November 12, 2008

ID is Creationism in a Cheap Tuxedo

Objections to Intelligent Design continued from a previous post

ID is Creationism in a Cheap Tuxedo

Why do they say this? To try to discredit it. They believe that creationism has no intellectual credibility. This is why people, like some atheists here, parrot a professor at University of Kansas named Krishtalka.

ID is often confused with Creation Science (not an oxymoron), but they are indeed quite different. Rather then beginning with some particular interpretation of Genesis (as young-earth and old-earth creationists typically do), ID begins with investigating the natural world. ID looks for patterns in nature that are best explained as the product of intelligence. Given what the world reveals about itself, ID proponents reason that a designing intelligence best explains certain patterns in nature. This is not to be confused with my own view of Biblical Creationism.

The great difference between ID and Creation Science, then, is that ID relies not on prior assumptions about divine activity in the world, but on methods developed within the scientific population for recognizing intelligence. Even Judge Jones in the Kitzmiller v Dover trial recognized that ID proponents do not base their theory on "the Book of Genesis," "a young earth," or "a catastrophic Noachic flood."

28 comments:

  1. Isn't intelligent design simply an argument from personal incredulity?

    "I can't even imagine how this could have happened naturally, and my schedule's REALLY too busy to study it, so I'm just going to say... Magic Man must have done it."

    That's pretty much it, right? People just running around throwing every unknown at science, shotgun style, as if the unknown was in any way evidence. "Oh, yeah? How do you explain this? Or this? ..Or this? How does this one grab ya?"

    How much time do IDers put into finding a natural explanation before deciding the answer lies in a designer?

    Isn't failing to first sufficiently seek a natural explanation actually a presupposition that the answer lies in the supernatural? Isn't it more honest to just say "I don't know." and let the actual science be done by those who are not too lazy to do it?

    Who's really biased here? The person who seeks to explain an occurrence based on the physical evidence available or the person who wants to attribute every lack in their own knowledge to an unseen designer? ...A designer, by the way, that's never been defined and, therefore, can never be tested for.

    How is Intelligent Design science? IDers should just define what they mean by "designer" and then test for that designers existence.

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  2. I have to wonder if it is even possible for us to recognize the work of a designer in any fashion that would stand up to scrutiny... Sure, we can tell that a watch has been designed, and we can tell that a 747, a car, or whatever other mechanical device you choose, has been designed, but what about viruses that we design?

    I don't know if any relevant study has taken place, but if the case were such that we could not identify viruses that we had designed, then clearly any statement we make regarding the notion of some super-human, or supernatural, designer is preposterous.

    Does anybody know if this has been pursued at all, or if there may be mitigating circumstances (e.g. perhaps the methods we employ for designing viruses cause obvious differences in human-designed viruses versus naturally occurring viruses)?

    --
    Stan

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  3. Stan- as you probably know, no one has yet succeeded in designing and putting together a virus from scratch, but quite a few viruses have been assembled from bits and pieces, including polio, which was injected into a mouse and killed it. I don't know if the reassembled virus was identical to a Godgiven one. It's probably only a matter of time before we have designed, or should I say designer, viruses, which are assembled for particular jobs, nice or nasty. I would be willing to bet that there's no way of telling whether a virus is manmade or divine, but that's just my guess.

    What I find even more interesting is the recent reanimation of some of those endogenous retroviruses that clutter up our genome. Up to eight percent of our genes consist of the wrecks of viruses that infected us at some point in our history, inserted themselves into our DNA, got broken up, and are still passed on, and scientists have now succeeded in reviving some of them.

    There's a good article by Michael Specter about it in the New Yorker. Dan, you might want to check it out too, and ask yourself why God would put bits of viruses into our DNA, some of which are shared with those of chimps, fewer with those of mice, and even fewer with those of insects- amazingly enough, just as evolutionary theory would predict.

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  4. I don't like wikipedia either, so here you go.

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  5. ID proponents reason that a designing intelligence best explains certain patterns in nature.

    "reason" is the wrong word. Saying you don't understand things therefore it's magic is not science.

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  6. Reynold said something to the effect of 'I don't like wikipedia either, so here (is the sister site of TO).'

    Sigh!

    Remember this gentlemen,

    In order to "create" the virus you would have to really start from the beginning. If you are really to replicate what God has done; first start with oxygen to breath; then find a way to create steel molecules to make tools; then find ways to create trees to make a table; then create light so you don't have to work in darkness.

    Then you will have to find a way to create the sea creatures that make the sand to make the glass for the microscope and on and on. Just because you can "barrow" parts of a virus doesn't mean you can create one. Start from scratch like God did. Start with helium and Hydrogen and work up from there. But wait! You can't, OK start with protons and neutrons and start from there. But wait! You can't, start with....................

    Get it? It's very easy when things are already made for you. From what I understand it isn't "very easy" either to make the case worse for you. Be rest assured mankind will NEVER EVER be able to design like our Creator. He is after all the creator of "ALL" things, even the stuff that you are manipulating around.

    So the things you said doesn't hold up to scrutiny. IF you want to claim that mankind can "manipulate things around" instead of designing natural things, I will consider that to be fair.

    Apples to oranges. Wait, we can't say that expression unless we first make apples. Wait, first we need to make a tree. Wait ......

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  7. Any proof it was YOUR god that made everything and not my god.

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  8. Let me guess, it'll be a Bible verse, right?

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  9. Dan, did you not look at the two links? Each one goes into detail about the origin of the phrase cdesign proponentsists which shows that ID did indeed "evolve" from plain old fashioned creationism.

    Basically, what the articles I linked to went over was how the ID textbook used to have the phrase "creationists" in it, but over subsequent revisions, they changed that word to "design proponents", but in one instance they messed up and left part of "creationists" in along with the words that were supposed to replace it: "design proponents". Hence, cdesign proponentsists

    Instead, you went on about something else altogether.

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  10. So Dan,
    What did "Get_education" do to get kicked off your blog? I always thought he was an ok guy.

    What's up with putting him on the rebuke list?

    And the rest of you guys, how long have you been here pulling your hair out arguing with Dan? Don't you get tired of it after a while? I mean come on, it's not like you're going to change his mind, so why bother?

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  11. Andrew,

    "I mean come on, it's not like you're going to change his mind, so why bother?"

    "If sinners be dammed, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees. Let no one go there unwarned and unprayed for." C.H. Spurgeon

    I enjoyed the conversations with Get_education also. Unfortunately he wanted to be the rebel (against the DA machine I suppose) he was getting very abusive and angry (go figure) and insisted he be martyred for the atheist cause, IMHO.

    Zilch and Reynold,

    Yes I am fully aware about "cdesign proponentsists"

    I have also said in the past at this blog "So people tried to make it politically correct and more palatable by lumping Biblical Creation along with the theory of ID, I feel that was a cop out, even detrimental for the Kitzmiller v Dover trial. It was interesting how they tried to deceive or flat out lie to push there agenda of Biblical Creation by turning it to ID. Did they think God wasn't watching that day? Give me a break. It really is these same compromises that Christians go through that gets them in trouble. This eisegesis method of interpretation is very damaging and quite simply, sinful."

    So stick on that subject if you want. It's one of the main reasons why we are in this mess and they should be ashamed for doing such a thing.

    The real issue here is the "differences," between ID and Creationism, not some failed trial.

    "ID proponents reason that a designing intelligence best explains certain patterns in nature."

    Fair? It is not religion or Creationism. Agree?

    ID looks for patterns in nature that are best explained as the product of intelligence. Thats it!

    Creationism (what I believe) looks to verses like Romans 1:20 as the ah ha and promotes creation that way.

    In fact ID doesn't name the designer or the intelligence (could be an alien), Creationism does (The God of the Bible)

    Get ready for the next post because I had it ready last night and I am anxiously waiting to see all of your responses.

    But first things first. For you Jesus haters: Is it fair to say that ID look to science instead of the Bible?

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  12. I am willing to give the undeserved grace, that God gave me, to Get_education and allow him to have conversations again.

    I cannot bring myself to remove TO though. Still considering that one.

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  13. Andrew,

    I misread your comment so just ignore what I wrote

    It was addressed to the others instead of me, you said: "And the rest of you guys,..." I missed that part

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  14. Dan
    Fair? It is not religion or Creationism. Agree?

    ID looks for patterns in nature that are best explained as the product of intelligence. Thats it!

    Wrong on both counts.

    Check out the Wedge Strategy which can be found here, or even the court transcripts of the Dover trial itself.

    What have you to say about what I've shown you about cdesign propenentsists?

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  15. Dan +†+
    ID looks for patterns in nature that are best explained as the product of intelligence. Thats it!

    Stars and planets were mysterious once, too, until science had advanced enough to study them, land on planets, and understand how stars burn. Science can't explain everything at once. It learns and progresses... just because we don't know everything right now (like the actual process of abiogenesis), doesn't mean we won't soon.

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  16. Dan- sometimes you attack ID, sometimes you defend it. So what's the lowdown: are you for or against it? There's really no way of knowing from your posts.

    In fact, it seems to me, that you are doing the same thing that ID does: employing a so-called "big tent" philosophy. There are people in the ID tent with all kinds of mutually exclusive belief systems: Protestants, Catholics, Mormons, Moonies, Jews, and even a few atheists, not to mention YEC's, OEC's, people who believe and disbelieve in common descent, front-loaded genes, and all kinds of other stuff. All they have in common is belief in some kind of Designer.

    Now, having a "big tent" is fine and necessary in many human endeavors: in politics, for instance, or in putting together a show, like the one my wife and I are doing tonight: people have different opinions, but they don't let that get in the way of working together. I'm sure I would be able to work perfectly well with you, for instance, if we were cooking together, despite our differences. In fact, it would probably be fun.

    The problem is, when the endeavor is not working together to achieve some kind of production, but the pursuit of truth, then the differences of opinion in what that truth consists of are important, if they are based on completely different worldviews. That's one reason why ID has no results so far: they have no cogent worldview to defend. ID is thus a political and religious movement, rather than a scientific one.

    "Creation Science" is, or was, at least upfront about their religious agenda, and at least in America, has been a fairly consistent defender of anti-evolution young-Earth Biblical literalism, so you can't fault them for "big-tentism". What you can fault them for, of course, is simply being wrong.

    Andrew- yes, of course I get tired of arguing with Dan. But unlike many fundamentalists, he seems to be a basically nice guy, and we have good discussions here which help clarify my thinking too. Besides, he's promised me a lunch next time I'm in SF.

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  17. P.S. "ID is Creationism in a Cheap Tuxedo" captures the similarities and differences between the two nicely, in my opinion:

    Creationism is simply wrong: it's falsifiable, and falsified.

    ID is not even wrong, because it's not falsifiable, and it's dishonest to boot.

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  19. Stan wrote I have to wonder if it is even possible for us to recognize the work of a designer in any fashion that would stand up to scrutiny...

    Great question, in my humble opinion. Presuming that an all powerful creator deity exists, can we be comfortable at all with the idea that we can detect him/her/it?

    We barely have the ability to detect what's going on with the guy sitting in front of us on the bus, let alone some thing with the power to cause all of existence to come into being.

    I like that we think we can. I just think there are too many of us (ie. especially those who claim they've already found him/her/it without being able to demonstrate this) that are willing to stop at the first interesting thing we find and exclaim "Proooof ha!"

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  21. Zilch wrote ID is not even wrong, because it's not falsifiable, and it's dishonest to boot.

    Dan's posted some stuff which suggests ID may eventually be falsifiable. I haven't had the time to read more on it, unfortunately, but I hope to do so soon.

    Personally, I would LOVE it if ID made falsifiable claims. What could be more exciting that searching for the presence of an intelligence or a designer? I still subscribe to SETI@Home because I like stuff like that. Patterns of external intelligence will be a humanity-shaking discovery if / when we find them.

    So - why aren't we searching for a creator deity? Two reasons:

    1) No one can give us testable & consistent ideas of what to look for

    2) Science has spent almost all of its time simply examining what we can perceive. This is due to the fact that everything that was attributed to Him, as science revealed more about its nature, revealed no external intelligence. We've found very little to suggest that God exists.

    --

    So, if ID wants to take that first step, and actually try to define the intelligence they're tyring to seek, that would indeed be interesting.

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  22. Zilch,

    Mutually exclusive belief systems? You are stretching that point too far.

    "I'm sure I would be able to work perfectly well with you, for instance, if we were cooking together, despite our differences. In fact, it would probably be fun."

    I perfectly agree, but the very second I bring out the God burgers, you would run away screaming. Admittedly, that would be fun to watch.

    "Creationism is simply wrong: it's falsifiable, and falsified.

    ID is not even wrong, because it's not falsifiable, and it's dishonest to boot."


    So that's your summation, even though you have zero proof of any of it? Mind you this is very typical of an evolutionist and it's to be expected. I still love ya.

    And thank you for saying this:

    "ID is thus a political and religious movement, rather than a scientific one."

    Oh really? Moving on to the next post...

    Whateverman,

    "There are no scientific markers for divine intelligence."

    Oh really? Moving on to the next post...

    "then I would respect that field far more than I do currently."

    As you should. If you believe in a God as a deist (I didn't forget yet), then ID should be embraced by you. It only searches for the signs of "intelligence" which you already acknowledge as a deist. It is not the same as my belief though and I am not defending ID either but I see a very biased position taken on the subject that just isn't fair. (remember Expelled, the movie?)

    Anyway, keep in mind I have been considered by others as a bully's bully and I do my best to fight for truth and righteousness. ID is truth, even though I disagree with it.

    Biblical Creationism, my belief, has an agenda, I will admit, and should not be forced into science. Agree 100%!!

    Faith in Christ is for everyone's salvation, not a creation explanation. Although explanations of creation are in the Bible, that is not the purpose of it.

    ID, on the other hand, does try to find design within science and should be allowed to play! ID only seeks to identify a "design of things" within nature. That is not asking for too much. Moving on.

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  23. Ok, Dan. I see you've talked about cdesign proponentsists after all, my mistake.

    That does not let ID off the hook. Why? In that same trial, they discussed the Wedge document, which I linked to earlier.

    In fact ID doesn't name the designer or the intelligence (could be an alien), Creationism does (The God of the Bible)
    ID is specifically religious; in the Wedge document it's made specifically with the biblical god in mind.


    "Jesus haters"? What? Nice ad-hom pal. We have to believe he exists first. Trying to poison the well?

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  24. Dan
    ID, on the other hand, does try to find design within science and should be allowed to play! ID only seeks to identify a "design of things" within nature. That is not asking for too much. Moving on.
    If ID wants to be allowed to play, then they should actually try playing. I posted somewhere on this blog this link which has several examples of the ID people refusing to do the various research "projects" that they said they would.

    Without any research projects or tests being done, what have they got to say for themselves?

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  25. Reynold,

    I am shooting in the dark here but do you think funding is an issue? Support would help things along...agree?

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  26.      There doesn't seem to be a shortage of funds for promoting the idea. Perhaps they could channel some of that money into research. Of course, I can't think of any experiment that could test the idea. (It is consistent with all possible observations.)

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  27. Pvblivs beat me to it; those people have all sorts of funding for their books, their seminars, there little tours, etc. Put that into research and see how a real scientist has to live.

    Those people have the backing of people like James Dobson, Howard Ahramson, as well as all various ministries.

    No more dodging for those people. Even the pro-religious Templeton Foundation finds those people lacking.

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