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A Danish ID Blog

[Update: I've just learned -- see comment below -- that a new and improved version of this Danish blog is now available at www.intelligentdesign.dk.]

http://intelligentdesign.blogsome.com

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23 Responses to A Danish ID Blog

  1. A blog at Harvard answering questions about ID:

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2005.....lliam.html

  2. Go get’em Danes!

  3. Lande og fordømmer JPs tegninger i et tonefald og en sammenhæng, hvor man er tæt ved at retfærdiggøre voldstrusler mod bladet og tegnerne. Og hvor man – lige som ambassadørernes henvendelse – sammenblander tegningerne med lovstridige forhÃ¥nelse.

  4. Whatever antg said, I totally agree with it. Unless he/she said “you are all doodoo heads”, then I totally disagree.

  5. Dear William Dembski and all of you ID-guys on uncommondescent! My name is Jens Madsen. I’m one of the administrators of the Danish ID-webpage. I just wanted to say that we now have moved the page to http://intelligentdesign.dk/news.php (or just http://www.intelligentdesign.dk) – we have made a completely new set-up with RSS feeds, debate-forum and more. Please check it out even though you don’t understand Danish. We are working hard to develop the page and our activities, and it’s going better than we imagined.

    Thank you all very much and let’s stay in touch :)

  6. Josh,

    That post broadly supports the concept of intelligent design, and I predict it will make anyone who understands Danish laugh, or at least scratch their head in bemusement.

  7. That Danish quote is about a Danish newspaper who published 12 drawings of Mohammed. Muslims all over the world have condemmed the newspaper. The quote has nothing to do with ID whatsoever :)

    – the dane

  8. 8

    This is actually our old site. About a month ago we launched a new site. Please check it out: http://www.intelligentdesign.dk

  9. look at

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2005.....lliam.html

    Is this what the arguements really come down to?

    Don’t be fooled people. This kind of idiocy is what leads nations to needless death and destruction.

    Find out why – on this web site and those referenced here. Decide for yourself.

    Wake up.

  10. Kool Klokken!

    Decide for yourself.

    Well said, Dougmoran. I suggest we all should be permitted this luxury.

  11. mmmmm… danishes. *pours more coffee.

  12. Dougmorgan,
    I found your blog article interesting. You said:

    “I claim that the human engineers are better than Mother Nature in creating virtually any object whose structure is governed by the length scale of one meter. The engineers are also better at longer distance scales – and the trip to the Moon is an example.”

    DaveScot once said something that I agree with and which also seems to illustrate the folly of your statement.

    “Bird wins over any man-made aircraft by a country mile. Building a self-repairing aircraft that runs on sunflower seeds is the holy grail of aircraft engineering. Even holier is if the aircraft can make copies of itself using nothing but sunflower seeds for raw material.”

    Agree?

  13. Dougmorgan,
    Maybe I misunderstood your statement and you aren’t the author of that blog. Maybe an “Ooops” is in order.

  14. Hey Lurker, is your first name Dave?

  15. Lurker quotes DaveScot:
    “Bird wins over any man-made aircraft by a country mile. Building a self-repairing aircraft that runs on sunflower seeds is the holy grail of aircraft engineering. Even holier is if the aircraft can make copies of itself using nothing but sunflower seeds for raw material.”

    I’m afraid not. As amazing as self-repair and reproduction are, the holy grail of aircraft engineering lies well beyond the capabilities of birds. Birds lose to aircraft on payload, speed, altitude, interchangeability of parts, and vulnerability to shotgun blasts, among other things. And it would take a lot of sunflower seeds to keep a 747-sized bird in the air.

  16. Someone is underestimating the complexity of self-repair and reproduction.

    I ran antg’s Danish words through the Danish-to-English translator at http://www.translation-guide.c.....ations.htm and this came out:

    “The land and condemn JPs drawings to a accents and a context , where decent is nearby that justify voldstrusler against the leaf and designer. And where decent straight that the ambassadors inquiry confuses the drawings by illegal forhÃ¥nelse.”

    Something about a Danish artist named “JP” whose drawings are condemned because of his accent, and also apparently some decent, straight ambassadors confused JP’s drawings because of illegal fornhanelse. If anyone needs human engineers, it is that online translator.

  17. Keiths,
    Aren’t you forgeting some “minor” things? Birds:

    1. Birds can self-replicate
    2. Birds can Auto-repair
    3. Have a built it visual system, which runs with very low energy
    4. Can WALK on land when necessary, and land pretty much ANYWHERE.
    5. Have a built in comunication system which, again, require very few amounts of energy.
    6. Know since birth how to use aerodynamic tactics to fly further with the same amount of energy (Researchers showed in a 1970 study published in Science magazine that a flock of 25 birds [The Eastern Siberian species of the Golden Plover (Pluvialis dominica fulva)] in a V-formation can fly 70 percent farther than a single bird using the same amount of energy)

    etc, etc.

    Sorry, Keiths, But Dave and Lurker are right. The best flying device man can make its children’s toys when compared with the jaw-dropping design present in the “simpliest” of birds (if there is such a thing as a “sismple” bird”).

    By the way, check out this new blog -> http://inteligent-design-pt.blogspot.com/

  18. Mats,

    I’m overlooking none of those things. Birds are amazing examples of adaptation that exhibit many features having no counterpart in the world of human artifacts. If you read the “Remy Chauvin Slams Darwinism” thread, you’ll even see that I defend the complexity of birds’ thoughts and their ability to experience emotion. (By the way, check out some of the videos on animal intelligence that I link to in one of my posts — they’re fascinating).

    What I’m objecting to DaveScot’s assertion that birds represent the “holy grail” of aircraft design. Birds and aircraft are “designed” with different goals in mind. Natural selection has shaped birds into exquisite survival “machines” capable of propagating their genes into the next generation despite all sorts of hazards in the environment. It favors the attributes of payload, speed, altitude, etc., only to the extent that they contribute to birds’ survival and reproductive success. That is why birds can carry little and fly mostly “low and slow.”

    Aircraft are designed with other objectives in mind. They exceed the capabilities of birds not because humans are better engineers than nature is, but because natural selection is focused on different “goals”.

  19. Keith,

    If I may jump in here… one of the fascinating things about Darwinism is the way Darwinists are virtually forced to use design concepts if they are going to say anything significant. You use the words “designed” and “goals” in your last post, and put quotes around them so we understand that you are using the terms equivocally. Fair enough. But why is it that Darwinists can’t say what they want in strictly Darwinian terms? (And in the your last sentence, you used “focused” without quotes, which I think was a slip because I doubt you think natural selection has any a priori focus on anything. Even to say it is focused on survival is to import teleology.)

    This isn’t a trick question I’m asking. For me, the fact that Darwinism is forced to continually borrow concepts that it specifically denies is a red flag that something is rotten in Denmark, and is one reason I became curious about it. And it is the borrowed concepts that usually do all the heavy lifting. Your perceptive comments regarding birds are the result of observing birds as they exist now and figuring out how each aspect of their nature fits into the overall life of birds – in other words, teleology. Putting quotes around the teleological inferences and attributing it all to natural selection doesn’t seem to add anything to the understanding. What’s lost by removing the quotes and deleting the references to natural selection?

    Cheers,
    Dave T.

  20. taciturnus asks:
    “…one of the fascinating things about Darwinism is the way Darwinists are virtually forced to use design concepts if they are going to say anything significant…why is it that Darwinists can’t say what they want in strictly Darwinian terms?”

    Dave,
    That’s a fair question. Don’t worry, there’s nothing sneaky going on. We use teleological terms not out of necessity, but rather for convenience. Humans understand teleology innately and intuitively. Ideas expressed using teleological or anthropomorphic language are easily grasped: water seeks its level, nature abhors a vacuum, the pancreas tries to bring down blood sugar by secreting insulin.

    Our teleological proclivities can mislead us, as when ancient people would misinterpret eclipses as signs of God’s displeasure. People sometimes misunderstand evolution this way, thinking that evolution works toward far-off goals, when in fact it is blind to anything but the immediate consequences of a variation. A third case of this ‘teleological fallacy’ is to infer the existence of a designer from the complexity of living things. :-)

    To see why we prefer to use teleological language, look at these equivalent descriptions, one in teleological terms, one in “strictly Darwinian terms”, as you put it:

    Natural selection uses camouflage to hide insects from predators.

    Variations resulting in a better match of an insect’s appearance to the visual background tend to persist, because the insects possessing them are less distinguishable from the background by predators. Over time, these variations accumulate and lead to a strikingly similar appearance between the insects and their habitat.

    See? We can do it without teleological language, but the results are not pretty.

  21. Keith,

    I appreciate your response. What I meant by “trick question” was that I was not merely feigning interest in the question as a way to set you up for the “real point” I was trying to make… as a veteran blogger, I’m sure you know what I mean. I don’t have a devastating reply.

    The example from industrial melanism is, I would agree, strictly Darwinian and scientific. Is it always the case that Darwinists use teleological language as merely a shortcut for an empirical account they have in hand but would be cumbersome to explain? With the birds, for example, do Darwinists have Kettlewell-like empirical accounts for how they attained all their attributes of speed, payload and altitude, and does their use of teleology strictly limit itself to what has been demonstrated empirically? My impression is that Darwinists use teleology pretty freely, as though they are understanding something with it directly, and backfill with a natural selection story when called on it. But this is just an impression and I’m not submitting it as definitive proof of anything.

    I’m not complaining that Darwinists can’t explain everything… but I do wonder if they have an empirical account in hand everytime they use teleological language. And, certainly, it would seem a fair demand to ask for that empirical account anytime teleological language is used, if in fact it is merely a placeholder. My experience is that Darwinists often get very angry when you consistently demand such empirical accounts, as though the demand was something unwarranted, when it is really the very essence of the Darwinian project. This seems a hint that the teleological language is functioning as more than a mere placeholder in the Darwinian program.

    But, as I say, these are just impressions…

    Cheers,
    Dave T.

  22. taciturnus writes:
    “I appreciate your response.”

    No problem, Dave. I enjoy our exchanges.

    “The example from industrial melanism is, I would agree, strictly Darwinian and scientific. Is it always the case that Darwinists use teleological language as merely a shortcut for an empirical account they have in hand but would be cumbersome to explain?”

    No, they certainly don’t always have a detailed empirical account in hand. But having seen the evidence for natural selection’s power, and having solid theoretical reasons to believe that it operates on all of Earth’s lifeforms, they quite naturally assume that it has a role even in cases that have not been investigated in detail. There is nothing presumptuous about this; it’s done all the time in other fields and in everyday life. If we come across a stand of blackened and scorched-looking tree trunks with no foliage, we infer the action of fire, despite not having seen the fire, not knowing how it started (lightning? arson? runaway campfire?), not knowing the historical sequence of its propagation from tree to tree, and not having done a chemical analysis of the embers to determine that it was in fact fire.

    Can this lead to error? Sure — the stand of trees might turn out to be a really convincing movie set, or we might eventually discover that a case of adaptation we had ascribed to natural selection turns out to be the result of some other process, perhaps even design. But the burden of proof is on those asserting the exceptions to the established mechanisms.

    “And, certainly, it would seem a fair demand to ask for that empirical account anytime teleological language is used, if in fact it is merely a placeholder.”

    No, unless you also think it is fair to demand a detailed topographic analysis and observation of drainage patterns from anyone who uses “water seeks its level” to explain why water accumulates in a particular backyard pond.

    “My experience is that Darwinists often get very angry when you consistently demand such empirical accounts, as though the demand was something unwarranted, when it is really the very essence of the Darwinian project.”

    Yes, I can understand their annoyance, for the reasons I give above. The “essence of the Darwinian project” is not to describe in detail every evolutionary transition that ever occurred on the face of the earth, but rather to elucidate the details of the mechanisms driving evolution. In the same way, physics seeks not to empirically account for the motion of every particle in the universe. Identifying the rules and regularities is enough.

  23. Keith,

    Forgive me for pressing it… but the reason we infer fire from scorched trees is that we already have experience with the effects of fire on trees. And it is perfectly understandable how “water seeking its level” explains pond-filling, and we have seen many examples of it ourselves. Furthermore, physics doesn’t ask me to believe that particles move in ways other than we have observed them doing here on Earth. I have no problem with empirical generalization. But I do wonder about extrapolation beyond what has been empirically observed.

    One interesting thing about the Kettlewell experiment is that black and white moths were present throughout the entire experiment. The only thing that changed was the proportion of black to white moths in the population. I think the only reasonable empirical generalization from this is that natural selection is capable of changing the proportions of types within populations. I have no problem with scientists assuming that has happened in time and places that have gone unobserved.

    Of course, there have been other experiments and observations that show that organisms vary within type – Darwin’s finches, for example. As far as I know, empirical evidence regarding natural selection doesn’t go much beyond this. Is it unfair to ask a Darwinist, when he says that natural selection not only varies the proportion of black to white moths, but can also produce those very moths in the first place, to provide an empirical account of this? Is this really just a demand for another example of “filling the pond”?

    The fascinating thing about physics is that the scientist can explain cosmic phenomena with forces he observes in the lab. The genius of Newton was that he was able to show how the same force that makes an apple fall to the ground also keeps the planets in their elliptical orbits. He didn’t just say it or assume it, he proved it. And those same forces can be shown to explain the motion of any particular galaxy you choose, which is why we rightly figure they can explain the motion of any galaxy at all.

    As far as I know – and I’m no expert – the natural selection observed in either the lab or the wild has been limited to little more than variation in type. That is what we know about natural selection from empirical observation. The hypothesis is that this same force can explain life in all its totality and history… from bird’s wings to the human brain. That seems to me a much, much larger leap than the one Newton took from falling bodies on Earth to the planets in their elliptical orbits. It puzzles me that evolutionists don’t see it as a leap at all, and seem irritated with those who do.

    “rules and regularities” is an interesting notion with respect to evolution, and maybe is what the debate is all about. Is the evolution of the eye just another example of the regularity we observed in Kettlewell’s moths changing proportional camouflage? It doesn’t seem self-evident to me that it is…

    Cheers,
    Dave T.

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