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Author Topic: The ID movement isn’t the same as ID
javelin
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Oh, I see - quote something, and you are contaminated by it. That's ludicrious. I can agree with some of what you are saying, but as a whole, I don't. So, if I QUOTE something I agree with from you, does that mean that I've adopted your entire argument? It just isn't logical.

Let me define "histrionics" for you, since you seem to have these words you like to use, like the Sicilian from Princess Bride, that I don't think mean what you THINK they mean:

From Dictionary.com:

quote:
his·tri·on·ics Audio pronunciation of "histrionics" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (hstr-nks)
n.

1. (used with a pl. verb) Theatrical arts or performances.
2. (used with a sing. or pl. verb) Exaggerated emotional behavior calculated for effect.

Note: my argument, especially the one of which you are referring, uses no emotional behavior, etc., and so to call it "exaggerated", would be a bit strange.
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Teleologist
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Wesley: In point of fact, "Krauze"'s question is not his own; he stole it from William Dembski.


Teleologist: Krauze didn't steal anything. In his original post he provided a link to Dembski's question. I decided to show the quote rather than link to it and when I did I forgot to credit Dembski. Thank's for spotting the omission.

[ January 27, 2006, 08:59 PM: Message edited by: Teleologist ]

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Wesley R. Elsberry
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"Javelin", I'd suggest a re-read of Krause's article. It is clear from that that his argument concerns distinguishing between the arguments that ID advocates make (the description being the quoted question) and the motives of the movement that those advocates have. It is simply not the case that "Krauze" is discussing anything other than the "specified complexity" and "irreducible complexity" arguments; there's not a shred of evidence in the opening post for the notion that anything else is on the table.

Oh, and while you have the book open, look up "sarcasm". Follow up with "prosody". Who knows, perhaps you will find enlightenment.

"Teleologist", thanks for the information that the original quote was linked to the source. Plagiary is something that I've seen several instances of in online antievolutionists, so I made an assumption there that turns out to be incorrect. I apologize for any inconvenience to "Krauze" that may have resulted.

However, that does pretty well put paid to the notion that "Krauze" was making some radical departure from Dembski concerning the content of the quote.

(Note: I tried to edit my previous messages that mentioned "Krauze"'s use of the Dembski quote in order to link to my apology, but the "edit" time period had already lapsed. Unless a moderator will step in, this post will have to do.)

[ January 27, 2006, 09:30 PM: Message edited by: Wesley R. Elsberry ]

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TomDavidson
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Teleologist, I think most people assume that anything you post which is NOT clearly a quote -- either framed by QUOTE tags, in quotation marks, italicized, or otherwise indicated -- is your own. It's unnecessary to frame your responses as dialogue.
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Teleologist
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Wesley, you are losing me. Krauze is simply pointing out that one can accept the core premise of ID without having anything to do with the socio-political movement associated with ID.

He sums it up nicely by concluding with this:

"An interest in exploring the possibility that life was designed neither requires nor entails an interest in cultural reform."

Do you agree with this or not?

[ January 27, 2006, 09:56 PM: Message edited by: Teleologist ]

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DonaldD
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Wesley R. Elsberry - could you knock it off with the "Javelin" (in quotes) thing?

You're just being deliberately, obviously rude, and it makes you seem petty. I may rarely (hah!) agree with javelin, but that affectation of yours is really getting old.

And Teleologist - ditto what Tom said. Learn how to use the quote tags; your clarity is suffering.

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Everard
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I think, Donald, that Wesley is using his real name. Javelin is obviously a pseudonym. Under normal forum discourse etiquette, quotes around psuedonyms aren't used. But I think think Wesley is using quotation marks in an attempt to be rude. While I agree it makes him seem petty, I think you are motive reading.

Wesley, I agree with DOnald that you should probably drop the quotation marks around people's screen names.

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MattP
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quote:
"An interest in exploring the possibility that life was designed neither requires nor entails an interest in cultural reform."
The implication is that ID can exist as a sterile, non-religious concept, separate from what we recognize as the ID "movement." This may be possible, but what's the point of making the distinction? The controversy thats making news is that a number of religiously motivated individuals are trying to force their ideas into science class. In that context, those who value the integrity of science education are compelled to point out the religious nature of ID as those groups present it.

The other, non-religious ID is unimporant in the same way that moon hoax theories are unimportant. Not many people seem to be persuing it, and the evidence to date is not convincing. More importantly, it's adherents, if they exist, are not attempting to force their ideas into science classes. If someone discovers something interesting, I'm sure we'll hear about it.

[ January 27, 2006, 10:52 PM: Message edited by: MattP ]

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Teleologist
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quote:
The controversy that's making news is that a number of religiously motivated individuals are trying to force their ideas into science class.
Yes, they are called creationists. And just because they have hi-jacked the term "intelligent design" to promote their socio-political agenda doesn't mean they represent genuine ID. It's easy to distinguish ID from creationism. They are as different as night is from day.

[ January 28, 2006, 01:04 AM: Message edited by: Teleologist ]

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plunge
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The problem with the type of ID that is trying to mainstream right now is that it isn't like normal ID in science.

After all, scientists didn't excactly need people like Dembski and Behe to tell them that it was useful to be able to distinguish whether some artifact was designed or not (and as far as I know, no self-appointed ID promoter has actually contributed anything of substance to this field). But the fact remains that this can only be done when we know the basic characteristics and nature of the designer (i.e. mankind, using particular tools that work within set times and places, often with clear and even recorded intent) and we have the context to compare artifacts against (i.e. the natural world).

Dembski and the DI essentially violate both of those needs. Their designer is carefuly made completely inexplicable: we don't know and can't seem to ever know what it is, how it does things, or why it does things. So detecting it's characteristic actions on the world becomes impossible: it could look like anything. Furthermore, their arguments remove the context entirely, leaving us with no background of natural organization to compare something to.

This sort of ID is creationism: it's carefully designed, indeed, but its assumptions and untestable claims are crafted precisely to mimic the creationist view of the world, simply without any particular details.

There are, indeed, legitimate forms inquiry into intelligent beings and the things they produce. But I don't think you can find me a single major proponent of ID who actually sticks to the useful and testible parameters of that inquiry.

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MattP
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quote:
It's easy to distinguish ID from creationism. They are as different as night is from day.
The abstract concept of ID may be different, but you and I don't get to define terms. ID and creationism are very much associated in the minds of scientists and the public at large.

If there is a legitimate agnostic investigation of the concept of design (and I'm not convinced that anyone is really doing this), then a new term will have be created to assign to this field of study, lest we continue to be confused.

In any case, I addressed both groups in my post. It's only the creationist version of ID that anyone cares about. Agnostic ID is irrelevant until useful science is produced. Otherwise it's neither harmful nor helpful.

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Tom Curtis
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Teleologist:

quote:
Yes, they are called creationists. And just because they have hi-jacked the term "intelligent design" to promote their socio-political agenda doesn't mean they represent genuine ID. It's easy to distinguish ID from creationism. They are as different as night is from day.
The idea of the term "intelligent design" having been hijacked by creationists is absurd. In its modern context as a theory opposed to Darwinism, the term was first used by the Young Earth Creationist Richard Bliss in 1988 (Barbara Forest, Expert Testimony). The people described by both the Discovery Institute (including William Dembski, Jonathan Witt, and Larry Witham) and Barbara Forrest as seminal in the creation of ID are Walter Bradley, Charles Thaxton (academic editor for "Of Panda's and People") and Dean Kenyon (Coauthor of "Of Panda's and People"). All three were known creationists of various stripes; and Dean Kenyon was a witness for the theory of Creation Science in Edwards vs Aguillard. Kenyon and Thaxton together with co-author, Young Earth Creationist P. William Davis are responsible for turning "Of Panda's and People" from a creationist textbook into an Intelligent Design textbook by the simple expedient substituting "Intelligent Design" and cognates for "Creation" and cognates through out the book. So it is not true that creationists have hijacked the modern theory and/or movement of Intelligent Design. Rather, they created it.
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Lifewish
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@ Teleologist:

I'm glad that there's a group of people out there doing actual research into design detection. I'd be very interested in seeing the peer-reviewed output of that group - got any journal citations I should be checking out? Maths stuff in particular would be of interest.

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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Lifewish:
@ Teleologist:

I'm glad that there's a group of people out there doing actual research into design detection. I'd be very interested in seeing the peer-reviewed output of that group - got any journal citations I should be checking out? Maths stuff in particular would be of interest.

Me too! And, great new label! "Design detection" is MUCH less loaded than "Intelligent Design" or it's lower-cased brethren.

Thanks Lifewish!

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Everard
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Can you put that in the ornery dictionary, jav? [Smile] I'll try to remember to use it too.
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Teleologist
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quote:
The idea of the term "intelligent design" having been hijacked by creationists is absurd. In its modern context as a theory opposed to Darwinism, the term was first used by the Young Earth Creationist Richard Bliss in 1988 (Barbara Forest, Expert Testimony).
What I had in mind was what happened in Dover. I was using the term "creationists" to refer to right-wing religious fundamentalists. Persons that like to mix religion and politics. Persons that want teachers to lead their class in prayer every day. Persons that want Genesis taught in science class. These were the type of persons that made up the majority of the Dover school board. They were not genuine IDers. These individuals were clueless about real ID. Anyone could tell from their comments that they were just using ID as a ploy to get creationist views presented in school.

On the other hand, the Discovery Institute was against what the Dover school board did. They do not advocate teaching ID in the public schools.

Arguments for intelligent design began with people like Socrates and Aristotle. And the term “intelligent design” is more than 100 years old. Oxford scholar F.C.S. Schiller employed it in an 1897 essay, writing that “it will not be possible to rule out the supposition that the process of Evolution may be guided by an intelligent design.”

quote:
The people described by both the Discovery Institute (including William Dembski, Jonathan Witt, and Larry Witham) and Barbara Forrest as seminal in the creation of ID are Walter Bradley, Charles Thaxton (academic editor for "Of Panda's and People") and Dean Kenyon (Coauthor of "Of Panda's and People"). All three were known creationists of various stripes; and Dean Kenyon was a witness for the theory of Creation Science in Edwards vs Aguillard.


None of the persons you mention above became an IDer from interpreting Biblical text. What turned them toward an ID perspective according to Jonathan Witt were the insights of chemist and philosopher Michael Polanyi. He was one of the first intellectuals to describe the significance of the discoveries of biochemists from the 1950s and 1960's. They were unraveling the secret of DNA and discovering that it was part of an elaborate information processing system that included nanotechnology of unparalleled sophistication. Polanyi, argued in 1967 that “machines are irreducible to physics and chemistry” and that “mechanistic structures of living things appear to be likewise irreducible.” Biochemist Michael Behe would later develop Polanyi’s insights with his concept of irreducible complexity. And mathematician William Dembski would find Polanyi’s work so influential that he would name Baylor University’s Michael Polanyi Center after him.
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Teleologist
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quote:
"Design detection" is MUCH less loaded than "Intelligent Design" or it's lower-cased brethren.

I agree. I prefer "Design detection" over "intelligent design". I also like "methodological designism". It's a nice alternative to "methodological naturalism." Methodological designism is a term coined by philosopher of science Del Ratzsch. He says:

"If things in nature can appear designed, if nature can produce things that are as if designed, if results of natural selection function as if designed, then doing science as if nature was designed - methodological designism - might be a productive, rational strategy."

[ January 28, 2006, 03:19 PM: Message edited by: Teleologist ]

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Lifewish
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quote:
Thanks Lifewish!
Uh, I think I'm getting false praise here. Although I would indeed be very happy to be sent details of any research on design detection, my post had the faint subtext that I'm pretty sure there's no such research. Beyond Dembski's debunked claims, I've never seen any such thing.

I would of course be glad to be proved wrong. A design detector would undoubtedly be a very cool piece of mathematical kit.

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MattP
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quote:
The idea of the term "intelligent design" having been hijacked by creationists is absurd.
Oh I agree. My point in conceeding that ID and the ID movement may not be the same is that its not an important distinction. Whether the answer to that question is "yes" or "no" doesn't change the substance of debate on the subject on "Design" science.

Like the back and forth about whether Mormons are Christians, most people who are not one or the other don't really care.

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Teleologist
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While design detection is a worthy goal for ID research it's not the only approach available according to this design theorist:

"First, if there was a clear-cut way to distinguish design from non-design, ID theory would not be needed. That is, one simple unequivocal test that distinguishes design from non-design would be sufficient. But there
is no such test and keep in mind that science has no such test when excluding design to explain the origin of biological features. Also keep in mind that when anti-ID'ers talk about distinguishing between design and non-design they are usually referring to two themes: prove the impossible (i.e. evolution couldn't have done it) and show me the designer. I think the search for a magic bullet way to distinguish designed things from things not designed is a waste of time. The reality investigated is too complicated and design in life is probably too subtle.

The point is simply this - I do not think we can directly detect the existence of either a teleological or non-teleological cause from ancient history. The best we can do is to infer such a cause indirectly to determine how well those inferences make sense of the data we have. In my opinion, there is simply no need for a magic bullet test of detection. Science itself has none, yet that has not stopped it from speculating and testing about non-teleological causes

Why is the lack of reliable criteria for distinguishing betweeen teleological and non-teleological causes not considered a problem for the blind watchmaker hypothesis? Why aren't the advocates of blind watchmaking working on a "filter" or "test" to rule out teleological causes and thus establish non-teleology? Has the absence of a reliable detector for non-teleological causes stymied the blind watchmaker research program?

My goal is not to show the non-teleologists wrong. My goal is to determine how productive a teleological approach can be. This, after all, is how non-teleologists have worked for a century. They have not come up with tests to rule out teleological causes (they instead rely on philosophy). The inability to tell the difference between an organism that was designed to evolve, and an organism that evolved by "accidental changes captured by selection, cuts both ways (if you think about it). Instead, they have been focused on the utility of the non-teleological approach, where at some point, a successful track record becomes an argument for validity. I think teleologists would do well to learn from this model. Flesh out a teleological approach that doesn't center around trying to convince non-teleologists they are wrong, but instead seeks to understand biotic reality and its history. Maybe something juicy will eventually shake out....

There are at least two ways teleologists can go about studying the natural world. One way is to look for features that clearly cannot be explained by non-teleological explanations. There is nothing wrong with this approach. In fact, it holds potential for developing new insights and methods, along with helping to better define the dispute. But there is another way that can complement this approach. This way simply begins by looking for things that one might expect to follow from design. This way follows the examples of mainstream science. Take origin of life research. Scientists do not look for things that could not be explained by teleologists. They are not looking for phenomena that rule out telic causes, therefore rule in non-telic causes. On the contrary, they begin with squishy, vague scenarios about how something might have happened and then see if something in the lab or nature can be fitted into such a scenario. What becomes important here is the development of a track record and a scenario that gets less and less squishy. I see no reason why teleologists cannot likewise adopt this approach."

[ January 28, 2006, 03:48 PM: Message edited by: Teleologist ]

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Teleologist
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
My point in conceeding that ID and the ID movement may not be the same is that its not an important distinction.

It may not be an important distinction to someone that thinks ID is creationism but for those of us that know better it's a very important distinction.
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Lifewish
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quote:
Why is the lack of reliable criteria for distinguishing betweeen teleological and non-teleological causes not considered a problem for the blind watchmaker hypothesis?
Because evolutionary theory requires no extraneous entities, therefore will always be considered the default hypothesis. If you want to posit the presence of Designers, it's for you to bring the evidence. In the absence of that evidence, all evolutionary theory really has to show is that the set of known entities in this universe are sufficient to give rise to evolution. Or would you say that all those proposing non-magical explanations for gravity must first come up with a magic detector?

Your approach would halt science in its tracks by requiring that, before we could posit an unintelligent explanation, we first rule out the intelligent explanation, when such a method of elimination probably doesn't exist. Continuing the "gravity counterexample" theme: how on earth does one even begin to rule out something like Intelligent Falling?

[ January 28, 2006, 04:49 PM: Message edited by: Lifewish ]

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MattP
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quote:
It may not be an important distinction to someone that thinks ID is creationism but for those of us that know better it's a very important distinction.
The reason that it's not an important distinction is that every significant manifestation of ID to date has been put forth by creationists. Agnostic ID is merely a concept, not a practice. No one is advocating agnostic ID and there's no central figure(s) of agnostic ID research. If I wanted to research agnostic ID, or even if I was interested in taking up the field myself, I'd be unable to find any authorities, educational instutions or reference texts with information on the subject.

Agnostic ID does not exist except as a an idealized concept in discussions like this. Yes, someone can look for a designer without being a creationist. I'm not aware of anyone that fits this description.

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Teleologist
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:

No one is advocating agnostic ID..

What about Dembski and Behe?

[ January 28, 2006, 06:55 PM: Message edited by: Teleologist ]

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Lifewish
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Dembski is the one who claimed that ID was the Logos theology of st. John's gospel restated in the idiom of Information Theory (direct quote), right? I suggest reading the syllabus of the "critical thinking" course he's teaching before determining that his ID is agnostic.

I'll give you Behe on this one because apart from him being Roman Catholic there's no evidence that religion directly affects his work. However, being given Behe is a mixed blessing given that he's been quite thoroughly debunked

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MattP
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And Behe argues his supposedly agnostic view in a creationist book published by the Discovery Institute. He's also a fellow of the Discovery Institute.

[ January 28, 2006, 08:34 PM: Message edited by: MattP ]

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Lifewish
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Ah yes, I'd forgotten. Wasn't he a coeditor of "Of Pandas And People" when it was still a creation science tome?

Still, for the sake of argument, I'm happy to give him the benefit of the doubt on religious ideas. If nothing else, it's demonstrably easy to slaughter him on actual science.

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MattP
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It still is a creationist tome, but yes. [Smile] He testified about it at length in the Dover trial. I'd suggest that anyone interested in the motives and action of the ID movement and it's most prominent figures should read the transcripts of the trial. It'll take a while to read the 21 days of transcripts, but it's very illuminating.

In the prosecuter's cross-examination of Behe you can see how Behe responds to direct and specific challenges to his claims.

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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Everard:
Can you put that in the ornery dictionary, jav? [Smile] I'll try to remember to use it too.

Can you give me a solid definition? I'll attribute it to you and Lifewish...
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Everard
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Design detection-
The scientific work done to determine whether or not it is possible to detect evidence of design in naturally occuring objects or lifeforms.

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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Everard:
Design detection-
The scientific work done to determine whether or not it is possible to detect evidence of design in naturally occuring objects or lifeforms.

Truly beautiful. To see our Ornery Dictionary (know as Orbonics), please visit here.. The page, itself, isn't so pretty, but the contents? Priceless.
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Tom Curtis
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Teleologist, the folk at the Discovery Institute are pretty much all creationists by almost any reasonable definition. The one possible exception is David Berlinski. Even if you use the peculiarly restricted definition sometimes used in America which concludes a person is a Creationist if he believes almost literally the Genesis account, but not if he thinks the creation of life happened more than 50 thousand years ago.

As for the claim that:

quote:
On the other hand, the Discovery Institute was against what the Dover school board did. They do not advocate teaching ID in the public schools.
which admitedly the DI makes frequently, it is directly contradicted by reading what they do advocate for teaching in public schools. In particular, they advocate:

quote:
Surprisingly, there is a way to teach evolution that will benefit students and satisfy all but the most extreme partisans and ideologues. Rather than ignoring the controversy (as many educators have tried to do), teachers should teach about the scientific controversy that now exists over Darwinian evolution. This is simply good education.
But teaching the controversy turns out to involve only one actual controversy within science, and that with a creationist slant on it. Every other "controversy" to be taught turns out to be a Discovery Institute talking point. This includes the recommendation that students be taught that Irreducible Complexity is a bar Darwinian evolution.

quote:
Finally, some scientists doubt the Darwinian idea that living things merely "appear" designed. They favor a new theory known as "intelligent design." Design advocates, such as Lehigh University biochemist Michael Behe, martialed some intriguing new evidence in support of their theory, such as the presence of encoded information, circuits and miniature motors inside cells.

Since Darwinian evolution is still the dominant theory of biological origins, we recommend that students not be required to learn the theory of intelligent design. Nevertheless, we think they should learn about the scientific strengths and weaknesses of modern Darwinism. Obviously, teachers should also be free to discuss new evidence-based theories, including Behe's design theory.

http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&program=CSC%20-%20Science%20and%20Education%20Policy%20-%20State%20Policy&id=1861

So it turns out that what they disagree with the Dover board about is the mandating of the teaching of ID. They advocate that it be mandated that teachers should "teach the controversy"; they advocate that school boards adopt ID textbooks and supplemental materials to teach the controversy from; and they advocate that teachers be permited to teach ID in the class room. And they advocate this despite the fact that ID is not science, and despite the fact that their preffered textbook - "Of Pandas and People" - and their preffered resource - "Icons of Evolution" - have both been proven to be a pack of lies.
http://www.ncseweb.org/article.asp?category=21
http://www.ncseweb.org/icons/index.htm

What is more, their practise is against them. When one teacher in Seattle started to "teach the controversy", ie, ID; he was permitted to do so on condition that he provide supplemental material from a Darwinist perspective on the same topics on which he suppled ID material. He agreed to do so, but then did not do it, so that to teach the controversy on Peppered Moths, for example, students were presented with two paragraphs of Darwinian perspective from their textbook, and a chapter and a video of the opposing perspective. When he was then banned from presenting the supplemental material the DI institute made him out to be a matyre. So "teach the controversy" for the DI means just teach the DI's view of the controversy.

quote:
Arguments for intelligent design began with people like Socrates and Aristotle. And the term “intelligent design” is more than 100 years old. Oxford scholar F.C.S. Schiller employed it in an 1897 essay, writing that “it will not be possible to rule out the supposition that the process of Evolution may be guided by an intelligent design.”
Curiously, modern ID proponents seem never to quote or cite Socrates or Aristotle except when trying to prove that ID has an ancient heritage. And that fact alone rebutts the claim. The ID movement did not develop because some people reflected on the cogency of Aristotle's arguments, or thought they could recast them in a more valid form. The only ID friendly people who have done anything like that are Alvin Plantinga who recast Anselm's Ontological Argument, and William Lane Craig who recast the Kalam cosmological argument. Both of these arguments are explicitly philosophical, however, and therefore not part of ID. (ID arguments are also philosophical, but it is essential to the movement that they are claimed to be scientific.)

The same can be said of F. C. Schiller, who did use the term, and was an anti-evolutionist. But the term was not picked up, and their is no genetic or intellectual connection between his use of the word and Behe's use of the word. Again, and off course, no ID advocate quotes Schiller except when trying to prove the ancient heritage of ID.

If you are allowed to claim intellectual heritage because of a vague similarity of view point, or the use of a particular form of words, then the ID movement is overwhelmingly the child of "Scientific" Creationism, for scientific creationists have used all their particular arguments before them, and in many cases their particular terminology. The difference is that while it is not known whether ID advocates had read Schiller before it became necessary to find themselves a heritage, it is clear that they had read the "Scientific" Creationists.

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Tom Curtis
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Lifewish:

quote:
I'll give you Behe on this one because apart from him being Roman Catholic there's no evidence that religion directly affects his work.
Do you mean other than his attending "mere creationist" conferences, being a fellow of an organisation pushing an explicitly religious agenda (ie, the Discovery Institute), and in his book suggesting that not becoming a theist on the basis of IC is tantamount to the highest level of dogmatism?

quote:
Ah yes, I'd forgotten. Wasn't he a coeditor of "Of Pandas And People" when it was still a creation science tome?
Well it still is a creationist tome, so yes. But he worked on the second published edition, which was after the magic of word processing turned "Creator" into "Intelligent Designer" in the text, thus changing the contents of the book from religion to science (if we are to accept the DI's spin).
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Teleologist
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quote:
Originally posted by Lifewish:

Dembski is the one who claimed that ID was the Logos theology of st. John's gospel restated in the idiom of Information Theory (direct quote), right? I suggest reading the syllabus of the "critical thinking" course he's teaching before determining that his ID is agnostic.


Well, from the following Dembski quotes it sure sounds to me like his ID is agnostic.

"The nature of a designer [whether, for instance, the designer is a conscious personal agent or an impersonal telic process] lie outside the scope of intelligent design. As a scientific research program, intelligent design investigates the effects of intelligence and not intelligence as such."

"ID is not an interventionist theory. It's only commitment is that the design in the world be empirically detectable. All the design could therefore have emerged through a cosmic evolutionary process that started with the Big Bang. What's more, the designer need not be a deity. It could be an extraterrestrial or a telic process inherent in the universe. ID has no doctrine of creation."

"Indeed, within the theory of intelligent design, any appeal to a designer may be viewed as a fruitful device for understanding the world. Construed in this way, intelligent design attaches no significance to questions such as whether a theory of design is in some ultimate sense true, or whether the designer actually exists or what the attributes of that designer are...Scientists in the business of manufacturing theoretical entities like quarks, strings and cold dark matter could therefore view a designer as yet one more theoretical entity in their scientific tool chest."

"In my own case, I was raised in a home where my father had a D.Sc. in biology (from the University of Erlangen in Germany), taught evolutionary biology at the college level, and never questioned Darwinian orthodoxy during my years growing up...In so many of our cases, what led us out of Darwinism was its inadequacies as a scientific theory as well as the prospect of making design scientifically tractable."

[ January 29, 2006, 12:03 AM: Message edited by: Teleologist ]

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Teleologist
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quote:
Originally posted by Tom Curtis:

Teleologist, the folk at the Discovery Institute are pretty much all creationists by almost any reasonable definition. The one possible exception is David Berlinski. Even if you use the peculiarly restricted definition sometimes used in America which concludes a person is a Creationist if he believes almost literally the Genesis account, but not if he thinks the creation of life happened more than 50 thousand years ago.

Total nonsense. For those that are interested in reading a rebuttal to this and other claims Tom Curtis made in his post, I suggest you read The Birth of Intelligent Design. Go here:

http://telicthoughts.com/?p=518#more-518

For additional information go here:

http://tinyurl.com/algjs

[ January 29, 2006, 12:41 AM: Message edited by: Teleologist ]

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MattP
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quote:
Well, from the following Dembski quotes it sure sounds to me like his ID is agnostic.
It should be noted that Dembski is also a fellow of the Discovery Institute, so there is reason to question the sincerity of any claim he makes that his pursuit of ID is agnostic.

Consider the opening sentence of the Wedge document from the discovery institute:

quote:
The proposition that human beings are created in the image of God is one of the bedrock principles on which Western civilization was built. Its influence can be detected in most, if not all, of the West's greatest achievements, including representative democracy, human rights, free enterprise, and progress in the arts and sciences.
Further in the document, they discuss what design science means to them:

quote:
Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.
The document discusses how they will set up a fellowship program to sponsor scientists friendly to their views and even list the publication of one of Dembski's books in the "progress" section of the document.
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javelin
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I have a question for ya'all, speculating on motives:

1. We've got what the people say;
2. We don't know what the people do; and
3. We have some idea what other people who agree with them are doing.

From there, some people on this thread have decided that because we know #3, we therefore can disregard #1, and thus assume #2. And you might be correct, but not due to a logical argument. These people might be creationists. They may honestly feel that the "Intelligent Designer(s)" they postulate is the Christian God. They may even be lying completely when they say that they are admitting the possibility that the designer(s) might be evolved creatures, etc. And they might be lying when they say what they are postulating when they are describing intelligent design.

However, unless you can prove this, without the kind of illogical inference that I outline above, you are spitting in the wind. These people have stated their intentions. They might be lying, they might not be. You assert they are lying, and point to their association with an organization that might have different goals (which you also don't bother to prove). You point to some of the books they've written with other people, and talk about how they were written. And you might even be right. However, what you have isn't anything close to proof - you've got speculation, and inference that supports your speculation. The other side? They've got clearly written purpose statements from the individuals yourself.

I hope you can understand why people might be skeptical (and unconvinced) by your claims.

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Teleologist
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quote:
Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.
Dembski also says: Intelligent design must first be developed as a strictly scientific research program before its theological implications can be fully known and justified. The success of the
scientific program is prerequisite to the success of any theological investigation based on it.

Granted, many proponents of ID want to get religious mileage out of it. But how is that any
different from evolutionists wanting to get atheistic and anti-religious mileage out of evolution (cf. the views of Richard Dawkins, Steven Weinberg, and Will Provine described in my rebuttal to Barbara Forrest)? The religious mileage associated with ID is as separable from the actual science of ID as the anti-religious mileage associated with evolution is separable from the actual science of evolution.

[ January 29, 2006, 01:13 AM: Message edited by: Teleologist ]

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Tom Curtis
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Teleologist:

quote:
Well, from the following Dembski quotes it sure sounds to me like his ID is agnostic.
Dembski says a lot of things, some of which are pure spin. An example of something that is not spin, something that he actually believes is when he said in August of 1998:

quote:
The implications of the complexity-specification criterion are profound, not just for science, but also for philosophy and theology. The power of this criterion resides in its generality. It would be one thing if the criterion only detected human agency. But as we've seen, it detects animal and extra-terrestrial agency as well. Nor is it limited to intelligent agents that belong to the physical world. The fine-tuning of the universe, about which cosmologists make such a to-do, is both complex and specified and readily yields design. So too, Michael Behe's irreducibly complex biochemical systems readily yield design. The complexity-specification criterion demonstrates that design pervades cosmology and biology. Moreover, it is a transcendent design, not reducible to the physical world. Indeed, no intelligent agent who is strictly physical could have presided over the origin of the universe or the origin of life.

Unlike design arguments of the past, the claim that transcendent design pervades the universe is no longer a strictly philosophical or theological claim. It is also a fully scientific claim. There exists a reliable criterion for detecting design-the complexity-specification criterion. This criterion detects design strictly from observational features of the world. Moreover, it belongs to probability and complexity theory, not to metaphysics and theology. And although it cannot achieve logical demonstration, it is capable of achieving statistical justification so compelling as to demand assent. When applied to the fine-tuning of the universe and the complex, information-rich structures of biology, it demonstrates a design external to the universe. In other words, the complexity-specification criterion demonstrates transcendent design.

(My emphasis.)
http://www.leaderu.com/offices/dembski/docs/bd-the_ac.html

Make sure you have that straight. Dembski claims that, as a fully scientific claim, his complexity-specification criteria demonstrates the existence of a non-material transcendant Intelligent Designer who made both the universe and its laws, and life within the universe; and further that this demonstration is "so compelling as to demand assent".

So when Dembski says that "Intelligent Design is theologically minimalist. It detects intelligence without speculating about the nature of the intelligence." as he did in March of 1998, or when Dembski says that "Likewise, that designer need not be personal or transcendent ..." as he did in 2005, you know that he doesn't actually believe that, but rather that he believes the designer must be transcedant, and that this conclusion is fully scientific, and follows from his theory.
http://www.designinference.com/documents/1998.03.ID_movement.htm
http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/527

I recommend you read:
http://www.stcynic.com/blog/archives/2005/11/dembskis_designed_duplicity.php

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Tom Curtis
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Teleologist:

quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Tom Curtis:

Teleologist, the folk at the Discovery Institute are pretty much all creationists by almost any reasonable definition. The one possible exception is David Berlinski. Even if you use the peculiarly restricted definition sometimes used in America which concludes a person is a Creationist if he believes almost literally the Genesis account, but not if he thinks the creation of life happened more than 50 thousand years ago.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Total nonsense. For those that are interested in reading a rebuttal to this and other claims Tom Curtis made in his post, I suggest you read The Birth of Intelligent Design.

One part of the quoted sentence is total nonsense, and I apologise. I intended to write:

"Even if you use the peculiarly restricted definition sometimes used in America which concludes a person is a Creationist if he believes almost literally the Genesis account, but not if he thinks the creation of life happened more than 50 thousand years ago; then many of the members of the ID movement are creationists, though not all."

Obviously I got lost in the editing process.

But as to his claimed rebutal, it is merely a rehash of points I have already rebutted, with no rebutal of my specific argument.

My first point was that the clear, immediate and acknowledged intellectual antecedents are clearly creationists with significant links to creation science. The article in rebutal mentions these people, but fails to mention (or dispute) that all that Thaxton, Kenyon and Davis were creationists, that Kenyon gave testimony in favour of a balanced treatment act for "creation science", and that Davis was a young earth creationist.

In fact, also unmentioned is the compelling evidence the Foundation for Thought and Ethics (copyright holders and prime movers in the publication of Pandas) is an organisation incorporated for the purpose (amongst others) of "proclaiming, publishing, preaching [and] teaching…the Christian Gospel and understanding of the Bible and the light it sheds on the academic and social issues of the day." Another purpose mentioned in their articles of incorporation was that "the organization's first activity would be the editing of a book "showing the scientific evidence for creation."" Also unmentioned is that Pandas and precursors were first publicised in explicitly creationist media. So the immediate antecedents of ID are intimatly entwined with creationism.

My second point was that, if you trace antecedents by similarities of idea and expression, then the clearest and frequent antecedents of ID theory can be found in young earth creationism. But don't take my word on this, consider what Dembski has to say about the intellectual antecedents of his theory:

quote:
I myself would not be a design theorist today without them. To be sure, I am not a young earth creationist nor do I support their efforts to harmonize science with a particular interpretation of Genesis. Nonetheless, it was their literature that first got me thinking about how improbable it is to generate biological complexity and how this problem might be approached scientifically. A. E. Wilder-Smith was particularly important to me in this regard. Making rigorous his intuitive ideas about information has been the impetus for much of my research.
http://www.designinference.com/documents/2005.02.Reply_to_Henry_Morris.htm

By his own admission, Dembski's "research" has been primarilly directed at "making rigorous" the ideas of a young earth creationist. (This also bears on Dembski's "agnosticism". His intellectual history is that he became a christian first, and a reader of creation science literature who was by his own admission influence by it, before developing into an ID theorist.)

Or consider the intellectual antecedent of Behe:

quote:
Behe does not give credit to Henry Morris.

Morris, _Scientific Creationism_ 2nd edition p 59 wrote:

This issue can actually be attacked quantitatively, using
simple principles of mathematical probability. The problem
is simply whether a complex system, in which many com-
ponents function unitedly together, and in which each com-
ponent is uniquely necessary to the efficient functioning of
the whole, could ever arise by random processes.

Behe, _Darwin's Black Box_ p 39 wrote:

“By irreducibly complex I mean a single system
composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that
contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one
of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.”
[emphasis in original]


http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2005/01/ids_irreducible.html#comment-14735

As another piece of evidence on the intellectual antecedents if ID, consider also Dean Kenyon's claim:

quote:
"Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith was one of the two or three most important scientists in my life. He very powerfully influenced my intellectual development and my change of opinion on the origin of man. His writings, in particular The Creation of Life and The Scientific Alternative to Neo-Darwinian Evolutionary Theory, and the discussions I had with him were outstanding and had a great impact on my views and thoughts on origins. He was a courageous, supportive and gracious man, and he is greatly missed." (Dr. Dean Kenyon, Professor of Biology, San Francisco State University)
http://www.christiananswers.net/creation/people/wilder-smith-ae.html

I would say the case that ID developed out of creationism is clear cut. And this is without adressing the mass of data concerning the similar religious base and aims of creation science organisation and ID organisations.

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