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Intelligent Design and Ethics
Posted: 22 March 2010 08:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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aroyal641 - 22 March 2010 08:50 PM

Very interesting stuff. By way of feedback, I would comment only that you need to establish a premise that connects the unscientific and unscrupulous passage of ID to the statement that it teaching ID is unethical.  This appears to be crucial assumpition of your argument, yet it is only paid brief lip-service in the closing sentence.  The argument itself, this premise in particular, likely has more subtleties than you credit to it.

Lip service? I spent the entire essay building to the conclusion that teaching ID is unethical. I think you need to read my essay again.

ID grew out of creationism after the U.S. Supreme Court prohibited teaching creationism in public schools (Edwards v Aguillard, 1987). In 1989 Percival Davis and Dean Kenyon published “Of Pandas and People,” intending it as a high school level textbook for teaching ID. The majority of the scientific community regards ID as pseudoscience because it invokes supernatural causes, makes no predictions and cannot be falsified experimentally.

During the Kitzmiller trial the plaintiffs’ attorneys introduced evidence proving conclusively that in an early draft “Of Pandas and People” contained language referring to a creator.

Judge Jones, in his court ruling, excoriated not only the ID proponents’ misuse of science, but also their dishonesty.

Behe’s actions misrepresenting other scientists’ works in the Kitzmiller trial were nothing new for ID proponents.

Despite the transgressions of ID proponents being a matter of settled case law in this country, the chairman of the Texas State Board of Education went on record stating scientists are to blame for the controversy over teaching Intelligent Design. This is a continuation of the duplicity creationists have practiced since the 1970s.

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Posted: 22 March 2010 10:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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aroyal641 - 22 March 2010 08:50 PM

Very interesting stuff. By way of feedback, I would comment only that you need to establish a premise that connects the unscientific and unscrupulous passage of ID to the statement that it teaching ID is unethical.  This appears to be crucial assumpition of your argument, yet it is only paid brief lip-service in the closing sentence.  The argument itself, this premise in particular, likely has more subtleties than you credit to it.

The problem is that the proponents of ID really believe in it. Thus they believe that they are acting ethically. In the absence of proof either way for one to judge the notion of ID as unethical is perhaps too presumptious.
The fact is that the universe and universal laws exhibit great mathematical precision, which may well be identified as a form of intelligence.
In the metaphysical philosophies there are so many interpretations of The Oneness (deity), that it is perhaps not that easy for an atheist to identify with the underlying concept. Where I am unforgiving is with claims of purpose and intent of this metaphysical condition, especially when the motives may be connected to society, rather than science.

[ Edited: 22 March 2010 10:27 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 23 March 2010 04:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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No, you describe the history of the ID dispute and give evidence for thinking that it is unscientific.  You don’t say why it is unethical to teach ID.  As it stands now, your argument appears to rest on an unspoken assumption that things which are unscientific are unethical to teach. Now, I doubt you believe this assumption (because it would lead to the conclusion that teaching a class on literature is unethical), so I think your argument requires some deliberation on this point.

On the other hand, you do mention the unethical behavior of some proponents of ID.  But I doubt that you want to argue from the fact that some proponents of ID have been unethical in the past that everyone who teaches ID is engaging in something unethical.  Making use of this mode of reasoning leads to all sorts of absurd conclusions (Charles Manson was a proponent of the Beatles, therefore it is unethical to teach someone a beatles song).  At the very least, however, if you wish to take up a similar line of reasoning, you should at least provide an argument for why it works because it is clearly not intuitively obvious.

[ Edited: 23 March 2010 04:49 PM by aroyal641 ]
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Posted: 23 March 2010 04:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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So you do not consider it unethical to teach religion in science class?

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Posted: 23 March 2010 05:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Well Darron, I can see some place for religion in a science class.  I believe those classes are the best place to teach critical thinking, and one could extract some great examples of logical fallacies for examination from each of the religous books.  If it were limited to that, I’d be OK with it.  smile

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Posted: 23 March 2010 05:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Occam - 23 March 2010 05:21 PM

Well Darron, I can see some place for religion in a science class.  I believe those classes are the best place to teach critical thinking, and one could extract some great examples of logical fallacies for examination from each of the religous books.  If it were limited to that, I’d be OK with it.  smile

Occam

That I can agree with, but we know the ID proponents are not trying to teach critical thinking. They are attempting to sneak their religious views into our science classes and confuse the children into believing goddidit.

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Posted: 23 March 2010 05:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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It shouldn’t matter what I think.  That said, I do believe that there is something wrong about teaching religion in science class insofar as it seems to be disengenuous.  However, I doubt I could come up with a good argument for it being unethical on the spot, even though I am strongly inclined to think that it is.  But regardless of what I believe, an argument should persuade even someone who is likely to disagree with you (i.e. someone who thinks its perfectly ethical to teach religion in a science class) into accepting your conclusion.

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Posted: 23 March 2010 05:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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If lying about motivations, hiding changes to the textbook and misrepresenting science isn’t enough to convince anyone then I have nothing more to offer.

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Posted: 23 March 2010 06:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Those are behaviors of ID’s proponents, not aspects of ID itself. This is an ad hominem argument.

But don’t sell your position short, Darron. I’d argue it’s unethical to teach ID in the science classroom because it undermines the very purpose of critical education. Instead of taking a scientific approach to a problem, saying “here’s a challenge (unanswered question, etc.), let’s try to tackle it,” ID tries to say “here’s a challenge, we’ll never solve it so let’s give up.” If students were taught this way of thinking, the effect could spread to other aspects of their lives, and those who taught it would be responsible for crippling their ability to think critically and, well, deal successfully with life/reality in general.

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Posted: 23 March 2010 06:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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I don’t think it is an ad hominem argument. Exposing the lies shows the religious origins of ID. As stated in my essay, ID is nothing more than Creationism by a different name. Exposing the misrepresentations of ID proponents shows the absolute lack of scientific rigor in ID. Exposing the deceitful tactics ID proponents use show they are merely trying to sneak their extreme religious views into our science classes. ID is built on lies, duplicity and deceit. Teaching it as science is unethical.

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Posted: 23 March 2010 08:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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DarronS - 23 March 2010 05:34 PM

If lying about motivations, hiding changes to the textbook and misrepresenting science isn’t enough to convince anyone then I have nothing more to offer.

Yes. But we are rehearsing our previous exchange. In my earlier point, as you can recall, I indicated that we could not conclude that “teaching ID is unethical” solely from the premise “many ID proponents acted unscrupulously.” You have demonstrated that the passage of ID into the education system was carried out in an unethical manner, but this does not itself entail that teaching ID is unethical.  Your other point is that ID is unscientific.  This seems to be a more promising premise.  However, your conclusion must rest on some additional premise for which you don’t provide an argument.  I might speculate that the unargued premise goes something like this: It is unethical to teach something that is unscientific (unverifiable) in a science class.  But why is it unethical? Yes, it does certainly seems counter-intuitive, but so is giving a lecture about nascar racing at a philosophy conference—yet I would hardly say that this is unethical!  Now, there are points to be made in defense of this premise but my comment merely states these points—along with mention of the premise itself—are absent from your paper.

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Posted: 23 March 2010 08:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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aroyal641 - 23 March 2010 08:43 PM
DarronS - 23 March 2010 05:34 PM

If lying about motivations, hiding changes to the textbook and misrepresenting science isn’t enough to convince anyone then I have nothing more to offer.

Yes. But we are rehearsing our previous exchange. In my earlier point, as you can recall, I indicated that we could not conclude that “teaching ID is unethical” solely from the premise “many ID proponents acted unscrupulously.” You have demonstrated that the passage of ID into the education system was carried out in an unethical manner, but this does not itself entail that teaching ID is unethical.  Your other point is that ID is unscientific.  This seems to be a more promising premise.  However, your conclusion must rest on some additional premise for which you don’t provide an argument.  I might speculate that the unargued premise goes something like this: It is unethical to teach something that is unscientific (unverifiable) in a science class.  But why is it unethical? Yes, it does certainly seems counter-intuitive, but so is giving a lecture about nascar racing at a philosophy conference—yet I would hardly say that this is unethical!  Now, there are points to be made in defense of this premise but my comment merely states these points—along with mention of the premise itself—are absent from your paper.

OK. Tell me how to work those into a 750 word essay and we’ll talk.

BTW, where were you six months ago when I needed your input?  cool smile

Seriously, I have moved on to other classes and have neither interest nor time to update this essay. I’ll let your constructive criticism stand for people coming upon this and let them learn from your comments.

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Posted: 23 March 2010 09:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Well its an interesting topic to discuss nonetheless… and its always fun to enage in arguments even if theres nothing at stake =)

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Posted: 24 March 2010 04:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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aroyal641 - 23 March 2010 09:33 PM

Well its an interesting topic to discuss nonetheless… and its always fun to enage in arguments even if theres nothing at stake =)

Agreed.

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Posted: 14 November 2014 09:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Arroyal has it right. Simply claiming that “ID is not science” as though this is proven fact is not good enough. The fact is, there are MANY PhD scientists around the world who no longer accept Evolution as even possible.

Science is a METHOD of investigation, far more than a body of knowledge. The politics of this issue have clouded the very real objections raised against Evolution theory - a court does NOT determine truth.

A very cursory examination of New Scientist magazine shows that few scientists pay ANY attention to retractions and mistakes in published literature. This is a major concern as it highlights the trust that we all have in published material - often unwarranted. Very few science courses these days teach this.

Ethically, it is fair and just to present the issues and debate the facts - unfortunately, there are very few undisputed “facts” in support of evolution - all rely on broad assumptions that are dubious at best. To deny the challenges of ID scientists as “not science” is a judgment. I always taught my students to think for themselves - not believe what they thought I wanted them to believe. The purpose of Science in schools is exactly that - to teach students to use the method to evaluate what they believe.

To deny the historicity of the Bible, especially in the light of recent archaeological finds supporting Old Testament, is very risky - one always works from an evaluation of what we DO have - arguing from absence is invalid! The historical validity of Noahs Flood as a racial memory is supported by over 216 individual cultural legends, all of which agree on key elements, is well established. To value the Darwinian explanation over such material based on other assumptions and philosophies is invalid.

Less opinion and more actual unbiased fact is needed.

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