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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A Genuine Fisking. On This Site? Get out!

This post is just so full of BS that had the Intelligent Designer designed it with eyes, they would be of brown color.
The debate over the theory of intelligent design heads into a federal courtroom next week.A school district in south-central Pennsylvania (Dover Area, near York) wants simply to present that the theory exists, and wants to offer a reference that explains the theory.
But there is no such theory. Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory.

Saying that something is too complex and could not have taken place is not a scientific theory. It's naysaying. And that's exactly what Intelligent Design is. Nothing more, nothing less. I challenge you to show me a research paper describing how some aspect of evolutionary theory is against the laws of physics or detailing another explanation for some aspect of evolutionary theory.
Intelligent design supporters "seem to have shifted virtually entirely to political and rhetorical efforts to sway the general public," Scott said. "The bitter truth is that there is no argument going on in the scientific community about whether evolution took place."
The bitter truth, Eugenie Scott, is that there is such a debate.And it is raging in the scientific community.
There is no debate. There are ID advocates putting forth bullshit arguments that are subsequently destroyed by the scientific community. That is not a debate.

Instead, the proponents of intelligent design use a ploy that works something like this. First you misuse or misdescribe some scientist's work. Then you get an angry rebuttal. Then, instead of dealing forthrightly with the charges leveled, you cite the rebuttal as evidence that there is a "controversy" to teach.

On we go:

But -- for me, anyway -- evolution does not explain the intelligence gap between homo sapiens and our animal cousins.How is it that we have the potential for so much more knowledge, the ability to do so many more things, than any other animal?

That's because you don't see intelligence as just another characteristic of a biological organism. You see it as something special, something different from sight or walking on two legs or flight. I might just as well ask how is it that the platypus is the only venomous, egg-laying, duck-billed mammal or why "Strain 121" is the only organism able to thrive in temperatures of 121°C.

We are more intelligent than other animals because that's the direction in which we as a species evolved. The cheetah is faster than other animals because that's the direction in which it evolved. What's so difficult to understand here?

And don't forget that the difference between us and other animals in terms of intelligence is not that great. Primates and dolphins can be taught to communicate with us and have shown extraordinarily complex thought and emotions. The difference between them and us is culture. Put isolated human infants in the wild, removing all the benefits of our evolved culture (other humans to teach them how to use fire, shape tools), and you'll find an animal uncomfortably similar to other primates.

Certainly, man is not the fastest, nor the largest, nor the strongest of species. By the principle of survival of the fittest, we might not have made it this far.

Survival of the fittest does not mean the strongest, fastest animals survive. It means the animals best suited to live in a given environment and evade predation survive. How can you even discuss this topic if you have childish misconceptions like that?

How did we come by that ability?By some evolutionary process?Not overly likely. We would not have made it this far without some sort of early intervention in the process.

On what do you base that statement?

Even the ability to "master" fire and devise weapons is beyond other species.

Monkeys and primates use sticks and stones as weapons, as well as tools for varied tasks. Birds use stones to crack open nuts and eggs, otters use rocks to crack open shells, monkeys use plants to treat cuts and wounds.

Which leaves it up to us to determine how we acquired the ability to do the things we do that no other species can do.

The same way populations of chimpanzees and other animals discovered how to use tools and weapons and taught those skills to the next generations. A combination of intelligence and culture.

I choose to see that as the work of a Creator.Logic, therefore, informs faith.

That's the difference between us. You choose to see that as the work of a creator. I could just as easily choose to believe that we were created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster and my position would be just as valid. But I can't do that. I have no choice (if I'm going to remain intellectually honest), when presented with the evidence, but to come to the conclusion that evolution is the most likely explanation. Logic? Yeah, sure, whatever floats your boat.

Update: the comments are just as unbelievable.

Another problem with evolution is the large gap between simple single cell organisms and multicellular organism. No one has found fossil records to bridge the gap. Maybe there are none.

What would qualify? An organism composed of one and a half cells? Ever heard of colonies of cells? Microbial mats? Sponges? Hydras?

The math alone rules out evolution (e-mail me if you want me to dig out the link). A person would have better odds of winning the lottery and being hit by lightning every day for the rest of his life than evolution does of ever occuring.

You mean this? Read this.

Hugh Hewitt had an interesting point: the Leftists who oppose ID have put themselves in the position of the Catholic church in the middle ages opposing Galileo for his "heresy".

"Leftists who oppose ID"? Fuck you.

But yeah, I suppose you have a point. If Galileo hadn't actually presented a testable scientific hypothesis and the Catholic church had thoroughly debunked it, that is.

Just don't count on the hard-core evolutionists being logical about this...
Unlike Christians, who's faith is indeed informed by reason, theirs is truly a faith that is blind.

I can't even comprehend how someone can utter such a thing with a straight face.

Update: here's Bob's lengthy response, thoroughly rebuting all of my points and presenting those research papers I requested.

Dennet got it exactly right:

Instead, the proponents of intelligent design use a ploy that works something like this. First you misuse or misdescribe some scientist's work. Then you get an angry rebuttal. Then, instead of dealing forthrightly with the charges leveled, you cite the rebuttal as evidence that there is a "controversy" to teach.

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Blogger Lone Ranger said...

And here I thought scientists were supposed to be open-minded. But science has become the cloak for self-imposed ignorance and anti-religious bigotry. The scientific community of today is no more enlightened than the Catholic Church of the Dark Ages.

Do you know how the Declaration of Independence was written? It seems that Thomas Jefferson's youngest son spilled a box of letter blocks out on the floor and there it was -- perfectly spelled and punctuated -- without a single block out of alignment.

Of course, rational people would never believe that story. But those same rational people DO believe something as infinitely complex as the universe could randomly come together after a Big Bang, perfect down to the tiniest subatomic particle, without any intelligent intervention.

If we are going to teach theories in our classrooms and discuss theories that make sense, it seems to me that intelligent design makes a lot more sense and takes far less faith than what's already out there.

Science and intelligent design are not mutually exclusive. And there are more and more people -- scientists included -- with OPEN minds, who are coming to realize that the universe makes a lot more sense if you include God in the equation.

If there are any athiest scientists reading this, here is your mission. Dump a box of Lincoln Logs out on the floor so they randomly come together to form a two-story hunting lodge. With porch. If it doesn't happen when they hit the floor, just let them lay there. Maybe it will take a few billion years. Don't take your eyes off them. Just sit there. Wait for it. Wait. Waaait.

Hey, I'm giving you a break. You should have started with a box of sawdust.

Blogger dr.dna said...

Congratulations, you've just written a lengthy comment while saying absolutely nothing.

The universe is not 'perfect' and it didn't come together randomly. Ever heard of gravity? Electromagnetism? The strong and weak nuclear forces?

I repeat: please tell me how any part of evolution contradicts any laws of physics or is otherwise impossible. Failing that, please describe to me another mechanism which is equally testable and leads to the same results.

Anonymous Sam said...

The universe is inherently imperfect. Look up entropy.

The 'jigsaw puzzle assembling itself' analogy is the dumbest argument you could make, and seems to be the defining argument of ID proponents.

A more fitting analogy would be that of a river. A surprisingly uniform channel for water to flow, from far inland to the open seas. It also looks very pleasing. Surely it's a sign of intelligent design! But no, it's a simple matter of time, erosion, and gravity. Why do you think that lifeforms are any different?


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