Intelligent Design Philosophy Science

Philosopher asks reasonable questions about intelligent design. Not a first, because …

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A Summary of Scientific Method
Peter Kosso, 2011

Because Brad Monton was here first.

Here, in A Summary of Scientific Method SpringerBriefs in Philosophy, 2011, Peter Kosso tackles “Is intelligent design science” – a topic that used to be confined union hall megaphones and humanist picket signs (except always expressed as a negative assertion):

Is the theory of intelligent design scientific or not? Well, we can’t even begin to answer this question, at least not in a reasonable and profitable way, without a clear understanding of what it is to be scientific. There must be something shared by all the sciences that makes them scientific, and it would be this something that is missing from the unscientific or the pseudoscientific. That something is not what they study. Geology, biology, and physics study pretty different things, whereas biology and intelligent design study pretty much the same thing. What is common to the sciences is the basic structure of how they study, and the standards they use to judge acceptable results. This is the scientific method. 

So, we will presume that there is a shared method for all the sciences, and that it is the method that makes them scientific. Furthermore, we will presume that the criteria for being scientific are objective criteria. That is, it is not a matter of personal judgment as to what the scientific method is or what qualifies as scientific. There are impersonal, objective standards for what it is to be scientific, and there is an objectively accurate description of the scientific method. This, too, must be assumed by the debates about difficult social issues like intelligent design or global warming, or else there would be no point in trying to establish one thing to be, or not to be, scientific.

Where’s the picket sign? Oh wait, no, this guy thinks for a living.

The way things are going, ID’s critics might actually need to know something besides talking points.

Follow UD News for breaking news on the design controversy.

21 Replies to “Philosopher asks reasonable questions about intelligent design. Not a first, because …

  1. 1
    Upright BiPed says:

    This looks like an interesting read. I read the preface and among other things it mentioned the topic of “teaching of intelligent Design or Creationism” in the public schools.

    I have no use for those topics personally, I think the battle is elswewhere….but I have a question.

    Setting aside Intelligent Design for a moment….where in the U.S. are there school disrticts where people are trying to teach Creationism?

  2. 2
    DrREC says:

    “Is the theory of intelligent design scientific or not?”

    What does the author conclude? Or does he just suggest this is the type of question we are better prepared to answer if we read his book?

  3. 3
    Mung says:

    Follow the link. Click on the Read Online button.

  4. 4
    DrREC says:

    Mung @ 3:

    “Follow the link. Click on the Read Online button.”

    Oh, I forgot-it is totally unreasonable to expect the author of a News post here to have read the material cited, and to be able to answer a simple question about it.

    So I’ll answer my own leading question-he does not take up the question of whether intelligent design is science-intelligent design only appears in the preface as the type of question his work could help address.

    Picket signs and rumors of the demise of evolution may have to wait….

  5. 5
    Upright BiPed says:

    SoOoOooOOoo…does no one know of anywhere that Noah’s Flood and the Garden of Eden are being taught in the school science class?

  6. 6
    Mung says:

    Picket signs and rumors of the demise of evolution may have to wait…

    Oh, so now ID is anti-evolution?

    Or did you have some other crowd in mind?

  7. 7
    DrREC says:

    Upright BiPed-A literal Noah’s flood and Garden of Eden in public schools in the US? Probably very limited.

    Is Creationism part of the political discourse as Brad Monton suggests? Absolutely!

    “As a member of the Alabama Board of Education, the record clearly shows that I fought to ensure the teaching of creationism in our school textbooks.”

    -Bradley Byrne, in his campaign for Alabama Governor, after being accused of believing in evolution by the PAC of the current governor of Alabama.

    Mung: “Oh, so now ID is anti-evolution?”
    It was, then it wasn’t, but now it is. Wedge. “cdesign proponentsists” Evolutionist used as a dirty word.

    I really don’t know. Do you support common ancestry?

  8. 8
    Upright BiPed says:

    DrRec,

    I wasn’t asking about what politicians say amongst themselves or to their constituents. I was asking if (and where) anywhere in the United States there is a literal teaching of the Bible in a publically-funded science class.

    I beleive it doesn’t exist, but I am prepared to be corrected. You on the other hand say it’s “limited”, but we’ll need more than a politician posturing himself for votes as a source of evidence.

  9. 9
    DrREC says:

    Upright BiPed-

    The key line was:

    “And yet, important debates about the propriety of teaching intelligent design or creationism in public schools,”

    So, is there not a debate on the teaching of intelligent design and/or creationism in public schools?

    I don’t get what point your are trying to make. I have to find you a public school openly teaching a literal Bible, or what, the debate isn’t happening?

  10. 10
    Upright BiPed says:

    No DrRec,

    My point was about the materialists sales staff conflating Creationism with Intelligent Design in the public sphere in order to keep the masses stupid as to what the distinctions are.

    Is there a debate on being able to discuss ID in the classroom? Yes there is, a very spotty one, which I’ve already said doesn’t interest me.

    The question I suggest from my comment – was is there a debate about teaching literal CREATIONISM is the public’s science class.

    I find no meaningful evidence of that debate. It just a con game. A “con game” in this case, being an outright lie.

  11. 11
    allanius says:

    DrREC, you fascinate me. Truly, you do.

    I take it that you are quite adamantly opposed to having “creationism” taught in our schools. I’m not so sure I disagree with you, but how about Darwinism?

    I’ll tell you what. Let’s make a deal, reasonable people that we are, especially at cocktail hour.

    I’ll agree not to insist on using your tax dollars to indoctrinate your children with “creationism,” or even intelligent design, in which you clearly do not believe, and you’ll agree not to insist on using my tax dollars to indoctrinate my chidren with Darwinism, which I believe is both silly and toxic.

    How about it? Do we have a deal?

  12. 12
    Mung says:

    I really don’t know. Do you support common ancestry?

    I would not say I support it. But I also don’t claim it’s false. I even think the Bible teaches it in a way.

    My problems with common ancestry are evidential, not theological.

    IMO, no one has ever written a book that clearly lays out the arguments and evidence for the theory common descent. If you know of one I’d be more than happy to purchase it and read it.

  13. 13
    Robert Byers says:

    Amen, Amen, Amen.
    This YEC agrees that if there is a scientific method it must be consistent and objective criteria in determining this.
    The best they can say is that science is a higher standard of investigation , then otherwise good standards, and so a high confidence in conclusions drawn.
    i say there is no such thing as science.
    Its just people thinking about matters requiring careful thinking.
    The majority of any subject is the thinking about its data and insights into the data .
    Only a minority of the thinking employs methodology.

    Therefore serious creationist investigation is no different then any subject investigated including any ‘scientific” subject.

    it isn’t whether I.D and YEC is science but is its investigation methods any different then its opponents.?
    Is origin conclusions science at all? if science is a high standard?!

    As the great Henry morris said origin subjects are not scientific ones.
    i say there is no such thing in human experience as science.
    just people thinking about stuff.

  14. 14
    markf says:

    #12 Mung

    MO, no one has ever written a book that clearly lays out the arguments and evidence for the theory common descent. If you know of one I’d be more than happy to purchase it and read it.

    Have you read Elliott Sober Evidence and Evolution?

  15. 15
    Joseph says:

    Does Sober present the evidence that demonstrates genetic accidents can accumulate in such a way as to construct new, useful and functional multi-part systems?

    If not what does he present?

  16. 16
    Joseph says:

    Is Intelligent Design scientific?

    Well it is based on our knowledge of cause and effect relationships, it can objectively tested and potentially falsified.

    What else does it need before being considered scientific?

  17. 17
    Mung says:

    Have you read Elliott Sober Evidence and Evolution?

    hi markf,

    I have it here on a shelf, I haven’t yet read it. Is that the book that you would recommend?

    Can I read just Ch. 4 “Common Descent” or do I really need to read all the preceding chapters first?

  18. 18
    Mung says:

    Given how central the thesis of common ancestry is to evolutionary reasoning, one might expect there to be a vast literature in which the evidence for the claim is amassed.

    – Elliott Sober, Evidence and Evolution

    One might expect that, yes.

    But why provide arguments and evidence for something that is assumed to be true and which we all know to be a fact?

    I mean, that would be like writing books amassing the evidence for gravity and the rising and setting of the sun.

  19. 19
    Mung says:

    In fact, the question is discussed, but the literature on it is hardly vast. For most evolutionists, the similarities that different species share make it obvious that they have common ancestors, and there is no reason to puzzle further over the question. The kind of genealogical question that attracts far more attention in evolutionary biology concerns how various species are related to each other not whether they are. Consider, for example, the question of how human beings, chimps, and gorillas are related. … Although these rival hypotheses are disagree about the branching pattern, there is something on which they agree. Go back far enough in time and you will find an ancestor common to all three. This common ground is the main subject of the present chapter. My goal is not to assemble evidence that justifies the hypothesis of common ancestry but to understand the logic that dictates how such evidence should be interpreted. From Darwin down to the present, biologists have presented various arguments in favor of common ancestry. What rules should we apply to determine whether the arguments are strong or weak?

    – Elliott Sober, Evidence and Evolution

    Sober is concerned with the logic of the arguments, not the substance.

    I’m still waiting.

  20. 20
    Mung says:

    4.1 MODUS DARWIN

    Similarity, ergo common ancestry. This form of argument occurs so often in Darwin’s writings that it deserves to be called modus Darwin.

    And yet we’ve been told that Darwin’s theory was not a theory of common ancestry. What should we make of such assertions?

  21. 21
    Mung says:

    Oh Lizzie. This just begs your attention.

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