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ID Debate at Opposing Views

I haven’t been following this debate at Opposing Views although I was invited to participate and am in frequent contact with those people writing for the ID side.  I believe the debate is closed now.  I declined the invitation because I thought it would simply be a rehash of all the old arguments and nobody ever really wins.   The argument from design, unlike what some people here have claimed, is as old as Plato and Aristotle.  It predates the birth of Christ by several centuries and probably much more.  Evidence of order and design in the universe is abundant and clear to any thinking individual and people have been thinking for a very long time.   The appearance of design is abundant and clear but the nature of the designer is not.  Thus in order to explain the where, why, and how of the design a plethora of creator mythologies have been made up out of whole cloth.  The notion that the modern ID movement is creation science in cheap tuxedo is a lie.  Creation science is a relative newcomer on the scene.   ID doesn’t try to find material evidence for and explanations of things like a global flood, a young earth, the parting of the Red Sea, people turning into pillars of salt, or any of that stuff.

Anyhow, all this is evident in the debate. You see our side is all about math, science, logic, and reason. The opposing side is all about accusing us of being nothing but god botherers wanting to get copies of the holy bible placed in all public school classrooms. The usual suspects and the usual arguments…

Does Intelligent Design Have Merit?

With about 70 billion stars and as many as 100 million life forms (at least here on Earth), the universe is a stunningly complex place. Did all of this matter evolve independently, or was it guided by a larger force – as proponents of intelligent design believe? With the debate raging in living rooms, classrooms and courtrooms, the stakes are high when it comes to determining intelligent design’s merit.

Some position titles & authors at the link:

ID Uses Scientific Method; Infers Design by Testing Positive Predictions

Intelligent Design Has Scientific Merit in Paleontology

Any Larger Implications Do Not Disqualify ID From Having Merit

ID Does Not Address Religious Claims About the Supernatural

ID is Constitutional and has Educational and Legal Merit

ID Promises To Open Up New Avenues of Scientific Research

Above by the Discovery Institute for the pro side

Detecting Design is a Matter of Physical Evidence and Logic

Darwin’s Mechanism Doesn’t Produce Design

The Sophisticated Nanotechnology of the Cell Reeks of Design

Above by Michael Behe for the pro side

Is Intelligent Design Science?

Is There Merit for ID in Cosmology, Physics, and Astronomy?

Isn’t ID Just a Sneaky Way to Get God into the Public Square?

Above by Jay Richards for the pro side

Intelligent Design is in Fact Religiously Based

Intelligent Design is a Quest for the Supernatural

It’s Bait and Switch

Avove by the Ayn Rand Institute for the con side

Intelligent Design is a Religiously Motivated Attack on Science

Scientists See No Scientific Merit in ID

ID is a Relabeling of Creationist Attacks on Science Education

Teaching ID in the Public Schools Infringes Constitutional Rights

Academic Freedom isn’t a License to Present Non-Science like ID

By the National Center for Science Education for the con side

Intelligent Design Is Unconstitutional

Public Schools Are Not Supposed To Promote Religion

By Americans United for the con side

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11 Responses to ID Debate at Opposing Views

  1. Excellent post, Dave. As long as the other side continues to blather about ID being “creationism in a cheap tuxedo” or some equivalent line, they free themselves from having to engage the actual arguments that real IDP’s are making. I think it is also a defensive move on their part to avoid having to defend the naturalistic worldview upon which most if not all their science is based. At root, it is a conflict of worldviews and there’s no way to avoid it.

    Either the design we observe throughout the cosmos and in biological systems is actual design or only apparent design, accounted for by chance and/or necessity. By assuming that none of the apparent design can be actual design, even in principle, the other side eliminates all intelligent design considerations from science before any actual investigation of data even begins. That is NOT science…it is dogma.

    Unless and until they can demonstrate scientifically that the properties of the cosmos are such that no apparent design observed in any natural systems can be actual design even in principle, their entire argument is bluff and bluster! I’ve repeatedly asked the other side for references to the scientific research studies reported in the peer reviewed science journals where one might find the scientific confirmation for this, but so far, I’ve not received a single citation.

  2. DonaldM: By assuming that none of the apparent design can be actual design, even in principle, the other side eliminates all intelligent design considerations from science before any actual investigation of data even begins. That is NOT science…it is dogma.

    I agree. That assumption is certainly unscientific dogma. I’d be interested in references to anyone making that assumption.

  3. It is interesting reading the biographies of people like Nicolai Steno. Steno was an anatomist and biblical flood geologist, and showed against Descartes that the heart was a pump not a furnace. Steno compared shark’s teeth with fossil shark teeth and showed they were of organic origin, against many in the Royal Society who wanted to believe in a Platonic plastic theory of fossil formation. Those who wanted to study ID from purely human reason left Christian faith open to deism and athiesm through acceptance of cartesian dualism. Those who ignored Christian theology had no answer to the design evidence of brokeness, attack-defense mechanisms and suffering in nature that Darwin highlighted.

    Peter Harrison’s book is also worth reading, ‘The Bible, Protestantism and Natural Science.’ Protestant Christians should be seen as the guardians of science because of a commitment to literal truth – their biblical literalism was extended to the study of nature and enabled science to start in the first place.

    I know that the American school system is loaded against any discussion of religion in science and it looks like a giant ummoveable Behomoth, but in reality it is impossible to do science without faith. The secular atheists will destroy science because their position is that truth is ultimately a meaningless concept. Look at the way their textbooks force evidence (or ignore it) into an evolutionary straight jacket.

    The question is this. Is it really possible to separate ID from creation science when secularists have decided ID is a form of creationism and constantly publish this claim? Does not arguing against this claim take away from promoting ID?

    Perhaps we should be arguing that Protestant Christians are the true guardians of science because of our commitment to truth as an objective reality. The Dawkins of this world will destroy truth because everything, including truth, becomes meaningless.

  4. Dave,

    I remember those threads on OV.

    If I can find it I believe I have PvM providing a huge gaff!

    I quoted Einstein “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.”

    PvM tried to insist that science was Einstein’s religion which would turn his quote into: “Science without science is lame; science without science is blind.”

    You gotta love these guys…

  5. 5
    William J. Murray

    The religion of materialism has legally maneuvered itself into a position of being the only “non-religious” scientific philosophy, and so it doesn’t have to defend on merit, because it can disqualify by legal fiat.

    The real problem isn’t the science; the scientific nature of ID is as obvious as any scientific experiment intelligently designed by a researcher. ID is a proven, obvious, factual commodity in the world (I mean, real ID, where intelligent design is the better explanation, not an assertion of absolulte truth).

    The obstacle that has to be cleared is in getting the supreme court to recognize a real argument about the various philosophies of science and the ideologies behind them, and how materialism is an ideololgy that scientific research and education cannot, and should not, be limited to by the state.

    We have religious funda-materialists in charge of our scientific institutions and controlling much of academia, and they are backed by the state because the state has failed to recognize them as religious funda-materialists.

  6. Rob

    I agree. That assumption is certainly unscientific dogma. I’d be interested in references to anyone making that assumption.

    We can start with Richard Dawkins. In The Blind Watchmaker he asserts that biology is the study of extremely complex things that look as if they were designed by a creator for a purpose. The rest of the book is devoted to showing why that is an illusion. Why? Because he begins with the assumption that there is no possible being that could fill the role of creator. He’s an avowed atheist. Indeed, in the introduction to the book he triumphs that “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” Why? Presumably it is because prior to Darwin, atheists couldn’t explain away or escape from the glaring apparent complex design observed throughout nature. In other words, Dawkins presupposes atheism (and therefore naturalism) and then declares that science defined under naturalistism has discovered the truth (that all that design is only apparent and not actual).

    This is but one such example. Even a cursory review of several of the popular science writers (Dennett, Dawkins, Eldrige, Gould, Pennock et.al.) reveals this bias. That assumption is one of the reasons for this website: to challenge that assumption.

  7. On another thread Sal Gal pulled out the ID is not valid because it doesn’t fit into the materialistic frame work. He said:

    “Design may make more sense to you than Darwinism, but it makes absolutely no sense in a naturalistic (materialistic) science. The worst naturalistic explanation is more coherent in the existing scientific framework than is any appeal to creation of information (i.e., intelligent design).”

    This is what they generate. We can not beat you so we will exclude you from the league. So I suggested to Sal Gal (and to anyone else) to go through the OV site and bring the best arguments here to debate.

    Is there any anti ID advocate that is willing to take up this challenge? My guess is that none will be forthcoming. For all those who claim that ID is bogus, give it a shot or as they say “forever hold your peace.”

  8. Dave,
    Those two lists of article titles really are revealing. ID is revealed to be about science and logic, and the anti-ID crowd is revealed to be about opposing some kind of imagined religious threat.
    The irony, of course, is that the anti-ID crowd claims to be all about science. The roles are reversed.

  9. Jerry,

    You have received an invitation to come over to discuss ID at After the Bar Closes. No one will be censored or banned (unless they make serious threats) and all posts will appear without moderation. They can even create a separate thread for you. sound good?

  10. 10

    Dave says, “The argument from design, unlike what some people here have claimed, is as old as Plato and Aristotle. It predates the birth of Christ by several centuries and probably much more.”

    You can find commentary about design in the universe that “predates Christ by centuries or more” in the Bible itself, such as in Psalms and Job, which is the oldest Bible book. I guess whoever is saying “design detection” didn’t exist before Christ is quite ignorant. And wouldn’t that ignorant caveman who invented religion have to do some design detection and convince others of his design detection? Apparently so.

    Dave says, “ID doesn’t try to find material evidence for and explanations of things like a global flood, a young earth, the parting of the Red Sea, people turning into pillars of salt, or any of that stuff.”

    Comparing “pillars of salt” with scientific evidence for a young earth or a global flood is really as cheap as comparing God to the FSM. A global flood could feasibly be verified, a one-time pillar of salt can’t. Comments like this aren’t fair to the debate or creationists. Don’t be a bigot, even indirectly.

    Dave says, “The appearance of design is abundant and clear but the nature of the designer is not.”

    Wouldn’t it be obvious that whatever being helped fashion life on earth has a nature that is super intelligent and super powerful, whether it is some immortal god or a society of mortal alien beings? Interestingly enough, the Bible says you have enough design in nature to determine that there is a God. (I believe you can find that in Romans 1.)

    Dave says, “Thus in order to explain the where, why, and how of the design a plethora of creator mythologies have been made up out of whole cloth.”

    This is evolutionary psychology BS and you’re promoting it. There is a better way to rebuke those who oppose ID than by trashing creationists as unscientific or illogical persons just making crap up. The whole line of cavemen inventing a god to understand the mystery of the universe and life has a lot of gaping holes that are gladly ignored here. It’s just-so story telling that you are gladly promoting on their behalf. Stop it.

  11. If I can find it I believe I have PvM providing a huge gaff!

    I know this comment might get taken down, but in my debates with PvM, I’ve been forced to conclude that this guy is an intellectual p*$$yfoot.

    http://www.opposingviews.com/c.....rior-views

    One of the longest debates I’ve ever been in, it diverged into several other discussions all at once. I hammered him again and again, he wouldn’t move an INCH from his position on the early Pandas drafts until he finally gave up and left.

    Now I’m in a debate with someone who thinks you can falsify an unfalsifiable theory. Should be interesting.

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