Home » Intelligent Design » Two Questions for Judge Jones

Two Questions for Judge Jones

Here are two multiple choice questions, but you must not look at the second question before answering the first.

1. What makes a theory a religious theory?

A. The theory incorporates religious premises.
B. Proponents of the theory are religious people.
C. The theory mandates certain types of solutions.
D. The theory allows for all types of solution.

Continue reading here.

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

36 Responses to Two Questions for Judge Jones

  1. 1
    CannuckianYankee

    Gee, I guess that means that the Big Bang theory and Relativity are also religious theories.

    The Big Bang theory, because many religious people rely on its implications to make an inferrence about the existence of God.

    Relativity, because again, many religious people rely on its implications to make inferrences regarding the existence of God.

    Out with them all! I say.

  2. There are two claims against ID that seem be disjunctive.

    1. To be accepted as science ID must make testable predictions. i.e. Elliott Sober, John Mackie.

    2. It isn’t science because it doesn’t follow the rule of methodological naturalism. Ruse etc.

    Claim 1 I would suggest is closer to the truth.

  3. What is this meant to demonstrate?

  4. 4
    CannuckianYankee

    Mr. Sibley,

    ID does not really violate one of the rules of MN. I say “one of the rules,” because the rules appear to keep changing with regard to a definition of MN in order to suite the Darwinist’s convenience. Let me illustrate:

    http://rationalwiki.com/wiki/M.....naturalism

    Notice in the linked article the first definition is: “Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method.”

    So far, so good, ID does not violate the scientific method depending on which definition. If it’s a definition that “requires” naturalism, then it loses by default.

    …”Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses.”

    I would like to see the empirical sceintific evidence via methodological naturalism that supports the above statement.

    i.e., “God-of-the-gaps” is an effect caused by defining causal relationships with the supernatural. How vacuous is that? It’s a circular argument not supported by anything remotely close to what can be deduced from the “scientific method” these methodological naturalists cling to. I would call it the “God-of-the-gaps-of-the-gaps” argument.

    Then there’s this gem: “To avoid these traps scientists assume that all causes are empirical and naturalistic — which means they can be measured, quantified and studied methodically.”

    I have no problem with “empirical” whatsoever. However, where do they get off inserting “and naturalistic” to a definition that was fine by itelf? what’s wrong with “All causes are empirical – which means they can be measured, quantified and studied methodically?”

    I know what’s wrong with it, and I suspect that you know as well, but let me spell it out: “naturalistic” is inserted precisely to tie the definition of MN to philosophical naturalism.

    So as Dr. Ruse would say: “It’s a bit of a fib” (referring to ID, of course).

    When seen in this light, ID does not really violate the scientific method, so long as “naturalistic” is not inserted into the definition.

    And to further the fib, we have Eugenie Scott later in the article declaring: “The scientific definition of evolution makes no mention of theological issues such as whether God created. Science as practiced today is methodologically naturalistic: it explains the natural world using only natural causes. Science cannot explain (or test explanations about) the supernatural. There is also an independent sort of naturalism, philosophical naturalism, a belief (not science, but belief) that the universe consists only of matter and energy and that there are no supernatural beings, forces, or causes. Johnson´s crucial error is not distinguishing between these two kinds of naturalism. That some individual scientists are philosophical naturalists does not make science atheistic any more than the existence of nonbelieving bookkeepers makes accounting atheistic.” (DARWIN ON TRIAL: A Review – Eugenie Scott from the National Center for Science Education)

    I would say to Eugenie; this is not an issue regarding the existence of nonbelieving bookkeepers; rather, it is an issue of requiring bookkeepers to only account for that which is naturalistic, which would by default, be atheistic. If God deducted money from the bookkeeper via “supernatural” means, the bookkeeper could never know via the rules set up by MN. But there would be one problem: how would he account for the missing funds?

    And the rule assumes that God and the supernatural cannot be detected, because the rule artificially established by MN, does not allow for such detection. So while the rule does not specifically state “God does not exist,” it limits knowing about God’s existence by its methodology, therefore in effect, ruling out God.

    Few atheists I know will state “There is no God.” Most of the ones I have come to know state: “I find no evidence for God.” So MN clearly supports atheism by limiting science to that which is naturalistic. Since God is not naturalistic in the strict sense of the materialists, no evidence for him could ever be detected via the “scientific method” mandated by methodological naturalism.

    So ID does not really violate methodological naturalism, rather methodological naturalism violates ID. So as the evidence for ID countinues pouring in, one will eventually trump the other. Take a guess which one.

  5. 5
    CannuckianYankee

    Correction:

    Me #3: “what’s wrong with ‘All causes are empirical – which means they can be measured, quantified and studied methodically?’

    I know what’s wrong with it, and I suspect that you know as well, but let me spell it out: “naturalistic” is inserted precisely to tie the definition of MN to philosophical naturalism.”

    Woops, that doesn’t flow quite right. How about “I know what’s wrong with the first version…..”

  6. My first thought after reading the two questions is…

    ” huh? o0 ”

    The multiple choice answers are two vague, ‘The theory mandates certain types of solutions’? wtf? that one could fit but it is too vague to mean anything useful. Sometimes me thinks empty vessels ask the stupid questions.

  7. CannuckianYankee you wrote..

    So far, so good, ID does not violate the scientific method depending on which definition

    but umm, as I’m always saying, you all are arguing over an empty cup with the label ‘ID’ on the side, trying to show how scientific the contents are, but there is nothing in there!

    I always make this point, and I always get told I’m just continuing the ‘elitist darwinian’ propaganda that ID isn’t scientific. but I ask, what is in the cup?

    Please, I’d love to know, and I’ll keep asking. And bearing in mind, a cup named ‘ToE’ may be sitting right next to it, but you cant try and crash the other people’s tea party, you got show why everybody should be at your tea party instead of the ToE tea party. What is the hypothesis of ID, HOW CAN IT BE FALSIFIED!?

    I repeat, HOW CAN IT BE FALSIFIED? that is the question that is of the most importance, science cannot be done without that question. All responses that dont attack me for asking the question are welcome, and appreciated!

    Love you all!

  8. Also, I should have probably said all answers that dont attack the ToE are welcome and preferred and appreciated, you can’t do your own homework by showing how everyone else’s homework is wrong!

    lol, love my analogies me!

    Love you all as well.

  9. 9
    CannuckianYankee

    Nnoel,

    “What is the hypothesis of ID, HOW CAN IT BE FALSIFIED!?”

    I get it. You’re premise here supposedly falsifies ID by questioning its falsifiability?

    You’ll have to do better than that.

    Andrew, you can add this as another disjunctive claim against ID.

  10. 10
    William J. Murray

    The theory of ID can be falsified by demonstrating that natural law & chance are sufficient explanations for whatever phenomena is in question – such as the existence of complex, specified, coded information found in DNA, or such a s the fine-tuning of the universe.

    We already know what intelligent or intentional design can do that undirected agency cannot, because we can see what humans can design that nature otherwise is incapable of constructing. This makes intentional agency a meaningful and valid explanation, because it is empirical, and we know it is sufficient.

    Of the two theories on the table, natural law and chance appears to be an insufficient explanation for certain phenomena, and ID appears to be a sufficient explanation, making ID the better theory. Natural causation is always the better theory if it can be shown to be a sufficient cause for the phenomena in question, because then intentional agency is not required.

  11. ID is based on observations and experience.

    ID can be tested.

    What else does one require from ID before it is accepted as scientific?

    How can one falsify the premsie that the bacterial flagellum “evolved” via an accumulation of genetic accidents?

  12. Nnoel,

    but umm, as I’m always saying, you all are arguing over an empty cup with the label ‘ID’ on the side, trying to show how scientific the contents are, but there is nothing in there!

    LOL. Nice analogy, but the ToE cup contains Piltdown Man, peppered moths, Ernest Heckel, polonium halos, Eugenics, and Mao Zedong Thought. Compared to this, an empty cup doesn’t sound so bad…

  13. William J. Murray @ 10

    We already know what intelligent or intentional design can do that undirected agency cannot, because we can see what humans can design that nature otherwise is incapable of constructing. This makes intentional agency a meaningful and valid explanation, because it is empirical, and we know it is sufficient.

    Umm, I’m not sure to what you are refferring here, but most ideas in our technology can be shown to be first patented by NATURE, I believe there is a good example with the way cuttlefish communication with a ‘HD reeady’ display on their sides, a quick google gives me this Cuttlefish Say It With Skin

    And as it is assumed by most honest scientists (honest = maybe haven’t heard of the ID movement) that this ‘design’ has arisen by chance.

    If by ‘stuff nature hasn’t constructed’ you mean buildings and skateboards and all, then those are not good example in this instance because we dont see ANY CHANCE of how a building could ‘fall into place’ in the ‘right chance and environment’, but to use Joseph @ 11 example, the bacterial flagellum is a bad example for ID because a ‘reasonable’ path can be proposed to how they come about.

    ‘Reasonable’ in quotations because without other evidence, what can be said about how the flagellum came about. Stating ‘there is no chance’ is not an adequate assumption to make, one has to have evidence of this other process or being that interfered with the organism and directed its evolution

  14. Joseph @ 11

    You ask how one can falsify the evolutionary explination about the flagellum, and I believe the best way would be to show very strong evidence that a complicated form arose in nature that was not first preceded by a simpler form.

    I’m basically saying you are asking for a specific example of this organsim, but show the WHOLE THEORY to be wrong, and you’d have falsified the explication of the flagellum as well. Unfortunately, as I’ve said in my post above, a evolutionary path for the flagellum has been suggested, and therefore, with the weigth of evidence behind the ToE, and the fact that simpler forms existed before the flagellum did, one cannot use the flagellum against evolution, it’s that simple.

  15. 15
    William J. Murray

    Nnoel,

    Please meaningfully describe (in mathematical terms) the difference between the chances that the bacterial flagellum arose “by chance”, and the chances that a skateboard might be constructed by chance.

    Asserting that it is more likely that chance constructed the flagellum is just an assertion until you provide a meaningful argument that it is more likely.

    I can also describe a potential pathway for a skateboard to arise without intentional design; that doesn’t mean it has a reasonable chance of actually happening in the real world without intentional design.

    Another analogy would be a man that wins 3 state lotteries in a row; it’s possible it happened by chance, but not investigating him for fraud would be negligent on the part of the lottery commission.

    Just because something might be remotely possible doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be investigated as to whether or not intentional or intelligent design is a better explanation.

  16. CannuckianYankee @ 9 :

    I get it. You’re premise here supposedly falsifies ID by questioning its falsifiability?

    Any scientific hypothesis (i almost used the word theory here, but hypothesis is more suitable for ID) that cannot be phrased in the manner that clearly shows how it could be shown to be wrong, cannot claim itself scientific.

    Please provide me other examples in science that cant be phrased in a ‘this is how you’d prove me wrong’ kinda way, I cant think of any. It’s true that some examples APPEAR unfalsifiable, but anything that doesn’t follow a prediction (and thats what science is all about) would show evidence against.

    And btw, no, I’m not trying to falsify anything, I’m an agnostic at heart, I realise there are things I dont know and things I could never know. So I have to keep an open mind, which is half the reason I read this blog. But nothing grabs be as believable in ID because I don’t see it scientific YET, emphasis on yet!

    I would agree that the ‘odds’ required by evolution are sometimes rather unbelievable, but just cause the path isn’t very wide or comfortable don’t mean I’m going to assume it wasn’t walked and must have been flown through (more bad analogies, sorry)

    Love you all!

  17. William J. Murray @ 15 :

    “Just because something might be remotely possible doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be investigated as to whether or not intentional or intelligent design is a better explanation.”

    You are correct. But besides the improbability of the flagellum, what evidence do you have for a designer?

  18. Sorry, just reread my last post, what evidence do you have in the context of the example we are talking about.

    Hehe.

  19. 19
    William J. Murray

    I haven’t asserted anything in the current example.

    You, on the other hand, have asserted a probability difference between the unintentional generation of a functional skateboard, and the unintentional generation of a functioning flagellum.

    The question is then, can you support that assertion, or not?

  20. 20
    William J. Murray

    The evidence I have for design is that I have designed things. I know design, and designers, exist in reality. I can usually recognize that something has been designed. Recognizing such designs is as yet not a science (although SETI might beg to differ), but ID theorists are attempting to define the scientific principles behind ID recognition theory.

    Should their work be defined as “non-science” simply because it addresses something we all know exists – i.e., intelligence, intentinality, and design?

  21. William J. Murray @ 20 :

    I have agreed that ‘investigating’ these things as not a product of pure chance is a valid and worthwhile expenditure of effort, but I find you asking me to calculate the probability of a skateboard appearing by chance compared to a flagellum appearing by chance as not such a worthwhile effort.

    We are having a reasonable conversation, and I have agreed with you when you make reasonable statements, but everything I’ve said about ‘providing falsifiability’ has been glossed over by all supporters of ID who obviously haven’t given it thought.

    I asked these questions because these are the questions I need answered before I’d start to agree that ID is providing an alternative to macro evolution’s ‘time and pure chance’.

    love you!

  22. Also, I’d like to raise the point that ‘common sense’ doesn’t always provide the best answers. I find alot of the ID literature appealing to the ignorance (of science and biology) of their target audience, and because of that, I define it as propaganda.

  23. An example of propaganda :

    http://www.faithandevolution.org/

    if you really look.. you find out why I call it propaganda, if you dont want to find the reasons, you’ll be completely convinced.

  24. anyway, I’m leaving work now, it’s friday night… you may not hear from again on this thread.

  25. 25
    William J. Murray

    If we throw out the argument that either ID or NF (natural forces) enjoys the status as the default position when it comes to “best theory”, then either one making a claim must present their case or evidence.

    Knowing what we know of deliberate agents (humans), is that given sufficent materials, time, and ingenuity, an intelligent agent can do just about anything, including creating things that appear to be natural.

    If we take the flagellum, for example, we know that an intelligent designer “could have” manufactured it, because humans make similar machines all the time. However, if ID constructs something, they do so utilzing the NF and are constricted to operating under NF; any theory of ID is really a theory of ID + NF. This means there are two postulates involved in the theory; an ID using NF to construct the physical phenomena in question.

    So, what would ever make NF (natural forces alone) the better theory, if ID + NF is sufficient for just about anything?

    Obviously, if ID isn’t necessary for a sufficient explanation, by Occam’s Razor and application of most parsiminous explantion, NF by itself becomes the better explanation.

    Therefore, if a phenomena can be sufficiently explained in terms of only Natural Forces, then ID has been falsified as a necessary additional explanation. IF, however, a phenomena cannot be sufficiently explained via only UN, then then ID & UN becomes the best explanation, because it is sufficient to explain the phenomena.

    ID is falsified all the time in many scientific avenues, such as investigatory forensics, archaeology, etc. When Natural Forces are an insufficient explanation for, say, an arrowhead or some other artifact (or a coherent message from space), ID + NF becomes the better explanation.

  26. 26
    William J. Murray

    A correction:

    Therefore, if a phenomena can be sufficiently explained in terms of only Natural Forces, then ID has been falsified as a necessary additional explanation. IF, however, a phenomena cannot be sufficiently explained via only UN, then then ID & **NF** becomes the best explanation, because it is sufficient to explain the phenomena.

  27. 27
    William J. Murray

    UN=NF, sorry.

  28. William J. Murray

    The evidence I have for design is that I have designed things.

    Do you want to say that you have the same capabilities as THE DESIGNER and you could thus create a 747 or rather an A380 or even better an An-225out of the blue without needing even a junk yard or a tornadao?

  29. 29

    PaulBurnett:

    How would ID have predicted the location of the Tiktaalik fossils? (Evolution did.)

    The body of evolutionary evidence is often called a ‘mountain.’ Problem is, as the above illustrates, anyone can throw anything on that pile. More is better. There’s no quality control.

  30. PaulBurnett (18): “How would ID have predicted the location of the Tiktaalik fossils? (Evolution did.) How does ID explain the recurrent laryngeal nerve, which goes from the brain through the aortic arch and back to the throat? (Evolution can.) How does ID explain the plantaris muscle, which has no use in humans but helps other creatures grip with their feet? (Evolution can.) How does ID explain vestigial eyes in blind cave fish or the hind leg bones of whales or the inside-out mammalian eye? Evolution can…ID can’t.”

    This confuses creationism with ID. Most ID advocates and the leading thinkers like Michael Behe accept the obvious evidence of common descent, and also of gradual microevolutionary change. Where Behe (The Edge of Evolution) places the edge of plausible random variation-driven evolution is at the level of macroevolution, somewhere between orders, families and genera. Multiple coherent steps appear to have been required for all the jumps above this: Classes, phyla, cell types, integrated protein networks, developmental genetic programs, biological kingdoms, molecular machines, multiprotein complexes, genetic code, cells, and the origin of life. Where are the expected millions of transitional fossils between classes and phyla, just to start with?

    The so-called “inside-out” mammalian eye is an optimal solution for land vertebrates. Do a little research on the extremely high energetic demands of the vertebrate eye, how this is related to the choriocapillaris, the retinal pigmented epithelium, and the Muller glial cells. It represents one of the innovations at the phylum or class level of organization that really has no plausible gradualistic origin.

  31. 31
    CannuckianYankee

    PaulBurnett:

    “What about the 100,000 or more things the ToE cup has in it that do reinforce and verify the fact of evolution? How could you miss those?”

    Mr. Burnett, this is simply an example of “confirmation bias,” along the lines of “But look at all the good things Hitler did.”

    Ignoring the fundamental problems while piling the irrelevant positives higher does not really garner valid support.

    (See C. Hunter – Darwin’s Predictions)

  32. magnan:

    “Where are the expected millions of transitional fossils between classes and phyla, just to start with?”

    I’m not quite sure what you mean by this, magnan. Could you clarify what a transitional between classes and phyla would be?

    Surely all fossils described in a class would also be in a phylum.

    Transitional fossils from class to class, however, make sense, as classes can produce daughter classes that leave the parent one (fish to amphibians, reptiles to mammals, etc.). These, of course, we find.

  33. 33
    William J. Murray

    Sparc,

    No, I’m saying that I have evidence that ID exists, because I – and other humans – intentionally design things.

  34. PaulBurnett:

    How would ID have predicted the location of the Tiktaalik fossils? (Evolution did.) How does ID explain the recurrent laryngeal nerve, which goes from the brain through the aortic arch and back to the throat? (Evolution can.) How does ID explain the plantaris muscle, which has no use in humans but helps other creatures grip with their feet? (Evolution can.) How does ID explain vestigial eyes in blind cave fish or the hind leg bones of whales or the inside-out mammalian eye? Evolution can…ID can’t.

    Except that thne theory of evolution cannot explain any of that.

    It can’t explain nerves- period.

    It can’t explain fish.

    It can’t explain eyes.

    And it sure as heck can’t explain muscles.

    BTW ID is NOT anti-evolution.

  35. iconofid (33): “I’m not quite sure what you mean by this, magnan. Could you clarify what a transitional between classes and phyla would be?”

    I meant to say between classes and between phyla. There are certainly a few transitionals separated by tens of millions of years that have been found that appear to be between vertebrate classes, but not the vast numbers that would be predicted by strict gradualistic Darwinism. I am not aware of any between the phyla. The issue of Phyla transitionals of course relates to the Cambrian Explosion.

    Concerning the few apparent transitionals that have been found. Just because two fossils may appear to be related, does not mean that one turned into the other through a gradual process. In any case CSI considerations with macroevolution dictate that this could not have been the case. Nearly all fossils repeat previous fossils, demonstrating the stasis punctuated by very occasional jump pattern actually observed in the fossil record.

    If the gradualistic model actually applied during the origin of new classes, much less phyla, it certainly went out of its way to conceal itself and the hundreds of millions of necessary transitions that would have to have existed.

  36. 36
    CannuckianYankee

    Nnoel,

    “And btw, no, I’m not trying to falsify anything, I’m an agnostic at heart, I realise there are things I dont know and things I could never know. So I have to keep an open mind, which is half the reason I read this blog. But nothing grabs be as believable in ID because I don’t see it scientific YET, emphasis on yet!

    I would agree that the ‘odds’ required by evolution are sometimes rather unbelievable, but just cause the path isn’t very wide or comfortable don’t mean I’m going to assume it wasn’t walked and must have been flown through…”

    There are some ID advocates (Mike Gene, for example), who are not yet ready to place ID in the category of science either, but that doesn’t keep them from interest in the subject, so I appreciate where you are coming from.

    You say, however, that you are an agnostic. Does this agnisticism also enter into your acceptance of Darwinian Evolution?

    I am not an agnostic, so my adopted philosophy does not require any special skepticism of anything really; yet I am skeptical by choice and reason of some things over others. I’m not committed to Methodological Naturalism, therefore, I can be skeptical of it by that choice and that reason.

    I can’t be skeptical of ID yet, because I don’t really know enough about it, and it lies within my chosen and reasoned skepticism of MN. However, my skepticism of MN causes me to question Darwinism.

    One can be a non-scientist and still have areas of thought that are simply outside one’s chosen and reasoned philosophical understanding. ToE is an outside system of belief, which requires a commitment to MN; therefore I can reject it on those grounds alone.

    But I’m also learning to understand ToE from a more scientific perspective. I still don’t see anything in biology chemistry or physics that precludes Methodological Naturalism. Apparently I am not alone in that assessment.

    Have you thought about these issues in your agnisticism?

    BTW, I realized that I was in error in your criticism of ID as not being falsifiable. Falsifiability is a good establishment of scientific validity. I was confusing falsifiability as something within a philosophical/logical context, when it really only fits within a strictly scientific context.

    I was criticizing you for questioning ID within a philosophical context, which logically is absurd. If you can question the falsifiability of anything within a philosophical context, then you are in effect making an attempt to falsify it, which violates cetain rules of logic.

    However, you are right to question ID’s falsifiability if you are unfamiliar with ID. That’s how science is done.

    I, however, don’t currently find anything within the ID theory that is not falsifiable. The problem is that what I find the anti-ID school doing is rendering ID non-falsifiable from a false premise that it is religious.

    They fail to separate the religious implications that some ID supporters notice, from the theory itself, which requires no religious commitment, and indeed, some ID supporters are in fact atheists.

    If I were to look at ID from a strictly religious perspective, I would reject it, because it does not commit itself to any literal interpretation of scripture. In fact, there are some scriptural literalists, who do reject ID for that reason.

    I think you would benefit looking into the philosophical assertions made by Darwinists. Philosophically Darwinism is vacuous, because it fails to deal wtih the problem of an infinite regress. Darwinists make this same accusation towards theism, but their analysis of the matter does not hold. All they can come up with is “Who designed the designer,” which is completely ignorant of theology. Why? I think it is because they don’t believe theology is important, due to their prior commitment to MN.

    Then they state the problem of “God of the gaps,” while ignoring the many gaps in ToE.

    There are gaps in all philosophies. The real issue is in deciphering which philosophy is reasoned the best despite the gaps. I personally find that theism fills in the gaps much better than atheism, and ID more than ToE.

Leave a Reply