Intelligent Design

ID and Science Education

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IPFW religious forum explores the nature of science
Staff reports
Tuesday, 10 November 2009 08:33

www.fwdailynews.com

The Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) University Religious Forum will host “Understanding the Nature of Science: Why Intelligent Design is Considered a Pseudo-Science” with Jeff Nowak, Ph.D., Thursday, Nov. 19, from noon to 1:15 p.m. in IPFW Walb Student Union, Room G21.

The presentation is free and open to the public. A simple lunch is served; donations are accepted. Reservations are not necessary. The series is sponsored by IPFW Campus Ministry.

Nowak is an associate professor of science education at IPFW and director of Northeast Indiana Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (NISTEM) Education Resource Center. He will discuss why people believe the theory of intelligent design is not true science and attempt to demonstrate that intelligent design should be considered a scientific theory.

29 Replies to “ID and Science Education

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    I am trying to think of a “curriculum” for teaching ID.

    I am not opposed to teaching ID in schools, and even in science classes.

    For example, the last project of this hypothetical course might be to:

    Students will prepare a paper defending one of the following:

    1.) ID can be detected in biology.

    2.) ID cannot be detected in biology.

    The course itself would limit itself to ID apart from biology, and obviously would not then be taught in a biology course, but would lend itself to a science class.

  2. 2
    DiEb says:

    Articles like W. Dembski’s and R. Marks’s “The Search for a Search” will shape the view of Intelligent Design in general and help us to judge whether it is a scientific theory. So, when will it be published? Any problems?

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    It seems that since Darwinists are having such a hard time brainwashing (oh I mean teaching) people into the “fact” that their great great grand-pappy was a mud puddle in Britain, according to consistent opinion polls that favor the teaching of ID alongside evolution in Britain, that Darwinists have now up the ante and have spearheaded a national curriculum to brainwash (opps I mean teach again) children in primary schools. (Since when are any of the other sciences required to be taught this early). Watch out they’ll be coming for our elementary school children next.

    Scientists win place for evolution in primary schools
    “Providing children with an understanding of it (non-factual evolutionary cartoons/propaganda) at an early age will help lay the foundations for a surer scientific understanding later on.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/educ.....-education

    “Give me the youth, and Germany will rule the World” Adolf Hitler

    “Let me control the textbooks and I will control the state. The state will take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing. Your child belongs to us already..what are you?” Adolf Hitler

    Quotes taken from:

    A History of Textbook Propaganda
    http://www.hyperhistory.net/ap.....aganda.htm

  4. 4

    Re Mung’s comment #1:

    Students will prepare a paper defending one of the following:

    1.) ID can be detected in biology.

    2.) ID cannot be detected in biology.

    The course itself would limit itself to ID apart from biology, and obviously would not then be taught in a biology course, but would lend itself to a science class.

    This was precisely the charge which I gave my students in our evolution/design seminar at Cornell in 2006 (see http://evolutionlist.blogspot......rpose.html)

    You can read the research papers that the participants in this course submitted here: http://evolutionanddesign.blogsome.com/papers/

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    DiEb, could you please reference your exact peer-reviewed empirical evidence, drawn from direct lab work, for your presupposing evolution to be true, and so as well to lay the necessary foundation you absolutely need to make a coherent mathematical model to challenge Dembski and Mark’s model in the first place. i.e. I am you point blank for direct lab work that clearly indicates that information can be generated by natural processes and thus substantiate your claims for inconsistency between the model and reality!

    If and when you produce this necessary evidence we will then work on you getting this following paper falsified!

    The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity: David L. Abel – Null Hypothesis For Information Generation – 2009 To focus the scientific communitys attention on its own tendencies toward overzealous metaphysical imagination bordering on wish-fulfillment, we propose the following readily falsifiable null hypothesis, and invite rigorous experimental attempts to falsify it: Physicodynamics cannot spontaneously traverse The Cybernetic Cut: physicodynamics alone cannot organize itself into formally functional systems requiring algorithmic optimization, computational halting, and circuit integration. http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/pdf http://mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/ag

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    correction:
    i.e. I am ASKING you point blank,,,,

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    To make the problem you face clear Dieb, here is a quote from the Abel paper:

    The Cybernetic Cut is perhaps the
    most fundamental divide of scientifically addressable reality. A monstrous ravine runs through
    presumed objective reality. It is the great divide between physicality and formalism. On the one side of this Grand Canyon lies everything that can be explained by the chance and necessity of
    physicodynamics. On the other side lies those phenomena than can only be explained by formal choice
    contingency and decision theory—the ability to choose with intent what aspects of ontological being
    will be preferred, pursued, selected, rearranged, integrated, organized, preserved, and used.

  8. 8
    DiEb says:

    DiEb, could you please reference your exact peer-reviewed empirical evidence, drawn from direct lab work, for your presupposing evolution to be true, and so as well to lay the necessary foundation you absolutely need to make a coherent mathematical model to challenge Dembski and Mark’s model in the first place. i.e. I am you point blank for direct lab work that clearly indicates that information can be generated by natural processes and thus substantiate your claims for inconsistency between the model and reality!

    my critique of Dembski’s and Marks’s paper “A Search for a Search” is independent of
    -actual lab work
    -whether the theory of evolution is true or not

    Your post indicates that you have neither understood (or even read) Dembski’s and Marks’s paper nor the concerns I have.

  9. 9
    Collin says:

    Sounds like Mr. Nowak is a proponent of ID. I wish I could attend.

    Mr. MacNeill, if I wasn’t at work, I would read some of those papers. I appreciate you giving that assignment to your students/participants. Did you find the number of defenders of one side outnumbering defenders of another side?

  10. 10

    Greetings, Collin:

    Instead of giving my possibly biased opinion, I would rather let the papers speak for themselves. As the introduction at the link indicates, this was a self-selected group of students: they chose to let their papers be posted publicly on the course website. However, it is also the case that these six papers represent the majority of the students enrolled in the seminar. In all, there was a total of eleven registered students, plus three faculty members — Warren Allman, Will Provine, and myself — and four members of the Cornell IDEA Club, whom I had invited to participate as co-presenters for the seminar course). Eighteen participants all together, and about evenly split between evolution and ID supporters (only one of the ID supporters was a young Earth creationist, however).

  11. 11

    Also, the average final grade in the course was an A- (like the children in Lake Wobegon, my students are all above average), including the papers submitted by ID supporters.

  12. 12
    Collin says:

    Thanks Mr. MacNeill.

  13. 13
    Joseph says:

    He could open the presentation with:

    “Those who say ID is pseudo-science fall under one of two categories:

    1- Those with a warped definition of “science”

    and

    2- Those with a warped view of ID”

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    Dieb states:

    “my critique of Dembski’s and Marks’s paper “A Search for a Search” is independent of
    -actual lab work
    -whether the theory of evolution is true or not”

    Well I fail to see your math’s relevance if you cannot tie your presuppositions of math to reality in a meaningful way i.e. Does not the whole disagreement turn into a game of “He said,,NO NO,, She said” if you do not adhere to reality in a thorough way in your math?,,, You, being heavily involved in math, probably scoff at such demands for immediate verifiability, but I guess that is why I always loved the equations of physics so much (though far from fully comprehending them all), because there it is, math and reality,,,each symbol hitting a home run,,, BOOM BOOM BOOM,,, right there in your face,,, tied so tightly together,,screaming of its immediacy and truthfulness!!!, So please pardon me for not finding much interest in your field and being less than impressed,, I just find it a bit too abstract,, surely it has connect to reality somehow I keep asking,, but you just shrug off experimentation as if it matters not to you,,, and that is why I frankly just fail to see the relevance of it all if you can’t tie it to reality somehow, as the math with physics is clearly tied! Don’t you see my concern?

  15. 15
    R0b says:

    bornagain77:

    but you just shrug off experimentation as if it matters not to you,,, and that is why I frankly just fail to see the relevance of it all if you can’t tie it to reality somehow, as the math with physics is clearly tied! Don’t you see my concern?

    I see it. You’re not the first to point out the failure to find an application of this math to anything in the real world. Olle Haggstrom and Mark Chu Carroll, for instance, have voiced the same criticism.

    The problem is that your complaint directed it to the wrong party. The math is not Dieb’s, but rather Marks and Dembski’s. It is they who have failed to connect the math to physical reality. I agree with your criticism, and I’m glad you’re on our side.

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    Rob, in my very limited knowledge of the finer points of math, please try to explain to me why your model, and/or falsification, connects to reality in a meaningful way and Dembski and Mark’s doesn’t, since as far as I can tell their model is in complete agreement with all experimentation to date. i.e. Did you not have to “abstractly” prove evolution to be possible in order to falsify their model?

  17. 17
    R0b says:

    bornagain77:

    Rob, in my very limited knowledge of the finer points of math, please try to explain to me why your model, and/or falsification, connects to reality in a meaningful way and Dembski and Mark’s doesn’t

    I don’t know what you’re referring to when you speak of my model and my falsification.

    since as far as I can tell their model is in complete agreement with all experimentation to date

    Since the paper deals strictly with math, and it doesn’t claim to model anything in the real world, how can it agree or disagree with experiments? What experiments did you have in mind?

    Did you not have to “abstractly” prove evolution to be possible in order to falsify their model?

    You seem to have missed the point that the paper makes no attempt to connect the math to the plausibility of evolution, or to anything else in the real world. Even if it it did, why would evolution have to be proven in order to critique the paper? Conclusions don’t have to be proven false in order to critique arguments.

  18. 18
    osteonectin says:

    BA77:

    ,,,

    Could you please get a new keyboard. The readability of your posts is getting close to zero.

  19. 19
    bornagain77 says:

    Well Rob, as far as I can tell their math says it is impossible for evolutionary searches to generate information. And That is exactly what the evidence is telling us! Thus their math seems to connect directly, or at least semi-directly, to what reality is telling us is possible for evolutionary searches. Though since their math must be basically a proof that can only be falsified by a positive test result for evolution, I can imagine that the parameters may be a bit fuzzy on the strict limits to allow for searches and other parameters. Now if a evolutionist were to put up some equations for information generation that related to the physics of the universe somehow (highly entertaining thought seeing as “pure information” is foundational to reality), then he would have no such problems for setting limits for searches, because their should be an immediate, or at least semi-immediate, correlation to be ascertained that could offer confirming proof to his equation. Whereas Dembski and Marks do not have such an advantage for a confirming proof, just a rigorous model for what NOT to expect. Thus an evolutionists would not have such a problem to deal with as Dembski and Marks are dealing with. See what I am saying? At any rate I have a high level of confidence in the work of both Dr. Dembski and Dr. Marks, both are extremely capable as is evident from there previous work, and I feel they will make the model as rigorous as is possible considering the type of problem to be dealt with.

  20. 20
    AussieID says:

    Allen_MacNeill,

    I’ve just perused the papers. It’s great seeing passionate young minds at work!

    I commend your opening up the forum to this practise, because no matter how many rabid types try to shut down a conversation, a conversation is required and can be learnt from. It’s after the best arguments are put forward that decisions can be adequately made.

    I note that it was 2006 that these students posted their work. Have you continued with this course recently or was this a once-off?

    Progression in science and philosophy continues to churn forward and newer arguments and (hopefully) resolution to aspects of older ones may be advanced in others. I always like to read the work of up-and-coming researchers.

  21. 21
    DiEb says:

    @bornagain77,

    before A. Wiles, there existed “proofs” of Fermat’s Last Theorem. That these were wrong was independent from the validity of this theorem

    OTOH, when someone claims to have a squaring of the circle, you know that he is wrong, as this is impossible.

    So, to what category does Marks’s and Dembskis’s Horizontal New Free Lunch theorem belong?

    Neither – nor: I think that I’ve shown that it is a somewhat nonsensical statement, right for a guess, but wrong for even a simple search.

  22. 22

    I change the focus question of the seminar in the history of biology every summer. In 2007 the question was “Evolution and Religion: Is Religion Adaptive?”, in 2008 the question was “Evolution and Ethics: Is Morality Natural?”, and in 2009 the question was “Evolution: Is free will an illusion?” I haven’t yet decided on a focus question for next summer, but am considering returning to the theme from 2006: “Evolution and Design: Is There Purpose in Nature?”

    Should be interesting…

  23. 23
    Joseph says:

    R0b:

    I don’t know what you’re referring to when you speak of my model and my falsification.

    Are yoiu saying that you are one of those intellectual cowards without a position to defend and also thinks their ignorance of ID is some sort of refutation?

    That figures…

    And speaking about the real world why is it that the anti-IDists cannot fond any evidence in the real world to support their position?

  24. 24
    Oramus says:

    Allen MacNeil,

    Thanks for the links to your students papers. The paper on mimickry got me thinking about something.

    Do you happen to know if any experiments been done to determine if peppered moths can change into colors such as red, yellow, green, etc?

    I ask because I find it peculiar that peppered moths would only change from white to black. In fact, I would suggest that a peppered moth’s inability to change into any other color would demonstrate empirical support for Behe’s edge of evolution.

    It would confirm that organisms are limited in what they can do, suggesting each organism was designed to fill specific niches; in the case of the peppered moth, that they only required periodic, reversible change from white to black pigmentation to maintain equilibrium in their particular niche.

    I would go further to say NS cannot help an organism break out of its adaptive landscape, confirming the observation that adaptive mechanisms have no relation to historical evolutionary mechanisms.

    When you have a moment to spare, your comments would be appreciated.

  25. 25
    DiEb says:

    @Joseph – the relevant models for “A Search for a Search”

    Dembski and Marks: a search of m steps on a space Ω can be modeled by a probability measure on Ω^m, thus any subset of Ω^m can be searched for.

    DiEb: in this model, only few subsets of Ω^m represent feasible searches.

  26. 26
    R0b says:

    bornagain77:

    Well Rob, as far as I can tell their math says it is impossible for evolutionary searches to generate information.

    That’s incorrect. Their framework includes three information measures, all defined as properties of searches. So unless the evolutionary search generates another search, the question of whether the evolutionary search generates information doesn’t even make sense according to M&D’s definitions.

    If we really want to measure the information output of a search, we’ll have to come up with our own information measure in order to do so. A natural definition would be log|Ω|, where |Ω| is the size of the search space. After all, for typical searches, we have no idea where the search will end, so each potential outcome has a probability of 1/|Ω|. Note that this is how Dembski came up with a value of 133 bits for the target phrase METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL in his book No Free Lunch.

    But the active information pre-loaded in a search is virtually guaranteed to be less than log|Ω|, so it would seem that searches virtually always generate information. If this result bothers you, then welcome to the terminological problems that surround M&D’s framework.

    If you want to know what M&D’s work entails, you have to look at the math. Labels like “information” and “search” are misleading when applied to the concepts in their framework, so superficial reading is bound to result in misunderstanding.

  27. 27
    Joseph says:

    But the active information pre-loaded in a search is virtually guaranteed to be less than log|?|, so it would seem that searches virtually always generate information.

    what if the search is for something that doesn’t exist.

    Information output 1- “haven’t found it yet”

    2- “haven’t found it yet”

    3- “haven’t found it yet”

    .
    .
    .
    10^100000000- “haven’t found it yet”

    Concepts like “search” do not apply to blind watchmaker scenarios.

  28. 28
    Mung says:

    I haven’t yet decided on a focus question for next summer, but am considering returning to the theme from 2006: “Evolution and Design: Is There Purpose in Nature?”

    An interesting twist on this might be to explore the question from the position of Darwin’s contemporary, Alfred Russel Wallace.

  29. 29
    Fallen says:

    As a student at IPFW and and ID enthusiast, I’m really excited that we have an ID speaker coming to our campus. I plan to watch, take notes, and talk to Dr. Nowak. Thanks for coming!

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