Evolution Intelligent Design Science

“Methodological Cleansing” — The new regulative principle for science

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In elementary logic, from premises P1: If A, then B and P2: A, one may conclude B. This rule is called modus ponens. Evolutionary logic now has a particular application of this rule which it is attempting to foist on science as a whole. It runs as follows:

  • P1: If a claim or idea seems to support ID, then it needs to be rejected even if previously you thought there were good arguments to support it.
  • P2: The claim or idea seems to support ID.
  • C: Therefore it needs to be rejected regardless of the sound reasons you previously thought supported it.

Here’s an example. According to Jack Cohen, Peter Ward has now gone back on his Rare Earth thesis (in Life as we Do Not Know It, Viking, December 2005) and now attacks the GHZ (Galactic Habitable Zone) thesis that he and Guillermo Gonzalez previously championed. Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart likewise reject it in Evolving the Alien (2002).

In this way, methodological cleansing — i.e., cleansing science from all traces of ID — is now replacing methodological naturalism as the premier rule of science.

40 Replies to ““Methodological Cleansing” — The new regulative principle for science

  1. 1
    Witness says:

    I remember Darwin quoted as saying:

    I cannot look at the universe as being the result of blind chance. But I cannot see evidence of benificent design or design of any kind in the details.

    Paraphrase: I cannot look at the universe as being the result of blind chance. Notwithstanding, I do look at the universe as being the result of blind chance.

  2. 2
    DaveScot says:

    I’d be interested in reading the particulars of the attack.

  3. 3
    Red Reader says:

    From http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/Modus_ponens

    …the validity of modus ponens tells us that the conclusion must be true IF AND ONLY IF all the premises are true. Recall that a valid argument within which one or more of the premises are not true is called an UNSOUND argument…. In most logical systems, Modus ponens is considered to be valid. However, the instances of its use may be either sound or unsound.

    a.k.a. GIGO (Garbage In, etc..)

    “methodological cleansing” may really be nothing new.
    The battle seems to me to always have been about the premises.
    Start with the premise, “space, time and information are a freak accident” and presto…Darwinian evolution.

    ergo GIGO

    G. Jennings

  4. 4
    Red Reader says:

    To DaveScot,

    An possible example you are looking for…
    I found this link in a comment by Mario A. Lopez on an earlier topic.

    Mario wrote:
    ….
    Here is something even funnier. Admittedly flawed, but still qualifies as “legitimate” science—unlike intelligent design, of course. (LOL)

    Article Preview
    Mind your scientific language
    03 December 2005

    Lawrence Krauss
    Magazine issue 2528

    Misusing the word “theory” plays into the hands of creationists – that’s why string theory ought to be renamed, says Lawrence Krauss
    ….
    Full link: http://www.newscientist.com/ch.....825285.400
    ….

    Orwellian doublespeak may also be an example.

    G. Jennings

  5. 5
    Josh Bozeman says:

    It seems to me, these “real scientists” should have no problem with “creationists” (as the previous comment quoted) using the word “theory”…if their own “science”- which to them is the only “true/real science” is so strong, they would embrace the idea. That way, they could completely dismantle and crush the so-called “theory” and make it well known that it’s bunk. They refuse to do this tho, but why? I have a feeling it goes back to the quote (I forget who said it) that science cannot allow even the possibility of intelligence/creator in the door, and because of that many have to make absurd arguments just to make sure that foot DOES NOT get in the door.

  6. 6
    learner says:

    I believe the “foot in the door” quote is from Lewontin in this article by Phillip Johnson. It is about the tenth or eleventh paragraph in the article.

  7. 7
    DaveScot says:

    Red

    “Peter Ward has now gone back on his Rare Earth thesis (in Life as we Do Not Know It, Viking, December 2005) and now attacks the GHZ (Galactic Habitable Zone) thesis that he and Guillermo Gonzalez previously championed.”

    Ward’s attack on GHZ is what I wanted to read about.

  8. 8
    GilDodgen says:

    Nowhere can one find a more repressive, intolerant, group-think, stigmatizing culture than that found in publicly funded academia. Anyone who follows the evidence where it leads, if that evidence points anywhere but to the approved worldview that everything is the product of chance and necessity, will be instantly vilified, ostracized, and excommunicated.

    This is so ironic, because the academic culture officially preaches tolerance and inclusiveness. They are the worst of hypocrites, and live in whitewashed tombs.

  9. 9
    crandaddy says:

    I have known a little about Ward’s “Rare Earth” idea for some time and had wondered what he thought of Intelligent Design. Well, I guess now I know. 🙂 I, too, would be curious to know the particulars of the attack.

  10. 10
    keiths says:

    Witness writes:
    “I remember Darwin quoted as saying:

    ‘I cannot look at the universe as being the result of blind chance. But I cannot see evidence of benificent design or design of any kind in the details.’

    Paraphrase: I cannot look at the universe as being the result of blind chance. Notwithstanding, I do look at the universe as being the result of blind chance.”

    Witness,
    Darwin’s first sentence refers to his intuition, the second to his intellect. He was wise to heed the latter when, despite repeated attempts, he failed to reconcile the two. May we all follow his example.

  11. 11

    Is this not the same Peter Ward at the University of Washington who in an August 14, 2005 article made ridiculous comparisons of intelligent design to the Iranian and Chinese regimes?

    I had some very unfruitful correspondence with Mr. Ward after his August diatribe, which only convinced me that he was anything but objective. Sad to see how his personal philosophy has destroyed his ability to engage in objective discourse.

  12. 12
    Josh Bozeman says:

    This is sort of related to the topic at hand…I was looking at the site for Privileged Planet, and in the endorsements Owen Gingerich said that the book riles the supporters of the Copernican Principle, which he adheres to himself. I had to google the principle, because I didn’t know exactly what it was…and according to my search it’s the principle that the earth is not in any way special or unique. Problem is- Gingerich says that this principle is “an essential philosophical component of modern science.”

    My question is- why on earth would that be an essential principle to science? It’s essential that scientists view the earth as not being in any way special or unique, and the same for humans?

    All the evidence tells us that the earth IS indeed quite special…SETI still looks to the silent heavens, still no contact from the aliens that aren’t out there, to the planets that clearly have no life on them, no way to even get anywhere near forming life at all, let alone life like that of humans. If there’s zero evidence for something (that earth is just an average planet like any other planet), how can it be essential to science?

    It seems to me that too many in science have the bias of viewing earth, humans, and life itself as just an ordinary thing- nothing special about any of it and that’s that…and it’s in this negative light that they see their work and science itself.

  13. 13
    Red Reader says:

    To Josh,
    Good point and I think keiths above helps provide an answer.
    You wrote:
    “If there’s zero evidence for something (that earth is just an average planet like any other planet), how can it be essential to science?”

    keiths responding to Witness:
    (Witness wrote)
    “Paraphrasing Darwin: I cannot look at the universe as being the result of blind chance. Notwithstanding, I do look at the universe as being the result of blind chance.”
    (keiths wrote) Darwin’s first sentence refers to his intuition, the second to his intellect.”

    I think keiths is mistaken to say Darwin’s first sentence refers to “intuition”. Darwin’s first sentence refers to the fact that Darwin looked at the universe and saw the plain evidence of Design. One does not need a “hunch” or a “feeling” to see clearly that “information” exists apart from biological life, that things fit perfectly, that the slightest variation in any one of hundred thousands of physical properties/constants and the whole universe falls apart. These things are “self-evident” not inferential. Scientific analysis confirms the “self-evident” facts.

    Darwin’s second sentence answers Josh’s question. Darwin made a conscious decision to ignore the plain evidence in favor of a fantastic suppostion that satisfied some deep seated belief (or intuition?) that he apparantly held BEFORE he examined the evidence.

    “Scientists” once having made the decision to ignore Design have now built (and are expending enormous energy to maintain) a “just so” account of the universe that MUST include as a premise that there is nothing extraordinarily unique about anything–the earth, life itself, physics, you name it.

    It is ESSENTIAL that the square pegs be fit into the round holes at all costs.

  14. 14
    Teddy says:

    “Witness,
    Darwin’s first sentence refers to his intuition, the second to his intellect. He was wise to heed the latter when, despite repeated attempts, he failed to reconcile the two. May we all follow his example.”

    Not quite. Both statements would reflect competing intuitions. The second doesn’t reflect his intellect any more than the 1st comment.
    “Despite repeated attempts”? And what attempts did he make? His assumption (lacking any hard evidence) that the cell, at a molecular level, reflected the simplicity he assumed life to have at its most basic level?
    With the amount of information at the time he would have been just as justified to assume that the cell was complex…. but he didn’t.

  15. 15
    DaveScot says:

    Josh

    That’s the Copernican Principle of Mediocrity. I’ve mentioned it many times in the past. It it is the principle behind the Renaissance and basically states we should assume that nothing about the earth is special – it’s common. It’s a commonplace planet orbiting a commonplace star in a commonplace galaxy. Life, even intelligent life, should also be assumed to be common. This is what has traditionally driven SETI – CPoM compels us to assume that the universe is awash in intelligent life like us. That’s all good science and nothing there that Darwinistas should find objectionable.

    Then I extend the principle to genetic engineering. If intelligent life capable of genetic engineering is on the earth CPoM compels us to assume (until known otherwise) that genetic engineers are common in the universe. If they are, then the best explanation for abiogenesis with all its fantastically complex cellular machinery springing up on the earth barely later than the planet coalesced, is that life here was seeded by an intelligence that evolved elsewhere, perhaps somewhere where there was a lot more than 500 million years for it to evolve.

    The GHZ studies so far have reached a tentative conclusion that earthlike planets started forming in our galaxy about 4 billion years before our solar system formed. So instead of a mere 500 million years for abiogenesis on this planet there was about 10 times that span of time for it to happen somewhere else first.

    The $64,000 question now is why we haven’t heard from any other intelligent life in the universe. No joy from SETI was an unexpected result. If we’re alone the Copernican Principle of Mediocrity, is wrong. That’s a huge paradigm shift.

  16. 16
    Bombadill says:

    Dave, Gonzalez’s book: http://www.privilegedplanet.com/ demonstrates how the assumptions about earth’s mediocrity in the universe are false. The latest research into the physical constants shows just how unique earth is, even set against the vastness of space. We are learning that the situation is the direct opposite of what was once believed in the Copernican Principle.

    Abiogenesis – here is a compelling treatment which suggests that Abiogenesis is not just improbable, rather… impossible: http://www.trueorigin.org/abio.asp

  17. 17

    “Methodological Cleansing”—The new regulative principle for science

    According to Jack Cohen, Peter Ward has now gone back on his Rare Earth thesis (in Life as we Do Not Know It, Viking, December 2005) and now attacks the GHZ (Galactic Habitable Zone) thesis that he and Guillermo Gonzalez previously championed.

  18. 18
    Red Reader says:

    Here’s an analysis of “evolutionary logic” from an example from Dr. Wells response to critics. See http://www.idthefuture.com/200.....ponse.html
    approximately 10th paragraph.
    I will try to label the logic that may be found in Dr. Dembski’s article at http://www.designinference.com.....ologic.htm

    Here is the quote. My notes are in brackets:
    “Yet according to Scott: “Researchers glued moths to trees to test whether birds differentially prey upon moths that contrasted against their surface, an experiment necessary to test the hypothesis of bird predation. [My note:Original experiment was _Argument by omission_ of the fact that moths do not naturally rest on trees.] This is not fraud, it’s research. [My note:_Argument by definition_ of the word research to include fraud.]” (Scott, p. 2258) And Padian and Gishlick write: “Wells then pretends righteous indignation about ‘fraudulent,’ ‘staged’ textbook photographs of light and dark moths against light and dark backgrounds. [My note: _Argument from wickedness_ Dr. Wells was accused of pretention.] But these photographs merely illustrate the differential camouflage [My note:_Argument from stupidity_ Dr. Wells wasn’t really pretending, he was just unfamiliar with the technical terms.] that field experiments tested [My note:_Argument by obscure or irrelevant reference_ to field tests where moths were glued to trees.]–a reasonable and expected part of science [My note:_Argument from removable ignorance_ to concepts that any freshman biology major would know is a fundamental aspect of experimental science]. Can Wells be so ignorant [My note:_argument from stupidity_ How even did the pitiful Dr. Wells earn an undergraduate degree?] of this investigative tradition or the purpose of an illustration? [My note:_Argument from aesthetics_ the traditon and purpose of the fraudulant experiment is really just too historic to question.]” (Padian & Gishlick, p. 36)”

  19. 19
    DaveScot says:

    Bombadill

    “The latest research into the physical constants shows just how unique earth”

    You’re confused. These show the universe is unique not the earth.

    Gonzalez makes a good argument about how unique the earth is but it’s far from unarguable. Every individual human being on this planet is unique too if you tally up everything about them. No two planets, just like no two people and no two snowflakes, are the same. The question is how important are the differences.

  20. 20
    Josh Bozeman says:

    actually, i think gonzalez and richards are indeed arguing that the earth itself is special. its special in that it has life and the chance to even have life (distance from the sun, protection from cosmic radiation, protection from the asteroid belt, water, the right mix of gases, and many other aspects in play), theres no evidence that life exists anywhere else and chances are well never discover that there is any life ‘out there’, the earth is uniquely situated for science and exploration…one aspect of that being the position of our mooon, the earth in aspect to the sun, and more.

    no 2 planets are alike sure, but we surely have to go further than that. no other planet could possibly even get close to giving rise to ANY life, let alone complex life. that itself is completely special and puts earth in a class by itself. anyhow- the universe couldnt be unique since the universe is physically all there is. if you have no competition, the idea of being special is pointless.

    TBN aired the privileged planet a few months ago, and its pretty amazing how so much comes into perfect sync to make science possible, knowledge about the other planets, the sun, particular properties of the sun via eclipses viewed from earth which si in the perfect position to notice these properties, etc. The habitable zone that is so small and we just happen to be right there in it…a degree this way or that would ruin all of that. They aired last night Unlocking the Mysteries of Life- I missed most of it, but I saw Behe numerous times.

  21. 21
    keiths says:

    Darwin wrote (as quoted by Witness):
    “I cannot look at the universe as being the result of blind chance. But I cannot see evidence of beneficent design or design of any kind in the details.”

    I wrote:
    “Darwin’s first sentence refers to his intuition, the second to his intellect. He was wise to heed the latter when, despite repeated attempts, he failed to reconcile the two. May we all follow his example.”

    Red Reader objects:
    “I think keiths is mistaken to say Darwin’s first sentence refers to “intuition”. Darwin’s first sentence refers to the fact that Darwin looked at the universe and saw the plain evidence of Design.”

    Call it what you will. But check out this famous quote, analogous to the one above, which makes it clear that Darwin feels the tug of ‘imagination’ pulling him toward a Designer, but is compelled by evidence and reason to a different conclusion:

    Darwin writes:
    “To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances…could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree. Yet reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real.”

    Red Reader continues:
    “Darwin’s second sentence answers Josh’s question. Darwin made a conscious decision to ignore the plain evidence in favor of a fantastic suppostion that satisfied some deep seated belief (or intuition?) that he apparantly held BEFORE he examined the evidence.”

    Red, what is this “fantastic supposition” you refer to? A belief in evolution? The fact is that before Darwin developed his theory, he was a creationist who believed in the immutability of species. Atheism? Read this quote:

    Darwin writes:
    “Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers (though themselves orthodox) for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some moral point. I suppose it was the novelty of the argument that amused them.”

    Teddy writes:
    “Both statements would reflect competing intuitions. The second doesn’t reflect his [Darwin’s] intellect any more than the 1st comment.”

    Teddy, it’s hardly plausible to call the second comment ‘intuition’ when you consider its genesis. Darwin spent five years on the Beagle (and many years afterward) gathering data, and over twenty years developing his theory. He published a book-length exposition of it, citing in detail the evidence and the reasoning which led him to his conclusions. He even anticipated the objections of critics and attempted to answer them preemptively.

    To label all of this as ‘intuition’ is only possible if your desire to discredit Darwin has blinded you to the historical reality.

  22. 22
    Josh Bozeman says:

    Problem is- we see no gradual change from the most simplest eye to the most advanced. Sure, we have the just-so stories of ‘well, a creature could have an eye spot and then add some area and make more eye spots…which could possibly mutate and transform into a slightly higher eye, etc” but we don’t see the evidence of this in any of the fossil record. And the problem that darwinists claim doesn’t exist (what good is half an eye) does indeed exist…and no one can explain the sequence in real life, only in theory of ‘a would have been a light sensitive spot, b and c and d could have been a curved lens with a pinhole eye that allowed light thru.’

    The idea STILL seems absurd, especially when you consider that all animals have eyes made of the same sort of material and cells- yet, scientists estimate the eye evolved at least 40-50 different times…and the claim today is that the fish could have evolved an eye over 350, 000 yrs with NO mutations which makes no sense at all.

    Furthermore, how a blind, unguided process could produce eyes of the same type, the same material, cells, etc. 40-50 different times over great spans of time, in different parts of the world, in vastly different environments…well, you see the problems there. Mutations are rarely beneficial, but eyes evolving independtly over 40 times. Sounds fairly absurd to a lot of people still today.

    Furthermore, most consider the eye to be great proof of evolution, yet then they attack the human eye as being a bad “design”…then they admit that the eye is perfected to the point where it seems like its irreducibly complex then tell just-so stories of how it’s actually not and how it MIGHT have evolved.

    Next, you have to figure out how a mutation would arise that would create ANY form of eye, no matter how simple. Then, you have to figure out how these mutations did the same thing independently of one another over 40 times over millions of yrs. On top of that- you have to posit that half an eye was indeed just fine, and that half an eye is still better than no eye at all! But, we don’t have emirical evidence that half an eye is better than no eye at all, only hypothetical storytelling that wouldn’t cut it in most other fields of science. That fact that eyes arose indepently so many times give rise to the lie that we can trace the evolution of the eye from the most simple eye spots to the most complex eyes. Also- you could give a hypotheticl either way- a designer would have created simple eyes for more simple creatures and more complex eyes for more complex creatures in general.

    The case is hardly water tight.

    Gentic drift would surely be in a struggle with NS to keep around the just O.K. eye that is, for our purposes, merely half an eye.

    Even Michael Behe sees the obvious problems with even the most simple of light spots as eyes:

    When light first strikes the retina a photon interacts with a molecule called 11-cis-retinal, which rearranges within picoseconds to trans-retinal. (A picosecond [10-12 sec] is about the time it takes light to travel the breadth of a single human hair.) The change in the shape of the retinal molecule forces a change in the shape of the protein, rhodopsin, to which the retinal is tightly bound. The protein’s metamorphosis alters its behavior. Now called metarhodopsin II, the protein sticks to another protein, called transducin. Before bumping into metarhodopsin II, transducin had tightly bound a small molecule called GDP. But when transducin interacts with metarhodopsin II, the GDP falls off, and a molecule called GTP binds to transducin. (GTP is closely related to, but different from, GDP.)

    GTP-transducin-metarhodopsin II now binds to a protein called phosphodiesterase, located in the inner membrane of the cell. When attached to metarhodopsin II and its entourage, the phosphodiesterase acquires the chemical ability to ‘cut’ a molecule called cGMP (a chemical relative of both GDP and GTP). Initially there are a lot of cGMP molecules in the cell, but the phosphodiesterase lowers its concentration, just as a pulled plug lowers the water level in a bathtub.

    Computer simulations with intelligent input “showing” the evolution of the eye from simple to complex are great and all, but how about some examples from the real world? How about some empirical evidence we can look to? And how would 40 different independent lines of evolution bolster Darwin’s case of a univ. common ancestor, and the lineage beyond that ancestor…a line that at some point had to have an eye spot somehow (created from nothing), and then the same event took place in the same manner, to form the same shapes, forms, cells, etc. 40 times?

    At the end of the day, we’re still left with nothing but a bizarre just-so story built mainly on the premise that eyes COULD POSSIBLY evolve inside a computer simulation.

    I’d say Darwin was right at first when he said the idea seems absurd. It does, indeed…to this day. I feel he only proclaimed it MUST have happened because he was so entrenched in the dogma of his own theory that he had no other way out…eyes exist, all life has a common ancestor, thus eyes MUST have been able to evolve. That’s not science, it’s magic.

  23. 23
    Josh Bozeman says:

    I should add that…we also, of course, have the problem that- with the 40 different lines of eye evolution, all independent of one another, it would have had to been accompanied by all the right wiring, mechanisms, and the visual aspects in the brain to even interpret the data flow from the eye itself. An eye alone would be worthless, since you need the system in place to decode the information, send it to the brain where it’s picked up, etc. before it even makes any sense.

  24. 24
    DonaldM says:

    This reminds of a quote from Kepler that a friend sent to me a while back:

    “If a science has to be supported by fraudulent means, let it perish.” Joannes Kepler

  25. 25
    DaveScot says:

    Josh

    “no other planet could possibly even get close to giving rise to ANY life, let alone complex life”

    Are you making an argument for evolution? Sounds that way. The earth is so unique that this might be the only place in the universe where life could have evolved?

    If life was created it could have been created in a whole bunch of disparate places by custom tailoring.

    The universe is an unimaginably big place. I ain’t buying Gonzalez story on a cosmic scale. However, our galaxy is imaginably finite and you just might be able to reduce the candidates down to a small enough number so that it explains the Fermi Paradox. It’s essentially the Fermi Paradox that Gonzalez is addressing. His argument is called the Rare Earth Hypothesis.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_paradox

  26. 26
    IDthink says:

    “According to Jack Cohen, Peter Ward has now gone back on his Rare Earth thesis (in Life as we Do Not Know It, Viking, December 2005) and now attacks the GHZ (Galactic Habitable Zone) thesis that he and Guillermo Gonzalez previously championed. Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart likewise reject it in Evolving the Alien (2002).”

    Is Ward REALLY attacking the Galactic Habitable Zone? I haven’t read either “Life as We Do Not Know It” or “Evolving the Alien”, but the Publisher’s Weekly review of “Life …” on Amazon says, “Truly alien life, he argues, might have completely different origins …. so who’s to say silicon-based life-forms are impossible?”

    If Ward is talking about non-carbon life forms, then the Galactic Habitable Zone will have to be greatly extended. The GHZ that Ward and Gonzalez talk about is only the zone in which carbon-based life as we know it on earth can survive. Make life out of Silicon and it will probably have a completely different GHZ which may or may not overlap the carbon based GHZ.

    I don’t see anything to fault Ward on here. I have ordered his book, however. Thanks for the tip.

  27. 27
    Red Reader says:

    keiths
    “Red, what is this “fantastic supposition” you refer to? A belief in evolution? The fact is that before Darwin developed his theory, he was a creationist who believed in the immutability of species. Atheism?”

    -The fantastic suppostion was consistent with the philosophy of materialism developing at the time: Suppose natural forces alone are responsible for the existence of life…. It is “fantastic” for the reasons mentioned: to proceed, one has to ignore the plain evidence of Design that exists in nature.

    -Whether Darwin was a “creationist” or not, who knows? There are arguments that he was and arguments that he wasn’t. One writer even suggests that Darwin’s theory was a “creationist” theory.
    ….
    Cosans, Chris “Was Darwin a Creationist?”
    Perspectives in Biology and Medicine – Volume 48, Number 3, Summer 2005, pp. 362-371
    The Johns Hopkins University Press

    Abstract

    Throughout the Origin of Species, Darwin contrasts his theory of natural selection with the theory that God independently created each species. This makes it seem as though the Origin offers a scientific alternative to a theological worldview. A few months after the Origin appeared, however, the eminent anatomist Richard Owen published a review that pointed out the theological assumptions of Darwin’s theory. Owen worked in the tradition of rational morphology, within which one might suggest that evolution occurs by processes that are continuous with those by which life arises from matter; in contrast, Darwin rested his account of life’s origins on the notion that God created one or a few life forms upon which natural selection could act. Owen argued that Darwin’s reliance on God to explain the origins of life makes his version of evolution no less supernatural than the special creationist that Darwin criticizes: although Darwin limits God to one or a few acts of creation, he still relies upon God to explain life’s existence.”

    No matter how you slice it, the theory was built on supposition of one kind or another.

  28. 28
    keiths says:

    Josh,

    In your hurry to reply, you missed the entire point.

    I was not trying to ignite a discussion of eye evolution.

    I included Darwin’s eye quote to back up my assertion that Darwin found himself pulled by intuition (or ‘imagination’, to use his exact word) toward the idea of a Designer, but that reason and evidence compelled him to accept evolution and natural selection.

  29. 29
    keiths says:

    Red Reader writes:
    “It is “fantastic” for the reasons mentioned: to proceed, one has to ignore the plain evidence of Design that exists in nature.”

    But Darwin did not ignore the “plain evidence of Design”, as the eye quote makes clear. He found it quite compelling, and it was only the force of reason acting on the sum of the evidence that led him to his brilliant conclusions.

    Red continues:
    “Whether Darwin was a “creationist” or not, who knows? There are arguments that he was and arguments that he wasn’t. One writer even suggests that Darwin’s theory was a “creationist” theory.”

    I hope that you’re not suggesting that creationism is Darwin’s “fantastic supposition”, since that would defeat your whole purpose.

    If not, I’m at a loss to explain why you refer to the Cosans article, since it only strengthens my case. If Darwin remained a creationist, believing that evolution proceeded from one or a few created forms, then that just proves that he did not ignore the evidence of Design, and that he was only willing to push the Creator back as far as he felt evidence and reason would justify at the time.

    Red Reader concludes:
    “No matter how you slice it, the theory was built on supposition of one kind or another.”

    The issue is not “suppositions” (all theories have those), but “fantastic suppositions.”

  30. 30
    Josh Bozeman says:

    im aware. my point was- you consider that it was darwins intuition that lead him to find the idea absurd but the evidence to lead him to accept NS as the cause, tho its fairly clear to me that that cant be the cause, and he was just plain wrong (as he was about too many things).

    in the end, neither one should have reasonably lead him to that conclusion.

  31. 31
    DaveScot says:

    IDthink

    The GHZ is variously restricted to carbon-based technological, intelligent, and/or complex multicellular life. Simple single celled carbon-based life is thought to be possible in a far greater range. Ionizing radiation, for instance, isn’t a problem for carbon-based life shielded by hundreds of fathoms of water and is generally less of a problem for single celled organisms so the range can be extended into the spiral arms and much closer to the galactic core. But a technological species is thought to not be a possibility unless it can get out of the water to harness fire. Likewise, without an abundance of heavy elements evolution of technology is thought to be not possible.

    I just wanted to clarify that as your phrase “life as we know it” could be interpreted to mean more than that.

  32. 32
    DaveScot says:

    It appears that methodological cleansing is about to get a good swift kick in the arse by federal judges in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    http://www.ledger-enquirer.com.....414360.htm

    The natives at Panda’s Thumb, sensing a disaster was unfolding even before the court took up the matter today, are tense and restless…

    http://www.pandasthumb.org/arc.....insti.html

  33. 33
    DaveScot says:

    har har hardy har har!

    http://www.ajc.com/metro/conte.....icker.html

    All three judges on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals spanked the incompetent Clinton appointee Judge Clarence Cooper.

    I can hardly wait to see how the peanut gallery (Panda’s Thumb) reacts to this.

    I argued extensively on PT in January that Cooper was wrong and his decision would be overturned on appeal. Damn I’m good.

    Do a “find text” for “cooper” at the following link to read what I wrote it about it early this year.

    http://antievolution.org/featu.....r=davescot

  34. 34
    Bombadill says:

    TOTALLY OFF TOPIC –

    I just found out that the new church pastor’s wife is an anthropologist.

    …and rejects common descent.

    interesting.

  35. 35
    Bombadill says:

    that would be “my” church’s new pastor.

  36. 36
    IDthink says:

    Dave Scot: “The GHZ is variously restricted to carbon-based technological, intelligent, and/or complex multicellular life.”

    Right, and life based on silicon or other material may have a completely different GHZ than carbon-based life. I have a feeling that this is what Ward is talking about, rather than going back on his original hypothesis. It would have been nice to have some more information on what Cohen and Ward actually said.

  37. 37
    DaveScot says:

    IDthink

    Darn it. I forgot to add that life based on something other than carbon could extend the GHZ to unknown bounds. The problem is we don’t have the first clue about the environment required for non-carbon life. Silicon chemistry isn’t nearly as flexible as carbon chemistry either. At the risk of being labled a carbon chauvinist it doesn’t appear that there is even a remote possibility that abiogenesis could occur in any non-carbon chemistry. The possibility is sufficiently remote even with carbon to question how it could happen in just 500 million years on earth.

  38. 38
    DaveScot says:

    Reed Cartwright at Panda’s Thumb is spinning like a top and quote mining like a madman over the impending disaster that is the Cobb County School Board’s appeal on the evolution stickers.

    http://www.pandasthumb.org/arc.....rs_ow.html
    http://www.pandasthumb.org/arc.....s_rel.html
    http://www.pandasthumb.org/arc....._cobb.html
    http://www.pandasthumb.org/arc.....y_dis.html

    The second link includes a press release that concludes

    Our children deserve complete, scientifically accurate textbooks, unadulterated by politically motivated, obfuscating messages.

    These people JUST DON’T GET IT. Certainly our children deserve these things. The question is whether the constitution requires that they get these things. The clear answer to that quesion is a resounding NO. It’s a rotten shame when children get taught something in public school that’s wrong but it isn’t unconstitutional. The ACLU didn’t sue on the grounds the sticker was factually incorrect, they sued because they think it is unconstitutional!

  39. 39
    DaveScot says:

    P.S.

    I believe the Dover case will end in a similar manner. The question isn’t whether ID is factually right or wrong, or whether ID is science or pseudoscience, the question is whether the 1-minute announcement read to students before the evolution section of biology class is constitutional. The constitution does not prohibit teaching of pseudoscience so that’s an irrelevant point. I’m extremely confident that SCOTUS, if not a lower court, will rule on constitutionality of ID and acknowledge that its scientific merits are irrelevant to constitionality.

  40. 40
    Benjii says:

    Darwinists are nothing but paranoid idealogues who can’t even face the truth.

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