Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Cocktail! The Fingers of God are pointing at you

In further commemoration of Halton Christian “Chip” Arp, Chip pointed out many star clusters are aligned in such a way that they point toward us. So severe has been the unease over this that some have called the phenomenon “The Fingers of God”. 😯 Quoting Chip’s website: What do they think this cluster is? In fact they are forced to say it is a structure that I would compare to a great sausage stretching out from us toward the outer reaches of the Universe. The miraculous aspect is that this sausage is pointing directly at us, the observer. But perhaps an even stranger aspect is that the far end would be receding from us at an appreciable fraction of the Read More ›

The Pew Forum Poll Reveals More Ignorance

Following the recent Harris pollwe now have a Pew Forum pollout today on who believes what about evolution, and we can expect another round of reports from the elites on the shocking ignorance that continues to persist in fly-over land. Unlike the Harris poll which asks about belief in Darwin’s theory of evolution and usually runs around 50% for and against, the Pew Forum poll presents participants with the vague and less meaningful choice between “humans and other living things have evolved over time” versus “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.” Most creationists would have no problem with the first choice and not surprisingly 7% of the people gave up on the Read More ›

ID Foundations, 1a: What is “Chance”? (a rough “definition”)

Just what is “chance”? This point has come up as contentious in recent UD discussions, so let me clip the very first UD Foundations post, so we can look at a paradigm example, a falling and tumbling die: 2 –>As an illustration, we may discuss a falling, tumbling die: Heavy objects tend to fall under the law-like natural regularity we call gravity. If the object is a die, the face that ends up on the top from the set {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6} is for practical purposes a matter of chance. But, if the die is cast as part of a game, the results are as much a product of agency as of natural regularity and chance. Indeed, the Read More ›

Halton Arp, hero to both YECs and anti-Big Bangers, passes away

The Big Bang is both beloved and despised among members of ID’s big tent. William Lane Craig, Guillermo Gonzalez, etc. favor the Big Bang. But the YECs in ID’s big tent despise the Big Bang because it disagrees with YEC. Thus the YECs have formed a rather strange alliance with certain ID-haters who despise the Big Bang because of the Big Bang’s quasi-theistic implications. If the YECs succeed in solving the distant starlight problem and falsify the Big Bang’s chronology, then that will favor ID, but if the Big Bang is falsified in favor of an eternal universe, that will be unfavorable to ID since ID proponents might have to reject the Universal Probability Bound that is the core of Read More ›

Can we trust opinion polls on evolution?

In the past year or so, there have been at least four major American opinion polls on evolution, and they’ve given wildly divergent results, and even different trends in levels of support for Darwin’s theory of evolution. Are the sampling techniques faulty, or are the surveys sloppily worded? The recent American opinion polls on evolution which I’ve identified are as follows: Gallup poll, May 3-6, 2012 Pew Research Center poll, March 21-April 8, 2013 Yougov Omnibus poll, July 8-9, 2013 Harris Interactive poll, November 13-18, 2013 Before I discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these surveys, I’d like to summarize their findings. Survey Results 1. Gallup poll, May 3-6, 2012: “Which of the following statements comes closest to your views Read More ›

Ludwitt’s questions, my answers

Ludwitt is writing a paper. I’m answering his questions as if he were a student writing a paper. Let’s say hypothetically his professor hates ID like some of my professors, but were fair and just. I want him to be able to articulate ID clearly in his paper, but I want also for him not to overstate the case of ID as some ID proponents occasionally do. Since my views are not the same as other ID proponents, I invite their differing responses to Ludwitt’s questions. Here are his comments and questions from the Russel Crowe thread: Please note that I am writing a paper with the speculative hypothesis that ID is a valid scientific position. I do not know Read More ›