Home » Intelligent Design » Back at Baylor talkin’ ID

Back at Baylor talkin’ ID

I was back at Baylor on Tuesday talking about ID. For the school newspaper article reporting on the event, go here.

Former head of Baylor's Michael Polanyi Center

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15 Responses to Back at Baylor talkin’ ID

  1. It is one thing to argue and debate about the value of an ID perspective in science- that is its positive and negative effects on science- but to say it is not a theory and requires the “supernatural” is totally unsuported and illogical “voodoo philosophy.”

    The national academy of sciences clearly either fails to understand ID or chooses to deliberately misrepresent it. I think the latter is far more likely.

  2. There is nothing in big bang theory, multiverse, and materialistic-chance based evolution that can explain the origin of information or form. Chance, matter and change are closed systems- they appeal to themselves as explanations of themselves but to claim that a purely positivist interpretation of science is just and correct requires an unwarranted bias- a bias that rules out nonphysical, non chance based, and non-contingent explanations.

    The big bang theory in fact points to a point where contingency, matter, chance and change cease to exist and even more concerning it appears that all things are the result and are indebted to the purchasing and designing power of this “nothing.” We do however have certain knowledge and understanding of relationships between things which helps to elucidate this puzzle. Philosophically speaking ID claims that via our own designing and self referential experience we know that design is a presently acting cause and that moreover purely scientifically speaking ID holds that it CAN be detected.

    When will the national achademy of scineces start acting like learned individuals?

  3. —–Frost: “The national academy of sciences clearly either fails to understand ID or chooses to deliberately misrepresent it. I think the latter is far more likely.”

    I agree. I have repeatedly asked some of its more vocal members to define science, and they have not stepped up to the plate. It is totally illogical to say that ID is not science while refusing to define science. More to the point, it is intellectually dishonest.

  4. They are a political organization and that is about it. They pay themselves good salaries for doing nothing and dont care about anything except shaping public education around socialist ideals because bigger government means more money for them. Simple as that.

    They use to say “science is a verb” which is false if you look it up in the dictionary- but that doesn’t work anymore because real testing and experimentation as well as study has been taken up by ID. Science is a verb and ID is an active science. Right now they are running the creationism campaign against ID because they see creationism as the equivalent of flat earth science. So they just totally lie and say ID is creationism as a political tactic to mold public opinion.

    They are clearly not about distinguishing fact from fiction or truths from falsities, or science from non science. They are about educating the world to they way they want it to think. The operative word here is “educate.” Most of them haven’t even read a single book or paper written by ID theorists. They just repeat the mantra that they heard from the National Association or the new york times- and they arrogantly repeat this as fact even though they have not studies it one bit. But don’t think that they don’t know what they are doing… they know very well.

    “The only thing that gets in the way of my learning is my education.”

    -Albert Einstein

  5. Its a hard does of reality to take a look at people’s true motivations. but a does of reality is exactly what the world needs riht now.

  6. Dr. Dembski,
    Since “Information”, in its pure form, has been conclusively shown to be transcendent, dom^in^ate, and “specific” of/to any energy/material basis by quantum teleportation experiments, and is also inferred, by contrasting to the first law, to be above destruction (or creation for that matter), should not the focus of science proper be to ascertain whether this “primal and specific” information of the universe was implemented onto a energy/matter basis by the willful disposition of a transcendent Being (God) or by the careless whim of a chance driven information basis..i.e. Given the overwhelming evidence against mutations ever generating CSI, should not the proper fight in science between evolution and ID be over whether this primal information, is alive or ?

  7. is alive or de^ad ?

  8. 8

    Frost, do you support this website or not?

  9. Pannen,

    That is a strange remark. I have all of Dembski’s book, all of Berlinski’s, All of Behe’s. I believe that ID is closer to the truth about origins then so called “evolutionary theory” which is not really much of a theory at all… To ask me if I support the site is sort of strange because i dont really know what it means. Do I want this site up? Yes. Do I enjoy discussing the major topics? Yes. But there are different types of ID advocates. Some are more or less religious people that have interest in it because it fits nicely with their religious views and lifestyle. Others look to ID because they see it as being about more than secular values such as a pointless life. Some come to the is page because they are politically motivated- other are just curious and think that ID is interesting. Some are technologically advanced and see it as sort of a new age evolutionary theory that is rebooted.

    I come here because for most or all of these reasons. I am not super religious though. Raised catholic I would consider myself a Philosopher way before a Theologen.My interest in primarily intuitve, secondarily intellectual, then religious.

    When I was in 9th grade biology class my biology teacher said “there is also a theory called ID” and then she rolled her eyes in disgust kind of like I would if I was to say in economics class “and then there is communism.”

    My view is a little less complex though then the rest around here. I see ID as a theory that has been around forever. It is only recently that religion has been thrown out the window in the US and Europe. The war waged on ID is to me almost entirely political.

    The main argument comming form the other intellectual side is that “ID is not science.” But you can take any theory say stem cell research and say there is no proof that it will work is is even a reasonable project. They do it to ID not because they really think that ID would not lead to positive discoveries but because it would bring in free thinking which is a big no no in a big government society. I am talking here about collectivism vs individuality and thats not just the battle of our time… its the battle of every time.

  10. Dr. Dembski, this confuses me:

    “As a Christian man, yes, I do believe it is God as the divine power and as the intelligent designer of evolution,” Dembski answered after being asked a question by the audience. “But that is without saying intelligent design does not always have to be primarily focused on the supernatural.”

    Clearly God created (or creates) the design of evolution ex nihilo. Why use the term “intelligent design” for both godly creation and human creation if humans merely shuffle and filter information that already exists?

  11. Sal Gal,

    Meaningfully shuffling information requires intelligence, just the same as creating it ex nihilo. Intelligent Design involves the study of the effects of intelligence.

    The signals that indicate the effects of an intelligent cause can be considered independent of their source, whether ‘natural’ or ‘supernatural’. This is self-evident. If you’re in doubt, consider the SETI program.

    A casual observation of reality makes clear that intelligence qualifies as a cause, and that its effects can be considered independently of any deeper philosophical ramifications. If you’re in doubt about this, consider the reverse engineering taking place, of both human technology and biological nanotechnology, or again consider the SETI program.

    Design inferences are already part of normal, human, scientific reasoning. If you prefer to attribute the intelligent effects observed at Stonehenge or at Easter Island to God’s creative power, be my guest — you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong, just utterly nondescript.

    An ultimate cause need not be invoked every time an intermediate effect is considered.

  12. Sal to put it simply there is a big difference between design and creation. You are right, no man can create but he can design- but God as creator created man who can design- therefore God created design and therefore we can attribute design to God. Man and God both share design but only God can create. However in logic there are what we call spheres. These spheres represent sets or groups. Within the sphere of God are all the attributes that can be attributed to him. Within the sphere of man there is Design. That is where the two share common ground. Dembski did not want to turn the ID discussion into a theological one because he believes I assume that ID is scientific while creation is religious, a belief, and requires faith. He wanted to keep the discussion on the science and not allow people to be confusing ID with religion, especially considering how much false press ID gets equating it with creationism and straight religious doctrine when it is nothing of the sort.

    Its ok and accurate to say that both God and man design- But only God can truly create. He is not using Design to refer to creation but to refer to the “form” of life. Matter coming out of nothing is a hallmark sign of creation and something humans cannot do- but arranging form is something both man and God share and that is best described as design.

    Design and creation exist at different levels- bu man and God both share, to a certain extent, the ability to design.

  13. Dear Dr. Dembski,

    I am enrolled in a course for my M.Th. at the University of Toronto that is described as:

    God and Evolution
    An examination of evolution by natural selection and its implications for Christian theology. Issues addressed include: human origins and the place of humanity in creation; divine immanence, transcendence, and interaction with creation; the argument from design and “intelligent design”; sin and evil; biblical interpretation; and the relation of science and theology.

    This course, and its critical analyssis of evolution, would not be possible without your brilliant research. We are deeply indebted.

  14. Peter I question whether they will get it right. These are very controversial issues and in each stance there are in betted questions that have not been easily or sufficiently answered. Questions of universal common ancestry, questions of randomness, question of Biblical literacy, translation and accuracy of the bible, questions of philosophy of science, questions of probabilities, math, and physics.

    I really wonder how they plan to discuss all of this in a non bias way. However if they are able to do this in a non bias, high quality way, that people can still understand, then I tip my hat to them because they are doing something very important, difficult and long over due.

    However my experience with schools and classes in general, especially when dealing with topics of this level of complexity and political controversy, usually the subject matter of the class is superseded by the biases of those who shape the curriculum.

    Be careful, use the knowledge and information here at this site as a resource.

  15. “Dembski suggested in his lecture that there is a whole realm of biological complexities that Darwin didn’t know about.” – I appreciate this assertion that Darwin didn’t know everything. People are so afraid to suggest that he might not have known everything there is to know about biology. Let’s remember when Christians persecuted anyone who spouted a heliocentric worldview simply to support their teachings. I’m glad scientists today trust the combination of past and present scientific logic.

    “As a Christian man, yes, I do believe it is God as the divine power and as the intelligent designer of evolution,” Dembski answered after being asked a question by the audience. “But that is without saying intelligent design does not always have to be primarily focused on the supernatural.” – “Primarily” does not seem like the best word to describe the focus of intelligent design. The element of God is ever-present in the ID theory, but it is the scientific backing that allows this concept validity as a theory, whether or not the US National Academy of Science defines it as a scientific theory. This stance almost implies that any religious bias negates scientific evidence. I would argue on this issue that scientists today, no matter how hard they try, are each religious in some aspect (Darwinists, Creationists, etc.). Intense belief is required no matter what your design beliefs are, and I would find it difficult to believe that any scientist is good enough that they will not let their biases tamper with their arguments.

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