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Darwin put history into science - Marx put science into history
Posted: 15 February 2008 09:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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We are very happy to have a variety of different opinions represented on this site, including those of political conservatives, religious believers, et cetera, even if we may not personally agree with them. So long as arguments are sincere and constructive, there’s nothing wrong with them.

Obviously there’s no such thing as a sincere-ometer to apply to posts like those above, but it’s always a good idea to remember where the creationists are coming from: they win not by their arguments or ‘science’ but to whatever extent they are able to muddy the waters, waste energy, divert attention or cause confusion as to the meaning and significance of science itself. Creationism like religion, is not an argument but a program.

As you’ve already noted above, that’s the whole point of the ‘teach the controversy’ slogan.

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Posted: 15 February 2008 10:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Balak - 15 February 2008 09:10 PM

We are very happy to have a variety of different opinions represented on this site, including those of political conservatives, religious believers, et cetera, even if we may not personally agree with them. So long as arguments are sincere and constructive, there’s nothing wrong with them.

Obviously there’s no such thing as a sincere-ometer to apply to posts like those above, but it’s always a good idea to remember where the creationists are coming from: they win not by their arguments or ‘science’ but to whatever extent they are able to muddy the waters, waste energy, divert attention or cause confusion as to the meaning and significance of science itself. Creationism like religion, is not an argument but a program.

As you’ve already noted above, that’s the whole point of the ‘teach the controversy’ slogan.

In this case, it was Doug who shifted from the claims made in the piece you quoted (Bush putting the power of the presidency behind ID), even to the point of asking me what I was contesting beyond the fact that Bush’s comments had been favorable to ID.

I do appreciate your attempt to poison the well, though.  wink

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Posted: 16 February 2008 08:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Bryan, what makes your posts so very close to trolling is that you appear simply not willing to understand the realities of political discourse. Bush does not believe in evolution. Nobody who believes in evolution is supporting “Teach the Controversy”. Indeed, “Teach the Controversy” is a slogan put out by the Discovery Institute which was created specifically to root out the teaching of evolution in schools.

Yes, obviously “Teach the Controversy” does inter alia involve the teaching of evolution. But that’s because the political realities at this point do not enable evolution to be entirely removed from the classroom. You have, however heard of the Wedge Strategy put out by the Discovery Institute, right? It’s a strategy aimed at thoroughly theologizing the teaching of science, and it starts with getting a wedge for theology in science class, and ends up with only theology in science class. Do you have any evidence that shows Bush to be in opposition to this general strategy?

Although others on this site may make inflammatory posts from time to time, the concern the Mods have with you is the pattern we see in your manner of argumentation. You often do not seek to advance discussion, but simply to nit-pick in order to score meaningless rhetorical points, or to make claims (as you were before that Bush was not in favor of ID) that are not in question by any members to the argument, on either side of the debate. This gives us good reason to believe you are simply arguing in bad faith.

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Posted: 16 February 2008 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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dougsmith - 16 February 2008 08:25 AM

Bryan, what makes your posts so very close to trolling is that you appear simply not willing to understand the realities of political discourse. Bush does not believe in evolution. Nobody who believes in evolution is supporting “Teach the Controversy”.

You’re misinformed, Doug.  Michael Behe and William Dembski both subscribe to evolution.  They simply see it as a mechanism requiring intelligence at some point in the game.
If by “evolution” you refer specifically to a mechanism that is explicitly utterly unintelligent then your position is just as religious as ID and you would be a hypocrite to advocate teaching it in public schools if you oppose ID on the same basis.

Indeed, “Teach the Controversy” is a slogan put out by the Discovery Institute which was created specifically to root out the teaching of evolution in schools.

So the evolutionists Dembski and Behe want to eliminate the teaching of something they both believe in?  Or are they not true (doctrinaire) evolutionists?  Insufficiently orthodox?  Is that it?

Yes, obviously “Teach the Controversy” does inter alia involve the teaching of evolution. But that’s because the political realities at this point do not enable evolution to be entirely removed from the classroom. You have, however heard of the Wedge Strategy put out by the Discovery Institute, right? It’s a strategy aimed at thoroughly theologizing the teaching of science, and it starts with getting a wedge for theology in science class, and ends up with only theology in science class.

You need to review the wedge strategy, because you’ve misrepresented it.
http://www.sunflower.com/~jkrebs/JCCC/05 Wedge_edited.pdf

The Wedge document operates under the presumption that modern science is effectively materialistic in its worldview.  The document doesn’t talk about replacing science with theology at all.  Rather, it talks of restoring the openness of science to theological explanations (admittedly with the expectation that research done within the new framework will assume a position as the dominant paradigm).

You can disagree that modern science equates with materialism, but if you disagree on that point then I don’t see your grounds for asserting that the Wedge document advocates the overthrow of science.  You should be asserting that they are going to war against a phantom.

Do you have any evidence that shows Bush to be in opposition to this general strategy?

Because if I don’t have the evidence then he supports the general strategy?  Fallacy of argumentum ad ignorantiam, Doug, not to mention the fact that the issue is the Bush administration’s supposed active support of ID, not the president’s personal feelings about it.  Still waiting on the evidence for that one, unless you’re standing pat with one quotation plus the Kitzmiller case.

Although others on this site may make inflammatory posts from time to time, the concern the Mods have with you is the pattern we see in your manner of argumentation. You often do not seek to advance discussion, but simply to nit-pick in order to score meaningless rhetorical points,

I have a problem with false information such as that presented in the OP of this thread.  I would hope that the moderators would share my concern over the proliferation of false information.  If the moderators would prefer I use a different method for challenging false information I’d certainly be open to their suggestions.

or to make claims (as you were before that Bush was not in favor of ID)

Doug, I didn’t make that claim and you have little excuse for thinking otherwise.  My position from the first has been that President Bush apparently hasn’t done anything at all significant in support of ID.  Balak’s not coming forth with evidence to the contrary and neither are you.  The appropriate thing to do is admit that the claim has no support if it can’t be supported.  Then the thread can continue based on whatever merit it otherwise might possess.  You (AFAICT) chose to defend the proposition that Bush has thrown the weight of his administration behind ID based on one comment that appears to support ID.  That, I think, exceeds anything I’ve written in terms of bad faith.

that are not in question by any members to the argument, on either side of the debate.

I don’t understand what you mean by this.  It hints that you’re ignoring my point about the Bush administration having virtually nothing to do with ID in favor of your red herring proposition that Bush supports ID (the latter being the uncontested point) in at least one statement he has made during his two terms as president.

This gives us good reason to believe you are simply arguing in bad faith.

I find that very hard to believe.  Your argument on this point appears to depend on Bush’s one statement in support of ID serving to justify the proposition that Bush has thrown the power of his administration behind the movement (“religious fables”).

I would have a much better case arguing that the latter is a bad-faith argument, not to mention the time when you gratuitously associated Bush with the Kitzmiller case.  But it wouldn’t occur to me that you’re a troll.

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Posted: 16 February 2008 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Bryan - 16 February 2008 10:24 AM

If by “evolution” you refer specifically to a mechanism that is explicitly utterly unintelligent then your position is just as religious as ID and you would be a hypocrite to advocate teaching it in public schools if you oppose ID on the same basis.

Wow, Brian! I didn’t expect this from you. Are you serious?

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Posted: 16 February 2008 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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George - 16 February 2008 10:33 AM
Bryan - 16 February 2008 10:24 AM

If by “evolution” you refer specifically to a mechanism that is explicitly utterly unintelligent then your position is just as religious as ID and you would be a hypocrite to advocate teaching it in public schools if you oppose ID on the same basis.

Wow, Brian! I didn’t expect this from you. Are you serious?

Absolutely.  The point should be obvious.  If one cannot detect intelligence in nature in principle then one cannot make any scientific judgment regarding the status of intelligence in nature.  One should not engage in the logical fallacy of argumentum ad ignorantiam and thereafter put the label “science” on it.  Lacking the ability to detect intelligence in nature per se removes any ability science might have to make a judgment.  Any such judgment would be necessarily philosophical.  As a result, you’d have philosophy taught as science in the public school.

Evolutionists seem to be especially prone to this mistake. The claim that evolution is purposeless and undirected has become almost an article of faith among evolutionary biologists. For example, the official “Statement on Teaching Evolution” from the National Association of Biology Teachers describes evolution as “an unsupervised, impersonal, unpredictable, and natural process.” That pretty much rules God out of the picture.
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1511/is_n3_v19/ai_20324742/pg_6

Pretty good article.  I recommend it to you for a thorough read.

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Posted: 16 February 2008 12:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Bryan - 16 February 2008 10:24 AM

You’re misinformed, Doug.  Michael Behe and William Dembski both subscribe to evolution.  They simply see it as a mechanism requiring intelligence at some point in the game.
If by “evolution” you refer specifically to a mechanism that is explicitly utterly unintelligent then your position is just as religious as ID and you would be a hypocrite to advocate teaching it in public schools if you oppose ID on the same basis.

OK, now we’re beyond all the smoke-blowing and into the heart of the matter. You do support the Discovery Institute, ID, and Bush, and all that prior argumentation was simply a waste of our time.

Behe and Dembski do not support evolution, which is (among other things) the origin of species by means of natural selection. They support the notion that life was manufactured by some super-intelligent being(s), for which there remains not the slightest shred of evidence. They are engaged in religiously based pseudoscience. The only reason they do not more explicitly refer to the Christian God is that they have been coached that this is politically unwise.

At this point I think we can get on with the real issue which is the fallacy of ID and its religious, non-scientific basis. We can also leave aside all the prior sophistry on your part which was completely unnecessary. It would have been better just to begin with your pro-ID arguments. So, to that matter, what are they? What published, peer-reviewed scientific evidence do you have from credible publications that show intelligent design of biological entities?

By the way, are you arguing for this because you believe the Bible to be literally true? Because there are many religious believers (including Francis Collins, BTW) who accept evolution.

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Posted: 16 February 2008 01:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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I should add for the sake of clarity that the approach you are suggesting is simply ignorant about what science is and how it works. The whole point of science is to discover natural laws, which are the causal processes that underlie phenomena, and to make valid predictions with those laws. To claim that one has to also assume the possibility of an unseen intelligent cause in the mix would simply make any scientific explanation or prediction impossible. Take a simple law of temperature versus pressure in an enclosed gas. If we are to assume the possibility of an intelligent cause, the outcome could literally be anything. Perhaps each molecule of the gas is intelligently caused to move more slowly when temperature is applied. Perhaps the intelligence changes its mind. Perhaps there are two intelligences working at cross-purposes, or six, or a million. What culture do these intelligences have? How good is their memory? What predictions does ID make? Where have they been verified?

It used to be that intelligences were used to explain the motions of the planets in the sky. Then Newton figured out that intelligence was unnecessary to explain planetary motion, it could be explained much more simply by gravity. I assume you agree with Newton that Jupiter’s motion doesn’t depend on its being an intelligent body. People used to believe that earthquakes and volcanoes were due to intelligent earth-deities who at times worked to punish people for their supposed transgressions. For more on the progress of science, and the role of the “god of the gaps” explanation, I’d suggest starting off with Neil Tyson’s paper The Perimeter of Ignorance.

So recourse to an intelligence simply solves nothing. Furthermore it is unnecessary.

[ Edited: 16 February 2008 01:14 PM by dougsmith ]
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Posted: 16 February 2008 02:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Bryan - 16 February 2008 12:17 PM

If one cannot detect intelligence in nature in principle then one cannot make any scientific judgment regarding the status of intelligence in nature.

Darwin, for example, believed in God “in principle.” But it was the “scientific judgment” that made him doubt any existance of intelligence in nature.

Bryan - 16 February 2008 12:17 PM

For example, the official “Statement on Teaching Evolution” from the National Association of Biology Teachers describes evolution as “an unsupervised, impersonal, unpredictable, and natural process.” That pretty much rules God out of the picture.

Right. This is not an opinion, Bryan. Evolution is indeed “an unsupervised, impersonal, unpredictable, and natural process.” It is a fact. So what?

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Posted: 16 February 2008 02:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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dougsmith - 16 February 2008 12:45 PM
Bryan - 16 February 2008 10:24 AM

You’re misinformed, Doug.  Michael Behe and William Dembski both subscribe to evolution.  They simply see it as a mechanism requiring intelligence at some point in the game.
If by “evolution” you refer specifically to a mechanism that is explicitly utterly unintelligent then your position is just as religious as ID and you would be a hypocrite to advocate teaching it in public schools if you oppose ID on the same basis.

OK, now we’re beyond all the smoke-blowing and into the heart of the matter. You do support the Discovery Institute, ID, and Bush, and all that prior argumentation was simply a waste of our time.

Meh.  Sounds like you want to abandon the other argument in favor of one you prefer.  The other argument wasn’t a waste of time unless you’re conceding my point about the falsehoods in the opening post.

Behe and Dembski do not support evolution, which is (among other things) the origin of species by means of natural selection.

I like the way you admit to the equivocal language parenthetically.  How much speciation by natural selection does one have to accept in order to be considered a true believer in evolution?

Behe accepts that evolution occurred and accepts common descent, however he thinks that evolution was ‘guided by God’ (15). That makes him a theistic evolutionist.
http://home.planet.nl/~gkorthof/korthof84.htm

Dembski does spend much effort to explain that IDT has no relation to creationism in any form. Dembski is very eager to point out that IDT will not base any scientific position on Genesis 1 or 2. By excluding young earth, old earth, and progressive creationism; Dembski distances his position from every conservative evangelical position as well as historical Christianity. This seems to put IDT in a theistic evolutionist position. To deny this, Dembski diligently attacks any alleged connection with theistic evolutionist by displaying theistic evolutionists as an allowance to Darwinism which leads to divinely directed pointlessness in the universe. However, it seems that Dembski is advocating that IDT is theistic evolution with purpose, thus desiring to coin it as creationism. He offers no alternative to this deduction.
http://matthewstevens.wordpress.com/2007/04/02/keep-intelligent-design-theory-out-of-schools/

Where’s your evidence?

They support the notion that life was manufactured by some super-intelligent being(s), for which there remains not the slightest shred of evidence.  They are engaged in religiously based pseudoscience. The only reason they do not more explicitly refer to the Christian God is that they have been coached that this is politically unwise.

Hmmm.  You seem to have dodged the point that both men believe in evolution.  Is it your position, Doug, that evolution is incompatible with theism?

At this point I think we can get on with the real issue which is the fallacy of ID and its religious, non-scientific basis.

Fine.  Start a new thread and send me a PM including the URL and I’ll see you there.  Or you can pick an existing thread on the topic.  I don’t see any reason to transform Balak’s thread into an ID/evolution discussion unless he directs the discussion in that direction.

I think I have good evidence for concluding that you no longer want any part of the argument you picked.  I don’t think you can produce any good evidence of an initiative on the part of the Bush administration to support ID.

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Posted: 16 February 2008 02:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Last word to Doug on this topic in this thread (unless Balak expresses the wish to pursue this direction in the thread he started).

dougsmith - 16 February 2008 01:08 PM

I should add for the sake of clarity that the approach you are suggesting is simply ignorant about what science is and how it works. The whole point of science is to discover natural laws, which are the causal processes that underlie phenomena, and to make valid predictions with those laws.

Then you can explain the value of the description of evolution I provided above, where it states that evolution is “unpredictable”?

Apparently I’m not the only one who doesn’t understand science.  wink

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Posted: 16 February 2008 03:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Bryan - 16 February 2008 02:38 PM

Apparently I’m not the only one who doesn’t understand science.  wink

Hard to tell, Bryan, if you understand science. Perhaps when you have something to say that actually is science, only then we might be able to tell. But like all the ID loons, you haven’t done so yet.

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Posted: 16 February 2008 04:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Another crypto-creationist troll dragged out of the shrubbery and exposed to daylight!  LOL  Case closed!

Sad that no one wanted to take up the relationship between Marxist and Darwinist materialism. It certainly would have made for a much more interesting discussion. (Recall that the DI nutters ‘Wedge Document’ makes the connection explicitly!)
Perhaps another time.

Balak

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Posted: 17 February 2008 09:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Balak - 16 February 2008 04:03 PM

Another crypto-creationist troll dragged out of the shrubbery and exposed to daylight!  LOL  Case closed!

Sad that no one wanted to take up the relationship between Marxist and Darwinist materialism. It certainly would have made for a much more interesting discussion. (Recall that the DI nutters ‘Wedge Document’ makes the connection explicitly!)
Perhaps another time.

Balak

You still have the option of defending the statement in the piece you quoted about Bush throwing the weight of the executive office behind the teaching of religious fables in public school.

But maybe you realize that the claim is indefensible.

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