Author Topic: Public Charter Schools Teaching Creationism And Right-Wing Propaganda In Texas  (Read 18980 times)

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Offline wheels5894

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That was not a dodge. It was intended to determine whether wheels5894 has even a basic understanding of what the evidence consists of.

...which is a dodge.  And so is this^ post.  And the 4 posts after it.

 Kindly answer the original questions.  They are:
1. in what way is ID science?  As I recall, when Mike Behe was on the stand in Dover, he defined it in such a way that would include astrology.  Not astronomy.  Astrology.  You know, like Tarot card readings. I say this so that you do not accidentally quote him and thus, make an ass of yourself.

2. what evidence is there of ID?  "Stuff looks designed" does not qualify.


Thanks.


I think you may have this a little mixed up. I haven't dodged the ID questions. What I am being accused of dodging is the request to provide the evidence I feel makes for a reasonable argument about God's existence. But I am really trying to narrow that done somewhat because if the individuals making the request really wants me to provide ALL of the evidence, then I decline. That is unreasonable and would fill up several pages of this thread. There aren't just a few bullet points....it is extensive and substantial.

You are going to have to pick and choose then, aren't you. Assemble the best arguments from the substantial body of evidence and get it posted.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline BibleStudent

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You are going to have to pick and choose then, aren't you. Assemble the best arguments from the substantial body of evidence and get it posted.

Yes, I guess so....and I'll do it with same amount of vigor that you used to never answer the question I posed to you in post #13.

Offline SevenPatch

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You are going to have to pick and choose then, aren't you. Assemble the best arguments from the substantial body of evidence and get it posted.

Yes, I guess so....and I'll do it with same amount of vigor that you used to never answer the question I posed to you in post #13.

I can honestly say I didn't learn much about evolution if anything in highschool.  Sure it was mentioned a few times but my highschool classes never actually taught anything directly about evolution.  The biology courses I took were more the basics for Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology.  I'm sure my highschool offered more advanced classes that directly taught evolution but I never took them.

I went to college for CAD so Biology wasn't one of the courses I took. 

So I really haven't had the opportunity to critique a highschool or college biology book.

So where did I learn about evolution?  Online.  Which I critique.

http://www.dmoz.org/Science/Biology/  < ---- This is a directory containing links to over 28 thousand peer reviewed articles, journals and various sources relating to biology.



Though, I do have to question the honesty of a person that has no problem with ID (which is pseudoscience) being taught in public schools yet questions others if they've critiqued textbooks teaching an actual scientific subject.

If you have no issue with ID being taught, then I guess we might as well have classes focusing on Big Foot, Witchcraft, Ancient Aliens, the Bermuda Triangle and Astrology just to make sure we are being fair.


« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 02:00:00 PM by SevenPatch »
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Offline screwtape

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I think you may have this a little mixed up.

Looks like you are correct.  I was a little mixed up.  Please stop dodging that other question and provide evidence of a creator.  It does not have to be exhaustive, but it should give some concrete indications.  "Just look around at how awesome the universe is," is not acceptable.

Thanks.

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Online jaimehlers

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Any response to the olive branch I tried to extend in my earlier post in the thread, BibleStudent?

Offline BibleStudent

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So you think the way in which Casey Luskin represents the scientific method is accurate?   

My personal opinion is that IDT certainly pushes the boundaries of the scientific method but, yes, I feel it is accurate.

For reference, here is his article at http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/08/what_is_the_the075281.html and a pdf that he wrote http://www.discovery.org/f/986

It is odd that Luskin attempts to claim ID is not a negative argument against evolution yet insists on using terms like “Darwinian biologists” and “Darwinists”.  There is no such thing as a “Darwinian biologist” or “Darwinist”. 

Where are you seeing this? I did not observe these words in the either of the links you provided.

The four essential elements of the scientific method are iterations, recursions, interleaving or orderings of the following:

Characterizations (observations, definitions, and measurements of the subject of inquiry)
Hypotheses (theoretical, hypothetical explanations of observations and measurements of the subject)
Predictions (reasoning including logical deduction from the hypothesis or theory)
Experiments (tests of the characterizations, hypotheses and Predictions)

Where did you get this from? I think you failed to cite your source or are you crediting yourself with this?

OBSERVATION: (which I guess are the characterizations plus general observations made by Luskin or someone else who may or may not be identified by Luskin)

Luskin attempts to define “Intelligent Agents”, however the terms used to do this are not used in any scientific way.  He fails to define the terms used to define “Intelligent Agents”, for example when he states that “Intelligent agents can rapidly infuse large amounts of information into systems:” the concept of information are not standard in information theory(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_theory ).

None of this makes any sense. Intelligent Agents have been defined….a good example of which is in the second link you provided. What terms require definition? The last sentence (bolded) makes no sense at all.

He never actually properly defines “intelligence”

Look it up in the dictionary. It’s a common word.

, thus never providing any indication of how much “intelligence” can be expected to either prove the hypothesis or disprove it.

What makes you think that a certain level of intelligence needs to be identified?

Luskin also never defines “specified complexity”
Then what is this?:
In the evolutionnews.org article, Luskin does quote a definition for “complex and specified information” which was provided by William Dembski.  “Complex and specified information” is defined as a rare or highly unlikely event which conforms to an independently derived pattern.


or “End Goal”.  What exactly is the “End Goal” of biology?

I don’t know what he means by “end goal” either.

This is just absurd.  On the very first step of the scientific method, ID has failed, and we haven’t even gotten to his misrepresentation of the scientific method.

While you've written of words so far, you have done nothing to discredit or invalidate IDT as being scientific.

This is basically “Irreducible complexity” which is worthless as evidence and is in fact a negative argument against the ToE (oops, so much for the claim that ID is not a negative argument against the ToE).

This is a common misconception amongst opponents of IDT.

Irreducibly complex systems such as mousetraps and flagella serve both as negative arguments against gradualistic explanations like Darwin's and as positive arguments for design. The negative argument is that such interactive systems resist explanation by the tiny steps that a Darwinian path would be expected to take. The positive argument is that their parts appear arranged to serve a purpose, which is exactly how we detect design. (Darwin's Black Box, pp. 263-264 (2006).)
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/11/misrepresenting_the_definition028051.html


I am still working through the rest of your post.

Offline BibleStudent

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Any response to the olive branch I tried to extend in my earlier post in the thread, BibleStudent?

My time is pretty limited today so please be patient. Thank you. I've only been able to sign on a couple of times today for a few minutes each time.

Offline BibleStudent

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You are going to have to pick and choose then, aren't you. Assemble the best arguments from the substantial body of evidence and get it posted.

In a nutshell, for me, the incredible complexity of life and the vastness of the universe points to an Intelligent Designer (the God of the Bible). The naturalistic worldview and the theory of evolution along with the various hypotheses relating to abiogenesis all present an alternate view but, even collectively, they come up way too short to convince me. There are so many assumptions guesses, dishonesty, and floating variables behind crucial areas of it. Phylogenetics, for me, only demonstrates that different species have similar DNA which could point to an Intelligent Designer just as easily as it could to a common ancestor. Convincing evidence of beneficial random mutation is virtually non-existent. And, evolution cannot explain our desire to create things like art and music. Evolution cannot explain why animals have been known to flee an area just before a tsunami occurs. The TOE cannot account for why or how sexual reproduction evolved….and on and on I could go. These may seem like trivial issues but attempts to explain how the processes of evolution would/could account for them does not fit. Also, I could add numerous more unanswerable questions to the list. And this says nothing of the BIG blank that discussions about abiogenesis creates. Do I think the ToE is a complete farce? Absolutely not….and I have said this numerous times so please don't start flaming me for making these comments.
 
I find the moral argument, the Kalam Cosmological Argument (contemporary version), Intelligent Design Theory, the Ontological Argument (still trying to really understand this one), and the historical reliability of the Bible to be among the most influential in my belief.

I find the Bible to be an exceptional, accurate, and convincing account of why the world and life exists.

Christianity logically satisfies my need to understand:

How we got here.
Why we’re here.
Where we’re going.
How the universe and ‘life’ came to be.

Offline screwtape

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Christianity logically satisfies my need to understand:

Yet, so many xians throughout history have found those explanations to be wanting that they went off on their own, made observations, used rational tools and came to purely naturalistic explanations.  So, while the xian answers may satiate you, they do not everyone. 

Let us also not forget that while you disagree with with parts of evolution in favor of creationism because you like that conclusion better, there is a whole lot of science you agree with that also used to be considered anti-xian.  You should learn from that fact and get over your ID hangup. 

Telling children old wives tales stops the questions for a bit.  But eventually they should grow up, put away childish things and replace those tales with, you know, reality.

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Offline wheels5894

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OK, Biblestudent, thanks for that. I'll take your points one by one.

1. the Kalam Cosmological Argument has been taken apart so often , on this forum and in other places that I think I'll leave youa  film to watch which in interesting and informative.


2. The Ontological Argument is all very well but it is entirely made up. It is the person who created it just saying there ought to be a greatest being. Its like me saying there out to be the greatest restaurant in Edinburgh. Sadly, that doesn't make anything appear. Its theory only with no way of checking anything out.

3. Intelligent Design Theory(ID). This has the problem of not having enough about it to show itself as really scientific. It claims to make predictions but actually looks backwards at what we know and says it matches that. predictions in science have to not be things we know before they are made. However, the central claim to ID is that bits of animals or plants that are considered Irreducibly Complex (IR) are incapable of working if not all the parts are there. That's the claim. Ken Miller shows you in just a few minutes that this claim is rebutted in respect of the most significant case Michael Behe mentions of IR, the flagellum. Watch it right here and now.


Have a look at these films and let know what you think.
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Offline SevenPatch

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So you think the way in which Casey Luskin represents the scientific method is accurate?   

My personal opinion is that IDT certainly pushes the boundaries of the scientific method but, yes, I feel it is accurate.

ID fails the scientific method, or at least I haven’t seen ID successfully utilize the scientific method to prove anything.  I really don’t understand what you mean by “pushes the boundaries”, and I would associate any phrase like that with failing to use the scientific method accurately.  I don’t believe you actually care if ID uses the scientific method properly.  I do believe your only interest is that science be used to validate God.

My point was never that ID misrepresents the scientific method, only that Casey Luskin has in his article about ID.  I have yet to see any scientific paper in regards to ID which uses the scientific method accurately.  ID fails as a hypothesis, and thus should not be taught as science.

For reference, here is his article at http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/08/what_is_the_the075281.html and a pdf that he wrote http://www.discovery.org/f/986

It is odd that Luskin attempts to claim ID is not a negative argument against evolution yet insists on using terms like “Darwinian biologists” and “Darwinists”.  There is no such thing as a “Darwinian biologist” or “Darwinist”. 

Where are you seeing this? I did not observe these words in the either of the links you provided.

It is in the second link:

http://www.discovery.org/f/986

Under Table 1. Ways Designers Act When Designing (Observations)

“(4) Intelligent agents typically create functional things (although we may sometimes think something is functionless, not realizing its true function):  “Since non-coding regions do not produce proteins, Darwinian biologists have been dismissing them for decades as random evolutionary noise or ‘junk DNA.’ From an ID perspective, however, it is extremely unlikely that an organism would expend its resources on preserving and transmitting so much ‘junk’”

Under Table 3. Examining the Evidnece (Experiment and Conclusion)

“(3) Systematics – Similar parts have been found in organisms that even Darwinists see as separated by more closely related forms that do not contain the similar parts in question.  Clear examples include genes controlling eye or limb growth in different organisms whos alleged common ancestors are not thought to have had such forms of eyes or limbs”

“(4) Genetics – Genetic research continues to uncover functions for “junk-DNA,” include functionality for pseudogenes, introns, LINE, and ALU elements.  Examples of unknown DNA functions persist, but design encourages researchers to investigate functions, whereas Darwinism has caused some scientists to wrongly assume that non-coding DNA is junk.”


The four essential elements of the scientific method are iterations, recursions, interleaving or orderings of the following:

Characterizations (observations, definitions, and measurements of the subject of inquiry)
Hypotheses (theoretical, hypothetical explanations of observations and measurements of the subject)
Predictions (reasoning including logical deduction from the hypothesis or theory)
Experiments (tests of the characterizations, hypotheses and Predictions)

Where did you get this from? I think you failed to cite your source or are you crediting yourself with this?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

I went with the 4 essential elements for the scientific method as defined in Wikipedia (a source I already provided).  I provided other sources as well in Reply #76.


OBSERVATION: (which I guess are the characterizations plus general observations made by Luskin or someone else who may or may not be identified by Luskin)

Luskin attempts to define “Intelligent Agents”, however the terms used to do this are not used in any scientific way.  He fails to define the terms used to define “Intelligent Agents”, for example when he states that “Intelligent agents can rapidly infuse large amounts of information into systems:” the concept of information are not standard in information theory(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_theory  ).

None of this makes any sense. Intelligent Agents have been defined….a good example of which is in the second link you provided. What terms require definition? The last sentence (bolded) makes no sense at all.

My apologies, my grammar was poor for the bolded part, the point I was making was that “but his concept of information is not standard in information theory”.  He never defines what he means by information, is he talking about entropy, joint entropy, conditional entropy (equivocation), mutual information (transinformation), kullback-leibler divergence (information gain), kullback-leibler divergence of a prior from the truth, other quantities like Renyi entropy (a generalization of entropy), differential entropy (a generalization of quantities of information to continuous distributions, conditional mutual information, some of the above or all of the above.

From the way he is defining “intelligent Agents”, he seems to be defining humans.  Is Luskin saying that humans designed everything in the universe?

He never actually properly defines “intelligence”

Look it up in the dictionary. It’s a common word.

Well, since “Intelligence” is such an important part of ID, I would think that it would be thoroughly discussed, if the scientific method is being used.

But Okay, I looked it up.

I’ll used Merriam-Webster’s definition of “Intelligence”:

1 a (1) : the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations : REASON; also : the skilled use of reason (2) : the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one’s environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (as tests)
b : Christian Science : the basic eternal quality of divine Mind
c : mental acutemess : SHREWDNESS
2 a : an intelligent entity; especially : ANGEL
b : intelligent minds or mind <cosmic intelligence>
3 : the act of understanding : COMPREHENSION
4 a : INFORMATION, NEWS
b : information concerning an enemy or possible enemy or an area; also : an agency engaged in obtaining such information
5 : the ability to perform computer functions

Well I sure hope Luskin isn’t using the “1 b : Christian Science : the basic eternal quality of divine Mind” or “2 a : an intelligent entity; especially : ANGEL” definitions of intelligence, otherwise ID would be religious and there goes the whole idea, of teaching ID in public schools, right out the window. 


, thus never providing any indication of how much “intelligence” can be expected to either prove the hypothesis or disprove it.

What makes you think that a certain level of intelligence needs to be identified?

Well, if “intelligence” is defined as a skilled use of reason, one could find that the “Intelligent agent” had no skilled use of reason, yet the “Intelligent agent” could still be considered to be proven to exist because unskilled use of reason was used.

Without properly defining the key elements of the observations, hypothesis and experiements, ID is set up to be proven correct no matter what.  Why even go through the trouble of pretending to be scientific?  Just assume the Intelligent Agent exists and if anyone asks for evidence just point to existing science like evolution as your proof. 


Luskin also never defines “specified complexity”
Then what is this?:
In the evolutionnews.org article, Luskin does quote a definition for “complex and specified information” which was provided by William Dembski.  “Complex and specified information” is defined as a rare or highly unlikely event which conforms to an independently derived pattern.

That is a definition of “complex and specific information”, which is supposed to be a means of detecting an Intelligent Agent.  Luskin doesn’t actually define “specified complexity”, but he does note that Dembski wrote that “the defining feature of intelligent causes is their ability to create novel information and, in particular, specified complexity”.

So I guess “specified complexity” is a form of novel information which is a defining feature of intelligent causes.  I personally don’t think that qualifies as a definition, the definition of “complex and specified information” is better.  You could be correct though and they are one in the same, although Luskin doesn’t actually say they are one in the same.

Likely though, both “specific complexity” and “complex and specific information” are the types of information Luskin are using, however as I said, neither are standard forms found in information theory.

This is just absurd.  On the very first step of the scientific method, ID has failed, and we haven’t even gotten to his misrepresentation of the scientific method.

While you've written of words so far, you have done nothing to discredit or invalidate IDT as being scientific.

If a supposed science can’t define words, how exactly is it science?  If what I’ve said so far doesn’t invalidate ID in your eyes, then I doubt anything would.  Everything is science then. 

This is basically “Irreducible complexity” which is worthless as evidence and is in fact a negative argument against the ToE (oops, so much for the claim that ID is not a negative argument against the ToE).

This is a common misconception amongst opponents of IDT.

Irreducibly complex systems such as mousetraps and flagella serve both as negative arguments against gradualistic explanations like Darwin's and as positive arguments for design. The negative argument is that such interactive systems resist explanation by the tiny steps that a Darwinian path would be expected to take. The positive argument is that their parts appear arranged to serve a purpose, which is exactly how we detect design. (Darwin's Black Box, pp. 263-264 (2006).)
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/11/misrepresenting_the_definition028051.html


I am still working through the rest of your post.

Well considering that neither mousetraps and flagella are irreducibly complex, your bold quote  from “Darwin’s Black Box” is off to a bad start.  So the quote says, IC is both a negative argument and a positive argument, how exactly does that show that IC is not a negative argument?

Also, I’m okay with things appearing arranged, however I would like to see any kind of evidence linking that which appears to be arranged and a designer.  After all, we know that humans are conditioned to see patterns.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 04:52:36 PM by SevenPatch »
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Offline BibleStudent

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My apologies, my grammar was poor for the bolded part, the point I was making was that “but his concept of information is not standard in information theory”.  He never defines what he means by information, is he talking about entropy, joint entropy, conditional entropy (equivocation), mutual information (transinformation), kullback-leibler divergence (information gain), kullback-leibler divergence of a prior from the truth, other quantities like Renyi entropy (a generalization of entropy), differential entropy (a generalization of quantities of information to continuous distributions, conditional mutual information, some of the above or all of the above.

Okay. I see what you are getting at now. Good question. See if this provides a basis for the information sought out in IDT:

http://www.arn.org/docs/dembski/wd_idtheory.htm

From the way he is defining “intelligent Agents”, he seems to be defining humans.  Is Luskin saying that humans designed everything in the universe?

In a sense, he is defining humans but only as a reference point. I have never seen it suggested in any IDT literature that humans created the universe.

While you've written of words so far, you have done nothing to discredit or invalidate IDT as being scientific.

If a supposed science can’t define words, how exactly is it science?  If what I’ve said so far doesn’t invalidate ID in your eyes, then I doubt anything would.  Everything is science then. 

Disregard what I said here. I was typing on a computer whose browser didn't like something in the format of the 'Post Reply' function on this website and while I thought I had it corrected, I obviously didn't. What it was supposed to say is: "While you've written a lot of words so far, you have done nothing to discredit or invalidate IDT as being scientific."

Well considering that neither mousetraps and flagella are irreducibly complex, your bold quote  from “Darwin’s Black Box” is off to a bad start.  So the quote says, IC is both a negative argument and a positive argument, how exactly does that show that IC is not a negative argument?

If you've never done so, try and find some material that explains in intricate detail what the bacterial flagellum is, or the Cilium is, or the ATP Synthase Molecule is. I could give you some links but I don't want you to think I am pointing you to something that has an IDT slant to it (although I will if you want me to). Just examine the makeup and function of any or all of these structures and see for yourself just how enormously complex they are....and then see if produces a better understanding why IDT exists.

Also, if there is an element of IDT being a 'negative argument,' what exactly does that mean to you?

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If you and wheels5894 were being honest, you would admit that the request is primarily born out of a desire to be antagonistic.

So now you can read minds? Cool! What number am I thinking of?

666.

Be honest.

Funny request coming from you, but whatever.

This must the point in the thread when I start getting accused of being dishonest. This is a well known tactic and is very predictable.

  If it means anything to you I would of called you dishonest after only a few posts.
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Offline SevenPatch

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Okay. I see what you are getting at now. Good question. See if this provides a basis for the information sought out in IDT:

http://www.arn.org/docs/dembski/wd_idtheory.htm

Would you like me to debunk this article or would you prefer I post several links of others (who are probably more qualified than me) who have debunked Dembski.

I started reading his article and the first thought that came to my mind is that this guy doesn’t actually understand information theory.  He quoted a philosopher who loosely uses the word information in his book inquiry which is about the process of acquiring and changing beliefs about the world and argues that a pragmatic approach better solves the philosophical problems about the nature of mental representation.  The way in which Dembski quotes other published authors is seriously questionable.

I’d probably have to read the books which Dembski quotes to really get a good idea of how full of shit he is.

So let’s read a little more about William Dembski:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_A._Dembski  < lots of controversy surrounding this guy

So here are a bunch of sources debunking pretty much all of Dembski’s claims:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specified_complexity < go to Criticisms

http://www.talkreason.org/articles/eandsdembski.pdf

http://scienceblogs.com/goodmath/2006/06/16/dembskis-profound-lack-of-comp/

http://www.talkreason.org/articles/Pandasthumb.pdf

Articles from Mark Perakh:

http://www.talkreason.org/articles/dembski.cfm

http://www.talkreason.org/articles/Chap11.pdf

http://www.talkreason.org/articles/Skeptic_paper.cfm

http://www.talkreason.org/articles/complexity.pdf

http://www.talkreason.org/articles/math.cfm

http://www.talkreason.org/articles/newmath.cfm

Reading up more on the guy and the outright lies he’s told about evolution, I can’t really tell if he is just a pathological liar or complete idiot.  No seriously, don’t question this guy, he’s awesome, everything he says is gold.  Keep questioning evolution and the literally 150 years of established scientifically peer reviewed theories by hundreds of thousands of professional scientists with various backgrounds and specializations across over a dozen fields of scientific study but don’t question William Dembski.

Nope, can’t question that William Dembski guy, everything he says makes perfect sense.  Look he even uses math!  Oh man.


From the way he is defining “intelligent Agents”, he seems to be defining humans.  Is Luskin saying that humans designed everything in the universe?

In a sense, he is defining humans but only as a reference point. I have never seen it suggested in any IDT literature that humans created the universe.

Well considering humans are the only known intelligent agents we can prove exist with reasonable experimentation, until we see some evidence for some other intelligent agent what other choice would we have but to conclude that humans created the universe.

Maybe aliens did it.

While you've written of words so far, you have done nothing to discredit or invalidate IDT as being scientific.

If a supposed science can’t define words, how exactly is it science?  If what I’ve said so far doesn’t invalidate ID in your eyes, then I doubt anything would.  Everything is science then. 

Disregard what I said here. I was typing on a computer whose browser didn't like something in the format of the 'Post Reply' function on this website and while I thought I had it corrected, I obviously didn't. What it was supposed to say is: "While you've written a lot of words so far, you have done nothing to discredit or invalidate IDT as being scientific."


What I said still holds true.  Seriously, what would you consider to discredit or invalidate ID as being scientific?

 

If you've never done so, try and find some material that explains in intricate detail what the bacterial flagellum is, or the Cilium is, or the ATP Synthase Molecule is. I could give you some links but I don't want you to think I am pointing you to something that has an IDT slant to it (although I will if you want me to). Just examine the makeup and function of any or all of these structures and see for yourself just how enormously complex they are....and then see if produces a better understanding why IDT exists.

Also, if there is an element of IDT being a 'negative argument,' what exactly does that mean to you?

I have already.

I knew ID was crap when I still believed God existed.  In fact it was the lies and dishonesty of ID and Christian apologetics that really pushed me into learning more about philosophy, psychology and theology until I got to the point where I just didn’t believe in any god anymore and afterwards I studied evolution more to really understand the theory.

Hypotheses that rely on a established theory to be incorrect without actually providing any new evidence or making meaningful predictions usually don’t do well.
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Online jaimehlers

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My time is pretty limited today so please be patient. Thank you. I've only been able to sign on a couple of times today for a few minutes each time.
I just wanted to make sure you'd seen it.  Take your time.

Offline BibleStudent

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The only thing expecting 100% accuracy does is suggest that you don't really understand science very well.  Worse, it suggests that you don't care about that same level of accuracy in other things that you do agree with.

Where I expect 100% accuracy is when science claims to “know” the answers.  Let’s not distort my statement by implying that I meant science is required to produce 100% accuracy in all of its findings.

Not to mention your own religious beliefs, since it's outright impossible to demonstrate that level of accuracy in something that relies so heavily on subjective, personal experience. 

If I had ever indicated that “I know God exists,” then you would have a leg to stand on here. I believe there is a high probability that He exists but I would never go so far as to say or imply that I “know” it be true.

I just find it rather perplexing to believe you condone the wording in the textbook we are discussing. You seem like a rather intelligent person who is probably capable of forming conclusions outside of whatever bias you might have. I’ll grant you that I, personally, do not consider the wording to be a grave unforgiving error that demands a jail sentence for someone. However, the strange rationalization taking place in your defense of the text is, in my opinion, very telling of some uncontrolled power of your bias.

Seriously, have you ever held intelligent design to the same standard that you're holding evolution to, or even come remotely close?

Absolutely.

As somewhat of an example (although maybe not the greatest), you may recall that I agreed with you not too long ago when you had constructed a strong argument for special pleading in the Cosmological Argument…this occurred in another thread and, again, it was not that long ago. If an argument or position is presented with strong enough evidence, I believe that I am capable of accepting it even if it could potentially inflict damage to my Christian beliefs. 

Yet, what we see time and again is that we can make accurate, falsifiable predictions about the universe, and even when we discover new things, they fit with what we've already learned, expanding our knowledge and our understanding of things.

This is true.

Also, understand this.  I do not have faith as you understand the term.  This is one thing I really wish theists would figure out - that just because you have religious faith, doesn't mean other people do.  I put my trust in things that are demonstrated, and the scientific method has demonstrated itself to be the most accurate way we have of discovering and demonstrating things. 

Oh, yes you do use your faith in science to form your worldview. If that were not true, you could present irrefutable proof of soup to humans. Your faith in science is demonstrated anytime you assert that someday science will produce the answers to things we don’t yet have the answers to. Personally, I have never really understood why some non-theists who embrace naturalism and the ToE get all torqued up when some accuses them of having faith in science. What is so insulting about that?

It's not ridiculous at all.  A scientist can point to the evidence which forms the basis of their knowledge.  What can you point to?  Your own, personal, subjective experiences.  The only thing you can do is tell other people about those experiences, which doesn't do a whit of good unless they decide to believe you

I don’t rely exclusively on “personal, subjective experiences” to form my beliefs. There are strong philosophical arguments and theological evidence along with Intelligent Design Theory that plays a role in my beliefs.

But with evidence, you don't have to depend on what a scientist personally and subjectively experienced.  He can show you that evidence, repeat the experiments he did in front of you, show you how to do them yourself so you get the same result he did, and demonstrate the validity of the conclusions that he came to.  That's how the whole concept of peer review works.

This is true but when science cannot produce the answers people are looking for or it starts engaging in deceit and fraud, it loses credibility and people begin looking elsewhere and it is precisely this element of curiosity and our human inclination to explore that should be respected and allowed to advance. Boxing civilization into a worldview via militant insistence that those who  deny it are deluded idiots is  profoundly disturbing.

Have you seen legal contracts?  That's the cost of the kind of precision you're demanding - something that's turgid, difficult to read, and leaves you going "huh?" after you've managed to wade through all the precise wordings in order to make sure that there's no confusion as to what they meant.  What you're complaining about is the result of trying to make sure the information is present while making sure that it's comprehensible.  Sometimes you end up with less-optimal word choices, but the way to deal with it is to contact the textbook manufacturer about your concerns, not to kick up this kind of outrageous fuss because you think it's to cover weaknesses in evolutionary theory, or whatever.

You mean like the outrageous fuss the OP apparently felt was warranted with regards to Responsive Ed’s curriculum?

Since we both feel the same way, how about instead of snarling at each other over what amounts to a line in the sand, we try to discuss it like two rational adults?

I highly prefer this. I dislike it very much when some of these threads become a contest to see who can insult the opposing party(ies) with greater effect.

I don't know if you're aware of this, but it's common for people to misunderstand each other in text-only conversation.  It loses all the subtext - body language, tone of voice, and everything else - so what you intend to say can very often be lost with it.

Yes. This is very true and I couldn’t agree more.


The whole point of my involvement here was to demonstrate an element of hypocrisy and militant-like opposition that seems to come raging forth whenever a hint of Intelligent Design or Creationism is introduced into what is supposed to be the sacred territory of the ToE. It just baffles me that anyone would want to stifle the curiosity and creative nature of other people for the sake of protecting and preserving something that clearly does not have all of the answers. Frankly, I think it takes a blend of   arrogance, fear, irresponsibility, and dishonesty to try and box other people in like that.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 09:28:14 PM by BibleStudent »

Offline BibleStudent

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Reading up more on the guy and the outright lies he’s told about evolution, I can’t really tell if he is just a pathological liar or complete idiot.  No seriously, don’t question this guy, he’s awesome, everything he says is gold.  Keep questioning evolution and the literally 150 years of established scientifically peer reviewed theories by hundreds of thousands of professional scientists with various backgrounds and specializations across over a dozen fields of scientific study but don’t question William Dembski.

Nope, can’t question that William Dembski guy, everything he says makes perfect sense.  Look he even uses math!  Oh man.

So, are you going to rely on a bunch of articles and links that you believe discredit Dembski...or are you going to do the responsible thing and read his material and decide for yourself?

Well considering humans are the only known intelligent agents we can prove exist with reasonable experimentation, until we see some evidence for some other intelligent agent what other choice would we have but to conclude that humans created the universe.

Maybe aliens did it.

Yep. That is a possibility...albeit not one that I personally find to be likely.

What I said still holds true.  Seriously, what would you consider to discredit or invalidate ID as being scientific?

A clear indication that it was not doing what it set out to do.

I have already.

I knew ID was crap when I still believed God existed.  In fact it was the lies and dishonesty of ID and Christian apologetics that really pushed me into learning more about philosophy, psychology and theology until I got to the point where I just didn’t believe in any god anymore and afterwards I studied evolution more to really understand the theory.

Hypotheses that rely on a established theory to be incorrect without actually providing any new evidence or making meaningful predictions usually don’t do well.

Okay. Got it.

Offline SevenPatch

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Reading up more on the guy and the outright lies he’s told about evolution, I can’t really tell if he is just a pathological liar or complete idiot.  No seriously, don’t question this guy, he’s awesome, everything he says is gold.  Keep questioning evolution and the literally 150 years of established scientifically peer reviewed theories by hundreds of thousands of professional scientists with various backgrounds and specializations across over a dozen fields of scientific study but don’t question William Dembski.

Nope, can’t question that William Dembski guy, everything he says makes perfect sense.  Look he even uses math!  Oh man.

So, are you going to rely on a bunch of articles and links that you believe discredit Dembski...or are you going to do the responsible thing and read his material and decide for yourself?

I did start reading it and started picking it apart.  I could spend my time explaining to you point by point what is wrong with it but I don't get the impression you care.

Are you going to do the responsible thing and read it and actually research the relevant topics for yourself?  Instead of just blindly supporting the links that support your beliefs which you hold so dear.
"Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride - SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry! Look at my big bank account, and my family! This just HAS to be real!" - Bill Hicks

Offline BibleStudent

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Reading up more on the guy and the outright lies he’s told about evolution, I can’t really tell if he is just a pathological liar or complete idiot.  No seriously, don’t question this guy, he’s awesome, everything he says is gold.  Keep questioning evolution and the literally 150 years of established scientifically peer reviewed theories by hundreds of thousands of professional scientists with various backgrounds and specializations across over a dozen fields of scientific study but don’t question William Dembski.

Nope, can’t question that William Dembski guy, everything he says makes perfect sense.  Look he even uses math!  Oh man.

So, are you going to rely on a bunch of articles and links that you believe discredit Dembski...or are you going to do the responsible thing and read his material and decide for yourself?

I did start reading it and started picking it apart.  I could spend my time explaining to you point by point what is wrong with it but I don't get the impression you care.

Are you going to do the responsible thing and read it and actually research the relevant topics for yourself?  Instead of just blindly supporting the links that support your beliefs which you hold so dear.

I'm not quite sure I know what the it is in your question?...the links you provided or the ones I provided?...or something else? And, also, what makes you think that I "blindly" support anything?...or is that just you 'blindly' assuming something?

Frankly, based on how comments are appearing in your posts, I highly suspect that you have never really dug into IDT until now. Don't know that for certain (of course) but you are not speaking as though you are even moderately familiar with IDT and your knowledge seems to be evolving as we go along. Am I right?

Offline SevenPatch

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I'm not quite sure I know what the it is in your question?...the links you provided or the ones I provided?...or something else? And, also, what makes you think that I "blindly" support anything?...or is that just you 'blindly' assuming something?

Frankly, based on how comments are appearing in your posts, I highly suspect that you have never really dug into IDT until now. Don't know that for certain (of course) but you are not speaking as though you are even moderately familiar with IDT and your knowledge seems to be evolving as we go along. Am I right?

I was referring to your own link.  Did you bother reading Dembski's article and critiqueing it?

I tore apart Luskin's article fairly easily yet to you nothing I said mattered.  I'm wasting my time, even if you did read Dembski's article you'd just say it's great.  Who cares if Dembski equates complexity, information and probability which makes no sense.  Nevermind that Dembski never explains why a perceived specified posibility and perceived random posibility are actually different when the probability is the same.

I was hoping you would actually discuss ID for yourself but instead you copy/paste BS predictions and provide a link to an article written by a guy who doesn't understand information theory, has questionable ethics and is likely a pathological liar. 

It doesn't really matter what I say does it.  No matter how convincing, sensible, rational, logical or correct I may be, you can just fall back on "SevenPatch is just some nobody on the Internet, I'll just keep believing the guy with a phd who says things that confirm my beliefs".


Tomorrow I'll take a section of his article and explain thoroughly why it's BS.  After that, you're on your own.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2014, 12:26:46 AM by SevenPatch »
"Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride - SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry! Look at my big bank account, and my family! This just HAS to be real!" - Bill Hicks

Offline BibleStudent

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It doesn't really matter what I say does it.  No matter how convincing, sensible, rational, logical or correct I may be, you can just fall back on "SevenPatch is just some nobody on the Internet, I'll just keep believing the guy with a phd who says things that confirm my beliefs".

The vast majority of the time that someone of Dembski's standing is criticized for his work, you will find those criticisms defended. So, I ask: are you just seeking out the criticisms or are you seeking out the responses to those criticisms as well? If you are simply loading up on the criticisms, you are bound to form a distorted impression that is neither fair to the person who produced the work or to yourself.

And, yes, it does matter what you say but you are going to need a much stronger argument than you've produced so far to persuade me that IDT is not a form of science.

Tomorrow I'll take a section of his article and explain thoroughly why it's BS.  After that, you're on your own.

I anxiously await to hear your thoughts.

Offline Boots

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What it was supposed to say is: "While you've written a lot of words so far, you have done nothing to discredit or invalidate IDT as being scientific."

OK, I'll write very little and discredit IDT as being unscientific.

IT IS UNFALSIFIABLE.

I again challenge you to give a hypothetical example of some data that could prove ID invalid/wrong.
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Offline wheels5894

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Well, Boots, that's only nearly true. Behe defines Irreducible complexity (IR) as

Quote
"composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning"

In fact this gives us, more or less, a way of falsifying ID. Take the flagellum which has been a centrepiece of illustration of the principle of IR. Without all its parts it doesn't work. So it is IR. However, if one takes off the 40 molecules that make the whip end, what one has left isn't a motor, its and injector used by various bacteria to inject poison into other cells. It's still functional, though not for locomotion. The 40 bits of the whip are in various other uses in cells so the whole if the flagellum assembly works fine in parts as well as when assembled. That pretty much falsifies ID on this one object though we have to be careful as it is people like Behe who can easily modify the definition to avoid this sort of falsification.

No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such that its falshood would be more miraculous than the facts it endeavours to establish. (David Hume)

Offline BibleStudent

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Well, Boots, that's only nearly true. Behe defines Irreducible complexity (IR) as

Quote
"composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning"

In fact this gives us, more or less, a way of falsifying ID. Take the flagellum which has been a centrepiece of illustration of the principle of IR. Without all its parts it doesn't work. So it is IR. However, if one takes off the 40 molecules that make the whip end, what one has left isn't a motor, its and injector used by various bacteria to inject poison into other cells. It's still functional, though not for locomotion. The 40 bits of the whip are in various other uses in cells so the whole if the flagellum assembly works fine in parts as well as when assembled. That pretty much falsifies ID on this one object though we have to be careful as it is people like Behe who can easily modify the definition to avoid this sort of falsification.

Exactly how does this falsify 'irreducible complexity?' Seems you only supported the flagellum's IR by demonstrating that it can't function with certain parts missing....which is exactly what IR means.

Offline Boots

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Well, Boots, that's only nearly true. Behe defines Irreducible complexity (IR) as

Quote
"composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning"

In fact this gives us, more or less, a way of falsifying ID. Take the flagellum which has been a centrepiece of illustration of the principle of IR. Without all its parts it doesn't work. So it is IR. However, if one takes off the 40 molecules that make the whip end, what one has left isn't a motor, its and injector used by various bacteria to inject poison into other cells. It's still functional, though not for locomotion. The 40 bits of the whip are in various other uses in cells so the whole if the flagellum assembly works fine in parts as well as when assembled. That pretty much falsifies ID on this one object though we have to be careful as it is people like Behe who can easily modify the definition to avoid this sort of falsification.

Exactly how does this falsify 'irreducible complexity?' Seems you only supported the flagellum's IR by demonstrating that it can't function with certain parts missing....which is exactly what IR means.

Huh?  It's stating that it CAN function with parts missing.  Or more precisely, it adequately completes a function.  That it's not the same function is irrelevant.

but still, how can IR be falsified?
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Offline BibleStudent

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Exactly how does this falsify 'irreducible complexity?' Seems you only supported the flagellum's IR by demonstrating that it can't function with certain parts missing....which is exactly what IR means.

Huh?  It's stating that it CAN function with parts missing.  Or more precisely, it adequately completes a function.  That it's not the same function is irrelevant.

What do you mean it's irrelevant. It's absolutely relevant. All wheels5894 has done is identify a sub-system and now the flagellum is no longer functioning as a rotary propulsion system. What happened to the rotary propulsion system that makes the flagellum irreducibly complex?

Quote
but still, how can IR be falsified?

"Well, all a scientist has to do to prove me wrong is to take a bacterium without a flagellum, or knock out the genes for the flagellum in a bacterium, go into his lab and grow that bug for a long time and see if it produces anything resembling a flagellum. If that happened, intelligent design, as I understand it, would be knocked out of the water. I certainly don’t expect it to happen, but it’s easily falsified by a series of such experiments." Michael Behe

Offline wheels5894

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An aside. Michael Demski, one of the inventors of ID has this to say in July/August, 1999, issue of Touchstone Magazine. It's quite revealing of what he intended ID to be.

Quote
... intelligent design should be understood as the evidence that God has placed in nature to show that the physical world is the product of intelligence and not simply the result of mindless material forces. This evidence is available to all apart from the special revelation of God in salvation history as recounted in Scripture. ... To be sure, creationists who support intelligent design think it does not go far enough in elucidating the Christian understanding of creation. And they are right! ... Even so, there is an immediate payoff to intelligent design: it destroys the atheistic legacy of Darwinian evolution. Intelligent design makes it impossible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist. This gives intelligent design incredible traction as a tool for apologetics, opening up the God-question to individuals who think that science has buried God[1]
 1. http://www.designinference.com/documents/2005.08.Commending_President_Bush.pdf

As everyone can see it is an entirely scientific exercise with no thought of religion!

Care to comment on this. Biblestudent?
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Offline Boots

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Exactly how does this falsify 'irreducible complexity?' Seems you only supported the flagellum's IR by demonstrating that it can't function with certain parts missing....which is exactly what IR means.

Huh?  It's stating that it CAN function with parts missing.  Or more precisely, it adequately completes a function.  That it's not the same function is irrelevant.

What do you mean it's irrelevant. It's absolutely relevant. All wheels5894 has done is identify a sub-system and now the flagellum is no longer functioning as a rotary propulsion system. What happened to the rotary propulsion system that makes the flagellum irreducibly complex?

we know that this is not how evolution works.  The famous argument "what use is half a wing?" is answered by the fact that while a partial wing cannot be used to fly, it can be used for other things, like slowing descent or catching insects or making longer leaps to escape predators.  We know that evolving structures don't have an "end goal" of making, for example, a wing for flight.  Survivable traits are selected for, and sometimes new functions can be had by evolving things, like wings.  Or injection thingies that become propulsion thingies.

Quote
Quote
but still, how can IR be falsified?

"Well, all a scientist has to do to prove me wrong is to take a bacterium without a flagellum, or knock out the genes for the flagellum in a bacterium, go into his lab and grow that bug for a long time and see if it produces anything resembling a flagellum. If that happened, intelligent design, as I understand it, would be knocked out of the water. I certainly don’t expect it to happen, but it’s easily falsified by a series of such experiments." Michael Behe

There's something wrong with this, but I can't put my finger on it yet.  I need to chew on it some more.
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There's something wrong with this, but I can't put my finger on it yet.  I need to chew on it some more.

Maybe the fact that evolution on that scale takes far too long for scientists to be able to conduct such an experiment? That's one possibility.
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