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Author Topic: ‘Intelligent design’ trial concludes
Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
quote:
And, as I've said: if you want to discuss God in religious, history, and english classes, that's not a problem. Just not in science class.
Why not? You act as if this would be outrageous. But there's no rule that says God isn't allowed to be mentioned in a science class any more than there'd be a rule against that in any of those other classes.
Yes, Tresopax, there really is a rule against it. A good rule, and one that you mess with at your peril.

quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
When part of a proposed scientific model, God would belong in science class.

Here's where I'm with King of Men and the other theophobes here. God can't be part of a proposed scientific model. Some "exogenous influence" could be, but identifying it as God crosses the line.

And yeah, KoM, I completely understand that when there are people like Tresopax who are trying to sneak religion into schools by using ID as a tool, fighting them is a good thing, that still has no bearing on the validity, or lack thereof, of ID.

John Wayne Gacy used to do clown shows for little kids. But not all people who do clown shoes for little kids are serial killers. There's a reason ad hominem is a classic fallacy.

quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
And again, the creator in ID does not have to be God. That's just a prime possibility of who it could be.

That's a claim you're entitled to argue, but not in a science class. Hell, not in any kind of government run anything.
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Paul Goldner
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"You forgot to mention that the substrains have to breed true. Damaging an organism so that it can't breed doesn't count.

And if this is so easy, it would have been done."

The experiments have been done, Lisa. As I actually said in my post, if you had continued reading instead of just cutting the first part of my post.

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fugu13
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I believe that link I gave on speciation had an example or two of it being done.

Its done all the freakin' time with microorganisms, but I do believe there've been several cases with fairly decent sized creatures.

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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
No, I simply think non-scientific theories should be discussed in science classes if they are related to science.

<shudder> You know what? I'm just going to sit back and watch KoM and the rest rip you up, down and sideways.

What on Earth could you possibly mean by "related to science"?

No, you know what? Don't answer that. Everything in the world can be viewed as "related to science" in some way or another. You really are just trying to find a backdoor for breaking the barrier between government and religion.

You need to understand something, Tresopax. I've said this before, but it obviously needs repeating.

There used to be a thing called trial by combat. The idea was, you'd have advocates of two different positions fight. Whoever won clearly had God and the right on his side. Whoever lost clearly didn't.

Of course, we don't think much of that any more, because we know full well that wrong can win against right, at least in the short term. It's like deciding who should wield supreme executive power by seeing who gets a sword thrown at him by some watery tart.

That's basically what crusades and jihads are. Trial by combat on a massive scale. If I can kill you or forceably convert you more than you can do to me, you win. Your religion wins.

And the ballot box is simply a modern day version of trial by combat. Only instead of winning a battle, you just have to convince more people to vote for you, using bribery or rhetoric or intimidation or outright lies. Whatever works. It's less violent, but no less coercive.

So we have a thing called the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. It does the novel job of placing religion outside of the purview of the government. Because when you discuss Christianity (for example) in a government run or funded institution, you're explicitly establishing Christianity as having special standing that Wicca and Islam and worship of Ghu the Terrible don't share.

The idea of the First Amendment is the create a nation where everyone can be safe when it comes to religion. You can teach whatever you want within your religion, but you have to keep it out of the body politic. Because there is no common ground that we can all agree on when it comes to religion. And the only way to avoid crusades and jihads is to refuse to allow the issue out of the realm of individuals and private groups.

So no, Tresopax, non-scientific beliefs (God only knows what you meant by "non-scientific theories", which seems completely oxymoronic to me) should not be discussed in science classes.

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Bob_Scopatz
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I would like to correct a couple of things:

1) panspermia is subsumed under "Exogenous Influences" theory. It offers one possible mechanism for an exogenous influence. As does ID for that matter.


2) I'm willing to go with a "weak version" of irreducible complexity because, if you read ID theory, they are in fact using this weaker version that I've outlined here, and because it is the only one that I believe generates testable hypotheses (again assuming we can define the word "complex."


Seriously, there is simple no reason to debated ID anymore. If Exogenous Influence theory (which is testable) turns out to be false, then ID theory simply can't be true. (At least ID theory as it is currently formulated in order to be a science).

I take this as completely separate (along with what fugu has so ably posted) from a belief that God was involved in all of it.

I'm merely talking about the generalized version of a theory that proposes some exogenous influence on the genetic makeup and history of present day life on earth.

<pulls up wagon>
<orders band to get up there and start playing>

All aboard!!!!

Plenty of seats available.

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fugu13
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I've read plenty of ID literature, I never see your weaker version; I always see it asserted that the complexity is such that it could not arise without external manipulation, which is much stronger than your statement.
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Bob_Scopatz
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Seriously, though, is there a pro-ID person here (and I'm talking "real" ID as proposed by the people who are trying to turn it into a science, not the various personal versions of ID that have been described in various posts in this thread) who could differentiate ID from EI theory for me? What, short of talking to God, would convince you logically that an experimental result was actually DUE TO an Intelligent Designer versus simply (and only) being able to conclude (at most) that the bits of DNA in question didn't originate on Earth?

The reason I ask is that (as ssywak pointed out) there's at least one version of EI that would explain the entire phenomenon with inter-planetary movement of gene-baring materials, and no intelligence whatsoever.

Here's the kicker. Without knowing the selection pressures and fossil record on EVERY chunk of rock large enough to hold a virus, EVERYWHERE in the universe, there's no possible way to conclude that a "CREATOR" did whatever we see in the genetic makeup of modern earth animals -- assuming we found something that Evolution really could not eventually explain. The problem is...there could be a very nice evolutionary sequence leading from point A to point ZZ somewhere else in the universe and that product was somehow transported here. It wouldn't require intelligence then either. And evolution might still be the right explanation, as long as you look at all systems, and not just Earth's.

Ultimately, ID is simply subsumed under a class of theories that says "hey, look! It's not from around here."

From any perspective OTHER THAN one of faith-based reasoning, there simply isn't a way to conclude that God actively DID any of it.

There is, however, a way to falsify (i.e., test and ultimately reject) a whole class of theories subsumed under EI. Eventually...(and I'm willing to wait a good long while holding the final death of EI in abeyance for at least another 100 years or so) if we never find a form, function, phenotype or genotype that could NOT have arisen from known evolutionary mechanims, the EI theory could just be a footnote.

Until then, I suggest that it could very well be taught as a good thought-exercise. "How might we account for what we see in the world around us?" Well...evolutionary theory does a pretty darn good job, except for a few questions we have. There's the possibility that we might have to modify it to accept some version of EI in the cases that simply defy evolutionary explanations. So, we leave it out there provisionally as a "possibility that has not yet been tested."

Just like relativity was back in its early days.

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Bob_Scopatz
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fugu
quote:
I've read plenty of ID literature, I never see your weaker version; I always see it asserted that the complexity is such that it could not arise without external manipulation, which is much stronger than your statement.
Yes, I know. I'm saying that they are wrong and obviously so. They can't possibly know that there weren't selection pressures ELSEWHERE that would account for what they see. Why? Because their only evidence is "Hey, it's complex, AND when I examine the fossil record and/or related species, I don't see any evidence for intermediate forms...or...the intermediate forms would not be viable." What's left unstated is the obvious caveat "here on Earth."
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fugu13
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I was disagreeing with this

quote:
if you read ID theory, they are in fact using this weaker version that I've outlined here
I have never seen that to be the case.
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Bob_Scopatz
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In short, I'm saying that logically there is NO possibility of an actual ID theory as it is currently described. It can't go any farther than saying "we don't know how it got here, but it WASN'T evolution."

And to do that, it simply HAS to meet the criteria I've listed for EI.

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Bob_Scopatz
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quote:
I was disagreeing with this

quote: if you read ID theory, they are in fact using this weaker version that I've outlined here

I have never seen that to be the case.

Well, they'd never admit it, but that's just in their discussion section. Read their actual criteria and what they say the FACTS are, and it's this broader version. It is only in their interpretation of the level of complexity that they assert it MUST be because an intelligent designer did it.

I'm saying look at how they describe their evidence and, I think, you'll agree that they are using the criteria that are listed for EI.

Again, that's all it could ever be, not proof of intelligence, just that the source is other-than evolution.

What they say they THINK is responsible is just conjecture.

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Bob_Scopatz
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Again, I was proposing EI as the alternative that really WOULD be a "scientific theory."

ID as currently defined is not. And one of the reasons it is not is that it requires that the unexplained be ascribed to an intelligence rather than to an unknown external force. Sans evidence that there actually WAS action by a designer, the real scientific theory simply must remain silent on that point. Or at least open to alternative explanations.

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Boothby171
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"...just that the source is other-than evolution"

Or, perhaps, "other than local evolution."

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King of Men
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quote:
You forgot to mention that the substrains have to breed true. Damaging an organism so that it can't breed doesn't count.

And if this is so easy, it would have been done.

Yeppers, right you are. Here, from that TalkOrigins link you laughed at :

quote:
In a series of papers (Rice 1985, Rice and Salt 1988 and Rice and Salt 1990) Rice and Salt presented experimental evidence for the possibility of sympatric speciation. They started from the premise that whenever organisms sort themselves into the environment first and then mate locally, individuals with the same habitat preferences will necessarily mate assortatively. They established a stock population of D. melanogaster with flies collected in an orchard near Davis, California. Pupae from the culture were placed into a habitat maze. Newly emerged flies had to negotiate the maze to find food. The maze simulated several environmental gradients simultaneously. The flies had to make three choices of which way to go. The first was between light and dark (phototaxis). The second was between up and down (geotaxis). The last was between the scent of acetaldehyde and the scent of ethanol (chemotaxis). This divided the flies among eight habitats. The flies were further divided by the time of day of emergence. In total the flies were divided among 24 spatio-temporal habitats.

They next cultured two strains of flies that had chosen opposite habitats. One strain emerged early, flew upward and was attracted to dark and acetaldehyde. The other emerged late, flew downward and was attracted to light and ethanol. Pupae from these two strains were placed together in the maze. They were allowed to mate at the food site and were collected. Eye color differences between the strains allowed Rice and Salt to distinguish between the two strains. A selective penalty was imposed on flies that switched habitats. Females that switched habitats were destroyed. None of their gametes passed into the next generation. Males that switched habitats received no penalty. After 25 generations of this mating tests showed reproductive isolation between the two strains. Habitat specialization was also produced.


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fugu13
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Oh, that criteria is certainly the best they could ever aspire to in evaluating evidence, simply because the stronger version is provably unscientific; they don't really make it to the weak version, either, but I could see a theory of it (though it would be fantastically hard to come up with even one example, because afaik there are no large gaps in the species record, only relatively small ones).
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King of Men
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Hmm, I wonder if Kim Stanley Robinson was aware of those papers when he wrote "Years of Rice and Salt?"
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Boothby171
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KoM,

I met those scientists. They were a bunch of morons. While they went and spent all their time on that experiment, they left their investments earning 2.375%, when the market was, in general, returning 5 to 7%. So much for any discussions of "Intelligent Design."

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King of Men
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You mean, the designer of the scientists couldn't have been very bright, to come up with critters that make blunder like that? Or the fruit flies were not intelligently designed, since their designers weren't very bright?

Aside from that, have you actually met Rice and Salt? I met t'Hooft once.

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Bob_Scopatz
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quote:
"...just that the source is other-than evolution"

Or, perhaps, "other than local evolution."

Oops...YES! That's exactly what I meant to say.
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Tresopax
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quote:
Which ones? Who decides?
The ones that are contraversial and accepted by a significant number of Americans. The teacher should decide which these are, ideally.

quote:
You really are just trying to find a backdoor for breaking the barrier between government and religion.
You shouldn't assume motivations for people. I'd be one of the last ones to favor weakening the First Amendment or teaching a given religion as truth in public schools. If you'd read my posts on other threads over the past five years, you'll find that among the groups I find most dangerous in this country are the religious fundamentalists who intend to base their government on religious dogma.

But separating church and state in no way implies you can't mention God in schools. God, as an idea influencing history, as an element in a scientific model, as a character in a literary work, etc. is just as worthy of study as anything else. These things are not "church" or "religion". The mixing of church and state that we are afraid of is the establishment of an official religion, that might be forced upon people - not the use of religious-related ideas in a non-religious context. Jesus, the Buddha, Confucious, and so on are all religious figures - and yet they also appear in history books in a non-religious context. They happen to be important historical figure too. There is nothing wrong with discussing them in this context. And similarly, discussing God in the non-religious context of science as a scientific entity is perfectly legitimate as well.

ID supporters should not pretend that their position has nothing to do with God. The Emperor has no clothes. I understand that they are trying to defend against the knee-jerk reaction that leads people to conclude anything religious-sounding can't belong anywhere near science, but that just makes them look deceptive. They should come clean that God is a prime candidate for the role of creator in their theory, and make the argument that they are really thinking - that the only way to account for the evolution of life as it occurred would be something much like God controlling it. There is nothing wrong with putting such a claim in science class if it can be treated in the way scientific theories are, and not used and promoted to favor certain religions. Some people will freak out about it simply because it does have "God" in it, but I think just changing the name of God to Intelligent Designer is just a semantic trick, like using a technical term instead of a commonly used one just to sound less unscientific. ID is as scientific as it's tenets justify it being - how it sounds should not matter.

And yes, the Intelligent Designer could be something other than God, but come on... an intelligence that has the power and will to guide evolution over billions of years? Any reasonable person should be able to figure out how this relates to the concept of God.

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Boothby171
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No, I never really met them. I just couldn't resist the joke.

Treso,

So you are opposed to breaking down the first ammendment, you like to keep the separation of church and state, but you would like religious dogma taught in public schools as if it were scientifically based.

quote:
...discussing God in the non-religious context of science as a scientific entity is perfectly legitimate as well
Again, I refer to tin-foil hats.

Hmm...wait a tick...

quote:
And yes, the Intelligent Designer could be something other than God, but come on... an intelligence that has the power and will to guide evolution over billions of years? Any reasonable person should be able to figure out how this relates to the concept of God.
Treso, if I didn't know that you already existed*, I'd say that you were just a straw-man that I put up here...in other words, fellas, I think that Tresopax may secretly be on our side!

*of course, according to Treso's own statements, it may simply be the case that Treso exists only in my own mind, anyhow; as do the rest of you.

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Tresopax
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quote:
but you would like religious dogma taught in public schools as if it were scientifically based
You know I will point out that this is not true, so why say it? Debating the merits of a God-related model proposed by a small minority of scientists and accepted by a significant segment of the public as an explanation for how evolutionary scientific evidence led to life as we know it in no way implies teaching religious dogma.
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Destineer
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quote:
It should also be noted that saying a belief is uncertain does not mean it is no more justified than any other alternative. Some uncertain theories are far more justified than others, and the ones we choose to have faith in are the ones we consider most justified. I would hope that we'd teach these ones we consider most justified - where "we" in this case doesn't just mean me, or scientists, but the people of the country who are ultimately responsible for government-run schools.
Whatever, man. The vast majority of people on the street might assume, for instance, that any theorem of arithmetic is provable in arithmetic. That doesn't mean alternatives to Godel's Theorem should be taught in logic classes. Consensus doesn't make knowledge, or justification either.

I consider myself a populist and a believer in democracy, but this is ridiculous. There are areas of knowledge that are specialized, and the specialists should be permitted (nay, obligated) to educate the public, not the other way around.

As for your claim that evolution, or facts about the age of the universe, are not in the purvey of science, I can only shake my head. I have seen with my own eyes excellent evidence that the universe is 10-15 billion years old. Cosmology is science. Your opinion that every scientific hypothesis must be strictly falsifiable is outmoded. That's Popper and Carnap, it's sixty-year-old philosophy of science.

There is no sharp distinction to be drawn between theoretical truths and experimentally testable ones. All we can do is form the best models of the world that we can, on the basis of both experiment and explanatory power. Read your Quine.

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Boothby171
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Treso,

There was a poll taken many years ago that was reported in either the NY Times or Scientific American. People were asked about some basic laws of physics, such as centripetal force, balistic trajectories, etc.

Here's what the poll determined: a majority of people believed the following:

1) When you swing a weight on a string around over your head, and then suddenly release the string, the weight flies off in a shallow horizontal arc.

2) When you throw an object straight out, it moves out in a straight line; when it looses enough "oomph" (or whatever it is that's keeping it up), it drops straight down.

So, according to Tresopax' law, we need to teach the physics controversy, as well.

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Boothby171
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And Treso, you have still failed to provide any scientific support for the ID concept you continue to hawk as having some scientific merit. Or have you given up on that, and taken to simply relying on popular opinion for what is correct?

If you've got a few scientists that believe in ID, then they must, of course, have some real science to back it up. Let's hear it! Because if not, then please just knock it off.

Heck, I knew a guy who ran the Grumman robotics lab who believed fervently in a 10,000 year old earth--he even had books to prove it! Do we teach that, too?

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KarlEd
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
Sigh. Is your god testable? If not, out of science class he goes. If he is, then he's not much of a god.

I disagree with the second part of this. A "god" that is completely un-testable is also unknowable. I submit that a knowable god is de-facto superior to an unknowable one.
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KarlEd
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I'd like to point out that Bob's EI even if proven true would not necessarily change the theory of evolution. To my knowledge, Evolutionary Theory does not hinge on any claim that life sprang up on Earth out of nothing. In other words, if future observations show conclusively that life on Earth was seeded from elsewhere, that fact could still be assimilated into Evolutionary Theory, even as we now understand it.
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Sartorius
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How is an untestable God also unknowable? Doesn't faith precede miracles? Are you saying that science should be able to prove a true god?
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Tresopax
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quote:
Cosmology is science. Your opinion that every scientific hypothesis must be strictly falsifiable is outmoded. That's Popper and Carnap, it's sixty-year-old philosophy of science.

There is no sharp distinction to be drawn between theoretical truths and experimentally testable ones. All we can do is form the best models of the world that we can, on the basis of both experiment and explanatory power.

That opens the door to ID being a science, though. It is the experimentally unfalsifiable nature of ID that is the reason people can call it unscientific.

quote:
There are areas of knowledge that are specialized, and the specialists should be permitted (nay, obligated) to educate the public, not the other way around.
But again, when specialists disagree, which specialist do you accept as the most expert specialist? If you think one particular maverick specialist knows better than all the others, you are going to accept him. The public inevitably has to choose the experts that will educate the public. And when the public disagrees on which experts to trust, I think it's better to present BOTH viewpoints rather than just whatever viewpoint the majority of the public favors. That way the arguments are determining what students accept, rather than just forcing upon them whatever the majority of the uninformed public thinks they should accept (whether that be Evolution or ID).

quote:
So, according to Tresopax' law, we need to teach the physics controversy, as well.
There is a major difference between believing something because you haven't studied the dominant theory and proposing an alternative to the dominant theory. I don't understand the Franco-Prussian War that well, but that doesn't mean that when confronted with a historian's claim about it, I'm going to suggest I know better than him. This is quite different from the situation where I think I DO understand the Franco-Prussian War, and simply find the historian's claim not believable given things I believe I know.

ID supporters aren't claiming "I don't really understand this topic, so I'm just guessing ID is right" in the way they would if questioned about physics principles they don't get. They are under the impression that they believe in ID because they know better than science in general, and have been convinced by the experts they think have presented the stronger case.

However, if many people believed heavy objects inherently fall faster than light objects, rejected physicist claims and experiments to the contrary, and insisted not just that they believe differently but that they have a good rason to believe differently, then there WOULD be a contraversy. In such a situation, we WOULD want to teach that as a contraversy - although I would wager to say that when both arguments were presented, almost everyone would be convinced by the physicist's experiments. And if ID is as blatantly wrong as so many claim it to be, you should have no fear that people won't realize that fact just as readily if presented with that contraversy.

quote:
And Treso, you have still failed to provide any scientific support for the ID concept you continue to hawk as having some scientific merit.
I don't know the evidence presented by ID theorists (sadly, my school took your policy and failed to teach me anything about it.) I don't even believe in ID. However, I do know that if you go read articles by the scientists promoting ID, you can find their arguments fairly readily. My argument does not rest on ID being a strong argument - it just rests on the observations that there IS a contraversy surrounding it, many people DO believe it is a strong argument, and it does relate to science in the same way evolutionary theory does. I could think it was the dumbest argument in the world, and it would still merit classtime. Please note that I never said ID had scientific merit - I just said it belongs in science class, in part because many people do believe it has scientific merit.
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Destineer
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There are other standards for telling science from pseudoscience besides complete falsifiability. In a 1981 court case regarding creation science, the following criteria were used:

(1) Explanation of existing results in terms of exceptionless natural laws.

(2) Ability to predict further results.

(3) Experimental testability to some extent.

(4) Tentativeness of central assumptions.

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KarlEd
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quote:
Originally posted by Sartorius:
How is an untestable God also unknowable? Doesn't faith precede miracles? Are you saying that science should be able to prove a true god?

Short answer: Yes, science should be able to prove a true God.

Long answer: A god who really exists should be testable in some way. There must be some method of detecting his existence and determining the nature of that existence. If one can neither detect the existence of God in any way, nor determine the nature of that existence in any way how would one happen to come upon any knowledge at all in relation to that "god". This is especially true if you believe that such a "god" has such things as a "plan" for us, and that he "requires" certain things of us.

The tools we use for detecting things are observation and deduction, whether of the thing itself, or of the effects that thing has in our world. Everything we know we learn either from observation and deduction or from the testimonies of those who have observed and deduced something. If you ask anyone why they believe God exists, at some point it will come down to observation and deduction, or at least faith in the observation and deduction of others. The alternative is that God is completely non-observable neither directly nor indirectly.

Science is an attempt to know the world through precise observation and deduction. While individual scientist and branches of science tend to compartmentalize and focus on relatively narrow fields of observation, the idea is that all the parts will fit. Science neither excludes God, nor uses the word as a label for all the "unknown". However, if God exists in any way either within our observable universe or if he has any effect in our observable universe, science ought to be able to detect Him, at least in theory, given sufficiently thorough observation of the supposed phenomenon. The alternative is a God who neither exists in this universe nor interacts in this universe in any observable way. I submit that such a concept of God is supremely useless. Such a God is 100 percent theoretical and is the very definition of agnosticism.

quote:
Doesn't faith precede miracles?
Does it? What does that sentence mean to you in the context of the universe in which we live? Is a miracle a divine suspension of natural law? Or is it a label we give things that we simply can't explain? One thing the phrase could mean is that if you are willing to chalk the unexplained up to God (faith), then those things will remain unexplainable (miracles). This, of course is a tautology. What I think most people mean by the phrase is that if your belief motivates you to action (faith) then you will see results you previously might not have believed possible (miracles). This, I myself, believe is true, but has no bearing on the discussion at hand. There are, doubtless, other interpretations of the phrase. If you care to submit one, I'll tell you how it fits into what I've written here.
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Boothby171
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I should add "Law 6" to my list:

When pressured, deny that you really supported your original position at all.

Great work, Treso. So glad we wasted our time.

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Boothby171
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Guys, are we done here? This horse was dead 100 years ago.
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Tresopax
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quote:
(1) Explanation of existing results in terms of exceptionless natural laws.
(2) Ability to predict further results.
(3) Experimental testability to some extent.
(4) Tentativeness of central assumptions.

I don't think the evolution model of the development of life passes these any better than ID though. They both have exceptions yet to be explained, they both are not experimentally testable but incorporate theories that are testable, and they both offer similar but slightly differing predictions about future results. I'm not sure what "tentativeness of central assumptions" means though.

quote:
Guys, are we done here? This horse was dead 100 years ago.
You say this, but some state school boards seem to disagree, and are coding their position into policy....
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Paul Goldner
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"I don't think the evolution model of the development of life passes these any better than ID though"

You're wrong, however.

1) Evolution can explain current life on earth. Do we have each step in the process? No, but then, thats not what point one says needs to be done. Holes are not exceptions, and there is no life on earth that has been demonstrated to be an exception to the laws of natural selection. ID, on the other hand, can't posit any natural laws that explain life on earth.

2) Evolution commonly does predict future results, and experiments have been done in the lab the results of which are predicted by evolution. EXACT results? No. General results? Yes. ID makes no predictions, on the other hand.

3) Evolution IS experimentally testable. Numerous experiments have been done testing evolution. It is, in fact, one of the most tested scientific theories out there. ID, on the other hand, has no scientific evidence backing it that seperates it from evolution.

4) This means that the subject under question could be demonstrated to be wrong. ID cannot be falsified, thus, it cannot be demonstrated to be wrong. Evolution can, and I offered up several examples eariler in the thread.

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John Van Pelt
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quote:
"There's pretty clearly no lab that could be done in a classroom to back it up - just as there is no experiment to be done to back up evolution (not to mention atomic theory, quantum physics, genetics, the heliocentric model of the unverse, plate tectonics, cyclogenesis, among countless other scientific theories discussed in science.)
(BTW, I think you mean heliocentric model of the solar system.)

I can't for the life of me guess what you mean that no experiments can be done to back up 'countless' scientific theories (including the ones you list). Even if you mean 'classroom experiments' -- even if you mean 'classroom experiments accessible to a typical high school' -- this is just wrong.

Maybe science education in this country is completely missing the boat. Maybe the curriculum should start with "The earth is flat, night is the cloak of heaven, the sun is the chariot of Ra, the stars are a map of our personalities riding on a massive clockwork machine, and flood, famine, and disease are punishments for bad behavior"; and proceed, experiment by experiment, replicating the work of the ages, to show that the earth is (almost) a sphere, that it orbits the sun (in a slightly irregular ellipse), that the stars are like our sun, and comprise furnaces of nuclear interaction, that the cosmos is of such a size and age, that this famine is due to that pest, that this flood is due to that climatic shift, that this disease is due to that virus, etc., etc.

Something like the above could fill a 2-3 year science curriculum. Instead of the current system (of compressing the above into textbooks rather than more costly and time-consuming labs, permitting the curriculum to reach so much farther and deeper into what is known), where 3% of the pupils are prepared for careers in premed, biochem, etc., and 97% apparently doodle and doze and wake up in Hatrack one day claiming that science can experimentally prove practically nothing, this approach promises to produce graduates 100% of whom would understand what science is about and how it works; unfortunately, none of these would be ready for higher ed and careers as doctors, chemists, biologists, etc.

Maybe you disagree that education should include summations of knowledge and it should be possible for scholarship to proceed from knowns to knowns without always having to re-prove something already proven.

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John Van Pelt
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Lisa wrote:
quote:
quote:
quote:
Originally posted by ssywak:

quote: But if you can give me solid scientific proof that there is no intelligent creator, not only will I agree that ID has been disproven, but I will probably have to give up my religion.

So, Treso, you openly admit that the Intelligent Creator is God. Not some alien from Alpha Centaures, but God.
This is the kind of dishonest illogic we've learned to expect from you in this thread, Steve.

If there's no Intelligent Creator, there's no God.

If there's no God, there could still be an Intelligent Creator.

So Treso admitted nothing even remotely similar to what you claim.

Lisa, I think Steve's error was not dishonesty, but rather jumping to the conclusion that Tres's "religion" is a God-based philosophy, as opposed to an Intelligent-Creator-based philosophy.

You obviously know differently.

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John Van Pelt
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Random comments:

- I really like Bob's EI proposal. As presented, it is just this side of a satirical strawman, while (to me) remaining intellectually and scientifically sound.

- I'm not usually a spelling/grammar nazi (and I am deliberately keeping this out of an 'argument' post) -- but it's 'controversial,' not 'contraversial.' OK, I feel better [Smile]

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Boothby171
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Treso,

Yeah, I get all my science from right-wing fundamentalist school boards.

But isn't this the whole reason we're having this debate? To understand why a group of right-wing fundamentalists would be pushing a non-scientific concept, steeped in religious dogma, as a scientific theory in our public school system; and just what sort of people would dig up som minimum level of ancient, ill-informed and incorrect doggerel in a vain attempt to support them?

You, yourself stated that you are not aware of any scientific backing for the "theory" which, up until page 9 of this thread, were fully in support of. Lisa has offered none, as well.

Lisa did call me a "dick," though. At least I have that.

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Boothby171
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Thanks, John.
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Destineer
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quote:
4) This means that the subject under question could be demonstrated to be wrong. ID cannot be falsified, thus, it cannot be demonstrated to be wrong.
That's not strictly what's meant by "tentativeness of central assumptions." What it means is that the core assumptions that go into a theory are open to revision if needed to explain some problematic results.

Now, ID certainly doesn't meet this criterion, because the whole "God" part of the view isn't open to criticism...

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Sartorius
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quote:
Originally posted by KarlEd:
Yes, science should be able to prove a true God.

I surprised that no one else has anything to say to this. Haven't the evolutionists been arguing the seperation of science and religion?

Science is a hobby that I haven't had much time to devote to (and I'm still young and learning), but the vast majority of scientists I have had the privilege of learning from (Steven Jay Gould, Robert M. Hazen, and Alex Filipenko just to name a few of my favorites) have made it very clear that science can have nothing to say about the existence of God. Non-overlapping magisteria is the term Gould uses.

Why do you disagree and how would you test for a god?

quote:
Originally posted by KarlEd:
One thing the phrase could mean is that if you are willing to chalk the unexplained up to God (faith), then those things will remain unexplainable (miracles). This, of course is a tautology. What I think most people mean by the phrase is that if your belief motivates you to action (faith) then you will see results you previously might not have believed possible (miracles). This, I myself, believe is true, but has no bearing on the discussion at hand. There are, doubtless, other interpretations of the phrase. If you care to submit one, I'll tell you how it fits into what I've written here.

What it means to me personally is that faith based in tangible proof is weak and will not withstand much pressure.
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Boothby171
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I've trained my kids to be total assholes in class if the concept of "God" or "ID" is ever brought up.

Just like me.

But when my son's deeply religious friends made fun of him and his sister for believing in evolution, he was courteous and reserved (I don't know if I would have been that well behaved!)

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Tresopax
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quote:
1) Evolution can explain current life on earth. Do we have each step in the process? No, but then, thats not what point one says needs to be done. Holes are not exceptions, and there is no life on earth that has been demonstrated to be an exception to the laws of natural selection. ID, on the other hand, can't posit any natural laws that explain life on earth.
ID is the proposal of a set of natural laws (and the corresponding model explaining those laws) to explain life on earth. That their laws include an intelligent designer does not alter this, unless "natural" automatically disallows intelligent designers - which makes this rule seem to have a rather arbitrary bias against certain possibilities.

quote:
2) Evolution commonly does predict future results, and experiments have been done in the lab the results of which are predicted by evolution. EXACT results? No. General results? Yes. ID makes no predictions, on the other hand.
What does evolution predict that ID does not? Keep in mind that ID shares many of the same features as evolution, and thus makes many of the same predictions - including similar DNA, the presence of fossils, etc. The only major differences I see are that ID predicts there will be evolutionary changes that cannot be explained except by intelligence, and that the progress of evolution in ID would have to progress in some sort of purposeful direction.

quote:
3) Evolution IS experimentally testable. Numerous experiments have been done testing evolution. It is, in fact, one of the most tested scientific theories out there. ID, on the other hand, has no scientific evidence backing it that seperates it from evolution.
What experiment tests it? Again, finding historical evidence that is consistent with a theory, though informative, is not a scientific experiment - and can be done to support ID too.

You are applying far harder standards to ID than you are to Evolution.

quote:
Now, ID certainly doesn't meet this criterion, because the whole "God" part of the view isn't open to criticism...
Why not?

quote:
You, yourself stated that you are not aware of any scientific backing for the "theory" which, up until page 9 of this thread, were fully in support of.
When did I say I was in full support of ID - give me the quote. I am not. I am in support of teaching it as the controversy it is, and continue to be in support of that, even on page 9.
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Dan_raven
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OK, you convinced me. Let's put ID in the science class.

Heck, lets go further.

ID in Electronic Engineering courses. After all it was God who said, "Let their be light." What makes the lights come on when I switch the switch? God. Bulbs don't burn out, they loose their divine inspiration. The way to improve a light bulb is not via all this electronic resistance garbage. Its make the bulb more pious, perhaps with a cross etched in the glass.

ID in Driver's Ed. In many Islamic countries you get into a cab and tell the driver where you want to go. They respond with a pat islamic phrase which I forget, but translates to, "If God wills it so." I say let the Bible, not some state book of rules, traffic laws, or safety experts be your guide on the road and the number of prayers on US highways will greatly increase. (Sorry Bob, you've been replaced by a Saint).

ID in Algerbra. 4X * 2Y = 8X: Find for X.
Answer. X=3, the holy trinity, because God told me it did. Any mathematics you do to contradict me are meaningless since my faith in X=3 is superiour.

We can even expand this. Why not teach the theory of French in English class. They have nouns and verbs and words. Why should we exclude French? Isn't that being bigoted against the French language. (Being bigoted against the French is excusable by some people)

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twinky
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quote:
ID in Driver's Ed. In many Islamic countries you get into a cab and tell the driver where you want to go. They respond with a pat islamic phrase which I forget, but translates to, "If God wills it so."
"Inshalla," or "God willing."
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Dan_raven
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That's what it was. A professor in college told me about it. He is an expert in Mid-East policy, and lost an arm. I never did find out if he lost it because of a taxi driver.
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twinky
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Its use is by no means restricted to Muslim Arabs. [Smile]
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Boothby171
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Ha! Some expert!
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Dan_raven
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Twinky, apparently not. Its supposed to be used by Science teachers in Kansas.
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