Intelligent Design

Resistance to ID in Brazil

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Here are a two letters seeking fairer treatment for ID from the Brazilian Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS):

Dear Monserrat,

Throughout the last two years we had the privilege of seeing our texts published on this JC E-Mail pointing out the impending paradigm shift in evolutionary biology and the promotion/defense of Intelligent Design theory. However, by not publishing our last texts rebutting Pieczarcka (much earlier) and Pie (more recently) seems to indicate something: the free debate and defense of radical ideas is over in this media space. Why our rebuttal to Pieczarcka hasn’t been published yet despite the fact that the text was sent to him?

Nowadays, the suppression of Darwin dissidents is a worldwide tactics, one that in the short term will bring inesperate results to the “Scientific Nomenklatura” — for as many some sectors in the Academia close these doors and prohibit the free debate of ID and the epistemic insufficiencies of origin and evolution of life current theories, more this will call the attention of other scientists, students, non-specialized lay people that something very unusual is happening and that the ID proposals might well be worth considering with scientific integrity and rigor.

If this kind of “Scientific McCarthysm” (the intelectual tribalism that considers defenders of non-conventional ideas as enemies) has arrived on this JC E-Mail it is simply deplorable. The scientific truth may be hindered for a while, but not forever.

Truly yours,

Enézio E. de Almeida Filho

Prezado Monserrat,

Ao longo desses últimos dois anos tivemos o privilégio de ver nossos textos destacando uma iminente mudança paradigmática em biologia evolutiva e a promoção e defesa da teoria do Design Inteligente neste JC e-mail. Todavia, a não publicação de nossos últimos textos replicando a Pieczarcka (bem anterior) e a Pie (mais recente) parece indicar algo: a livre discussão e defesa de idéias radicais acabou neste espaço midiático. Por que a réplica a Pieczarcka ainda não foi publicada apesar de o texto ter sido enviado a ele?

Hoje, a supressão dos dissidentes de Darwin é tática mundial, mas que a curto prazo trará resultados inesperados para a “Nomenklatura científica” — quanto mais alguns setores da academia fecharem essas portas e proibirem a livre discussão da TDI e as insuficiências epistêmicas das atuais teorias da origem e evolução da vida, mais isso chamará a atenção dos demais cientistas, estudantes e leigos não especializados de que algo muito inusitado está ocorrendo e que as propostas do DI podem ser interessantes de serem consideradas com seriedade e rigor científico.

Se este tipo de “Macarthismo científico” (o tribalismo intelectual que considera os defensores de idéias não convencionais como inimigos) já chegou a este JC e-mail é simplesmente deplorável. A verdade científica pode ser impedida de veicular por um tempo, mas não por todo o tempo.

Atenciosamente,

Enézio E. de Almeida Filho

=-=-=-=–=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

“J’accuse!”

O texto de Marcio Pie, “Design Inteligente: ignorar o problema não vai fazer com que ele vá embora”, (JC e-mail 2984 de 14.11.05), demonstra a inquietante preocupação, o desespero kafkiano, e o ‘vale-tudo’ da subjetividade de alguns cientistas contra a teoria do Design Inteligente [TDI] por ser um fenômeno científico mundial.

O caso de Dover, Pensilvânia (EUA) não foi tentativa do movimento do Design Inteligente (MDI) para integrar a TDI ao currículo de escolas secundárias usando batalha judicial. Somos contra este tipo de ação política:
http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=3003&program=News&callingPage=discoMainPage
Michael Behe não demonstrou ginástica mental necessária para podermos considerar o DI como ciência, e nem “mudou a definição de ciência”. Para embaraçar o ‘advogado astuto’, Behe usou a definição de ciência da National Academy of Science (NAS), mas não a tipicamente usada pelos cientistas:

“uma explicação bem substanciada de algum aspecto da natureza que pode incorporar fatos, leis, e hipóteses que são testadas. A contenção de que a evolução deveria ser ensinada como ‘teoria, não como fato’ confunde o uso comum dessas palavras através da acumulação de evidência. Antes, as teorias são os pontos finais da ciência.

Elas são as compreensões que se desenvolvem através de extensiva observação, experimentação, e reflexão criativa. Elas incorporam um grande corpo de fatos científicos, leis, e hipóteses testadas, e inferências lógicas”. (Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences, 2a. ed. (1999), pg. 2).

Foi nesse sentido de ‘extensiva observação, experimentação, e reflexão criativa’ que Behe acolheu a astrologia como parte do processo de fazer ‘ciência’: as falsas teorias geralmente fornecem bons insights que ajudam a produzir melhores teorias!

Todos os teóricos e proponentes do DI acreditam que o geocentrismo e a astrologia são 100 por cento erradas, mas fizeram parte da construção de teorias mais corretas.

Será que apenas ‘poucos cientistas’ sabem o que propõe o MDI? Nós vamos responder as três questões: o que é DI? Por que DI não é ciência? Seria DI o resultado de uma teologia equivocada?

A TDI é o estudo de padrões na natureza que são melhor explicados como resultado de inteligência.

O ‘filtro explanatório de Dembski’ não detecta a identidade nem a natureza do designer porque não é um detector ontológico, mas um método científico para decidir entre acaso, necessidade e design.

A ‘complexidade irredutível’ (Behe) e a ‘informação complexa especificada’ (Dembski) são conceitos potencialmente falsificáveis (Popper) e deveriam ser empiricamente investigados. Ninguém até hoje refutou a tese de Behe nem a de Dembski.
Consideremos os ‘inúmeros obstáculos’ para a TDI ser considerada uma abordagem científica:

(1) Não há uma forma positiva de se detectar o designer.
A TDI invoca uma inteligência inobservável para explicar as características de design observáveis na natureza. Isso não depõe contra sua suficiência epistêmica, pois outras teorias científicas invocam entidades inobserváveis para explicar dados observáveis: em física teórica as forças, campos, átomos e quarks; em biologia evolutiva as formas transicionais das espécies na árvore da vida e o ancestral comum universal também são inobserváveis.

Ernst Mayr, o mais eminente dos darwinistas, afirmou: “A biologia evolutiva, em contraste com a física e a química, é uma ciência histórica – o evolucionista tenta explicar eventos e processos que já aconteceram. As leis e os experimentos são técnicas inapropriadas para a explicação de tais eventos…” in “Darwin’s Influence on Modern Thought”, in Scientific American, p. 82-83, julho de 2000.

(2) Não há nenhuma proposta sobre os mecanismos que esse designer usaria para influenciar os fenômenos estudados.
Quais são as leis da física e química propostas para a dinâmica de movimentação das placas tectônicas? Como que os mecanismos evolutivos propostos por Darwin et al. influenciam em termos de informação genética na transmutação das espécies?

(3) A abordagem do DI não faz previsões que podem ser testadas e que a “previsão” de design é sempre a posteriori”.
A teoria de Darwin não foi julgada pela capacidade de predizer resultados assim que certas variáveis tinham sido estabelecidas. Ela foi julgada comparando-se sua capacidade de explicar uma variedade de fenômenos biológicos já conhecidos (homologia, evidência fóssil e semelhança embriológica) contra o poder explicativo de teorias rivais.

Qual é o mecanismo responsável pela origem e evolução das espécies? Nihil et pluribus! mas isso não impede que seus proponentes afirmem haver evidências de evolução em todo lugar: na explosão do Cambriano, no processo de especiação, no sistema de coagulação sanguínea, na estrutura do flagelo bacteriano, no olho, no cérebro, ad infinitum.

Os mais de 400 cientistas apoiando publicamente a TDI foram convencidos da deficiência epistêmica da evolução darwiniana pela nova evidência científica e incentivam seu exame crítico:
http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=2732

O artigo ‘obscuro’ de Stephen Meyer, “The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories”, in Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 112(2) August 2004): 213-239, provocou uma ‘inquisição sem fogueiras’ contra o editor Richard Sternberg. http://www.rsternberg.net/OSC_ltr.htm

Se não apresentava ‘nenhum dado original’ (a origem da informação biológica em taxa superiores como evidência empírica de design inteligente durante a explosão cambriana), por que essa atitude de caça às bruxas?

A inexistência de mais artigos sobre a TDI é explicada, não invocando conspiração pelos cientistas, mas pela atitude de exclusão dos ‘guarda-cancelas epistemológicos’. Michael Behe que o diga: http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=450

As idéias revolucionárias de Copérnico, Galileu, Newton, Darwin foram promovidas sem o processo de revisão por pares (então inexistente). Hoje, idéias revolucionárias são ‘censuradas’ pela ideologia de muitos revisores que parecem não entender o que é ciência!

Por ser a TDI uma teoria científica e não ‘teologia’, ela não reedita o argumento do “Deus dos buracos” (sic). Ela se propõe identificar ‘sinais de inteligência’ na natureza.

Finalmente, cientistas não precisam de conselhos práticos, mas ao se depararem com essas questões, sigam as evidências aonde elas forem dar!

Hoje, nós proponentes do DI somos uma minoria entre os cientistas [cristãos e agnósticos], mas existe um grande número de dissidentes que ainda não pode se manifestar abertamente.

Uma fonte de informações sobre como a grande mídia reporta ‘a controvérsia’ é http://www.evolutionnews.org

Os leigos simpatizantes do DI são inteligentes, sabem como a ciência funciona, e usam da ‘Presunção Democrática’ de Steve Fuller para esse conhecimento e prática de ciência sem precisar que imaginários sumos sacerdotes medeiem esse conhecimento: http://www.warwick.ac.uk/~sysdt/Index.html

“J’accuse!”, a “batalha” do MDI não é uma entre ‘fé e ciência’, mas de ‘scientia qua scientia’ despida do materialismo filosófico.

24 Replies to “Resistance to ID in Brazil

  1. 1
    Josh Bozeman says:

    off topic, but has anyone seen this site?
    http://www2.antievolution.org/cs/

    EVERYDAY I see it linked to this site here…whoever runs the site stalks Dembski sort of like Huxley (who links here every single day as well like an obsessed stalker). Funny how the top of the page says it’s a with factual info. in a critical manner on the anti-evolution crowd.

    A few points:

    -ID isn’t anti-evolution, they clearly used that phrase to make ID seem somehow fringe.
    -Someone needs to look up the meaning of the phrase critical thinking. Under science news are all the posts to PT and similar sites. The anti-science section has only posts from this site, telic thoughts, and others. ANY site that is supportive of design, ID, or anything even remotely close is automatically put under anti-science.
    -It’s the same thing under ‘links’. They link to “science” sites, but the only science sites are NDE theory sites- mainly PT and the like.
    -All their posts and info. pages are clearly targeting ID sites or any site that supports any form of design or anything close to it. If any site has any of this even linked to it, they attack it and post it under anti-science, end of story.
    -Nowhere, from my search, do they show any evidence against NDE theory, they merely attack any site that does this.

    Clearly, critical thinking is NOT part of the site there…it’s merely an attack site on ID and anyone who even thinks of uttering a positive word about the theory itself or any theory that comes remotely close. What a shocker!

    I have a feeling all these sites are cousins of each other…common descent. no doubt. Again, you see the two ‘sides’ of this issue and which sides participants sound like raving madmen and which side doesn’t. oddly enough, every single post on this site here (UC) isn’t an attack on the other site. Actually, I don’t see any sites that are dedicated solely to attacking PZ, PT, or any of the other sites like this…says something important about this issue as a whole. Finally, if you look at most of these sites, you quickly see a pattern, the sites like PT, PZ, the one I link to above, etc. those posting in support seem to be far left liberals, often times FRINGE in their liberal views. They also seem to be mainly composed of those who are militantly anti-religious/religion. Ulterior motives?

  2. 2
    Renard says:

    Oh. the irony, Josh!

  3. 3
    keiths says:

    Renard,

    Four little words. So much truth.

    Bravo.

  4. 4
    Josh Bozeman says:

    Not sure what exactly it is you’re referring to. I do know that the anti-ID sites, and most of them are in fact attack sites filled with rabid loons, talk about religion more than any ID site itself I’ve ever seen. Usually, it’s targeted at attacking Christians- heck, PZ himself just made a post where he links to a clip of christ being beaten in the passion set to Benny Hill music and for some reason thinks it’s a hoot.

    I don’t see any lack of critical thinking on this site here. There have been a number of discussions on various topics, and Demsbki has the sense to keep the particpants in line…banning trolls who come by with no interest in anything but attacking, calling names, falsely labelling others with labels they don’t deserve, and just plain acting like children.

  5. 5
    DaveScot says:

    “whoever runs the site stalks Dembski”

    http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/index.jhtml

    Domain ID:D75261069-LROR
    Domain Name:ANTIEVOLUTION.ORG
    Created On:23-Jul-2001 01:33:28 UTC
    Last Updated On:22-Jul-2005 14:50:12 UTC
    Expiration Date:23-Jul-2007 01:33:28 UTC
    Sponsoring Registrar:CSL Computer Service Langenbach GmbH (R25-LROR)
    Status:CLIENT DELETE PROHIBITED
    Status:CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED
    Status:CLIENT UPDATE PROHIBITED
    Registrant ID:CORG-43068
    Registrant Name:Wesley Elsberry
    Registrant Organization:Baywing Mews

  6. 6
    DaveScot says:

    Surprise – PandasThumb.org is owned by the TalkOrigins Archive Foundation which also owns talkorigins.org.

    And although the name has been removed from current records, this google cache of ez-whois talkorigins.org

    http://64.233.167.104/search?q.....#038;hl=en

    lists the contact as

    Contact Info
    Data Url: talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc
    Phone Numbers: +[snip]
    Owner Name: Wesley Elsberry
    Email: welsberr^AT^antievolution^D0T^org
    Company Stock Ticker:

    It seems Wesley R. Elsberry is the man behind the curtains just all over the place – antievolution.org, pandasthumb.org, talkorigins.org …

  7. 7
    Josh Bozeman says:

    Wait, hasn’t Bill had problems with Elsberry running a site that posted his (Bill’s) e-mails or something? Or am I thinking of something/someone else?

  8. 8
    David Bergan says:

    Google search of uncommondescent, for “Elsberry” – 34 hits

    http://www.google.com/search?a.....8;safe=off

  9. 9
    David Bergan says:

    Google search of designinference.com, for “Elsberry” – 12 hits

    http://www.google.com/search?n.....tnG=Search

  10. 10
    Red Reader says:

    Good sleuthing guys.
    Sort of looks like the “marketing effort” is in full bloom on THEIR side?

    I’m not sure your comments about “anti-ID” sites (named “anti-evolution” sites) are all that far off topic.

    In the main topic, the letter from Enézio E. de Almeida Filho says
    “…[the more] some sectors in the Academia close these doors and prohibit the free debate of ID…[the] more this will call the attention of other scientists, students, non-specialized lay people that … the ID proposals might well be worth considering with scientific integrity and rigor.”

    I went to some of the websites Josh and Dave mention.
    What we are seeing–real-time–is a global test case of fundamental principles from Psych 101.

    As has been pointed out, what the academic and free-enterprise opposition to DISCUSSION shows is that they
    still are in the stage of aggressive denial.
    In my opinion, these people, like Darwin before them, look into the universe and see the plain evidence of Design: that information exists apart from biological systems, that all physical and material properties of the universe fit perfectly together and that in all known cases, the MOST LIKELY explanation for the “appearance” of design is “actual” design. The look, they see, they KNOW.

    But they deny. Why?

    I’ve been thinking about Dr. Dembski’s post yesterday on “evolutionary logic”.
    These people were convinced of the infallibility of Darwinism by the arguments Dr. Dembski outlined.
    Now they are using the only arguments they know to keep themselves convinced.
    (The principle is: “People treat themselves the way they treat others.” [Corollary of the Golden Rule.])

    Keeping themselves convinced is SO IMPORTANT, that it doesn’t matter as Enézio E. de Almeida points out, their efforts are counter-productive to their stated purpose.

    Having been convinced by illogical, belittling and heavy-handed “evolutionary logic”, this is the only way they know to defend their “beliefs”.
    They are afraid to believe what they clearly see with their own eyes.

    I liked what Enézio E. de Almeida wrote at the end of his letter:
    “The scientific truth may be hindered for a while, but not forever.”

    G. Jennings

  11. 11
    Bombadill says:

    Mr. Elsberry needs to take up a craft and lie down. Somebody give him something shiny to play with, already.

  12. 12
    duncharris says:

    Of course these are letters *to* the Brazilian Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS), not *from* the BAAS. i.e. claiming that the scientific establishment are discriminating against creationists rather than the BAAS endorsing pseudoscience.

  13. 13
    Josh Bozeman says:

    Did anyone see this from Evolution News and Views?

    On the hand, Dr. Tom Ingebritsen, associate professor of genetics in Iowa State’s The Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology (GDCB) has been teaching a course called “God and Science” for the past five years that presents intelligent design in at least a more neutral, if not favorable, light.. According to the Daily:

    Despite his personal views, he said he makes “every effort to be impartial,” and welcomes critical evaluation from students.

    The seminar’s impartiality came under fire in 2003, when Ingebritsen brought his proposal for re-approval to the Honors curriculum committee, a process which occurs each time.

    Ricardo Salvador, interim director for the agronomy department, said the textbook being used at the time was a “religious text that did not allow for differing interpretations.”

    Salvador said the issue was “resolved when the instructor agreed to change the textbook.” The current text is “Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution.”

    “Finding Darwin’s God” was written by the rabidly anti-ID Darwinist Ken Miller of Brown University. I hardly think that his book allows “for differing interpretations.” It provides one interpretation, Miller’s, which is that intelligent design is not science. There is no balance, no “debate” between two points of view allowed. At Iowa State, the idea of balance means that you present intelligent design in the most negative way possible.

    I read that and I actually laughed out loud. I slapped the desk and just laughed at how absurd that was. A professor complains about a science class saying another professor is using a religious text and it isn’t scientist…so what does he do? He has the professor change the textbook to a book with the word God in it twice!! After Miller’s anti-ID book is put forth, even tho it actually has the word God in it, all is fine!

    I love all this so-called open debate on college campuses! I long for the good ol’ days when colleges were impartial, balanced, and all that good stuff.

  14. 14
    Josh Bozeman says:

    Oops…’it isn’t “science” not “scientist”‘- it’s nearly 7 AM and I’m half asleep. 🙂

  15. 15
    Red Reader says:

    OFF TOPIC
    Josh, Dave: What news readers or rss readers do you use? Do your readers keep track of updates to comments? I’m using “Bloglines”; when I want to track comments to comments, I have to refresh, go to bottom and find the last comment I read, then go from there. Is there a better way?
    Thanks

  16. 16
    Benjii says:

    Doesn’t Elsberry run the anti-evolution.org. Who is that guy? He’s such a shady character. Does he try to derail all dissentors from evolution?

  17. 17
    keiths says:

    Off topic —
    I’m new to RSS and have a question related to Red Reader’s:
    I’ve noticed that there is an RSS feed for each post. Is there a single feed which applies to the entire blog?

  18. 18
    wheadgib says:

    Elsberry is a nasty little atheist who of course can’t stand any real science or real scientists who have actual evidence against his fragile little worldview. For more information about Elsberry and his ilk one should look at http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/E.....Conspiracy which gives a great summary of what they are up to.

  19. 19
    crandaddy says:

    That is absolutely one of the funniest things I have ever seen!!! :)) Thanks a million, Wheadgib! I have a real smart-ass of a cousin who will just LOVE this stuff; I’m going to send him this link at once!

  20. 20
    DaveScot says:

    Red

    I don’t use RSS feeds but I’ll probably start as soon as Internet Explorer 7 is released which has RSS subscriptions built into the browser.

  21. 21
    Spoonwood says:

    Actually, it’s still there. Here, I’ll post it again.
    I wholeheartedly think your Intelligen Design ideas are good and meaningful Dr. Dembski. The anti-Idists are stubborn, dogmatic, and do not really think about what ID says and means. But, I think you actually don’t go far enough. Irreducible Complexity needs to be pointed in many more places. After all, remove a valve from the heart and it fails. Remove a muscle from the heart and it fails too! You can find more examples here http://www.re-discovery.org/behe.html
    We also need to teach Chemical Design too, instead of that bigamist… er… bigoted theory of the neo-Mendeleevian synthesis. After all, many Mendeleevian Periodicists, as they call themselves, can’t even decide whether hydrogen goes on the right or the left side of the periodic table. Don’t they know the difference between right and not-right? Don’t these chemists with their ‘noble’ gases clearly attribute racial meanings to their molecules? And why aren’t we telling students that the Mendeleevians only have the Schrodinger wave equation of quantum mechanics for the structure of hydrogen? Their theory has well over one hundred elements. And they only have the mathematical structure of one little element? As any schoolboy could see, that’s not even 1%. That doesn’t even cover the mathematical structures of more complex molecules? Yet we’re suppose to ‘buy all this’? I certianly think not. Chemical Design explains much more and will rid the world of that hideous chemical hypothesis of Mendeleev.
    Teach Chemical Design Dr. Dembski. Promote it at political events. And make sure everyone knows about it. And don’t forget the revised periodic table of the elements: http://www.re-discovery.org/per_table_lg.gif

  22. 22
    Benjii says:

    I thought Elsberry was a theist who believed that God used evolution. I asked him that, once, on PT. He directed me to a site that talked about who’s who in evolution. He classified himself as a creationist evolutionist. I never thought he was an atheist.

  23. 23
    Benjii says:

    The http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/E.....Conspiracy site was the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.

  24. 24
    Usurper says:

    I know! How stupid!

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