Pharyngula

Those crazy rascals behind Expelled have some new games they want to play: they’ve put out a casting call for victims of persecution. It’s a pitiful plea, but it will probably net a nice collection of complaints — because it’s true. We do reject Intelligent Design from the academy, from science, and from science education, and there’s a very good reason for that: it’s the same reason we reject astrology, alchemy, creationism, haruspication, necromancy, ornithomancy, and witchcraft from our science courses. Because they aren’t science.

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Taylor Kessinger gets it. He’s a junior at the University of Arizona who wrote a nice, lucid opinion piece for the school paper.

What the movie, due in February, won’t tell you is the truth regarding intelligent design. The “theory” is so embarrassingly poorly argued and devoid of scientific merit that even the Rev. George Coyne, director of the Vatican Observatory — not exactly a bastion of anti-theistic vitriol the last time I checked — has denounced it as an unscientific idea that simply “pretends to be” science.

Exactly right, Taylor! The Intelligent Design hypothesis has been examined by the scientific community to a degree far in excess of what it deserves, and it has been summarily dismissed. There is the reason that ID is not taught in school and professors who study it are mocked — it’s not science, it’s unscientific.

Taylor hammers on another important point. These creationists often demand fairness, that they should be given some kind of equal time in the schools.

But freedom of speech doesn’t protect the rights of professors to make claims with no scientific backing without repercussions. Universities don’t stand for professors who waste funds and time researching astrology, parapsychology or other pseudoscientific ideas, and they never should.

Stein and his fellow design advocates don’t care about equality or fairness. They want intelligent design to be “special” in this regard, so that they can pretend their belief in God – a faith-based belief – somehow has scientific backing.

The creationist’s version of “fairness” is to be given special privileges and be allowed to cut ahead in line — to be granted the respect of a genuine scientific theory without having done the work. I think we all know that that is the opposite of fair. That’s cheating. That is wasting our time.

I think young Mr Kessinger struck a nerve, because now he’s the target of an unhappy tirade by the Discovery Institute. It must have hurt their feelings to discover that an undergraduate at a state university could so easily see through their strenuously wrought smokescreen of lies. So now they accuse him of being a “dogmatic Darwinist” when it seems to me that Kessinger instead is someone who applied basic critical thinking and a little knowledge to the claims of creationists.

Sadly, Kessinger is not the only student who has been taught that it’s good and entirely appropriate to discriminate against intelligent design supporters. I once told a good friend of mine in college about a professor I knew who lost his job over his support of intelligent design. Her response? “Silly ID people — that’s what you get.” Upon further examination, she admitted that she didn’t know much about intelligent design, just what her professors taught her — that it was merely a negative argument against Darwinism without any scientific research.

This second misapprehension is what students are being taught by many Darwinist professors about intelligent design, and this is why some actually support persecuting ID proponents. Much like my friend, the author of this editorial was told somewhere along the way that “[i]ntelligent design simply asserts that structures like the human eye and bacterial flagellum couldn’t possibly have formed by random chance, so an intelligent designer is needed.”

Oh, no, they complain — all these people have this horrible misapprehension that ID is only about negative arguments against evolution, or that a designer is needed to fill in the failures of evolution. I think the DI is trying to argue that this isn’t at all true, until you read down to the second paragraph after the above. Here, they try to clarify the situation by offering their official definition of Intelligent Design creationism:

intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.

In other words, their own definition says that evolution is inadequate, that certain structures (like, for instance, the eye and flagellum) cannout be accounted for by the proceses of evolution, and that they will fill in those gaps by postulating a designer.

This refutes Taylor Kessinger’s argument how?

We know the definition they use, and it exactly fits our understanding of the ID guess.

We can also point you to the various books they peddle — Darwin’s Black Box, Icons of Evolution, Explore Evolution, The Edge of Evolution, etc. — and they all have the same tedious, unfounded, fallacious message: that modern biology is all wrong. They don’t propose any new ideas to replace the natural principles that have been identified, they can’t and they know it, because their “Designer” is a supernatural being, so they have to avoid discussing it with any detail or any testable mechanisms at all. They know that as soon as they mention anything about the nature of their proposed mechanism, the designer, the jig is up — it’s an admission that they are trying to push a religion into the schools.

They’re screwed. They fail. That’s why they’re so upset with Mr Kessinger, because he has clearly explained what everyone knows, but what they want to hide. It’s also why they’re pushing Expelled hard — their last hope is to play the martyr card and beg for public sympathy because they’re being so soundly crushed in the marketplace of scientific ideas. This is the Miami Dolphins begging the public to ignore their 0-7 record so far and give them a place in the Superbowl because their uniforms are pretty, and because those other big mean teams outscore them and keep on beating them badly; it’s simply unfair that the rules demand that they win some games.

How stupid do they think people are to fall for that?

Comments

  1. #1 Sastra
    October 27, 2007

    Question:
    Is God alive?

    That’s an interesting question. Because if God is alive, then the requirements for “life” seem a bit looser than they have been assuming in this argument. Is God alive?

    Is it made of carbon? Does it require a “hospitable environment? Did the parameters of the universe need to be tweaked a special way in order for it to exist? And if it’s a life form, then clearly all life forms do not need to be made of carbon, or require exquisitely specific conditions. It could have designed and made living things even more “in His image” and all predictions are off.

    If God is not alive, then that’s even more interesting. Let them say it. Out loud. And explain.

  2. #2 Ichthyic
    October 27, 2007

    I was thinking I should get a degree in biology to combat creationism. But maybe I should get a degree in theology instead.

    seems to work well for Hector Avalos.

  3. #3 Ichthyic
    October 27, 2007

    Actually, it’s not entirely fair to say that necromancy and astrology and whatever are not sciences.

    no, you’re wrong here.

    it IS fair (and correct) to say they are not sciences.

    what you are defending is the ability to MAKE them into sciences, albeit sciences with continually negative results.

    …which to date hasn’t been done for the reasons you touched on.

  4. #4 Ichthyic
    October 27, 2007

    genuinely questioning Darwinism’s viability is a third rail. It just isn’t done.

    one, because there is really no such thing as “darwinism”

    two, because there is the issue of what you mean by “genuinely questioning” which is NOT something that has been forthcoming from the angle of religion or intelligent design.

    so, wtf exactly are you babbling about?

    a comically futile attempt to bind the conscience.

    oh, it’s comic alright, but you must be looking at it through a mirror.

  5. #5 Ichthyic
    October 27, 2007

    Upon further examination, she admitted that she didn’t know much about intelligent design, just what her professors taught her – that it was merely a negative argument against Darwinism without any scientific research.

    This second misapprehension…

    wait, backup there, what was the first misapprehension?

    I must have missed it, since the “friend’s” argument posted by Ms. Smith is essentially correct.

    ID IS a negative argument against the ToE with NO even remotely related scientific research to support it.

    nice how she calls that a “misapprehension” without bothering to even correct it.

    LOL

  6. #6 Sastra
    October 27, 2007

    The cost of that fact to society is freedom of speech — a comically futile attempt to bind the conscience. When will you people learn?

    People question evolution in churches all they want. And they do it out in public, all the time. It’s not forbidden. You’ve got your freedom of speech — in society.

    If you want to question the theory of evolution within the framework of science, though, you have to play by the rules. You have to come up with a better explanation for the evidence, and you have to do it among scientific experts in standard forums — not among kiddies in school. You have to have a testable theory with a mechanism, and make falsifiable predictions, just like other scientists of conscience.

    When will you people learn?

  7. #7 Ichthyic
    October 27, 2007

    A mushy idea that sounds not nearly scientific enough to get past the Religious Establishment Clause

    there, corrected that for you via Judge Jones.

    ID is dead, long live “teach the controversy”.

    though I doubt this stop-gap wedge measure will manage to even get its day in court.

  8. #8 inkadu
    October 28, 2007

    Sastra:
    You have to have a testable theory with a mechanism, and make falsifiable predictions, just like other scientists of conscience< ./i>

    I don’t think a mechanism is necessary for a theory — just predictability. I don’t know if Newtown had a “mechanism” for gravity in mind. Whatever the underlying mechanism, though, he was able to describe its action, which implies an underlying mechanism. From my admittedly lame reading, I don’t think the “right” theory was touched upon until Einstein. If I say that the FSM is pushing everything down at 9.8 m/s^2 with his noodly appendages, is that more scientific than saying, “I don’t know why the apple does that”?

  9. #9 Ichthyic
    October 28, 2007

    Technically correct, of course, inkadu, but I think what sastra was specifically getting at is that IDers have no definition for how their “designer” acts in the real world, thus cannot even begin to make a logical, testable prediction. Unlike an anthropologist, who has an observable exemplar to build predictions from, an IDer does not, the result of which is that design from the viewpoint of an unknown designer has to define itself in an endlessly circular argument based on a random assumption of what the “designer” MIGHT be like.

    I believe that was the level of “mechanism” she was wishing to express, but I could be wrong.

  10. #10 Ichthyic
    October 28, 2007

    And, for a more relevant example, Darwin didn’t have a mechanism for heritability, either…

    but he was able to predict there was one, based on his observations. That’s a big difference between Darwin’s original hypotheses and IDers.

    Darwin had actual observations of patterns to make predictions from, including predicting a mechanism for the heritability of traits, though the description of the specifics were necessarily a bit nebulous at the time.

    IDers have nothing for observation but projections of their own imaginations.

    Darwin was only lacking in the specifics of the mechanism itself, not in that there WAS indeed a mechanism predicted by the observations themselves.

    similarly, we don’t know the specifics of how the mechanism of gravity works, but we do have enough observational evidence to indicate there IS one (and the math works, too :) ).

    personally, my thinking is that gravity is still a Law (has essentially perfect predictive power), not yet a theory, specifically BECAUSE a proper mechanism hasn’t been elucidated yet.

    the modern ToE is a Theory, as it has both excellent explanatory and predictive power, as well as a tested and supported set of mechanisms.

    I know there is an definition of how the AAAS defines Law vs Theory vs Hypothesis somewhere, but I’m too lazy at the moment to dig up the link.

  11. #11 inkadu
    October 28, 2007

    Icthyic — I understand what you mean… but it’s a little tricky to elucidate why “goddidit” isn’t a scientific theory. I think the biggest problem with the theory is that it’s unecessary, and, as you stated, it has no mechanism. But does it violate some sort of theoretical scientific principle to say that God did it? I don’t think it does. I just don’t think “goddidit” is a very satisfactory explanation. I mean, in this case, it’s wrong, because ID builds its case on complexity being IMPOSSIBLE. Since everyone has shown its THEORETICALLY possible, they have no leg, by their own premise, to stand on.

    And, I say, as Richard Dawkins does: bring it on. If God is a scientific theory, lets test it. Everything is science.

  12. #12 Ichthyic
    October 28, 2007

    But does it violate some sort of theoretical scientific principle to say that God did it?

    no more than any other fictional entity one could propose.

    but, as i said, if there is no direct observation of any proposed designer, there really is nothing to be able to test. They are not proceeding from observable pattern, then making testable predictions, they are starting from their conclusion, that there IS a mechanism (designer), and then trying to look for data to support their conclusion. Without defining said mechanism, there simply is no way to proceed.

    it’s not that one can’t make a fictional hypothesis, it’s that any fictional hypothesis is untestable in a meaningful fashion.

    this relates back to the same debate about why “astrology” is not scientific.

    do you recall how that debate went in the Dover trial?

    same issues apply here.

    everything is NOT science. so gotta disagree with you there.

    I think the biggest problem with the theory is that it’s unecessary

    no, the biggest problem is that it doesn’t actually explain ANYTHING. It’s entirely vacuous, as would be expected from a concept with a fictional core.

    if it at least explained observational data even to a small percentage of how well the ToE does, the fact that it is duplicative wouldn’t be all that relevant.

    the NEXT step would be for it to show that not only does it explain observed data, but that it does so in such a way as to contradict specific predictions of the ToE, and that those predictions are in fact more accurate.

    the problem with IDers is that they are unable (unwilling) to see how the process actually works, even though they have a great example of how physics has expanded from newtonian mechanics towards quantum mechanics.

    believe me, plenty have asked that they go actually formulate a workable, testable hypothesis for years, with no luck. Nobody has rejected the concept out of hand, it’s just patently obvious that there simply IS no way to generate a testable hypothesis within the framework they themselves have constructed around the concept.

    with observational data, they could predict a mechanism.

    with an observed mechanism, they could predict what we should observe.

    they have neither.

    dead end.

  13. #13 Ichthyic
    October 28, 2007

    …it would be like if Darwin never went on his voyage to collect observational data, but proposed there MUST be a mechanism of heritable variability anyway, based on nothing more than gut instinct.

    nobody would have considered that “science” back then, either.

  14. #14 Ichthyic
    October 28, 2007

    The malware is most likely coming from one of the rotating ads.

    yes, I got a redirect a couple of times earlier this evening using the latest firefox, and it was obviously attached to one of the rotating ads. Hasn’t happened for a couple of hours since.

    I didn’t see any “malware”, just a redirect to a different site.

    either way, having been involved with ad rotation companies, I’m 100% sure an automatic redirect violates the term of agreement any ad company has with the banner rotation service, so if you catch which one is doing it, you should report the culprit to seed magazine.

  15. #15 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    October 28, 2007

    Taylor Kessinger made an excellent article, and the creationists thinks so too considering its splash in the creationist world.

    It is as clear eyed as any I’ve read and contains fresh or freshly stated arguments, no doubt in part as a result on a seemingly solid research. (I doubt I would have the stamina to read both Behe’s books as he claims in the comments, especially with all the tedious errors in biology and biochemistry that has been uncovered. Ouch! :-P)

    The comments from local readers before the creationist attack dogs descended are mostly a happy read as well.

    it has been summarily dismissed.

    I assume this should be read as ‘summarily dismissed because there is no theory or data there’. Because people have looked hard. :-P

    Btw, following the Evolution News & Views links to IDC purported “predictions” is humorous in the context.

    In principle they could make predictions if they describe their vacuous “designer”, but as a matter of faith a creationist must abstain.

    Therefore they have to drag up the erroneous and debunked IC argument, which is neither a unique prediction from “design” nor testable (ad hoc universal negative). And the likewise erroneous and debunked religious anthropic argument, which relies on confusing a posteriori conditional probabilities with a priori unconditional ones, and again is neither a unique prediction nor testable (what exactly is “favorable conditions”).

    Added to this the obvious problem with predicting an imperfect designer (non-robustness of IC) and a perfect designer (the universe made for humans) from the same “theory” isn’t discussed. One get the distinct impression that they don’t mean to be serious.

    To top off the humor they confuse a philosophical claim on testability with scientific usage to try to fuzzify their stumbling tracks.

  16. #16 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    October 28, 2007

    CalGeorge:

    I still don’t understand the whole point of ID. … They enjoy the attention. They get paid to do very little other than complain about being oppressed.

    I don’t think we can conflate the purpose of ID, the movement itself, and what the key handlers do.

    The purpose of ID is quite obvious IMO. It is made to deflect facts that bother religious fundamentalists and to empower their views. It is but a part of a series of such attempts that are increasingly more weakened in the hope to pass the social and legal filters that bar specific religions from attempting to subsume education and science under theological power.

    Then we could ask why individuals are so eager to support it. A common speculation is that facts are bothering them because they go against literal reading of religious texts. Or even worse, they expect facts to support them, i.e. they expect that their belief is not faith but Truth.

    wnelson:

    genuinely questioning Darwinism’s viability is a third rail. It just isn’t done.

    What part of scientific testing, peer review, and criticism? Because all of these mechanisms constantly questions earlier research.

    As you are obviously a creationists you don’t want to hear this, but there is an obvious analogy between scientific methods, evolutionary mechanisms and markets. The results survive a selection process and have proved sufficient fitness. That the mechanism is so ubiquitous in successful processes speaks well for it.

    And not coincidentally, the peer testing of science is often called “the market of ideas”.

    Carr:

    Has Kessinger seen the film? It is not out yet surely?

    With “hand-picking” we can safely assume Kessinger is referring to the rest of the sentence in your quote-mine:

    Stein’s movie hand-picks out-of-context quotes from evolutionary biologists to make the evolutionary position seem weaker - a multitude of evolutionary scientists appear in the film, and many, including legendary Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins, have complained that they were misled regarding the film’s nature.

    IIRC PZ has noted that he would have criticized creationism and argued differently if he had known the nature of the real film instead of the Potemkin village facade shown to him. Picking out-of-context quotes is a form of handpicking.

    I must congratulate you to the effort to pick an out-of-context quote to discuss the nature of out-of-context quotes. No creationist can aspire to higher standards.

  17. #17 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    October 28, 2007

    CalGeorge:

    I still don’t understand the whole point of ID. … They enjoy the attention. They get paid to do very little other than complain about being oppressed.

    I don’t think we can conflate the purpose of ID, the movement itself, and what the key handlers do.

    The purpose of ID is quite obvious IMO. It is made to deflect facts that bother religious fundamentalists and to empower their views. It is but a part of a series of such attempts that are increasingly more weakened in the hope to pass the social and legal filters that bar specific religions from attempting to subsume education and science under theological power.

    Then we could ask why individuals are so eager to support it. A common speculation is that facts are bothering them because they go against literal reading of religious texts. Or even worse, they expect facts to support them, i.e. they expect that their belief is not faith but Truth.

    wnelson:

    genuinely questioning Darwinism’s viability is a third rail. It just isn’t done.

    What part of scientific testing, peer review, and criticism? Because all of these mechanisms constantly questions earlier research.

    As you are obviously a creationists you don’t want to hear this, but there is an obvious analogy between scientific methods, evolutionary mechanisms and markets. The results survive a selection process and have proved sufficient fitness. That the mechanism is so ubiquitous in successful processes speaks well for it.

    And not coincidentally, the peer testing of science is often called “the market of ideas”.

    Carr:

    Has Kessinger seen the film? It is not out yet surely?

    With “hand-picking” we can safely assume Kessinger is referring to the rest of the sentence in your quote-mine:

    Stein’s movie hand-picks out-of-context quotes from evolutionary biologists to make the evolutionary position seem weaker - a multitude of evolutionary scientists appear in the film, and many, including legendary Oxford biologist Richard Dawkins, have complained that they were misled regarding the film’s nature.

    IIRC PZ has noted that he would have criticized creationism and argued differently if he had known the nature of the real film instead of the Potemkin village facade shown to him. Picking out-of-context quotes is a form of handpicking.

    I must congratulate you to the effort to pick an out-of-context quote to discuss the nature of out-of-context quotes. No creationist can aspire to higher standards.

  18. #18 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    October 28, 2007

    “theological power” – religious power.

    “What part of scientific testing, peer review, and criticism?” – What part of scientific testing, peer review, and criticism don’t you understand?

    wnelson:

    Besides the general discussion, I missed that you raised an excellent example. I guess I’m getting too used to creationists erroneous use of terms. My bad.

    [Note to self: Remember to always, always, check creationists texts for quote-mines, pubjacks, wrongly used terminology from other fields, not defined terminology from creationism fields, and logical fallacies.

    Hmm. Maybe one day we will have software support for some of the massive requirements? Searching for the originals on quote-mines, pubjacks and terminology would be feasibly implemented, I think. I for sure would like to have one or two such as Firefox plug-ins!]

    Darwinism, in its proper use as the original theory and/or its mechanism, has been embedded in later evolutionary theories due to the critical nature inherent in the scientific process. (And not all of it survived.)

    One can say that criticism is the defining mechanism of science. Before that we had only descriptive dogma, very much like the nature of religious ideas.

  19. #19 David Marjanovi?, OM
    October 28, 2007

    If I say that the FSM is pushing everything down at 9.8 m/s^2 with his noodly appendages, is that more scientific than saying, “I don’t know why the apple does that”?

    It would be, if it were possible to test it. But as long as the FSM is ineffable…

    Icthyic — I understand what you mean… but it’s a little tricky to elucidate why “goddidit” isn’t a scientific theory.

    Not at all: it can explain everything and its opposite, means, nothing. It isn’t falsifiable: every conceivable observation and its opposite is consistent with it. It fails to answer the question “If I were wrong, how would I know?”.

  20. #20 David Marjanovi?, OM
    October 28, 2007

    If I say that the FSM is pushing everything down at 9.8 m/s^2 with his noodly appendages, is that more scientific than saying, “I don’t know why the apple does that”?

    It would be, if it were possible to test it. But as long as the FSM is ineffable…

    Icthyic — I understand what you mean… but it’s a little tricky to elucidate why “goddidit” isn’t a scientific theory.

    Not at all: it can explain everything and its opposite, means, nothing. It isn’t falsifiable: every conceivable observation and its opposite is consistent with it. It fails to answer the question “If I were wrong, how would I know?”.

  21. #21 David Marjanovi?, OM
    October 28, 2007

    The TOE has become dogma — regardless of what may or may not take its place — it is now something you may not fundamentally question.

    Sure you may. You just must, I repeat must, offer a testable hypothesis as an alternative. That has yet to happen.

    Science is “put up or shut up”, “publish or perish”.

  22. #22 David Marjanovi?, OM
    October 28, 2007

    The TOE has become dogma — regardless of what may or may not take its place — it is now something you may not fundamentally question.

    Sure you may. You just must, I repeat must, offer a testable hypothesis as an alternative. That has yet to happen.

    Science is “put up or shut up”, “publish or perish”.

  23. #23 wnelson
    October 28, 2007

    Sure you may. You just must, I repeat must, offer a testable hypothesis as an alternative. That has yet to happen.
    Science is “put up or shut up”, “publish or perish”.
    Posted by: David Marjanovi?

    No, not at all — every schema/paradigm is open to a reexamination of it’s presuppositions. (Unless of course, it’s dogma.)

    At the moment that reexamination is being held at bay by force, and the treat of force.

  24. #24 David Marjanovi?, OM
    October 28, 2007

    No, not at all — every schema/paradigm is open to a reexamination of it’s presuppositions. (Unless of course, it’s dogma.)

    That’s precisely what I said: put up a testable alternative hypothesis, or shut up.

    If evolution were a dogma, it would be “shut up” only.

    At the moment that reexamination is being held at bay by force, and the treat of force.

    Something tells me you’ve never seen a university from the inside.

    ————–

    Thanks, David. That was very well stated. I might even be able to remember it.

    It won’t surprise you to read that I didn’t invent “if I were wrong, how would I know”. Good ideas are usually stolen (…and that phrase is stolen, too).

  25. #25 David Marjanovi?, OM
    October 28, 2007

    No, not at all — every schema/paradigm is open to a reexamination of it’s presuppositions. (Unless of course, it’s dogma.)

    That’s precisely what I said: put up a testable alternative hypothesis, or shut up.

    If evolution were a dogma, it would be “shut up” only.

    At the moment that reexamination is being held at bay by force, and the treat of force.

    Something tells me you’ve never seen a university from the inside.

    ————–

    Thanks, David. That was very well stated. I might even be able to remember it.

    It won’t surprise you to read that I didn’t invent “if I were wrong, how would I know”. Good ideas are usually stolen (…and that phrase is stolen, too).

  26. #26 wnelson
    October 28, 2007

    That’s precisely what I said: put up a testable alternative hypothesis, or shut up.
    If evolution were a dogma, it would be “shut up” only.

    Something tells me you’ve never seen a university from the inside.

    Posted by: David Marjanovi?

    No, wrong on both counts.

    A counter argument is irrelevant when pointing out inconsistencies in another schema.

  27. #27 David Marjanovi?, OM
    October 28, 2007

    OK, then go ahead: point out an inconsistency.

  28. #28 David Marjanovi?, OM
    October 28, 2007

    OK, then go ahead: point out an inconsistency.

  29. #29 Ichthyic
    October 28, 2007

    Is “W” Nelson related to Paul Nelson, I wonder?

  30. #30 Ichthyic
    October 28, 2007

    None of you are addressing what the film presumably addresses –

    uh, so since you haven’t the slightest clue what the film ACTUALLY addresses, wtf are you going on about?

    did you have some independent evidence of discrimination you would like to share?

    no?

    shocker.

  31. #31 Ichthyic
    October 28, 2007

    I’ll have to demur on that

    LOL

    uh huh.

    will demonstrate

    oh? how do you know?

    again, do you have some sort of independent evidence of discrimination you would like to share, or are you just having a ball pulling this out of your ass?

    To the best of my knowledge I’m not related to Paul Nelson.

    do you even know why I suggested it? Hint: it’s not because you share the same last name.

  32. #32 Ichthyic
    October 28, 2007

    is the only way the TOE is going to grow.

    got a clue for ya, pal:

    Astronomy doesn’t need astrology to “grow”.

    get it?

  33. #33 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    October 29, 2007

    wnelson:

    The TOE has become dogma

    I’ll ask again, what part of scientific testing, peer review, and criticism don’t you understand? Dogma is when something is accepted without criticism. But science needs criticism to work.

    It is really easy to check out how testing and peer review works, so you can’t pretend ignorance as an excuse for not addressing the argument.

    Remember that it was you who made the claim of dogma. Now you need to back it up by explaining how well known and checkable criticism doesn’t count.

  34. #34 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    October 29, 2007

    Taylor Kessinger:

    My contention has always been that it’s a little faulty to call ID creationism.

    I agree that is technically correct, as parts of it overlap with natural explanations. For example, when it is defined so that evolution or similar processes can be “the designer”, or when using the original definition of “irreducible complexity” which is exactly the same as the old evolutionary prediction of interlocking complexity.

    But as soon as they detract such testable formulations (“designer” as “chooser”, or “irreducible complexity”) it becomes IMO the usual untestable religious “design” concept that are used in some variants of creationism. And of course that is its underlying purpose.

    So in other words, it is a mostly correct call. :-P

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