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InvisibleDiploidM
Cuban

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 01/09/03
Posts: 19,274
Loc: Rabbit Hole
Ignorance: God's Gift To Kansas
    #4645200 - 09/11/05 10:47 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

http://www.csicop.org/intelligentdesignwatch/

GOD?S GIFT TO KANSAS
By Richard Dawkins

Science feeds on mystery. As my colleague Matt Ridley has put it, ?Most scientists are bored by what they have already discovered. It is ignorance that drives them on.? Science mines ignorance. Mystery ? that which we don?t yet know; that which we don?t yet understand ? is the mother lode that scientists seek out. Mystics exult in mystery and want it to stay mysterious. Scientists exult in mystery for a very different reason: it gives them something to do. Maybe we don?t understand yet, but we?re working on it! Each mystery solved opens up vistas of unsolved problems, and the scientist eagerly moves in.

Admissions of ignorance and mystification are vital to good science. It is therefore galling, to say the least, when enemies of science turn those constructive admissions around and abuse them for political advantage. It is worse than galling. It threatens the enterprise of science itself. This is exactly the effect creationism or ?intelligent design theory? (ID) is having, especially because its propagandists are slick, superficially plausible and, above all, well-financed. ID, by the way, is not a new form of creationism. It simply is creationism disguised, for political reasons, under a new name.

It isn?t even safe for a scientist to express temporary doubt, as a rhetorical device before going on to dispel it.

?To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.?

You will find this sentence of Charles Darwin quoted again and again by creationists. They never quote what follows. Darwin immediately went on to confound his initial incredulity. Others have built on his foundation, and the eye is today a show-piece of the gradual, cumulative evolution of an almost perfect illusion of design. The relevant chapter of my Climbing Mount Improbable is called ?The fortyfold path to enlightenment? in honour of the fact that, far from being difficult to evolve, the eye has evolved at least forty times independently around the animal kingdom.

The distinguished Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin is widely quoted as saying that organisms ?appear to have been carefully and artfully designed.? Again, this was a rhetorical preliminary to explaining how the powerful illusion of design actually comes about by natural selection. The isolated quotation strips out the implied emphasis on ?appear to?, leaving exactly what a simplemindedly pious audience ? in Kansas, for instance ? wants to hear.

Deceitful misquoting of scientists to suit an anti-scientific agenda ranks among the many un-Christian habits of fundamentalist authors. But such Telling Lies for God (book title of the splendidly pugnacious Australian geologist Ian Plimer) is not the most serious problem. There is a more important point to be made, and it goes right to the philosophical heart of creationism.

The standard methodology of creationists ? indeed, all their arguments are variants of it ? is to find some phenomenon in nature which, in their view or even in reality, Darwinism cannot readily explain. Darwin said

?If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.?

Creationists mine ignorance and uncertainty, not as a spur to honest research but in order to exploit and abuse Darwin?s challenge. ?Bet you can?t tell me how the elbow joint of the lesser spotted weasel frog evolved by slow gradual degrees?? If the scientist fails to give an immediate and comprehensive answer, a default conclusion is drawn: ?Right then, the alternative theory, ?intelligent design?, wins by default.? Notice, first, the biased logic: if theory A fails in some particular, theory B must be right! We are encouraged to leap to the default conclusion without even looking to see whether the default theory fails in the very same particular. ID is granted (quite wrongly as I have shown elsewhere) a charmed immunity to the rigorous demands made of evolution.

Notice, second, how the creationist ploy undermines the scientist?s natural ? indeed necessary ? rejoicing in uncertainty. Today?s scientist in America dare not say:

?Hm, interesting point. I wonder how the weasel frog?s ancestors did evolve their elbow joint. I?m not a specialist in weasel frogs, I?ll have to go to the University Library and take a look. Might make an interesting project for a graduate student.?

No, the moment a scientist said something like that ? and long before the student began the project ? the default conclusion would become a headline in a creationist pamphlet: ?Weasel frog could only have been designed by God.?

I once introduced a chapter on the so-called Cambrian Explosion with the words, ?It is as though the fossils were planted there without any evolutionary history.? Once again this was a rhetorical overture, intended to whet the reader?s appetite for the explanation that was to follow. Sad hindsight tells me now how predictable it was that my remark would be gleefully quoted out of context. Creationists adore ?gaps? in the fossil record.

Many evolutionary transitions are elegantly documented by more or less continuous series of gradually changing intermediate fossils. Some are not, and these are the famous ?gaps?. Michael Shermer has wittily pointed out that if a new fossil discovery neatly bisects a ?gap?, the creationist will declare that there are now two gaps! But in any case, note yet again the unwarranted use of a default. If there are no fossils to document a postulated evolutionary transition, the default assumption is that there was no evolutionary transition: God must have intervened.

It is utterly illogical to demand complete documentation of every step of any narrative, whether in evolution or any other science. Only a tiny fraction of dead animals fossilize and we are lucky to have as many intermediate fossils as we have. We could easily have had no fossils at all, and the evidence for evolution from other sources, such as molecular genetics and geographical distribution, would still be overwhelmingly strong. On the other hand, evolution makes the strong prediction that if a single fossil turned up in the wrong geological stratum, the theory would be blown out of the water. When challenged by a zealous Popperian to say how evolution could ever be falsified, J B S Haldane famously growled: ?Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian.? No such anachronistic fossils have ever been found, despite discredited creationist legends of human skulls in the Coal Measures and human footprints interspersed with those of dinosaurs.

The creationists? fondness for ?gaps? in the fossil record is a metaphor for their love of gaps in knowledge generally. Gaps, by default, are filled by God. You don?t know how the nerve impulse works? Good! You don?t understand how memories are laid down in the brain? Excellent! Is photosynthesis a bafflingly complex process? Wonderful! Please don?t go to work on the problem, just give up, and appeal to God. Dear scientist, don?t work on your mysteries. Bring us your mysteries for we can use them. Don?t squander precious ignorance by researching it away. Ignorance is God?s gift to Kansas.


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
jiggy
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Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 7,469
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Re: Ignorance: God's Gift To Kansas [Re: Diploid]
    #4645949 - 09/11/05 02:26 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

The mystics don't keep the mystery alive to fill in the gaps. The mystics know that the greatest mystery is the life itself that gives them life. This is the greatest mystery, many scientist remain ignorant of and that makes them no better.

I'd rather be a mystic then a machine.

I don't know of any God that made Homo Sapien. I do know of ET's that seeded Homo Erectus, creating the many races of homo sapien and taught them language, art, sacred geometry, culture ect.

Believe in your fish diet that did all of that. How much faith does that one require. "Fish?" Some can believe in their God that did all of that. Some will learn one day that their God is just other evolved creations from another place and time, playing God here just like we do with lab rats and cloning.


--------------------
Ahuwale ka nane huna.


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: Ignorance: God's Gift To Kansas [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4646043 - 09/11/05 02:57 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

I'd rather be a mystic then a machine.

Not sure what that means, but when I look around my house and check out all of the amazing inventions and conveniences and tally them up, this is how it looks:

Contributions from science: 1,283,721

Contributions from mystics: 0


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisibleKingOftheThing
the cool fool
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Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 27,389
Loc: USA
Re: Ignorance: God's Gift To Kansas [Re: Swami]
    #4646058 - 09/11/05 03:02 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

i think it means he'd rather live in happy pretend world than reality.


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OfflineIgnatiusJReilly
Up From Sloth
Male

Registered: 08/28/05
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Loc: LA
Last seen: 5 years, 10 months
Re: Ignorance: God's Gift To Kansas [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4646064 - 09/11/05 03:04 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

That article was uninformative. It seemed without purpose??who is the intended audience? To which creationist(s) was the author complaining? Why would a scientist concern him/herself with the primitive beliefs of certain creationists? Why does the suspicion that intelligent design may exist discount the theory of evolution? Not only that, but it was the standard "My belief is better than yours" schtick. "Science is so full of mystery??mystics are ingorant!" Sheesh.

I might have been a little harsh??maybe this was directed at creationists and not some type of scientist-wankery. But it still seems a little trivial.

edit: that was in response to the poster. And jiggy's a she.


--------------------
"A Bad Day for Pants"


Edited by IgnatiusJReilly (09/11/05 03:06 PM)


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OfflineIgnatiusJReilly
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Re: Ignorance: God's Gift To Kansas [Re: IgnatiusJReilly]
    #4646078 - 09/11/05 03:09 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Nevermind, it was some type of "scientist" wankery. It was from a "skeptics" website, a group of people priding themselves on their own righteousness. Much like creationists.


--------------------
"A Bad Day for Pants"


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: Ignorance: God's Gift To Kansas [Re: IgnatiusJReilly]
    #4646084 - 09/11/05 03:11 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Why would a scientist concern him/herself with the primitive beliefs of certain creationists?

Because unsupported myths are being taught to young children furthering the "dumbing down" of America. This does not bode well for America's future when so many engineering jobs are being outsourced to better educated foreigners.

What type of REAL job could one get with an advanced degree in Intelligent Design? Micky Dees?


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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OfflineWorldbridger
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Registered: 05/15/04
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Re: Ignorance: God's Gift To Kansas [Re: Swami]
    #4646104 - 09/11/05 03:19 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Swami said:
I'd rather be a mystic then a machine.

Not sure what that means, but when I look around my house and check out all of the amazing inventions and conveniences and tally them up, this is how it looks:

Contributions from science: 1,283,721

Contributions from mystics: 0




I assume your idea of mystics are a bunch of monks that sit around and do nothing there whole life. That is an example of bios ignorance that most of the western world has. I am reminded of Aleister Crowley's quote the method of science, the aim of religion.


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OfflineIgnatiusJReilly
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Re: Ignorance: God's Gift To Kansas [Re: Swami]
    #4646178 - 09/11/05 03:41 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Good point. :thumbup:


--------------------
"A Bad Day for Pants"


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OfflineDeviate
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Re: Ignorance: God's Gift To Kansas [Re: IgnatiusJReilly]
    #4646297 - 09/11/05 04:10 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Challenging Darwin's Myths

by Mark Hartwig

It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that).

--Richard Dawkins, prominent Oxford scientist and author

Ever since Darwin first published his theory of evolution, his defenders' favorite tactic against critics has been to attack their character and intelligence. Darwin himself used it against some of the greatest scientists of his day, accusing them of superstition and religious bias.

Now that Darwinism rules the scientific roost, such charges against dissenters are widespread. Not even schoolchildren are immune. Indeed, California's science education guidelines instructs teachers to tell dissenting students, "I understand that you may have personal reservations about accepting this scientific evidence, but it is scientific knowledge about which there is no reasonable doubt among scientists in this field. . ."

By today's rules, criticism of Darwinism is simply unscientific. The student who wishes to pursue such matters is told to "discuss the question further with his or her family and clergy."

But is Darwinism so obviously true that no honest person could doubt it? Are alternatives like "intelligent design" so unscientific that no reasonable person could embrace them?

The answer to both questions is a resounding no.
Elegant . . . But Wrong

The essence of Darwin's theory is that all living creatures descended from a single anscestor. All the plants, animals, and other organisms that exist today are products of random mutation and natural selection?or survival of the fittest.

According to Darwin, nature acts like a breeder, carefully scrutinizing every organism. As useful new traits appear, they are preserved and passed on to the next generation. Harmful traits are eliminated. Although each individual change is relatively small, these changes eventually accumulate until organisms develop new limbs, organs, or other parts. Given enough time, organisms may change so radically that they bear almost no resemblance to their original ancsestor.

Most importantly, all this happens without any purposeful input?no Creator, no Intelligent Designer. In Darwin's view, chance and nature are all you need.

This all sounds very elegant and plausible. Problem is, it's never been supported by any convincing data.

For example, consider the fossil evidence. If Darwinism were true, the fossil evidence should show lots of gradual change, with one species slowly grading into the next. In fact, it should be hard to tell where one species ends and another begins. But that's not what we find.

As Darwin himself pointed out in his book, The Origin of Species:

. . .[T]he number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, [must] be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graded organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.

Darwin, of course, attributed this problem to the imperfection of the fossil evidence, and the youthful state of paleontology. As the discipline matured, and as scientists found more fossils, the gaps would slowly start to fill.

But time has not been kind to Darwinism. Paleontologists have certainly found more fossils, but these fossils have only deepened the problem. As the fossils piled up, what paleontologists discovered was not gradual change, but stability and sudden appearance. It seems that most fossil species appear all at once, fully formed, and change very little throughout their stay in the fossil evidence.

This poses quite a challenge for Darwinist paleontologists. One such paleontologist, Niles Eldredge, put it this way:

Either you stick to conventional theory despite the rather poor fit of the fossils, or you focus on the [data] and say that [evolution through large leaps] looks like a reasonable model of the evolutionary process?in which case you must embrace a set of rather dubious biological propositions.

Large jumps are anathema to good Darwinists because they look too much like miracles. You just can't have, say, reptiles giving birth to birds.

Things get particularly bad with the Cambrian explosion, which paleontologists believe took place about 530 million years ago. In an instant of geological time, almost every animal phylum seemed to just pop into existence from nowhere.

To understand just how big an "explosion" this was, it might help to understand what a phylum is. A phylum (phyla for plural) is the broadest classification of animals there is. As opposed to a single species, like a chimpanzee, a miller moth, or a crow, a phylum takes in a wide variety of organisms.

The phylum that contains humans also contains elephants, squirrels, canaries, lizards, guppies, and frogs. Indeed, it contains every animal with a backbone?and then some.

If the differences within a phylum are vast, the differences between phyla are really wild. As much as a chimpanzee may differ from a fish, it differs even more radically from a sea urchin or a worm. In fact, you could say it's built on an entirely different architectural theme.

That's why the Cambrian Explosion is so troubling for Darwinists. What paleontologists find isn't just the sudden appearance of a few new species. What they find is the appearance of species so utterly distinct they have to be placed in completely different phyla.

Even Oxford zoologist and arch-Darwist Richard Dawkins has remarked, "It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history."

Worse yet, after the Cambrian Explosion, almost no new phyla appear in the fossil record?and many go extinct. By conventional dating, that's a 500 million year dry spell.

This is exactly the opposite of what Darwin would have predicted. According to Darwinism, new phyla are produced by the gradual divergence of species. As species split off from each other, they eventually become so dissimilar as to constitute a whole new body plan. Over time, then, we should see new species slowly appearing, followed by the much slower appearance of new phyla?what Havard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould calls a "cone of increasing diversity."

Instead, the cone is upside down. Even by conventional timelines, the fossils look very non-Darwinian.

Darwinists express confidence, of course, that future discoveries will clear up the mysteries. But so far, the research has only deepened them. A recent reassessment of the fossils has added perhaps 15 to 20 new phyla to the Cambrian zoo. Moreover, discoveries in 1992 and 1993 have shrunk the explosion's estimated duration from 40 million years to less than 10 million.
Science or Philosophy?

The fossil problem is just one of Darwinism's woes. Virtually every other area of research poses problems, too. But like the bunny in the Energizer battery commercials, Darwin's theory just keeps going.

Why? Because Darwinism is perhaps more a matter of wishful thinking than fact.

Professor Phillip Johnson is a professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley. While on sabbatical in England several years ago, he became fascinated with the serious problems in Darwin's theory. He was also struck by how Darwinists continually evaded these difficulties with tricky rhetoric and pulpit pounding.

As he dug deeper into the scientific literature, he eventually became convinced that Darwinism wasn't so much a scientific theory as a grand philosophy?a philosophy whose goal is to explain the world in strictly naturalistic terms.

"The whole point of Darwinism is to explain the world in a way that excludes any role for a Creator," says Johnson. "What is being sold in the name of science is a completely naturalistic understanding of reality."

According to Johnson, the reason Darwinism won't die is that its basic premise is simply taken for granted: namely, that chance and the laws of nature can account for everything we see around us. Even living things.

Once that assumption is made, Darwinism has to be true, because nothing else will work. Creation has been ruled out from the start, and the other naturalistic theories are even worse than Darwin's. So the argument that Darwinism is wrong can't even be heard.
Design as Science

If scientists are wrong about Darwinism, are they also wrong about the notion of intelligent design? Might not the notion of design be worthy of a second look?

A new breed of young Evangelical scholars thinks the anwer to both questions is yes. They are arguing persuasively that design is not only scientific, but is also the most reasonable explanation for the origin of living things. And they're gaining a hearing.

One such scholar is Stephen Meyer, a graduate of Cambridge University in the philosophy of science and now a professor at Whitworth College in Spokane, Wash. Like Johnson, Meyer believes that the prohibition of design has essentially stacked the deck in favor of Darwinism.

"There's been a kind of intellectual rigidity imposed on the origins discussion," says Meyer. "It's only possible to talk about origins in a naturalistic vein, because people believe that the rules of science prohibit talking about intelligent design."

But Meyer says this prohibition rests on a flawed view of science?one now rejected by many philosophers and historians of science.

The basis for this rejection is an attempt to distinguish science from other forms of reasoning. Scientists and philosophers who hold this view employ certain criteria that allegedly set science apart from other disciplines, such as theology, history, or literary criticism.

For example, someone might say that a scientific theory must explain everything in terms of observable objects and events, or that it must make predictions, or that it must capable of being proven wrong. These criteria are called demarcation standards.

Although scientists and philosophers have proposed many demarcation standards, says Meyer, none of them do what evolutionists want them to?which is to exclude intelligent design as a scientific theory.

"When applied even-handedly, demarcation standards either confirm that design is scientific, or they exclude evolution, too," says Meyer.

For example, Darwinists like to argue that design is unscientific because it appeals to unobservable objects or events, such as a Creator. But Darwinism also appeals to unobservables.

"In evolutionary science you have all kinds of unobservables," says Meyer. "The transitional life forms that occupy the branching-points on Darwin's tree of life have never been observed in the rock record. They've been postulated only because they help Darwinists explain the variety of life forms we observe today."

When scientists are trying to reconstruct past events, appealing to unobservables is entirely legitimate, says Meyer. What's illegitimate is to say that design theorists can't do the same thing.

Indeed, the concept of design is regularly used by scientists and non-scientists alike.

William Dembski, another Evangelical scholar, is director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at Princeton University. He holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Chicago and another in philosophy from the Chicago campus of the University of Illinois. He has also been a National Science Foundation doctoral and postoctoral fellow.

Dembski argues that intelligent design, far from being a strange and exotic notion, is something we encounter and recognize every day.

Dembski points to entire industries whose very existence depends on being able to distinguish accident from design: including insurance fraud investigation, the criminal justice system, cryptography, patent and copyright investigation, and many others. We do not call these industries "unscientific" simply because they look for evidence of design.

Indeed, whole scientific disciplines could not exist without the notion of intelligent design. Anthropology and archaeology are two such disciplines.

"How could we ever distinguish a random piece of stone from an arrowhead except by appealing to the purposes of primitive artisans?" says Dembski.

According to Dembski, we recognize design in events or objects that are too improbable to happen by chance. Stones don't turn into arrowheads by natural erosion. Writing doesn't appear in sand by the action of waves. A fair coin doesn't come up heads a hundred times in a row. These things only happen when intelligence is allowed to determine the outcome.

On the other hand, there's more to design than low probabilities. For instance, if you toss a coin a hundred times, any string of results will be extremely improbable. (If you don't believe that, try getting exactly the same string of results twice.) Still, if someone told us they flipped a penny a hundred times and got results like the following, we'd probably believe them:

On the other hand, says Dembski, "Suppose this person comes to you and says, 'Would you believe it? I just flipped this penny 100 times, and it came up heads each time.' You would be ill-advised to believe that this person is telling the truth."

So what's the difference between the first set of results and the second? If you look at just the probabilities, there's no difference at all. Yet the second sequence makes us suspicious, while the first one does not. We would also be suspicious if the tosses came up all tails, or if the first 50 tosses were heads and the next 50 were tails?or if the same sequence came up two times in a row.

Thus, it's not just the low probability that makes us raise our eyebrows. It's also the kind of sequence we get.

"Our coin-flipping friend who claims to have flipped 100 heads in a row is in the same boat as a lottery manager whose relatives all win the jackpot or an election commissioner whose own political party repeatedly gets the first ballot line," says Dembski. "In each instance public opinion rightly draws a design inference and regards them guilty of fraud."

If detectives can use this kind of thinking to spot election and lottery fraud, if archaeologists can use it to spot arrowheads, why can't biologists use it to look for design in the living world?

Currently, Dembski, Meyer, and Paul Nelson, a biologist and Ph.D. candidate in philosophy at the University of Chicago, are writing a book that details precise scientific criteria for recognizing design, and applies them to biological systems.
Irreducible Complexity

Even without precise definitions, however, it's not hard for most of us to recognize design in the living world. The exquisite complexity of living organisms virtually proclaims the existence of a Creator. In fact, many Darwinists admit this?except they say it's only an illusion, produced by strictly natural forces.

For Michael Behe, a Catholic biochemist at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., this complexity is just too extreme for Darwinism to be plausible. He argues that many systems in living organisms are irreducibly complex. They consist of several parts, all of which must be present for the system to work.

"It's like a mousetrap," says Behe. "A standard household mousetrap has about five parts, all of which must be present for the trap to work. If you take away any of those five parts, you don't have a functioning mousetrap. You can add the parts one by one, but until you get to the full 5 parts, you have no function. It's an all or nothing kind of thing."

This irreducible complexity exists even at the level of a single cell.

"It was originally thought in Darwin's day that cells were very, very simple things?like little blobs of gel," says Behe. But as science has progressed, it's shown that cells are extraordinarily complex, more complex than anybody thought."

One example is the system that transports proteins within the cell from where they're made to where they're used.

As it turns out, the cells that make up most organisms have several compartments. For the most part, proteins and other molecules don't just float around loose in the cell, but must be moved from place to place to place.

Enzymes are a class of protein that helps the cell digest other kinds of proteins. They are created in a compartment called the endoplasmic reticulum. But they do all their work in another compartment, called the lysosome.

In order to get from the one compartment to the other, they have to be stuffed into a kind of bus (actually, a vesicle). The "bus" then travels to the destination compartment and eventually merges with it, spilling its contents into the compartment.

Achieving this task requires several very specific proteins. You need certain proteins (along with certain fats) just to form the little capsule that contains the enzyme. You need others to help the capsule grab onto just the right protein, since the endoplasmic reticulum creates all sorts of proteins at the same time. Finally you need proteins that help the "bus" attach itself to the destination compartment and merge with it.

"Now if you think about irreducible complexity," says Behe, "virtually all of these proteins have to be there from the beginning, or you simply don't get any function."

That makes it tough for Darwinists to argue that design is simply an illusion produced by mutation and natural selection.

"Darwin said one thing pretty strongly in the Origin of Species. He said that if it could be shown that any system or organ could not be produced by many small steps, continuously improving the system at each step, then his system would absolutely fall apart.

"Now the thing about irreducibly complex systems is that they cannot be produced by numerous small steps, because one does not acquire the function until close to the end, or at the end. Therefore, with irreducibly complex systems, they cannot be produced by Darwinian evolution."

So maybe design is not an illusion after all. Maybe it's the way things really are.
Gaining Ground

Of course, most scientists are far from throwing in the towel on Darwinism or accepting design. Nevertheless, it's getting easier to gain a hearing.

In March 1992, a landmark symposium took place at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. At that meeting, Phillip Johnson, Stephen Meyer, William Dembski, Michael Behe, and other Christian scholars squared off against several prominent Darwinists. The topic of debate was "Darwinism: Science or Philosophy?"

The proceedings of the meeting have since been published in a book by the same title. (See accompanying "resources" sidebar.)

The remarkable thing about the meeting was the collegial spirit that prevailed. Creationists and evolutionists met as equals to discuss serious intellectual questions. Of course, few issues were resolved. But in today's climate, where dissent is frequently written off as religious bias, just getting the issues on the table was an accomplishment in itself.

What's more, several months after the debate, one prominent Darwinist who participated in the symposium publicly conceded that one of the points Johnson made at the meeting was correct: namely that Darwinism is ultimately based as much on philosophical assumptions as on scientific evidence.

This admission, which took place at a national meeting of country's largest science society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, scandalized the Darwinist community, which likes to portray evolution as an indisputable fact. It was all the more scandalous because the speaker had specifically been invited to the meeting to denounce Johnson.

So things are slowly beginning to change. Creationists are still far from winning, but things are getting better. As Johnson points out, creationist arguments are getting more sophisticated, while most Darwinists are still responding with cliches. Thus, it's now the creationists who come across as asking the hard questions, and demanding fair debate.

But ultimately, says Johnson, it's not the debates or the arguments that will win the day.

"It's reality that's doing it. It's just the way the world is. And sooner or later, scientists will have to acknowledge that fact."


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InvisibleDiploidM
Cuban

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Registered: 01/09/03
Posts: 19,274
Loc: Rabbit Hole
Re: Ignorance: God's Gift To Kansas [Re: Deviate]
    #4646338 - 09/11/05 04:22 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

This all sounds very elegant and plausible. Problem is, it's never been supported by any convincing data.

What about the fact that speciation has been observed directly both in the lab and in nature (nevermind the avalanche of data from the fossil record)?

If direct observation of speciation is not "convincing data", please tell me what WOULD qualify as convincing data?


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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OfflineDeviate
newbie
Registered: 04/20/03
Posts: 4,497
Last seen: 1 year, 2 months
Re: Ignorance: God's Gift To Kansas [Re: Deviate]
    #4646344 - 09/11/05 04:23 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

"I'd rather be a mystic then a machine.

Not sure what that means, but when I look around my house and check out all of the amazing inventions and conveniences and tally them up, this is how it looks:

Contributions from science: 1,283,721

Contributions from mystics: 0"

are you saying there were no inventions before the advent of the modern scientific method? are you saying that a scientist cannot also be a mystic? it's engineering and applied science that provides you with conveniences, not pure science for the sake of knowledge itself. why are you comparing science and mysticism on a clearly uneven playing field? that's like saying "this fig tree has provided me with many more figs than that pear tree". maybe the pear tree was supposed to provide you with pears and not figs? mysticism is the disovering that you can change your inner life by changing your consciousness and psyche, applied science and engineering are the discovery that you can change your outer life through understanding and manipulating your environment. why must they be in opposition? sorry for the long reply but your post seemed totally illogical to me.


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InvisibleDiploidM
Cuban

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 01/09/03
Posts: 19,274
Loc: Rabbit Hole
Re: Ignorance: God's Gift To Kansas [Re: Deviate]
    #4646352 - 09/11/05 04:25 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

are you saying there were no inventions before the advent of the modern scientific method?

Before the Scientific Method, humans invnted brooms, door hinges, and huts. The computer, airplane, and antibiotics had to wait.


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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OfflineDeviate
newbie
Registered: 04/20/03
Posts: 4,497
Last seen: 1 year, 2 months
Re: Ignorance: God's Gift To Kansas [Re: Deviate]
    #4646359 - 09/11/05 04:26 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

"What about the fact that speciation has been observed directly both in the lab and in nature (nevermind the avalanche of data from the fossil record)?

If direct observation of speciation is not "convincing data", please tell me what WOULD qualify as convincing data?"

i don't know, i was just playing devil's advocate. it seems someone is posting some boring article ridiculing intelligent design on every message board lately, i thought i'd try to get some debate going.


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OfflineDeviate
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Posts: 4,497
Last seen: 1 year, 2 months
Re: Ignorance: God's Gift To Kansas [Re: Deviate]
    #4646369 - 09/11/05 04:29 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

"Before the Scientific Method, humans invnted brooms, door hinges, and huts. The computer, airplane, and antibiotics had to wait. "

there were many ingenious devices in the old world, the lack of an established scientific method was not the only thing which held back the invention of the airplane.


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InvisibleDiploidM
Cuban

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 01/09/03
Posts: 19,274
Loc: Rabbit Hole
Re: Ignorance: God's Gift To Kansas [Re: Deviate]
    #4646378 - 09/11/05 04:31 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

What people are ridiculing isn't intelligent design, it's the Kansas school board forcing feeding it to hapless kids who are trying to learn biology.


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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InvisibleSilversoul
Rhizome
Male User Gallery

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 23,576
Loc: The Barricades
Re: Ignorance: God's Gift To Kansas [Re: Deviate]
    #4646434 - 09/11/05 04:46 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

For example, consider the fossil evidence. If Darwinism were true, the fossil evidence should show lots of gradual change, with one species slowly grading into the next. In fact, it should be hard to tell where one species ends and another begins. But that's not what we find.

As Darwin himself pointed out in his book, The Origin of Species:

. . .[T]he number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, [must] be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graded organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.

Darwin, of course, attributed this problem to the imperfection of the fossil evidence, and the youthful state of paleontology. As the discipline matured, and as scientists found more fossils, the gaps would slowly start to fill.

But time has not been kind to Darwinism. Paleontologists have certainly found more fossils, but these fossils have only deepened the problem. As the fossils piled up, what paleontologists discovered was not gradual change, but stability and sudden appearance. It seems that most fossil species appear all at once, fully formed, and change very little throughout their stay in the fossil evidence.



This ignores a very simple fact about the fossil record: most skeletons and other remains do not fossilize. Thus, it is no surprise that there will be gaps in the fossil record. The fact that evolution seems to take large leaps rather than slow gradual change actually supports natural selection. By this I mean that major changes in species become widespread in response to changing environmental conditions. And of course, even these "leaps" often take hundreds of thousands to millions of years to occur.

Quote:

Even Oxford zoologist and arch-Darwist Richard Dawkins has remarked, "It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history."



From Diploid's article:

I once introduced a chapter on the so-called Cambrian Explosion with the words, ?It is as though the fossils were planted there without any evolutionary history.? Once again this was a rhetorical overture, intended to whet the reader?s appetite for the explanation that was to follow. Sad hindsight tells me now how predictable it was that my remark would be gleefully quoted out of context. Creationists adore ?gaps? in the fossil record.

I won't bother debunking the rest of this garbage, because I have better things to do, like count the blades of grass on the lawn.


--------------------


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OfflineIgnatiusJReilly
Up From Sloth
Male

Registered: 08/28/05
Posts: 668
Loc: LA
Last seen: 5 years, 10 months
Re: Ignorance: God's Gift To Kansas [Re: Deviate]
    #4646557 - 09/11/05 05:18 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

In Darwin's view, chance and nature are all you need.





Darwinism has nothing to do with chance. This is the biggest mistake in our understanding of evolutionary biology.


--------------------
"A Bad Day for Pants"


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Invisiblegettinjiggywithit
jiggy
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Posts: 7,469
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Re: Ignorance: God's Gift To Kansas [Re: Swami]
    #4664777 - 09/15/05 02:01 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Swami said:
I'd rather be a mystic then a machine.

Not sure what that means, but when I look around my house and check out all of the amazing inventions and conveniences and tally them up, this is how it looks:

Contributions from science: 1,283,721

Contributions from mystics: 0




And you later mentioned the dumbing down of America's children. What were you? The first victim of it?

Talk about fantasy land swami, you think every invention in front of you just "MAGICALLY" appeared from out of no where huh?

Take the air plane. It was designed, by creative intelligence.

An intelligent creative designer brought the air plane into being. It took  a "dream to fly".
A "creative imagination" to figure out how to do it.
A "beleif" that it was possible though unproven.
The "will power to give form to ideas" to manifest it.

Sounds like all that gibberish the mystics carry on about huh?

So it was a mystic who put all of the inventions you see before you there swami.

Was it not you who babbled on in another thread that it was the scientist job to say what isn't and can't be.

That type of scientist "skeptic" hasn't done shit for this world but take away from the potential and possibility by discouraging others. Good thing, the mystics are in ignorance of them and carry on to make dreams a reality with their own inherent power, using the tools of creative imagination, belief in what can be made real and their own intelligence to discover, design and craft.

The proof for intelligent design is evident within all of us. Right under your nose it is. He has eyes but can not see a wise man once said.

Americas kids get dummied down when they are told what to think and do and ow to do it as ordered, like they are machines.

The children who are told"this is how it is and this is how you do it are the ones who will go on to become the workers who make the giant dreams of others come real. They will have had their ability to dream deprogrammed.

They have been dummied down and disabled from thinking for themselves, from questioning what they are told, and who can only think as they are told to think, know what they are told to know and do what they are told do to in the manor in which they are instructed too. They are the machines.


The kids who will grow to inovate and create more are the ones who will realise giant dreams. They will have to break molds and be the makers of new ones. They are the ones, who will have to think for themselves and question why something can't be more then what it already is. They are the ones who will dream of what can be. They are the ones who will believe in what can be out from what is. They are the ones who will use their imaginations to create and design new inventions. They are the ones who will believe in the power within to make the unbelievable and un real real. They will become the inovators. They are the mystical scientist.

Again, I'd rather be a mystic who can think for myself and use my intelligence to design my own life, rather then be a machine that does what I am told to do and how to do it.

I can do it my way, because I am a manifestation of the intelligent designer brought into form through the evolution of intelligent design and creation. I am self evident to myself.

Swami, I don't know where you get this hair brained idea that skeptical science is responsible for all you see. They are the pessimists and the fearful who pose in the name of science running around saying NO NO NO NO. The mystical scientist is involved with inquiry, discovery, innovation, creative imagination, designing away all they wish to make into a YES YES YES, it can be realized into form.

A true scientists makes the unknown , known to himself. A true scientist brings into the light what was always there. A true inventive scientist brings into the light what was waiting in unmanifest potential of what can be. They are the artists, musicians, poets and craftsmen of life. They are not the dogmatics of science or religion.

I personally don't give a rats ass about what the government is doing with the public educational system. I'm not a machine that does with my daughter what I am told I should do and how I should do it with regards to educating her. I am a mystic, who can imagination another way and design a program for myself. I believe, I can give her something more then what is.

She'll never learn from out of the Bible from me. We don't even have one in my house and make no claim of membership to any religion. She does learn to question what is and what can be. She learns to be curious and to discover things for herself through her own methods. She learns to develop methods for how to do things on her own.

She's got drawers full of store bought dolls and yet, asked for baking clay so she could craft one of her own design. We just pulled it out of the oven. It's awesome. It's the first of more to come that came from a a line of characters she developed for books she writes and illustrates herself, even though she has hundreds of store bought ones.

She knows, that there is an intelligent designer within her and that with some creative imagination, some belief of what can be, a method she can develop on her own to make it so and with the power of her will she can bring the fantasy into her reality.

She knows she can craft a life and reality as it pleases her and do it her way, in the way of the mystic, not the machine that waits for directions, programs and orders and sits idle in the meantime.

She lives the process of evolution in everyday. She watches her own life, body and abilities evolve. She experiences first hand how she adds to what is or makes modifications to adapt to new environments. She is aware of this living process and herself as a part of it.

She knows herself to be the evidence of evolution and the intelligent designer. She knows them to be one and the same thing in the process of self realization.

And thats what I am talking about!

That article is blithering ignorance made manifest written by a scientific dogmatic attacking religious dogmatics. How original. While the two groups fight with each other over the same old tired songs, the mystics will keep moving forward creating new ones to sing and dance too.

Some of you make fun of those who have dreams to sprout their wings and fly like the birds. You come here with your rifles and shoot them down. Then you have the nerve to say skeptical science invented the air plane. The human spirit and the intelligent designer within did, mystical science did.

Swami, you say you invent music. Where does it come from? Where does a deaf composer like Bethovan hear his music from? An unknown place, with mystical ears, that science can't find, test or measure yet his music, your music is evidence that it is there. We are the mediums between the unknown and the known. Medium, as in those people you make fun of. Your one of them if you are creating your own music. Is your music fraudulent swami? Or did it really come from the unknown in you and are you making it known?

:heart:


--------------------
Ahuwale ka nane huna.


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: Ignorance: God's Gift To Kansas [Re: gettinjiggywithit]
    #4664849 - 09/15/05 02:15 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Where does a deaf composer like Bethovan hear his music from? An unknown place, with mystical ears, that science can't find, test or measure yet his music, your music is evidence that it is there.
Beethoven was not deaf until later in life. He had already become familiar with the patterns that can evoke moods and how to piece them together.

Is your music fraudulent swami?
This is a nonsensical question.

So it was a mystic who put all of the inventions you see before you there swami.
As I have pointed out many times, I doubt there is anyone here who is not using some piece of technology that I directly participated in. Engineers and inventors are not necessarily mystics. And meditating and dreaming does not give one any specific knowledge. Dreaming is only the first step. Then comes study of what disciplined minds have already contributed followed by taking the knowledge one step further.

Starting with false "knowledge" only impedes progress.


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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