Intelligent Design

PZ speaks out

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PZ has done an interview. I have compiled some statements that interest us here at UD. Here is the first installment.

ON ID

Host Stephen Smith: “You spend a lot of digital ink, if you will, attacking intelligent design and the people who are behind that movement. They argue that “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process, such as natural selection.” Why do you have such scorn for these beliefs?”

Myers: “Well, for one thing, they’re dishonest. They’re grossly dishonest about this stuff. That’s not really where they’re coming from. When they say this stuff, they say, “Oh, we’re taking an objective view. We’re taking a secular view of the universe in saying that there’s a designer behind it.” They’re misleading you. That’s not where they come from. Where they come from is typically a very religious background. What intelligent design is, is taking their religious beliefs, sanitizing them of any mention of God, and presenting them in this cleaned up format. The sole premise, the sole impetus for doing this stuff is their belief in God.

There are some of the people in the intelligent design movement who are incredibly nasty, awful, and misrepresent science in ways that I cannot forgive. At the same time, when you get to know them, when you talk to them, they’re generally nice people. They’re your neighbors. They’re ordinary people. So I would say, right off the bat, no, this is not about demonizing the individuals. It’s about demonizing really, really bad ideas.

What you find with these ideas that they present is that they have no evidence for them. The evidence, if you even want to call it that, is simply this negative form where they say, “Well, evolution cannot adequately explain this phenomenon, therefore, intelligent mystery, this invisible man did it.

But what you discover also when you start talking to these people is that they have no idea what evolution is all about, so they completely miss the story there. They are not qualified to tell us what evolution does not explain.

Last year I was in a debate with Jerry Bergman, who’s a creationist who came up to the Twin Cities to debate me. His main point, is that he claimed that we evolutionists were lobbying to get the periodic table of the elements removed from classrooms because the periodic table proves irreducible complexity. I know, weird. I’m just saying: brace yourself. There is nothing that is so crazy that a creationist won’t propose it somewhere. And you’re next.”

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/06/09/bright-ideas-pz-myers/

16 Replies to “PZ speaks out

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    as to this comment:

    ‘Myers: “Well, for one thing, they’re dishonest. They’re grossly dishonest about this stuff.’

    Really PZ? And exactly how does a atheist justify belief in absolute truth in the first place so as to be able to judge when other people are being dishonest or not???

    John Lennox – Science Is Impossible Without God – Quotes – video remix
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6287271/

    Materialism simply dissolves into absurdity when pushed to extremes and certainly offers no guarantee to us for believing our perceptions and reasoning within science are trustworthy in the first place:

    Dr. Bruce Gordon – The Absurdity Of The Multiverse & Materialism in General – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5318486/

    What is the Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism? (‘inconsistent identity’ towards ’cause’ leads to the failure of the absolute truth claims for materialists) (Alvin Plantinga) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yNg4MJgTFw

    Can atheists trust their own minds? – William Lane Craig On Alvin Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byN38dyZb-k

    “But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?” – Charles Darwin – Letter To William Graham – July 3, 1881

    It is also interesting to point out that this ‘inconsistent identity’, pointed out by Plantinga, which leads to the failure of neo-Darwinists to make absolute truth claims for their beliefs, is what also leads to the failure of neo-Darwinists to be able to account for objective morality, in that neo-Darwinists cannot maintain a consistent identity towards a cause for objective morality;

    The Knock-Down Argument Against Atheist Sam Harris – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvDyLs_cReE

    “Atheists may do science, but they cannot justify what they do. When they assume the world is rational, approachable, and understandable, they plagiarize Judeo-Christian presuppositions about the nature of reality and the moral need to seek the truth.
    As an exercise, try generating a philosophy of science from hydrogen coming out of the big bang. It cannot be done. It’s impossible even in principle, because philosophy and science presuppose concepts that are not composed of particles and forces. They refer to ideas that must be true, universal, necessary and certain.” Creation-Evolution Headlines
    http://creationsafaris.com/cre.....#20110227a

    as to this statement of PZ:

    ‘What you find with these ideas that they present is that they have no evidence for them. The evidence, if you even want to call it that, is simply this negative form where they say, “Well, evolution cannot adequately explain this phenomenon, therefore, intelligent mystery, this invisible man did it.’

    Not quite right PZ:

    Basically, the materialistic argument appears to be like this:

    Premise One: No materialistic cause of specified complex information is known.
    Conclusion: Therefore, it must arise from some unknown materialistic cause

    On the other hand, Stephen Meyer describes the intelligent design argument as follows:

    “Premise One: Despite a thorough search, no material causes have been discovered that demonstrate the power to produce large amounts of specified information.
    “Premise Two: Intelligent causes have demonstrated the power to produce large amounts of specified information.
    “Conclusion: Intelligent design constitutes the best, most causally adequate, explanation for the information in the cell.”

    There remains one and only one type of cause that has shown itself able to create functional information like we find in cells, books and software programs — intelligent design. We know this from our uniform experience and from the design filter — a mathematically rigorous method of detecting design. Both yield the same answer. (William Dembski and Jonathan Witt, Intelligent Design Uncensored: An Easy-to-Understand Guide to the Controversy, p. 90 (InterVarsity Press, 2010).)

    Stephen C. Meyer – The Scientific Basis For the Intelligent Design Inference – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4104651

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    as to this comment of PZ’s:

    ‘His main point, is that he claimed that we evolutionists were lobbying to get the periodic table of the elements removed from classrooms because the periodic table proves irreducible complexity.’

    Well, I don’t think atheists want to remove the periodic table, (sinister as they are 🙂 ) but there are a few things about the periodic table that I am fairly sure you will never find a atheist such as PZ mentioning to his/her students;

    Such as:

    Carbon is the first of the ‘heavy’ elements that is exclusively formed in the interiors of stars. All the elements below carbon were exclusively, or semi-exclusively, formed within the Big Bang of the universe. The delicate balance at which carbon is synthesized in stars is truly a work of art. Fred Hoyle (1915-2001), a famed astrophysicist, is the scientist who established the nucleo-synthesis of heavier elements within stars as mathematically valid in 1946. Soon after Sir Fred discovered the stunning precision with which carbon is synthesized in stars he stated:

    “A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.” – Fred Hoyle

    As well a atheist may just happen to forget to mention this to his/her students;

    ,,,Every class of elements that exists on the periodic table of elements is necessary for complex carbon-based life to exist on earth. The three most abundant elements in the human body, Oxygen, Carbon, Hydrogen, ‘just so happen’ to be the most abundant elements in the universe, save for helium which is inert. A truly amazing coincidence that strongly implies ‘the universe had us in mind all along’. Even uranium the last naturally occurring element on the period table of elements is necessary for life. The heat generated by the decay of uranium is necessary to keep a molten core in the earth for an extended period of time, which is necessary for the magnetic field surrounding the earth, which in turn protects organic life from the harmful charged particles of the sun. As well, uranium decay provides the heat for tectonic activity and the turnover of the earth’s crustal rocks, which is necessary to keep a proper mixture of minerals and nutrients available on the surface of the earth, which is necessary for long term life on earth. (Denton; Nature’s Destiny). These following articles and videos give a bit deeper insight into the crucial role that individual elements play in allowing life:

    The Elements: Forged in Stars – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4003861

    Michael Denton – We Are Stardust – Uncanny Balance Of The Elements – Fred Hoyle Atheist to Deist/Theist – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4003877

    The Role of Elements in Life Processes
    http://www.mii.org/periodic/LifeElement.php

    Perhaps a atheist may just forget to mention this as well:

    ‘In chapter 2, I talk at some length on the Schroedinger Equation which is called the fundamental equation of chemistry. It’s the equation that governs the behavior of the basic atomic particles subject to the basic forces of physics. This equation is a partial differential equation with a complex valued solution. By complex valued I don’t mean complicated, I mean involving solutions that are complex numbers, a+b^i, which is extraordinary that the governing equation, basic equation, of physics, of chemistry, is a partial differential equation with complex valued solutions. There is absolutely no reason why the basic particles should obey such a equation that I can think of except that it results in elements and chemical compounds with extremely rich and useful chemical properties. In fact I don’t think anyone familiar with quantum mechanics would believe that we’re ever going to find a reason why it should obey such an equation, they just do! So we have this basic, really elegant mathematical equation, partial differential equation, which is my field of expertise, that governs the most basic particles of nature and there is absolutely no reason why, anyone knows of, why it does, it just does. British physicist Sir James Jeans said “From the intrinsic evidence of His creation, the great architect of the universe begins to appear as a pure mathematician”, so God is a mathematician to’. Granville Sewell – Quote taken from this interview (4:00 minute mark):

    Finely Tuned Big Bang, Elvis In The Multiverse, and the Schroedinger Equation – Granville Sewell – audio
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4233012

    perhaps a atheist would forget to mention this as well;

    It is found that not only must the right chemicals be present on earth to have life, the chemicals must also be present on the earth in ‘specific abundances’.

    Elemental Evidence of Earth’s Divine Design – Hugh Ross PhD. – April 2010
    Table: Earth’s Anomalous Abundances – Page 8
    The twenty-five elements listed below must exist on Earth in specific abundances for advanced life and/or support of civilization to be possible. For each listed element the number indicates how much more or less abundant it is, by mass, in Earth’s crust, relative to magnesium’s abundance, as compared to its average abundance in the rest of the Milky Way Galaxy, also relative to the element magnesium. Asterisks denote “vital poisons,” essential elements that if too abundant would be toxic to advanced life, but if too scarce would fail to provide the quantities of nutrients essential for advanced life. The water measure compares the amount of water in and on Earth relative to the minimum amount the best planet formation models would predict for a planet the mass of Earth orbiting a star identical to the Sun at the same distance from the Sun.

    carbon* 1,200 times less
    nitrogen* 2,400 times less
    fluorine* 50 times more
    sodium* 20 times more
    aluminum 40 times more
    phosphorus* 4 times more
    sulfur* 60 times less
    potassium* 90 times more
    calcium 20 times more
    titanium 65 times more
    vanadium* 9 times more
    chromium* 5 times less
    nickel* 20 times less
    cobalt* 5 times less
    selenium* 30 times less
    yttrium 50 times more
    zirconium 130 times more
    niobium 170 times more
    molybdenum* 5 times more
    tin* 3 times more
    iodine* 3 times more
    gold 5 times less
    lead 170 times more
    uranium 16,000 times more
    thorium 23,000 times more
    water 250 times less
    http://www.reasons.org/files/e.....010-02.pdf

    Compositions of Extrasolar Planets – July 2010
    Excerpt: ,,,the presumption that extrasolar terrestrial planets will consistently manifest Earth-like chemical compositions is incorrect. Instead, the simulations revealed “a wide variety of resulting planetary compositions.
    http://www.reasons.org/composi.....ar-planets

    etc.. etc.. etc..

  3. 3
    Joseph says:

    PZ poo-poos:

    But what you discover also when you start talking to these people is that they have no idea what evolution is all about, so they completely miss the story there.

    I get that quite a bit yet not one evo has ever supported that claim.

    PZ is dishonest- grossly dishonest about stuff

  4. 4
    Barb says:

    PZ Myers has a nasty habit of contradicting himself: “There are some of the people in the intelligent design movement who are incredibly nasty, awful, and misrepresent science in ways that I cannot forgive. At the same time, when you get to know them, when you talk to them, they’re generally nice people. They’re your neighbors. They’re ordinary people. So I would say, right off the bat, no, this is not about demonizing the individuals. It’s about demonizing really, really bad ideas.”

    You just demonized them, Mr. Myers. Please speak more coherently next time.

  5. 5
    Joseph says:

    Is there any evidence that PZ and his minions understand evolution?

    Is there any evidence that they understand Intelligent Design?

    Does PZ understand that it is the failure of his position- in all facets- that has allowe ID to persist?

  6. 6
    Mung says:

    What Darwinism is, is taking their religious beliefs, sanitizing them of any mention of God, and presenting them in this cleaned up format.

    Ah, much better.

  7. 7

    Barb, I’m happy to demonize PZ. He is an idiot. Clear enough?

  8. 8
    Ilion says:

    … He is an idiot. Clear enough?

    To be more precise, he is a fool, rather than an idiot. A fool *chooses* to be intellectually dishonest, whereas an idiot does not choose to be stupid.

  9. 9
    Ilion says:

    … one has the moral obligation to be kind to idiots and cruel to fools.

  10. 10
    Mung says:

    P.Z. Myers is his own reward.

  11. 11
    Ilion says:

    Very true, that, Mung.

  12. 12
    idnet.com.au says:

    As to whether PZ Myers “it’s not about demonizing the individuals” may be an untruth, consider tha fact that at a recent lecture he projected a slide displaying a portrait of a prominent ID person, noting that “I have to single out this man, whom I consider the most contemptable, despicable, cruel, and vicious evil liar in the creationist movement today,” spitting the words out one by one. He paused. And then, as if to emphasise the point, said “Yes. He’s a nasty, nasty person.” This was met with rapturous applause from his atheist friends.

    You be the judge of truth telling.

  13. 13
    Blue_Savannah says:

    P.Z states:

    But what you discover also when you start talking to these people is that they have no idea what evolution is all about, so they completely miss the story there.

    That’s rich considering they can’t even tell us what evolution is all about. Whenever the data contradicts previous claims, their mantra is “we have more to learn about evolution.” They can’t even agree on HOW it occurs…just that it does, praise darwin! It’s amazing because apparently, evolution can do anything (if you only believe!!)

  14. 14
    lpadron says:

    Without Dr. Myers and others like him the counterintuitive commands to pray for and love one’s enemies make little sense.

  15. 15
    Matteo says:

    Myers: “Well, for one thing, they’re dishonest. They’re grossly dishonest about this stuff. That’s not really where they’re coming from. When they say this stuff, they say, “Oh, we’re taking an objective view. We’re taking a secular view of the universe in saying that there’s a designer behind it.” They’re misleading you. That’s not where they come from. Where they come from is typically a very religious background. What intelligent design is, is taking their religious beliefs, sanitizing them of any mention of God, and presenting them in this cleaned up format. The sole premise, the sole impetus for doing this stuff is their belief in God.

    And it takes exactly one counterexample to disconfirm this quaint theory. My case will serve just fine. In 1996 I was a devout Catholic who took a Teilhardian view of Darwinian evolution as the true story of how we came to be (in particular as an example of the minimum possible grace acting in a completely fallen universe in order to still permit our existence). I was completely happy with this outlook until I started reading Behe, Johnson, and Denton, at which point for scientific, not religious reasons, I could only conclude that Darwinism was insanely, flagrantly incorrect.

    So much, then, for Myers’ quaint theory.

  16. 16
    Heinrich says:

    9

    Ilion

    06/11/2011

    3:30 pm

    … one has the moral obligation to be kind to idiots and cruel to fools.

    My understanding of Christ’s teachings is that one has a moral obligation to be kind to everyone.

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