Home » Education, Intelligent Design, Science » New Kansas Science Standards Redefine “Science”

New Kansas Science Standards Redefine “Science”

Go here and you’ll be able to download a “Comparison Document” that shows how the new Kansas Science Standards deviate from the old. The change that particularly struck me was the following:

Old characterization of science: “scientific knowledge describes and explains the natural world.”

New characterization of science: “scientific knowledge describes and explains the physical world in terms of matter, energy, and forces.”

Besides defining intelligent design out of existence, this new definition defines what have traditionally been regarded as distinctly human traits, such as free will and consciousness, which science studies, also out of existence.

It’s all to the good that the scientific materialists have introduced this ideologically charged definition of science, perhaps not for the Kansas students who have this mischaracterization of science foisted on them, but for the broader purpose of hashing out just what is the nature of science and whether it should be defined reductionistically and materialistically.

Questions:

  • What is matter?
  • What is energy?
  • What are forces?
  • Why should we think these are adequate for scientific inquiry?

Materialistic answers to these questions are insupportable in the wider public square. Indeed, try to justify the “inalienable rights” ascribed in the Declaration of Independence not in terms of a creator but in terms of “material forces.” It doesn’t work.

As one colleague pointed out, like the Fugitive Slave Act, policies and laws like this point up the bad faith of those who implement them. The scientific materialists are overreaching themselves and setting themselves up for a fall.

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

106 Responses to New Kansas Science Standards Redefine “Science”

  1. [...] Kansas standards on science Old characterization of science: “scientific knowledge describes and explains the natural world.” [...]

  2. I don’t see what the problem with the definition it. It is an explictly anti-realist (instrumentalist) definition of science. So science doesn’t actually tell us anything about how the world actually is, or does so only incidentally. Thats fine, though I doubt this is what is intended. As long as they are made to properly understand what they are really saying by these sorts of claims, I don’t really see the problem.

  3. Isn’t intelligence a “force?” I think so. Maybe they are shooting themselves in the foot here.

  4. “As one colleague pointed out, like the Fugitive Slave Act, policies and laws like this point up the bad faith of those who implement them. The scientific materialists are overreaching themselves and setting themselves up for a fall”

    Sure its bad faith to word it like that, but hey, as long as they are forced to swallow the poisoned pill they’ve created, whats the harm ? In the long run this can only be good for teaching kids about the important and valuable topics in the Philosophy of Science.

  5. Maybe this would be OK, as long as every text book has this definition clearly stated in the front. And all blindwatchmaker propaganda materials have the disclaimer “intelligence is not considered a force under this definition of science. Therefore, any research regarding intelligent design within biosystems is to be considered non-scientific by definition. The reason for this definition is an a priori commitment to materialism by the writers”. Etc. etc.

    I’m game for anything, as long as the intent and underlying assumptions are clearly stated.

  6. Moreover, if the citizens of Kansas were smart, they would damand from their legislators that a philosophy of science class be attended by all students and teachers before any science is taught.

    Let’s just get the cards out in the open in plain view already. If the kids (and parents) learnt the philosophy behind it, there would be a revolution overnight.

    If you want to make the rats scatter, turn on the damn light.

  7. I assume that the origin of matter, energy, and forces is still open to scientific inquiry…

  8. Couldn’t intelligence be a force anyway?

  9. “I assume that the origin of matter, energy, and forces is still open to scientific inquiry…”

    I guess not in Kansas

  10. “Moreover, if the citizens of Kansas were smart, they would damand from their legislators that a philosophy of science class be attended by all students and teachers before any science is taught.”

    Now that would be a great idea. Although the syllabus would just spark another fight, with one side trying desperately to either end the course or have it taught in a way that doesn’t give the game away for them, and us. ;)

    But still a great idea, as well as a history of science course, again, provided it was taught properly. Unfortunately getting it taught properly is unlikely.

    May the DI or some other group should get together and offer to run such classes in conjunction with groups like the NCSE ? After all isn’t the NCSE about “science education”. Surely teaching a properly balanced view of the philosophy and history of science is valuable in that context.

  11. What is matter?
    What is energy?
    What are forces?

    All of these consist entirely of relationships. Relationships are not things, they are information. And what is information? I would say that information is intelligence.

    So there you are — the new Kansas definition of science is promoting Intelligent Design!

  12. Hi Bill.

    As a member of the committee who wrote the new standards, I’d like to respond to some of what you say.

    You write,

    New characterization of science: “scientific knowledge describes and explains the physical world in terms of matter, energy, and forces.”

    Besides defining intelligent design out of existence, this new definition defines what have traditionally been regarded as distinctly human traits, such as free will and consciousness, which science studies, also out of existence.

    The Kansas science standards state the “science is the human activity of seeking natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us.” Nowhere in the standards does it say that science is the only way to seek explanations, or that “what we observe around us” is the only type of thing that can be studied. Science is a limited enterprise, and the Kansas Science Standards acknowledge this.

    The Kansas science standards say nothing about free will or consciousness because there are no well-established scientific explanations of these things – the standards are a summary of core consensual scientific knowledge that all students should learn, and there is no such knowledge about consciousness and free will. This, however, certainly does not mean that the standards define those concepts “out of existence.” The standards do not mention a whole raft of concepts important to human beings: love, justice, aesthetics and so on – but that doesn’t mean that science denies their existence.

    In fact, there is an indicator in the standards that I wrote that says,

    5. [The student] understands there are many issues which involve morals, ethics, values or spiritual beliefs that go beyond what science can explain, but for which solid scientific literacy is useful.

    Science is not everything. Questions about free will, consciousness, the source of the nature of the universe, etc. are very important issues, but they extend beyond the scope of what science can study (although as the sentence above states, “solid scientific literacy” is useful.)

  13. Hi Jack,

    Thanks for the clarification. Are you bothered by the intrinsically anti-realist (instrmentalist) take on science that this definition implies ?

    Have you considered adding a philosophy and history of science course to the syllabus ? I know that is an enormous ask and probably not practical, but it seems worth at least asking the question. My wife is a high school chemistry teacher, so do have some idea of the potential difficulty of what I suggest.

  14. Jack wrote:
    “Science is not everything. Questions about free will, consciousness, the source of the nature of the universe, etc. are very important issues, but they extend beyond the scope of what science can study”

    I’m just wondering if you have (or plan to) stated as such in the new science standards? Thanks.

  15. “scientific knowledge describes and explains the physical world in terms of matter, energy, and forces.”

    That’s not even correct in terms of modern physics! Information is a fundamental quantity in quantum physics. This is just plain wrong. It wreaks of antiquated Darwinist ideology, not real science.

    The physical world cannot be explained by merely matter, energy, and forces, because these are themselves are subject questions of their origin, therefore it is a self-contradictory statement. For example, some suggest the origin of the universe was the result of a quantum fluctionation. If you’re going to teach the Big Bang and theories of its cause, it cannot even be explained in terms SOLEY limited to matter, energy, and forces.

  16. Thanks, Jack, for taking time to share your thoughts and intent behind the standards. I think you have some thoughts that are worth considering in depth.

    I think it is also worthwhile for us to consider whether the requirement of seeking “natural” explanations is out of step with much of the country (at least as other states’ definitions existed a year and a half ago). See:

    http://www.discovery.org/scrip.....38;id=2573

    Just out of curiosity, would you view archaeology, forensic science and SETI as unscientific, under the Kansas wording?

  17. Jack Krebs,
    If science tries to expalin the origin of life using the standards of matter/enrgy/forces that the committee you were a part of came up with…then..

    Don’t you see how these standards automatically rule out any explanations for the diveristy and origin of life that may very well be fact. And anyone setting out to expalin life with the limited tool box you provide will be very possibly wasting their life pursuing something that can nto be explained with box of stuff – matter/energy/forces.

    Would intelligence be allowed to be a force? If life is reduced to the mateiral world.. then intelligence is materially derived exactly as natural selection is material derived. You can not point to any metric device to measure th enatrual selective “force”.. anymore than you can intelligence.

    Anyway. Thoughts?

    JGuy

  18. Jason asks,

    Have you considered adding a philosophy and history of science course to the syllabus ? I know that is an enormous ask and probably not practical, but it seems worth at least asking the question. My wife is a high school chemistry teacher, so do have some idea of the potential difficulty of what I suggest.

    Your wife is probably right on this one. :)

    Very few schools (maybe big schools in affluent, well-educated districts) would have room in the curriculum or enough capable students to have a complete course like this. Very few high schools even have a general philosophy course. This is really a topic for the college level.

    The Kansas state school Board did briefly discuss the idea of comparative religion standards, but both practical and political problems were immediately evident and so the discussion quickly died.

    There are strands of the philosophy and history of science in some advanced science class, but there is so much content to teach that such are going to be fairly limited and conventional. I do some of this kind of thing in the upper level math courses I teach – the kids are interested, but very unsophisticated.

    So, I repeat, we’re really talking college level content here.

    Jason also asks,

    Are you bothered by the intrinsically anti-realist (instrumentalist) take on science that this definition implies?

    No. Science pragmatically takes a certain view of the world because that is what is accessible to us through the processes and principles that have been developed as part of science over the centuries. Other ways of looking at the world involve beliefs that are not subject to the same kind of consensus-building that science provides.

    Does that mean they are wrong, or meaningless? No. That’s just means we need to build our understanding of these things in different ways than what is provided by science. I am all for people discussing things such as free will, consciousness, mind, God, perfect Platonic circles, love, justice, ethics, etc. – these are critical topics about being a human being. I just don’t expect science to be able to be the exclusive means by which I, or anyone else, comes to conclusions about them.

    Science isn’t everything. That seems simple to me.

  19. Science isn’t everything. That seems simple to me.

    That wasn’t the point, the defintion you’ve been advocating definition is wrong even by standards of modern science.

    The study of biological information transcends questions of matter and energy. I also pointed out above, modern quantum physics is framed in terms of information.

    Even a modern peer-reviewed paper by Trevors and Abel point out biological information in the primordial organism is not reducible to matter, energy, and forces. Thus we have aspects of the physical world not resolvable to matter, energy, and forces. The defnitions you’ve been so admiring are bad science even by the standards of science.

  20. scientific knowledge describes and explains the physical world in terms of matter, energy, and forces.”

    So the physical world can be explained in terms of “matter, energy and forcees”? OK, so explain where these matter, energy and forces come from. Should be no prob for science according to the definition.

  21. Thanks for the reply Jack.

    “I just don’t expect science to be able to be the exclusive means by which I, or anyone else, comes to conclusions about them.”

    Fair enough, I agree with you. However as the definition currently stands an awful lot of things are outside the reach of science. Any questions of origins certianly is, any questions of the nature of mind, the nature of man, SETI, etc. Worse yet, everything within the reach of science is purely instrumental in nature.

    If you want to unequivocally declare such things to be the nature of science that is fine, but if you are doing that, then I think you would do well to explictly put this in the standard, or else you leave yourself open to exactly the charge Bill leveled at you. After all, given the behavior of others in the past over these sorts of questions, not to mention Eugenie Scott’s recent mendacity over her position on Methodological Naturalism, such conclusions are not exactly unreasonable to infer from a statement such as the one you have given above, and such a definition of science does work as a nice sort of “pre-indoctrination into atheism” , if presented with an assertion about sciences ability to understand the natural world, as some are want to claim.

    So I don’t have a problem with the definition as such, provided it is made clear what it actually means and this isn’t left as an unspoken assumption. True, I am not from Kansas, or even from the US (Australia actually), so it wont make any direct difference to me what you actually choose to do, but I think you’ll save yourself an awful lot of trouble and difficulty by being clear at the outset.

  22. Lots of interesting comments. I’d like to keep my responses focused on the opening post, and on my general proposition that the Kansas science standards do not define “out of existence” such things as free will and consciousness, but rather properly delimit the things of things science can do and the kind of things it can’t.

    Eric Anderson writes,

    I think it is also worthwhile for us to consider whether the requirement of seeking “natural” explanations is out of step with much of the country (at least as other states’ definitions existed a year and a half ago).

    I am aware of the study on the DI’s website. Kansas has fought the science standards battle twice in the last eight years, and both times the nature of science has been an issue. We in Kansas are acutely aware of the issue in ways that other states perhaps have not been when they wrote their standards.

    I’m fairly certain that in those other 40 states those that wrote their standards and the larger body of scientists and science educators in their states would agree with the intent of our definition, because I think there is no doubt that around the world, in practice, science seeks natural explanations.

    Also, there is a great deal more about the nature of science in our standards: based on empirical observations, reliant on testable hypotheses, subject to logical consistency, open to further refinement or invalidation, and so on. I really don’t think that in practice our definition differs from those other states.

    Writing short concise definitions of science is not easy, and, I repeat, those states which have not faced challenges about the nature of science have not had the need Kansas has had to be very explicit.

    Please also remember that these are K-12 public education standards, not college level philosophy of science standards. There are complexities and sophisticated issues in the philosophy of science that are beyond the scope of a few paragraphs about core knowledge for L-12 education.

    Eric also writes,

    Just out of curiosity, would you view archaeology, forensic science and SETI as unscientific, under the Kansas wording?

    No, although none of those three actual arise in the science standards: SETI is definitely not a core topic, forensic science is a specialty application not taught in high school, and archaeology would fall in the social studies curriculum under the topic of ancient and prehistoric cultures.

    But in all three cases one is looking for material causes – people or some type of physical alien being. I know this answer brings up all sorts of issues, but nonetheless the causes being sought in those three cases all do have a material existence.

    Next, tribune7 writes (and scordova adds a similar question),

    So the physical world can be explained in terms of “matter, energy and forcees”? OK, so explain where these matter, energy and forces come from. Should be no prob for science according to the definition.

    No, this is not the case. Science takes the physical world as it is and explores how they various aspects relate to each other. Why the world is as it is is a different question – one that is beyond science itself.

    This is my personal opinion. The Kansas science standards have nothing to say about this topic. There is certainly no well-established consensus on this subject, so on that ground alone it would not be included in the standards. And, as I just explained, in my opinion there won’t ever be a scientific explanation for why the world is as it is because no matter how much we learn, there will always be a boundary at which a final “but why is it like that” will still be unanswered.

  23. While I was composing the last post, Jason replied, so here is more in response:

    Jason writes,

    Fair enough, I agree with you. However as the definition currently stands an awful lot of things are outside the reach of science. Any questions of origins certianly is, any questions of the nature of mind, the nature of man, SETI, etc.

    I’m don’t agree with all your examples.

    “Any questions of origins”? What do you mean? The origin of lead molecules is not outside the scope of science – they were forged in stars. The origin of the different species is covered by the theory of evolution. The origin of the universe – well that’s right on the booundary of science.

    Nature of mind? Possibly. We are certainly finding lots of correlations between materials states of the brain and aspects of conscious experience, but there may still be aspects of mind that fall outside science.

    Nature of man? Same answer. For instance, the Pope’s Encyclical of 1996 made a clear distinction between the material body and the immaterial soul: there is certainly a material aspect to the nature of man, but there may be an immaterial aspect also whose study falls outside science.

    SETI: seems like that is a search for a material cause (other beings in the universe), unless one things that immaterial beings might be sending us signals.

    Next:

    Worse yet, everything within the reach of science is purely instrumental in nature

    But why is this a problem? I, and many others, acknowledge that there are other kinds of things to know about and other aspects of being a human than are covered by science. Science derives its power from its limitations. Science studies the passing of events, one to the next, that are adjacent, in some sense, in time and space. As such, it comes to insrumental conclusions about temporal chains of cause-and-effect. This works within the scope of the conclusions science is trying to reach. If one doesn’t expect more from it than it can produce, and appreciates it for what it is, then I don’t see a problem.

    And last,

    … such a definition of science does work as a nice sort of “pre-indoctrination into atheism” , if presented with an assertion about sciences ability to understand the natural world, as some are want to claim.

    This will take us way off-topic, and the last time I visited this site we got into a long discussion about this. My position, and the position of many, is that there are quite orthodox Christian perspectives that accept the definition of science as stated in the Kansas science standards. I reject strongly the idea that science as so defined is a “pre-indoctrination into atheism,”

  24. Jack,

    Ask the average person what is most important in life and you will get answers like: love, a sense of ultimate purpose, meaningful and rewarding work, family, making a contribution, caring for others, fulfilling personal relationships, etc.

    These are things that materialistic science can’t address even in principle. So what does that tell us?

    Just be honest: Darwinism and the hypothesis of the origin of all of life through stochastic processes and natural selection is a 19th century myth — completely at odds with the evidence and simple mathematical reasoning — designed to explain away in materialistic terms everything that ultimately matters.

    Children are not stupid, and they pick up immediately on the implications of Darwinian theory. This is why parents who think that their children are more than glorified chemistry are angered by the indoctrination their children receive in the public schools, and the fact that even the scientific problems with Darwinian theory are excluded from discussion by coercion and legal mandate.

  25. Saying science is limited to the study if matter, energy, and forces, is like saying Art is limited to painting, sculpture, and music. Science is not limited to matter, energy, and forces no more then Art is limited to the above. How about cognitive science? Is thought made up of matter, energy, or forces? Is the study of the mind therefore not a science? What is “natural”? Is the work of anthropologists who seek to learn from the cultural world not science because it deals with concepts rather then physical things? It seems rather obvious that the definition that Kansas is using is nothing more then a tool to discredit non materialistic science research as being not-science. The real tools are those who think they can fool everyone into believing their phony and lame excuses to the contrary. Why not invent a new word for your phony lame ploy? How about Sciencespeak?

    I’m stickin to the actual meaning of the word.

  26. Gil writes,

    Ask the average person what is most important in life and you will get answers like: love, a sense of ultimate purpose, meaningful and rewarding work, family, making a contribution, caring for others, fulfilling personal relationships, etc.

    These are things that materialistic science can’t address even in principle.

    I agree. I’ve been saying that, I think.

    Gil continues,

    So what does that tell us? Just be honest: Darwinism and the hypothesis of the origin of all of life through stochastic processes and natural selection is a 19th century myth …

    I disagree. Furthermore, this strikes me as a non sequiter in respect to your first point. The importance of all those things you mention above is not reduced just because we have a material body. Science studies the material world. Religion, philosophy, art, the humanities, the family and so on are where we study all those other things. They are not in opposition to each other.

  27. 27

    “scientific knowledge describes and explains the physical world in terms of matter, energy, and forces.”

    This just seems so 19th-century. Having worked in the computer field for the past 20 years I am especially aware that the “Information Revolution” has probably had more of an effect on our daily lives than any other scientific advance of the last 50 years. It is my impression that even in biology, the relevance of information science is increasing exponentially. I suspect that within 10 years (if not already), trying to understand the workings of the cell only in terms of “matter, energy, and forces” will make as much sense as trying to understand Linux, Windows, or Mac OS only in terms of “matter, energy, and forces”.

  28. “Nature of mind? Possibly. We are certainly finding lots of correlations between materials states of the brain and aspects of conscious experience, but there may still be aspects of mind that fall outside science.” – Jack Krebs

    If there are aspects of mind that fall outside of science (as you define science), and if it turns out that a mind is responsible for the apparent design we observe in nature, then using your definition of science we will never detect that design! Your view of science seems to be a science stopper, or at at least a handicap to discovering the truth about the natural world.

  29. Science takes the physical world as it is and explores how they various aspects relate to each other.

    Jack, interesting points.

    Why wouldn’t it be fair to relate DNA to computer code and say it more closely resembles the planned/designed object than, say, a pattern of raindrops on a rock, and then conclude that DNA is designed.

  30. Jack K:
    “Any questions of origins”? What do you mean? The origin of lead molecules is not outside the scope of science – they were forged in stars. The origin of the different species is covered by the theory of evolution. The origin of the universe – well that’s right on the booundary of science.

    Under the new rules, can you scientifically demonstrate that the lead in my car’s battery was actually forged in a star?

    Would it be fair to say that the explanation of the origin of species with/by the theory of evolution, could in actuality be wrong, AND because of the limitations the committe imposed (ie. matter/energy/”forces”), that all scientific inquiry into life is stuck in a no win case to try to stretch one’s imagination into only those materialistic explanations. And hence, still in the case it is outside the committee limitations, that the student becoem scientist could very easily be wasting his/her life pursuing a venture of futility? All because of a materialist’s preferences?

    I persoanlly wouldn’t want to have a part in possibly misleading thousands of children into a life’s pursuit trapped in futility.

  31. Jack, you would have us believe that science is only about exterior surfaces and that we should all just sit down and shut up and listen to the experts tell us to go ahead and marry men to men and tell our kids that it doesn’t matter because the muslim religion is just as good as the one that we have here in america so don’t worry because there is no heaven anyway, unless you’re budhist or muslim, in which case there might be, but if you burn our flag, it makes you cool like all the scientists who claim that all we are is a temporary agglomeration of atoms held together with organic vegetables and defended by vegetarian hippies. You just don’t get it.

  32. Thanks for the reply Jack.

    “Any questions of origins”? What do you mean? The origin of lead molecules is not outside the scope of science – they were forged in stars. The origin of the different species is covered by the theory of evolution. The origin of the universe – well that’s right on the booundary of science.”

    I didn’t have in mind the origin of lead in nuclear fusion. But the origin of the universe cannot be explained in the terms of what you have put forward and besides in terms of the anti-realist approach to science you are endorsing, it is irrelevant and only useful in so far as it is predictivly useful, such speculations are useless for getting at anything like truth about the world.

    “Nature of mind? Possibly. We are certainly finding lots of correlations between materials states of the brain and aspects of conscious experience, but there may still be aspects of mind that fall outside science.”

    Again, beyond its predictive power, the anti-realism you are advocating doesn’t tell us anything very meaningful about the mind at all. The definition you have put forward cannot speak even in principle to the existence of something like a soul because there is no evidence either way that can be put forward based on this understanding of science. Yet I have my doubts that this would be made clear to the kids. Which is the concern.

    “Nature of man? Same answer. For instance, the Pope’s Encyclical of 1996 made a clear distinction between the material body and the immaterial soul: there is certainly a material aspect to the nature of man, but there may be an immaterial aspect also whose study falls outside science.”

    I was referring to the nature of man, as questions about his place in the universe and purpose in life. These are questions a scientific realist could get sciences input on, but your scientific anti-realism explictly rules such possibilites out because science is not aimed at telling us about the real world based on your defintion.

    As to evolution, if science is the anti-realist enterprise you are suggesting then questions of origins are outside sciences scope, if you are looking for real answers because science cannot provide such answers. The question is out of scope because you rule out all possibilities bar a small number by definition. So evolutionary theory may prove useful and make some predictive observations (although that would seem to be an open question) it does not actually tell us anything true about the origin and development of life because that is outside the scope of intrumentalist science.

    Obviously many people here are going to seriously doubt that the subject will be taught in this fashion even though your definition demands such be the case because of its inherent anti-realism.

    “Science derives its power from its limitations. Science studies the passing of events, one to the next, that are adjacent, in some sense, in time and space. As such, it comes to insrumental conclusions about temporal chains of cause-and-effect.”

    This is where teaching the kids a little philosophy of science and the intrinsic problems with inductive inferences like this would probably teach them far more than a few extra facts.

    “If one doesn’t expect more from it than it can produce, and appreciates it for what it is, then I don’t see a problem.”

    The problem is that there are lots of very motivated individuals that do not approach science in this way but want to make the sort of anti-realist claim you made and yet endorse some variety of scientific realism. You can see this sort of confusion is rampant at places like PT and Pharangya the “#1 Science blog” (even though they hardly talk about science at all).

    “This will take us way off-topic, and the last time I visited this site we got into a long discussion about this. My position, and the position of many, is that there are quite orthodox Christian perspectives that accept the definition of science as stated in the Kansas science standards. I reject strongly the idea that science as so defined is a “pre-indoctrination into atheism,” ”

    That isn’t what I said though. I agree your scientific anti-realist approach is a perfectly legitimate approach to science, just as an anti-scientific anti-realist approach (Like Kuhn’s) or a scientific realist approach would be perfectly legitimate.

    When it turns into “pre-indoctrination in atheism” is when you scientific anti-realism, with its artifical restriction on answers and disregard for the actual reality of thing, preferring instead the simple instrumental use and predictive power to a search for “the way reality really is”, is put forward but then a sleight of hand is done and this presented as a scientific realist approach to nature, where science is supposed to be working out the way nature really is. When this is done you have definitely crossed the line into what could quite rightly be “pre-atheist indoctrination”. If you are concerned about this getting our of hand here, but wish to continue the discussion in private you are welcome to send me an email. [email protected]

    Thanks again for the thoughtful reply.

  33. “Your view of science seems to be a science stopper, or at at least a handicap to discovering the truth about the natural world.”

    His view of science isn’t aimed at discovering the truth of the natural world. There are whole schools of the philosophy of science in which “the truth about the natural world” is quite explictly not the aim of the exercise, instead the aim is to figure out “what works” and “what is predictive and useful”.

    This is fine BTW, the only problem is if someone puts forward this definition of science but then tries to pretend they are doing science in a way that seeks to understand how the world really is. Then the definition is insufficent.

  34. “Under the new rules, can you scientifically demonstrate that the lead in my car’s battery was actually forged in a star?”

    No, and his approach doesn’t try to. Scientific Anti-realism isn’t aimed at working out what actually happened. It aims at usefulness not truth.

    I agree with you that there is a concern of teaching kids a limited definition that causes them to look for causes that might not exist. Which is why I would strongly advocate making it clear to kids the anti-realist nature of this approach to science and its strengths and weaknesses. Teaching the kids some basic philosophy of science, different approachs to science, the demarcation problem, Kuhn’s ideas on paradigms, the problem with induction, Poppers falsificationism, the problems with logical positivism, etc, would probably teach them a lot more about how science works and what are its strenghts etc, then any collection of facts. I don’t think it needs to be so hard and complicated that the kids couldn’t follow it either. The ideas themselves are pretty straightforward and unless american kids are significantly dumber than there australia counterparts, I think they would probably benifit from it. Also teaching the kids some history of science would be good as well, to give them a proper perspecitve.

    I realise such suggestions are an enormous ask because you need to find somewhere to fit all of this in, but perhaps the problem is the overall approach to science education, and maybe public education, in the first place.

  35. “scientific knowledge describes and explains the physical world in terms of matter, energy, and forces”.

    Ok. Than we have no scientific knowledge if someone use termes of time and space.

    We don’t know what space really mean and what exactly time really is. No problem, according to the new definition it is not important for real scientific knowledge.

    Further more we didn’t have scientific knowledge if we use the term “information”. That makes the structure of the DNA simplier for naturalistic “scientists”…

  36. scientific knowledge describes and explains the physical world in terms of matter, energy, and forces

    That’s physics. One particular branch of science. Like duh.

  37. “His view of science isn’t aimed at discovering the truth of the natural world. There are whole schools of the philosophy of science in which ‘the truth about the natural world’ is quite explictly not the aim of the exercise, instead the aim is to figure out ‘what works’ and ‘what is predictive and useful’. – Jason Rennie

    No student is ever going to know this. Students think their teachers are explaining reality to them. That’s why some religious students have “epiphanies” when they “realize” that science debunks what they thought was real and true.

    This is fine BTW, the only problem is if someone puts forward this definition of science but then tries to pretend they are doing science in a way that seeks to understand how the world really is. Then the definition is insufficent.”

  38. Saying that matter, energy, and forces are the only means by which we can explain the origin of matter, energy, and forces is like standing in a bushel basket and trying to lift yourself ten feet into the air.

    These demarcationist attempts to weed design out of the discussion are invariably problematic and self-defeating. Science is the investigation of the world around us. Period. We might presume that such a world is purely material, but presuming that our explantions must therefore be material as well is to get the cart before the horse. It is to let our presumtions drive our data rather than allow the data to drive our conclusions.

    Truly free scientific inquiry goes where it goes. If it goes to materialist explanation, then fine. But if it goes towards design, even if it goes to the feet of the Almighty, that is no less a reasonable scientific interpretation of the data.

    Further, the only reason we even try to herd scientific inquiry down this materialist path is out of some misguided (and wholly misunderstood) notion that allowing design inferences somehow violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. It does nothing of the kind. A design inference MIGHT suggest a religious implication, but that is a far cry from the establishment of any religion.

  39. People like Jack couldn’t fuel the homeschool/private school movement any faster if they were consciously trying to do so. The faster government schools are neutralized by competition, the better.

  40. Jack Krebs:
    Why the world is as it is is a different question – one that is beyond science itself.

    “Argue for your limitations, and you are right, they are yours.” Richard Bach in “Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah”.

    Perhaps Jack should read “The Privileged Planet”. Through scientific investigation the authors were able to determine a purpose to the universe.

    Jack Krebs:
    The origin of the different species is covered by the theory of evolution.

    Covered by but not scientifically explained by. IOW the theory of evolution canNOT scientifically explain the physiological and anatomical differences observed between chimps and humans.

    So I trust that premise will no longer be discussed in a Kansas science classroom.

  41. Wow, after reading the long lists of posts I am amazed at how unrealistic some are being in what should be taught to children. Jack is right on his numerous responses that many of the topics that people have brought up belong in a college’s course. Some are not paying attention of the scope of the guidelines, the guidelines do not define college standards for science. Truly how many students in the secondary school system go to defining the relationship between objects beyond what the standards are listing in a high school science class? Most have a difficult time understanding chemistry and physics let alone biology. Most of you fail to understand that the unit that normally is coved by evolution in most of the US high school biology classes is only a day or two at most. It seems to me that the little impact that it would make on defining a person’s position in universe is a bit overstated. For those who would say why not teach ID as well, well provide the evidence and the research. What I do not understand is why a philosophy that is still immature would feel the need to be inserted into a curriculum. This is why so many scientists link ID with a religious agenda, the method for educating the public is go after those with more impressionable minds without substantial evidence to support the philosophy. Superstring theory is an example of a ground breaking hypothesis that has had much press and a few papers but is still being challenged in the physics world today. Superstring theory started being developed in the 70’s! Why would something like ID that came out at the earliest in the late 80’s would feel the need to be placed into the class room before something like Superstring theory (which has more scientific reviewed papers and published works than ID)? You see the difference?

    As for time and space, space is the lack of matter and time would fit the definition of a force. If you can not see that then open your eyes. The standards do fit for teaching science to children up to the college level. The basic high school physics class, one not college linked, does not even cover anti matter nor does any astronomy class for that matter taught in a high school. The terms defined by the board fit the scope of the high school student’s science exposure.

    To clarify something else that was posted, science does not try to figure out man’s place in the universe and purpose in life, which is for philosophy or religion to do. Science tries to explain, using a natural toolset, how things are the way they are not why. To apply direction to science outside of natural laws would be considered engineering, not science. Science does not make things, engineers do. As Jack pointed out the standards do not limit the scope of other fields such as the humanities. The standards just define the scope of science in the secondary school system of Kansas.

    Jack the standards that are in place in Kansas are almost as good as you can get without applying to much that would over whelm the children and dilute the effectiveness of what is being taught. People you have to build a basic foundation and quite honestly, the evolution of life is too large of a topic to truly discuss in a high school science class room anyway.

    To those of you, who would feel slighted because evolution would be touched upon but not ID, well consider this: evolution taught in the high school classroom is barley enough to understand the theory beyond the basics of natural selection. If there is evidence of design that can be proven within the toolsets outlined in the science standards then feel free to present them. Until then ID is a philosophy and not science. For what it is worth it amazes me why ID is going after high school children instead of trying to do research at a university level.

    Doug, please understand that most of your post is based on the view points of one religion and that science is not a tool for one or any religion, it is secular by nature of its purpose, to uncover facts. Science does not make claim as why it would be wrong or right for homosexual relationships, just how it can happen, the same with religious claims. For science to truly present facts in an unadulterated way it has to remain secular.

  42. to Bill Dembski,

    You may want to reconsider your position in light of what Max Planck told us.

    New characterization of science: “scientific knowledge describes and explains the physical world in terms of matter, energy, and forces.”

    Besides defining intelligent design out of existence,…- Bill in the OP

    “All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration and holds this minute solar system of the atom together . . . . We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind.”–Max Planck during his Nobel Prize acceptance speech. IOW that is what his scientific research led him to.

    I am sure that Jack wouldn’t mind adding Planck’s quote to the standards or at least making sure the students are aware of it.

  43. Joseph, TOE can scientifically explain the physiological and anatomical differences observed between chimps and humans. As we discover more and more it becomes more and more evident. Those links that are closest together are the easiest to explain. Perhaps it might be better for you to ask for TOE to explain the physiological and anatomical differences between a human and a cockroach. It can still explain that to some degree, but considering that very little if any research had been done through that many links it would be hard to make an plausible explanation, but not impossible. And please save the link to whyevolution.com. The site misrepresents work from credible scientists and also goes beyond the scope of science in the first place, not to mention much of its information is outdated.

  44. Joseph, please consider the fact that Max Planck was a very religous man. Planck’s quote is an assumption and not stated as fact. big difference.

  45. “”scientific knowledge describes and explains the physical world in terms of matter, energy, and forces.”"

    “That’s physics. One particular branch of science. Like duh.”

    Right on, Dave. Science is much more encompassing than a collection of physical laws. That is why materialists so often try to simplify origins by attribuiting life solely to Evolution, and then attaching an attribution of conciseness by comparing it with the ‘Law of Gravity’, an absurd comparison.

    The underlying intellegence of design may not be assessable in depth by science, but it is wrong to deny that it exists, and to foist that view on the impressionable (K-12). Although it may not be testable empirically, it needs to remain an open question, particularly to young minds.

    The word ‘design’ has become not just a non sequitur in science classrooms, but a profanity. Mention the term sans the word ‘apparent’ in front of it will get you in trouble. Instead of having a world view as it has in the past, science is becoming myopic by limiting itself an in vitro viewpoint of ‘only what I can formulate or test on the bench’.

    The design inference remains an open question, but a viable and necessary one. By sumarily stating life to be ‘physics only’ is as shallow as viewing a painting (art) as a collecion of oils, pigments and canvas (physics).

  46. New characterization of science: “scientific knowledge describes and explains the physical world in terms of matter, energy, and forces.”

    I’d have no problem with this as long as it’s made readily apparent that “matter, energy, and forces” aren’t static. As in, as categories they can be extended to include more subjects as scientific research continues. Meaning, that different types of “matter, energy, and forces” originated currently known “matter, energy, and forces”. After all, even if you presume the designer is some sort of god that entity has its own state of existence and its composed of something.

    One single question for Jack:

    Did you write this definition with the intention to exclude ID as science?

  47. I’d love to have time to respond at length, but let me answer this last question:

    “Did you write this definition with the intention to exclude ID as science?”

    No, this is the same definition that was in the 2000 standards, and it was written before the ID movement even started to be active in Kansas.

  48. yea, this is a re-re-define. The ID friendly school board took out the “natural” limits of scientific inquiry back in 2005, and the most recent school board reverted the definition to the pre-ID version.

    http://www.cnn.com/2005/EDUCAT.....debate.ap/

  49. I have to agree that the major problem with this new definition of science has a major missing piece – information.

    Information is neither matter nor energy, nor is it a force.

    So they have just defined science itself out of existence.

    In this new handicapped version of science, they have in fact excluded all knowledge since knowledge is information awareness.

    Smells badly of materialism (and stupidity) – again.

    A more common term for Equus asinus comes to mind.

  50. Jack Krebs:
    Commenter asked you:“Did you write this definition with the intention to exclude ID as science?”

    Jack Krebs response: “No, this is the same definition that was in the 2000 standards, and it was written before the ID movement even started to be active in Kansas.

    My question: Given it returned to what it was minus anything pro ID. Then, how can you honestly answer “No”?

  51. Tims:
    Joseph, please consider the fact that Max Planck was a very religous man.

    He was religious because the scientific data gave him the reason to be so.

    Tims:
    Planck’s quote is an assumption and not stated as fact.

    Nope. Planck’s quote was an inference gained after years of scientific research.

    Tims:
    Joseph, TOE can scientifically explain the physiological and anatomical differences observed between chimps and humans.

    Let’s see it then.

    Ya see Tims I know that no one knows why chimps have an opposable big toe and humans do not. And no one knows why humans can walk upright and chimps cannot- that is no one knows what mutations or even if culled mutations can account for such things. And that doesn’t even scratch the surface.

    Tims:
    As we discover more and more it becomes more and more evident.

    Reality demonstrates the more we know the wider the gap becomes.

    BTW I never heard of whyevolution.com. But I do know that not one evolutionist can substantiate the claim of Common Descent.

  52. 52

    I agree with Jason Rennie for the most part.

    The new definition of science is one possible way to see it, but this new definition strips science of its history, richness, and epistemic fecundity by conflating science with materialism.

    One thing I notice is the use of the word “non-natural.” This word should be defined, since many of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time have been made through “non-natural” views. Is mathematics “non-natural”?

    Things like serendipity, dreams, accidents, and even absent-mindedness have produced great science. Kekule’s discovery of the structure of benzene is a supreme example, also Fleming’s penicillin. How does the new definition acknowledge these very important realities of scientific practice?

    If the pro-Darwin camp wants to define “science” by ignoring many of the greatest discoveries in the history of science, and simultaneously equivocate their view of science with epistemic nihilism, then by all means, let them have their cake and destroy their cake at the same time.

  53. One small point here during lunch:

    LeeBowman writes,

    By sumarily stating life to be ‘physics only’ is as shallow as viewing a painting (art) as a collecion of oils, pigments and canvas (physics).

    The standards do not say that life is “physics only.” The standards say that science studies the part that is “physic only.” Science does not study the “art” of being a human: values, morals, religious and philosophical beliefs are all subjects beyond the scope of science. Other disciplines study the art, and, as I have thoroughly agreed with Gil, the art of being human is generally the part that is most important to us as a human being.

    I need to know about the physical nature of my body so I can take care of myself, but the bigger question of what to do with my life and how to live it will not be – cannot be – addressed by any scientific study: I have to look elsewhere for that knowledge.

    So, I repeat: the Kansas science standards say what science is: the study of the physical world. They absolutely do not say that all knowledge can be found through science, or that everything that is important to people can be reduced to being the object of scientific study. They just don’t say that.

    This is a simple and clear distinction, I think.

  54. Joseph,

    Now I just caught you in a lie.

    “BTW I never heard of whyevolution.com.”

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/archives/1908
    20
    Joseph
    12/29/2006
    8:55 am

    To avocationist & JGuy,
    Chimps & Humans; explore the differences (weblink to http://www.whyevolution.com/chimps.html)
    That site makes claim for the opposable thumb on the feet of chimps and not of humans.

    Max Planck was brought up in a very religious home, look at his biography. He wrote papers on religion way before quantum theory. Try again.

    Some reality was presented today by CNN about the researchers below http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH.....index.html

  55. it looks like there are a bizillion different definitions of “natural” going on in this thread.

  56. Jack, if ID explains an aspect of the physical how can that be considered something unaddressable by science?

    Or, if ID calls into question an existing explanation for the physical in a way that that the status quo can’t answer how is that not science? Or would it indicate that the existing explanation was not science in the first place?

  57. Jack Krebs:
    I need to know about the physical nature of my body so I can take care of myself,

    But that can only be accomplished if one understands ones origins.

    IOW reality has demonstrated that it matters a great deal to our understanding whether or not that which is being investigated arose via intentional design or via nature, operating freely.

    Jack Krebs:
    So, I repeat: the Kansas science standards say what science is: the study of the physical world.

    ID is the study of the physical world:

    Intelligent Design is the study of patterns in nature
    that are best explained as the result of intelligence.
    –Wm Dembski

    So the bottom line is anyone who supports the Kansas science standards and opposes ID is basically employing a double-standard.

    Thanks Jack.

  58. Jack is spot on! Behe once said something to the effect that science is a rule-bounded game where we do our best to come up with naturalistic explanations for the things we can physically measure.

    He said it in the context of Sagan saying something of the effect that matter is all there is, was and will be.

    So, Sagan was saying there is nothing else but matter, and Behe was pointing out that there may be things that aren’t matter, but science only conerns itself with the things we can measure.

    He also said he did not use the term “game” as a derogatory term, but actually as a compliment to what science is trying to do. And, to indicate that it has its limitations, and living within those limitations is a good thing.

    I think all Jack is saying is that science attempts to explain the things we can measure. Therefore, it has a built in limitation of the things we can’t measure.

    Unfortunately, scientists have such a high view of themselves that they think like Sagan does – that is, if it falls out of the realm of science, it is worthless.

    I think we need to teach people to appreciate science for what it is, and recognize that other things in life are just as important as measurable science. It makes for better humans and better scientists :-)

  59. “No student is ever going to know this. Students think their teachers are explaining reality to them. That’s why some religious students have “epiphanies” when they “realize” that science debunks what they thought was real and true”

    You see why I think this approach to science needs to be made explicit and why kids should be taught some history and philosophy of science. Or at least take a lesson or two to explain what the implications of the anti-realist approach are.

    Unfortunately what you describe is why this is rightly described as preindoctrination into atheism. Sadly this is exactly the sort of confusion that needs to be avoided and which the standard as it is set out, without ensuring kids properly understand what is being said, is very likely to cause.

    I don’t think it is at all unrealistic to expect kids to follow basic philosophy of science and history of science, and frankly there is probably a really large amount of PC rubbish in the course that could be jettisoned to make room for teaching the kids something useful.

    I don’t see how introducing and failing to properly explain a potentially confusing definition of science does the kids any good at all. Unless the preindoctrination into atheism that is being denied, is what some people do have in mind after all.

    It concerns me that Jack, as someone putting the standard together, has such little faith in the kids.

  60. “I agree with Jason Rennie for the most part.”

    Thanks IB :D

    “If the pro-Darwin camp wants to define “science” by ignoring many of the greatest discoveries in the history of science, and simultaneously equivocate their view of science with epistemic nihilism, then by all means, let them have their cake and destroy their cake at the same time.”

    Exactly. If you want to slip this potentially poisoned pill into the standard then it is critical that, in the interests of good science education that is not simply preindoctrination into atheism, the kids understand exactly what is being said.

    Given Jack’s low regard it seems for the ability of students, how exactly does he expect them to figure this out for themselves ?

  61. Jack,

    Thanks for the response. I appreciate the fact that you participate in these forums.

    I’m interested most in your comment that “Science is not everything. Questions about free will, consciousness, the source of the nature of the universe, etc. are very important issues, but they extend beyond the scope of what science can study…”

    No disagreement from me. What I take issue with however, is the scientific establishment’s failure to enforce it’s own standards on it’s own spokespersons. Consider, for example, Miller and Levine, who say:
    “Darwin knew that accepting his theory required believing in philosophical materialism, the conviction that matter is the stuff of all existence and that all mental and spiritual phenomena are its by-products. Darwinian evolution was not only purposeless but also heartless–a process in which the rigors of nature ruthlessly eliminate the unfit. Suddenly, humanity was reduced to just one more species in a world that cared nothing for us. The great human mind was no more than a mass of evolving neurons. Worst of all, there was no divine plan to guide us.” (Biology: Discovering Life by Joseph S. Levine & Kenneth R. Miller (1st ed., D.C. Heath and Co., 1992), pg. 152; (2nd ed.. D.C. Heath and Co., 1994), p. 161)

    Of the many claims made, the most interesting is their belief that science has actually ruled out the existence of the divine.

    Quite a bit broader than the definition you have proposed. It also seems that Miller and Levine are drawing conclusions that relate to “free will, consciousness, the source of the nature of the universe, etc.”—indeed, their conclusions are theological in nature (note that they—not me—claim that science has something to say about a ‘divine plan’).

    So, here’s the challenge for you: seems to me you can either:
    1. Repudiate such non-scientific philosophizing when it comes from the likes of Miller, Levine, Sagan, Dawkins, Harris, Shermer, Coyne, Meyers, and many, many others,
    2. Broaden your definition to allow such philosophizing (and when doing so, keep the playing field level); or
    3. Admit that drawing these sorts of broad theological/philosophical conclusions in a science classroom or textbook is allowed—but only for those with the right ideological pedigree.

    Thanks again for posting. Looking forward to your reply,

    -sb

  62. Jack Krebs … you said:
    “The standards do not say that life is “physics only.” The standards say that science studies the part that is “physic only.” Science does not study the “art” of being a human: values, morals, religious and philosophical beliefs are all subjects beyond the scope of science.”

    Then by your criteria of science you must – in order to be consistent – reject computer science (information is non material), psychology (mind is non material), archaeology (design inferences are non material), information science (information is non material), quantum physics (intelligence of any observer is non material), anthropology (imaginary lineages are non material), and evolutionary biology (it REQUIRES imagination & fairy tales with zero basis in reality & therefore non material).

  63. Jack:
    Is the Big Bang theory part of science?

  64. Jason said,

    “Given Jack’s low regard it seems for the ability of students, how exactly does he expect them to figure this out for themselves?”

    Exactly!

    Talk about low expectations. This is the problem today with public education.

    Jack does not want theme to figure it out Jason and that is the problem. He wants to indoctrinate them.

    Jack Krebs, sorry, but your wrong.

    You expect to little of our schools and our children. This is indoctrination plain and simple.

    And it sets the bar extremely low for inquisitive and curious minds who demand more in class. Our kids get bored with this muck, lame drivel.

    I’m sick and tired of this garbage.

    Children up thru K-12 can and should be allowed to explore their thoughts on diverse issues of philosophy, materialism, religion, ID, etc. They should be encouraged to delve into these real life issues. It is unjust for schools to only address one side of these issues in science, philosophy and the underpinnings of the motives of scientist.

    By narrowly insisting our children be enlisted into your idea of limited education, you are darkening the minds of youth, not enlightening them.

    You refuse to address all the real issues because you have nothing to stand on. This is proven by your narrow definitions.

    You cannot explain information in DNA. The worlds greatest scientist cannot explain this, yet you would limit debate and discussion on these very issues that the real world debates and discusses every single day.

    Why is it children can only handle athiestic explanations and not reasonable discussions of possible Design, SETI, Panspermia, God?

    Darwin’s tree of life is falling as reported in PNAS. Major statements by Schwartz and many others are now stating the old Darwinian paradigms have failed to tell us anything, yet you will insist that they learn of historic fallacies taught on assumptions that are not held up in the real world of science today.

    And in fact are falling apart.

    You only neglect the education of our children, inhibit their liberties and keep them at remedial levels of discourse. They then are led into secular university systems that are slanted towards the same type of drivel.

    Due to such arrogance our nations public schools continue to suffer. Inhibiting debate on narrowly defined views weakens minds. So much for “liberal” ideology.

    Some of the worlds greatest scientist admit they are confounded by origins issues and life.

    NDE, RM&NS has failed. Dr. Alan MacNeil admitted it here on this forum. You yourself admitted that genetics does not require evolutionary dogma. Dr. Sanford is a wonderful example of a former evolutionist who was transformed by the evidence of genetics to the view of Design. Yet you would limit this view because why Jack?

    Because Design cannot be proven?

    Well, guess what, neither can origins and evolution on this earth solely be proven without input from other life forms off of this planet. Yet the textbooks will define evolution as being true.

    You insist upon misleading children and restraining debate instead of allowing science classes to be opened up to the larger debate now taking place. The internet overwhelms your soviet-style centralized dogma.

    The schools should definitely have open philosophical classes which include these issues. Our children can certainly handle introduction classes of philosophy if they can handle Physics!

    Geesh, what garbage! Low expectations… now, now children, you can only learn materialist dogma. Be good children, ignore reality around you.

    The scientific standards you set are not real world. They do not take into account Information of Biological Systems, DNA CODE, Self-organizing organisms and the true debates happening in science.

    Its a complete failure of reality and an injustice to our children, their parents tax dollars and this nation’s future.

    Are you aware of the Origins of Life Million Dollar Prize Jack?

    The Judges acknowledge both Dembski and Behe’s arguments in their qualifications for “determining” a materialist only origins.

    These are world leading scientist.

    Yet you would not allow this information into our classrooms? The debate? The open discussoin for young growing minds to be inspired by leading scientist around the world on issues of opposing sides?

    You cannot sharpen minds with dull, mind-numbing indoctrination. You sharpen minds by critical commentary on both sides and open, free debate.

    It is outrageous in our country of “Freedom” that this is not allowed to our students.

    We are teaching our students not to trust the Constitution, the pillars of a Free Society, and instead teaching our children that Soviet style indoctrination is better than freedom of ideas. If we cannot allow freedom of ideas in schools, then how can we allow it in our society?

    Doing this all while evolutions pillars are falling down.

    I think all students in high schools around the nation should challenge people like Jack Krebs, our “skilled” science teachers to take the Null Hypotheses challenge by Trevors and Abel!

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.g.....id=1208958

    “Three subsets of sequence complexity and their relevance to biopolymeric information”

    The day Jack Krebs and his supporters of materialist dogmatic science can successfully challenge these simple factors of FSC, then you can insist on materialism only in the classroom.

    But the truth is, our scientist cannot touch it. They cannot resolve it and they never will. Because it is open to infinite regression of life begets life. And that information and self-organization does not exist without intelligent design.

    Your standards mislead science students Jack.

    I’m sorry, but your insistance upon antiquated ideas is truly exasperating to the fast changing ways of our world during the information revolution.

    By cutting out all debate, you hold back great curiosity and stifle childrens minds. This is a fact. We don’t have private schools simply for money. We have them because the people who have made it in life realized how simple minded and limiting our public schools fail bright young minds.

  65. Actually there might be a pretty simple solution to the problems with the science standards and the lack of faith in the kids that Jack demonstrates. I guess homeschooling would be one option, but the other one is that the parents and churches in Kansas could host speakers and run seminars for their kids (perhaps as part of an advanced sunday school class ? I don’t know enough of the details) on the philosophy and history of science. Teach the whole thing fairly and honestly, look at both sides and so on. What have people to fear from a properly rounded education ?

  66. but the other one is that the parents and churches in Kansas could host speakers and run seminars for their kids (perhaps as part of an advanced sunday school class ? I don’t know enough of the details) on the philosophy and history of science.

    That’s a heck of an idea. One who understands that truth can be found and that there is a purpose to this world will much more likely be a better scientist than one who thinks all is relative and everything is by chance.

  67. Jack, thanks for your clarification.

    In response to my question as to whether you think archaeology, forensic science and SETI are scientific, you suggest that they are scientific, and state:

    “But in all three cases one is looking for material causes – people or some type of physical alien being. I know this answer brings up all sorts of issues, but nonetheless the causes being sought in those three cases all do have a material existence.”

    I understand that it is therefore your position that the search for and identification of designing intelligence in biology is a legitimate scientific undertaking (as long as one does not assume a priori an immaterial source).

    Let me know if I have not correctly stated your position.

  68. “That’s a heck of an idea. One who understands that truth can be found and that there is a purpose to this world will much more likely be a better scientist than one who thinks all is relative and everything is by chance.”

    Well that is part of it. It would just be worthwhile to explain to the kids the difference between scientific realism and scientific anti-realism (and of course anti-scientific anti-realism, like Kuhn’s) and how the standard is assuming anti-realism based on the claim that it makes. I don’t really think this is a particularly difficult concept, certianly I reckon teenagers could follow it easily enough.

  69. I want to expand on my thoughts in my above post.

    First, Jack, my apologies if I came off huffy, but it truly is making me frustrated to listen to this type of drivel for over 40 years now pouring into our schools.

    I grew up with these low expectations in public schools. Because I did not enjoy open discussions or critical debate on such issues, all my views were indoctrinated by the school.

    You are simply continuing this charade Jack and I mean that in the nicest way I know how to say it. It is a complete fabricated charade that students from at least 9th grade up cannot talk about these issues and in fact benefit from complex discourse. By limiting the discussion to your preconceived notions of what is real science Jack, you are forcing your ideas onto hundreds of thousands of students.

    The difference is today students have the internet and much larger alternative education than the limited vista of public schools.

    If I had attended church, I might have received some skeptical knowledge of critics regarding evolution. But I did not. Therefore I believed without question the indoctrinated stances of materialist science that are now failing today. By limiting criticism of evolution to churches Jack, you have slowed down science, not elevated it.

    And I say this comeing from an evolutionary belief and materialistic background. I have changed my mind now. But the truth is had I been allowed to hear critical commentary on Darwin’s Tree, RM&NS, etc., I would have been much better prepared for the truth.

    That scientist do not have a clue about the information within our genomes, about how life arrived on our planet, or indeed our universe.

    Now why is that so hard to admit in public schools?

    Your standards commit to indoctrination, not open enlightment of competing views on a subject that is rife with real world problems.

    In math, we know 2+2=4.

    But in Biology today, leading scientist cannot make up their minds on how we got here, how we “evolved” and how the very basic clues to life began.

    As evidence I offer the following OOL reflections as reported in Scientific American and recorded by CreationSafaris.com, as OOL on the Rocks:
    http://creationsafaris.com/cre.....#20070215a

    What you’ll find Jack is critical debate over past failed Miller and RNA world hypothesis.

    These are the same failed Miller-Urey experiments highly touted in my old school books as evidence for evolution Jack. What we know now is these experiments are completely bogus for evidence of evolution. Yet you would allow this evidence into scientific curriculum merely because it was “materialistic.”

    I find it amazing that our children can see this online, talk about it, see ID online and talk about it, but you will only allow the former to be discussed.

    Universities are developing large networkings of inter-disciplenary relationships among Computer Information Scientist, Chemistry, Biology, Phyicics, Math, Engineers of all kinds to break the CODE of Life, but you will refuse to acknowledge possible Design explanations by legitimate scientist critical of a materialist only philosopy. One that is now being reported as failing in major scientific publications.

    Our children are learning faster than you Jack. More information on the internet than you allow them in school. By artificially limiting debate on these topics, I put forth, that upwards to half of the students lose interest. Sure, they’ll do the work, pass the class. But they won’t believe the forced worldviews that you expect them to be slaves to.

    This is a form of mental slavery Jack.

    Why?

    Because you refuse to deal with reality in the scientific world today and the students bypass your antiquated worldview. Information is speeding past these type of centralized dogmatic standards.

    The reason our nation succeeds is due to open access of information and free, open discussion on new information. Yet you do not allow free flow of legitimate information in our schools.

    You would stifle all meaningful advancements and ideas in science because of some false standard that is now shown to fail multiple times in the last 150 years since Darwin.

    Please note that I am not a Creationist. But what is so extremely infuriating is that materialist are now edging closer and closer to Creationist views on many issues of critical commentary.

    Yet you would rule out these criticisms from the past from reflecting on progress and being important milestones that have in fact proven one internal dogma does not work and slowed progress.

    And I’d add to that wasted Millions of Dollars on speculative Darwin’s tree fallacy. It would have been just as worthy to spend millions on investigating a Creationist viewpoint of many kinds of biodiversity, or what materialist scientist are now calling “Pattern Pluralism.” Whatever you want to call it, Creationist scientific viewpoints without the inclusion of Biblical input are now closer to scientific standards than past Darwinian hypotheses.

    This is staggering news!

    If PNAS is now accepting scientific dissention of Darwin’s failed tree of life in favor of “Pattern Pluralism”, then its good enough for our schools. And in fairness, this is long what Creationist predicted as skeptics of Darwin.

    But based upon some “materialist” only principle would not allow these facts to be known in school? That Creationist predicted it?

    I’m curious to know your answer. Along with Piltdown man, Nebraska man, now the RNA world falling in OOL, Darwin’s Tree Faling, Schwartz recent lambasting of evolutionary history to explain even the simplest beginnings of modern organisms.

    I’m sorry Jack, but children are much, much smarter than this nowadays and to cut off and stiffle such debates has the unintended consequence of cutting off their bright minds.

    This is exactly what happend to me in public education. I was told that we were purposeless beings, here by accident and I was lied to about the information of assumptions in textbooks. Information that is now invalid, falsified, and dogmatically asserted as fact in the past.

    Why should I trust you Jack?

    This needs to stop and our children need to hear the truth.

    The worlds greatest minds don’t have a clue of how we got here, how information has arisen on this planet, let alone from any other source.

    It is dishonest, disengenuous and outright lies to state otherwise or to limit debate about these issues.

    Our scientific textbooks should reflect these truths. They also should allow for serious discussion and criticism from qualified scientist.

    To not do so is to deny what our children are already learning today outside of the classroom and to allow a different religion inside the classroom – dogmatic materialism.

    I find it amazing that children can only handle – “one truth” – purposeless, unguided, senseless meaningless scientific accidental reasoning – HUH?

    OK, sorry if I went a little long.

    Seriously, open up the schools. Allow debate and serious criticisms to be made by legitimate scientist. These views do not confuse students about operational genetics or scientific reasoning. They enhance and open their minds to well balanced views that are already being discussed in the real world.

    To keep denying these truths, is what confuses our children.

  70. In response to the questions “what is energy, what is matter, what are the forces?”, an honest reply is human beings truly don’t know.

    However, both the Holographic paradigm, employing quantum mechanics, or the electrical paradigm, employing the electrical force, view the universe as an interconnected unity, and not “material” in the sense of conventional “science”; but neither can really respond to those questions sufficiently, I think.

  71. Jack Krebs

    Science is not everything. Questions about free will, consciousness, the source of the nature of the universe, etc. are very important issues, but they extend beyond the scope of what science can study

    “But, don’t you see,” said I, “that science never could show anything of the sort?”

    “Why on earth not?”

    “Because science studies Nature. And the question is whether anything besides Nature exists — anything ‘outside.’ How could you find that out by studying simply Nature?”

    “But don’t we find out that Nature must work in an absolutely fixed way? I mean, the Laws of Nature tell us not merely how things do happen, but how they must happen. No power could possibly alter them.”

    “How do you mean?” said I.

    “Look here,” said he. “Could this ‘something outside’ that you talk about make two and two five?”

    “Well, no,” said I.

    “All right,” said he. “Well, I think the Laws of Nature are really like two and two making four. The idea of their being altered is as absurd as the idea of altering the laws of arithmetic.”

    “Half a moment,” said I. “Suppose you put sixpence into a drawer today, and sixpence into the same drawer tomorrow. Do the laws of arithmetic make it certain you’ll find a shilling’s worth there the day after?”

    “Of course,” said he, “provided no one’s been tampering with your drawer.”

    “Ah, but that’s the whole point,” said I. “The laws of arithmetic can tell you what you’ll find, with absolute certainty, provided that there’s no interference. If a thief has been at the drawer of course you’ll get a different result. But the thief won’t have broken the laws of arithmetic — only the laws of England. Now, aren’t the Laws of Nature much in the same boat? Don’t they all tell you what will happen provided there’s no interference?”

    “How do you mean?”

    “Well, the laws will tell you how a billiard ball will travel on a smooth surface if you hit it in a particular way — but only provided no one interferes. If, after it’s already in motion, someone snatches up a cue and gives it a biff on one side — why, then, you won’t get what the scientist predicted.”

    “No, of course not. He can’t allow for monkey tricks like that.”

    “Quite, and in the same way, if there was anything outside Nature, and if it interfered — then the events which the scientist expected wouldn’t follow. That would be what we call a miracle. In one sense it wouldn’t break the laws of Nature. The laws tell you what will happen if nothing interferes. They can’t tell you whether something is going to interfere. I mean, it’s not the expert at arithmetic who can tell you how likely someone is to interfere with the pennies in my drawer; a detective would be more use. It isn’t the physicist who can tell you how likely I am to catch up a cue and spoil his experiment with the billiard ball; you’d better ask a psychologist. And it isn’t the scientist who can tell you how likely Nature is to be interfered with from outside. You must go to the metaphysician.” ~ C.S. Lewis

    How shall we define ‘the scope of what science can study’? If there are disagreements on this, how should these disagreements be handled?

  72. Michaels7, you’ve made some excellent points, and the one in particular that really stands out for me is this:

    “Talk about low expectations. This is the problem today with public education.”

    This is exactly right. Jack et. al. have stated time and time again that our students are just not ready to learn more about these issues.

    I agree with you that we have extremely low expectations for our students. My personal belief is that my two boys (4th & 6th grade) could handle learning much more than what they are taught at their public school here in Kansas.

    Both my brother and sister send their children to private schools, and it certainly appears to me that more is expected of students in the private school setting.

    I hope I’m wrong and haven’t made a huge error in choosing to send my children to public school, but this complete disregard for urging our students to critically assess our current knowledge of science is discouraging.

    I do know that if I had been exposed to these debate issues during school, I’d have been completely enthralled with the subject of science instead of being bored to tears by it.

  73. So, Jack, is it your position that the search for and identification of designing intelligence in biology is a legitimate scientific undertaking (as long as one does not assume a priori that the designing intelligence is ‘immaterial’)?

  74. 74
    sagebrush gardener

    scientific knowledge describes and explains the physical world in terms of matter, energy, and forces

    That’s physics. One particular branch of science. Like duh.

    Yes, but doesn’t this narrow, exclusive definition limit our thinking to the physics of our grandfathers? the physics of steam engines?

    I believe that information (λόγος) will be found to be as fundamental and essential to our understanding of matter as it already is to our understanding of the genome.
    Science&trade is desperately afraid of miracles, of “magic”. But as Arthur C. Clarke famously said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” I believe that the so-called miracles that science so zealously guards the door against are evidence not of the rules being broken, but of a higher understanding of the rules.

    Our scientists today are like primitive islanders who are only capable of thinking in terms of palm fronds and coconut shells. A flashlight, an iPod, a digital camera are all “magic” (and possibly evil) to these primitive folk because they cannot be explained by their limited understanding of nature.

    The blinders are starting to come off and must continue to do so.

    It is almost amusing to watch Science drawing ever closer to God while at the same time struggling desperately to avoid seeing Him.

  75. 75
    sagebrush gardener

    Oops, the software mangled my comment. That is supposed to be “Scienceâ„¢” at the beginning of the third paragraph.

  76. To Tims- comment 54:

    I tried to pre-empt your response that I was caught in a lie but the post didn’t show up.

    What I didn’t realize was that the chimp becomes human page was part of “whyevolution.com as I have only visited that page.

    However I noticed you still did not- because you cannot, scientifically explain teh differences observed between chimps and humans.

    Are you now saying that chimps do not have an opposable big toe?

    As for this:

    Max Planck was brought up in a very religious home, look at his biography. He wrote papers on religion way before quantum theory. Try again.

    That has nothing to do with anything. PLanck’s quote was borne from YEARS of SCIENTIFIC research.

    IOW YOU need to “try again”.

  77. BTW TimS this is a lie that you posted:

    Joseph, TOE can scientifically explain the physiological and anatomical differences observed between chimps and humans.

    And everyone has noticed that you didn’t, because you can’t, substantiate that claim.

  78. New characterization of science: “scientific knowledge describes and explains the physical world in terms of matter, energy, and forces.”

    Besides defining intelligent design out of existence, this new definition defines what have traditionally been regarded as distinctly human traits, such as free will and consciousness, which science studies, also out of existence.

    Is there any evidence that human traits such as free will and consciousness exist in the absence of matter and energy? Can the same not be said of intelligent design which, to be observable at all, involves the purposeful manipulation of matter and energy?

    Materialistic answers to these questions are insupportable in the wider public square. Indeed, try to justify the “inalienable rights” ascribed in the Declaration of Independence not in terms of a creator but in terms of “material forces.” It doesn’t work.

    Are we agreed that the purpose of science is to study and explain the observable Universe, not to construct moral codes – to describe rather than prescribe? Do you accept as valid the naturalistic fallacy – that ‘ought’ cannot be logically derived from ‘is’?

    As for justifying “unalienable rights” by appealing to a Creator, how do you answer the obvious rejoinder which is to cite the Euthyphro dilemma?

  79. Joseph
    That has nothing to do with anything. PLanck’s quote was borne from YEARS of SCIENTIFIC research.

    Are you suggesting that because Max Planck was a scientist, that therefore all of his statements were scientific?

  80. Fanky172:
    Are you suggesting that because Max Planck was a scientist, that therefore all of his statements were scientific?

    Nope. That thought never crossed my mind.

    Next question.

  81. A DI news release could read:

    “Is Kansas applying a double-standard when it comes to science?” You decide:

    Jack Krebs KCFS President:
    So, I repeat: the Kansas science standards say what science is: the study of the physical world. (emphasis added)

    ID is the study of the physical world:

    Intelligent Design is the study of patterns in nature that are best explained as the result of intelligence.–Wm Dembski

    So the bottom line is anyone who supports the Kansas science standards and opposes ID is basically employing a double-standard.

    Thanks Jack.

    PS ID does not say anything about the supernatural. As everyone knows even the materialistic anti-ID position requires either something beyond nature of the metaphysical stance that the universe “just is” (the way it is).

  82. Joseph
    Nope. That thought never crossed my mind.

    Then what about his conclusion “We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind.” makes it a scientific statement, other than that it was uttered by a scientist?

  83. Franky172:
    Then what about his conclusion “We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind.” makes it a scientific statement, other than that it was uttered by a scientist?

    It was based on his years of scientific research. You know the scientific research which afforded him the Nobel Prize. (just as I stated earlier)

    Can you present any scientific data to the contrary?

  84. Joseph
    It was based on his years of scientific research. You know the scientific research which afforded him the Nobel Prize.
    Anyone can make any statements “based on their scientific research” – i.e. “there is no god”, “i like cheese”, “F = ma”. I would argue that only a subset of such statements are actually “scientific”.

    Can you present any scientific data to the contrary?
    No. Because it is not a scientific statement – as stated it is neither testable nor falsifiable.

  85. To Franky172:

    The first clue would be that he was accepting perhaps the most prestigious science award there is.

    (that is about as subtle a clue as a 98 mph brush-back pitch)

  86. Joseph
    The first clue would be that he was accepting perhaps the most prestigious science award there is.

    I do not believe that the specific time or place at which a statement is given changes whether or not the statement is a “scientific” one.

  87. Franky172:
    I do not believe that the specific time or place at which a statement is given changes whether or not the statement is a “scientific” one.

    Is that it? Is that your rebuttal?

    It isn’t just the time and place. It is the context. IOW when one gives a speech while accepting perhaps the most prestigious science award, the context of the speech will be about science.

    Can you present any scientific data to the contrary?

    Franky172:
    No. Because it is not a scientific statement – as stated it is neither testable nor falsifiable.

    That would mean there are many statements made by evolutionists that are not scientific because they are neither testable nor falsifiable. IOW just about everything the ToE stands for fits that mold.

    Chimps and humans shared a common ancestor- neither testable nor falsifiable.

    Whales “evolved” from land animals- neither testable nor falsifiable.

    Single-celled organisms “evolving” into something other than single-celled organisms- neither testable nor falsifiable.

    So the bottom-line is if Kansas is going to teach the ToE in public schools then they are pushing non-scientific standards. As are every State that does so.

    Thanks Franky172, you have helped clear this up.

  88. As are every State that does so.

    Coffee first, then post…

  89. Joseph
    Is that it? Is that your rebuttal?
    Pretty much.

    It isn’t just the time and place. It is the context. IOW when one gives a speech while accepting perhaps the most prestigious science award, the context of the speech will be about science.
    You appear to be under the impression that the time, place, and context in which a statement is made can make a statement scientific. I disagree. Scientific statements must make testable predictions and be falsifiable.

    That would mean there are many statements made by evolutionists that are not scientific
    Do we agree that scientific statements need to be testable and falsifiable?

    Chimps and humans shared a common ancestor- neither testable nor falsifiable.
    Whales “evolved” from land animals- neither testable nor falsifiable.

    There are a myriad of tests and potential observations that would falsify the common ancestry: human fossils found prior to chimp fossils and their supposed ancestors, mismatches in SINE, ERV, and other DNA markers (unknown at the time of the original hypothesis), and several other criteria that the theory of common ancestry predicts and are fulfilled.

    Single-celled organisms “evolving” into something other than single-celled organisms- neither testable nor falsifiable.

    There is significant evidence that the origins of life were single-cellular, and although I am not very familiar with theories regarding the origins of multi-cellular life, there are several observations that could potentially falsify models of common ancestry – including remains from multi-cellular life found prior to evidence of single cellular life.

  90. Franky172:
    Scientific statements must make testable predictions and be falsifiable.

    Do you have a citation that supports that premise?

    To me a scientific statement is one borne from years of scientific research.

    Franky172:
    There are a myriad of tests and potential observations that would falsify the common ancestry:

    Nonsense. Common ancestry can accomodate just about any data.

    We can’t even test the premise that ANY mechanism can account for the physiological and anatomical differences observed between chimps and humans.

    The BEST we can do is to offer wishful speculation based on the assumption.

    Out of place fossils is pure nonsense as a way of “testing” a biological theory. If you can’t find a way to test and falsify a biological theory with biological data it is a sure sign it isn’t a biological theory at all.

    Fossils can’t tell us anything about a mechanism.
    Fossils can’t tell the difference between phenotypic plasticity and a mutation which causes a phenotypic change.
    Fossils can’t tell the difference between divergent and convergent evolution.
    Fossils can’t tell us anything about how the species originated. Just that it existed.
    Not every organism that has lived gets fossilized. IOW absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
    Fossilization requires a rapid burial of the organism to protect it from scavengers and weathering.
    Fossilization does not require millions of years.

    As for predictions, Dennett has already told us there is no way to predict what will be selected for at any point in time. This was echoed on the PBS series “Evolution”, which was supported by the NCSE.

    Also if common ancestry were indicative of reality we would see similar structures, ie alleged homologs, being controlled by similar genes and via similar developmental pathways. Yet we do NOT see that.

    The National Academy of Sciences has objected that intelligent design is not falsifiable, and I think that’s just the opposite of the truth. Intelligent design is very open to falsification. I claim, for example, that the bacterial flagellum could not be produced by natural selection; it needed to be deliberately intelligently designed. Well, all a scientist has to do to prove me wrong is to take a bacterium without a flagellum, or knock out the genes for the flagellum in a bacterium, go into his lab and grow that bug for a long time and see if it produces anything resembling a flagellum. If that happened, intelligent design, as I understand it, would be knocked out of the water. I certainly don’t expect it to happen, but it’s easily falsified by a series of such experiments.

    Now let’s turn that around and ask, How do we falsify the contention that natural selection produced the bacterial flagellum? If that same scientist went into the lab and knocked out the bacterial flagellum genes, grew the bacterium for a long time, and nothing much happened, well, he’d say maybe we didn’t start with the right bacterium, maybe we didn’t wait long enough, maybe we need a bigger population, and it would be very much more difficult to falsify the Darwinian hypothesis.

    I think the very opposite is true. I think intelligent design is easily testable, easily falsifiable, although it has not been falsified, and Darwinism is very resistant to being falsified. They can always claim something was not right.– Dr Behe

  91. Joseph
    Do you have a citation that supports that premise?
    I believe most philosophers of science would agree that at bare minimum scientific statements must make predictions and be falsifiable. I believe Karl Popper was one of the first to note that falsifiability is a primary aspect of scientific statements. He has a wikipedia entry if you are interested.

    To me a scientific statement is one borne from years of scientific research.
    But people conclude ridiculous things all the time from scientific research. For example, Dawkins has evidently concluded that God does not exist – this does not make all such statements “scientific”.

    Nonsense. Common ancestry can accomodate just about any data.
    I mentioned several pieces of evidence – both biological (DNA markers) and other (fossils) and discoveries that would falsify common descent.

    We can’t even test the premise that ANY mechanism can account for the physiological and anatomical differences observed between chimps and humans.
    I thought we were talking about common descent – not whether NDE or ID is responsible.

    Out of place fossils is pure nonsense as a way of “testing” a biological theory. If you can’t find a way to test and falsify a biological theory with biological data it is a sure sign it isn’t a biological theory at all.

    I suggested several biological tests whose outcomes could falsify common descent.

    Fossils…
    I am aware of the problems with fossilization; I do not see what this has to do with the fact that if fossils from, say, humans were found in strata prior to, say, dinosaurs this would falsify common descent.

    [snip discussion of NDE/ID falsifiability]

    I did not think we were discussing NDE. I thought we were discussing common ancestry.

  92. I know about Popper. But you should read the following:

    Falsificationism

    Franky172:
    I mentioned several pieces of evidence – both biological (DNA markers) and other (fossils) and discoveries that would falsify common descent.

    DNA similarities (markers)as well as morphological similarities are also evidence for a Common Design. And Common Descent does NOT say that segements of DNA would stay around intact enough to be used as a genetic marker.

    Also if common ancestry were indicative of reality we would see similar structures, ie alleged homologs, being controlled by similar genes and via similar developmental pathways. Yet we do NOT see that.

    IOW common ancestry should be falsified already.

    And fossils would not falisfy Common Descent.

    FRanky172:
    I do not see what this has to do with the fact that if fossils from, say, humans were found in strata prior to, say, dinosaurs this would falsify common descent.

    The BEST that scenario can hope for is to refute the HISTORY of LIVING ORGANISMS. Not that one population “evolved” from another- ie Common Descent.

    And again finding out-of-place fossils wouldn’t do anything for the reasons already provided. IOW just because we were to find human fossils “below” dino fossils does NOT mean that humans lived before dinos. All it means was that humans died and then wound up in that strata.

    Also we have found artifacts in strata dated well before humans were supposed to be around. All of those are just handwaved away because they just don’t fit the expectation.

    But back to Max Planck:

    “All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration and holds this minute solar system of the atom together . . . . We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind.”

    So when we look at atoms we would expect to see specifications that have to be accurate and very precise. We would also expect to see some or one situation that may defy “common sense”, ie what we observe nature, operating freely, be able to accomplish. And we see both.

    In the nucleus of the atom are postively charged protons. Usually positive charged objects repel each other. But NOT in the nucleus of the atom. There the protons stay together and are arranged in a specific pattern such that one canNOT just add protons willy-nilly to make a larger nucleus.

    In the nuleus of an atom we have the “strong nulcear force”. Which just happens to be the strongest of the four forces- weak nuclear, gravity and EM, being the other 3.

    We would find that these forces have to be just right in order to get a universe and in order to get a universe that will allow for and sustain complex living organisms.

    All of that has been tested and found to be true. To falsify Planck all one needs to do is to show that protons can be added willy-nilly.

    As for predictions, we have Dr Humphreys telling us that he correctly predicted the magnetic fields of a couple of gas giants by his reading of scripture. That prediction could have been falsified and it was also more accurate than the “mainstream” predictions for the same planets.

    So by your “logic” the Bible can be a scientific authority.

  93. Falsificationism
    Putting aside the supposed problems with falsification as a solution to the demarcation problem, do we agree that the working definition of science most scientists utilize involves concepts such as testability, falsifiability, and repeatability?

    DNA similarities (markers)
    You might make the case that some DNA markers may be indicative of common design, but many others are not, including SINE, and ERV events. Regardless, do we agree that there are significant pieces of DNA evidence that if uncovered would falsify common descent?

    as well as morphological similarities are also evidence for a Common Design.
    I disagree, but I thought we were talking about the falsification of commondescent; not common design.

    And Common Descent does NOT say that segements of DNA would stay around intact enough to be used as a genetic marker.
    Before we continue, do we agree that SINE and ERV events are (a) evidence for common ancestry, and (b) provide possible refutation of common ancestry (if, say, humans and raccoons shared ERV markers where other great apes did not, this would pose significant problems for common descent).

    Also if common ancestry were indicative of reality we would see similar structures, ie alleged homologs, being controlled by similar genes and via similar developmental pathways. Yet we do NOT see that.
    I’m not sure what you are referring to.

    The BEST that scenario can hope for is to refute the HISTORY of LIVING ORGANISMS. Not that one population “evolved” from another- ie Common Descent.
    Let us presume that by common descent I mean “common descent as currently understood in the tree of life”.

    All it means was that humans died and then wound up in that strata.
    But this would be extremely difficult to explain if it happened often, as it should have if humans were around before dinosaurs.

    Also we have found artifacts in strata dated well before humans were supposed to be around.
    Link?

    So when we look at atoms we would expect to see specifications that have to be accurate and very precise.
    Specifications of what, exactly? And why does an existing consciousness explain this observation better than a pre-existing “deist” consciousness, or, perhaps, random luck.

    In the nuleus of an atom we have the “strong nulcear force”.
    You believe the “strong nuclear force” is evidence for the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. Why? I do not understand how this follows.

    All of that has been tested and found to be true. To falsify Planck all one needs to do is to show that protons can be added willy-nilly.
    This would falsify our understanding of particle physics; I find it difficult to believe that this would falsify a belief in an underlying consciousness.

    As for predictions, we have Dr Humphreys telling us that he correctly predicted the magnetic fields of a couple of gas giants by his reading of scripture.
    Cite?

    So by your “logic” the Bible can be a scientific authority.
    Why did you put the word “logic” in quotes? First, I don’t think the word “authority” is appropriate here. What does it mean to be a scientific “authority” in this context? But second, does the bible make testable and falsifiable predictions regarding future discoveries? If so, then we can formulate testable theories based on the bible. Few believers appear willing to do this however.

    To clarify something – I do not suppose that only true statements can be “scientific” – theories of “young earth creationism” may also be scientific – they should predict the number, amount, and order of fossils discovered, how C-14 dating and other radioactive dating techniques match with varves, ice-cores, and tree-rings, etc. I do not believe that YEC’s are correct, but I believe they have the capability to make scientific statements based on their hypotheses.

  94. Franky172:
    Before we continue, do we agree that SINE and ERV events are (a) evidence for common ancestry, and (b) provide possible refutation of common ancestry (if, say, humans and raccoons shared ERV markers where other great apes did not, this would pose significant problems for common descent).

    No. Evidence for Common Ancestry needs to explain the DIFFERENCES observed. Similarities can be explained by mechanisms other than common ancestry.

    Common ancestry is in trouble because alleged homolgous structures are not controlled by homologous genes. IOW we see organisms with similar genes give rise to different structures and organisms with dissimilar genes give rise to similar structures.

    And if you are not sure what I am referring to than I suggest you do some research. de Beer wrote about in back in 1971, so you’re only 36 years behind.

    So when we look at atoms we would expect to see specifications that have to be accurate and very precise.

    Franky172:
    Specifications of what, exactly? And why does an existing consciousness explain this observation better than a pre-existing “deist” consciousness, or, perhaps, random luck.

    Random luck is a science stopper and THAT is what the materialistic anti-ID postion is, but we don’t have ANY data to support that premise. However we do have evidence of designing agencies using specified parameters in their designs.

    Random luck MAY be able to pull one of the forces out of its butt, but all four? And never mind that all the constants, that are independent of the laws themselves, also have to be “just right”, or no living organisms and perhaps no universe.

    In the nuleus of an atom we have the “strong nulcear force”.

    Franky172:
    You believe the “strong nuclear force” is evidence for the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. Why? I do not understand how this follows.

    It follows from the greatest scientists who ever graced this planet. It follows from observations that like-charged objects repulse, with the only exception is when an intelligent agency is involved.

    Dr Humphreys- Creation in the Physics Lab

    Well, a good scientific theory is one which makes predictions, and it was exciting to hear about several models of yours, based on creation, which generated successful predictions.

    One model was based on 2 Peter 3:5, which talks about how God made the earth, and I applied that. I took that as a clue, and had an idea about how God might have started out the earth’s magnetic field. And then I found that worked fairly well and it gave the right strength for the earth’s magnetic field.

    So I then asked myself, ‘Perhaps God used the same method to make the other bodies in the solar system, the sun and the moon and the planets?’ So I calculated the fields of all the planets that we had already explored up to that time, which was 1984, and the theory gave right values for those planets also.

    I published these results in a Creation Research Society Quarterly article in December, 1984, and in that article I said that a good test of my theory would be to check out what the strength of the fields of the planets Uranus and Neptune were relative to my theory. For Uranus, the evolutionary predictions were generally about 100,000 times less than my published predictions, so I thought it was a good test.

    So, what was the result when Voyager finally made the measurements?

    The result was smack in the middle of my prediction, and 100,000 times greater than the evolutionary predictions. So the creation model was the clear winner in that case.

    And for Neptune as well.

    Yes, that’s right.

    Did you get any comments from evolutionists about these fulfilled predictions?

    Yes. Stephen Brush, a fairly well known anti-creationist in the United States, wrote to me after the first prediction came true and I had mentioned this in an ICR Impact article. He said he was basically trying to find some way around the fact that I had made a prediction, and I wrote him a polite letter back and tried to explain things to him. He wrote another letter back and that was the end of the correspondence.

    But about six months later, an article by him appeared in Science magazine. The gist of it was that ‘Well, predictions are not really a way to do good science’, so he was basically backing down from the classical scientific view that predictions are a good way to validate a theory.

    Also we have found artifacts in strata dated well before humans were supposed to be around.

    Franky172:
    Link?

    Book- “Forbidden Archeology”.

    And seeing that no one has repeated the alleged evolution of humans from some ape-like or chimp-like population I take it you now see that the theory of evolution deson’t fit your definition.

    All of its “tests” are subjective. Not one of the tests deals with the differences observed. And we cannot repeat what we think happened. Heck we don’t even know, because we haven’t tested the premise, whether or not ANY mechanism can account for those observed differences.

    As for fossils- we don’t even know how the fossil record was formed. Much of it screams of catatrophes but catastrophes negate the uniformitarian notion of long ages to lay down sediments. We know that fossilization requires a rather quick burial.

    And the bottom line is I don’t think anything can falsify common ancestry. ALL observation points to sexual reproduction as being a stopper of Common Descent, yet the premise still endures:

    Sexuality has brought joy to the world, to the world of the wild beasts, and to the world of flowers, but it has brought an end to evolution. In the lineages of living beings, whenever absent-minded Venus has taken the upper hand, forms have forgotten to make progress. It is only the husbandman that has improved strains, and he has done so by bullying, enslaving, and segregating. All these methods, of course, have made for sad, alienated animals, but they have not resulted in new species. Left to themselves, domesticated breeds would either die out or revert to the wild state—scarcely a commendable model for nature’s progress.

    (snip a few paragraphs on peppered moths)

    Natural Selection, which indeed occurs in nature (as Bishop Wilberforce, too, was perfectly aware), mainly has the effect of maintaining equilibrium and stability. It eliminates all those that dare depart from the type—the eccentrics and the adventurers and the marginal sort. It is ever adjusting populations, but it does so in each case by bringing them back to the norm. We read in the textbooks that, when environmental conditions change, the selection process may produce a shift in a population’s mean values, by a process known as adaptation. If the climate turns very cold, the cold-adapted beings are favored relative to others.; if it becomes windy, the wind blows away those that are most exposed; if an illness breaks out, those in questionable health will be lost. But all these artful guiles serve their purpose only until the clouds blow away. The species, in fact, is an organic entity, a typical form, which may deviate only to return to the furrow of its destiny; it may wander from the band only to find its proper place by returning to the gang.

    Everything that disassembles, upsets proportions or becomes distorted in any way is sooner or later brought back to the type. There has been a tendency to confuse fleeting adjustments with grand destinies, minor shrewdness with signs of the times.

    It is true that species may lose something on the way—the mole its eyes, say, and the succulent plant its leaves, never to recover them again. But here we are dealing with unhappy, mutilated species, at the margins of their area of distribution—the extreme and the specialized. These are species with no future; they are not pioneers, but prisoners in nature’s penitentiary.–geneticist Giuseppe Sermonti

  95. Joseph
    Similarities can be explained by mechanisms other than common ancestry.
    So you think that if ERV sequence similarities were found across raccoons and humans, but not in great apes, this would not pose a problem for common descent. I believe you are in the minority here.

    And if you are not sure what I am referring to than I suggest you do some research. de Beer wrote about in back in 1971, so you’re only 36 years behind.
    There is really no reason to get snippy. I will look into this. Do you believe that this evidence falsifies common descent? i.e. that common descent is in principle falsifiable?

    It follows from the greatest scientists who ever graced this planet. It follows from observations that like-charged objects repulse, with the only exception is when an intelligent agency is involved.
    I observe that if I place objects on the bottom of a small sphere (assume in a vaccuum in space), they fall off, unless my intelligent agency is involved holding them there; therefore the force of gravity holding people to the botton of the earth is evidence of intelligent agency. Do you believe that this argument follows?

    Dr Humphreys- Creation in the Physics Lab
    Before we continue, Dr. Humphreys evidently agrees that good science needs to make falsifiable and testable predictions. Do we agree that this is the case?

    Book- “Forbidden Archeology”.
    I will have to look into this. But do you believe that this evidence falsifies common descent? i.e. that common descent is in principle falsifiable?

    And seeing that no one has repeated the alleged evolution of humans from some ape-like or chimp-like population I take it you now see that the theory of evolution deson’t fit your definition.
    That we do not directly repeat the past in test-tubes does not show that the ToE is not scientific; we do not directly repeat the past in geology, astronomy, and many other sciences, but these sciences still manage to make testable falsifiable and repeatable claims.

    As for fossils- we don’t even know how the fossil record was formed. Much of it screams of catatrophes but catastrophes negate the uniformitarian notion of long ages to lay down sediments.
    It is certainly possible in principle that the assumptions underlying geology are incorrect; if we begin to use other assumptions that better predict future finds in the strata of the earth, our current assumptions will be discarded. Perhaps we should ask Exxon Mobil to switch from using the common uniform-assumptions to find oil deposits to using young earth catastrophism.

    And the bottom line is I don’t think anything can falsify common ancestry.
    I have presented several possible observations that I believe pretty much every biologist in the world agrees would pose a significant problem for common ancestry; you seem to believe otherwise. That is fine, we can differ on whether or not a specific claim is scientific, but do we agree that in order for claims to be scientific (as Dr. Humphrey’s apparently does) that they must make testable and falsifiable predictions?

  96. Franky172:
    So you think that if ERV sequence similarities were found across raccoons and humans, but not in great apes, this would not pose a problem for common descent. I believe you are in the minority here.

    Here’s the scenario: An ERV gets “locked in” to the genome of a racoon-like population. Part of that pop. becomes racoons. Another part goes on to give rise to the primates. The lineage that gives rise to the first primates loses the ERV. However another portion of the population keeps it. Thus the ERV is lost in one lineage. The same happens with all primate lineages except the lineage to humans.

    ERVs are an especially weak argument. To think that an ERV would remain virtually intact and in the same location in the same chromosome for some illions of generations is nothing more than “grasping for straws”. From what we know about meiosis and chromsomal recombinations that argument should never be used.

    The laws that govern nature are perhaps one of the best evidences for a designer. That has been so for hundreds of years. And that is because the thought that sheer dumb luck could pull such a thing together is not only a science stopper but also goes against all experience.

    In the book Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty by Morris Kline, Kline states that these scientist-mathematicians (Newton, Galileo, Copernicus and Kepler) believed that “God had designed the universe, and it was to be expected that all phenomena of nature would follow one master plan. One mind designing a universe would almost surely have employed one set of basic principles to govern all related phenomenon.”

    Oil wells- what, about 10% of what is drilled gives oil? Yeah old-earth geology appears to be as good as guessing.

    A scientific hypothesis and a scientific statement are two different things. One is borne of the data (the statement) and the other needs to be tested (the hypothesis). Also not one biologist who supports common ancestry can scientifically support it.

    And yes I would say that common descent should have been falsified decades ago. That it isn’t just goes to show that it can’t be.

  97. Joseph
    Here’s the scenario: An ERV gets “locked in” to the genome of a racoon-like population. Part of that pop. becomes racoons. Another part goes on to give rise to the primates. The lineage that gives rise to the first primates loses the ERV. However another portion of the population keeps it. Thus the ERV is lost in one lineage. The same happens with all primate lineages except the lineage to humans.
    But by cross-correlating this genetic information with other genetic markers, fossils, and other information we can currently form a tree-like structure, if a sudden shift were to occur, like finding the same ERVs in widely separated species, but not in the intermediary or ancestral species, the tree structure would break, pretty much falsifying common ancestry.

    Also, it’s interesting to note that while it may be true that both common ancestry and special creation are compatible with this tree like structure of life, common ancestry is only compatible with a nested hierarchy, while special creation is compatible with pretty much every observation possible.

    ERVs are an especially weak argument. To think that an ERV would remain virtually intact
    I believe that most ERVs are subject to neutral genetic drift. This does not change their usefulness.

    The laws that govern nature are perhaps one of the best evidences for a designer.
    You seem to want to make a ‘scientific’ claim: i.e. that the laws of the universe were designed by some power. Is this the case? What experiments can we perform that would falsify this claim?

    Oil wells- what, about 10% of what is drilled gives oil? Yeah old-earth geology appears to be as good as guessing.
    Perhaps we should inform Exxon-Mobil that they can make more money with divining rods instead of wasting salaries on geologists.

    A scientific hypothesis and a scientific statement are two different things. One is borne of the data (the
    statement) and the other needs to be tested (the hypothesis).

    I find it difficult to discern what makes a “scientific statement” “scientific” other than that you think it is “borne of the data”. Many people are convinced by the data that we did not land on the moon – is that a “scientific statement”? Is the statement “there is no God.” a scientific statement (c.f. Dawkins and others)? and should we teach our children the personal views (statements) of scientists even if they are themselves not “scientific” in our science classes?

    Also not one biologist who supports common ancestry can scientifically support it.
    I believe Dr. Behe would disagree with you.

    And yes I would say that common descent should have been falsified decades ago. That it isn’t just goes to show that it can’t be.
    So you agree that common descent is in principle falsifiable, but believe that a cabal of evolutionists refuses to see the evidence?

  98. franky,

    You might find this interesting:

    http://www.pnas.org/cgi/conten.....10699104v1

  99. Patrick
    You might find this interesting:
    Very. That the tree of life is “messy” at the bottom lends credence to the notion that horizontal gene transfer played a much more significant role in pre-cellular life than was previously thought. In fact, it appears that the basics of inheritance and genetics as originally understood by Mendel et al. do not follow standard assumptions at these pre-biotic levels. As the abstract states, for life forms where descent with modification is not the primary mechanism of genetic modification we should find the “tree” to be in quite some dissaray.

  100. That the tree of life is “messy” at the bottom lends credence to the notion that horizontal gene transfer played a much more significant role in pre-cellular life than was previously thought.

    1. Darwinism is true.
    2. The data doesn’t correspond to our expectations.
    3. Thus HGT MUST be capable of rendering the picture we see.

    Even more:

    http://biology.plosjournals.or.....io.0040352

  101. Patrick
    1. Darwinism is true.
    2. The data doesn’t correspond to our expectations.
    3. Thus HGT MUST be capable of rendering the picture we see.

    It’s not clear to me what argument you are making. Under what assumptions does the ToE rely that make the prediction of a tree of life accurate? Would the ToE predict a tree of life if genetic information could be passed horizontally between, say ducks and cows?

    Further, why does the genetic-based tree of life assumption hold so well at the macro-scopic level, but dissolve away at the microscopic level where we are already aware that HGT is a powerful factor and it has effects that make drug resistance spread more quickly?

    Does the ToE predict a tree of life when HGT plays a significant role? No.

    Indeed, the authors of the paper you posted previously make the case that algorithms can form trees out of any data presented to them, so this leads us to having multiple conflicting trees at the prokaryote level. What is interesting to note is that for creatures where we are sure that descent with modification is the primary force behind genetic modification (i.e. animals), all of these genetic trees developed agree with one another – i.e. (to quote the paper you presented) “it would be perverse to claim that Darwin’s TOL hypothesis has been falsified for animals (the taxon to which he primarily concerned himself)”.

    In fact, if we had this much trouble forming genetic trees for the animals, common descent and the ToE would be instantly falsified. So far this has not happened.

    Even more:

    Are you surprised that the resolution on our analysis of past events is not perfect?

  102. Umm Common Ancestry does NOT require a “tree of life”.

    Franky172:
    common ancestry is only compatible with a nested hierarchy

    That is utterly false. Common ancestry would just fine if we didn’t have a nested hierarchy.

    One would only expect a nested hierarchy from common ancestry if and only if derived characteristic traits are immutable. And we know that isn’t so.

    No one should expect an ERV to remain intact enough to be used as a genetic marker all the while other genetic changes are occuring that drive the divergence. That they exist should give one pause as to A) what they really are and B) why did they remain conserved in light of what we know about chromosomal rearrangements during meiosis.

    Also not one biologist who supports common ancestry can scientifically support it.

    Franky172:
    I believe Dr. Behe would disagree with you.

    It doesn’t matter who disagrees with me. It does matter what they can scientifically demonstrate.

    And I know that even Dr Behe cannot demonstrate what it is that accounts for the physiological and anatomicaldifferences observed between chimps and humans.

    FRanky172:
    Many people are convinced by the data that we did not land on the moon – is that a “scientific statement”?

    Hearsay

    Franky172:
    Is the statement “there is no God.” a scientific statement (c.f. Dawkins and others)?

    Is it based on scientific data?

    FRanky172:
    and should we teach our children the personal views (statements) of scientists even if they are themselves not “scientific” in our science classes?

    The kids deserve to know about the scientists behind the “knowledge” they are being given. Dawkins doesn’t seem to do much in the way of science so the kids don’t even have to know about him.

    But a Nobel Prize winner who gave us QM? Yes they should know about him, as well as Newton, Galileo, Copernicus (Creationists refuting a long-standing scientifically held geocentric world view) and that Linneaus was trying to define the “Created Kind”.

    Franky172:
    So you agree that common descent is in principle falsifiable,

    No. No matter what the data it can and will be explained away.

    The fossil record is 95% marine inverts. In that vast bulk the ONLY sign of Common Descent is a barnicle “evolving” into a barnicle!

    ALL observations point to wobbling stability and that sexual reproduction allows for a wider variation possibility but it absolutely kills any real evolution.

    Chimps and humans were once thought to be only 1% genetically different. We bought it even though it was done with a very small sample and via suspect methodology. Now the data shows 6% difference in the genes alone. Soon the data will show that in order for that divergence to even have a chance to be real multiple genetic substitutions would have had to have been fixed in every generation. And you know what? Common ancestry will not be phased…

  103. It should be noted that nested hierarchy was used as evidence for a common design and all the Darwinists did was change “archetype” to “common ancestor”. And that Darwin didn’t account for nested hierarchy by calling on Common Descent. He used well placed extinction events to account for the distinct categories of well-defined traits.

  104. Joseph
    Umm Common Ancestry does NOT require a “tree of life”.
    Assuming genetic information is passed on vertically, via reproduction, I believe that yes, common ancestry requires a “nested hierarcy” or a tree shape of life. You seem to believe otherwise. Why is that?

    That is utterly false. Common ancestry would just fine if we didn’t have a nested hierarchy.
    Assuming that genetic information is passed from generation to generation and descent with modification is the driving force of evolution, a tree of life is the only form of life common ancestry is compatible with. I do not believe I am in the minority on this point.

    Hearsay
    According to those people their claims are “based on evidence”. You believe it to be hearsay, that’s fine. But they call their statements “scientific”, and since they say they are based on the data, we should teach them in science class, yes?

    Is it based on scientific data?
    According to Dawkins it is.

    But a Nobel Prize winner who gave us QM?
    So, you believe the caliber of the scientist determines whether or not their statements are scientific?

    No. No matter what the data it can and will be explained away.
    I believe that I have pointed out several potential observations that would falsify the tree of life. But again we can agree to disagree on this point, but it seems silly to continue discussion of whether or not a certain claim is “scientific” if we do not agree that in order for claims to be scientific (as Dr. Humphrey’s apparently does) that they must make testable and falsifiable predictions.

  105. Franky172:
    Assuming genetic information is passed on vertically, via reproduction, I believe that yes, common ancestry requires a “nested hierarcy” or a tree shape of life. You seem to believe otherwise. Why is that?

    Science tells me otherwise. Ya see NH is a mental construct based on characteristic traits. And we know that characteristic traits can be reversed.

    Common Descent does NOT have a direction with respect to traits.

    We have populations A, B, C, D (possessing unique character traits 1 2 3 4 5 6 7)

    They are all nested under hypothetical population Z (acquired trait 1) with A & B being under hypothetical population X (acquired 2) and C & D being under hypothetical population Y (acquired 3). So draw Z diverging into X & Y with X diverging into A & B with Y diverging into C & D.

    A- 124
    B- 125
    C- 136
    D- 137

    (A acquired 4, B acquired 5, C acquired 6 and D acquired 7)

    Nice neat nested hierarchy.

    NH based on Common Descent depends on immutable characteristics. IOW there wasn’t anything preventing the following:

    A- 124
    B- 25
    C- 36
    D- 137
    (Oops B & C lost 1)

    What happened to the nested hierarchy? Neither B nor C would be placed in a set under Z. Therefore Common Descent does NOT lead to a nested hierarchy.

    If all the alleged transitionals and intermediates were still alive we wouldn’t see a NH. Most sets would not be distinct and we would have an overlapping of characteristic traits among groups on the same level. Overlapping is NOT permitted in NH.

    Read Denton’s “Evolution: A Theory in Crisis” chapter 6 for a thorough refutation of NH as evidence for Common Descent.

    Many people are convinced by the data that we did not land on the moon – is that a “scientific statement”?

    Hearsay

    Franky172:
    According to those people their claims are “based on evidence”. You believe it to be hearsay, that’s fine. But they call their statements “scientific”, and since they say they are based on the data, we should teach them in science class, yes?

    Are those people scientists? No. Do they have scientific data? No.

    And please reference the scientific data that Dawkins claims shows there isn’t a “God”.

    Franky172:
    So, you believe the caliber of the scientist determines whether or not their statements are scientific?

    I have already told you what determines whether or not a scientist’s statements are scientific.

    And if testable and falsifiable predictions are a requirement then the ToE is not science and doesn’t make any scientific statements.

    But I still say you are confusing a scientific statement with a scientific theory.

  106. franky,

    I think it very troubling you say this:

    In fact, if we had this much trouble forming genetic trees for the animals, common descent and the ToE would be instantly falsified.

    Then you read an article where they’re seeing multiple bushes, not a tree. They even discuss the biases used to resolve this bad picture for Darwinists like long-branch attraction.

    “Thus, a priori expectations of obtaining fully resolved topologies combined with the use of large amounts of data (which generate high support values) can make trees out of bushes.”

    And it keeps getting worse:

    “recent analyses of some key clades in life’s history have produced bushes and not resolved trees.”

    “The patterns observed in these clades are both important signals of biological history and symptoms of fundamental challenges that must be confronted.”

    “Wolf and colleagues omitted 35% of single genes from their data matrix, because those genes produced phylogenies at odds with conventional wisdom”

    “The evidence presented here suggests that large amounts of conventional characters will not always suffice, even if analyzed by state-of-the-art methodology.”

    They even discuss the “high frequency of independently evolved characters” aka convergent evolution.

    Yet after all that in perfect contrast to your previous statement you dismiss it with:

    Are you surprised that the resolution on our analysis of past events is not perfect?

    Perfect? No surprise there. Not meeting Darwinist expectations? No surprise there either.

    I think it would help the conversation to differentiate between Darwinian Common Descent and Common Descent compatible with ID hypotheses (which is fine with the above picture). For example, you wouldn’t expect to find the same information being used in divergent lines from a Darwinian viewpoint if they’re geographically isolated.

    Chromosomal sex determination in the platypus was discovered to be a combination of mammal and bird systems. Yet TO says:

    “birds are thought to have evolved from dinosaurs in the Jurassic about 150 million years ago, and that mammals are thought to have evolved from a reptile-like group of animals called the therapsids in the Triassic about 220 million years ago. No competent evolutionist has ever claimed that platypuses are a link between birds and mammals.”

    Then there’s spindle cell neurons in humans and whales. The sea urchin has genes that in humans are involved in detecting sight and sound. etc etc Every time the convergent evolution storytelling card is played…you’d think Darwinist would have run out of cards in that deck by now.

    BTW, I think it best to move the conversation to this new thread…

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....e-of-life/

    …since this page has gotten buried.

Leave a Reply