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The “ID is Creationism in a cheap tuxedo” smear championed by Eugenie Scott et al of NCSE is now Law School Textbook orthodoxy . . .

From ENV  — even as Dr Eugenie Scott of NCSE retires (having championed the ID is Creationism in a cheap tuxedo smear for years and years in the teeth of all correction . . . ) — we see a development, courtesy a whistle-blowing Law School student:

The latest attempt to insert creationism into the classroom is what is known as the Theory of Intelligent Design. The theory is that all of the complex natural phenomena could not have happened randomly; there had to be a design and a designer. Since the concept of the designer does not require a biblical interpretation, its advocates believe that it could possibly pass constitutional muster. Some states have proposed that science standards be rewritten to include requiring teachers to compare and contrast the design hypothesis with evidence that supports evolution . . . .

The efforts of Christian Fundamentalists to insert the biblical Book of Genesis’ explanation into the teaching of science in the public school classroom evolved in stages from direct state prohibitions to teaching Darwinian evolution, to teaching creation as a science, to balanced treatment of both creationism and evolution, and finally to the latest intelligent design movement (IDM) . . . .

Evidence in the [Dover, it seems] case indicated how the progenitors of intelligent design had adapted their wording and tactics immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Edwards v. Aguillard. Edwards had struck down a legislative attempt to give “balanced-treatment” to “creation science” along with evolution in public school science classes. The federal court in Pennsylvania said that: “The weight of the evidence clearly demonstrates . . . that the systemic change from ‘creation’ to ‘intelligent design’ occurred sometime in 1987, after the Supreme Court’s important Edwards decision. This compelling evidence strongly supports plaintiff’s assertion that ID is creationism relabeled.” [Apparently: Kern Alexander and M. David Alexander,  American Public School Law (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 8th Edn) p. 381.]

This is a blatantly slanderous strawman distortion in defiance of duties of care to truth, accuracy and fairness, and presents in misleading justification a false history of the origin of and motivation for design theory.

ENV’s Casey Luskin, quite properly, replies:

[F]irst off we see the equation of intelligent design (ID) with creationism. Is ID a form of “creationism”? For the purpose of a legal textbook, surely it’s important to see how courts have defined creationism. When the U.S. Supreme Court defined creationism, they found that it “embodies the religious belief that a supernatural creator was responsible for the creation of humankind.” Leading scholars on both sides of this debate agree that creationism generally holds that “supernatural” powers created life. Even under this broad definition of creationism, ID is not creationism. This is because ID does not try to address questions about whether the designer acting in biological nature is natural or supernatural, and in fact explicitly allows that the designer could have been natural. (We’ve discussed this before in detail; see “ID Does Not Address Religious Claims About the Supernatural.”) As should be clear, then, intelligent design lacks the key defining characteristic that makes creationism both unscientific and unconstitutional.

American Public School Law goes on to cite the Kitzmiller v. Dover ruling as having demonstrated that intelligent design is creationism. Does the evidence from that case in fact show that intelligent design fits the U.S. Supreme Court’s definition of creationism? Here’s how biologist Scott Minnich testified in explaining intelligent design to the court:

Q. Do you have an opinion as to whether intelligent design requires the action of a supernatural creator?
A. I do.
Q. What is that opinion?
A. It does not.

(Scott Minnich testimony, November 3, 2005.)

Or as Michael Behe testified:

Q. So is it accurate for people to claim or to represent that intelligent design holds that the designer was God?
Behe: No, that is completely inaccurate.
Q. Well, people have asked you your opinion as to who you believe the designer is, is that correct?
Behe: That is right.
Q. Has science answered that question?
Behe: No, science has not done so.
Q. And I believe you have answered on occasion that you believe the designer is God, is that correct?
Behe: Yes, that’s correct.
Q. Are you making a scientific claim with that answer?
Behe: No, I conclude that based on theological and philosophical and historical factors.

(Michael Behe testimony, October 17, 2005.)

The judge in the case, John E. Jones, refused to allow ID proponents to define their own theory and ignored this testimony in his ruling. But far from being a mere exercise in rhetoric, Behe’s argument is principled, based on a commitment to respect the limits of science. His belief in God is not a hard-and fast conclusion of intelligent design, but something he concludes for different reasons, “based on theological and philosophical and historical factors.” He makes clear that ID doesn’t identify the designer.

For example, let’s say (for the sake of argument) that the DNA encoding the bacterial flagellum gives evidence that it did not arise by a random and unguided process like Darwinian evolution, but instead arose by a non-random and intelligently directed process. The raw data here is a highly complex molecular machine encoded by information in DNA. But that genetic information, and that machine has no way of directly telling us whether the designer is Yahweh, Buddha, Yoda, or some other source of intelligent agency. Based on our present knowledge, identifying the designer lies beyond the competence of science. It is strictly a philosophical or theological matter and, for the scientific theory of ID, it is beyond its scope. Since ID is based solely upon empirical data, the theory must remain silent on such questions.

Going on further, a better informed, more accurate  summary of the history of the roots of design theory would be:

In more recent decades, the resurgence of ID in science and philosophy arose from the confluence of information theory with the discoveries of the astonishingly complex and digital nature of DNA and cell engineering. It was not a response to the legal flaws associated with Biblical creationism, but a recognition that the mechanisms proposed by neo-Darwinism could not adequately explain the informational and irreducible properties of living systems that were increasingly being identified in biological literature as identical to features common in language and engineered machines. The term “intelligent design” appears to have been coined in its contemporary usage by cosmologist Dr. Fred Hoyle and soon thereafter Dr. Charles Thaxton, a chemist and academic editor for the Pandas textbook, adopted the term after hearing it mentioned by a NASA engineer. Thaxton’s adoption of the term was not an attempt to evade a court decision, but rather to distinguish ID from creationism, because, in contrast to creationism, ID sought to stay solely within the empirical domain:

I wasn’t comfortable with the typical vocabulary that for the most part creationists were using because it didn’t express what I was trying to do. They were wanting to bring God into the discussion, and I was wanting to stay within the empirical domain and do what you can do legitimately there.

In their effort to tie ID to creationism, the plaintiffs introduced as their “smoking gun” a comparison of the language in early pre-publication drafts of Pandas that used the term “creation” and later pre-publication drafts as well as published editions that used the term “intelligent design.” They alleged the terminology was switched merely in an effort to evade the Edwards v. Aguillard ruling, which found “creation science” unconstitutional. But the plaintiffs (and Judge Jones, who relied on them) were wrong both historically and conceptually.

Historically, it is clear (as just pointed out) that the research that generated the Pandas textbook came years before any of the litigation over “creation science.” Conceptually, early drafts of Pandas, although they used the word “creation,” did not advocate “creationism” as that term was defined by the Supreme Court.

In Edwards v. Aguillard, the Supreme Court found that creationism was religion because it referred to a “supernatural creator.” Yet long before Edwards, pre-publication drafts of Pandas specifically rejected the view that science could determine whether an intelligent cause identified through the scientific method was supernatural. A pre-Edwards draft argued that “observable instances of information cannot tell us if the intellect behind them is natural or supernatural. This is not a question that science can answer.” The same draft explicitly rejected William Paley’s eighteenth century design arguments because they unscientifically “extrapolate to the supernatural” from the empirical data.

The draft stated that Paley was wrong because “there was no basis in uniform experience for going from nature to the supernatural, for inferring an unobserved supernatural cause from an observed effect.” Another pre-publication draft made similar arguments: “[W]e cannot learn [about the supernatural] through uniform sensory experience . . . and so to teach it in science classes would be out of place . . . [S]cience can identify an intellect, but is powerless to tell us if that intellect is within the universe or beyond it.”

By unequivocally affirming that the empirical evidence of science “cannot tell us if the intellect behind [the information in life] is natural or supernatural” it is evident that these pre-publication drafts of Pandas meant something very different by “creation” than did the Supreme Court in Edwards v. Aguillard, in which the Court defined creationism as religion because it postulated a “supernatural creator.”

(David DeWolf, John West, and Casey Luskin, “Intelligent Design Will Survive Kitzmiller v. Dover,” Montana Law Review, Vol. 68:7 (Winter, 2007) (internal citations omitted).)

So, as we approach the retirement of Ms Scott of NCSE, where are we?

Right where Lewontin said in his infamous 1997 NYRB article, Billions and Billions of Demons:

It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [[--> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [[--> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [If you think this is quote-mined, in accord with a typical counter talking point, kindly cf the larger excerpt with annotations here on.]

Philip Johnson’s reply in November that same year is well deserved:

For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [[Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”
. . . .   The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [[Emphasis added.] [[The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

No wonder, Luskin summarises where we have come since the 1920′s  thusly:

The efforts of Darwinian Fundamentalists to insert materialist explanations into the teaching of science in the public school classroom evolved in stages from opposing direct state prohibitions to teaching Darwinian evolution, to opposing balanced treatment of both creationism and evolution, to opposing any mention of scientific alternatives like intelligent design, to refusing to allow even mainstream scientific critiques of their viewpoint to be taught. Thus, while Evolution activists might have had the moral high ground in 1925 during the Scopes trial, Justice Scalia notes that today we have “Scopes in Reverse,” where they try to censor critics by creating a climate of fear and intimidation.

Do you see why I keep on pointing out the warning made by Plato, 2350 years ago now? Namely, this from The Laws, Bk X:

Ath. . . . [[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [[i.e the classical "material" elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art, and that as to the bodies which come next in order-earth, and sun, and moon, and stars-they have been created by means of these absolutely inanimate existences. The elements are severally moved by chance and some inherent force according to certain affinities among them-of hot with cold, or of dry with moist, or of soft with hard, and according to all the other accidental admixtures of opposites which have been formed by necessity. After this fashion and in this manner the whole heaven has been created, and all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only. [[In short, evolutionary materialism premised on chance plus necessity acting without intelligent guidance on primordial matter is hardly a new or a primarily "scientific" view! Notice also, the trichotomy of causal factors:  (a) chance/accident, (b) mechanical necessity of nature, (c) art or intelligent design and direction.] . . . .

[[Thus, they hold that t]he Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them; and that the honourable is one thing by nature and another thing by law, and that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.- [[Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT. (Cf. here for Locke's views and sources on a very different base for grounding liberty as opposed to license and resulting anarchistic "every man does what is right in his own eyes" chaos leading to tyranny. )] These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might [[ Evolutionary materialism leads to the promotion of amorality], and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [[Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality "naturally" leads to continual contentions and power struggles; cf. dramatisation here],  these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is, to live in real dominion over others [[such amoral factions, if they gain power, "naturally" tend towards ruthless tyranny], and not in legal subjection to them.

Will it take the infamous 4:00 am knock on the doors by Jack-booted thugs (while the neighbours cower, shivering, behind their doors . . . ), to wake us up?

The authors of a text book that acts like this, should be publicly named and shamed, and the publishers should be exposed as failing in basic duties of care.

On right of fair, credibly informed comment and in light of duties of care for education:

Kern Alexander and M. David Alexander, SHAME ON YOU!

Wadsworth of Belmont, CA: SHAME ON YOU!

And, that this propagation of evident deception under false name of knowledge and education, is in the direct context of shaping the next generation of lawyers, FBI agents, Judges and Legislators, etc, is chilling beyond words.

It is time to wake up now, before it is too late. END

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84 Responses to The “ID is Creationism in a cheap tuxedo” smear championed by Eugenie Scott et al of NCSE is now Law School Textbook orthodoxy . . .

  1. I accept intelligent design as a valid scientific inference from the complexity observed in living things.

    I also accept that that evidence cannot tell us the nature of the designer.

    However, if we assume that the designer is natural (and not supernatural), are we not forced into an infinite regression? The obvious question would be, “Who designed the (natural) designer?” I know the evolutionists trot out this same question when the initial assumption is that the designer is supernatural.

    It seems to me that we are stuck with this question in either case, except for the fact that the supernatural designer (God) is the uncaused first cause.

  2. Yes, but they must accept the truth of the supernatural as the definitive, primordial reality, rather than IDists that it be material.

    Physics and the mathematics insists upon it. One day soon that Law School will be covered in the same ignominy, well, as the legal profession always has been in the eyes of the general public. Do figs grow on thorns?

    They just about share that ignominy in equal measure with the politicians into which they so naturally transmogrify, both sharing that natural, mutual affinity, as the rulers of this World – albeit by grace and favour of the plutocrats.

  3. And you can take that to the bank. No better make that, the credit union. They WILL lose.

  4. The thing is, the Darwinists should welcome with open arms the challenge of a trojan horse creationist agenda, if they trust the filter of science.

    If you can’t welcome people with a hidden agenda into the fold, that just means the scientific method is inadequate as a filter.

    So motive-mongering is an admission by Darwinists that motive mongering is part and parcel to the current scientific method. Nice one KF.

  5. NBJ:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    A bit off topic, but I will give some pointers.

    When I look at your post on screen, I infer naturally from the FSCO/I in that post to there being a person using NBJ and commenting here, not to lucky noise that somehow got through the explicit and implicit web filters. And BTW, it is nor merely off complexity — random text of long enough strings is complex too, but has no evidence of design. The thing is JOINT complexity beyond a reasonable threshold AND functional specificity that confines us to a narrow zone T in a much bigger space of possible strings, dominated utterly by gibberish.

    Notice the inference is direct and in one stage: from evidence as sign to signified process of cause. That sort of cause, design, we habitually and for good reason associate with intelligent, purposeful, knowledgeable and skilled choice-capable entities. Let me add a symbolisation:

    I: [Si] –> O, on W

    I, an observer in a world of experience, observe, I:, a sign or cluster of such, [Si], and rationally infer an objective state of affairs O on a warrant W.

    Where I came from or where the world came from, etc, or the nature of being able to infer etc are not directly a part of the process. That comes from our being here in a position to act and to reason.

    I also assume further that you have parents, who had parents, and so forth in a chain back to let us just say Adam and Eve, however many generations back and whatever they looked like and wore. (I did notice that when they did find a cave man wearing fur coat and pants [well leggings], they were TAILORED! Otzi was it?)

    Inference from FSCO/I to design and onward acceptance that there is a designer who effected the designed object — the post — and that the best candidate is NBJ, is independent of whether NBJ is an original original designer or one of a long chain.

    The evidence supports design as cause and we see other evidence that makes NBJ a good candidate.

    Now, there would be no infinite regress of designers for life in this cosmos, as the OBSERVED cosmos terminates credibly at a finitely remote time. Usual estimate, 13.7 BYA.

    To make the inference that NBJ is a good candidate designer for the post does not imply that I have to reflect on however many generations of ancestors are implied by NBJ’s existence. All that is relevant is that such a candidate is possible and capable of design.

    That cosmos itself, also shows strong signs of being fine tuned for life.

    That points to a reasonable inference being a designer capable of building a cosmos, space-time continuum and contents in toto.

    A good candidate for such would be a being that is awesomely powerful and with a mind, knowledge and skills to match. Notice, we are not here discussing OOL or of body plans etc, but signs point5ing to design of the observed cosmos.

    There is a known discussion as to the possibility of a necessary being [we are now looking at phil topics], and one serious candidate for such status, would be able to fit the profile as just described. A necessary being is one that unlike those that are contingent, has no external dependence on an enabling causal factor, i.e. there is no condition that needs to be turned on for such to begin or continue; it has no beginning, has no end will exist in any POSSIBLE world.

    (A simple example is the truth in 2 + 3 = 5. Always so, in any possible world, never began, will not end.)

    So, inferring design on signs does not commit one to infinite regress, nor does a regress of causes have anything to do with the validity of the immediate inference.

    KF

  6. Q: Most of the credit here goes to the brave whistle-blower. Notice, no names given, no prizes for guessing why. (I wonder what would happen to the grades of a student who as a term paper would take apart that text book slander. Given the import of the assertions above, I fear I would have to doubt that the grades for such an assignment would be fair.) And most of the rest is to Luskin et al. I am here more bringing it to our notice than anything else. KF

  7. In his new book, Why does the World Exist? http://www.amazon.com/Why-Does.....orld+exist Tim Holt examines the history of philosophy, religion and science in trying to answer that question. Of course, he doesn’t come up with an answer. Possibilities include “God created it,” “It has always been there,” and “Quantum Mechanics created it,” which still leaves open the question of who created quantum mechanics.

    The point is evident, however, which I’ve been trying to make on this blog for some time, that “they” won’t let you get away with simply saying “I detect design” without delving into who that designer might be. You can yell and scream all you want that ID is not concerned with who the designer is, but the hypothesis demands that scientists at least ask the question and propose ways of finding out, politics be damned.

  8. BM:

    A quibble, off topic, where an active thread could take up and has background.

    Also, a second: QM cannot create anything, it is an explanatory theory.

    Forces acting could create something.

    As of the discovery and confirmation of cosmological expansion, our observed cosmos cannot always have been there. A multiverse, as was pointed out in an earlier thread — why do these points jump threads so context has to be repeated over and over? — is unobserved, thus philosophy nor science. In addition the isolation of the operating point that enables the cosmos we observe, leads to the Leslie isolated fly on the wall swatted by a bullet problem discussed in the always linked. Some stretches may be even carpeted with the beasties, but here there’s but one. A reasonable target. And, splat. That needs explanation.

    To the “get away” talking point, the answer is, that we are doing SCIENCE.

    Thus, we are reasonably constrained by evidence and where it goes.

    That may be limited, but it is important. Again, what does the empirical evidence warrant as the causal process that creates FSCO/I again? Design, with supportive evidence that makes blind chance and mechanical necessity maximally unlikely. OOL has for decades resisted naturalistic explanation, and we see the problem getting worse. A pivot is the abundance of FSCO/I in cells. Thus, the known adequate cause of such is relevant. The ONLY empirically warranted cause.

    And that puts design at the table of evidence-led, truth seeking explanations. And to turn science into applied atheism and sci edu into indoctrination in same — cf. Lewontin et al and four more major clips in the linked in the OP — is to de facto create the state established anti-church of secularist radical relativist materialism and its fellow travellers.

    Which undermines science as disinterested, evidence led empirically grounded investigation targetting the truth about our world. Turns science de facto into an ideological propaganda arm for an establishment.

    With all that Plato warned against in The Laws brought to bear, the ghost of Alcibiades hovering at his shoulder.

    Do we as a civilisation REALLY want to go there, in light of repeated consequences, some in living memory?

    Time to think again.

    KF

    PS: BM, you seem to be in search of a worldview, I suggest here on in context and onwards. (Notice the difference between a worldview level and a scientific investigation.)

  9. 9
    Chance Ratcliff

    Billmaz,

    I get the point. It’s natural to want to know everything we can possibly know about something, especially when a mystery is presented. However the methodologies we use to solve such mysteries are different from the ones used to determine whether there is a mystery to solve.

    When a person finds an arrowhead, that person knows it was the product of intelligence. But how do they know? One might say, “They know because arrowheads have a well-understood purpose.” The same is true with pottery and such, which may have been discovered in an archaeological dig. When these types of artifacts are discovered, we use a variety of means to try and determine who, when, why, etc.

    But there’s a hidden assumption smuggled into the process. Arrowheads, pottery, coinage, jewelry, inscriptions, and other artifacts are instinctively understood to be the products of design. But how do we really know? Why is it that an ancient coin discovered buried in the ground should be thought to be the product of intelligence, rather than the result of a geological, material process? How is it that designed objects have features that distinguish them from the products of chance and necessity? What are those features? How do we quantify the difference?

    Those are a specific set of questions. They require specific answers. If a coin with an inscription indicates the activity of an intelligent being, then how do we differentiate the shape of the coin and the content of the inscription from other debris which might have also been buried with the coin? How is it that we can tell the difference? The usual answers are uninteresting. To answer, “It’s because we have experience with that sort of object being produced by humans,” is banal, and does nothing to explain how we know.

    Why is it that when a pebble is unearthed while digging in the ground, nothing of consequence is pondered or searched? Yet if we unearth an ancient coin, we want to know where it comes from, and what civilization left it behind? Those are all interesting and even important questions, but they don’t answer this: how do we know that the coin is a product of intelligence but a pebble is just a pebble?

    Intelligent Design Theory is about answering that very specific question. What features distinguish the products of intelligence from the background of material effects? How did we ever know that ancient and indecipherable inscriptions were the products of intelligent causes, and not just the effects of wind and erosion?

    It’s one thing to say that questions about designers are important, and that who, what, when, where, how questions need to be answered. It’s another thing to saddle a theory of design detection with answering those questions. The methodology employed in distinguishing the properties of designed objects from the background noise is entirely separate from the methodologies that would be employed to answer subsequent questions.

    When we detect design, whatever the context, the subsequent question set changes. When a geologist finds a rock of an odd composition, she would naturally want to know exactly what that composition is, and also what geological processes might have led to its formation. The geologist is not interested in who designed the rock, or when, or what it was used for, because it wouldn’t exhibit the properties of design. When an archaeologist finds an ancient coin, he wants to know who made it, and when, perhaps even how. These two question sets are completely different, and hinge on a single prerequisite question: was the object designed? The answer to that question determines which set of questions are subsequently asked.

    How do we know the difference? What features of designed objects lead to our intuitive recognition of design? What are the qualitative differences? How do we go about quantifying them? Intelligent Design is about answering those specific questions, and not questions from either set of those which follow.

    Insisting that Intelligent Design Theory be able to identify the designer couldn’t be more inappropriate, because it’s simply not part of the methodology. Determining the features of designed objects and how they differ from the effects of chance and necessity is the specific goal of IDT. We don’t ask geologists who designed the rocks, because that line of questioning is completely inappropriate to the methodology of geology. We don’t ask archaeologists to explain how geological processes brought about ancient coinage because it is irrelevant to the line of inquiry. Likewise we don’t ask ID theorists to identify the designer because the scientific methodology for design detection does not employ the philosophical and theological tools required to answer such questions.

    It couldn’t be any plainer. Design detection is a specific and focused methodology. Asking ID theorists to identify the designer is about as relevant as asking them to pick next week’s lottery numbers. It doesn’t employ the tools to answer questions which cannot be addressed by ID methodology. Asking ID to do that which it is not intended to do is asking a scientific pursuit to become a philosophical or theological one. It’s simply not reasonable. Philosophical and theological questions can be asked and answered by their own methodologies.

    Anyway, this is off topic for this thread. Perhaps at some point an OP will address the question: Why should scientific methodologies not be expected to answer philosophical and theological questions?

  10. My only point, and I don’t want to ruin this thread, is that the designer is part of SCIENCE, not philosophy or religion, because it forms the core of the ID hypothesis.

  11. If the word designer is used in a scientific hypothesis (ID) then it has to be used in a scientific way, it is a scientific term or concept, by definition. Otherwise it doesn’t belong in a scientific hypothesis. This is important, because one can’t have it both ways. One can’t say that ID is a scientific hypothesis and have at its core of explaining evolution the scientific concept of a designer and then turn around and say that the concept of a designer is a philosophical one, never meant to be looked at scientifically. Do you see the contradiction?

  12. 12
    Chance Ratcliff

    Bill, you refer to “the designer.” With ID methodology, the designer is any being possessing the property of intelligence which is capable of producing the effect in question. For example, instances of writing require a being with at least the capability of written language. This is a threshold condition, not a personal identification.

    As a matter of philosophy, we could infer certain properties of the designer based upon those observed effects, and reason to general theism: an immaterial, eternal, all-powerful, personal being.

    As a matter of theology, we could argue that the Biblical God best satisfies the requirements of such a personal being, and justify this based upon special revelation.

    The concept of a designer is empirical. The identification of the designer of the universe or of living systems is beyond the scope of ID methodology and is either philosophical, or perhaps xenoarchaeological. You might not agree that this should be the case, but the fact remains that it is.

    You seem to be seeking an additional option, perhaps hoping that ID will identify a designer that is not already a candidate for creator. However, there is nothing new under the sun.

    ID uses concepts such as specified complexity and irreducible complexity to indicate the involvement of an intelligent being. Let me ask two questions.

    1) How would the concepts of irreducible complexity and complex specified information be extended to make a specific identification of a technologically advanced alien race, a new-age universal consciousness, a pantheistic deity, a god of classical theism, or something else entirely?

    2) If you agree that the methodologies of item #1 are not useful here, what methodologies would you suggest ID adopt to make such an identification, and how would these differ significantly from the already useful tools of philosophy and theology?

  13. 13
    Chance Ratcliff

    Bill, you wrote,

    “If the word designer is used in a scientific hypothesis (ID) then it has to be used in a scientific way, it is a scientific term or concept, by definition.”

    It follows then, that when any word is used in any scientific hypothesis which might reference an entity inviting additional explanation, that hypothesis must also explain the origin of that entity. That is an unjustifiable requirement. Chemistry presupposes matter, but does not account for its origin. It takes the existence of matter for granted, just as ID takes the existence of intelligence as given, based upon direct observation. Chemistry seeks to elucidate the laws by which material interactions occur at the atomic and molecular level. It does not pretend to be able to account for those laws in the first place. Neither does ID pretend that it can account for the origin of intelligence, as is evident in the universe. It merely seeks to quantify some of its properties by the effects it produces. There’s no point in a double standard here.

  14. 14
    Chance Ratcliff

    Correction to #13.

    “It merely seeks to quantify some of its properties by the effects it produces.”

    It’s more accurate to say,

    It merely seeks to quantify some properties of the effects it produces.

  15. I think Casey Luskin’s quote in the OP nails it. The reason ID doesn’t meet the legal definition of creationism (in his view) is because it does not address the question of who the designer is. Of course if it did address that question, as is shown on this site, the answer is the Christian god. So the whole thing about not investigating who the designer is, is just a legal mechanism to avoid running foul of the law.

  16. 2 cents:

    I feel that scientists should look at the immediate questions first. To ask who designed a designer should only really be considered when there is tangible evidence to suggest more can be discovered to that end. I.e. don’t trouble yourself over something that is out of our league.
    If we ever gain a much fuller understanding of dna, for example, to the extent that we can conclude that it could not conceivably have been written/produced/fallen together though natural causes alone – then, and only then really should science start to ask questions like that.
    I wonder how much time has been wasted in the past by humans naively assuming that something was impossible when in actual fact it was correct all along.
    My point is this I suppose, do not dismiss that which you do not have the knowledge yet to dismiss and at the same time do not worry about the things you are not yet capable of tackling.
    To state there is no designer in my option is to state that you FULLY understand dna, both how it works and how it came to be and in light of that knowledge; that there is no room for a architect/engineer (I prefer those terms). It would be
    Same probably applies the other way, so say there is a designer would suggest that you fully understood that dna could not possibly have arisen naturally. That said it is far easier to say there is evidence for a designer given what we know at the moment than to say there is none.
    Hmm, I read that back and it doesn’t make as much sense as I intended – articulation is not my thing, too many years of coding will do that to a man.
    Anyways a quick thanks to everyone on this site (from both sides of the story) I appreciate the time taken to express your thoughts I truly enjoy reading them.

  17. 17
    Chance Ratcliff

    “One can’t say that ID is a scientific hypothesis and have at its core of explaining evolution the scientific concept of a designer and then turn around and say that the concept of a designer is a philosophical one, never meant to be looked at scientifically. Do you see the contradiction?”

    I don’t think I’ve made this claim. I have suggested that the best tools for examining the requisite properties and nature of “the designer” are philosophy and theology. I’m open to the possibility that a scientific methodology might someday exist for answering different questions than the ones ID seeks to answer. However they would indeed be separate questions, and I’ve no idea what such methodologies might look like. This is where you might make some progress with a unique theory, but may not be employable in design detection.

    ID studies the effects of intelligence, and reasons based upon common properties present in those effects when they are observed. This is distinct from studying the nature of the source. The effects of intelligence are apparent in the artifacts it produces.

    Here is the take home point. There are three “causal” aspects of reality. Without all three, we cannot account for everything we observe in reality. These three aspects are chance, necessity, and agency. Necessity is entailed in physics and chemistry. Chance is accounted for somewhat by probability and statistics, and it has its own unique patterns. Agency accounts for things which exhibit properties readily distinguishable from the former two, which are always observed coming from intelligent beings. The study of each of these aspects of reality requires its own separate methodologies. Intelligent Design seeks to deal with the properties of the effects of the third pillar: intelligence.

    It really is that simple. As a footnote, nobody claims that ID seeks to encompass accounts of all aspects of intelligent causation. There is plenty of room for other disciplines to develop methodologies for discovering other properties of intelligence and its effects. If culturally we can dispose of the ridiculous notion that everything we observe is the product of physical laws and the interaction of material elements, we might discover some new frontiers of inquiry.

  18. billmaz

    The point is evident, however, which I’ve been trying to make on this blog for some time, that “they” won’t let you get away with simply saying “I detect design” without delving into who that designer might be.

    Why should ID cater to what “they” think if they choose to misunderstand and misrepresent the ID hypothesis and its inherent methodological limitations?

    You can yell and scream all you want that ID is not concerned with who the designer is, but the hypothesis demands that scientists at least ask the question and propose ways of finding out, politics be damned.

    How can a hypothesis “demand” anything? Does the archeologist’s hypothesis that an ancient hunter’s spear was designed demand that he ask about the hunter’s identity?

    If you are looking for a scientist who thinks he can make the leap from scientific evidence to God, why not try Hugh Ross or Robert Spitzer?

    My only point, and I don’t want to ruin this thread, is that the designer is part of SCIENCE, not philosophy or religion, because it forms the core of the ID hypothesis.

    So, now it’s “your” point? I thought it was “their” point. Just who is it that is “not going to let ID get away with” the inference to an unidentified design agent? It is “them” or is it you?

    In any case, ID doesn’t refer to the existence of the designer as a philosophical concept in the context of its scientific methodology, which means that you don’t really have a point.

  19. 5:

    First, let me thank you for sharing your thoughts, you seem to be new.

    I note that you are in error, an error driven by an ideological context. One where there is a lot of influence from Lewontin’s a priori materialism.

    The point of the design question, is that we do have a need to reconstruct an unobserved past on evidence we see in the present. This is a general and widespread scientific challenge.

    The solution, has long been that there are sometimes diagnostic traces. If we can observe in the present that such are characteristically produced by observed factors and circumstances, we can then identify signs that point to the sort of forces and processes that credibly acted.

    In physical geography, we can explain say how a river comes to have meanders and oxbow lakes, a flood plain and a delta.

    The same logic extends to the world of life, and indeed 150 years ago Darwin thought he had a major explanation, Natural Selection acting on chance variations. This swept not only biology but culture. Today, many simply cannot imagine that such might suffer explanatory failure.

    However, some 60 to 50 years ago, a new wave of discoveries ensued.

    We learned that in the heart of the cell, were things like digital code, algorithms and molecular nanotech machines that carried out the operations of the cell.

    That brings to bear a very different pattern of traces from the remote past of origins, and a very different cluster of signs.

    As can be seen here, in the current thread that more properly addresses this topic.

    (I find it interesting that these things are taken up, not where they best fit, with evidence easily to hand, but cross-threaded. I would suggest that it would be better to carry forward such discussions there.)

    What, in our uniform experience, best accounts for code systems and complex algorithmic, functional information and implementing machines? For functionally specific, complex organisation and/or associated (often, coded) information? [FSCO/I]

    The answer is obvious in a world of info tech.

    Design.

    And so, the sober-minded options before us are: (i) go with the best explanation, or (ii) provide observational evidence that warrants rejecting such observations.

    What is NOT a serious option, is to suggest that such is a hidden agenda game to smuggle God/creationism into science, call out the thought police.

    For decades, many people have been taught that “Evolution” has buried God.

    Plainly, that is a drawing out of worldview level consequences from science, and it was suggested that to doubt the science because of the sort of consequences highlighted since Plato, was improper, the scientific inferences stand or fall on their inductive logic and factual merits, regardless of potential consequences and worldview conclusions.

    EXACTLY!

    Only, with the discoveries since 1953, we are looking at sophisticated info systems in the world of life.

    The actually observed evidence that such spontaneously originates by blind chance and mechanical necessity (discussed in the other thread) is: ___________________

    I can fill in the blank: ZIP.

    Sophisticated code based info systems, on billions of test cases, come about by: ____________________

    The blank can again be filled: DESIGN

    And that is the context of the design inference on the world of life.

    At cosmological level, we see evidence of finetuning, that speaks for itself.

    The focal concern for this thread, is that we find a dangerous strawmannish caricature being presented as textbook orthodoxy in an extremely dangerous setting, Law School.

    That should be of concern to us all, as if this is happening in one area, you can bet it is happening in a lot of other areas. (And there are signs of that . . . )

    As law goes, so goes the state.

    KF

  20. Intelligent DESIGN is about, guess what, the detection and study of DESIGN.

    Also science only cares about reality and there is only one reality behind our existence. And that reality dicatates that in the absence of direct observation or designer input, the only possible way to make any scientific determination about the who, when, why and how, is by studying the design and all relevant evidence.

    And if our investigation leads us to the metaphysical or supernatural, then so be it. Perhaps we will be unable to study that, ie it would be beyond science. That doesn’t falsify Intelligent Design nor make it unscientific.

    What is unscientific is to say, “well the designer is beyond the reach of science, so even though living organisms are designed we have to approach biology as if they weren’t.”

  21. billmaz:

    This is really quite simple:

    1. Is x designed?
    2. Who designed x?

    I trust you can see that these are separate questions and that it is possible to answer the first without ever answering, or even asking for that matter, the second.

    The second question may be interesting, it may even be important. But those who claim it must be answered simply by virtue of the fact that the first question was answered are simply, completely, and logically wrong. There is nothing that requires us to go there.

    ID is not a theory of everything. It is not intended to be. It has never pretended to be. It addresses question 1. Period. End of story.

    The proper response to all the fuss about “who the designer is” or “who designed the designer” is not to give in and start speculating about the second question. The proper response is to educate people as to why ID doesn’t address the second question.

  22. 22

    Here in Tennessee, we’re just glad to have our thumbs. Don’t think for a second this will end up in Southern Classrooms of the unprogressive. Christian ideology teaches us to deny, deny, deny as teachers are now allowed to put Creationism into debate against hard facts like this new discovery. Read more about the pulpit in the classroom with some evolutionary artwork on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.....da-in.html

  23. dregstudios:

    What does the Tennessee bill actually say? Can you provide us with the relevant text or a link?

    I notice you didn’t actually cite the law in your blog article. No offense, but I find that is a typical tactic of those who complain about so-called creationist agendas, because when the complained-of law is actually quoted it doesn’t lend itself to getting all worked up about.

  24. 24

    crerationism just needs more good lawyers from the beginning.
    The answer was always that teaching the truth in origin classes was the only legitimate objective for the class
    Banning Genesis or God was in fact saying either its not true, so breaking the separation idea, or the truth is not the objective.
    Thats all one needed to punch home.
    censorship means the censored is not true according to the state or the truth is not the objective.
    bring in the jury. No more incompetent judges of ill intent or ill understanding.

  25. 25

    Robert Byers,

    Try to think.

  26. DS:

    Let me pause and say, first, that — noting that you seem to be a new commenter here at UD — I thank you for sharing your opinions, for it is important to promote discussion and exchange of ideas.

    However, I must also raise some questions about the particular ideas you have raised, and the manner in which you have raised them, in light of the link back to your own blog.

    I note, to begin, that the recent Tennessee academic freedom bill — I guess, now, Law — has come up for mention here at UD some time back.

    (Cf. here (NB: follow-up here), here and here.)

    It is quite plain that as usual it has been misleadingly portrayed in the press and by those with a vested interest as an attempt to smuggle “Creationism” in by the back door.

    However, this is actually demonstrably false and further reflects the exact smear and materialist ideological agenda the original post above is addressing.

    The best answer to such is to actually cite the bill, which happens to be fairly short.

    The actual Bill is here, in toto:

    ______________

    >> AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49,
    Chapter 6, Part 10, relative to teaching scientific
    subjects in elementary schools.

    BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE:

    SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 49, Chapter 6, Part 10, is amended by adding the following as a new, appropriately designated section:

    (a) The general assembly finds that:

    (1) An important purpose of science education is to inform students about scientific evidence and to help students develop critical thinking skills necessary to becoming intelligent, productive, and scientifically informed citizens;

    (2) The teaching of some scientific subjects, including, but not limited to, biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning, can cause controversy; and

    (3) Some teachers may be unsure of the expectations concerning how they should present information on such subjects.

    (b) The state board of education, public elementary and secondary school governing authorities, directors of schools, school system administrators, and public elementary and secondary school principals and administrators shall endeavor to create an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respect fully to differences of opinion about controversial issues.

    (c) The state board of education, public elementary and secondary school governing authorities, directors of schools, school system administrators, and public elementary and secondary school principals and administrators shall endeavor to assist teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies. Toward this end, teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught.

    (d) Neither the state board of education, nor any public elementary or secondary school governing authority, director of schools, school system administrator, or any public elementary or secondary school principal or administrator shall prohibit any teacher in a public school system of this state from helping students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught.

    (e) This section only protects the teaching of scientific information, and shall not be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs or non-beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or non-religion.

    SECTION 2. By no later than the start of the 2011-2012 school term, the department of education shall notify all directors of schools of the provisions of this act. Each director shall notify all employees within the director’s school system of the provisions of this act.

    SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law, the public welfare requiring it. >>
    _______________

    Now, let’s contrast how you portrayed the law in the blog post you gave us, DS:

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012

    The Pulpit in the Classroom: A Biblical Agenda in Tennessee

    My home state of Tennessee is at it again, creating yet another law pushing obtuse agendas biased toward Conservative Christian Ideology. Very few national newspapers broke the story a few weeks back of what is already being donned as the “Monkey Law” by bloggers and reporters alike. Brought to fruition by the State Senate, this new bill opens a door for creationism to be discussed in schools here in the Mid-South. Senate Bill 893 and House Bill 368 allow teachers who do not believe in Evolution (or Climate Change for that matter) to provide a forum in the classroom to debate such established scientific theories. What many critics view as step backward for progressive thought is being presented as a means for allowing students to debate these measures for themselves, albeit under the direction of teachers who dispute scientific theory assumingly based on religious beliefs. Today, it was announced the law was indeed passed and would go into affect, opening the door once again for the classroom to turn to pulpit here in south . . .

    There are a few things that are in order, on fair comment:

    1 –> Let’s first get a definition of lying — yes, of lying — on the table that I have found particularly useful (from an older version of a Wikipedia article, acc. July 23, 2011), which elaborates my all time favourite definition, from Finney: “any species of calculated deception”:

    To lie is to state something with disregard to the truth with the intention that people will accept the statement as truth . . . . even a true statement can be used to deceive. In this situation, it is the intent of being overall untruthful rather than the truthfulness of any individual statement that is considered the lie . . . . One can state part of the truth out of context, knowing that without complete information, it gives a false impression. Likewise, one can actually state accurate facts, yet deceive with them . . . . One lies by omission when omitting an important fact, deliberately leaving another person with a misconception. Lying by omission includes failures to correct pre-existing misconceptions. Also known as a continuing misrepresentation . . . . A misleading statement is one where there is no outright lie, but still retains the purpose of getting someone to believe in an untruth . . .

    2 –> Now, I note how — unfortunately — you start by accusing the lawmakers of trying to push “The Pulpit in the Classroom: A Biblical Agenda in Tennessee.”

    3 –> Observe by contrast the actual language of the Bill, where the specific focus is that the strengths and weaknesses of existing theories in the curriculum — not novel ones — are to be objectively evaluated. And in particular, observe Section 1 (e):

    (e) This section only protects the teaching of scientific information, and shall not be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs or non-beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or non-religion.

    4 –> Even if the Bill were pushed from every “fundy” pulpit in your land, and were voted by a board of Deacons of same churches, the bill represents a bulwark against Bible-based indoctrination (or other forms of indoctrination)in the classroom, by:

    (i) including only evaluations of EXISTING scientific theories already in the curriculum,

    (ii) protecting only the presentation of “scientific information,” and

    (iii) locking out definitively from protection, “any religious or non-religious doctrine . . . discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs or non-beliefs, or . . . discrimination for or against religion or non-religion.”

    5 –> If your true objection were indeed to the injection of “pulpits” — and even that raises questions that many pulpits teach with integrity a tradition demonstrably rooted in sound philosophical approaches to building a worldview and are anchored to a gospel that (despite the dismissals of say, Dawkins et al) has solid factual foundations — into the classroom, you should have hailed the bill as marking the definitive triumph of science and education over indoctrination.

    6 –> What is quite evident, however, is that your concern is not whether pulpits are in the classroom, but whose pulpits.

    7 –> It seems from your remarks, again on fair comment, that as long as the pulpiteers wear the holy lab coat and preach the doctrines of evolutionary materialism and whatever speculations are politically correct and hailed by the secular elites influenced by the above in our time, you have no problem with such, it seems. Let me again cite prof Lewontin’s summary of that doctrine, as was highlighted in the OP, to illustrate a point of concern:

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [[--> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [[--> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [If you think this is quote-mined, in accord with a typical counter talking point, kindly cf the larger excerpt with annotations here on.]

    . . . and, let me now back it up with a further cite from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) of the USA, from a formal Board declaration:

    The principal product of science is knowledge in the form of naturalistic [= evolutionary materialist] concepts and the laws and theories related to those concepts . . . .

    [[S]cience, along with its methods, explanations and generalizations, must be the sole focus of instruction in science classes to the exclusion of all non-scientific or pseudoscientific methods, explanations, generalizations and products . . . .

    Although no single universal step-by-step scientific method captures the complexity of doing science, a number of shared values and perspectives characterize a scientific approach to understanding nature. Among these are a demand for naturalistic explanations supported by empirical evidence that are, at least in principle, testable against the natural world. Other shared elements include observations, rational argument, inference, skepticism, peer review and replicability of work . . . .

    Science, by definition, is limited to naturalistic methods and explanations and, as such, is precluded from using supernatural elements in the production of scientific knowledge. [[NSTA, Board of Directors, July 2000. Emphases added. It is worth noting that ever since Plato in The Laws Bk X, in the general context of the cited in the OP, the issue has not been natural vs supernatural, but the empirical evidence allowing distinction on reliable signs of the products of natural forces and those of ART, or design. The NSTA, at Board level is carrying forward a major misrepresentation.]

    . . . which, with other declarations, teachings, cites and multiplied cases, make it all too plain that too many classrooms and lecture halls in our civilisation have been taken over by propagandistic indoctrinators dressed up in the lab coat.

    8 –> In short, your effective — though, perhaps not intended — complaint is that the duly elected representatives of the people of Tennessee have said enough is enough and are locking out indoctrination in scientism and evolutionary materialism as well as other similar ideologically loaded and controversial ideas that are often promoted in the name of science in our day.

    9 –> Perhaps, I should remind, that in living memory, eugenics was envisioned as “the self-direction of human evolution,” and had swept the day as the epitome of scientific triumph. At one point, it seems there was only one major cultural voice willing to stand up against it, G K Chesterton, joined a decade later by a certain often derided former US Secretary of State and famous pacifist, William Jennings Bryan.

    10 –> I beg to further remind you, that the said Eugenics was explicitly taught as scientifically warranted, in a well known textbook of that time, A Civic Biology. The book at the heart of the Scopes Monkey Trial. (Which trial, itself has been grossly distorted in the popular mind right from the outset.)

    11 –> In short, it would have been a very good thing if the above cited law had been in place in 1925. Had it been in place, Mr Scopes could freely have discussed origins, but would have to leave room for scientific questions such as the objections to the Nebraska Man fossil tooth that featured in the infamous trial (it being highly relevant that Bryan hailed from Nebraska), a tooth that had been objected to as a likely tooth of a peccary, and which it turned out was exactly that. Likewise, serious questions on Eugenics as policy would have fitted in under the Bill.

    12 –> As it is, you have at minimum enabled a continuing misrepresentation by failing to do duties of care to truth, accuracy and fairness. That’s why Nullasalus aptly summed up in his second post on the subject:

    The [Tennessee Academic Freedom] bill is brilliant precisely because it’s ridiculously tame and – to all but the most paranoid, frantic people – unobjectionable. It’s extraordinarily straightforward and easy to read, measuring in at under two pages. The language is clear – the bill covers only scientific theories rather than religious or non-religious dogma, the objections must also be scientific, the theories covered must be discussed in an objective manner, the strengths and weaknesses of various theories are to be discussed in the same manner. It’s hard to picture guidelines that could be more tame than this, since it’s pretty much a bland recipe for thinking about scientific topics in an ideal way.

    Yet there’s the NCSE and Eugenie Scott and company, angsting over this bill and screaming about how it’s all one big creationist ploy. And that’s where the brilliance of this bill shines: it exposes the paranoia and the downright dogmatic attitude of anyone who would oppose it.

    Oh, you can make it sound terrifying so long as you don’t quote it. Scream about how it’s just going to lead to creationism being taught in schools (ignore the part about how the bill can’t teach religious or non-religious dogma, or non-scientific theories.) You can work people up by insisting it was crafted by evil creationists trying to teach lies about evolution (ignore the part about teaching the strengths and weaknesses of theories in an objective manner). And as with any kind of fear-mongering or motive-mongering, that’s going to work on some people… unless and until they read the bill itself. Remember, this bill is short – all it takes is a link to it in a comments section of a blog or news site, and everyone can read the whole thing in under a minute.

    ========

    Oh, the “tyranny” of sheer, bland reasonableness over those determined not to be reasonable!

    Now, DS, tell us, did you actually read the bill before you wrote your blog on it, and before you came here to comment? Did you actually read the OP above, and ponder the concerns it raises?

    If so, how did you come to speak as you did above, do let us know.

    KF

  27. EA: Spot on, cf just above. KF

  28. Mr Byers: I think you would do well to heed UB’s counsel. KF

  29. Evolutionism is just atheism disguised as science.

  30. kf @26:

    Well stated. Thanks for the thoughtful analysis of the relevant bill. Funny how the opposition generally carefully avoid quoting the thing . . .

    (Where do you find time to put together such detailed posts?)

  31. Sleep, thaz a luxury mon. KF

  32. @your #29, Joe.

    That is so true, Joe, that it ought to be a very hackneyed platitude. But that’s what made it hilariously funny for me to read. I mean, it made me burst out laughing. ‘disguised’ like a pantomime horse.

    I suppose it had a bit of a kind of ‘Zen Buddhist satori’ effect on me.

  33. I wonder how many people here believe the designer = god ?

  34. 34

    kariosfocus
    My thinking is fine but correct where I’m wrong.
    Its a simple equation that need only be punched home.
    If the objective is to teach trhe TRUTH in classes dealing with origins then censorship there means either what is censored is officially NOT true or if a option for truth its still to be censored and SO truth is NOT the objective.
    The state therefore is not teaching kids the truth on origins which is a absurdity for educational claims.

    By the way if the state insists its teaching the truth and censors one option, by claiming its a religious idea, then the state is officially saying the religious idea is NOT true.
    So breaking the very law it invokes for the original censorship.
    Why am i wrong in my analysis??

  35. G2: What one thinks as a matter of science and its logic is distinct from what one may think as a matter of worldviews, where much wider issues are in play, e.g. the fact that apart from a miracle of guidance in answer to my mom’s prayer of surrender, I would be dead 40 years now. That’s not a matter of scientific logic but you had better believe it plays a part in my overall worldview. How would you like it if I were to up front the issues and historical and living memory crimes of atheism and atheists and use that “in society” issue as if it were a rebuttal on the merits to every scientific claim made by atheists at every possible opportunity where I could squeeze it in — consistently substituting that (and making up namecalling phrases . . . ) for actually addressing issues of inductive logic on origins, cf e.g. here or the always linked through my handle? KF

  36. G2: Even on policy matters, cf the assertion made by DS at 22 above, with my rebuttal by actually citing the bill in toto in 26 above. Do you see who is trying to poison the atmosphere and erect strawman caricatures, and who is addressing merits? KF

  37. Mr Byers, with due respect, I am not happy with phrasing, tone and substance in many of the things you have had to say. Your recent dismissiveness on women in science (which I answered by pointing to Marie Curie) is a capital example of what UB and I are highlighting as needing correction. Please. KF

  38. Joe @ 29: Too often true, but that does not mean that we can ignore the actual scientific claims or evidence put forward. KF

  39. kairosfocus,

    My only point with 29 is that evolutionism should be subject to the same law pertaining to the separation of Church and State that “they” hold ID and Creation to.

    As for their claims, well according to Christopher Hitchens we can ignore them as they do not have any evidentiary support- “That which can be claimed without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”

  40. billmaz: “If the word designer is used in a scientific hypothesis (ID) then it has to be used in a scientific way, it is a scientific term or concept, by definition. Otherwise it doesn’t belong in a scientific hypothesis. This is important, because one can’t have it both ways. One can’t say that ID is a scientific hypothesis and have at its core of explaining evolution the scientific concept of a designer and then turn around and say that the concept of a designer is a philosophical one, never meant to be looked at scientifically. Do you see the contradiction?”
    Billmaz appears to be evaluating the ID argument from the perspective of materialism and doesn’t realize that for a materialist to accept ID a worldview change is required. Let me explain. The materialist says that since we have eliminated God, spiritualism, metaphysics etc. from reality, whatever is left is knowable. If there are things we don’t know now, then it’s only a matter of time before we do. At least, we know that whatever mysteries remain, the answer is not God.

    So from that point of view, if ID wants to be Science, then the designer must be known and there can be nothing about the designer that is, in theory, unknowable. If ID can’t do that then it’s not Science.

    A worldview that allows for ID, on the other hand, accepts that there can be things that are unknowable. We go wherever the evidence leads and if we have to stop before we know everything because there is not enough evidence, then so be it. If we want to go further then we’ll have to use the tools of philosophy or theology.

    Perhaps Billmaz has internalized materialism’s definition of science to the point that he doesn’t realize it’s just the worldview talking. Maybe he wants ID to be considered science under materialist conditions but it can never be.

  41. Dr F:

    You have a point.

    Howev er, it is also the case that, whatever their nature and whatever its roots, designers and their works are empirical realities. If something is empirical, observable, then it can be studied scientifically, even if we do not have a basis to explain all that we would like to know about it. For instance, I doubt that anyone would be prepared to dispute the scientific nature of Newton’s inferred law of gravitation because he did not know its deep roots.

    However, ID is not so much about designers as about designs, and designs indicated by characteristic signs in a context where this allows us to credibly account for certain phenomena that are not reasonably accounted for on blind chance and/or mechanical necessity.

    The label “science” is not the pivotal issue, the key issue is instead inductive logic. If on observed cases we can see a reliable pattern that FSCO/I is a product of design, and that chance and/or necessity absent design is not an observable source thereof, when we see FSCO/I we have a right to infer the best explanation to be design.

    The reason this is controversial is plainly not the logic but the challenge this implies for ideologically dominant materialist schools of thought.

    We have some news: science is not the evangelistic tool of materialist ideology.

    KF

  42. They’re certainly using science as an evangelistic tool.
    In their minds they have already determined that humans came about through unguided natural forces so whatever designing those pesky humans have gotten up to is still ultimately caused by those unguided forces thus ruling out design as a cause. They see your premise as flawed, probabilistic resources notwithstanding.

    Your logic is wonderful to behold and I’ve enjoyed reading UD for years to watch the fireworks but it often seems that you’re spinning your wheels. The battlefield is not logic or science, as you say, but ideology. The problem is that materialists didn’t arrive at their worldview from logical deduction. The solution must take into account why someone chooses materialism as their worldview.

    To a materialist the idea of a designer is too horrible to contemplate and unacceptable no matter the logic. They argue as though no ground can be conceded. They must imagine that the designer would be a vengeful God who will judge them and hold them accountable for their sins. Their world must not contain such a monster. Even if you don’t identify the designer as God they can’t allow even the possibility. The divine foot in the door is too scary.

  43. On the other hand there’s the positive side to being a materialist. One can feel comforted that everything is eventually knowable. Man is the top being. No need to worry about being judged. Morality is infinitely flexible. You’re smarter than anyone who disagrees with you. It’s a godlike position.

    I don’t think you’re going to succeed in arguing someone down from those deluded heights no matter how good your argument is.

  44. Dr F: Been there before, with the Marxists. (Went to a Marxism dominated school, in a day when they thought the future belonged to them — they were just as deaf to reason, but on the whole a little better mannered . . . ) It is important to make the logical case, and to expose the hollow inductive logic and triumphalism, but we also know that the real endgame comes when things fall apart as an absurd — and I here mean demonstrably self referentially incoherent and amoral — view clashes with reality and shows the “and Society” implications. The reason why the materialists go ballistic when the self-referential incoherence of the view and its inherent amorality are exposed, is that this is what lays out the real danger to society that is oh so conveniently hidden in the lab coats. Notice how they tiptoe around the 2,350 year old expose in Plato’s The Laws, Bk X. KF

  45. What sort of occurrence would you envision that could cause things to so fall apart? Finding a literal signature in a cell or having the stars move from their positions to form the tetragrammaton?

  46. Dr Ford:

    I doubt that even such would work. Remember, sailing upwind against the media and other centres under thralldom.

    First, while the science case needs to be made as it is foundational, the tipping point is not coming on that side. The technical economics had been clear for a long time. Von Mises’ findings on the problem of proper valuation dated to the 1920s. In our case, it is going to soak in that cell based life uses code based algorithmic, digital info systems. The common sense question is going to bite: what, from observation does that? What, simply does not? H’mmmmm . . .

    A light bulb will go off in more and more heads.

    The tipping point, however, will likely come in science and society.

    Gradually pressure will build up on the evo mat worldview and its championing institutions as an old guard dies off and as the shrill fever swamp attitudes of too many begin to be clear. Imperceptible, until the dam creaks, cracks and lets go with a roar too loud, too dangerous, too obvious to be spun or distracted from or superficially covered and buried.

    Precisely what will crack, where and when will be hard to spot, but a clear sign will be confident alternative leadership that is sharp on the points of science etc and shows the ideological imposition, the question begging and the amorality, then in case after case connects this to pivotal issues and cases.

    For instance the implication that we have no wills able to make rational, moral choices, is a major vulnerability. Implications of the absurdity and opening the door to cynical nihilistic manipulation already point. As a critical mass responds to leadership, token compromise offers will be made. They should be refused: we sit at the table as of right, not sufferance.

    Then, unpredictably, CRAAAAACK! ROAR . . .

    Suddenly, momentum will shift decisively and all the old surefire tricks will blow up.

    Probably, some over-reach will blow up.

    When that happens, there will be a flood of demands to set junk science straight, and to correct absurdities.

    That has already happened with Marxism, and with Freudianism.

    I figure, about a decade.

    We are about 1978/9, with TIRED old guard leadership, and new leadership coming up, in science and society.

    A vicious rearguard for a decade then collapse and a lot of clever cats trying to land on their feet.

    Defeat is always an orphan.

    KF

  47. It will be a rather big crack and roar since not only the science establishment but the entire edifice of the modern world, academia and all the products of academia rest upon materialism and it’s central pillar, Darwinism.

    I don’t know if this old world could take it.

  48. 48

    kairosfocus
    Regarding creationism and censorship I don’t see , AT ALL, any problem with my phrasing, tone, or substance.
    Whats wrong?
    Its about accuracy and inaccuracy or as one sees it.
    I didn’t dismiss anyone in science merit. Only I scored it pound for pound.
    I didn’t say zero I said a very very poor second.
    Like in a basketball game. 86-2 tells a tale but their was a 2.
    Anyways as in origin subjects its about facts and then interpretation.
    No one has shown me ever in censorship issues why I am wrong and I’ve brought it up for years.
    Likewise the issue identity achievement in science.
    In either case if I’m wrong then what is the right answer.

  49. Dr Ford:

    Yes.

    The issue is going to have to be foundational and existential, triggering an existential crisis.

    Probably, something to do with fundamental rights.

    For instance, what happens when large numbers of people understand that — being without a basis for OUGHT, a worldview such as evolutionary materialism is highly vulnerable to nihilistic manipulation by agenda groups?

    When, numbers realise that, contrary to the mind-bending Orwellian 1984 games that have been played with “faith” (i.e. to equate it to emotionally rooted blindness and irrational leaps — as opposed to “science,” dependent on imaginary crutches), all worldviews are rooted in faith-points?

    That, evolutionary materialism is in fact a very old worldview with a long and sobering track record, and that its faith-point undermines reason and responsibility, opening the door to ruthless, nihilistic manipulators? That it is actually irretrievably self-refuting? That, it reduces rights, to “might and manipulation make ‘right’ . . . ” — including the most precious rights?

    That, such leads to cynically manipulative ruthless, Alinskyite dark triad — Machiavellianism + narcissism + sociopathy — factions that tend to cynically manipulate political, policy, education and media systems, undermining their integrity and credibility?

    That, such has been on record for 2350 years, coming from leading, foundational thinkers for our civilisation?

    That, contrary to the announcements, such has seriously questionable scientific roots?

    That, the very definition of science is being question- beggingly, ideologically manipulated through dressing up evo mat in a lab coat? That this leads to a situation where macroevo is held almost self-evidently true due to circularity of argument? And, that this ideologisation of science compromises the ability of science to objectively seek the actual truth about the origins of life and its major varieties?

    That, the root of the resulting darwinist tree of life is simply missing, and the speculative models cannot credibly account for the digital info systems in the heart of the cell? [Cf. current UD post here.]

    That the main branches — ever since Darwin and in defiance of his hope that they would be found as fossil beds were explored — are also evidently permanently missing? After 150 years of trying, 1/4+ million fossil species, millions in museums and billions in known beds all over the world?

    That, the only known and analytically, empirically credible source of FSCO/I is design? That this means that FSCO/I is a reliable signature/sign of design as cause?

    That — per needle in the haystack or millions of monkeys at keyboards — the much touted timelines have nothing to do with the problem?

    That, with the origins of the cosmos, in light of fine tuning, the matter is even more blatant?

    That, as a consequence of ideological takeover of key institutions, we’ve been systematically led to positions that open up our civilisation to the most destructive trends?

    Which, are now baying at the doors, having been let into the cities?

    That is how fundamentally brittle the situation is.

    It would have been much better if there had been a gracious yielding to the evidence as it has come out since 1953, instead of a further hardening and ideologisation. But hard, brittle systems are inherently vulnerable to crack starting and crack propagation.

    In short, the very militancy that we are seeing is a sign of just how brittle things are.

    Cracks are starting to show, and sooner rather than later, one or more are going to reach critical length and then will proceed with ripping explosive speed across our civilisation.

    We can only hope, pray and prepare to try to save what can be saved when that happens.

    Especially with the other radical agenda we have baying outside the gates; for the third major time in 1400 years.

    And no, I don’t think those who are living in Plato’s cave and find its manipulative shadow-shows congenial to their tastes and agendas, are really willing to entertain the concern that things are that dangerous.

    In their minds, the real danger is those fanatical, ignoramus fringe fundies who want to bring us back to the middle ages with inquisitions, racks and witch hunts.

    (Don’t they even spot how they are playing blatantly prejudice-driven stereotyping, scapegoating games? You must be “ignorant, stupid insane . . . or wicked” should give a clue or two!)

    Ever notice, how there is a persistent refusal to face the much closer cases of abusive power in the hands of unaccountable radical secularist and/or neopagan power elites? Things like eugenics, scientific racism, social darwinism and totalitarian or wider politically messianistic ideologies? (Which were all dominant among elites of their day and were promoted by ever so many of the educated as the thinking man’s view . . . )

    Have you ever seen a serious, sober, truthful and responsible response to the logo for the 2nd international Eugenics Conference in light of the relevant history and onward course of events?

    And more?

    KF

    PS: Mr Byers, please, think again.

  50. F/N: Dr F you may find this, on worldview foundations and coherence helpful:

    ____________

    >> My focal issue is finitude of worldviews AND of warrant that has to meet logical, explanatory and truth tests.

    Warrant has to terminate finitely (just like an algorithm . . . [--> a step-by-step problem solving procedure like Long Division]), and our mental models of the world have to be finite, and are inevitably grounded. How well, is another story.

    We may happily play around on the raft, remodelling as we drift — so long as we avoid making it fall apart into incoherence, given the lurking sharks [and that hints at where I will go in a moment] — but all of this socio-techno- physical activity and associated bounded rationality models have to rest on the supporting ocean.

    Ground level reality.

    Or else, the sharks have lunch.

    That is, once we realise things can REALLY fall apart, we will be a lot less prone to get into glorified groupthink games. Justification is social but not just social. The raft can really fall apart, to the joy of the sharks.

    So, pardon a very old fashioned notion.

    As long as there is a difference between an intact raft (never mind repairs and debates over remodelling) and one that has fallen apart, we have two distinct alternative states that cannot both be true in the same sense and time and stable identity of state — which can all be expressed in more or less accurate words but all of it is a matter of reality first and foremost.

    That is, I here point to the first principles of right reason as self evident foundational truths that have a reality that transcends debate talking points or social conventions on who has “won” a debate or power contest.

    The sharks care a lot about the difference.

    Those first principles of right reason are genuinely foundational and finitely remote. We ignore or subvert them at our peril.

    Just ask the sharks.

    Next, we can take up something like Royce’s error exists.

    This is a statement in a language and inescapably has social aspects, but it also has objective, accurate and undeniable reference to the real world. It is not just a game called justification that we can make up rules for as we please.

    Yes, cause-effect is distinct from ground-consequent (no-one here doubted that . . . it is key to some problems of evolutionary materialism . . . ), but the issue of truth is the bridge between them.

    Hence, the classic differentiation between valid and sound reasoning.

    Coming back, the point I have been underscoring is that worldviews and their claims are subject to the challenge of warrant. Why accept A? B. Why B? C. So, we face infinite regress, circularity or a finitely remote cluster of first plausibles. Some of these may be self evident [and I think there is a little matter of little errors in the beginning on this hence my focus on error exists as case no 1 of this . . . ], but others will have to be taken as plausible, without further warrant. Other than fitting into the system and providing adequate grounds.

    The ocean is real and provides floatation. It also has the hopeful sharks.

    Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to make and sail a viable raft to safe harbour.

    That involves factual adequacy [it stands on the ocean and must be safe], coherence [it does not fall apart], and explanatory adequacy with elegant simplicity [neither an ad hoc patchwork that must fall apart sooner or later nor a simplistic and inadequate structure].

    The sharks are waiting. >>

    ___________

    In short, I think people will have to see a raft begin to fall apart, and sharks swirling, before they will realise things HAVE to change.

    Pity, but so stubborn or distracted or spaced out are we.

    KF

  51. Kairosfocus,

    Thank you sir for answering my question and giving me more to think about. It’s good to know that there is at least a route out of the darkness. I will continue reading here with a bit more optimism.

  52. Dr F: We have a chance, but because we are ever so prone to denial of unpleasant reality [hence, to delay taking corrective action . . . ], it is likely to be a near-run thing. KF

  53. KF: Do you believe all life on earth was created by god ?

  54. G2:

    Kindly, stop playing the ID is creationism in a cheap tuxedo game.

    What I believe in the end about how life was formed is irrelevant. As far as I am concerned, design is inferred on reliable signs as tested, who the designers are or could be is a second order question. As I have pointed out, echoing those who pioneered design theory from Thaxton et al on, evidence of design of life does not in itself imply that the relevant designers are within or beyond the cosmos.

    The issue is simple: is there evidence that — per a wide base of empirical tests — reliably points to design as a credible causal explanation of a given entity or object? ANS: Yes, signs such as FSCO/I. Is such evidence to be found in the living cell? ANS: Yes. Inductive Conclusion: the cell is in material part formed by design, per inference to best current explanation.

    To break that inductive inference is quite simple: show that FSCO/I or the like is not a reliable sign of design as cause.

    Tried — for years, but not delivered on; hence, the distraction and subject switching games such as is involved in the false accusation in the textbook at the heart of the OP, and which you are here echoing.

    And, it is now coming on eight months in which you and any number of others have had a free kick at goal to show here at UD through a hosted feature article length essay, that on observational evidence, the evolutionary materialist school of thought has adequately accounted for OOL and OO body plans. That there are no serious takers to date (especially on OOL) is utterly telling.

    Now, FYI, on grounds separate from design theory — in a major facet having to do with a miracle of guidance in answer to my Mom’s prayer of surrender — happy mom’s day, mom! — that saved my life, I am a Christian. Which is why I am a walking miracle. I also have good historical warrant behind specifically Christian convictions. Which is backed up by broader worldviews level warrant to accept that God — not the oh ever so revealing denigratory common-g you resorted to — is the foundation of all reality.

    That faith (= confident trust in the cumulative force of evidence and experience leading to willingness to act on that trust . . . here amounting to moral certainty: evidence warranting a conclusion to a degree that is not equivalent to demonstrative deductive proof on axioms acceptable to all but which is sufficiently compelling on cumulative impact that one would be irresponsible to dismiss or ignore it when making decisions of great moment . . . ) would be compatible with: direct creation of the cosmos and world of life in either a young or an old creation frame. With, also, a broadly theistic evolutionary view, up to and including universal common descent similar to Behe’s view. With also, a view that God simply picked the cosmic simulation run or equivalent, that ends up with us. Or, whatever.

    Such a frame is empirically testable, as it would be INCONSISTENT with/severely undermined by a world in which on solid, systematic evidence there is no reason to infer to design as a key feature of the cause of the observed cosmos or of the world of life.

    It so happens, however, that the cosmological evidence — independent of that in the world of life — strongly points to fine tuning of the observed cosmos for life, and that the world of life — per FSCO/I etc — shows strong signs of design. That is, we have scientific evidence providing support, not undermining.

    And,frankly, that support seems to be your real problem.

    The evidence is not pointing where you want to go, so (on evidence and in context) you are rhetorically pounding on the table and trying to distract attention from it.

    Onlookers, notice, who is pointing confidently to evidence, and who is playing at atmosphere poisoning motive mongering.

    Game over, and the game of manipulating textbooks — including of all dangerous things Law School textbooks — to create a false and smearing impression in support to a priori materialism imposed on science, education, institutions, law and culture, is over, too.

    So, please stop the enabling behaviour.

    KF

  55. A lot of bluster, but no answer.

  56. G2:

    With all due respect, you have all the answer an accusation in disguise like that (given the context indicated in the OP) deserves.

    Let me clip the core response, just for record:

    As far as I am concerned, design is inferred on reliable signs as tested, who the designers are or could be is a second order question. As I have pointed out, echoing those who pioneered design theory from Thaxton et al on, evidence of design of life does not in itself imply that the relevant designers are within or beyond the cosmos.

    The issue is simple: is there evidence that — per a wide base of empirical tests — reliably points to design as a credible causal explanation of a given entity or object? ANS: Yes, signs such as FSCO/I. Is such evidence to be found in the living cell? ANS: Yes. Inductive Conclusion: the cell is in material part formed by design, per inference to best current explanation.

    To break that inductive inference is quite simple: show that FSCO/I or the like is not a reliable sign of design as cause.

    Tried — for years, but not delivered on; hence, the distraction and subject switching games such as is involved in the false accusation in the textbook at the heart of the OP, and which you are here echoing.

    And, it is now coming on eight months in which you and any number of others have had a free kick at goal to show here at UD through a hosted feature article length essay, that on observational evidence, the evolutionary materialist school of thought has adequately accounted for OOL and OO body plans. That there are no serious takers to date (especially on OOL) is utterly telling . . .

    Also, this on the relationship between specifically Christian faith and the possibilities for origin of life and body plans compatible with or undermining of it:

    [Theistic, specifically Christian] faith (= confident trust in the cumulative force of evidence and experience leading to willingness to act on that trust . . . here amounting to moral certainty [cf. here, again]: evidence warranting a conclusion to a degree that is not equivalent to demonstrative deductive proof on axioms acceptable to all but which is sufficiently compelling on cumulative impact that one would be irresponsible to dismiss or ignore it when making decisions of great moment . . . ) would be compatible with: direct creation of the cosmos and world of life in either a young or an old creation frame. With, also, a broadly theistic evolutionary view, up to and including universal common descent similar to Behe’s view. With also, a view that God simply picked the cosmic simulation run or equivalent, that ends up with us. Or, whatever.

    Such a frame is empirically testable, as it would be INCONSISTENT with/severely undermined by a world in which on solid, systematic evidence there is no reason to infer to design as a key feature of the cause of the observed cosmos or of the world of life.

    It so happens, however, that the cosmological evidence — independent of that in the world of life — strongly points to fine tuning of the observed cosmos for life, and that the world of life — per FSCO/I etc — shows strong signs of design. That is, we have scientific evidence providing support, not undermining.

    I notice your continued brusque dismissiveness as “bluster” in the teeth of a summary and specific links on evidence and a specific explanation of what a design theory based view is about in respect of theistic worldviews and empirical evidence in light of the scientific investigations, and what would overturn it.

    So, it is time to turn the tables.

    1] Your empirically grounded evidence that blind chance and mechanical necessity are plausibly adequate to form a life friendly cosmos, trigger OOL and then body plans (including our own with the crucial linguistic ability) is: ______________ ?

    2] Your empirically grounded evidence that things like FSCO/I are not empirically tested, found reliable indicators of design is: ____________ ?

    3] Your adequate reason for dismissing the reality of God, as is indicated by your telling resort to the common g above, is: ___________ ?

    4] In that context, your grounding of the credibility of the human ability to reason and know (note here onlookers) is: ______________ ?

    5] In that context, your grounding of OUGHT in an IS at worldview foundation level adequate to sustain rights as more than the nihilistic, amoral “might and manipulation make ‘right’ . . . ” warned against by Plato in The Laws, Bk X, is: _______________ ? [Onlookers, cf. here, here and here for why this is absolutely important.)

    6] Your best explanation for the minimal facts at the historical foundation of the Christian Faith is: _____________, and it is best warranted as ____________ ?

    7] In light of the above, your best account for the system of reality we see in the world around us and in our hearts is: ______________, and it is best warranted as a worldview because ____________ ?

    KF

  57. Do you believe all life on earth was created by god ?

    No. Not even YECs believe that. That is a strawman of your making. It’s as if you cannot help yourself.

  58. Graham2 @55:

    Did you consider that your question is too vague to permit a simple Yes/No answer? kf has given you a detailed answer that delves into the issues. If you are just trying to catch him in his word, then I suppose it would be easy to be disappointed that he didn’t fall prey to your trap and take the bait.

    Perhaps you can clarify what you really mean when you say “Do you believe all life on earth was created by god?”

    1. Do you mean that every organism that currently lives was individually created de novo?

    2. Do you mean that every organism that currently lives descended from an identical organism initially created de novo and that there has been no modification or evolutionary change over time?

    3. Are you trying to focus in on predation, “evil” design, pain, or suffering caused by one organism to another?

    4. When you ask if god is the designer are you asking whether that is a conclusion that flows from the empirical evidence, or are you asking who kf thinks the creator is, as a personal belief and separate from what intelligent design proper can demonstrate?

    If you properly clarify your question with the appropriate details and nuances then you can perhaps get a Yes/No answer.

  59. Eric: I expected that all this was understood and would be reflected in the answer. What Im seeing is a lot of ducking and weaving, but no answer.

  60. Graham2:

    I see.

    So you are not willing to ask the question in clear and unambiguous terms. Instead you want the listener to try to interpret what you meant and then cover all the bases.

    Sounds like a fishing expedition.

    Hmmm . . .

  61. 61
    Chance Ratcliff

    What a laugh. Eric invites Graham2 to meaningfully clarify his question, and Graham2 makes a turnabout accusation of “ducking” in response. There’s one for the irony files.

  62. Ducking, weaving, bluster and the chirping of crickets.

  63. Onlookers:

    Alinsky’s rules for radicals:

    13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. [NB: Notice the evil counsel to find a way to attack the man, not the issue. The easiest way to do that, is to use the trifecta stratagem: distract, distort, demonise.] In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and ‘frozen.’…

    “…any target can always say, ‘Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?’ When your ‘freeze the target,’ you disregard these [rational but distracting] arguments…. Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the ‘others’ come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target…’

    “One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other.”

    Just so you know why G2 is playing the cynical distraction, caricatured distortion, demonisation, disrespect, denigration and polarisation games he is playing.

    KF

    PS: That should make it clear why I refuse to answer a barbed, loaded question in a hostile context in a naive way. Instead, I have laid out a range of serious Christian options, and — pivoting on G2′s use of a disrespectful atheistical rendering of a Divine title — it is also why I have laid out the challegne evolutionary materialism and its fellow travellers have in accounting for an evidently fine tuned cosmos, the origin of life, that of body plans including our own, as well as the grounding of mind and morals. That is often overlooked in the context of the attack-attack-attack tactics so often resorted to be advocates of evolutionary materialism.

    PPS: Observe as well, the context in which G2 has tried to play distractive attack rhetorical games. On a weekend where abuse of lawful power is making global headlines, the OP is about the embedding of a slanderous caricature of design theory in textbooks, intended to lead to marginalisation as being perceived as illegal and fraudulent, scapegoating and unjust targetting. In short, G2 is telling us worlds about his enabling behaviour by trying to distract attention through Alinskyite trollish tactics. Let us take due and proper note about what that implies about where such would lead our civilisation if unchecked.

  64. Ducking, weaving, bluster and the chirping of crickets.

    Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, I offer you Graham2 @62 as Exhibit A.

    —–

    Chance: Re your 61 and Graham2′s 62, I think your irony meter is about to explode. You can’t script this kind of stuff! :)

  65. EA: Yup, there is an element of attempted turnabout accusation in what G2 is doing. That tends to cloud and further polarise the issue by a blame the victim game. Notice, that is exactly one of the intents of the false accusations in the OP, to cloud issues and create a perception of deserving what they got, for victims of career busting over design theory questions. Let us take due note, and let us understand what motivates such tactics. KF

  66. This gets funnier as it goes along.
    For a believer, I would have thought its simple, trivial even … ever heard of Genesis ?

    I suspect no-body wants to answer the question.

  67. 67

    Dr Ford, I hope you’ll continue to contribute here.

  68. 68
    Chance Ratcliff

    Eric @64: Yes, the needle of the irony meter nearly broke off. What could possibly be more dodgy than refusing to qualify a poorly considered question, when specifically asked to do so? Of course the problem is, when you asked Graham2 to qualify the question, you emptied it of its rhetorical power, and that’s why it was asked in the first place.

  69. CR: Right. I see G2 has now clearly indicated his “Creationism in a cheap tuxedo” context, and so it can be pointed out to him, that it is a reasonable answer to state first the design inference, which stands on its own independent of any theistic tradition, and then point out that those who adhere to a Christian tradition may and do take any of a number of responsible positions. (Evidently, he cannot accept that that could indeed be my actual view.) He seems to want to pigeonhole; the better to play Alinskyite polarising games. Meanwhile he refuses to clarify a loaded “question.” (He also fails to understand the principle that there is such a thing as showing oneself a reasonable interlocutor, who then has earned the right to ask questions. He needs to realise that the “Creationism in a cheap tuxedo” talking point game is now revealed by the OP to be a potentially destructive slander, and that it is a case of speaking in disregard of duties of care to truth and fairness, hoping to profit through the falsehood being seen as true to the detriment of those targetted. This is not mere verbal sparring, people are going to get hurt, and G2 is plainly on the side of those who want to do injustice based on slander.) KF

  70. KF: If you take any of a number of responsible positions then just give one of them. Im not fussy.

  71. 71
    Chance Ratcliff

    KF,

    “He also fails to understand the principle that there is such a thing as showing oneself a reasonable interlocutor, who then has earned the right to ask questions.”

    Spot on. An inquisitor is not the same as an interlocutor. ;)

  72. Upright BiPed @#67

    Thanks. I hope I’ll have a chance to, though seeing that my area of expertise is design systems used by artists and architects of the Italian Renaissance, a relevant thread may not come up very often.

    Still, I’ll jump in when I can.

  73. Graham2 @66:

    For a believer, I would have thought its simple, trivial even … ever heard of Genesis ?

    For a believer in what? A literal interpretation of Genesis without any other consideration? What would that have to do with the design inference?

    I suspect no-body wants to answer the question.

    You mean the question that you have refused to clearly ask?

    It is unfortunate that you are playing games, apparently with a goal to score some cheap points. Sorry to disappoint you, but we didn’t fall prey to your little game.

  74. My goodness. I asked KF a simple question regarding his faith, and I get all this clutching of pearls.

    If KF (or anyone) really wanted to answer it, it could be done in about 1 sentence.

  75. G2:

    With all reasonable respect, the sustained disingenuousness of your response is patent.

    It reminds me of the accusation made to Luther at the Diet of Worms, when his inquisitor demanded a “simple” answer to a loaded question. Or, we could compare the case of Jesus, teaching in the temple — doubtless on preciously important matters — and interrupted by those who, malice aforethought, tossed a woman allegedly caught in the very act of adultery [where was the man?] at his feet and demanded a “simple” answer to the case.

    Here, a very serious matter is on the table, the entrenching of a long since corrected slander with potentially serious consequences (one, however that keeps on being championed by various groups hoping to do harm thereby by blaming the victim . . . ), in Law School textbooks.

    As with other threads at UD, you have interrupted, and tried to toss in a question designed to “prove” that design theory is as the false accusation pretends.

    (BTW, onlookers present and prospective, notice, this is the ONLY real response being made by objectors to design theory. That speaks volumes.)

    Instead of tossing you out of the thread or tagging you a troll and ignoring you, I and others have taken time to point out that matters are not as “simple” as alleged, and that the underlying claim is not as you imagine.

    You continue to demand a “simple” — naive or simplistic — answer to a matter that is not simple.

    I will further respond here to the “Creationism in a cheap tuxedo” implied allegation, by citing the UD WAC on that topic,as is accessible under the resources tab at every page that is found at UD:

    5] Intelligent Design is “Creationism in a Cheap Tuxedo”

    In fact, the two theories are radically different. Creationism moves forward: that is, it assumes, asserts or accepts something about God and what he has to say about origins; then interprets nature in that context. Intelligent design moves backward: that is, it observes something interesting in nature (complex, specified information) and then theorises and tests possible ways how that might have come to be. Creationism is faith-based; Intelligent Design is empirically-based.

    Each approach has a pedigree that goes back over two thousand years. We notice the “forward” approach in Tertullian, Augustine, Bonaventure, and Anselm. Augustine described it best with the phrase, “faith seeking understanding.” With these thinkers, the investigation was faith-based. By contrast, we discover the “backward” orientation in Aristotle, Aquinas, and Paley. Aristotle’s argument, which begins with “motion in nature” and reasons BACK to a “prime mover” — i.e. from effect to its “best” causal explanation — is obviously empirically based.

    To say then, that Tertullian, Augustine, Anselm (Creationism) is similar to Aristotle, Aquinas, Paley (ID) is equivalent to saying forward equals backward. What could be more illogical?

    6] Since Intelligent Design Proponents Believe in a “Designer” or “Creator” They Can Be Called “Creationists”

    First, a basic fact: while many intelligent design proponents believe in a Creator (which is their world-view right), not all do. Some hold that some immanent principle or law in nature could design the universe. That is: to believe in intelligent design is not necessarily to believe in a transcendent creative being.

    However, what is rhetorically significant is the further fact that the term “creationist” is very often used today in a derogatory way.

    Traditionally, the word was used to describe the world view that God created the universe, a belief shared by many ID scientists, and even some ID critics. But now, that same term is too often used dishonestly in an attempt to associate intelligent design, an empirically-based methodology, with Creationism, a faith-based methodology.

    Some Darwinist advocates and some theistic evolutionists seem to feel that if they can tag ID with the “Creationist” label often enough and thus keep the focus away from science–if they can create the false impression that ID allows religious bias to “leak” into its methodology–if they can characterize it as a religious presupposition rather than a design inference –then the press and the public will eventually come to believe that ID is not really science at all.

    In short, anti-ID ideologues use the word “creationist” to distract from a scientific debate that they cannot win on the merits. The only real question is whether someone who uses this dubious strategy is doing so out of ignorance (having been taken in by it, too) or out of malice.

    7] Because William Dembski once commented that the design patterns in nature are consistent with the “logos theology” of the Bible, he unwittingly exposed his intentions to do religion in the name of science

    In general, personal beliefs and personal views about the general nature of reality (be they religious, atheistic, or of any kind) should not be considered directly relevant to what scientists say and do in their specific scientific work: that’s a very simple rule of intellectual respect and democracy, and it simply means that nobody can impose a specific model of reality on others, and on science itself.

    Moreover, Dembski is qualified as a theologian and a philospher-scientist-mathematician (one of a long and distinguished tradition), so he has a perfect right to comment seriously on intelligent design from both perspectives.

    Further to this, the quote in question comes from a theologically oriented book in which Dembski explores the “theological implications” of the science of intelligent design. Such theological reframing of a scientific theory and/or its implications is not the same thing as the theory itself, even though each may be logically consistent with the other. Dembski’s point, of course, was that truth is unified, so we shouldn’t be surprised that theological truths confirm scientific truths and vice versa.

    Also, Dembski’s reference to John 1:1 ff. underscores how a worldview level or theological claim may have empirical implications, and is thus subject to empirical test.

    For, in that text, the aged Apostle John put into the heart of foundational era Christian thought, the idea that Creation is premised on Rational Mind and Intelligent Communication/Information. Now, after nineteen centuries, we see that — per empirical observation — we evidently do live in a cosmos that exhibits fine-tumed, function-specifying complex information as a premise of facilitating life, and cell-based life is also based on such functional, complex, and specific information, e.g in DNA.

    Thus, theological truth claims here line up with subsequent empirical investigation:a risky empirical prediction has been confirmed by the evidence. (Of course, had it been otherwise – and per track record — many of the same critics would have pounced on the “scientific facts” as a disconfirmation. So, why then is it suddenly illegitimate for Christians to point out from scientific evidence, that on this point their faith has passed a significant empirical test?)

    8] Intelligent Design is an attempt by the Religious Right to establish a Theocracy

    Darwinist advocates often like to single out the “Discovery Institute” as their prime target for this charge. It is, of course, beyond ridiculous.

    In fact, all members from that organization and all prominent ID spokespersons embrace the American Founders’ principle of representative democracy. All agree that civil liberties are grounded in religious “principles” (on which the framers built the republic) not religious “laws” (which they risked their lives to avoid), and support the proposition that Church and State should never become one.

    However, anti-ID zealots too often tend to misrepresent the political issues at stake and distort the original intent, spirit, and letter of the founding documents.

    Historically, the relationship between Church and State was characterized not as a “union” (religious theocracy) or a radical separation (secular tyranny) but rather as an “intersection,” a mutual co-existence that would allow each to express itself fully without any undue interference from the other. There was no separation of God from government. On the contrary, everyone understood that freedom follows from the principle that the Creator God grants “unalienable rights,” a point that is explicit in the US Declaration of Independence. Many Darwinists are hostile to such an explicitly Creation-anchored and declaratively “self-evident” foundation for liberty and too often then misunderstand or pervert its historical context – the concept and practice of covenantal nationhood and just Government under God. Then, it becomes very tempting to take the cheap way out: (i) evade the responsibility of making their scientific case, (ii) change the subject to politics, (iii) pretend to a superior knowledge of the history, and (iv) accuse the other side of attempting to establish a “theocracy.”

    In fact, design thinking is incompatible with theocratic principles, a point that is often lost on those who don’t understand it.

    Jefferson and his colleagues — all design thinkers — argued that nature is designed, and part of that design reflects the “natural moral law,” which is observed in nature and written in the human heart as “conscience.” Without it, there is no reasonable standard for informing the civil law or any moral code for defining responsible citizenship. For, the founders held that (by virtue of the Mind and Conscience placed within by our common Creator) humans can in principle know the core ideas that distinguish right from wrong without blindly appealing to any religious text or hierarchy. They therefore claimed that the relationship between basic rights and responsibilities regarding life, liberty and fulfillment of one’s potential as a person is intuitively clear. Indeed, to deny these principles leads into a morass of self-contradictions and blatant self-serving hypocrisies; which is just what “self-evident” means.

    So, as a member of a community, each citizen is should follow his conscience and traditions in light of such self-evident moral truth; s/he therefore deserves to be free from any tyranny or theocracy that which would frustrate such pursuit of virtue. By that standard, religious believers are permitted and even obliged to publicly promote their values for the common good; so long as they understand that believers (and unbelievers) who hold other traditions or worldviews may do the same.

    Many Darwinists, however, confuse civil laws that are derived from religious principles and from the natural moral law (representative democracy) with religious laws (autocratic theocracy). So, they are reduced to arguing that freedom is based on a murky notion of “reason,” which, for them, means anti-religion. Then, disavowing the existence of moral laws, natural rights, or objectively grounded consciences, they can provide no successful rational justification for the basic right to free expression; which easily explains why they tend to support it for only those who agree with their point of view. Sadly, they then too often push for — and often succeed in — establishing civil laws that de-legitimize those very same religious principles that are the historic foundation for their right to advocate their cause. Thus, they end up in precisely the morass of agenda-serving self-referential inconsistencies and abuses that the founders of the American Republic foresaw.

    So, it is no surprise that, as a matter of painfully repeated fact, such zealots will then typically “expel” and/or slander any scientist or educator who challenges their failed paradigm or questions its materialistic foundations. That is why for instance, Lewontin publicly stated:

    Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [Bold emphasis added]

    The point of all this should be clear. ID does not seek to establish a theocracy; it simply wants to disestablish a growing Darwinist tyranny.

    Remember, the underlying point of the design inference is separate from theistic traditions, though that is exactly what the Christian tradition claims, in asserting in foundational documents, that the evident reality of an architect of the world is compellingly evident from what has been made and from what we find in our hearts, consciences and minds; if we were to truly and fairly listen on the merits. This is why (for instance), we find a moral expose of materialistic nihilism in Plato’s The Laws Bk X, and why it is joined to a cosmological design inference.

    Cicero makes a similar claim regarding the chance of finding organised text by chance.

    When we look at Lucretius’ On the Nature of Things, we find that his materialism has the fatal flaw of failing to ask, first, how do we come to be able to know and think, on such premises. (Which, leads to expose of the self-referential incoherence of evolutionary materialism that you will not take up, as is shown in 56, points 4 – 5, above.)

    And so forth.

    So, let me remind, yet again [by clipping from 54 above . . . the first response], on just what the design inference is in a nutshell:

    As far as I am concerned, design is inferred on reliable signs as tested, who the designers are or could be is a second order question. As I have pointed out, echoing those who pioneered design theory from Thaxton et al on, evidence of design of life does not in itself imply that the relevant designers are within or beyond the cosmos.

    The issue is simple: is there evidence that — per a wide base of empirical tests — reliably points to design as a credible causal explanation of a given entity or object? ANS: Yes, signs such as FSCO/I. Is such evidence to be found in the living cell? ANS: Yes. Inductive Conclusion: the cell is in material part formed by design, per inference to best current explanation.

    To break that inductive inference is quite simple: show that FSCO/I or the like is not a reliable sign of design as cause.

    Tried — for years, but not delivered on; hence, the distraction and subject switching games such as is involved in the false accusation in the textbook at the heart of the OP, and which you are here echoing.

    And, it is now coming on eight months in which you and any number of others have had a free kick at goal to show here at UD through a hosted feature article length essay, that on observational evidence, the evolutionary materialist school of thought has adequately accounted for OOL and OO body plans. That there are no serious takers to date (especially on OOL) is utterly telling . . .

    In that context, people adhere to the Christian tradition in light of encounter with God in the face of Jesus, and find supportive warrant for their view in light of relevant historical evidence and argument. The minimal facts issue I have yet again put before you by way of a challenge and witness, is a good example in point. (This time around, I am linking a reply to Dawkins’ dismissive remarks in an interview with Playboy magazine, a revealing context in itself.)

    As I have also pointed out repeatedly now, such a position is consistent with various responsible views on how one interprets Genesis’ creation account. That is why I have summarised from 54 onwards:

    [Theistic, specifically Christian] faith (= confident trust in the cumulative force of evidence and experience leading to willingness to act on that trust . . . here amounting to moral certainty [cf. here, again]: evidence warranting a conclusion to a degree that is not equivalent to demonstrative deductive proof on axioms acceptable to all but which is sufficiently compelling on cumulative impact that one would be irresponsible to dismiss or ignore it when making decisions of great moment . . . ) would be compatible with: direct creation of the cosmos and world of life in either a young or an old creation frame. With, also, a broadly theistic evolutionary view, up to and including universal common descent similar to Behe’s view. With also, a view that God simply picked the cosmic simulation run or equivalent, that ends up with us. Or, whatever.

    Such a frame is empirically testable, as it would be INCONSISTENT with/severely undermined by a world in which on solid, systematic evidence there is no reason to infer to design as a key feature of the cause of the observed cosmos or of the world of life.

    It so happens, however, that the cosmological evidence — independent of that in the world of life — strongly points to fine tuning of the observed cosmos for life, and that the world of life — per FSCO/I etc — shows strong signs of design. That is, we have scientific evidence providing support, not undermining.

    Beyond that, you do not have a right to an answer, in a context plainly designed to play poisonous attack the man rhetorical games in the context of enabling a slander with obviously serious consequences. We are talking here about warping of the education of those tasked to be bearers of the Law.

    In so responding, I am inviting you to open- mindedly examine the fundamental case for inferring design on tested reliable sign [where, that I hold that one is able to open one's mind already has implications as evo mat views imply that the mind is shaped, driven and controlled by blind forces unrelated to logic, reason, soundness or truth], on its merits as an exercise in empirically grounded inductive reasoning. That is what science, properly, is about.

    I am further inviting you to assess the core warrant for the dominant evolutionary materialist school of thought, as you have been challenged already at 56 above.

    Let us just say that the silence on the challenge that is now approaching eight months, speaks volumes on the actual want of an empirically grounded adequate material — chance plus necessity — mechanism that can generate FSCO/I as is found in the living cell and as is further found in diverse body plans. What instead patently drives the system is the imposition of a Lewontinian a priori materialistic circle of reasoning on the evidence, that locks out otherwise significant alternatives before the facts can speak for themselves.

    So, I can close off by citing Johnson’s reply to Lewontin:

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [[Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [[Emphasis added.] [[The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

    Remember, the matter at stake at this point, per the OP, is the embedding of slander backed injustice in the system of law.

    This is not any longer a matter of talking point games and one upmanship.

    And, it is quite plain that you are here found on the side enabling slander and prospective serious injustice.

    Please, think again.

    KF

  76. PS: We are also in an age where words like “faith” are often utterly loaded with contempt- laced doublespeak when issuing from the mouths of materialists, cf. here. (Note how I took time above to discuss the terms. G2 would also profit by taking time to think through the issue of worldview foundations and faith points leading to the challenge of comparative difficulties. But then, on recent track record, it seems that philosophy is also a target of contempt from too many of today’s equivalent of the village atheists of old, not to mention the first principles of right reason. As this post for record shows, this last directly implicates G2.)

  77. Graham2 @74:

    Please, don’t go all victim on us.

    You asked a question that was, at best, ambiguous. I already outlined why and mentioned some possible interpretations.

    There are a couple of possibilities at work here:

    1. You didn’t realize the question was poorly worded or ambiguous, but now having had it pointed out to you, you could clarify your question and move the discussion forward.

    2. You knew the question was purposely worded in a way to catch someone. Having not been successful in doing so, you will continue to demand that the original question — without any clarification to remove the ambiguity — be answered. You will also feign surprise and shock that anyone could possibly have misunderstood your question and pretend that it is all very innocent.

    Which is it? So far, it looks like you are headed down road #2, but there is still time to demonstrate that you are on road #1.

  78. Its a general request that you state what role (if any) you think your god may have in the creation of life. If its ‘loaded’, ‘slander’, ‘well poisening’, and the end of civilization as we know it, then I hardly think the blame is mine. If you are confident in your faith, I really dont see why you should be ducking for cover behind all the smoke.

  79. G2:

    It is quite plain that you are willfully diverting focus from a sobering issue on the table, of the twisting of law based on a long term calculated deception and slander promoted by the NCSE et al. This, at the very same time when we are seeing an unfolding scandal in global news headlines on what such slanderous twisting can lead to, serious abuse by officials.

    Your unwillingness to take seriously that there is a significant SCIENTIFIC/INDUCTIVE LOGIC point, that design theory as theory is about inferring from empirically tested, reliable signs [such as FSCO/I] that are signatures of design as cause, is therefore a key component of enabling behaviour. Linked to this, there is a contempt to those who hold a theistic worldview (doubtless driven by the sort of polarisation, stereotyping and scapegoating that are now ever so commonly promoted by the so-called New Atheists and the like), leading to a willingness to irresponsibly project nefarious motivation through turnabout accusations and insinuations, and to seek to try to trap in words.

    In short, you have — across time — been unwilling to entertain that there are design thinkers who actually, on evidence, hold that we can distinguish say:

    OSC: qwqwqwqwqwqwqwqw . . .

    RSC, typ: goeighufwufwheyfo42gruw . . .

    FSC: a functionally specific sequence of components

    . . . based on empirical characteristics linked to the nature of functionally specific complex information and associated organisation. At this stage, that is willful denial of and closed-mindedness to empirically grounded, often patent reality.

    Instead of addressing such a serious problem on the merits, you have chosen to play ideological games of polarisation and projection, which speaks volumes. For, that is classic enabling of the sort of abuse that is the focus of this thread.

    If you and others of your ilk had actually shown that the inference on sign is ill-founded, that would have been one thing.

    That has not been done — despite years of trying.

    Instead, there is a well-funded movement that actually pretends to be able to redefine science in a question-begging, ideologically captivated fashion, as in effect applied atheism. This robs science of its ability to seek the truth objectively, especially on matters of origins.

    This undermines the integrity of science, a keystone institution in our civilisation.

    And yes, you may wish to suggest that to be concerned about that is overblown, but it is a serious matter, one with a living memory t5rack record of what can happen when science is perverted and when such darkened science becomes a tool of the ruthless in power. Let’s just say: EUGENICS, as one example.

    Such thereafter turns science education into indoctrination in materialism, which is itself seriously destructive as it is both self-referentially incoherent and inherently has in it no IS capable of objectively grounding OUGHT; undermining our capacity for moral governance and leading to increasing influence of the nihilistic notion that might and manipulation determine ‘truth’ and ‘right’; which are exactly what too much of so-called post modernism is about.

    That is, such feeds narcissism, sociopathy and machiavellianism [a version of modern psychology's dark triad], as Plato in effect warned against 2350 years ago, on destructive examples in ancient Athens such as Alcibiades. There are a great many more, too many in living memory, as the ghosts of 100+ million victims of secularist and/or neo-pagan political messianisms warn us.

    Now, I know EA is trying to be generous, to suggest to you that you still have a chance to pull back to reasonableness; that which distinguishes us from brute beasts or worse.

    I fear, on track record, you are but little open to such gentle suasion.

    I do, however, hope, that you are sufficiently reasonable and responsive, to see the issues, contexts and concerns being laid out, and are or eventually will be sufficiently willing to recognise the no-harm principle of dealing with others, that you will pull back.

    Where, it is to be noted that not only have you, several times, been given the priority issue, that FSCO/I stands as an inductively grounded reliable sign of design as cause, but also have been pointed out that from Thaxton et al on, it has been understood by the modern design movement, that inferring design as causal pattern based on FSCO/I in the world of life, is not equal to identifying any particular designer, much less whether such is in or beyond the cosmos. It has also been pointed out that there is another level of design theory, pioneered by the lifelong agnostic and Nobel-equivalent Prize holder in Astronomy, Sir Fred Hoyle, which points to the fine tuning of the observed cosmos in many ways, that sets up a frame in which C-chemistry, aqueous medium, cell based life becomes possible. From this, it raises the question that the observed cosmos evinces signs of design, which implicates a designer of vast power, knowledge and skill beyond the cosmos. Even, through a multiverse speculative model.

    Thus, there is a reasonable WORLDVIEW level conclusion that the net result of relevant sciences in our time is that we live in a cosmos designed for life and in which we find life, which shows strong signs of being designed such as FSCO/I. So, by whatever mechanism and on whatever timeline, we have an independent line or two of scientifically grounded thought, that makes a theistic view of life quite reasonable and tenable as a worldview, in light of scientific thought in our day. Which seems enormously threatening to those who are heavily invested in the cosmos and ourselves not being the product of design.

    And if that is threatening, I guess the sort of implications as are highlighted on the minimal facts discussion on the historical foundations of the Christian Faith, are evidently even more threatening. Where, we can see how even after he was publicly corrected and had to concede in a debate, Dawkins was recently noted in a Playboy interview — the venue speaks volumes — tried to pretend that there is little historical warrant for Christian foundations, starting with pretending that here is little reason to accept the historicity of Jesus. As in — again — read and weep.

    All of this has been pointed out to you, and in your presence many times.

    All of this, you have plainly willfully chosen to ignore, the better to push your loaded talking points in defiance of duties of care to truth and fairness. And, not even the issue that even as we speak, we see a pattern of abuse in our headlines, has been enough to give you pause.

    So, I must caution you that your pattern of behaviour in this thread (given its context) exhibits the blame the intended victim, polarisation tactic, the turnabout accusation, or insinuation.

    Here, leading to a well-known pattern of attempted well poisoning:

    Namely: ID is Creationism in a cheap tuxedo, and the issue is the alleged injection of the feared and inherently irrational supernatural into the halls of science and education, leading to right wing tyranny . . . as has already been pointedly corrected above, in addition cf here on on some of the pivotal roots of modern liberty and democracy that you will increasingly not hear about in school or in easily accessible media, and here on some roots of science that you will similarly nor commonly learn about . . . such are the pernicious history warping ways of amoral ideologies

    . . . and evident closed minded refusal to entertain cogent responses or reflect on what you are enabling.

    In fact, your lack of willingness to interact on such serious points of concern, and with reasonable responses informed by the wider context, suggests that you are here only to push distractive, disruptive talking points fed to you by the sort of agendas that — on sobering track record from Alcibiades et al on — we are highlighting as a danger to our civilisation.

    The redeeming aspect of this, is that it shows the astute onlooker, the sort of thought and behaviour pattern that has led to the sort of abuse of education that is in the textbook headlined in the OP.

    I trust, that those onlookers will take due note and will increasingly understand the dangerous nihilism that our civilisation is increasingly entertaining and even clutching to its breast, like the proverbial asp.

    Not wise.

    For, a snake is and will always remain a snake; never a lamb.

    And, such undiscerning cossetting is not likely to have good consequences.

    KF

  80. KF: Get a grip man, Im not about to eat your wife. Im just curious about your beliefs.
    =======
    Don’t you even dare MENTION my wife again. Your ilk have already tried to out and threaten her and our children. KF

  81. G2, the evidence and context say different, given that you have been utterly unresponsive to a serious answer, as reflective of the wider context of the viciously slanderous agendas at work in our civilisation at this time and as has now reached the dangerous level of Law School textbook orthodoxy — the very point of the OP you are willfully ignoring. And so, I for one am not going to cosset any asp on the pretence that it has suddenly become lamb-like. KF

  82. F/N: G2, you have crossed a line (given threats I have had to deal with), and I have given you warning appended to the above comment. Don’t EVER do such again or the like. KF

  83. KF: Im not sure how to respond.

    I sincerely appologize for any offence, but I thought it was obvious that it was purely rhetorical. I know nothing about you: I dont even know your gender.

  84. G2: I accept. Next time, please understand what it is like to be the frog when the small boy approaches, stone in hand: fun for you means death to me. KF

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