Intelligent Design

The Public Debate I Would Love to Hear: Behe Versus Dawkins

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Here’s how a debate between Behe and Dawkins would go:

Behe would present this.

In response, Dawkins would counter:

Once upon a time there was a squirrel-like creature that jumped from a tree at a certain height; let us call it H. Then, through random mutations, the squirrel-like creature got some flaps under its arms, which broke its fall. Just follow this logic and it’s easy to see how birds and bats evolved by random mutation and natural selection from non-flying ancestors!”

Dawkins won’t debate Behe because Dawkins’s version of “science” is the above, and Behe’s version of science is actually evaluating the evidence.

64 Replies to “The Public Debate I Would Love to Hear: Behe Versus Dawkins

  1. 1
    Single_Malt says:

    For Behe’s version of science we can do little better than examine his 2005 Kitzmiller v Dover testimony.

    Q: And using your definition, intelligent design is a scientific theory, correct?

    Behe: Yes

    Q: Under that same definition astrology is a scientific theory under your definition, correct?

    Behe: Under my definition, a scientific theory is a proposed explanation which focuses or points to physical, observable data and logical inferences. There are many things throughout the history of science which we now think to be incorrect which nonetheless would fit that — which would fit that definition. Yes, astrology is in fact one, and so is the ether theory of the propagation of light, and many other — many other theories as well.

    So there you have it; Behe’s version of science.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Phillip Johnson, though not near the refined ‘scientific caliber’ of Dr. Behe, actually took that ‘squirrel-like creature’ argument on, rather effectively, in this blast from the past video, starting at the about the 20 minute mark:

    Darwinism On Trial (Phillip E. Johnson) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwj9h9Zx6Mw

  3. 3
    mike1962 says:

    Astrology makes falsifiable predictions against model that can be empirically tested. Of course, it fails miserably, but how is that not scientific?

  4. 4
    Single_Malt says:

    Astrology makes falsifiable predictions against model that can be empirically tested.

    Which in itself puts it light years ahead of intelligent design.

  5. 5
    Joseph says:

    And that means it is many more light years ahead of your position, which is light years behind ID.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Single_Malt perhaps when you get through with,,,

    Argument Ad Hominem ? (William Lane Craig) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX3beh6g1Qg

    ,,,maybe you would like to have a moment of honesty, at least with yourself, and actually address the scientific evidence Behe puts forth, such as in the link Gil provided, instead of taking what you think are cheap shots at the man??? Or is truth a distant second in your view of science?? I would hope that you would at least have enough integrity in these matters to honestly look at the evidence!

  7. 7
    Joseph says:

    BTW SM (or is it Alan)- anyway- Behe explained his position on astrology in his deposition. His testimony was an extension of that.

    But anyway- what is YOUR version of science?

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    SM, Actually ID does put itself in a place of falsification by the scientific evidence:

    Michael Behe on Falsifying Intelligent Design – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8jXXJN4o_A

    ID even has a null hypothesis that purely material processes will never generate functional information:

    Three subsets of sequence complexity and their relevance to biopolymeric information – Abel, Trevors
    Excerpt: Shannon information theory measures the relative degrees of RSC and OSC. Shannon information theory cannot measure FSC. FSC is invariably associated with all forms of complex biofunction, including biochemical pathways, cycles, positive and negative feedback regulation, and homeostatic metabolism. The algorithmic programming of FSC, not merely its aperiodicity, accounts for biological organization. No empirical evidence exists of either RSC of OSC ever having produced a single instance of sophisticated biological organization. Organization invariably manifests FSC rather than successive random events (RSC) or low-informational self-ordering phenomena (OSC).,,,

    Testable hypotheses about FSC

    What testable empirical hypotheses can we make about FSC that might allow us to identify when FSC exists? In any of the following null hypotheses [137], demonstrating a single exception would allow falsification. We invite assistance in the falsification of any of the following null hypotheses:

    Null hypothesis #1
    Stochastic ensembles of physical units cannot program algorithmic/cybernetic function.

    Null hypothesis #2
    Dynamically-ordered sequences of individual physical units (physicality patterned by natural law causation) cannot program algorithmic/cybernetic function.

    Null hypothesis #3
    Statistically weighted means (e.g., increased availability of certain units in the polymerization environment) giving rise to patterned (compressible) sequences of units cannot program algorithmic/cybernetic function.

    Null hypothesis #4
    Computationally successful configurable switches cannot be set by chance, necessity, or any combination of the two, even over large periods of time.

    We repeat that a single incident of nontrivial algorithmic programming success achieved without selection for fitness at the decision-node programming level would falsify any of these null hypotheses. This renders each of these hypotheses scientifically testable. We offer the prediction that none of these four hypotheses will be falsified.
    http://www.tbiomed.com/content/2/1/29

    Whereas neo-Darwinism, despite whatever Darwinists may say, has already been falsified by the scientific evidence:

    Falsification Of Neo-Darwinism by Quantum Entanglement/Information
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p8AQgqFqiRQwyaF8t1_CKTPQ9duN8FHU9-pV4oBDOVs/edit?hl=en_US

    further notes:

    How to Play the Gene Evolution Game – Casey Luskin – Feb. 2010
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....ution.html

    Seeing Ghosts in the Bushes (Part 2): How Is Common Descent Tested? – Paul Nelson – Feb. 2010
    Excerpt: Fig. 6. Multiple possible ad hoc or auxiliary hypotheses are available to explain lack of congruence between the fossil record and cladistic predictions. These may be employed singly or in combination. Common descent (CD) is thus protected from observational challenge.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....es_pa.html

    Materialists like to claim evolution is indispensable to experimental biology and led the way to many breakthroughs in medicine, Yet in a article entitled “Evolutionary theory contributes little to experimental biology”, this expert author begs to differ.

    “Certainly, my own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution. Nor did Alexander Fleming’s discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin. I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin’s theory was wrong. The responses were all the same: No.
    Philip S. Skell – Professor at Pennsylvania State University.
    http://www.discovery.org/a/2816

    Darwinian Medicine and Proximate and Evolutionary Explanations – Michael Egnor – neurosurgeon – June 2011
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....47701.html

    Science Owes Nothing To Darwinian Evolution – Jonathan Wells – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4028096

    200 Years After Darwin – What Darwin Didn’t Know – Jonathan Wells – Simmons – Doug Axe – video
    http://www.truveo.com/200-Year.....2049477091

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Whereas Intelligent Design, contrary to what many evolutionists will say publicly, does in fact make solid predictions for science that we can test:

    A Response to Questions from a Biology Teacher: How Do We Test Intelligent Design? – March 2010
    Excerpt: Regarding testability, ID (Intelligent Design) makes the following testable predictions:
    (1) Natural structures will be found that contain many parts arranged in intricate patterns that perform a specific function (e.g. complex and specified information).
    (2) Forms containing large amounts of novel information will appear in the fossil record suddenly and without similar precursors.
    (3) Convergence will occur routinely. That is, genes and other functional parts will be re-used in different and unrelated organisms.
    (4) Much so-called “junk DNA” will turn out to perform valuable functions.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....rom_a.html
    A Positive, Testable Case for Intelligent Design – Casey Luskin – March 2011 – several examples of cited research
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....45311.html

    In the last part of this following audio, Casey Luskin lays the evidence out for a Professor of evolution, who who has the audacity to challenge his students to come up with ‘ANY’ evidence for Intelligent Design:

    Evidence for Intelligent Design – Casey Luskin – July 2010
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....6_24-07_00

  10. 10
    GilDodgen says:

    Single_Malt,

    I’m half Scottish on my mother’s side (née Ralston). Scots are known for single-malt whiskey, but they are also associated with James Clerk Maxwell, one of the greatest scientists and mathematicians who ever lived, who once declared: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”

    Oops, I guess JCM must have been an IDiot.

  11. 11
    Single_Malt says:

    As hard as I try I am unable to fathom your meaning. Let’s run through the apparent logic though, see if that helps.

    1) My name is Single_Malt

    2) The Scottish are known for single malt whiskey.

    3) Your mother is Scottish.

    4) So is the mathematician, James Clerk Maxwell.

    5) Maxwell said “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.

    Therefore……..?

    6)………………………………..

    James Clerk Maxwell was a mathematical genius therefore his theological declarations carry some extra weight? No, that doesn’t work. We know from recent history the trouble that ensues when mathematicians dip their toes into theological waters.

    Finally, one can only wonder at the thought processes involved in attempting to bask in the reflected glory of a long dead Scottish genius by the tenuous link of having a Scottish mother.

  12. 12
    GinoB says:

    Seems to me Behe already had his big chance in a nationally publicized trial and ended up with a few dozens of cartons’ worth of egg on his face.

    What makes anyone think he’d do any better in a second go-round?

  13. 13
    Single_Malt says:

    The fantasy of putting prominent ‘Darwinists’ in the dock and subjecting them to merciless, humiliating interrogation is a perennial one.

    William Demski’s ill-fated ‘Vise Strategy‘ was probably the highest profile manifestation of recent times.

  14. 14
    Barry Arrington says:

    Single Malt, your initial point was that astrology cannot be considered a scientific theory. Astrology has been falsified, but Mike1962 demonstrated that nevertheless you are wrong. The gracious thing to do is admit that Behe was right and you are wrong. Are you going to be gracious?

  15. 15
    DrREC says:

    How has astrology been falsified?

  16. 16
    Single_Malt says:

    Astrology has never been falsified.

  17. 17
    Barry Arrington says:

    DrREC, I doubt you believe astrology’s predictions have been verified. I can only conclude, therefore, that you are being trollish. You are our guest here at UD. A polite guest is not trollish

  18. 18
    Barry Arrington says:

    Same to you Single Malt

  19. 19
    Barry Arrington says:

    Of course, even if you subscribe to the absurd notion that astrology has not been falsified, the point remains. Its predictions are, in principle, falsifiable. Therefore, it meets the definition of a scientific theory. Why am I not surprised you would refuse to do the gracious thing.

  20. 20
    Single_Malt says:

    Falsification is not the only requirement for a scientific theory. If that were the case Biblical Creationism would have a strong claim to be scientific than astrology. Biblical predictions are ,in principle, falsifiable.

    But then Behe doesn’t believe Biblical Creationism to be scientific either….

    Q:Using your definition of theory, is Creationism — using your definition of scientific theory, is Creationism a scientific theory?
    Behe. No.

    Q: What about creation science?

    Behe. No.

    Q:Is astrology a theory under that definition?

    Behe. Is astrology? It could be, yes.

    So according to Behe, Biblical creationism; something that makes very specific claims about what we should find in the world does not qualify as science.

    On the other hand astrology; something that makes at best very vague general claims about what we should find in the world does qualify as science.

    And from this basis Behe elects to rope intelligent design in with astrology! Baffling, no?

  21. 21
    GinoB says:

    Not verified does not mean the same thing as falsified.

  22. 22
    Barry Arrington says:

    “Behe elects to rope intelligent design in with astrology!”

    This gets my vote for the stupidist thing anyone has ever written on this blog.

    “Falsification is not the only requirement for a scientific theory.”

    Wikipedia: “The defining characteristic of a scientific theory is that it makes falsifiable or testable predictions.”

    Perhaps you would care to enlighten us with regard to the other requirements to which you refer.

  23. 23
    Matteo says:

    Behe: Under my definition, a scientific theory is a proposed explanation which focuses or points to physical, observable data and logical inferences. There are many things throughout the history of science which we now think to be incorrect which nonetheless would fit that — which would fit that definition. Yes, astrology is in fact one, and so is the ether theory of the propagation of light, and many other — many other theories as well.

    I find the Darwinist insistence at ridiculing this quite reasonable statement to be quite absurd.

    What I also find absurd is that the fans of atheist materialism are championing their own form of astrology, since they believe, in accordance with physical determinism, that our fates, thoughts, and actions are entirely governed by the positions and motions of physical entities. It really makes no difference whether these physical entities are neurons, atoms and molecules on the one hand, or stars and planets on the other. Either way, they are promulgating an essentially astrological outlook.

  24. 24
    Barry Arrington says:

    On the falsification issue:

    Wikipedia again:

    “A different approach to testing astrology quantitatively uses blind experiment. The most renowned of these is Shawn Carlson’s double-blind chart matching tests in which he challenged 28 astrologers to match over 100 natal charts to psychological profiles generated by the California Psychological Inventory (CPI) test. When Carlson’s study was published in Nature in 1985, his conclusion was that predictions based on natal astrology were no better than chance, and that the testing ‘clearly refutes the astrological hypothesis.'”

    So, astrological predictions have been subjected to scientific experiments and falsified. Again, Behe was correct. Single Malt is wrong.

  25. 25
    Barry Arrington says:

    That’s true GinoB and completely misses the point. Kindly inform us how astrology’s predictions are not, in principle, falsifiable.

  26. 26
    Barry Arrington says:

    Single Malt, still waiting for you to be gracious. It’s not too late.

  27. 27
    GinoB says:

    The problem is not the definition of falsification. The problem is Behe’s mangling of the accepted scientific definition of theory. In science a theory is an explanation or model that covers a substantial group of occurrences in nature and has been confirmed by a substantial number of experiments and observations. Behe attempted to squeeze ID into science by broadening the definition to that used in the common vernacular, with theory meaning merely a proposed explanation.

    There has never been a scientific theory of astrology, just as there no such thing as a scientific theory of Intelligent Design. Right now there is only an unverified hypothesis of Intelligent Design.

  28. 28
    Barry Arrington says:

    GinoB: “In science a theory is an explanation or model that covers a substantial group of occurrences in nature and has been confirmed by a substantial number of experiments and observations.”

    Stephen Hawking writes: “A theory is a good theory if it satisfies two requirements: It must accurately describe a large class of observations on the basis of a model that contains only a few arbitrary elements, and it must make definite predictions about the results of future observations.”

    Hmmm. I bashed Hawking recently when he ventured (badly) into metaphysics, a field in which he plainly has no talent. But here he is in his element. I choose his definition over GinoB’s, and astrology qualifies. True, astrology is not a “good” scientific theory, because it has been falsified. But all scientific theories are, by definition, falsifiable in principle. And in fact some of the most successful scientific theories in history were later falsified. Ptolemy’s cosmology, for example, was regnant for 1,500 years, because it accounted for the data so well. And it was utterly false.

  29. 29
    GinoB says:

    Astrology works by making predictions so vague and open ended that virtually any event can be said to be a confirmation. Thus it does not provide any targets for falsification. That’s also why astrology is not a science, Behe’s inane claim notwithstanding.

  30. 30
    Barry Arrington says:

    Wrong again GinoB. See my comment at 7 where I refer to scientific experiments that in fact tested and falsified astrological predictions. Oh, I see you did, and in typical Darwinist fashion, instead of admitting your error you try to change the subject.

  31. 31
    GinoB says:

    Hawking’s definition and mine aren’t contradictory. His is just an expansion of mine.

    Astrology is not now nor has ever qualified as a scientific theory, not even a bad one.

  32. 32
    Single_Malt says:

    First; I’ve yet to read an explanation of Behe’s logic. The logic that denies Biblical Creationism scientific status any yet admits astrology (and intelligent design).

    Second; Astrology hasn’t been falsified. Yes, astrological predictions have been proved wrong. But the hypothesis that the positions of heavenly bodies have some mysterious effect on human affairs can never be falsified. (On this point ID and astrology are very much peas in a pod. Perhaps this was the straw Behe was grasping for?)

    Third; In response to my statement hat falsification wasn’t the only requirement for a scientific theory you replied with a cut and paste from Wikipedia…

    The defining characteristic of a scientific theory is that it makes falsifiable or testable predictions.

    ….as if anything I had said contradicted that.

    You then requested I….

    ….enlighten us with regard to the other requirements to which you refer.

    Seeing that you know where the relevant page at Wikepedia is I’ll refer you to the very first lines in the entry on ‘Scientific Theory’.

    A scientific theory comprises a collection of concepts, including abstractions of observable phenomena expressed as quantifiable properties, together with rules (called scientific laws) that express relationships between observations of such concepts. A scientific theory is constructed to conform to available empirical data about such observations, and is put forth as a principle or body of principles for explaining a class of phenomena.

    A bit more to it than simple falsification I’m sure you would agree? For example; my hypothesis that the cat is in the bath is falsifiable but it doesn’t qualify as a scientific theory.

    Finally;…..

    Single Malt, still waiting for you to be gracious. It’s not too late.

    I need no lessons in grace from yourself.

  33. 33

    Actually even Dawkins would say that astrology is a scientific proposition, like he has stated that the proposition that God exists is a scientific proposition. He just doesn’t believe that it’s a valid scientific proposition.

  34. 34
    Eocene says:

    ThortonB:

    “Astrology is not now nor has ever qualified as a scientific theory, not even a bad one.”
    =====

    LOL – How pathetic. Yes it is a even a bad one.

    “Theory of Astrology” or “Astrological Theory”

    —-

  35. 35
    Joseph says:

    Seems to me Behe kicked butt at the trial but an ignorant judge had and still has, no clue:

    Dr Behe responds to Judge Jones

  36. 36
    Joseph says:

    Intelligent Design can be tested and falsified.

    However it is obvious that your position can’t be tetsed.

    Also ID matches wikipedia’s entry on a “scientific theory”, go figure.

  37. 37
    GinoB says:

    LOL! Unfortunately for ID, the only butt Behe kicked at Kitzmiller v. Dover was his own.

  38. 38
    DrREC says:

    “DrREC, I doubt you believe astrology’s predictions have been verified.”

    Barry, failure of verification and falsification aren’t the same thing.

    Have some astrological predictions been falsified? Sure. Does this falsify the whole, or the concept of Astrology? Of course not.

    That is like saying the failure of the world to end at the time Harold Camping chose falsifies Christianity!

    As a whole, Astrology, like ID, is unfalsifiable.

  39. 39
    bornagain77 says:

    Well, Dover, contrary to what neo-Darwinists say, was actually,,,

    “A Masterful Feat of Courtroom Deception”: Immunologist Donald Ewert on Dover Trial – audio
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....1_03-08_00

    In this following podcast, Casey Luskin interviews microbiologist and immunologist Donald Ewert about his previous work as associate editor for the journal Development and Comparitive Immunology, where he realized that the papers published were comparative studies that had nothing to do with evolution at all.

    What Does Evolution Have to Do With Immunology? Not Much – April 2011
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....9_03-07_00

    The deception, from neo-Darwinists at Dover, did not stop with immunology;

    The NCSE, Judge Jones, and Bluffs About the Origin of New Functional Genetic Information – Casey Luskin – March 2010
    http://www.discovery.org/a/14251

  40. 40
    Barry Arrington says:

    GinoB and SingleMalt have made assertions that have been demonstrated to be false. Instead of admitting this, they double down on their position and/or change the subject. In other words, typical Darwinists.

  41. 41
    Single_Malt says:

    Oh, I’m dreadfully sorry, Barry.

    Perhaps you could point out the assertions I have made which have been demonstrated to be false.

    Being a typical Darwinist it’s hard to keep up these days!

    That said I should really take a leaf from your own book and ignore any and all substantive replies and cry ‘Victory!’.

    Much easier that way, isn’t it?

  42. 42
    Barry Arrington says:

    I expected this reply. OK. First you said that astrology has not been falsified. I pointed out one (of many) scientific experiments in which astrological predictions had been tested and falsified. Then you said, it’s not really about falsification after all. Your sort of stamp your feet and get red in the face insistence on wallowing in your own ignorance is actually a good thing I think. You are a typical Darwinist, as I said, and it is good for the lurkers to watch you in action.

  43. 43
    Single_Malt says:

    Barry,

    First you said that astrology has not been falsified.

    Correct.

    The hypothesis that the position of heavenly bodies relative the background constellations in some mysterious way affects the fortunes of man (AKA astrology) has not been falsified. There is no possible experiment that can falsify this hypothesis.

    You provided a link to an astrology study which you believe demonstrates that astrology has in fact been falsified. Let’s run with a similar experiment to highlight why it does not achieve what you think it does. Intercessory prayer. (I’m sure you know where we are going with this one.)

    Here’s the hypothesis;

    God actively answers prayers and positively intervenes in the lives of those people who pray to Him.
    Seems testable enough. I’m sure you are familiar with the recent(ish) study undertaken by the Templeton Foundation, yes? The one that showed a ‘negative’ correlation between prayer and the expected results of prayer.

    Now, surely in the interests of consistency you must concede that intercessory prayer has been falsified? I somehow doubt that, but not to worry. Because much like astrology there is no amount of experiments that could ever falsify the hypothesis that God actively answers and positively intervenes in the lives of those people who pray to Him.

    Do you see the problem now?

    Moving on….

    Then you said, it’s not really about falsification after all.

    I said no such thing, Barry. Here’s what I actually said:

    Falsification is not the only requirement for a scientific theory.

    This apparently came as a surprise to you. But let’s not let the facts get in the way of a good hand-waving session, eh?

    Your sort of stamp your feet and get red in the face insistence on wallowing in your own ignorance is actually a good thing I think. You are a typical Darwinist, as I said, and it is good for the lurkers to watch you in action.

    There’s only one person getting red in the face and stamping their feet here, Barry. If you have anything substantive to discuss Barry then by all means discuss it, but if all you have is bluster, insults and insinuation then, really why bother?

    I’ll end with a warm hello to your lurkers; I’m sure they’re enjoying themselves!

  44. 44
    velikovskys says:

    Encore

  45. 45
    Upright BiPed says:

    In post 8, Single Malt quotes Wiki to tell us that:

    A scientific theory comprises a collection of concepts, including abstractions of observable phenomena expressed as quantifiable properties, together with rules (called scientific laws) that express relationships between observations of such concepts. A scientific theory is constructed to conform to available empirical data about such observations, and is put forth as a principle or body of principles for explaining a class of phenomena.

    So to parse this out, by this definition, a scientific theory comprises of a collection of observations that (together with physical laws) expresses the relationship between that collection of observations. It goes on to suggest that these observations include abstractions of phenomena which are expressed as quantifiable properties, and that the theory will conform to this data and present the principles by which the observations can be explained.

    The only hitch in this definition is the bit about “quantifiable properties”. Quantifiable properties are indeed a central figure in science, but not everything that is observed has a quantifiable property, some have dynamic properties which are just as observable. For instance, it is a fact that a negative charge will repel a positive charge; that is an observable dynamic property. It is not however quantifiable, except under the trivial observation that it happens every time. We may certainly measure the strength of that repulsion and its extended variables, but the fact that it occurs is not quantifiable in the accepted sense that a ‘quantitative measurement’ is a number along a continuum. We can say that the repulsion of a positive charge by a negative charge has a probability of 1, and be done with it. It’s a physical law.

    If the definition given above is only suggesting that observations made within a theory can (or may) have quantifiable properties, then there is no problem. But if the definition is suggesting that all observations made within a theory must have quantifiable properties, then it is clearly a useless definition of the way we increase our knowledge. Entire swaths of accepted science would have to be thrown out, particularly those that center on observations of the dynamic living world. What is the quantitative number that expresses how a calf seeks milk from its mother, or the one that expresses how a species of bat are nocturnal feeders?

    So scientific theories that are based upon observations made of dynamic relationships in the natural world are no less legitimate than any other theory. Despite whatever constraints someone might want to put on it, the human search for knowledge has a way of finding what is practical/useful in its quest.

    Having said that, there are ID concepts that make successful use of quantifiable measurements, but not all of them are based on those types of observations. In the same way that repelling electromagnetic charges is a dynamic observation of matter, the semiotic argument for design (which is based on the physical entailments involved in the transfer of information) is also a dynamic observation of matter. It is a purely material observation, and is just as viable in science as any other.

    The definition above ends with “A scientific theory is constructed to conform to available empirical data about such observations, and is put forth as a principle or body of principles for explaining a class of phenomena”. That is exactly what the semiotic argument accomplishes, and in doing so it confirms a central prediction of ID.

  46. 46
    StephenB says:

    Single-Malt:– “Falsification is not the only requirement for a scientific theory. If that were the case Biblical Creationism would have a strong claim to be scientific than astrology. Biblical predictions are ,in principle, falsifiable.”

    Oh my heavens! Creation Science presupposes the truth of the Genesis account of creation and seeks to harmonize evidence with that account. It has nothing to do with analyzing or advancing theories about Biblical predictions.

    The problem here is that your adversaries are conflicted over the problem of when to refute your uniformed claims and when to provide the kind of remedial education that would help you transform those claims into rational arguments.

  47. 47
    Barry Arrington says:

    @SM at 10. Single Malt changes the subject again. Having had his assertion that astrology has not been falsified soundly refuted, he says let’s talk about prayer. Note that SM refers to the link I provided that shows that astrology has in fact been tested and falsified. Note also that he is speechless in the face of that evidence. He wants to talk about prayer, because he has absolutely no argument that the link I provided does not do exactly what I said it would do, i.e., demonstrate that astrology has been tested and falsified. Instead, in a classic example of hand waving, he denigrates the link with a dismissive “you believe” it says thus and so. Yet he offers no argument for why my belief is false.

    SM, no matter how many times you attempt to deflect readers’ attention away from the truth, the fact remains that the assertion you made is demonstrably wrong. It is still not too late to do the gracious thing and admit that. I won’t be holding my breath though.

    Oh, and BTW, your let’s-change-the-subject example of intercessory prayer does not help you. If someone asserts as a hypothesis “Intercessory prayer is effective” and then performs a rigorous experiment showing that hypothesis to be false, then the hypothesis is falsified. I have absolutely no problem with conceding that intercessory prayer is not subject to scientific verification. What idiot would believe otherwise?

  48. 48
    GilDodgen says:

    My comment was meant to put pebbles in the shoes of people like you, who undoubtedly presume that ID proponents suffer from insufficient reasoning power to realize that Dawkins’s fantasies and speculations should trump Behe’s evidence and logic.

    I will give Dawkins credit for one thing: He’s a highly imaginative author of fiction!

  49. 49
    Single_Malt says:

    It’s a comforting thought to know that someone, somewhere is busy presuming what I undoubtedly presume.

    Means I can relax a bit.

  50. 50

    That is exactly what the semiotic argument accomplishes, and in doing so it confirms a central prediction of ID.

    http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/?p=212

  51. 51
    Upright BiPed says:

    Dr Liddle,

    I read your comments last Sunday after you posted them. I thought the problems with your rebuttal were fairly obvious (and I was pressed for time) so I thought I’d wait a few days to see if anything interesting might happen. Checking it earlier this afternoon, I see that this hasn’t happened. So perhaps I will post my response in the next day or two as time permits.

    Odd though, you posted your reply on your own website instead of here where the conversation was taking place, then since that time, you’ve been posting several times here. You didn’t even bother responding to my last rebuttal of your comments.

  52. 52
    GilDodgen says:

    Single_Malt,

    You fascinate me. Stating the obvious drives people like you into irrational states of apoplectic rage.

    This is a bizarre psychological phenomenon, exhibited by Darwinists when the basis of their worldview is challenged with the scientific method they supposed supported it.

    My conclusion is that Darwinists would lose all sense of purpose and meaning in life if their worldview collapsed under the evidence of science. This is very strange, because, if Darwinism is true, there is no purpose or meaning to anything.

    I thus find Darwinian materialism to be a self-immolating philosophy. Never mind that it makes no scientific sense.

  53. 53
    goodusername says:

    Barry Arrington,

    I hadn’t heard of the Carlson study before on astrology, so I thought I’d look it up and see what the reaction was in the astrological world.

    As I suspected, they view it as a seriously flawed study and point to other studies that have come to the opposite conclusion.

    The study and its reaction from the faithful are reminiscent of the (several) studies showing a lack of efficacy of prayer.

    Somehow, I doubt you’ll say that prayer has been falsified.

    Here’s a reaction from an astrological journal:
    “Although the Carlson study drew initial criticism for numerous flaws when it was published, a more recent examination has found evidence that the study actually supports the claims of the participating astrologers.”
    “Despite its numerous flaws and unfair challenges, the Carlson experiment nevertheless demonstrates that the astrologers, in their two tests, were able to match natal charts with CPI profiles significantly better than chance”
    (http://www.theoryofastrology.c.....arlson.htm)

    And so, according to them, not only does the study not falsify astrology, but, if anything, does the opposite.

    Lest anyone think I’m defending astrology, far from it. I don’t believe it qualifies as a scientific theory because it is not falsifiable.
    Even IF there was nothing in the study for the Astrology believers to criticize (an impossibility to pull off IMO), and even IF there was absolutely nothing in the results to look upon positively – it could simply be argued that the astrologers in the study were incompetent. The astrological world might even thank the study for exposing the frauds. Just because THEY were fake doesn’t mean there can’t be others out there that are real.

    And as mentioned, I don’t think any experiment could even be designed in the first place that would satisfy most believers as a true test of astrology. “Astrology” itself and its claims are so loosely defined that it would be impossible to even get agreement on what it is that the study should “measure”. Astrology varies tremendously from one culture to another, and even from one practitioner to another.

  54. 54
    bornagain77 says:

    goodusername: funny that you left out neo-Darwinism from your list of things that are unfalsifiable (at least in the eyes of ‘true’ believers), and thus, to use your words, I don’t believe it qualifies as a scientific theory because it is not falsifiable.

    Was this omission of neo-Darwinism, on your part accidental, or do you actually think neo-Darwinism is falsifiable and thus scientific? If so, How is it falsifiable?,,, I really want to know a rigid criteria instead of just the infamous Cambrian Rabbit ploy.

    And please tell me exactly why the following does not qualify as rigid falsification of atheistic neo-Darwinism???

    Falsification Of Neo-Darwinism by Quantum Entanglement/Information
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p8AQgqFqiRQwyaF8t1_CKTPQ9duN8FHU9-pV4oBDOVs/edit?hl=en_US

    As to your derogatory swipe at the efficacy of prayer by quoting ‘several unnamed studies’, the truth is in the details of your non-referenced studies that you alluded to!!!:

    Does prayer work?

    Amazing Testimony of the last survivor pulled from the 911 World Trade Center rubble;

    Genelle Guzman-McMillan – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlhjuRffT48

    Further notes:

    Scientific Evidence for Answered Prayer and the Existence of God – Rich Deem
    Excerpt: Obviously, science has demonstrated in three separate studies the efficacy of Christian prayer in medical studies. There is no “scientific” (non-spiritual) explanation for the cause of the medical effects demonstrated in these studies. The only logical, but not testable, explanation is that God exists and answers the prayers of Christians.
    http://www.godandscience.org/a.....wIolZKZqed

    A Systematic Review of the Empirical Literature on Intercessory Prayer – March 2010
    Excerpt: Meta-analysis indicated small, but significant, effect sizes for the use of intercessory prayer,,
    http://rsw.sagepub.com/cgi/con.....t/17/2/174

    Does God answer prayer? ASU research says ‘yes’ February 23, 2007
    Excerpt: In other words, does God – or some other type of transcendent entity – answer prayer for healing? According to Hodge’s study, “A Systematic Review of the Empirical Literature on Intercessory Prayer,” the answer is “Yes.”
    http://asunews.asu.edu/node/1545

    Prayer – Meta-Study reveals overall positive effect for intercessory prayer
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....195638.htm

    Medical Miracles Really Do Happen
    Excerpt: No one knows exactly how often such cases occur. Approximately 3,500 medically documented cases of seeming miracles — based on reports from doctors in America and around the world dating to 1967 — have appeared in 800 peer-reviewed medical journals and cover all major illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.*
    http://www.bottomlinesecrets.c.....e_id=42254

    Studies: Belief in God relieves depression – Sept. 2010
    Excerpt: The operative term here is “caring,” the researchers said. “The study found that those with strong beliefs in a personal and concerned God were more likely to experience an improvement.” ,,,The researchers compared the levels of melancholy or hopelessness in 136 adults diagnosed with major depression or bipolar depression with their sense of “religious well-being.” They found participants who scored in the top third of a scale charting a sense of religious well-being were 75 percent more likely to get better with medical treatment for clinical depression.

    “In our study, the positive response to medication had little to do with the feeling of hope that typically accompanies spiritual belief,” said study director Patricia Murphy, a chaplain at Rush and an assistant professor of religion, health and human values.

    “It was tied specifically to the belief that a Supreme Being cared,” she said.
    Data released last year by sociologists from the University of California at Berkeley, in fact, revealed that 93 percent of the nation believes in God, a finding that has remained unchanged since 1988.

    The Canadian researchers who found that belief in God lowers anxiety and stress also based their conclusions on measurements — monitoring the brain activities of believers and nonbelievers charged with some challenging tasks.

    “We found that religious people or even people who simply believe in the existence of God show significantly less brain activity in relation to their own errors,” said Michael Inzlicht, assistant psychology professor at the University of Toronto, who led the research.“ They’re much less anxious and feel less stressed when they have made an error,” he said.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com....._headlines

    How God Changes Your Brain – Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist – Andrew Newberg, M.D.
    Excerpt: God is great-for your mental, physical, and spiritual health. That’s the finding of this startling, authoritative, and controversial book by the bestselling authors of Born to Believe.

    further note:

    Wiki claims there is now extensive research suggesting that religious people are happier and less stressed.

    ^ Rudin, Mike (2006-04-30). “The science of happiness”. BBC.
    ^ Paul, Pamela (2005-01-09). “The New Science of Happiness”. Time.
    ^ Koenig. Harold G., Larson, David B., and Mcculloug, Michael E. –Handbook of Religion and Health(see article), p.111, Oxford University Press (2001)
    Currently, approximately 8% of the U.S. population claim no religious affiliation (Kosmin & Lachman, 1993). People with no affiliation appear to be at greater risk for depressive symptoms than those affiliated with a religion. In a sample of 850 medically ill men, Koenig, Cohen, Blazer, Pieper, et al. (1992) examined whether religious affiliation predicted depression after demographics, medical status, and a measure of religious coping were controlled. They found that, when relevant covariates were controlled, men who indicated that they had “no religious affiliation” had higher scores on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (an observer-administered rating scale) than did men who identified themselves as moderate Protestants, Catholics, or nontraditional Christians.
    ^ The 2008 Legatum Prosperity Index, Summary p.40.
    Research suggests that religious people’s happiness is less vulnerable to fluctuations in economic and political uncertainty, personal unemployment and income changes. The Prosperity Index identifies similar effects at the country level, with a number of highly religious countries reporting higher levels of happiness than might be expected based on the standard of living alone: this effect is most pronounced in Mexico, El Salvador, the Dominican republic, Indonesia, Venezuela and Nigeria.

    Finally, a recent systematic review of 850 research papers on the topic concluded that “the majority of well-conducted studies found that higher levels of religious involvement are positively associated with indicators of psychological well-being (life satisfaction, happiness, positive affect, and higher morale) and with less depression, suicidal thoughts and behavior, drug/alcohol use/abuse.”[15]
    ^ Moreira-Almeida, Alexander; Francisco Lotufo Neto, and Harold G. Koenig (September 2006). “Religiousness and mental health: a review”. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. [serial on the Internet] 28 (3): 242–250. doi:10.1590/S1516-44462006005000006. PMID 16924349.

    Health

    ^ Ellison, C. G., & Levin, J. S. (1998). “The religion-health connection: Evidence, theory, and future directions”. Health education & behavior : the official publication of the Society for Public Health Education (Health Education and Behavior.) 25 (6): 700–720.. doi:10.1177/109019819802500603. PMID 9813743. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
    ^ Shahabi, L., Powell, L. H., Musick, M. A., Pargament, K. I., Thoresen, C. E., Williams, D., et al. (2002). “Correlates of self-perceptions of spirituality in American adults”. Health education & behavior : the official publication of the Society for Public Health Education (Annals of Behaviors Medicine.) 24 (6): 59–68.. doi:10.1177/109019819802500603. PMID 9813743. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
    ^ Koenig, L. B., & Vaillant, G. E. (2009). A prospective study of church attendance and health over the lifespan. 28. Health Psychology.. pp. 117–124.. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
    ^ Chatters, L. M. (2000). Religion and health: Public health research and practices. 21. Annual Review of Public Health.. pp. 335–367.. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
    ^ Seeman, T., Dubin, L. F., & Seeman, M. (2003). Religiosity/spirituality and health: A critical review of the evidence for biological pathways. 58. American Psychologist.. pp. 53–63.. Retrieved 25 April 2010.

    Music and Verse:

    Third Day – I can feel it – with Lyrics
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdhAdz6wHWc

    Matthew 6:8
    Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

  55. 55
    Joseph says:

    Yes GinoB, It is obvious taht you have issues dealing with reality.

  56. 56
    Joseph says:

    Elizabeth,

    Your problem is that you still think some simple self-replicators can “evolve” into a living organism. Yet a living organism is much more than a simple replicator- there isn’t any connection between the two.

    IOW stop blaming ID and IDists for your obvious ignorance.

    That said to refute ID just demonstrate that your imagination can be transferred to reality.

  57. 57

    I posted my piece on my own website so that it would be in one place. I gave you the option of responding here or there.

    If you give me a link to your rebuttal here, I will respond.

  58. 58

    ….to see if anything interesting might happen

    Well, the interesting thing would be a response from you.

  59. 59
    Joseph says:

    Actually it would be even more interesting if you could post those predictions and along with a testable hypothesis for YOUR position.

    But somehow I get the feeeling that ain’t going to happen…

  60. 60
    Barry Arrington says:

    @ goodusername at 14. “Somehow, I doubt you’ll say that prayer has been falsified.” Then you obviously did not read my post at 10.3.

    Also, your post does not rescue the position the Darwinists have stubbornly pushed in the face of all evidence and logic in this thread. All you do is say that in your and some astrologers’ opinion the scientific experiments that falsify astrology are all flawed. So what? Anyone can criticize any scientific experiment. The fact that you are extremely biased against the study’s conclusions because it undermines your argument in this thread is not very interesting.

    Yours is a typical Darwinist strategy: “All of the evidence against my argument doesn’t count. Why doesn’t it count? Because it goes against my argument of course.”

    Finally, I am going to do a little experiment of my own and take your last paragraph and substitute “Darwinism” for “astrology” and see what happens: “I don’t think any experiment could even be designed in the first place that would satisfy most believers as a true test of Darwinism. “Darwinism” itself and its claims are so loosely defined that it would be impossible to even get agreement on what it is that the study should ‘measure’.”

    Yep, it works.

  61. 61
    goodusername says:

    “Then you obviously did not read my post at 10.3.”

    –Yes, I had missed that. It’s not surprising that the prayer studies came up though, given the obvious similarities to the astrology study.

    “All you do is say that in your and some astrologers’ opinion the scientific experiments that falsify astrology are all flawed. So what?”

    –Some? More like “almost none”, or maybe even “none”. I’d actually be surprised if anyone gave up on astrology from that study.

    “The fact that you are extremely biased against the study’s conclusions because it undermines your argument in this thread is not very interesting.”

    –I don’t have a problem with the study and think it was interesting, although I think the conclusion is naïve, and I am amused that anyone would actually think that it “disproves” astrology. Just about everyone has heard of astrology but I wonder how many have heard of this study. I know that until this thread, I somehow missed the climatic news that the ancient “theory” of astrology, popular around the world (still), was disproven in 1985.

    A study of a handful of supposed astrologers and their (apparently quite arguable) lack of ability to get positive results in a particular set of circumstances in an experiment – and THAT disproves astrology? Really?

    Is that REALLY the impartial, unbiased conclusion here? I somehow doubt that anyone here would actually have come to that conclusion if not for the Dover trial. I can tell you that my position on astrology didn’t change in 2005, and that if we were having this discussion in 2004 my argument regarding the study would have been the same. Strangely, many others’ opinion of the falsification of astrology did suddenly change in 2005. Before then, to get into this kind of argument there was only one place I could go – astrology sites. Now, there’s the option of ID and Creationist sites as well. IMO, it isn’t “my” side that has changed their position due to bias.

    As for an experiment or discovery that would disprove Darwinism – coming up with countless examples is trivially easy. I could go with the classic “rabbits in the Precambrian” (actually, any mammal, reptile, bird, dino, etc would do). Or for something more original, discovering a rabbit with feathers.

    Out of curiosity, do you believe the STEP project disproved the efficacy of intercessory prayer? A double-blind ten year study, involving 1800 participants, funded by the Templeton Foundation, and with some of the lead investigators being Christian. Looks pretty solid.

  62. 62
    Barry Arrington says:

    “Out of curiosity, do you believe the STEP project disproved the efficacy of intercessory prayer?”

    Of course not. The point of the project was to see if they could put God in a box and measure him. Idiots.

  63. 63
    goodusername says:

    Ah, I just realized I misread a sentence in your 10.3 post. I thought you said you had “no problem” with intercessory prayer being subject to scientific investigation (I missed the second negative – otherwise I wouldn’t have asked the question).

  64. 64
    bornagain77 says:

    goodusername you state:

    As for an experiment or discovery that would disprove Darwinism – coming up with countless examples is trivially easy. I could go with the classic “rabbits in the Precambrian” (actually, any mammal, reptile, bird, dino, etc would do). Or for something more original, discovering a rabbit with feathers.

    Those are not empirical experiments. they are observations of historical record. But if the fossil record is viewed by you with the authority to actually falsify evolution, why then does not the Cambrian explosion itself falsify evolution for you, but a rabbit with feathers would? (actually a rabbit with feathers would be expected in a bizarre world where Darwinism was actually true!)

    Deepening Darwin’s Dilemma – Jonathan Wells – Sept. 2009
    Excerpt: “The truth is that (finding) “exceptionally preserved microbes” from the late Precambrian actually deepen Darwin’s dilemma, because they suggest that if there had been ancestors to the Cambrian phyla they would have been preserved.”
    http://www.discovery.org/a/12471

    Deepening Darwin’s Dilemma – Jonathan Wells – The Cambrian Explosion – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4154263

    “Without gradualness in these cases, we are back to miracle,”
    Richard Dawkins – River Out Of Eden pg. 83

    but alas, the ever deceptive, and rationalizing, Darwinists avoid falsification from the Cambrian explosion:

    Seeing Ghosts in the Bushes (Part 2): How Is Common Descent Tested? – Paul Nelson – Feb. 2010
    Excerpt: Fig. 6. Multiple possible ad hoc or auxiliary hypotheses are available to explain lack of congruence between the fossil record and cladistic predictions. These may be employed singly or in combination. Common descent (CD) is thus protected from observational challenge.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....es_pa.html

    Further notes:

    What Would The World Look Like If Darwinism Were True? – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/5488058

    What Would The World Look Like If Atheism Were Actually True? – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5486757/

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