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Author Topic: OSC's latest - Darwinism vs. Intelligent Design
Kent
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He is right on. Check it out now at rhinotimes.com or wait for it to be posted on the front page. This thread will likely be short due to everyone agreeing with him on this one.
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Everard
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Ah yes. If you create a straw man to argue against, its very easy to write a persuasive column

[ January 16, 2006, 12:42 PM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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Kit
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I tend to agree with all the things he wrote. But I was still slightly put off by the article because I want to rip into both sides, because I think they are ALL idiots. OSC I think pointed out quite well why the people arguing for "evolution" are idiots. Most of them are arguing for Darwinism (as a sub-set of evolution) are are doing it poorly. Those arguing for ID are idiots because, as OSC states, ID is not science. ID may or may not be true, but its truthfulness has nothing to do with wherther or not it is science.

I think I've linked this before, but since it is so applicable, here is another essay on the same topic that I really like.

So while I agree with OSC, I would have writen this essay differently. Gee, big surprise. [Smile]

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Pelegius
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Usualy, I can at leas count on Mr Card (as I call him when I am mad at him [Smile] ) to provide a semi-new point of view, sometimes not one I agree with, but new, or semi-new. But this time, he is just echoing the rest of the ID crowd.
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Wayward Son
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I disagree with his characterization of "Darwinists" (whoever they are--I usually listen to scientists), but I do agree with his conclusion: that ID is not science, as so should not be taught as science. That evolutionary theory does not have all the answers, but that does not mean that ID is one of them.
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Kit
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Pel, I don't know who you are hearing that is part of the "ID crowd", but OSC's article doesn't sound much like the ones I hear braying. He may make similar statements that current evolutionary theory has things it cannot fully explain, but I doubt there are any serious scientists that would argue with that.

The big difference is in the conclusion. Card says that while Darwinism may not have all the answers, IDs claims to be the answer are not science and shouldn't be taught as science. Here is what he says:

quote:
If both sides would behave like scientists, there wouldn’t even be a controversy, because everyone would agree on this statement: Evolution happens and obviously happened in the natural world, and natural selection plays a role in it. But we do not have adequate theories yet to explain completely how evolution works and worked at the biochemical level.

That is a true statement, according to our present state of scientific knowledge.

And when Darwinists scream that we do too know how to explain evolution, and it’s natural selection, so just stop talking about it, they are dogmatists demanding that their faith – the faith that Darwin’s model will be found to explain everything when we just understand things better – be taught in the public schools.

There is no reason for science teachers in the public schools to take a single step beyond that statement I made above. It allows the teaching of every speck of scientific biology; and it makes moot the as-yet-unknowable issue of how each specific complex biochemical system came into existence.

In fact, what every school board in this country should decide is to ignore both sides’ demands that the schools teach their faith, and allow the public schools to perform their public service: educating children in our shared culture, including what we have learned through the scientific method.

Did you read anything about wanting ID taught in schools? No? Did you catch that OSC does NOT want ID taught in school? Yes?

Then how is that like the IDiots?

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Pelegius
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His claim that ID is not Creationist.
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Kit
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What he says is that ID is not 'Creation Science'.

quote:
A few years ago it was “Creation Science” they were trying to teach in the schools.

Creation Science was an attempt by fundamentalist Christians to give the Genesis account, as interpreted by them, a scientific veneer.

But it was only that – a thin surface – and any student who actually believed that Creation Science had anything to do with science would have been educationally crippled.

and
quote:
You have to be ignorant of either Creation Science or Intelligent Design – or both – to think that they’re the same thing. Creation Science is embarrassing and laughable – its authors either don’t understand science or are deliberately deceiving readers who don’t understand it. Frankly, Creation Science is, in my opinion, a pack of pious lies.
And if "Creation Science' is defined as OSC does than ID is definatly not it.

Now ID IS 'creationist' in that is requires a creator, but OSC never claims otherwise. He just writes that ID is not the same as CS.

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KnightEnder
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Here's the direct link since Kent was too lazy to do it. [Frown]
OSC on Rhinotimes

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KnightEnder
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Not that I really care about this as long as they don't teach it in science class, but since the Universe is practically infinite, and all the ingredients for life are present, doesn't it just make since that life would evolve? Monkeys writing Shakespeare anyone?

KE

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Jon Camp
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But they DID the monkey experiment. and the monkey just "eliminated" on the keyboards for the most part. And had a great love for the letter "S," often holding that key down for pages at a time. No other letter had that happen.

Of course, it wasn't an infinite number of monkeys given an infinite amount of time either. . . .

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Insane Bovine
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Check out the Avida program that Michigan state university developed. I really don't remember the specefics of the article I read about it, but supposedly computer programs rewarded for creating equations eventually created complex systems without intervention. The only problem that I saw with the explanation of the small systems through basic evolution is that the program did have intelligent designers.
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FiredrakeRAGE
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This was a well thought out essay that basically stated my position on evolution & intelligence design.

With regard to the Universe - given what we know about the size of the universe, I believe that the probability of life evolving was still rather low. Of course if there are alternate universes, that brings the number of possibilities up to an infinite number.

--Firedrake

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manpace
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A scholar named Hugh Nibley drew an interesting contrast between the biologist attitude about evolution and that found more commonly in behavioral science. I'm paraphrasing, so anything irresponsible or erroneous is my fault.

As natural scientists, biologists are very sensitive to and aware of the drawbacks and weaknesses to evolutionary theory. To them those are puzzles and challenges to address. Further study leads to further understanding and will open up yet further avenues of research.

A psychologist, however, views evolution as a rhetorical tool, a club with which to smite one's opponent. The ideas are not meant to begin discussion or study, but to end all argument.

This makes sense, as a psychologist is hardly in a position to study or evaluate evolution meaningfully. He or she will have precious little to say about the matter, and cares only to utilize the ideas to suit understood purposes.

(I'm not trying to generalize, there are probably tons of exceptions on both sides. I just find that contrast a telling one.)

Oh, and my two cents about this debate: the popular disagreement isn't over evolution, its mechanics, or reality. It is about what evolution MEANS. Biology class is not for discussing meaning. That belongs in civics, philosophy, what have you.

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Modab
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I have to agree with a majority of Mr. Card's article today, though as usual I am miffed by his use of a word like "liberal", or in this case, "Darwinist" to refer to a narrow group of people, usually close-minded and unwilling to engage in honest debate because they are so smug and self-important. This is a character trait that is spread about evenly throughout the world, regardless of group, unless the group is designed explicitly to exclude those types. Us reasonable types like to talk and figure things out for ourselves. We shouldn't have to feel ashamed to apply labels like liberal to ourselves.

Second reaction to the article:
Education in general needs some kind of major overhaul. There are enough poor/mediocre teachers that most "learning" is taught like a religion. You learn what the teacher or book says, not because you understand why, but because they say "that's how it is". I feel that the combination of increased standardized testing plus larger class sizes enforces this way of teaching. It's more efficient, and less effort for a teacher who may not have the ability to explain things naturally to students.

Last reaction:
I felt like I learned something from reading, despite my initial wariness.
Good article by Mr. Card. :-)

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Kent
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I didn't link it because I knew it would be on the front page by now (and I'm not going to link it either; I feeel . . . ve-ry . . . sleeeeepy . .
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jrmspnc
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I'm rather surprised that Mr. Card did not touch on Judge John Jones' opinion in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.

You can read it for yourselves here:

http://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/kitzmiller/kitzmiller_342.pdf

Behe, the author of the book cited by Mr. Card, testified at the trial. Judge Jones found, and explains why he found, that the Intelligent Design Movement is, in fact, creationism in disguise. Behe himself apparently acknowledged that the "designer" is God (as opposed to space aliens). Judge Jones also observes that "intelligent design" became in vogue only after the Supreme Court banned teaching creationism in public schools. The entire opinion is worth reading, although attempting to follow the standards laid down by the Supreme Court will make your head spin.

Given the findings by Judge Jones, I'm not prepared to accept the suggestion that creationism and intelligent design are separate phenomena. My personal views are substantially similar to Mr. Card's, but I wouldn't try to separate intelligent design from creationism.

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OpsanusTau
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quote:
Monkeys writing Shakespeare anyone?
I always think that this is a funny thing for people to say.

Because it turns out that a number of (okay, not monkeys) primates far less than infinity, given an amount of time also far less than infinity, did in fact manage to turn out the Complete Works of Shakespeare.

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FiredrakeRAGE
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OpsanusTau -

Link?

--Firedrake

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Everard
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What? You've never read shakespeare? [Smile]
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Jordan
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quote:
Firedrake:
OpsanusTau -

Link?

Link.

While this is not conclusive evidence that Shakespeare did produce all the works attributed to him, we do know for sure that n primates, where n << infinity, produced the Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

[ January 19, 2006, 02:46 AM: Message edited by: Jordan ]

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KnightEnder
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Was the monkeys name James Bacon?

No sweat Kent, I was just razzzing ya. [Razz]

KE

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vulture
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
quote:
Monkeys writing Shakespeare anyone?
I always think that this is a funny thing for people to say.

Because it turns out that a number of (okay, not monkeys) primates far less than infinity, given an amount of time also far less than infinity, did in fact manage to turn out the Complete Works of Shakespeare.

And invented the typewriter somewhere along the way as well...

[ January 19, 2006, 06:00 AM: Message edited by: vulture ]

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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
While this is not conclusive evidence that Shakespeare did produce all the works attributed to him, we do know for sure that n primates, where n << infinity, produced the Complete Works of William Shakespeare.
Hmmm...doesn't look like conclusive evidence. It might have been produced by spiders (with 8 limbs it might have even been easier). [Smile] But I'll take your word for it.
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Wayward Son
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Ah, but you're forgetting the perfectly valid, non-sectarian, scientific theory that the Complete Works of Shakespeare were written, not by a human, but by an Intelligent Designer (who shall remain nameless, but his initials are G_d). [Smile]
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mrb
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OSC claims that Intelligent Design is different from creationism and seems to actually believe that ID is a modified version of Darwinism (“Intelligent Design vs. strict Darwinists”).

In fact, ID is nothing more than creationism repackaged in an attempt to make it seem more scientific. The people who are advocating ID are the same people who just a few years ago were advocating creationism. The book that introduced the term Intelligent Design (Of Pandas and People) was originally written using the term creationism, but was revised to use the term Intelligent Design. The IDers, when addressing Christians, are very explicit that their aim is to package Christianity as science in order to bring people to their religion.

Some quotes by Philip E. Johnson, considered the leader of the Intelligent Design movement:

"We are taking an intuition most people have (the belief in God) and making it a scientific and academic enterprise. We are removing the most important cultural roadblock to accepting the role of God as creator."

"Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools."

"This isn't really, and never has been a debate about science. It's about religion and philosophy."

"The objective is to convince people that Darwinism is inherently atheistic, thus shifting the debate from creationism vs. evolution to the existence of God vs. the non-existence of God. From there people are introduced to the truth of the Bible and then the question of sin and finally introduced to Jesus.”

Behe, Johnson, Dembski, Wells -- all Christians.

Card claims that ID is not religion because “the Designists are not, in fact, advocating ‘God.’ They are very careful not to specify who or what the Intelligent Designer might be... For all anyone knows, the supposed Intelligent Designers might be an alien species of mortal, ungodlike beings.”

This is about as intellectually dishonest as it gets. First, it must be noted that while the IDers do indeed avoid the word “god” when they are addressing the general population, as I said above, they are very explicit that their goal is to promote Christianity when addressing Christians. Second, to say that advocating the idea of an Intelligent Designer who designed life on earth is not equivalent to advocating God is simply ludicrous. By this thinking, you could just change the word “God” in the Bible to “the Designer,” and it would no longer be a religious work.

Card claims that Darwinism or some form of Darwinism is a religion, and that it therefore has no place in schools. I always find it very telling when religious people dismiss what they believe are beliefs without reason as “religion.” They implicitly admit that their beliefs are not reasonable, but rather than abandoning them, they just say “See, you do it too.”

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Wayward Son
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Intelligent Design, as a popular movement, is creationism repackaged. Judge Jones in the Dover trial pretty much established that. But as a concept, unrelated to the popular use, it may have some merit.

As javelin has been arguing on the General Comments side, it is conceivable to devise a way to detect design in a structure. Not that it has been shown, but it possibly could be. Once such a method is established, it could be applied to biological entities to show that such happened.

And, there is nothing in science that would preclude divine, or not-so-devine, intervention. You just can't prove it scientifically unless some extraordinary evidence was left, and no such evidence has been found so far.

This is probably what Mr. Card is referring to when he talks about intelligent design--the theoretical notions, not the popular movement.

For the problems of falsifying irreducible complexity, I found this essay very interesting.

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Richard Dey
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KE: It was Francis Bacon, but I'm an Oxonian. Oxford wrote the bulk of Shakespeare's plays and the players rewrote them to fit the theatre. OTOH, Shakespeare wrote all the sonnets [Wink] . Wouldn't that help the heterocentrist argument?

As to OSC's essay, I'm usually for mediation -- especially in the bibliomanic South, but ID is no insight into the origins of anything -- while natural selection is. Rather, ID appears if anything as an afterthought to defend creationism from scientific logic. If it had quietly been suggested in Sunday school, it might have had a chance to influence; but when it sought to be taught along with science, it got laughed it. Now it's pouting.

"We don't have to listen to no Darwin. He the white man's monkey. So let's sing to Jesus and praise the Lord." - Majolica Steptoe, Maryville Baptist Church, 1981 -

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Bliss
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I have several problems with this article. Here's one:

quote:
The irony is that there are plenty of Darwinists who are perfectly good writers, capable of explaining the science to us well enough to show us the flaws in the Designists' arguments. The fact that they refuse even to try to explain is, again, a confession that they don't have an answer.
There are, in fact, many books and articles that explain the problems with ID in layman terms. In claiming that they don't exist, Card is admitting that he hasn't read them, which means he isn't very well informed on the issue.
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valkyrie
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There are plenty of people who call themselves Creationists and will describe themselves as proponents of Intelligent Design. But who are these Darwinists? Where did they come from? When did Darwin start meriting an "ism?" And who put it there?

It's a nice turn of phrase if you're trying to pigeonhole and discredit the theory of Evolution, but I can't think of any other motivation for coming up with the term. Aside from raw stupidity.

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Kosmic_Fool
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quote:
When did Darwin start meriting an "ism?"
Late 19th century, when Spencer, Sumner, etc. put the word 'Social' in front of it.

Wait, was that an actual question, or just an emotional vent? I'm so bad at telling the difference. [Smile]

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Ivan
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I think that ID is being used by those who want religion taught in the classroom to have God back-doored in, but I don't think the theory itself is inherently "creationism in disguise".

In the end though, OSC's position is the same as mine: don't teach ID, but acknowledge the limitations of evolution.

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Wayward Son
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Just remember that ID is currently not a theory. At best it is a hypothesis, and probably more like a conjecture. The term "theory" in science is reserved for constructs with a great deal of supporting data, like evolution.
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javelin
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The thing I find most interesting about this thread is the complete lack of reading skills in some of the posters. [Smile]

The second most interesting thing is that many of these posters also seem to lack basic skills in logical rigour and debate. [Smile]

Why do I say that? There are several posts on this thread that say things that go as follows:

Mr. Card said this, but he's completely wrong because of a, b, and c.

Now, that's good. That's a great way to present an argument - and works well. Here's why it's failing, in many cases:

1. Mr. Card pretty much didn't say what is being asserted. No quotes are used, and for those who read the actual article, you have to wonder if the person writing the "counter-argument" did the same.

2. The counter arguments need to have something to do with the original argument. For example, if you say that Card said "no one who supports ID is a creationist." (which he didn't, but apparently some people here think he did), and then support that by showing that three of the people who support the ID movement are Christians, then you are missing the point. In order to make that connection, you need to show that all Christians are creationists, you probably need to define what you think a creationist is (since it wasn't defined and or used as a term in the original article), and then you need to show that these people are Christians, not just assert it.

Anyway, kinda hilarious, really. Keep practicing, and when you get it down, feel free to join us on the "General Comments" side.

[Wink] [Razz]

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Kent
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Great, now it appears I must stay on this side of the forum for the next 10 years.
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Bliss
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Javelin makes some good points, but, oddly enough, they apply to Card himself. OSC maligns Darwinism and its proponents without including a single quote.

He uses strawman tactics throughout the article. Consider:

quote:
But the normal answer of the Darwinists is also a leap of faith. In effect, their arguments boil down to this: We have no idea right now how these complex systems came to be, but we have fervent, absolute faith that when we do figure it out, it will be found to have a completely mechanical, natural cause that requires no "intelligent designer" at all.
Who says that scientists have no idea how complex systems came to be (besides Behe, who admitted in the Dover trial that he hasn't bothered reading a lot of the literature that describes plausible evolutionary paths for many complex systems)? Also, OSC is confusing methodological naturalism with metaphysical naturalism.

I would be pretty easy to pick apart the article paragraph-by-paragraph, but suffice it to say that OSC is very poorly informed on the subject.

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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Kent:
Great, now it appears I must stay on this side of the forum for the next 10 years.

[Big Grin]

I'm hardly one to issue commandments - and I'd hardly expect to be obeyed if I did - especially byt the board's favorite Loki!

[ January 20, 2006, 01:42 PM: Message edited by: javelin ]

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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Bliss:
Javelin makes some good points, but, oddly enough, they apply to Card himself. OSC maligns Darwinism and its proponents without including a single quote.

He uses strawman tactics throughout the article. Consider:

quote:
But the normal answer of the Darwinists is also a leap of faith. In effect, their arguments boil down to this: We have no idea right now how these complex systems came to be, but we have fervent, absolute faith that when we do figure it out, it will be found to have a completely mechanical, natural cause that requires no "intelligent designer" at all.
Who says that scientists have no idea how complex systems came to be (besides Behe, who admitted in the Dover trial that he hasn't bothered reading a lot of the literature that describes plausible evolutionary paths for many complex systems)? Also, OSC is confusing methodological naturalism with metaphysical naturalism.

I would be pretty easy to pick apart the article paragraph-by-paragraph, but suffice it to say that OSC is very poorly informed on the subject.

How about you try? Your little example is wrong.

Here's why:

Card isn't saying that no complex systems are understood. Wow, that ends your entire argument. I'll stop there. If you like, and can somehow disprove my statement, I'll be glad to enumerate the other reasons why your statement is incorrect.

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Bliss
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Javelin, I confess that I don't understand your post. According to Card, scientists are saying that they have no idea how these complex systems came to be. My question is: Which scientists are saying that?
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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Bliss:
Javelin, I confess that I don't understand your post. According to Card, scientists are saying that they have no idea how these complex systems came to be. My question is: Which scientists are saying that?

Ah. I see - so you'd need to ask Card that, right? Or you'd have to prove that there are no complex systems that any scientist will look at and say they "have no idea how that came to be".

And since Card isn't going to come here and document those things (I believe he feels Behe has) - it'd kind of sit on your lap to prove it, in order to support the assertions you made about Card, his argument, and his level of knowledge.

Does that make more sense?

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