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Interview with Judge Jones

Those interested in the struggles against infusion of Intelligent Design Creationism into public schools, have followed, with great interest, the highly publicized trial in Dover, PA a couple of years ago. At the end of it, Judge Jones not just made the right decision, but also wrote one of the best and most scathing indictments of IDC in our legal history. So, you may be interested in the latest interview with Judge Jones, just published in PLoS Genetics:

Taken to School: An Interview with the Honorable Judge John E. Jones, III:

“My call to the Judge’s chambers in request for an interview was answered in vivo by his assistant, who suggested simply e-mailing the Judge directly. I did, and back came an immediate reply of “Happy to do it.” On the appointed July day, in near 100-degree heat, I drove from my father’s home in Pottstown along country roads through the corn-laden, cow-dotted agricultural landscape that I love. But as I got closer to my destination, the state capital of Harrisburg, billboard outcroppings disrupted the fields’ quiet beauty with warnings such as, “It’s your choice – heaven or hell.” It appeared that I had arrived at the crux of the matter.”

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Comments

  1. #1 Kenneth Lawrence
    December 5, 2008

    Intelligent Design Creationism is a misnomer. Creationism is creationist religious belief. Intelligent Design and Creation Science are both science. Most evolutionists don’t realize this because they have never gone to creationist sites such as icr.org and examined projects such as RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth), the SCIENTIFIC (as in laboratory and field research by Ph.D’s)project that has exposed radiometric dating for the scientific sham that it is and revealed new scientific evidence that Earth is indeed about 6,000 years old. Instead of just reacting ideologically to this, why don’t you people actually check it out? They did REAL SCIENCE and the results are what they are. Either refute the prodedures they used and the results SCIENTIFICALLY, or admit that creation science is SCIENCE. Assertions that it isn’t science don’t add up to jack when they are doing REAL SCIENCE and producing REAL SCIENTIFIC RESULTS (i.e. data that shows radiometric dating is fundamentally flawed and cannot be trusted) and you just don’t want to admit it. As I point out in my recently-published book “The Evolution Delusion”, this attitude of denial of the legitimacy of ID and creation science as science by the movers and shakers of Evolutionism (also a religion) and evolution science (which is science)is disingenuous to the core. Why are you people so afraid of a level playing field? You think you have the truth. Fine, let a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred thoughts contend! That’s called academic freedom. What you are doing is called intellectual monopoly, which is really intellectual cowardice, and it is always the enemy of truth. – KL

  2. #2 Coturnix
    December 5, 2008

    w00t! I got a real live Creationist in my comments! Haha. Pointing to discredited websites and one of the most idiotic books ever printed.

    Well, Creation Science is a misnomer as it is not science. The difference between Intelligent Design Creationism and other kinds of Creationisms is that the former, for legal reasons, does not mention God explicitly, just when chatting in the hallways. The people are the same, just the rhetorical tactics are different. Read the Wedge Document. read Judge Jones’ interview. Read a biology textbook. Perhaps you’ll learn. And if you don’t, at least don’t screw up with the kids – let them deal with reality as it is, not the way religionists wish it to be.

  3. #3 PvM
    December 5, 2008

    The argument is simple:

    ID fails to have scientific content (or in other words, ID has remained scientifically vacuous) while its creationist form has failed to withstand constitutional scrutiny.

    Some forms of creation science may indeed count as science, however flawed and disproven, however ID fails to be scientifically relevant or with content as it is based on an eliminative approach with no positive contributions to knowledge. Stating that science at present lacks a sufficiently detailed explanation has no relevance to science and worse, even less relevance to the concept of intelligent design, unless we accept the proper identification of Design to be “that which science cannot (yet) explain” but that makes Design of little interest.

    To compare science with ID, ask yourself the following simple question: How does ID explain such ‘designed’ systems as the bacterial flagellum and compare this to scientific explanations and hypotheses.
    Notice the difference?

  4. #4 PvM
    December 5, 2008

    In fact, the argument that That’s called academic freedom. What you are doing is called intellectual monopoly, which is really intellectual cowardice, and it is always the enemy of truth. has nothing to do with intellectual freedom. Let ID present its contributions to science but so far they have failed to do so and in fact have claimed that ID should not be held to such standards

    William Dembski: You’re asking me to play a game: “Provide as much detail in terms of possible causal mechanisms for your ID position as I do for my Darwinian position.” ID is not a mechanistic theory, and it’s not ID’s task to match your pathetic level of detail in telling mechanistic stories. If ID is correct and an intelligence is responsible and indispensable for certain structures, then it makes no sense to try to ape your method of connecting the dots. True, there may be dots to be connected. But there may also be fundamental discontinuities, and with IC [irreducibly complex] systems that is what ID is discovering.

    Wow…

  5. #5 Lee Bowman
    December 6, 2008

    Judge Jones rose to eminence for his decision because it went along with the liberal power base, whose quest to stifle any opposition to their ideological materialist position is their primary motivation. A strong statement, but I believe it to be factual.

    First, his supporters never fail to ‘legitimatize’ Jones’ as an unbiased conservative, by never failing to mention his appointment by GW Bush. If anything like Bush, I would paint him as an egotistical, lying putz, who’s out to further his own agenda. And that he did, by siding with the wide reaching and well organized materialist power brigade of the ACLU, NCSE, AU, and virtually all federally funded universities, along with their funding organizations (NSF, AAAS, NAAS, NIH, and more). Every one of those high profile organizations not only fully endorses evolutionary theory, but also militantly opposes any academic questioning of is materialist underpinnings.

    Would any judge find in favor of a small, religious motivated group, at the peril of his own career? Since the trial, Jones has made thousands of dollars in appearance fees, plaques and awards, including several honorary degrees from prestigious universities. He was even awarded Time Magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People Award, and get this, the ‘Humanist Religious Liberty Award’, a prominent atheist organization.
    http://www.americanhumanist.org/press/DarwinDay2008.php

    Finding against the Dover School Board is not the issue; they displayed religious bias, lied about some funding issues, and may well have had religious motives, violating the separation of church and state. Where Jones stepped out of bounds was to make a ruling against Intelligent Design, ruling it as religion disguised as science, and with the motive of infiltrating science, and academia, with religious indoctrination.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Today, ID is a secular, scientific pursuit, seeking verification or falsification the hypothesis of guided intervention at selected intervals in the evolutionary process. This would constitute a modification of the present theory, if empirically validated. There is no valid reason to rule against it by judicial fiat.

    I appreciate that Judge Jones admits that ID was not properly represented, nor need it have been, since ID was not on trial. His quotes are telling:

    “in my view, Professor Behe did not distinguish himself. He did not hold up well on cross-examination.” (The only witness for the defense, credentialed in science.)

    “In the realm of the lay witnesses, if you will, some of the school board witnesses were dreadful witnesses and hence the description “breathtaking inanity” and “mendacity.”

    “In my view, they clearly lied under oath. They made a very poor account of themselves.”

    “They could not explain why they did what they did. They really didn’t even know what intelligent design was. It was quite clear to me that they viewed intelligent design as a method to get creationism into the public school classroom.”

    “They were unfortunate and troublesome witnesses. Simply remarkable, in that sense. “

    You may view me as biased, but I am a Biomedical Engineer with an interest in cellular biology, and not religiously biased. I put evidence first, NOT a religious view.

    In his concluding article remarks, he makes my point; that ID was not properly represented.

    “Believe me. Remember, the Dover School Board was comprised of young-earth creationists. They believe that the Bible is the Word. They either can’t explain or like not to explain the evidence to the contrary. Then there are the mixed-bag creationists – creationists who accept that the world is as old as it is but don’t accept evolutionary mechanism.”

    So by virtue of acts by these defendants, a perfect ‘setup’ trial for the ACLU and NCSE, and a furtherance of Judge Jones’ career took place.

    To conclude, please take the time to read legal and ethical critiques of the decision. A dissemination by the Montana Law Review follows:
    http://www.umt.edu/mlr/Discovery%20Institute%20Article.pdf

  6. #6 PvM
    December 6, 2008

    Judge Jones rose to eminence for his decision because it went along with the liberal power base, whose quest to stifle any opposition to their ideological materialist position is their primary motivation. A strong statement, but I believe it to be factual.

    Funny how these liberals want to enforce the constitution… As to enforcing materialism, you seem to be confusion methodology with philosophy here.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Today, ID is a secular, scientific pursuit, seeking verification or falsification the hypothesis of guided intervention at selected intervals in the evolutionary process. This would constitute a modification of the present theory, if empirically validated. There is no valid reason to rule against it by judicial fiat.

    ID may be ‘sold’ as a secular pursuit but it is hardly involved in what you describe above. Ask yourself what has ID done to verify any of its hypotheses? Simple, nothing ….

    After all, ID is at best an eliminative argument and has remained scientifically speaking without any content.

    Explain to us: How does ID explain the bacterial flagellum? Poof…? It doesn’t… Now compare this to the scientific approaches.

    You may view me as biased, but I am a Biomedical Engineer with an interest in cellular biology, and not religiously biased. I put evidence first, NOT a religious view.

    Extremely ironic given you accusations about liberals and materialism… You may think that you put evidence first but your own words betray you.

  7. #7 PvM
    December 6, 2008

    Bowman, somewhat unfamiliar with legal proceedings ‘argues’ that

    Where Jones stepped out of bounds was to make a ruling against Intelligent Design, ruling it as religion disguised as science, and with the motive of infiltrating science, and academia, with religious indoctrination.

    Since the issue was indeed ID and since the ID proponents, including the Discovery Institute, known for their infamous Wedge Document outlining how they envision to replace science with a Christian perspective, argued that ID, since it served a valid secular purpose, could not be used against the Dover board. After all, if the board could show a valid secular purpose that was not a sham, their motives would be largely irrelevant.
    By finding that ID is a scientifically vacuous concept, something supported by the evidence, the judge exposed the Wedge approach and dealt a severe blow to the attempts by ID as outlined in their Wedge document.

    In other words, the judge did his job extremely well. Funny how some feel it necessary to indict his motives while avoiding the facts.
    Once again ID remains vacuous in its claims and arguments.

    For those who are interested in understanding why ID has defined itself to remain without scientific content, I would be more than interested in exposing the scientific vacuity of ID in more detail. But so far the ID proponents seem to be doing a fine job themselves.

  8. #8 PvM
    December 6, 2008

    Could an ID proponent explain to us how, using the explanatory filter, design has been defined? How familiar are ID proponents with their own concepts?

    Design is the ….

  9. #9 PvM
    December 6, 2008

    In his concluding article remarks, he makes my point; that ID was not properly represented.

    Since many ID proponents had withdrawn themselves in haste, it seems that much of the blame may be with those who convinced the school board that ID was a valid, scientific alternative.

    To argue that ID was not properly represented ignores the various amicus briefs filed, especially those by the Discovery Institute who insisted that the judge rule on the nature of ID as it pertained to being a valid scientific concept.

    Perhaps ID was poorly represented in court, but what more could have been done to hide the simple facts that ID is scientifically speaking without content?

  10. #10 PvM
    December 6, 2008

    On Amazon, in a book review, Lee Bowman ‘argues’ incorrectly

    23 of 40 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars Rational ‘spin’ unspun: An overview of the evidence for ID, June 3, 2008
    By Lee Bowman
    For those seeking more familiarity regarding the ‘evolution war’, this is a good place to start. This overview of the evidence encapsulates key points that are often overlooked or debunked by critics, and presents evidence to back the claims of ID, which state that “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, rather than an undirected process such as natural selection.” Unfortunately, them’s fightin’ words. How so? A Darwinian world view now dominates the classroom, funding organizations, the popular press, and even the courts. Some say that to question certain tenets neoDarwinism (NDE), is to attack science. It’s stated here that quite possibly the reverse is true. So how has this debate come to be, progressed, and as of late, stumbled? This book will help bring you up to date.

    Phillip Johnson briefly chronicles the unfolding of the debate in recent times, and of the formation of organizations that opposed the Darwinian basic premise of natural causation. Many of these groups fought among themselves as well, over religious differences. Scientists, then and now, point to those motives as the reason for their opposition to NDE. True to an extent, but today’s opposition is more science based, as Johnson points out.

    To summarize the political nature of the ongoing engagement, he discusses the court cases, then goes on to define his current ‘wedge strategy’, defining it as a wedge of truth, rather than religion as some critics have defined it.

    J.P. Moreland stresses philosophical issues, not that philosophy is necessarily germane to science, but because science uses philosophical arguments, and uses them improperly to refute Intelligent Design. He goes on to discuss at length predictions, explanatory power, either empirical or conceptual, and if conceptual, internal or external (where an external, rational belief need be considered), and so on.

    Moreland’s entire thesis, I would say, are critiques of what is testable, what is not, what is rational, or what might be considered circular reasoning, and the pros and cons of various ways to assess the evidence. Given the constraints that are imposed on scientific consensus, he makes an excellent case that changes in the progression of biologic systems can be more logically explained by intervention, i.e. Intelligent Design, and can thus be supported.

    Casey Luskin discusses the dilemma of finding Intelligent Design in nature, and does so on many fronts, most interesting perhaps, the study of DNA and its complexity. It is often stated that there are no peer reviewed articles attesting to design, a teleological inference, and yet Luskin cites a recent article in Cell Biology International, explaining that such a form of integrated complexity [DNA coding] could not arise by natural processes, regardless of how much time is allowed. Another paper cited challenges Darwinian mechanisms, ascribing the requirement of “large quantities of prescriptive information”, and that “[it] requires ‘choice contingency’ rather than ‘chance contingency’ or necessity.” The foundational evolutionary principal of chance and/or necessity is hereby effectively challenged, and in a peer review journal.

    Several other topics make this chapter one of the best I’ve seen for explaining ID, and how it is logically placed within biosystems. Micromachines are discussed, including the cellular flagellum, and rather than being ‘unspun’, as biologist Kenneth Miller has stated in a 2004 paper, “it is still spinning just fine” (a quote from Wm. Dembski’s response to the paper, with input from Casey Luskin). Is co-option of multi-use proteins, along with horizontal or lateral transfer adequate to explain how totally new cell machinery arises? In this chapter, the arguments and counterarguments are well summarized.

    Biosystematics, the study of taxonomic relationships, how they arose, and how they function is discussed at length (~ ten pages) to conclude the chapter. Transitional forms, morphological patterns, isolation, convergence, extinction, punctuated equilibrium are discussed, and you should come away with an excellent overview of both sides, and their relative merits. My take: Adaptive evolution may well be a ‘designed in’ function.

    Michael Behe takes on irreducible complexity, the eye, the flagellum, and the clotting system. Although Darwinist defenders like to claim that the eye evolved from a light sensitive patch, an evolved cup, an evolved retinal surface, a pinhole lense to a variable refractive lense, and with aiming, focusing, and focal length adjusters thrown in, and to postulate these changes occurred through natural selection of genetic mistakes, Michael disagrees. While not touching on all of these areas, he cogently deflates the patch to a matrix cup fallacy. His description of the highly complex light detecting process, shows that it is sophistry to conflate vision with a purported ascendant light sensitive patch, merely because these crude forms exist in nature.

    To conclude, he discusses the blood clotting cascade, and Russell Doolittle’s counter augments, based on a case study of mice which lacked two of the needed clotting factors. Doolittle’s claim was that removal of those two factors was not harmful to the host, showed evidence of redundancy in the process, and pointed to random causation. Behe argues for IC, discredits Doolittle’s conclusions, and pokes fun at a copy and paste article by Michael Ruse regarding Doolittle’s case study.

    Behe was wrong, simple fact and Doolittle was correct. Behe may poke fun but if Bowman were interested in the facts, he should have done his research.

  11. #11 PvM
    December 8, 2008

    As expected, ID has remained without any content…

    Typical…

  12. #12 Lee Bowman
    December 8, 2008

    Paul,

    I didn’t respond, since you know my position and I don’t have much to add to it at this time. I feel with adequate new research, including of course the research that’s ongoing in mainstream genetic labs, that the design premise will strengthen. But as far as research projects dedicated to confirming ID per se, I don’t know of any.

    Interesting that you asked about the EF, now that it’s become a ‘hot’ topic (pandasthumb et al), so I won’t comment at this time. I feel that there are many explanatory filters possible, and that Dembski’s definition of his may have changed. I view it as simply a metaphor for analyzing data. I like the term ‘design inferences’, and feel that those apply where a construct could be shown to have purposes other than survival, or reproductive advantage, or could be shown to be too complex to form stepwise. Also, some constructs show an aesthetic quality (not beauty, per se), but a quality of design that would violate the abject simplicity that would be expected from natural causes. A border or ridge is one example.

    I have a question for you. Why did elaborate male peacock feathers arise, since it is now generally felt that they convey no repro advantage, i.e. mate attraction? And don’t say because they scare prey away. ;-)

    Lee

  13. #13 Coturnix
    December 8, 2008

    Lee, don’t be lazy – look for yourself.

  14. #14 PvM
    December 8, 2008

    feel with adequate new research, including of course the research that’s ongoing in mainstream genetic labs, that the design premise will strengthen. But as far as research projects dedicated to confirming ID per se, I don’t know of any.

    How will the design premise strengthen when science is showing in more and more detail how nature can be explained?

    Why did elaborate male peacock feathers arise, since it is now generally felt that they convey no repro advantage, i.e. mate attraction? And don’t say because they scare prey away

    Let me ask you first a question: How does ID explain it and is a lack of explanation evidence in favor of ID?

  15. #15 Lee Bowman
    December 9, 2008

    How will the design premise strengthen when science is showing in more and more detail how nature can be explained?

    If you’ve already made predictions, you’ll tend to fit the evidence to them. For that reason, you and I might intepret data differently. That constitutes subjectivism, something we’re all guilty of.

    I’m not following all of the new data, but what I have looked at tends to show organization, which I am more inclined to attribute to a programmed system.

    Let me ask you first a question: How does ID explain it and is a lack of explanation evidence in favor of ID?

    You first.

  16. #16 Lee Bowman
    December 9, 2008

    Lee, don’t be lazy – look for yourself.

    I was more interested in PZ’s opinion, rather than consensus views.
    By the way, I wonder how they get along with quail …

    Oh also, I sent a retraction email to Catherine Nancarrow at Plos Genetics, since I’ve rethought my take on Judge Jones. ‘Lying putz’ is disingenuous, and I apologized. But I doubt that she’ll post the retraction, since I actually turned the table a little, with some criticisms of NCSE.

    Cheers

  17. #17 PvM
    December 9, 2008

    How will the design premise strengthen when science is showing in more and more detail how nature can be explained?

    If you’ve already made predictions, you’ll tend to fit the evidence to them. For that reason, you and I might intepret data differently. That constitutes subjectivism, something we’re all guilty of.

    FInding evidence for one’s predictions is not self evident, but you do seem to understand that predictions are important in establishing the relevancy. Of course, even more important is trying to disprove these predictions. To claim that we are all guilty of subjectivism ignores how science works. If you believe that the data can be interpreted differently then provide us with your best hypothesis and predictions. But as I have shown and argued, ID is not in the business of doing so. And for obvious reasons.

    I’m not following all of the new data, but what I have looked at tends to show organization, which I am more inclined to attribute to a programmed system.

    A meaningless statement that is based on the usual imprecise language so commonly found in ID. And a programmed system is meaningless when the programmer can be shown to be a natural process. But I understand that your ‘argument’ is based on limited familiarity with the data and a large amount of wishful thinking. Why can ID not apply a more rigorous scientific approach to its claims and arguments?

    Let me ask you first a question: How does ID explain it and is a lack of explanation evidence in favor of ID?

    You first.

    As expected, ID proponents remain fully without any relevant explanation. This is not really their fault since ID is founded in an argument from ignorance. And typically evidence against a prevailing hypothesis or theory is seen as evidence in favor of ID, where ID basically is nothing more than ‘we don’t know’ with a confusing label that suggests ‘design’.

    Most ID proponents seem to also be unfamiliar with the observation and admission by William Dembski

    Dembski :Before I proceed, however, I note that Dembski makes an important concession to his critics. He refuses to make the second assumption noted above. When the EF (Explanatory Filter) implies that certain systems are intelligently designed, Dembski does not think it follows that there is some intelligent designer or other. He says that, “even though in practice inferring design is the first step in identifying an intelligent agent, taken by itself design does not require that such an agent be posited. The notion of design that emerges from the design inference must not be confused with intelligent agency”

    I asked ID proponents to define ‘design’, since this simple request seems to have been ignored, let me provide the answer:

    Design is the set theoretic complement of the disjunction regularity-or-chance.

    That’s it…

    It should thus not come as a surprise that ID cannot even eliminate natural selection as its designer…

  18. #18 PvM
    December 9, 2008

    Oh also, I sent a retraction email to Catherine Nancarrow at Plos Genetics, since I’ve rethought my take on Judge Jones. ‘Lying putz’ is disingenuous, and I apologized. But I doubt that she’ll post the retraction, since I actually turned the table a little, with some criticisms of NCSE.

    Turned the table? So far your ‘arguments’ have failed to impress, what makes you believe you can ‘turn the table’?
    Rather than calling judges ‘lying Putz’es would ID proponents not do much better to focus on the ever elusive scientific content of their ideas?

    Or is this a silly thought of mine…

  19. #19 PvM
    December 10, 2008

    Ah, the lovely sound of silence.

  20. #20 Lee Bowman
    December 11, 2008

    Pim,

    Sorry I called you Paul, a V is not a Z, obviously,

    Finding evidence for one’s predictions is not self evident, but you do seem to understand that predictions are important in establishing the relevancy. Of course, even more important is trying to disprove these predictions. To claim that we are all guilty of subjectivism ignores how science works.

    Subjectivism is the human condition. Our experiences, our penchants, our biases (based in some cases on funding sources and predictions made a priori), even our moral sense in some cases, and of course our ability to reason tend to influence our interpretation of data. Notice I said ‘tend to’, so it varies. I admit to having biases, but a need to appoint a creator/ designer is not one of them. Therefore, I am not a creationist. My tentative conclusions at this point are based on my interpretation of the existing evidences supporting design (complexity, order, synergy of systems, and aesthetic features).

    True, that’s how science works in theory, but not always in practice. Many on both sides of the designer issue are heavily biased toward their side of the issue. I am not. I am completely open to evidences of undirected causality.

    If you believe that the data can be interpreted differently then provide us with your best hypothesis and predictions. But as I have shown and argued, ID is not in the business of doing so. And for obvious reasons.

    IDists have been accused of that, as well as not doing any active research, a generalization. Most Creationists fit that pattern, since they have preconceived beliefs, yes ‘beliefs’ rather than proposed hypotheses. Some of those oppose science. Others look for ways to alter science to fit Biblical accounts. Still others look for ways to reconcile their faith with accepted science. But to most scientists, they constitute a pain in the butt.

    I am none of these. I view the scientific method as the preferred means to reconcile truth in the natural world, but I strongly feel that, as defined, it doesn’t work well for reconciling issues like we are dealing with here. Predictions fit the method, but there are times when data conflicts with prior predictions. More important is to view all findings as objectively as possible. This absolutely requires the designer side must be open to ‘natural causation’ in toto or to a degree, and that the evolution adherents must likewise be open to ‘design intervention’, either in toto or to a degree (intervention in evo processes) as well.

    It seems as though the ‘old camp’ of both scientists and religionists will never come to terms, nor will they work toward the objectivism stated above. I do feel, however, that the upcoming scientists will be more willing to accumulate, process and interpret data more objectively. We’ll see.

    To conclude, I agree that many, if not most ID proponents are religious, and may be unwilling to view the data objectively. Same for many scientists. That is as it is.

    Regarding ‘IDists’ doing their own research, there is a fallacy here, i.e. that IDists are separate from evolutionists. If objectivity is followed, as I specified, then a true scientist will be open to both hypothetical positions, and will in fact wear neither hat. And the data gleaned can be interpreted as the data dictates.

    One comment regarding supernaturality. It is possible that there is no such thing, i.e. everything that operates within the cosmos is natural, even if of a spirit form. Quark based, perhaps, but natural. It’s just that as time goes on, our true view of the natural world changes drastically. That, my friend, is what science is about. We can rule nothing out.

  21. #21 PvM
    December 11, 2008

    True, that’s how science works in theory, but not always in practice. Many on both sides of the designer issue are heavily biased toward their side of the issue. I am not. I am completely open to evidences of undirected causality.

    That’s ironic, just when you explain how we are all biased, you claim that you are completely open to scientific evidence and yet you seem to cling to a default position of ‘design’, which in fact, as you seem to have come to realize, only is a position of ‘we dont know’.

    That, my friend, is what science is about. We can rule nothing out.

    Science does not rule out the supernatural but rather it observes that it cannot address or rule out the supernatural, which is why, from a scientific perspective, it is without any content.

    To claim that a ‘true scientist’ is open to any and all hypothetical position is nonsense. A true scientist does not cling to hypotheticals but rather takes a combination of data and hypotheses to build a consistent set of explanations. Your claims that the data an be interpreted as the data dictates shows a severe misunderstanding of the scientific method.
    Let’s look at the ‘design’ inference, which is nothing more than the position that ‘we don’t know’, and since ID refuses to address its claims in any positive manner, they remain unable to formulate any relevant hypotheses about design. ID, unlike real science, is the ultimate subjective approach.
    The problem is that ID has chosen to remain without scientific content and thus has separated itself from science as the position of ignorance.

    Science, offers anyone the chance to present its own hypotheses and show that they explain the data better than the prevailing hypotheses. Why is it then that ID has remained without content? Remember that ID has little to do with intelligent agency. Surely, you as someone who describes himself as open to facts, must be aware of the shaky foundations of ID when it comes to detecting design? Surely you must be aware of the definition of ‘design’ as used by ID and the inherently flawed steps needed to infer a ‘designer’?

    If you were then you would not be making these claims about science and ID

  22. #22 Lee Bowman
    December 11, 2008

    That’s ironic, just when you explain how we are all biased, you claim that you are completely open to scientific evidence and yet you seem to cling to a default position of ‘design’, which in fact, as you seem to have come to realize, only is a position of ‘we dont know’.

    There’s no irony here at all. It’s no more a position of “we don’t know” than is the morphological evolution of vertebrate (or any) eyes. Both are subject to research, and both lack research. Now just because Creationists tend to say (according to you and critics), “I don’t know, therefore Goddidit.”, that is NOT the default position of ID.

    You and others say that there is no proposed mechanisms or means of ‘creating’ phyla. Actually, there is. I propose that an existent phylum can be altered in a subsequent generation by altering the genetic code, a form of genetic engineering. The exact method of doing that would involve first knowing the coding arrangement that defined the morphological construct one wanted to alter, then altering the code. It could be stepwise, since a reproductive or survival advantage would not be necessary. Then, other alterations could be implemented. Trial and error, perhaps. No ‘poof’, just genetic engineering.

    To summarily reject it as nonsense clearly shows bias on the part of anyone stating that. And I think you know who that someone might be.

    Science, offers anyone the chance to present its own hypotheses and show that they explain the data better than the prevailing hypotheses.

    To verify that as a methodology would only require doing it manually, and that has already been done. If a scientist can do it, unknown entities could as well. Or is man the only intelligence in the cosmos?

    Why is it then that ID has remained without content?

    As I stated above and on multiple occasions, because no scientific group has been willing to take it on.

    And I’m not referring to the ‘hand wavers’ (or most religionists). On the other hand, alternate conclusions for some of the existing data, does in fact confirm ID. But as we both know, no papers to that effect would pass peer review, and thus be publised. This is not a ‘content’ issue, it’s an example of a priori bias, along with dictates from the funding and licensing organizations.

    You know, I think that science actually has a default position. ‘Mutantdidit’, but aside from ‘adaptive’ changes, it hasen’t been shown to produce novelty.

    The drosophila experiments have failed as well, only producing allopatric and sympatric changes, but not true parapatric results with significant morphogic alterations. IOW, no speciation.

  23. #23 Lee Bowman
    December 11, 2008

    1) My wireless keyboard frequently misses characters (annoying … )
    2) My version of Word often misses misspellings

    -publis h ed
    -has n’t
    -morpho l ogic

    The best spelling checker is your eye. The misspells tend to jump out at you, the instant you hit the ‘send’ or ‘post’ key. Funny how that works …

    But at least, the scienceblogs allow preview.

    I may wrap this up here, since I’m short on time. Thanx Pim

    Lee

  24. #24 PvM
    December 11, 2008

    I asked: Why is it then that ID has remained without content?

    As I stated above and on multiple occasions, because no scientific group has been willing to take it on.

    No surprise here since ID is a scientifically vacuous concept.

    You know, I think that science actually has a default position. ‘Mutantdidit’, but aside from ‘adaptive’ changes, it hasen’t been shown to produce novelty.

    And again it is ignorance which leads Bowman to reject good science and by virtue of a flawed logic, to accept ID as an alternative ‘explanation’ even though a definition of ID, let alone an ID hypothesis remains fully lacking.

    More ignorance is shown when

    You and others say that there is no proposed mechanisms or means of ‘creating’ phyla.

    In fact, you may be familiar with Valentine, often quote mined by ID, who has concluded that the origin of phyla is well within the paradigm of Darwinian theory. Read his excellent book “On the origin of phyla”.

    Trial and error, perhaps. No ‘poof’, just genetic engineering.

    Exactly what evolutionary theory predicts. But in addition, evolutionary theory has identified existing mechanisms and supporting data and evidence.
    Calling something ‘genetic engineering’ is no explanation.

    On the other hand, alternate conclusions for some of the existing data, does in fact confirm ID.

    No such data confirm ID, especially since an ID hypothesis seems to be fully absent.

  25. #25 PvM
    December 14, 2008

    Seems to me that the ever elusive ID ‘hypothesis’ has once again gone into hiding

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