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Bustrak on Differences between ID, Creationism & Evolution


Bustrak’s insightful comparisons and interesting definition and basis for Intelligent Design are published as an Opinion Article 2007-09-12 on the Michigan Tech Lode:


Web Exclusive: The differences between Intelligent Design, Creationism, and Evolution

By: John Bustrak

“Three terms, addressing the same issue, where everything in existence comes from, e.g. origins, are hotly contested. For the sake of the reader, I will define the terms as they relate to the issue of origins to the best of my ability:

Evolution: the belief that everything came into existence through naturalistic (non-supernatural) means, that through chemical interactions the basics of life formed, then evolved into every living thing that now exists.

Creationism: the belief that some sort of supernatural identity (deity or deities) created that which exists through divine fiat. Some combine this with a non-naturalistic form of evolution for a belief system in which a deity or deities created the basics of life, which then evolved.

Intelligent Design: The belief that since scientifically, nothing else is possible, life was created as, or very close to, what exists today. . . .” See full article.

"The differences between Biblical creationism and the IDM should become clear. As an unashamedly Christian/creationist organization, ICR is concerned with the reputation of our God and desires to point all men back to Him. We are not in this work merely to do good science, although this is of great importance to us. We care that students and society are brainwashed away from a relationship with their Creator/Savior. While all creationists necessarily believe in intelligent design, not all ID proponents believe in God. ID is strictly a non-Christian movement, and while ICR values and supports their work, we cannot join them."- John Morris, president of the Institute for Creation Research
I agree- the wording isn't correct. The wording suggests that the designer is still around and active. Although that could be the case it isn't a requirement. Yes, it is true the Intelligent Design implies an Intelligent Designer. That allows us to make assumptions about the designer(s). That is we can assume the designer(s) is(are) at least as clever as all the designers we have observed. Joseph
Joseph, idnet.com.au: What bothers me about Kevin Miller's quote is that it seems to characterize ID in terms advantageous to our adversaries. Note the phrase, ...."GOD OR WHOEVER YOU BEELIEVE TO BE THE INTELLIGENT DESIGNER-IS LITERALLY AT THE HEART OF NATURE ITSELF"... ID's methodology doesn't begin with a presupposition like that. Can we afford to be portrayed in that fashion even by our friends? StephenB
StephenB Good quote. "All the IDers are saying is that such forces are simply inadequate to explain the origin and development of life." IDers are also saying that Intelligent Design is an adequate and scientific explanation for very important and central features of both nature and the biosphere. idnet.com.au
The meanings of evolution, from Darwinism, Design and Public Education: 1. Change over time; history of nature; any sequence of events in nature 2. Changes in the frequencies of alleles in the gene pool of a population 3. Limited common descent: the idea that particular groups of organisms have descended from a common ancestor. 4. The mechanisms responsible for the change required to produce limited descent with modification, chiefly natural selection acting on random variations or mutations. 5. Universal common descent: the idea that all organisms have descended from a single common ancestor. 6. “Blind watchmaker” thesis: the idea that all organisms have descended from common ancestors solely through an unguided, unintelligent, purposeless, material processes such as natural selection acting on random variations or mutations; that the mechanisms of natural selection, random variation and mutation, and perhaps other similarly naturalistic mechanisms, are completely sufficient to account for the appearance of design in living organisms. Intelligent Design argues against evolution #6 with the following caveat:
Intelligent design is a good explanation for a number of biochemical systems, but I should insert a word of caution. Intelligent design theory has to be seen in context: it does not try to explain everything. We live in a complex world where lots of different things can happen. When deciding how various rocks came to be shaped the way they are a geologist might consider a whole range of factors: rain, wind, the movement of glaciers, the activity of moss and lichens, volcanic action, nuclear explosions, asteroid impact, or the hand of a sculptor. The shape of one rock might have been determined primarily by one mechanism, the shape of another rock by another mechanism. Similarly, evolutionary biologists have recognized that a number of factors might have affected the development of life: common descent, natural selection, migration, population size, founder effects (effects that may be due to the limited number of organisms that begin a new species), genetic drift (spread of "neutral," nonselective mutations), gene flow (the incorporation of genes into a population from a separate population), linkage (occurrence of two genes on the same chromosome), and much more. The fact that some biochemical systems were designed by an intelligent agent does not mean that any of the other factors are not operative, common, or important.- Dr Michael Behe
The question is did life's diversity arise via culled genetic accidents or was it designed to diversify? Joseph
idnet.com.au; Good work. I wish Bustrak had used your definition and included Theistic evolution. Even our friends, it seems, don't always get it right. This happens a lot. What do you think of this comment by Kevin Miller, one of the writers for the movie "Exelled?" The emphasis is mine. When I say ID is friendly to belief in God in a way that classical Darwinism is not, what I mean is Darwinism literally has no need for the God hypothesis. According to Darwinists like Richard Dawkins, everything can be explained purely by natural forces–including the origin of information, consciousness, and life itself. If you want to bring God into the picture, that is a belief that you are adding to science. It is not required by the science itself, and many Neo-Darwinists believe it gets in the way of science. ID, ON THE OTHER HAND, SUGGESTS THAT RATHER THAN SOMETHING TACKED ON TO ONE’S INTERPRETATION OF SCIENCE, GOD-OR WHOEVER YOU BEELIEVE TO BE THE INTELLIGENT DESIGNER-IS LITERALLY AT THE HEART OF NATURE ITSELF, AS EXPRESSED THROUGH INFORMATION LIKE THE GENETIC CODE. THEREFORE, THE SEARCH FOR POTENTIAL SIGNS OF INTELLIGENCE IN NATURE BECOMES A LEGITIMATE SCIENTIFIC ENTERPRISE RATHER THAN A PSEUDO-SCIENTIFIC ONE. IDers are essentially asking the same question as the Darwinists: How did the information get there? What separates them from the Darwinists is that they are willing to consider intelligence as one possible cause. This is not to deny the power of mechanisms like random mutation and natural selection. All the IDers are saying is that such forces are simply inadequate to explain the origin and development of life. Once again, it is not just the IDers who are questioning this. There is huge debate amongst the Darwinists themselves as to which mechanisms are most important and at what level (group, individual, molecular) they operate.– http://ArtsAndFaith.com/index.php?s=&showtopic=16419&view=findpost&p=156729 To me, that description comes across as a hybrid CS/ID. What do we do about that? Will others in the movie provide the proper nuances? StephenB
I think that all the definitions are somewhat problematic. I prefer to use the following definitions. Evolution; The universe and life arose and changed over time. Evolution is divided into those who believe that the origin and the change over time is solely the result of simple natural law, These believers are termed "Naturalists". Then there are those who believe that the origins and changes "evolution" were guided by an agency detectably, Those believers are termed Intelligent Designists. Then there are those who believe that the origins and changes "evolution" were guided by an agency undetectably. These are termed Theistic Evolutionists. Creationism describes the belief that changes over time are detectable and that Biblical Revelation is needed to correctly interpret raw physical data. idnet.com.au
Larry Fafarman, I agree with you that many other issues can and have been used as effective criticisms of Darwinism, yet the main battle of the ID/Evo Debate is being done on the molecular level right now, with Behe recently upping the ante and extending the argument to the "co-adaptations", if you will, of the malaria/human interaction. These are baby steps I admit, yet this is currently where the objective observational data is at. The molecular level is where the battle will ultimately be won for ID because this is where "the rubber meets the road" scientifically speaking. To go beyond the observational data on the molecular level, that we currently have, is to really go beyond what is considered hard science and to thus join Darwinists in a tit for tat of "just so" stories. So as of now, even though the preposterousness of the co-evolution scenarios is very persuasive, it is beyond the observational data as far as our intimate knowledge of molecular biology is concerned. bornagain77
" (Welcome to) Intelligent Design, leave your (the) baggage behind." Joseph
People so often overlook non-ID criticisms of Darwinism -- e.g., criticisms based on co-evolution and the propagation of beneficial mutations in sexual reproduction. Often these non-ID criticisms do not dispute the effectiveness of the Darwinian mechanisms of random mutation and natural selection. For example, co-evolution is completely different from adaptation to widespread fixed physical features of the environment, e.g., water, land, air, and climate, because in co-evolution there may be nothing to adapt to because the corresponding co-dependent feature in the other organism may be initially absent. Larry Fafarman
I don't think that his definition of Evolution is very accurate. It does not impart any understanding of current evolutionary theory. In addition I disagree "that through chemical interactions the basics of life formed" is a defining characteristic of evolutionary theory. I am in agreement with SCheesman that the definition of ID is also lacking. The personal story in paragraph seven was very enjoyable, but the last few sentences of it contained a couple logical fallacies, so not very convincing. I am in agreement about the attitude of some people. There can always be more talking and less hurling of insults in the world. Aph
"Intelligent Design: The belief that since scientifically, nothing else is possible, life was created as, or very close to, what exists today" I'd say this is a strange way of defining ID. Since "nothing else is possible"? That's incorrect. It's simply that the information/complexity we observe in biological systems is best explained by design. We know intelligence can produce what we see...humans design and build machines all the time. We do not know that unguided, unintelligent processes can do the same - nor do we have any reason to believe so, other than a commitment to atheism. shaner74
"The belief that since scientifically, nothing else is possible, life was created as, or very close to, what exists today. . . .” This seems to display the same sort of ignorance of ID that the author is decrying. ID is quite compatible with front-loading everything into the original created "phylogenetic stem cell" (thank-you DS), and many of its proponents have no quarrel with the general evolution of life as laid out by paleontologists and biologists, as derived from the fossil record. Joseph, you are quite correct with your quote, but got something snappier? SCheesman
Intelligent Design on three premises and the inference that follows (DeWolf et al., Darwinism, Design and Public Education, pg. 92): 1. High information content (or specified complexity) and irreducible complexity constitute strong indicators or hallmarks of (past) intelligent design. 2. Biological systems have a high information content (or specified complexity) and utilize subsystems that manifest irreducible complexity. 3. Naturalistic mechanisms or undirected causes do not suffice to explain the origin of information (specified complexity) or irreducible complexity. 4. Therefore, intelligent design constitutes the best explanations for the origin of information and irreducible complexity in biological systems. No baggage necessary. Joseph

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