Home » Intelligent Design, Philosophy, Religion » Even supposing ID is not science, it does not automatically mean it is religion, philosophy, or metaphysics

Even supposing ID is not science, it does not automatically mean it is religion, philosophy, or metaphysics

I found a comment by CLADIVS (Claudius) in Good and bad reasons for rejecting ID that is worth highlighting.

But without a testable explanation, ID remains in the realm of metaphysics, philosophy or religion, not science.

I responded:

ID may not be science, but that does not mean automatically it is religion.

If I have a coin in a box and shake it, look at it at 11:27 AM on 6/26/13 and determine it is heads. You have no way of scientifically verifying the claim via a process of repeated experiments 10 years from now. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

The fact that a true claim about the history of the physical universe is not accessible to science does not make the claim automatically a religious claim. It might be true in the physical sense.

Notions of good and evil etc. are definitely in the realm of philosophy, claims about physical universe are not necessarily religious just because they are inaccessible to science.

If by science one demands that the mechanism is repeatable and observable, then ID is not science, but such a definition is a two-edged sword. By such a definition of science, there are a lot of scientific theories based mostly on inference that would be rejected as science. Some examples are given in: What qualifies as science in the wonderful world of Disney.

By such a strict definition of science in terms of experiments and observables, evolutionary biology is not science either:

Ernst Mayr (as quoted by McHugh):

Evolutionary biology, in contrast with physics and chemistry, is a historical science…[where] Laws and experiments are inappropriate…
….
Instead one constructs a … narrative

Ernst Mayr

I’m ambivalent to the arguments whether ID is science or not since it depends one’s definition of science. The question at hand is its reasonableness versus the alternatives. But supposing for the sake of argument it is not science, it does not automatically make it a religious, metaphysical, or philosophical idea.

I’ve suggested, on scientific grounds alone, an Intelligent Designer may be inferred to exist. See: Quantum Enigma of Consciousness and the Identity of the Designer.

And strictly speaking, ID-sympathetic theories might be verifiable one day, and hence they could qualify as science in the strict sense. If after you die and find yourself facing Almighty God on judgment day, then by the standards of science, ID is verifiable because then you would have been brought back to life and are facing the Intelligent Designer himself. Of course, if ID is false and there is no Intelligent Designer of the universe and life, you have few worries that you’ll ever face Almighty God.

But, imho, there is the chance everyone reading these discussions might see the Intelligent Designer one day, and hence these discussions have merit independent of whether one views ID as science or not. As an aside, the father of the concept of expectation values, Blaise Pascal, had something to say on the rationality of wagering on the existence of the Intelligent Designer based on your presumed distribution of the possibility of his existence…See: Pascal’s Wager. For me, I’m not wagering Darwin, Dawkins nor Dennett are right. That’s a bad bet in my book….

In sum, even supposing ID is not science, it does not automatically mean it is philosophy, religion, or metaphysics since it is making a claim about physical events rather than esoteric claims about what is good and evil.

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84 Responses to Even supposing ID is not science, it does not automatically mean it is religion, philosophy, or metaphysics

  1. If Ernst Mayr is correct in supposing that evolutionary biology is a historical science, where experiments are inappropriate, then it is not science because it cannot be falsified (in accordance with Karl Popper’s philosophy of science). Either Mayr is wrong, or Popper is wrong. You can’t have it both ways.

  2. ID is testable and we have mechanisms…

  3. “these discussions have merit independent of whether one views ID as science or not.”

    I’m not often in agreement with you maestro Cordova, but in this case I am. That is why I have been advocating IDT as properly a science, philosophy, theology/worldview conversation. There are many ‘science & religion’ or ‘science & faith’ or ‘science and theology’ institutes and programs at universities, including world-leading ones where IDT could more appropriately fit *IFF.

    Do you not think that IDT would be taken more seriously if it actually did ‘come clean’ as Dembski claimed he was doing a decade ago and admit that IDT is not ‘strictly scientific,’ as Mike Gene concluded already 5+ years ago?

    The insistence that IDT *is* ‘strictly scientific’, as Casey Luskin, a lightweight philosopher, but evangelical legal PR figure at the DI claims, is actually a *good reason for rejecting IDT*, which many, many people hold.

    “ID may not be science, but that does not mean automatically it is religion.”

    Have the courage, Salvador, to make a positive, instead of just a negative claim. Have the courage to say, as you imply above, that *outside of science* discussions related to evolution, creation, origins, processes, organisms, machines and mechanisms, etc. can still and should take place. I’ve been doing this for a dozen years already! ;)

    The best way to do this (related to IDism’s scientistic predicament) is to acknowledge the distinction between Uppercase ID and lowercase id, as Gingerich, Davis, Isaac and others have done. Dembski distinguishes ‘(the) design argument(s)’ from ‘Intelligent Design Theory’ in The Design Revolution – chapter 7, so you have a mentor to follow in this strategy. Uppercase ID, however, according to IDT, is a ‘strictly scientific’ theory; it deals with topics in natural sciences, like origins of biological information and human origins. OoL is as much cosmological and theology/worldview oriented as it is strictly a problem of natural-physical science.

    All Abrahamic believers already accept(ed) the small-id ‘intelligent design’ (i.e. the Creation) of the universe (even if they didn’t choose to or need that particular concept-duo to do it), even before IDT was a glimmer of an engineer’s analogy in Thaxton’s mind.

    In any case, I take it that you already accept the logic of this argument in that you are imo properly capitalising the ‘I’ and the ‘D’ when writing ‘Intelligent Designer’:

    “If after you die and find yourself facing Almighty God on judgment day, then by the standards of science, ID is verifiable because then you would have been brought back to life and are facing the Intelligent Designer himself.”

    (Now, expect your private e-mail to be filled by IDists warning you not to accept this important categorical distinction, which serves to protect the Abrahamic faiths from ‘scientism’ as it currently exists within the IDM, and which this thread attempts to address.)

  4. Although OOL experiments are not generally motivated by IDT, in reality, there likely exists methods in that area of research that could be be exploited by IDists to test hypothesis’.

    Also, that recent paper on the “Wow Signal”, is a test for intelligent causation, so it seems that the perception that ID is untestable is nonsense.

    IMHO, evolution is powerful evidence of ID, so yeah, test that.

    Bottom line- Claudius is mistaken.

  5. There’s one significant problem with trying to claim ID is not science on defintional grounds: there simply is no widely accepted, agreed upon definition of science to which one can appeal to justify the prohibition. Here’s just a few examples. From U.C. Berkeley website on ‘What is Science?’ we get this:

    Science is both a body of knowledge and a process. In school, science may sometimes seem like a collection of isolated and static facts listed in a textbook, but that’s only a small part of the story. Just as importantly, science is also a process of discovery that allows us to link isolated facts into coherent and comprehensive understandings of the natural world.

    Science is exciting. Science is a way of discovering what’s in the universe and how those things work today, how they worked in the past, and how they are likely to work in the future. Scientists are motivated by the thrill of seeing or figuring out something that no one has before.

    Science is useful. The knowledge generated by science is powerful and reliable. It can be used to develop new technologies, treat diseases, and deal with many other sorts of problems.

    Science is ongoing. Science is continually refining and expanding our knowledge of the universe, and as it does, it leads to new questions for future investigation. Science will never be “finished.”

    Science is a global human endeavor. People all over the world participate in the process of science. And you can too!

    Not much help to prohibition there. Then there’s this page of many definitions of science from the Univ. of Georgia. Not one of these, most from folks who would be favorable to Darwinian evolution, contains anything that would justify excluding ID from science. Prohibition of ID from science doesn’t come from any particular definition of science; rather it stems directly from a particular worldview called Naturalism.

    And none of that even touches on the fact that even a cursory review of peer reviewed articles in the philosophy of science journals will show that both defining science and trying to define a line of demarcation between science and non-science are two of the nastier problems in the philosophy of science.

  6. DonaldM, do you at least admit that ‘Intelligent Design Theory’ according to IDM leaders (Dembski, Meyer, Behe, Wells, Nelson, et al.) insists on being ‘strictly scientific’?

    Here is a <a href=longer and a shorter version of my answer to this question – “How many sciences are there?” – which Caroline Crocker changed to “What is Science?” at AITSE. There are several open questions there in case you would care to address them here.

    That the IDM continues to insist that IDT is ‘strictly scientific’ (for the wide variety of reasons they do this) actually provides an (unintentional?) example of ‘scientism,’ which in this case simply means, insisting on ‘scientificity’ for validity (i.e. in overturning the neo-Darwinian evolutionary paradigm / Modern Synthesis in biological sciences), trying to give a scientific alternative that Popper asked for wrt evolution.

  7. The more comprehensive version, with proper link.

  8. scordova

    Thank you for highlighting my comment.

    ID may not be science, but that does not mean automatically it is religion.

    Well, I didn’t say that; I said it may be philosophy or metaphysics or religion. And I didn’t mean ID had to be limited to that set. I was just thinking of examples of intellectual fields outside of science that ID might belong to.

    If by science one demands that the mechanism is repeatable and observable, then ID is not science, but such a definition is a two-edged sword. By such a definition of science, there are a lot of scientific theories based mostly on inference that would be rejected as science.

    I think science only includes things that one can test empirically i.e. not just by thinking, but by making observations of objective reality. Even if a mechanism is not repeatable, or directly observable, an hypothesis about that mechanism can still be scientific if there’s some empirical way to test it e.g. by observing indirect effects.

    In sum, even supposing ID is not science, it does not automatically mean it is philosophy, religion, or metaphysics since it is making a claim about physical events rather than esoteric claims about what is good and evil.

    I don’t suppose it matters what you want to call it. I’m only objecting to calling ID science. There’s nothing disreputable about metaphysics or philosophy or religion IMO.

  9. DonaldM @ 5

    There’s one significant problem with trying to claim ID is not science on defintional grounds: there simply is no widely accepted, agreed upon definition of science to which one can appeal to justify the prohibition

    ID’s problem, with respect to being regarded as science, is more fundamental than that: There is no ID explanation to assess to see whether it might be scientific.

    Per the UD FAQ, ID is the assertion that there is an explanation for biological life that involves intelligence. This is an assertion about what types of explanation exist. It is not actually an explanation itself.

    This may well be an important step on the way to formulating ID as a scientific hypothesis, but clearly it’s not there yet.

  10. This may well be an important step on the way to formulating ID as a scientific hypothesis, but clearly it’s not there yet.

    I strongly agree. Critically, this step will involve specifying what is entailed by the term “intelligence” in the context of ID. Each aspect we may associate with this term would need to be empirically verified, so ID needs to describe very specifically which sorts of capabilities are being postulated.

  11. 11

    ID questions the evidence of nature concerning evolution. So in doing so its doing science if evolution is doing science in its claims for evidence.
    ID saying this is wrong or that right is as based on natures evidence and so measurable and testable as far as origin subjects can be.
    Its doing what is called science.
    In making claims for the creator by the complexity of creation it is also making a case based on natures evidence.
    So iD is doing science as far as can be done on origins or present observations of nature and so conclusions on origins.

    ID and yEC 9save in using revelation) is doing science and a lot better then the bad guys.

  12. sal, the premise of this whole post is off base.*

    And it goes off base from the start because of the blatantly flawed logic Clavdivs used in stating:

    But without a testable explanation, ID remains in the realm of metaphysics, philosophy or religion, not science.

    ID is not in the business of explaining the fabrication mechanism of living systems — which was the point at issue that elicited Clavdivs’ comment. ID is in the business of inferring whether a system was designed. These are two separate questions.

    The fact that Clavdivs and Elizabeth and any other ID critic desperately wants ID to address the fabrication “mechanism” has no bearing on what ID in fact relates to and what ID in fact claims to explain.

    ID never claimed to be able to identify or explain a fabrication mechanism. So the fact that it doesn’t has zero bearing on whether ID has fulfilled its claims. Logic 101.

    Clavdivs’ complaint about ID is about as silly as saying that because chemistry doesn’t have an “explanation” for the formation of Mars, then chemistry isn’t science. They are separate questions.

    —–

    * This isn’t necessarily to disagree with the rest of your post. I believe it is critical, however, to point out when someone is leading down a path that is not even based in logic. Clavdivs’ statement does not represent a keen insight into the issues. It represents a misunderstanding of ID (my point) and a misunderstanding of science (your point).

  13. Eric Anderson @ 12

    CLAVDIVS: But without a testable explanation, ID remains in the realm of metaphysics, philosophy or religion, not science.
    Eric: ID is not in the business of explaining the fabrication mechanism of living systems — which was the point at issue that elicited Clavdivs’ comment. ID is in the business of inferring whether a system was designed. These are two separate questions.

    And my point is, so long as ID remains solely in the business of inferring whether a system designed, without specifying any kind of mechanism, then it is not science.

    There’s nothing disreputable about not being science, Eric, so there’s no need to appear upset.

    Think about it this way: Let’s grant, for the sake of discussion, that the scientific community has accepted that life on earth was intelligently designed. Now what? What would change about the way science is conducted? What new experiments would we perform, and which ones would we redo in a different way? I’m not talking about changes in the metaphysical interpretation of scientific results, but changes that lead to new observations and new patterns of evidence that we can measure.

    If you have some answers to these questions, great! That would be moving down the path towards ID being science. Let’s hear your thoughts.

    Cheers

  14. ““ID may not be science, but that does not mean automatically it is religion.””

    ID is science but Atheists don’t want to admit it because it raises the possibility of a designing intelligence. The Christians want to explore the ID because it seems to show there is a designing intelligence, but ID stands on it’s own evidence that there is highly complex design that cannot occur by natural means.

    ID is science as the research can be repeated and the DNA program can be observed in action repeatedly. Such as the way DNA is copied, it is a highly scientific exacting process that could not occur by blind chance, since failure would exterminate that species at the first attempt.

    “Ernst Mayr (as quoted by McHugh):

    Evolutionary biology, in contrast with physics and chemistry, is a historical science…[where] Laws and experiments are inappropriate…”

    I back him to the hilt, evolution is forensic science not operational science.

  15. Let’s grant, for the sake of discussion, that the scientific community has accepted that life on earth was intelligently designed. Now what? What would change about the way science is conducted? What new experiments would we perform, and which ones would we redo in a different way? I’m not talking about changes in the metaphysical interpretation of scientific results, but changes that lead to new observations and new patterns of evidence that we can measure.

    From an operational standpoint we can finally explore taboo areas that have medical and technological significance:

    1. John Sanford’s genetic entropy thesis, this has serious medical and environmental science implications. The program can’t move forward because it is politically incorrect to suggest human and other genomes are deteriorating. It’s like a sick person not wanting to find out the truth of his condition, but in this case its sick people preventing other sick people from knowing the truth. That is not right…this is research that needs to happen and it won’t in the current climate…instead, I see money wasted on almost definitely useless “science” projects…

    Patients have the right to know their condition. The human condition may be one of slow genetic deterioration. We have the right to know the truth, but this is taboo research because it lends credence to the design hypothesis.

    2. Steganography research. Dembski, others have speculated the architecture of biological organisms is not the result of common descent but is a user manual to help us understand biology. “Consereved sequences” are already helping to elucidate function (such as identifying protein binding sites).

    But there are other non-random patterns than conserved sequences, but it is taboo to explore these. And Darwin forbid if these non-random patterns work like user manuals to help us to reverse engineer biological function.

    So what if the project fails, we won’t know if we don’t try. This could lead to medical breakthroughs. This already has unwittingly happened in research of “conserved sequences” but research into higher order patterns not explainable by common descent is taboo.

    In private discussion with ID sympathetic scientists, some of this research is beginning, but its happening underground. A hint of this was by Sternberg here:
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....32961.html

    Myself, I’ve been tempted to pursue these projects in bioinformatics, but of late, I just throw up my hands and say, there is too much resistance for me to go into science to explore the areas I’d really like to explore. I’ll stick with my finance career to help cure my addiction to taboo science…

    3. If there is ID, it lends more credibility to certain creationist hypotheses, and freedom to explore taboo areas that ought to be explored and revisited. The geological column is one. And revisiting geology has important implications for Earth science.

    There are areas in physics and alternative energy that could be freed up because the climate of inquiry has changed. For example, variable speed of light theories could be important for space exploration. But it can’t be seriously explored because it has taboo implications.

    Physical theories of the origin of radiation and nuclear physics are taboo as well, but while in school, there were whispers about anomalies in magnetism and nuclear theory that ought to be explored but are politically incorrect. Some of this research could give ammo to the creationists. Example: nuclear transmutation via electricity. I’ll post more details about taboo areas as time permits at UD under the heading “cocktail”.

    I provided one such sampling of a taboo are here:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....al-column/

    Oh, yes the geological column. My posting on the coins and expected values actually has bearing on this!!! I’ve been collecting research papers on protein chemistry of dead organisms. Supposedly 70 million year old dino blood and other things are several sigma away from expected values. Like all coins heads, they are homochiral when physics and chemistry say they should not be after 70 million years. The implications for geology are important, but it is taboo research. And this is supported by the discovery of C-14 in dino soft tissue. But that data is suppressed, for obvious reasons.

    If this research has to be conducted underground, so be it, it’s work that has to be done in the service of truth…

    4. The climate for open mindedness is good. It’s bad that fine minds are getting ejected from the academy merely because they accept ID. Even supposing ID is wrong, getting rid of people like Ben Carson, John Hartnett, John Sanford…this is a bad thing for science, and for society.

    Personally, it was heart breaking to see my friend Caroline Crocker expelled form GMU and have her career ruined. 3 weeks after Nature reported my story and her story, she was dismissed from GMU. Thankfully I already had my diploma from GMU as well as 3 biology PhD creationists (Timothy Standish, Gordon Wilson, Timothy Brophy). But the thought police are now on alert to prevent “intellectual terrorists” like creationists from matriculating through the system.

    Another sad story is what happened evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg. Another fine mind expelled for doing politically incorrect science.

    Some of his research areas are taboo (very close to the lines of steganography). His work is the sort that ought to be done in the service of truth, and thankfully it is moving forward.

    For myself, personally, in 2007 I was invited to go to Baylor to study and work with Robert Marks in the informatics lab, but it got shut down. Thankfully it reopened. Nevertheless, I got a small taste what the anti-ID climate can do for IDists wanting to matriculate through the academy.

    One may complain, “Sal all this is a promissory note.” To which I’ll respond, “and what benefit is there for the promissory notes of resolving unresolvable phylogenetic trees and impossibly verifiable OOL theories like the RNA world. At least these ID-sympathetic areas of research have the potential to help the human condition.”

  16. CLAVDIVS: I agree absolutely. I think myself that ID is in danger of shooting itself in the foot by refusing to go further than inferring Design from lack of a persuasive alternative. I blame Dembski for this, largely, but I’d like to see (this is a genuine desire on my part) those IDists who really believe that ID is an actual scientific hypothesis to go ahead with the next step: if ID were true, what would that mean? What would we predict that evolution would not? Frontloading? Significant departures from the predictions of current physico-chemical models in bicchemical behaviour? What can we glean about the methods of the Designer, and the Designer’s state of knowledge? Was it an omniscient Designer who got everything right first time, or who worked as human designers do, by trial and error? Was humanity the likely end goal, or was the goal simply diversity? Is the Design embedded in the structure of the universe as a fundamental force pulling matter towards consciousness? How would we differentiate between these hypotheses?

    But this would mean, and I don’t mean this as a jibe, putting theology on the backburner and simply following the evidence as to the nature of the Designer where it leads.

    I think the theological agenda (and there is one) has hampered ID. Ironically, I think this bespeaks lack of faith in the reality of the project. It would be putting the Lord God to the test. But if we do not assume that the Designer is the Lord God, it is find to put it to the test.

    We may find the Lord God. We may find Cthulhu.

    Or we may find nothing, but the Lord God within our hearts just the same :)

    But I think it’s time for ID to take courage.

    And to recognise that “we can detect the Signature of Design in patterns alone, we do not need to go further” is fundamentally flawed. It just doesn’t work.

  17. Cross-posted with Sal who is bravely taking up the challenge!

    But, Sal – Sanford’s thesis is also completely flawed. he may be a highly respected horticultural genetic engineer but he simply does not understand population genetics, and his entire case is based on his misreading of population genetics.

    If I had to start somewhere, I’d start with front-loading.

  18. But, Sal – Sanford’s thesis is also completely flawed. he may be a highly respected horticultural genetic engineer but he simply does not understand population genetics, and his entire case is based on his misreading of population genetics.

    I obviously don’t agree, but the nice thing is we actually have a testable hypothesis. We’ll know who is closer to the truth at as time goes on and we have more data.

    Solexa technology is making sequencing very affordable. We’ll know the story in due time. No need to settle it in the space of the blog wars (beside blogs aren’t real science anyway, usually shouting matches).

  19. Yes indeed, Sal :)

    Cheers

    Lizzie

  20. F/N: It seems the fundamental issue is in part addressed in the OP — the vexed problem of demarcation.

    There is no one size fits all intuitively obvious definition of science and dividing line from science.

    That is, the fields of what are conventionally labelled sciences are an historical and convenient group rather than a matter of rigid definition.

    Unfortunately, because of the prestige of “Science” and the power of appeal to culturally prestigious authorities, what should be a discussion of the strengths and limitations of empirically based, inductive reasoning and what we may properly — even if provisionally accept/use as reliable findings, has been diverted into a labelling fight. (And BTW, shifting terminology to “knowledge” won’t help much — “Science” is “knowledge” in Latin.)

    Solution: discuss inductive logic, empirical reliability, and the dilemmas of a finite and fallible race that has to make big decisions on information that is not necessarily absolutely true.

    Exactly what is least likely to happen and what is apt to be rhetorically mis-labelled and attacked by those with ideological, institutional and cultural agendas tied to a priori evolutionary materialist scientism.

    How do I know this?

    Because this is just what has repeatedly happened.

    KF

  21. As an aside, creationist theories actually lead to more testable hypotheses than ID theories.

    The problem however is creationist theories are:

    1. frequently wrong
    2. difficult to prove with the resources in hand
    3. are on the fringe of the mainstream

    ID theories are easily defended — like OOL research projects will fail to create life from mindless chemical soups.

    Creationist theories are difficult to defend, but I credit their persistence and progress. Myself, personally, I was an Old-Earth evolutionist raised in the Catholic church.
    I did not think YEC had a prayer (pun in tended) of chance. I became a Presbyterian, and years later began to become sympathetic to YEC.

    But the data is starting to trickle to give the creationist case life. I posted on the Geological column, and when non-creationists like Richard Milton, Michael Cremo and others begin to question the mainstream reconstruction of paleontology, I got excited. And I really got excited when someone alerted me to the recent Singapore conference flap where mainstream physicists pointed out an abundance of C-14 in dinosaur soft tissue. It accorded with my own hobby collection of racemization of proteins studies that indicate fossils are young.

    I was lucky that I got a cursory introduction to cosmology and astrophysics in engineering grad school. I now have an appreciation for the very determined dissent against the Big Bang theory coming even from secular quarters. This is heartening to YECs. Also, having someone of John Hartnett’s caliber working on the astrophysics side has been heartening.

    Creationists theories at least lend themselves to falsification, and some theories have been falsified, and that is a good thing! Put a theory out there, let it get shot down, and try again. That’s science, baby!

    Which taboo research areas (ID or creationist theories) are worth exploring given current resources or possible future resources and capabilities.

    1. falsification of geological timescales (no need to even invoke new physics). This may have the side-benefit of giving insight to geology. Its been mentioned to me that Oil Companies like YEC-leaning geologists to the extent that they help the find oil. I want to hear more about this perhaps at the 2013 International Creation Conference.

    2. genetic entropy

    3. electricity based nuclear transmutation (this has bearing on radiometric dating). I went back in the archives starting with the 1985 paper in Nature of lightning generated neutrons. Then I was astonished at all the published research on electricity generated neutrons and electrical alchemy.

    I got excited since it opened the door to possibilities and some daring hypotheses related to origins of isotopes.

    4. steganography

    5. in the near future, astrophysical observation (I think the Gaia space probes returning parallax data might shake up astronomy). I’ll have to post later on that. What if high-redshifted quasars (which are supposed to be far away) are actually near. This will cause anarchy in cosmology and astrophysics and more taboo science will be vindicated. I love it!

    The topic is technical enough that I can’t post on right now, maybe some other time. Hints of the anomalies were provided in:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....of-disney/

    Why do I include YEC with ID? I pointed out there is relevance in:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....yec-to-id/

    Sal

  22. KF:

    Because this is just what has repeatedly happened.

    Indeed, KF. So let’s stop the arms race now.

    It’s long overdue to de-escalate.

    In peace

    Lizzie

  23. scordova

    Thanks for your response to my 13.

    Unfortunately my antipodean time zone makes it difficult to keep up with threads here, so I’ll have to comment just briefly.

    You mention just three potential research areas:
    1. Genetic entropy
    2. Steganography
    3. Speed of light & geological column

    1 & 3 have already been chewed over for years so they rather miss the mark of identifying new research areas.

    And 2 seems just like the same old debate that’s been going on for years about whether DNA is an intelligently designed code vs being the result of unguided chemical processes. I do suppose in principle we could find something stunningly obvious like the message in Carl Sagan’s Contact encoded in DNA. But even assuming ID is true, that does not entail that such an obvious message will be left lying around for us to discover, and even if we did find one it might not tell us anything we didn’t already know i.e. there was an intelligent designer. So this seems like a frightful long-shot to spend valuable resources on.

    Nonetheless an A for effort.

    By the way I just don’t buy your “taboo research” complaint. Recent research shows 51% of scientists believe in God or a universal spirit or higher power, plus there are 8% who “don’t know”. That’s a clear majority of scientists who would surely be open to the idea of intelligent design, isn’t it?

    Cheers

  24. Dr Liddle:

    Pardon me, but there is a known and unresolved matter of an unacknowledgeddenied in fact — slander being hosted by your blog, TSZ.

    Such sustained and enabled acts of slander are not acts of peace.

    I cannot and will not pretend otherwise.

    That matter needs to be resolved by you forthwith, and until it is, I am afraid that for cause I have to regard what you have to say as the word of one who enables slander, and the words of the ilk who have slandered as the word of slanderers.

    Good day madam

    GEM of TKI

  25. Clavdivs:

    And my point is, so long as ID remains solely in the business of inferring whether a system designed, without specifying any kind of mechanism, then it is not science.

    That is nonsense. However design is a mechanism. A targeted search is another specific design mechanism.There are many design mechanisms. However we do NOT have to know how something was deigned BEFORE determining it was designed. We figure out the how after we have determined design.

    It’s as if evos don’t know anything about science and they think there lack of knowledge means something.

  26. Kairosfocus

    Dr Liddle:

    Pardon me, but there is a known and unresolved matter of an unacknowledged — denied in fact — slander being hosted by your blog, TSZ.

    Such sustained and enabled acts of slander are not acts of peace.

    I cannot and will not pretend otherwise.

    That matter needs to be resolved by you forthwith, and until it is, I am afraid that for cause I have to regard what you have to say as the word of one who enables slander, and the words of the ilk who have slandered as the word of slanderers.

    Good day madam

    GEM of TKI

    KF, I am still unclear on what you think is slanderous. What has been said about you that you consider slander, and what do you want me to do about it?

    As I see it, your regularly compare our “ilk” to enablers of atrocities. Indeed, you did so in the very post to which OM responded.

    I see nothing in OM’s post that is not directly comparable to what you have written yourself about those you disagree with.

    I am happy to add a rider to OM’s comment, but I will not delete it because I do censor anything other than illegal or pornographic matter on my site.

    The best defense against slander, KF, is rebuttal, not censorship. If you would like to compose a response to OM’s comment I would be happy to insert it into his post so that it can be read alongside.

    At which point, I think it’s time that both sides made an effort to ramp down this ridiculous paranoia, whereby people on one side fear a theocracy in which homosexuals and atheists are ostracised and abused as immoral, and, on, the other, a secular dictatorship in which believers are denied the right to worship and society crumbles into a morass of amorality.

    One picture is as absurd as the other, and if we want a decent society, let’s start by trying to understand each other’s fears, rather than stoking them up.

  27. With respect to the oft-debated concept of junk DNA, consider this: evolutionists have, at times, drawn conclusions that were later found to be wrong. Consider, for example, the view that some 98 percent of our genome is “junk”—a library of recipes with billions of useless words.

    Biologists have long held that DNA is a recipe for the manufacture of proteins and nothing else. However, in time, it became evident that only about 2 percent of the genome consists of code for proteins. What is the purpose of the other 98 percent of DNA? This mystery DNA was “immediately assumed to be evolutionary junk,” observed John S. Mattick, professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

    The scientist who is credited with coining the term “‘junk’ DNA” was evolutionist Susumu Ohno. In his paper “So Much ‘Junk’ DNA in Our Genome,” he wrote that the remaining sequences of DNA “are the remains of nature’s experiments which failed. The earth is strewn with fossil remains of extinct species; is it a wonder that our genome too is filled with the remains of extinct genes?”

    How did the concept of “junk” DNA affect the study of genetics? Molecular biologist Wojciech Makalowski says that such thinking “repelled mainstream researchers from studying noncoding [junk] DNA,” with the exception of a small number of scientists, who, “at the risk of being ridiculed, explore unpopular territories. Because of them, the view of junk DNA . . . began to change in the early 1990s.” Now, he adds, biologists generally regard what was called junk “as a genomic treasure.”

    In Mattick’s opinion, the junk-DNA theory is a classic example of scientific tradition “derailing objective analysis of the facts.” “The failure to recognize the full implications of this,” he says, “may well go down as one of the biggest mistakes in the history of molecular biology.” Clearly, truth in science needs to be determined on the basis of evidence, not by popular vote.

  28. Dr Liddle: I am disgusted that you seem to wish to pretend that invidious comparison with Nazis, hosted by your blog for months over my protest can be blithely pretended away. Such is classic enabling behaviour; of slander, in this case. I have pointed out, rebutted, corrected, exposed, highlighted that this is beyond the pale of civil discussion, you still continue to host and pretend that something is not very wrong. That speaks volumes for your credibility — or rather the want of it occasioned by enabling behaviour. I tale it the above is your response: a nuh nutten. Good day, madam. KF

  29. Barb:

    Biologists have long held that DNA is a recipe for the manufacture of proteins and nothing else. However, in time, it became evident that only about 2 percent of the genome consists of code for proteins. What is the purpose of the other 98 percent of DNA? This mystery DNA was “immediately assumed to be evolutionary junk,” observed John S. Mattick, professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

    This seems to be an urban myth, Barb, and indeed your post seems to be an unattributed cut and post of another unattributed article posted here, which in turn seems to be a cut-and-paste from the Watchtower Online, here. Perhaps you are the author of all? In which case could you provide the source of your quotations from Mattick and Makalowski?

    The term does seem to have been coined in 1972, by the population geneticist Ohno as an explanation for the observation that mutation rates were too high to account for the conservation of functional genes, if all DNA was functional. Even then, Functional genes were not assumed to be protein coding-indeed they were known not to be! Otherwise, where would the RNA necessary for transcription and translation and regulation of protein coding regions be be coded? The observation was that many sequences seem to mutate freely with no phenotypic effects.

    Not that there were sequences for which we could find no function, and therefore dismissed as junk.

    I don’t know where that quote from John S Mattick came from. I see it much quoted on ID cites, but have not yet found a primary citation. I don’t know when he said it, or in what context. But it is incorrect.

  30. Dr Liddle: I am disgusted that you seem to wish to pretend that invidious comparison with Nazis, hosted by your blog for months over my protest can be blithely pretended away.

    I am “pretending” nothing, Kairosfocus. I am simply asking you to say what it is that you find slanderous and what you want me to do about it. I can see no slander – merely a jibe that as far as I can see is directly comparable to your own repeated description of my “ilk” as enablers of atrocities. I don’t like it when you do it, and I don’t like it when OM does it, but I’m not going to censor it. I’d rather rebut it. I freely offer you right of reply, and will happily paste into OM’s post your own response in your own words.

    But I will not delete it.

    Such is classic enabling behaviour; of slander, in this case. I have pointed out, rebutted, corrected, exposed, highlighted that this is beyond the pale of civil discussion, you still continue to host and pretend that something is not very wrong. That speaks volumes for your credibility — or rather the want of it occasioned by enabling behaviour. I tale it the above is your response: a nuh nutten. Good day, madam. KF

    Well, it seems we will have to agree to differ on this. We do seem to agree that implying that others are party to atrocities is unacceptable civil discourse. We don’t seem to agree that what you and OM have said are directly comparable. This is precisely why I do not censor. One person’s slander is another’s righteous indignation. “Let both stand until the harvest” say I. My guess is that both will turn out to be tares.

    I suggest we just start with another field and a new batch of seed.

  31. By the way I just don’t buy your “taboo research” complaint. Recent research shows 51% of scientists believe in God or a universal spirit or higher power, plus there are 8% who “don’t know”. That’s a clear majority of scientists who would surely be open to the idea of intelligent design, isn’t it?

    Theistic Darwinists fume over ID. OECs often are chilly to YECs. Turf wars all around. Oh that’s another thing. YECs bickering with YECs. Research on certain topics is taboo for whatever reason.

  32. Dr. Liddle:

    This seems to be an urban myth, Barb, and indeed your post seems to be an unattributed cut and post of another unattributed article posted here, which in turn seems to be a cut-and-paste from the Watchtower Online, here. Perhaps you are the author of all? In which case could you provide the source of your quotations from Mattick and Makalowski?

    Certainly. Makalowski:
    “Not Junk After All” (Wojciech Makalowski, Science, Vol. 300 [May 23, 2003], pp. 1246-1247)

    “Early DNA association studies showed that the human genome is full of repeated segments, such as Alu elements, that are repeated hundreds of thousands of times. The vast majority of a mammalian genome does not code for proteins. So, the question is, ‘Why do we need so much DNA?’ Most researchers have assumed that repetitive DNA elements do not have any function: They are simply useless, selfish DNA sequences that proliferate in our genome, making as many copies as possible. The late Sozumu Ohno coined the term ‘junk DNA’ to describe these repetitive elements.” (p. 1246)

    “Although catchy, the term ‘junk DNA’ for many years repelled mainstream researchers from studying noncoding DNA. . . . [But because a few did venture into this unpopular territory,] the view of junk DNA, especially repetitive elements, began to change in the early 1990s. Now, more and more biologists regard repetitive elements as a genomic treasure.” (p. 1246)

    “It appears that transposable elements are not useless DNA. They interact with the surrounding genomic environment and increase the ability of the organism to evolve. They do this by serving as recombination hotspots, and providing a mechanism for genomic shuffling and a source of ‘ready-to-use’ motifs for new transcriptional regulatory elements, polyadenylation signals, and protein-coding sequences.” (p. 1246)

    And Mattick:
    “The Hidden Genetic Program of Complex Organisms” (John S. Mattick, Scientific American, Vol. 291 No.4 [Oct 2004], pp. 60-67)

    [OVERVIEW:] “A perplexingly large portion of the DNA of complex organisms (eukaryotes) seems irrelevant to the production of proteins. For years, molecular biologists have assumed this extra material was evolutionary ‘junk.’ New evidence suggests, however, that this junk DNA may encode RNA molecules that perform a variety of regulatory functions. The genetic mechanisms of eukaryotes may therefore be radically different from those of simple cells (prokaryotes).” [Prokaryote DNA "consists almost entirely of genes encoding proteins, separated by flanking sequences that regulate the expression of the adjacent genes."] (pp. 61f.)

    “Although introns constitute 95 percent or more of the average protein-coding gene in humans, most molecular biologists have considered them to be evolutionary leftovers, or junk. Introns were rationalized as ancient remnants of a time before cellular life evolved, when fragments of protein-coding information crudely assembled into the first genes. Perhaps introns had survived in complex organisms because they had an incidental usefulness—for example, making it easier to reshuffle segments of proteins into useful new combinations during evolution. Similarly, biologists have assumed that the absence of introns from prokaryotes was a consequence of intense competitive pressures in the microbial environment: evolution had pruned away the introns as deadweight.
    “One observation that made it easier to dismiss introns—and other seemingly useless ‘intergenic’ DNA that sat between genes—as junk was that the amount of DNA in a genome does not correlate well with the organism’s complexity. Some amphibians, for example, have more than five times as much DNA as mammals do, and astonishingly, some amoebae have 1,000 times more. For decades, researchers assumed that the underlying number of protein-coding genes in these organisms correlated much better with complexity but that the relationship was lost against the variable background clutter of introns and other junk sequences.
    “But investigators have since sequenced the genomes of diverse species, and it has become abundantly clear that the correlation between numbers of conventional genes and complexity truly is poor. . . . Conversely, the relation between the amount of nonprotein-coding DNA sequences and organism complexity is more consistent.
    “Put simply, the conundrum is this: less than 1.5 percent of the human genome encodes proteins, but most of it is transcribed into RNA. Either the human genome (and that of other complex organisms) is replete with useless transcription, or these nonprotein-coding RNAs fulfill some unexpected function.
    “This line of argument and considerable other experimental evidence suggest that many genes in complex organisms—perhaps even the majority of genes in mammals—do not encode protein but instead give rise to RNAs with direct regulatory functions. . . . These RNAs may be transmitting a level of information that is crucial, particularly to development, and that plays a pivotal role in evolution.” (pp. 62f.)

    “Hundreds of ‘microRNAs’ derived from introns and larger nonprotein-coding RNA transcripts have in fact already been identified in plants, animals and fungi. Many of them control the timing of processes that occur during development, such as stem cell maintenance, cell proliferation, and apoptosis (the so-called programmed cell death that remodels tissues).” (p. 64)

    “We may have totally misunderstood the nature of the genomic programming and the basis of variations in traits among individuals and species. The rule [that organized complexity is a function of regulatory information] implies that the greater portion of the genomes in complex organisms is not junk at all—rather it is functional and subject to evolutionary selection.
    “The most recent surprise is that vertebrate genomes contain thousands of noncoding sequences that have persisted virtually unaltered for many millions of years. These sequences are much more highly conserved than those coding for proteins, which was totally unexpected. The mechanism that has frozen these sequences is unknown, but their extreme constancy suggests that they are involved in complex networks essential to our biology. Thus, rather than the genomes of humans and other complex organisms being viewed as oases of protein-coding sequences in a desert of junk, they might better be seen as islands of protein-component information in a sea of regulatory information, most of which is conveyed by RNA.” (pp. 66f.)

    “What was dismissed as junk because it was not understood may well turn out to hold the secrets to human complexity and a guide to the programming of complex systems in general.” (p. 67)

    The term does seem to have been coined in 1972, by the population geneticist Ohno as an explanation for the observation that mutation rates were too high to account for the conservation of functional genes, if all DNA was functional. Even then, Functional genes were not assumed to be protein coding-indeed they were known not to be! Otherwise, where would the RNA necessary for transcription and translation and regulation of protein coding regions be be coded? The observation was that many sequences seem to mutate freely with no phenotypic effects.

    Not that there were sequences for which we could find no function, and therefore dismissed as junk.

    That’s an argument from ignorance. Scientists didn’t know what it did or if it served any particular function, and stated unequivocally that it served no function. That is not science, that’s dogma.

  33. Dr Liddle, Kindly drop the pretences to ignorance on what has been going on, for months I have headlined my specific concerns, complete with links and web clips. Already for the morning, I have given you a link that explains what is wrong at first level and points onwards to more details which include both citations and web snapshots, giving the wider context. The matter has been pending for months and you have personally published a denial that is a blatantly false assertion, as the just again linked directly demonstrates. KF

  34. Completing unfinished sentence:

    There are many ‘science & religion’ or ‘science & faith’ or ‘science & theology’ institutes and programs at universities, including world-leading ones where IDT could more appropriately fit *IFF*…IDM leaders would publically admit what I and others have been saying about it for years – it is not ‘strictly scientific.’

    Here’s a clear example of what I mean by a thoughtful critic (sometimes advocate) of IDT, who is also a theologian, which speaks directly to the OP:

    “The efforts of the so-called intelligent design community in USA over the last 10 to 15 years to rehabilitate the idea of intelligent design in nature have rightly been rejected by the academic world at large, because it is introduced as a scientific theory, which it is not. But the idea is not religion either, because it does not presuppose any specific religious belief. It is an expression of our observations of nature. It is the religious concept of creation that is based on the experience of design in nature, rather than this kind of experience is based on a religious belief in a Creator…The apprehension of design in nature represents a third kind of cognitive apprehension that is neither scientific nor religious but phenomenological. You could say it is situated between science and religion.”

    This is the kind of thing that ‘timaeus’ actually wants to say. But as a N. American, someone stuck in the ‘culture wars’ there, he is not as advanced as Wolf in expressing a collaborative science, philosophy, theology/worldview approach.

    Taking things like what I and several others have proposed would allow Dembski, Meyer, Behe, et al. to elevate from their specificationism, their coin-tossing exercises and hyper-probabilistic reasoning. It would, however, fundamentally change the character of the IDM from what it is today, which is why they resist the good advice.

    If folks at UD would take seriously the ‘analogical reasoning’ that Wolf suggests, they’d find a higher level of discourse than what you’re used to with IDism in America. However, it would require and mean openly addmitting what is well-known: “In the USA the idea ['design in nature'] has been compromised by creationism.”

    Until you cleanse it of creationism, there’s not much hope in moving forward. And that of course includes Salvador T. Cordova, finally getting over the hump and putting childish things behind him, like his ‘allegiance’ to creationism, even as he has moved further and further away from it in recent years. When will the final break with this American-hyped ideology come for him and will it really mean he would inevitably have to renounce Christianity in order to break with creationism?

  35. Kairosfocus:

    First of all let me say that I have nothing against you personally, and I have enjoyed our conversations in the past. I disagree with you profoundly on a great many things, but you seem to me to be a decent and intelligent man.

    I myself am a decent and reasonably intelligent woman. And decent and intelligent people can disagree. I am making no “pretence” about anything. If I have one criticism of you, KF, it is that you repeatedly assume that if someone has been “corrected” by you, and yet does not changed their position, they are somehow “willfully” “pretending” that no such correction has taken place.

    That is not necessarily the case. Yes, I know you have explained why you think you were slandered by OM on my site. I disagree with your assessment. I think that what he said was in exactly the same vein as what you said about Alan. I’m not happy with either. I think that suggesting that atheists are like the German enablers of Nazism is indistinguishable, morally, from suggesting that those who consider homosexuality a sin are like Nazis. I think both are ill-considered and inflammatory. I think neither even approaches slander.

    I’d like you both to stop. But I would no more censor your comments on my site than I will censor OMs. Not because I am willfully ignoring your “correction” but because I disagree with you.

    As for your complaint about my “blatantly false assertion”: I simply do not understand what you are talking about. I’ve read the linked OP several times, and I simply cannot make head nor tail of it.

    As I wrote as an addendum to my post here at TSZ:

    1.I do not think that OM was calling KF a Nazi, merely drawing attention to commonality between KF’s apparent views on homosexuality as immoral and unnatural to those of Nazis who also regarded homosexuality as immoral and unnatural. However, I accept that one huge difference is that KF appears to considers that homosexuality is non-genetic and can be cured; whereas Nazis considered that it was genetic and should be eradicated.

    2.I agree with KF that inflammatory comparisons with those one disagrees with to Nazis is unhelpful and divisive. I will not censor such comparisons, but I will register my objections to them. This includes OM’s comparison (although I find KF’s views on homosexuality morally abhorrent, and factually incorrect, his view is profoundly different to those of the Nazis), and it also includes KF’s frequent comparisons of those of us who hold that a Darwinist account of evolution is scientifically justified to those “good Germans” who turned a blind eye to Nazi-ism.

    3. When referring to CSI as “bogus” I mean it is fallacious and misleading. I do not mean that those who think it is calculable and meaningful are being deliberately fraudulent. I interpret AF to mean the same thing by the term. However, even if he does not, I defend his right to say so on this blog, just as I will defend KF’s right to defend CSI (or even his views on homosexuality) on this blog.

    I do not know what more you would like me to do. If you can state it clearly, I will respond.

    Otherwise we will simply, sadly, have to agree to differ.

  36. Thanks, Barb. Can I suggest that you include references when you write these pieces?

    OK, so that clears up at least one mystery. You wrote:

    Biologists have long held that DNA is a recipe for the manufacture of proteins and nothing else. However, in time, it became evident that only about 2 percent of the genome consists of code for proteins. What is the purpose of the other 98 percent of DNA? This mystery DNA was “immediately assumed to be evolutionary junk,” observed John S. Mattick, professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

    John Mattick did not in fact say that the 98% of the genome that is “code for proteins” was thought to be junk. He said that much of the genome was not thought to be “relevant to the production of proteins”. That is a very different thing. Nobody ever thought that all non-coding DNA was “junk”. Well before Ohno’s paper, non-coding functional sequence were known to exist and be important. Without them there’d be no transcription or translation, and no tissue diffentiation or repair. Certainly no brain function.

    Moreover, Ohno’s point was not that we don’t know what this bit does, therefore junk but a large proportion of the genome must be phenotypically irrelevant because when it mutates nothing happens. He did not say which bits were the junk, just that some of it must be (a large proportion). Mattick’s point is that when speculating as to which bits are the junk, many people assumed that introns were. This looks like it is probably incorrect.

    Makalowski’s point is that repetitive elements, also assumed to be part of Ohno’s “junk”, may also have a function.

    That doesn’t make Ohno’s percentage wrong; it just means that some of the sequences assumed to be part of the junk, probably aren’t.

    And that’s the point: Ohno’s percentage was based on mutation rates and genome size, not on the proportion of DNA that was known to have a function.

    However, it strikes me that what is potentially interesting is that functionally important coding sequences may be both functional AND robust to mutation (work as well when mutated as not). That would be fascinating. But I’m not sure anyone has shown that yet.

  37. Gregory,

    The evidence supports some form of creation (of which ID is a subset) as fact, and some form of evolution as fact.

    Therefore, in order to arrive at truth, all knowledge and understanding must be considered and explained.

  38. Dr Liddle

    Pardon my not being impressed by the above verbiage.

    You specifically denied what you had been hosting at your site for Months, in headlined post. This is demonstrably false, and it shows you to not be a friend of free expression but of slander.

    Let me just point out madam, further that there are any number of people across the ages that for principled reason have had serious objections to homosexual behaviour and its characteristic expressions such as corruption of boys. In our day this has been joined by a cultural watershed direct attack on core sexual identity, family and marriage, which should be a wake up call to all sensible people [as the onward linked will link further on.] That, in such a context, which is easily accessible, OM decided to couple me with Nazis, is an obvious outrage and a slander.

    A blatant one.

    Your attempted excuse for same is therefore lame enabling behaviour for slander by calculated invidious association by one of your enthusiasts, nothing less.

    And FYI, there is no protection of slander in law.

    What you have done and what you have denied doing and been exposed on as already linked twice — and now three times — for the day, for good reason, is to be properly termed enabling behaviour for slander and it betrays either hostility or a callous “a nuh nutten” attitude. That is, indifference to the harbouring of wrong.

    I cannot make you stop, absent taking stringent legal measures I am loathe to undertake. (I had hoped moral suasion would be enough, it plainly is not.)

    But you had better realise you have utterly destroyed your credibility and that of the site you host.

    Which site now plainly joins the list of discredited sites that hang around UD to snip and snipe, carp, complain, twist, distort, burn down strawmen soaked in ad hominems, defame and smear.

    From this day forth, understand that I hold your site, its enthusiastic denizens and its owner to have zero credibility, for good reason, and will reason or address matters dealing with any or all of you on that basis.

    Essentially, the same I had to deal with the nihilistic Marxists, at length.

    I refuse to say “peace” when there is no peace.

    Just remember, you and your side started the war.

    Good day, madam.

    Bydand!

    KF

  39. Elizabeth Liddle wrote:

    “But, Sal – Sanford’s thesis is also completely flawed. he may be a highly respected horticultural genetic engineer but he simply does not understand population genetics, and his entire case is based on his misreading of population genetics.”

    I have no comment at the moment on Sanford’s thesis. However, I note the following facts:

    Elizabeth Liddle’s higher education, by her own account, consists of:

    1. Bachelor’s in Music.
    2. Second Degree in Architecture.
    3. Ph.D. in Psychology/Neurophysiology.

    None of these subjects normally requires population genetics as a required course.

    Elizabeth Liddle’s specialist publications, as listed on her web site, appear to concern cognitive science regarding children, etc. I have not seen any articles on population genetics, or genetics period, still less any on evolutionary biology.

    Would Elizabeth Liddle please specify (a) the formal training, and (b) the peer-reviewed academic publications she has, in the field of population genetics? And will she explain to us why we should believe that her understanding of population genetics is superior to that of a scientist with the extensive biological training and research record (including genetic patents) of John Sanford?

    Oh, and will she tell us whether she has in fact read Sanford’s book on Genetic Entropy? Or made any effort to contact Sanford and discuss population genetics with him before going public with sweeping statements such as the above? It would seem to me to be a reasonable professional courtesy to ask a man for clarification before declaring him incompetent.

    It is one thing to say: “I do not agree with the population genetics argument Sanford makes on Page X of Publication Y.” It is another thing to say that Sanford is an incompetent in population genetics. The former is the normal mode of expressing disagreement among scientists. The latter is the normal mode of bloggers and culture warriors who themselves have not contributed anything to the professional literature of the science they are talking about.

  40. Kairosfocus:

    Dr Liddle

    Pardon my not being impressed by the above verbiage.

    You specifically denied what you had been hosting at your site for Months, in headlined post. This is demonstrably false, and it shows you to not be a friend of free expression but of slander.

    I haven’t denied anything, KF; I simply disagree that what was posted on my site was any more, or less, slanderous than what you wrote about Alan. And although I am not a lawyer, I don’t think either approach the legal criteria for slander.

    Let me just point out madam, further that there are any number of people across the ages that for principled reason have had serious objections to homosexual behaviour and its characteristic expressions such as corruption of boys.

    Yes, I know. But principles can be wrong. I happen to think that principle is wrong.

    In our day this has been joined by a cultural watershed direct attack on core sexual identity, family and marriage, which should be a wake up call to all sensible people [as the onward linked will link further on.] That, in such a context, which is easily accessible, OM decided to couple me with Nazis, is an obvious outrage and a slander.

    No, not an obvious slander. He did not say you were a Nazi. Saying you shared with them disapproval of homosexuality is not slander, because it is true. That does not make you a Nazi. It nonetheless make your views deeply threatening to any gay person.

    And this: “cultural watershed direct attack on core sexual identity, family and marriage” is, in my view, complete rubbish. That doesn’t matter – you are entitled to express it. But you shouldn’t be surprised if the response is disgust and anger. There is no “cultural direct direct attack on core sexual identity”. What there is, thank goodness, is increasing understanding and tolerance of the biological fact that possession a Y chromosome does not determine whom you will, or should, love, and which gender you will, or should, identify with. As a result we now recognise that while most people’s gender identity is congruent with their chromosomal sex, gender identity results from a complex cascade of in utero hormones, and may not. Similarly, while most people are attracted to the opposite gender, some people’s sexual orientation is towards the same gender. Again, in utero hormones seem to be important. But whatever the biological determinants, there is no evidence whatsoever that tolerance of gay and transgender people is any threat whatsover to the heteronormal community, and sadly rather too much evidence that the reverse is still in operation. That’s why people get angry when they read views like yours, however principled. It is a principle based on no good evidence at all.

    A blatant one.

    Your attempted excuse for same is therefore lame enabling behaviour for slander by calculated invidious association by one of your enthusiasts, nothing less.

    And FYI, there is no protection of slander in law.

    Well, feel free to try. My site is now hosted in the UK, so that may help you. But I will not delete it the post unless legally instructed to do so. What I do do is freely offer you right of reply, and will even post it myself if you would rather not log in. I will insert it into OM’s post, so it can be read along side. Your choice. Just post it here and I will paste it in.

    What you have done and what you have denied doing and been exposed on as already linked twice — and now three times — for the day, for good reason, is to be properly termed enabling behaviour for slander and it betrays either hostility or a callous “a nuh nutten” attitude. That is, indifference to the harbouring of wrong.

    Certainly I have “enabled” OM to express his views about you on his blog. Barry Arrington also “enables” views about people to be expressed on this blog. And rightly so. The answer to error is rebuttal, IMO, not censorship.

    I cannot make you stop, absent taking stringent legal measures I am loathe to undertake. (I had hoped moral suasion would be enough, it plainly is not.)

    It would be if you persuaded me that you had a moral case. But my own moral principles say: do not censor, rebut.

    They also say: those who claim that homosexuality is a sin must expect to be rebutted with anger. It is a deeply insulting and wrong-headed view, in my opinion, and causes deep suffering to decent human beings who have the same human rights to love their chosen partners as you and I.

    But you had better realise you have utterly destroyed your credibility and that of the site you host.

    Which site now plainly joins the list of discredited sites that hang around UD to snip and snipe, carp, complain, twist, distort, burn down strawmen soaked in ad hominems, defame and smear.

    Well, I disagree.

    From this day forth, understand that I hold your site, its enthusiastic denizens and its owner to have zero credibility, for good reason, and will reason or address matters dealing with any or all of you on that basis.

    Well, this seems very silly. But of course you must do as you think best.

    Essentially, the same I had to deal with the nihilistic Marxists, at length.

    I refuse to say “peace” when there is no peace.

    I said peace because I offered it. It remains on offer.

    Just remember, you and your side started the war.

    As my mother used to say, and I in my turn: “I don’t care who started it, but if it doesn’t stop RIGHT NOW you’ll get out and walk”.

    Good day, madam.

    Bydand!

    Good day, KF. Be happy.

  41. Gregory’s reference to the article by Wolf in 34 above is welcome. Unlike many of the internet articles Gregory has referenced, which tend to be loudmouthed opinions about ID by people with very little knowledge or understanding of ID, Wolf’s article suggests thoughtful reflection upon ID by someone with a good deal of knowledge about the history of philosophy and the history of ideas. I find much in it that I can agree with, though I have not yet read it closely enough that I can say that I would wholly endorse its argument.

    For the record, I have never rejected intelligent, thoughtful, philosophical criticisms of ID. What I have rejected are criticisms of ID coming from people who have not taken the time to find out what ID is.

    One of the other things that is difficult of dealing with Gregory’s authors is that, even when one follows up on them, and then engages with Gregory on them, he tends to back out of the discussion. He nagged us here to read some material by Bejan, but when comments were offered to him on specific statements of Bejan from particular articles he had recommended, he abandoned the discussion. And he nagged us here to read Fuller, and virtually demanded that we accept Fuller as the new prophet of ID who would show us the new and better way of doing ID, but when asked to discuss Fuller’s idea of Franciscan univocity and to square it with Feser’s view, Gregory again backed out of the discussion.

    So Gregory keeps saying: “You ID guys are prejudiced because you won’t read X” — yet when we do read X, at Gregory’s insistence, he refuses to discuss X with us. There is therefore no reason to expect that, were I to invest hours in carefully reading and analyzing the argument of Wolf, and writing up something in which I expressed some disagreements with Wolf, Gregory would respond with an equally studied and careful reply. History would suggest that he would not comment on my efforts at all. So I won’t make any such effort, but will keep Wolf in mind for future consultation.

  42. Timaeus:

    Elizabeth Liddle wrote:

    “But, Sal – Sanford’s thesis is also completely flawed. he may be a highly respected horticultural genetic engineer but he simply does not understand population genetics, and his entire case is based on his misreading of population genetics.”

    I have no comment at the moment on Sanford’s thesis. However, I note the following facts:

    Elizabeth Liddle’s higher education, by her own account, consists of:

    1. Bachelor’s in Music.
    2. Second Degree in Architecture.
    3. Ph.D. in Psychology/Neurophysiology.

    None of these subjects normally requires population genetics as a required course.

    Indeed.

    Elizabeth Liddle’s specialist publications, as listed on her web site, appear to concern cognitive science regarding children, etc. I have not seen any articles on population genetics, or genetics period, still less any on evolutionary biology.

    There’s one that presents an evolutionary model of learning, and a genetics paper currently under review, but it’s certainly not my field. Nor is population genetics Sanford’s.

    Would Elizabeth Liddle please specify (a) the formal training, and (b) the peer-reviewed academic publications she has, in the field of population genetics?

    None.

    <blockquote. And will she explain to us why we should believe that her understanding of population genetics is superior to that of a scientist with the extensive biological training and research record (including genetic patents) of John Sanford?

    Neither Sanford nor I have training in population genetics, as far as I can see. Certainly it doesn’t appear so from his book, which I have read very thorough, as well as all the papers he cites. It is simply my lay opinion (though formed by general statistical and methodological training) that his interpretation of the papers he cites is deeply flawed. At least one of his redrawn diagrams is so obviously wrong, I’m surprised he didn’t see the problem himself.

    Oh, and will she tell us whether she has in fact read Sanford’s book on Genetic Entropy?

    Yes, more than once, in fact. I went through it in detail, chapter by chapter, on Talk Rational, discussing each point, and its merits (if any) and its problems (many).

    Or made any effort to contact Sanford and discuss population genetics with him before going public with sweeping statements such as the above?

    Yes, I have contacted Sanford and received a charming reply. He seems like a good man. He gave me permission to post his response here, which I did. No I did not seek his permission before critiquing his work on the internet. I wouldn’t expect anyone to do it before critiquing mine. If you publish your work, you expect to have it publicly critiqued.

    It would seem to me to be a reasonable professional courtesy to ask a man for clarification before declaring him incompetent.

    I didn’t declare him incompetent. He is clearly an expert in his field. But his misunderstanding of population genetics (which is not his field) is manifest. It won’t be the first time an acknowledged expert in one field has made basic errors out of field. And I fully acknowledge I may be making one myself right now. But I don’t think so.

    It is one thing to say: “I do not agree with the population genetics argument Sanford makes on Page X of Publication Y.” It is another thing to say that Sanford is an incompetent in population genetics.

    What I said was: “Sanford’s thesis is also completely flawed. he may be a highly respected horticultural genetic engineer but he simply does not understand population genetics, and his entire case is based on his misreading of population genetics.” I think it is true. It’s not just that he makes a flawed argument, he doesn’t seem to understand the arguments he cites. I can give you details if you want.

    The former is the normal mode of expressing disagreement among scientists. The latter is the normal mode of bloggers and culture warriors who themselves have not contributed anything to the professional literature of the science they are talking about.

    Well, I haven’t. I’m not a scientist in the science I’m talking about. Mine is not a professional critique – it’s a lay opinion, as is Sanford’s. I don’t think he’s understood the sources he cites. His thesis makes no sense. If it were true, then most populations of organisms that reproduce faster than humans would be already extinct, and the human population would be dwindling. That’s what he warns us about. And yet the opposite scenario is far more worrying – the human population is increasing exponentially.

    Essentially his key text is Kondrashov’s paper Contamination of the genome by very slightly deleterious mutations: why have we not died 100 times over?. He dismisses Kondrashov’s own suggested answers to his title question, concluding that the reason we haven’t died out is that we started with perfect genomes 10,000 or so years ago, and the mutations haven’t caught up with us yet, but will. But that raises the huge question as to why faster-breeding organisms, still very much with us, aren’t all gone long ago. He did agree, when I asked him, that an alternative interpretation could be that we are prevented from deteriorating by the continuous divine intervention, which would be compatible with an Old Earth model. But the far bigger problem is that there is absolutely no evidence that the genomes of any large population are continually deteriorating, except possibly our own, as a result of recent advances in public health. Plus there are perfectly good answers to Kondrashov’s question. There are also numerous problems with his population models. I’d say the most fundamental problem is that he treats selection coefficients as though they were constants. This is a mathematical convenience, and has yield some useful results, but is clearly not the way selection works – selection coefficients vary as a function of the propagation of alleles through the population, and they interact with other alleles. But never mind the math – observe the mice.

    But as I say, that’s just my reasonably informed lay opinion, albeit one backed up with quite a lot of relevant math and methodology skills.

  43. Elizabeth:

    Thank you for candid and non-defensive reply. I wish some of the other people on your side would write in that way.

    I might actually agree with you regarding some of Sanford’s conclusions. I was not defending his book, but merely pointing out that you did, in effect, declare him incompetent (in population genetics, that is), and it was not clear on what Archimedean point you stood to measure his competence.

    I would point out that, given Sanford’s degrees, and given the normal pattern of life science education everywhere on this continent, it is almost inconceivable that he would not have been required to take, at the freshman or sophomore level, a course with a title something like “Genetics and Evolution” in which the basics of population genetics would be taught. And I would be very surprised if he did not take further courses involving population genetics beyond such a compulsory introduction.

    Of course, it is possible that he studied such material years ago, and then forgot what he had learned, and therefore made mistakes in his book. That could be the case. But it is extremely unlikely that he never had any formal instruction in population genetics at all.

    In any case, you puzzle me. The time you have invested into blogging and arguing as a non-expert autodidact with other non-expert autodidacts about evolutionary theory — which must be up into thousands of hours by now — you could put into actually getting a Ph.D. in evolutionary theory, and then publishing peer-reviewed articles in the field. You seem intelligent enough to handle the work. So why not do that, and become a significant professional player in the realm of academic evolutionary theory, as opposed to an amateur participant in culture-war combat?

    I would guess that you write so much for the same reason that most writers write — you hope your ideas will have influence. But if you want to influence the people who really matter, who will shape the direction that serious evolutionary theory takes, you can do that far better from a professor’s chair than from a blogger’s chair. So if evolutionary theory has become an almost all-consuming interest of yours, why not get new qualifications and switch scientific fields? You could probably do a Ph.D. dissertation in a couple of years, and then you’d be off and running.

  44. Timaeus,

    Of course, it is possible that he studied such material years ago, and then forgot what he had learned, and therefore made mistakes in his book. That could be the case. But it is extremely unlikely that he never had any formal instruction in population genetics at all.

    You’re neglecting the possibility that his tendentious interpretation of population genetics is intended to support his YEC views, which are pretty obviously motivated by religion.

  45. If it were true, then most populations of organisms that reproduce faster than humans would be already extinct, and the human population would be dwindling. That’s what he warns us about. And yet the opposite scenario is far more worrying – the human population is increasing exponentially.

    It’s not a matter of speed alone it’s a matter of the number of offspring.

    That said, your complaint has merit, and if Sanford reconsiders and makes a few adjustments, I think his thesis will be pretty much above reproach. The flaw is that he’s accepting Darwinian notions of “fitness”, and that is a deeply flawed concept as pointed out be Lewontin, Orr, Fodor, and others.

    After an 8-hour conversation with him, I suggested the “fitness” argument (reproductive success) was not as good a metric as sequence divergence to prove his thesis. His eyes lit up, but I had to leave. We didn’t have time to pursue it.

    I had the same conversation with ReMine and his eyes lit up, and I sent him links to deeply conserved sequences.

    I expect to see him and Walter ReMine and pass on these thoughts. Amendments are in the works.

    The problem with reproductive fitness is it admits notions of sickness as being “fit”. Survival of the sickest.

    The rapid extinction of species in our day shows genetic deterioration (i.e. nature just outright kills the species along with the genome). The problem with saying more organisms wouldn’t already be dead is you don’t know how many actually got extinct. You’re working from a biased sample of only existing creatures (not all creatures that actually lived).

    Lynch unwittingly gave Sanford’s thesis new life with Lynch’s PNAS inaugural article:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....literally/

    I thank you for reading his work, but we’ll all find out one day who is closer to the truth. And this is one case, where even creationists have reason to hope Sanford is wrong because if he is right, humanity’s prospects look quite sad.

    The good thing about having testable hypothesis is that it can in principle put an end to some of the shouting matches that otherwise have no hope of resolution. I think we’ll get closer to the answer with each passing day…

  46. You’re neglecting the possibility that his tendentious interpretation of population genetics is intended to support his YEC views, which are pretty obviously motivated by religion.

    To which I say, “so what”. Kepler’s celestial mechanics was born out of his interest in relating astrology, music, and theology. What matters are the facts, and I expect they’ll be coming forth in due time.

    By the way Polygenic Diseases on the Rise

    Worldwide there is a rising incidence of polygenic diseases, which include type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, autism, asthma, and celiac disease (gluten sensitivity). Incidence of type 1, or juvenile, diabetes is increasing 3 to 5 percent per year, while celiac disease may now affect five to ten out of every thousand Americans.

    The link offers explanations, but it only goes to highlight the failure of evolutionary mechanisms to purge dysfunction in the first place. You’d think if evolution could make something as wonderful as the human brain it would have eliminated diabetes and myopia by now.

    Wait a second! Sharon Moalem in Survival of the Sickest said disease makes a population more reproductively fit (like sickle cell anemia is a good trait), hence, we’re actually improving even though we aren’t. Problem solved!

  47. This letter lays out pretty clearly what’s wrong with Sanford’s thesis:

    http://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/stan-4/

  48. Sal,

    My point was to explain to Timaeus that incompetence isn’t the only possible explanation for the mistakes Sanford makes in his book.

    Being motivated to do science for religious reasons isn’t a problem. Distorting science to fit your religious preconceptions is.

  49. Timaeus:

    In any case, you puzzle me. The time you have invested into blogging and arguing as a non-expert autodidact with other non-expert autodidacts about evolutionary theory — which must be up into thousands of hours by now — you could put into actually getting a Ph.D. in evolutionary theory, and then publishing peer-reviewed articles in the field. You seem intelligent enough to handle the work. So why not do that, and become a significant professional player in the realm of academic evolutionary theory, as opposed to an amateur participant in culture-war combat?

    heh. Timaeus, I’m 61 years old now! If I started another PhD now, I’d be past retiring age before I even got a post doc!

    And one PhD is enough for me (for most people I think). I write not to persuade but to discover. I’m interested in why people think what they do. I discuss things on the internet because I want to learn, as well as teach what I’ve learned. I’ve always been interested in lots of different things, and I’ve always been religious, I guess. Or at least invested in the numinous. I spent most of my life as a musician, and a designer, and even a writer of books for children (including one about Heaven!), and now, as a cognitive neuroscientist, I have obviously a specific interest in both intelligence and design. And despite being a humanities graduate, I’ve always been interested in science and maths and modelling.

    But I’m more than happy doing what I’m now doing, which is a lot of active research in neuroimaging and cognitive function in mental disorders, especially developmental mental disorders. It brings in a lot of what I’ve learned over my 6 decades, and I’ve got some exciting projects going that may actually do some good in the world. So while these questions fascinate me (and are relevant in more ways than you’d think to what I do), I think yet another course of formal study would be a bridge too far!

    But thanks for your kind words.

    Cheers

    Lizzie

  50. This letter lays out pretty clearly what’s wrong with Sanford’s thesis:

    http://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/stan-4/

    Kuartus, is that your website. If so, I’m really honored your posting responses here at UD.

  51. Sal:

    The link offers explanations, but it only goes to highlight the failure of evolutionary mechanisms to purge dysfunction in the first place. You’d think if evolution could make something as wonderful as the human brain it would have eliminated diabetes and myopia by now.

    Wait a second! Sharon Moalem in Survival of the Sickest said disease makes a population more reproductively fit (like sickle cell anemia is a good trait), hence, we’re actually improving even though we aren’t. Problem solved!

    First of all: for the first time in our history we are living highly protected lives in which far more humans conceived make it to fertile adulthood. In previous eras, before insulin therapy, and all the other public health advances that make our average life spans so much longer, there would have far fewer alleles for preventable disorders making it into the gene pool. So yes, the human gene pool is now acquiring what would previously have been life-threatening mutations at a greater rate. Indeed, from a population genetics point of view we would say: what were deleterious alleles are now neutral, because we now live in an environment in which they do not affect our capacity to live and breed.

    Second: Most hereditary disorders are caused by multiple “risk” alleles (this is what your article is talking about). For instance, although schizophrenia is over 50% heritable, Most “risk” allele that has been found has an odds ratio of less than 2. In other words, the vast majority of people with the “risk” allele are just fine, and may actually benefit from it. Those that end up with schizophrenia are those with too potent a cocktail of the risk” alleles.

    This is an example of genetic epistasis, the very thing Kondrashov suggests as a solution to his “paradox”, and which Sanford simply dismisses. If having two bad alleles of two synergistically epistatic alleles is twice as bad as having one, then “VSDMs” (Very Slightly Deleterious Mutations) will tend to drop in prevalence because having more than one is Really Quite Deleterious, and therefore not “invisible to selection” as Sanford puts it.

    However, if one risk allele alone is actually advantageous while two is bad for you, those risk alleles will tend to reach an equilibrium in the population, where fairly few people get both, and therefore get the disorder, but quite a lot get one, and benefit.

    This is the case with sickle cell, of course, although here we are talking about a single, dose-dependent allele, where inheriting one copy gives enough cell deformity to resist malaria but not kill you, but two gives so much deformity that it may.

  52. <You’d think if evolution could make something as wonderful as the human brain it would have eliminated diabetes and myopia by now.

    Why would you think that? Genuine question, I have no idea how to get from “the brain evolved” to “so diseases should not”

  53. scordova @ 31

    CLAVDIVS: By the way I just don’t buy your “taboo research” complaint. Recent research shows 51% of scientists believe in God or a universal spirit or higher power, plus there are 8% who “don’t know”. That’s a clear majority of scientists who would surely be open to the idea of intelligent design, isn’t it?
    scordova: Theistic Darwinists fume over ID. OECs often are chilly to YECs. Turf wars all around. Oh that’s another thing. YECs bickering with YECs. Research on certain topics is taboo for whatever reason.

    That’s a vague and very unsatisfactory response.

    You made a point of blaming an uncongenial intellectual atmosphere for ID’s lack of progress in the sciences. Yet only a near total atheist/materialist conspiracy in academe would explain ID’s minuscule impact in science. But such a conspiracy would be absurd given that at least 59% of scientists are not atheists/materialists.

    The existence of few Christian squabbles doesn’t change this. In fact, it rather works the other way by showing there are various groups competing to push their ideas, opening up space for ID, instead of there being a monolithic ideological bloc that crushes all dissent.

    CLAVDIVS @ 13: Let’s grant, for the sake of discussion, that the scientific community has accepted that life on earth was intelligently designed. Now what? What would change about the way science is conducted?

    scordova @ 15: From an operational standpoint we can finally explore taboo areas that have medical and technological significance [such as ...
    1. Genetic entropy
    2. Steganography
    3. Speed of light & geological column]

    I’ve now thought carefully about these proposed new/changed research areas, and it’s clear these completely miss the mark and demonstrate my point.

    It seems to me these areas can be researched whether or not ID is accepted in the science community, and indeed whether or not the theory of ID, as described in the UD FAQ, exists at all. The only change you’ve suggested, if ID were an accepted theory, is that people might be more friendly around the water cooler. You’ve not outlined any change in the methods, experiments, etc. compared to what is being done now.

    And that has been my point all along: So long as ID is confined to the assertion that “certain features are best explained by an intelligent cause” then it’s not science – even if that assertion is true and accepted. The reason is, as we’ve seen, that accepting that assertion as true has no discernible impact on the conduct of science.

    Cheers

  54. Dr Liddle:

    I will first note to you that you have been flat out caught in denial of what you did, here. (That is, you have willfully misrepresented the truth on what OM et al did, and are now continuing with that misrepresentation. In addition, you are harbouring irresponsible and destructive commentary, indeed slander, on your blog.)

    That pattern, sustained for months now in the teeth of correction, should be reckoned with by anyone wishing to evaluate your credibility on any topic of significance.

    I will secondly note that I am not impressed by the notion that simply by citing your agreement with fashionable opinion in materialism dominated circles, serious and long standing widespread principled concerns on homosexual behaviour and its implications for individuals, families and society, thus also the current agenda to homosexualise the culture can be dismissed by the crude propaganda tactic of bracketing it with Nazism.

    (E.g. I suggest that you need to ask yourself what Ms Gessen implied here about consequences of homosexualisation for marriage [I could cite a lot more, but let's start there], and what the longstanding strategy of ruthless manipulation outlined here portends for our civilisation. Not to mention, the suppressed issues and facts here — if you do not have serious and well considered answers to these you have no basis for the dismissiveness above, and it is further patent that invidious comparison with Nazism when there is abundant reason to see that there is a much wider concern is an expression of bigotry and slander intended to facilitate scapegoating and targetting, as I have long since noted. You show every sign of dancing wrong but strong in the teeth of correction. In answer, I say: those who ring celebratory bells today may well find themselves wringing hands not so long from today.)

    The bottomline is plain, you are indulging enabling behaviour and see nothing wrong with it.

    I draw your attention here, as the first step of expose given your refusal to heed correction and moral suasion to acknowledge or do the right thing.

    You have destroyed your credibility.

    Good day madam.

    KF

  55. You have destroyed your credibility.

    You might like to think about whose credibility is likely to be questioned after reading the above exchange.

    Also I’m not sure but your inflammatory and offensive references to gay people must come close to infringing anti-discriminatory legislation. I just can’t grasp why someone with your background would see no parallel between your attitude to gay people and racism.

  56. Lizzie

    heh. Timaeus, I’m 61 years old now! If I started another PhD now, I’d be past retiring age before I even got a post doc!

    Don’t let that put you off. I was 62 yesterday and started my PhD last September.

  57. Dr Liddle:

    I will first note to you that you have been flat out caught in denial of what you did, here. (That is, you have willfully misrepresented the truth on what OM et al did, and are now continuing with that misrepresentation. In addition, you are harbouring irresponsible and destructive commentary, indeed slander, on your blog.)

    That pattern, sustained for months now in the teeth of correction, should be reckoned with by anyone wishing to evaluate your credibility on any topic of significance.

    I have been “caught out” in nothing, KF. What you call “denial” is disagreement. You need to understand that when people disagree with you they are not “denying” anything other than that they consider your view correct.

    You are no more or less fallible than I am. I do not think you were slandered, merely offended. Alan similarly was not “slandered” by you, although I have no doubt he was offended. And if refusing to censor comments that offend people I am “enabling” offensive comments, then I am doing no more than any blog does that allows comments. Exactly the same is true of this one, where many highly offensive comments are made, including comments by you about “evo-mat” adherents.

    I will secondly note that I am not impressed by the notion that simply by citing your agreement with fashionable opinion in materialism dominated circles, serious and long standing widespread principled concerns on homosexual behaviour and its implications for individuals, families and society, thus also the current agenda to homosexualise the culture can be dismissed by the crude propaganda tactic of bracketing it with Nazism.

    I am not expecting you to be impressed, KF. However, my view is not based on “fashion” but on, firstly biological evidence, second on societal evidence, and thirdly from the acquaintance of many good and dear friends who are gay or transgender, and who pose no threat to anyone. Indeed some have provided caring and loving homes for children who would otherwise have none.

    (E.g. I suggest that you need to ask yourself what Ms Gessen implied here about consequences of homosexualisation for marriage [I could cite a lot more, but let's start there], and what the longstanding strategy of ruthless manipulation outlined here portends for our civilisation. Not to mention, the suppressed issues and facts here — if you do not have serious and well considered answers to these you have no basis for the dismissiveness above, and it is further patent that invidious comparison with Nazism when there is abundant reason to see that there is a much wider concern is an expression of bigotry and slander intended to facilitate scapegoating and targetting, as I have long since noted. You show every sign of dancing wrong but strong in the teeth of correction. In answer, I say: those who ring celebratory bells today may well find themselves wringing hands not so long from today.)

    Instead of repeating that others continue in error in the “teeth of correction” by you, KF, consider the possibility that you yourself are in error. None of us has a hotline to wisdom, neither I or you.

    The bottomline is plain, you are indulging enabling behaviour and see nothing wrong with it.

    Indeed. I enable people to express their views. I see nothing wrong with that.

    I draw your attention here, as the first step of expose given your refusal to heed correction and moral suasion to acknowledge or do the right thing.

    I always try to do what I discern as the right thing, Kairosfocus. You would refuse, I am sure, to comply with a request you considered wrong. I consider your request wrong. And so, on moral grounds, I will not comply.

    You have destroyed your credibility.

    Good day madam.

    KF

    Good day, KF, and I mean that most sincerely.

  58. Don’t let that put you off. I was 62 yesterday and started my PhD last September.

    Good luck! But I only got mine 6 years ago, and it’ll take me another 20 to recover!

  59. Dr. Liddle, Kuartus,

    As I thought on it, some of the points your raised regarding Sanford’s (and ReMine’s) work are very significant. I think I urgently need to convey to them to drop the reproductive fitness measure. It allows survival of the sickest and sick genomes to be viewed as not actually deteriorating.

    I hope it is clear, when I feel a criticism is not a sham criticism, when our side has made a mistake, I’m willing to try to offer remedies. There are of course areas where we can never agree.

    But back to the point of reproductive fitness measures, here is a case of genome deterioration in microbes where like blind cavefish, fitness improves even though there is deterioration:
    http://ijsb.sgmjournals.org/content/54/6/1937.full

    Sanford has not made a mistake any worse than most of the Darwinian industry that regards fitness as equal to reproductive success. Such a viewpoint leads to a bizarre view of the reality in many cases such as survival of the sickest.

  60. I’m 61 years old now! If I started another PhD now, I’d be past retiring age before I even got a post doc! – E.L.

    Don’t let that put you off. I was 62 yesterday and started my PhD last September. – M.F.

    Good luck! But I only got mine 6 years ago, and it’ll take me another 20 to recover! – E.L.

    Happy belated b-day Mark, and congratulations on your courageous PhD push!

    Well, I finished my PhD when I was in my 30s and am still in my 30s. It may be that I’ll need to do another in my 50s or 60s, the way knowledge societies go. But I’ve recovered from the 1st one already, and now on a 2nd post-doc.

    In case you weren’t here at the time Elizabeth, timaeus is 56 or 57 yrs-old, which is the conclusion to make from his report here at UD that he is 3 yrs older than Steve Fuller, who was born in 1959. So you have seniority on timaeus, and obviously a much gentler touch.

    The message of #43, though it seems kind, is about as hypocritical a statement, especially the last two paragraphs, as one could imagine reading. It involves rare ‘reflexivity’ about timaeus himself as much as it does a potentially helpful suggestion to Elizabeth.

    “publishing peer-reviewed articles in the field. You seem intelligent enough to handle the work.”

    The younger timaeus could perhaps more easily re-educate himself and make himself relevant again, to potentially, eventually ‘publish peer-reviewed articles’ about IDT. But there most likely won’t be a PhD program in ‘Intelligent Design Creationism’ in his lifetime, at least not anywhere other than at a small private, most likely evangelical Christian college in the USA. Perhaps if that happens, timaeus might want to re-skill himself there?

    timaeus’ education, by his own account here at UD is in:
    1) Biblical studies
    2) Western religious thought

    Neither of these subjects normally requires population genetics as a required course. In terms of the science, therefore, I’d take Elizabeth Liddle’s word over timaeus’ pretty much any day of the week.

    “the people who really matter, who will shape the direction that serious evolutionary theory takes”

    As for me, I don’t consider ‘the people who really matter’ (i.e. at the heart of science, philosophy and theology/worldview conversations such as IDT should be aiming to encourage) as ‘evolutionary theorists.’ Not in the electronic-information epoch. Not after the biotech turn. Standard evolutionary theory, even in the biological sciences, and certainly in cosmology and geology, is well past its heyday, though that doesn’t mean various new applications are not still being made.

    That evolutionism grew way out of proportion to its intended sphere of application is a testament to certain global-social forces of ideology in the 20th century. But in the 21st century, it would seem Elizabeth’s interests might be enhanced more by (hypothetically) another PhD in philosophy of mind, cognitive studies (more broadly conceived than neurophysiology), neurolinguistics or even neuroanthropology. Otherwise, of course, perhaps she might be interested in returning for an MDiv, in case echoes of her childhood/youth religiosity might reappear and find interesting connections with the work of John Eccles, among other neuroscientists who embrace their ‘evolutionary’ religiosity.

    Then again, one can do a lot of reading on one’s own and not put oneself through the harrowing process of defending a PhD thesis and still know quite a bit about a subject, even if holding the PhD sure helps in making scientific/scholarly publications in credible journals.

  61. Sanford has not made a mistake any worse than most of the Darwinian industry that regards fitness as equal to reproductive success. Such a viewpoint leads to a bizarre view of the reality in many cases such as survival of the sickest.

    Sal, in evolutionary theory, fitness is not regarded as reproductive success; it is defined as reproductive success.

    That doesn’t mean that a Darwinian could consider a sick person “fit” in any other sense than in that very narrow operational sense (and even then, it would be unlikely – a person with sickle-cell anaemia is not “fit” in either sense). An athlete with a vasectomy is highly fit in the normal English sense, but unfit in the Darwinian sense. Only if the two meanings are conflated is there any problem, and then, only in communication.

  62. Elizabeth:

    Sal, in evolutionary theory, fitness is not regarded as reproductive success; it is defined as reproductive success.

    Right, an after-the-fact assessment. And that isn’t very useful.

  63. The OP seems to have been abandoned to follow Clavdivs #13 “Now what?” question. That seems to be what several IDists here at UD want. Or does anyone still wish to address the “Even supposing ID is not science, it does not automatically mean it is religion, philosophy, or metaphysics” topic?

    Let us be clear: ‘Intelligent Design’ is a ‘theory.’ It was invented by Charles Thaxton based on an engineering analogy and applied to origins of life studies. Removing the term ‘theory’ itself is problematic; it serves as a method of ‘reification’ as if the conclusion is already proven. It makes it sound like Uppercase ‘Intelligent Design’ is a natural scientific fact, rather than a quasi-scientific theory.

    As far as “many of the internet articles” I’ve reference being ‘loudmouthed,’ timaeus is sure one to talk about that (what a laugh)! And he is sure one to talk about people knowing little about IDT when all he is really doing is acting like a walking billboard for DI Fellows’ books (I’ll eventually address that in the other thread). He has spent more money on IDist books than probably almost anyone alive and therefore expects everyone else to swallow the ideology that he has swallowed by reading those particular books instead of others, in the name of a ‘theory’ that surprisingly he doesn’t even properly defend regarding IDTs ‘strict scientificity.’

    He is just like some Marxists who read all of Marx’s works and everything written by Marxists and neo-Marxists, but who can’t understand why intelligent, thoughtful, people don’t become ‘converted’ to Marxism, why they maintain legitimate philosophical criticisms and therefore won’t dedicate their entire life to Marxism or IDism as he does.

    “I have never rejected intelligent, thoughtful, philosophical criticisms of ID.”

    You’ve been corrected, offered remedies and shown yourself as overmatched by people outside of UD when it comes to their “intelligent, thoughtful, philosophical criticisms of ID[T],” including by Edward Feser. So whether or not you “have never rejected” those criticisms doesn’t really say much, does it?

    That’s why I’ve challenged you to a public debate, timaeus, with your name and reputation up front instead of hidden, like an unnecessary Expelled Syndrome victim, behind an on-line pseudonym. I really don’t believe your pseudo-IDist arguments are that strong, timaeus, and just claiming that “people haven’t read as many IDist books as timaeus has” does not prove that they don’t understand quite well some of IDT’s major flaws. The significant non-materialist-theists that reject IDism have mainly stopped bothering with guys like timaeus because there’s no real point to be won with someone like that, especially when he puts words in your mouth repeatedly and claims both ideological innocence and absolute clarity in his writing.

    When I do specify positions by IDists that I disagree with, iow, quote directly and dealing with arguments published by over-reaching IDists, timaeus disappears. This is obvious in the distinction between ‘(the) design argument(s)’ and ‘IDT’ that Dembski makes. But since timaeus’ single-adherent version of IDT is not what Dembski’s IDT says, he will not address it. This explains why he is not an ID leader and is simply a regurgitator of DI fellows’ ideas.

    One would think that if DI leaders were actually serious about studying ‘design in nature’ from a scholarly perspective, they’d be all over Adrian Bejan right now, trying to show how his meaning of ‘design in nature’ differs from theirs. Why not? But they’ve been silent pushing their ideology (mainly, but not entirely) to Protestant Americans through evangelical channels for several years and don’t seem interested in scholarship that might either dwarf or dislocate theirs. At least I’ve published a thread about Bejan’s work in contrast with IDT on my blog, which is more than can be said of the tiny army of IDists that post here at UD, where not a single thread about Bejan’s “Design in Nature” book has been published (nor at EVo News and Views or elsewhere on IDist sites, as far as I can tell) already a year and a half after its publication! That’s just a sad, but telling fact of the IDM’s priorities.

    As for Steve Fuller, the thing is that IDT is one of many topics that he is interested in and working on; this American-concocted ‘theory’ does not determine Fuller’s career nor dictate his reputation as a scholar many on other topics. The claim that I have “virtually demanded that we accept Fuller as the new prophet of ID” is a sign of desperation from timaeus, yet another untruth that he has tried to pin upon me ungraciously. Imo, Fuller overmatches Meyer and Dembski on the science, philosophy, theology/worldview connection of both intelligent design and IDT, the latter which shows how backwards (literally, using the term ‘historical science’) Meyer and Dembski are because they are stuck defending IDT as ‘strictly scientific,’ when Fuller knows better, is looking to the present and future, to actually designing, constructing and shaping ourselves and our world, and he isn’t afraid to say so. Yet, of course it is ease to imagine Meyer and Dembski as courageous Galileo-types (as Woodward does), just because they are taking a principled stand against naturalism, materialism and secularism, even while they insist on the ‘strict scientificity’ of IDism, which is not the best way to overturn ‘scientism,’ another linked ideology of our age.

    timaeus then goes into all-out rhetoric mode spinning how IDT makes ‘philosophical conclusions’ that he claims are based on science, but won’t go the step further to admit the very simple proposition that I and others have put forward: IDT is properly so-called a science, philosophy, theology/worldview conversation. And that’s what this thread is supposed to be about. Perhaps S.T. Cordova will return to it, but probably he won’t. Eric Anderson’s message in #12 provided enough of a warning.

  64. littlejohn,

    I missed your #37, in which you wrote: “creation (of which ID is a subset).”

    What do you mean by this?

    Some people have all but given up talking about ‘creation’ only to shift their vocabulary to talk about ‘design,’ as if people are too blind to recognise this shift and call it out for what it is.

  65. Research on certain topics is taboo for whatever reason.

    That’s a vague and very unsatisfactory response.

    You made a point of blaming an uncongenial intellectual atmosphere for ID’s lack of progress in the sciences.

    I’m not complaining about ID lack of progress in the sciences. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m ambivalent to “ID is science” cause. However I’m not ambivalent to scientists personally (not professionally) accepting ID. That is a subtle, but important distinction.

    I’m not ambivalent to “evolutionary theory is science”. The bulk of evolutionary theory should not qualify as science. Even in Coyne’s own words:

    In science’s pecking order, evolutionary biology lurks somewhere near the bottom, far closer to phrenology than to physics

    The lack of progress of ID as a scientific theory is that it is not amenable to direct observation of the Intelligent Designer. One can see the reaction mechanism of Hydrogen and Oxygen forming water in the lab, not so with ID. And that is problematic, and I listed that as one of the good reasons to reject ID (either as science specifically or as a truth claim in general).

    It probably bears repeating:

    I’m ambivalent to “ID is science” cause. However I’m not ambivalent to scientists personally (not professionally) accepting ID or at least seeing the failures of evolutionary ideas. That is a subtle, but important distinction.

    The one part of ID that can make scientific progress is it’s criticism of OOL and evolutionary theories. That part of is valid science whether we call it “critical analysis” or ID.

    The problem is too many mortgages are paid by the perpetuation of evolutionary theory. Even if true, its major claims seem rather irrelevant from an operational standpoint, but not from a philosophical or religious standpoint.

  66. “The one part of ID that can make scientific progress is it’s criticism of OOL and evolutionary theories.”

    OoL is amongst the most speculative ‘sciences’ in the Academy. Wouldn’t you agree, Sal?

    Btw, you haven’t yet addressed #3. But I’ve learned that when tough questions about IDism are asked and philosophical themes raised, maestro Cordova usually disappears (into finance?).

    As for “criticism of evolutionary theories,” don’t forget (as even people as educated and profound as ‘Joe’ here at UD constantly remind us) that IDT is not necessarily an ‘anti-evolutionary theory,’ except for when it is ‘anti-evolutionary’, right? ;) Just the Darwinian variety, please! :P

  67. Only if the two meanings are conflated is there any problem, and then, only in communication.

    Such as in Dawkins Blindwatchmaker and many other evolutionary writings and computer simulations (like Avida and Weasel).

    I’m sorry we have to disagree so much. I think I’d much rather talk about music and art…

    Did you play a musical instrument? Do you have favorite composers? Myself, I was a music student before I was forced by economic considerations to go into other disciplines. I especially like Rachmaninoff. His 2nd Concerto is a perfect concerto. I play one of his works, the 18th Variation from his Rhapsody on a theme of Paganinni, but not the 2nd Concerto. It’s simply in an another realm of virtuosity. Sorry for the off topic, but I just had to ask given you studied music. :-)

    To that end, I’m encouraging everyone to make this an open thread from this comment forward. Speak your mind on anything you want, just keep it family friendly and civil.

  68. Is this S.T. Cordova’s way of a take-back?

    “I’m encouraging everyone to make this an open thread from this comment forward.”

    Is he encouraging people to forget his “Even supposing ID is not science, it does not automatically mean it is religion, philosophy, or metaphysics” claim?

    I guess it is at least worthwhile that Salvador has admitted “The lack of progress of ID as a scientific theory.” This isn’t something that most people don’t know already. But for an IDist-(still)Creationist to admit it is helpful as a sign of honesty.

    As Mike Gene finally concluded: “science can never truly detect Design, even if it exists.” … “the ability to detect Design entails a subjective judgment call, while science must be anchored in objective measurement.”

    p.s. Rachmaninoff’s 2nd piano concerto is lovely! I’ve attended it performed in concert in the Bolshoi Zal in St. Petersburg, where he also performed. Music and art are two realms where Uppercase ‘ID-talk’ is nonsensical, not because ‘design’ doesn’t happen, of course it does. But because there are so many other verbs to describe the creative process of imaginative production than to repeatedly reduce conversations to a single ‘D’ term.

  69. I’ve attended it performed in concert in the Bolshoi Zal in St. Petersburg, where he also performed.

    Ah yes, Bolshoi!

    Here is Valentina Lisitsa performing the first movement of the Rachmaninoff 2nd with orchestra:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBS-W4sUZ0o

    Here is her performing without orchestra:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufb2TrR3UAo

    Both are amazing! Darwinian evolution can’t art with such a level of virtuosity!

    Only God could make a Rachmaninoff or a Valentina!

    There is an Intelligent Designer! Amen!

  70. Sal

    Such as in Dawkins Blindwatchmaker and many other evolutionary writings and computer simulations (like Avida and Weasel).

    I haven’t seen Dawkins do it, though he is very confusing with his use of the word “random”. AVIDA does not confuse the two meanings (how could it?). And WEASEL is not really worth discussing.

    I’m sorry we have to disagree so much. I think I’d much rather talk about music and art…

    I prefer doing music and art to talking about it :)

    Well, talking is good too.

    Did you play a musical instrument?

    Viol

    Do you have favorite composers?

    Dowland, Purcell, William Lawes, Bach, Gibbons, Mozart, Schubert, Britten, Arvo Pärt, Monteverdi, Marais, Rameau, CPE Bach, Stravinsky, Tallis, Couperin, Chopin.

    Myself, I was a music student before I was forced by economic considerations to go into other disciplines.

    Hey!

    I especially like Rachmaninoff. His 2nd Concerto is a perfect concerto. I play one of his works, the 18th Variation from his Rhapsody on a theme of Paganinni, but not the 2nd Concerto. It’s simply in an another realm of virtuosity. Sorry for the off topic, but I just had to ask given you studied music. :-)

    Cool! So you are a pianist? I have Gil’s recordings. Though the romantic period is not my favorite, he could persuade me! And in any case, I love Chopin.

    And I spent this afternoon tuning my son’s drumkit :)

    We should do this more often!

    Cheers

    Lizzie

  71. From your link, I decided to google. So this is you with your companions?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fD9zvJlBzOY

    Wonderful! Wonderful!

  72. Your stripes sure haven’t changed, Salvador! :P

    “Darwinian evolution can’t art with such a level of virtuosity!”

    And it wasn’t supposed to.

    But neither does a ‘theory’ that claims to have to do with OoL, OoBI and human origins offer anything of value regarding ‘virtuosity.’ You are surely right to imply your broad view of ‘creationism’ for such a task. But then again, creationism usually deals with similar themes to IDism, i.e. OoL and human origins, and also age of earth.

    What is needed instead is a theory or approach to human virtuosity. Iow, an ‘anthropic principle’ that is not about the cosmos, but about humanity, including characteristics such as creativity, harmony, innovation, etc.

    But you won’t now and likely never will find such things in the IDM or in ‘creation science.’

    So, yes Amen, there is a Creator, which is what you mean by ‘Intelligent Designer.’ Most Abrahamic believers around the world will likely not be seduced by an American neo-creationist theory into bothering with using that concept-duo. But hey, it is sometimes entertaining to see IDist-Creationists trying to spread their language to others using conservative evangelical Christian channels in the USA.

    I see you do not plan to answer my questions in #3 or those that follow. Too bad, since it seems you’ve already made progress in other areas re: the real challenges to creationism based on evidences.

  73. Sal:

    From your link, I decided to google. So this is you with your companions?

    Yes :)

    That was a fun project.

    So was this:

    Glorious and Powerful God, Orlando Gibbons.

  74. see you do not plan to answer my questions in #3 or those that follow.

    I’m not a grammarian nor good speller, etc.

    I like Intelligent Design vs. intelligent design. Dembski uses caps that convention, Luskin does not.

  75. Gregory wrote:

    “Neither of these subjects normally requires population genetics as a required course. In terms of the science, therefore, I’d take Elizabeth Liddle’s word over timaeus’ pretty much any day of the week.”

    The question was not how Elizabeth was qualified to evaluate *me* on population genetics. The question was how Elizabeth was qualified to evaluate *John Sanford* on population genetics. She has given her answer, and that ends the discussion. Gregory’s attempt to resurrect the completed discussion in order to slip in yet another personal shot at me is transparent.

    But of course, if we want to bring in comparisons which no one was making, we could compare Gregory’s education in the natural sciences with mine. That might be relevant to understanding why he avoids reading the technical writings of ID proponents, and refuses to debate those writings. It also might be relevant to the question of his competence to assess the value of ID as a project.

  76. Gregory is now in the business of inventing “facts” out of thin air:

    “He has spent more money on IDist books than probably almost anyone alive”

    Since I have never provided anyone, in public or in private, with my spending receipts, there is of course no way Gregory could know this, even if it were true.

    But of course it is not true. The majority of pro-ID books that have been published, I do not own, and have not even read.

    I have, however, made a point of reading the theoretically most important ID works — and that is something that Gregory, by his own admission, has not done, and has no intention of doing.

  77. More fact-free and evasive comments from Gregory (from 61 and other places above):

    1. He says that I have been “overmatched” by the arguments of Feser. Funny, I don’t recall ever debating Feser. How can Feser have “overmatched” me if we have never been in a match in the first place?

    (In any case, I have never denied that Feser is a thoughtful critic of ID, and I have read many of his blog posts and debates with Vincent Torley. But admitting that Feser is thoughtful doesn’t compel me to admit that Feser is right in everything he says. Nor am I automatically “overmatched” merely for disagreeing with Feser.)

    2. He continues to deny that anyone on UD has responded to the thought of Bejan. Yet I have in fact responded to articles written by Bejan — articles recommended by Gregory himself — at:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....nt-design/

    I did so in post 338. Gregory posted later at that same location, and must have seen my comments there, as he always watches like a hawk for anything I say (ready to pounce on it), yet he did not respond to my comments. So there he is, complaining that no one will engage with him on Bejan, but when someone does engage, he ducks out. So who is the coward here, myself, or Gregory?

    3. Gregory pretends to respond to my question about Fuller, while in fact providing no response to it at all. He blathers on about Fuller in general terms, while deliberately avoiding the main issue.

    The fact is that *at the very center of Fuller’s thought on ID* is the belief in a “Franciscan” God for whom “univocal predication” is appropriate. Fuller says that ID should *embrace* such a conception of God as the basis of its program. But Feser says that this conception of God is both un-Christian and false, and that, to the extent ID bases itself on this conception, ID will go disastrously wrong. So Gregory has been asked over and over again: is Fuller *right* or *wrong* on this point? No more evasions, no more circumlocutions, no more academic BS. Just: is Fuller right or wrong? Does Gregory have the academic courage to answer the question?

  78. #64
    Greg,

    I mean, it is the non-naturalist camp that is exploiting the evidences confirming ID everywhere in nature. The naturalist camp seriously needs it to go away, and that is why the naturalists are fighting so hard. The evidence is real and damaging.

  79. “I like Intelligent Design vs. intelligent design.”

    Thanks for answering directly, Salvador.

    And what do you mean by that? What’s your rationale for capitalising Intelligent Design or not capitalising intelligent design?

  80. littlejohn,

    Are you aware that there are many ‘theists’ in what you call ‘the naturalist camp’? I have asked how it is possible to be a natural scientist who is not a ‘naturalist,’ but no clear statements from either ‘camp(s)’ has been offered. If you have a clear statement from a credible source, please link or quote it here.

    Repeat – you wrote: “creation (of which ID is a subset).”

    What do you mean by this?

    I didn’t use the term ‘natural’ or ‘naturalism.’ Why are you changing the topic? How do you envision that ‘ID a subset of creation’?

    p.s. I’d appreciate it if you call me by the listed name, as I do with you. Thanks.

  81. “Intelligent Design” claims more priority than “intelligent design”, also if we capitalize Charles Darwin, why not Intelligent Design. In the conceptual ranking of things maybe it ought to be:

    INTELLIGENT DESIGN vs. charles darwin

    But that’s hard on the eyes.

  82. Gregory wrote to littlejohn:

    “p.s. I’d appreciate it if you call me by the listed name, as I do with you. Thanks.”

    So, out of consistency, Gregory should be writing “Timaeus” instead of “timaeus,” respecting my own listed name.

  83. Salvador #81,

    Well, ‘Charles Darwin’ is a proper name, just like ‘Salvador T. Cordova’ is. It’s a typical rule of grammar to capitalise them.

    Scientific theories, however, are usually not capitalised. That’s one reason the capitalised vs. non-capitalised distinction regarding ‘Intelligent Design Theory’ and ‘intelligent design’ is so important.

    But you haven’t really answered the question of capitalisation with much substance. What does ‘more priority’ mean to you?

    #3 in this thread explains my position on this, as I have done several times already on UD and blogged about elsewhere. The position of DI Fellows, i.e. IDM leaders is on the ‘strict scientificity’ of Uppercase ‘Intelligent Design Theory.’ This is what makes it problematic for most Abrahamic believers who have carefully studied it and ultimately rejected it, while maintaining their religious faith.

  84. Gregory

    Sorry about the name thing- no offense intended.

    Yes- I am aware that many theists are naturalists. I believe naturalism or natural science is too limiting in scope, and therefore imposes prejudicial qualifications on science (knowledge and understanding).

    Regarding the relationship between ID and creation, I had it backwards. IOW, in theory, creation would be a product of ID, not the other way around.

    My previous comment was not meant to change the subject, but rather pointing out one distinction between naturalism and what I called non-naturalism. I used the term non-naturalism because I feel the term super-naturalism is inaccurate (but admittedly, non-naturalism is inaccurate as well).

    What is a credible source? What or who do you regard as a credible truth, and why?

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