter. He made a very bold statement, received a lot of vicious criticism, and then pulled back. This is a typical pattern.

Another pattern is that of Stephen Jay Gould, who said that Darwinism is effectively dead as a general theory-and then realized that he had given a powerful weapon to the creationists, whose existence cannot be tolerated. So now Gould says that he's really a good Darwinist, and that all he really meant was that Darwinism could be improved by developing a larger theory that included Darwinism. What we have here is politics, not science. Darwinism is politically correct for the scientific community, because it enables them to fight off any rivals for cultural authority.

Darwinists often accuse creationists of intolerance. But you're suggesting that the Darwinists are intolerant?

If you want to know what Darwinist science is really like, read what the Darwinists say about the creationists, because those things-regardless of whether they're true about the creationists-are true about the Darwinists. I've found that people often say things about their enemies that are true of themselves. And I think Darwinist science has many of the defects that the Darwinists are so indignant about when they describe the creationists.

Across the country, there has been a growing trend toward teaching evolution as a fact-especially in California, your own state. What does this say about science education in America?

This is an attempt to establish a religious position as orthodox throughout the educational establishment, and thus throughout the society. It's gone very far. The position is what I call "scientific naturalism." The scientific organizations, for example, tell us that if we wish to maintain our country's economic status and cope with environmental problems, we must give everyone a scientific outlook. But the "scientific outlook" they have in mind is one which, by definition, excludes God from any role in the world, from the Big Bang to the present. So this is fundamentally a religious position-a fundamentalist position, if you like--and it's being taught in the schools as a fact when it isn't even a good theory.

Why should Christians be concerned about a scientific theory? Why does it matter?

Well, not only Christians should care about it. Everyone should. It is religion in the name of science, and that means that it is misleading people about both religion and science.

Copyright © 1997 Phillip E. Johnson. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.
File Date:2.22.97

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17 posted on 12/28/2005 3:06:35 AM PST by 13Sisters76
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