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Intelligent Design vs. Natural Selection

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Ringo
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0 posted 12-21-2005 10:05 AM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10545387

It seems that the Scopes Trial wasn't quite finished after all... and this time, the monkeys won.

The main reason the court found to stop teaching "Intelligent Design" in science classes is because it is Creationism in disguise and teaching "religious principals" is a violation of Separation of Curch and State.

At my high school, there was a ban on teaching Creationism, however we studied the King James version of the Bible because of it's literary significance, and the fact that it was translated as poetry.

My questions are:

1) Is teaching Creationism along side Darwanism (presenting both theories equally) a violation of the separation clause?

2) Is there a difference between teaching Creationism as a scientific possibility and teaching the Christian Bible as literature?

"...and as we drift along, I never fail to be astounded by the things we'll do for promises..."
Ronnie James Dio

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1 posted 12-21-2005 12:11 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

The problem is that there are many Creationism-theories from many religions.  If you are in a private Christian school, surely you may teach and learn Christianity's creationism.  But if you are in a public school how may it be right to teach one religion's creationism over anothers, when people of different religions shall be present?
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2 posted 12-21-2005 01:56 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

My opinion is, I can't see why both cannot be taught in public schools.

I guess the main controversy surrounding intelligent design, in my mind, is that few really seem to currently understand what it means or what it's about. Some believe this belief is rooted in faith, while others believe this belief is rooted in reason, so it seems few are yet really aware of the concept, myself being one of them.

But I cannot see why not both the concepts of evolution and intelligent design can co-exist as sections in your public school textbook. It's not as though you're deliberately imposing your beliefs on others, they're just beliefs, theories, and should be up for the students to decide which theory rings to their hearts more, which discussing and debating these theories is exactly what makes public education at its finest.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

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Mother Teresa

Alicat
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3 posted 12-21-2005 02:15 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Ok, so we have the Theory of Evolution, Intelligent Design, and Creationism.  In what supposedly should be a marketplace for ideas and learning is instead a monopolistic discussion which is in turn religious in nature, seeing how many not only accept the Theory of Evolution as FACT but also believe it so fervently as to be faith.

Creationism is fairly self explanatory and is definitely Judeo-Christian-Muslim in nature.  Yahweh, God, Allah created all.

Then there's the hybrid, Intelligent Design.  The base tenet is that Something aided the formation of life, seeing how things fit a bit too neatly to be pure random happenstance.

Since the Scopes trial in the 30's, Evolution is the only theory taught.  Creationism is right out due to federal/state funding of schools...'gotta keep em seperated' to quote Offspring.  But I really don't see what the big deal is with Intelligent Design.  Something out there, over millions and billions of years, aided evolution.  I'm reminded of Anne Rice's 'Memnoch the Devil' where a precept very much akin to Intelligent Design is discussed at some length.

What I'm really confused by is the Judge's brief, which was anything but.  300-some-odd pages to essentially state that the Theory of Intelligent Design was bunk in his mind?  300 + pages?  That's a book, not a brief, half the size of Stephen King's 'Christine'.  Out of nearly 20000 residents of that school district, 11 parents complained.  Not the kids, but 11 parents.  Not the teens actually in school presumably to learn and be exposed to new ideas, but 11 parents.  Squeaky wheel gets the grease, I reckon.

Reminds me of a story I read where 5 people complained about a railroad Christmas village in New Orleans, complete with blue tarp roofs.  So it was removed.  Then 500 people complained about it being removed.  It was replaced.
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4 posted 12-21-2005 03:04 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

It don't think it is about how "popular" it is among parents, more than what virtue it has as being in a Science class.  How is such a belief Science?  
I always thought that a Religion studies course would be great in schools, such a belief could be studied in that kind of Class.  But I don't think it stands in a right place set in a Science class.
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5 posted 12-21-2005 04:29 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Yeah, I was musing about this while up working on the roof.  ID, since it contains a supernatural aspect, does not belong in a pure science class.  Philosophy and/or religious studies (all religions) would be better suited.  Briefly, someone or something basically stirred the primordial soup, but who or what did the stirring is unknown, hence the supernatural.

The fact that 11 parents somehow speaks for a population of 20,000 is proof yet again about the diminishment of our Republic, slowly changing into a Democracy: the rights of the few outweigh the rights of the many, instead of vice-versa.
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6 posted 12-21-2005 04:30 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

What makes either a science?

Question for Evolutionists: Is a theory that is not empirically testable and falsifiable and not based on a body of controlled, replicable experiments a scientific theory?

Question for Intelligent Design Proponents: Is a theory that is not empirically testable and falsifiable and not based on a body of controlled, replicable experiments a scientific theory?

I think the answer to both should be "no" ... and since neither Evolution nor ID can claim to be empirically testable and based on a body of controlled, replicable experiments, both should be disqualified from a claim to being a hard science.  

Since much of Macroevolutionary theory relies on a problematic fossil record and logical bridges between microevolutionary observations and macroevolutionary hypotheses, it is more of a historical or philosophical theory than a scientific one.

Intelligent Design, while offering many arguments (such as the argument from complexity), is simply a form of the millennia old Cosmological Argument - that all things with a beginning have a cause - which led philosophers such as Aristotle to speculate about an uncaused cause or Prime Mover (a/k/a God).  Thus, it is more of a philosophical or theological theory than a scientific one.

Does it matter that both lack key attributes of theories generally regarded as scientific?  No.  It simply means that the debate is between history and philosophy, not one scientific theory against another.

Jim
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7 posted 12-21-2005 04:51 PM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

here's the thing..I happen to live fairly close to that school district...it isn't a county system or a city system but a very small borough or township...probably with one high school, one or two elementary and a middle school.

The school board decided on their own to change the curriculum with no input from the population that pays the taxes and the teachers had no say..they were told they must  teach it and teach it the way it was  given to them.

The school board members were almost all of the Christian Faith. They  didn't want the subject to be one of questioning or comparison to what was already taught... they wanted it to be the one and only way despite what you read or heard in national papers and tv.

If the majority of the people, Alicat,  were not against it then how come when the elections were held this year all school board members were voted out by that non complaining population that you think was larger than those 11 who were. The school board previously had not given the public, whose taxes pay the school system, the choice.

I don't know or remember who took them to court anymore...but the people of that school district won through a democratic process...and it went back to the original curriculum. By the way, on our local tv, students complained too...you just didn't see that on the national news because locally we dealt with it  over a longer period of time.

I probably am not expressing myself well..but  religion should be taught in religious schools unless all religions are  given the exposure of their beliefs. And that won't happen.

And discussing parts of the bible in literature classes is not the same as declaring one's religious beliefs and forcing them upon others.

Maureen
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8 posted 12-21-2005 05:00 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

evolution: predicted nested hierarchies

falsification test: found nested hierarchies.

ID: predicted designer

falsification test: to be continued

Creationism: predicted flat earth

falsification test: Earth
Christopher
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9 posted 12-21-2005 05:26 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

I disagree Jim - the "Theory" in Theory of Evolution should be removed. It is a scientific and empirically testable fact and can be found everywhere in current and testable events.

Whether evolution represents the "beginning," I believe, is the question that needs the word Theory attached to it and is the part that most who disagree take issue with. I doubt you’ll find many who would disagree that life is evolution in fact, even if they disagree on the foundation of the “trigger-event.”

I personally don’t have an issue with all being taught in school, as long as the provable facts are listed as provable facts and the rest are presented as theory – including the “Big Bang” scenario. I also think the problem with creationism is that many people fear it can’t be presented as a scientific theory without relying on information whose credibility cannot be supported by a base of provable facts.
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10 posted 12-21-2005 05:55 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

You see a magician change flowers into a dove.

How did he do it?

If he just did is a viable response, well, . . .
Ron
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11 posted 12-21-2005 05:59 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
evolution: predicted nested hierarchies

falsification test: found nested hierarchies.

Untrue, Brad. Macro-evolution accommodates nested hierarchies, but does not predict them. Within the randomness of evolution, life on this planet could easily have taken many parallel paths instead of a single diverging one. There is nothing in the theory to predict a single point of origin, rather than multiple points.

On the other hand, ID does predict and demand a single point of origin.  

quote:
ID: predicted designer

falsification test: to be continued


ID is fully capable of making the same untestable predictions that are made by macro-evolution, Brad.

For example, ID should predict that Life will never be seen to spring from non-life. Throw a bunch of chemicals in a vat, hit them with some serious energy, and if Life springs from the primordial soup, ID is no longer a necessary requisite to explaining our Universe.

quote:
I disagree Jim - the "Theory" in Theory of Evolution should be removed. It is a scientific and empirically testable fact and can be found everywhere in current and testable events.

Chris, you shouldn't confuse micro-evolution with macro-evolution. The former, which is more closely related to natural selection, is indeed testable. Introduce a stimulus and, over the course of multiple generations, certain characteristics of a species will become more pronounced. The classic example is Darwin's finches which, trapped on an remote island with periodic droughts, tended towards longer beaks than finches elsewhere. During hard years, the birds with longer beaks could reach the grubs beneath tree bark and so survived long enough to pass on their genetic traits to young, long-billed finches.

The difference between micro- and macro-evolution, however, is that during the more plentiful years, the short-billed birds made a remarkable comeback. Why? Because natural selection never results in permanent change to a species. The DNA always remains the same.

Macro-evolution, however, is a one-way street. It depends on inherently random mutations that, under the influence of natural selection, can change one species into another species. No one has ever seen that happen and, short of a time machine or damn long life span, there's no way to test the theory. You can bombard a lizard all day with radiation and the most you are likely to do is kill it. There is no theory nor mathematical basis to tell us just what kind of radiation in what dosage will result in a lizard that gives birth to baby parakeets.

Mutation is an evolutionist's own unique brand of supernaturalism.  


Brad
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12 posted 12-21-2005 06:13 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
Untrue, Brad. Macro-evolution accommodates nested hierarchies, but does not predict them. Within the randomness of evolution, life on this planet could easily have taken many parallel paths instead of a single diverging one. There is nothing in the theory to predict a single point of origin, rather than multiple points.


Parallel paths are certainly a possibility. but evolutionary theory accomodates the single path we see. Nested hierarchies, as far as I can tell, are a necessary corollary of the theory itself. I don't see anyway around it.

And speciation has been observed.

In plants.

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13 posted 12-21-2005 06:24 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Good questions, nakdthoughts.  It was never really explained why almost all the school board members who changed the curriculum were voted out, though one could by extrapolation conclude it was due to ID being discussed in biology classes as a differing theory to the evolutionary one.  I have no real idea why they were voted out, excepting that they really pissed off enough voters to lose their jobs.  I really don't think it was due to high school biology teachers having their students write a few paragraphs about ID and Darwinian evolution.
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14 posted 12-21-2005 06:45 PM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

I think that it was due to the fact Alicat, that they  did not let anyone else have a viewpoint at their board meeting, having already decided what they planned to do. One board member resigned angrily over it.

You have to understand too that board members are just the parents or adults voted in from their communities who run on a certain platform. They changed or added ID to the plans without any  consultation or inclusion of others in how it would be taught.. I think it was more their arrogance and defiant over others input that got them all relieved of their positions...besides the fact the town wasn't pleased about making national news.
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15 posted 12-21-2005 06:49 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Well, all that together would certain do it, especially about being cast in the national spotlight and being inundated by lawyers, lobbyists, reporters, the curious, and otherwise bored pundits from all sides of this debate.
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16 posted 12-21-2005 07:02 PM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

http://www.yorkdispatch.com/local/ci_3330694


todays article... Dover is in York County
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What difference does it make if when you’re dead you’re dead.
Seems to me that is the discomfort of evolution theory which is opposed.
An intelligent design theory that doesn’t at least imply support
for the notion that someone out there not only cared enough to start
life but provide for it once over would be no more attractive.
Evolution theory at it’s root is hopeless in such regard and that
is what makes it distasteful.

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18 posted 12-21-2005 07:41 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Ah, ok and thanks nakdthoughts.  Also have to amend the Judge's brief...as I have a nasty habit of transposing numbers.  139 pages, instead of the 319 I was thinking he wrote.  Is still a lot to write when it all boils down to his view that ID is total hogpiddle.
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19 posted 12-21-2005 10:51 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I haven't read the judge's opinion, nor have I studied ID claims extensively.  I believe though that where ID and creationism diverge is that ID doesn't necessarily question COMMON DESCENT (which is probably the term that you should be focusing on Brad instead of nested hierarchies) it merely suggests a creator was the cause of common descent.

Is this science?  

It can certainly be studied scientifically -- all one needs to do is find the creator -- show how the creator caused common descent -- explain the design and the purpose of the design -- demonstrate the process using the tools the creator used to cause common descent.

Until then... it isn't science.

Or it at least doesn't belong inside the theory of evolution.

It's important to understand that evolution is Scientific Theory -- (capital S, capital T) which is different than say, conspiracy theory. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory It would be an honor to have one's hypothesis elevated to the status of Scientific Theory -- a Scientific Theory is a general explanation of observable natural phenomena based on evidence. Einstein's Theory of relativity offers us predictable results -- as does Newton's Theory of gravity.  As does Quantum Theory, as does Electric Theory... but there are limits -- and areas where Theories are dynamic and progressive as new observable data becomes available.

Common descent is provable, falsifiable, consistent internally and externally, useful, parsimonious -- it doesn't add unnecessary concepts it only deals with observable data, it can be tested -- both through prediction and retrodiction -- it is completely scientific -- it doesn't ask certain questions though -- and as all of science has areas of incomplete information.  It would be extremely lazy to merely inject 'God' as the answer to the gaps though.  Gaps continue to be filled in in all disciplines of science.

To teach ID AS science is the problem -- it isn't.  It is philosophy and can be taught as such.

To the extent that ALL knowledge is philosophy -- then yes -- it can be said that science is a particular world view -- it is an acceptance that there is an external reality from our consciousness and therefore IS a type of faith -- the alternative is solipsism.  It is very difficult to find evidence for solipsism though.  It really can't be a Scientific Theory based on that deficit.

But what science doesn't do is look for 'Truth'.  It just looks for how and why things work.  

Teach science in science class.  Teach philosophy in philosophy class.

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20 posted 12-22-2005 12:22 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Hawke (and Brad):

quote:
... it can be tested -- both through prediction and retrodiction --


This is the problem I have with macroevolution positioning itself as primarily scientific.  With evolution, there are no single subject design studies (of which I'm aware) and there are no controlled comparison studies to shore up its validity.  "Prediction" is a very precise term and is not the same as "forecasting" (i.e., you can't dumb down a prediction to describe something that is merely a statistical forecast) ... retrodiction is simply historical inquiry.

So the tests are not "scientific" in the way positivists would like us to believe, but rather are evidential and historical and, therefore, subject to a much higher level of uncertainty.  From what I've seen (and please show me what I've missed), the behavioral sciences demonstrate a higher level of validity than evolution.  If it can be called "scientific," it is softly scientific.

I don't dispute the use of the principle of parsimony in determining the superiority of one explanation over another, and I am not convinced that ID wins the day against evolution theory on this point, but when the physical sciences are concerned, much greater weight must be given to what can be tested and observed.  I just don't see how evolution fits that bill without softening the definition of hard science.

And I agree ... teach science in science class and philosophy in philosophy class.  Microevolution is science.  We can know that microevolution occurs.  We can only opine, however, that macroevolution has occurred.  So let's teach science in science class and history in history class.

Jim
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Agreeing with Jim, here.

None of the predictions of macro-evolution are convincing and most (such as nested hierarchies, aka common descent) aren't even true predictions.
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It seems to me that the crux of the judicial issue here was that ID was included in Science curriculum. And Maureen's point about it being thrust upon the district without any school area voters input/approval created a major stumbling block.
Perhaps, if our school districts were encouraged to create a new course, an Origin of Life Theories course, the problems would be solved? For then, multiple philosophical as well as scientific and psuedo/scientific approaches could be presented equally. I would vote for such a course.
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23 posted 12-22-2005 05:42 PM       View Profile for majnu   Email majnu   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for majnu

I do not understand the very premise of the argument. ID as it is called is not science. It has not undergone peer review. Therefore it cannot be introduced in a science class. If they want to discuss ID in a world religions class or philosophy class it would be appropriate but not in a science course.

as for the discussion of predictability, well, much of the work done in early universe physics cannot predict anything. however, certain theories can be verified by looking back in time at the CMB and other traces of early universe phenomena. in fact a huge amount of physics is done in this way. i do not see how looking at the fossil record to verify the basic postulates of evolution is any different.




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Brad
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24 posted 12-22-2005 06:02 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I'm not sure I understand your standard for the sciences, Jim and Ron.

Wouldn't you have to get rid of geology, meteorology, and cosmology as well?

Don't laugh. Check out some Creationist websites. That's precisely what they do.

Thinking about this last night and wondered if you guys thought I meant common descent when I said nested hierarchy. Evolutionary theory, as far as I can tell, nowhere predicts common descent, but if there is common descent then nested hierarchies necessarily follow. The study of this is cladistics (which tells us among other things that hippos are genetically closer to whales than they are to bovine).

I think the micro/macro thing is a bit of a ruse, Jim. We know that evolutionary descriptions work, we know that speciation occurs, and in order for the distinction to make sense we need to some kind of wall that stops evolution at the maco level.

I haven't seen anything like that except, "I find it hard to believe that a fly can turn into a monkey."

To which we can respond with a big, fat "can't".

Honestly, what I think you and Ron are bothered by isn't the theory itself, only the current monopoly it has. Evolutionary theory doesn't claim a monopoly, it just seems to be the best way to go at the moment. After all, we already know that intelligence has interfered with species.

We've been doing it for a long time.

And with that said, the ball is in ID's court. What startling new insights, discoveries have been found by Behe and the rest except,

"Wow, the world is really complex!"






  

 
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