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Intelligent Design in Iowa State University

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

  1. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    I think the ridicule part comes all by itself with people trying to force scientists to teach non-science, that is ID or creationism, in science classes, under the pretext of an 'alternative view'.

    And it's well earned given the point how oblivious the IDists and creationists are about the unsuitability of their pet-issue for science classes. This thread gives an indication on that - we could continue this indefinitely, and then again.

    Teach it in philosophy classes, religion classes - fine with me, but keep it out of science, it doesn't belong there.

    [ August 30, 2005, 23:12: Message edited by: Ragusa ]
     
  2. 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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    Evolution does not refute the existence of God in any way, and there are many people who accept the facts of evolution and believe in God as well, so you are not unusual.

    The only possible conflict evolution has with Christian religion is the literal Bible interpretation that God stretched forth His hand and created all plants and animals as they are in today's modern world and that they have not changed significantly since that time, and that in fact that time was 6000 or so years ago.
     
  3. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Doh.
     
  4. Cryo Mantis Gems: 3/31
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    I'm not going into detail about what I believe but I will say that I don't believe that the universe we live in is some cosmic accident. That just seems silly to me.

    [This thread is about ID and teaching it in a science department. Your opinions and beliefs may have an impact, but only on topic. - dmc]

    [ August 31, 2005, 03:38: Message edited by: dmc ]
     
  5. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    But dmc, Is Evolution not asking us to accept their teachings without actually seeing the proof? They can't produce one of these primitive homonids and prove that it was what they claim it is. They can't produce two of these primitive homonids and have them reproduce a homo sapien. Therefore, Evolution is as much speculation as ID. Therefore, by your logic, Evolution doesn't belong in the Science department until these things can be revised or proved and replicated.

    You get one widely accepted theory that may not be 100% correct (I still disagree with some of the conclusions), and now people are using that to discredit religion. Shouldn't this theory have been studied further instead of released and passed off as absolute truth?

    @T2Bruno: That just goes to show you that many people don't care for the rules of religion. I fail to see what that has to do with this debate...

    In a previous thread, I pointed out that I've heard the term "Creative Periods" used. This is not the same as the 24 hour day that is envisioned by many critics of Creationism. If ID then acknowledges a designer, and is being approached as a peek at this entity's tool box, as you suggest, then it would be appropriate to be taught in Science department...

    Quite frankly, being considered the resident religious extremist here, I would welcome an alternative to Evolution discussed in Science classes. Mind you that offends too many of the science buffs here...

    AFI, I would reserve such judgement until we see details on what is being taught. If ID is an attempt to bridge the gap between Evolution and Creation, then it needs to be taught in the Science department. Remember that the people touting ID aren't just religious nuts, many would be respected scientists too...

    BTA: Simply acknowledging a higher being is one thing. Philosophy and theology would bog down trying to discuss the nature of the Higher being, as opposed towhat is being designed. ID is being moved to the Science department to avoid those pitfalls...

    Basically, that is where so much of this contorversy comes in. Some people that don't believe in God try to supplant Him with some random string of coincidences that they really can't replicate (yet they claim that one of the hallmarks of Science is the ability to replicate results) to discredit those that do believe. If they don't believe, that's their problem. They think they have the obligation to convince us that we are wrong, and we, likewise have a similar obligation, thus live and let live is really out of the question...

    Nakia, I agree with what you say, but regret to inform you that people don't behave the way they should. Some will resort to ridicule to try to cow their critics into submission to the doctrine they teach. This is wrong, but it happens.

    Again, Ragusa, I believe that I asked to see the content of the course before making that final decision. It is possible that it could belong in the Science department with one assumption asked...

    BTA: About the conflict between the theory and the Bible, that is where I question the conclusions reached. I have acknowlegded that Darwin did observe something, but label much of that work to be speculation. Maybe there should be a faculty of Speculation...

    Cryo Mantis may have hit the objection right on the head--ID basically assumes that the notion of this all being random chance is rather silly. Nobody, not even scientists, like being called silly. Maybe the teachers that Barachiel encountered don't like it when the shoe is on the other foot...
     
  6. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Gnarff - that you choose not to believe the fossil records does not mean that the scientific community agrees with you -- it doesn't. As the scientific community is what determines science, not the religious community, those of the religious community that say that they are not going to be swayed by the fossil records are ignored by the scientific community (or, perhaps, ridiculed, which is unfortunate as they should simply be ignored).

    In a nutshell, it's a situation where, in order to be a science, you need to play by science's rules. ID doesn't, so it's not allowed in the pool. Its adherents desperately want to be allowed in the pool, but that isn't going to happen as far as the scientists are concerned.

    Now, the politicians are another story. . . .
     
  7. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Gnarff,
    this 'I haven't seen all the facts' excuse is simply silly here. The content of that course is beside the point as the incompatibility of ID or creationism is so fuindamental that no schedule could make a difference anyway.

    No schedule could justify to me to teach polyphone music in geography or grammar in maths and so ID or creationism in science classes don't make sense too.

    I found a good article on that issue, Professor Daniel Dennett's remarkably patient piece in the New York Times, "Show Me the Science", on the "mindlessness" of evolutionary design:
    By "content-free," Dennett means that ID's assertions rest solely on their accusations of the inadequacy of evolutionary theory (hence -- for them -- intelligent design). There is no assertion that has a positive, independent content; i.e., a claim then justified by a case made on the basis of evidence -- putatively the same evidence the "wrong" evolutionary biologists relies on.
    I think I can predict the IDist or creationist answer: Because it was GOD and because GOD is infinitely wise, man can't even grasp it anyway, and so it's futile to try explaining or researching it anyway :rolleyes: ... and now back to church! :rolleyes:

    The pointlessness of their quest in no way deters the activism of the creationists or IDists. What for others would be a knock-out blow, or cause for embarassment, they don't even notice. They will keep it coming.

    ID or creationism is just an unwelcome nuisance, or persistent harassment, for the scientists, and for the public a waste of time as far a science is concerned, but a big battle in the culture war of America's christian right.

    [ August 31, 2005, 08:49: Message edited by: Ragusa ]
     
  8. 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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    No, evolution does not ask you to accept anything without evidence, and there is no speculation about evolution happening. You just happen to not want to know about the evidence because you believe it contradicts your faith, and your faith is more important to you. And might I use a religious reference in your ideas of what proof you are asking for: It is like doubting Thomas who would not accept Jesus' resurrection until he could place his fingers in the wounds.

    I don't know where you get the idea that any theory is absolute truth. As I have said many times in threads such as these, science is not about absolute truth, it is about useful explanations that fit with the observations made so far. And in the case of evolution the depth and breadth of the observations in many different disciplines that are explained by evolution are so overwhelming that there is no credible alternative. So overwhelming is the evidence that common descent is generally accepted as fact, not just evolution itself.
    As has been said many times in this thread already, it is not appropriate because there is no science in ID.

    There is no current alternative to evolution, so no matter how much you may wish for such, it does not exist at this time.

    There are absolutely no respected scientists in fields related to evolution who tout ID; the only ones who do are those with a religious agenda.
    Silly why? Because it is counter to your own intuition? If that were the only criteria for dismissing the conclusions of the evidence, we would be living in a much different world today. In fact it would be flat instead of spherical :lol:
    Pardon me if I do not accept the conclusions of someone who self-admittedly knows nothing of any substance on the subject, nor wants to.
     
  9. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

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

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    Agreed. When this happens it is no longer in the realm is Science. This type of action is just as out of place in a science classroom as ID/C is.

    Sorry to have to repeat some of BTA's points, but I have yet to meet, or hear, or read about any of these so-called respected scientists. Why? Becasue ID/C doesn't have anything to do with science. The only thing it does is point at evolution and say, "No it's not!", "That's not true!", "It could have happened some other way!" That's not science. As such, a scientist touting ID/C would be paradoxical indeed. As soon as ID/C comes up with an argument better than the ones I listed above, then I'm all ears and will critically look at the evidence it provides. Note the presumed existence of God, or faith in the same does not constitute evidence.

    One more point I'd like to bring up. There is a distinct difference in the way a scientist uses the term "theory" and the way a lay person uses the word. To me, what the ID/C do is use the lay person's definition to describe their view. Then they take evolutionary theory, and try to make it look like the scientists are using the same lay definition of theory in decribing this view. It's a bait and switch. Since people without a science background do not know the difference in how the word "theory" is used (or for that matter, are even aware that such a difference exists) they buy into the ID/C argument.

    Even George Bush is guilty of this. He says regarding evolution: "Well, that's one theory. But then there's also creationism. So we have two good theories."

    Note to George and anyone who agrees with his line of thought. Evolution is a theory. Intelligent Design and Creationism are NOT theories.
     
  10. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    This is an interesting topic. On the one hand, evolution is just a theory, and I'm sick and tired of it being taught as absolute, proven fact. On the other hand, ID as it exists today is not even a theory, as Aldeth said. There are a lot of people, some of whom are respected scientists, who are working on legitimate ID theories, but until such time as they come up with one, I don't think ID belongs in science departments.
     
  11. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful 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!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    [​IMG] NY Times, right on cue.

    That's... scary.
     
  12. 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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    Wow 64%. Unbelievable. I wonder how the question was posed.

    Though that 38% is even scarier IMO.
     
  13. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    So from what Tal has posted, this school is just catering to the masses? I think that part of the controversy is that they chose the topic of Intelligent Design as opposed to something critical of Evolutionary theory. Mind you they wouldn't get away with "Why Evolution is BS 101"...

    And as for your ad Hominem attacks against the proponents of ID, there must be some respected Scientists involved for the course to be included in the curriculum.

    What I find scary is that you are defending the theory of Evolution by barring it's critics from sharing their views in the same place as yours are being taught. Imagine political debates where only one candidate was allowed on Television, but the other wasn't. Not very fair, is it? What are you so afraid of. If ID is as dumb as you say it is, then it will be exposed...
     
  14. Carcaroth

    Carcaroth I call on the priests, saints and dancin' girls ★ SPS Account Holder

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    Am I the only one to pick up on the fact it was a religious studies teacher wanting to prevent ID being taught as a science.

    Gnarf - from the original post, the course isn't on the curriculum, it's just been proposed by a single member of staff, one of Astronomy. His opinion may be respected within the Astronomy field, but unlikely within the biological field of expertise.

    Once again can it be re-iterated. We are not suggested ID should not be taught. Just that it does not qualify as a Science. Regardless of how "fair" it is.

    NOG
    And again, Gravity is only a "theory" as well. It is viewed with the same weight as evolution. So yes, both are taught as absolutes and will be until someone can disprove them. There are enough scientific experiments and evidence to back them up and NOTHING to disprove them.
     
  15. Rallymama Gems: 31/31
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    Yes, they ARE catering to the masses by selecting to teach ID as a science. All that elevates ID from the ranks of mythology is the prevalence of belief. Imagine how you'd scream if someone tried to come along and teach Greek or Norse or Babylonian, et al, creation mythology as science. But think about it - what beyond the mass acceptance of Christianity as a faith elevates the Adam and Eve story above those ranks?

    Teach it where it belongs, in the humanities department. And make it an elective.
     
  16. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Gnarff,
    Ever the optimist eh? Only because someone holds a PhD that doesn't mean he actually has a point when he makes an argument, or claim or try to.

    Cases in point are earnest and non-arab-speaking neo-con 'scholars' devising grandiose schemes of a Greater Middle East from their ivory towers at AEI, and their babbling about Hashemite Kingdoms in Iraq and Domino theories - or this Astronomist speaking about biology. Don't expect anything of substance resulting from it.

    But as this thread demonstrates so clearly: Lack of substance is beside the point if only one side is so desperate or determined enough to not drop the shoe.

    What I read out of the whole dispute over creationism & ID in North America is that an creationist or IDists arch quality is persistence. They wait until the last one willing to spare the nerve to discuss with them has given up and as the last one standing they declare 'Victory!'
    Where you again ignore the point that creationism is not science, and there we are again. Scroll back to page #1 of the thread and ... alas
     
  17. Late-Night Thinker Gems: 17/31
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    Has anyone ever read the book "Darwin's Black Box" by Michael Behe?

    Great book. In fact, it inspired me to become a scientist. Not only is the man absolutely brilliant, but he is a local in my part of the world as well.

    His arguement is based upon the notion of irreducable complexity. Essentially, this means that for highly complex systems, such as a cell for example, you cannot remove a single intermediary step without causing the entire system to fail.

    For example, gene Z is required for replication of DNA, yet requires gene W, gene X, and gene Y to act upon each other in a metabolic cascade in order for the creation of said gene Z. Wouldn't you require all four genes to miraculously be randomly created at once?

    The flaw in his arguement is that he is presupposing that metabolic activity was identical in extremely ancient bacteria. This is certainly not true as we can see changes in metabolism happen today: genes are replicated with the duplicated copy being relocated within the genome courtesy of vectors such as viruses or even transcription errors; later mutation of the copy is allowed without the "knock out" effect he describes.

    The problem of course comes back to the original first cell. What was the first self-replicating molecule? Was it a single molecule or the happenstance confluence of a few very special molecules interacting with one another to eventually produce you, me, the birds and the bees? If the latter is the case, we may not know for a long, long time until some super-computer happens to find just the right random participants. That is supposing of course that we know exactly how molecules interact with one another, which we of course do not. We do not even know exactly how electrons behave, much less whole molecules. We may never know as unfortunately much of nature falls outside of that which our brains can understand. The previous statement does not however necessitate the willful agency of a supreme being, it just allows the concept to never be disproven. Ever.

    It is a shame Behe prefers mysticism as he is a really nice guy. My one chemistry professor studied under him. Behe is quite religious, very courteous and pleasant to be around; he has his wife home school all eight of his children.

    What makes me really sad is that willful mysticism seems to be required to be a decent human being. The nicest people are in church and they are the most wrong about the physical world around themselves. I try to only allow my mysticism to be involuntary, yet when I am emotionally weak I'll place an intelligence behind randomness. I really wish their was an active and loving God, I truly do. But I have seen too many natural disasters, too many children raped and killed, too many diseases; if God does give us notice, his stewardship is something awful; I would call Him a sociopathic murderer. It seems our only defense against the dignity-robbing brutality that His nature would inflict upon us is pure logic; praying for the comet to change path will only create mounds of the dead; brilliant men and women elucidating the governing causes and effects of His creation are our only protection against His indifference.

    There's your creationist scientist Gnarf: very nice, a person everyone would love to love, yet wrong. I think most of the proponents of creationism and intelligent design are people similar. Sometimes I wish I was one of them.

    Edit...

    I have not slept much lately so I'm sorry if that turned ugly at the end...

    [ September 01, 2005, 11:58: Message edited by: Late-Night Thinker ]
     
  18. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    I think you made a very good point, better than my point.

    IMO it isn't so that people neccessarily have nefarious purposes when they do silly things. There is a disctinct ideological streak, a fervor, in those people who fund the supposed 'think thanks' propating creationism or ID.

    I do not doubt the sincerity and honesty of the creationists and IDists as far as their beliefs are concerned, but the opposite of well made is well meant -- they fail at science.
     
  19. Chaosprism Gems: 1/31
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    I'm sure they are well meaning, but to me it seems likely that fear has been their motivation for supporting these religion merged viewpoints to try and fit in with evolution.

    Its like they find it hard to dispute evolutionary theory and have to produce a theory that combines what they believe in with what science states.

    The funny thing about it all is that they MIGHT be right, there just is of course no overriding proof that completely discounts these viewpoints. They're based on assumptions that cannot be proven to be false or true.

    But I certainly would hold back forcing it down children's throats, and rather just throw it up as a possibility in one sentence of one minute of one year of an education and leave it at that. Then get back to teaching real science.
     
  20. 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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    No, all there needs to be are politicians who both know nothing of the science they are ruling on and are Christian fundamentalists on the school board.

    *sigh* Gnarff, what are you talking about? The science class in school is not a place for debating, it is a place where the current mainstream science is taught to children. The debating is done by the scientists, and it is their consensus that should be taught because they are the experts. And who said ID is dumb? What we have been saying all throughout this thread again and again and again and again is that ID IS NOT SCIENCE. Did you get that? ID may not be dumb but is not science and therefore should not be taught AS SCIENCE. And as for being exposed, the experts have already exposed things like "irreducible complexity" as incorrect. Every proposed "irreducibly complex" item that is presented has been show not to be "irreducibly complex".

    ID is a philosophy cooked up by Creationists because they realized that their objections to evolution were going nowhere as long as all they had were religious grounds for their objections. So they try to hide it behind lots of math with flawed premises and scientific sounding gobbledegook like "irreducible complexity" that has absolutely no basis for acceptance except by those who already believe.

    The whole concept of ID is SOLELY as an objection to evolution; in other words, it's sole purpose is to try to convince the lay person by appealing to their intuition that evolution doesn't make sense.

    Fortunately, the experts can easily point out the flaws and misconceptions inherent in every objection; unfortunately for the experts it takes a lot more time and energy to research and show where the flaws and misconceptions lie than it does to make them up.

    And that is the Creationists greatest weapon: It is so easy to make up stuff that appeals to the lay person's intuition as correct, and so time consuming for the experts to dig up the actual facts to show how wrong the stuff actually is.
     
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