I pondered a while trying to decide where to put this topic, but I think this is an appropriate forum for it. I had noticed in researching for myself a little bit about the ID movement that most of the articles and research done by supporters of the theory seems to focus more on discrediting evolution, rather than actually attempting to provide evidence for the theory of intelligent design. I think I understand the reason, a sort of "evolution implies no creator, so no evolution implies creator" leaning. Unfortunately, the two are not logically equivalent.
My point is that even if some ID researcher found solid, undeniable proof that the theory of evolution was false, they would still be no closer to proving their own theory! It just seems like an exercise in futility every time I see a person citing an article along the lines of "New research shows that evolution is scientifically proven to be a stupid theory" and claiming that it adds anything significant to back up their viewpoint.
I'm not hating on creationists or IDers or anything, but I just really can't stand to see people spinning their wheels and not try to intervene.
Back years ago a judge used the argument that “science is what scientists do”, and since there were no papers on Creationism in scientific journals and no real scientist seemed to be studying it, the judge ruled that Creationism was not science.
Intelligent Design is an attempt by Creationists/Anti-Evolutionists to make Creationism more palatable to real scientists in hopes of getting into scientific journals, but as you said many of these are not particularly well-educated (or bright) people and their Creationist/Anti-Evolution agenda often comes out.
The whole thing is about forcing Creationism into high school science classes, where in the USA the separation of church and state limits the extent of religious indoctrination that can be forced upon young minds within the public school system. Evolution is despised to a certain degree simply because it displaces Creationism, which in this context means that it displaces religion out of public schools.
For many people, this is the whole point of ID - trying to weasel a journal article without much regard for intellectual inquiry.
"Science is what scientists do." While I can't deny the statement, it's still really amusing to me for some reason. Almost like one of those circular definitions - science is what scientists do... so what do scientists do? Science. Tickles me, is all.
But, I agree with your assessment - I had reached the same conclusion somewhat on my own. What still puzzles me is how someone who claims to be versed in science can engage in such a logically vain endeavor. To me, the ID research I have seen just seems to be a little bit in vain - even if the research accomplished its goal of debunking the theory of evolution somehow, it still wouldn't even come close to proving the existence of an intelligent designer, as proposed by the theory.
Mine is a theory of anti-evolution, which means things do not generally evolve out of and beyond the environment they exist.
What would be an example of something evolving "out of" its environment? I think I know what you mean, but the wording confused me a little.
To really grasp what is going on with ID one must know the history. ID is an outgrowth of creationism. In its infancy, it was adopted by The Discovery Institute, a fundamentalist Christian right wing think tank, as a method for moving forward with their goals - a United States Christian theocracy.
Funding was established and The Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture was born, a branch of The Discovery Institute. Later, due to the implications of the word renewal, this branch was renamed simply The Center for Science and Culture. This is the ID arm of The Discovery Institute.
Their aim is propaganda, not science. They care less about knowledge.
As proof, here is a direct quote from their Wedge Document, which establishes their goals. (1998, The Wedge Document, The Discovery Institute)
(•To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.
•To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.)
These two goals announce a war on science - with their brand of religious belief taking its place - but the real goal is political power.
That is why they do not contribute to science. All they want to do is spread disinformation and propaganda - like the "teach the controversy" movement, a planned and organized strategy of this group to establish a false idea that there is some type of controversy where no real controversy exists. Again, the goal is disinformation in order to win their goal - their beliefs forced upon the nation.
May as well call them the Christian Taliban.
Fascinating history lesson, Winston.
I find the desire to foster a Christian Theocracy quite plausible among many of the ID supporters that I have read/come across. But, even the two stated goals that you supplied (thanks, by the way - I didn't even know that they had such explicitly defined goals) could not be achieved by the success of this campaign against the theory of evolution. Such lack of foresight is just astonishing, to me.
You understand what I'm saying. Even if scientists acknowledged some discrediting proof against the theory of evolution, it wouldn't mean a single thing about Intelligent Design. Perhaps a campaign to publicize this fact would reverse the madness?
(Perhaps a campaign to publicize this fact would reverse the madness?)
It is important to know that in the U.S. polls have shown that 53% do not accept evolution. This is a scary number. It is also a valid reason to attack the creationistic implications of ID as what it is - an attempt to rally the masses. I doubt these 53% care about facts.
For the record, here is a link to the Wedge Document: http://ncse.com/creationism/general/wedge-document
Hey Winston, I remember reading somewhere that a poll taken said that about 60%+ of American no longer bothered with facts.
I'd love to get a hold of the original numbers from that poll - I'd be willing to bet there are some quite telling correlations in the data.
Oh, and thanks for the link too! I don't know why the subject fascinates me so, but I intend to keep learning more about these "IDiots."
(Even if scientists acknowledged some discrediting proof against the theory of evolution, it wouldn't mean a single thing about Intelligent Design)
Your statement is right. IDiots use the argument from ignorance and the fallacy of false dilemma to try to make a case. They fail, but even when you point out their fallacies they ignore you.
The problem is that to accept reason one must first be reasonable. The IDiots have elevated confirmation bias from a human flaw to a celebration of ignorance.
Too right, Winston, once again too right.
Though I've seen topics on which I disagreed with your viewpoint, I think we are quite in alignment on this one. There's really no excuse for such glaring lack of logical oversight. I just wish there was a way to communicate that to the supporters of ID - but, unfortunately, you said it right when you said "to accept reason one must first be reasonable."
I don't think it is that far of stretch to put together the following chain. The Discovery Institute is the parent of The Center for Science and Culture, which is the home of IDiology. The Discovery Institute is a right wing conservative Christian think tank. Right wing conservative Christians typically come from the evangelical Christians. Evangelical Christians typically believe in an inerrant nature of the bible.
And here is why they prefer to accept IDiology over real science. It is a quote from one of their heroes, Dr. William Lane Craig, from his book, Reasonable Faith. Here Dr. Craig borrows the basic idea from Martin Luther:
"Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former which must take precedence over the latter."
There you have it - reason and evidence must take a back seat to faith. And this they call "teaching the controversy".
Sad, but this kind of thinking is not uncommon. Deeply held beliefs must not come into contact with reason or evidence that could shake those beliefs (if you lose your faith you go to hell), and therefore certain thoughts and studies will not be allowed or undertaken.
Imagine! Did Martin Luther never think to realize that the whole point of requiring "argument and evidence" is to maintain a standard, a measuring stick of sorts, for what is to be considered correct or true or (dare I say it) real? I mean, as long as we're saying that faith should overrule reason and evidence, then why don't we accept Hinduism as "truth?" Without the basic rules and guidelines of "argument and evidence," then there is no more reason to accept any viewpoint than any other. The lack of foresight is stunning sometimes.
As a side note, I wonder how many believers in Hinduism are involved in trying to "scientifically" prove that the trio of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva created the universe?
With his quote, Dr. Craig has claimed Christian confrmation bias to be supernaturally superior to any other form of human investigation, regardless of source. By this reasoning, a seeing eye dog with a copy of the bible tied around its neck would be considered a more reliable source of information for the origin of species than would a molecular biologist presenting evidence of natural selection at a science emposium .
There is a word for this type thinking: bigoted.
Not in any way that I can think of, anyway.
Instead of spending all that time trying to prove that evolution is a crock, perhaps the proponents of ID ought to try to understand how science works in a practical sense. It just burns me up a little to think that people who honestly don't know any better are deceived into thinking that ID is really a legitimate scientific pursuit.
I find it amazing that people, who are, supposedly, highly educated in science, can simply reject everything about evolution ~ and even suggest that evolutionists believe that monkeys turn into humans ~ while suggesting that a woman, made from a man's rib, is more logical, reliable and believable
the IDiots opperate on faith,.. while a scientist opperates on imerical fact,... there in lies the difference in the two,... theyre truely apples and oranges.
i agree with you compleetly, the ID'rs arent doing themselves any favors in tearing down thier percieved enemy evolution, while failing to do the slightest amount of research to back up thier own ideas,... its illogical,... and thats putting it gently.
the right wing IDiots as you have termed them (and quite correctly i might add) are engaging in simple bully tech,.. if you cannot build yourself up, then you must tear your opponent down in order to feel better about yourself. its not only self centered in that you care nothing of how your opponent might be affected by this practice, but you care nothing of what it does to the culture overall.... its short sighted and destructive.
i myself have a great faith in god while embracing evolution whole heartedly,.... if i find a watch on the beach, i assume there is a watch maker somewhere,... if i observe all the fascinating details and mechanisms of nature, i have problem assuming it had a maker.
the big bang theory does not offend my faith because my faith allows curiousity,.... the first scientists were men of faith.
the faith that cannot withstand a question is a poor faith indeed.
"if i find a watch on the beach, i assume there is a watch maker somewhere,... if i observe all the fascinating details and mechanisms of nature, i have NO problem assuming it had a maker."
key board does not always like me,...
i have NO problem assuming it had a maker.
And I have no problem with a person believing that. As stclairjack pointed out, science and faith are apples and oranges. I just get tired of all the vast amount of effort spent to put down evolution, an idea generally accepted as valid by mainstream scientists, in the name of "proving" that a watch-maker exists. But as I stated in the original post, I'm really not hatin' on people of faith - I myself sit somewhere in the middle. So, more power to ya, especially since you seem to have the rare ability of seeing both points of view and reconciling them.
thank you for the thoughtful response.
mankind seems born to ask questions,... and we are the only animal on the planet that does so, to the extent that we do,... that alone sets us apart from all other creatures,...
we stare at the stars and wonder if w are alone in the cosmos, my faith has room for other life in the known universe,... but i am also keenly aware of the uniqueness of man, and the responsability that comes with that.... i wonder if most are not looking for other life "out there" in a sub concious attempt to down play our responsabilities.
those that mock theists would assert that its nothing more than the mechanics of nature that we are here,... deists (or this one a least) would assertt that nature is a machine created by a higher power,... and if that higher power created a machine that created my kind in stages,... i'm ok with that,.... a short life spent in observance of my fellow man has at least taught me that we humans need stages,... no way in heaven or hell could we make the intelectual leap over night,.. i'm impressed some ever learned to tie thier shoes.
there are reasonable and rational people of faith in this world, we just aret as loud as the compleetly twacked out freeks on the fringe.... same aplies to all subjects,... the wackos get air time, the rational folk dont make or good ratings.
Christian logic is post hoc - I have never met anyone who converted to Christianity because "it produced such a sound argument". Christains are taught, need, or feel their way to belief.
As long as that is understood, then personal beliefs should not be an issue.
Unfortunately, to the evangelicals and petacostals, living in a secular world that tolerates all beliefs simply will not do - they must force their belief system onto the world.
Like I said before, they are the Christian Taliban.
you'll get no arguement onthat from me,.... i agree,... if theyre not after 72 virgins oe has to wonder what heaven has to offer them.
mark twain laughed that christians had a very bizar sence of heaven,....
"they have built for themselves a heaven which contains not one thing that they reveer on earth,... there are copious amounts of praying, singing, honey, milk,... and well,.... thats it. no alcohol, no red meat, and strangest of all,.... no sex,... man, foolish man, has a designed a heaven that more closely resembles my defintion of pure hell"
i'm paraphrasing of course,.... letters from the earth by mark twain,... good read.
ifyou would like to understand how man ruins his own spirtual life,.... read the screw tape letters by c s lewis
Ohhh, and I thought I was the only one who bothered to read any more Mark Twain than Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. "Letters from the Earth" is one of my favorite works by him; as I recall, it's one that I read early into my independent stage right at the beginning of my college years. Isn't that the one where he points out the thing about how a tiger doesn't get blamed for its behaviors, and so it doesn't make sense for mankind to be blamed for its "sinful" nature?
I like you, Winston.
I know that's not really relevant to the discussion, but I just thought I'd say that I'm glad you are contributing.
Thanks, but you must have weird tastes. Not many relish someone who spent his last weekend reading the trial transcript of the entire 12 days of testimony of Michael Behe in the Kitzmiller versus Dover Board of Education trial.
So you won't be kept in suspense, after 12 days his explantion for the entirety of the evidence for ID is that, well, it sure looks designed.
Seriously, this was his evidence - when a system appeared to be too complex to be the result of natural selection then he thought that intelligent design was a better explanation. And that difference of opinions should be taught in schools.
And as I have pointed out elsewhere, reliance upon our sensory system for knowledge made us believe that because we did not feel the movement of the earth beneath our feet and it appeared to our eyes that the sun traveled across the sky that the earth must be the center of the universe.
I wonder if we should still teach that Galileo controversy, too?
AKA Winston provided the answer, but it is an answer that the science group cannot accept or understand.
Creationists have a very long term goal of producing a Christian nation. That goal will include indoctrination of children through schools that "teach" only "truth".
The indoctrination can only be met if schools "teach" ID - therefore it must be in the school (along with other similar topics)
The arguments used are not factual, information based arguments. Rather they are arguments that appeal to the emotions, particularly the emotions of those that already believe. There is just enough fact that when spun, twisted and shouted in a loud voice they can completely convince those that already wish to believe. Especially if they are also ignorant in this field of study.
This is then repeated, over and over, by the new converts. The shouts become louder and louder with less and less real information and more and more outright lies, but they prevail as they are now many. Witness the changing textbooks from Texas for a good example.
The end result of this emotional argument is the promotion of creationism in schools, where it can be taught to young, as yet ignorant, students. Those students, believing in their teachers, will now refuse to acknowledge any real information about evolution as obvious nonsense from unbelievers and will once more increase the noise level of ID.
ID does not discredit evolution nor provide any proof of ID, but it doesn't have to. The vast majority of people will believe whatever they want to without need of facts or study and will then demand that everyone else believe the same thing as it is now obvious Truth. This is the goal and this is what we see happening. The common ID believer has no idea of what evolution is about and doesn't want to learn, either.
Have you ever seen Jesus Camp? Wow, what a terrifying film!
It was exposure to things like that, coupled with the fundamentalist Christian mentality of faith over fact which shook "mommy and daddy's" faith from my shoulders. Also helping the ID movement is that same mentality - many conservative Christians don't trust mainstream science, but are eager to gobble up any little crumble of anti-evolution research without ever truly attempting to determine the veracity or validity of the claims made by their leaders.
There is no conflict between the theory of evolution and Christianity or a belief in God. It's perfectly consistent to believe that God created the earth and all its creatures and that evolution is the mechanism by which God's will was realized. The only people who have a problem with this are the Evangelicals who believe that the Bible is the literal word of God. Creationism and intelligent design are beliefs not science, and they have no place in public schools, except possibly in a history of religion class. Evolution is a scientific theory which is essentially universally accepted by scientists.
I agree with your point of view, Ralph Deeds.
Though I can see how many fundamentalist Christians are intimidated by the proposition that the literal word of the Bible is not 100% accurate. But, evolution doesn't even make sense as a target in this regard, since there are plenty of other cases where the Bible as a historical account is absolutely, without a doubt shown to be fallible.
Take, for instance, the age of Ahaziah when he began to reign - in 2 Kings, it says "Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign" whereas in 2 Chronicles "Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign." How anybody can support the literal infallibility of the good ol' KJV with a straight face after this is beyond my comprehension.
Again a knowledge of the history of creationism fills the void. Even in the creation camp there is speciation, with young-earth creationists and old-earth creationists and theistic evolutionists, and so on.
The evangelical position is that they represent "true Christianity" and everyone else is wrong - exactly as the earliest Christians fought over wich version of belief would be considered orthodox (orthodox=right belief).
To these people, the bible is the test against which scientific data must stand. If there is a conflict, then the science is wrong as the bible is inerrant.
The following link is to the first chapter in a book about this phenomenon and it describes the history of creationism even before the Discovery Institute - a terrific way to understand why they are as they are.
As you say, the evangelicals have a huge problem as they consider the bible to be the inerrant word of god. The basis for their fear of evolution is that if it can be established that suffering and death were part of the earth's history prior to Adam chosing to disobey god by eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge and introducing sin, death, and suffering to the world, then the entire premise for original sin is disproven and there would be no need for the crucifixtion to atone for that original sin.
To really grasp it, you have to know how their theology ties the new testament to the genesis story - to untie the story is to kill the theology.
And as we saw above from quote from Dr. William Lane Craig, when reason and evidence conflict with faith, reason and evidence go out the window.
Evangelical creationism is the ultimate in circular reasoning.
That is why these battles are so hostile - it is very much a replaying of the Dark Ages and Inquisiton mindsets against the Age of Enlightenment reasoning skills.
I believe that one of the biggest problems the ID has with evolution is the mistaken concept that the theory of evolution explains how life developed on earth. It does not, but many people believe it does.
That all plants and animals came from "lower" life is bad enough, but that life itself came from a bunch of dead chemicals coming together (separate theory from evolution) is just not to be tolerated. Only God can create life.
(one of the biggest problems the ID has )
Don't kid yourself. ID isn't even pseudo-science. You cannot address rabid believers foaming at the mouth as if they were offering a rational alternative.
The rot is not because IDiots don't know that abiogenesis is separate from evolution - the problem is they don't care.
I find that the common, man-in-the-street, creationist will admit and agree that evolution does occur. They just draw the line at naturally occurring life from "nothing" and "man from apes".
They are shocked and disbelieving when told that neither comes from the study of evolution and indeed the "man from apes" thing comes ONLY from creationists. Their indoctrination is far to deep to convince them otherwise, even while they accept and agree that evolution happens and even point to occurrences they know of. They just won't use the word "evolution" to describe what they know happens as that word is verboten in their world.
Quite sad, really.
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