Home » Intelligent Design » Is “Darwinism” a term only used by creationists?

Is “Darwinism” a term only used by creationists?

Well, either the people behind the trade journal Genome Research are creationists or the term is used by everyone else too.

Genomics and Darwinism

Genome Research is now accepting submissions for a special issue, entitled Genomics and Darwinism, devoted to comparative and evolutionary genomics, including primary research reporting novel insights in large-scale quantitative and population genetics, genome evolution, and natural and sexual selection.

Methinks the Darwinists doth protest too much. :lol:

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51 Responses to Is “Darwinism” a term only used by creationists?

  1. We use “Darwinism” to insult atheists. They use “Theism” to insult us. When they use “Darwinism”, they’re talking about evolution through natural selection. When we use “Theism”, we’re talking about our belief in God.

    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  2. Dave1968,

    How exactly is “Darwinist” an insult to Atheists, or anyone else? It is a descriptive term of a type of evolutionary belief, unguided evolution through random variation and self-selection (“Natural” selection).

  3. I contend that the “insult” line from darwinain evolutionists is silliness. I use the term darwinist, or neo-darwinist to refer to the specific sub-theory of evolution that suggest that non-foresighted variation plus natural selection (including systems ostensibly developed via these two mechanisms) accounts for all the variety of life on earth.

    The only component of insult that I render to those who hold the theory is inherent in the theory itself, and the reality that it claims to explain. I find it unbelievable, ludicrous even, to consider that neo-Darwinism (ie MET) explains it all.

    That said, by the standard of “universal common descent”, I am an evolutionist. (Though I admit to holding the conviction of UCD more loosely than the scientific establishment does.) As such, it makes no sense to refer to the neo-darwinist branch of evolutionists as “evolutionists” because to do so does not differentiate their position from my own.

  4. It’s an insult because they feel that when we use it against them by theists, it turns evolution into an ideology that is in opposition to theism. They don’t look at evolution as a world view or ideology but just a fact of nature. We look at evolution as a materialistic ideology. (read the statement in the upper right corner of this page)

    Why do you think that so many atheists protest to the use of the term “Darwinism” or “Darwinist”? That’s what this whole blog post was about. Perhaps you missed that point.

  5. It’s an insult because they feel that when we use it against them by theists, it turns evolution into an ideology that is in opposition to theism.

    What do they want to be called? It doesn’t work to call them “evolutionists”, because that implies that creationists and IDers don’t believe evolution happens, which they all do.

  6. I did miss the point, in that sense. I thought they didn’t like the term because it was too specific; it doesn’t allow them to do a quick switch on the public, as they could with a loose word like “evolution”, which bFast alludes to.

  7. I don’t think they want to be called anything. I think they just want us to go away and leave them alone. If everyone is an evolutionist then there is no opposing viewpoint and so there is no reason to distinguish between ideologies.

    Seriously though, I don’t know what they want to be called.

    Not all creationists and IDers believe in evolution. In fact, I think that a minority of these people believe in evolution. Though, you might be talking about micro-evolution (plausible) versus macro-evolution (not so much).

  8. “I thought they didn’t like the term because it was too specific”

    For some, that’s true. For others, they dislike it because of idiots like Ben Stein who give ID a bad name. Ben Stein uses it as an insult and implies that it’s an ideology in direct opposition to religion. Before Expelled came out, I don’t think anybody cared about being called a Darwinist. I’ve heard Dawkins use these terms many times even in recent interviews.

  9. The term “Darwinist” is not an insult and isn’t intended as one.
    The term was coined by Darwinists and Darwinists used it and continue to do so in reference to themselves.

    As said above, when dissenters use the term they use it to specifically outline what it is they are dissenting from.
    ===
    Dave1968

    In fact, I think that a minority of these people believe in evolution.

    You mean you don’t think IDs believe in change over time?

  10. Dave1968
    Before Expelled came out, I don’t think anybody cared about being called a Darwinist.This statement is as far wrong as possible.
    And you are right, many Darwinists use and enjoy the term.

  11. Here’s just the first reference I hit when I Googled ‘Darwinism Pejorative”.
    http://iidb.infidels.org/vbb/a.....64530.html

    The very title of this blog post ought to tip you off that this complaint has a history that goes back well before Expelled was even conceived of, let alone released.

  12. I stand corrected.

    I’ve been finding much contradictory information about evolution and ID. I’m still trying to sort it all out.

    Thanks.

  13. Also, be careful using the terms “micro and macro-evolution” as you did above.
    Even though scientists, textbooks and teaching standards all use the terms those who want to frame the discussions disparagingly will tell you that only “creationists” and never scientists use them.

    Just a heads up.

  14. Absolutely—as Russ and Atom say.

    I use the term to distinguish the theory from the fact. Evolution is evidence! Evidence of design. The materialists recognize this and need a theory for what they want to be only “the appearance of design.”

    The only evolution we can witness is by design. “Berra’s blunder,” as Phil Johnson termed it, was the utterly silly notion that technological evolution provided evidence for the Darwinian kind.

    So if, when we invoke Darwin to refer to Darwin’s theory, I think what gets to them is our attempt to cut through their obfuscating smoke.

  15. 15

    I have considered switching to “neo-Darwinism” or “neo-Darwinian evolution” (NDE), but I am not even going to do that so long as the Darwinists continue to worship Darwin with the “I love Darwin” stuff (T-shirts, coffee mugs, etc., and even a doggie shirt), Darwin Day celebrations, the Darwin-Lincoln birthdate coincidence nonsense, etc.. Here is a picture of Kevin Padian handing out “Friend of Darwin” certificates at a reunion of the Dover plaintiffs team:

    http://im-from-missouri.blogsp.....inism.html

    Maybe the D-words are like the n-word — blacks often use the n-word themselves but are offended when others use it.

  16. Charlie,

    Interestingly enough, the talk.origins archive itself has this to say about microevolution vs macroevolution.

    link

    Evolution can be divided into microevolution and macroevolution. The kind of evolution documented above is microevolution. Larger changes, such as when a new species is formed, are called macroevolution. Some biologists feel the mechanisms of macroevolution are different from those of microevolutionary change. Others think the distinction between the two is arbitrary — macroevolution is cumulative microevolution

    So if one of the Darwinist ideologues claims that the micro/macro distinction is a creationist plot, you can point them to their own Bible.

  17. I’m actually growing quite fond of such pathalogical liars, as some (most?) Darwinists are, calling me a Creationist. Indeed, Vehemently calling me it with such condecending disdain. In fact considering the lack of honesty and scientific integrity on their part, a lack that I have witnessed numerous times first hand, I guess I should thank the Darwinists when they call me a Creationist since he is clearly stating that I do not belong to his favored club of liars. The DARWINISTS.

    off topic video:

    Evolution? Where Does The Evidence Lead? Bacterial Flagellum

    http://www.godtube.com/view_vi.....173002958d

  18. Why not ‘evolutionism‘?

  19. Nice page, Bevets.
    Thanks for the link.

  20. 20

    bornagain77 said (#17) –

    I’m actually growing quite fond of such pathalogical liars, as some (most?) Darwinists are, calling me a Creationist.

    Right. I have also been called a “fundy.” And the Darwinists also frequently use the oxymoronic term “intelligent design creationism.” Critics of Darwinism don’t use terms like “evolutionism atheism” and “evolutionism materialism.” The Darwinists have a nerve complaining about the D-words Darwinism and Darwinist, especially considering their shameless worship of Darwin. To the Darwinists: Physician, heal thyself. The pot’s calling the kettle black. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. That kind of thing.

  21. 21

    What a lot of hot air

  22. bevets, “Why not ‘evolutionism‘?”

    Because by all but the strictest definition of evolution, many IDers are evolutionists. We get robbed of who we are by such a term.

  23. —–Darwinist, evolutiuonist, theist, fundalmentlist, et al, are merely lables and of no more import than that found on a bottle of beer. Call me anything but late for dinner.

    —–”Methinks the Creationists doth grasp at straws”

    Nope. Atom’s point still holds. It’s all about holding people accountable for the way they use the word “evolution.” A Darwinist is one who believes in a purposeless, undguided evolution. Some evolutionists believe in a purposeful, guided evolution. Darwinsts love to confuse the public by using the generic term “evolution,” so they can benefit from both connotations. Sorry, Darwinists, you can’t have them both, you only get one.

  24. I’ve been told by Darwinists they object to the term because Darwin’s theory is 150 years old, there’s a lot that Darwin got wrong, and it implies there’s been no progress made since then. Neo-Darwinism or The Modern Synthesis is more acceptable but those are getting crufty now too for all the same reasons.

    Evidently they should stop complaining to us about it and clean up their house first. You know, like lead by example, instead of do as I say, not as I do.

  25. Rude

    Hahaha…

    Neo-Darwinian Theory

    a.k.a.

    Illusion of Design Theory

    Edit: Darn. That shortens to IDT which clashes with Intelligent Design Theory. I guess it has to be

    a.k.a.

    Appearance of Design Theory

  26. Darwinist, evolutiuonist, theist, fundalmentlist, et al, are merely lables and of no more import than that found on a bottle of beer.

    Well, if you sell a bottle of beer labeled “imported” and its actually domestic, it could mean quite a handsome fine for your dishonest little brewery.

  27. Dave1968 wrote:

    It’s an insult because they feel that when we use it against them by theists, it turns evolution into an ideology that is in opposition to theism. They don’t look at evolution as a world view or ideology but just a fact of nature.

    You need to get out more.

  28. I think you all are missing the point. Those who label themselves “evolutionists” or “atheists” have a set of beliefs, just like creationists. Some of these are that world makes sense, it is organized in such a way that it will eventually be understood completely, and that because of evolution, human minds are the pinnacle of existence and will continue to be so. That is not to say that those who are theists do not believe that man was created in God’s own image and therefore are smarter than most animals. Rather, the implications of evolving “all on our own” (natural selection) removes the moral implications of “religious” society.
    That is why creationism/intelligent design are not taught in public schools. Because we live in a world of hyper-sensitivity to religious freedom (or total lack thereof), evolution becomes elevated within the system as having no moral belief attached to it. Perhaps if both were taught within the academic arena, there would be less feeling driven (pathos) arguments and more examination on the issues of creation/evolution/IT as a whole.

  29. —–”I’ve been told by Darwinists they object to the term because Darwin’s theory is 150 years old, there’s a lot that Darwin got wrong, and it implies there’s been no progress made since then. Neo-Darwinism or The Modern Synthesis is more acceptable but those are getting crufty now too for all the same reasons.”

    Yes, when a theory is so fluid that it can add or delete certain features to accommodate new evidence, its earlier manifestations do have a way of becoming obsolete. So, finding the right label for it would seem to be an ongoing challenge. Can we settle on ECE (the ever-changing theory of evolution)?

  30. Or, perhaps ETE might be even better.

  31. Stephen B (30),

    “Yes, when a theory is so fluid that it can add or delete certain features to accommodate new evidence, its earlier manifestations do have a way of becoming obsolete. So, finding the right label for it would seem to be an ongoing challenge. Can we settle on ECE (the ever-changing theory of evolution)?”

    But EVERY scientific theory is like this – every scientific theory that has ever been, or ever will be, is provisional and subject to amendment (and even abandonment) as new and better evidence comes along. One might as well refer to the ever-changing theory of gravity.

  32. When was the last time Newton’s theory of gravity changed? For that matter, when was the last time Einstein’s General Theory changed, except for the constant tinkering of the cosmological constant (which Einstein said was an embarrasment to add)?

  33. “It’s an insult because they feel that when we use it against them by theists, it turns evolution into an ideology that is in opposition to theism. They don’t look at evolution as a world view or ideology but just a fact of nature. We look at evolution as a materialistic ideology.”

    I think this is it; at least for the Dawkins’ and PeeZees of the world.
    Darwinism is an ideology for them. They just don’t want it identified as such because they want to frame the debate as religion vs. science. Their side is undermined when it can be fairly classified as ideological.

    Those that are just interested in the science can care less.

  34. —-Portishead: “But EVERY scientific theory is like this – every scientific theory that has ever been, or ever will be, is provisional and subject to amendment (and even abandonment) as new and better evidence comes along. One might as well refer to the ever-changing theory of gravity.”

    Apples and oranges. A falling object falls at a rate of 16t squared, meaning that I can test that proposition, measure it, and confirm its validity all day long. Can you show me anything like that with Darwinist “science?”

    In any case, Darwinism has not so much been amended as transformed. If a theory is flexible enough to keep morphing its way out of falsification, then one must question its integrity.

  35. DrDan (33),

    “When was the last time Newton’s theory of gravity changed? For that matter, when was the last time Einstein’s General Theory changed, except for the constant tinkering of the cosmological constant (which Einstein said was an embarrasment to add)?”

    Your post actually embodies its answer – Newton’s theory of gravitation made way for the general theory of relativity, which was 1915 I believe. All your questions are answered here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.....nal_theory

    Note the interesting statements in the article that the movements of the planet Mercury “doomed” Newton’s theory and that it was superseded by the theory of general relativity (although Newton’s laws are still used for a lot of everyday uses because – although wrong – the results they give are good enough for everyday use).

    And note further from the article – even general relativity cannot be a complete theory because it is incompatible with quantum mechanics. So it will eventually have to change again (probably into a theory of quantum gravity or maybe even the dreaded string theory).

  36. StephenB (35),

    “Apples and oranges. A falling object falls at a rate of 16t squared, meaning that I can test that proposition, measure it, and confirm its validity all day long.”

    And if your measuring apparatus is good enough, you’ll be able to see that Newton’s laws give the wrong answer. That is because Newton’s theory of gravitation is not actually correct (see my previous post to DrDan).

    Now, for the purposes of you measuring the rate of fall of an apple, it doesn’t matter too much, because Newton’s laws give a good approximation. But try using Newton’s laws in the wrong place and you’ll get a hopelessly wrong answer – for example, GPS systems would give errors of several hundred yards (even several miles) if they used Newton’s laws alone.

    Likewise, our understanding of the motions of planets would give entiely wrong results for their positions if Newton’s laws alone were used (see my post before as it relates to planet Mercury), with dire consequences for sending probes to other planets.

    “Can you show me anything like that with Darwinist “science?””

    Well, I suppose on that basic example, the closest “Darwinian” example would be that there have been no examples of rabbit fossils in Cambrian strata….

    “In any case, Darwinism has not so much been amended as transformed.”

    As has gravitaional theory.

    “If a theory is flexible enough to keep morphing its way out of falsification, then one must question its integrity.”

    Not entirely sure what point you make here – Newton’s theory of gravitation was falsified by the motion of the planet Mercury. Does that mean it had no integrity? Because it is still used for everyday purposes because it is quite practical. And I should point out that evolution hasn’t been falsified at all – yet.

  37. Portishead,

    The General Theory (GT) is NOT a replacement of Newton’s theory. Newton’s theory is as valid today as it was 400 years ago when Newton formulated it. I agree that GT accounts for phenomena that Newton’s theory cannot. However, where it is applicable, Newton’s theory is a completely valid theory, which happens to be 99% of the phenomena that we all observe on a daily basis.

  38. 38

    Dr. Dan said (#38) —
    However, where it is applicable, Newton’s theory is a completely valid theory, which happens to be 99% of the phenomena that we all observe on a daily basis.

    Yes, discoveries of exceptions to scientific laws and principles does not change the fact that those laws and principles are still accurate within their ranges of applicability. For example:

    (1) When alchemy was abandoned, it was believed to be impossible to transform elements — but now we know that elements can be transformed by nuclear fission and fusion.

    (2) Conservation of mass and energy were once considered to be absolute, but we now know that mass can be transformed into energy in a nuclear reaction.

    (3) The ideal gas law is not accurate for gases at high density — it is then necessary to apply the Van der Waals equation.

    (4) Fluid viscosity and electrical resistance can become virtually zero at very low temperatures.

    (5) Ohm’s Law does not apply to a transistor — the resistance of a transistor can be varied by means of a control current.

  39. —–=Portishead: “”
    Not entirely sure what point you make here – Newton’s theory of gravitation was falsified by the motion of the planet Mercury. Does that mean it had no integrity? Because it is still used for everyday purposes because it is quite practical. And I should point out that evolution hasn’t been falsified at all – yet.”

    A good theory has enough substance and definition about it that it can be held accountable and falsified. A bad theory is so empty of substance and so sloppily defined that when the evidence falsifies what little is there, it eludes falsification by redefining itself into another theory under the same name. It’s hard to pin down a fog.

  40. StephenB said (#40) –
    A bad theory is so empty of substance and so sloppily defined that when the evidence falsifies what little is there, it eludes falsification by redefining itself into another theory under the same name. It’s hard to pin down a fog.

    Right. When the principle of phyletic gradualism no longer explained the fossil record, the concept of punctuated equilibrium was introduced, but that only further confused the issue.


  41. -StephenB said:
    “Apples and oranges. A falling object falls at a rate of 16t squared, meaning that I can test that proposition, measure it, and confirm its validity all day long. Can you show me anything like that with Darwinist “science?””

    -portishead then said:
    “Well, I suppose on that basic example, the closest “Darwinian” example would be that there have been no examples of rabbit fossils in Cambrian strata….”

    If that is the closest example of darwinian macroevolution to the repeatability of Newton’s experiments, then I would worry. It’s like saying ‘the shape is a square because it is not a triangle’. That is non-evidence, and cannot be used to prove anything. I agree that such negative evidences can bolster a hypothesis/theory, but you need positive evidence to establish them in the first place, else we can propose anything we like. E.g. ‘faires died out a long time ago and didn’t leave bodies’ is feasible. Proper evidence would include:
    1) demonstration of a species evolving from another in the fossil record or otherwise (non-existent);

    2) demonstration of several (or even one uncontested!) transitory (no aswell);
    3) demonstration of darwinian processes creating any sort of new structure/function in an animal (nup). Keep in mind that only a few weeks ago New Scientist, a science magazine committed to darwinian macroevolution, announced that ‘(macro)evolution had been caught in action for the first time’ with regards to the Lenski E.coli experiment (I am using ‘macro’ because they believed a new structure/function had evolved within the bacteria – the ability to eat citrate in aerobic conditions).


    StephB :“In any case, Darwinism has not so much been amended as transformed.”
    Portishead: As has gravitaional theory.

    Newtonian physics still apply to common, everyday conditions (not many of us experience orbit around the earth). They have been corrected and expanded to encompass more universal conditions. There has been no giant rehash of it’s predictions (see next para).

    Originally Darwinian theory stated that species evolved gradually, through successive cumulative mutations over a long period of time. However, now with punctuated equilibrium it proscribes the exact OPPOSITE of the original prediction: animals evolve suddenly and then go into stasis (do nothing with regards to evolution). How are we to not question to viability of a theory that can so readily switch sides of the court and claim it is still true?

  42. Portishead betrays his lack of understanding of the debate. He says

    “Well, I suppose on that basic example, the closest “Darwinian” example would be that there have been no examples of rabbit fossils in Cambrian strata….”

    He assumes the time sequence of fossils as proof of evolution and as a rebuttal of ID. But he does not understand that ID accepts evolution and the rabbit example is a complete non sequitur. The time sequence does not indicate anything about the mechanism. So he probably does not even know he is doing it but he is using a bait and switch to justify gradualism.

    Portishead, let us explain the debate to you. It is over the mechanism for evolution, not that evolution has happened. The comment above about the rabbit betrays that you and anyone else who defends a naturalistic mechanism for evolution have no empirical evidence for it. You would have thought in all the vast wasteland of the world wide web, there would be somewhere, someone with something who could support gradualism or naturalism.

    At least you gave it a try even if it is completely irrelevant, while Jack Krebs who has a background in evolutionary biology and writes science standards refuses to answer the question. My last statement is not quite true because Jack did try and answer it once but indicated that he too does not understand the debate even though he has been in the middle of it for years.

    The same reasoning rules out universal common descent as a relevant issue because even if it did happen, the mechanism for it is unknown and assuming it in no way challenges ID. ID is about the mechanism not whether some temporal sequence happened or not. So like the proverbial rabbit example that is frequently brought up, UCD is also a erroneous bait and switch technique.

  43. Dr Dan (38),

    “The General Theory (GT) is NOT a replacement of Newton’s theory.”

    Check again the website I referenced – Newton’s law of gravitation was superseded by the general theory of relativity.

    “Newton’s theory is as valid today as it was 400 years ago when Newton formulated it.”

    No, I’m afraid that is simply not the case. Newton’s theory has been replaced by the general theory of relativity (which is explained on the website I referenced). It happens to be the case that, although superseded by general relativity, Newton’s theory is a good approximation in non-relativistic environments and much easier to use than general relativity. And Newton’s theory is not at all valid in relativistic environments.

    “I agree that GT accounts for phenomena that Newton’s theory cannot. However, where it is applicable, Newton’s theory is a completely valid theory”

    No, that is not the case – it is not completely valid, it just happens to give results which are a very good approximation of the results which would be derived using general relativity, but an approximation nonetheless. It has the advantage of being a great deal easier to use than general relativity, which is why we still use it in those circumstances where we can.

  44. StephenB (40),

    “A good theory has enough substance and definition about it that it can be held accountable and falsified.”

    An interesting viewpoint, but I don’t think I would agree with it. I’ll avoid using the terms “bad” and “good”, because even theories that turn out to be incorrect can take our knowledge forward, so if you don’t mind I’ll use “valid” and “invalid” instead.

    Firstly, if a theory is falsified then it is invalid. It has been shown to be false, hence invalid. Now, if a theory is falsifiABLE (rather than falsified) then it has the advantage that you can potentially use evidence to show that is is either valid or invalid in the face of the evidence.

    “A bad theory is so empty of substance and so sloppily defined that when the evidence falsifies what little is there, it eludes falsification by redefining itself into another theory under the same name. It’s hard to pin down a fog.”

    I would say that if it meets those criteria then it isn’t a scientific theory at all. Such as astrology, for example.

  45. jerry (43),

    I’m afraid you have managed to explain nothing at all, whilst at the same time trying to credit me with trying to do something I wasn’t actually trying to do. So let me explain the debate to you.

    StephenB referred to evolution as the “ever changing theory of evolution”. I merely pointed out that all scientific theories change as the evidence changes – even gravity – but no-one refers to it as the “ever changing theory of gravity”. That’s all.

    Now, to your point about the time sequence of fossils and ID accepting evolution. DaveScot has pointed out many times that ID does not deny the fossil sequence or common descent, merely the mechanism (although I have to say he did it rather more eloquently than you).

    But since you, jerry, claim that “the debate is over the mechanism for evolution, not that evolution happened”, do I assume that you claim to speak for the ID movement? Because if you make that claim do you not understand that there are, in fact, people within the ID movement that dispute that evolution happened at all and do not accept common descent? And just to give one recent example, were you aware that Denyse O’Leary’s comment in the Calgary Herald stated that the creationists got their timscales wrong and “not much else” – is that an indication that Denyse accepts the creationists position on, for example, created kinds rather than evolution?

    Perhaps you ought to be a bit more carful when makeing claims about the debate and, by implication, what ID does and does not claim.

  46. Why would ID deny the fossil sequence – it destroys the parameters NECESSARY for Darwinian macroevolution to work (random mutation + natural selection + lots of time).

    Reading the fossil record, it shows that species come into existence abruptly at several periods in geological history, very quickly (a couple of million years is absurdly quick in geological terms) and then don’t change.

    No transitionary forms, no new structures, species just appear out of nowhere and then stay the same. Nonetheless, Darwinian macrovolution pumps out a new term to describe this evidence that goes AGAINST the original theory, and runs around yelling ‘knew it all along’. Should we be worried? Expanding the theory of gravity is one thing – doing a somersault on darwinian principles is another.

    See here for an article detailing this:
    http://www.thedesignoflife.net.....fault.aspx

  47. And re: “the debate is over the mechanism of evolution” (a point you didn’t answer, instead attacking definitions/etc).

    From wikipedia:
    “Intelligent design is the assertion that “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, NOT an undirected process such as natural selection.” (note: it gets the first sentence correct, but the rest of the entry is a bit :/ )

    The mechanism is the core of the argument of ID vs darwinian evolution vs creationism. ID is the hypoethesis that design can be detected in the natural world and better explains certain features. Sure, there are some that dispute common descent (I think there is excellent evidence, but it tends to pay off to open one’s mind to other possibilities), or agree/disagree with frontloading, etc, but the heart of ID is the mechanism that an ‘intellegent designer better explains the production of complex structures/change of species than materialistic processes’.

    As I mentioned before, Behe wrote EoE detailing how the darwinian PROCESS is insufficient for creating complex structures and new species, and then offered at the end of the book an intelligent designer hypothesis that directs and guides the process instead. It is definitely worth a read.

    Also, here is a document written by Dembski himself detailing what ID is, what it is not (e.g. creationism), and the methodology, etc. It is worth a read to understand the ID position better.
    http://www.designinference.com....._of_ID.pdf

    What do you think of the mechanisms proposed by ID (guided by an intelligent agent) vs Darwin (randomly, purposeless materialistic processes), regarding the production of species and complex structures (e.g. the eye, proteins, etc) in biology?

  48. Avonwatches writes,

    The mechanism is the core of the argument of ID vs darwinian evolution vs creationism.

    Hmmm – I’m confused. I thought Dembski has written that ID is not about mechanism, and several people wrote in a recent thread that ID is about detecting design without regard to how it came about – even saying that pinpointing when it came about was beyond the scope of the theory.

    Saying that design is a better explanation for certain things is different than describing a mechanism by which the designer implements the design.

    So I guess my understanding has been that design is not about mechanism. Am I right?, and if not, what can you say about what the mechanism of design is?

  49. Portishead,

    It makes sense to explore similarities to see where they break. But I disagree with your similarity.

    Newton’s laws were tested with the development of canon and ballistics, in Reformation engineering. His laws weren’t simply theories about something had happened, but how they happen regularity, in the process of application.

    When you have an explanation about how things have happened, there’s no repeatability. The only thing repeatable is whether or not a new case conforms to a pattern of the old.

    Newton’s mechanics weren’t amended because somebody noted that a missle wasn’t where it was calculated to be, or any one failure of an implication of the theory. The theory of Ether became so baroque in light of the Michelson-Morley which failed to measure the Ether-flow.

    Ether was the explanation of how a “wave” of light travels in a vacuum. The persistent impression was of light in a vacuum, which they attributed to the explanation. Interpreting the data through the theory about ether also wasn’t part of the observing that light traveled in a vacuum.

    It was never suggested that “light had to travel through a vacuum in some way, and most scientists agree with the model of ether” (despite that they did, and it took years of retirements and new PhDs for Einstein to come into his own.)

    To end with: it was realized that in a relativistic frame, where space and time is bending, Newton’s simple laws about time and space couldn’t be the last word. Michelson-Morley experiment directly tested ether, and ether-flow wasn’t repeatable once.

    Darwinism is simply an explanatory framework with an ever-shifting mechanism.

  50. DaveScot: You made a spelling mistake in the OP.

    The last line should read:
    Methinks the Darwinists doth protesteth too mucheth.
    Don’t ya just love KJ English! ;-)
    Englifh hath evolv-ed. Many beneficial mutations hath occurr-ed. And divers detrimental ones too.

  51. jjcassidy (50),

    I think the examples you give relate to Newton’s laws of motion rather than his theory of gravitation. And the point about the Michelson-Morley experiments is that they effectively provided evidence against the existence of a luminiferous ether.

    The reason for the analogy of Newton’s theory of gravitation is that its development has parallels with evolution. Newton’s theory was shown to be incomplete and that general relativity superseded it. Similarly, Darwin’s theory of evolution – effectively, random mutation and natural selection of the mutants – has been shown to be only a part of the story with other evolutionary mechanisms coming into play. In both cases the insights of the men involved were quite remarkable and advanced human knowledge at the time – and in both cases their theories proved to be only part of the picture with more complete thories coming along later.

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