Home » Intelligent Design » The Significance of the Dover Decision

The Significance of the Dover Decision

Judge Jones rendered his verdict in the Dover case today. On September 30th I blogged what I thought would be ultimate significance of Dover — go here. Even though media and bloggers are now analyzing the decision in depth (for the full decision, go here or here), I have little to add to what I wrote in September, so I’ll just leave it there.

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146 Responses to The Significance of the Dover Decision

  1. 1) The devolution of Darwinism to mere “court science” is both the symptom and the means of its ultimate demise.

    2) If the courts can independently proscribe religion in classrooms, then the courts can also independently require religion in classrooms.

  2. It is now fair to ask:

    If ID can’t be taught in secondary schools, how can it be allowed in colleges and universities?

    Shouldn’t judicial savants such as Jones III be included on peer review panels?

    When will the ABA and leading judicial organizations put out a complete list of Official Sciences?

    Judge Jones said ID was unconstitutional partly because school board members lied about their motives. Would teaching ID be constitutional if school board members declared their motives truthfully?

    Would it be permissible for atheist board members to hide their motives? Would it make a difference if atheist board members truthfully declared their motives?

    Are there federal judicial criteria for motive truth-detection? What are the rules for hearsay and cross-examination?

  3. Judge Jones rejected any suggestion that evolution was somehow at odds with religion:

    “Both defendants and many of the leading proponents of ID make a bedrock assumption that is utterly false,” he wrote. “Their presupposition is that evolutionary theory is antithetical to a belief in the existence of a supreme being and to religion in general. Repeatedly in this trial, plaintiff’s scientific experts testified that the theory of evolution represents good science, is overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, and that it in no way conflicts with, nor does it deny, the existence of a divine creator.”

    Sounds like establishment of religion to me.

  4. pmob1 said “Judge Jones said ID was unconstitutional partly because school board members lied about their motives. Would teaching ID be constitutional if school board members declared their motives truthfully?”

    That’s not what Jones said at all, pmob1. You’d probably enjoy actually reading what he wrote from his own pen and not from some press release or news article. Mr Dembski posted a link to the ruling. By all means use that link and get informed.

    And I don’t think Jones said ID cannot be taught at all, I believe his ruling had to do with teaching it as science in a science class. In fact I believe he said it would be a worthy subject for classes other than science.

    You might also enjoy reading the trial transcripts to get a better idea of what was actually presnted at the trial.

    Of course reading the ruling and the trial transcripts *could* lead to an informed conclusion.

  5. The trial was like a comedy of errors.

    The ACLU structured their suit so the defendants couldn’t request a trial by jury. The book, “Of Pandas and People”, is a thinly edited version of the older creation science edition. The word “God” was replaced by “intelligent agent” and “creation” with “design”. The school board members perjured themselves trying to hide their fundamentalist Christian connections, connections which were so intimate as to make it practically assured that they would fail the Lemon Test.

    The ID that *I* subscribe to will not fail the Lemon Test. The ID that Judge Jones labeled “religion not science” was a straw man.

    Fortunately this decision only applies to the Dover School district policy and no other school district.

    The next trial needs be carefully crafted by OUR side so that

    1) The ID being taught at the school needs to be rigorously defined and explicitely exclusionary of any material not included in the school syllabus to prevent the ACLU from introducing straw men (caricatures) of ID into the trial.

    2) The expert witnesses on our side should be industrial design engineers not biologists. What are biologists doing testifying about design? I never understood that. Biology is a cross between pipetteing and stamp collecting. Biologists wouldn’t recognize digitally programmed factory automation if it bit them on the ankle. But the trial isn’t about science. ID doesn’t need to be science. It needs to be NOT religion and that’s all it needs to be. It could be zen basket weaving as long as it isn’t religion. The constitution doesn’t prohibit the government from making laws regarding the establishment of basket weaving. What we should really do is pan the science experts altogether and just use doctors of theology to testify that the ID in question is not religion.

    3) The school board’s decision to include ID hypothesis in the evolution section of biology needs to be based solely on the “Santorum language” in “No Child Left Behind” legislation and on the urging of President George W. Bush who, when asked if ID should be taught in public school, said (paraphrased from memory) “I think it should be taught so that people can understand what the controversy is all about”. A purely secular decision at the urging of the man holding the highest office in our land will be difficult to impugn.

    4) It needs to be a trial by a jury of peers. Giving the decision to a single person whose extensive education and legal experience puts him as far from being a peer of parents and local school board members as one can get.

  6. Since you’ve read the entire document several times could you please point out to me the section where he describes why teaching ID in a science class would equate to congress (or the state) establishing a religion?

    I only have had time to do a quick search on the word “Christianity” and saw this:

    “ID aspires to change the ground rules of science to make room for religion, specifically, beliefs consonant with a particular version of Christianity.”

    Going by that Jones probably believes Christianity is the religion being established but I’d like to know how that would be considering there are Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, pagans, agnostics, humanists, Deists…and even atheists who support ID (See http://www.uncommondescent.com.....chives/188 At least in the case of this atheist he doesn’t “support” it especially but he does accept it as being valid). So unless the Dover school board was establishing a universal religion I’m not sure how he can claim this.

  7. I was addressing Mr. Christopher, BTW.

  8. DaveScot I am curious, the judge heard from what I thought were leading experts on ID – Michael Behe, Fuller, etc.

    So regardless of what the ACLU did or did not do, didn’t the judge hear a legitimate version of ID from Behe et al? And is not of Pandas and People a leading ID textbook? It’s not like there was no defense, Behe and others testified at length and in detail. I mean the ACLU can make fun of someone all day long but reason is going to stand or fall on its own, regardless of the punch line or caricatures made.

    And Santorum now distances himself from ID.

    Finally, engineers do not teach biology and that is where the friction lies so I think your engineers idea shows good intention but it mistaken.

    Anyhow…Oh well…

  9. I’ve read the transcripts from the expert witnesses. Behe did indeed give a good accounting. The mystery is why is Jones now redefining what the experts told him?

  10. Gumpngreen said “Since you’ve read the entire document several times could you please point out to me the section where he describes why teaching ID in a science class would equate to congress (or the state) establishing a religion?”

    Gumpngreen, I don’t think it is that simple, but maybe I am not that smart :-) No where did I see where he wrote that ID was an attempt to establish a religion. It had more to do with promoting a religiuous view and if that is done in a public school you have the argument tha a school (government) is promoting a religios view.

    But hey man, don’t rely on my conclusions, I would suggest you download the pdf file and read it at your liesure from your computer versus trying to read it from a web site and take your time. The Pandas and People book is examined, ID theory is examined, the actions of the Dover board is examined, there are many things that are tied to the ruling.

    And I am not saying the ruling is right or wrong, I am saying it is fascinating and history in the making and well worth having a deeper than USA Today understanding.

    I do agree with the Discovery Institute that ID is nowhere near ready to be taught in public science class and that the Dover board really set themselves up. I believe the DI advised the Dover board against their policy.

  11. Judge Jones has ruled on the nature of science and has declared that neither Darwinism nor its premises, arguments, or evidence may be questioned. This is actually rather entertaining.

    A press release from the Discovery Institute comments, “This is an activist judge who has delusions of grandeur.” I would suggest that poor judge Jones is suffering not from delusions of grandeur, but from delusions of adequacy.

    Someone who suffers from delusions of grandeur thinks he is great, but is not. Someone who suffers from delusions of adequacy is much worse.

    The latter thinks he is up to the demands of a task, but has no awareness that he is completely out of his league.

  12. “It had more to do with promoting a religious view and if that is done in a public school you have the argument that a school (government) is promoting a religious view.”

    Since ID doesn’t preclude any specific religion (even variants of atheism which rely on non-standard ideas) I still don’t see how that could be considered unconstitutional.

    Anyway, I’ll eventually find time to read it in its entirety. I’ve only briefed scanned it a bit.

  13. Mr. Christopher

    “the judge heard from what I thought were leading experts on ID – Michael Behe, Fuller, etc.”

    The judge heard too much is what happened. One needs to ask “What are the students at Dover actually being taught?” They are being taught there are hypotheses regarding the diversification of life not included in the standard biology text, and one called intelligent design is among those other hypotheses. The students are then directed to the text “Of Pandas and People” for further information on what ID is all about and the teaching of ID halts there with that extra-curricular reading recommendation. The problem is that “Of Pandas and People” *is* creationism in a cheap tuxedo. It is NOT a leading text on ID in my opinion. It’s an old creation science text lightly reworked to replace creation with design and creator with intelligent agent.

    Here is an excerpt from the book: “Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact – fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc. Some scientists have arrived at this view since fossil forms first appear in the rock record with their distinctive features intact, rather than gradually developing.”

    Dembski’s most recent work defining ID states nothing of the sort. ID restricted to complex specified information only means that some structures found in nature exhibit complex patterns that cannot be formed without intelligent direction. The focus is on nanometer scale structures – the digital encoding of information in the DNA molecule, the complexity and interdependencies of protein based nanomachinery such as centrioles, ribosomes, and flagella among others. What was given to Judge Jones to evaluate included but was not limited to that. He also got all the old creation science baggage that religious pundits have tacked onto ID. There is a subset of everything that passes for ID that is solidly scientific. It may turn out to be wrong but science never comes with a guarantee of being correct. Dembski and his most recent work is pretty much what in engineering we call a “sole source” for scientific exposition of ID.

    What is being taught to students regarding ID has be made clear and explicit in the future and it can’t be an old creation science book with the names changed to protect the constitution.

    Santorum may distance himself from ID but the president of the United States doesn’t. The Santorum language is still attached to the NCLB legislation regardless of whether not Santorum voted for ID before he voted against ID. Maybe he’s been hanging around John “Hanoi” Kerry too much lately… :-)

  14. Gumpngreen, one final comment and I’ll hush up :-)

    I am not trying to argue one way or another, I guess my point is I see all these people in the media and internet, talk show hosts, reporters, etc., all commenting today feverishly…And I don’t think a single one read this ruling in its entirety (or at all). That really bothered me today. The media on both sides seem so distanced from the real meat of this case and they instead thrive on wild assumptions and heresay.

    And I was really dissapointed in the DI press release. They made claims that were not supported by reading the actual ruling. They avoided any substance or evidence to prove the ruling wrong.

    And this was on both sides of the political spetrum. So if I seem hyper maybe its because I am.

    To reach an informed conclusion about this ruling I think you must read it yourself. And then go read and listen to the pundits on both sides if you will. And by doing so come to an informed conclusion. I feel the media in general is spinning for wild claims and ratings and enjoys hysteria. Wild titles sell copy. So, do the homework and be an informed citizen.

    Anyhow, I will totally shut up now.

    Chris

  15. I just had a thought…does anyone know what US law says about the government promoting religious views that are held by all religions?

  16. Mr Christopher

    From Judge Jones decision

    An Objective Observer Would Know that ID and Teaching
    About “Gaps” and “Problems” in Evolutionary Theory are
    Creationist, Religious Strategies that Evolved from Earlier
    Forms of Creationism

    So Judge Jones with one fell swoop of his pen declares that pointing out any unexplained phenomenon in the history of life is an automatic failure of the effect prong of the Lemon Test and cannot be done in a public school.

    So even if there are legitimate unexplained things in the evolution of life (gaps) it’s unconstitutional to mention them in public school. Only evidence in support of the theory may be introduced to students.

    Incredible. Do you see anything wrong with that picture?

  17. The decision changes nothing, really. The cat’s already out of the bag. The inevitable gloating and arrogant humorlessness we’ll see from some of Darwin’s academic champions (to say nothing of the problems with the theory) virtually insures that they’ll continue fighting for their lives to no avail.

    It’s important to not make too much of so little (this applies even if the decision had gone the other way).

    lpadron

  18. Evolutionnews explains the term “creation and “intelligent design” in yesterday’s postings. They talk about how Walter Bradley heard the term “intelligent design” used by someone at NASA (I think it was someone at NASA)…and that before they had that term, there was no perfect term to use, so they used “creation.” Clearly this wasn’t creation in the sense of creationism, so the judge’s claims that the board lied is dubious. No doubt, this stuff affects worldviews, but NDE does as well- so NDE should be tossed aside because many atheists use it to support their idea of there being no God? Dawkins’ famous comment about Darwin and being an atheist come to mind.

    There was no problem in using the words they used…back in the 80′s, they simply didn’t have the best terms to describe what they wanted to describe. Design and creation seem very similar to me- creation in the sense that something came about via design. Not creation as in- biblical creationism as put forth by some.

  19. DaveScot said:

    “Have more faith, Bill!

    This is all about Judge Jones. If it were about the merits of the case we know we’d win. It’s about politics. Look at the Cobb county case. A sticker that did no more than mention a plain fact, that evolution is theory not a fact, was ruled a violation of the establishment clause. Incredible! A local school board saying evolution is a theory is, in some twisted logic that just makes me shudder, a law regarding an establishment of religion. Har har hardy har har. Right. In a pig’s ass (pardon my french). Clinton appointed Judge Clarence Cooper made a ridiculous ruling that was faithful to the left wing overlords that he serves.

    Judge John E. Jones on the other hand is a good old boy brought up through the conservative ranks. He was state attorney for D.A.R.E, an Assistant Scout Master with extensively involved with local and national Boy Scouts of America, political buddy of Governor Tom Ridge (who in turn is deep in George W. Bush’s circle of power), and finally was appointed by GW hisself. Senator Rick Santorum is a Pennsylvanian in the same circles (author of the “Santorum Language” that encourages schools to teach the controversy) and last but far from least, George W. Bush hisself drove a stake in the ground saying teach the controversy. Unless Judge Jones wants to cut his career off at the knees he isn’t going to rule against the wishes of his political allies. Of course the ACLU will appeal. This won’t be over until it gets to the Supreme Court. But now we own that too.

    Politically biased decisions from ostensibly apolitical courts are a double edged sword that cuts both ways. The liberals had their turn at bat. This is our time now. We won back congress in 1996. We won back the White House in 2000. We won back the courts in 2005. Now we can start undoing all the damage that was done by the flower children. The courts have been the last bastion of liberal power for 5 years. It was just a matter of time. The adults are firmly back in charge. The few wilted flower children that refused to grow up will have to satisfy themselves by following the likes of Cindy Sheehan around ineffectually whining about this, that, and the other thing. They’ve been marginalized.”

    What happened?

    This is bad, bad news for the whole movement. ID needs to re-group and re-define itself.

    The judge is obviously an Aetheistic chance-worshipper. The Kansas board could’ve done better at defining the REAL ID.

    I’m beginning to suspect that the original Dover board members who chose to persue this may in fact have been evolutionists in disuise and intended to run ID into the ground from the start.

    Just think about it:

    All the off-hand comments about “creationism”, “God”, “Jesus” etc. in meetings and interviews were all designed to provide the evolutionists with the ammon they needed to bring down ID in court. Then they were gone without so much as a whimper -having done the devil’s work.

    Then they had to insist on punting Pandas as the seminal peak of ID theory, when it is in reality nothing more the ramblings of creationist looneys like Gish, Hovind and Ham. It may be their honest interpretation of the Bible, but not of ID.

  20. Also- the fact remains that Jones said that ID says that life arose supernaturally, when ID says no such thing. Either he wasn’t listening to any of the experts on the subject, or more likely- he decided he, as a judge, would form his own definition of ID. His definition was bogus through and through- he claimed many things of ID that ID never claims. He also claimed it was Christian- yet Dembski himself here has posted to Jewish ID supporters who have held conferences as well as Muslim ID sites and supporters. One muslim ID supporter who runs an ID site commented here recently in fact.

    So, his ruling that ID demands the supernatural is bogus (DaveScot surely doesn’ agree with this! We therefore must conclude from the decision that Dave is either lying or ignorant of ID- neither of which can be shown to be true from his comments here). As well as his claim that ID is nothing but a Christian concept. A quick google search for jewish and muslim ID sites disproves this claim. The ruling that ID is creationism is also false- creationism demands a series of supernatural creation events…ID makes no such claim. Most IDers have no problem with common descent, thus that is clearly not a series of creation events, be they natural or supernatural.

    Jones’ decision was an obvious mess and his ruling was based on a total strawman argument of ID. It was a complete disgrace.

  21. Hope this is okay, but I wanted to share some thoughts I posted to my website about the problem with ID and the courts and the “scientific establishment” in general. Reading the posts on many other sites today about the ruling, I see WAY too many people claiming that ID says “God did it” or merely that “Evolution could not have done this, so it must be wronng, thus God did it.” Or variations of that.

    The same thing came about when listening to the Dori Monson interview with DI’s Stephen Meyer and Peter Ward. Ward kept claiming throughout the entire debate that ID is religion, and that ID says “it’s designed, and we cannot figure it out, so let’s not even study it.” ID says neither thing. He also endlessly claimed that ID is untestable, tho Miller and Matske and others have claimed to refute IC from Behe, tho Behe has responded and neither refutation really holds up. Miller seems to not even grasp Behe’s idea of IC and Matske- well, I have zero respect for this guy after seeing 2 TV interviews where he constantly lied about Meyer and others.

    Anyhow, I wrote up some thoughts on the interview/debate and the constant dishonesty we see among ID critics. http://thebluesite.com/?p=581

    Thought you guys might be interested in it. If not, ignore this comment and go about your schedule. :)

  22. Mr. Christopher,

    From the SF Chronicle:
    “The inescapable truth is that Bonsell and Buckingham lied,” under oath, the judge wrote.

    From the San Jose Mercury News
    Jones, clearly angered by some board members’ contradictory statements on the witness stand during the six-week trial, accused them of lying to conceal their true motives when they approved the policy.

    Etc. in a number of press accounts.

    As far as teaching ID in History class or Modern Culture, fine. But it’s also fine for a school board, should they choose, to teach Darwinism in those classes and teach ID in biology. That is, unless you believe in ultra-orthodox National Science Police.

    I’ll go with the people, Mr. Christopher. You obviously despise them. You must be a lawyer. Sooner or later a state or locality is going to simply ignore these rulings in exactly the same way we used to ignore anti-sodomy laws.

  23. DaveScot:

    I agree completely. The version of ID in “Pandas and People” goes much further than just Intelligent Design (though I wouldn’t go so far as to say “creationism”, which implies the priority of a religious text). But that’s not the worst part of the case. The worst part is that it appears, at least from some reports that I’ve heard, that some members of the school board were misrepresenting their case, if not outright lying, in order to prevent their religious views from becoming the focal point.

    Don’t get me wrong — I don’t wish that they didn’t have their religious views or motivations, but rather that they be _honest_ about what they are. If you are a Christian, there is no need to hide anything. God will honor you in your setting the example, not in lying to try to push an agenda.

    I actually think that there is a case to be made for Creationism in the schools (I actually don’t care — I think you should be homeschooling, but I think there is a clear case to be made).

    Frankly, I think we lucked out. The media is pushing the _decision_, and not the misbehavior of the school board. And I guarantee you, if we had won, the _misbehavior_ would have been the focus. This means that we won’t all be painted with the “evil Christians lying to take control” brush, but just the “ID is stupid” brush that we’ve been painted with for a long time.

  24. “So regardless of what the ACLU did or did not do, didn’t the judge hear a legitimate version of ID from Behe et al?”

    Indeed he did. Which is why we can conlcude that this judge is thoroughly intellectually dishonest. I’m not sure how he sleeps at night.

  25. In reading Buchanan’s article comparing Darwin and Karl Marx I was reminded of my own previous thoughts about the two. As a historian who was taught to completely ignore Marx because of his irrelevance and proven ideological failure, it is my contention that Darwin should be treated the same. Darwinian evolution seems to be a hurdle we (ID community) just drag around instead of jumping over and leaving it behind.

  26. Gumpngreen writes:
    The mystery is why is Jones now redefining what the experts told him

    I don’t see any mystery at all. This is a cultural controversy. Cultural controversies are, in America, supposed to be worked out grassroots, on the street, among the people. Should culture be codified in law, then it must at least proceed from the broadest possible participation (legislative branch) and preferably at the local level. What we have here is cultural change being dictated by a single individual. Expect bizarre and extreme results. Liberals love Federal Police Culture as long as they can shop the “right judges” in the narrowest possible process (judiciary).

    But here is something that is infallibly predictable. The minute, the second, the nanosecond that the “wrong judges” gain sway and mandate the “wrong” cultural changes is the nanosecond liberals will scream absolute blood-curdling murder and demand another forum in another branch of government.

    Bet the house on it.

  27. Josh

    I counted up the number of times Judge Jones mentions Pandas (the book Of Pandas and People) and it’s 74 times. This was in a double-spaced 139 page decision so it’s an awful lot of times relatively speaking. The book and its history was what was on trial and was the definitive reference for what ID was and was not. I suppose I should have seen that coming as I had earlier written that Jones must consider not what Darwin apologists claim is ID but what is actually being taught at the school. I considered only the 1 minute long verbal recitation at the beginning of class and failed to consider the implication of suggesting to curious students looking at the library book “Of Pandas and People” for further information. I also haven’t read the book, knew nothing of its history, so that all came as a surprise to me. After having seen the facts presented about the book and its history I have to agree with Jones that it’s scientific creationism by a different name and must fail the Lemon Test. I have issues with the Lemon Test as I believe it goes far beyond what the founders intended in the establishment clause but Jones wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t apply SCOTUS precedent to the case – its not within a district court judge’s purview to overturn the last 50 years of SCOTUS decisions re establishment.

    Further, a school board member perjured himself about where the $960 came from to buy the Pandas books for the school library. Since it came from his fundamentalist Christian church that was a significant bit of information for the trial judge. Lying about it under oath to cover up the source understandably angered Jones and undoubtedly contributed to the heat in the scathing judgement. But it was the book Pandas and People that killed us. If they had used “No Free Lunch” instead we probably would have won the day.

  28. lpadron,

    Good point. I think its important though that Darwinists be incited to overplay their hands. I hope they bust some teacher for “answering too many questions” from the kids in some biology class. That’s what it takes to get people fired up.

  29. Bombadill

    Behe wasn’t the instructor giving the class at the Dover school and it wasn’t “Darwin’s Black Box” that was named for student reference into ID. I only wish it was Behe’s book or better yet Dembski’s “No Free Lunch”. The book Pandas and People had to be considered in its entirety as the definitive reference for ID being given to students. Those are the painful facts. To make matters worse a church bought the Pandas and People books for the school library then school board members lied through their teeth about the church being the source of the books.

  30. DaveScot,
    Biology is a cross between pipetteing and stamp collecting.

    Another zinger from Scot. Better than coffee. I like all 4 points. Excellent tactics. We do need more on the strategy end though. As long as it’s all about shopping judges and doing lawyer stuff, we’re fighting on their terrain.

    It reminds me a little bit of the recent legal tactic where they say that religious emblems, the 10 Commandments, etc. are just “part of our history” and therefore we should get to keep them around. The tactic is to take the living religion out of it. It’s tantamount to saying “Yeah, we use to be kinda religious y’know and those old curios remind us of Grampa. Shucks, that’s the only reason we want to see ‘em up there.”

    When you go there, you’ve given up all the high ground. They’ve won. Only a matter of time. The proper response (for those communities that hold those beliefs) is: we are religious people today. Those are current, functioning religious symbols of a free people. Get your filthy hands off of them.

    So I think you have to get the lawyers and judges completely out of the picture in secondary schools (and many other places). I think you do this in the legislative branch, protecting individuals and localities from certain actions. Even the Supreme Court can be defanged by Congress if it comes to that (hopefully not, but it might).

    I think, for instance, that if a state can ban certain kinds of lawsuits against gun manufacturers, it can ban certain kinds of lawsuits against school boards.

  31. I’m going to go back to Gumpngreen’s request for reasoning: “Since you’ve read the entire document several times could you please point out to me the section where he describes why teaching ID in a science class would equate to congress (or the state) establishing a religion?”

    Jones uses two tests: the Lemon Test and the edorsement test, both of which lay out criteria for when something violates the Establishment Clause. First the endorsement test (all page numbers refer to Jones’s opinion):

    “The Supreme Court held in Santa Fe that a public school district’s conduct touching on religion should be evaluated under the endorsement test from the standpoint of how the “listening audience” would view it; and, if members of the listening audience would perceive the district’s conduct as endorsing religion or a particular religious view, then the conduct violates the Establishment Clause.” (p 59)

    So, he’s using precedent to say that the Establishment Clause is violated by a public school if the listening audience perceives endorsement of religion/particular religious view.

    That’s where DaveScot’s quote comes in…which you can tell from the all caps is the title of a section, not the entirety of his reasoning:

    “An Objective Observer Would Know that ID and Teaching About “Gaps” and “Problems” in Evolutionary Theory are Creationist, Religious Strategies that Evolved from Earlier Forms of Creationism” (p 18)

    Here, he goes through a whole reasoning…defining “objective observer” for both children and adults and explaining why they would believe that an endorsement was made. This starts on page 18 with DaveScot’s quote. I’ll quote another bit here, but remember, he goes on for PAGES:

    “However, as Dr. Haught testified, anyone familiar with Western religious
    thought would immediately make the association that the tactically unnamed designer is God, as the description of the designer in Of Pandas and People (hereinafter “Pandas”) is a “master intellect,” strongly suggesting a supernatural deity as opposed to any intelligent actor known to exist in the natural world.” (p 25)

    Also:

    “It is notable that not one defense expert was able to explain how the supernatural action suggested by ID could be anything other than an inherently religious proposition.” (p 31)

    He’s saying that the designer, a “master intellect” is obviously God. Keep in mind, the edorsement test talks about endorsing religion or a particular religious view, so, to answer whoever talked about endorsing “all religions,” that’s still not ok, accoring to the Santa Fe ruling.

    On to the Lemon test, which discusses “government-sponsored messages”:

    “As articulated by the Supreme Court, under the Lemon test, a government-
    sponsored message violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment if: (1) it does not have a secular purpose; (2) its principal or primary effect advances or inhibits religion; or (3) it creates an excessive entanglement of the government with religion.” (p 90)

    As this precedent gives a disjunctive test–the message only needs to have one of the three to be in violation–Jones goes after #2: primary effect.

    This is where he goes deeply into the history of this movement in Dover, with the changing of words in Pandas and the clear religious motivations presented by the members of the Board during the whole process. After about 40 pages of history, he ends with:

    “Accordingly, we find that the secular purposes claimed by the Board amount to a pretext for the Board’s real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom, in violation of the Establishment Clause.” (p 132)

    I hope this summary of the decision helped for people who don’t have time to read the whole thing. Of course the meat is in the gaps.

  32. Bombadill:
    Indeed he did. Which is why we can conlcude that this judge is thoroughly intellectually dishonest. I’m not sure how he sleeps at night.

    Perhaps you can elaborate as to where, in his decision, the judge misinterpretted what, for example, Michael Behe said. I would like you to provide quotations from the decision as well as quotations from Behe’s testimony in both direct and cross examinations. Both the decision and all the trial transcripts are available online so this should not be a difficult task.

  33. Here’s what I posted elsewhere:

    Regarding Behe’s testimony, the judge wrote:
    Professor Behe specifically explained that
    “[t]he current definition puts the focus on removing a part from an already functioning system,” but “[t]he difficult task facing Darwinian evolution, however,
    would not be to remove parts from sophisticated pre-existing systems; it would be
    to bring together components to make a new system in the first place.” In that article, Professor Behe wrote that he hoped to “repair this defect in future work;”
    however, he has failed to do so even four years after elucidating his defect.”

    It seems to me that the judge completely misunderstood what Behe was saying. Behe is simply pointing out a way in which Darwinists can wiggle out of the problem. It’s therefore a “defect” only insofar as it gives them a cheap way out. The judge seems to interpret this as some “logical” defect which invalidates Behe’s argument, and which Behe never sought to correct.

    There is also an important legal point to make, and this has to do with the use of the McLean decision in this opinion. As I see it, the judge improperly used the McLean decision. He has–successfully, since this case probably won’t get appealled–placed ID into the category of creationism as defined by the McLean decision. But the McLean decision dealt with a “dualism” between ‘evolution’ and a ‘literal interpreation of the Bible’. The judge here invokes this same ‘dualism’, but since ID has no connection whatsoever with a ‘literal interpretation of the Bible’, he has to reinterpret this ‘dualism’. He does so by saying that since ID is suggestive of a supernatural designer–per the testimony of John Haught–there is thus a ‘dualism’ between ‘evolution’ and ‘a supreme designer’ who creates; thus, ‘creationism’. So it’s a redefined notion of ‘creationism’, that has been broadened by judicial fiat to include something that is not contained in the decision that guides him; namely, the McLean case. I think it’s an abuse of the case he cites, and in the meantime, slanders ID with the PT caricature of ID. Very unfortunate.

  34. “Judge Jones said ID was unconstitutional partly because school board members lied about their motives. Would teaching ID be constitutional if school board members declared their motives truthfully?”

    It depends on what their motives are. If their motive is to teach Biblical Creationism, then that’s an unconstitional endorsement of religion. Hijacking the religion-neutral Intelligent Design movement and then lying about it just makes things worse.

    If their motive had been to insure that students get the best possible science education, and if they’d been able to show that they were working towards that goal, then things might have gone differently.

    “Would it be permissible for atheist board members to hide their motives? Would it make a difference if atheist board members truthfully declared their motives?”

    Of course not. If atheist board members had been pushing a strawman version of evolution that specifically denies the existence of God, then their biology program would have gotten tossed out. Atheism belongs in a class on comparitive religion and not in the science lab.

    “Are there federal judicial criteria for motive truth-detection?”

    I think a lot of it is just common sense. People go into court all the time with stories like, “But, your Honor, I didn’t *mean* to shoplift the plasma TV, I just got distracted and left the store without realizing I hadn’t paid!” And the court does its best to figure out what really happened. Liars make things a lot more difficult for everybody, but we manage to muddle through somehow.

  35. Looking for a bright spot?

    Here’s a report from World Net Daily that may point to an undercutting on Constitutional Grounds of what we may have thought was “settled” law. The Dover case was a battle, but the larger war involving constitutional principles is still being fought with some wins.
    ….
    LAW OF THE LAND
    1st Amendment ‘doesn’t create church-state wall of separation’
    Court whacks civil-liberties group, OKs Ten Commandments display
    Posted: December 20, 2005
    4:32 p.m. Eastern
    © 2005 WorldNetDaily.com

    A U.S. appeals court today upheld the decision of a lower court in allowing the inclusion of the Ten Commandments in a courthouse display, hammering the American Civil Liberties Union and declaring, “The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state.”

    Attorneys from the American Center for Law and Justice successfully argued the case on behalf of Mercer County, Ky., and a display of historical documents placed in the county courthouse. The panel voted 3-0 to reject the ACLU’s contention the display violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

    The county display the ACLU sued over included the Ten Commandments, the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, the Magna Carta, the Star Spangled Banner, the national motto, the preamble to the Kentucky Constitution, the Bill of Rights to the U. S. Constitution and a picture of Lady Justice.
    ….

  36. It looks to me that the judge, a conservative church going one at that, got it exactly right. He saw through the smokescreen. ID is just another form of creationism.

  37. I read the whole ruling AND the transcripts. In my opinion, the judge made a sound judgement on the basis of the evidence presented in the court room. This was a stupid case resulting from the actions of stupid people. These idiots deserved to loose this case. The fact that these so-called Christians perjured themselves under oath is horribly incongruent with their professed belief system and reflects badly on all of us who make a claim of a faith-based life. In the minds of many this will be generalized to mean that all Christians are motivated by selfish reasons on this topic. I don’t know about you, but my motivations in studying this subject are sincere and I resent the harm these wicked people have done to me and those like me.

    I am an engineer. I am also a Christian…so I believe in God. I’m not really ashamed of this belief. On the other hand, there is no doubt in my mind that evolution has taken place. Is it unguided? Not in my opinion. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and squawks like a duck, it is probably a duck. If it looks designed, the most parsimonious inference is that it is designed. Richard Dawkins has to defer to his metaphysical presuppositions (atheism) and go to great extremes to get the idea of design and a designer out of his head. This is as it should be.

    Having said that, if it turns out that there is no irreducible complexity in nature, that would NOT be inconsistent with my theology…it has no effect upon my science. True irreducible complexity would definitely prove the existence of a designer, but where would then be faith? I don’t need scientific evidence consistent with irreducible complexity to believe in a designer. No scientific evidence I’ve ever seen is incongruent with a purpose driven cosmos, and much of what I have seen is very consistent with it. In my opinion, God is the most parsimonious explanation of existence among all of the cosmologies I have read (especially the more recent non-parsimonious attempt to get around the improbabilities of our existence…the multiverse).

    In the presence of uncertainty, motivated belief is the best option. That’s really what we all have. Kennedy said, ‘I’d rather live my life believing there is a God and upon dying, find out there isn’t one, than to live my life believing there isn’t a God and die and find out there is one.’(paraphrase) Given the uncertainty, and who would dispute the uncertainty, the most logical and obvious course is the one with the best payoff at the end. If there isn’t one, then there’s no difference in the payoff. I’ll leave it to you to figure out the details if there is one. But in any case, given the mere possibility, isn’t there some motivation here for seeking this explanation of things?

    There are good reasons to believe in God even if they aren’t scientific ones. Just because something isn’t scientific doesn’t mean it is worthless. Mathematical thinking is not scientific, but where would science be without it? I doubt that even Richard Dawkins believes that everything non-scientific is worthless, although he obviously believes religion is worthless. So what? Rip apart the metaphysics he weaves into his so-called popular science books! They’re full of metaphysics…and shoddy metaphysics at that. He’s not a very good theologian or philosopher. He can’t separate physics from metaphysics, but I can. Can you?

    I’ve been reading ID literature since I became familiar with it as a result of the Dover trial, and you guys have some interesting philosophical ideas and arguments, but you also have some crap that needs to be flushed. Don’t make the mistake of the creationists and stick by your guns no matter what. If some modification to your ideas needs to be made…make them, move on and develop something worthwhile. There is no doubt that you have the intellectual capital to do it.

  38. Supernatural Genetic Engineers Tackle Synthetic Lifeform

    According to Judge Jones this team of genetic engineeers in Rockville, MD, must be supernatural master intelligences. Craig Venter then must be “God” if he succeeds, eh Judge Jones, you dumbass. Please God save me from ignorant ideologues with delusions of competence.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com.....andHealth/

  39. pmob

    “Those are current, functioning religious symbols of a free people. Get your filthy hands off of them.”

    That works for me. I must be getting soft in my old age.

  40. Actually they are simply working with what already exists.

    All they are doing is taking an existing life form and modifying it to see if it will still live.

  41. “True irreducible complexity would definitely prove the existence of a designer, but where would then be faith?”

    It is a false idea in our time that believing whether God exists should be an article of faith. In Greek, faith is usually a verb, and indicates a _trust_, not just an item of thought. The faith is not that God exists, it is the _trust_ that we have in Him on a daily basis. The heavens plainly declare His glory. Whether or not to _trust_ Him for everything is what the decision is.

  42. 42

    From Science and Theology News:

    http://www.stnews.org/News-2539.htm

    Dembski: Life after Dover

    William Dembski says the Dover verdict is not ID’s Waterloo, but merely one battle in a long culture war

    By William A. Dembski
    (December 21, 2005)

    ID: not defeated yet
    (Photo: Hotblack/Morguefile)
    Related STNews articles • Judge strikes down ID, denies science-religion rift

    • Taking the ID debate out of pundits’ playbooks

    • Designs on science

    Judge John E. Jones III has ruled in the Dover ID case, not only striking down the Dover school board policy advocating intelligent design but also identifying intelligent design as nonscientific and fundamentally religious.

    To what degree does this ruling constitute a setback for ID? Let’s turn the question around. If the judge had ruled in favor of the Dover policy, it would have emboldened school boards, legislators and grass roots organizations to push for intelligent design in the public school science curricula across the nation. As a consequence, this case really would have been a Waterloo for the supporters of neo-Darwinian evolution (the form of evolution taught in all the textbooks).

    Conversely, the actual ruling is not a Waterloo for the intelligent design side. Certainly it will put a damper on school boards interested in promoting intelligent design. But this is not a Supreme Court decision. Nor is it likely this decision will be appealed since the Dover school board that caused all the trouble was voted out and replaced this November. Thus we can expect agitation for ID and against evolution to continue. School boards and state legislators may tread more cautiously, but tread on evolution they will — the culture war demands it!

    It is therefore naive to think that this case spells the end of ID, which is rapidly going international and crossing metaphysical and theological boundaries. I now correspond with ID proponents on every continent (save Antarctica). Moreover, I’ve seen ID embraced by Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics and even atheists. The idea that ID is purely an “American thing” or an “evangelical Christian thing” can therefore no longer be maintained.

    Even if ID is stifled among high school students (and with the Internet this is impossible), ID is of growing interest to college and graduate students. Three years ago, there was one Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Center at the University of California-San Diego. Now there are thirty such centers at American colleges and universities, including UC Berkeley and Cornell. These centers are fiercely pro-ID.

    Ultimately, the significance of a court case like this depends not on a judge’s decision but on the cultural forces that serve as the backdrop against which the decision is made. Take the Scopes Trial. In the minds of most, it was a decisive victory for evolution. Yet, in the actual trial, the decision went against Scopes (he was convicted of violating a Tennessee statute against teaching evolution).

    Judge Jones’s decision may make life in the short-term more difficult for ID proponents, and it certainly will not be pleasant to endure the inevitable gloating by the victors. But the work of ID will continue. In fact, it may continue more effectively than if the judge had ruled in favor of ID, which might have convinced people that ID had already won the day when in fact ID still has much to accomplish in developing its scientific and intellectual program.

    Judge Jones’s decision may well prove best for fostering ID’s intellectual vitality and ultimate success.

    William A. Dembski is the Carl F. H. Henry Professor of Theology and Science at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he heads its Center for Science and Theology. He is also a senior fellow with the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture in Seattle.

  43. {{“If they had used “No Free Lunch” instead we probably would have won the day.”}}

    What about if they had used “Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology”?

    Should students find the bridge to theology in their Biology classes?

    Also, I thought this was interesting…

    I was reading this article at the DI website:
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....nster.html

    and the first two items on the list contradict each other!
    Jeezum Petes people.
    —————————————————————————————
    10) It mischaracterizes ID as a supernatural explanation even though it isn’t and even though both pro-ID expert scientists testified it wasn’t. In short, it lets the critics define ID rather than the proponents.

    9) It overreaches the judicial arm by ruling that the nature of science is characterized by methodological naturalism and that intelligent design is not science.
    —————————————————————————————

    So if ID doesn’t follow naturalism, what does it follow? Is the only other choice supernaturalism?

    If ID doesn’t isn’t part of science as methodological naturalism, doesn’t this mean that the only alternative is that it uses supernaturalism, that it appeals to the supernatural?

  44. 1. beervolcano is easily the funniest name commenting on this blog. I giggle uncontrollably every time I see it. Not sure why.

    2. Read the Dover transcripts for days 10 & 11 of the trial. Behe clearly and confidently describes the flagellum and IC and refutes Miller’s co-option/homology canard. Judge Wack-n-Sack chose to ignore compelling evidence for IC and in his decision he denounces ID as religiously motivated claptrap.

    I call this intellectual dishonesty.

  45. Pav writes:
    “Here’s what I posted elsewhere…”

    Nice try, PaV. If anyone wants to see what he really posted, and my refutation, go to

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....chives/587

    His post was on December 20, 2005 at 8:27 pm.

    I guess I should be grateful. This is as close as I’ve ever seen PaV come to admitting he was wrong.

  46. But without FAITH it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must BELIEVE THAT HE IS, AND that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Heb 1:16

    Of course, the fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. Ps 14:1, 53:1

    I agree that the heavens declare the glory of God. But, there are fools in the world. I disagree that belief in the existence of God is NOT a matter of faith. It most certainly appears to be to me both scripturally and from personal experience.

    There was an atheist who had the following above his death bed. “God is Nowhere” His little grandaughter was by his side as he died. He told her to read the inscription above his bed. She read “God is Now Here”. For the atheist, God is nowhere. For the theist, God is everywhere.

    I see God everywhere. People like Dawkins see him nowhere. Who’s right. We’ll see, but I’ll wager that if I’m right, I’ll have fewer regrets in that area of life than he will. If I’m wrong, its the same and I still have a great life. I’m wealthy (financial success), healthy (physical success) and happy (emotional success) with a good family (biological success). What more is there?

  47. Previous was to Dave Scott

  48. 48

    The TMLC is currently considering filing a lawsuit on behalf of two public school teachers who want to teach ID in their science classes but are not being allowed to do so. I wonder what affect this will have on their (TMLC) decision to file that suit?

    And obviously if any school boards were considering introducting ID in the public science class they are probably rethinking the wisdom of doing so now. The Dover board of education is about to be strapped with a whopping legal bill.

    Even though the Dover ruling is not nationally binding, how does ID get in the public science classroom now?

  49. I personally do not see the problem with teaching ID as a social science. The key is to get the information into the kids hands so they can make their own informed decision. This would most likely end up being the most popular class in many school districts.

    Dan

  50. DaveScot writes:
    “The school board’s decision to include ID hypothesis in the evolution section of biology needs to be based solely on the “Santorum language” in “No Child Left Behind”…”

    Sorry, Dave. The Santorum language is NOT part of the bill. It’s only part of the attached report. It’s not legally binding.

    See
    http://www.millerandlevine.com.....torum.html

    DaveScot disputes Judge Jones’s suitability to hear the case:
    “It needs to be a trial by a jury of peers. Giving the decision to a single person whose extensive education and legal experience puts him as far from being a peer of parents and local school board members as one can get.”

    But Dave was perfectly happy with Judge Jones back in September. Look at what he wrote (picked up by a sharp-eyed observer on the Panda’s Thumb site):
    “Judge John E. Jones on the other hand is a good old boy brought up through the conservative ranks. He was state attorney for D.A.R.E, an Assistant Scout Master with extensively involved with local and national Boy Scouts of America, political buddy of Governor Tom Ridge (who in turn is deep in George W. Bush’s circle of power), and finally was appointed by GW hisself. Senator Rick Santorum is a Pennsylvanian in the same circles (author of the “Santorum Language” that encourages schools to teach the controversy) and last but far from least, George W. Bush hisself drove a stake in the ground saying teach the controversy. Unless Judge Jones wants to cut his career off at the knees he isn’t going to rule against the wishes of his political allies. Of course the ACLU will appeal. This won’t be over until it gets to the Supreme Court. But now we own that too.”

    I guess you’ll have to fight it out with yourself, Dave.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....chives/371

  51. PjB writes:
    “I see God everywhere. People like Dawkins see him nowhere. Who’s right. We’ll see, but I’ll wager that if I’m right, I’ll have fewer regrets in that area of life than he will. If I’m wrong, its the same and I still have a great life. I’m wealthy (financial success), healthy (physical success) and happy (emotional success) with a good family (biological success). What more is there?”

    The satisfaction of seeking the truth through reason (intellectual success).

  52. Gumpngreen asks:
    “I just had a thought…does anyone know what US law says about the government promoting religious views that are held by all religions?”

    Can you give an example of a religious view that is held by all religions? I’m not sure there are any.

  53. “The satisfaction of seeking the truth through reason (intellectual success).”

    That is something which I find at least as much among theists as mong atheists (contrary to atheist propaganda, of course).

  54. “Can you give an example of a religious view that is held by all religions?”

    It’s especially hard to give such an example once you realize that there are religions which are thoroughly materialist in outlook.

    But among non-materialist religions, one would have to mention life after death (in some form), and the existence of some higher power or reality (personal or non-personal).

  55. This injudicious judge has offended many more people than he intended, watch for reaction from
    real scientists and non secular, traditional american citizens. It is irreducible!

  56. I wrote:
    “The satisfaction of seeking the truth through reason (intellectual success).”

    Logan responded:
    “That is something which I find at least as much among theists as among atheists (contrary to atheist propaganda, of course).”

    Logan,
    I certainly didn’t mean to imply that there are no theists who are seeking truth through reason. There are many. My point was in reply to PjB, who seemed to be saying that faith was required to believe in God, an option he had chosen:

    PjB:
    “I disagree that belief in the existence of God is NOT a matter of faith.”

    I find that the question of God’s existence is too important to leave to faith. Faith, when misplaced, is not self-correcting. The pursuit of truth through reason, while subject to error, is self-correcting, as long as the pursuer keeps an open mind and reevaluates his or her beliefs in light of new evidence or arguments.

  57. Dr. Dembski,

    Intelligent Design may have lost a court battle, but the people are clamoring for more and more information about the theory. America thirsts for credible, empirical scientific data that challenges Darwinian evolution. That being said, I think it is worth considering these points:

    1. The scientists and individuals who espouse and defend Darwinism equate Intelligent Design with Christianity. Christians do appear to be the majority adherents of Intelligent Design. However, as we are all aware, non-Christians such as Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and agnostics alike believe ID to be more empirically correct than Darwinian evolution. Until Intelligent Design can engage these non-Christians and enlist them in a much more prominent role, the courts and social elites will not listen. As soon as the ardent evolutionists sense that an ID advocate is a Christian, all bets are off, no matter how coherent the argument. This battle is much more about Christianity than it is about Intelligent Design. If ID claims to be more secular than Biblical Creationism, then it needs to pursue a more secular path in defending the cause. In a nation that is paranoid about tolerance and antagonistic toward Christianity, having a non-Christian assume a more public role in presenting ID seems to be immediately necessary.

    2. Why is ID so opposed to emerging in the social science departments? If it is taught, in its true philosophical and scientific context, why does it have to be in biology class? The courts are probably not going to allow that for quite awhile, if ever. Instead of banging its head against a wall that is vociferously funded and legally represented, perhaps ID should be more opportunistic and present its empirical evidence and philosophical cogence in religious, philosophical, historical, and special interest classes in public schools. If the Darwinian advocates opposed even this, and it is they themselves that have proposed this, then their hypocrisy becomes self-evident and can be much more easily destroyed in the court of public opinion. ID is just as robust and intellectually powerful in a non-science class, as it is in a science class. Over time, a more open discussion will spill over into the scientific sector of public schools, until it can be ignored no longer.

    3. Related to Number 1, ID needs to utilize its non-Christian base to engage its opponents in prominent media outlets. Can ID actively pursue formal debates on Fox News, C-Span, etc? Fox News is a media giant and obviously slanted toward a more theistic, conservative point of view. Why hasn’t ID developed a more fruitful relationship with such a potential ally?

  58. “The pursuit of truth through reason, while subject to error, is self-correcting, as long as the pursuer keeps an open mind and reevaluates his or her beliefs in light of new evidence or arguments.”

    Reason is just a biologically based faculty, like eyesight, and therefore it too will have its limitations and blindspots.

    Our eyesight can mislead us (as when we think the sun is smaller than it is, or we see a stick in the water bent when it is really straight, or when we witness other optical illusions etc.), and reason will correct it. But if eyesight can mislead us, it is only natural to suppose that reason itself could do so. This is especially easy to see if one is a Darwinian naturalist: there is no reason at all to think Darwinian evolution was at all likely to give us a reasoning faculty that would be free of serious, permanent faults when used in situations radically different from those for which our reasoning faculties evolved.

    I therefore find your optimism about reason being self-correcting to be misplaced. Given the truth of Darwinian evolution (which I think you accept), it is at best unlikely that reason would be free of grave and permanent illusions, especially when it comes to matters of deep metaphsyical import being right about which would have little or no survival value in the conditions for which our faculties evolved.

    If reason misleads us in the way eyesight sometimes does, what higher faculty could there be to correct it?

  59. “The satisfaction of seeking the truth through reason (intellectual success).”

    Actually, I thought of this after I had placed my comment, but I was leaving the office for the day so I didn’t bother to add it. I’ve had a very intellectually fulfilling life. I have three college degrees and have not ceased to THINK since that time. I was going to ask you if you thought that theology and philosophy are lazy occupations, but I see your comment to Logan.

    My point is that faith is necessary to please God. Faith is not an irrational belief held is spite of intellectual convictions or evidence. Faith is motivated belief (partially…the biblical subject is not easily outlined). For myself, I find my faith in God strengthened by reasoned arguments but my faith is not dependent on reasoned arguments.

    Reason is an ally to faith, not its enemy as atheists would have us believe. I would ally myself and my thinking with the likes of Sir John Polkinghorne and Jurgen Moltman. These are certainly not anti-thought individuals.

    However, biblical faith is a “friut of the Spirit” and is not a product of human intellect. Having said that, human intellect is as much a part of who I am as the indwelling Spirit; and, the human being is complex (integrated) and not dichotomized or trichotomized (as some believe). My personal theology is that a person without the leadership and indwelling of the Spirit CANNOT please God (Romans 8:8) and CANNOT come to God (John 6:44, 6:65).

    What we must accept is that God has raised up people like Pharoah (Rom 9:17), and Rickard Dawkins to glorify him by their rebellion and unbelief. This is hard to accept, but it is totally consistent with the sovereignty of God. I don’t believe God makes these people rebell against him, that is their nature, but he allows them to do it. Think about it, would we THINK about this so much WITHOUT this opposition?

  60. So Behe “defended” ID? I think his testimony was the most damaging part to the defense.

    He basically said:

    That the “intelligent designer” works outside the laws of nature.
    That the “plausibility of the argument for ID depends upon the extent to which one believes in the existence of God.”
    That the definition of science should be broadened to include supernatural explanations, which would also embrace astrology.

    I think Behe hurt the defense way more than he ever helped it. The judge said that he was most impressed (negatively) when Behe smugly waved off 50+ peer-reviewed articled declaring them wild speculation without even reading them.

  61. {{“This is a cultural controversy. “}}

    I thought it was supposed to be a scientific controversy.

    -sorry for multiple posts, but I see things and then just respond-
    -but I see others doing the same, so…-

  62. 62

    beervolcano said “I thought it was supposed to be a scientific controversy.”

    That is not what this is about at all. This is about a culture war.

    Chris

  63. Absolutely, this is a culture war. That doesn’t mean the issues aren’t valid. But it does mean that it’s not about the science.

  64. Science that affects worldviews is clearly a cultural controversy. And Behe and others have said that ID and the thought of a designer would clearly be easier to accept by believers…atheists clearly have a more closed mind when it comes to any possibility of design, which might imply a higher power. He never said ID demanded the supernatural. In everything I’ve read, he’s always said the same thing as Demsbki and others- that it doesn’t matter either way- natural or “supernatural” (and again, this term is fuzzy at best)…the world shows features and hallmarks of design. Some things in nature equal what we see from human design and such- they have certain features that signify their designed nature.

  65. When scientists try to ban an idea from schools…when Miller and Matske and others claim to refute IC- it’s obvious that this IS indeed a scientific controversy.

  66. Logan,

    Please prove that reason is just a biologically based system. Please show us a detailed or even hypothetical support for your assertion. Also, if reason is flawed, then our observations cannot be trusted-therefore science is on a shaky foundation since all of science is contingent on our faculties. BAsed upon your reasoning, you cannot claim that anything, like a Darwinian worldview, is true.

    Dan

  67. Controversy is too strong. There is a scientific aspect to the position that ID people take. IC is a scientific concept that is scientifically testable. But the real issues are not scientific.

    Just because an atheist can’t understand that God created a nature that could develop into what we see today. And that God can allow freedom inside that nature in the sense that everything is NOT determined beforehand. (As a matter of fact, it is theologically and scientifically unacceptable to me that God would do otherwise.) Just because they can’t understand that concept, doesn’t mean it is wrong. I still maintain that it is “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:3 We don’t understand this by science, but by faith. If it could be understood by science then God would have to save unregenerate people. He doesn’t and the natural man CANNOT understand it. (I Cor 2:14)

  68. I meant “Controversy” is too strong an expression.

  69. Ofcourse there is a cultural controversy. The secular humanists are in charge of the school systems and have indoctrinated their students into believing their Victorian myth. They are so weak minded and paranoid that they cannot even agree to teach weaknesses in Darwin’s theory. I believe that much of evolutionary theory is correct because much of it has been proven by repeatable tests and direct observation-so I am not anti-evolution.

    Dan

  70. “I think Behe hurt the defense way more than he ever helped it. The judge said that he was most impressed (negatively) when Behe smugly waved off 50+ peer-reviewed articled declaring them wild speculation without even reading them.”

    I think these were about the blood clotting cascade.

    How I wish Behe had asked him to kindly point out exactly where in this pile of articles a testable step-by-step explanation of the evolution of blood clotting is presented. That is point in question after all.

    If we did a study of the literature I reckon we would find something along the following lines:

    - Descriptions of the structure and function of the (present day) blood clotting cascade
    - Homologies of blood clotting in animals traced back down the ‘tree’(this is not evidence of RM+NS!)
    - Experimental results that neither confirm or disconfirm either ID or RM+NS
    - Speculative scenarios (nothing wrong with that but its not evidence!)

    But… NO plausible detailed step-by-step explanation!

    How do I know? Because Behe would have been given it 10 years ago when wrote his book.

    Irreducible complexity would have been falsified. QED.

    No need for court cases.

  71. I just heard a commentary on NPR about this decision that was surprisingly pro-ID. Well, at least it wasn’t anti-ID. I didn’t catch the name of the comentator, but he likened the court reaction to the initial rejection of the Big-Bang. He actually accurately charactarized what ID is all about and made it sound like a reasonable thing. Then he pointed out how scientists can often be as dogmatic about their theories as religious folks, implying that’s what is going on here. If anyone can get a transcript of the comentary it is a good one, perhaps the best I’ve heard on NPR (I was very surprised).

  72. Found it. Check this out (the NPR comentary by Loconte):

    http://www.npr.org/templates/s.....Id=5065062

    All Things Considered, December 21, 2005 · Commentator Joe Loconte says that Thursday’s judicial ruling against the teaching of intelligent design is wrong. He says posing the question of a “supreme intelligence” should not be ruled out of bounds.

  73. {{“When scientists try to ban an idea from schools…”}}

    I did have a load of sarcasm about teaching crakpot theories in science class, but I’m sure it would get me banned, so I’ll be “serious.”

    In government-run schools, I would hope that what is taught in science class would not only not contain any religious metaphysics, but would also comport with the “mainstream” science of the time.

    That way, U.S. students would be able to compete successfully with students from other countries in the economic war.

    {{“They are so weak minded and paranoid that they cannot even agree to teach weaknesses in Darwin’s theory.”}}

    Well, when I was in school, evolution wasn’t even brought up. Not one peep. (But there was a big poster of the Earth with the silhouette of a man with his arms spread over the globe and in huge letters at the bottom “DOMINION.” Seriously, this was on the wall in my 10th grade biology class.

    But I’d like to know how you know every detail about what’s taught in class. I don’t know, maybe you have access to the most popular text books and they don’t have anything explaning gaps in the theory, but teachers routinely teach things outside the text book and from what I understand, gaps in theories (any theory) are usually not broached at the high school level.

  74. Dan,

    You wrote “Please prove that reason is just a biologically based system.”

    I think it must be for Darwinists, right? I was addressing those remarks to a Darwinist who should accept this statement. The rest of your comments fit perfectly into what I wanted to say to him.

  75. {{“He says posing the question of a “supreme intelligence” should not be ruled out of bounds.”}}

    Um, wouldn’t “supreme intelligence” mean God? or at least something divine?
    or at the very least something supernatural?

  76. beervolcano wrote: “Um, wouldn’t “supreme intelligence” mean God? or at least something divine? or at the very least something supernatural?”

    No, I don’t think that’s what ID theorists state, though they probably hope if design is involved God is the designer as opposed to an alien.

    But the more important question is that of beer, beervolcano. With a name like that I can tell I like you already!

  77. dougmoran writes:
    “I just heard a commentary on NPR about this decision that was surprisingly pro-ID.”

    Doug,
    The commentator’s name is Joe Loconte. The real audio file can be found at

    http://www.npr.org/templates/s.....Id=5065062

    Lawrence Krauss did one for the anti-ID side yesterday:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/s.....Id=5063386

    While looking for the commentaries I came across this interview with Bart Ehrman, which may be of interest to people on this blog:

    Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why

    http://www.npr.org/templates/s.....Id=5052156

  78. What’s amazing to me is that folks that can’t tollerate the idea of natural evolution can teach spiritual evolution. You know, the idea that natural men and women can evolve into spiritual beings just by believing something. The real problem is a theological one and the poor Christian’s can’t see it (some can). They teach spiritual evolution on the one hand every Sunday in church and then object to natural evolution being taught in schools.

    Has anyone ever thought about the analogy between the spiritual creation and the natural creation? Can a natural man become a spiritual one by any process other than ex nihil creation? Only if a dinosaur can become a bird. You can’t have it both ways. If there is a natural creation like you believe it to be, you know, made by God pretty much the way it is today; then, “if any man be in Christ he is a new creature.” II Cor 5:17

    Of course, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. Yea right.

    By the way, Michael Ruse, you can use this if you want to…you know, against all those Bible thumpers. I’ll point out your inconsistencies some other day.

  79. chaosengineer, you wrote: “If their motive is to teach Biblical Creationism, then that’s an unconstitional endorsement of religion.”

    Here’s what the law says, chaos, in case you missed it:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

    That’s Congress buddy. Congress can’t establish a State religion. You, on the other hand, can endorse whatever you want. School boards can endorse whatever they want, within their state’s law. It’s none of your business what they do. It’s none of the court’s business what you do.
    Only if Congress tries something funny is it your business and my business and all of our business.
    How are your reading skills? Do you get it yet?

  80. “Only if Congress tries something funny is it your business and my business and all of our business.”

    Yes. Well…maybe. That’s been extended by judicial precedent to mean more than Congress. That’s pretty well established. Try again.

  81. The Established American Religion is shaken, not stirred…as pro-intelligent designers will be…

  82. PjB wrote: “What’s amazing to me is that folks that can’t tollerate the idea of natural evolution can teach spiritual evolution. You know, the idea that natural men and women can evolve into spiritual beings just by believing something.”

    I think the use of the word “evolution” to charactarize the Christian concept of spiritual regeneration is probably not a great analogy. But your point is a valid one in the sense (at least) that belief in both naturalistic evolution and in spiritual regeneration require faith. But given that the precepts of naturalistic evolution reject any form of spirituality by default the point seems moot. And the analogy probably ends there anyway. As a believer in naturalistic evolution why discuss spirituality at all, unless you’re interested in exploring that side of your being?

  83. “As a believer in naturalistic evolution why discuss spirituality at all, unless you’re interested in exploring that side of your being?”

    Because I believe that God is the cause of naturalistic evolution. I actually believe that there is both a natural creation and a spiritual one. However, I believe that they are both processes. God is a God of processes.

    “It is he that hath made us and not we ourselves.” Ps 100:3 I actually learned this Psalm in PUBLIC elementary school. God made all of us? How? Through the PROCESS of natural birth. It really isn’t hard to see that one can believe both in a God of Process and a God of Creation. It’s really the same thing.

    Spirituality is important even to those of us who believe in natural evolution. After all, that’s where it’s all headed. This creation will be inhabited by God in the future (Rev 21:3) and we will be one with God. (John 17:11,22)

    This is God’s great gift to his creation. But the unbelieving will not be a part of that.(Rev 21:8) But don’t be upset. This is what they want. (Ps 2:3) Actually, everyone gets what they really want. (II Thess 1:8)

  84. DaveScot, re: That works for me. I must be getting soft in my old age.

    Yeah, but wait ‘til Mohammed and the Pentagram Earth Matron want to run the schools. But you know what? If you keep it loose and there’s still freedom and people duke it out amongst themselves, I think folks will figure it out. America is unbelievable.

  85. I should mention the argument that students that learn ID couldnt compete in science is absurd. Science in the US, in high schools, is already poorly done…and students are doing poorly in it compared to other countries. And thats science without ID.

    Further- they have creationists working in govt labs all over the nation. Were talking creationists here, not even ID- Id assume someone who doesnt support ID would have a big problem with creationism (as so many of them claim its the same thing, even if it isnt). Los Alamos Natl Lab has one or 2 creationists on staff doing important work. They havent been hindered with their views. To argue that students and scientists would be left behind is silly…even recent journals have had papers talking about how scientists rarely ever use Bio Evo in their work. Bill posted some weeks ago that article by one of them that said that Bio Evo surely is NOT the basis of all biology and that work rarely ever uses Bio Evo. This is merely a scare tactics by the high priests of science to paint ID and other aspects in a negative light.

  86. DaveScot,
    Re: Supernatural Genetic Engineers Tackle Synthetic Lifeform

    What a great point. I read the Ventner thing last night. It hit me between the eyes but I didn’t quite make the connection.

    Judge Jones III, King of duct tape. Dover biology teachers, their mouths sealed, their brains screaming VENTNER!! DESIGN!! INTELLIGENCE!! But no sound comes out except:

    “mmmmVVVV, mmmmmVVVVV, , mmmmmVVVV”

    Ah, education…

  87. “I should mention the argument that students that learn ID couldnt compete in science is absurd.”

    I have to agree with this one. The Chief Scientist in the UNIVERSITY research center where I work is a creationist. It doesn’t matter! The guy is brilliant and is responsible for much good work. As a matter of fact, his brother, another PhD creationist supervised my thesis. We received a patent for that work. It is good work and good science.

  88. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

    “That’s Congress buddy. Congress can’t establish a State religion. You, on the other hand, can endorse whatever you want. School boards can endorse whatever they want, within their state’s law. It’s none of your business what they do. It’s none of the court’s business what you do.”

    I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve heard that the courts have ruled that the 14th Amendment applies the Bill of Rights to the states. (That makes sense if you think about it. If something is a basic human right, then the government shouldn’t be violating it at *any* level.)

  89. What I would like to see is the TMLC offer to pay the legal bills the Dover board would be stuck with if they lost an appeal and for them to appeal it. Or the DI could offer to cover the cost. I mean if ID *is* scientific it should not lose an appeal, right? This ruling must be a fluke if ID is really science and not supernaturalism? So…Let’s start the appeal process of course the Dover board has to agree to that but someone will have to offer to pick up the legal fee in case they lose the appeal.

    Anyone else? Seems simple to me.

  90. Look, Mr Dembski said this today –

    “This galvanizes the Christian community,” said William Dembski, a leading proponent of the theory and a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, a Seattle think-tank that promotes intelligent design research. “People I’m talking to say we’re going to be raising a whole lot more funds now.”

    So, why not take that galvinized Christian community and the new influx of cash and offer to underwrite any legal fees the Dover board might get stuck with if they lose an appeal and appeal the case?

  91. Mr. Christopher asks:
    “So, why not take that galvanized Christian community and the new influx of cash and offer to underwrite any legal fees the Dover board might get stuck with if they lose an appeal and appeal the case?”

    Mostly because the Dover board has no reason to appeal, now that the voters have kicked out the pro-ID members and earned the wrath of Pat Robertson and his God.

    This, ironically, is probably a good thing for ID, because I suspect an appeal would fail, amplifying the damage done to the cause.

    ID needs to find a better test case than Dover to push up the appeal chain (and maybe to the Supreme Court).

  92. PjB- good points. I’m sorry, but saying this is just offensive. For someone to claim that someone not buying into, let’s say common descent…that will in no way hurt them. This stuff is used mainly for one thing- to support its teaching. It’s become almost dogmatic. That essay Dembski linked to said that it’s hardly ever used. I’d wager that even most graduates of universities hardly ever deal with the subject. Why would you? You don’t need to know any of that to treat a patient as a doctor, to perform surgery, to catalog insects, to work in physics, to do much of ANYTHING in science. The whole Bio Evo is the backbone of all biology is even absurd.

    That’s like saying a creationist with 20 graduate degrees is somehow less of a scientist and less able to compete in the market place of ideas than an undergrad who totally accepts common descent and thinks humans are the result of a mere cosmic accident and nothing more. I’d say that in most professions, the doctor who sees himself and fellow humans as having a meaning and purpose for being here would do better at many things.

    Try dealing with patients as a doctor if you think that humans are nothing but flesh robots controlled by DNA, with no point or purpose on earth besides multiplying more DNA, then dying and fading into oblivion. I, for one, would prefer the doctor who sees me as being imporant for more than my reproductive capability- for having a purpose and meaning for being alive. I often wonder what chance worshippers think of women who cannot have children- they’re sort of link the ultimate lack of purpose and meaning- it’s almost a waste of space, food, and oxygen if we carry the theory out to its logical end.

  93. For someone who complains so vociferously about strawman arguments, Josh is awfully good at constructing them.

    Josh writes:
    “Try dealing with patients as a doctor if you think that humans are nothing but flesh robots controlled by DNA, with no point or purpose on earth besides multiplying more DNA, then dying and fading into oblivion. I, for one, would prefer the doctor who sees me as being imporant for more than my reproductive capability- for having a purpose and meaning for being alive. I often wonder what chance worshippers think of women who cannot have children- they’re sort of link the ultimate lack of purpose and meaning- it’s almost a waste of space, food, and oxygen if we carry the theory out to its logical end.”

    Here we have Josh nobly railing against the cold and heartless views of “chance worshippers” who see infertile women as barren husks and sick patients as “flesh robots.” It’s funny how often the proudest crusaders are simply tilting at windmills.

    When you point out to Josh that Darwinians hold these views nowhere but in his head, he faults them for failing to “carry the theory out to its logical end.” If we think as Josh says we “logically” should, we’re morally bankrupt. If we don’t, we’re intellectual cowards. I’m beginning to think Josh doesn’t like us.

    Josh, “what is” has no necessary logical or moral relation to “what should be”. Consider:

    The fact of genocide in Darfur does not mean we should encourage it.
    An anthropologist studying cannibalism is not obliged to eat people.
    The Christian belief that humans are sinful does not mean they should promote evil.
    A belief that humans are used as vehicles by their genes does not mean we should treat them contemptuously as mere gene carriers.

    I’ll say it again: Darwinian theory is descriptive, not normative. Pretending otherwise is itself an act of intellectual cowardice by those who, fearing they cannot defeat the theory on intellectual grounds, attempt to do so dishonestly on moral grounds instead.

  94. “Actually they are simply working with what already exists. All they are doing is taking an existing life form and modifying it to see if it will still live.”

    Comment by beervolcano — December 21, 2005 @ 1:44 pm

    Going for a minimum set of genes – the simplest (or thereabouts) possible living thing. This is a big milestone for nanotechnology. I bet you didn’t know that.

  95. “If ID doesn’t isn’t part of science as methodological naturalism, doesn’t this mean that the only alternative is that it uses supernaturalism, that it appeals to the supernatural?”

    Comment by beervolcano — December 21, 2005 @ 2:02 pm

    Nope. You’re surrounded by intelligently designed objects. Your computer, for instance. Was it designed by a supernatural intelligence? Of course not. Nothing about the design and construction of living things requires a supernatural creator.

  96. “Even though the Dover ruling is not nationally binding, how does ID get in the public science classroom now?”

    Comment by Mr Christopher — December 21, 2005 @ 3:02 pm

    By not repeating the mistakes made in Dover.

  97. Keiths, this is precisely what darwinism says. Even Darwin himself realized that his theory meant that man has no real ethics or values, and Darwin asked the question of himself- if he’s the result of a mere purposeless accident, as is the case also with his mind, how could he even trust what he was proposing?

    Provine from Cornell said that NDE theory means that humans have no point, no purpose, no meaning.

    George Gaylord Simpson said the following:

    Although many details remain to be worked out, it is already evident that all the objective phenomena of the history of life can be explained by purely naturalistic or, in a proper sense of the sometimes abused word, materialistic factors. They [that is, the objective phenomena of the history of life] are readily explicable on the basis of differential reproduction in populations [that's natural selection], and the mainly random interplay of the known processes of heredity [that's random mutation, the other major element in the Darwinian picture]. Therefore, man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not have him in mind.

    So, yes, the theory does come to this logical conclusion. If you rewind the tape of evolution, as Gould once said, and reran evolution- humans would never arise at all.

    Why not treat people like the mere gene carriers they are? Peter Singer has no problem with it. E.O. Wilson has no problem with it. They’re just being honest about the only logical conclusion for a theory that says man is a pointless accident with no meaning but to carry genes to make more genes, tho even these genes have no real meaning or purpose other than to stay alive and eventually die- hoping to make more DNA in the process…nothing more, nothing less.

    You can hardly ague with the statements above and dozens more like them and worse if you do just a quick google search.

    If the only meaning to life is to carry genes, under the theory deformed babies are useless- Peter Singer even says this, and he’s respected by many. E.O. Wilson says we have no use but to carry genes…Dawkins says the same thing, but that our genes actually control us and the hope is to evolve genes nor actual species. If a woman cannot have a child, she IS useless if humans only purpose is to carry and make more genes. A retarded baby has less significance than a chimp says Peter Singer. I could go on with more quotes and points, but I think you get the point.

  98. Comment by keiths — December 21, 2005 @ 3:13 pm

    “Sorry, Dave. The Santorum language is NOT part of the bill. It’s only part of the attached report. It’s not legally binding.”

    Sorry Keith, but that’s a straw man. I know exactly what the Santorum Language is and didn’t say it was anything different. It’s more like a suggestion but it’s an official suggestion and it was included because they needed to include it to get enough votes for the bill to pass. Santorum was jockeying to make it part of the bill proper and it was in a version that didn’t make it so he compromised by just getting it included in a non-binding attachment. Now you know more about it.

    “Judge John E. Jones on the other hand is a good old boy brought up through the conservative ranks.”

    Yeah so? He bit the hand that fed him like a mangy cur. I made a poor character judgment. Or rather George W. Bush made a poor judgement by appointing him.

    No points for you. Better luck next time, Keith.

  99. Gumpngreen asks: “I just had a thought…does anyone know what US law says about the government promoting religious views that are held by all religions?”

    You mean like putting the words “In God We Trust” on most of our money?

    U.S. laws says that’s okay.

    Or maybe you mean like putting the words “One nation, under God” in the pledge of allegiance?

    U.S. law says that’s okay too.

    Go figure.

  100. 2 words. David Souter.

  101. Every bill stamped with that mark…yet 2 sentences for high school students and an option of reading a book should they choose- forbidden.

    Reminds me of the Chinese scientist who said in the US you can criticize the govt but not Darwin. And In China you can criticize Darwin but not the govt. Sad state of affairs we have here.

  102. BTW, when do they institute book burnings? I like to follow current events, and that’s logically the next step.

  103. mmadigan

    “This injudicious judge has offended many more people than he intended, watch for reaction from real scientists and non secular, traditional american citizens. It is irreducible!”

    First the courts judged creation science and I didn’t care because it wasn’t my science. Then the courts judged intelligent design and I didn’t care because it wasn’t my science. Then the courts judged my science and there was nobody left to care.

    Federal courts determining what is and is not science is not a good thing.

  104. KeithS

    Here we have Josh nobly railing against the cold and heartless views of “chance worshippers” who see infertile women as barren husks and sick patients as “flesh robots.” It’s funny how often the proudest crusaders are simply tilting at windmills.

    When you point out to Josh that Darwinians hold these views nowhere

    You’re saying not a single Darwinian in the whole world holds these views?

    Did you ask them all or are you just making stuff up again?

  105. How can you fight and win a court battle when a judge does not want to see the facts as they are, but as he wishes them to be? No doubt judge Jones’ willingness to buy a straw man argument made the job of mischaracterizing ID easier for the plaintiffs. Those exploring ID with faith-based motives should not be discouraged by this. Nor should they be surprised. Judge Jones’ action and reasoning demonstrates the lengths to which a faith (a priori) commitment to scientific materialism can handicap sound thinking.

    It highlights the need to identify ID’s vocal opponents, first and foremost, by their faith commitment to scientific materialism. All scientists have faith commitments. ID proponents who have Bible-faith commitments don’t venture so far as to declare evolution unscientific purely because of the faith-motivations of its proponents.

    This teaches us of the great need to free the rising generation from the pernicious and intolerant doctrine of scientific materialism. Other faith based motives for studying Origins are far more restrained and judicious.

  106. Anyone see nutjob PZ Myers recent post where he said he dreams of going back in a time machine and kidnapping the Biblical Abraham and dropping him off somewhere (he wouldn’t kill him, he notes)…he also mentions he wouldn’t try to interfer with Hitler in any way.

    http://pharyngula.org/index/we....._bad_here/

    Sickening beyond belief. How the university allows such hate on their campus, no one knows.

    This is precisely what I said before about one side of this debate being 1. dishonest as can be, and 2. hate-filled beyond belief. I see that all those who comment to this piece of garbage seem to agree. I wonder if that means that since so many Darwinists seem to be so hateful towards religion that makes Darwinism a religious theory? If we go with Jones’ logic, I’m afraid it might be.

  107. daveScot

    you said: Nope. You’re surrounded by intelligently designed objects. Your computer, for instance. Was it designed by a supernatural intelligence? Of course not. Nothing about the design and construction of living things requires a supernatural creator.

    I’d agree that the *immediate* cause need not be supernatural, but is it turtles all the way down? Doesn’t there have to be a “last stop”? If something is an “intelligent cause”, is it not, at least most likely, a composition of some fairly complex, most likely irreducibly complex, components. And thereforefore, the “design filter” would predict it was also designed.

  108. Keiths wrote:

    “I’ll say it again: Darwinian theory is descriptive, not normative.”

    That’s true. But it *is* regularly used as a basis for drawing normative conclusions. Many of these are utterly bizarre, as when Professor Malcolm Potts of U.C. Berkeley argues that adultery is normal and natural, or Professor Peter Singer of Princeton argues that bestility is morally permissible — both conclusions being justified partly on the basis of Darwinian evolutionary theory. It is therefore not obviously unreasonable to think that Darwinism does have normative implications, and I think Josh was trying to point out one of these. There is surely nothing wrong in pointing out the doctrines to which someone else’s views commit them, even if they don’t admit those views openly.

  109. DaveScot writes:
    “I know exactly what the Santorum Language is and didn’t say it was anything different. It’s more like a suggestion but it’s an official suggestion…he compromised by just getting it included in a non-binding attachment.”

    You said it was “in” the legislation, Dave:
    “The school board’s decision to include ID hypothesis in the evolution section of biology needs to be based solely on the “Santorum language” in “No Child Left Behind” legislation…”

    Regarding the reversal of his character judgment of Judge Jones:
    “He bit the hand that fed him like a mangy cur. I made a poor character judgment. Or rather George W. Bush made a poor judgement by appointing him.”

    And Jones went from “good old boy” to “mangy cur” on the basis of a single court opinion you happened to disagree with.

    “No points for you. Better luck next time, Keith.”

    Are you actually keeping score? That would explain why you’ve been so grumpy lately.

    “You’re saying not a single Darwinian in the whole world holds these views?”

    Josh was railing against “chance worshippers”, a derogatory term you yourself use to refer broadly to “Darwinists”. Do you really think he was referring to just a few wayward folks?

    Look at what he wrote:
    “I often wonder what chance worshippers think of women who cannot have children- they’re sort of link the ultimate lack of purpose and meaning- it’s almost a waste of space, food, and oxygen if we carry the theory out to its logical end.”

  110. 110

    logan are you a theology student?

  111. Why do you ask?

  112. keiths: “Nice try, PaV. If anyone wants to see what he really posted, and my refutation, go to….

    His post was on December 20, 2005 at 8:27 pm.

    I guess I should be grateful. This is as close as I’ve ever seen PaV come to admitting he was wrong.

    Since you were noticing times, you would have been well served to have noticed that my post under this heading was: Dec 21st @10:13 AM, while your response to my post you referred to above was: Dec 21st@ 10:49 AM. Since the subject of the prior heading was no longer being discussed, and as this heading was more appropriate to what I wanted to post, and since you hadn’t as yet addressed my prior post, I simply moved over.

    Now, about this “admitting he was wrong” thing, would you like to go first?

    BTW, I am very busy at this time, and will respond and post as time permits.

  113. “True, irreducible complexity would definitely prove the existence of a designer, but where would then be faith?”

    Oh, how improved would be faith! I used to have faith in God, but now I know. I promise you, knowledge is infinitely superior.

    “‘I’d rather live my life believing there is a God and upon dying, find out there isn’t one, than to live my life believing there isn’t a God and die and find out there is one.’(paraphrase)”

    Surely, you do not imply any threat here, do you? Wouldn’t dying and finding out there is a God (or dying and finding out anything at all) be marvelous good news?

  114. “I used to have faith in God, but now I know.”

    I used to NOT, but now I do. What is your point? And besides, what is it that you think you know?

    “Surely, you do not imply any threat here, do you?”

    No.

    “Wouldn’t dying and finding out there is a God (or dying and finding out anything at all) be marvelous good news?”

    It depends.

  115. PiB,
    “Yes. Well…maybe. That’s been extended by judicial precedent to mean more than Congress. That’s pretty well established. Try again”

    If judicial precedent can “extend” the law, then judicial precedent can “retract” the law. So we can just move closer to “rule by judges” I guess. I assume that’s your preference.

    Frankly, I don’t think the judiciary has standing to do either. Only the people, through their representatives (legislative branch) can extend, retract or otherwise alter any of the law. The judiciary only has standing to ensure that we the people follow our own rules: that which we have “extended,” “retracted,” “enacted,” “rescinded.”

  116. “I used to NOT, but now I do. What is your point? And besides, what is it that you think you know?”

    I’m saying a more sure knowledge of God is superior to just faith. Proof that physical reality cannot exist outside of some sort of consciousness, for example, would be a very positive benefit to the world, in my opinion.

    And I think that previous guy might be right about the use of the word faith. For example, in Russian, the word ‘vera’ means faith, trust, and belief. Remember we are dealing with translations.

    “Wouldn’t dying and finding out there is a God (or dying and finding out anything at all) be marvelous good news?”

    It depends. ”

    On what? If I were an atheist and died, how surprised I’d be to die and find that death was a bugaboo after all. I’m sure there would be hearty laughs all around.

  117. You’re right, PaV. I apologize.

    Still, in fairness to me, you did write “Here’s what I posted elsewhere” when in fact what you posted on the other thread was quite different.

    Regards,
    Keith S.

  118. To keiths:

    I only wrote that so that if anyone saw the same thing on one post, and then the other, they wouldn’t think they were losing their minds.

    And you didn’t have to apologize.

  119. “a more sure knowledge of God is superior to just faith”

    I believe there is a disconnect between your definition of faith and mine. The biblical topic of faith is difficult to outline because the context of the word determines its specific usage and it is used in about ten different contexts. I don’t have time (or the desire) to outline these here, but in the context of our discussions, I don’t believe a more sure knowledge of God is possible in spacetime as we exist today. That more sure knowledge is an escatological reality not a present one. Paul said, “we know in part.” (I Cor 13:9-12)

    “Proof that physical reality cannot exist outside of some sort of consciousness”

    You are talking about a particular interpretation of quantum theory. Good luck.

    “On what? If I were an atheist and died, how surprised I’d be to die and find that death was a bugaboo after all. I’m sure there would be hearty laughs all around.”

    It depends on what you find out as to whether it is good news or bad news. And by the way, I’m not saying here that all atheists go to hell. I don’t believe that any more than I believe that all Christians go to heaven. (I’m here using the phrases ‘go to heaven’ and ‘go to hell’ the way they are commonly used without subscribing to the common view.)

    I’m just saying that we’re probably ALL in for some surprises. How could we not be?

  120. 120

    “The significance of the dover trial?” for *me* is I am looking forward to the next trial. One that the Discovery Institute will lend their support.

  121. The significance to me is that the atheists had more integrity than the theists (I’m presenting the image the public will get). The reality is that the expert witnesses for the BOE (theists all) had some bad moments that called their credibility into question. Behe’s flippant treatment of the immune system documentation for example. And the BOE representatives mishandled the public trust and lied under oath (Christians all). As I said in my earlier comments. They deserved to loose.

    You can’t determine what science is by jurisprudence. What you can do, and what this judge did, is evaluate which side is more credible. In my opinion, the Darwinists had the most credible witnesses and presented the most credible case. Learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others. If you think you can put together a good case for the science of ID, then do that and make it work: first in the laboratory and in peer reviewed journals, then in the classroom. Otherewise, treat it as a social science or philosophy and get it into the public that way. If it is bad science and bad philosophy, then it deserves to fail on all counts.

    And by all means, quit whining about how the world is against you and just focus on getting your material into the mainstream one way or another. Nobody likes a cry baby.

  122. PiB: “If you think you can put together a good case for the science of ID, then do that and make it work: first in the laboratory and in peer reviewed journals, then in the classroom.”

    And do you notice how Sternberg was treated? Have you noticed that a graduate students’ thesis is being held up because he doesn’t adhere to Darwinsim? If the ‘high priests’ of Darwinian religion control, and won’t allow, universities to award doctorates to young men and women who disagree with evolution, then how is it possible that there will be work in the laboratory?

    What you suggest will happen–eventually–despite all the vulgar efforts by the Deities of Darwin to prevent it from happening.

  123. “how is it possible that there will be work in the laboratory?”

    The same way Darwinists got into universities. Slowly. But there is a strong reaction formation to undirected evolution (Darwinism) currently underweigh in universities.

    If it IS science, then do the science. Start a University. Build a laboratory. Find a place to live, study, and work freely and do the work. The work will eventually make room for itself if it has scientific validity.

    There are MANY scientists in Universities and their research institutes that are not hostile to the idea of directed evolution. I know, I work in a university research center (16 years). But, I’m not so sure you can prove that evolution is directed (as apposed to Darwinism which, by definition, teaches undirected evolution). I’m all for trying, but I’m not sure that God made it so that you can know something by science that he wants you to know by faith. I’m willing to be proven wrong, but I just don’t need it myself.

    As I’ve said earlier in this blog, I have many reasons to believe in God. I don’t need IC to give me that. I would question the faith of any Christian who does. I can’t speak for all theists, but Christians should have a view similar to mine; that is, if I understand the writings of the prophets and apostles correctly.

    If folks could agree on some definitions of terms that would help. For instance, it is commonly believed that ID folks don’t believe in evolution. This is not true. They do not believe in Darwinism. There is a substantial difference. In reading the judges review of the case, he stated that ID folks object to the “scientific theory of evolution.” I don’t believe that is accurate. From my reading of your materials, I think you folks believe in a SCIENTIFIC theory of evolution. But, you object to the conflation of Darwinian metaphysics (namely-philosophical naturalism) and evolutionary theory. Am I wrong?

    Yes, I most definitely think that the linguistic air needs to be cleared.

  124. 124

    “The significance to me is that the atheists had more integrity than the theists ”

    The fact thet the defense expert witnesses and “consultants” (Behe, Dembski, etc) were paid between $100-$200 an hour for their expert opinions/testimony while the plaintiff’s expert witnesses charged nothing for their time was also a head scratcher.

    That sort of thing makes it look like ID is more of a cash cow (for certain people in the ID movement) than science.

    Meybe the next case will be different.

  125. “That sort of thing makes it look like ID is more of a cash cow (for certain people in the ID movement) than science.”

    I agree.

    If you’re going to maintain any kind of high ground (moral, scientific, etc.), it is imperative that you avoid the very appearance of wrong doing. It is absolutely imperative that you actually avoid wrong doing.

    This case was a farce for the defense due to the immoral behavior of the chief actors in the Dover school board and the sometimes flippant behavior of the defense witnesses when confronted with scientific documentation. If this is as serious as the ID folks want us to believe, this behavior is illogical and inconsistent.

    Off topic: It was in a similar fashion that the US lost the moral high ground (if we ever had it) because of Abu Ghraib.

  126. 126

    Here is one other thing I find inconsistant. The Dover board members antics aside, they (like everyone) were/are told that ID is science. That ID theory has been published in peer review scientific journals (the DI claims this on their web site), and that ID was not in any way creationism. Well with those facts in hand of course a school board would want ID in their science classrooms. The board obviously believed what the DI and ID advocates have said set in motion for ID to be introduced into the science class.

    Now, if ID is in fact science and has in fact been published in peer reviewed science journals, why the heck would they NOT want it in their class. And what court could stop you from teaching a proven, legitimate scientific theory? Which begs the question why doe ws the DI say they told the Dover board NOT to make ID a part of their science class? Why does the DI say they recommend AGAINST adding ID as a mandatory part of science? This doesn’t add up.

    And just because a board member says “I want creationism in our science class so we will add such and such ” does not mean any law has been broken. For instance, if I say I want kids to believe in creationism therefore I am insisting we add darwins theory of evolution to the curriculum” well that does not make darwin’s theory of evolution religious just because my intentions were religious.

    So now the Dover trial has been settled, the DI is getting as far away from it as they can, Rick Santorum is distancing himself once again, and Mr Dembski seems kind of “oh well, no big deal, this means we’ll just be able to raise more money and Christians will be galvanized by this ruling” and a school district who believed what they were told, the belived ID is science, they believed ID hasd been published in peer reviewed scientific journals, is now isolated and may owe as much as 1 million dollars in legal fees while everyone is now on this “we told them that they were crazy”

    At close inspecition this Dover trial reveals quite a bit on many subjects.

    And Behe truly deserves to win the best case made by the defense for the plaintiff. Did anyone catch him on Hannity and Colmes last night? Comparing a biological entity to Mt Rushmore is getting old and the media doesn’t seem to be buying it anymore either. Behe – Mt Rushmore does not have inheritable traits, nor is it a biological entity, nor will it ever have offspring or duplicate. Futhermore a mouse trap is not a cell and you can remove any item from a mousetrap and it is still functional, not as a mouse trap but there are many other uses for any one single piece of a mouse trap.

    Good grief. And as I said, a school board is now responsible for a million dollar legal bill because they believed in ID and the ID camp is running as far as they can from them. I think the TMCL and DI should foot their bill.

  127. Futhermore a mouse trap is not a cell and you can remove any item from a mousetrap and it is still functional, not as a mouse trap but there are many other uses for any one single piece of a mouse trap.
    ———–

    That misses the point. The parts when taken away need to serve the same function.

    One of the reasons DI doesn’t want it mandatory is that too many teachers won’t know how to teach it and will teach it wrong. That makes sense.

    I don’t see anything wrong with these guys making a living…and PjB is right about ID and not having a problem with evolution- it just depends on how the term is used. I don’t know how you’d show that evolution was directed or undirected…how do you test or study intention? You can work to find design and the very hallmarks of design, but intention- I’ve no idea how you’d infer that either way.

    Mt Rushmore can be used- it’s clearly designed as opposed to a rock sitting on the ground with some feature on it that was clearly the result of wind and rain. It doesn’t matter that biological features inherit stuff- they still look designed in a similar manner as rushmore. Someone can look at many parts and see design inherent in it.

  128. PiB: “Start a University. Build a laboratory.”

    You must be kidding.

  129. PaV “You must be kidding.”

    No. All institutions started somewhere. If you guys really believe you’ve got valid science then you have to prove it somehow. If you can’t get into the mainstream schools and journals, then you have to build and publish your own, respectively.

    For my part, I’ve never had a problem working within the mainstream. I’ve said before that I’m a kindred spirit to John Polkinghorne. You guys are the ones having the problem. How else can you handle it? Are you just going to whine forever?

    I agree with the judge. I think the ID folks believe in a false dichotomy. You don’t think you do, so it’s up to you to prove that the dichotomy actually exists.

    (By the way, read II Thessalonians 2:11. I think part of the delusion in this text is the belief that evolution leads to atheism. Evolution is not the delusion. Darwinism is. Evolution is real. The error is that evolution is unguided. But as I’ve said before the only way to avoid this error is faith in the Creator. The science by itself won’t deliver anyone from this error. You need to quit fighting against evolution, which your major proponents profess agreement with, and fight only Darwinism. Make it clear that your fight is against the philosophy and not the science.)

    I really don’t care that atheists use science to justify their atheism. Atheists are accountable to God in the end just like everybody else. Not believing won’t change reality AND believing won’t change reality. As I said before, an atheist sees God nowhere and a theist sees God everywhere. The science doesn’t lead to either choice to the exclusion of the other. We’re not here to make a choice anyway, we’ve already made it. We’re all just trying to figure out why we’ve made it; and, we’re trying to justify the choice we’ve made. Nobody starts out as a blank tablet on this topic and objectively studies the science and then reaches a conclusion…Nobody…I don’t care what they say. That’s not how we make choices.

    I guarantee you that if a triangular car were the most areodynamic design, nobody would buy one. Why? Because we like what we like. The root of all choice is far below the conscious. The fool says in his HEART, not his head, that there is no God. The head comes later as he tries to justify his deep seated convictions. So, the work of God’s Spririt is on the HEART of man, not his head. Head work comes later.

    In my opinion, God is more parsimonious than a self-creating cosmos. I see God everywhere. Sorry for those who can’t, but we all have to make our own way in the cosmos. I sat in evolutionary biology classes in college. I was at the top of my class. I accept the science of evolution. I do not accept that it is unguided. By the way, there were several of us in those days…all at the top of the class. That’s something no preacher of naturalism can change.

    Nature does what it does. But it was created by God to develop and become according to laws of evolution that God ordained (Let the earth bring forth). There is a certain amount of freedom in those laws that allows the cosmos to become itself and be other than the Creator. One day we will probably discover those laws. Some will see that as proof that God does not exist. Is that my problem?

  130. PiB: “Nature does what it does. But it was created by God to develop and become according to laws of evolution that God ordained (Let the earth bring forth).”

    I used to think that way, too. But once I gave evolution a closer look, I found that when it comes to true biological innovations, there’s nothing there–nothing, just gibberish. Meanwhile, nature makes its design shine forth more and more–the closer we look at nature, the greater the appearance of design.

    The question is this: what is the paradigm we use in the laboratory, should it be Darwinism, or should it be ‘design’. There were two authors who spent years and years trying to find some kind of mechanism to explain what sort of evolutionary pathway, replete with selective pressures, led to the bird feather. After all of those years, they wrote a paper and said that evolutionary theory got in their way; that they now see the problem in a completely different light. They’re still Darwinists, but they wasted all of those years–for what? How much other wastes of time are taking place. Someone who believes in design would never approach the problem of the development of the feather in that way they did. So the real question is, again, what paradigm turns out to be the most successful, most powerful, in the lab. Time will tell.

  131. Mr. Christopher asks:
    “Which begs the question why does the DI say they told the Dover board NOT to make ID a part of their science class? Why does the DI say they recommend AGAINST adding ID as a mandatory part of science?”

    Mr. Christopher,

    The Discovery Institute has been quite schizophrenic on the issue of ID in the schools.

    On the one hand, Stephen Meyer and David DeWolf (both DI Fellows) published a book entitled “Intelligent Design in Public School Science Curricula: A Legal Guidebook” which said that school boards can “permit, and even encourage teaching about design theory.” (In fairness, note that they didn’t say “mandate”).

    On the other hand, Mark Ryland made the following claim at the American Enterprise Institute’s all-day panel session on ID:

    “Let me back up first and say that the Discovery Institute never set out to have schools get into this issue. We’ve never encouraged people to do it, we’ve never promoted it. We have unfortunately gotten sucked into it because we have a lot of expertise in the issue that people are interested in.

    “When asked for our opinion we always tell people don’t teach intelligent design, there is no curriculum developed for it, your teachers are likely to be hostile towards it, there are just all these good reasons why you should not go down that path. If you want to do anything, you should teach the evidence for and against Darwin’s theory.”

    This led to a confrontation between Ryland and the Thomas More Law Center’s Richard Thompson, much to Ken Miller’s amusement.

    I personally believe that the DI folks wanted to distance themselves from the Dover board when they realized that a trial would likely not go well for the board.

    For more on this, see Comment #11 at http://www.uncommondescent.com.....6#comments

    Mr. Christopher writes:
    “And just because a board member says “I want creationism in our science class so we will add such and such ” does not mean any law has been broken. For instance, if I say I want kids to believe in creationism therefore I am insisting we add darwins theory of evolution to the curriculum” well that does not make darwin’s theory of evolution religious just because my intentions were religious.”

    No, it wouldn’t make the theory religious, but promoting it would still be unconstitutional according to the Supreme Court’s “Lemon test”. See comment #4 at

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....chives/597

  132. “what paradigm turns out to be the most successful, most powerful, in the lab. Time will tell.”

    I agree. But I should clarify that I definitely think there is clear evidence of design in nature. Read my earlier posts.

    The idea that I’m trying to get across is that I don’t need IC to see that. To me the most parsimonious inference from the apparent design of nature is that it is indeed designed. But the design is everywhere present and nowhere absent. It is not found only at IC locations. It is inherent in the process itself. The processes of nature that allow complexity to evolve (evolvability) is evidence of design in and of themselves.

  133. PiB: “It is not found only at IC locations. It is inherent in the process itself. The processes of nature that allow complexity to evolve (evolvability) is evidence of design in and of themselves.”

    From the gist of what you’re saying, you seem to be in the Michael Denton camp. Have you read his book, Nature’s Destiny? I suspect it will be just your cup of tea. It’s a more or less Platonic position.

    I disagree with this position since I believe that nature, at certain moments and places, has needed an ‘intervention’ of some sort–call it ‘saltation’, if you will. This is but an intuition, but one that conforms rather well with Genesis. But, again, time will tell.

  134. PaV

    No I have not read Denton. I’m relatively new to the concept of a conflict between science and theology.

    I grew up in a small college town where everyone (including the professors) went to one or two churches in the town. Most of them were evolutionists AND theists. I was always taught there was no conflict and it has been difficult for me to understand the likes of Dawkins. I grew up believing that a truly educated person was balanced physically, intellectually, and spiritually.

    The pastor of my church had a PhD in physics and a ThD. I was well instructed in both critical theology and critical science. We were pretty much instructed that creation science wasn’t totally legitimate and that some people used methodological naturalism as a gatway to atheism, but we more or less focused on what we believed to be true, not on those who disagreed with us. I guess that’s why I tend to fall in line with John Polkinghorne. His line of reasoning makes the most sense to me. That’s why I say that I don’t need to see IC in order to have faith in God. I don’t think of faith as a supersticion, like Dawkins defines it, but a rational belief made in the presence of uncertainty.

    To my mind people like Dawkins at a very fundamental level have an unjustified faith in uncertain reality. As a Christian, my faith in a knowable and intelligible reality flows justifiably from faith in a rational creator.

  135. PiB,

    What you wrote was well said. When I was growing up–sometime ago–evolution was being taught (this was in the 60′s) with a certain kind of tentativeness; sort of being eased into the curriculum (as was ‘set theory’). I never saw a conflict between evolution and my personal belief in God either, and haven’t through the years.

    But I think it a big error to think that the popularity of ID and IC has to do with people’s religious faith. I don’t see that. There are legitimate (and many) reasons to question evolutionary theory. Over a number of years, reading certain books, Darwinism began to make little sense. When I tried to nail down ‘exactly’ how the theory worked, what I found was that nobody knows, that there really isn’t a proven, documented case for Darwinism. Evolution has weathered challenges over the years, but now with the discovery of the genetic code and cellular complexity, it just simply can’t be maintained any more.

    So for me, it’s a scientific argument, not a religious one. For the most part, I don’t think it will make a big difference in most labs, in most parts of the world. The same questions would be asked whether evolution is the prevailing paradigm or ID. But there is a subset of labs, and a subset of questions that would be improved by looking for design rather than looking for ‘selective advantage.’ And, in the end, which theory makes the most sense. As Fred Hoyle once quipped, Darwinsims is like having a tornado pass through a junkyard and forming a 747 Jumbo Jet.

  136. PaV writes:
    “But I think it a big error to think that the popularity of ID and IC has to do with people’s religious faith. I don’t see that.”

    C’mon, PaV,

    Look at the percentage of organizations supporting ID which are religious. Look at the fact that the Dover school board promoted ID for religious reasons, and was represented by a law firm specifically dedicated to religious causes.

    Look at the 7% of National Academy of Sciences members who believe in a personal God, and compare that to the percentage of Discovery Institute folks who believe.

    Look at the fact that our own weblog host is a staunch believer.

    Whether justified or not, there is no question that the popularity of ID is related to people’s faith.

    “As Fred Hoyle once quipped, Darwinsims is like having a tornado pass through a junkyard and forming a 747 Jumbo Jet.”

    Looks like a tornado passed through your spelling of “Darwinism.” :-)

    First of all, Hoyle’s comment was directed at abiogenesis, not Darwinism. Even then, it rests on a caricature of actual abiogenetic ideas. Follow this link for details:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faq.....oprob.html

  137. Keith Keith Keith. You’re obsessed with religion in this matter. From polls, the number of scientists who believe in a personal God outweighs those who don’t. Recent polls shows around 60% belief…and even a higher number with scientists in the social sciences. As many have noted- at the top levels, atheism is often times expect (many scientists themselves have said as much).

    So, if the 7% you’re speaking of…they don’t believe in God because of what? NDE? Well then, NDE theory is atheistic and we’ll paint it with that brush from now on. Your logic must go both ways.

    Of course design will be more friendly to a theist- but does that make the idea itself religious? Hardly. An atheist- close minded by nature (I mean, what on earth is an atheist anyhow? You can only reasonably called yourself agnostic) No amount of evidence in any field will convince most closed minded people of something they would rather not believe.

  138. Among members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, which is the most prestigious scientific body on the planet, some 7% profess belief in a personal god, and the remaining 93% are atheist or agnostic. See here.

  139. keiths: “Look at the 7% of National Academy of Sciences members who believe in a personal God, and compare that to the percentage of Discovery Institute folks who believe.”

    You make the mistake of thinking that there is a conflict between reason and faith. There is none. The most reasonable thing to believe is that God exists and that He created the world. Other ideas are contrived. Darwinism only exists because of people who don’t believe in God keep it alive. But they do that with twisted, tortured logic. How long can that go on?

    About Hoyle: he wrote a book called, “The Mathematics of Evolution”, or something like that. He’s not sympathetic to neo-Darwinism at all.

    On the post regarding the “Response to Dover Decision”, or what have you, I’m still waiting for your response. You might not have noticed my responses to your prior posts there.

  140. Oops. Wrong post. I’m in a terrible hurry. You can look around for it.

    Merry Christmas!

  141. Hi PaV,

    I hope you had a merry Christmas.

    Regarding the old thread, I responded to you at
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....chives/605

    Meanwhile, some comments on your last post:

    PaV writes:
    “You make the mistake of thinking that there is a conflict between reason and faith. There is none.”

    PaV, you assume too much.

    I brought up the DI and the NAS survey results to dispute your statement that it is
    “…a big error to think that the popularity of ID and IC has to do with people’s religious faith.”

    Behe admitted during testimony that ID was more plausible to theists. Josh says the same thing above. If faith has nothing to do with ID’s popularity, why do DI folks overwhelmingly believe in a personal God, when only 7% of NAS members do?

    “Darwinism only exists because of people who don’t believe in God keep it alive.”

    Tell that to the 31% of mainline Protestants, the 28% of Catholics, and the 6% of evangelicals who accept unguided evolution by natural selection. How do you think they would feel about your assertion that they “don’t believe in God”? What about someone who believes that God created the universe but is allowing processes within it (including evolution) to unfold without his intervention? Is such a person an unbeliever by virtue of not believing in your particular God?

    Statistics from:
    http://people-press.org/report.....portID=254

    “About Hoyle: he wrote a book called, “The Mathematics of Evolution”, or something like that. He’s not sympathetic to neo-Darwinism at all.”

    I didn’t say that Hoyle was a Darwinist. I simply pointed out that his tornado argument was directed at abiogenesis, not at Darwinism, contrary to your statement.

  142. I would note that among the stats mentioned- my guess is that few people understand what NDE truly means. Like I said before, Gould always said that if we rewind the tape and run thru history again, humans would never arise. Many people seem to think NDE theory says something it doesn’t- it truly says that life has no meaning or purpose outside of survival and then eventual oblivion. It says that every single thing about us, in what we do, how we do it, what we feel, how we feel, our relationships and moods- it’s all a series of accidents…under Darwinism, the universe cares nothing for you or me, and it never had us in mind at any point- we’re merely accidents and nothing more.

    Now, that it the truth of Darwinism- no wonder atheists are more likely to embrace it…and theists reject it. I’d wager that few theists who accept NDE theory realize what the theory actually means for them and for life in general. Which is why I think, if more of these people knew what it entailed- fewer would embrace it.

    As I said before- atheists are close minded by nature. It’s funny when atheists claim to be so open minded and free thinkers when in reality it’s impossible to be an atheist- only someone with knowledge of everything and every atom in the universe could ever truly call themselves atheists. The best you can say is- I don’t have a belief in God and I don’t know…to say I KNOW there is no God is as close minded as you can get. Furthermore- atheists have the reputation (and rightfully so) for too often being depressing bummers who have way too much time and interest in attacking religion nonstop.

    Finally, abiogenesis is definitely related to darwinism. Darwinists claim this isn’t the case, because the complete failure of this model- but why do you think they so often bring up Miller and his experiments? Why do they always sit on the edge of their seat when discussing SETI or possible life on Mars? Face it- you can’t get the origin of species until you get the origin of life…you always hear Darwinists explaining how it HAD to have happened to start it all off, yet then they claim- ‘well, it isn’t part of the theory.’ They only do this because of the impossible odds of life arising from non-life, which is why Hoyle had no interest in supporting the model.

    Don’t worry- if scientists showed that life could arise from non-living materials, darwinists would rush out and say- ‘see, we told you it had to have happened once a few billion yrs ago!’

    Once again…The theory that purports to explain everything usually can’t explain much of anything.

  143. Josh Bozeman writes:
    “As I said before- atheists are close minded by nature.”

    As Renard (may he rest in peace) once memorably said,
    Oh, Josh. The irony!

  144. Yes, because I’m totally close minded.

    You don’t think atheists are close minded by nature? When someone says ‘God doesn’t exist- that’s the end of the story, you’re a fool to believe otherwise’ That’s the epitome of closed mindedness.

  145. Josh asks:
    “You don’t think atheists are close minded by nature? When someone says ‘God doesn’t exist- that’s the end of the story, you’re a fool to believe otherwise’ That’s the epitome of closed mindedness.”

    Josh,
    You don’t think theists are closed-minded by nature? When someone says ‘God exists- that’s the end of the story, you’re a fool to believe otherwise’, that’s the epitome of closed-mindedness.”

    Apart from pointing out the hilarious double standard, I do have some things to say about atheism.

    I used to call myself an agnostic, because I don’t absolutely rule out the possibility of a God. The problem was that people tended to interpret that to mean that I thought the God of Christianity, or Judaism, or Islam, or of [name your favorite organized religion] was a live possibility. I didn’t, and I don’t, so it reduces confusion when I call myself an atheist.

    It’s also quite possible to be an atheist without ruling out the existence of God, as Bertrand Russell famously pointed out:
    “Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.”

    So I would describe myself as an atheist in Russell’s sense, having yet seen no evidence for the orbiting teapot.

    The fine-tuning argument is the most compelling reason I see to consider the possibility of God’s existence. But like all other God-of-the-gaps arguments, it depends on science’s inability to supply a naturalistic explanation. Given the poor history of all the other GOTG arguments, I’ll go with the atheists on this one until science has had more time to work on the problem.

  146. Can you really see into the future like this?

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