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WillBrink
12-20-2005, 07:09 PM
By MARTHA RAFFAELE, Associated Press Writer
22 minutes ago

HARRISBURG, Pa. - "Intelligent design" cannot be mentioned in biology classes in a Pennsylvania public school district, a federal judge said Tuesday, ruling in one of the biggest courtroom clashes on evolution since the 1925 Scopes trial.
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Dover Area School Board members violated the Constitution when they ordered that its biology curriculum include the notion that life on Earth was produced by an unidentified intelligent cause, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III said. Several members repeatedly lied to cover their motives, he said.

The ruling will not likely be appealed by the slate of new board members, who in the November election ousted the group that installed intelligent design, the new board president said Tuesday.

The school board policy, adopted in October 2004, was believed to have been the first of its kind in the nation.

"The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy," Jones wrote, calling the board's decision "breathtaking inanity."

"The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources," he wrote.

The board's attorneys had said members were seeking to improve science education by exposing students to alternatives to Charles Darwin's theory that evolution develops through natural selection. Intelligent-design proponents argue that the theory cannot fully explain the existence of complex life forms.

The plaintiffs challenging the policy argued that intelligent design amounts to a secular repackaging of biblical creationism, which the courts have already ruled cannot be taught in public schools.

The judge agreed.

"We find that the secular purposes claimed by the Board amount to a pretext for the Board's real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom," he wrote in his 139-page opinion.

The Dover policy required students to hear a statement about intelligent design before ninth-grade biology lessons on evolution. The statement said Darwin's theory is "not a fact" and has inexplicable "gaps." It refers students to an intelligent-design textbook, "Of Pandas and People," for more information.

Jones wrote that he wasn't saying the intelligent design concept shouldn't be studied and discussed, saying its advocates "have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors."

However, he wrote, "our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom."

The controversy divided the borough of Dover and surrounding Dover Township, a rural area of nearly 20,000 residents about 20 miles south of Harrisburg. It galvanized voters to oust eight incumbent school board members who supported the policy in the Nov. 8 school board election. The ninth board member was not up for re-election.

Said the judge: "It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy."

The board members were replaced by a slate of eight opponents who pledged to remove intelligent design from the science curriculum.

They also will likely drop the old plan now that the judge has ruled, new board president Bernadette Reinking said. "As far as I can tell you, there is no intent to appeal," she said.

Reinking said the new board will likely move the subject of intelligent design into some undetermined elective social studies class. She said the board will need to talk to its attorney before determining specific actions.

Eric Rothschild, lead attorney for the families who challenged the policy, called the ruling "a real vindication for the parents who had the courage to stand up and say there was something wrong in their school district."

Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., which represented the school board, did not return a telephone message seeking comment.

It was the latest chapter in a debate over the teaching of evolution dating back to the famous 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, in which Tennessee biology teacher John T. Scopes was fined $100 for violating a state law that forbade teaching evolution. The Tennessee Supreme Court reversed his conviction on a technicality, and the law was repealed in 1967.

Jones heard arguments in the fall during a six-week trial in which expert witnesses for each side debated intelligent design's scientific merits. Other witnesses, including current and former school board members, disagreed over whether creationism was discussed in board meetings months before the curriculum change was adopted.

It is among at least a handful of cases that have focused new attention on the teaching of evolution in the nation's schools.

Earlier this month, a federal appeals court in Georgia heard arguments over evolution disclaimer stickers placed in a biology textbooks. A federal judge in January had ordered Cobb County school officials to immediately remove the stickers, which called evolution a theory, not a fact.

In November, state education officials in Kansas adopted new classroom science standards that call the theory of evolution into question.

elissalowe
12-20-2005, 07:20 PM
Cool...

FYI: Number One Son is in the 10th grade this year in the Ohio school system. Ohio adopted a kinda-sorta pro-ID policy that's incorporated into the 10th grade science standards. ID isn't promoted directly, but students are encouraged to explore alternative explanations...

Completely on his own initiative, the kid's been reading "Abusing Science" by Phillip Kitcher - easily the best book ever written on the subject of evolution vs. creation science. It's the sort of thing that makes a mom proud...

So, I'll be watching what happens this year through his (very open) eyes. Could be interesting!

JHalstead
12-20-2005, 07:47 PM
Great stuff, I think! I'm all about questioning the system and increasing awareness, but ID seems to be about decreasing awareness, rather than increasing it.

WillBrink
12-20-2005, 08:44 PM
Great stuff, I think! I'm all about questioning the system and increasing awareness, but ID seems to be about decreasing awareness, rather than increasing it.

I don’t have anything against exploring the concept of a higher power/intelligence have some possible involvement in our creation or general existence, but it’s not science. It’s philosophy, or religion, or even psychology, but it’s not science. I have taken comparative religion courses myself and philosophy classes, both of which often attempt to look at the nature of man and a possible higher intelligence (Allah, Shiva, aliens, etc) but to attempt to teach it as a theory that competes with evolution is the worst kind of religious hijacking of our science curriculum.

erp7e
12-21-2005, 05:16 AM
One of the few news items that actually makes me proud to be American. :D Go First Amendment, Go. I especially like that the judge in question is a Republican, Christian, churchgoer. Shows to go you that whether you believe in creationism or biblical stories (i.e. YOUR personal beliefs) should have nothing to do with what is taught in public schools as 'science.'

elissalowe
12-22-2005, 04:11 PM
Editorial in the York Daily Record (Dover is in York County):

Investigate perjury in Dover ID case

Judge Jones issued a broad, sensible ruling - finding that some board members lied.

Daily Record/Sunday News

Dec 21, 2005 — They lied.
William Buckingham and Alan Bonsell wanted to bring God into high school biology class, and in the process, they lied.

They lied about their motives.

They lied about their actions.

They lied about what they did or didn't say at public meetings.

They even lied when they claimed newspaper reporters lied in stories about Dover school board meetings.

In his ruling on the Dover case, U.S. Judge John E. Jones III said it was "ironic" that individuals who "proudly touted their religious convictions in public" would "lie" under oath.

Yes, ironic - at the very least. But also sinful according to the 9th Commandment.

And perhaps also criminal. We can only hope that the appropriate authorities are investigating possible perjury charges in this case. There should be some consequences for what Mr. Bonsell and Mr. Buckingham have done in depositions and on the witness stand by otherwise misrepresenting the facts.

Not to mention what they've done to their community.

They've cost Dover its reputation. The district, even after sensibly voting out the entire school board, again has been made a national laughingstock - last week "The Daily Show" aired yet another embarrassing and insulting piece on Dover.

They have potentially cost Dover taxpayers perhaps a million or more in legal fees. The judge has indicated the plaintiffs are entitled to such fees.

The unintelligent designers of this fiasco should not walk away unscathed. They've damaged and divided this community, and there should be repercussions - a perjury investigation - beyond a lost election.

The ruling suggests board members who approved the ID policy were shockingly ill-informed and lackadaisical about what they were getting the district into. They allowed themselves, taxpayers and students to be made grunts on the front lines of the national culture wars without bothering to learn what they were fighting for.

Turns out it was a lie.

Intelligent design, as Judge Jones made abundantly clear in his 139-page ruling, is not science. ID has simply not earned a place in high school biology curricula as an either/or alternative to evolution.

The ruling reflects that evolution by natural selection is backed by mountains of evidence while ID has produced not one peer-reviewed paper.

That doesn't mean God doesn't exist.

It doesn't mean the world wasn't intelligently designed.

It just means that in science you can't invoke the supernatural when you don't fully understand a natural process.

Judge Jones is to be congratulated for ruling broadly on the matter rather than taking the easy way out with some cramped, nondecision decision.

Unfortunately, this ground-breaking ruling is unlikely to become the settled law of the land because the new board seems unlikely to appeal it to the Supreme Court. Not that we advocate an appeal. Even the judge laments that so much money and time has been wasted on this "legal maelstrom."

In short, Judge Jones got it exactly right, eviscerating the pathetic case put forth by the defense. The district's policy was religiously motivated and espoused religion, thus violating the constitutional separation of church and state.

No lie.

WillBrink
12-22-2005, 05:19 PM
Intelligent design, as Judge Jones made abundantly clear in his 139-page ruling, is not science. ID has simply not earned a place in high school biology curricula as an either/or alternative to evolution.



Another important point before the religious right starts to whine about this ruling: Judge Jones publicly stated he is a conservative Republican judge who is also a Christian! Anyone who attempts to pain him as some liberal “activist judge” will again fall on their face in a big way.

mikel252
12-23-2005, 08:49 PM
Truly incredible! This is being decided by people who know nothing of evolution and where the science community currently stands on this.

There is currently no commonly-held theory of evolution. Most of what Darwin proposed has been proven wrong, but still remains in the textbooks as fact. Darwin stated that when archeologists find the evidence, evolution will either be proved or disproved. Archeologists have in fact stated that the Cambrian Explosion (thousands of different animals existing suddenly with no prior evolution) goes in the opposite direction of evolution. While Darwin's theory starts with few and expands outward like the trunk of a tree to its branches, fossil records show the opposite. In fact, there was very little prior to the Cambrian Explosion and since then there are fewer and fewer animal species than there were thousands of years ago.

Evolutionists are unable to explain many things are always looking for the "missing link". The eyeball, for example, is a single unit that has no purpose or function if you remove any part of it. This means that there is nothing that can exist prior to the eye that can, through natural selection or mutation, lead to the functioning eye.

The picture we see showing the monkey evolving in steps up to the modern man was created from one skull and a jawbone. It is merely an artist's rendering of how evolution would look. There is no evidence beyond this that exists to indicate this is how humans came about.

Evolutionists avoid the fossil remains of giant humans in the 8-15' range. Their existence makes no sense in the theory of evolution, so they quaintly ignore it. There is no way for them to fit into what is called the Theory of Evolution.

Back in the late fifties early sixties, I forget exactly when, there was a scientist that claimed he has created amino acids from his "primordial soup" with what he claimed would be necessary to create life. That experiment has long since been proven to not be correct since geo-physicists know that those conditions, gases, and elements did not ever exist throughout earth's history. Yet this experiment is still taught in school today.

Most of what is in school books today has been proven wrong. While the theory of evolution may still be true, there is no proof that it is fact. It is often thought of and taught as fact. Evolutionists turn science around and ask that others prove that it is wrong. Instead, science requires that something be proven true through evidence and experiments, not holding to a "truth" and asking that it be proven wrong.

This is all "junk science" at its best. Many scientists that are in the field of evolution are turning to recognize that there must be some intelligent design involved. The endocrine system alone should show someone that it couldn't be by accident. The statistics on us evolving accidentally are larger than most astronomical numbers. We're talking numbers in the 10 to the 45 power! Especially if you consider all the way from the Big Bang to humans today. Stephen Hawking, know atheist, has stated that the initial conditions required for the Big Bang to have produced the universe we have today are so impossibly precise that it must have been through some form of intelligent design.

The fact that evolution is being referred to as fact and not theory shows that there are more that do not know about evolution than those who do. It is clearly a theory. And I will state that ID is also a theory. The fact that one can be taught and the other cannot is ludicrous. Public schools teaching ID as a theory does not have our government establishing a religion. Teaching evolution as a fact is more harming to all of us than including ID as another theory.

As for me, I firmly believe we are here by ID and not by accident. It takes far more "faith" to believe in evolution based on statistics alone than by ID. In 2005 we still don't know all about DNA. The information in DNA is so large and complex and yet we are supposed to believe it's accidental. As a computer scientist, I remember reading an article that talked about how many monkeys it would take banging on keyboards to randomly produce software. I recall that one small program on a 1.4MB disk was in the hundreds of thousands of years. The amount of information contained in DNA far exceeds 1.4MB.


Well.....! I guess you can see where one of my buttons are! Hope this proves a bit helpful.

Mike

mikel252
12-23-2005, 09:10 PM
Unfortunately, evolution as it stands today is not science either. There is no science behind it, there are no facts, and there is no proof. It is therefore also a philosophy taught as science. Science is: The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.

We have far more proof of the theory of relativity than we do of evolution. Again, I'm not saying evolution should not be taught in schools as long as it is taught as a theory instead of fact. It is not a fact. In reality, they could easily teach evolution and state there are still many unexplained events within evolutionism and they may be explained by ID. This does not stop those continuing to examine evolution. In fact, it opens up the possibility that ID is a possible explanation for the issues in evolution. Virtually every religion describes a higher power capable of creating the universe, not just the Bible.

ID does not need to be taught as a religion, only as a theory along with or beside the theory of evolution. I laugh, in a sick kind of way, when I hear that stickers stating that evolution is a theory, not fact, are told to be torn down. These are the kinds of things we look back at in 10, 20, 30 years and laugh at. "How could they have said that?" We do that all the time now looking back at what used to be thought of as fact.

Mike

elissalowe
12-23-2005, 10:13 PM
Unfortunately, evolution as it stands today is not science either. There is no science behind it, there are no facts, and there is no proof...
This will be news to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which publishes "Science" - one of the most respected and influential peer-reviewed research journals in the world today.

The lead editorial to the latest issue:


Breakthrough of the Year: Evolution in Action (http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/310/5756/1878)

You are free to believe what you wish, but until the consensus of experts working in the field changes, then ID has no place in the K-12 classroom.

elissalowe
12-23-2005, 10:41 PM
Judge Jones' decision attached.

WillBrink
12-23-2005, 11:27 PM
Truly incredible! This is being decided by people who know nothing of evolution and where the science community currently stands on this.

Well.....! I guess you can see where one of my buttons are! Hope this proves a bit helpful.

Mike

Nothing you have stated is science and nothing you stated counters evolution in anyway nor did anything you say support ID in anyway.

mikel252
12-24-2005, 02:09 AM
Really? Just as everyone here says all the time, you might want to go back and read it again.

Every one of my examples was showing the holes in evolution as it stands today. The eyeball, the Cambrian Explosion, the giants, and the rest.

You say, "Nothing you have stated is science...". I wasn't purporting to be stating science. In fact, there is nothing about evolution so far that IS science. There is no evidence that evolution is how we are today. It is used everyday as if it is, but there are no current theories that can be agreed on. In order to have a scientific discussion, we must have a theory we can all agree on and be able to conduct experiments. Since we can't conduct experiments to prove evolution, we must at least start with theories that can be discussed. Unfortunately, since ID cannot be discussed, it can never be included in the theories. This severely limits the whole investigation. When you throw out whole blocks of possibilities, it makes it very difficult to fit what you have left into what's really being observed. (Think of Grissom on CSI).

The fact that there is no unified theory of evolution should at least be taught in schools. Instead children and adults are still taught theories that have been proven wrong as if they are facts. This is the real trouble in the schools today, not whether ID can also be taught.

Most people and all the school books still teach that Marconi was the inventor of radio communications. Tesla proved out radio communications well before Marconi, but since Marconi had the press present when he demonstrated the radio, he got the credit. The patent office had overturned a previous overturn of the patent to Marconi. Even though the patent is in Tesla's name and he proved radio communications first in 1934, our school books still say it was Marconi.

Just because school books teach the old theories of evolution, does not mean they are correct. In fact, they are just continuing on wives’ tales and urban legends.

But, you don't see any one arguing the books are wrong! This is because it would be media suicide to attempt that when everyone thinks it's fact and we want no discussion of ID in the schools.

What is everyone so afraid of ID anyway?

Mike

WillBrink
12-24-2005, 02:42 AM
Really? Just as everyone here says all the time, you might want to go back and read it again.

Read what again?


Every one of my examples was showing the holes in evolution as it stands today. The eyeball, the Cambrian Explosion, the giants, and the rest.

All of which are totally worthless to the issue. Gaps in any theory does not = God did it. An inability to explain everything does not allow super natural "God must have done" explanations.


You say, "Nothing you have stated is science...". I wasn't purporting to be stating science. In fact, there is nothing about evolution so far that IS science.

You would of course be 100% incorrect in that ridiculous statement. Evolution is in fact one of the best established and supported theories there is. Are you sure you know exactly what a theory is from the scientific perspective? Most people don't.


There is no evidence that evolution is how we are today. It is used everyday as if it is, but there are no current theories that can be agreed on.

Where are you getting these bizarre statements from? Pro ID sites? You are totally wrong and I assure you every major scientific org. is in total agreement that evolution is a fact of nature. Disagreements within evolutionary science? Of course, as is the case with EVERY area of science. Some evolutionary biologists feel dinosaurs re the direct descendents of birds while others feel they were related but exists more or less at the same time. Both sides, as well as all the others in every major discipline have zero doubts about evolution as a process.



In order to have a scientific discussion, we must have a theory we can all agree on and be able to conduct experiments. Since we can't conduct experiments to prove evolution, we must at least start with theories that can be discussed.

That too is 100% false and could only come from some pr ID site. Experiments that confirm evolution abound. What was the last geneticist or evolutionary biologist you have spoken to?



Unfortunately, since ID cannot be discussed, it can never be included in the theories.

Which tells me you don't really understand what a throry is in science bysuch a statement.


This severely limits the whole investigation. When you throw out whole blocks of possibilities, it makes it very difficult to fit what you have left into what's really being observed. (Think of Grissom on CSI).

See above comments.


The fact that there is no unified theory of evolution

(a) that is wrong and (b) it's irrelevant to the issue at hand.

The rest I snipped as I was only going to repeat myself yet again which seemed like a waste of your and my time. Where you have gotten your info from I don't know, but it/they have filled your head with more incorrect misleading pseudo science, it's hard to even attempt to correct it. You don't seem interested in reality here. That's your prerogative.

mikel252
12-24-2005, 02:45 AM
Well, you can believe what you like as well. A group of scientists getting together and discussing theories is not proving anything. It is, however, what I said earlier about getting theories together and having discussions about them.

"Equipped with genome data and field observations of organisms from microbes to mammals, biologists made huge strides toward understanding the mechanisms by which living creatures evolve"

Adaptations to environment is known and proven. Adaptation is not evolution. Evolution, especially in the short time of the earth's existence, requires large changes and mutations to make the jumps required to get homo-sapiens from a soup. The statistics alone prove that the millions of years of the earth's life is insufficient to get to where we are today.

An organization like AAAS does it's best to fit current understanding into science or to fit science into the current understanding. They may be finding how species can split, but they are not answering the big questions like how the eyeball came about.

I have skepticism about any organization that is not willing to see all possibilities. The real issue is that science is about explaining things and gaining understanding. It's about what caused what and what caused it until there is the first cause. Unfortunately, evolution cannot get to the first cause and when ever it appears to be ID, they come up with even more theories.

It’s interesting that you would think one science organization holds the truth. While can see how a species can split, they have information now that must be tested scientifically. You seem to see this as a truth.

The whole concept of the expanding universe is now under investigation. Since we now know that the universe is expanding and will continue forever, some scientists are saying there must be “dark” matter out there that we’re not measuring that will change the equations to show the universe will stop and then contract. You see, the issue with the expanding universe is that if it doesn’t ultimately collapse back so it can start all over again, scientists are stuck with the possibility that there was a beginning to the universe. This is impossible for the science community to take, so they must come up with more theories.

Unfortunately they are forgetting one critical piece, where did all the matter come from in the first place?

Mike

mikel252
12-24-2005, 02:51 AM
I'm not quite sure why you posted this under my response. Unless you see the judge using the word theory and I said people say it's fact. It was Will's article that said the stickers saying evolution is a theory not fact must be torn down.

His article says: "Earlier this month, a federal appeals court in Georgia heard arguments over evolution disclaimer stickers placed in a biology textbooks. A federal judge in January had ordered Cobb County school officials to immediately remove the stickers, which called evolution a theory, not a fact."

In the media and in most conversations, evolution is discussed as fact and not a theory. This is proof that this judge believe it's a fact and not a theory. The fact that this disclaimer had to be removed is the real crime.

Mike

elissalowe
12-24-2005, 03:09 AM
Really? Just as everyone here says all the time, you might want to go back and read it again.

Every one of my examples was showing the holes in evolution as it stands today. The eyeball, the Cambrian Explosion, the giants, and the rest.

You say, "Nothing you have stated is science...". I wasn't purporting to be stating science. In fact, there is nothing about evolution so far that IS science. There is no evidence that evolution is how we are today. It is used everyday as if it is, but there are no current theories that can be agreed on. In order to have a scientific discussion, we must have a theory we can all agree on and be able to conduct experiments. Since we can't conduct experiments to prove evolution, we must at least start with theories that can be discussed. Unfortunately, since ID cannot be discussed, it can never be included in the theories. This severely limits the whole investigation. When you throw out whole blocks of possibilities, it makes it very difficult to fit what you have left into what's really being observed. (Think of Grissom on CSI).

The fact that there is no unified theory of evolution should at least be taught in schools. Instead children and adults are still taught theories that have been proven wrong as if they are facts. This is the real trouble in the schools today, not whether ID can also be taught.

Most people and all the school books still teach that Marconi was the inventor of radio communications. Tesla proved out radio communications well before Marconi, but since Marconi had the press present when he demonstrated the radio, he got the credit. The patent office had overturned a previous overturn of the patent to Marconi. Even though the patent is in Tesla's name and he proved radio communications first in 1934, our school books still say it was Marconi.

Just because school books teach the old theories of evolution, does not mean they are correct. In fact, they are just continuing on wives’ tales and urban legends.

But, you don't see any one arguing the books are wrong! This is because it would be media suicide to attempt that when everyone thinks it's fact and we want no discussion of ID in the schools.

What is everyone so afraid of ID anyway?

Mike
Mike:

Do you honestly believe that researchers in evolutionary biology are so inept that they never considered the question of how eyes evolved? Or that they're scratching their heads in bewilderment over the Cambrian Explosion? All the "issues" you cited were old creationist propaganda points when Federal Judge William Overton ruled against the proponents of creation science in McLean vs. Arkansas Board of Education in 1982. The cartoon caricature that you apparently believe represents modern evolutionary theory is so wrong-headed it defies belief. Have you ever bothered to fact-check any of the claims you uncritically repeat as fact? Here's a small sample for you: before you claim physicist Stephen Hawking for Intelligent Design, you should be aware that Dr. Hawking is a signee on the National Center for Science Education's "Project Steve" - created in honor of writer and evolutionary scientist Stephen J. Gould. "Project Steve" signees (who are all named Steve, Steven, Stephen, Stephanie, Stefan, etc.) support the following statement:

"Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry. Although there are legitimate debates about the patterns and processes of evolution, there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence. It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to "intelligent design," to be introduced into the science curricula of our nation's public schools."

Ooops.

To argue these things point-by-point with you would be an enormous time-killer for me - time I simply don't have and do not wish to devote to trying to change a mind that's closed on the subject. I do, however, have quite a few books on my shelf by scholars in the field: Stephen J. Gould, Richard Dawkins and Edmund O. Wilson, along with texts on the subject by philosophers of science like Michael Ruse and Phillip Kitcher. Most of the popular works by these authors should be available in any public library, and I suggest you crack one open - if for no other reasons than recognize that researchers in the field are not quite the dogmatic straw men that you believe them to be.

And to answer your question "what is everyone so afraid of ID anyway?" - try this quote from an Amicus Curiae brief filed by 72 Nobel Laureates and the representatives of 24 science organizations in "Edwards vs. Aguillard" (1986 - yet another case about teaching evolution in public schools):

"This case is crucial to the future of scientific education in this nation. As researchers in many different branches of advanced science, amici share a concern for the basic scientific education of this nation's public-school students. Scientific education should accurately portray the current state of substantive scientific knowledge. Even more importantly, scientific education should accurately portray the premises and processes of science. Teaching religious ideas mislabeled as science is detrimental to scientific education: It sets up a false conflict between science and religion, misleads our youth about the nature of scientific inquiry, and thereby compromises our ability to respond to the problems of an increasingly technological world. Our capacity to cope with problems of food production, health care, and even national defense will be jeopardized if we deliberately strip our citizens of the power to distinguish between the phenomena of nature and supernatural articles of faith."

BTW, did you even bother to click on the link to the "Science" editorial I posted before insisting that "there is nothing about evolution so far that IS science"? It seems that there are quite a few scientists that don't agree with your definition of what constitutes science. But perhaps they have been misinformed... :rolleyes:

When ID actually has some substantive results to show for itself, and has earned the respect of the larger scientific community, then - and only then - should it be taught as science in K-12 classrooms. Simply pointing out (and misrepresenting) flaws or controversies in Evolutionary theory, does not legitimize ID as an alternative. Cross that line, and we might as well open the classroom to all alternatives, including Flying Spaghetti Monsterism (http://www.venganza.org/), which a number of Ph.Ds have endorsed. IMO, "Pastafarianism" has at least as much credibility - and is considerably more entertaining - than ID.

mikel252
12-24-2005, 03:17 AM
OK, well I'm wasting my time here. What I was suggesting you read again was my first post. Don't bother. By what I've seen above in your responses says you've made up your mind and nothing will change or open it.

My biggest complaint has been that evolution is discussed and taught as fact, not a theory. I know very well that evolution is a theory. There is no proof that evolution is the way we are today. There are additional theories and some evidience that seems to support it.

I am not saying that gaps in evolution means god did it. I'm saying that school books and what is taught does not highlight these large gaps. Darwinism has been proven a wrong theory and the science community is continually coming up with new theories. The only theory that is accepted is that we must have evolved and it does not contain a god. As to how it all happened and how it all fits together is what science is looking to prove.

I'm surprised at some of your disagreements above. It seems you really don't know much about evolution and what is and isn't known. I've read quite a lot about it and your biggest complaint is that I know nothing about science and theories. I am a scientist by schooling and profession. It seems like there is a great fear in this country that somehow talking about ID is religion and that religion does not belong in schools. The establishment clause states the governemt will not establish a state religion. Talking about ID in schools is not establishing a religion. I guess I just don't understand what the fear is and where it's coming from.

But, at least you're happy that ID is out of schools. I'd be happy if they would just teach evolution as it is with it's evidence and gaps. Most kids leaving a K-12 class will think it is a proven theory (fact). It is not proven and it is a theory. They should leave the class with that.

Mike

elissalowe
12-24-2005, 03:30 AM
"Equipped with genome data and field observations of organisms from microbes to mammals, biologists made huge strides toward understanding the mechanisms by which living creatures evolve"

Adaptations to environment is known and proven. Adaptation is not evolution. Evolution, especially in the short time of the earth's existence, requires large changes and mutations to make the jumps required to get homo-sapiens from a soup. The statistics alone prove that the millions of years of the earth's life is insufficient to get to where we are today.

An organization like AAAS does it's best to fit current understanding into science or to fit science into the current understanding. They may be finding how species can split, but they are not answering the big questions like how the eyeball came about.

I have skepticism about any organization that is not willing to see all possibilities. The real issue is that science is about explaining things and gaining understanding. It's about what caused what and what caused it until there is the first cause. Unfortunately, evolution cannot get to the first cause and when ever it appears to be ID, they come up with even more theories.

It’s interesting that you would think one science organization holds the truth. While can see how a species can split, they have information now that must be tested scientifically. You seem to see this as a truth.

The whole concept of the expanding universe is now under investigation. Since we now know that the universe is expanding and will continue forever, some scientists are saying there must be “dark” matter out there that we’re not measuring that will change the equations to show the universe will stop and then contract. You see, the issue with the expanding universe is that if it doesn’t ultimately collapse back so it can start all over again, scientists are stuck with the possibility that there was a beginning to the universe. This is impossible for the science community to take, so they must come up with more theories.

Unfortunately they are forgetting one critical piece, where did all the matter come from in the first place?

Mike
All of these points simply demonstrate your own unwillingness "to see all possibilities." To think of the AAAS as simply "one science organization" is to think of Christianity as simply "one religion" or Asia as simply "one continent." The AAAS is the world's largest scientific organization. Period.

Adaptations are not part of evolution? You have seriously got to be yanking me on that one. But then again, if you invent your own definitions, I suppose anything's possible. But I wouldn't go making that claim in front of someone like Francisco Ayala. I honestly think even Michael Behe (a prominent ID proponent) would get a chuckle out of that one.

The argument here is not about the truth or falsity of ID - it's about whether a "theory" with no predictions, no successful experiments, or any of the other hallmarks of successful science, should be taught uncritically to children as science before it has been proven to be a viable alternative.

elissalowe
12-24-2005, 03:58 AM
OK, well I'm wasting my time here. What I was suggesting you read again was my first post. Don't bother. By what I've seen above in your responses says you've made up your mind and nothing will change or open it.

My biggest complaint has been that evolution is discussed and taught as fact, not a theory. I know very well that evolution is a theory. There is no proof that evolution is the way we are today. There are additional theories and some evidience that seems to support it.

I am not saying that gaps in evolution means god did it. I'm saying that school books and what is taught does not highlight these large gaps. Darwinism has been proven a wrong theory and the science community is continually coming up with new theories. The only theory that is accepted is that we must have evolved and it does not contain a god. As to how it all happened and how it all fits together is what science is looking to prove.

I'm surprised at some of your disagreements above. It seems you really don't know much about evolution and what is and isn't known. I've read quite a lot about it and your biggest complaint is that I know nothing about science and theories. I am a scientist by schooling and profession. It seems like there is a great fear in this country that somehow talking about ID is religion and that religion does not belong in schools. The establishment clause states the governemt will not establish a state religion. Talking about ID in schools is not establishing a religion. I guess I just don't understand what the fear is and where it's coming from.

But, at least you're happy that ID is out of schools. I'd be happy if they would just teach evolution as it is with it's evidence and gaps. Most kids leaving a K-12 class will think it is a proven theory (fact). It is not proven and it is a theory. They should leave the class with that.

Mike
ROFL - read again what those Nobel Laureates had to say about evolution:

"...there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence."

That, my friend, is a statement - from far greater minds than mine or yours - that evolution is a fact. You seem to be confusing a "theory" with a "hypothesis." Theories - in the legitimate scientific sense - are more robust than that. There is an entire discipline on the philosophy of science that defines this and other concepts. Look up Karl Popper sometime if you don't believe me.

What I know about evolution comes from people who have worked and performed experiments in the field and laboratory. Just like what I learned about enzymology, or organic chemistry, or genetics. Last I heard, that's how these things get done. That's how colleges and universities operate. And I have followed the court cases in which these things have been decided. I've read transcripts and followed the reasoning of the judges who seem to rule so monotonously against teaching "alternatives" to evolution. So I do - in fact - have a pretty good layman's understanding of what is and isn't known. I at least, have given you a summary of where my info comes from: all you have done is to toss out unsupported - and inaccurate - statements as "facts." As a "scientist by training and profession" you should know better than this.

WillBrink
12-24-2005, 04:45 AM
I am a scientist by schooling and profession.

Mike, you state you are a scientist by schooling and profession yet have shown conclusively here you don’t know even the most basic premise of the term theory as it applies to science and why evolution is science and ID is not. What else can I conclude? You're a good guy and I am not trying to jump on you here and I enjoy your posts on the forum, but your comments (as a scientist no less) are bizarre to say the least. We can either agree to disagree or continue this debate. That's fine also, but lets keep it civil. Not claiming you were not being civil, just reminding us all that it's important. I can only go with what I see you write down and for a trained scientist to make such comments is disturbing to say the least. I made some useful points to you, Elissa made some points that simply can't be ignored (she’s smarter then both of us combined!) yet you don't seem able to comprehend their essential points. Many of your statements are simply-and easily proven-to be incorrect and not what a trained scientist who understands the scientific method should be making. Hint: theories are never proven. Theories are supported by evidence which either supports or disproves the theory. When you say "evolution is taught as a fact not a theory" it exposes an extreme level of ignorance on the topic of science, the scientific method. and just what a theory actually is in terms of science. I am not a closed minded person and I would hope you would easily see that by now from my many posts on this here forum. Anyway, I appreciate your alternative comments to my own regardless or not if I agree with them! ;)

mikel252
12-24-2005, 08:24 AM
Elissa says, "The argument here is not about the truth or falsity of ID - it's about whether a "theory" with no predictions, no successful experiments, or any of the other hallmarks of successful science, should be taught uncritically to children as science before it has been proven to be a viable alternative."

This is also my point exactly with evolution. I love that a respected scientist says that, "...there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence." So one says it's a theory another a fact. Hmmm...

Have you ever seen that great list of quotes by very intelligent people that soon after were proved to be terribly wrong. I might look it up sometime. Unfortunately the only one I remember off the top of my head is Bill Gates. He siad no one will ever need more than 640KB of memory. That coming from a man whose OS won't run in 256MB.

I'm not trying to prove him wrong or right. My point is that there is a lot of energy around evolutionism and it is no where developed like the theory of relativity is. There have been good experiemnts that indicate the theory is right, but it has not been proven. The same could be said about the theory of evolution, it seems like a good theory and there is some evidence it is an accurate theory, but it is still a theory and a theory with big holes in it. Relativity has yet to be shown with holes in it. There is a big difference.

So if evolution is taught in schools, it should be taught explaing that it is a theory in development and not like it is fact.

Mike

elissalowe
12-24-2005, 03:20 PM
Elissa says, "The argument here is not about the truth or falsity of ID - it's about whether a "theory" with no predictions, no successful experiments, or any of the other hallmarks of successful science, should be taught uncritically to children as science before it has been proven to be a viable alternative."

This is also my point exactly with evolution. I love that a respected scientist says that, "...there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence." So one says it's a theory another a fact. Hmmm...
Just goes to show you how well you're processing the info I posted. The line you're quoting was very clearly referenced to an Amicus Curiae brief filed by 72 Nobel Laureates and 24 science orgs - which included 17 state academies of science. Not "a" scientist. You're seeing only the things you wish to see, which is why it's necessary for you to twist what I've written.

If you are going to argue this point, please don't distort my words to do it - what I wrote is easily verified by simply scrolling upwards. It's a pointless tactic that simply proves you are holding this debate with the straw men living in your imagination.


Have you ever seen that great list of quotes by very intelligent people that soon after were proved to be terribly wrong. I might look it up sometime. Unfortunately the only one I remember off the top of my head is Bill Gates. He siad no one will ever need more than 640KB of memory. That coming from a man whose OS won't run in 256MB.

Anyone who is a scientist or inventor makes many missteps and wrong turns before finally getting things right. Only an absolutist with no tolerance for uncertainty and no actual experience of science would demand that these innovators be omnicient.

Your example also works against your argument. The fact that Bill Gates once held a view that has since been shown to be wrong is irrelevant. On the other hand, the fact that he altered his opinion when his statement was proved wrong is highly relevant. Had he been as dogmatic and inflexible as you are, Microsoft wouldn't be the colossus it is today, the flaws in Windows notwithstanding.


I'm not trying to prove him wrong or right. My point is that there is a lot of energy around evolutionism and it is no where developed like the theory of relativity is. There have been good experiemnts that indicate the theory is right, but it has not been proven. The same could be said about the theory of evolution, it seems like a good theory and there is some evidence it is an accurate theory, but it is still a theory and a theory with big holes in it. Relativity has yet to be shown with holes in it. There is a big difference.
Ok - there's been some progress here, since you now concede that "there have been good experiments." The next step is to do a bit more digging: I'd suggest "The Panda's Thumb" by the late Stephen J. Gould. Or "The Flamingo's Smile" - pretty much any book by Gould will do - he was an amazing writer. BTW, his book, "Wonderful Life" is a full-length treatment of the Burgess Shale. The Burgess Shale is - just in case you were wondering - the best collection of fossil organisms from the Cambrian Explosion. You might want to see - with your own eyes - just how evolutionary scientists handle information that they allegedly can't account for. Gould does an unbelievable job of summarizing the beauty and scope of evolutionary theory in very accessible language: both the minute details and large scale events are patiently and elegantly explained.

It's just like analyzing supplement ads: when you see a claim made, you go to the source to see if the claim is accurate. You have obviously read creationist literature. The next step is to fact-check their claims: are the statements they've made about evolutionary theory true? What you will find is that they are not. What does it tell you about the motives of people who must rely on distortions to "sell" their product?


So if evolution is taught in schools, it should be taught explaing that it is a theory in development and not like it is fact.
You are using "theory" and "fact" as though they are mutually exclusive concepts. See Gould's essay in "Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes" - "Evolution as Fact and Theory." It is both, as noted in the full statement issued by the Nobel laureates.

This is entirely the point: what should be taught as scientific "fact" in schools should be what the consensus of researchers in the field determine it to be, based on the best information available at the time. That consensus overwhelmingly favors evolution.

What you do not seem to understand is that science isn't some immutable body of irrefutable facts, graven in stone like the 10 Commandments. As new information comes in, existing concepts are tested - and adjusted, if necessary - in order to expand our understanding. And as the concepts change, older information is reinterpreted in light of the new info. Funny you should mention the Theory of Relativity - it's a perfect example of this point. Newtonian physics was the accepted theory, but there were unsolved problems that Einstein set out to solve. Einstein's theories of Special Relativity and General Relativity didn't utterly discredit or discard Newtonian physics - quite the contrary. Instead, Newtonian physics was incorporated into Relativity Theory and the data/observations were interpreted within a broader conceptual framework. And one that - needless to state - is still evolving!

That's how science works - it evolves. A "theory" need not explain everything to be useful or successful. To demand absolute, ironclad perfection before something can be taught to children is irrational.

By your logic - it would have been inappropriate to teach Newtonian physics as fact in the schools pre-Einstein, because there were unanswered questions and phenomena that it couldn't explain! This is nonsense - imperfect as it was, Newtonian Physics was successful in answering a great many questions. The existence of unanswered questions is what propels further investigation. Science is all about unanswered questions - it is the hallmark of successful science. All science. New information should always lead to more questions.

Conversely, a construct like ID - which invokes a supernatural agent as the answer for every unexplained phenomenon explains everything, and - ironically - nothing. Which is why I suspect it appeals to you and others who can't cope with uncertainty.

The weight of evidence, assembled from genetics, taxonomy, geology, etc. demonstrates that evolution is a fact. It occurred. Even the ID'ers don't deny it. What they propose is a non-scientific argument about mechanisms that is explicitly designed to promote a particular religious viewpoint.

This point was made by Judge Jones in the Kitzmiller case. On page 26 he notes:

"In fact, an explicit concession that the intelligent designer works outside the laws of nature and science and a direct reference to religion is Pandas' rhetorical statement, 'what kind of intelligent agent was it [the designer]' and answer: 'On it's own science cannot answer this question. It must leave it to religion and philosophy.'

A significant aspect of the IDM is that despite Defendants' protestations to the contrary, it describes ID as a religious argument. In that vein, the writings of leading ID proponents reveal that the designer postulated by their argument is the God of Christianity."

ID is an attempt to frame a religious argument. It has no place being taught as science.

Whether or not religion should be taught in schools is a completely separate matter. But it should not be disguised as science.

WillBrink
12-24-2005, 04:16 PM
Elissa says, "The argument here is not about the truth or falsity of ID - it's about whether a "theory" with no predictions, no successful experiments, or any of the other hallmarks of successful science, should be taught uncritically to children as science before it has been proven to be a viable alternative."

This is also my point exactly with evolution.

And your point would be wrong as explained several times.


I love that a respected scientist says that, "...there is no serious scientific doubt that evolution occurred or that natural selection is a major mechanism in its occurrence." So one says it's a theory another a fact. Hmmm...

No Mike, one is fact the other is wishful thinking. ID is not a scientific theory, thus why the conservative republican Christian judge ruled as he did.

alwaysimprove
12-24-2005, 04:34 PM
Holly crap!!!
This is why people shouldn't discuss religion and politics at the same time, although I'm sure you guys are getting good workouts after replying to each other's posts :D No need to take EC, just argue with someone, get your heart rate up and go to the GYM and pump it out...
Hmmm what kind of controversial thread could I start so that I could disagree with someone and cut down on my purchases of E and C :confused:

elissalowe
12-24-2005, 04:42 PM
Holly crap!!!
This is why people shouldn't discuss religion and politics at the same time, although I'm sure you guys are getting good workouts after replying to each other's posts :D No need to take EC, just argue with someone, get your heart rate up and go to the GYM and pump it out...
Hmmm what kind of controversial thread could I start so that I could disagree with someone and cut down on my purchases of E and C :confused:
Debate is intellectual exercise. As I'm sure you're aware, you need to challenge your body in order to get it to grow: when you adapt, you stop making progress.

Brains are no different. ;)

WillBrink
12-24-2005, 04:56 PM
Holly crap!!!
This is why people shouldn't discuss religion and politics at the same time, although I'm sure you guys are getting good workouts after replying to each other's posts :D No need to take EC, just argue with someone, get your heart rate up and go to the GYM and pump it out...
Hmmm what kind of controversial thread could I start so that I could disagree with someone and cut down on my purchases of E and C :confused:

LOL. Too bad it wont increase your BMR like EC will.

ray2nite
12-24-2005, 07:00 PM
Where did the Intelligent designer come from?

mikel252
12-24-2005, 08:43 PM
You're all right and I'm all alone. It's OK with me. I understand the large science body out there is convinced of evolution. There is also another large body out there that are not convinced of that. This large body does not simply use an intelligent designer as an excuse for what can't be answered with science. It does use ID to explain the initial conditions of some astronomically impossible events. I fully believe that science will ultimately prove one way or the other. Science does have a way of doing that.

It's funny that the comement above "In that vein, the writings of leading ID proponents reveal that the designer postulated by their argument is the God of Christianity.", uses Christianity as the one going against evolution or proposing ID. Most of the books I've read are by agnostics. Stephen Hawking is by no means a Christian. There are many scientists, who through their work in evolution, have come to realize that it's just impossible to have all happened by chance. I know one personally. This does not turn them to religion, but to some designer. That's not to say some don't turn to a religion.

ID is not just a Christian thing. The Jews and Muslims will all state ID as well. In fact, the only ones who can clearly trust in evolution alone have to, by definition, be atheist. 16% of the population of the world falls into the atheist/agnostic camp. If you take out the agnostics, atheists would make up much less than 16% of the world population. That leaves roughly over 90% of the world population believes in some form of ID. (850 million as of 2002). The largest of this population is East Germany with roughly 88% of their population being atheist. Out of 5.9 billion (1998) people in the world, 850 million is not a large number.

I do have some interesting questions I've been dying to ask atheists. If you're all here by chance, what purpose can you feel your life has? What motivates you? Why would there be any desire to live within any morals like not stealing, not lying, or murdering? It seems to me like it would all be a useless life void of any purpose or meaning. Help me understand what motivates and drives you.

Mike

WillBrink
12-24-2005, 10:08 PM
You're all right and I'm all alone. It's OK with me. I understand the large science body out there is convinced of evolution. There is also another large body out there that are not convinced of that.

False. I can't tell if you say these things to convince us or yourself, but it's 100% false. The VAST majority of scientists have spoken publicly that evolution is a fact. You attempt to make it sound as if there is "large" group out there that feel other wise as if this was an actual debate within the scientific community. It's not. You do have a bunch of vocal non scientists whining about ID and a handful of scientists who have sided with them. there isn't a single biologist with a history of publications on evolution (that would attest to their expertise on the subject) who realized its inadequacy and turned to ID. Not one Mike.



This large body does not simply use an intelligent designer as an excuse for what can't be answered with science.

Again, there is no large body of scientists in fields that are related to evolution that feel ID is a legit scientific theory. To say they are a minority would be an understatement. The number of scientists who think life came here from another planet is probably greater. There are and were many scientists that are/were religious people. Einstein was quite religious and made statements about God’s hand in our life and creation many times. Newton was also quite religious and felt much of what he did looked into the nature and mind of God. I believe, though I am not 100% on this was, that Hawkins does believe in God, as I recall he has made some interesting statements to that effect. I can’t say if he’s a practicing Christian. None of that changes the fact, as these men and 99.9% of the worlds scientists know, that creationism/ID (and are you really going to attempt to type with a straight face that ID is not just a form of creationism?) is not a scientific theory.



It does use ID to explain the initial conditions of some astronomically impossible events. I fully believe that science will ultimately prove one way or the other. Science does have a way of doing that.

We shall see I suppose.


It's funny that the comement above "In that vein, the writings of leading ID proponents reveal that the designer postulated by their argument is the God of Christianity.", uses Christianity as the one going against evolution or proposing ID. Most of the books I've read are by agnostics. Stephen Hawking is by no means a Christian. There are many scientists, who through their work in evolution, have come to realize that it's just impossible to have all happened by chance. I know one personally. This does not turn them to religion, but to some designer. That's not to say some don't turn to a religion.

[QUOTE=mikel252] ID is not just a Christian thing.


:rolleyes:



The Jews and Muslims will all state ID as well.

Sure, and they think their God did it. Find me an ID pusher who says that it may also have been caused by an alien intelligence from another planet, which is just as likely, if not more so, then God/Allah/Shiva doing it. I would have more respect for the ID proponents if they admitted, that there may have been some higher intelligence in our creation, but that it could just as likely be an alien intelligence or God of another religion and or a God we have never heard of. Me, I am voting for the aliens. :D

elissalowe
12-24-2005, 10:10 PM
You're all right and I'm all alone. It's OK with me. I understand the large science body out there is convinced of evolution. There is also another large body out there that are not convinced of that. This large body does not simply use an intelligent designer as an excuse for what can't be answered with science. It does use ID to explain the initial conditions of some astronomically impossible events. I fully believe that science will ultimately prove one way or the other. Science does have a way of doing that.

It's funny that the comement above "In that vein, the writings of leading ID proponents reveal that the designer postulated by their argument is the God of Christianity.", uses Christianity as the one going against evolution or proposing ID.
You still don't get it, do you? The point that started this thread was a court case concerning the legal and constitutional issues involved in teaching ID as science. If you had even bothered to read the text of the judge's decision, you would find that his assessment is based on the written works of the ID proponents who were called as expert witnesses. The "designer" - in their view - is the God of Christianity.

This is unconstitutional - the state is not in the business of promoting a particular religious viewpoint. It's bad science. It's also bad religion. Many devoutly religious people do not want their children's religious education being dictated by the state.


Most of the books I've read are by agnostics. Stephen Hawking is by no means a Christian. There are many scientists, who through their work in evolution, have come to realize that it's just impossible to have all happened by chance. I know one personally. This does not turn them to religion, but to some designer. That's not to say some don't turn to a religion.

Once again, you offer no proof of your statements. And to reiterate a point made earlier, Stephen Hawking has stated quite clearly that he supports the teaching of evolutionary theory and opposes the teaching of ID. He signed a public statement to that effect - along with hundreds of other scientists.


ID is not just a Christian thing. The Jews and Muslims will all state ID as well.

Just for once, it would be lovely if you would offer some proof or support for your statements. It's the "scientific" thing to do.


In fact, the only ones who can clearly trust in evolution alone have to, by definition, be atheist.

Sez who? Not this man (http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/2005/08/a_fondness_for_.html):

"Miller is, like me, one of those "not many people" who believes in both God and evolution. He's quite accustomed to dealing with Weisberg's assertion that these things are incompatible but, also like me, he's more accustomed to fielding such blanket assertions from the other side -- from the "scientific creationists" and their repackaged heirs in the "Intelligent Design" movement."

Or this one (http://www.brown.edu/Administration/Brown_Alumni_Magazine/00/11-99/features/darwin.html):

"Evolution is neither more nor less than the result of respecting the reality and consistency of the physical world over time. To fashion material beings with an independent physical existence, any Creator would have had to produce an independent material universe in which our evolution over time was a contingent possibility. A believer in the divine accepts that God's love and gift of freedom are genuine - so genuine that they include the power to choose evil and, if we wish, to freely send ourselves to Hell. Not all believers will accept the stark conditions of that bargain, but our freedom to act has to have a physical and biological basis. Evolution and its sister sciences of genetics and molecular biology provide that basis. In biological terms, evolution is the only way a Creator could have made us the creatures we are - free beings in a world of authentic and meaningful moral and spiritual choices.

Ooops.

You know, actually checking things out is a lot harder than simply making s**t up. But it's much more satisfying and intellectually honest.


16% of the population of the world falls into the atheist/agnostic camp. If you take out the agnostics, atheists would make up much less than 16% of the world population. That leaves roughly over 90% of the world population believes in some form of ID. (850 million as of 2002). The largest of this population is East Germany with roughly 88% of their population being atheist. Out of 5.9 billion (1998) people in the world, 850 million is not a large number.

I do have some interesting questions I've been dying to ask atheists. If you're all here by chance, what purpose can you feel your life has? What motivates you? Why would there be any desire to live within any morals like not stealing, not lying, or murdering? It seems to me like it would all be a useless life void of any purpose or meaning. Help me understand what motivates and drives you.

Mike
ROTFLMAO - this is an utterly childish argument. To answer your question, why don't you amble on over to the homepage of the Council for Secular Humanism (http://www.secularhumanism.org/)? The American Humanist Society (http://www.americanhumanist.org/humanism/) is another great place to look. These folks have obviously done a lot of thinking on the subject.

Nor is humanism a solely atheist endeavor. Religious humanists like these folks (http://www.uua.org/) also exist.

Please don't make me go into the history books to drive the last stake through the heart of this portion of your argument: since when have the existence of religious beliefs kept people from "not stealing, not lying, or murdering?" You have 8,000 years of recorded human history against you on this one.

I don't doubt that you have other arguments that will be just as easy to destroy. But aren't you getting a little tired of shooting yourself in the foot already? You're going to run out of both ammo and feet before long.

WillBrink
12-25-2005, 05:12 PM
Mike:

"[i]Evolution is a vital, well-supported, unifying principle of the biological sciences, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the idea that all living things share a common ancestry. .


Speaking of devout religious men and their comments on evolution


"We seem to be engaged in contentious, destructive, and wholly
unnecessary debate about evolution and creation. From my perspective
as a scientist working on the genome, the evidence in favor of
evolution is overwhelming . . . Outside of a time machine, Darwin
could hardly have imagined a more powerful data set than comparative
genomics to confirm his theory." - Francis Collins

"If our organs have been designed by somebody, that person was very
clumsy, outright stupid, and much worse than any human engineer." -
Francisco Ayala (a famous evolutionist, who was also ordained a
Dominican priest).

erp7e
12-25-2005, 09:05 PM
Mike:

This is actually quite simple.

It does not matter whether evolution is valid or not.

The point is this:

It is unconstitutional to teach religious views in a public school.

Regardless of what you think of evolution, 'intelligent design' is basically promoting a Christian viewpoint. While there is NOTHING wrong with being Christian (I am!), and you have your full rights to believe in Christianity, intelligent design, and all the viewpoints entailed...there IS something wrong with teaching religion in tax-funded public schools (Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Shintos, Buddhists, and YES, Atheists, etc...they ARE Americans, they pay taxes, and they ARE protected by Constitutional law!).

IT IS ABOUT CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. Not a debate on the merits of evolution!

End of story.

WillBrink
12-25-2005, 09:15 PM
Mike:

IT IS ABOUT CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. Not a debate on the merits of evolution!

End of story.

Well there is that reality also, or as the conservative, Republican, Christian judge who resided over this most recent case stated:

"... it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom."

erp7e
12-25-2005, 09:17 PM
I think part of the problem is people like Mike think we are attacking his views of ID. There is nothing wrong with people having those views. There is something wrong with our government funding promotion of religious views. Once you do that, you lose your own rights of religious freedom.

ray2nite
12-26-2005, 04:55 PM
I think part of the problem is people like Mike think we are attacking his views of ID. There is nothing wrong with people having those views. There is something wrong with our government funding promotion of religious views. Once you do that, you lose your own rights of religious freedom.

With the two Judges that Bush has appointed to the Supreme Court, that may change. :(

elissalowe
12-26-2005, 06:40 PM
With the two Judges that Bush has appointed to the Supreme Court, that may change. :(
Perhaps so, but while Judge Jones' decision was grounded in the Constitutional issues, as they are currently interpreted, what was also on trial was the science. Expert witnesses were called on both sides. The IDers gave it everything they had, and came off quite badly. On page 64 of the decision, Judge Jones wrote:

"After a searching review of the record and applicable caselaw, we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980's; and (3) ID's negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community. As we will discuss in more detail below, it is additionally important to note that ID has failed to gain acceptance in the scientific community, it has not generated peer-reviewed publications, nor has it been the subject of testing and research."

Or in more informal words of an observer tracking the trial (http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2005/12/boy_they_really.html#more):

"I’m pretty convinced that if another court case were held tomorrow, the ID side would try all of the same arguments over again. Behe would get up there and brazenly assert that scientists were baffled at the evolutionary origin of irreducibly complex systems, and again we would stack up the articles and books on the evolution of the immune system on his podium in front of him. Again, they would repeat the quarter-baked argument that evolution can’t produce new genetic information, and again we would show the judge the peer-reviewed research articles showing how new genes come about. Again they would assert gaps in the fossil record, and again a paleontologist would show the judge — show the judge, right there in court — a bunch of transitional fossils that have been discovered in the last decade or so. They would claim that evolutionists make the contradictory claims that ID is both falsified and unfalsifiable, and again we would point out that evolution is testable, and the ID movement’s claims against evolution have been tested and failed — but that the only positive argument they’ve got, “purposeful arrangement of parts”, is untestable without some model of the purposeful agent and his purposes. Again, they would recite their fake history of their movement, ignoring the fact that all of the ID arguments were originally “creation science” arguments, and again we would show the judge the real history, the transitional forms (this time we’d make sure “cdesign proponentsists” made it onto the judge’s computer screen during the trial), and the identity in tactics and argumentation between the two movements. And again, the judge would learn that the ID claims are simply thin soundbites that fall apart upon detailed examination, whereas the plaintiffs case is based on sound fundamentals — peer-reviewed science, well-documented history, coherant philosophy, and above all pragmatic considerations for what constitutes good science and good science education — and again, we would get an overwhelming ruling."

Unless the Supreme Court wishes to change the rules of what is or is not considered science (the very definition of the kind of "activist" judicial action conservatives allegedly decry), ID doesn't stand a chance. As it stands, it's flawed science and has no place in a science classroom until it meets the standards accepted for other scientific disciplines, including evolution.

WillBrink
12-26-2005, 07:07 PM
Unless the Supreme Court wishes to change the rules of what is or is not considered science (the very definition of the kind of "activist" judicial action conservatives allegedly decry), ID doesn't stand a chance. As it stands, it's flawed science and has no place in a science classroom until it meets the standards accepted for other scientific disciplines, including evolution.

Lets hope that’s the case, but the Supreme Court once ruled that slavery was constitutional. The ‘human factor’ seems to allow an amazing amount of flexibility to over look reality, which means, scary as it sounds, they could decide that ID was a valid theory that competes with evolution. I doubt it will happen, but we all know what happens when we assume something wont happen.

elissalowe
12-26-2005, 07:49 PM
Lets hope that’s the case, but the Supreme Court once ruled that slavery was constitutional. The ‘human factor’ seems to allow an amazing amount of flexibility to over look reality, which means, scary as it sounds, they could decide that ID was a valid theory that competes with evolution. I doubt it will happen, but we all know what happens when we assume something wont happen.
Agreed, although I'll quibble a bit w/your example: slavery was constitutional until passage of the Thirteenth Amendment - the Southern states would not have ratified the Constitution without provisions designed to affirm and protect their "peculiar institution." So there's:

Article I, Section 2:

"Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons..."

Article I, Section 9:

"The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person..."

Article IV, Section 2:

"No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due."

This evil was written into the Constitution from the beginning, which goes to show you that what's legal isn't necessarily moral.

WillBrink
12-26-2005, 07:58 PM
This evil was written into the Constitution from the beginning, which goes to show you that what's legal isn't necessarily moral.

“Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

and

"Rightful Liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add "within the law" because the law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." -- Thomas Jeferson

mikel252
12-27-2005, 10:47 PM
You still don't get it, do you? The point that started this thread was a court case concerning the legal and constitutional issues involved in teaching ID as science. If you had even bothered to read the text of the judge's decision, you would find that his assessment is based on the written works of the ID proponents who were called as expert witnesses. The "designer" - in their view - is the God of Christianity.

I do get it and I'm sorry if I have not been able to communicate it. When I said you win, I meant this debate and not that evolution is true. I read the court case completely, and understand what the issue was. Where I must have gone wrong was that long ago I moved from the specific case to evolution vs ID in general. It was very unfortunate that the ID proponents in this case were so poorly prepared. It's also unfortunate that they felt they represented only Christians.



This is unconstitutional - the state is not in the business of promoting a particular religious viewpoint. It's bad science. It's also bad religion. Many devoutly religious people do not want their children's religious education being dictated by the state.

I agree that it is totally wrong for the government to promote any specific religion. Where I was trying to go in my discussion, which is different than in this specific case, is that ID is not specific to Christianity and that the government can discuss religious concepts in schools. What they cannot do is establish a state religion. There is nothing specific about separation of church and state. The establishment clause says that there will be no state established religion. Spain for example uses Catholicism as its state religion. When children go to public schools, they are going to Catholic schools.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

This should not preclude schools from stating that evolution is a theory and that ID is a concept held by many and then proceed to discuss evolution. This would leave the students with an open mind about all possibilities.

Oh, and to go back to a point you made in another post about theory = fact, where do you get that from? A theory is a theory and a fact can be the result of a proven theory or a specific known fact.



Once again, you offer no proof of your statements. And to reiterate a point made earlier, Stephen Hawking has stated quite clearly that he supports the teaching of evolutionary theory and opposes the teaching of ID. He signed a public statement to that effect - along with hundreds of other scientists.

I would be very interested in seeing this statement and the date he signed it. In his book, A Brief History in Time, he discusses quite often the possibilities of a god and whether a god was needed, specifically around our changing universe. If our universe is static, there would be no specific beginning and no need for a god. Since our universe is expanding, then one must conclude there was a beginning. The book is a good read and very interesting. I have no clue what he thinks about evolution nor would I care since he is a cosmologist. When I hear him discuss evolution, at least within the context of his book, I expect him to be discussing the evolution of the universe. I agree that the universe had a beginning and I believe that life had a beginning. But as there was extreme complexity at the Big Bang, I also believe there was extreme complexity at the beginning of life.



Just for once, it would be lovely if you would offer some proof or support for your statements. It's the "scientific" thing to do.

I’m not sure what proof you were just looking for that made you say this. Honestly I have seen you proved any proof either. What I have seen you do is quote what scientists have said. That’s great and I have quoted what others have said as well. This to me is the classic evolutionist’s stance which I described in my first post. Evolutionists believe so much in their theory that they expect others to prove it wrong instead of offering proof that it is true. They do come up with many other theories and make many statements, but there never seems to be any proof. For example, in the article you presented about how it’s possible for species to split, it offered no actual proof, only a statement that someone said it would be possible.



"Miller is, like me, one of those "not many people" who believes in both God and evolution. He's quite accustomed to dealing with Weisberg's assertion that these things are incompatible but, also like me, he's more accustomed to fielding such blanket assertions from the other side -- from the "scientific creationists" and their repackaged heirs in the "Intelligent Design" movement."

I too once thought that there was no reason that God couldn’t have used the process of a directed evolution to create life. But, when I see evidence of creation through the Cambrian Explosion and the existence of giants in fossils as well as a well-known ancient book, I began to realize that my God did not utilize the evolutionary process to create life. Yes, there are minor adaptations to the environment, but not species coming from another.

There are people out there who claim to know God and that evolution was the process used. I think when these people really study their God and evolution they will too see that it seems inconsistent. Just my perspective though.


Ooops.

You know, actually checking things out is a lot harder than simply making s**t up. But it's much more satisfying and intellectually honest.

That’s just plain out of line and poor form. To suggest that I.... I just lost a lot of respect for you. I thought we were having great discussion until this.

That’s it for me. If we cannot respect each other, then there really is no discussion.

mikel252
12-27-2005, 10:55 PM
I think part of the problem is people like Mike think we are attacking his views of ID. There is nothing wrong with people having those views. There is something wrong with our government funding promotion of religious views. Once you do that, you lose your own rights of religious freedom.

Thanks erp for the support, but I am not feeling attacked (except for elissa's comment). My problem is that I am very poor at debate. I see comments I respond to and then the rebuttal comments I get are not towards the point I'm trying to make, rather about my argument. Happens to me a lot. I never tooka debate class or how to present apologetics and it just doesn't come natural to me.

My biggest mistake in all this was not to state when I went general on the topic rather than staying specific to the case Will presented. Then I made many other mistakes. When I would see the comments I got back from my post, I realized my point didn't come across. That's the origin of my frustration.

By the way, I agree with all your coments above.

Mike

mikel252
12-27-2005, 10:58 PM
Well there is that reality also, or as the conservative, Republican, Christian judge who resided over this most recent case stated:

"... it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom."

I know, I'm sorry I wandered off the topic. I did specifically move to general than specific to this case and I didn't make it clear when I did. I'm sorry for the confusion I created.

Mike

WillBrink
12-27-2005, 11:28 PM
It was very unfortunate that the ID proponents in this case were so poorly prepared. .

Poorly prepared???? That’s what you took away from the judges decision? The ID camp presented every “fact” they had to argue and the judge saw right through it. Are you saying Behe himself, as the primary proponent of ID was ill prepared and unable to explain ID? I don’t think so….below sums it up so perfectly that it should be framed and put in every real scientists office and school biology class room (cudos to Elissa).The following is a post from a science weblog that's been following ID closely:

"I've got about 30 minutes to kill, so I might as well give some general
thoughts on the IDists' reactions to the cataclysmic Dover decision.
First: They don't get it. At all. One would think that this kind of
decision - coming from a Lutheran Republican judge appointed by George Bush
(that's George W. Bush, mind you), who, for six weeks watched exactly the
kind of "Darwin[ists] on Trial" case that the IDists have been fantasizing
about for years - would at least give the IDists a bit of pause. Perhaps
some of those scientific, philosophical, and legal arguments - all of them
tried out extensively by the Thomas More Law Center - weren't quite as
convincing as the Discovery Institute had been putting on. No, instead, all
we have seen is vituperation ("activist", "biased", and, presumably worst,
"Darwinist") directed at a judge who on any other day would be considered a
model conservative.

I'm pretty convinced that if another court case were held tomorrow, the ID
side would try all of the same arguments over again. Behe would get up there
and brazenly assert that scientists were baffled at the evolutionary origin
of irreducibly complex systems, and again we would stack up the articles and
books on the evolution of the immune system on his podium in front of him.
Again, they would repeat the quarter-baked argument that evolution can't
produce new genetic information, and again we would show the judge the
peer-reviewed research articles showing how new genes come about. Again they
would assert gaps in the fossil record, and again a paleontologist would
show the judge - show the judge, right there in court - a bunch of
transitional fossils that have been discovered in the last decade or so.
They would claim that evolutionists make the contradictory claims that ID is
both falsified and unfalsifiable, and again we would point out that
evolution is testable, and the ID movement's claims against evolution have
been tested and failed - but that the only positive argument they've got,
"purposeful arrangement of parts", is untestable without some model of the
purposeful agent and his purposes. Again, they would recite their fake
history of their movement, ignoring the fact that all of the ID arguments
were originally "creation science" arguments, and again we would show the
judge the real history, the transitional forms (this time we'd make sure
"cdesign proponentsists" made it onto the judge's computer screen during the
trial), and the identity in tactics and argumentation between the two
movements. And again, the judge would learn that the ID claims are simply
thin soundbites that fall apart upon detailed examination, whereas the
plaintiffs case is based on sound fundamentals - peer-reviewed science,
well-documented history, coherant philosophy, and above all pragmatic
considerations for what constitutes good science and good science
education - and again, we would get an overwhelming ruling.

Second: It is clear that many of the judge's critics, even those with law
backgrounds, do not realize that every point in the judge's opinion - the
scientific debunking of Behe's irreducible complexity, the philosophy of
science, the theological history, etc. - was argued and fought for at trial.
The judge heard every claim and every cross-examination point. Every single
tired argument that the ID fans are repeating after the decision was brought
up by TMLC and its witnesses and debunked in detail before the judge, during
the bench trial. Anyone wishing to do a serious rebuttal of the judge's
opinion has to look at his citations to the record - which is all online,
except exhibits - and rebut the record he based his decision on.

Finally, the ID movement has no one but themselves to blame for this
decision. If you don't want damaging court decisions, don't make the very
first book systematically using the term "intelligent design" a 9th grade
biology textbook!!! Don't publish, and then distribute widely, law review
articles confidently declaring the intellectual soundess of ID, and spinning
rosy legal scenarios where consitutional difficulties evaporate. Whatever
you do, don't send your propaganda videos to school board members who might
actually take them to heart! In fact, if the ID movement were intellectually
serious, they would withdraw completely from interfering with public
education, realizing that introductory science classes simply have to
educate students in the basics of accepted science, and are not the right
places to try getting recruits for fringe science. They would stop trying to
make their case in the media, and instead take the only legitimate route to
academic respectability - winning the scientific battle, in the scientific
community. IDists have made much of comparing ID to the Big Bang model - but
did Big Bang proponents kick off their model in a high school textbook? Did
they go around the country mucking with kiddies science standards to promote
their view? Did they ever lobby legislators? I don't think so."

elissalowe
12-28-2005, 12:19 AM
I agree that it is totally wrong for the government to promote any specific religion. Where I was trying to go in my discussion, which is different than in this specific case, is that ID is not specific to Christianity and that the government can discuss religious concepts in schools. What they cannot do is establish a state religion. There is nothing specific about separation of church and state. The establishment clause says that there will be no state established religion. Spain for example uses Catholicism as its state religion. When children go to public schools, they are going to Catholic schools.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
What you are evidently unaware of is that religious concepts are in fact taught in schools. My kids have learned about all of the major religions in school. What the schools should not be doing is promoting religious belief. There is a tremendous difference.

Nor should they be doing it by stealth: by disguising it as science. As has been made abundantly clear, ID is bad science.


This should not preclude schools from stating that evolution is a theory and that ID is a concept held by many and then proceed to discuss evolution. This would leave the students with an open mind about all possibilities.
Open-mindedness does not require the equal consideration of things that do not have equal credibility. As one blogger connected with the National Council for Science Education put it:

"Finally, the ID movement has no one but themselves to blame for this decision. If you don’t want damaging court decisions, don’t make the very first book systematically using the term “intelligent design” a 9th grade biology textbook!!! Don’t publish, and then distribute widely, law review articles confidently declaring the intellectual soundess of ID, and spinning rosy legal scenarios where consitutional difficulties evaporate. Whatever you do, don’t send your propaganda videos to school board members who might actually take them to heart! In fact, if the ID movement were intellectually serious, they would withdraw completely from interfering with public education, realizing that introductory science classes simply have to educate students in the basics of accepted science, and are not the right places to try getting recruits for fringe science. They would stop trying to make their case in the media, and instead take the only legitimate route to academic respectability — winning the scientific battle, in the scientific community. IDists have made much of comparing ID to the Big Bang model — but did Big Bang proponents kick off their model in a high school textbook? Did they go around the country mucking with kiddies science standards to promote their view? Did they ever lobby legislators? I don’t think so."
(emphasis mine)

Whatever you may wish to believe, they simply haven't made their case in the ONE place it truly counts: the larger community of scholars. That there are a handful of scientists pushing it isn't sufficient. There are no published, peer-reviewed papers. And when the writings of major proponents like Michael Behe and William Dembski are reviewed, major intellectual and scientific problems emerge. For one simple and very readable example, see Kenneth Miller's review of Michael Behe's book "Darwin's Black Box" here: http://biomed.brown.edu/Faculty/M/Miller/Behe.html. I have many other examples if you wish to see them.


Oh, and to go back to a point you made in another post about theory = fact, where do you get that from? A theory is a theory and a fact can be the result of a proven theory or a specific known fact.
Once again you have misquoted what I wrote, which is why this exchange has been so frustrating for me - you either refuse to deal with what is written or you deliberately twist it - I don't know which one is true. To refresh your memory, this is what I wrote:

"You are using "theory" and "fact" as though they are mutually exclusive concepts. See Gould's essay in "Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes" - "Evolution as Fact and Theory." It is both, as noted in the full statement issued by the Nobel laureates."

What is there about "it is both" that you don't understand? That evolution has occurred is a fact. The theory concerns the mechanisms of how it occurred. Consider the example of gravity: it also is a fact (objects fall) and theory (an explanation of how/why objects fall).


I would be very interested in seeing this statement and the date he signed it. In his book, A Brief History in Time, he discusses quite often the possibilities of a god and whether a god was needed, specifically around our changing universe. If our universe is static, there would be no specific beginning and no need for a god. Since our universe is expanding, then one must conclude there was a beginning. The book is a good read and very interesting. I have no clue what he thinks about evolution nor would I care since he is a cosmologist. When I hear him discuss evolution, at least within the context of his book, I expect him to be discussing the evolution of the universe. I agree that the universe had a beginning and I believe that life had a beginning. But as there was extreme complexity at the Big Bang, I also believe there was extreme complexity at the beginning of life.
Once again, there's that tricky business about reading things I wrote. I wrote earlier in this thread:

"Dr. Hawking is a signee on the National Center for Science Education's "Project Steve" - created in honor of writer and evolutionary scientist Stephen J. Gould."

Now - I should have put the link in. But there was sufficient information included that anyone could fact-check it. Plugging "NCSE and Project Steve and Stephen Hawking" into
Google took me right here: http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/news/2003/ZZ/751_hawking_is_steve_300_4_21_2003.asp

"Hawking is Steve #300
Project Steve continues apace, with the 305th Steve coming on board today. Like their predecessors, the 85 Steves to join since the initial announcement of Project Steve are a distinguished group whose public support for evolution education we are honored to be able to announce. The 300th signatory to NCSE’s Project Steve shares a unique distinction with Stephen Jay Gould: that of appearing on The Simpsons. I refer, of course, to Steve #300, the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, Stephen W. Hawking. For the current list of Steves as well as links to the media coverage -- recent articles have appeared in Scientific American, American Scientist, and the Geological Society’s Media Monitor -- please see the Project Steve page of the NCSE web site.

April 21, 2003"

I quoted the statement he signed in an earlier post.


I’m not sure what proof you were just looking for that made you say this. Honestly I have seen you proved any proof either. What I have seen you do is quote what scientists have said. That’s great and I have quoted what others have said as well. This to me is the classic evolutionist’s stance which I described in my first post. Evolutionists believe so much in their theory that they expect others to prove it wrong instead of offering proof that it is true. They do come up with many other theories and make many statements, but there never seems to be any proof. For example, in the article you presented about how it’s possible for species to split, it offered no actual proof, only a statement that someone said it would be possible.
Just as I did with "Project Steve" - every step of the way I have provided sources for where my information was coming from - so anyone reading what I wrote could either click the links, or track it down to see if my interpretation was accurate.

What you do not seem to understand, is that "what scientists have said" represents what the science that we teach is. Just as the majority of researchers in physics get to decide what physics is; and the majority of researchers in biochemistry determine what biochemistry is; evolutionary biologists are the ones who decide what evolution is and how it's taught. The scientists I've quoted are ones that represent that majority view: organizations such as the AAAS, which is the largest scientific organization in the world and publishes one of the most prestigious scientific journals, Science.

The article I linked to was a summary of a recent special issue of Science - which is devoted to exploring the latest developments in evolutionary research. If you want to see the full article on species splitting, then head over to a university library and read it. I am not under any obligation to prove to you the legitimacy of an entire scientific discipline! That is an absolutely absurd proposition. What I have attempted to do here is demonstrate to you that your absolutely baseless and absurd accusations of the invalidity of evolutionary theory are not supported by the scientific community.


I too once thought that there was no reason that God couldn’t have used the process of a directed evolution to create life. But, when I see evidence of creation through the Cambrian Explosion and the existence of giants in fossils as well as a well-known ancient book, I began to realize that my God did not utilize the evolutionary process to create life. Yes, there are minor adaptations to the environment, but not species coming from another.

There are people out there who claim to know God and that evolution was the process used. I think when these people really study their God and evolution they will too see that it seems inconsistent. Just my perspective though.
I'm perfectly ok with that. And if you had said so from the very beginning, there would have been no problem. What you believe is what you believe. But you chose to make a series of unsupported and baseless accusations against a completely legitimate scientific discipline. And I have taken exception to those statements. In the words of another blogger, who has worked as both a defense attorney and prosecutor:

"Another cardinal sin is to believe that your argument is the only right one. One of the first things you learn as a litigator is that there is always another side. Always, always, always. And you must give due consideration to every side of an issue to adequately do your job. A true believer makes for an emotional argument, but not for a clear-headed, well-reasoned, intellectual argument in most cases."

What you have done is consistently view your argument as the only possible one, and have branded the other as completely lacking in merit. This is untrue, and Will and I have gone to great lengths to try to point this out to you.


That’s just plain out of line and poor form. To suggest that I.... I just lost a lot of respect for you. I thought we were having great discussion until this.

That’s it for me. If we cannot respect each other, then there really is no discussion.
I'll concede this particular point to you: it was poor form and I apologize for expressing my frustration in that particular way. While your equation of evolution and atheism was untrue and wholly invented, it was wrong of me to describe your statement in those terms.

For the record, however, this was not a "great discussion." Quite the contrary, I found your original characterizations of evolutionary biologists extremely offensive. I used to perform research in molecular biology - an adjacent discipline. I have read popular works from distinguished researchers and recognized their methods and reasoning. They are also searchers after meaning and truth: colleagues, if you will. And I have zero respect for the fact that - in the process of discussing your beliefs - you chose to vilify their work. I am also offended by your blatant rewording of some of my arguments, and your indirect attempt to insult me with your sneering remarks about atheists. Respect breeds respect - show some and maybe you'll get some.

mikel252
12-28-2005, 12:25 AM
No, sorry. Yes they were poorly prepared, but I agree so far with the judge's decision for the reasons he stated. Their biggest mistake was to tie ID to Christianity and the fact that there were people lying about their intent about teaching ID. All very unfortunate. I totally agree that there should not be any state sponsored religion and that's exactly what would be going on at that school if the judge had ruled for ID.

The point I've been trying to make which has apparently not been getting across is that while evolution is a scientific theory, it should be taught that way. However, I think it should be noted that evolution is one possible explanation and that ID is another possibility. This is not promoting a specific religion or religion in general. My thinking is that it leaves peoples minds more open to seek all possibilities rather than stating only one and leaving it at that. This way children can continue to explore throughout their lives and decide for their own which is best for them. This happens a lot within the educational system and not just with evolution. This is why people's creativity drops in relation to how far they go in education. Yes there are highly educated creative people, but this is more the exception than the rule. It's that education tends to teach people with the teacher's bias. This means people are introduced to a new concept and think that's it and no other possibilities, options, methods, etc. It's much harder for people to think outside the box when topics are presented in a "closed" manner rather than "open". Like I said, this is not specific to evolution. I truly believe we can get even faster progress on new theories and faster scientific results if scientists were better at thinking outside the box. This is where new theories come from, when someone can see something no one else could.

So, my problem with the overall situation (not just this specific case) is that we are limiting people's education when we give them one explantion and leave it at that.

Hopefully I said this better and that it's getting my point across better. Like I said in another post, my biggest mistake was moving from specific to general without stating so. We went down many twisted paths that were getting more into the topic of evolution versus ID instead of discussing more of the overall situation.

Mike

WillBrink
12-28-2005, 01:07 AM
No, sorry. Yes they were poorly prepared, but I agree so far with the judge's decision for the reasons he stated. Their biggest mistake was to tie ID to Christianity and the fact that there were people lying about their intent about teaching ID.

That's because ID is tied to Christianity and that too has been proven. It's based on creationist "science."




All very unfortunate. I totally agree that there should not be any state sponsored religion and that's exactly what would be going on at that school if the judge had ruled for ID.The point I've been trying to make which has apparently not been getting across is that while evolution is a scientific theory,.

And ID is not. Evolution is a well established well supported theory. ID is not and never will be.


it should be taught that way.

And it is taught exactly that way.


However, I think it should be noted that evolution is one possible explanation and that ID is another possibility.

Sure it's a possibility, and it's also a possiblity that aliens created life. That's not the point. It's not science, it has no scientific support, it has no way to be tested, etc, etc that we have covered already. As I pointed out:many of the worlds great thinkers believed in a creator/God/higher power of some sort.


This is not promoting a specific religion or religion in general.

Now that would be false. It's creationism in a new feel good PC "let's see if we can get this under the radar" Christian based hoopla.


My thinking is that it leaves peoples minds more open to seek all possibilities rather than stating only one and leaving it at that.

Would you also be OK with teaching kids that aliens from another planet may have created life (with zero proof) or that Santa created life on earth with no science to support either contention? And to show you how opne minded I am, i do believe there is life on other planets, I just don't think there is enough proof of it to teach as an established and supported theory.


This way children can continue to explore throughout their lives and decide for their own which is best for them. This happens a lot within the educational system and not just with evolution. This is why people's creativity drops in relation to how far they go in education. Yes there are highly educated creative people, but this is more the exception than the rule. It's that education tends to teach people with the teacher's bias. This means people are introduced to a new concept and think that's it and no other possibilities, options, methods, etc. It's much harder for people to think outside the box when topics are presented in a "closed" manner rather than "open". Like I said, this is not specific to evolution. I truly believe we can get even faster progress on new theories and faster scientific results if scientists were better at thinking outside the box. This is where new theories come from, when someone can see something no one else could.

So, my problem with the overall situation (not just this specific case) is that we are limiting people's education when we give them one explantion and leave it at that.

Hopefully I said this better and that it's getting my point across better. Like I said in another post, my biggest mistake was moving from specific to general without stating so. We went down many twisted paths that were getting more into the topic of evolution versus ID instead of discussing more of the overall situation.

Mike


I think many of those points as a general comment on education are true, but there is little connection to ID and evolution per se. Dogma is always bad. Most of my adult life has been fighting the dogma in nutrition, or other science. It's important to keep an open mind, but not so open your brain falls out....

elissalowe
12-28-2005, 02:21 AM
Would you also be OK with teaching kids that aliens from another planet may have created life (with zero proof) or that Santa created life on earth with no science to support either contention? And to show you how opne minded I am, i do believe there is life on other planets, I just don't think there is enough proof of it to teach as an established and supported theory.

Speaking of which... :D

* * * * * * * *

Bobby Henderson is holed up in the boonies -- Corvallis, Oregon -- hard at work on his next entry into the fray over just what students should learn about the origin of species.

When the Kansas Board of Education proposed balancing evolution instruction by teaching intelligent design, said to be a scientific theory that supports an "intelligent creator" of all life, the decision outraged many, including 38 Nobel laureates (.pdf) (http://media.ljworld.com/pdf/2005/09/15/nobel_letter.pdf).

Henderson responded with a satirical letter to the Kansas board demanding equal time for a different, "equally scientific" theory of intelligent design, in which a Flying Spaghetti Monster created the world.

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or Pastafarianism, turned into a phenomenon, appealing to scientists, academics and many others, who flock to Henderson's website to pick up FSM mugs and T-shirts, play games and learn about other school boards hostile to evolutionary thought. The site now draws as many as 2 million hits a day.

Meanwhile, public debate over intelligent design is intensifying. One Georgia suburb recently put warnings on biology texts stating evolution was "a theory, not a fact," prompting a legal challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union heard last Thursday in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals -- a ruling is expected next year. And Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that intelligent design couldn't be mentioned in biology classes in Pennsylvania public schools, deciding a closely watched case that evolved from a Dover, Pennsylvania, school board policy that steered students to the intelligent design textbook Of Pandas and People.

Now Henderson -- a 25-year-old physics graduate -- has banked a reported $80,000 advance for the still unfinished The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, scheduled for publication in March. He isn't talking much publicly while he writes, but he took time for an exclusive conversation with Wired News about the Gospel, a future influenced by intelligent design and his plans to build a pirate ship to convert heathens.

Wired News: Why does Pastafarianism deserve equal time in science classrooms where intelligent design is taught?

Bobby Henderson: Our theory is as much science -- in fact much more so -- than what the ID (intelligent design) guys are proposing. And, if you are going to redefine science to include supernatural explanations, you have to allow them all. To include intelligent design in a science classroom you have to first expand the definition of science to include supernatural explanations, rather than only natural ones, as it is now.

WN: Supernatural?

Henderson: They are saying that a "designer" created everything, and that natural phenomena can't have caused these things to happen, that a designer must have magically made these things the way they are. If it's not supernatural, I don't know what it is.

WN: How were you inspired to write The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

Henderson: The book is necessary so that people see how much hard evidence supports the existence of the FSM. You can make a pretty strong argument for His existence. Especially if you use the same sort of reasoning the ID people do: specious reasoning and circular logic. I suspect the mainstream religions will concede after reading it.

WN: I notice there's a Wikipedia FSM Bible page. Is that a draft of the Gospel?

Henderson: Nope. There's actually another FSM "bible" brewing on the discussion forums. Neither of those are particularly similar to the "real" one.

WN: Why do you think so many people have responded to this, so many scientists?

Henderson: I think it's just because they have a better understanding of what the ID nuts are trying to do. I think part of it is that the science community, itself, is pretty quiet about the issue. Their strategy is to ignore the "debate" so that the ID people don't get the forum.

WN: Do you think that's a mistake?

Henderson: Yeah, totally. They need to be out there calling these people retarded all the time. Nonstop. The ID people are winning because the scientists think if they ignore the issue, it will go away. Plus, I'm sure it would be therapeutic to make fun of the ID people. I think it's pretty amazing that these people without scientific backgrounds -- or really any education at all -- think they have the right to decide the science curriculum. And it blows my mind that they are getting away with it.

More here: http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,69905-1.html?tw=wn_story_page_next1

alwaysimprove
12-28-2005, 04:30 PM
Let's look at it this way, if aliens created humans... Who created the aliens? Was it bigger more intelligent aliens? If so who or what created them? How did anything start? Are we all real? Is this just a dream? If so who is dreaming this dream and who created this specimen that is dreaming all of this? Go ahead and try to answer those question ID people HA HA HA :D

elissalowe
12-28-2005, 05:11 PM
Let's look at it this way, if aliens created humans... Who created the aliens? Was it bigger more intelligent aliens? If so who or what created them? How did anything start? Are we all real? Is this just a dream? If so who is dreaming this dream and who created this specimen that is dreaming all of this? Go ahead and try to answer those question ID people HA HA HA :D
I have to admit though, Will's "Santa" hypothesis has a lot going for it, and certainly has a good shot at making it into the public school curriculum. After all, kids already believe in him, and there's been countless movies and sightings at shopping malls to confirm his existence. His magical powers are legendary, after all - as I and countless other parents have confirmed over the years.

Works for me! :D

WillBrink
12-28-2005, 07:04 PM
Let's look at it this way, if aliens created humans... Who created the aliens? Was it bigger more intelligent aliens? If so who or what created them? How did anything start? Are we all real? Is this just a dream? If so who is dreaming this dream and who created this specimen that is dreaming all of this? Go ahead and try to answer those question ID people HA HA HA :D

Some interesting and mind bending thoughts. Reminds me of many a sci fi book I have read. I wonder if ID types are so thick that if we met up with some aliens who showed us that they in fact started life on earth, if their response would be "but God created them first, then they created us" or some such nonsense.

mikel252
12-28-2005, 08:04 PM
That's because ID is tied to Christianity and that too has been proven. It's based on creationist "science."

I didn't know that about ID and it being tied to Christianity. I'm not sure why or how that happened. I can only guess that maybe it's because 80% of Americans claim some form of Christian belief and so since there are more of them it gets tied to them. The Jews have probably learned to keep quiet since anti-Semitism seems to rear its ugly head at unpredictable times. Also, there are very few Muslims in this country and have almost no voice. They agree with the writings of Moses up to Jacob and Esau and that’s where they split. The Jews use the same texts as the Christian Old Testament plus additional writings. So, both of those religions have their basis in the same creator.

I’m not trying to say that ID is not tied to Christianity, only that it seems odd to me.






Evolution is a well established well supported theory. ID is not and never will be.

I know that evolution is a well established theory, but I guess what’s lacking for me is your comment on it being well supported. If you mean well supported from the perspective of many scientists backing it, then I agree with you. If you mean well supported as in there is strong evidence supporting it, then I’d have to disagree with you.

Mike

WillBrink
12-28-2005, 08:32 PM
I didn't know that about ID and it being tied to Christianity. I'm not sure why or how that happened.

Because that's where it came from! It is an offshoot of creationist "science" period. You will find all the groups that push it have their foundation in Christian values. That it mayhave broken away from that Christian connection for a few people is the rare part actually.



I’m not trying to say that ID is not tied to Christianity, only that it seems odd to me.

Then you have not looked deeply enough into where ID really comes from and the fact it's just creationism in a new wrapper.




I know that evolution is a well established theory, but I guess what’s lacking for me is your comment on it being well supported.

Then you contradict yourself. In science well established = well supported.


If you mean well supported from the perspective of many scientists backing it, then I agree with you. If you mean well supported as in there is strong evidence supporting it, then I’d have to disagree with you.

One more time. Evolution is one of the best supported theories that exists period, and that is the opinion of all the science organizations on this planet as pointed out to you by Elisa. It’s also what practicing Christian evolutionists and biologist know. One more time:

Openly Christian genetics researcher and top scientist, Dr. Francis Collins

"We seem to be engaged in contentious, destructive, and wholly
unnecessary debate about evolution and creation. From my perspective as a scientist working on the genome, the evidence in favor of evolution is overwhelming . . . Outside of a time machine, Darwin could hardly have imagined a more powerful data set than comparative genomics to confirm his theory." –

Here is a great interview with Dr. Collins on how he goes about balancing his strong Christian faith with his science:

http://www.meta-library.net/transcript/coll-body.html

elissalowe
12-28-2005, 09:13 PM
I didn't know that about ID and it being tied to Christianity. I'm not sure why or how that happened. I can only guess that maybe it's because 80% of Americans claim some form of Christian belief and so since there are more of them it gets tied to them. The Jews have probably learned to keep quiet since anti-Semitism seems to rear its ugly head at unpredictable times.
Wrong again... :rolleyes:

Statement from The Rabbinical Council of America, which exists to promote "the welfare, interests, and professionalism of Orthodox rabbis all around the world....Membership in the RCA is held by close to 1000 ordained rabbis, spread throughout 14 countries. These include congregational rabbis, teachers and academicians, military chaplains, health-care chaplains, organizational professionals, and others." (http://www.rabbis.org/about_us.cfm)

"Dec 27, 2005 -- Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design:
The View of the Rabbinical Council of America


December 22nd 2005
21 Kislev 5766


In light of the ongoing public controversy about Evolution, Creationism and Intelligent Design, the RCA notes that significant Jewish authorities have maintained that evolutionary theory, properly understood, is not incompatible with belief in a Divine Creator, nor with the first 2 chapters of Genesis.

There are authentic, respected voices in the Jewish community that take a literalist position with regard to these issues; at the same time, Judaism has a history of diverse approaches to the understanding of the biblical account of creation. As Rabbi Joseph Hertz wrote, "While the fact of creation has to this day remained the first of the articles of the Jewish creed, there is no uniform and binding belief as to the manner of creation, i.e. as to the process whereby the universe came into existence. The manner of the Divine creative activity is presented in varying forms and under differing metaphors by Prophet, Psalmist and Sage; by the Rabbis in Talmudic times, as well as by our medieval Jewish thinkers." Some refer to the Midrash (Koheleth Rabbah 3:13) which speaks of God "developing and destroying many worlds" before our current epoch. Others explain that the word "yom" in Biblical Hebrew, usually translated as "day," can also refer to an undefined period of time, as in Isaiah 11:10-11. Maimonides stated that "what the Torah writes about the Account of Creation is not all to be taken literally, as believed by the masses" (Guide to the Perplexed II:29), and recent Rabbinic leaders who have discussed the topic of creation, such as Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch and Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, saw no difficulty in explaining Genesis as a theological text rather than a scientific account.

Judaism affirms the idea that God is the Creator of the Universe and the Being responsible for the presence of human beings in this world.
Nonetheless, there have long been different schools of thought within Judaism regarding the extent of divine intervention in natural processes. One respected view was expressed by Maimonides who wrote that "we should endeavor to integrate the Torah with rational thought, affirming that events take place in accordance with the natural order wherever possible.” (Letter to the Jews of Yemen) All schools concur that God is the ultimate cause and that humanity was an intended end result of Creation.

For us, these fundamental beliefs do not rest on the purported weaknesses of Evolutionary Theory, and cannot be undermined by the elimination of gaps in scientific knowledge.

Judaism has always preferred to see science and Torah as two aspects of the "Mind of God" (to borrow Stephen Hawking's phrase) that are ultimately unitary in the reality given to us by the Creator. As the Zohar says (Genesis 134a): "istakel be-'oraita u-vara 'alma," God looked into the Torah and used it as His blueprint for creating the Universe."


Also, there are very few Muslims in this country and have almost no voice. They agree with the writings of Moses up to Jacob and Esau and that’s where they split. The Jews use the same texts as the Christian Old Testament plus additional writings. So, both of those religions have their basis in the same creator.

I’m not trying to say that ID is not tied to Christianity, only that it seems odd to me.
From "Islam Today" (http://www.islamtoday.com/showme2.cfm?cat_id=29&sub_cat_id=792):

"Therefore, with respect to other living things, the Qur’ân and Sunnah neither confirm nor deny the theory of biological evolution or the process referred to as natural selection. The question of evolution remains purely a matter of scientific enquiry. The theory of evolution must stand or fall on its own scientific merits – and that means the physical evidence that either confirms the theory or conflicts with it.

The role of science is only to observe and describe the patterns that Allah places in His creation. If scientific observation shows a pattern in the evolution of species over time that can be described as natural selection, this is not in itself unbelief. It is only unbelief for a person to think that this evolution took place on its own, and not as a creation of Allah. A Muslim who accepts evolution or natural selection as a valid scientific theory must know that the theory is merely an explanation of one of the many observed patterns in Allah’s creation.

As for the fossil remains of bipedal apes and the tools and artifacts associated with those remains, their existence poses no problem for Islamic teachings. There is nothing in the Qur’ân and Sunnah that either affirms or denies that upright, brainy, tool using apes ever existed or evolved from other apelike ancestors. Such animals may very well have existed on Earth before Adam’s arrival upon it. All we can draw from the Qur’ân and Sunnah is that even if those animals once existed, they were not the forefathers of Adam (peace be upon him).

And Allah knows best."

This is not to say that there aren't Jews or Muslims who do not support ID - as currently defined or in principle - there are. But it would be wrong to say that followers of these religions have "learned to keep quiet" or "have almost no voice." Non-Christian religious groups and individuals have their own beliefs and opinions - they have not been silenced or silent. But they're not pushing the issue, a) because they don't see that evolution threatens their beliefs, and b) because they don't have a vision of America as a "Jewish Nation" or a "Muslim Nation" and don't insist that the government promote their beliefs. Certain Christians, however, feel otherwise.

ID is being bankrolled by the Discovery Institute, who also provided assistance to the defense in the Dover case. In the words of a former member (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002450329_danny24.html):

"Bob Davidson is a scientist — a doctor, and for 28 years a nephrology professor at the University of Washington medical school.

He's also a devout Christian who believes we're here because of God. It was these twin devotions to science and religion that first attracted him to Seattle's Discovery Institute. That's the think tank that this summer has pushed "intelligent design" — a replacement theory for evolution — all the way to the lips of President Bush and into the national conversation.

Davidson says he was seeking a place where people "believe in a Creator and also believe in science.

"I thought it was refreshing," he says.

Not anymore. He's concluded the institute is an affront to both science and religion.

"When I joined I didn't think they were about bashing evolution. It's pseudo-science, at best ... What they're doing is instigating a conflict between science and religion.""

ID is a political tool, that's being used to fight what many on the political right view as the "culture wars." In the words of the Discovery Institute's "Wedge Document":

"The proposition that human beings are created in the image of God is one of the bedrock principles on which Western civilization was built. Its influence can be detected in most, if not all, of the West's greatest achievements, including representative democracy, human rights, free enterprise, and progress in the arts and sciences.

Yet a little over a century ago, this cardinal idea came under wholesale attack by intellectuals drawing on the discoveries of modern science. Debunking the traditional conceptions of both God and man, thinkers such as Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud portrayed humans not as moral and spiritual beings, but as animals or machines who inhabited a universe ruled by purely impersonal forces and whose behavior and very thoughts were dictated by the unbending forces of biology, chemistry, and environment. This materialistic conception of reality eventually infected virtually every area of our culture, from politics and economics to literature and art.

...

Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies. Bringing together leading scholars from the natural sciences and those from the humanities and social sciences, the Center explores how new developments in biology, physics and cognitive science raise serious doubts about scientific materialism and have re-opened the case for a broadly theistic understanding of nature. The Center awards fellowships for original research, holds conferences, and briefs policymakers about the opportunities for life after materialism."

Emphasis mine.

This is not - and never has been - about science. They failed with Creation Science, and are using ID - "Creation Lite" to further their social agenda


I know that evolution is a well established theory, but I guess what’s lacking for me is your comment on it being well supported. If you mean well supported from the perspective of many scientists backing it, then I agree with you. If you mean well supported as in there is strong evidence supporting it, then I’d have to disagree with you.

Mike
Did you ever bother to wonder why so many prominent, celebrated, and gifted scientists are backing it? Did it ever occur to you that maybe they know something you don't? Have you ever considered that - just because you don't have the answers to the questions you raised earlier - that maybe they do?

As mentioned earlier, there's always - always - another side. Here's a small sample of only one (devout Christian) evolutionary scientist's work (http://www.faculty.uci.edu/profile.cfm?faculty_id=2134&name=Francisco%20J.%20Ayala):

Leclerc, M.C., P. Durand, C. Gauthier, S. Patot, N. Billotte, M. Menegon. C. Severini, F.J. Ayala and F. Renaud. 2004. Meager genetic variability of the human malaria agent Plasmodium vivax. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 101:14455-14460.

Balakirev, E.S. and F.J. Ayala. 2004. Nucleotide Variation in the tinman and bagpipe Homeobox Genes of Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 166:1845-1856.

Ayala, F.J. 2004. Human Evolution: Biology, Culture, Ethics. In: J.B. Miller, ed., The Epic of Evolution. Science and Religion in Dialogue (Pearson Education, Inc.: Upper Saddle River, New Jersey), pp. 166-180.

Rodriguez-Trelles, F., R. Tarrio, and F.J. Ayala. 2003. Evolution of cis-regulatory regions versus codifying regions. Int. J. Dev. Biol. 47:665-673.

Rodriguez-Trelles, F., R. Tarrio, and F.J. Ayala. 2003. Convergent neofunctionalization by positive Darwinian selection after ancient recurrent duplications of the xanthine dehydrogenase gene. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100:13413-13417.

Balakirev, E.S. and F.J. Ayala. 2003. Pseudogenes: Are They “Junk” or Functional DNA? Annu. Rev. Genet. 37:123-151.

M.J. Benton and F.J. Ayala. 2003. Dating the Tree of Life. Science 300:1698-1700.

C.J. Cela-Conde and F.J. Ayala. 2003. Genera of the human lineage. PNAS 100:7684-7689. (Table 1 reprinted in PNAS 100:1033, 2003.)

Tarrio, R., F. Rodriguez-Trelles, and F.J. Ayala. 2003. A new Drosophila spliceosomal intron position is common in plants. PNAS 100:6580-6583.

Ayala, F.J. 2003. Intelligent Design: The Original Version. Theology and Science 1:9-32.

Sáez, A.G., A. Tatarenkov, E. Barrio, N.H. Becerra, and F.J. Ayala. 2003. Patterns of DNA sequence polymorphism at Sod vicinities in Drosophila melanogaster: Unraveling the footprint of a recent selective sweep. PNAS 100:1793-1798.

Žurovcová, M. and F.J. Ayala. 2002. Polymorphism Patterns in Two Tightly Linked Developmental Genes, Idgf1 and Idgf3, of Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 162:177-188.

Tibayrenc, M. and F.J. Ayala. 2002. The clonal theory of parasitic protozoa: 12 years on. TRENDS in Parasitology 18:405-410.

Rodriguez-Trelles, F., R. Tarrio, and F.J. Ayala. 2002. A methodological bias toward overestimation of molecular evolutionary time scales. PNAS 99:8112-8115.

Machado, C.A. and F.J. Ayala. 2002. Sequence variation in the dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase (DHFR-TS) and trypanothione reductase (TR) genes of Trypanosoma cruzi. Molecular & Biochemical Parasitology 121:33-47.

Rodriguez-Trelles, F., R. Tarrio, and F.J. Ayala. 2001. Erratic overdispersion of three molecular clocks: GPDH, SOD, and XDH. PNAS 98:11405-11410.

These are just some of the data documenting evolution. Feel free to look any of these papers up! The research record of the entire pro-ID movement isn't equal to even a fraction of what this single scientist has published! And do click the link to see this guy's full resume...now I don't submit any of these citations as "proof" that evolution is legitimate science - you'd just deny it. But I do submit them - and this one researcher's resume - as proof that a) evolutionary theory is a thriving, rich, and sophisticated discipline of academic inquiry; and b) you don't have a clue about the "state of the art" - which is why all those long-ago refuted creationist "talking points" you raised in your first posts appeal so strongly to you.

Their are tons of wonderful books available that present clear, patient explanations of current concepts and trends in evolutionary science. I mentioned several authors in my earlier posts. And feel free to visit some of the weblogs - they're great...fun article on the "evolution of alcohol synthesis" for example, here: http://pharyngula.org/index/weblog/comments/evolution_of_alcohol_synthesis/

erp7e
12-29-2005, 02:39 AM
How about this:

Evolution IS intelligent design. The creationist stuff...is wholly UNintelligent. Darwin astutey observed some of the fantastic ways that God's world works. Why is this viewpoint never considered? Why is everyone who sees merit in evolution seen as some kind of God-hating person? I have never understood why some Christians are so threatened by science. If God is everywhere, then science is merely the study of the hows and whys of God's world.

Just another (less polarized) way of looking at it.

elissalowe
12-29-2005, 06:07 PM
How about this:

Evolution IS intelligent design. The creationist stuff...is wholly UNintelligent. Darwin astutey observed some of the fantastic ways that God's world works. Why is this viewpoint never considered? Why is everyone who sees merit in evolution seen as some kind of God-hating person? I have never understood why some Christians are so threatened by science. If God is everywhere, then science is merely the study of the hows and whys of God's world.

Just another (less polarized) way of looking at it.
Some feel threatened because they can't distinguish between methodological naturalism and metaphysical naturalism. Grounding one's investigations in natural law in no way invalidates the existence of God, since - if God exists - then certainly He would be responsible for creating the natural laws being studied. To reiterate a quote from Ken Fuller, who is both a dedicated Christian and evolutionary scientist:

"...our freedom to act has to have a physical and biological basis. Evolution and its sister sciences of genetics and molecular biology provide that basis. In biological terms, evolution is the only way a Creator could have made us the creatures we are - free beings in a world of authentic and meaningful moral and spiritual choices."

Unfortunately, there are those who stand to gain by encouraging polarization. The Discovery Institute and their allies pushing ID want people to believe that "evolution ---> atheism ---> amoral/immoral behavior" in order to acquire/exert societal and political control. The existence of thinkers like Ken Fuller, Francisco Ayala, Francis Collins, Michael Ruse etc. puts the lie to this simple-minded and insulting charge, but - as we've seen in other contexts - creating and manipulating fear is a powerful political weapon.

ray2nite
12-29-2005, 08:27 PM
Some feel threatened because they can't distinguish between methodological naturalism and metaphysical naturalism. Grounding one's investigations in natural law in no way invalidates the existence of God, since - if God exists - then certainly He would be responsible for creating the natural laws being studied. To reiterate a quote from Ken Fuller, who is both a dedicated Christian and evolutionary scientist:

"...our freedom to act has to have a physical and biological basis. Evolution and its sister sciences of genetics and molecular biology provide that basis. In biological terms, evolution is the only way a Creator could have made us the creatures we are - free beings in a world of authentic and meaningful moral and spiritual choices."

Unfortunately, there are those who stand to gain by encouraging polarization. The Discovery Institute and their allies pushing ID want people to believe that "evolution ---> atheism ---> amoral/immoral behavior" in order to acquire/exert societal and political control. The existence of thinkers like Ken Fuller, Francisco Ayala, Francis Collins, Michael Ruse etc. puts the lie to this simple-minded and insulting charge, but - as we've seen in other contexts - creating and manipulating fear is a powerful political weapon.

Galileo would certainly know about that.

elissalowe
12-29-2005, 09:02 PM
Galileo would certainly know about that.
"I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes.’"

Galileo Galilei

Although it's not possible to know for certain, I somehow doubt that Galileo would have approved of ID.

Alfonzo
01-15-2006, 01:02 PM
Lee Strobel, the former investigative journalist for the Chicago Tribune turned apologist, recently won a CT book award for his latest work, The Case for a Creator. Similar to his other books, Strobel interviews several academics and scientists in order to investigate the evidence for a creative intelligence. CT online assistant editor Rob Moll spoke with Strobel.

You dive into some deep philosophical and scientific waters as you make this case for a creator. How did you make the book accessible without dumbing it down?

That was the major challenge of the book. I wanted it to be a resource that both seekers and Christians could use to see how evidence discovered over the last 50 years points toward the existence of a Creator.

I would read probably 10 books before I'd write a chapter. I tried to select scholars who were credentialed and yet able to speak in accessible terms. Then I just had to sit down and force them to communicate at a level that I could understand.

Many intellectuals say that Intelligent Design isn't science, because you start with the presupposition that God or something created the universe.

That's not true. It follows the evidence wherever it leads. Do you rule out at the outset the possibilities of a creator, and then only look at evidence that tries to create a naturalistic explanation for the data? Or, are you open to the possibility of an intelligent designer?

I think of Anthony Flew (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/004/29.80.html) probably the world's greatest philosophical atheist, who recently turned away from atheism and said he now believes in a creator. He said, "I had to follow the evidence."

I think if you do look at cosmology and physics and biochemistry and genetics and consciousness and astronomy, the arrows point in a direction and I think that direction is toward an intelligent designer.

Give me an example of an area of science or philosophy that points that direction.

To me, cosmology and physics are two of the most powerful areas that point toward a creator. The evidence over the last 50 years that points toward the beginning of a universe allows an old Muslim argument to kick into gear, which says that whatever begins to exist has a cause. The universe began to exist; therefore the universe has a cause.

We have scientific data that indicates the universe did have a beginning, and so that argument takes on new meaning. Couple that with the fine-tuning of the universe, the dozens of parameters of physics that are so tuned to allow life to exist. Just those two areas of science point powerfully toward the existence of a creator who's beyond time and space, who's immaterial, who's powerful, who's smart.

You talked to a lot of scientists, many of them atheists, who studied the facts and came to conclusions other than the standard evolutionary explanation for life.

Exactly right. If astronomy and physics and biochemistry suggest an Intelligent Designer, should we not have the freedom to consider that as a possibility? Linus Pauling, who won the Nobel Prize twice, said science ought to be the search for truth. Let's not limit our search to only a naturalistic explanation. Let's leave open the possibility that we may not know everything about the universe. There may be a dimension that we don't quite comprehend. If the evidence points in that direction, let's pursue it.

It didn't seem hard to find top quality scientists and researchers who came to that conclusion.

Absolutely. My problem was trying to pare it down to who I thought would be someone who would be able to articulate the evidence powerfully and persuasively and in a way that everybody could get. There's more than 300 scientists with doctorates from major universities who've now signed this statement saying that they are skeptical of the claims of neo-Darwinism.

I quote somebody in the book as saying that one of the fastest growing phenomenon is scientists who are doubtful of the claims of Darwinism.

You write about being taught as a student evidence for evolution that actually wasn't true. Can you talk about some of those myths that are often taught?

I walked away from my education in science convinced of the truth of Darwinism based on different facts than I had been taught at the time. I learned everything ranging from the famous origin-of-life experiment back in the 1950s that supposedly recreated the atmosphere of the early Earth and shot electricity through it to create amino acids; to the side-by-side comparisons of the different fetuses that Ernst Haeckel drew back in the 1800s, which everybody now knows are frauds; and Darwin's tree of life, which is this idea that there's a common ancestor and that neo-Darwinism can account for all of the flowering branches of different species of animals through time.

When I look at all of that and begin to examine each one of those case by case, and critically analyze whether or not neo-Darwinism really does explain this stuff, I walk away with great skepticism.

If you define evolution as change over time, everybody agrees there's been evolution. The question is, what about the grandest claims of neo-Darwinism, that a common ancestor and natural selection acting on random variation over eons of time can account for all this diversity of life? Those grandest claims don't withstand scrutiny.

We look at the Cambrian explosion, the sudden appearance of virtually all of the phyla of the animal kingdom with no predecessors. That flies in the face of neo-Darwinism.

You start your book with a scene with you as a young reporter. You're sent to West Virginia, where a bunch of religious townspeople are protesting the teaching of evolution in their textbooks. I was wondering if you thought that some of the things going on in public schools today would be similar to that.

If you look at public opinion polls, the public at large is generally skeptical about Darwinism. It just doesn't ring true to a lot of people. There's an underlying widespread skepticism that neo-Darwinism could explain the diversity of life.

I take a different approach to that than some people do. I want more evolution to be taught, not less. What I mean by that is, right now, students are only getting one side of the coin. They're only getting a cursory overview of what neo-Darwinism is and being told some facts that some people believe support it. I want them to hear more about it. I want them to hear the evidence that challenges neo-Darwinism. I want students to be able to critically think about whether or not this makes sense. I want them to be free to follow the evidence wherever it points. That, to me, is academic freedom, that they should be able to pursue the evidence.

I'm not saying that Intelligent Design ought to be taught in public schools. I am saying that kids ought to be open to possibilities and pursue the evidence wherever it points, including in that direction.

When journalists cover the teaching of Intelligent Design in public schools, they do a quick summary of Intelligent Design by saying it's the idea that life is so complex it must have had some sort of designer. Does that do justice to the theory?

It really doesn't, because mere complexity is not the issue. There are complex things that don't point toward Intelligent Design, things like salt crystals. What that leaves out is the cosmological evidence for a beginning of the universe that begs the existence of a creator. It leaves out the fine-tuning of the universe, which looks at the way in which the universe is finely tuned to allow for life. It leaves out the biological information segment. It isn't just that life is complex; it is that life has information. It's not just raw complexity. It's a message that we find in biological information such as DNA.

If you walk down the beach and you see ripples in the sand, it's logical to say that's a complex arrangement of the sand that the waves produced. But if you walk down the beach and you see "John Loves Mary" and a big heart around it and an arrow through it, you wouldn't think the waves produced it. It's information with content. The biological information of a living organism is biological information. Nature can't produce that. It takes intelligence to produce information. Whenever we see a novel or a cave painting or data on a computer, we know there's an intelligence behind it. When we look at the four-letter chemical alphabet of DNA and how it spells out the precise assembly instructions for every protein out of which our body is built, to me that points in the direction of an intelligence behind it. It isn't just complexity.

How can Intelligent Design get past the creationist label?

It's always the Darwinists who bring that up. I've done this on my TV show, Faith Under Fire, where we'll have a debate between someone who is convinced of Intelligent Design versus a Darwinist. The Intelligent Design person brings up scientific data and arguments based on scientific evidence to support his or her beliefs. And then it goes to the other side, and that person is immediately accused of injecting faith and injecting religion and trying to be a subterfuge to teach the Bible in schools.

Well, time out here, who's bringing up religion? I didn't hear the Intelligent Design advocate bring up religion. It's being brought up by the other side. It's an ad hominem argument that Darwinists use to throw sand in people's eyes to suggest that this is just biblical creationism in another disguise. What I'd like to see is the debate centered on the evidence and the data. Why are people so afraid of evidence that happens to point toward an affirmation of what the vast majority of people on the Earth believe in the first place?
Copyright © 2005 Christianity Today. click (www.christianitytoday.com/ctmag/features/info.html#permission) for reprint information.

WillBrink
01-15-2006, 04:53 PM
Lee Strobel, the former investigative journalist for the Chicago Tribune turned apologist, recently won a CT book award for his latest work, The Case for a Creator. Similar to his other books, Strobel interviews several academics and scientists in order to investigate the evidence for a creative intelligence. CT online assistant editor Rob Moll spoke with Strobel.
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Going through all the ridiculous statements in this interview would simply be rehash of what has already been said. All I will say is this interview is some of the best proof I have seen yet of the intellectual dishonesty and general cluelessness of the ID camp.

Alfonzo
01-15-2006, 06:39 PM
Going through all the ridiculous statements.../... All I will say is this interview is some of the best proof I have seen yet of the intellectual dishonesty and general cluelessness of the ID camp.
I am at a loss as to why you would say anything like that Will.
If the man is honest about his research, why does that make him dishonest in your eyes.

WillBrink
01-15-2006, 07:03 PM
I am at a loss as to why you would say anything like that Will.
If the man is honest about his research, why does that make him dishonest in your eyes.

I can only point you to the many many comments already made by myself, Elissa, and Erp on the topic. From that interview, it's quite clear his "research" is a joke and not research at all in the scientific sense. It brings nothing to the debate of ID and only confirms my opinion of the pro ID camp.

Rogg Dog
02-27-2006, 06:37 PM
All science comes from God. You cannot seperate the two.

WillBrink
02-27-2006, 06:45 PM
All science comes from God. You cannot seperate the two.

I would not agree with either statement nor is there proof to support either statement, thus the comments found in this thread by me and others.

Simon
02-27-2006, 07:42 PM
Ok only just seen this. now it's moving entirely down a relegious discussion it's time to call it a day. These discussions on a muscle building forum never serves to benefit anybody.

I'm going to lock this thread now, let's get back to discussing less full on topics.