Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Judge Jones loses in Florida and Louisiana

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Judge Jones (the former liquor control board director famous for his involvement with Frog Beer) ruled in 2005 that it was unconstitutional for teachers in the Dover school district to question Darwinism. Jones viewed himself as the person who would settle the question of Darwinism for all time an eternity. He even went on the talk show circuit boasting of his brilliant cut-and-paste of ACLU opinions.

Thankfully Jones does not speak for all of the United States, and his cut-and-paste ruling apparently has not been able to stifle the first amendment rights of students in other states.

Casey Luskin reports in Florida House and Louisiana Senate Pass Evolution Academic Freedom Bills.

Academic Freedom bills have now passed both the Florida House of Representatives and the Louisiana State Senate. The bills protect the rights of teachers to teach controversial scientific theories objectively, where scientific criticisms of scientific theories (including evolution) can be raised as well as the scientific strengths. The Darwinists in those states do not like this. First Florida Darwinists called academic freedom “smelly crap.” Then Louisiana Darwinists called academic freedom protections a “creationist attack” that is “Just Dumb.” Most recently Florida Darwinists used the “enlightened British will laugh at us argument” to oppose academic freedom. All I can say is, you heard it here first: “For the Darwinists who oppose the bill, this battle is about falsely appealing to people’s emotions and fears in order to suppress the teaching of scientific information that challenges evolution.”


The creationists at Dover did a great disservice to the cause of ID by refusing to heed the wise counsel given to them by the Discovery Institute. The creationists on the Dover school board represented themselves as proponents of ID when they themselves couldn’t even explain the basics of ID. Their indiscretions destroyed the fine work of many in the ID movement.

But finally legislatures are heeding wise counsel. While ID is not explicitly advocated in the latest bills, criticisms of scientific theories (including evolution) can be raised. And that is good enough as far as I’m concenred.

I am ambivalent to the idea of teaching of ID in public schools, and I’m definitely negative on pro-Darwin NEA teachers teaching creationism in public schools.

However, I am a gung ho about exploring evolution in public schools. [A very good outline of how to explore evolution is provided in the book: Explore Evolution. ]. I am also in favor of ID being explored and taught in the court of public opinion and in university contexts like Allen MacNeill’s Evolution and Design course at Cornell…

Freedom has visited the children of Florida to explore evolution! May this freedom visit all the children of the USA one day!

Comments
gpuccio: "The same process is used by our beloved darwinian biologists each time they affirm that two genes show significant homology. All they are saying is that they are similar enpough that such a result is unlikely by chance." You're mistaken. Constructing a nested hierarchy, and calculating the probability that sequences fit it by chance, is much more than saying that two genes are similar. Also, you're mistaken when you attribute this to "darwinian biologists," as Mike Behe and at least some of those who run this blog accept common descent.Russell
May 3, 2008
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godslanguage, All I am doing is pointing out what the current line of thought is amongst those who are doing OOL research and are anti ID. They are getting no where on solving this problem but they are saying they have just begun. ID proponents have spent a lot of time discrediting these claims and people on this blog have spent lots of words in this endeavor. The counter argument by the materialists is that we will eventually understand the process or processes that led from the primordial soup to complex replicating molecules to such molecules as RNA replicating and acting as a system to a cell. Now I doubt they ever will but that is the reasoning that holds sway in the scientific community and ID has to deal with it. To say getting past it means ignoring what is one of the main lines of thought in science today. Now a lot of ID people do not pay attention to it because the arguments have already been made. But that does not mean that those who argue for a strict naturalistic method for the OOL have abandoned it. ID has had little effect on it. DaveScot rightly points out that intelligence could with the right knowledge and tools construct a cell. However, such an observation does not rule out the discovery of a process that is naturalistic that could do something similar given hundreds of millions of years to brew in the primordial soup. It doesn't seem likely but it is black swan territory.jerry
May 3, 2008
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Jerry said: How do we show that natural laws and chance cannot produce complex codes? We are into black swan territory here. We have never seen chance and natural law produce complex code but whose to say that there will not be an experiment or a condition discovered some day that will. This is the counter argument of the Darwinists. Jerry, I don't think there is any point in jumping back to point A. ID is past point A, why drag it back? If we have never seen chance and law produce complex code, then logically it should probably never produce complex code. ID recognizes what some of the possibilities are to produce complex code, why should ID wait for chance and law to produce complex code when it has been excluded from the possibilities, and for good reasons? Do you honestly believe this is a good counter argument for the Darwinists? I believe it is one of the many that ID can and should safely ignore, not only for practical reasons, but for the progress of ID in general. In the end, it helps neither side, it causes a setback for scientific ID and for magical Darwinian fairytale as well. They may not be arguments from ignorance by the Darwinists, but they sure are arguments for distractive purposes.godslanguage
May 3, 2008
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congregate, "I’m assuming that the general idea of plate tectonics is accepted around here. I’m just trying to figure out why the currently observable evidence for it is more convincing than the currently observable evidence of evolution." There are a couple reasons as far as I am concerned. The first is that we can witness the plates actually moving and the cause of them moving (e.g. The Atlantic Ridge). SCheesman gave a few instances. There are also circumstantial evidence of similarities of South America and Africa at the specific points of match if they were fitted together. Evolution does not have that gradual build between species that one would expect to find if Darwinian processes working. It does in micro evolution examples but not in macro evolution. There are plenty of example of gradual changes in birds, lizards and other species that can be accounted for by micro evolution but none above the family level. Why? They should be present in the current suite of species we see on the planet.jerry
May 2, 2008
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congregate, I currently have Prothero's book from the library but have not read any of it yet. I frequently read books which are anti ID to see what they say. I often learn a lot from them but have not yet learned anything that contradicts the ID position. Prothero claims the fossil record supports gradualism. I will see. It looks like a good book to learn about paleontology.jerry
May 2, 2008
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Dave, "If I say, “only intelligent agency can produce complex code driven machinery” and I produce evidence of its truth by showing intelligent agency does indeed produce complex code driven machinery then I certainly consider that positive evidence." How do we show that natural laws and chance cannot produce complex codes? We are into black swan territory here. We have never seen chance and natural law produce complex code but whose to say that there will not be an experiment or a condition discovered some day that will. This is the counter argument of the Darwinists. We then argue that the probability of such a thing happening is of low probability which is a negative argument against the alternatives as opposed to providing evidence for the specific code in question. Your analogy of modern people producing code is not positive evidence since it does not pertain to the code in question. It does say it is possible for an intelligence to produce such a code not that they actually did. To get to that they did, we argue against the alternatives. Now you can argue that this is positive evidence but it does not relate to the specific code in question. It will be impossible to to relate to the code in question because it originated several hundred million years ago and there are no space ships or blue prints available. You support a front loaded proposition and suppose you found embedded in the code of some genome the ability to produce another organism within the unexpressed code. Then you would have a smoking gun that was very positive for your hypothesis. Right now I believe you are using circumstantial evidence for your beliefs. But the above would not be circumstantial but proof of the ability to generate more than one organism within a genome and be very positive. There might also be the ability to express complex features which are not currently present and that would also be indicative of pre design or otherwise why isn't it already expressed and currently suppressed. I believe ID will get more positive as more of the genome is revealed to control functions that could not have arisen by naturalistic means. What they are, I do not know. Patrick suggested foresight; I suggested built in limitations. There are probably many others.jerry
May 2, 2008
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Congregate, The "speciation" you allude to as proof for evolution will always be found to be "reproductive isolation" that is brought about by the loss of genetic information from the parent species. The evidence I have looked at suggests that the "Intelligent Designer" "front loaded" information into a parent species. According to the fossil record, Rapid diversity of the parent species occurs after the sudden appearance of the parent species in the fossil record. (The current evidence indicates that the rapid sub-speciation of the parent species is brought about by environmental clues to some significant but undetermined measure). The current evidence also indicates that no further information input comes from the "Intelligent Designer" after the initial "parent species" input, for after the rapid burst of quasi-environmentally driven adaptations for a species/kind there is always a long slow gradual decline in diversity for the group (Kind) as well as a long slow decline in variability for individual species shown in the fossil record. Thus the fossil record and current studies on existant species/kinds conforms precisely to Dr. Dembski's conservation of information. Thus the evidence actually conforms much better to the ID better than the evolutionary at all major levels of inference that are currently available as long as information implementation is limited to the general one time implementation we find in the "kinds" definition of Genesis. As well with Dr Anton Zeilinger's work in "quantum teleportation" we now have "hard proof" of informations transcendence and dominion of the energy/material realm which of compelling reason exist in a higher "spiritual" dimension rather than a "parallel" material dimension so often alluded to in the "many world's" interpretation of quantum mechanics. Thus we have a "smoking gun" for a mechanism for Intelligent Design. Whereas all "honest" mutational studies I have looked fail to find any mechanism for evolution to explain the evidence we find in the fossil record or the complexity we find in life.bornagain77
May 2, 2008
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DaveScot, I believe Congregate is only repeating the stupidity which the authors of the talkorigins archive claim: ... Continental drift is not 'just a theory' any more. The basic concept of continents moving has been experimentally verified. We know for a fact that the Americas are moving westward away from Europe at several centimeters a year. Likewise other continents have been measured to move. So continental drift is both a 'fact' and a 'theory'. The fact is the actual measurement of continent motion, and the theory is the explanation of why continents move and produce geologic activity. Ok, so how does this relate to evolution? Well before 1860 biologists knew that life was complex, and they knew there were relationships between species, and they knew that present life was different from fossil life. But they didn't know why. Darwin's theory explained why and how all life is related. It explains it better than any competing theory. In fact, it consistently predicts things that no other theory can predict. So it is the dominant theory in biology about how life is related. Now, just like the theory of continental drift, evolution has changed to incorporate new data. It now incorporates data on DNA, mutations, genetic drift, punctuated equilibrium, etc. But most of the basic concepts of evolution as proposed by Darwin are still part of the theory. And there is another similarity between evolution and continental drift. Evolution has been observed. There is documented data (facts) of species changing into other species. So evolution is both a fact (it's been observed) and a theory (it explains how all life is related). ... Full article here Darwinists simply find it convenient to slap a multitude of completely non-related subjects in the same basket, pointing to them without making any distinction (ie: mechanism etc...). It makes it that much easier for them to quantify an obvious complex goal-directed process as nothing more then a simple sequence of chance and luck happy events. The logic therefore is: Continents evolved and Intelligent Design is flawed.godslanguage
May 2, 2008
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Congregate at 164 Plenty of evidence for plate tectonics. Relatively little data to reproduce it. Contrast 3 billion base pairs in the human genome. Unimaginable astronomical low probability of that coming about by natural law or chance.DLH
May 2, 2008
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jerry Define "positive evidence". If I say, "only intelligent agency can produce complex code driven machinery" and I produce evidence of its truth by showing intelligent agency does indeed produce complex code driven machinery then I certainly consider that positive evidence.DaveScot
May 2, 2008
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congregate Behe answers your questions in "The Edge of Evolution". Please read it before posting here again. And by the way, continental plates don't move together to form complex code driven machines. Therein lies the difference, duh. The next stupid thing you attempt to say here will be your last. DaveScot
May 2, 2008
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jerry- I'm assuming that the general idea of plate tectonics is accepted around here. I'm just trying to figure out why the currently observable evidence for it is more convincing than the currently observable evidence of evolution. So can we extrapolate the tiny measurable current motion of the plates to continents moving halfway round the globe? I suppose so, motion is motion. A common position here is that microevolution is well established based on currently observable evidence, but that macroevolution (development of new forms, tissues, etc.) is not. This suggests that there is some qualitative difference between micro and macro. (As opposed to the mainstream view, which seems to be that micro, over long periods and in certain conditions, adds up to macro.) I haven't heard of any ID arguments that specify what the qualitative difference is in a broadly applicable way. (Behe for example believes in common descent but believes that intelligent input is required, but has he been able to specify where the input is required? Can a single-celled organism evolve without help into a multicellular organism? Can an ape-like creature evolve without help into chimps and humans?) I'm sorry you think I never add anything to the conversation here. I'm not an expert on any of these issues, and most of the regulars are not particularly interested in hearing new things from skeptics anyway. Did you ever get the Prothero book? What did you think about that one?congregate
May 2, 2008
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StephenB, I suggest you put together the positive science of ID to prove me wrong. I am all for it. Maybe use what the Biological Lab plans to do as Uthan Rose suggested.jerry
May 2, 2008
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SCheesman, Thank you for your response to congregate's comment. I never saw it. Congregate's comment is unusual since he never adds anything but constantly snipes at ID positions. That he should go after plate tectonics is interesting. I can only guess his motivation.jerry
May 2, 2008
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I guess d) and e) are pretty much the same above...SCheesman
May 2, 2008
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congregate:
jerry (153)- plate tectonics also explains events that happened over longer time frames. Is there more positive evidence for it than for evolution? (Not sarcastic this time, I really don’t know what the evidence is for plate tectonics.)
I'd say so; how about: a) Both the continental "fit", and matching geology where they fit argue that the continents where once joined in various places. b) Magnetic striping showing reversals in the earth's field over time form mirrored, symmetric patterns progressing away from existing mid-ocean ridges. These are "Ocean growth rings". c) We can actually measure the continents moving now, using satellite-based ranging. d) The entire "ring of fire", 40,000 km of mountains, ridges and volcanoes finds its origin and explanation in plate tectonics. e) Plate tectonics successfully explains the origins of most (though not all - there are some important exceptions) volcanoes, mountain ranges and earthquakes. So, yes, virtually no one doubts that plate tectonics exists. There is, however plenty of controversy about the exact driving mechanisms, but lots of progress continues to be made.SCheesman
May 2, 2008
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-----Jerry: "I fail to see how you twisted what I said into something that you strongly disagree with especially since you associate it with the fine tuning in nature. I have never disputed or underestimated the cosmological argument but ID here is mostly centered around biological issues." I am sorry that you think that I am twisting your words. I hope that is not the case, but, just to be sure, I will make a disciplined effort not to do it in the future. Meanwhile, you seemed to have shrugged off a great many of my points as if I had not even mentioned them. You have argued consistently that specific ID paradigms use the negative approach. I have pointed out that a design inference is a positive affirmation. What exactly is negative about a design inference? Are you confusing the affirmation with the process of elimination that makes the affirmation possible? What is it that is negative about science confirming the notion that we are fearfully and wonderfully made? Also, I pointed out that the ID paradigms are all converging, each confirming the legitimacy of the other. You shrugged that off. I also pointed out that negative affirmations are inextricably tied up with positive affirmations and vice versa. You shrugged that off. I pointed out further that the ID movement, which is, in part, based on a negative evaluation of materialism, is not the same as ID methodology, which is not. You shrugged that off. Finally, I pointed out further that the principle of fine-tuning is not exclusive to cosmology. You shrugged that off as well. Granted biochemistry is not exactly the same thing as biology, but the questions that are being raised are impressive. For example: • Do the properties of proteins or protein interaction networks show any evidence of fine-tuning? • Are there evidences of fine tuning and convergence in biochemical pathways • Does systems biology shed new light on the range of chemistries suited for the emergence of life? Having made these points, I will concede that ID has a long way to go. There can be no doubt of it. Maybe it will never come up with a full-blown theory equivalent to some of the mechanistic theories we know of. We are, after all, talking about intelligent agency which, by definition, is not mechanistic. But that doesn’t make it inferior; it makes it different. Coded information has brought something new to the table, and we are going to have to deal with that. In any case, you have yet to persuade me that these affirmations are negative. Saying that it is so doesn’t make it so.StephenB
May 2, 2008
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Stephenb, "I disagree with you strongly about ID’s “fine tuning” in nature. " You have a habit of misinterpreting what I say. What do you disagree with? Are you talking about cosmology? Have I ever denied the fine tuning in nature? I happen to point out that ID's arguments are mostly negative. I never said they were not appropriate or logical or compelling. People desperately want something that is not there. They do not want any shortcomings in what they believe. Well one of the things that they want here is an organized theory of ID and it is not there yet. The most effective spokesman for ID is Behe and all his work is negative in the ID area. Dembski is known for the Explanatory Filter and this is a negative approach. It is also effective. I fail to see how you twisted what I said into something that you strongly disagree with especially since you associate it with the fine tuning in nature. I have never disputed or underestimated the cosmological argument but ID here is mostly centered around biological issues.jerry
May 2, 2008
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-----Jerry: "All the concepts you mention are still disputed by the Darwinists and our best retort is that they are not invalid!!! Because the alternatives are improbable. CSI and IC are all reachable by naturalistic process so the the Darwinists say and we say they are not by showing the improbability of the naturalistic processes. This is what I see." Jerry, Darwinists have a "no concession policy," which is another way of saying that they will never admit anything that anything about ID is true. I can't imagine why you would take such people seriously, let alone give them the benefit of the doubt. I disagree with you strongly about ID's "fine tuning" in nature. Two of atheisms strongest advocates, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, have admitted publically that they have no answer for this argument, and yet you seem to have little faith in it. It is not just a cosmological argument, it applies to all of nature. With regard to Darwinists claim that they will find an evolutionary pathwaya to complexity. I have read some of their pitiful attempts to to do it, and it was clear that they were just making things up. I can't understand why you would find them credible in any way.StephenB
May 2, 2008
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StephenB, If it wasn't for the weakness of the Darwinian macro evolution paradigm, biological ID would not be on the radar scope. OOL would be fair game but with macro evolution solved, it wouldn't have the same traction. Darwin would be the greatest scientist that ever lived. Einstein, Newton, Galileo and Maxwell would be eclipsed. Cosmological ID would still be in play. Even the TE's at ASA accept that as well as all the religious Darwinists. There would be some good intellectual discussions but you would not have the controversy that is in reality still small today. For the most part the great majority of the population are oblivious to the issues. All the concepts you mention are still disputed by the Darwinists and our best retort is that they are not invalid!!! Because the alternatives are improbable. CSI and IC are all reachable by naturalistic process so the the Darwinists say and we say they are not by showing the improbability of the naturalistic processes. This is what I see. Joseph's idea of counterflow sounds interesting but has it ever been played out with good examples. I did a search of this site and all you see is Joseph mentioning the concept as an indication of intelligence and nothing else. Call what you want positive. It is is getting old discussing it.jerry
May 1, 2008
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-----Jerry: "That is positive. Darwin never challenged Newton but LaPlace did modify some of Newton’s theories. And obviously Einstein limited Newton’s ideas to certain conditions." You are taking the names and places too seriously. I was not trying to offer a history of scientific reform, I was simply trying to point out that the reformers always seem negative to the status quo. I didn’t mean to suggest that Darwin was Newton’s direct descendent. In any case, you said: -----Jerry: "that the biggest thing going for ID is the negative information against Darwinian macro evolution. Without that there would be no ID movement, no books on ID and no Dembski blog." I don't think you are doing justice to the fact that ID science has reaffirmed the idea of teleology and purpose in nature. That, it seems to me, is a very positive affirmation, and it is vitally important. I think of ID as providing scientific verification to this age old wisdom which was largely abandoned due to the Darwin's influence. Further, I think that ID is very compelling in its own right. The idea of a "fine tuned" universe is an incredibly positive affirmation. It is very scientific, and it doesn't stand alone. We also have "specified complexity," "irreducible complexity," "counterflow," and a number of other paradigms, each of which confirms the other. As far as I am concerned, these sciences would have arrived even if Darwin had never lived. Information technology alone would have brought it about. The fact that they all converge is a very good indication that they are sound. Of all these arguments, the "anthropic principle," (fine tuning) is the most firmly established. Only the most radical ideologue would deny it, because the numbers don't lie. Even Darwinists don’t try to deny it; they simply ignore it. As a reflection on the true state of the world, ToE does not even come close to it, positive or negative. And its science isn’t all that great either. If it was, it wouldn’t have to be propped up by a bunch of defensive and insecure bureaucrats.StephenB
May 1, 2008
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jerry (153)- plate tectonics also explains events that happened over longer time frames. Is there more positive evidence for it than for evolution? (Not sarcastic this time, I really don't know what the evidence is for plate tectonics.)congregate
May 1, 2008
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stephenB, you said "By that standard, the status quo is always positive and the reform is always negative, except that the status quo was once the reform, which means it was once positive. So, when Newton and Paley were reformers, they were negative, but when Darwin challenged them, he was negative and they became positive. But when ID challenges Darwin, suddenly Darwin becomes positive and ID is negative." I do not agree with anything is this paragraph you wrote. It is a little bit of a non-sequitur. Who did Paley challenge? Was Newton negative? Every new theory must be to some extent but I believe he presented a massive amount of information that better fit the data with all sorts of predictions. That is positive. Darwin never challenged Newton but LaPlace did modify some of Newton's theories. And obviously Einstein limited Newton's ideas to certain conditions. If you get your analysis from anything I said, let me know what it is. If you read closely, you will see I said Darwin's main argument was negative and it still is for the Darwinists. The Darwinists have positive information for micro evolution that is fairly convincing and as I said ID agrees with this information. Darwin had some positive hypotheses, many of which have since been disproved. There is an aspect of what you wrote that I do agree with. For a theory to have traction and wide acceptance in the scientific community it must have positive evidence to support it but it also compares itself to the old theories. Darwinian macro evolution or his general theory as Denton called it, has no positive evidence for it now and never did. It depends upon the results of micro evolution for its verification as people say deep time would solve all problems. Darwin's general theory is the one theory without positive evidence for it that is widely accepted. Maybe someone can suggest others but I cannot think of any. That is why I push for the distinction between the general theory and the special theory. The typical person accepts the special theory and so does ID but the typical person does not distinguish between the two and thus does not know which theory is disputed and which is accepted. Why do we see comments such as the adaptations of microbes proves Darwin's theory amongst those who object to ID not realizing that is the special theory which is not controversial and which ID accepts? We contribute to that confusion here. But that is an old story much discussed.jerry
May 1, 2008
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Obviously, I wrote the first sentence to hurriedly. It should end with, "except that the status quo was was once the reform, which means it was once negative."StephenB
May 1, 2008
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-----Jerry: "Uthan Rose has been banned if you are not aware of it." No, I was not aware of it. -----"I can tell you that the biggest thing going for ID is the negative information against Darwinian macro evolution. Without that there would be no ID movement, no books on ID and no Dembski blog." By that standard, the status quo is always positive and the reform is always negative, except that the status quo was once the reform, which means it was once positive. So, when Newton and Paley were reformers, they were negative, but when Darwin challenged them, he was negative and they became positive. But when ID challenges Darwin, suddenly Darwin becomes positive and ID is negative.StephenB
May 1, 2008
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stephenB, gpuccio, Uthan Rose has been banned if you are not aware of it.jerry
May 1, 2008
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Uthan Rose: "None, apart from the fact that nobody has observed “intelligence” without material brains supporting it. Do you mean ghosts?" No, I mean human intelligence. You are just taking for granted that intelligence is "generated" by material brains. I don't believe that, and I just believe that human intelligence is only "expressed" through material brains. There are many reasons to affirm that (for reference, read "The spiritual brain"), and, in my opinion, almost no reason to affirm your point. But anyway, none of the two positions has any right to be affirmed as true dogmatically. "Ok, but if you discount “evidence” then you can run wild with any speculation and call it science." No, I just meant that evidence must be distinguished from deductive proof (which is characteristic only of logics and mathematics), and should be well defined in its context. Indeed, I tried to give a simple, and rather universal, definition of it as "those facts which are well explained by a theory, and so are of some support to the best inference". That's a simple way of considering evidence, and underlines the important concept that evidence is never absolute, and that it should be evaluated in the context where it is relevant, in particular in the context of existing theories and inferences. In ither words, any evidence exists only in reference to a confrontation between existing theories: evidence is not an objective fact, but rather a subjective (but often more or less largely shared) judgement about facts. "If the concept of “matter” is so ill-defined then how can the “materialist” label be thrown around here with such confidence?" There is no contradiction. The concept of matter may well be ill defined in our understanding of reality, and in my opinion it definitely is. And still, "materialism" can very well be defined as any ideology which "believes" in an artificially well defined, and unrealistic, concept of matter. The first (matter) is the definition of a supposed principle of reality, the second (materialism) the definition of a well known way of thinking, with definite historical examples. They are, in every sense, two different things. "The speed of gravity on a body of a given size is also not “material”." I would agree, if it were not that gravity, as a force, cannot have speed. Moving bodies have speed. But I do agree that abstract concepts as the law of gravity or the concept of speed are definitely not material. That was exactly one of my points. "In any case, there is ongoing debate on if maths is discovered or invented. I don’t believe this is relevant to that however." I am well aware of the debate, and I am obviously on the part of the "platonic" model of mathematical objects, in good company, with Penrose and others. But you are right, there is debate, and again this is one of my points: these things are controversial, and cannot be taken for granted, as you seem ready to do. And believe me, the nature of mathematical objects is very, very relevant to practically everything (my opinion, again). "If it’s wrong, can you name the biggest difference that would happen if you corrected that error? If you convinced the world of your POV what changes would we see? Would there be new things discovered in physics for example? World peace? Faster computers (no speed of light limit on the non-material).What?" The differences would be great, and we will witness them as times go by, and as the general scenario of human thought shifts from mechanical and deterministic materialism to a more realistic appreciation of the unique properties of consciousness and mind. First of all, we would get rid of the useless, arrogant and irritating attempts to explain away our first experience in reality (our consciousness) as "non-existing" or as an illusion deriving from strange loops, and so on. Second, serious study of the phenomena of consciousness and mind could be carried on (for some starting point, see again "The spiritual brain"). Third, once the importance of the two ways interactions between consciousness and matter (perception and free will) is finally recognized , and its specific outputs, one of which is certainly CSI, are correctly put in perspective as unique effects of conscious beings, a new and deeply satisfying theoretical scenario of reality will be developed. And certainly, new answers about the nature of reality will be advanced, including a non algorithmic theory of understanding (see for instance Penrose), new insights about physics, quantum mechanics, living beings, far from equilibrium systems, and the whole universe. In the end, with a bit of luck, we could also get faster computers...gpuccio
May 1, 2008
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------urban Rose: "I’m saying that there is no evidence for non-material intelligence." ------"Do you know better? Please enlighten me? I submit to you that volitional behavior is, in itself, strong evidence for the mind. The fact that you can overrule the brains impulses is, to me, a very compelling fact. Since the brain is a physical organ, situated in the mechanical world of physical and chemical laws, it can do nothing but follow those laws. Only an immaterial mind can extricate the individual from this deterministic world and become a causal agent capable of actually using those laws for its own purposes.StephenB
May 1, 2008
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Quad: you can use normal HTML in the comments, the preview will show you how it will look. Venus Mousetrap, You may have no difficulty with the *concept* that Darwinian Evolution can produce certain things, but this doesn’t mean that it actually can. When our experience says that intelligence can produce those things, and our experience does NOT say that Darwinian Evolution can, then it is perfectly fair to ask you to demonstrate that DE is capable of the same feats as intelligence. And if you're defining DE as random mutation and selection, then it is possible to simulate those processes and form IC structures. But that's not what you're asking for - you want a photographic record of every single mutant in a line producing an IC structure in a lifeform. That is not gonna happen. It's almost going back to the 'were you there?' line of argument. All you have done, really, is said that in any case where we don't know how something happened, intelligence is the best answer. And it's always going to be the best answer up until the point where we understand what's going on. It's the God-of-the-Gaps that ID is always criticized for. And this is where the need for positive evidence comes in - without it, you're left to pointing to everything as design and waiting for gaps to fill in around it. Is it fair to expect us to believe that DE can do something that it is NOT known to do when we already know that intelligence IS known to do that same something? No, it would be wrong to expect you to believe it just because people say it's true. However, we can model the process of evolution and have an idea of what it can do.Venus Mousetrap
May 1, 2008
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QuadFather, "I would just like to know what your definition of “positive” evidence is." One thing will be hypotheses that have nothing to do with eliminating alternative explanations. For DNA and the genome, I am not exactly sure. Patrick speculated on foresight in the genome and that probably would do if it ever showed up. I suspect that when they understand the genome better there will be more hypotheses but now they are at the top/tip of the iceberg. One think I personally proposed and it is just speculation is that there are limiting routines in the genome that prevent a species from becoming superior. But that is just speculation. For macro evolution, I know of nothing that would qualify but that does not mean that someone cannot think of something. One thing for sure is that we would not be as far as we are without the negative information about naturalistic processes. Our main argument against Darwinian macro evolution is negative, using the fossil record and the lack of transitional species in the current world to support the ID position. Darwin's main argument was also negative against a creator who would make such stupid decisions about the life he saw in his travels. His positive argument using artificial selection actually undermines his ideas today once we know more about the genome and how natural selection works and the limitations of change through artificial selection., So both sides use the same approach.jerry
May 1, 2008
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