I Grow Weary of ID

Check out the Dsicovery Institute’s Bruce Chapman explaining away the complete inability of ID to produce anything of scientific importance:

I keep getting asked about the scientific research projects underway that relate to Darwinism and intelligent design. So why aren’t we talking more about them publicly? For several good reasons:

The most important is that the Darwinist establishment would like nothing better than to “out” research programs before they are finished. The idea is to shut down damaging evidence as early as possible. Strangle the infant in the crib. Demand answers now to questions still being explored.

And after a brief excusrion to discuss the case of Francis Beckwtih, he continues:

Friends of ID know the cases of a number of ID-friendly scientists who have lost their lab privileges or otherwise been discriminated against at universities here and in the UK. We are not trumpeting very many cases because the situations of several such scientists remain difficult. It is an appalling commentary on the state of academic freedom that ID-friendly scientists should have to work in an atmosphere of fear, but it’s true. We just want friends of ID who wonder why we don’t publicize work in progress more than we do to take a moment and reflect about that!

As for foes and critics who pester us for information about research now underway and who insinuate that, unless we oblige them, we must accept their opinion that such research is not happening, we owe them nothing. Since when does a scientist have to “report” on his work to the public before he is ready? The opposite is almost always the case.

What nerve! In their books, blogs and gatherings the ID folks run around telling people that the battle is over: Darwin has lost, ID has won. They’ve been telling us for over a decade that ID will lead to scientific advancements undreamed of under an evolutionary paradigm.

But if you ask them back up these claims with even one little bit of actual scientific progress they talk about conspiracies of censorship and lecture you about their need for secrecy. Lot’s of reaserch is going on, but we can’t tell you about it. Lot’s of scientists are being oppressed by Darwinists, but we can’t tell you who they are.

RIght. And people who deny the existence of robots are themsleves robots.

Chapman would have you believe that ID folks are reticent to talk publicly about their work. The results aren’t ready yet, he says. The reality, however, is that ID folks are willing to talk to anyone and everyone as long as those people know nothing about science. Scientists are pretty much the only people ID folks are unwilling to talk to. The ID blogs are all atwitter right now about the big confab at the Florida Sun Dome this weekend. Four thousnad people gathered to hear the leading lights of ID talk publicly about their work. Somehow I don’t think the speakers told the audiences they owe them nothing.

Which brings me to the title of this entry. When I got started in this biz, I felt like I learned something by taking the ID folks seriously. The No Free Lunch theorems are beautiful and fascinating, but I would know nothing about them if the sordid little mind of William Dembski hadn’t figured how to use them to bamboozle people into thinking their were mathematical flaws with evolution. The research I did while investigating the claims of Jonathan Wells and Icons of Evolution taught me a great deal about the real state of biological research. Fighting these ignorant charlatans was an act of grim necessity, but at least they provided some food for thought.

But look where they are now. They had their day in court and came off looking like fools. The only books they talk about now are the hysterical political screeds by Ann Coulter and Jonathan Wells, neither of which presents anything remotely new. And when you ask them to tell you about the state of ID research, not even actual results mind you but just a description of the work itself, they get belligerent and nasty.

Is Chapman actually fooling anyone? Surely it’s obvious even to the dimmest among us that the ID folks have no results to report because ID is an intellectual dead end? Right? Please tell me I’m right…

Comments

  1. #1 bjm
    October 2, 2006

    I sometimes regret the fact that I didn’t become an ID scentist. What a life – no work and all this free publicity.

    Can you imagine the job of an ID journal editor….”Well, Dr Wells we like your paper but we are going to have to turn it down for publication because of the conclusions you’ve drawn. It’s not that we disagree that ‘God did it’, it’s just that all the other papers we’ve recieved seem to reach the same conclusion!”

  2. #2 Coin
    October 2, 2006

    Oh man. That first quote is just truly hilarious. “We’ve got all this super secret awesome research going on! but we can’t tell you what it is because the Darwinists would cover it up!” This is UFO-conspiracy caliber stuff right there. Beautiful.

    Anyway, OK, so you’re tired of the ID crowd now. Quite reasonable. What next, then? If the ID crowd has been thoroughly discredited enough (or has discredited itself enough) that it no longer entirely feels like working to discredit them further is useful, then what maybe would be a more productive use of energy furthering the cause of science acceptance and literacy among the public?

  3. #3 Dave Carlson
    October 2, 2006

    Who are these ID-friendly folks who have “lost their lab priviledges?” Surely he’s not talking about Sternberg, is he? Any clues as to whether there is any truth to this claim outside of the ID propaganda machine?

  4. #4 Anton Mates
    October 2, 2006

    And note that he pushes the abortion button while talking about Beckwith–Beckwith, he claims, was denied tenure partially because he was pro-life. At Baylor. A Baptist university. In Texas.

    Yeah, I can’t imagine they have high hopes for believability at this point.

  5. #5 Fred
    October 2, 2006

    Now that’s funny– I just came here to post a link of that article to you, and you’ve beaten me to it! :-)

    Well OK, how about this other “article” on that site? The headline proudly reads:

    New Book Advances Groundbreaking Argument for Intelligent Design

    But the text beneath that is merely a quote from Behe, hardly a disinterested party. And what is this “groundbreaking argument?” Here’s what Dembski says: “In sparkling prose Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt teach us how to recognize genius, first in Shakespeare’s plays and then in nature. From principles of geometry to details of the periodic table, the authors portray the depth, elegance, clarity and pure cleverness of a universe designed to nurture the intelligent life that one day would discover that design.”

    In other words, “this book offers no science at all, but instead continues the ridiculous notion that design in nature can be easily seen.” Now, I know I’m one of the unenlightened heathens, but can someone please explain to me how the word “groundbreaking” comes into play there?

    Perhaps that’s par for the course with ID folks: the re-defining of words. After all, they claim that ID is not creationism, and now they are apparently claiming that groundbreaking doesn’t mean “new and important.”

    I have this challenge for the ID folks: Show me something in nature that was NOT designed, then prove it. After all, if you are claiming that some things show evidence of design, then there must be something *not designed* that you’re comparing it to. In other words, if there are hallmarks of design, there must be hallmarks of, well, non-design. What are those hallmarks and what is the proof tht they’re not designed?

  6. #6 bjm
    October 2, 2006

    I think the bits that are ‘not designed’ must have been bought in as a job-lot! Unfortunately that concept raises the possibility of a designer and a supplier – complicated?

    The concept of ID always baffled me – only ‘some’ things are ‘designed’ – some designer?

  7. #7 wad of id
    October 2, 2006

    Why won’t IDers publish at their own ID friendly publications, such as PCID: http://www.iscid.org/pcid.php

    Hell, the Creationists have their own journals, which they regularly update. Is ID not even up to Creationism in research potential?

  8. #8 bjm
    October 2, 2006

    It’s probably out of deference to their Creationist brethren – don’t upset the apple-cart as it’s bad for business (literally – there must be a good number of books in the pipeline to sell to the masses)

  9. #9 Fred
    October 2, 2006

    Mr. Chapman’s argument is ridiculous. If I were the champion of a theory that 50% or so of the public believed in and supported, and was highly favored by many in power, I would have no trouble financing a private research program. They are spending millions, no doubt, on PR, outreach endeavors, and publications. Why not plough all that dough into a real research facility, staffed with their own fellows, with room for a few of the oppressed researchers as well. My impression from my reading is that they are a well-funded group of folks and could afford the capital investment required to build a facility of their own (or raise the funds if they couldn’t). There are a number of conservative Christian universities which surely have laboratory space and adequate instrumentation and computer assets to conduct a research program for ID (or could be outfitted with the appropriate equipment, if they didn’t have it). No one would stop them from publishing anything they wanted, but their work would then be subjected to scrutiny by other scientists.

  10. #10 bjm
    October 2, 2006

    This has never been an issue of funding or opportunity. The only ‘space’ they are interested in is the one between the ears of their congregations and their PR department is keeping that avenue alive. They even declined money from the Templeton Foundation to fund their ‘research’ but you can’t fund what you haven’t got?

  11. #11 quitter
    October 2, 2006

    This guy is using the typical denialist rhetoric.

    The second people start talking about conspiracies among scientists you know they’re crackpots. Like we all have a secret newsletter with instructions on who we’re going to attack and discriminate against next.

    I hope people start addressing this type of stuff as denialism plain and simple. Whether it’s creationism, HIV/AIDS denial, global warming denial, holocaust denial whatever, it’s always the same 5 tactics (conspiracy, selectivity/quote-mining, false experts, impossible expectations/moving goalposts, and argument from analogy/red herring). And when the typical denialist arguments are raised you can just dismiss them out of hand.

  12. #12 RBH
    October 2, 2006

    bjm wrote

    They even declined money from the Templeton Foundation to fund their ‘research’ but you can’t fund what you haven’t got?

    It’s worse than that. The Templeton foundation invited research proposals from the ID people and got none worth funding!

  13. #13 Chris Hallquist
    October 2, 2006

    From my own blog:

    I keep getting asked about the scientific research projects underway that relate to Darwinism and intelligent design. So why aren’t we talking more about them publicly? For several good reasons:

    The most important is that the Darwinist establishment would like nothing better than to out research programs before they are finished. The idea is to shut down damaging evidence as early as possible. Strangle the infant in the crib. Demand answers now to questions still being explored.

    Hello? You guys tried to force your ideas into public schools over a year ago, and now you admit that they’re still in development? What?

  14. #14 Doc Bill
    October 2, 2006

    Once again Mark Chapman is all hat and no cattle. (That guy has a lot of hats!)

    The state of ID scientific research is simple: there isn’t any.

    As director of the Discovery Institute, Chapman surly knows this. I think that all biological research being done in the world is fully accounted for, and ID isn’t part of the program. If there were privately funded labs then what would the problem be?

    Also, Chapman had to pad out his article with a long paragraph about Francis Beckwith, a religious law scholar, who has absolutely nothing to do with scientific research. Why didn’t Chapman talk about Behe, Dembski and Wells and all the great scientific research they’re doing? Inquiring minds want to know!

  15. #15 John Farrell
    October 2, 2006

    Oh, boy. This is way beyond intellectual dishonesty now. Beyond parody. Somebody tell Chapman it’s time to hire William Shatner….

  16. #16 Alan Wright
    October 2, 2006

    Jason,

    If you’re tired of the vacuousness, transparency, and repetitiveness of the ID arguments, why not broaden your scope to the more general, more prevalent, and more dangerous problem of political abuse of science? Lot’s of new science to learn if you expand into that field, and a much greater volume of propaganda to debunk. The world could use a few more Chris Mooney’s.

    Another area in desparate need of more attention from debunkers is the pharmaceutical industry as well as the food and supplement industries. The distortion (or suppression) of science for profit in those areas is rampant and tremendously costly to society. We need more Anthony Colpo’s as well.

    Although the ID movement pisses me off and demands a small amount of my attention, these other areas are where the affront to science and rationality is greatest.

    Alan

  17. #17 N.Wells
    October 2, 2006

    Fred, I’m assuming that any ‘groundbreaking’ work in the vicinity of Behe and ID is exactly the same sort of ‘groundbreaking work’ that differentiates ‘dead’ from ‘dead and buried’.

    IDists seem to be withdrawing into the intellectual equivalent of gated communities. Their internet presence seems to consist more and more of places that don’t allow open discussion. They also seem to be less able or willing to hide religious interests and motivations since Dover.

  18. #18 John
    October 2, 2006

    Why isn’t anyone asking the obvious question — if there is a “conspiracy” to prevent research, why doesn’t the Discovery Institute itself pony up funds to do the research?

  19. #19 Russ
    October 2, 2006

    For several years in the late 70′s and early 80′s I worked in molecular toxicology. Each new study required groundbreaking efforts in protocol design, implementation, analysis and interpretation. We benefitted greatly from bouncing ideas off colleagues from different departments. Some of what we hoped to achieve became possible only through such idea exchanges.

    IDers have no interest in expanding the state of human understanding. If they truly had an idea with any merit at all, the scientific world would be offering ideas pertaining to every aspect of the problem area. Science would be standing behind them, cheering them on and hoping for them to succeed.

  20. #20 JM Ridlon
    October 3, 2006

    Jason,

    Great post, I have followed very closely the ID arguments, and all they provide are recycled arguments after recycled arguments amounting to nothing but arguments from personal incredulity, ingorance, and analogy. Minnich seems to be the only one to present any research at the Dover trial. Unfortunately, his research was just gene knockout experiments!!! Chapman is blowing smoke up alot of conservative butts. I wonder how long it will take people to reallize ID is a sham. From talking to many ID proponents, I have seen an unsurprising pattern: they are all very religious, have no technical science knowledge, and believe anything a Dembski or Behe tell them. Words from the grand master-Chapman himself-is like the words of God to these cult fanatics. In the end, we are fighting a losing battle: people want to hear there is a God, and lack the technical knowledge to sort out the claims made by both sides. In the end, people side with DI because it aligns with their worldview. Michael Shermer wrote in his book “Why Darwin Matters” identifies three types of people: those who accept Darwinism, those who reject it and the fench sitters who have not yet decided. Hopefully, your posts will make the fence sitters think.

  21. #21 Timcol
    October 3, 2006

    It gets worse. The Great Dembski and fawning sycophants have just launched a new web site (http://www.overwhelmingevidence.com) aimed at teenagers. Here’s how Dembski introduces it over at Uncommon Descent (and this should dispell any doubt that Dembski is suffering from delusions of grandeur):


    The Darwinists have had your young people long enough to shape, subvert, and corrupt. Send them to http://www.overwhelmingevidence.com and mobilize this sleeping giant! The old guard is not going to change. The hope of the future lies with our youth. The new overwhelmingevidence.com site is modeled on Xanga and Myspace and aimed at concentrating the power of youth to throw off the indoctrination that is being shoved down their throats by groups like the NCSE and enforced by inept judicial rulings like those of Judge Jones (note the image of Jones on the splash page). The NCSE, the ACLU, Jones, etc. have effectively disenfranchised our young people when it comes to the teaching of biological origins. Today�s high school and college students are going to need to reclaim their own freedom.

    Of course if you actually bother to go to the site, you would be hard pressed to actually find any evidence for ID at all (let alone the ‘overwhelming’ variety) as it seems to be just a collection of blogs and forums (and of course includes a feed from Uncommon Descent). I don’t think MySpace should feel too threatened just yet..

  22. #22 Turcano
    October 3, 2006

    “IDists seem to be withdrawing into the intellectual equivalent of gated communities.”

    What do you mean, “withdrawing into”? That assumes that they ever left.

    “The Darwinists have had your young people long enough to shape, subvert, and corrupt. Send them to http://www.overwhelmingevidence.com and mobilize this sleeping giant!”

    Translation: “The Darwinists have had your young people long enough to shape, subvert, and corrupt. Now it’s our turn!”

  23. #23 J-Dog
    October 3, 2006

    I’ll bet that Bob Foley is a Charter Member of overwhelmingevidence.com! It’s right up his alley! Gee… you don’t think that the Great Dembski himself is following in the Congressman’s footsteps do you? And BTW -has anyone done a background check on Casey Luskin?

  24. #24 Dood72
    October 3, 2006

    Hi, anybody seen http://www.uncommondescent.com?
    Seems like somebody’s not paying the bills….:)

  25. #25 David Harmon
    October 3, 2006

    Well, “wearing out” their opponents is a basic strategy for these guys. Remember, they can keep making up stupid shit faster than you can rebut it. And they can keep that up until you have to go do something else Oh, you knocked down all their claims? No problem, they’ll just rearrange the words and insist that you disprove them, in detail, all over again, or else they get to say you couldn’t.

  26. #26 AJS
    October 3, 2006

    There is a huge problem with Intelligent Design and Irreducible Complexity.

    If there exists “irreducible complexity” which can arise only in the work of an intelligent designer, then the designer themself must exhibit irreducible complexity. So an intelligent designer must have been designed by a more intelligent designer, who in turn must have been designed by an even more intelligent designer, and so on. This isn’t circular reasoning: it’s an outward spiral.

    If you accept that an intelligent designer (who must necessarily exhibit irreducible complexity) could have arisen spontaneously without the need for a designer of their own, you have accepted the possibility of irreducible complexity arising spontaneously — and if irredicible complexity could arise spontaneously in an intelligent designer, why could it not miss out a step and arise spontaneously in the universe?

    If you don’t accept that an intelligent designer must exhibit irreducible complexity, then you must accept the possibility of irreducible complexity arising from a non-irreducibly-complex system. In other words, you don’t really need the designer in the first place!

    There is a definite logical fallacy somewhere in the Intelligent Design hypothesis — be it the infinite regression, the unnecessary intermediate step(s) or the ultimate unnecessity of the designer. If we reject Intelligent Design altogether, we only have to account for an improbable event — which, given the scale of the universe, is not all that improbable.

  27. #27 David Heddle
    October 3, 2006

    AJS,

    Anyone who reads my blog knows that even though I am an IDer I am something of a maverick. I deny that ID is science and have little regard for the ID Movement. That said, I still feel compelled to point out how your conclusion is trivially wrong. You wrote:

    If you accept that an intelligent designer (who must necessarily exhibit irreducible complexity)

    But that is just nonsense. It is easily refuted by this hypothetical scenario that lives comfortably in IDs so-called “big tent,” namely: An advanced alien race that evolved on some other world (hence displaying no irreducible complexity) designed life on earth out of irreducibly complex components. So within ID, those who want to hold to the fiction that it is all about science, can, in contrast to your claim, posit a way in which the designer is not irreducibly complex any yet irreducible complexity did not arise spontaneously.

    Now, I don’t believe that for a second. Furthermore I don’t believe any true-blue IDers believe it either. But it is an obvious rebuttal to your claim that the designer must himself be irreducibly complex.

    To reiterate: regardless of one’s view on ID, the claim that irreducibly complex components had to be designed by a designer exhibiting irreducible complexity is unsupportable.

  28. #28 bjm
    October 3, 2006

    David

    So are you saying that ID’ers are happy with evolution, as long as it happened elsewhere in the universe? That still about evolution?

  29. #29 AJS
    October 3, 2006
    If you accept that an intelligent designer (who must necessarily exhibit irreducible complexity)

    But that is just nonsense. It is easily refuted by this hypothetical scenario that lives comfortably in IDs so-called “big tent,” namely: An advanced alien race that evolved on some other world (hence displaying no irreducible complexity) designed life on earth out of irreducibly complex components. So within ID, those who want to hold to the fiction that it is all about science, can, in contrast to your claim, posit a way in which the designer is not irreducibly complex any yet irreducible complexity did not arise spontaneously.

    So what you are saying is that you can have an intelligent designer who does not exhibit irreducible complexity in and of themself, creating something which is irreducibly complex.

    But in that case, need there be an intelligent designer at all? You have hypothesised that a non-irreducibly-complex system can create an irreducibly-complex one, albeit with an intermediate step. Why would Nature bother with such an intermediate step? If your non-irreducibly-complex Intelligent Designer could arise spontaneously and then gone on to create an irreducibly-complex system, what’s to say that an irreducibly-complex system could not have arisen spontaneously in the first place?

  30. #30 David Heddle
    October 3, 2006

    bjm,

    I personally do not think IDers seriously consider that evolution might have occurred elsewhere in the universe. I believe the overwhelming majority believe, as I do, in theism. However, they can make an argument such as the one I made above in part for defending their position that they don’t have to name the designer. However, in spite of the fact that the argument is a ruse, it is nevertheless sound: there is no argument from regress that demands only irreducibly complex designers can design irreducibly complex life.

  31. #31 David Heddle
    October 3, 2006

    AJS,

    But in that case, need there be an intelligent designer at all? You have hypothesised that a non-irreducibly-complex system can create an irreducibly-complex one, albeit with an intermediate step. Why would Nature bother with such an intermediate step?

    I have having difficulty following your point. In the scenario where an advanced (evolved) alien race designed life on earth, then nature did not “bother” with any intermediate step–the hypothetical aliens simply decided, for whatever purposes, to tinker with life on earth.

    If your non-irreducibly-complex Intelligent Designer could arise spontaneously and then gone on to create an irreducibly-complex system, what’s to say that an irreducibly-complex system could not have arisen spontaneously in the first place?

    What do you mean by “a spontaneously arisen irreducibly-complex system?” That’s what we theists call special creation. I don’t know what that phrase would mean in a purely naturalistic framework.

  32. #32 quitter
    October 3, 2006

    David Harmon,
    That’s why you just dismiss it as denialism out of hand and don’t spend time debunking it.

    Just short-circuit the conversation. They allege conspiracy? Argument is over, the idea of conspiracy in science is ludicrous. They say one paper proves their point? Selectivity, argument over, one paper does not a reverse an entire body of literature, and they’re probably misinterpreting it anyway. They have a bunch of experts who say so? Bullshit, those are bought experts, we know who they are, or it’s a self-appointed circle-jerk of morons giving eachother titles and appointments in a think tank. Real scientists have degrees, undergo peer-review, and have their ideas exhibited in public and challenged, they don’t sit in offices writing position papers published by their own BS think tank. Or they amplify doubt or create impossible expectations, or they just out and out use red herrings and analogies to argue rather than data.

    Once you identify the tactics, point that out and don’t bother debunking them. They’re already pre-debunked if they use denialist rhetoric.

    But wait, you know this already! (I saw you’re comment over at Give Up). I’m probably preaching to the choir.

  33. #33 Ginger Yellow
    October 3, 2006

    “Since when does a scientist have to “report” on his work to the public before he is ready? The opposite is almost always the case.”

    Has Chapman never heard of grant applications?

  34. #34 AJS
    October 3, 2006

    I have having difficulty following your point. In the scenario where an advanced (evolved) alien race designed life on earth, then nature did not “bother” with any intermediate step–the hypothetical aliens simply decided, for whatever purposes, to tinker with life on earth.

    The evolution of an advanced (but not irreducibly-complex) alien race is the unnecessary intermediate step. If beings who do not exhibit irreducible complexity can create irreducibly-complex systems, then processes which do not exhibit irreducible complexity can create irreducibly-complex systems.

    What do you mean by “a spontaneously arisen irreducibly-complex system?” That’s what we theists call special creation. I don’t know what that phrase would mean in a purely naturalistic framework.

    What it says. If you assume that irreducible complexity cannot arise spontaneously, then either anything which arose spontaneously does not exhibit irreducible complexity, or anything which exhibits irreducible complexity did not arise spontaneously. If we rule out the supernatural altogether and assume everything arose spontaneously, then either there is no irreducible complexity in nature; or irreducible complexity can arise spontaneously.

  35. #35 Fred
    October 3, 2006

    David,
    It’s just not true that theoretically an ID person can believe that the designer(s) evolved. ID clearly states that evolution like that is absolutely impossible. They say, for example, that irreducible complexity makes evolution impossible, as does specified complexity. If evolution is possible on another planet, why not here? No, the only possible designer is a God. If not, I’d like to hear an official statement from them that evolution is possible on other planets and could have given rise to our creator.

  36. #36 Peter
    October 3, 2006

    I am going to set up an account at overwhelmingevidence.com and lurk in my not-really-spare time. That should be “fun.”

    Great post though. And here’s a second to the grant application remark. Chapman really is a numbnuts.

  37. #37 David Heddle
    October 3, 2006

    AJS,

    If beings who do not exhibit irreducible complexity can create irreducibly-complex systems, then processes which do not exhibit irreducible complexity can create irreducibly-complex systems.

    Why so? Beings can create many things, such as laptop computers, that natural processes don’t.

    I have serious problems parsing your posts. I still don’t know what you mean by “arise spontaneously” in a naturalistic framework. Telling me it means “what is says” is not helpful. The working definition of “irreducibly complex” is that there exists no credible evolutionary pathway to explain the component in question. So what does “arise spontaneously” mean? That some other natural mechanism (other than evolution) created it? If so what? And if it’s evolution, then it’s not spontaneous, and it’s not irreducibly complex.

    You must be thinking of some other mechanism (neither special creation nor design nor evolution) when you discuss “arise spontaneously.” Until you define that, we are at an impasse.

    Fred,

    ID does not “clearly state that evolution like that is absolutely impossible.” ID states that life that we observe on earth could not have evolved. Behe’s argument is clearly a statement only about terrestial life. And Dembski’s argument, when the mathematical obfuscation is set aside, is really just an assumption that Behe is correct.

    Similarly, they wouldn’t say that evolution is impossible on earth, they would say that it can’t explain life as it exists.

    I’m not going to bother to find an official statement–the ID sites (except Hugh Ross’s) are polluted with arguments that the designer does not have to be God. That position (even though none of them actually believe it, I reckon) presupposes that that one never, even via infinite regress, must appeal to a deity.

    The ID movement’s claim that the designer doesn’t have to be God should be criticized on the basis that it is an obvious deception–a shameful poltical tactic that should be especially appalling for Christians–for whom “evangelism by political maneuvering” ought to be manifestly devoid of biblical support or precedent. It should not be criticized by arguing that it logically demands something that it doesn’t logically demand.

  38. #38 Timcol
    October 3, 2006

    I already registered with OverwhelmingEvidence and blogged an entry to the affect that I couldn’t actually find any evidence on the site…needless to say that by the following morning my blog entry had been deleted.

  39. #39 JimC
    October 3, 2006

    Why so? Beings can create many things, such as laptop computers, that natural processes don’t.

    One could argue that this is clearly a natural process also seeing how a human(part of the natural world) made it. It’s no different than an ant making an anthill.

    presupposes that that one never, even via infinite regress, must appeal to a deity.

    Why would one appeal to a deity via infinite regress? It becomes far less likely in that scenario that a complex being exists at the end than a simple one. It doesn’t go simple, simple, simple…….complex.

  40. #40 Bill Snedden
    October 3, 2006

    David Heddle:

    But that is just nonsense. It is easily refuted by this hypothetical scenario that lives comfortably in IDs so-called “big tent,” namely: An advanced alien race that evolved on some other world (hence displaying no irreducible complexity) designed life on earth out of irreducibly complex components. So within ID, those who want to hold to the fiction that it is all about science, can, in contrast to your claim, posit a way in which the designer is not irreducibly complex any yet irreducible complexity did not arise spontaneously.

    I don’t doubt that one could make such an argument, but wouldn’t the evolution of such non-supernatural aliens necessarily be subject to the same types of critiques/attacks employed by ID’ers against human evolution?

    It seems reasonable to posit that any entity with the knowledge and power to tamper with/design the course of human evolution would need to be at least as complex an entity as a human (intellectually, at least). Such an entity would thus seem to be open to the “ID attack” and thus any attempts by ID’ers to make such an argument would seem to me to be self-referentially incoherent.

    On the other hand, it would seem possible to overcome this problem by accepting “irreducible complexity” as an inherent feature of the universe. For example, the idea that consciousness is inherent in the universe itself, or that our “designing aliens” came into existence at the same time as the universe, as a consequence of whatever force brought the universe into existence. However, setting aside the idea that the force that brought the universe into existence was a supernatural one (for that leads us back to the problem we’re trying to avoid), accepting this type of solution seems to void the necessity for a designer in the first place. If such “irreducible complexity” is simply a brute fact and inherent in the nature of the universe, the argument that “irreducibly complex” entities cannot evolve is fatally undercut.

    While I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of the motivation of the current leaders of the “ID movement” (and applaud your own forthrightness in that respect), it would seem to me that any attempt to separate the “supernatural” from “designer” is based upon a failure to follow a chain of reasoning toward its “natural” conclusion. ;)

  41. #41 Steve Reuland
    October 3, 2006

    Since when does a scientist have to “report” on his work to the public before he is ready?

    Pretty much anytime he has a lab meeting, a grant deadline, or a conference to attend. In other words, all the time.

    Statements like this just go to show that Chapman knows absoutely nothing about the scientific process.

  42. #42 entlord
    October 3, 2006

    If you follow the link from the blog for the article announcing Evolution News & Views has been launched to combat the sloppy and prejudiced reporting of mainstream media, you will be treated to this pearl of wisdom regarding ID and its oppression by a Vast Left Wing Liberal Scientific Conspiracy:

    “According to the CSC, stereotypes and caricatures that would never be tolerated in stories about minorities are routinely offered up as “facts” in stories about scientists who are skeptical of Darwin’s theory.”

    So the failure of IDers to receive grants is due to Jim Crow laws, prohibiting their participation or is the competition “separate but equal” where evolutionists are rewarded with cash and IDers get Monopoly money? Have there been riots of evolutionists, ending with IDers lynched from lampposts and tree limbs? Is there a secret organization, the KKKID, specifically formed to oppress IDers? This is almost too much fun to be legal.

  43. #43 George Atkinson
    October 3, 2006

    Chapman’s words would seem much less alarming if he were to admit that the fear is that of ridicule:

    It is an appalling commentary on the state of academic freedom that ID-friendly scientists should have to work in an atmosphere of fear, but it’s true.

  44. #44 charles
    October 3, 2006

    Mr. Heddle said:

    The working definition of “irreducibly complex” is that there exists no credible evolutionary pathway to explain the component in question.

    This is a really problematic definition of IC which lends itself to affirming the consequent. This is not the original definition of IC. IC was redefined after the original argument was disproven. Behe’s original definition of IC was:

    A single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function of the system, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.

    That’s from DBB. He goes on then to assert that no such thing could evolve*. In the original formulation, this was an assertion, not part of the definition. With that definition, one could make the following argument:

    1 Any entity with property x1, x2, x3 is IC
    2 IC things cannot evolve
    3 This biological thing has x1, x2, x3
    4 This biological thing didn’t evolve

    now, this is a decent argument. 1 is defined, 2 must be proven, 3 must be proven, and if 1-3 stand up, the conclusion follows. In order to prove 3, you merely have to find the x properties in any natural biological organism. Interlocking parts and all that. Not too tall an order. Just knockout a part, see if it works. No speculation required.

    The problem with this is, 2 has been proven wrong. Through things like scaffolding and exaptation, 2 is known to be wrong. So Behe had to change the definition to exclude anything which had the original IC properties, but has been shown to be evolvable. These days, evolvability is in the definition. But that totally ruins the argument. If you change the definition of IC to add x4, ‘unevolvable by any credible path’, you ruin 3, and with it, the whole argument. Let’s look at the argument you now have:

    1 anything with x1, x2, x3 and is unevolvable by any known way is IC
    2 IC things can’t evolve
    3 This biological thing has x1, x2, x3 and there’s no plausible evolutionary pathway.
    4 This biological thing didn’t evolve.

    See the problem? You still haven’t proven 2, and now to prove 3 you have to try to think of every possible way, in the 4 billion year history of life on earth, it could have evolved, and rule any possible scenario out. Remember 3 from before? It was easy to prove. Just knockout a part, see if it works. Done. No speculation required. Now? Now you have to imagine limitless possibilities. Determine if it could have plausibly arisen, in any natural way, from any set of precursors, in any environment, over the last 4 billion years. You can never do this, it’s ridiculous. So you can never define anything as IC. Anything you define as IC is only IC so long as no one’s thought of a credible path. Labelling something IC was supposed to mean ‘unevolvable’, now it just means ‘we don’t know how it could have evolved, so we bet it didn’t’.

    The argument is wholly worthless. It is IC of the Gaps. Dembski knew this, and tried to salvage it with mathematical mumbo jumbo like CSI.

    *–it’s even lamer than that. He said such a thing couldn’t directly evolve. “Even if a system is irreducibly complex (and thus cannot have been produced directly), however, one can not definitely rule out the possibility of an indirect, circuitous route. As the complexity of an interacting system increases, though, the likelihood of such an indirect route drops precipitously.”

    Do you see that? “Well, it might evolve this other way, but it’s not likely.” Have you ever heard of hand-waving? Does Behe provide any, any hint of a calculation to support that? Nope. It just probably didn’t. At this point, the reader should begin to see, he is being taken for a ride.

  45. #45 charles
    October 3, 2006

    whoops, missing a word there. that should be read as

    Determine if it could not have plausibly arisen, in any natural way, from any set of precursors, in any environment, over the last 4 billion years. You can never do this, it’s ridiculous.

  46. #46 Anton Mates
    October 3, 2006

    I don’t doubt that one could make such an argument, but wouldn’t the evolution of such non-supernatural aliens necessarily be subject to the same types of critiques/attacks employed by ID’ers against human evolution?

    Not necessarily–such aliens might just not have any of the stuff IDers point at in earth life as irreducibly complex. Maybe their cells have propulsion systems that could continue to function if you removed any one part, and so forth.

    Yes, of course in reality they would almost certainly have some structure that’s just as good a candidate for IC as the choices Behe pulls out of a hat. And if we ever encounter alien life the Volitional Creation movement, or Thoughtful Consideration of Alternatives movement, or whatever they call themselves then, will almost certainly insta-declare the aliens IC. But for now, the IDers do technically have an out by saying our ICness is a particular trademark of Earth life, not a necessary feature of all life even if it’s intelligent.

  47. #47 Patrick.
    October 4, 2006

    ID accepted, research in biology crawls to a standstill!

    Scientists finish all interesting questions with the singular answer “God did it, that pretty much sums it up.”

    For example, the answer to the perplexing question, “how are phenotypes expressed?” is “Oh, bother, God just does it. Now, on to coffee.”

    And, “How will we create a vaccine to fight AIDS?” The answer is simple! “Well, as God created AIDS, we might as well just look for the solution in theology and prayer. Possibly, one day, He’ll get around to hinting the answer to us, or Creating a Perfect solution to that Awful problem He Created!”

    And, with trimph, all biological articles will end with “Verily I say unto you, no further research is needed, as God most certainly did it.”

    I find it terribly awful that, as scientists, we have to reduce ourselves to a longtime dead argument, perpetuated by fame and fortune seeking charlatans. But, someone has to educate the public, and we certainly don’t want our children’s education nonsensical.

    Patrick.

  48. #48 Ginger Yellow
    October 4, 2006

    “The working definition of “irreducibly complex” is that there exists no credible evolutionary pathway to explain the component in question.”

    Which is why the “Non-IC aliens could have been the designers” argument is not just deceitful and silly, but also false. The entire premise of IC being evidence for ID is that it’s (according to the IDiots) vanishingly unlikely for an IC system to evolve. Yet in order to be able to claim that ID doesn’t necessarily mean Goddidit, they have to allow for an incredibly unlikely possibility with zero supporting evidence – the existence of hyper intelligent space travelling aliens which evolved without IC systems. Given that Behe thinks every single living thing on earth contains ID systems, this means that on top of the design and creation process about which we aren’t allowed to ask questions about, ID also posits an entirely new evolutionary process which is apparently better than earthly evolution. Now that’s parsimony! If such leaps of faith are allowed for ID, it seems rather churlish for ID to be based on the supposed improbability of an evolutionary process for which we have mountains of evidence.

    Also, IC guru Behe has said that the design inference is based on the “purposeful of arrangement of parts” in nature. How exactly would hyperintelligent aliens not display a “purposeful arrangement of parts”?

    Finally, leaving aside irreducible complexity, Dembski’s formulation of complex specified information rules out these evolved aliens. It’s a fundamental tenet of ID (one of the very few that the IDiots allow themselves to be held too) that CSI can only be created by an intelligence. Natural processes can only modify or increase already existing CSI, supposedly. Are you suggesting, David Heddle, that the designer aliens could not only lack IC systems, but also CSI? Given the definition of CSI, how exactly would that work?

  49. #49 Lamuella
    October 4, 2006

    “Since when does a scientist have to �report� on his work to the public before he is ready? The opposite is almost always the case.”

    This is a very good point. The IDers should not report on their work before it is ready. I expect to see the Discovery Institute’s PR department shut down until such time as ID research is ready.

  50. #50 Fred
    October 4, 2006

    Regardless if IC, the ID theory prohibits life evolving on other planets because of the supposed mathematical impossibility of evolution. So ID requires that the designer is supernatural, i.e. a god. And then you’re right back to “what kind of scientific research are they doing into God?”

  51. #51 Donald M
    October 4, 2006

    Rosenhouse

    What nerve! In their books, blogs and gatherings the ID folks run around telling people that the battle is over: Darwin has lost, ID has won. They’ve been telling us for over a decade that ID will lead to scientific advancements undreamed of under an evolutionary paradigm.

    I’d like for Jason to provide specific references and quotes from IDPs that say any of these things. “The battle is over” Who said it, Jason? When, where, where’s the quote?
    “Darwin has lost, ID has won” Who, where? Give the specific quote.
    “ID will lead to scientific advancements undreamed of under an evolutionary paradigm” Who? Where? Provide the quote.

    I doubt you will be able to provide them because you know as well as I do that your interpretation is nothing but hyperbole.

    Jason titles this thread: “I grow weary of ID” Really? ID is what keeps Jason going. He’s practically made a career out of trashing ID. Weary of it? Hardly…its been his ticket to fame and he knows it.

    And speaking of being disingenous, it is very interesting to note that Darwinism controls the academy and the professional journals in anything related to Biology…and a few other fields as well. Darwinists are the gatekeepers of biology departments everywhere, and the all the journals. If some ID related article slips through the cracks and actually gets published…well woe be to THAT journal or editor (recall Sternberg and the PBSW) In other words, the Darwinists have the playing field controlled exactly how they want it, THEN cry foul when Chapman points it out, as he does in the comments that triggered Jason’s diatribe. That’s about as disingenous as it gets!!

    And you want to be taken seriously? Who are you kidding!!

  52. #52 Fred
    October 4, 2006

    Sorry, that should say “Regardless of IC”.

    Or to put it another way, IC isn’t the only part of ID that says evolution is impossible. So even if IC only says evolution is impossible “on this planet,” the mathematical probability section of ID says evolution is just plain impossible no matter what planet you’re talking about.

  53. #53 Sastra
    October 4, 2006

    Donald:
    Are you claiming that Intelligent Design proponents haven’t been saying their theory will lead to major scientific advancements? It’s a discovery and theoretical shift which undermines the leading theory in biology, but it won’t be a breakthrough, or give us anything new?

    “ID will lead to scientific advancements undreamed of under an evolutionary paradigm.”

    WHY aren’t they saying this? Perhaps they only think it, and that’s why you doubt there are direct quotes. Like their research projects, they have to keep their deepest thoughts hidden from the public, even their admirers.

    But if they don’t even think it, then are you sure they think they’re doing science? They ought to be thinking it. If it were me, I’d be thinking it. Assuming I was serious about it.

  54. #54 Donald M
    October 4, 2006

    Are you claiming that Intelligent Design proponents haven’t been saying their theory will lead to major scientific advancements?

    No, of course not. I’m saying that they (the IDP’s) haven’t couched their statements in the language of hyperbolic triumphalism implied by Rosenhouse. That sort of language, however has been a staple among the Darwinists.

    “Evolution is the greatest single idea ever conceived” Dennett
    “Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” Dobzhansky
    “Evolution made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist” Dawkins.
    “This centennial celebration is one of the first occasions on which it has been frankly faced that all aspects of reality are subject to evolution, from atoms and stars to fish and flowers, from fish and flowers to human societies and values – indeed that all reality is a single process of evolution.” Huxley J.S.
    “Is evolution a theory, a system or a hypothesis? It is much more: it is a general condition to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems must bow and which they must satisfy henceforward if they are to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light illuminating all facts, a curve that all lines must follow.” Teilhard de Chardin

    I’ve not seen anything even close to those levels of hyperbolic triumphalism from IDPs.

  55. #55 Fred
    October 4, 2006

    Donald, if you haven’t seen hyperbole from the ID folks, you haven’t been looking. ID exists soley on hyperbole. There is no scientific evidence for it, yet they still say that Darwin is on his way down. As for a quote, perhaps you didn’t see the quote I mentioned above:

    New Book Advances Groundbreaking Argument for Intelligent Design

    Now, that’s obviously not the biggest piece of hyperbole, but considering the fact that the book offers NO NEW RESEARCH, it’s certainly hyperbole. In fact, from what I’ve seen, all of the ID books are merely retellings of each other; there’s never anything new. Further, I’m not aware of ANY research *into ID*, all I ever see is research *against Evolution*, which has no bearing on ID. (If evolution is wrong, that doesn’t make ID right.)

  56. #56 Mike
    October 5, 2006

    Donald:

    I vaguely recall some individual comparing his work on intelligent design to Newton, Einstein, Darwin and Pasteur… Now who was that again?

  57. #57 Patrick
    October 5, 2006

    Research in ID finally comes through! The Creator is evil. “Well, this is certainly shocking,” says ID PR man, “we were kind of hoping for a benevolent Creator. But the evidence is all around us: tapeworms, malaria and worse! What a jerk.”

    We contacted the Creator to get His thoughts on the matter. “Well, for one, I’m not human, so no I don’t have human values. Two, I just really love beatles. Beatles, beatles, beatles!”

    And, apparently parasites, as there are 4 times as many parasites as there are free living species on the planet. When asked, the Creator had this to say, “hey, look, I don’t like empty spaces, alright? In fact, I abhore them! So, I fill them in with whatever works. If you don’t like it, change. Or, die, whichever.”

    The full results aren’t in yet, as every species on the planet has yet to be categorized, but so far it looks like we have an evil Creator. Further research into this cutting edge science is necessary, for a deeper understanding of life.

    Thank you.

  58. #58 Patrick again
    October 5, 2006

    Dear Donald, here is your missing hyperbole:

    “The Darwinian story is becoming sillier everyday. It is the ultimate in antirealism. Whatever the evidence, whatever empirical science is telling us, Darwinism explains as illusory. There must be missing data, unknown mechanisms, contingent events of the past, and just-so stories, in order to explain whatever evidence we find as a case of misleading appearances. Darwin called it one long argument, and indeed it must be. Evolution is an endless series of thought experiments and tall tales which are needed to circumvent the painfully obvious evidence.”

    From Cornelious Hunter at
    http://www.idthefuture.com/2006/09/the_design_of_dna_compaction.html#more

    Of course, he fails to provide the painfully obvious evidence, perhaps because it is painfully obvious. As I wrote above, if there is a Creator, the Creator is painfully evil, and decidely tricky – I mean, S/He/It did all sorts of odd things, like sperm competition, genetic heritability, genetic disease, mosquitos (bastard! I hate mosquitos! Does it logically follow that if I hate the Creator’s creation, I hate Her/Him/It?), ticks, a fossil record that screams evolution, backwards light receptors in our eyes, but you know, good ones in the squid for which our species should be jealous, and pregnancy sickness.
    Dawkins is correct: it’s childlike to imagine a Creator simply because one cannot understand evolution.

    Thank you.

    Patrick.

  59. #59 Ginger Yellow
    October 5, 2006

    I’m sure Jason will provide the best examples, but there’s a huge collection of creationist and specifically IDiotic triumphalism here: http://home.entouch.net/dmd/moreandmore.htm

    Here’s just a couple:

    �At the time, Darwin offered a powerful vision for understanding biology and therewith the world. That vision is now faltering, and a new vision is offering to replace it.� William A. Dembski, The Design Revolution, Downer’s Grove, Il: InterVarsity Press, 2004), p. 28

    �Yes, we are interested in and write about the theological and cultural implications of Darwinism�s imminent demise and replacement by intelligent design.� William A. Dembski, The Design Revolution, (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2004), p. 50

    “Touchstone: Where is the ID movement going in the next ten years? What new issues will it be exploring, and what new challenges will it be offering Darwinism?”
    “Dembski: In the next five years, molecular Darwinism — the idea that Darwinian processes can produce complex molecular structures at the subcellular level — will be dead. When that happens, evolutionary biology will experience a crisis of confidence because evolutionary biology hinges on the evolution of the right molecules. I therefore foresee a Taliban-style collapse of Darwinism in the next ten years.” Anonymous (Touchstone Magazine), (2004). “The Measure of Design: A conversation about the past, present & future of Darwinism and Design.” Touchstone, 17(6), pp. 60-65.p. 64.

    LOUISVILLE – To William Dembski, all the debate in this country over evolution won’t matter in a decade.
    By then, he says, the theory of evolution put forth by Charles Darwin 150 years ago will be dead.
    The mathematician turned Darwin critic says there is much to be learned about how life evolved on this planet. And he thinks the model of evolution accepted by the scientific community won’t be able to supply the answers.
    “I see this all disintegrating very quickly,” he said.”
    http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/kentucky/news/state/14244463.htm?source=rss&channel=kentucky_state
    accessed 4-2-06

  60. #60 Fred
    October 5, 2006

    Facts will never change the mind of an ID person, because if they gave any creedence to facts they’d never believe in ID in the first place.

  61. #61 Donald M
    October 5, 2006

    And I thought it was only us silly IDPs who quote-mined! Now here comes Ginger with:

    Yes, we are interested in and write about the theological and cultural implications of Darwinism�s imminent demise and replacement by intelligent design.� William A. Dembski, The Design Revolution, (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2004), p. 50

    Well let’s put that quote in context, shall we?
    Here’s the full quote:

    For the record, therefore, let’s be clear that desing theorists oppose Darwinian theory on strictly scientific grounds. Yes, we are interested in and write about the theological and cultural implications of Darwinism’s imminent demise and replacement by intelligent design. But the reason design theorists take seriously such implications is that we are convinced that Darwinisn is, on tis own terms, an oversold and overreaching scientific theory.
    Darwinism has achieved the status of invioable science. As a consequence, design theorists encounter a ruthless dogmatism when challenging Darwin’s theory…scientists who hold their theories dogmatically go on to assert that their theories cannot [emphasis in original] be incorrect. Morever, scientists who are ruthless in their dogmatism regard their theories as inviolable and portray critics as morally and intellectually deficient

    Not that any of those things ever happen here or over at PT!!

    In other words, Dembski is pointing out the very thing I am: the language of triumpahlism used by dogmatic Darwinists when they discuss the theory in popular books and articles that are supposed to explain the findings of science to the public. What Dembski’s quote is not is a triumphalist pro-ID statement, especially given the entire chapter.

    Patrick writes:

    here is your missing hyperbole:”The Darwinian story is becoming sillier everyday. It is the ultimate in antirealism. Whatever the evidence, whatever empirical science is telling us, Darwinism explains as illusory. There must be missing data, unknown mechanisms, contingent events of the past, and just-so stories, in order to explain whatever evidence we find as a case of misleading appearances. Darwin called it one long argument, and indeed it must be. Evolution is an endless series of thought experiments and tall tales which are needed to circumvent the painfully obvious evidence.”

    Sorry, I don’t see how this is hyperbole. It is an observation of what actually is the case.

    Fred

    Facts will never change the mind of an ID person, because if they gave any creedence to facts they’d never believe in ID in the first place.

    Substitute evolution for ID in the above quote, Fred, and you’ll have it just about right!

    Contrary to what you write, ID is a reasonable conclusion drawn from the evidence of nature itself.

  62. #62 Michael Geissler
    October 5, 2006

    You could end the quote-counter-quote snarkiness, Donald M, by presenting to the scientific community the research and testable propositions that support ID. As you and others have been repeatedly asked to do, and yet never have, ie not actually meeting the bare minimum of what is required for actual science.

    That is why real scientists think IDers are, at best, a bloody nuisance.

  63. #63 Ginger Yellow
    October 5, 2006

    I fail to see how the wider context makes Dembski’s quote any less triumphalist. He still says that Darwin faces imminent demise and will be replaced by ID. Even if evolutionary biologists were dogmatic (and only a foolish scientist would ever say that a theory, however well supported, cannot be incorrect), that wouldn’t alter the validity of the theory. What changes the validity of the theory is how well it explains the evidence. Evolutionary theory explains the evidence very well, which is why biologists are so confident that it is correct, while ID by its very nature explains nothing.

  64. #64 Fred
    October 5, 2006

    Donald,
    You crack me up. When Darwin proposed that man and apes were closely related he was laughed at. Since the mechanism of heredity hadn’t been discovered yet he had no real way of proving it. But guess what? Over the years all of the evidence vindicates him. I’m sure you saw the recent headlines about how much of our DNA we have in common with chimps, right? Time Magazine, in their current issue, has a quote that I found interesting. It says “When it comes to DNA, a human is closer to a chimp than a mouse is to a rat.”

    And please tell me what facts point to ID. FACTS, not “gosh it looks designed to me” or “I can’t believe it could have evolved.” And I mean facts that PROVE ID, not quibbles about evolution. Show me how ID explains the mountain of evidence. Show me a timeline. Or shut up. And “the evidence is all around us” is also not an answer. If that’s an answer, why bother teaching it in school? Class would be 4 seconds long.

    Irreducible Complexity does not explain how anything happened. Neither does Specified Complexity.

    How about this: Can you explain what EXACTLY the theory of ID is? And “the theory of ID is that life was designed.” That is not a theory, that is an assertion or, at best, a hypothesis. What is the working THEORY? You seem to believe that Darwin is on the way out and ID is the next big thing, so I’m sure you’re well versed in the theory. What is the theory?

  65. #65 Patrick
    October 6, 2006

    Dear Donald,

    Firstly, thank you for your continued argument, it is providing a continued discussion.

    Secondly, I disagree with your interpretation of hyperbole. Can we agree that hyperbole is gross exaggeration? If so, then the statement, “ultimate in antirealism,” is a hyperbole. Just for fun, let’s say that evolution is somehow wrong and new species are magicked into being, or some ultra, evil minded intelligence is sitting in a starship somewhere designing them – if so, then evolution still does a really good job of describing life as we observe it. It very easily explains why diseases such as Parkinson’s and Huntinton’s can continue in a population, why your light receptors in your eyes are backwards – they don’t face the incoming photons (a huge design flaw) – why there is sperm competition in males (a huge waste of time for a designed creature), and all sorts of little intricacies of life. As of yet, there is no better theory to explain life (unless you postulate that the designers love good jokes and are really nasty), which means that evolution by natural selection is the best fit model for the explanation of biological creatures that we can come up with. Thus, “ultimate in antirealism,” is a hyperbole, even if evolution is wrong.

    Thirdly, if you really are an intelligent person, if you really believe that the theory of evolution is fundamentally flawed, if you honestly have another model that describes all the intricacies of life as well or better than evolution does, if you can tell me why any of the above design flaws exist using any other model than evolution, then I promise to stop being an evolutionist and become an ardent proponent of whatever model you have.

    Please bear in mind that your model must 1) explain the appearance of design (relatively easy), 2) explain why we have DNA, 3) explain design flaws, such as the above examples given, 4) explain things like parasites (which make up the vast majority of species on this planet), 5) make predictions about how species will adapt to their environment, and explain why they change over time, 6) be a solid model of it’s own accord that does not rely on captious statements, 7) jive with scientific findings and models from all the main sciences, such as geology, physics, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics, anthropology and so on.

    As all competing theories of evolution lost the battle and faded into insignificance 150 years ago, I think you have quite a task on your hands.

    Good luck!

    Patrick.

  66. #66 C.W.
    October 7, 2006

    The idea is to shut down damaging evidence as early as possible.

    Exactly how do you “shut down” evidence anyway? Asking what research projects are underway doesn’t really “shut down” anything, does it? Is Chapman suggesting that some specially trained evilutionists would perform a commando raid on the secret DI lab bunker and destroy test tubes? Or hack the servers containing the research data?

  67. #67 hekimboard
    March 9, 2009

    Great idea.Thanks.

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