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Getting Hollywood to “Sell the Product” to Children

In reading the article/speech below, ask yourself how successful (or unsuccessful) by comparison Darwinists have been in selling their product to children.

Inhofe Slams Leonardo DiCaprio and Laurie David
by Marc Morano (more by this author)
www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=23092
Posted 10/29/2007 ET
Updated 10/29/2007 ET

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Member of the Environement and Public Works Committee, delivered a more than two-hour floor speech today debunking fears of man-made global warming. Below is an exerpt of his remarks about how Hollywood, led by Leonardo DiCaprio and Laurie David, has promoted unfounded climate fears to children. For video of speech section denouncing Hollywood is below.

Senator Inhofe Speech Excerpt:

We are currently witnessing an international awakening of scientists who are speaking out in opposition to former Vice President Al Gore, the United Nations, the Hollywood elitists and the media-driven “consensus” on man-made global warming.

We have witnessed Antarctic ice GROW to record levels since satellite monitoring began in the 1970′s. We have witnessed NASA temperature data errors that have made 1934 — not 1998 — the hottest year on record in the U.S. We have seen global averages temperatures flat line since 1998 and the Southern Hemisphere cool in recent years.

These new developments in just the last six months are but a sample of the new information coming out that continues to debunk climate alarm.

But before we delve into these dramatic new scientific developments, it is important to take note of our pop culture propaganda campaign aimed at children.

HOLLYWOOD TARGETS CHILDREN WITH CLIMATE FEARS

In addition to Gore’s entry last year into Hollywood fictional disaster films, other celebrity figures have attempted to jump into the game.

Hollywood activist Leonardo DiCaprio decided to toss objective scientific truth out the window in his new scarefest “The 11th Hour.” DiCaprio refused to interview any scientists who disagreed with his dire vision of the future of the Earth.

In fact, his film reportedly features physicist Stephen Hawking making the unchallenged assertion that “the worst-case scenario is that Earth would become like its sister planet, Venus, with a temperature of 250 [degrees] centigrade.”

I guess these “worst-case scenario’s” pass for science in Hollywood these days. It also fits perfectly with DiCaprio’s stated purpose of the film.

DiCaprio said on May 20th of this year: “I want the public to be very scared by what they see. I want them to see a very bleak future.”

While those who went to watch DiCaprio’s science fiction film may see his intended “bleak future,” it is DiCapro who has been scared by the bleak box office numbers, as his film has failed to generate any significant audience interest.

Gore’s producer to kids: ‘Be activists’

Children are now the number one target of the global warming fear campaign.

DiCaprio announced his goal was to recruit young eco-activists to the cause.

“We need to get kids young,” DiCaprio said in a September 20 interview with USA Weekend.

Hollywood activist Laurie David, Gore’s co-producer of “An Inconvenient Truth” recently co-authored a children’s global warming book with Cambria Gordon for Scholastic Books titled, The Down-To-Earth Guide to Global Warming.

David has made it clear that her goal is to influence young minds with her new book when she recently wrote an open letter to her children stating: “We want you to grow up to be activists.”

Apparently, David and other activists are getting frustrated by the widespread skepticism on climate as reflected in both the U.S. and the UK according to the latest polls.

It appears the alarmists are failing to convince adults to believe their increasingly shrill and scientifically unfounded rhetoric, so they have decided kids are an easier sell.

But David should worry less about recruiting young activists and more about scientific accuracy. A science group found what it called a major “scientific error” in David’s new kid’s book on page 18.

According to a Science and Public Policy Institute release on September 13:

“The authors [David and Gordon] present unsuspecting children with an altered temperature and CO2 graph that reverses the relationship found in the scientific literature. The manipulation is critical because David’s central premise posits that CO2 drives temperature, yet the peer-reviewed literature is unanimous that CO2 changes have historically followed temperature changes.”

David has now been forced to publicly admit this significant scientific error in her book.

Nine year old: ‘I don’t want to die’ from global warming

A Canadian high school student named McKenzie was shown Gore’s climate horror film in four different classes.

“I really don’t understand why they keep showing it,” McKenzie said on May 19, 2007.

In June, a fourth grade class from Portland Maine’s East End Community School issued a dire climate report: “Global warming is a huge pending global disaster” read the elementary school kids’ report according to an article in the Portland Press Herald on June 14, 2007. Remember, these are fourth graders issuing a dire global warming report. (LINK)

And this agenda of indoctrination and fear aimed at children is having an impact.

Nine year old Alyssa Luz-Ricca was quoted in the Washington Post on April 16, 2007 as saying:

“I worry about [global warming] because I don’t want to die.”

The same article explained: “Psychologists say they’re seeing an increasing number of young patients preoccupied by a climactic Armageddon.”

I was told by the parent of an elementary school kid last spring who said her daughter was forced to watch “An Inconvenient Truth” once a month at school and had nightmares about drowning in the film’s predicted scary sea level rise.

The Hollywood global-warming documentary “Arctic Tale” ends with a child actor telling kids: “If your mom and dad buy a hybrid car, you’ll make it easier for polar bears to get around.”

Unfortunately, children are hearing the scientifically unfounded doomsday message loud and clear. But the message kids are receiving is not a scientific one, it is a political message designed to create fear, nervousness and ultimately recruit them to liberal activism.

There are a few hopeful signs. A judge in England has ruled that schools must issue a warning before they show Gore’s film to children because of scientific inaccuracies and “sentimental mush.”

In addition, there is a new kids book called “The Sky’s Not Falling! Why It’s OK to Chill About Global Warming.” The book counters the propaganda from the pop culture.

Objective, Evidence based Science is Beginning to Crush Hysteria

My speech today and these reports reveal that recent peer-reviewed scientific studies are totally refuting the Church of Man-made Global Warming.

Global warming movement ‘falling apart’

Meteorologist Joseph Conklin who launched the skeptical website in 2007, recently declared the “global warming movement [is] falling apart.”

All the while, activists like former Vice President Al Gore repeatedly continue to warn of a fast approaching climate “tipping point.”

I agree with Gore. Global warming may have reached a “tipping point.”

The man-made global warming fear machine crossed the “tipping point” in 2007.

I am convinced that future climate historians will look back at 2007 as the year the global warming fears began crumbling. The situation we are in now is very similar to where we were in the late 1970′s when coming ice age fears began to dismantle.

Remember, it was Newsweek Magazine which in the 1970′s proclaimed meteorologists were “almost unanimous” in their view that a coming Ice Age would have negative impacts. It was also Newsweek in 1975 which originated the eerily similar “tipping point” rhetoric of today:

Newsweek wrote on April 28, 1975 about coming ice age fears: “The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality.”

Of course Newsweek essentially retracted their coming ice age article 29 years later in October 2006. In addition, a 1975 National Academy of Sciences report addressed coming ice age fears and in 1971, NASA predicted the world “could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age.”

Today, the greatest irony is that the UN and the media’s climate hysteria grows louder as the case for alarmism fades away. While the scientific case grows weaker, the political and rhetorical proponents of climate fear are ramping up to offer hefty tax and regulatory “solutions” both internationally and domestically to “solve” the so-called “crisis.”

Skeptical Climatologist Dr. Timothy Ball formerly of the University of Winnipeg in Canada wrote about the current state of the climate change debate earlier this month:

“Imagine basing a country’s energy and economic policy on an incomplete, unproven theory – a theory based entirely on computer models in which one minor variable (CO2) is considered the sole driver for the entire global climate system.”

And just how minor is that man-made CO2 variable in the atmosphere?

Meteorologist Joseph D’Aleo, the first Director of Meteorology at The Weather Channel and former chairman of the American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) Committee on Weather Analysis and Forecasting, explained in August how miniscule mankind’s CO2 emissions are in relation to the Earth’s atmosphere.

“If the atmosphere was a 100 story building, our annual anthropogenic CO2 contribution today would be equivalent to the linoleum on the first floor,” D’Aleo wrote.

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47 Responses to Getting Hollywood to “Sell the Product” to Children

  1. Amen, brother! This is exactly why we need to get ID into schools…

    I’ve never seen anyone on this forum advocate teaching ID to school children.

  2. Perhaps “rrf” is an instigator.

    I’ve heard that in the 60s, during COINTELPRO, undercover FBI agents infiltrated various countercultural/leftist movements. They would instigate the group to take more and more radical actions in order to get them to break the law so that they could then be arrested. In time, activists formed the assumption that whoever proposed the most radical, illegal actions was an undercover agent.

    I mention this because the proposal here, namely that one should try to get ID taught in the schools before it is vindicated in the laboratory, is precisely what neo-Darwinist establishment-types think you guys are trying to do anyway. So accepting the proposal — which, as russ points out, has not been advocated by anyone else here — would pretty much confirm the establishment’s stereotype of the ID movement.

    As for me, I’m a tried-and-true Darwinist, and made no effort to conceal it — but I enjoy philosophical argument, and there’s something to be said about rooting for the underdog — which ID currently is.

  3. rrf

    “Teaching the controversy” is about the scientific dissent from Darwinism which is separate from ID.

    And by the way, you’re outta here.

  4. Since rrf directs us to the Discovery Institute, it might be helpful to read what DI president John West has written on the subject of “teaching the controversy”.

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2....._call.html

    …In fact, Discovery Institute recommends teaching evolution by natural selection but also scientific criticisms of the theory. It does not recommend that schools require intelligent design. This is the policy we have supported in Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Texas, Pennsylvania, Kansas, and a number of other states. We do support the right of teachers to voluntarily discuss intelligent design, but we do not advocate this as a school board policy or state legislative policy. That is one reason we opposed the Dover School District policy from the start–well before there was any lawsuit. For a statement of our rationale on this point, see the letter we sent to the Pennsyvlania legislature opposing a bill on teaching intelligent design earlier this year.

  5. rrf was quite rude. But I think the ID position may have changed over time. Back in 2005, Dr. Dembski wrote that “President Bush is to be commended for his courage, wisdom, and foresight in publicly supporting the teaching of intelligent design alongside evolution.” He even linked to that op-ed on this site. At least at the time, Dr. Dembksi did “advocate teaching ID to school children.” But positions change, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

  6. “Teaching the controversy” is about the scientific dissent from Darwinism…

    Skepticism is an essential component of scientific thinking. More of it is definitely needed in our schools.

  7. rrf’s post was poorly thought out it was instantly clear what he was up to. I mean really, “…remake it in His image”??? lol

  8. Teaching ID next to Darwinian evolution, which I continue to support, is different from mandating either by force of law. Judge Jones, for instance, ruled that ID may not be taught.

  9. Thanks, Dr. Dembski, that helps clear things up. I still tend to confuse the idea of teaching scientific criticisms of evolution and teaching ID. They overlap a lot in my mind. If we want to require teaching critiques of evolution, doesn’t ID provides the best examples?

  10. In re: (11).

    If one defines “design,” as Dembski does, as “the set-theoretic complement of the disjunction regularity-or-chance,” then yes.

    Under that definition, everything that is neither ascribable to regularity or to chance must be a result of design.

    Therefore, arguments against NDT (neo-Darwinian theory) are arguments in favor of design theory.

    (Neglecting, for the time being, non-teleological, naturalistic alternatives to standard NDT.)

    In other words, if the only options are A, B, and C, and we know that it can’t be B or C, then it must be A. Dembski provides probabilistic arguments against “B or C”; Behe provides empirical arguments against “B or C.”

    That, at any rate, is my sense of how things stand. But there are many here whose command of design theory far exceeds my own. Is what I’ve said a fair interpretation of the state of play?

  11. getawitness,

    Support for one’s position in any controversy often requires negative evidence against the other positions. This is what critical analysis is about. Much of the evidence used in the evolution debate is negative evidence against the other positions.

    The creationists and ID have been very effective at developing negative arguments against naturalistic processes for complex biological change. Each hopes that this will reflect positively on their own position. The naturalistic adherents invoke bad design, the presence of evil and other philosophical arguments against ID, essentially a negative approach.

    The Edge of Evolution is essentially about the limitations of the neo Darwinian process. In fact it is a devastating appraisal. Dr. Dembski’s work. if I have assessed it correctly, is more in a direction of providing evidence for the necessity of intelligence so as to lead one towards the ID position. Allan MacNeill who is discussed on another thread currently up will also present lots of evidence against neo Darwinism but then try to lead one to another naturalistic process that includes a multitude of mechanisms for change.

    I personally, and I believe a lot of others here would also agree, that like the weaknesses of neo Darwinism should be taught in the text books and the classroom along with the current theory. Let the students make up their minds. Right now there is little criticism in the curriculum but more is appearing.

  12. Jerry, I understand that Dr. Behe provides evidence against Darwinism while Dr. Dembski provides evidence for ID. Yet both are ID theorists. Dr. Wells also provides evidence against Darwinian processes, and he’s an ID theorist. I don’t know anything about Dr. MacNeill except what I’ve read here, but if he’s against ID I bet he’s a materialist no matter what he says about Darwinism.

    I’m still trying to figure out when criticism of Darwinism becomes critique of materialism and therefore support for ID.

  13. getawitness says:
    “I’m still trying to figure out when criticism of Darwinism becomes critique of materialism and therefore support for ID.”

    Be careful about entering a logical dead zone. It is not the case that any criticism of Darwinism is ipso facto support for ID. It’s not about Darwinism; it’s about science.

    Darwinian principles might eventually be shown to be wrong, and an alternative may emerge that provides a better account of evolution. But any viable alternative will have at least one thing in common with Darwinism: Non-natural causes will be excluded from consideration. This is not because they may not exist, but because science is not equipped with explanatory mechanisms outside the natural realm.

  14. The true goal of climate fear is to use it to stifle economic growth in the US. There are two main groups of people who want this. 1 is those international powers who wish to erode US soverigenty so that they can freely do what ever they want at our expense. The second group is the poor and anti american political sentiment from within the country. They always have sought and continue to seek equality over the betterment of all. The more burocratic advancements that can be made especially when it is at the expense of the free market will allow for more redistribution of wealth. In this case it is the intellectual sicentists of climate that are leading the charge agianst the free market with research grants in their sites. Greedy hungry politicians are fallowing their lead in lock step. Shame on the usual suspects- those elitests of the institution. But the intellectul war is nothing new- Marxism is responsible for millions of deaths spanning accross the globe and more unequal economies than any intellectual political idea before it or since. All suposedly in the name of equality and peace.

  15. MacT said:

    Darwinian principles might eventually be shown to be wrong, and an alternative may emerge that provides a better account of evolution. But any viable alternative will have at least one thing in common with Darwinism: Non-natural causes will be excluded from consideration. This is not because they may not exist, but because science is not equipped with explanatory mechanisms outside the natural realm.
    MacT, your answer assumes a lot (like, that “evolution” needs an “account” rather than a critique). But I may not have made myself clear. What if the explanation does not provide non-natural mechanisms but points toward non-natural mechanisms? I don’t expect anybody to describe God scientifically. But the design perspective suggests that the intelligence behind life is not like anything (or anyone) we encounter in nature.

  16. getawitness:

    Perhaps I didn’t make my point clearly enough.

    A scientific explanation cannot “point toward” non-natural mechanisms; they are excluded from scientific consideration. This isn’t a matter of taste, or preference, or world view, or religious or philosophical bias. Science does not have the tools to answer questions about non-material causes.

    Also, as I understand their position, the most prominent ID theorists would not agree with your implication that the design perspective suggests God. Perhaps an ID theoris would care to comment?

    Finally, you take a shot at evolution. But the phenomenon of evolution is not seriously at issue. The scientific question is whether the mechanisms of change thought by most scientists, and inspired by Darwin, are in fact responsible for change. If you read the scientific literature, you will see that proposed evolutionary mechanisms receive a great deal of critique within the mainstream.

  17. Mac T you stated:

    This is not because they may not exist, but because science is not equipped with explanatory mechanisms outside the natural realm.

    You are clearly limiting science, to what you think it can explain, prior to investigation.

    The primary job of Science is to relentlessly pursue a more correct understanding of the truth whatever, and wherever, that truth may be!

    To put artificial limits on what science is allowed to discover prior to investigation, just because you, or others, think science can’t explain whatever is to be discovered, is to basically retard the primary purpose of science in its primary endeavor prior to investigation!

  18. MacT

    Intelligent agency is, at least according to NeoDarwinian theory, a natural occurence in the universe. It seems contradictory to rule out intelligence as a natural cause when the very theory under dispute claims that intelligence is a result of natural evolution.

  19. MacT,

    I think I understand your point. (I’ll leave aside any skepticism about evolution itself, which is for another time). Are you saying that when ID points toward intelligent causes, it’s using a “god of the gaps” type argument? But what if the gap is in principle incapable of being filled by natural processes? This is how I understand the implications of Dr. Dembski’s work.

    DaveScot, I’m not sure I agree. Intelligent agency may arise naturally in a world where it already exists. People are born every minute who will one day exhibit it. But ID seems to say that intelligence itself does not have a natural origin. That’s why there must be a world beyond materialism, and that’s why ID is not a “god of the gaps” type argument.

  20. getawitness

    ID doesn’t speak to the origin of intelligence agency. It only serves to discriminate between the actions of agency and accident. For instance, an arson investigator can apply ID to help determine if a fire was accidental or intentional.

  21. DaveScot

    “Intelligent agency is, at least according to NeoDarwinian theory, a natural occurence in the universe. It seems contradictory to rule out intelligence as a natural cause when the very theory under dispute claims that intelligence is a result of natural evolution.”

    If intelligence is a natural occurrence, then there is no contradiction. Science does not rule out intelligence as a natural cause. But the operating assumption must be that any cause, for whatever phenomenon we wish to study, is natural. Intelligence that is a result of natural evolution meets this criterion.

    Unfortunately, many people seem to assume a different definition of ID, with an unidentified designer that they take to be their supernatural creator of choice. On this view, the role of science is to lead us to recognize the creator. This is a common misunderstanding of what science is, how it works, and what it can achieve.

  22. DaveScot,

    As I see Dr. Dembski’s works, intelligence is connected to complex specified information. CSI doesn’t just happen; it always comes from intelligent agency. If life on Earth exhibits CSI, then life must have its origins in intelligent agency. I suppose life on earth could have been planted here by some material designer, but unless that material designer is itself either (1) non-intelligent or (2) spontaneously intelligent, the ultimate origin of intelligence must, for ID, be non-material. ID rules out the first option. The second option requires a kind of intelligence utterly unlike anything we see elsewhere in the material world. I’m not willing to say that the material world works by different laws elsewhere, and so by Occam’s Razor, ID points toward the non-material.

  23. bornagain77:
    “To put artificial limits on what science is allowed to discover prior to investigation, just because you, or others, think science can’t explain whatever is to be discovered, is to basically retard the primary purpose of science in its primary endeavor prior to investigation!”

    The limits on science are not arbitrary, or the result of some nefarious scheme to avoid reality.

    You complain that we limit science prior to investigation. Indeed we do. Before we go into the lab (or field, or wherever we collect our data), we must state a hypothesis in testable terms. This includes, crucially, what outcome would show that our hypothesis is incorrect. Science puts very specific kinds of limits on itself in order to be in position to understand natural phenomena in natural terms.

    What we cannot do is point to possible causes that are in principle invisible or inaccessible to our means of testing. We can speculate about causes that we haven’t tested for yet, provided they are amenable to testing.

    Let me give you an example. I work with people who have language disabilities due to brain damage. When a patient presents with a specific language deficit — let’s say he can name vegetables but not tools — I would hypothesize that the brain lesion has occurred in a location that is responsible for representing and processing information about inanimate objects, but has spared the location that deals with foods. This observation would lead me to speculate that the brain may be functionally and anatomically organized according to semantic categories. It would also lead me to predict that this patient could probaby name fruits, but not pieces of furniture. I could easily design a new experiment to test this prediction. If the prediction is upheld, it gives further support to my speculation about brain organization. That’s how a theory gets built.

    Now suppose another researcher believes that mental function is subject to the influence of long-dead ancestors. My colleague proposes a different explanation of the data: The patient normally would not be able to name either fruits or tools, but there was an ancestor who really liked fruits, and exerts influence on the patient’s brain function because it is pleasing to hear him name fruits.

    I can’t prove this isn’t true. My experimental tools — cognitive tests, brain scans — cannot detect the agency of a long-dead ancestor. It doesn’t matter whether I’m sympathetic to this view or not; it’s untestable with current tools, and therefore science can’t lead there.

  24. getawitness

    I see you got around to asking the notorious question “Who designed the designer?” The answer is we don’t know and we have no empirical evidence from which to infer any answers. Confined to the question of origin of life on earth we have lots of empirical evidence – enough to warrant a design inference. I have yet to see anything about life on earth that requires a non-material designer but rather at a minimum a designer with some rather advanced (beyond current human technology) skills in biochemistry. This doesn’t rule out a designer with more than just highly developed biochemistry technology but by the same token it doesn’t require more than that either.

    In another application of ID say we examine a piece of flint and determine it’s an arrowhead. What can we infer about the designer from that? We can infer a designer with some skill in knapping flint. We might be able to determine roughly when it was made from its context. But there is a lot we can’t infer about the designer. We can reasonably presume the designer was a human because they are known to have produced arrowheads provided the context supports human presence (i.e. we didn’t find the arrowhead on the planet Mars or embedded in billion year-old strata). Beyond that we simply have no empirical data to infer anything. We don’t know the age or gender of the designer, whether he/she had children or how many, what the designer died of, or really anything else at all. Biological origins are like that only we have even less to go on. We can infer it was designed and can infer a minimum skill set required to accomplish the design but, based on the evidence we have to work with today, we can infer no more. Trying to make further inferences is no more than an exercise of narrative invention (story telling).

  25. MacT

    ID makes testable predictions about evolution. Take for instance the parasite that causes malaria – P.falciparum. We observed this single celled eukaryote in the last few decades replicating billions of trillions of times. That is orders of magnitude more replications than it ostensibly took to transform reptiles into mammals. ID predicted that even in billions of trillions of replications no creative evolution of the type that distinguishes mammals from reptiles is possible without intelligent agency. Sure enough, when the parasite was scrutinized in both phenotype and nucleotide-accurate genotype after billions of trillions of replications it had accomplished nothing but trivial (albeit medically important) changes.

    This was the largest real-world emprical test of the principles underlying ID and evolution by other means. ID was confirmed and evolution by any other means was repudiated. Feel free to offer an explanation for the lack of any significant creative evolution in P.falciparum under the rubric of the modern synthesis. And don’t say ID doesn’t make testable predictions. It did and the prediction was confirmed. Furthermore it continues to predict that no significant creative evolution will take place in P.falciparum in any of the billions of trillions of replications it undergoes every single year. Can the modern synthesis even make a prediction in that regard? At this point it appears it cannot. The theory absent predictions in regard to creative evolution appears to be the modern synthesis not intelligent design.

  26. DaveScot,

    In your example, the null hypothesis is: “P. falciparum show no significant creative evolution.”

    You then claim that your (really Behe’s) examination of the probability data does not find any evidence for evolution.

    This is then taken to be support for ID.

    I think I understand why this account is so compelling, but it is incorrect.

    First, in hypothesis testing, you have made the mistake of accepting the null hypothesis. The goal of hypothesis testing is to determine whether the null hypothesis can be discarded, not accepted. It would be scientifically more sound to frame a prediction of ID such that a positive result would allow us to reject the null hypothesis. So far that has not happened.

    Second, for ID predictions to work at all in a scientific sense, we must first know what assumptions are made within the theory. If we don’t know how a designer might accomplish design, or what or who the designer is, then we have simply pushed the problem back a step. That is not a solution, and it is not science. One solution, for example, would be to posit the existence of intelligent extraterrestrials (the who, presumably with intrinsic motivations), who possess the ability to engineer (the how) the presence of life forms on our planet. There are others, of course, but whatever mechanism we propose, science requires an a priori and explicit statement of a theory before we can carry out a meaningful test of a hypothesis.

  27. Mac T point well taken in your particular field, (And excellent point in refutation DaveScot)

    Now MacT, in regards to my point, I want to point out where the “spiritual” realm and the material realm collide in physics, and would not be discernable for me, if I was limited to your arbitrary limit of a allowable material explanation.

    What is Truth?

    To varying degrees everyone looks for truth. A few people have traveled to distant lands seeking gurus in their quest to find “Truth”. People are happy when they discover a new truth into the mysteries of life. People who have deep insights into the truth of how things actually work are considered wise. In the bible Jesus says “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” So, since truth is considered a good thing, let us look for truth in a common object; a simple rock.
    Few people would try to argue that a rock is not real. Someone who would argue that it is not real could bang his head on the rock until he was satisfied the rock is real. A blind man in a darkened cave would feel the rock hitting his head just as well as a sighted man who saw the rock coming. The rock is real and its reality is not dependent on our observation. Having stated the obvious lets look at what the rock is actually made of.
    A rock is composed of three basic ingredients; energy, force and truth. From Einstein’s’ famous equation (e=mc2) we know that all matter (solids, liquids and gases) of the universe is made of energy. This energy is “woven” by various forces into the atoms of the rock. The amount of energy woven by these complex interactions of various forces into the rock is tremendous. This tremendous energy that is in the rock is clearly demonstrated by the detonation of atom . This woven energy is found in each and every individual “particle” of every atom in the trillions upon trillions of atoms in the rock. Woven energy is the “substance” of the rock. It is what gives the rock its physicality of being solid. Yet there is another ingredient which went into making the rock that is often neglected to be looked at as a “real” component of the rock. It is the transcendent spiritual component of truth. If truth did not exist the rock would not exist. This is as obvious as the fact that the rock would not exist if energy and/or force did not exist. It is the truth in and of the logical laws that govern the energy and force of the rock that enable the rock to be a rock in the first place.
    Is truth independent and nt of the energy and force? Yes of course, there are many truths that are not dependent on energy or force for them to still be true. Yet energy and force are always subject to what truth tells them they can and cannot do. That is to say, the rock cannot exist without truth yet truth can exist without the rock. Energy and force must obey the truth that is above them. Since truth dictates what energy and/or force can or cannot do, truth tes energy and force. Energy and force do not te truth. If all energy and/or force stopped existing the truth that ruled the energy and force in the rock would still be true. Thus, truth is eternal. The truth existed before the rock existed. The truth exists while the rock exists. The truth will exist after the rock is long gone. It is also obvious that truth is omnipresent. The truth that is in the rock on this world is the same truth that is in a rock on the other side of the universe on another world. Thus, truth is present everywhere at all times. It has been scientifically proven, by quantum non-locality, that whenever something becomes physically “real” in any part of the universe this “information of reality” is instantaneously communicated everywhere in the universe. Thus, truth is “aware” of everything that goes on in the universe instantaneously. This universal awareness gives truth a vital characteristic of being omniscient. This instantaneous communication of truth to all points in the universe also happens to defy the speed of light; a “truth” that energy and even gravity happen to be subject to. This scientific proof of quantum non-locality also proves that truth is not a “passive” component of this universe. Truth is the “active” nt component of this universe. Truth is not a passive set of rules written on a sheet of paper somewhere. Truth is the “living governor” of this universe that has dominion over all other components of this universe.
    Well, lets see what we have so far; Truth is eternal (it has always existed and will always exist); Truth is omnipresent (it is present everywhere in the universe at all times); Truth is omnipotent (it has dominion over everything else in the universe); Truth has a vital characteristic of omniscience (it knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe); and Truth is “alive” (it is aware of everything that is happening and instantaneously makes appropriate adjustments wherever needed in the universe). Surprisingly, being eternal, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient and alive are some of the very characteristics that are used by theologians to describe God. Thus, by the rules of logic this means truth emanates from God. So in answer to our question “What is Truth?” we can answer that truth comes from God.
    Jesus says that He is “The Truth”. This is a fantastic claim! If Jesus is speaking a truth, which I believe He is from the miracles I’ve seen, then by the rules of logic this makes Jesus the ultimate and all encompassing expression all God’s truths in this universe. In other words, all individual truths of this universe, such as all the universal constants and all the philosophical truths, find their authority and ultimate expression through the person and entity of Jesus Christ .

  28. I wish we had rrf’s post so we could understand all of the responses to him.

  29. getawitness,

    The debate is not “natural” vs “supernatural”. It is intention vs accident- intelligent, purposeful processes vs mindless, purposeless processes.

    Both deisgn and intelligence are natural, ie they exist in nature. Also natural processes cannot account for the origins of nature because natural processes only exist in nature.

    Judge Jones, for instance, ruled that ID may not be taught.- Wm Dembski

    Yes and his “ruling” only holds for a smal insignifcant district in PA.

    But what we need is a modern-day Scopes- that is a teacher within that district going against JJ’s ruling and introducing ID to the class.

  30. DaveScot,

    Sorry for the late reply. Actually, I’m not asking who designed the designer (a silly question that can’t be answered scientifically). I am claiming, however, (and here I must disagree with Joseph) that ID does say that the designer must ultimately be non-material or non-natural, at least in the work of Dr. Dembski. From No Free Lunch, page 150:

    In this section I will present an in-principle mathematical argument for why natural causes are incapable of generating complex specified information. I will show that neither nonstochastic functions nor random sampling from a probability distribution nor stochastic processes can do better than transmit already existing complex specified information. It follows that any claim that natural causes can generate complex specified information not only cannot be justified but cannot even be situated within an information-theoretic framework where it could be justified.

    Here the debate is about natural versus . . . something else. I’m not calling that something else “supernatural” — I’m just saying that it seems clear that these arguments point toward an origin of CSI outside of nature. Saying that design is natural because it exists in nature evades the origin question. As Dr. Dembski says at the end of No Free Lunch (p. 371), “It is time to come clean about what natural causes can and cannot accomplish.” What natural causes cannot accomplish is kind of the point of the book!

  31. Joseph,

    I should have put this in my last post, so apologies. But please, don’t put words in my mouth. I have not used the term supernatural to refer to the origin of design. I have only said “non-material,” “outside of nature,” and so forth. The term supernatural may carry baggage that’s worth avoiding.
    Maybe I should not refer to the designer at all, but rather to a non-material origin of ultimate design. This would allow the universe to be designed without a designer — an intelligent universe! But as I said above, such a conclusion seems needlessly complex IMO.

  32. In this section I will present an in-principle mathematical argument for why natural causes

    Getawitness, I think Dr. Dembski is talking “natural laws” versus “intelligence” in this quote. An arrowhead is the product of “intelligent design”, not merely natural laws, even though humans are part of nature.

  33. If we don’t know how a designer might accomplish design, or what or who the designer is, then we have simply pushed the problem back a step. That is not a solution, and it is not science. One solution, for example, would be to posit the existence of intelligent extraterrestrials (the who, presumably with intrinsic motivations), who possess the ability to engineer (the how) the presence of life forms on our planet.

    So intelligence agency is not a thing that scientists may detect unless they first guess who or what was the source of the intelligence? If we find complex, purposeful machines operating on Jupiter, but no one in sight, why is speculation about Jupiterians necessary before we can infer design?

  34. russ,

    “I think Dr. Dembski is talking “natural laws” versus “intelligence” in this quote. An arrowhead is the product of “intelligent design”, not merely natural laws, even though humans are part of nature.”

    No. The point is developed throughout the chapter that CSI has no natural origin. As Dr. Dembski says on the same page, “for a natural cause to ‘generate’ CSI would mean for a function to map some item to an item that exhibits CSI…. In other words, natural causes just push the CSI problem from the effect back to the cause.” And later (151): “To claim that natural causes have ‘generated’ CSI is therefore totally misleading — natural causes have merely shuffled around CSI.” And later (159): “Since chance, necessity, and their combination characterize natural causes, it now follows that natural causes are incapable of generating CSI.”

    If CSI (a key to the design inference) is not generated by natural (material) causes, then it is either uncaused or has a cause outside of nature. That’s all I’m saying.

  35. “If CSI (a key to the design inference) is not generated by natural (material) causes, then it is either uncaused or has a cause outside of nature. That’s all I’m saying.”

    I think ultimately, information/intelligence has to come from something “uncaused” But, as far as life on earth is concerned “the designer”, it does not.

  36. Just in re-reading my post, I realize how dumb my response is. God or not, we’re going to have something (either matter or intelligence) that was uncaused, or else there would be nothing right now. I meant to say, ultimately intelligence/information is non-material, but this non-material cause does not need to be the *direct* cause of life on earth.

  37. getawitness

    If CSI (a key to the design inference) is not generated by natural (material) causes, then it is either uncaused or has a cause outside of nature. That’s all I’m saying.

    The source of your misunderstanding is you are conflating “natural” and “material”. The opposite of natural in this context is “artificial”. Artificial doesn’t necessarily mean supernatural or immaterial.

  38. MacT

    I see you dodged the question of how the modern synthesis can explain why falciparum didn’t evolve in billions of trillions of replications.

    ID doesn’t need positive verification. We already know that intelligent agents can purposely tinker with DNA. It’s called genetic engineering and I’m quite sure you’re familiar with it. The $64,000 question is whether anything other than intelligent agents can purposely tinker with DNA.

    I state the biological ID hypothesis as

    All complex biological systems are generated by intelligent agency.

    This conforms perfectly to what Karl Popper defined as a scientific hypothesis in his famous “swans” example:

    All swans are white.

    Popper stated that while it is impossible to prove that all swans are white the observation of a single black swan falsifiies the hypothesis. If the hypothesis can be falsified then it is “scientific” according to Popper.

    It is impossible to prove that all complex biological systems are generated by intelligent agency but the observation of a single complex biological system generated by non-intelligent agency will falsify the hypothesis.

    Now explain again why the ID hypothesis is not scientific and why, in principle, it is not falsifiable. P.falciparum replicating billions of trillions of times was the most comprehensive search to date for a “black swan”. It could have, in principle, falsified ID. The proverbial black swan could have been observed but it was not. This does not prove ID but it certainly lends strong support to it.

  39. Dave:

    Your point in response to MacT on white and black swans is excellent. Can I borrow and use it with attribution?

    On the source of CSI, I think it may be appropriate to point out that mind [and its observed characteristic product, complex, functionally specific, coded information] has very different properties from matter.

    In this sense, GAW has a point; though he may not have expressed himself in the best possible way (very hard to do on this subject I think).

    Namely, we observe three main classes of causal patterns: [1] chance (especially in random situations), [2] mechanical necessity, [3] agency. The last of these is on observation inherently mental, while the former two are often seen as manifestations of raw, undirected material-energy interactions.

    I think characteristically of molecular-scale patterns studied through statistical mechanics and related disciplines, when I try to see the difference.

    As my always linked, appendix 1 section 6 discusses: we would not expect the millions of molecule scale microjet parts to clump together and spontaneously assemble into a flyable configuration in a vat at random. But, with intelligent, programmed algorithms and the aid of our sci-fi thought experiment nanobots, they can credibly be so assembled into a flyable jet.

    Such algorithms and the programs by which they are expressed, are the product of mind; i.e. of agency. Such also has the characteristics of mind: a workable program is logicallly sound [thus true and valid], can be in multiple places at once, etc.

    Voltages and magnetic domain alignments, absent coding, are simply facts on bits of matter and associated fields — a mag field of so many micro-Teslas, pointing up has no inherent property of being true or false, logically valid or algorithmically sensible etc! The same holds for voltages 0 – 0.7 for logic 0, 2.0 – 5.0 for logic 1 [if I remember the good old days of TTL well enough!]; being arbitrary code assignments, though of course informed by all sorts of physical considerations.

    Maybe we can find common ground and a mutually acceptable way to express it?

    GEM of TKI

  40. DaveScot,

    “All complex biological systems are generated by intelligent agency.

    This conforms perfectly to what Karl Popper defined as a scientific hypothesis in his famous “swans” example:

    All swans are white.”

    No, it does not conform, except in a superficial way.

    What is necessary (and sufficient) to treat this as a well-formed hypothesis is not simply the analogous syntax, but also an explicit statement of the premises. In other words, a meaningful hypothesis relies on independently defined terms: We agree what a swan is, by prior observation; we agree what white is, also by prior observation. We can therefore agree what the meaning is of “All swans are white.” Once we agree the a priori definitions, we are in position to agree how the statement could be falsified. This is a crucial prerequisite to hypothesis testing.

    Your parallel construction fails to meet the necessary condition of definition. I think we can generally agree what is meant by “complex biological systems.” Many instances have been described independently of a theory. But what is intelligent agency? An independently verifiable definition is required. First the definition, then we’ll be in a positition to falsify they hypothesis you state. As things stand now, you can point to any complex biological system, state the claim that intelligent agency is responsible, and because there is no definition that allows falsification, I can’t carry out any study that shows you are wrong.

    Now, it may be you are right. I don’t know. But I suspect you are wrong. The problem you have is that you can’t convince me (or most scientists) if you don’t do the work to define your terms, and then allow your hypothesis to be tested.

  41. DaveScot,

    I think what I have been saying here is much closer to the heart of ID than your response. As Dr. Dembski points out (page 366 of NFL), this is why ID is controversial in the first place:

    Where intelligent design gets controversial is when one takes its methods for detecting design in human contexts and shifts the to the natural sciences where no embodied, reified, or evolved intelligence could have been present. (Emphasis added)

    If, as you say, life requires intelligence — not life on earth merely but Life — then ID points toward an intelligence outside material existence.

    To be sure, Dr. Dembski does take panspermia seriously — so seriously that he devotes a whole half of a sentence of No Free Lunch to the topic:

    The reason that attributing specified complexity to intelligence for biological systems is regarded as problematic is because such an intelligence would in all likelihood have to be embodied (though strictly speaking this is not required of intelligent design — the designer could in principle be an embodied intelligence, as with the panspermia theories).

    Wow. Half a sentence.

    But even here ID strongly suggests that the source of design (the designer) is unembodied. I don’t know why Dr. Dembski gestures toward panspermia, since he clearly does not take it seriously enough to give it a whole sentence in book of almost four hundred pages.

    Finally, let me say that I have read comments in which you have candidly admitted the spiritual motivations of many prominent ID advocates. Good for you! But you refuse to consider its spiritual implications. If ID is true, then gesturing toward some alien founding intelligence avoids the central question.

    Kairosfocus, thanks for supporting the general point I was making. Sorry if I made it inelegantly.

  42. I have not used the term supernatural to refer to the origin of design. I have only said “non-material,” “outside of nature,” and so forth.-getawitness

    And as I stated even the materialistic anti-ID position requires something beyond nature to get it started.

    BTW IDists define “natural processes” as those produced by nature, operating freely. IOW it does not refer to processes that exist in nature.

    MacT asks:

    But what is intelligent agency?

    Anything that can produce counterflow.

  43. correction- the above IOW it does not refer to processes that exist in nature. Should have been:

    IOW it does not refer to processes that merely exist in nature.

  44. Joseph,

    “And as I stated even the materialistic anti-ID position requires something beyond nature to get it started.”

    Maybe — I don’t think that much about materialism, so I’ll have to consider that. But Dr. Dembski’s work suggests that, for ID, that something outside of nature must also have intelligence.

    “BTW IDists define “natural processes” as those produced by nature, operating freely. IOW it does not refer to processes that exist in nature.”

    Huh? Can you clarify this?

  45. But Dr. Dembski’s work suggests that, for ID, that something outside of nature must also have intelligence.

    Right- intelligent cause vs unintelligent cause.

    “BTW IDists define “natural processes” as those produced by nature, operating freely. IOW it does not refer to processes that (merely) exist in nature.”

    Huh? Can you clarify this?

    Sure- humans manufacture cars. There isn’t anything supernatural about it, so the process is natural, ie it exists in nature. However nature, operating freely, could not produce a car.

    See also “Nature, Design and Science” by Del Ratzsch.

  46. Joseph,

    Thanks for the reference. I haven’t read Ratzsch’s book. My understanding is that it’s actually somewhat critical of ID as a science. I found a paper of Ratzch at Calvin College called “Design Theory and its Critics: Monologues Passing in the Night”. He’s critical of both sides, but of ID he says:

    “ID has not at this juncture produced much of positive empirical significance, especially of a sort which is not plausibly also available to mainstream evolutionary theory. But that is not to say that ID could not do so, and it is certainly not to say that ID should be systematically barred from the scientific conversation.”

    Is that the kind of thing he says in the book?

  47. Getawitness,

    The book’s focus is on determining design, and as you noted, the author isn’t exactly an ID ethusiast. (see also the definition of “counterflow” linked to in comment 42- that is from the book)

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