Home » Education, Intelligent Design » Okay, ID may be taught — But you don’t get to teach it!

Okay, ID may be taught — But you don’t get to teach it!

The latest edition of Jeffrey Bennett et al’s astronomy textbook The Cosmic Perspective (4th edition) is now out. Sure enough, “intelligent design” is in the index. Indeed, it gets a full page treatment (p. 714). Below is the scan of that page. Does this text provides a fair representation of ID? Hardly. It appears now that ID will indeed be taught in the science curricula of this nation, only ID proponents won’t be doing the teaching. Life is so unfair.

ID in The Cosmic Perspective

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

198 Responses to Okay, ID may be taught — But you don’t get to teach it!

  1. Not surprised, but this book is a joke. It says ID is the idea that life is too complex to have arisen naturally. Of course, that’s a joke- ID doesn’t say that life could have not have arisen naturally. Try to paint your theory as supernatural, then attack that bogus definition. And this from a textbook!!

    I’d also like to know what any of this has to do with astronomy?!

    Further- ID is NOT an alternative to “evolution”- it’s an alternative mechanism to Neo-Darwinian evolution. Here we paint ID as opposing evolution, then attack that false definition.

    Poor schoolchildren…how can anyone learn when even the textbooks are dishonest?

  2. I should add how the rest of the ID section is even worse. The writers actually claim that ID points to the supernatural and merely says “God did it” the end. Nothing could be further from the truth. The writers attack ID as a waste of time, that IDers simply say, God dod it and they do no further study. Too bad Jonathan Wells is putting forth a hypothesis that is based on ID and that leads to even further discoveries for the future. Not only does this text attack ID, it attacks IDers as lazy psuedo-scientists who can make absolutely no contribution to science!

    Let’s take their section on creationism and couple it with their attacks on ID scientists.

    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....ardner.asp

    There, we have a creationist scientist who works at the Theoretical Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Will the text writers claim he has nothing to give to science? Why would such a prestigious lab have him if he just sat around doing nothing?

    The text claims evolution has lead to the discovery of nearly all modern medicines- that’s a laugh riot! The thing is, a lot of medicines have been going back to nearly ancient traditions- this root and this compound does this and helps cure this, and that other one over there cures that. I am fairly certain the ancients didn’t practice Darwinism!

    It’s also a joke to claim that one can only understand modern science by fully grasping and accepting evolution (NDE evolution, tho they refuse to use this term, for they can’t paint others as fools by using it!)…this is also saying that creation scientists (if you’re going to say they’re not scientists, you need to get on the phone to Los Alamos!) don’t have any understanding of modern science. They try to paint IDers in the same picture, but many ID supporters accept even common descent, just with a different mechanism.

    Finally, the absurd claim that ID tells scientists they should stop looking for “natural causes” and throw up their hands to proclaim ‘God did it’, no more study is insulting beyond belief. To the right of this text comment box are at least 4 books from Dembski that I can see without scrolling up or down. Why did Bill write all these books if he’s painted as a fool who merely throws his hands up and says ‘God did it’, then he goes off and stops even thinking of the issue. ???

    This affair reminds of me of the lawsuit on Cal Berkley (I think that’s the school:) for their anti-ID text that has a priest shaking the hand of a scientist holding a skull. How do we go about filing a lawsuit against anyone who uses this textbook? These people can’t have it both ways- try to ban dissent, yet find it perfectly acceptable to include strawmen definitions of the dissent themselves?!

    This is disgusting.

  3. I think the reason why ID gets so much aversion is because there is a lack of education on it. If someone goes and tells a naturalist that intelligent design is the idea that, life itself cannot emerge naturally, obviously, the naturalist will dismiss it as some form of repackaged creationism–since that seems to be the ridicule one gets for not accepting evolution in the first place. Nonetheless, if the naturalist isn’t a hard-headed idealogue, then it’s possible to convince he or she that the works of Dembski and Behe provide a reasonable and testable way of inferring design. But a guy like this probably thinks otherwise. It’s a shame that people get misinformed at the expense of some ignorant book writer–ignorant in the sense that he doesn’t know what ID is!

  4. It continues to surprise me that people criticize Intelligent Design hypotheses as science-killers. Like any hypothesis, a supposition of intelligent design serves to both constrict and *direct* research.

    The text gives an example of a bridge collapsing and suggests that an engineer who declares the collapse an “act of God” won’t learn how to build a better bridge. Of course, merely labeling something an “act of God” out of sheer intellectual laziness doesn’t qualify as a design inference any more than blindly labeling something “the result of chance” is a genuine naturalistic one. But the engineer who sees a bomber aircraft fly overhead and drop a bomb on his bridge–causing its collapse–will make an immediate and forceful design inference. And he will indeed know something about how to build a better bridge: he may henceforth build his bridges near SAM sites. ;)

    If the example is goofy, the principle is correct: the engineer who detects design in his bridge’s collapse–be it precision bombing, a few well-placed faulty parts, or difficult-to-acieve arson–is in a far better position to build a tamper-proof bridge than the engineer who *insists* bridges only collapse through earthquakes or natural wear. Bridges can (and sometimes should) be designed to withstand intelligent, as well as blind, foes.

    A positive-design assesment is a validated hypothesis like any other: it constricts and directs research. Hypotheses are useful precisely because they do this–they cause us to stop asking unfruitful questions and start asking fruitful ones.

    This insight is so elementary that I am amazed anyone seriously criticizes design as a science-killer. One might just as justifiably criticize naturalism–or even specific theories such as electromagnetism–as science-killers. Any question you answer means a whole set of questions you don’t ask any more. The only logically genuine science-killer is the explanation which says “mere chance”–because this is a codeword for, “I don’t know, and don’t you investigate–there’s nothing to find.” And even this is productive when it’s true.

  5. usurper- when you say “someone” telling a naturalist what ID is, you’re referring to guys like this and the others who wrote the text, right? Because, I’ve never heard any big name in ID say that life couldn’t arise naturally, thus concluding a supernatural result, thus- “god did it, case closed, no further study needed.”

    From the rest of the comment, I assume you are referring to the text writer here. I can’t even count the numbers of magazine and newspaper articles that constantly define ID bogusly- sadly, I think most of these are purposefully bogus definitions in the form of strawmen of sorts, so they can easily attack the strawman and not the actual argument/definition, etc.

    I wonder what further distortions this book includes…

  6. What I think gives the impression of a supernatural designer is the desire to reject naturalism. Why reject naturalism unless you wish to discuss the supernatural?

  7. This is an astronomy textbook so I was fully expecting to see a discussion of cosmic fine tuning and its relation to ID arguments. No, all we get is a talk on biological evolution. It reminds me of the Priviledged Planet / Smithsonian episode where the film was denounced by the defenders of science as being anti-evolution when in reality it had nothing whatsoever to do with biology!

  8. On second thoughts, astronomy does have something to say on evolutionary biology (if one includes abiogenesis).

    In the abiogenesis chapter in ‘The Blind Watchmaker’, Richard Dawkin’s argument rests heavily on the assumption that potentially habitable planets are fairly common in the universe. If the Galactic Habitable Zone is indeed small and we do have a ‘Rare Earth’ or ‘Priviledged Planet’ then that significantly shaves down the available probabilistic resources…

    I have never really considered this before, but is the assumption that many life-supporting planets exist (a la Dawkins) a major part of abiogenesis theory? Or do they belive life would likely arise on any suitable planet given the right conditions and enough time?

  9. Josh says

    ID is the idea that life is too complex to have arisen naturally. Of course, that’s a joke- ID doesn’t say that life could have not have arisen naturally.

    Are you then saying that ID says life isn’t too complex to have arisen naturally, and it could have arisen naturally?

  10. The point was- ID doesn’t say ‘it must have been supernatural’ as the text writer was clearly trying to put forward.

    Life shows the hallmarks of design…some parts within biology are too complex to have arisen by NS working on random mutations.

    Nowhere do you see a call for supernatural anything.

  11. So NS on RM did the bulk of the work, and the design input was not supernatural. So a natural designer would be detectable by the scientific method, presumably, Josh.

  12. I don’t think Usurper was implying that the creator was some sort of super magician who creates everything on whim. He certainly never said that ID professes that life arose naturally. If that were the case, then, ID would no longer be necessary.

  13. The opposite of natural is not necessarily supernatural. It could just as easily be artificial. Artificial and supernatural are not synonyms. So just maybe life could be artificial but not supernatural. You darwinists are so one track minded.

  14. Josh writes:
    “ID doesn’t say that life could have not have arisen naturally.”

    Renard, understandably puzzled at Josh’s apparent reversal, asks:
    “Are you then saying that ID says life isn’t too complex to have arisen naturally, and it could have arisen naturally?”

    Renard,

    In his urgency to reply, Josh sometimes gets ahead of himself. But his lapse is telling, because it points out a problem with ID’s attempt to remain agnostic on the question of whether the designer is supernatural.

    Here’s a comment from the thread entitled “The Designer’s Skill-Set” (original post on November 29):

    RobG is making a simple point which his respondents seem to be missing.

    Bill Dembski’s original post says that the designer of life, as postulated by ID theory, need not have God’s full “skill set” — all that’s needed is the capability of “arranging finite material objects to display certain patterns.”

    RobG is simply pointing out that a finite designer of this sort (a technologically advanced extraterrestrial, for example) is itself an instance of complex specified information, and thus according to ID theory must also have a designer.

    Logically, there could even be a chain of designers: life’s designer, life’s designer’s designer, life’s designer’s designer’s designer, etc. Eventually, no matter how long or short the chain is, it must end with a “prime designer” who is the ultimate source of the complex specified information that is being passed down the chain.

    This prime designer is either natural (i.e. part of the universe) or supernatural. If it is natural, then its complex specified information arose out of undirected natural processes, which ID says is impossible. This means that according to ID theory, the prime designer must be supernatural.

    This is why RobG claims that ID is inherently religious, even though the immediate designer of life could conceivably be a finite being of the sort described by Dembski.

    Comment by keiths — December 1, 2005 @ 1:03 am

  15. For a different angle on the supernatural designer question, see this post from the thread entitled “Plantinga on the definition of ‘fundamentalist’” (original post on December 7):

    Josh writes [of ID]:
    “It’s not about God, so why would they posit a designer?”

    [Josh gets ahead of himself again; he means Designer with a capital 'D'].

    Josh, guess what? It IS about God. Notice that ID proponents are very careful not to exclude the possibility that the designer is God. Further note that all of the leading ID figures are believers who admit that they believe the designer is God, even though they don’t claim this as part of the theory (Berlinski as an agnostic may be the one exception; he seems to be more of a career gadfly who enjoys taking on “the establishment”). And look at the cosmic fine-tuning arguments. Who, besides God, would be capable of creating a universe and tuning its constants for a particular purpose? (Except possibly a cosmic hacker of the kind described in Bill’s new “Intelligent Hacker” post!)

    And if that doesn’t convince you, check out these stated goals from the DI’s “Wedge Document”:

    “Governing Goals:

    To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.
    To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.”

    Josh charges:
    “You continually show your dislike for the Bible, God, Christians…”

    The fact that I disbelieve the Bible does not mean that I dislike it, Josh. It’s a fascinating book, and parts of it are even inspiring. I find many Christians to be warm, personable, intelligent people, despite our disagreements. As for God, it’s hard to say whether I dislike him without knowing more about him. But I can say that the God of the Bible (and of the Old Testament, in particular), though he has his good side, is not very admirable in general, and downright despicable in spots, as when he endorses slavery and says that it’s okay to beat your slaves, as long as they don’t die immediately. On the other hand, there might exist a God worthy of love and worship. If so, once the evidence is there, I will become a believer.

    “you’ve distorted 2 bible passages…you’ve already shown your not well versed on the book.”

    Maybe you’re right. Please show me by citing the verses, explaining why my interpretation is wrong, and supplying your interpretation and the justification for it.

    “You clearly don’t even get the concept of what it means for the Bible to be inspired.”

    First of all, Christians as a group don’t even agree on what inspiration means. But if you think I’m wrong about it, why not show me why rather than simply accusing me of failing to “get the concept”?

  16. Okay, and if the designer is God…so what! Is the world over because of that. Does that mean we all have to bow our heads in holy prayer. I mean it could be Allah, Baal, Loki or even Satan himself. It doesn’t matter! What matters is the science.

  17. Keiths may I ask you to check out “http://www.Christian-thinktank.com]”, I think this will cover a lot of your objections to the bible. The old testament God certainly doesn’t endorse the slavery you envision. This site has a lot of good stuff!

  18. Benjii asks:
    “Okay, and if the designer is God…so what!”

    Here’s what:
    1. It shows that ID supporters are being disingenuous when they say, as Josh did, that “it’s not about God.”
    2. It means that ID qualifies as a religious doctrine, according to the courts, and is thus ineligible for inclusion in the science curriculum.

    That’s a pretty big deal, which is why ID proponents are so vehement in claiming that the designer need not be supernatural.

  19. Remember this Keiths: Intelligent design only discerns and infers whether something is designed. It can’t take the scientific leap into venturing,insofar, the identity of the designer. Just because the designer is ‘God’ doesn’t mean ID falls apart. Conversely, since Darwinian evolution is guided by an atheistic approach, it’s merits or demerits don’t make it stand or fall. It’s where the evidence leads. And it surely doesn’t lead into a materialistic outcome.

  20. Replace the words “merits or demerits” with ‘implications’.

  21. I just played the Panda game. These people represent the pandas:

    Philosopher Panda-Barbara Forrest and Robert Pennock
    The Upstanding Gentle Panda-Nick Matzke(He coined the phrase)… I think?
    The Activist Panda-Barbara Forrest and other like-minded atheists.
    The Sickly Panda-Ken Miller
    The Clown Panda-Eugenie Scott and Co.
    The Miner Panda-The Pandas thumb and Co.
    The Publisher Panda-Eugenie Scott and Barbara Forrest
    The Police Panda-Eugenie Scott and The Smithsonian
    The Pulpit Panda-Robert Pennock and Eugenie Scott
    The Constitutional Panda-All mentioned above

    …And the winner for most outspoken and confused ID critic goes to…Eugenie Scott.

    Congratulations Eugenie for confusing people and making all kids of all ages ignorant on ID. You win absolutely nothing at all!

  22. “Logically, there could even be a chain of designers: life’s designer, life’s designer’s designer, life’s designer’s designer’s designer, etc. Eventually, no matter how long or short the chain is, it must end with a “prime designer” who is the ultimate source of the complex specified information that is being passed down the chain.”

    Why does a chain of designers have to end in a prime designer? Why couldn’t there be a chain of designers stretching all the way back to infinity, i.e. with no beginning?

    Some such possibility is presented in the typical responses to the cosmological argument.

    ID is not committed to the claim that the designer of life on THIS planet is “supernatural” (whatever that means). ID is also not committed to the claim that life could not have evolved anywhere: just that the probability of it developing on THIS planet (given the time and material resources available) is too low to make it reasonable. There could, for all we know based on ID theory, be other material constituents that give rise to conscious life as easily and naturally as water molecules give rise to snowflakes. However, this is clearly not true of the materials WE are made of.

  23. Logan asks:
    “Why does a chain of designers have to end in a prime designer? Why couldn’t there be a chain of designers stretching all the way back to infinity, i.e. with no beginning?”

    In a finite universe, you’d run out of the matter and energy needed for an infinite chain of non-supernatural designers. You might think that an infinite universe could conceivably contain such a chain, but the problem is that the speed of light limits the volume of the universe which is causally connected to ours, so you run out of matter and energy anyway. Cosmological inflation doesn’t help, because conditions during inflation are unlikely to permit the operation of natural designing intelligences.

    Another problem is time. An infinite chain of natural designers cannot operate in a finite time, given that time cannot be subdivided beyond the Planck time.

    Logan again:
    “ID is not committed to the claim that the designer of life on THIS planet is ‘supernatural’.”

    True. As I noted, the proximate designer of life on Earth need not be supernatural. But the point of my argument is that a supernatural designer is implied at the end of the chain.

    Logan:
    “There could, for all we know based on ID theory, be other material constituents that give rise to conscious life as easily and naturally as water molecules give rise to snowflakes.”

    As far as I can tell, Dembski holds that CSI in this universe always requires an intelligent cause. If so, this would rule out the spontaneous emergence of conscious life, even from “other material constituents.”

    If he reads this exchange, perhaps he’ll respond.

    Good questions, Logan.

  24. Benjii writes:
    “Just because the designer is ‘God’ doesn’t mean ID falls apart.”

    I agree. In fact, I’ve argued elsewhere on this blog that ID supporters should come clean, admit that God is being discussed, and delineate his attributes sufficiently to make the designer thesis falsifiable:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....chives/557

    They don’t want to do this, for the reasons I mentioned before.

  25. Benjii writes:
    “Keiths may I ask you to check out “http://www.Christian-thinktank.com … The old testament God certainly doesn’t endorse the slavery you envision.”

    Benjii,
    I checked out the website’s handling of what must surely be one of the most disturbing quotes about slavery in the Bible:

    Exodus 21:20-21, NKJV:
    20 “And if a man beats his male or female servant with a rod, so that he dies under his hand, he shall surely be punished.
    21 Notwithstanding, if he remains alive a day or two, he shall not be punished; for he is his property.

    The website has no explanation for this except to say, in summary, that other ancient near eastern cultures treated their slaves even worse than the Hebrews did.

    How this excuses a God who is supposed to be morally perfect is beyond me.

  26. keiths

    You have the patience of a saint.

  27. Indeed, if CSI could not reasonably have arisen by unintelligent processes, arriving at the conclusion of a supernatural designer seems unavoidable – at least in our own universe. Maybe the physical constants of another universe are such that CSI could reasonably have originated, and maybe we are some sort of experiment of that intelligence. Even within our own universe, how do we know that CSI would not have a resonable shot at arising on some other world? Maybe another world exists within our universe on which life was given more time to self-assemble. Maybe CSI exists elsewhere in our universe that is not carbon-based, and perhaps *that* form of life has a significantly better chance of arising sans intelligent intervention. I don’t say that ID is atheism-friendly – it unquestionably poses serious problems for atheism; maybe that’s why there are no leading proponents of the theory who are atheists. But to say that ID logically precludes atheism would be incorrect.

  28. Renard

    The most difficult job for random chemical processes to accomplish is the first cell. Once you have this self-contained self-modifying self-replicating free-living organic factory wrapped up in cell membrane on the scene things get a lot easier and there’s a lot more time for the easier stuff to happen. The first cell appears to have come onto the scene around 4 billion years ago when the earth was still a violent, inhospitable place, as the solar system was very young then. Solar systems like ours, in this galactic neighborhood, had been around at least 4 billion years prior to ours forming according to GHZ reseachers. Organic molecules can also form in interstellar dust clouds which probably pushes back some possible pre-biotic chemistry more billions of years and more importantly drastically increases the size of the space where this random chemistry could be happening. Thus it appears likely that the first thing you could call “alive” evolved elsewhere and either by chance infected the earth or was planted here on purpose. There have been some studies showing that the earth is such a tiny target in the vastness of space that life originating elsewhere getting randomly transported here is virtually nil.

    In any case, life originating elsewhere and then finding its way to the earth is called panspermia. Now then, if you at least assume panspermia is a possibility then the question is begged “how complex was the first bit of life that landed here”. It could have been exceedingly complex. It might have even been a purposely designed “seed” that contained genetic blueprints for irreducibly complex things like flagella. Irreducible complex structures like that being contained in a seed that diversified over time is called “front loading”.

    We have examples of front loading today. You and I and every complex multicellular organism begins life as a single cell that is front-loaded with all the blueprints needed to unfold and diversify into trillions of cells of hundreds of different types organized into dozens of major organ systems. This all happens in a span of less than a year for individual humans. Now imagine a similar process of unfolding and diversifying in a pre-programmed manner happening over 4 billion years, starting out from a single cell and becoming all the diversity of life we see today.

    This makes perfect sense. Omne vivo ex ovum – everything comes from an egg. Phylogenesis and ontogenesis appear to be the same process only over different timescales. Sort of like a fractal – repeating patterns at different scales – nature loves a fractal.

  29. Keiths- you need to look at the Bible in context and not stop at one verse. Slavery in this time was not slavery we know of today. It was almost always voluntary and it was servitude in the sense that the “slave” lived with the family as a family member and did chores for the master of the house…the master, in turn, was instructed by Jewish law in the Bible to treat that person like his family member, to protect the “slave”, to look after him, to free this person in a certain amount of time. The Bible doesn’t endorse slavery, nor does God- it simply says if you do take part in the practice, you are bound to treat these people in this manner (a positive manner).

    A few verses later, you see this:

    Exodus21:26 “If a man hits a manservant or maidservant in the eye and destroys it, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the eye. 27 And if he knocks out the tooth of a manservant or maidservant, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the tooth.

    We’re not talking God here, we’re talking Jewish law and custom. God set forth the punishment for abusing others, he didn’t institute slavery.

  30. DaveScot

    I doubt we would agree on much of anything, but I certainly and totally agree with you that abiogenesis is an apparently intractable problem. “Panspermia” only moves the issue back to an earlier place or time, and offers no explanation. (Parallels with who designed the designer). At some time and at some place life had to get started, because life is here and now. Should evidence of life elsewhere emerge via SETI or other means, then given the age and size of our universe, one can assume abiogenesis is commonplace. Whilst we appear to remain unique in the universe we can freely speculate.

    That all development information for you and I was packed into the nucleus of an oocyte is also undeniable. Bleprint is the wrong word. Coincidentally Pharyngula has an article about HOX genes and the rôle they play in development of the embryo by controlling cell growth and differentiation.

    Where we really part company is where you invoke front-loading. It seems merely to avoid asking real questions and moves things back to who did the loading.

  31. Voluntary slavery!

    Josh, you’re priceless.

  32. Voluntary slavery!

    Josh,, you are priceless.

  33. Oops, scuse double post.

  34. Renard, you clearly didn’t read my comment. I said it wasn’t considered slavery, it was considered SERVITUDE. Slavery is INVOLUNTARY servitude. Voluntary servitude was common in this time period. When you had no resources, no way to take care of yourself, you voluntarily put yourself into service to be taken care of. Or if you owed a debt you had no way to pay, you could put yourself into the service of another to pay off the debt and have you needs met that way.

  35. Josh, from your post #28

    Slavery in this time was not slavery we know of today. It was almost always voluntary…

    You are almost priceless.

  36. Thanks, Renard.

    As Someone once said,
    Blessed are the indefatigable, for they…they shall… oh, crap — that one’s not in there.
    Dang.

    By the way, your occasional pithy one-liners are a real morale boost.

  37. Clearly renard has never heard of a prison. Nor has he heard of a chain gang. Nor has he heard of prisoners of war.

    He’s never heard of maid or butlers either. Gardeners are a thing of mystery in his world.

  38. On the other hand, Josh, you are very familiar with the non-sequitur.

  39. Sorry Renard, but what I said is, in fact, supported by the evidence we have. The verese referred to here are in regards to those acting in servitude which was usually voluntary…I quoted verses thatmade it clear you are to protect your servants, as the bible even puts forth punishment for those who harm their servants. Exodus is a form of theocratic law for the Jewish nation, and it’s quite fair if you look at the entire in context, not pick a verse here and there and claim God is amoral somehow.

    The servitude itself wasn’t started by God, as is clear. He merely put up the rules in dealing with manmade institutions. It’s like claiming the US is an evil nation because of the prison abuse scandal. We, in fact, have laws in place that demand a particular treatment of prisoners, and sometimes people refuse to obey these rules- so the government brings them to court and punishes them justly. That’s not to say that the US created the abuse situation, nor does the nation or the govt approve of the actions.

    The Bible says that there are servants, that it’s a manmade system…but, men will follow these fules to make sure that the servants are treated fairly and humanely. Treat them like your own famly members, after 6 years if they wish to go you must free them from the servitude, you shall not kill them lest you yourself be killed, you shall pay a tooth for a tooth if you injure them, etc. Nowhere does it say that God created/initiated or approves of the manmade system, rather simply that he demands certain things of people in their lawful treatment of others.

  40. Josh writes:
    “You need to look at the Bible in context and not stop at one verse.”

    Josh, I’ve read the whole thing. Shouldn’t that count as “context”?

    “Slavery in this time was not slavery we know of today. It was almost always voluntary…”

    Yeah, voluntary in the sense that if you ran out of money and were starving to death, you could “voluntarily” sell yourself into slavery. You could also sell your daughter (see Exodus 21:7), in which case it was hardly voluntary for her.

    “…it was servitude in the sense that the “slave” lived with the family as a family member and did chores for the master of the house…”

    Josh, when someone buys you, and you’re considered their property, and you have to do what they want, and they can beat you, and you can’t leave no matter what, that’s called ‘slavery’.

    “the master, in turn, was instructed…to free this person in a certain amount of time.”

    Not true. Hebrew slaves had to be freed after six years, but the others were slaves for life.

    “The Bible doesn’t endorse slavery, nor does God- it simply says if you do take part in the practice, you are bound to treat these people in this manner (a positive manner).”

    Yeah, I guess owning someone is “positive”. It means you were willing to pay money for them, after all. It’s a compliment. And beating someone, but not to death, shows real mercy.

    [Josh then quotes the eye/tooth verse]

    If your master knocks out a tooth or gouges your eye out, you go free. Broken bones, concussion, internal bleeding, or trauma — sorry, you’re still a slave. And you have to stay with the master who did this to you.

    “We’re not talking God here, we’re talking Jewish law and custom.”

    Josh, someone once told me that you need to look at Bible verses in context. If you examine this verse in context, you’ll see that it is one in a long list of commands given directly by God to Moses. This is God’s law, not Jewish custom.

    “God set forth the punishment for abusing others, he didn’t institute slavery.”

    Let’s suppose you’re right, and that God did not institute slavery. How does that help? He knew that the Hebrews had slaves. He knew that people would keep slaves for the next 3000 years (he’s omniscient, right?) and that they would justify slavery on the basis of Scripture. He could have added one little verse to the Bible saying “Thou shalt not keep slaves,” but he didn’t. That is immoral.

    And if for some perverse reason you don’t fault him for that, then what about the original verses? You can beat a slave so badly that he dies after a week in a coma. But hey, if he doesn’t die in one or two days, no punishment for you; after all, as the verse says, he’s your property.

    The God who gave those commands is immoral. The God of the Old Testament is not worthy of worship by people of conscience.

    Let’s hope that the real God, if he exists at all, is quite different, or at least has been through anger management training.

  41. It’s obvious keiths is using the how-keiths-reads-the-Bible hermeneutic rather than scholarly sources. Unless he wishes continual willful ignorance, I’d advise him to check out http://www.christian-thinktank.com/qnoslave.html to get everything straightened out.

  42. “The God who gave those commands is immoral. The God of the Old Testament is not worthy of worship by people of conscience.”
    ———–

    Keiths, you hate Christianity and you hate the Bible, so you will continue to distort everything you see within it- so I won’t even deal with the many items above you confuse. Nothing anyone will say is going to change your disgust with the Bible, you make that much clear with your comments.

    It’s okay tho, the full 1/3 of the world’s population is probably okay with your view that they probably aren’t men and women of conscience, considering they could worship such an immoral God.

  43. Four words for evolutionists: Ignorance is the best policy
    I mean, its got them pretty well thus-far climbing the social ladder so why stop there ?
    Charlie

  44. Comment relating to the original topic at the top of the page….
    Did anyone notice there’s a bright side to the fact that Jeffrey Bennett included a page about ID in his new textbook?

    It’s severalfold.
    1) Until now, as far as I know, ID has been completely ignored in textbooks prior to this.
    2) Now that ID is in a textbook, the textbook hawks at Discovery Institute can file their objections along with supporting materials TO GET THE WORDING CHANGED before a state like Texas will adopt it. The 3rd edition sells on Amazon for $103!!!!! BUT IT WON’T SELL IN TEXAS after DI gets through with it!!!! Unless they make changes.
    3) Even if the book sells as is, now that ID is IN the textbook, a kid can raise his hand and ask for more information about ID.

    Once again, the only way the high priests of Darwin know how to counter the claims of ID is to misrepresent the claims. Fantasy, magical thinking, evolutionary logic and insanity are defended with fantasy, magical thinking, evolutionary logic and insanity.

  45. Josh stoops to putting words in my mouth again:
    “It’s okay tho, the full 1/3 of the world’s population is probably okay with your view that they probably aren’t men and women of conscience, considering they could worship such an immoral God.”

    I do think that most Christians are men and women of conscience. I grew up as a Lutheran, my grandfather was a minister in the church, and my mother is still practicing. I have many friends and relatives who are Christian. These are good folks, and I resent Josh’s cheap attempt to imply that I doubt the strength of their consciences.

    As a young Christian I was taught to revere the Bible and to take it literally. I had a crisis of faith when I noticed that the science I was learning was in conflict with a literal interpretation of the Bible (See my December 7, 3:22 pm post at http://www.uncommondescent.com.....chives/553 ). This conflict ended up as an important factor in my eventual loss of faith, but another contributor was my discomfort at what I was reading in the Bible about law and morality.

    As just about every American kid does, I learned that slavery was wrong and felt the truth of it in my gut. It was therefore a shock to learn that the God of the Bible not only tolerated slavery, but also treated slaves unfairly (and brutally) under his law. This was not the God I had learned to love and worship. My pastor told me that most of the Old Testament laws had been superseded by Jesus, and that I should focus on the new law rather than the old.

    But I was still uncomfortable with the idea that God had done something seemingly immoral in the past. The pastor told me that what God did was by definition good, and that if what God did conflicted with my moral intuitions, then my moral intuitions needed to be modified in suitable humility. I tried to do that and was successful for a while. In the long run I arrived at the conclusion, as most of us do, that things are not good because a just God defines them that way, but rather that a just God does them because they are good.

    Having felt a similar urge myself, I sympathize with the need that Josh and some other Christians feel to whitewash the Old Testament and thereby align Jehovah with their morals. They want to take the Old Testament seriously, but they cannot reconcile its seamier parts with their morals except by distorting its words and messages. This takes a toll on them.

    Many (perhaps most) other Christians don’t even know about the strange things in the Bible, like the slavery verses and the serial genocide. They imagine the Old Testament God as a stern but always loving and just deity. I think of this God as the ‘Sunday School God’. The God they worship in their hearts is the Sunday School God. He is a far better God than the one described in the pages of the Old Testament. They’re simply not aware of any discrepancy between the two. You can hardly fault their consciences for that.

    Other Christians know about the problematic verses but don’t take them seriously. These Christians often see the Old Testament as the all-too-human attempt of a nomadic desert people to personalize and mythologize the ineffable God they were worshipping. These folks have no problem with the God of the Old Testament, because they see him only as a crude approximation to the real God of Christianity. They need not trouble their consciences.

    Josh cops out:
    “Keiths, you hate Christianity and you hate the Bible, so you will continue to distort everything you see within it- so I won’t even deal with the many items above you confuse.”

    That may be the right strategy, Josh. It’s certainly easier to play the hate card than it is to construct a rational argument to show why I am mistaken. It also deflects attention from the fact that you’re unable to answer my challenges. And this way you can accuse me of distortion without having to provide any evidence for your charges.

  46. KeithS

    Reading your comment about an infinite regress to an ultimately supernatural designer was interesting and I can’t really disagree, except to say that the supernatural becomes the natural once we know about it.

    That said, supernatural or not, we remain confronted with the evidence of design, and the evidence of design we have does not require a supernatural force. Is there something wrong with addressing the questions for which we have data even when we know it won’t yield a final answer? Of course not. So let’s focus on the evidence at hand and leave the ultimate nature of God and the universe to the mystics for now. How’s that sound?

  47. KeithS

    It might be “about God” for many, but for me it’s not. It’s about the evidence and following it wherever it leads. I’m just an agnostic computer design engineer. If God did it or some other intelligence, so what? The design remains the same in either case and make no mistake it IS a design and it almost certainly didn’t happen by serendipitous bumping together of atoms. DNA is a digital code and codes require coders without exception.

  48. Renard

    ““Panspermia” only moves the issue back to an earlier place or time, and offers no explanation.”

    You’re wrong. It offers an explanation for events from 4 billion years ago to present. That’ll have to be enough for now. You have my deepest apologies that it doesn’t provide more than that.

    So Renard, is the reason you believe chance evolution because it doesn’t beg further questions about the nature of life and its origins? That’s not a very scientific position. Sometimes partial answers in science lead to even harder questions. Deal with it.

  49. Renard

    “Blueprint is the wrong word.”

    Blueprint is precisely the right word but I’m willing to entertain your argument, should you choose to make one, as to why it is the wrong word. Feel free to support your position.

  50. Renard

    “Where we really part company is where you invoke front-loading. It seems merely to avoid asking real questions and moves things back to who did the loading.”

    The truth isn’t always what you want it to be. Ontogenesis is front-loaded. Phylogenesis appears to be front-loaded as well. The only difference is the timescale. Just because we don’t know where the first front-loaded egg came from doesn’t make it okay to assume it just appeared as if by magic from the random motion of atoms. That doesn’t make any sense. Eggs don’t just pop out of nowhere. That goes completely against every single bit of experience we have with eggs. Life today can presumably be traced back in an unbroken cell line to a single cell (vernacular egg) some 4 billion years ago. The trail goes cold there. To me, chance worshippers are no better than religious mystics who both pretty much at some point throw up their hands and say “and then a miracle happens” for it surely would be a miracle if a working cell as we know them came about from random chemical bonding.

  51. keiths says:

    ” Josh, guess what? It IS about God. Notice that ID proponents are very careful not to exclude the possibility that the designer is God. “

    Did you read the excerpt from The Cosmic Perspective cited in the header? Because the author is very careful in two locations in that one page not to exclude the possibility that God was involved in evolution. He justifies that non-exclusion on the grounds that science can’t preclude it. It is in the nature of science not to exclude it.

    Yet when IDer’s keep the door open, you don’t see them as sticking to the dictates of science, but being disingenuous.

    Special rules for Darwinian critics. I’ve yet to see an objective argument where a Darwinist explained the justification for such special rules.

    “RobG is simply pointing out that a finite designer of this sort (a technologically advanced extraterrestrial, for example) is itself an instance of complex specified information, and thus according to ID theory must also have a designer.

    Logically, there could even be a chain of designers: life’s designer, life’s designer’s designer, life’s designer’s designer’s designer, etc. Eventually, no matter how long or short the chain is, it must end with a “prime designer” who is the ultimate source of the complex specified information that is being passed down the chain.

    This prime designer is either natural (i.e. part of the universe) or supernatural. If it is natural, then its complex specified information arose out of undirected natural processes, which ID says is impossible. This means that according to ID theory, the prime designer must be supernatural.

    This is why RobG claims that ID is inherently religious, even though the immediate designer of life could conceivably be a finite being of the sort described by Dembski.”

    And his logic is flawed. On can ask “ultimate” questions about the implications of scientific assertions without making such assertions “inherently religious”. If we find scientific evidence for panspermia, it doesn’t trouble “science” that it doens’t answer the “ultimate” question about theism vs materialism.

  52. Red Reader

    re comment 42

    Outstanding!

  53. KeithS

    I can’t not agree with you about the old testament. If it’s the same God in both the old and new testaments that’s one bipolar messed up God. It looks to me like someone recognized that the old testament was really morally bankrupt and did the best they could to correct it without alienating all those who believed it. That’s what Christ did. I don’t think for a second Christ was the son of the God of the old testament and I don’t believe for a second that Christ believed he was the son of that God either. I think what Christ believed is he had to do what he had to do in order to change the world for the better and get the morally bankrupt old testament worshippers thinking about love, kindness, charity, and forgiveness. Christ tried to reconcile the old testament with a God of love and did the best he could but for the critical reader it really looks like a contrived transition.

  54. keiths, first and foremost, it should be noted that the Bible does not commend slavery; rather, it recognizes the reality of slavery. In the ancient world where slavery flourished, the Mosaic Law thus stipulated stringent guidelines such as a year of Jubilee in which slaves were released (Lev. 25:40). Also, slavery within an Old Testament context was sanctioned due to economic realities rather than racial or sexual prejudices. Because bankruptcy laws did not exist, people would voluntarily sell themselves into slavery. A craftsman could, thus, use his skills in servitude to discharge a debt. Even a convicted thief could make restitution by serving as a slave (Exod. 23:3). These are crucial points that should not be glossed over. What we see in the character of Jehovah of the OT is actually a patient God who in a sense, “accomodates” a very rebelious and hard-hearted nomadic people, and who chooses not to violate the free-will he has endowed his people with. Regardless of the moral bankruptcy of their decisions/laws.

    It’s important to note that the NT book of Hebrews discusses in great theological depth, the “curse” of the OT law with it’s regulations and how Christ redeemed us from that curse. (Hebrews Ch. 9). In doing so, he revealed the true heart of the Father. A heart often misunderstood due to the accomodation of a rebellious people formerly living under a curse.

    I see no contradiction or moral crisis in the behavior of the OT God. I see a patient God essentially saying, “Ok, if this is how you want things to be, then here are your guidelines… but make no mistake, your wayward hearts are grievous.”

  55. Keiths your assessment of slavery is wrong. You didn’t read the website well. Look at this: ” The law allowed disciplinary rod-beating for a servant (Ex 21.20f), apparently under the same conditions as that for free men:

    If men quarrel and one hits the other with a stone or with his fist and he does not die but is confined to bed, 19 the one who struck the blow will not be held responsible if the other gets up and walks around outside with his staff; however, he must pay the injured man for the loss of his time and see that he is completely healed. If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, 21 but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property (ksph–”silver”; not the normal word(s) for property, btw).

    § Free men could likewise be punished by the legal system by rod-beating (Deut 25.1-3; Prov 10.13; 26.3), as could rebellious older sons (Prov 13.24; 22.15; 23.13). Beating by rod (shevet) is the same act/instrument ( flogging (2 Sam 7.14; Ps 89.32). This verse is in parallel to verses 18-19. If two people fight but no one dies, the aggressor is punished by having to ‘retributively’ pay (out of his own money–”silver”, ksph) for the victim’s lost economic time and medical expenses. If it is a person’s slave and this occurs, there is no (additional) economic payment–the lost productivity and medical expenses of the wounded servant are (punitive economic) loss alone. There was no other punishment for the actual damage done to the free-person in 18-19, and the slave seems to be treated in the same fashion. Thus, the ‘property’ attribute doesn’t seem to suggest any real difference in ethical treatment of injury against a servant. Let’s structure out the parallel:

    Aspect
    Two “Free-brews” (smile)
    Master/Slave

    Victim:
    Freeman
    Slave

    Perp:
    Freeman
    Master

    Extent:
    “Confined to bed”
    “cannot get up”

    (i.e., Confined to bed)

    Bodily Harm:
    Wounded to point of needing a ‘staff’;

    Wounded to the point of needing medical attention and ‘healing’
    [Unspecified, but sounds similar to the other case]

    Instrument used:
    Stone or fist
    Disciplinary rod

    (like elders used on criminals; and parents used on sons)

    Motive:
    “Brawl”
    Discipline

    Punitive

    Compensation:
    Loss of time;

    Cost of medical attention

    (paid in ‘money’–’silver’)
    Loss of time;

    Cost of medical attention

    (borne ‘internally’ – ‘silver’)

    If victim dies”
    Perp Executed
    Perp Executed”

    Free men could be beaten for certain penalities. Check out this quote from a bible commentator: “

  56. First, the JPS Torah Commentary [JPStorah, in loc]

    “This law-the protection of slaves from maltreatment by their masters-is found nowhere else in the entire existing corpus of ancient Near Eastern legislation. It represents a qualitative transformation in social and human values and expresses itself once again in the provisions of verses 26-27. The underlying issue, as before, is the determination of intent on the part of the assailant at the time the act was committed.

  57. As previous posts have stated, slavery was voluntary. A scripture in Exodus forbids the kidnapping and the enslaving of a person (Exodus 21:16). It says anyone who kidnaps another and either sells him or still has him when he is caught must be put to death. So obviously slavery was voluntary. This commentator supports my view: “A person would either enter into slavery or be sold by a parent or relative. Persons sold their wives, grandchildren, brother (with his wife and child), sister, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, nephews and niece…Many of the documents emphasize that the transaction is voluntary. This applies not only to self-sale but also to those who are the object of sale, although their consent must sometimes have been fictional, as in the case of a nursing infant.” [HI:HANEL:1.665]

    So your assessment of slavery was inaccurate.

  58. Keiths says: “Many (perhaps most) other Christians don’t even know about the strange things in the Bible, like the slavery verses and the serial genocide. They imagine the Old Testament God as a stern but always loving and just deity. I think of this God as the ‘Sunday School God’”

    The God of the old testament is the same one as in the new testament. Most christians do know about the God of the old testament and his character. You’re dead wrong about that! Moreover, that wasn’t any form of arbitrary genocide. The destruction that came from God in the old testament came about because of sin. For example, the Genocide that you are talking about probably refers to the Canaanites and the Amalekites. Why did the lord command such destruction? Simply look at this passage; After the LORD your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, “The LORD has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is going to drive them out before you. (Deut 9.4)

    The wickedness are as follows:
    Child sacrifice (with at least some of it in fire)
    Incest
    Bestiality
    Homosexual practices
    Cultic prostitution–both male and female

    In short, I could go on and on about this issue, however, this website pertains to intelligent design, not Bible apologetics. At any rate, most skeptics complain that God does nothing about evil. However, when he takes decisive action, all of sudden they look to fault God for his destruction upon sin. What a contradiction!

  59. DaveScot

    Blueprint is the wrong word because it implies a “mapping” correlation between the genome and the resultant organism (that there are encoded measurements for shape and size etc.). The DNA codes for proteins, some proteins produced by the HOX genes act as regulators on other genes, sheets of cells grow and differentiate under their control, and the embryo develops accordingly. There is no blueprint. Shades of the old “homunculus” concept. Rather than the misleading word, blueprint, Try, as I have often seen the suggestion, “recipe”.

  60. Davescot

    Perhaps you misundestand me, or I misundestand “panspermia”. I assume it is the hypothesis that microbial spores could have travelled interstellar distances in space debris such as meteorites. If you allow this proposition, when and where life originally got started is widened from within the last 4 billion years somewhere on Earth, to include longer ago and other places. It does not begin to answer the question of how it happened. My feeling is abiogenesis will remain a philosophical question, unless life (independent of terrestrial life)is dicovered elsewhere, or someone manages to reproduce abiogenesis experimentally. How likely either eventuality is seems hardly worth debating.

  61. DaveScot

    Re your comment #48.

    Front loading has the same anthropomorphic connotation as blueprint. Take out the references to front loading and I don’t disagree with the rest of your comment. No-one has come close to a convincing natural explanation for abiogenesis. That abiogenesis occurred is confirmed by our existence. Until someone does, we can all put our own belief into the gap.

  62. Benji

    Voluntary impies choice. So if a slave didn’t enjoy the profession, and fancied a change, could he choose to resign?

  63. no, keiths…i replied to your argument and explained how you were inaccurate in your picture of “slavery” of the bible.

    the founding fathers of the US owned slaves…its time that we follow your logic thru. if the god of the OT is morally bankrupt as davescot says and you seem to agree- then the founders of this nation are also bankrupt. and this was REAL slavery that you speak of, not the OT type that in no way mirrors the US version or european version of slavery.

    if someone recognizes the reality of something and demands humane treatment- as the founders themselves did (heck they did even less than the OT, they dont say to treat outright slaves humanely!), then what now? we can only conclude from your logic and that of others here that the founders were somehow morally bankrupt. if it goes for god of the OT, it goes for them as well since they were even worse in not demanding humane treatment of slaves, and slavery was actually SLAVERY to the founders.

  64. Right on Josh!

    Renard,

    Slaves would be in service for seven years as stipulated by the OT law. At the end of the term, in Deuteronomy 15: 12-18: “a man or woman, sells himself to you and serves you six years, in the seventh year you must let him go free. And when you release him, do not send him away empty handed. Supply him liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to him as the LORD your God has blessed you.”

    This is nothing like New World African slavery. At the end of the term the slave would be provided with a lot of resources. Moreover, a family member or any distant relative could buy out the slave from bondage. Moreover, slavery in Israel was so good that at times a slave could stay a slave for the rest of his life if he chose too (Deut 15:16-17. In the end, keep in mind the Israelites were enslaved brutally in Egypt for 400 years, until God saved them. They know how badly they were treated. An d they knew that God would punish them if they mistreated their man and maid servants.

    I’ll end this with a quote from a commentator: “Although slaves were viewed as the property of heads of households, the latter were not free to brutalize or abuse even non-Israelite members of the household. On the contrary, explicit prohibitions of the oppression/exploitation of slaves appear repeatedly in the Mosaic legislation. In two most remarkable texts, Leviticus 19:34 and Deuteronomy 10:19, Yahweh charges all Israelites to love (‘aheb) aliens (gerim) who reside in their midst, that is, the foreign members of their households, like they do themselves and to treat these outsiders with the same respect they show their ethnic countrymen. Like Exodus 22:20 (Eng. 21), in both texts Israel’s memory of her own experience as slaves in Egypt should have provided motivation for compassionate treatment of her slaves. But Deuteronomy 10:18 adds that the Israelites were to look to Yahweh himself as the paradigm for treating the economically and socially vulnerable persons in their communities.” [HI:MFBW:60]

  65. Slaves usually wouldn’t leave by choice because they would be too poor to survive. They were probably paid and well fed before they can go out again.

  66. Can we stick to ID now and not bible apolegetics! If anybody else has further questions regarding the bible, then check out this website, “www.christian-thinktank.com”.

  67. Benjii writes:
    “Can we stick to ID now and not bible apolegetics! If anybody else has further questions regarding the bible, then check out this website, “www.christian-thinktank.com”.”

    Benjii,

    You crack me up. You just posted 6 times in a period of two hours, trying to justify your view of the Old Testament. Now you suddenly want discussion to stop, before anyone can answer you. I guess it’s okay for you to hold forth, but not the rest of us.

    To top it off, you slip in a plug for your favorite apologetics website while asking everyone else to leave apologetics alone.

    As Renard would say, you are priceless.

  68. Its obvious that keiths is not going to use any scholarly, much less any reliable scholarly sources to justify his view. It’s as I’ve already said, he’s simply reads the Bible his own way. I don’t really see that anyone ought give his objections the time of day.

  69. No, you are free to do what you want. I, like Bill Dembski, would not consider bible apolegetics appropriate for this blog. That’s why I said that if you have any further questions regarding the bible then you can check the website I gave you. I respect you as a skeptic, but your skepticism is not approriate for here. Why not go to an Christian forum and debate there. I took the time to answer you because I felt like stretching my apolegetics muscle. I love to defend my faith. Don’t you?

  70. DaveScot and Roger comment on my argument that Dembski’s CSI ideas demand a supernatural ‘prime designer’:

    DaveScot writes:
    “Reading your comment about an infinite regress to an ultimately supernatural designer was interesting and I can’t really disagree…”

    Dave, if you “can’t really disagree”, how about agreeing? :-)

    Dave continues:
    “So let’s focus on the evidence at hand and leave the ultimate nature of God and the universe to the mystics for now.”

    I’m not addressing the “ultimate nature of God”. I’m simply pointing out that CSI demands a supernatural prime designer, and recommending that ID proponents admit that instead of pretending the theory is “not about God”.

    “It might be “about God” for many, but for me it’s not. It’s about the evidence and following it wherever it leads.”

    I took 1) Dembski’s CSI ideas, and 2) the existence of CSI in the world, as my starting points. I thought things through and concluded that the prime designer must be supernatural, if Dembski’s ideas are correct. You didn’t disagree with my reasoning. So how am I not “following it [the evidence] wherever it leads”?

    “If God did it or some other intelligence, so what?”

    It matters. See my reply to Benjii (comment #17 in this thread).

    Roger writes:
    “He [the textbook author] justifies that non-exclusion [of the possibility that God guided evolution] on the grounds that science can’t preclude it. It is in the nature of science not to exclude it. Yet when IDer’s keep the door open, you don’t see them as sticking to the dictates of science, but being disingenuous.”

    Hi Roger,
    I think you and Dave both misunderstand my reasons for emphasizing the “inherently religious” nature of ID. It’s not that I think ID can’t be science if it is religious; quite the opposite. I think ID NEEDS to become religious in order to be scientific. This may sound paradoxical, so let me explain.

    To be scientific, a theory must be falsifiable. ID, as I have argued in this thread, implies a supernatural prime designer, even if ID proponents don’t want to admit that. If ID does not pin down at least some attributes of the supernatural designer, then it is not falsifiable (follow the link in comment #23 for an explanation of this).

    However, if ID admits that it implies a supernatural designer, and is willing to specify some of his attributes, then it becomes falsifiable, and therefore testable as science (it still may not be good science, but at least it’s science).

  71. DaveScot in one post:
    “…I can’t really disagree [with your argument]…”

    DaveScot in a later post:
    “I can’t not agree with you about the old testament.”

    C’mon, Dave, you can do it…

    “I a… a… ag… ag… AGREE with you, Keith.”

    There… Now doesn’t that feel better? :-)

  72. Dave,

    By the way, I can’t avoid not disagreeing with the opposite of what you didn’t say in your earlier post.

  73. “However, if ID admits that it implies a supernatural designer, and is willing to specify some of his attributes, then it becomes falsifiable, and therefore testable as science (it still may not be good science, but at least it’s science).”

    Why does ID need to admit that the designer is supernatural? All ID can do or say is if something is designer or not. When detectives investigate a death, they try to see whether there was a natural cause or an outside source that caused it. If they do, indeed, conclude that an outside source has been involved, they do so because of the design theoretic methods, not the attributes of the outside intelligence. That’s the same thing with ID. Moreover, it’s not so much if whether a theory is falsifiable or not, most philosophers of science are employing new criterion. Such as confirmable/disconfirmable.

    Now let me ask you this, Keiths? Did you know that late eminent philosopher of science, Karl Popper, repudiated evolution for not being falsifiable? How, then, can evolution be falsified? It seems that the mechanism is so disputed, that scientists set it in stone that it has occured. Most evolutionist don’t even consider evolution to be a smooth gradual process. At that, it is still accepted as fact. Where’s the falsifiability in that? Like Bill Dembski said in one post, it’s ID that is falisifiable, not evolution.

  74. DaveScot,

    If I understand your front-loaded version of the panspermia hypothesis, you’re suggesting that a “seed” for all of life might have been planted on (or drifted to) Earth, and that all of the genetic information needed for the subsequent development of increasingly complex organisms was already present in the seed, just waiting to be “switched on”.

    Is that a fair synopsis?

    If so, I see some potential problems with the idea:

    1. In the case of the seed drifting randomly to Earth, the designers wouldn’t have known in advance what kind of planet the seed would land on. The adaptations appropriate for one habitable planet wouldn’t necessarily be the same as for another with different atmospheric pressure or composition, different ocean salinity, a different length of day, etc. Front-loading in this case would have to cover all possible target planets.

    2. Following up on #1, how would the organisms “know” how to select the appropriate genetic information for the planet they were developing on?

    3. How would organisms know when to “switch on” various chunks of genetic information? For example, how would the genes for the human brain remain “off” for billions of years, then suddenly turn on when needed?

    4. Unexpressed genetic material is subject to mutation. Selection can’t weed out the mutants, because it can only operate on genes that ARE expressed. Over millions or even billions of years, the unexpressed material would mutate so badly that it would be useless when it was finally switched on.

    Comments?

  75. Keiths wrote:

    “I took 1) Dembski’s CSI ideas, and 2) the existence of CSI in the world, as my starting points. I thought things through and concluded that the prime designer must be supernatural, if Dembski’s ideas are correct.”

    This argument is interesting, and not at all obviously flawed (although I and others would want to think about it some more). It is the kind of argument I expect Christian apologists will use to prove the existence of a supernatural designer, if Prof. Dembski’s ideas do get widely accepted.

    If the argument is meant to force IDists to admit that they are talking about the supernatural, then it may turn out to be a bit superfluous, since Prof. Dembski and other IDists also support the “fine-tuning” argument. If the values of various physical constants referred to in the “fine-tuning” argument were set very early on after the Big Bang, then a designer capable of doing so (or even of existing at that stage) may well have to be “supernatural”. I’m still not so sure what to make of this term, since I have no idea what “natural” means. Perhaps a “natural” designer is just one who needs a physical body composed of matter in order to operate, and a “supernatural” designer is one who does not need a body to operate?

    A question about slavery in the Bible: am I right in assuming that a person could become a slave by being taken captive in war, and by being born into slavery? If so, slavery was certainly not voluntary in Old Testament times.

  76. keiths: “I took 1) Dembski’s CSI ideas, and 2) the existence of CSI in the world, as my starting points. I thought things through and concluded that the prime designer must be supernatural, if Dembski’s ideas are correct. You didn’t disagree with my reasoning. So how am I not “following it [the evidence] wherever it leads”? ”

    And earlier on keiths wrote: “As far as I can tell, Dembski holds that CSI in this universe always requires an intelligent cause. If so, this would rule out the spontaneous emergence of conscious life, even from “other material constituents.””

    You’re making a typical, Darwinistic logical error: you presume that which you wish to demonstrate.

    If you ASSUME (“take”, your word) CSI, and if you CONCEDE the presence of CSI in the world, then that makes ID correct, and Darwinism wrong. So what’s left to prove?

    You’re proposing to demonstrate the scientific legitimacy of ID via the demonstration of whether or not there is a God, and what kinds of attributes this God has. (This involves the whole realm of the supernatural. Science as we know it is not tractable in such a realm.)

    This is completely bass-ackwards. One of the “implications” of ID may be that there is a “supernatural” God (Dave Scott surely doesn’t think so), but what is being proposed, and what is being presented as scientific, is the presence of CSI as a detectable crystallization, as it were, of intelligence. The demonstration of IC and CSI renders Darwinism useless. But through it all, CSI stands and falls on its own, and should be determined to be either scientifically true, or scientifically false using scientific means and argumentation, and nottheological mutterings.

    Again, you choose to ASSUME the very thing that needs to be demonstrated. That might work in the world of Darwin, but it doesn’t work in the world of ID.

  77. Benjii asks:
    “Why does ID need to admit that the designer is supernatural?”

    Read the thread and follow the links. I’ve already addressed this question in excruciating detail.

    “Now let me ask you this, Keiths? Did you know that late eminent philosopher of science, Karl Popper, repudiated evolution for not being falsifiable?”

    Now let me ask you this, Benjii. Did you know that Popper realized his mistake and corrected it 27 years ago, as quote-miners always fail to mention?

    “Like Bill Dembski said in one post, it’s ID that is falisifiable, not evolution.”

    Particular claims of ID, such as the IC of the flagellum, are falsifiable. The designer hypothesis is not. See http://www.uncommondescent.com.....chives/557 , beginning at comment #9.

  78. Logan says: “A question about slavery in the Bible: am I right in assuming that a person could become a slave by being taken captive in war, and by being born into slavery? If so, slavery was certainly not voluntary in Old Testament times.”

    Where does it say that in the bible? Did you not read the previous posts? People chose to become slaves so that they could have a reliable way of living. Obviously, at times, foreign captives would become slaves because they couldn’t have any other mode of survival. That was allowable as long as they were treated respectfully.

    Taken from the christian think tank:

    “In addition to the institution of Hebrew servanthood above, the Mosaic law has some material on two other kinds of servant/slave-type situations: captives of war and foreign slaves. There is not much material on these subjects, and, given the intention of the Law to differentiate between Israel and the nations, much of it falls into the exceptional category.

    The first case is that of war captives in Deut 20. The scenario painted in this chapter is a theoretical one, that apparently never materialized in ancient Israel. It concerns war by Israel against nations NOT within the promised land. Since Israel was not allowed by God to seek land outside its borders (cf. Deut 2.1-23), such a military campaign could only be made against a foreign power that had attacked Israel in her own territory. By the time these events occurred (e.g. Assyria), Israel’s power had been so dissipated through covenant disloyalty that military moves of these sort would have been unthinkable.

    But the scenario involved offering peace to a city. If the city accepted peace, its inhabitants would be put to “forced labor” (cf. Gibeon in Josh 9), but this would hardly be called ‘slavery’ (it is also used of conscription services under the Hebrew kings, cf. 2 Sam 20.24; I Kings 9.15). If the city was attacked and destroyed, the survivors were taken as foreign slaves/servants (but the women apparently had special rights–cf. Deut 21.10ff) under the rubric of the second case (below).”

    God orders the Israelites to make a distinction between the Hebrew servants and the those of foreign nations. They were:

    · Allowed to ‘buy’ (not take!) slaves from foreign nations around them [Note: these would NOT include the Canaanites, but would be from remote nations. This would make the incidence level of this extremely small, except in the case of royalty or the ruling class. In those days, rulers would often have slaves with special skills, such as writing, teaching, translation, but the lives of these 'slaves' would not be representative of the common "western" slavery under discussion.]

    · The temporary resident situation would look more like the Hebrew institution (since the alien would be ‘selling himself’ as in that case). The main difference would be the absence of the “timed-release” freedom clauses, but the slave-for-life-for-love situation may have been what is behind the ‘you CAN make them slaves for life’ (implying that it was not automatic.).

    · The temporary resident already performed more mundane tasks for the people, for example wood and water services (cf. Deut 29.11: the aliens living in your camps who chop your wood and carry your water. ), in exchange for escape from Egypt or from troubles abroad. But these aliens were not confined to some ‘lower class’ in the Israelite assembly, since it is obvious that they could rise to affluence and actually BUY Hebrew servants as well:

    “`If an alien or a temporary resident among you becomes rich and one of your countrymen becomes poor and sells himself to the alien living among you or to a member of the alien’s clan, 48 he retains the right of redemption after he has sold himself. (Deut 25.47)

    As such, it looks more like the Hebrew institution than the ‘western’ version.

    Let me end with this quote once again: “Although slaves were viewed as the property of heads of households, the latter were not free to brutalize or abuse even non-Israelite members of the household. On the contrary, explicit prohibitions of the oppression/exploitation of slaves appear repeatedly in the Mosaic legislation. In two most remarkable texts, Leviticus 19:34 and Deuteronomy 10:19, Yahweh charges all Israelites to love (‘aheb) aliens (gerim) who reside in their midst, that is, the foreign members of their households, like they do themselves and to treat these outsiders with the same respect they show their ethnic countrymen. Like Exodus 22:20 (Eng. 21), in both texts Israel’s memory of her own experience as slaves in Egypt should have provided motivation for compassionate treatment of her slaves. But Deuteronomy 10:18 adds that the Israelites were to look to Yahweh himself as the paradigm for treating the economically and socially vulnerable persons in their communities.” [HI:MFBW:60]

  79. Thanks Dave.
    Dave? Hello? Anyone there?

  80. I am here, Red Reader. Let’s talk! Only I’m not Dave.

  81. Logan writes:
    “If the argument is meant to force IDists to admit that they are talking about the supernatural, then it may turn out to be a bit superfluous, since Prof. Dembski and other IDists also support the “fine-tuning” argument.”

    Yes, the fine-tuning argument seems to require a supernatural designer. See my earlier comment (#14) on this thread. Note, however, that prominent IDers continue to insist that the theory does NOT require a supernatural designer. I’m not sure how they reconcile this with the fine-tuning argument. Maybe they don’t. Perhaps that’s why Bill was happy to post the “Intelligent Hacker Behind the Universe” article, since it seems to leave open the possibility that the fine-tuner might be a non-supernatural “physicist-hacker”: “According to theory, anyone could make a universe by squashing a lump of matter violently enough to replicate the big bang.”

    Logan continues:
    “Perhaps a “natural” designer is just one who needs a physical body composed of matter in order to operate, and a “supernatural” designer is one who does not need a body to operate?”

    That’s it, more or less, with the additional proviso that the supernatural designer must be sufficiently capable of manipulating matter and energy to implement his design(s).

    “A question about slavery in the Bible: am I right in assuming that a person could become a slave by being taken captive in war, and by being born into slavery? If so, slavery was certainly not voluntary in Old Testament times.”

    You are right. Watch this thread for an upcoming post in which I address that and a bunch of other issues related to the OT.

  82. Hopefully this will put an end to all ignorance and lack of understanding. Deuteronomy 15: 12-18: “a man or woman, sells himself to you and serves you six years, in the seventh year you must let him go free. And when you release him, do not send him away empty handed. Supply him liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to him as the LORD your God has blessed you.”

    Notice the words “sells himself”. It was voluntary! Remember the Exodus scripture that forbad anyone from kidnapping and selling somebody as a slave. So how is it involuntary?

    This is my last post concerning this topic. Other than this I will ignore. It just seems like people like to make a career of refuting the bible, even though they can’t.

  83. Benji:
    “Where does it say that in the bible?”

    In the same places where the author of the “Christian Think Tank” found it when he/she wrote:

    “In addition to the institution of Hebrew servanthood above, the Mosaic law has some material on two other kinds of servant/slave-type situations: captives of war and foreign slaves.”

    I’m just asking a question about a topic that I didn’t see addressed explicitly in the posts earlier in this thread, and that is highly relevant to testing the claim about whether or not slavery in the Bible was voluntary.

    BTW, I am quite symathetic to the claim that Old Testament slavery was not the same as New World African slavery. The reason is that slavery could take many different forms throughout the world, and some of them could be much more benign than s;avery often was on this continent. However, I am still skeptical of the claim that slavery was largely or entirely voluntary, and I cited two cases in which this claim might break down: war captives, and people born into slavery.

    The fact that people are not allowed to be kidnapped (as they were during the creation of New World African slavery) does not imply that all slavery was voluntary (and you seemed to assume that it does.) There are other ways for people to become slaves involuntarily, besides kidnapping, and I tried to point out a couple of these.

  84. By the way, I can’t avoid not disagreeing with the opposite of what you didn’t say in your earlier post.

    Ah! The pithy one-liner tactic!
    Sock it to ‘em, keiths!

  85. PaV asks:
    “If you ASSUME (”take”, your word) CSI, and if you CONCEDE the presence of CSI in the world, then that makes ID correct, and Darwinism wrong. So what’s left to prove?”

    PaV,
    You missed the part where I said “if Dembski’s ideas are correct”.

    “You’re proposing to demonstrate the scientific legitimacy of ID via the demonstration of whether or not there is a God, and what kinds of attributes this God has.”

    Not at all. I’m saying that to be scientific, a theory must be falsifiable. ID implies a supernatural prime designer. Supernatural beings (particularly omnipotent ones) can do anything they want to, which means that any scientific observation at all can be explained by saying “a supernatural being did it”. In other words, such a being is unfalsifiable. However, if you specify some of the attributes of the being, you place limits on what it will do, and you can test it with respect to those specific attributes. It becomes falsifiable and thereby qualifies as a scientific claim (this of course says nothing about the truth of the claim). For some examples of how this works, see comment #14 at http://www.uncommondescent.com.....7#comments .

    “This involves the whole realm of the supernatural. Science as we know it is not tractable in such a realm.”

    Only true in some cases. See above.

    “But through it all, CSI stands and falls on its own, and should be determined to be either scientifically true, or scientifically false using scientific means and argumentation, and not theological mutterings.”

    Theories stand or fall based on how well they match with observation. Dembski’s CSI ideas imply a supernatural prime designer. A supernatural designer can explain any observation (i.e. is not falsifiable) unless its attributes are specified to some extent. Therefore, “theological mutterings”, as you put it, are absolutely required to make it falsifiable and thus scientific.

    “Again, you choose to ASSUME the very thing that needs to be demonstrated. That might work in the world of Darwin, but it doesn’t work in the world of ID.”

    This statement just reflects your misunderstanding of the argument.

  86. Renard writes:
    “Ah! The pithy one-liner tactic!
    Sock it to ‘em, keiths!”

    Although we sometimes disagree, I’ve come to like Dave Scott. I hope he knows that I was just teasing, and that there was no malice behind that remark.

    It’s nice to have you posting for the pro-evolution side, Renard. For a while it was getting pretty lonely on this side of the chasm.

  87. “It’s nice to have you posting for the pro-evolution side, Renard. For a while it was getting pretty lonely on this side of the chasm.”

    How come you guys haven’t been banned yet? The Panda’s Thumb people insist that anyone who dissents from Prof. Dembski on this blog gets banned. (j/k)

  88. Logan asks:
    “How come you guys haven’t been banned yet? The Panda’s Thumb people insist that anyone who dissents from Prof. Dembski on this blog gets banned. (j/k)”

    I realize that was a joke, Logan, but it actually raises a serious point. I, too, have heard the complaints about Bill’s banning of folks who disagree with him. I don’t know the facts behind those complaints, and so I can’t judge.

    What I do know is that I’ve been continually posting comments which are mostly critical of ID and often critical of Bill’s ideas and writings. To his credit, Bill has never censored a post of mine or warned me to back off.

    I appreciate that, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to participate on this blog.

    Thanks, Bill.

  89. Keiths- you probably shouldn’t talk about quote mining when you did just that to Dave. You quoted him where he said the thing about supernatural, then asked for him to agree with you that ID is in fact a religious idea tho IDers don’t want to admit it. Now, Dave has made it fairly clear I think that he doesn’t believe in the supernatural…and you neglected to continue his quote where he clearly said that you might label it supernatural, but in his view it stops becoming supernatural when we can explain it.

    Sorry, but no cigar here either…you go on and on unending about how Dembski and others are lying and that ID is a religious ID. That’s fine, you can think so, but you’re in a thread right here where you’re buddying up to someone who supports ID yet says he doesn’t believe in the supernatural.

    The logic is silly. Origins science clearlt affects the worldview of many people. With your logic, Darwinism who claimed that his work made him an atheist must be atheistic itself. Richard Dawkins supports Darwinism afterall, and he’s an atheist…E.O. Wilson supports it, and he’s an atheist who says there’s no such thing as right and wrong, no such thing as ethics…so, we’ll conclude that the science itself is atheistic. Also- it’s been mentioned numerous times that, no matter how much you demand it, ID speaks of the DESIGN not the designER.

    So, you’ve come to the conclusion that ID supporters are being dishonest (you’re lucky Dembski doesn’t boot you), and you’re demanding they fess up to the truth that ID is religious and not science…again, by that logic, we can expect the same from you in that you need to admit that Darwinism is clearly atheistic (guilt by assoc afterall!)

    I’m actually not even sure how you make the logical leaps you do. You proclaim that ID surely demands a supernatural prime designer. Why? Darwinism stands on the claim that life originated somehow naturally, by chance, in some chemical soup somewhere, without direction…that this life somehow changed and added reams of information alone, randomly, unguided, with no goal in mind…and that it eventually lead to humans who can actually question all of the process (all by chance, unguided, randomly, with no purpose or goal.) How does that not demand a supernatural prime designer but ID does (because you said so!) ??? Come on, this is absurd.

    Logan- as to your questions…I said that most of the slavery mentioned was voluntary. Again tho, it was mainly servitude and it wasn’t like the slavery we know, as you mentioned in your own comment. If a prisoner or someone captured in war becomes an involuntary servant, I don’t see that this makes God immoral. This is human practice, nothing that was ordained by God, and we still take prisoners of war today. In the PC age, we don’t put them to work, but this sure happened quite recently. We put prisoners to work on chain gangs in some states and they work in the prisons for almost nothing. If the OT rules in servants makes God immoral, then the US is immoral (as well as other nations that have prisoners do work.) Plus, I mentioned before that the founders themselves OWNED slaved outright and gave few rights to women, tho they’re not usually painted as immoral, nor is the American system itself painted as immoral. It’s just another tool for those who cannot stand the Bible- demonize it, and do so with a double standard.

  90. keiths wrote:

    “Not at all. I’m saying that to be scientific, a theory must be falsifiable.”

    This is a very controversial claim within the philosophy of science, and therefore not one which will carry much weight with those who hold to a different view of scientific methodology or the nature of science (e.g. Feyerabend and others of a similar bent). For my part, I am happy to concede that falsifiability is a significant virtue of a scientific theory.

    Do you think that string theory is a scientific theory for example? Its opponents among physicists often claim that it is not falsifiable, but even if they’re right I would still classify it as “scientific” because it attempts to unify other scientific theories. How about the multiple universes hypothesis used to undercut the “fine-tuning” argument (irrespective of whether or not it is tied to string theory–no pun intended)?

    Finally, and most significantly, do you think that the “blind watchmaker” thesis of Richard Dawkins (i.e. the claim that there was no designer responsible for the emergence of complex functionality in living things) is falsifiable? If not, then it follows from your views on what counts as a scientific theory that the “blind watchmaker” thesis is not part of any scientific theory, and so it follows that science cannot be used to reject the intuition many people have that many aspects of the world were designed. Since this intuition is part of what leads people to take seriously religious faith, science does not play the role in undermining religious faith that many people think it does.

    If the “blind watchmaker” thesis IS falsifiable, then there could in principle be empirical evidence for the existence of an intelligent designer, and it is hard to see why one should reject a claim from the body of scientific knowledge if there is evidence for it.

  91. Josh,

    I never thought this day would come, but you’re right about one thing. It’s premature for me to conclude that ID supporters are being “disingenuous”, as I put it, without knowing for sure that they are aware of the problems involving the fine-tuning argument and the “designer chain” argument.

    They might be unaware of these problems, or they might be aware of them, but believe honestly that the reasoning behind them is faulty. If either of these is true, then they are not being disingenuous.

    However, I have a hard time believing that they have never heard the objection that the fine-tuning argument implies a supernatural designer. I doubt very much that that argument originated with me, and so I suspect that someone must have raised it before.

    If so, I’d be interested in hearing how ID supporters have responded. Does anyone know?

    I disagree with pretty much everything else in your post, Josh, but I’ll get to that later.

  92. “I realize that was a joke, Logan, but it actually raises a serious point. I, too, have heard the complaints about Bill’s banning of folks who disagree with him. I don’t know the facts behind those complaints, and so I can’t judge.”

    I have not seen anyone disagreeing with Bill politely (as you do) get banned.

  93. keiths says:

    To be scientific, a theory must be falsifiable. ID, as I have argued in this thread, implies a supernatural prime designer, even if ID proponents don’t want to admit that. If ID does not pin down at least some attributes of the supernatural designer, then it is not falsifiable (follow the link in comment #23 for an explanation of this).

    Putting aside for the moment that many folks, including critics of ID, would dispute your claim about falsifiability as a demarcartion test, and even whether NDT can meet such criteria, let us examine more closely your specific claim in this instance. Your argument about what is “implied” by ID is not a scientific argument. You are free to philosphically muse about such matters, but such musings don’t impose obligations upon others to satisfy unless you can construct a logical chain. And to impose scientific obligations upon IDers, your chain of logic must remain within “science”. If you wish to include the “supernatural” within science, you are free to do so as far as I’m concerned, but you do so at your own peril of having to live with that inclusion and its implications. It’s not something that I’ll undertake.

    Philosophical musings about ultimate questions frequently lead to conundrums that can’t be resolved logically. For you to prevail on your claim about what ID must do, you must show clearly that there is one logical position about ultimate questions that is clearly consistent. You haven’t done that. I have no problem with you reaching your own position on the issues vis a vis such musings, but they impose no obligations on the greater debate with out a much better case being put forward.

    However, if ID admits that it implies a supernatural designer, and is willing to specify some of his attributes, then it becomes falsifiable, and therefore testable as science (it still may not be good science, but at least it’s science).

    I’m not sure how such “attributes” help. ID is design centric, not designer centric. I could speculate that the designer has three necks about which he wears purple polka-dot bow-ties, but that doesn’t help much with the ID inference, regardless of whether my speculations are true or not.

  94. Renard

    re blueprint

    I see your point. I don’t care for “recipe” as it isn’t really accurate either. “Instructions” is better. Blueprint however strikes a chord and for the vernacular I think is still the best. Blueprints often call out both specific materials, order of assembly, and other special instructions. People “get it”.

  95. “If a prisoner or someone captured in war becomes an involuntary servant, I don’t see that this makes God immoral.”

    I don’t see it either, because I don’t see the involuntary servitude of a prisoner of war as being immoral (especially if the war itself in which the person was captured was a just one). FWIW Aquinas saw slavery as being part of the natural law. The boundaries between “involuntary servitude”, “forced labour”, and “slavery” are pretty vague, so that some historians even *define* slavery as “involuntary servitude to another”. If this defintion is reasonable, then slavery may well be with us, just not called by the same name.

    On the other hand, if someone does think of slavery/involuntary servitude as immoral, then God’s failure to condemn or outlaw it outright it when he was the lawmaker for ancient Israel may well be used to argue that he was immoral. I don’t think this argument can be dismissed just by claiming that it was a human practice: after all, God implicitly accepted it, and, if memory serves, even commanded it (as in the passage form Deuteronomy in which Israelites are commanded to kill the fighting men of any town they have captured by force, and then take the women and chiuldren of those men unto themselves as possessions.) God condemend David for adultery with bathsheba, yet he never seemed to get so angry with slavery or involuntary servitude.

    I agree that the double standard in criticisms of the Bible is often painfully evident.

  96. Renard

    “It does not begin to answer the question of how it [panspermia] happened.”

    Yes, it does. It provides more time, more area, and more environments. This begins to answer the question as it addresses some problems with abiogenesis restricted to somewhere on the earth. Panspermia is not restricted to accidental arrival via debris. It includes purposeful arrival. In fact the possibility is almost nil that any spore could make it from another solar system to the earth purely by accident. I think the quesiton is worth pursuing.

  97. God is just…and I don’t think we can understand all his ways. I don’t think that’s a weak argument either. It’s just the truth. I think God does condemn slavery in that he makes demands that we treat others kindly, someone pasted the quote about demanding that no one kidnap another or be killed himself. There are other passages as well that one can easily use to show that God condemns this sort of behavior in general.

    I’ve no problem with God demanding a nation go into another and take slaves as part of war. We do it today as I mention in my other comments. God doesn’t condemn everything that man might do either- some argue that the Bible doesn’t deal specifically with abortion…but does that mean that God is therefore approving of it? Or that he’s somehow immoral for not specifically stating ‘do not perform abortions’? I don’t think so. Usually, it’s only one who wants to attack the Bible who sees a problem that God doesn’t condemn every possible human behavior. The Bible would be massive! (‘Do not hang a man by his special parts upside down over a saw’).

    I think the main problem is the cultural concept of “slavery”, and the exact definition of it. If we just say “involuntary servitude” we run into problems…because that is precisely what the Vietnam era draft was (men who were forced into service in the military= “involuntary servitude”, but is this slavery of any form?) The OT demands that a man who kills his servant be killed himself- that’s pretty harsh! So, it becomes hard to argue that God is lenient and allows slavery when even striking your servant and knocking out his tooth would demand the same punishment to you who knocked out the tooth. Most skeptics argue that the Biblical God is way too brutal in his punishment, but when it comes to this issue they suddenly want to argue that he’s fine and dandy with slavery and that he doesn’t care that man have slaves when many verses oppose this idea.

  98. Fred Hoyle held to the planting idea, no? And I won’t even try to guess how to spell the name of his partner in science. Whatever word you want to use there!

  99. KeithS

    “I’m simply pointing out that CSI demands a supernatural prime designer”

    I’m not at all convinced of that. This presumes we know the nature of all possible CSI designers. And we don’t. We only know of ourselves as CSI designers and we aren’t supernatural as far as I know. The reason I can’t disagree with you is that I don’t know the answer. Intelligence may be a natural property of the universe.

  100. Keith

    Are double negatives too difficult for you to follow? Not agreeing is not the same as disagreeing. There is a middle ground of neither agreeing nor disagreeing. I used a double negative “can’t not agree” to insinuate a tone of displeasure at the position I’d arrived at. Perhaps I should’ve used “I’m forced to agree with you”. The reason I’d rather not agree is I don’t really care for casting aspersions on a book that a third of humanity thinks is the revealed word of God.

  101. KeithS

    How is undirected evolution falsifiable? By positively identifying direction in evolution of course. Undirected evolution is not falsifiable unless ID is verifiable. If verification of ID is not possible because it’s outside the realm of science then undirected evolution is also outside the realm of science. Chance worshippers can’t have their cake and eat it too. Either ID is science or the Wiesel 38′s claim that evolution is an undirected process is not science. Takes yo pick.

  102. PaV: “You’re proposing to demonstrate the scientific legitimacy of ID via the demonstration of whether or not there is a God, and what kinds of attributes this God has.”

    keiths: “Not at all. I’m saying that to be scientific, a theory must be falsifiable. ID implies a supernatural prime designer. Supernatural beings (particularly omnipotent ones) can do anything they want to, which means that any scientific observation at all can be explained by saying “a supernatural being did it”. In other words, such a being is unfalsifiable. However, if you specify some of the attributes of the being, you place limits on what it will do, and you can test it with respect to those specific attributes. It becomes falsifiable and thereby qualifies as a scientific claim (this of course says nothing about the truth of the claim). For some examples of how this works, see comment #14 at ”

    As to #14, that is just more of your theological mutterings. Your argument is completely illogical. In order for you argument to succeed, science “as we know it” would have to extend its reach to the supernatural realm–which is patently nonsense. Or, you have to assume that the supernatural realm can be known with scientific rigor through its manifestations in the natural order where science applies. This is also absurd. Yours is a fallacious, absurd argument—and as such, a complete waste of time. You’re engaging in pure rhetoric, solely designed to serve your prejudicial view of ID.

    Either come up with a scientific argument, or go somewhere else with your theological mumbo-jumbo.

    ID can be scientifically falsified if actual pathways and mechanisms can be found wherein IC can come about by chance natural occurrences, or if CSI can be shown to come about by a series of chance material causes. To suppose that ID should be evaluated by what kind of Designer it predicates is simply to caricature ID and just pure silliness.

    Just because you pretend to argue, doesn’t mean we have to take your intellectual idleness seriously.

  103. I said I was not going to talk about this issue. But in a sense, I lied.

    Logan,

    In Deuteronomy 21:10-14 it states: “When you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. YOU MUST NOT SELL HER OR TREAT HER AS A SLAVE, SINCE YOU HAVE DISHONORED HER. Unless, of course she wants to be”. [Emphasis Added].

    Scholars have noted that this benevolence towards women is unparralled in the ancient world. True, at times people became slaves, but it wasn’t because they were forced to be. It was because that was the only option they had at the time. It’s like if you were to be captured by a foreign force, you probably wouldn’t get a high powered job at first. No, due to your background you would probably start in a lowly position and then possibly move upwards. The same thing happened back then.

    Check this out: The Fiasco of Jeremiah 34!

    This is one of the saddest stories in the bible–a story of hope and freedom, dashed by the greed of men.

    The word came to Jeremiah from the LORD after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem to proclaim freedom for the slaves. 9 Everyone was to free his Hebrew slaves, both male and female; no one was to hold a fellow Jew in bondage. 10 So all the officials and people who entered into this covenant agreed that they would free their male and female slaves and no longer hold them in bondage. They agreed, and set them free. 11 But afterward they changed their minds and took back the slaves they had freed and enslaved them again. 12 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: 13 “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I made a covenant with your forefathers when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. I said, 14 `Every seventh year each of you must free any fellow Hebrew who has sold himself to you. After he has served you six years, you must let him go free.’ Your fathers, however, did not listen to me or pay attention to me. 15 Recently you repented and did what is right in my sight: Each of you proclaimed freedom to his countrymen. You even made a covenant before me in the house that bears my Name. 16 But now you have turned around and profaned my name; each of you has taken back the male and female slaves you had set free to go where they wished. You have forced them to become your slaves again. 17 “Therefore, this is what the LORD says: You have not obeyed me; you have not proclaimed freedom for your fellow countrymen. So I now proclaim `freedom’ for you, declares the LORD — `freedom’ to fall by the sword, plague and famine. I will make you abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth. 18 The men who have violated my covenant and have not fulfilled the terms of the covenant they made before me, I will treat like the calf they cut in two and then walked between its pieces. 19 The leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the court officials, the priests and all the people of the land who walked between the pieces of the calf, 20 I will hand over to their enemies who seek their lives. Their dead bodies will become food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth. (Jer 34)

    This was the major point in the revival under Zedekiah (with the Babylonian army outside the door!), and illustrates both (1) God’s intent for freedom and (2) Israel’s failure to obey this FROM THE START. This incident was even solemnized by another covenant ceremony! Needless to say, God’s response is quite clear in this passage, and his attitude toward permanent servitude is obvious. (Christian think-tank)

    Summary: In the OT we have NO REASON to believe that God condoned chattel slavery, and indeed, we have substantial bodies of data and argument to support the contrary–that God desired the freedom of all men and women within the covenant community ruled by Him. (Glenn Miller)

    I hope this helps…

  104. PaV,

    You just made my day. Thank you.

    Outside of the quotations, there are 11 sentences in your post. I counted up the ad hominems, pejoratives and just plain rudenesses in these 11 sentences and found 13 of them. That gives you a Bitterness Quotient (BQ) of 13/11 * 100 = 118, which puts you in the Gifted range. Well done.

    For laughs, I lined them up in a column. Read them one after another — the effect is quite funny:

    theological mutterings
    completely illogical
    absurd
    fallacious, absurd argument
    a complete waste of time
    pure rhetoric
    prejudicial view of ID
    go somewhere else
    theological mumbo-jumbo
    caricature
    pure silliness
    you pretend to argue
    intellectual idleness

    As for actual substance, I found two claims in the entire post:
    1. Science cannot deal with the supernatural.
    2. If IC or CSI can be explained by natural causes, then ID is falsified.

    PaV, science can deal with any phenomenon which is repeatable and produces observable results, where the results only depend on observable “inputs”. This includes interventions in nature by a hypothetical supernatural being, provided that the interventions satisfy the criteria. Consider this tongue-in-cheek (but quite valid) example taken from comment #14:

    Suppose that I claim that God is omnipotent, and that he has pledged to perform the following miracle without fail: Anytime someone dumps some table salt on a piece of black paper, then waves a copy of “No Free Lunch” over it for more than 10 seconds, the salt grains will rearrange themselves, just like iron filings under the influence of a magnetic field, to spell out “ID is True!”

    You would be wise to be skeptical of such a claim. The scientific thing to do would be to test it by getting a piece of black paper, dumping salt on it, and waving “No Free Lunch” over it for more than 10 seconds. Suppose you do this multiple times, and the salt grains never spell out “ID is True!” What have you learned? That my hypothetical God does not exist. In other words, such a God is falsifiable, even though he’s supernatural, and even though I haven’t specified any of his other attributes at all.

    What if the salt grains do spell out the magic phrase? Then my God might exist, or some other explanation might hold. My hypothetical God has not been falsified in this case. He’s still in the running.

    How would such an investigation be unscientific?

    Regarding your contention that ID could be falsified by showing that IC or CSI (or both) could be produced by natural causes, this is simply not true. The fine-tuning argument would survive, and ID’s designer hypothesis would live to see another day.

    Thanks again,
    Keith S.

  105. Oops. Looks like Neodarwinism is out then, Keiths. Unless you have a lab where we can test mud to man.

    “PaV, science can deal with any phenomenon which is repeatable and produces observable results.”

    And for the 8, 009, 299, 928th time ID doesn’t deal with a designER hypothesis, rather merely DESIGN. No wonder you refuse to stop claiming ID isn’t science but rather religion- you seem to have the inability to factually define ID, and no doubt this is your own choice because I, myself, I’ve mentioned this design/designer issue at least 4 or 5 times.

  106. I wrote:
    “PaV, science can deal with any phenomenon which is repeatable and produces observable results.”

    Josh writes:
    “Oops. Looks like Neodarwinism is out then, Keiths. Unless you have a lab where we can test mud to man.”

    Josh,
    I said “any”, not “only”. There’s only been one Big Bang. Are you telling me that cosmology is therefore not a science? And I emphasized repeatability because unlike evolution and cosmology, where the evidence is accessible to anyone who wants to study it, the NFL experiment would have to be repeatable (at different times, in different locations, and when performed by different people) to convince scientists (and just about anyone else) that it was real and not legerdemain.

    Josh writes:
    “And for the 8,009,299,928th time ID doesn’t deal with a designER hypothesis, rather merely DESIGN.”

    I see. So ID deals with design, but does not postulate a designer. Funny, that’s not what Bill Dembski thinks. In the preface of “Intelligent Design”, he says:

    “Intelligent design is three things: a scientific research program that investigates the effects of intelligent causes; an intellectual movement that challenges Darwinism and its naturalistic legacy; and a way of understanding divine action.”

    The last item is obviously about God, but it can be excused as not being part of the scientific claims of ID. But the first item speaks of studying “the effects of intelligent causes.” Are you telling me that we can study the effects of intelligent causes in the absence of intelligent causes (i.e. designers)?

    Lest you think that Bill’s definition is somehow idiosyncratic, here is the DI’s definition (from their website):

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

    It explicitly points to an intelligent cause, as Dembski does.

    Let me spell it out for you, Josh. ID says that there are things in nature which require an intelligent cause. Bill Dembski says that CSI requires an intelligent cause. If you accept these premises, then the ‘designer chain’ argument shows that the ‘prime designer’ must be supernatural.

    If you accept the premises (and I believe you do), then the conclusion follows, unless you can show that something is wrong with the logic of the designer chain argument.

  107. 107

    Hello all, first post. I’m new here and hope I can be useful in debating here. You’ll have to excuse my English at times, I have the tendency to think that it is my first language as I write, but it is not ;)

    Josh:
    “Oops. Looks like Neodarwinism is out then, Keiths. Unless you have a lab where we can test mud to man.”

    As far as I can recall, Neodarwinism still perpetuates at least the early darwinian notion that it explains speciation. It has nothing to do with the origins of life from non-life. Of course, devising such a theory is high on the list of many people that research evolution, but it is by no means necessary. Evolution, up to now, has just assumed, particularly because abiogenesis research is highly experimental and not at all adequately researched. Abiogenesis, Panspermia, Gods or the Great Green Arkleseizure, we simply do not have a model that satisfactorily explains the origin of life in a proper scientific manner.

    And keiths, would involving the supernatural into the natural by making it falsifiable discredit its supernatural nature(sic)? Is a supernatural being not by definition totally unfalsiable since it transcends natural falsification? Or is my view of this too narrow?

    Kind regards,

    -Edin Najetovic

  108. So you’re saying that repeatable testing isn’t demanded for an idea to be considered science and ID critics can stop using that lame attack finally? As for the evidece of evolution in the NDE sense being available to everyone…I’m really not sure how you could ever even posit evidence of an “accident” or an event that is purely “random”. Neither of these are scientific concepts in the way they’re used with NDE theory- there’s no possibly way I know of to test “intention.”

    The designer chain argument is as silly as what I will call the accident chain argument. If one is to be forced into speaking about a possible designer, therefore you have to tell where that designer came from and where that one came from, etc…you must logically do the same thing with an accident. What initial accident caused the accident that caused the first living being? What accident before that caused the earth to form? What accident before that caused the universe to form? What accident that caused all these accidents was responsible for the big bang? What accident put the needed information content into the first cell to make it possible to accidentally cause thinga as complex as humans? We can go on forever…the argument is absurd.

    ID cannot deal with design without dealing with the designer? You say that dealing with the designer would be religion not science…Dembski and others say that the ID SCIENCE doesn’t talk about the designer, because it’s outside of the realm of science…but you demand that they actually DO speak of the designer and make the science a religion. But at the same time you complain that ID isn’t science, that it’s religion, that IDers aren’t being honest and refuse to admit it’s religion. But, you’re trying to force them into this when they keep saying “no.”

    We can surely know things show the marks of design without knowing who the designer were. Stonehenge was clearly designed, yet we don’t know anything about the designers. The sphinx would be in the same realm. If I were to walk down the street and notice an artifact on the ground from some ancient time, I could easily tell if it were designed or just an accidental shape. I know nothing of the designer yet know the design and the marks of design itself.

    If SETI gets a signal from space, how will it know if the radio signal is an act of communication or just a radio signal caused by some sort of accident in space somewhere?

    Would a man who was born in a village in the jungle when arriving in the US not realize the statue of liberty is actually designed and not the result of wind and rain, tho he might not know a thing about the designers or even this type of structure and the art within it in general?

    You demand that ID speak of the designer, but it refuses. You say it isn’t science because it speaks of the designer but just won’t admit it. Yet, you’re the one demanding info. on the designer when the IDers keep repeating that to speak of the designer wouldn’t be science, and because of that they won’t deal with any details about the designer, but rather the design itself and only the design.

    Darwinists love to claim support for the theory that life could accidentally arise from a chemical soup and use the miller-ulrey experiments to bolster this nonsense. Then, when someone reasonably points out that scientists can’t create life even today, and wonder how it could happen on accident in some soup somehow formed from nothing, the Darwinists conveniently say- evolution doesn’t deal with the origins of the first living thing (well, it does, but only when we claim we can use it to bolster our case of abiogenesis!) ID is on a totally different level. You need not explain the origin of the first life and the possible designer to posit design and the marks of design…however with NDE theory you clearly must speak of origins of the first cell and how all the information was pumped into it, how the mechanism got started for it to mutate, how it evolved into the next stage, etc. Yet, we’re constantly told that origins are outside the realm of NDE theory…(only when it’s NOT outside that realm so we can claim Miller and his colleagues actually did anything way back when.)

  109. keiths: “Outside of the quotations, there are 11 sentences in your post. I counted up the ad hominems, pejoratives and just plain rudenesses in these 11 sentences and found 13 of them. That gives you a Bitterness Quotient (BQ) of 13/11 * 100 = 118, which puts you in the Gifted range. Well done.”

    You’re THQ (Take a Hint Quotient) is obviously very low. In fact, it’s 0/13 * 100= 0. After telling you over and over that your argument is silly and absurd–except, apparently, to you–you keep at it.

    That you think the scientific method can be applied to the ethereal as well as to the natural is simply beyond the pale.

    You wrote:
    Suppose that I claim that God is omnipotent, and that he has pledged to perform the following miracle without fail: Anytime someone dumps some table salt on a piece of black paper, then waves a copy of “No Free Lunch” over it for more than 10 seconds, the salt grains will rearrange themselves, just like iron filings under the influence of a magnetic field, to spell out “ID is True!”

    Am I suppose to take this seriously?

    You wrote to Josh, saying: “Let me spell it out for you, Josh. ID says that there are things in nature which require an intelligent cause. Bill Dembski says that CSI requires an intelligent cause. If you accept these premises, then the ‘designer chain’ argument shows that the ‘prime designer’ must be supernatural.”

    For the sake of the (absurd) argument you want to make, let’s suppose that, in this ‘designer chain’, the implication of CSI is that a ‘supernatural designer’ must exist, then let me ask you this–to show the futility of your argument–what other attributes does CSI predict of the ‘prime designer’? There’s obviously ‘intelligence’; there’s obviously the ‘power’ to act upon natural components. What else is there to add?

  110. Benjii, 3:02 PM:
    This is my last post concerning this topic.

    Benjii, 6:54 PM:
    I said I was not going to talk about this issue. But in a sense, I lied.

    In a sense?

    But you made it almost four hours. That’s actually longer than I thought you would last.

    On to your post:

    Benjii quotes Deuteronomy:
    “In Deuteronomy 21:10-14 it states: “When you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. YOU MUST NOT SELL HER OR TREAT HER AS A SLAVE, SINCE YOU HAVE DISHONORED HER [Emphasis Added].”

    Benjii, reread the passage. It’s saying that if you reject her as a wife (thus dishonoring her), then you may not sell her or treat her as a slave. If you decide to keep her, she can’t go.

    The NKJV translation makes this absolutely clear:
    “And it shall be, if you have no delight in her, then you shall set her free, but you certainly shall not sell her for money; you shall not treat her brutally, because you have humbled her.”

    And in any case, you’re forcing a woman to marry you against her will, with God’s explicit permission. Does that strike you as moral?

    “Scholars have noted that this benevolence towards women is unparralled in the ancient world.”

    This is God we’re talking about. He’s not supposed to be merely better than the other guys in the ancient world, he’s supposed to be morally perfect.

    Benjii then quotes Jeremiah 34 as a demonstration of “God’s intent for freedom” and his “attitude toward permanent servitude.”

    Unfortunately, Benjii seems to have missed this verse:
    “Everyone was to free his Hebrew slaves, both male and female; no one was to hold a fellow Jew in bondage.”

    Benjii, do you think slavery is okay as long as the slaves aren’t Hebrew?

  111. PaV writes:
    “After telling you over and over that your argument is silly and absurd–except, apparently, to you–you keep at it.”

    Yes, you keep telling me that my argument is absurd, but you never justify the claim.

    “That you think the scientific method can be applied to the ethereal as well as to the natural is simply beyond the pale.”

    Same thing here. You keep repeating this, but you don’t explain why it’s true. How about offering a reason this time around?

    Regarding my tongue-in-cheek NFL example:
    “Am I suppose to take this seriously?”

    The details, no. The principles, yes.

    “What other attributes does CSI predict of the ‘prime designer’? There’s obviously ‘intelligence’; there’s obviously the ‘power’ to act upon natural components. What else is there to add?”

    CSI doesn’t predict any other attributes. That’s precisely the problem. The attributes it does predict aren’t enough to make the designer hypothesis falsifiable. ID supporters need to specify more attributes if they want it to be falsifiable.

    Since you apparently didn’t follow the NFL example, let me try another more probable one. DI Fellow Paul Nelson is, to the best of my knowledge, a young-Earth creationist. Let’s assume the following:
    1. He believes that God inspired the writing of the Bible so that it is literally true, and therefore that creation took place over a period of six days within the last 10,000 years.
    2. He believes that God would not deceive us by making the earth and the universe appear older than they are, nor allow any other agent to do so.

    The addition of these two attributes makes Paul Nelson’s God falsifiable. All you have to do is find solid evidence that the earth and universe are older than 10,000 years. If you do, you know that Paul Nelson’s God does not exist.

    Other people within the ID movement have different conceptions of God, so their chosen attributes would be different. As I’ve mentioned before, this is one of the reasons that ID supporters don’t want to specify more attributes: doing so could cause a splintering of the “Big Tent” alliance between anti-evolutionists of varying beliefs.

  112. PaV:“That you think the scientific method can be applied to the ethereal as well as to the natural is simply beyond the pale.”

    keiths: Same thing here. You keep repeating this, but you don’t explain why it’s true. How about offering a reason this time around?

    Do you want me to also explain why water isn’t wine?

    keiths: “CSI doesn’t predict any other attributes. That’s precisely the problem. The attributes it does predict aren’t enough to make the designer hypothesis falsifiable. ID supporters need to specify more attributes if they want it to be falsifiable.”

    Is the purpose of ID, and the identification of CSI, to make predictions about the ‘designer’? Has anyone stated this? Does this make any sense at all? To suggest that the scientific method can be applied to that which, by definition, transcends the natural order, is complete absurdity. Why can’t you see that and accept that?

    Here’s your logic: CSI is an indicator of intelligence. The fact that only intelligence can give rise to CSI, coupled to the fact that CSI was present before human intelligence existed, indicates the presence of some pre-existent, powerful intelligence. If one attempts to trace this back in time, the only conclusion possible is that an intelligence outside of the natural order is responsible for the CSI that is seen within the natural order. Hence ID, the movement that describes and formulates CSI, must, as a consequence of its formulations, propose a “supernatural” designing intelligence. This is not outlandish thinking–only unneccesary thinking. It’s NOT necessary to propose a “supernatural” designer in order for ID to be a scientific theory within the natural order. This is a plain, and simple, statement of fact. Either the Law of the Conservation of Information is true, or untrue, in this world! Either CSI is an indicator of design–the use of intelligence in this world, or it is not! Science has no power to transcend the natural order, and any suggestion to the contrary is sheer, and utter, hubris.

    But your “logic” doesn’t stop with simply insisting that CSI postulates a “supernatural” designer. No. You now insist that for the insights of ID to be validated, it must predict certain attributes of this “supernatural” designer that are falsifiable in the natural order. What kind of whacky approach to testing a theory is this? If you can’t see the absurdity of this proposal of yours, then I can’t help you.

  113. PaV says to keiths

    “…I can’t help you.”

    PaV, Keiths is debating with you. To “help” you would need to address his arguments.

  114. Davescot

    Sorry to hear about the CTS. Once we have served our basic purpose of passing on our genes, our bodies just fall apart. “Instructions” is misleading in the same way as “blueprint” as there is no overall design plan directing embryological development. Semantics can be boring, but agreeing on the meaning of words can reduce the misunderstandings that almost inevitably arise, this thread being one example.

    Re “Panspermia”. I agree that it extends time and space for abiogenesis. It widens the opportunity for speculation, but the ultimate question of origin remains. Fascinating, all the same.

  115. offtopic/to be followed by ID statement at end.

    Keiths, I am sorry you lost your faith. I pray you find it again as should we all on here. Our Father loves us all. It is usually we who get in the way of His love. He never told us there would not be consequences for turning away from him. Nor did he ever say it would be easy. Nor did He say that his ways are easily understood at all times.

    I’ll post a statement on ID at the end of this post. But I feel you are misunderstanding the content of the Bible and I want to respond to you fully.

    I don’t pretend to understand all verses of the Bible myself and reasonable people can disagree. The Torah is based on old Hebrew text and customs passed down for generations and really unless one is a Hebrew Scholar, Talmud Scholar and studies all the Jewish traditions, idioms and nuanced meanings of words, characters and even numbers, it is very difficult at times to understand all the meaning behind the history and the revelations put forth to the people in Moses time. I must stress also that one cannot separate the Father from the Son. One cannot look at the New Testament without the Old. To do so would allow room for gross misinterpretations. One complements the other both as law and as prophecy. Christ himself always pointed back to the Torah, the prophets and the Psalms. He did not hesitate to say how the Father loved us, nor did he hesitate to warn of dire consequences should we turn away from him.

    The English translation often loses the original meaning put forth thousands of years ago. I try to be very careful in difficult areas. I don’t always get it right the first time and I am still learning.

    I thought Benji did a good job of rebutting your arguments regarding slavery and you did not respond to him fully within the context that he quoted to you.

    You simply brushed him off with sarcastic comment when he gave full accounts.

    Instead you only responded farther down to one comment about women captives. Maybe you just forgot to respond to his earlier arguments about slavery?

    First to the tribes of Israel and to Abraham slavery was viewed quite diffently across cultures. You cannot equate what we understand as slavery today to those of yesterday in generalized terms. Many looked upon it as endentured servants. This is when people willfully went to work for others in turn for rewards, land, wives. Remember, Jacob himself did this for Rachal at first for 7 years, then again. So, people were not considered – ‘slaves’ as you put it then the way our modern age looks at it. You must make distinctions of the times and cultures.

    Remember the context always, Israel just came out of slavery and captivity from the Egyptians in which they were mistreated and abused. Remember Joseph was sold himself to the Egyptians. Many of the Israelite tribes had actively took on the rituals of the Egyptian and honored pagan gods. At this time and prior to this mankind treated with abuse those they captured either by war or owned through markets. Women were often treated cruelly and as property, with less value than a good camel. It always helps to put things in perpective of the times.

    As an aside, lets also remember the story of Joseph as a lesson. As a result of him being a good servant – he arose to become the second highest in power behind the Pharoh in all the land of Egypt. God teaches us lessons everywhere if we look for them. Christ himself encouraged us if we were ever captured to still love our enemy. Yes, it is difficult.

    The Torah and the Laws put forward were quite radical at the time and is a large step forward in freedom whether you recognize it as such or not Keith.

    Agains, the context. The quote is about having gone to war against an enemy. Up to this point and time in history, Victors captured all the spoils and killed, raped, sold anyone captured as property, abused the women over and over again, and pillaged the village usually destroying all of its inhabitants and stealing all the property – women being property.

    There was no such thing as mercy. Certainly, no one wrote into law mercy for ones enemy. The very quote you dislike is a law which states to show mercy to those captured.

    Deuteronomy 21:10-14
    And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her;
    – after marriage that is or if prior to marriage during the month long rituals the man loses interest

    then thou shalt let her go whither she will;
    – this was done by a writ of divorce as the Targum(of Jonathan) explains. The Targum came about due to the decline of the Hebrew language and is an Aramaic interpretation which included explanations to the original Hebrew text of the Torah. Few understand that the Hebrew language almost died out back during that time.

    – a writ of divorce is fairly radical concept at the time considering even today how women are treated in many countries, what exactly do you find fault with writ of divorce?

    – also, this text could apply to the fact the man’s affections may have cooled toward the captive, in this case he had no right to hold her, sell her or mistreat her. What exactly do you find so repulsive about freeing a woman that had been captured in an enemy camp? She was not to be his servant. This is clearly what it is stating.

    but thou shalt not sell her at all for money;
    – he had no right to profit from her if he had intended to marry her and had obliged her to marital rites. or, if he was not going to marry her, he could not make money either, he must release her. What is wrong with this concept?

    thou shalt not make merchandise of her;
    – same thing, he cannot treat her as property
    or as quoted online from searchgodsword.com,
    “neither make any gain of her by selling her to another, nor retain her in his own service, nor make use of her as a slave; so Jarchi says, that in the Persian language they call service by this word, and which also he says he learnt from an eminent writer of theirs, R. Moses Hadarsan; with which Maimonides agrees, who explains it, shall make no use of her service, or serve himself by her; he should have no profit by her, either by sale, or servitude”

    because thou hast humbled her;
    – note that humbled can be many interpretations, “afflicted” being one of them, but I’d be careful to assign the meaning of intercourse so easily because the Torah also taught Israel not to do so before marriage. Instead this is just as likely to mean that since she has been captured during battle, then required to follow religious marital rites and then you decide to ‘disown’ her, does not give you the right to sell, make a profit or treat as property.

    This is a huge step forward during the time and culture where man traded women slaves every day in cultures far and wide, or they just stole them, raped them and murdered them. In fact, it was the custom of some to rape a woman so she ‘would have to marry’. In fact, this happens even today in some cultures. Are you not aware of it? So, here is God saying, when you battle against your enemy, you must treat the women you capture with dignity and release them if you do not plan to marry or if you desire to not be married, then you must let her go freely and not treat her as a ‘slave’ or as property.

    The idea here is one of mercy after a battle with an enemy. If the man who captured the woman had married her, then decided he no longer wanted her, then he must give her a writ of divorce and he had no right to treat her as a slave.

    This actually goes far in showing mercy to enemy captives during that day and age. What exactly do you not understand about the times and the fact that this was a radical departure from most customs back then?

    Women, children, young men were routinely sacrificed to the ‘pagan gods’ back then.

    I hope you rethink your opposition to our Father’s ways. ?He was not in favor of making people slaves. He gave men free will. They then went nuts, violent, sexual orgies and then he wiped them off the planet and started over again. So, you disagree? OK, it is your right and choice.

    You may not fully understand eveything that was happening in history at the time. Massive orgies, sexual feast, and human sacrfices were common back then. God from what we understand today warned people over and over again before taking action.

    Even after appearing to Moses, after scaring all the people in the desert by his voice, they asked not to be in His presence again. They asked that Moses talk to him for them – they were to afraid.

    Then – guess what, after so many years – they stop believing again. Go figure – we have short attention spans.

    In fact, God throughout the history of man has listened to people. Abraham asked him to save Soddom and Gomorah if there were any innocents. He sent messengers, removed Lot and then destroyed the cities.

    Now, you may disagree with this tactic, but that does not determine if God is real.

    That is a whole other question really. Really Keith, much of your arguments have been answered in the Bible by conversations through Job and in books like Isaiah.

    Don’t you remember you are the clay? God is the Potter? You are being molded Keith – to do great things if you will just allow God in your heart and trust his will for you. Its really that simple in a way, but very difficult in other ways.

    God allows you to argue with him, even rant at him, yell at him. Job grew angry at God, so did Moses and Jacob. In fact, many people of the Bible were angry at God or disobeyed and he did not strike them dead. He recognizes whats in your heart.

    So, go ahead, talk to him like a friend. It was the best advice ever given to me by my Great Uncle. Stop thinking you cannot talk to him even if you think he is immoral. He’ll listen.

    The truth is Keith, had you lived back then do you really know what you would have done to women and other people? How is it so easy for you to judge?

    Who is to say that you would not be some killer? Maybe some ruthless Tyrant wannabe? Some person who believed in ‘pagan gods’ that required sacrifice of little babies?

    Truth is you cannot answer that quetion. You truly don’t know do you?

    You are judging God because you do not fully understand the nature of the first sin and of sin today, the reason we are here, our purpose and you ‘see through the glass darkly’.

    You don’t have patience. Renard was wrong. In fact you lack patience and understanding. Instead of trying to seek out the truth of God’s mercy, you look to see only the bad and point it out to others.

    But in fact, what I just showed you is that God instructed Israel at that time to have mercy. Would you have done the same back then? Do you really think yourself so omniciently well informed?

    Where did you learn right from wrong Keith?

    Instead you show indignation and self-righteous judgement of others just as easily as anyone else on here.

    And from what I read you misrepresent yourself.

    In one of your first post you stated clearly, “The God who gave those commands is immoral. The God of the Old Testament is not worthy of worship by people of conscience.”

    You then turned around and stated, “I do think that most Christians are men and women of conscience. I grew up as a Lutheran, my grandfather was a minister in the church, and my mother is still practicing. I have many friends and relatives who are Christian. These are good folks, and I resent Josh’s cheap attempt to imply that I doubt the strength of their consciences.”

    note: you state first that ‘the God of the Old Testament is not worthy of worship by – people of conscience.

    You then turn around and state the very opposite of what you said the fist time, “I do think most… Christians are men and women of conscience.”

    So, which is it Keith? Most – meaning only those who believe in the New Testament?

    Therefore you imply and paint with a wide brush by these very words that all people who believe in God of the Old Testament, the one who created the 10 commandments are people who have ‘no conscience’.

    There is no other way to read your statement Keith. I’m not saying that your evil or a bad person. You seem like a very reasonable person. I’m sure you treat people very good having been raised in a Christian home you understand that most Christians are decent people, or try to be. Lord knows I mistreated people much worse in my lifetime – Christians in fact when I lacked faith.

    I’m just simply pointing out that what you said was incorrect both times. So, please take no offense.

    And also, try not to be so offended by your Creator. He’ll listen to you anytime, anywhere. Job, Jacob, Moses, Abraham, they all had their doubts and arguments with him.

    You know, even our Savior, Yeshua asked for God to take the cup away from him, but he followed the will of the Father. Really, that is what he ask of us, to carry the cup, to feed and clothe the hungry, to visit those held captive, not just in prison, but those who are depressed, sick, unstable and lost.

    God did something special Keith. He sent a part of himself here on earth with a clear message, Love and Mercy above all – these are the clearest teachings of His Son, love your wife by giving your life to her, love your neighbor by picking them up when they’re hurt and down, love your enemy Keith, who else but a God of love would say such a thing as this? He gave us free will. Men took it and abused it over and over again. So, at times he peeked into our world, he spoke to us through Israel, through their prophets, through Moses, Elijah, Yeshua His Son.

    It does not mean that God does not get angry and as a Creator when he sent his prophets, warned the people over and over again they did not listen. Finally, he gives us a record of what happens when his people do not listen.

    It is now clearly written for all to see. There are no excuses for those who have read and heard his word. We know we die. What he has told us however is if we believe, to die is gain, to live is Christ – in us.

    Yes, you can deny him. It is your choice. But it does not vanish him from existence, quite the opposite.

    Whether people think this to be foolish or not is really not ours to worry on about except that we are to spread the good news.

    One only need to look at the true wisdom passed down. He does not ask you to understand all things fully Keith, not in this life. That is for a life yet to come.

    Having tried it without his love, I understand the difference now.

    Now, as to ID. The science of ID does not require us to identify God of the Torah and Yeshua.

    You and others can try to twist this as much as you like. But ID is not required to answer such questions. No more than science itself can answer such questions.

    I have every right to follow the evidence, talk about it, discuss it and furthermore demand that the schools I pay for with my taxes are open to free speech as protected in the constitution.

    Currently there is a some misleading arguments put forth by such organizations like the ACLU who put forth myth as law.

    The constitution does not forbid ID as a science to be taught as scientific hypotheses.

    Currently, I don’t believe it should be taught as fact or as robust science since it has not matured enough to the point of full and open study for the high school levels.

    However, I fully expect institutions of higher learning, universities which want to maintain the highest level of competition will eventually look to and accept Design Engineering of Biological Life forms as appropriate context for student study and full blown research.

    Today, as I post… 10 institutions have accepted from Howard Hughes Medical Institute grants to allow for hybridization across departments for increased technological achievements. It is only natural that universities take these steps. They must if they’re to remain competitive in the Engineering of life forms.

    Let me make it clear. One cannot intelligently re-engineer a life form that did not have previous intention, supported by sustainable laws on all levels micro and macro, directed towards specific outcomes and contain information rich code – which could be easily collected, observed, understood, codified, translated, analyzed, and finally modified with subtle changes, eventually wholesale changes, or transferrable to new technology.

    We are put here to discover, to grow, to learn for a reason.

    What we do with that time is essential to our future.

    Regardless of whether we like how our Creator formed us or communicated to us what will be. The fact is we are here now to make a decision.

    Please see the link here as of November 22, where the new direction of design is taking us….

    http://www.ics.uci.edu/communi.....ress?id=35

  116. In comment #87 Logan enquires (tongue in cheek)

    How come you guys haven’t been banned yet? The Panda’s Thumb people insist that anyone who dissents from Prof. Dembski on this blog gets banned.

    Dough needs a little yeast to make it rise, or the result is unappetising.

  117. KeithS

    You’re revealing yourself as a bit of an ass with an agenda counter to that of the blog owner’s. Assholiness is only tolerated when the agenda parallels the blog owner’s. As one ass to another I suggest you shape up before you get shipped out. Unless of course getting shipped out doesn’t bother you.

  118. KeithS

    “If you accept these premises, then the ‘designer chain’ argument shows that the ‘prime designer’ must be supernatural.”

    Are you under the impression that if you repeat this bit of illogic enough times it will become logical?

    It’s a non sequitur. The prime designer, once understood, becomes a part of nature. It’s quite possible we’ll never identify a prime designer. That doesn’t necessarily make it supernatural. We may never understand what’s outside the observable universe or what preceded the big bang. That doesn’t make the non-observable universe or what preceded the big bang supernatural, it just makes it beyond the realm of observable phenomenon.

    Now ditch the lame assertion that ID requires a supernatural intelligent agent.

  119. Renard

    ““Instructions” is misleading in the same way as “blueprint” as there is no overall design plan directing embryological development.”

    A helluva conincidence that human eggs consistently turn into humans absent a plan, isn’t it?

    Your statement that there is no overall design plan is one of the stupidest things I’ve heard in a while. That there’s a design plan for a human being in a human egg is a self-evident truth and if you don’t have the common sense to recognize that I’m going to right you off as some kind of moron. Got it?

  120. Renard a.k.a. Alan Fox

    The jig is up buddy. Time to change your name again if you wish to continue chatting with the intelligent crowd. Sayonara sucker.

  121. I was debating when to lower the boom on Renard. It seems that this is an appropriate time. –WmAD

  122. Renard (who is no longer with us): “PaV, Keiths is debating with you. To “help” you would need to address his arguments.”

    Renard, you can’t debate with a lunatic. His assertions are lunatic assertions.

  123. Renard,

    We hardly knew ye.

    So long.

  124. PaV asks:
    “Do you want me to also explain why water isn’t wine?”

    No. I’d like you to answer my question instead of dodging it. Why is a suitably constrained supernatural entity “beyond the pale” of science?

    “Is the purpose of ID, and the identification of CSI, to make predictions about the ‘designer’?”

    No. The purpose of ID is to infer the operation of an intelligent cause (i.e. a designer) from certain phenomena in nature. The identification of CSI is Dembski’s suggestion for how this can be done (and a valid one if Dembski is correct that CSI cannot be generated by undirected natural causes). The fine-tuning argument and Behe’s IC argument are two other ways to do it, if you accept their premises.

    “To suggest that the scientific method can be applied to that which, by definition, transcends the natural order, is complete absurdity. Why can’t you see that and accept that?”

    Because you haven’t even attempted to supply an argument in support of your contention. You just keep telling me that I’m being absurd. Where did you get the idea that simply repeating an opinion without justifying it is persuasive?

    By itself, the fact that a supernatural designer is transcendent does not mean that the designer’s behavior is completely unpredictable and outside the scope of the scientific method. If you specify the attributes of the designer sufficiently (as I did in the Paul Nelson example), then you can predict certain observable consequences in the world. If those consequences do not obtain, then the specified designer does not exist.

    In the Paul Nelson example, the specified designer would not create the earth and the universe with the appearance of great age, nor would it allow another entity to “plant evidence” to make it look that way. Therefore, if we find (as we do) that the earth appears to be billions of years old, we know that Paul Nelson’s specified designer does not exist.

    “Here’s your logic: CSI is an indicator of intelligence. The fact that only intelligence can give rise to CSI, coupled to the fact that CSI was present before human intelligence existed, indicates the presence of some pre-existent, powerful intelligence. If one attempts to trace this back in time, the only conclusion possible is that an intelligence outside of the natural order is responsible for the CSI that is seen within the natural order. Hence ID, the movement that describes and formulates CSI, must, as a consequence of its formulations, propose a “supernatural” designing intelligence.”

    That’s pretty darn close. You’re starting to get it. My only significant quibble would be to point out that all of this depends on the truth of Dembski’s assertion that CSI can only be produced by intelligence. This is not a “fact”, as you say, but a hypothesis.

    “This is not outlandish thinking–only unneccesary thinking.”

    Thank you. Coming from you, that’s high praise indeed.

    “It’s NOT necessary to propose a “supernatural” designer in order for ID to be a scientific theory within the natural order.”

    I’m not proposing a supernatural designer. Dembski’s CSI hypothesis logically DEMANDS a supernatural prime designer (via the ‘designer chain’ argument).

    “Either CSI is an indicator of design–the use of intelligence in this world, or it is not!”

    That’s right. The assertion must either be true or false. But it is wrong to think that the designer hypothesis is falsified simply because we discover an undirected natural process which creates CSI. Why? Because finding such a process does not mean that EVERY instance of CSI is produced by the process. A supernatural prime designer could still be responsible for some of the instances of CSI, and is therefore not falsified by the existence of the natural process. And, as I mentioned before, the IC argument and the fine-tuning argument do not fall simply because the CSI argument does, so there is still a basis for asserting the designer hypothesis.

    “You now insist that for the insights of ID to be validated, it must predict certain attributes of this “supernatural” designer that are falsifiable in the natural order.”

    No. I said that in order for the designer hypothesis to be falsifiable, ID supporters must specify additional attributes of the supernatural prime designer. This is completely different from saying that ID itself must predict those attributes. The attributes are free variables. You specify them, determine the observable consequences, and then examine the world to see if it falsifies the specified designer.

    “…I can’t help you.”

    As Renard said, you can help me by addressing my arguments instead of evading them.

  125. Keith

    Actually we knew Renard quite well under the alias “Alan Fox” who managed to persist for about as long as you have so far. I tracked down the connection this morning and alerted the blog owner of the trespass.

    You chance worshippers can’t prove your arguments and eventually the frustration causes you to get nasty, you start flaming people, and Dembski swings the axe. Sometimes if happens sooner if you trot out the trite old arguments early or make really stupid arguments that are no more than unsightly clutter. Renard did this today by saying there’s no design plan in embryological development. Presumably he must believe that every embryo just gets lucky in that it matures into an organism nearly identical to its parent since there’s no plan in the germ cells for that outcome. Or maybe he’s just stupid and says the first stupid thing that enters his mind. We learned from Alan it’s the latter.

    You for a while avoided the dogmatic assertion that ID is creationism in a cheap tuxedo but eventually it came out. That dog won’t hunt, it’s been (how did you put it in the Buchanan thread?) convincingly refuted and we can hardly believe that you’re trotting it out again. That’s that kiss of death around here. If you’ve got a new argument to make, make it. If you’ve got tired old crap we’ve already heard take it to Panda’s Thumb where they welcome those comments.

  126. “Why is a suitably constrained supernatural entity “beyond the pale” of science?”

    If it is by definition not amenable even in principle to verification or falsification then it’s not science. There is at present no way in principle to track down the source of the design in cellular machinery. The trail goes cold 4 billion years ago when the first cell miraculously appeared on this planet. This in no way negates the evidence of design as that’s as concrete as the ground you’re standing on.

    The chemistry to construct a simple cell from non-living matter is well enough understood and in principle can be accomplished without supernatural aid. A simple bacteriophage and a working polio virus have been recreated from non-living matter by working with laboratory equipment (such as a gene splicing machine) using reverse engineering (DNA sequence) data to guide the construction. This was accomplished in the last couple of years. In principle as nanotechnology matures custom design of cellular automata will become routine and it isn’t very far in the future at the current pace of advancement in the art.

    Couple these advances in nanotechnology with space science and it is in principle possible for humanity to custom design life for a wide range of environments and send it packing to another solar system. Again, this is all within well known laws of physics. At this point it’s an engineering problem with nothing but time and money as obstacles.

    Your incessant insistence that ID demands a supernatural creator when nothing actually in evidence needs a supernatural explanation is tiresome, old, unwelcome, and a rather transparent attempt to beat ID through conflating it with religious beliefs. Drop it or get lost.

  127. Dave Scott:

    Dude, take it easy, for your own sake. All this anger can’t be good for you. I’m quite serious, Dave. This is just a blog, and ID is just a controversial issue. Don’t let your pride get wrapped up in this. It’s not worth having a heart attack or a stroke over. Life is short; why put yourself through this sort of stress over a weblog?

    Take a page from Bill Dembski’s book. For you and me, this is a hobby of sorts, but he’s betting his career on intelligent design, and he’s subject to a lot of abuse in the press and on the Web, some of it personal. It’s got to be tough, but in the time I’ve been reading this blog, I’ve never seen him explode in a post or a comment. Sure, he’s got his opinions, but then so do you and I.

    If you think I’m making a big deal out of this, take a look at the invective you’ve posted this morning alone:

    You’re revealing yourself as a bit of an ass…
    As one ass to another I suggest you shape up before you get shipped out.
    Now ditch the lame assertion that…
    You chance worshippers can’t prove your arguments…
    Or maybe he’s just stupid and says the first stupid thing that enters his mind.
    If you’ve got tired old crap we’ve already heard take it to Panda’s Thumb…
    Your incessant insistence…is tiresome, old, unwelcome…
    Drop it or get lost.
    Your statement…is one of the stupidest things I’ve heard in a while.
    I’m going to right [sic] you off as some kind of moron. Got it?
    You’re going down in flames…

    Dave, you’re a smart guy. You don’t need to fulminate to get your point across. Why not tone it down a little?

  128. keiths: “The attributes are free variables. You specify them, determine the observable consequences, and then examine the world to see if it falsifies the specified designer.”

    And how is this anything different from staring at your navel?

    Since you like “chain” arguments, then if you accept the Big Bang Hypothesis, then going back in time we come to that very first instance of energy. Science doesn’t go any farther back, but according to a “causal chain”, that energy had to come from somewhere. And since the natural order traces itself only to that first instance of energy, then whoever caused that first instance is, by definition, ‘supernatural’. In tandem with the Anthropic Principle, this means that SCIENCE predicts–through a “causal chain”–a ‘supernatural designer’. Now what other attributes does this ‘supernatural designer’ have, according to the Big Bang Theory and the Anthropic Prinicple? None. So, shall we now throw out both the Big Bang Theory and the Anthropic Principle because the ‘supernatural designer’ is not FALSIFIABLE?

    This is the idiocy you argue. I’m frankly tired of it.

    If you’re so interested in trying out your various ideas about the “designer”, why don’t you take some classes in theology?

  129. “Dave, you’re a smart guy. You don’t need to fulminate to get your point across. Why not tone it down a little?”

    I have little patience for stupidity and even less for dishonesty. That’s why.

  130. “Life is short; why put yourself through this sort of stress over a weblog?”

    Your concern is touching but touch someone else with it.

    “I’ve never seen him explode in a post or a comment”

    He can’t. He’s got an image as a classy guy to worry about. I was a sergeant in USMC and even there I stood out for being abrasive. Once in a while I apologize for it but you know the old saying “permission is harder to get than forgiveness”.

  131. Hey DaveScot, do you know the identity of MikeGene? Do you blog on his site?

  132. DaveScot (in post #99): “We only know of ourselves as CSI designers and we aren’t supernatural as far as I know.” This sparked an obvious (in hindsight) question that for some reason had never occured to me before: Since human intelligence is certainly capable of generating CSI, doesn’t this make moot the question of whether other highly complex things found in nature qualify as CSI? In other words, doesn’t human intelligence alone disprove Darwinism?

  133. jay asks:
    “Since human intelligence is certainly capable of generating CSI, doesn’t this make moot the question of whether other highly complex things found in nature qualify as CSI? In other words, doesn’t human intelligence alone disprove Darwinism?”

    Only if you believe that undirected natural processes, like random mutation followed by natural selection, cannot produce CSI.

  134. PaV asks:
    “And how is this anything different from staring at your navel?”

    Navel gazing is a meditative activity. Hypothesizing is more of a cognitive process.

    [PaV then gets into the spirit of things and proposes his own chain argument. See his post.]

    PaV, I suspect that you already realize what’s wrong with your chain argument, but I’ll make it explicit anyway. You claim that the Big Bang and the Anthropic Principle together imply a supernatural designer. But if that were so obvious, everyone would be an IDer, because that is more or less what the cosmic fine-tuning argument says.

    PaV editorializes:
    “This is the idiocy you argue. I’m frankly tired of it.”

    Call me psychic, but I already had a feeling you didn’t like it. You’re welcome to ignore my posts if you desire. There are plenty of other people on this blog who are willing to engage my arguments.

    “If you’re so interested in trying out your various ideas about the “designer”, why don’t you take some classes in theology?”

    Some of my motives in coming to this blog were to meet a cross-section of ID supporters, to find out what they are thinking and why, and to engage in some give-and-take on the subject of ID. This blog is a much better venue for that than a theology class would be.

  135. keiths: “Some of my motives in coming to this blog were to meet a cross-section of ID supporters, to find out what they are thinking and why, and to engage in some give-and-take on the subject of ID. This blog is a much better venue for that than a theology class would be.”

    I suspect that your true motive in being on this blog is to try and demonstrate that ID is nothing more than creationism. In other words, it’s all ill will. So why don’t you ‘fess up, and clear out.

  136. keiths: “Only if you believe that undirected natural processes, like random mutation followed by natural selection, cannot produce CSI.”

    I see no reason to believe that they can.

  137. “But if that were so obvious, everyone would be an IDer”

    Almost everyone IS an IDer. Are you so out of touch with reality and/or in love with your own thinking so much that you think undirected evolution is a belief of more than a tiny fraction of the population?

    Wake up and smell the coffee… close to 90% (in the U.S.) don’t buy the unguided evolution story.

    http://www.pollingreport.com/science.htm#Evolution

  138. Keith

    Your argument is trite. You won’t be around here much longer if you don’t drop the “who designed the designer?” schpiel. You laid it out, it was panned, so move along.

    You should probably play this game and not bother taking up any of the arguments put forward by the pandas: http://www.uncommondescent.com.....monium.swf

    The “who designed the designer” argument is considered the lamest and is proffered by the weakest, most easily destroyed panda, The Philospher Panda.

  139. “Hey DaveScot, do you know the identity of MikeGene? Do you blog on his site?”

    The name is familiar and I might have dropped a comment or two on his site in the past but other than that no bells are ringing.

  140. Jay

    “In other words, doesn’t human intelligence alone disprove Darwinism?”

    No, but it does IMO disprove the notion that only a supernatural being can tinker with the course of evolution. It can be done by ***naturally occuring engineers.

    That’s if you believe that human engineers are naturally occuring which for a Darwinist is a given. A Darwinist contradicts himself when he claims that ID demands a supernatural intelligence and at the same time says that human genetic engineers evolved naturally. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Either humans are supernatural or engineers capable of artifical interference in evolution are a proven part of nature.

  141. The Kitzmiller vs. Dover School Board decision is coming down today. Stay tuned at the following link:

    http://news.google.com/news?hl.....;scoring=d

  142. Go ID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  143. 143

    Results are in, Intelligent Design was destroyed by the judge. I’m sorry for you, but as an adherent to evolution, I can’t really feel sorry myself.

    The judgement seems to be a lot wider than I’d expected though…

  144. No legal case will stop the advancement of ID. A one-sided court case will not destroy DNA.

  145. Judge Jone’s career just ended. He was appointed by President Bush and just now ruled against the president’s wishes. It’s a good thing he’s got a lifetime appointment because that’s the last appointment he’ll ever get.

  146. Judge Jones is scathing in his criticism of the “breathtaking inanity” of the Dover board.

    From the Dover ruling:
    “Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has not been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.”

  147. DaveScot writes:
    “Judge Jone’s career just ended. He was appointed by President Bush and just now ruled against the president’s wishes. It’s a good thing he’s got a lifetime appointment because that’s the last appointment he’ll ever get.”

    Uh, Dave… Judges are supposed to uphold the Constitution, not the President’s wishes. Have you heard of “checks and balances”?

  148. Strong wording in the Dover opinion.

    Judge Jones writes:
    “The overwhelming evidence at trial established that ID is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory.”

  149. I’m still trying to figure out how a local school board supporting an alternative theory equates to congress establishing an official state religion…

    Perhaps someone can point out to me the legal reasoning for this particular decision?

  150. Judge Jones: “The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has not been fully revealed through this trial.”

    I suppose by “factual backdrop which has not been fully revealed” he means that the ‘evolutionist’ side chose not to testify, and, further, had they testified, the ‘breathtaking inanity’ of the Board’s decision would be even more ‘evident.’

    This seems to be no more than a prejudicial statement. It’s almost like he had his mind made up from the beginning, or that he was unable to follow the ID arguments, or both.

    To make the kinds of statements that have been coming out so far, stinks not of ‘activism’, but of ‘arrogance.’ He arrogantly believes that the Board was nothing more than a bunch of rednecks who can’t understand science and so simply want to introduce ‘creationism.’ He seems to take Dawkins’ position that anyone who denies evolution is either stupid, ignorant, or wicked. Since he also calls them liars, he probably thinks they’re wicked.

    Where are the facts of this case? On what basis, i.e., legal principles in conjunction with the findings presented at trial, does he base this decision? This hasn’t come out yet. But if his whole opinion is nothing but ad hominem attacks, he should be severely criticized.

    Anyone know where to find the full opinion?

  151. 152

    Benjii: it has not destroyed ID itself, it has destroyed ID as science in the eyes of the law. The consequences for this are marginal, really. All it means is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID in school.

    Really, ID can research until it can argue to have a scientific basis, but the courts decided it hasn’t got one now. The court is not asking you to stop researching (in fact, it is encouraging you to do so), just saying ID has no place in the classroom (yet). I have read some excerpts and think this decision is sound.

    Is this a setback for ID as science? Well, yes but no. Though I would personally not think ID ever has the chance to become legitimate science (due to the reductionary chain to a supernatural designer Keiths has clearly stated in this thread), nothing is stopping you from continuing your research. So I say use that chance to start researching so we can stop debating here! ;)

    Kind regards

  152. The judge nails the real problem:

    “The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources”

    The pro-evolution forces back in the 20′s had the good sense to market the Scopes Trial as a money-maker. That’s why John Scopes was sent to Dayton, Tennessee: The town was on-board because they thought they could cash in on the publicity. The Dover folks made their trial actually COST the town money rather than make it. Nothing is going to tick off a judge more…

    Dave T.

  153. PaV writes:
    “I suppose by “factual backdrop which has not been fully revealed” he means that the ‘evolutionist’ side chose not to testify…”

    PaV, this was Pennsylvania, not Kansas. The evolution side did testify, and to great effect. I highly recommend that folks read the expert testimony on both sides of the issue. It’s available at http://www2.ncseweb.org/wp/?page_id=11 .

    “This seems to be no more than a prejudicial statement. It’s almost like he had his mind made up from the beginning, or that he was unable to follow the ID arguments, or both.”

    If you read the decision, PaV, you’ll see that Judge Jones understood the arguments from both sides, and that he carefully justifies each part of the opinion by referencing the evidence and testimony on which it was based.

    “Since he also calls them liars, he probably thinks they’re wicked.”

    He didn’t just call them liars, PaV. They did lie. Read the testimony if you don’t believe it.

    “But if his whole opinion is nothing but ad hominem attacks, he should be severely criticized.”

    Easy, PaV. Why not read the opinion before attacking it?

  154. Gumpngreen,

    You might not like the way the courts have been applying the First Amendment since the 1950s, but the Incorporation Doctrine is used to apply the first ammendment to the States.

    By applying the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment, the courts have ruled that the States may not “establish religion.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.....n_doctrine

  155. BTW, this is very upsetting to us Pastafarians. :)

  156. There is no constitutional basis for this ruling. No one in their right mind would argue that even IF ID was a religious idea that it would constitute what the constitution bans. The founders would be rolling in their graves if they knew about this ruling against our GOD GIVEN liberties. See, the founders had some sense, unlike the courts today.

    The ruling that ID is creationism disguised proves that this judge is out of his mind. Creationists do NOT believe in common descent. Creationism itself means just that CREATION- they believe in a chain of creation events. ID is merely a mechanism like NS that has no problem with common descent. Only a fool would argue that both are the same thing when they share no real similarities at all.

    The American Humanists came out to applaud the ruling…ironic. Seems to me that the ID critics, YET AGAIN, are the ones making it into a religious issue.

  157. I’m fully aware of the Incorporation Doctrine and that doesn’t answer my question. How would teaching ID be an establishment of religion? Also, which religion is being established?

  158. Gump, it wouldn’t. No sane person would argue that it does. This is the insanity caused by SCOTUS starting in the 40′s when they got onto the path we’re on now- where even mentioning the word God will cause the ACLU to foam at the mouth. Having the words “christmas break” on a school calendar is considered an establishment of religion to these fools, so there’s little use even TRYING to reason with them.

  159. I just saw this. Like I said, this judge is out of his mind. ID says no such thing.

    Jones asserted: “We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation.”

    And that idea is NOT centuries old. Scientists in the 1800′s went to the supernatural all the time. Before the 1850′s nearly all scientists were actually creationists in the biblical form, so he’s insane to claim this nonsense. A judge trying to play a scientist. How precious.

  160. Well…ID doesn’t directly invoke a non-material causation but, in my opinion, it at least permits it. This is only a bad thing if you “cannot allow a divine foot in the door” as Richard Lewontin put it.

    Also, that “rule” only holds true if you define science as directly equating with antiteleological naturalism. By this definition Jones would at least be partially correct.

  161. 162

    “There is no constitutional basis for this ruling. No one in their right mind would argue that even IF ID was a religious idea that it would constitute what the constitution bans. The founders would be rolling in their graves if they knew about this ruling against our GOD GIVEN liberties. See, the founders had some sense, unlike the courts today.”

    As a dutchman, I can say we were taught that the US revolution is a fine example of a state based on Enlightenment ideas. That is to say, strictly secular, division of the 3 powers etc. I have read many letters and convincing essays that suggest they were Deists at best, and their faith was more based on Pascal’s wager and the strong belief that society would fall apart without than any personal revelation. A quick google search shows me at least this, but as someone not from America I may be wrong. It is largely irrelevant what the founding fathers thought anyway, given the system they made.

    Then there is the earlier Edwards case, heavily referenced in the ruling. All the judge is doing is applying a precedent ruling by drawing the line ID

  162. The reason I say the above is because while I agree that Jones is being disingenuous claiming he is “insane” is a bit too much.

  163. The system they made was based on the idea that certain rights are God given and cannot possibly be taken from the govt because the govt cannot overpower God. Washington was a devout Christian, as were most of the founders…they wrote in personal letters and official documents constantly about The Lord in clear reference to Jesus Christ as well as actually praising Christianity. So, maybe a few were deists to some degree- even Jefferson was a Christian of some sort, or so he probably would have thought of himself a Christian since he followed the Bible and Christ, tho he wasn’t so much for the supernatural aspects of it all.

    The Constitution says the govt cannot establish a national church, no more no less. No one can argue that this is anything in the ballpark even if they decide ID is religious, tho the ruling was bogus to begin with- the judge defined ID as calling for supernatural causation, tho ID says no such thing. This is a BS ruling throughout.

  164. I think it’s fair to say it’s insane for a federal judge to define ID by his own terms and not the terms of those who actually put forth the idea. It’s like him saying that religion is the search for natural causes in the world and proclaiming it to be true, tho anyone with any sense can find a quick definition of those who put forth religious ideas to see that’s precisely what religion is not. If a federal judge defines ID his own way and refuses to define it the way actually ID theorists do, then what is his role at all? To put up a bogus definition and attack it? That’s insanity. “I don’t care how ID is defined, I’m gonna give it my own meaning!”

  165. 166

    Josh Bozeman:
    “If a federal judge defines ID his own way and refuses to define it the way actually ID theorists do, then what is his role at all? To put up a bogus definition and attack it? That’s insanity. “I don’t care how ID is defined, I’m gonna give it my own meaning!”"

    To my knowledge, he used the definition presented to him in Of Pandas and People and through the hearing of Michael Behe. He references Behe’s words where he says that a supernatural designer is ‘probable’. And there are many more objections in general, though that is the main one.

    Still, since you seem so adamant on this, perhaps you (or anyone else) could run a detailed analysis of the statement by me and explain to me why it is, as you say, insane?

  166. keiths: “If you read the decision, PaV, you’ll see that Judge Jones understood the arguments from both sides, and that he carefully justifies each part of the opinion by referencing the evidence and testimony on which it was based.”

    Here’s what he wrote about Behe’s testimony:
    Professor Behe specifically explained that
    “[t]he current definition puts the focus on removing a part from an already functioning system,” but “[t]he difficult task facing Darwinian evolution, however,
    would not be to remove parts from sophisticated pre-existing systems; it would be
    to bring together components to make a new system in the first place.” In that article, Professor Behe wrote that he hoped to “repair this defect in future work;”
    however, he has failed to do so even four years after elucidating his defect.”

    Tell me, keiths, does that sound like the judge understood the argument? He fails to see that the “defect” Behe was referring to wasn’t an actual “defect in logic”, but rather, it was Behe saying that the argument could be made more forceful by rewording the argument. The judge seems to have bought Miller’s argument about secretory systems when he says:

    “However, Professor Behe excludes, by definition, the possibility that a
    precursor to the bacterial flagellum functioned not as a rotary motor, but in some
    other way, for example as a secretory system.”

    Now Miller and Behe have gone around on this, and based on my cursory read of Miller’s paper, and Behe’s rebuttal, I take Behe’s side.

    Dembski wrote: “There’s another problem here. The whole point of bringing up the TTSS was to posit it as an evolutionary precursor to the bacterial flagellum. The best current molecular evidence, however, points to the TTSS as evolving from the flagellum and not vice versa (Nguyen et al. 2000). http://www.designinference.com.....sponse.htm

    This is an argument that is way beyond the judge’s competence. He acted inappropriately in taking a position on something he didn’t understand as well as he needed to.

    What appears to have happened is that Miller’s testimony seems to have completely swayed the judge’s opinion on the matter. So, in effect, we have a judge who doesn’t have a full grasp of the issues, but who, nevertheless, based on the testimony of one expert witness, Miller, has decided that ID is not science. And, because of the way case law works in the United States, has effectively ruled that ID is creationism and not science in American courtrooms across the land. He must have the wisdom of Solomon.

    This is over-reaching on the part of judge.

    This said, though, I think the Dover Board, based on what is included in the opinion, over-stepped their bounds as well.

    Just one more point for the legal scholars: Judge Jones utilization of the McLean decision seems to be in error. When he cites the case, the “dualism” that he talks about is clearly, in the original case, a “dualism” between evolution and a “literal interpretation of the Genesis.” When, in the case at hand, he talks about “dualism”, it is a simple, generic kind of “dualism”: evolution versus “supernatural interventions”. That seems like an awful big stretch to me of what the McLean case decided.

  167. Behe doesn’t define ID as a supernatural cause for design. Working on his religious worldview, he thinks this is the case for him, but the science itself says no such thing. That’s like saying Darwinism isn’t science because Ken Miller think that it fits perfectly fine with his Christian worldview!

    The judge clearly says that ID is creationism updated. That cannot be true, because even Behe has no problem with common descent. Creationism – key word creation. It’s the idea that there were numerous acts of creation to bring about all life on earth. ID never says any such thing. ID isn’t specific to Christianity (the judge also made that bogus claim)…the top post on this site is about Jews and ID and there are numerous Muslim ID sites out there! Clearly, he’s wrong…likely purposefully as this evidence is available via any google search.

    He’s attacking a strawman here, and no doubt he knows it.

  168. keiths: Here’s something else from the judge:

    In fact, the theory of evolution proffers exaptation as a well-recognized, well-documented explanation for how systems with multiple parts could have evolved through natural means.”

    Exaption is a completely meaningless definition which was invented, and is used, by neo-Darwinists only to cover up what evolution cannot explain. For example, (http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~rk.....himps.html) “Gould proposes that language is an example of what he calls a spandrel, or an exaption: a trait which, having evolved for one reason, is later used for another.” Which, translated means: there’s no way of finding “evolutionary steps” that leads from chimpanzees to humans when it comes to language. So, we just PROPOSE that precursor to human language was present somehow in chimps, and then “borrowed” by humans as language. There’s absolutely no evidence for this; and there will likely never be any evidence for it. It’s no more than hand-waving. And, yet, the judge swallows it hook, line and sinker.

  169. Sure there is…clearly a chimps love for swinging in trees was borrowed by humans for language. See what happened was the arm muscles slowly evolved their way up to the jaw in modern humans. We don’t know how, we don’t know when, and we don’t really know what mechanism could have caused this, but it surely happened because look- the skeletal structure hints at this. Just like reptiles jaw bones supposedly evolved in small steps up to the mammalian ear bones! Of course both stories are ludicrous. But what do you expect?

  170. What I don’t understand is how the unguided evolution of a biological phenomenon could possibly be falsified – even in theory – if the concept of Intelligent Design is not even permitted consideration. If it didn’t evolve, then how did it occur? Lamarkism has been effectively falsified, and can we reasonably suspect that the organism leapt to the top of “Mount Improbable” in a single bound?

    We know that human intelligence can tamper with organisms to create biological novelty, so why is it such a wild idea to consider the possibility that some other intelligence tampered with life on Earth to create the flora and fauna we see today? If evolution didn’t do it, then what did? I don’t see how evolution is not an article of faith if ID is not considered.

    Regarding whether or not ID is a supernatural concept, I’m afraid I remain unconvinced until I see how supernaturalism and ID are inseperable. See comment #27 on this thread.

    David

  171. 172

    David:

    If you posit an intelligence having designed us, you shift the burden of evolution to that intelligence. If it is natural, his properties can be discerned like in everything natural. And no, circular reasonings like ‘aptitude to make what he made’ are not a part of such a hypothesis. Such a natural designer is not posited however, to my (and keiths) everlasting surprise.

    Instead, he is exchanged for a designer who remains unspecified (and, if I understand ID correctly, will forever remain unspecified by definition). Without a specified designer you heavily imply that you supercede the natural because a natural designer you could test, as stated above. If you categorically state the designer is unspecifiable, you have basically equated him to be supernatural, because all that is natural can have its mechanism observed. Until an attempt is made at seriously naturally discerning a designer, ID will remain as it is now, unscientific. ID hinges on the designer, because he is responsible for the design. If he remains unidentified, then the content of the theory remains unidentified and thus no more than an intuition.

    That is exactly why mosts scientists wave off intelligent design, it is as of yet no more than an unspecified intuition. They even go so far as to say: “it is not by a lack of ability that the ID movement is not specifying the designer or his abilities, but a lack of will. By leaving the spot open, you leave room for the supernatural and this is inexcusable in science.”

    The problem is, they are right. ID could specify the designer, so why doesn’t it? I have not seen this question answered anywhere. And I do realise I may get banned for saying this, Renard seems to have been kicked out for less…

    Josh Bozeman:
    “Sure there is…clearly a chimps love for swinging in trees was borrowed by humans for language. See what happened was the arm muscles slowly evolved their way up to the jaw in modern humans.”

    This shows you have not the foggiest about evolution of language capability. The two things that are most thought to precipitate language are the areas in the brain related to walking upright, changes in the glottis which makes the oral cavity much more usable (and these changes in the glottis were according to many evolved to increase efficiency of the shared breathing/consumption mechanism – a classic example of exaptation), and my pet theory that an awareness of time absent in all other animals caused development of computational ability and hence language. But the last one is just an intuition, the other two have some literature behind them.

    PaV:
    “Exaption is a completely meaningless definition which was invented, and is used, by neo-Darwinists only to cover up what evolution cannot explain.”

    It is at least recorded as having happened in human history and it is not at all clear to me why you discard it so easily. Exaptation is really a rather simple process. You posit exaptation as a magical act. It is however no such things. For exaptation to work, one must find a part of a system which was once used differently but could, by a simple rearrangement, be used differently. Therefore, the parts don’t change, just their use. And you have to document very well why you think that’s the case, not just any exaptation can be accepted as you seem to imply.

  172. “ID could specify the designer, so why doesn’t it?”

    The Designer can be made of known energy and matter or it could be an unembodied intelligence (meaning, it’s not made of known materials). So which is it? Unspecified means exactly what it sounds like: unspecified. Determining that question is outside the scope of ID. You and I may not like not knowing the identity but that doesn’t affect the design detection itself. Of course, people may have personal beliefs on the identity of the Designer based upon personal experiences, history, and other things outside of ID.

    Also, Josh was obviously making fun and not being precise but you do realize your response is a good example of just-so storytelling? And I’m pretty sure I’ve read the literature you mention…

  173. Edin,

    It looks to me like you’re trotting out David Hume’s argument that we can’t detect design unless we know the properties of the designer – an argument I find unconvincing. http://www.designinference.com.....d_Reid.pdf

    “Without a specified designer you heavily imply that you supercede the natural because a natural designer you could test, as stated above.”

    First of all, the goal is not to detect the designer; it is to detect design. And, second, the trick is to show how Intelligent Design cannot escape a supernatural designer regardless of how strongly it implies one.

    BTW, my question pertaining to how the undirected evolution of some biological phenomenon could theoretically be falsified remains unanswered.

  174. Edin, of course I was making a joke. I find the argument of the jaw bones moving to the inner ear absurd. So I made an absurd argument about apes and humans. Of course, as mentioned, what you told was simply a just-so story that has no empirical evidence to back it up. And that’s all it will ever be, considering we cannot study animals that have been extinct for quite sometime and have little to work with in regards to fossils. On top of that, we’ve no muscles of course, and bones themselves can provide clues to muscles, but those soon turn into just-so stories themselves with no hard evidence to back them up. Since this all supposedly happened in the distant past, much of the story MUST be just-so stories, which is why most of the general public doesn’t buy it…just so- stories a solid theory do not make.

    That and when a theory purports to explain EVERYTHING it usually explains nothing. NDE supporters claim to prove every aspect of all life, the universe, mood, thought, behavior, religion, everything with a theory riddled with neverending just-so stories that lack empirical evidence to back most of it up.

  175. 176

    Crandaddy:
    “First of all, the goal is not to detect the designer; it is to detect design. And, second, the trick is to show how Intelligent Design cannot escape a supernatural designer regardless of how strongly it implies one.”

    Well, you don’t buy the chain of designer’s argument (which is pretty strong, and some would say waterproof). I can understand what the way out is here: “the designer COULD (whereas we could not) have evolved in a way we have no knowledge about”. That this is a dubious argument I hope you can see.

    And if this is not enough there is my earlier statement. By leaving the designer unspecified, you prevent yourself from doing science. Science is about mechanisms, models, theories etc. In other words, scientists like to look at the world and pick up information that they gather into a model which has predictive powers. Evolution does that intensively, though you would call that “micro-evolution”, something ID doesn’t challenge. This just shows the strength of the evolutionary model (or part of it, as you uphold)

    ID would have what predictive power, that is not a direct consequence of a part of the model of evolution they too employ? I have heard that ‘everything should have its use, because it was designed’ and heard that junk DNA should turn out to be useful. But if you do not specify the capabilities of the designer, why posit that? The designer needs not be competent, so a totally useless design is possible. The designer could be a prankster and code the number of pi into it to spite us all.

    These are all jocular interpretations of course, but without specifying the designer, they must all be taken into account. Therefore, the junk DNA claim is neither support nor discredit for the theory.

    The point made here is, without a specified designer (who made the design) all you can say about design is ‘it was designed’ and naught else. And that’s only its descriptive adequacy, but its explanatory adequacy amounts to nil. This would not have had to be the case were the designer specified. Were he to be specified as aliens, we would have predictions. Were he to be specified as God, you have a worthless theory that is unscientific. The point is, by leaving the designer seat open, which needs to be filled for the theory to work as science, you are not saying anything. Yes, you are even strongly implying the supernatural. As judge Jones said, it is disingenious at best and deceptive at worst. He calls it, in short, “Creationism -God” where God rolls out of the equation of ID. Whether you agree with this is another thing entirely, but it is clear to my mind.

    But you are right of course. Without specifying the designer he could just as well be natural- but it is all very vague. And if something is vague, it is not good science. So once again, I call upon you: research the designer!

    Crandaddy:
    “BTW, my question pertaining to how the undirected evolution of some biological phenomenon could theoretically be falsified remains unanswered.”

    Evolution has a model (natural selection) and a generator (random mutation). Natural selection IS directed: by nature, just not by intelligence. Random mutation is not directed at all. Please remember that NS is not at all undirected. By extension, your point becomes unanswerable because evolution is directed due to natural selection being so. So please give me a case to judge?

    Gumpngreen:
    “Also, Josh was obviously making fun and not being precise but you do realize your response is a good example of just-so storytelling? And I’m pretty sure I’ve read the literature you mention…”

    It is hard to tell with Josh :S

    And please explain to me why it is an example of just-so storytelling? I described plausible natural scenarios didn’t I?

    Kind Regards

  176. 177

    Josh Bozeman:
    “NDE supporters claim to prove every aspect of all life, the universe, mood, thought, behavior, religion”

    That’s so patently untrue it brings tears to my eyes. All NDE talks about is life and that which pertains to it. It seeks to map certain behavioural patterns to nature, yes, but that is not its goal. Its goal is to explain how systems arose that facilitate mood, behaviour and religion, not to explain their working (though its working needs to be understood if genealogical trees are to be built). It has absolutely NOTHING -and I repeat- NOTHING to do with the universe or the origin of life. Those are physical questions. All it has to explain is the diversity of life.

    Speaking of which, that which hopes to explain everything ere the end is not Evolution but physics. Good quote: “Science is either physics or stamp collection” by I think Mendeleev. Physics hopes to explain everything, so point your unfalsifiability arrows towards that :)

    Kind Regards

  177. Edin Najetovic: “Therefore, the parts don’t change, just their use. And you have to document very well why you think that’s the case, not just any exaptation can be accepted as you seem to imply.”

    And when Gould, the inventor of the term, uses it to describe a hypothetical structure in chimps that was “exapted” by humans to use in language, isn’t that, well…. magic? There’s no ‘parts’ there to identify.

  178. Edin

    “the chain of designer’s argument”

    Utter dreck. We have no data whatsoever to consider in any supposed chain of designers. We have evidence of design in biological structures. That’s the beginning and end of the data we have. The design we identify in biological structures can be accomplished quite easily through known laws of nature. Not only that, but the technology required to engineer such biological structures is not terribly far advanced beyond what genetic engineers can do in laboratories today. No supernatural force is suggested or required in the evidentiary basis for design.

    The argument “who designed the designer” is a red herring designed to move ID away from its scientific underpinnings in real biological structures and into the realm of metaphysical speculation and religion where it can be attacked on 1st amendment grounds. We are suitably impressed with ourselves that you can’t argue the science and have to create a metaphysical strawman in order to denigrate ID. Thanks for that.

  179. Sorry for the delay in responding, PaV. I was out celebrating the Dover opinion last night.

    PaV writes:
    “Tell me, keiths, does that sound like the judge understood the argument? He fails to see that the “defect” Behe was referring to wasn’t an actual “defect in logic”, but rather, it was Behe saying that the argument could be made more forceful by rewording the argument.”

    The judge is a lot smarter than you think, PaV. He understands the argument precisely. He’s not pointing out a defect in logic, as you claim; he’s pointing out a defect in applicability. Check out the sentence immediately preceding your excerpt:

    “Professor Behe admitted in “Reply to My Critics” that there was a defect in his view of irreducible complexity because, while it purports to be a challenge to natural selection, it does not actually address ‘the task facing natural selection.’”

    In case there’s any doubt, the judge reiterates his understanding of the issue in the sentence immediately following your excerpt:

    “In addition to Professor Behe’s admitted failure to properly address the very phenomenon that irreducible complexity purports to place at issue, natural selection…”

    Behe’s testimony confirms the judge’s interpretation of the “defect”.

    Natural selection does not start with an IC system and attempt to remove parts, but that is exactly the situation that Behe’s definition refers to.

    And the judge isn’t using Behe’s old definition in his arguments about the validity of IC. He’s just pointing out Behe’s sloppiness in failing to fix a problem which was pointed out to him four years previously.

    PaV quotes the opinion:
    “However, Professor Behe excludes, by definition, the possibility that a precursor to the bacterial flagellum functioned not as a rotary motor, but in someother way, for example as a secretory system.”

    Judge Jones says this to point out that an IC system CAN be produced by natural selection if the precursors have a different function or functions from that of the IC system.

    PaV comments:
    “Now Miller and Behe have gone around on this, and based on my cursory read of Miller’s paper, and Behe’s rebuttal, I take Behe’s side.”

    Why am I not surprised?

    PaV quotes Dembski:
    “There’s another problem here. The whole point of bringing up the TTSS was to posit it as an evolutionary precursor to the bacterial flagellum. The best current molecular evidence, however, points to the TTSS as evolving from the flagellum and not vice versa (Nguyen et al. 2000).”

    It doesn’t matter whether the TTSS is a precursor to the flagellum. The point is that the TTSS is an existence proof of a flagellar subset with a different function. This highlights the fact that nothing about Behe’s single-function definition of an IC system precludes its evolution via precursors having different functions.

    In other words, Behe’s definition of IC needs to be changed if his intent is to show that IC systems cannot be produced by natural selection.

    “This is an argument that is way beyond the judge’s competence. He acted inappropriately in taking a position on something he didn’t understand as well as he needed to.”

    It appears that he understood the argument better than you did.

    “…we have a judge who…based on the testimony of one expert witness, Miller, has decided that ID is not science.”

    The judge’s conclusion that ID is not science rests on a lot more than this one point, PaV. Read the “Whether ID is Science” section of the opinion.

  180. 181

    PaV:
    “And when Gould, the inventor of the term, uses it to describe a hypothetical structure in chimps that was “exapted” by humans to use in language, isn’t that, well…. magic? There’s no ‘parts’ there to identify.”

    I stipulated a few in my post above. Several areas of the brain have at least been mapped to brain functions (look up Broca and Wernicke if you like). How they evolved I do not know for sure, but several good suggestions have been offered. The connection walking upright and related areas in the brain is one of them.

    Dave Scot:
    “Utter dreck. We have no data whatsoever to consider in any supposed chain of designers.”

    I did not say it was a strong arument per se, but the reason why is readily apparent in your next sentence. ID does not have any data on any designer. It is the theory’s weakness. This also leaves out the chain of designer reading, as you state. It does not make the theory stronger as I explain in the following paragraphs.

    “We have evidence of design in biological structures. That’s the beginning and end of the data we have. The design we identify in biological structures can be accomplished quite easily through known laws of nature.”

    Such as Natural Selection? Really, I’m sceptical of what laws of nature ID employs, but by all means enlighten me.

  181. “He’s just pointing out Behe’s sloppiness in failing to fix a problem which was pointed out to him four years previously.”

    Behe’s IC has always been about direct Darwinian pathways. He noted the improbable indirect pathways in his first book. Considering no one has yet to meet Behe’s challenge regarding those indirect pathways I’m not sure it’s a problem that requires fixing.

    Personally I’m not very interested in this discussion any more as it’s more about a misunderstanding of ID than anything else.

  182. Edin,

    Welcome to the blog. I’m enjoying your posts.

    I just saw your first post (it was delayed in appearing on the blog), which contains a question for me:

    “And keiths, would involving the supernatural into the natural by making it falsifiable discredit its supernatural nature(sic)? Is a supernatural being not by definition totally unfalsiable since it transcends natural falsification? Or is my view of this too narrow?”

    DaveScot raises a related point, asserting that
    “the supernatural becomes the natural once we know about it.”

    No, a hypothetical supernatural being remains supernatural even if it intervenes in nature. Take the biblical God, for example: who (besides DaveScot) would assert that this particular God is natural, not supernatural, simply because he manipulates nature when performing miracles?

    Regarding falsification, a hypothetical supernatural being can be falsified by human observations if some of its attributes predict regular, observable consequences in nature. If you show that those consequences do not obtain, then the being does not exist, irrespective of its other attributes.

  183. If God created nature, we could easily say he is outside of it but also a part of nature itself. So, even an act of God would not necessarily be supernatural. Furthermore- an a priori demand that nothing can be supernatural is silly. You can’t discount an option of the universe from the start and ever think you’ll get a full picture of it all. Fact is- there may many supernatural aspects to the world, who is to say? Science couldn’t tackle it, because the demands has become so narrow (past science would deal with the supernatural all the time.)

    You couldn’t falsify the supernatural via science if science demands that all aspects be natural. Even if you made a set of predictions, if science cannot deal with the supernatural, how could it possibly work to falsify any aspects of it?

  184. Gumpngreen responds to my statements about irreducible complexity:
    “Behe’s IC has always been about direct Darwinian pathways. He noted the improbable indirect pathways in his first book. Considering no one has yet to meet Behe’s challenge regarding those indirect pathways I’m not sure it’s a problem that requires fixing.”

    Behe is claiming that he has identified a property of systems, irreducible complexity, that MANDATES the existence of an intelligent designer capable of engineering it into the system. The burden of proof is on him to show that evolution cannot produce systems with this property.

    Otherwise, you’re back to a “designer of the gaps” argument: “Evolutionary biologists have not identified an indirect path to an IC system. Therefore the designer made it.”

  185. 186

    Keiths:
    “Welcome to the blog. I’m enjoying your posts.”
    Likewise ;)

    “No, a hypothetical supernatural being remains supernatural even if it intervenes in nature. Take the biblical God, for example: who (besides DaveScot) would assert that this particular God is natural, not supernatural, simply because he manipulates nature when performing miracles?”

    Being an atheist myself your theist example hardly even stings! :P

    Anyway, supernatural can be defined as ‘defying nature’ or more correctly ‘defying natural laws’ as it were, am I correct? Nature vs Supernature are just two different planes of existence, yes? Aside from the obvious contradiction that something can interact with something else that is wholly different (Descartes wrestled with this in his dualistic worldview), putting a natural description onto a supernatural being is encapsulating him in a system the supernatural supercedes. It is like trying to drown a fish in water. So either the supernatural occurs randomly (which will not please anybody) or it is equated with the natural upon which it’s supernaturalness is moot.

    Josh Bozeman:
    “Fact is- there may many supernatural aspects to the world, who is to say? Science couldn’t tackle it, because the demands has become so narrow (past science would deal with the supernatural all the time.)”

    Josh, I was scared I would agree with you fully, but fortunately there is this which I can mildly disagree with (though, to my grudging annoyment, not wholly). Plus, I get to yell at your spelling!

    Here you say that there may be many aspects to the world that are supernatural. Unfortunately, this is true. Science can’t and never has beem able to tackle the supernatural, and this is where you’re wrong. Science as we know it NEVER dealt with the supernatural and when ‘scientia’ or ‘sophia’ did in the old days, it was not what we now know as science. It was basically a glorification of God’s creation, from the lowliest cactus flower to the humblest yucca tree. If ‘scientia’ still busied itself with the supernatural, we would be thinking a thunderstorm was a punishment from God and weather forecasts would be in the form of “There are sodomists here, expect heavy storm and hail for the Lord’s wrath is upon you”. Fortunately, they’re not.

    … a sorry disagreement I know, but I couldn’t stand myself agreeing with you Josh :P

    Kind regards

  186. Edin,

    I’m an atheist too, but I end up discussing the supernatural hypothetically because ID implies it (via the designer chain argument).

    Josh Bozeman writes:
    “If God created nature, we could easily say he is outside of it but also a part of nature itself.”

    God can’t be wholly outside nature yet a part of it. On the other hand, if you meant that God overlaps nature, but is mostly outside, then I would ask: What about the part of God that’s inside nature? Do you believe that God created a part of himself when he created nature?

    Josh again:
    “You couldn’t falsify the supernatural via science if science demands that all aspects be natural. Even if you made a set of predictions, if science cannot deal with the supernatural, how could it possibly work to falsify any aspects of it?”

    Personally, I don’t think that science demands that all (or any) aspects of an entity be natural in order for that entity to be studied scientifically. There merely have to be implied, dependable consequences of that entity’s existence which are observable in nature. If the consequences aren’t there, the entity doesn’t exist.

    In this way, the God of the young-earth creationists is falsified by the biological, geological and astronomical evidence of an old universe and earth, even if he possesses many attributes which are outside the scope of science.

    I think you and Edin are both trying to say that an entity must be part of nature in order to influence nature. This is simply not true. I can dribble a basketball, but that doesn’t mean I’m part of the basketball. Something that doesn’t follow the laws of nature, like a supernatural intervention, can hardly be said to be part of nature, but the effects of the intervention are certainly part of nature, and hence observable.

    Edin writes:
    “…putting a natural description onto a supernatural being is encapsulating him in a system the supernatural supercedes.”

    Saying that a being influences the natural world is not tantamount to “putting a natural description onto” it.

  187. I said: “BTW, my question pertaining to how the undirected evolution of some biological phenomenon could theoretically be falsified remains unanswered.”

    Edin responded with this: “Evolution has a model (natural selection) and a generator (random mutation). Natural selection IS directed: by nature, just not by intelligence. Random mutation is not directed at all. Please remember that NS is not at all undirected. By extension, your point becomes unanswerable because evolution is directed due to natural selection being so. So please give me a case to judge?”

    Perhaps my question was misleading; let me rephrase. Evolutionary theory posits that some current biological state of affairs B evolved via random mutations and natural selection from some prior biological state of affairs A. How could this theoretically be falsified?

  188. Just to follow up on a much earlier post (#132), where I said, “This sparked an obvious (in hindsight) question that for some reason had never occured to me before: Since human intelligence is certainly capable of generating CSI, doesn’t this make moot the question of whether other highly complex things found in nature qualify as CSI? In other words, doesn’t human intelligence alone disprove Darwinism?”
    DaveScot replied that it “disprove[s] the notion that only a supernatural being can tinker with the course of evolution. It can be done by ***naturally occuring engineers.”
    keiths replied: “Only if you believe that undirected natural processes, like random mutation followed by natural selection, cannot produce CSI.”

    Actually, there’s another way. At first, I thought that maybe it was just an intellectual blind spot caused by the fact that we’re intelligent beings. But after thinking about this some more, I think that the reason I hadn’t seen the problem until now is that I was assuming, for the sake of argument, that while undirected natural processes aren’t able to generate CSI, they might be capable of generating conscious intelligence, which then could produce all the CSI that one wants. I don’t believe this, but I think that that was the unrecognized and unexamined assumption that I had made. This makes sense if conscious intelligences aren’t constrained by the same laws of physics that undirected natural processes are, i.e., that conscious intelligences are, indeed, supernatural in some manner. Thus, it’s a paradoxical (and seemingly indefensible) conflation of naturalism and supernaturalism.

    Yet this assumption or something similar seems to be implicit in most of the arguments made regarding CSI. I’ve seen almost no discussion by anyone, including proponents of ID, of the astounding fact that human intelligence can generate it. And why else would many Darwinists staunchly argue against the proposed examples of CSI in nature — that we can’t know the probabilities of all possible factors in their evolution, etc., instead of saying, “Yeah, so what, Darwinian evolution can create CSI — we just can’t demonstrate it in a lab”?

  189. Science as we know it NEVER dealt with the supernatural and when ’scientia’ or ’sophia’ did in the old days, it was not what we now know as science.
    ———-

    thats part of the problem. you say it wasnt science, and most scientists themselves would say as much today…but science was much broader back then. they saw their search for Gods glory and the research of his creation as their science. that formed the basis of much of their work- that the universe was created in an orderly fashion and worked in that manner, so it could be understood. science seems too narrow today i think.

    and i disagree keiths- i hear all the time that science cannot deal with the supernatural…that science is ONLY when dealing with natural events. but it then comes back to- what is supernatural. what i meant was that god is not wholly outside of nature but part of it and outside of it- hes everywhere, within everything seen and unseen. with that, he can work outside of nature and perhaps reach in and that would be considered supernatural./ im sure most scientists would say that god doing so would be supernatural and would say that they cant deal with it because its not purely natural. they might deal with whatever it is and then label it natural after they decided it was some unknown natural event. but, isnt an unknown natural event itself “supernatural” in essence? again, the fuzzy meaning of the word.

  190. Josh,
    I had a hard time deciphering your post, so I’m quite unsure about this, but I gather that you believe that I, as an evolutionist and an ID opponent, have to “toe the line” and accept the mainstream view that science cannot deal with the supernatural under any circumstances. I don’t, for reasons that I make clear elsewhere in this thread and others. The hypothesis of a suitably constrained supernatural being is testable using the methods of science.

  191. I think personally that science is too narrow. If supernatural events take place, we shouldn’t label them off limits. Even if we study them and come to a conclusion that we cannot at all or maybe not fully explain it via natural laws, then we could call it supernatural maybe and leave it at that. You can’t, as most would like, have an a priori demand that the supernatural doesn’t exist and it’s not possible that it exists, end of story. I think science should be able to study all aspects of the universe…if they turn out to be unknowable thru science, let’s label them some way. Maybe we will label them supernatural, or maybe we will just say they’re natural but just a mystery and work more on it…if we search and search and still no answer comes- maybe we will never know. We can hardly know everything about everything.

    That doesn’t make ID supernatural tho. Then again, as I said, I don’t think supernatural is the right term sometimes. What was labelled supernatural before were events that were clearly natural in origin, just not explained at the time- they explained it, so they called it natural from that point on. If some scientists study some sort of ESP or any other example of what most would call supernatural and they find it’s real, that there’s no trickery, there’s nothing to explain it- so be it. It’s part of the universe we live in, accept it and move on to the next issue. Too many will posit a million just-so stories to explain all sorts of mysterious phenomenon and proclaim it’s a trick or a hoax, but that’s mainly because we’ve become conditioned to think that science can tell us everything about everything, but it surely can’t. Anything that claims to tell us EVERYTHING usually can tell us very little of all there is to know.

    I think God is natural and supernatural. He is everywhere, thus outside of nature and inside of it as well…so he can act thru out from outside or insert himself into it to act solely within nature. So with that, for example, the term becomes fuzzy and confusing and fairly useless.

  192. What might be supernatural to us, might not be to God. Isn’t supernatural a human word anyways?

  193. Edin Najetivic: “I stipulated a few in my post above. Several areas of the brain have at least been mapped to brain functions (look up Broca and Wernicke if you like). How they evolved I do not know for sure, but several good suggestions have been offered. The connection walking upright and related areas in the brain is one of them.”

    This is exactly as I have said: Darwinian theory is at a loss as to what selective advantages might have brought about the change the structure’s change in function, so they simply stipulate a word to make it “sound” scientific. The more honest approach would be to simply say: “we are not able at this time to propose a pathway with appropriate selective advantages to explain this change in function.” As they say in Italian, “basta.” (‘That will do.’)

  194. keiths: “PaV, I suspect that you already realize what’s wrong with your chain argument, but I’ll make it explicit anyway. You claim that the Big Bang and the Anthropic Principle together imply a supernatural designer. But if that were so obvious, everyone would be an IDer, because that is more or less what the cosmic fine-tuning argument says.”

    It is no more, nor any less, obvious than inferring from CSI that there is a ‘supernatural designer’. Just because you feel comfortable assuming it to be the case in one instance–so that in your mind, at least, it can be wielded as a battling axe–but you’re not comfortable making that assumption in the other instance, is your own failure to be logically consistent, and no more. The error, I’m afraid, is happening between your ears.

  195. “The judge’s conclusion that ID is not science rests on a lot more than this one point, PaV. Read the “Whether ID is Science” section of the opinion.”
    What makes you think I haven’t read that section? Is it just because I don’t agree with your ‘judgment’?
    When you say that there is a defect in ‘application’, and I say there’s a ‘defect in logic’, I believe that we’re saying about the same thing. In other words, IC is more powerful an argument contra evolution if it specifically addresses the ‘how’ of evolution, and, in particular, NS.

    But what the judge seems to infer—an inference coming basically, as I see it, from Miller’s testimony—is that Behe’s argument has been countered by, as he says over and over again, ‘peer-reviewed’ evidence, and that, in the face of this refutation of Behe’s assertions, Behe has done nothing to ‘correct’ his theory, nor to, let us say, ‘bolster’ his theory by addressing NS more directly; in other words, the build-up, through blind-chance occurrences, of the biological structures that Behe cites as IC.

    The judge doesn’t ‘understand’ Behe’s argument because he doesn’t realize how skin-deep ‘peer-reviewed’ articles are. He doesn’t understand that the evolutionary community control most, if not all, laboratories throughout the US; that they control the faculties, and therefore the curricula, of universities throughout the land, and that they control almost all the ‘peer-reviewed’ journals currently published. In other words, they have a monopoly. And, as in typical monopolistic systems, they drive out any upstart competition. In the case of evolution, this is done through ‘Darwinian fundamentalism.’ What I’m saying is that he labors under the false notion that science is ‘objective.’

    Nor does he understand that the TTSS is but a secondary, not primary, part of the flagellum motor system. (See Dembski’s quote below) And so, whether or not Dr. Minnich thinks the ‘derivation’ of the TTSS from the flagellum motor, or vice versa, is an current, and open, area of inquiry right now, that detracts in no way from the force of Behe’s argument. This subtlety is lost on the judge. (“However, Professor Behe excludes, by definition, the possibility that a precursor to the bacterial flagellum functioned not as a rotary motor, but in some
    other way, for example as a secretory system.”) As it is again lost when the judge cites Miller’s testimony about the whale blood-clotting mechanism as a refutation of Behe’s claim that the mammalian blood-clotting system is IC, not realizing that if the system is ‘reduced’ from nine protein components to seven, the seven-protein system is nevertheless IC. So, the judge writes: “Expert testimony revealed that just because
    scientists cannot explain today how biological systems evolved does not mean that
    they cannot, and will not, be able to explain them tomorrow.” Miller has been screaming about this for years. And what is this assertion other than simple FAITH in evolution. The judge, along with Miller, might as well say, “Oh, it’s only a matter of time before all of this is figured out.” What great faith! And misplace faith at that!

    As it now stands, there are only two things we know about this motor: (1) that it both exists and operates; (2) and, that removing a part of this system, stops it from working. That’s what we know.

    Can evolution explain just how this flagellum rotor motor came about? The answer: No. But, “[e]xpert testimony reveal[s] that just because
    scientists cannot explain today how biological systems evolved does not mean that
    they cannot, and will not, be able to explain them tomorrow.” As Darwin did, and as all of his disciples have done since, they ask us to ‘believe.’ Some day, some way, some how, everything will be answered. Yet, there are no answers.

    If ‘evolutionary theory’ can’t provide a mechanism for how these structures came about, then, at the very least, the theory is tentative, or incomplete (and not a fact). Apparently the judge relies on the great ‘faith’ that Dr. Miller has in this theory that it is just a matter of time before all the ‘missing links’ on the way to the bacterial flagellum motor are all filled in. I’m not holding my breath; believe me.
    keiths: “And the judge isn’t using Behe’s old definition in his arguments about the validity of IC. He’s just pointing out Behe’s sloppiness in failing to fix a problem which was pointed out to him four years previously.”
    You may be right, but my impression is that the judge is understanding that Behe hasn’t made the change as an admission of Miller’s argument prevailing, when, in all probability, Behe doesn’t feel compelled to re-state the argument because no one has successfully refuted his assertions. Evolution is the ‘prevailing dogma’ of the day—so thinks the good judge—and so it’s evolutionary theory’s duty and obligation to refute the claim by demonstrating probable pathways.
    keiths: “Judge Jones says this to point out that an IC system CAN be produced by natural selection if the precursors have a different function or functions from that of the IC system.”
    Judge Jones Opinion: As expert testimony revealed, the qualification on what is meant by “irreducible complexity” renders it meaningless as a criticism of evolution. In fact, the theory of evolution proffers exaptation as a well-recognized, well-documented explanation for how systems with multiple parts could have evolved through natural means. Exaptation means that some precursor of the subject system had a different, selectable function before experiencing the change or addition that resulted in the subject system with its present function (16:146-48(Padian)). For instance, Dr. Padian identified the evolution of the mammalian middle ear bones from what had been jawbones as an example of this process. (17:6-17 (Padian)).

    This is almost laughable. “Dr Padian identified the evolution of the mammalian middle ear bones from what had been jawbones as an example of this process (of exaptation).”

    In other words, here’s how the thinking goes: “How are mammals different from reptiles? One way is that their inner ear is different. How are they different? Well, what we see as jawbones in reptiles, are now seen to be modified and used in a completely different way in the mammalian middle ear. Well how did it happen? Evolution did it. Do you have a name for it? Yes, it’s called ‘exaptation.’” Exaptation EXISTS only if EVOLUTION IS FIRST ACCEPTED AS A THEORY. So just because they have a fancy word for it, and just because all kinds of other scientists nod their heads when exaptation is invoked, Judge Jones is very impressed. Sorry, but I’m not impressed at all.

    You don’t KNOW that jawbones have ‘evolved’ into middle-ear bones. You only KNOW that reptiles have jawbones in that part of their anatomy, and that mammals have middle-ear bones. All the rest is pure supposition. (Show me the fossil record where we see small, gradual changes leading little-bit by little-bit from one to the other.)
    Dembski’s quote: “There’s another problem here. The whole point of bringing up the TTSS was to posit it as an evolutionary precursor to the bacterial flagellum. The best current molecular evidence, however, points to the TTSS as evolving from the flagellum and not vice versa (Nguyen et al. 2000).”
    keiths: “It doesn’t matter whether the TTSS is a precursor to the flagellum. The point is that the TTSS is an existence proof of a flagellar subset with a different function. This highlights the fact that nothing about Behe’s single-function definition of an IC system precludes its evolution via precursors having different functions.”
    Excuse me, but didn’t you just contradict yourself? In making your point about IC you said: “Judge Jones says this to point out that an IC system CAN be produced by natural selection if the precursors have a different function or functions from that of the IC system.” And now you’re saying that it DOESN’T MATTER whether the TTSS is a precursor to the flagellum. So which way would you like to argue it, since you can’t have it both ways?
    “Nothing about Behe’s single-function definition of an IC system precludes its evolution via precursors having different functions.” So what! Let’s say they all had a prior function. How did they come to function together as a whole? The odds of that happening by chance is the product of the odds of each component occurring by chance. If you have ten components, with the probability of each component coming about by chance being one in a million, then the probability of the entire IC system coming about by chance is 1 in 10^60th power. I’m sorry, isn’t that larger than the total number of atoms in the entire universe? And what is the probability of 18 nucleotides forming a particular pattern? About 1 in 12 million. Do you have a bridge in Brooklyn you’d like to sell me, too?
    I see no reason why his argument needs to be changed.
    keiths: “It appears that he understood the argument better than you did.”
    And, as Dawkins says, biological forms give every appearance of being designed. You can’t always trust appearances, you know.

  196. My last post starts with a quote from ‘keiths’, and then my response. Sorry for the ommission.

  197. I had moved on to other threads, but PaV notified me that he had responded to my last post on this thread. He requested a response, which I am happy to provide, but I would rather do so on a more recent thread since this one is about to “scroll off” the first page of the blog.

    See my response at
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....chives/605

Leave a Reply