Intelligent Design and Science

Interesting find while surfing this morning. The ID people keep claiming they’re all about science, but the never reveal any.

ISSR Statement on the Concept of ‘Intelligent Design’

The authors of this statement constitute a group set up for the purpose by the Executive Committee of the International Society for Science and Religion. Through a process involving consultation with all members of the Society, the statement has now been accepted by the Executive Committee for publication as a statement made on behalf of the Society.http://www.issr.org.uk/images/line.gif

The International Society for Science and Religion is a scholarly society devoted to ongoing dialogue between the sciences and the community of world faiths.  It was established in 2002 for the purpose of promoting education through the support of interdisciplinary learning and research in the fields of science and religion, conducted where possible in an international and multi-faith context.

The society greatly values modern science, while deploring efforts to drive a wedge between science and religion. Science operates with a common set of methodological approaches that gives freedom to scientists from a range of religious backgrounds to unite in a common endeavor. This approach does not deny the existence of a metaphysical realm but rather opens up the natural world to a range of explorations that have been incredibly productive, especially over the last 400 years or so.

The intelligent-design (ID) movement began in the late 1980s as a challenge to the perceived secularization of the scientific community, which leaders of the movement maintained had been coloured with the philosophy of atheistic naturalism. ID theorists have focused their critique primarily on biological evolution and the neo-Darwinian paradigm. They claim that because certain biological features appear to be “irreducibly complex” and thus incapable of evolving incrementally by natural selection, they must have been created by the intervention of an intelligent designer. Despite this focus on evolution, intelligent design should not be confused with biblical or “scientific” creationism, which relies on a particular interpretation of the Genesis account of creation.

We believe that intelligent design is neither sound science nor good theology. Although the boundaries of science are open to change, allowing supernatural explanations to count as science undercuts the very purpose of science, which is to explain the workings of nature without recourse to religious language.  Attributing complexity to the interruption of natural law by a divine designer is, as some critics have claimed, a science stopper. Besides, ID has not yet opened up a new research program. In the opinion of the overwhelming majority of research biologists, it has not provided examples of “irreducible complexity” in biological evolution that could not be explained as well by normal scientifically understood processes. Students of nature once considered the vertebrate eye to be too complex to explain naturally, but subsequent research has led to the conclusion that this remarkable structure can be readily understood as a product of natural selection. This shows that what may appear to be “irreducibly complex” today may be explained naturalistically tomorrow.

Scientific explanations are always incomplete. We grant that a comprehensive account of evolutionary natural history remains open to complementary philosophical, metaphysical, and religious dimensions. Darwinian natural history does preempt certain accounts of creation, leading, for example, to the contemporary creationist and ID controversies. However, in most instances, biology and religion operate at different and non-competing levels.  In many religious traditions, such as some found in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism, the notion of intelligent design is irrelevant. We recognize that natural theology may be a legitimate enterprise in its own right, but we resist the insistence of intelligent-design advocates that their enterprise be taken as genuine science – just as we oppose efforts of others to elevate science into a comprehensive world view (so-called scientism). See the website: Here

Intelligent design is nearly universally condemned as science and as a concept. Most people recognize it for what it really is; a wedge devise to sneak WASP religion into our school systems. The only support for it is from evangelical fundamentalists, Young Earth Creationist (YEC), and some Old Earth Creationist (OEC).

Now proponents of Intelligent Design (ID) are using ‘Stealth Candidates’ who are running for positions on local and state school boards without declaring or admitting that they will advocate teaching ID in schools when elected. They just don’t get it…and they will try anything, including dishonesty, to achieve their goals. That they would use dishonesty in the furtherance of their religious sect speaks volumes about the true value of their faith.

Most people don’t analyze this battle enough, and don’t seem to realize that the ultimate goal of the religious right is to take over our country and remake it into a religious society; kind of like the Dark Ages in Europe when the Catholics ruled, and the strength and direction of your belief…decided whether you lived or died.  A lot of people don’t realize that the religious right has taken control of the Republican Party.

Cognite tute-think about it/use your head.

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Lady Explains Truth of Noah’s Flood

After months, even years of dangerous and terrifying web surfing, and suffering the slings and arrows of bad websites and false information, I came across one site that has the best explanation for Noah’s flood I’ve ever heard. 🙂

The logic and clearness of the explanation are exceptional for a writer that is obviously Christian and evangelical. If you are a religious fundamentalist, or evangelical, or Young Earth Creationist, or even Old Earth Creationist, I urge you to read the linked pdf file (Here) with as open a mind as you can muster, because this may just be the right story. (Caution-the pdf file is 14 pages long-you might want to have broadband for this)

All my adult life I have not believed in the Noachian Flood, because the evidence was never there, or what ever theories were being pushed sounded so unbelievable that I could not wrap my brain around it.

Now don’t misunderstand me…all I’m saying here is that if the Old Testament is a compilation of Hebrew folk tales…this is how the story should be interpreted. It doesn’t require the logic and mind-bending gyrations and back-flips that every other religious explanation seems to necessitate.

“The Noachian Flood has been one of the sharpest centers of controversy in the long history of warfare between biblical theology and science. It also has been one of the main stumbling blocks to faith, especially for scientists. Was this a universal flood responsible for all fossils and sedimentary rock on the face of the Earth, as some biblical literalists maintain, or was it a local flood confined to the limits of Mesopotamia?”

It starts by placing Noah and the Flood in about 2900 BCE (Jemdet Nasr Period in the area), which just happens to be when there is real archaeological evidence for a Large flood in the Mesopotamian area. At later dates (2200-2700 BC) there is no physical evidence of a large horizon-to-horizon flood event.

The writer continues by saying that you need to take the Bible text at ‘face value’, and not read into it words that are not there. We’re talking the original text here, not one of the many modern interpretations. She states that the real scientific disciplines of geology, geography, archaeology, biology, and physics can be accurately applied to these events of ancient times.

“The Bible can be taken at face value; that is, the biblical writer was accurately recording historical events of ancient times, viewed within the culture of those times. By taking the Bible at face value, nothing is to be read into the Bible that is not explicitly stated in its original (autograph) text.”

Another thing one has to appreciate is the language of the times and the different descriptive terms used. I am not an ancient language expert, but the explanations given seem very logical, and most importantly, they make the story…make sense…in light of modern knowledge, and don’t require a fantastical jump in logic.

The part where she takes on the Flood Geologists makes me smile. It shows up the wrong-headedness that some religious people put into trying to explain the unexplainable.

“Flood Geology. In addition to a lack of any real geological evidence for flood geology, there are also no biblical verses that support this hypothesis. The whole construct of flood geology is based on the original assumption (which is wrong) that the Noachian Flood was universal and covered the whole Earth. Since the Flood was supposedly worldwide, then there must be evidence in the geologic record left by it. Parenthesis comment added.”

The Flood Geologist has to bend and distort logic and resort to lies of omission to try to make the story come out the way they want, instead you just read the story the right way, and voilá, the science and logic lines up.

I have just skimmed the surface here. The author goes into Geological, archaeological, linguistic, historical, and geographic evidence and ties every thing together better than anyone I have-ever-read. Although she uses some religious sources, she also has a long list of secular scientific sources. Her name is Carol Hill, she is a geologist, and her analysis of this matter needs to be taken into serious consideration.

But, thats just my opinion. What’s yours?

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Intelligent Design…Isn’t

Anti-Science.

To advance their anti-science and anti-secularism agenda, ID creationists at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture seek to use public schools “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,” and to “see design theory (Intelligent Design) permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life” (Discovery Institute, 1998).

Do American’s really want this in their public schools? Do we really want to start closing down the blossoming minds of our children and sucking our civilization down to the level of some theistic societies in the Middle East?

Most of the sciences have as their ultimate truth that nature, not God, is the driving force behind the physical world. Can you imagine a science class in lets say archeology. “Well teacher I know that the earth is only 6,000 years old, but the dinosaurs don’t seem to have left any traces along with human remains. We find human bones only in the top levels of earth strata and the dinosaur bones seem to be MANY years lower. At this point we can only surmise that God has separated them for some purpose that is a mystery to us, and that He may reveal to us in his own good time.”

An article in the journal Science, one of the world’s most respected scientific publications says that among 34 countries surveyed, the US ranks second to last in the number of adults who accept the theory of evolution. “The acceptance of evolution is lower in the US than in Japan or Europe, largely because of widespread fundamentalism and the politicization of science in the United States” (2006).

In a 1998 document entitled “The Wedge,” known informally as the “Wedge Document”

(Discovery Institute, 1998; Forrest and Gross, 2004a, 2007a, ch. 2). Using the metaphor of a metal wedge that can split a log, the ID movement aims to use aggressive public relations programs of book publication, lectures, etc., to create an opening for the supernatural (i.e. Magic) in the public’s understanding of science.

The various sciences are today progressing at a record rate, providing the means to enhance human life in many ways. The US cannot afford to allow Intelligent Design, fundamentalist thought, evangelical proponents, or any of the thousand and one religious right groups to hijack our school systems. We need scientifically trained minds as never before in history. Our low level of scientific literacy in the American public is shameful for a nation that has heretofore led the world.

Intelligent Design Pushers LIE

“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” — Stephen Roberts

Immediately below is excerpted from Discovery institute website, retrieved on 01.05.08. Their address is:
http://www.discovery.org/

” Peer-Reviewed & Peer-Edited Scientific Publications Supporting the Theory of Intelligent Design (Annotated)
By: Staff
Discovery Institute
July 1, 2007

Editor’s Note: Critics of intelligent design often claim that design advocates don’t publish their work in appropriate scientific literature. For example, Barbara Forrest, a philosophy professor at Southeastern Louisiana University, was quoted in USA Today (March 25, 2005) that design theorists “aren’t published because they don’t have scientific data.”
Other critics have made the more specific claim that design advocates do not publish their works in peer-reviewed scientific journals-as if such journals represented the only avenue of legitimate scientific publication.” end excerpt

Then they go on to list some ‘religious science’ that got peer review in the scientific arena. Among them is this jewel:

Begin excerpt again. “Stephen Meyer, “The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories” Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 117 (2004): 213-239.

Meyer argues that competing materialistic models (Neo-Darwinism, Self -Organization Models, Punctuated Equilibrium and Structuralism) are not sufficient to account for origin of the information necessary to build novel animal forms present in the Cambrian Explosion. He proposes intelligent design as an alternative explanation for the origin of biological information and the higher taxa.” End of excerpt

Well this is great for the ID movement that the Discovery Institute not only backs, but actively pushes on schools and people. They finally got an article published in a scientific journal….but….
….Not long after the article was published, an embarrassed Council of the ‘Biological Society of Washington’ comes out with this statement

excerpt follows from Biological Society of Washingtom

“The paper by Stephen C. Meyer, “The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories,” in vol. 117, no. 2, pp. 213-239 of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, was published at the discretion of the former editor, Richard v. Sternberg. Contrary to typical editorial practices, the paper was published without review by any associate editor; Sternberg handled the entire review process. The Council, which includes officers, elected councilors, and past presidents, and the associate editors would have deemed the paper inappropriate for the pages of the Proceedings because the subject matter represents such a significant departure from the nearly purely systematic content for which this journal has been known throughout its 122-year history. For the same reason, the journal will not publish a rebuttal to the thesis of the paper, the superiority of intelligent design (ID) over evolution as an explanation of the emergence of Cambrian body-plan diversity. The Council endorses a resolution on ID published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2002/1106id2.shtml),** see below, which observes that there is no credible scientific evidence supporting ID as a testable hypothesis to explain the origin of organic diversity. Accordingly, the Meyer paper does not meet the scientific standards of the Proceedings.” End of excerpt Their address is: http://www.biolsocwash.org/

excerpt from American Association for the Advancement of Science
** “Over the past several years proponents of so-called “intelligent design theory,” also known as ID, have challenged the accepted scientific theory of biological evolution. As part of this effort they have sought to introduce the teaching of “intelligent design theory” into the science curricula of the public schools. The movement presents “intelligent design theory” to the public as a theoretical innovation, supported by scientific evidence, that offers a more adequate explanation for the origin of the diversity of living organisms than the current scientifically accepted theory of evolution. In response to this effort, individual scientists and philosophers of science have provided substantive critiques of “intelligent design,” demonstrating significant conceptual flaws in its formulation, a lack of credible scientific evidence, and misrepresentations of scientific facts. Approved by the AAAS Board of Directors on 10/18/02″

Recognizing that the “intelligent design theory” represents a challenge to the quality of science education, the Board of Directors of the AAAS unanimously adopts the following resolution: ” excerpt ends. It goes on to basically say that ID is not science, never will be, keep it out of our public schools.
The full statement can be read here: http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2002/1106id2.shtml

What this little exercise in ‘investigative blogging’ is showing me, is that the Discovery Institute, as of 01.05.08, is knowingly passing off what they know to be rebutted, as mainstream science. In other words-they lie.

Gives me an all warm and fuzzy feeling when the pastor lies to me.

Peace to all

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