Education Intelligent Design

Jack Krebs Wanted To Present Alongside Bill Dembski

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Jack Krebs at Panda’s Thumb is all bent out of shape because he wanted to present an opposing view alongside Bill Dembski. He then implies that Bill declined because Bill’s afraid of Jack or intimidated or something.

Excuse me, Jack, but you demanding an opportunity to present alongside Bill Dembski and calling him chicken for refusing is like the Oskaloosa High School Football Team demanding to play the University of Texas Longhorns and saying the Longhorns are chickens for refusing.

Sorry Jack, but you’re just not in the same league as Bill.

33 Replies to “Jack Krebs Wanted To Present Alongside Bill Dembski

  1. 1
    Thunar says:

    This “presentation” was an event of “Campus Crusade for Christ”. Help me out here, but how is ID going to distantiate itself from religion with events like this? I am beginning to understand why it was found to be un-scientific and religious in nature by the Dover trial.

  2. 2
    Jack Krebs says:

    Hmm. Please explain how I “demanded” anything. For that matter, explain why you think I am “bent out of shape.” And I object to your saying that I called Dembski “chicken.”

    What I actually wrote was:

    “On the other hand, I do believe that they really don’t want to talk in public about the things I wanted to talk about. They want the façade of credibility for ID by setting it against evolution – against some well-know biology professor like Krishtalka, but they don’t want (and I find this ironic) to actually discuss the issue of Christianity and evolution in front of a group of Christians. What are they afraid of here?”

    I think your post would have more credibility if you didn’t exaggerate what I said.

    Also, I understand your references to the school I teach at are meant to point out the differences in credentials between Dembski and me. However, ultimately, it’s ideas and the ability to convey them that persuades people, and, credentials aside, I feel confident in my ability to discuss things at the level Dembski does. I am proud of my career as a life-long high school educator, but I assure you that my education and skills go beyond what I do during my paying day job.

    And last, given my undergraduate degree in anthropology, I actually have more science credentials than Dembski does. A lack of credentials in biology has not stopped him nor other members of the ID movement from challenging evolution.

    But thanks for reading my Panda’s Thumb post.

  3. 3
    Bombadill says:

    Thunar,

    The implications of ID are friendly to an theistic world-view. It should therefore come as no surprise that religious organizations are going to sponsor events that showcase ID and it’s proponents.

    Judge Wack-n-Sack of the Dover trial conflated the science with it’s implications… an error that many seem to easily make.

  4. 4
    DaveScot says:

    Jack

    You’re saying an undergraduate degree in anthropology is more science than a PhD in math? There’s a good laugh.

    How do credentials in biology qualify one to recognize design? I don’t see the connection. Biology is a cross between pipetting and stamp collecting. How does that make one an expert on the nature of digital codes and automated machinery? At least the math guys know a digital code when they see one.

    Here are some quotes from your article that make me think you imply “chicken”

    What are they afraid of here?

    Who exactly is refusing to engage in a competition?

    I’m not afraid of competition

    Are you going to sit there with a straight face and say you aren’t implying the other side is afraid of the competition you represent? I’m going to have call you a liar if you do.

    P.S.

    Go Oskaloosa! 🙂

  5. 5
    Usurper says:

    Come on guys, let’s be nice.

  6. 6
    Neotoma says:

    “Biology is a cross between pipetting and stamp collecting.” This is probably the worst description of biology I have ever run across. By the same token, math then, must be nothing more than adding numbers together to make bigger numbers, and chemistry simply adds chemicals together to see what happens.

  7. 7
    DaveScot says:

    Thunar

    Read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_fallacy

    Approximately 80% of the individual adults in the United States self-identify themselves as Christians.

    If you encounter any group of people in the U.S. that is large enough to overcome statistical deviation from the average then the group is either overwhelmingly Christian or it is somehow pointedly opposed to Christianity. Take for instance the National Academy of Sciences in which 70% of the individuals self-identify as positive atheists. It’s a bastion of atheism! It’s pointedly non-Christian and non-representative of the people of the United States. And this group serves in an advisory capacity to the gov’t on science education. It is no mystery to me why they dogmatically oppose ID. They oppose it on religious grounds. Not the religion of the majority of ID proponents but their own religion of secular humanism. The Academy should be divorced from gov’t advisory until they can get their ranks more representative of mainstream America.

  8. 8
    Ochuk says:

    Dave why did you delete Kerb’s comment? If we are going to whine about how we are censored all the time don’t you think it is hypocritical to silence a detractor? If his comments were tasteless, that’s one thing, but they were not.

  9. 9
    DaveScot says:

    Ochuk

    I didn’t delete Kreb’s comment. Like yours, it was waiting for approval in the moderation queue. These comments are moderated. Anyone newly registered at this blog must have their first comment approved by a moderator before that any subsequent comments appear. I approved both Jack’s and yours as soon as I saw them. Don’t abuse the privilege. Unfortunately I can’t reply to them on Panda’s Thumb as I’ve been banned there. Don’t ever let them fool you into thinking their comments are open to the public. They just lie and try to make you think they don’t moderate those comments.

  10. 10
    clbell says:

    “Take for instance the National Academy of Sciences in which 70% of the individuals self-identify as positive atheists. It’s a bastion of atheism! It’s pointedly non-Christian and non-representative of the people of the United States.”

    This is the same kind of thinking that lead to kid doctors in China during the early part of the cultural revolution when all intellectuals were persecuted. Of course here the reasons are different.

    The reason that most members of the Academy of Sciences are atheist (and I have seen no data to back that up) is because they ARE experts in fields of science. They may not be representative of the total population but they are representative of scientists at their level of expertise.

    US government officials are not representative of the population in terms of income, does that mean that they are not capable of making decisions that affect the poor?

  11. 11
    Charliecrs says:

    I agree, if your not in the same league as Mr. Dembski then he has every right to say no to you. I mean just take 2 secs and think about it will you ?…. what would Darwin do ?… Would the ever-so brilliant Dawkins commune with the common folk? when dealing with science ? , i think not imo- Lets be serious.

    Charlie

  12. 12
    Jack Krebs says:

    In reference to whether my post was deleted:

    1. I saw my post online after I posted it, before I left my house.

    2. I have been registered here for a long time – this was not my first post.

    3. to Charliecrs: I agree fully that Dembski had every right to not accept me as the other half of his presentation, whether because he felt I was not in the same league or for any other reason. The only reason I contacted CCC about this at all was because I was told that Dembski was looking for someone from the other side, and a friend of mine at KU recommended me.

    Straightforward, non-exaggerated discussion about these issues is important to me. I’m quite willing, I think, to take responsibility for my positions, my words and my actions, but I also want them to be fairly represented.

    Thanks.

  13. 13
    Patrick says:

    clbell, the problem is that the NAS is also not representative of the scientific community, either. “When a researcher from the University of Georgia surveyed scientists’ attitudes toward religion several years ago, he found their positions virtually unchanged from an identical survey in the early years of the 20th century. About 40 percent of scientists said not just that they believed in God, but in a God who communicates with people and to whom one may pray “in expectation of receiving an answer.” The other 50-55 percent who are not Biblical literalists are a mix of Christian Theistic Evolutionists, Moralistic Therapeutic Deists, and other religions. Religions like atheism and humanism make up less than 10% of all scientists, though they’re quite good at taking this advice: “If you have a small voice, scream all the more loudly.””

    Now that doesn’t mean that the NAS membership must forcibly changed…but it is something to take into account when considering their opinion on a matter such as ID which contradicts their personal religious beliefs. BTW, the portion I put in quotes were from an old personal blog post of mine. Unfortunately I failed to cite my sources but I do believe I read about that in the NY Times a while back. In another part of that blog post I had this:

    “More recently, the first study of physician religious beliefs found that 76 percent of doctors believe in God and 59 percent believe in some sort of afterlife. The survey, performed by researchers at the University of Chicago and published in the July 2005 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, found that 90 percent of doctors in the United States attend religious services at least occasionally, compared to 81 percent of all adults. Fifty-five percent of doctors say their religious beliefs influence how they practice medicine.”

    I also have a personal friend who is retired from NASA (I forget his exact title but he used to greet the Apollo astronauts after splashdown and he ran an entire department). One day last year he commented to me that if there were atheists in there he couldn’t remember running into them very often. Of course, he mostly worked with engineers.

  14. 14
    clbell says:

    Please note that I said, “they are representative of scientists at THEIR LEVEL OF EXPERTISE.” I still believe this until I see quantitative proof to the contrary.

  15. 15
    Patrick says:

    So in short you’re saying that once a person reaches that “level of expertise” the only intellectually honest religious belief is atheism?

  16. 16
    Charlie says:

    Patrick, I am not going to look up a website right now either, but Stark is the source for your first paragraph. The research is quoted in many places, but also appeared in Dec. 05 National Geographic.

  17. 17
    Charlie says:

    Ok, so my memory is not what I thought it was.
    The researcher I had in mind was Larson, and was referenced by Stark in a different study. And the National Geographic, was ’04 – that wasn’t bad memory, just stupidity.

    The poll usually cited is Leuba’s from about 1914 (or 1916?), and was repeated in the 90s by Larson. The results were roughly the same both times.
    It posed the question of belief narrowly, where God was defined as being accessible and respondent to prayer. 40% said yes to belief, and 45% said no. 15% were not sure.

    In a 1997 survey in the science journal Nature, 40 percent of U.S. scientists said they believe in God—not just a creator, but a God to whom one can pray in expectation of an answer. That is the same percentage of scientists who were believers when the survey was taken 80 years earlier.

    But the number may have been higher if the question had simply asked about God’s existence. While many scientists seem to have no problem with deism—the belief that God set the universe in motion and then walked away—others are more troubled with the concept of an intervening God.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.....ion_2.html

    Here is another:

    Larson closely followed Leuba’s methodology, repeating the same questions
    and attempting to find a representative sample which met the original survey
    profile. “I had no idea how it would turn out,” Larson said.

    60% responded, a figure considered high for any surveys. Of those, 40%
    expressed belief in a deity, while nearly 45% did not. Larson’s survey also
    discovered that physicists were less likely to have such faith, while
    mathematicians were significantly more likely to believe in a supreme being,
    as defined by Leuba. “

    http://www.ovpr.uga.edu/resear.....faith.html

    When the question is asked in broader terms, as Stark has done the results are more in keeping with the US population as a whole:

    Rodney Stark, a professor of sociology and comparative religion at
    the University of Washington in Seattle, said that because the questions in
    the Leuba survey are so narrowly phrased, the results probably underestimate
    the extent of religious sentiment among scientists. Several recent surveys
    of American college professors, he said, show that professors are almost as
    likely to express a belief in God as are Americans as a whole.

    Moreover, he said, when the sample in a study he and his coworkers
    are now doing is broken down into specialties, teachers of the so-called
    hard sciences, like math and chemistry, are more likely to be devout than
    are professors of such softer sciences as anthropology and psychology or of
    the humanities.
    Since the analysis is not finished he could not give exact numbers.

    http://solon.cma.univie.ac.at/...../clari.txt

    Notice, obviously, that “college professors” is not literally synonymous with “scientists”, but the differences can be expected not to be too inordinate.

  18. 18
    Bombadill says:

    So in short you’re saying that once a person reaches that “level of expertise” the only intellectually honest religious belief is atheism?

    Eeeek! I sure hope that’s not what he’s saying. Because he’ll have these guys to contend with:

    C.S. Lewis
    Nicholas Copernicus
    Johannes Kepler
    Galileo Galilei
    Isaac Newton
    Albert Einstein
    Gregor Mendel
    Alistair McGrath
    Norman Geisler
    William Lane Craig
    Francis Schaeffer
    Ravi Zacharias

  19. 19
    Usurper says:

    Whoever said that might’ve put too much of grandpa’s cough medicine in his orange juice this morning.

  20. 20
    Bombadill says:

    LOLz!

  21. 21
    Ocellated says:

    Woo-hoo. Some lively discussion going on, and people don’t seem to be getting the ax of the death for dissent.

    Bombadill, adding Ken Miller and Francis Collins to that list would certainly be appropriate as well. There are evolutionary biologists who are Christians after all.

    Neotoma, nice points. I too found the definition of “Biology is a cross between pipetting and stamp collecting” to be uncalled for. I recognize and like the username as well. I’ve skinned a couple in undergrad, but alas, my interest lies more in birds than mammals.

  22. 22
    DaveScot says:

    By the way, Ochuck, how did you know that Kreb’s comment wasn’t tasteless when it hadn’t yet appeared?

  23. 23
    DaveScot says:

    I think the pipetting/stamp collecting remark came from someone in the chemistry or physics dept. at Berkeley where they don’t consider biology to be a hard science. It’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Don’t have a cow, man.

  24. 24
    DaveScot says:

    Jack

    Your first comment was sitting in the moderation queue. It doesn’t matter that you’ve been registered since Halloween. The first comment must be approved by a moderator before it or subsequent comments will appear. Either WordPress has a bug or that was the first time you’ve had a comment approved by a moderator. Your next comment didn’t land in the moderation queue so that probably puts the kabosh on the bug hypothesis.

    Hey, I bet I can thrash Richard Dawkins in a debate. In your esteemed anthropology undergrad high school teacher opinion should I be annoyed or whatever if I challenge Dawkins to a debate and he ignores me because I’m well, to put it bluntly, a nobody?

    As Clint Eastwood says in Dirty Harry, “a man needs to know his limitations”.

  25. 25
    Miles says:

    my response in bold -ds

    Dave has anyone ever told you that you have a nasty personality? Yes, of course. Condescending too. Like duh. And no matter how nasty you are or how many people you ban from here, intelligent design theory is still unproven and lacks scientific credibility.Yawn. Says you.

    As others have mentioned, the intelligent designer is either God or a space alien. If Dembski honestly believed the intelligent designer is a space alien then he’d be writing papers with the Raelians who not only make the same claim, they insist they are in contact with the intelligent designer(s).

    Actually Bill entertains the hypothesis that the designing intelligence behind at least some instances of specified complexity in biological machinery is a quantum neural network embedded in every living cell. Quantum computing elements are atomic in scale and just a handful have the computational power to predict how proteins will fold. Interestingly IBM, in implementing the first working quantum computing elements, used the spin states of carbon atoms in amino acids as memory storage elements. Any other uninformed bs I can correct you on today or will that be about it?

  26. 26
    Patrick says:

    Miles, you just broke the “repeating a tired bad argument” rule. Consider this your first warning.

  27. 27
    DaveScot says:

    Patrick! I’m shocked. What happened to good cop, bad cop? 😉

  28. 28
    crandaddy says:

    Actually, the designer identity question is separate from the question of whether or not nature bears marks which we attribute to intelligent design. It’s possible to have a positive stance concerning the latter question and a question mark concerning the former.

  29. 29
    Miles says:

    Dave Scott said “the hypothesis that the designing intelligence behind at least some instances of specified complexity in biological machinery is a quantum neural network embedded in every living cell”

    Dave, I figured that wasn’t news to you.

    On the subject you brought up and to clarify my understanding of this hypothesis, something still had to design that embedded quantum neural network, correct?

    And I am not familiar with Patricks tired rules of whatever he was talking about, but if this question I am asking you about the quantum neural network has been asked before please accept my apologies now for asking it again.

  30. 30
    DaveScot says:

    “On the subject you brought up and to clarify my understanding of this hypothesis, something still had to design that embedded quantum neural network, correct?”

    I have no idea if quantum neural networks can self-organize or not. However, by this you have now trotted out the trite old argument “but who designed the designer”. A little joke is now in order.

    A couple was celebrating their golden wedding anniversary. Their domestic tranquility had long been the talk of the town. A local newspaper reporter was inquiring as to the secret of their long and happy marriage.

    “Well, it dates back to our honeymoon,” explained the man. “We visited the Grand Canyon and took a trip down the bottom of the canyon by pack mule. We hadn’t gone too far when my wife’s mule stumbled. My wife quietly said, ‘That’s once.’ We proceeded a little farther when the mule stumbled again. Once more my wife quietly said, ‘That’s twice.’ We hadn’t gone a half mile when the mule stumbled a third time. My wife promptly removed a revolver from her pocket and shot him. I started to protest over her treatment of the mule when she looked at me and quietly said, ‘That’s once …’

    So here’s what I have to say to you about the “who designed the designer” argument:

    That’s once.

  31. 31
    Patrick says:

    I’ve seen your blog and I can attest that if you attempt the same arguments you’ll receive a warning. Oh, and you might want to read this:

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2......html#more

    “In the letter a Discovery Institute attorney writes: “The title and nature of this course are problematic and appear to misrepresent the content of the course and intelligent design.” The letter later urges the district to: “either reformulate the course by removing the young earth creationist materials or retitle the course as a course not focused on intelligent design.””

    So, yes, they are objecting to the class conflating ID with creationism.

  32. 32
    bradcliffe1 says:

    Bombadill,

    You cite Albert Einstein in your list of intellectually prominent theists. While it is true that he was a theist, it’s also important to remember that his conception of God differed dramatically from that of most religious people. Consider these Einstein quotes:

    “I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.”

    “I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own — a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.”

    “I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it.”

  33. 33
    DaveScot says:

    Patrick

    http://www.stephenjaygould.org.....le002.html

    The source for the % of NAS scientist (ir)religious beliefs.

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