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Intelligent Design in Iowa State University

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by teekc, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. teekc Gems: 23/31
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    Well, my school doesn't go to headlines frequently, except 2 years ago it made it to CNN for a student riot. Now here's the story,

    Guillermo Gonzalez, ISU astronomy professor, wrote "The Privileged Planet". Then comes the notion/proposal of Intelligent Design should be taught in ISU and professor(s) holding research position and having research grant to do research on this subject.

    Then Hector Avalos, associate professor of religious studies, gathered the strength of some 120 faculty members and worte a petition to object/reject ID being taught as a science in ISU.

    This sparks detabe campus-wide, region-wide. Students' accuse faculty of restricting their beliefs. Faculty assuce faculty of creating an hostile environment. Students' supporting the faculty, etc, etc. The news made it to Des Moines Register, a regional newspaper. Of course, its featured columnist, Rekah Basu, took the chance to put in her pennies . Of course, letters to editors followed.

    Intelligent Design is not a new thing. We have the classic "pocket watch and rock" agrument (someone help me with this) being taught, at least, in the course of introduction to philosophy. Iowa State University of Science and Technology is not University of Notre Dame, it is (A) a state university and (B) an university of science. If ID is indeed a science, there would be no problem of bring it into the university. That's the problem of this debate, the "fors" said it is science and the "aganists" said it is not. Many would not want to see ID being taught in this state unversity of sicence. Thus, unprovoked, ~120 faculty members stood up and rejected ID before it actually became an reality here.

    To me, Intelligent Design is even worse than Creationism. It is creationism being coated with politics by faith-based politians. Philosophy, or anything, with a political purpose is just ugly.

    Are you ready to see your goverment using your tax money to teach creationism in school?
     
  2. chevalier

    chevalier Knight of Everfull Chalice ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Are you ready to see your goverment using your tax money to teach evolution in school?

    As primitive religions took the task of explaining natural phenomena away, a wing of modern science seems to have taken the task of explaining everything spiritual or supernatural or religious away. That's not bad, especially if they do it the proper, logical way. But ruling out a certain possibility on the grounds that "it can't have happened", "it's absurd" or whatever, is hardly science and so is pushing evolution (the non-creational kind of evolution -- as evolution is not per se inconsistent with creationism unless we construe creationism as a belief that everything was created in the same shape in which it is now) in order to root out creationism. A zealous belief that creation of any kind can't have happened because there can't be anything supernatural, any kind of creator, is just that: a belief. It's a religion of sorts. A secular religion, but religion nonetheless.

    So, does any form of creationism need to be taught in schools or universities? A scientific theory can be built around the concept of creation as much as around evolution. What's crucial, though, in my opinion, is to realise that evolutional theories of all kinds are just theories and part of the fun with theories is that they aren't facts. ;) It's also important to name things by their names and realise that whether your belief is religious or secular, it's still a belief of some sort, a faith, therefore not science.

    I recall a "scientist" claiming his atheism [belief that there's no deity] had scientific backing. That sort of claim translates to "my belief is science and your belief is rubbish/superstition/whatever applies." Science is not about that.

    I am surely ready to give my money to scientists who try to prove evolution or even disprove the existence of anything supernatural. Apart from the scientific work, it's a very personal search for them and they would use some help. But I'm not ready to pay a penny to anyone taking shortcuts and telling me that what I believe has already been disproven or that it's unseemly rubbish without doing proper research first. In short, I am not going to support soi-dissants scientists who come up with a system of beliefs and call it science.
     
  3. Aikanaro Gems: 31/31
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    Intelligent Design - my favourite pseudo-science. It's hilarious, and by no means should be taken seriously. The main Creation Science arguments I've seen, well - they're tragic - things like the speed of light being much faster 6000 years ago hence why all our dating is screwed (E=mc^2 anyone? I'd hate to live 6000 years ago with Adam and stuff if everytime I tried to light a fire the equivilant nuclear explosion occured...), and other totally unreasonable ideas backed by ... absolutely nothing but the Bible and some untestable waffled theories.

    I wouldn't object to Creationism being taught as a religious studies thing, but Creation Science is just sad. If that gets taught, other studies with no basis in reality need be too - like parapsychology ... maybe they should do courses in witchcraft as well?

    Evolution is a theory, sure - but one with enough evidence that pretty much every credible scientist accepts it.
     
  4. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    I have no pronblem with creationism as long as it remains in the theology department, but unfortunately that's not what the whackos want.

    It is per se not science, and cannot possibly ever be. Period.
     
  5. kuemper Gems: 31/31
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    Considering you're talking about Iowa State, I take everything with a heavy block of salt. This Hawkeye distains Cyclones. :) Oh, you forgot the entomology department getting on Carson for their bug-eating stint.

    On topic, glad I ain't in school anymore. Wonder what my daughter's learning... :hmm:
     
  6. jaded empath Gems: 20/31
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    Well, here I am again - my wife's alma mater piqued my interest.

    Okay, first off, I'm an unaffiliated 'christian' - I believe most of the dogma of even the Catholic church, but I refuse to believe any mortal who tells me they have religious authority over me.

    Also, I tend to believe evolution...BUT, my personal belief is that the creator set up all the rules, wound everything up and sat back to watch the fun - why just MAKE everything, when you can introduce some randomness and be surprised by the results?

    So I guess you could say evolution guided by a divine hand would be a better candidate for the term 'Intelligent Design' than this half-done revision of creationism that They are wielding in Their latest attempt to control.

    And that's the only real problem I have here; the underlying motives behind the forcing of this into compulsary education; the fact that it's 'faith-based' (what a useless, limp term - *9/11* was a muslim 'faith-based political initiative' by this euphemistic language! :rolleyes: ) These would-be oligarchs are using religion as their latest tool to seek control over the masses. They thus denigrate something LITERALLY sacred in their greed for power.

    And on the contrary, I don't think 'Intelligent Design' should stay in the faculty of theology; start up research projects for this; I'll write my member of parliament to direct some of my taxes paid to fund investigation of this theory.

    If 'ID' gets discreditted by subsequent scientific scrutiny, fine. If it gains validity from thorough reasearch and investigation performed in a reliable manner? Also fine. Just take it off this incomplete semi-thought-out status (that is typical of politicians).

    In other jargon: "Let's get this baby outta alpha and start doing some serious beta-testing!" :)
     
  7. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The problem with ID is that it is not science. What it is is irrelevant hand-waving as an objection to evolution. It it merely an argument from incredulity: We don't know how this could have happened naturally, so it must have been God/aliens/whatever that did it!

    It should most certainly not be taught as science in school; maybe philosophy.

    What is really ridiculous IMO are the arguments that evolution is only a theory, so ID shoud be taught along side it as an alternate theory. If evolution is "only a theory" then ID is AT BEST a conjecture with nothing to substantiate it: no research, no papers in reputable peer-reviewed journals, nothing of any substance whatsoever. To even imagine that ID has the credibility to be taught to children as mainstream science is ludicrous.
     
  8. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    As many have said, be free to teach both creationism and ID but keep it in the theology/philosophy department.

    I mean, not even political science and most economics or other social studies are in the science faculties proper probably due to a quite large degree of fuzzyness so I do not think this mumbojumbo has any place in the dry scientific world.
     
  9. teekc Gems: 23/31
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    Beliefs or faith cannot be disproven by anyone except yourself. i can believe as strong as i want, there is an invisible, mass-less, volume-less, green goblin in my bag, and no one can prove it is wrong. But is this belief of mine "scientific" (i.e. falsifiable)? Can this strong belief of mine be taught in a state funded school? Malaysia's constitution said federal adapts Islam as its religon, thus i have no problem sing my state anthem with begining such as "Allah takes care of Sultan" even though i am not Muslim. "State" in American is suppose to be secular.

    A materialistic view of the natural world is universal and objective. There you have your evidance, there you can conclude the same conclusion. You can repeat the research by anyone, to anyone and it still makes the same sense. Beliefs, are not. It might be easy to tell a European that humans are created by God. The same idea, apply it to a Chinese trained by Chinese culture, it does not make sense.
     
  10. Bion Gems: 21/31
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    Yes.
    And how exactly does ID reddress this? If a few scientists disparage religion, does this necessarily mean that science is anti-religion?

    Sure, evolution is a theory. But so gravity. Should we all support Intelligent Falling?

     
  11. khaavern Gems: 14/31
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    Heh, you almost got me there :) Sounds entirely believable that some groups would come up with an argument like this ... till I saw it is an article from the Onion. I guess this shows how bad things are.
     
  12. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    God love the Onion! :angel:

    Pun intended.
     
  13. Fiatil Gems: 4/31
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    When it comes to religion, especially in relation to evolution and Intelligent Design, I'm a strict Pastafarian.
     
  14. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    So you people that don't like Religion are bitching when something even close to it (in your estimation) is taught? I'm sorry, I can't even feign surprise.

    For those of you that are too apathetic to know the difference between ID and Creation, Here's an observation:

    Creation assumes God as the Creator.

    ID refuses to speculate on who is the Creator.

    It's not pushing one religion over another here. It simply states that for all the order and structure in the Universe, it can't be random chance...

    It doesn't try to implant morality, or enforce any religious view, only a dose of humility. Is that so bad?
     
  15. khaavern Gems: 14/31
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    There was a somewhat funny editorial in the April issue of Scientific American. One passage:
    " Moreover, we shamefully mistreated the Intelligent Design (ID) theorists by lumping them in with creationists. Creationists believe that God designed all life, and that's a somewhat religious idea. But ID theorists think that at unspecified times some unnamed superpowerful entity designed life, or maybe just some species, or maybe just some of the stuff in cells. That's what makes ID a superior scientific theory: it doesn't get bogged down in details. " :p

    (written tongue in cheek, obviously :) ). The whole article can be found here:
    We give up

    Gnarff: for ID to pass muster as a scientific theory, it should make some new predictions (preferably of stuff which has not been found yet, or which cannot be explained by other theories). It is not enough to say that one cannot explain th e universe through random chance (or Darwinian evolution, as that may be).
     
  16. Aikanaro Gems: 31/31
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    From what I have read from an ID site - ID is simply a fancy name for Creation Science to make it sound credible. Apparently it won a competition in 1995 as the name to pimp Creation Science under.

    ... and damn, that site seems to have gone down now, but was apparently here for future reference on the off chance that it comes back: http://objective.jesussave.us/

    If ID was nothing but a theory that says 'maybe there was a creator thingy' then I wouldn't have a problem with it being mentioned alongside, say, The Big Bang as an alternative. Seeing that there's absolutely nothing else to back that up with, it would probably be a very short mention...
     
  17. Cúchulainn Gems: 28/31
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    Doesn't it all depend on how Intelligent Design is explained?

    It should be optional, for example athiests should be excused from such teachings, but there is nothing wrong with having it in school, as long as its not mandatory.
     
  18. Aikanaro Gems: 31/31
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    Well, I don't see the need for excluding atheists because - well - there's nothing there to teach. If you take away the religious dogma (which you'd have to if you want to make this scientific at all), there is absolutely nothing else to back up this theory that there is a creator - so what would the lecturer be teaching...? 'Oh yes, there may be a god who created the universe. However, we have no evidence to prove or disprove this. Moving on...'
     
  19. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I'd like to quote Bill Maher here. It just so happens he touched upon the ID debate just last week. (Note to those unfamiliar with Bill Maher - he is a commedian, so yes, a lot of this is tongue in cheek and meant to be funny.

     
  20. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    To quote an older post of mine from a thread about Creationism, as the point I elaborated there equally applies to ID as it is merely the pseudo-scientific figleaf for Creationism:
    That is to say, creationism and it's spin-off ID are basically anti-science, or a reactionary attack on science.
     
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