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"Intelligent" Design


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On the McNeill- Lehrer news hour 05/05/05 there was a debate on subject topic . It was the usual 'if there is a clock there must be a clockmaker type argument " . NOBODY , however raised the obvious question host or guests , raised the question of well over a billion & half years of biological incrementalism in honing the complexity of the mechanisms of being "alive " as we understand it now . In an earlier issue of Scientific American ( I forget the issue ) there was an article on molecules capable of self replication ; surely it is not an impossible jump to say eons of natural selection on such entities could give us what we have now ? PS I totally reject the concept of intelligent design .If such an intelligence ( usually assumed to be a benign loving & merciful God ) DID the design as purported , would HE also have devised the process of natural selection which is death by varied horrible ( predation , starvation , disease , etc ) means ?

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Yeah, I saw that too. If I were teaching evolution or biology or paleontology or whatever, I would introduce the subject by pointing out that since we would be discussing the origins of life, we must also recognize that there are many ideas across many cultures with explanations about this important subject. That would cover the first day, then we would move on with the science. There are other places to discuss and ponder the implications, like churches, mosques, the dinner table, a Zen temple, or a stroll on the beach.

 

Politically, "Intelligent Design" is simply a euphemism for Christian theological teachings, nothing more. It's just like "faith-based initiatives." It sounds better to say those things, because "Christian Dogma" or the "Great Reeducation Process" sound too scary.

 

As an atheist, and one who reads a lot and attends various seminars and lectures in the DC area, it is not at all difficult for me to appreciate the complexity of the Universe and that all this complexity emerged through a very long and arduous process NOT directed by intelligence. I appreciate the role of religion, of course, but our need for the ancient ways is slowly being overwhelmed by an even stronger need for something better. Perhaps a religion in which the human is the center of the spiritual world, instead of a deity, is required.

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On the McNeill- Lehrer news hour 05/05/05 there was a debate on subject topic . It was the usual 'if there is a clock there must be a clockmaker type argument " . NOBODY , however raised the obvious question host or guests , raised the question of well over a billion & half years of biological incrementalism in honing the complexity of the mechanisms of being "alive " as we understand it now . In an earlier issue of Scientific American ( I forget the issue ) there was an article on molecules capable of self replication ; surely it is not an impossible jump to say eons of natural selection on such entities could give us what we have now ? PS I totally reject the concept of intelligent design .If such an intelligence ( usually assumed to be a benign loving & merciful God ) DID the design as purported , would HE also have devised the process of natural selection which is death by varied horrible ( predation , starvation , disease , etc ) means ?

 

I would have some apologetic points to make in the defense of ID here, but as I understand the forum guidelines, if I say what I want to say in response, I may be jeopardizing myself with more negative points. You are being allowed to debunk ID here, but I'm not sure whether a substantial ID apologetic response would be allowed in this science forum.

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but I'm not sure whether a substantial ID apologetic response would be allowed in this science forum.

 

As ID isn't much more than an argument from ignorance/incredulity, it's certainly not in friendly terms with the scientific community, and the active campaign against science by some ID group isn't helping. Is ID testable ? No. Does it make any accurate predictions ? No. It's not very hard to see why ID isn't science, it's even quite obvious.

 

"The theory of intelligent design says life on earth is too complex to have developed through evolution, implying that a higher power must have had a hand in creation."

 

Behold the infinite power of the God of the gaps.

 

I would challenge you to demonstrate the usefulness of ID in science, however I'm a little afraid our discussion might bore to death many forumers with another Creation/Evolution debate.

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buzsaw,

 

Really? I think a healthy, respectful debate on this important subject would be encouraged. It will likely not be settled for several centuries, but why not give it a go?

 

One of my best friends is an evangelist, and another is becoming a pastor. We have some fascinating discussions - I never think less of them, and they tell me they never think I'm an immoral, lost soul.

 

Indeed, discussions with fellow atheists can be quite tense, perhaps because we exchange ideas on the nuances of our "belief systems."

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I think intelligent design does not fit into science classrooms at all. However, it would not bother me if it is taught in a philosophy class.

 

Agreed. As long as it's not considered science....

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I would have some apologetic points to make in the defense of ID here, but as I understand the forum guidelines, if I say what I want to say in response, I may be jeopardizing myself with more negative points. You are being allowed to debunk ID here, but I'm not sure whether a substantial ID apologetic response would be allowed in this science forum.

 

And this is precisely why, because any IDer's will spew forth a mess of intellectual dishonesty (like this) that I and others have to clean up.

 

For your information, and as I understand things, you are not forbidden from posting about creationism and ID. However, the burden of proof is on you, and if you start spewing stuff that's been disproven multiple times in this forum alone (such as 'irreducible complexity' or 'there are flaws in radiological dating'), the posts will be moved to the psuedoscience where they belong. You may continue discussion there, if you wish, where you won't bother real science discussions.

 

So basically, nobody's shutting down discussion, just streamlining it by preventing the usual creationist/IDer tactic of spewing the same arguements over and over, as they always do. If you want to find the answer to such things as 'irreducible complexity', use the search button.

 

Really? I think a healthy, respectful debate on this important subject would be encouraged. It will likely not be settled for several centuries, but why not give it a go?

 

Hence why we have it set up so that healthy debate (that isn't recycled BS) can go on, but not just the typical debate in which the creationist/IDer flings out 'reasons evolution is wrong' that we've heard, disproven, heard again, disproven again, heard yet again and are thoroughly sick of by now.

 

The debate is already settled, and has been for nearly 150 years. One side simply refuses to realize this, and as a result, they insist on wasting everyone's time.

 

Mokele

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The origin of life has, in fact, not been settled. I have my own theories on how life emerged, and it has nothing to do with a deity. But for many people, and for many scientists in particular, the issue is not settled at all.

 

In addition, natural selection (the IDer's favorite thing to take aim at) is a theory of how life emerged and how it evolves over time. Being a theory, it must be challenged and tested. Natural selection has stood up very well to any and all challenges, and has been elaborated upon and modified accordingly since 1859. I am convinced that natural selection is responsible for how life evolves. But a whole lot of people are not because they simply don't get it or because their faith fills in the blanks, allowing them the trouble to actually think.

 

The faithful somehow think that evolution, and more specifically "science" in general, are belief systems. They are not. Science in particular is a standardized process of developing a hypothesis about why a thing works, testing that hypothesis, and releasing the results of the tests so that others may test the hypothesis as well. As these hypotheses form, many contribute to a bigger domain called a theory. In turn, that theory can be challenged and tested as well. None of this effort aims to find the "meaning" behind this or that process - that is for the religions and philosophers to hash out. Indeed, my studies have lead me to a view of the Universe; science does not provide "The Meaning" for me, it fills in the bits and pieces, and I assign meaning to the ever evolving picture.

 

Religions cannot be tested in this way. That is why people who believe in them have faith. Faith is simply not good enough for me, and it hasn't proven good enough for millions of people since about 400 years ago.

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The origin of life has, in fact, not been settled. I have my own theories on how life emerged, and it has nothing to do with a deity.

Oh, super.

 

In addition, natural selection (the IDer's favorite thing to take aim at) is a theory of how life emerged and how it evolves over time.

No. Abogenesis is not connected to natural selection. You are mistaken.

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Me (a strong atheist) and a friend (a strong Christian) were having a small debate over AIM about evolution vs. "intelligent design". He emails me an article later saying that it "proves everything" and that "evolution is wrong". The article goes something like this:

 

How can the Church reach today's spiritual skeptics? Former atheist and best-selling author Lee Strobel examines new scientific discoveries and evidence for God as creator of the universe and author of life .

 

By Lee Strobel

 

I was a 14-year-old freshman at Prospect High School near Chicago when I first heard the liberating news that propelled me toward a life of atheism.

 

My teacher told me that Stanley Miller of the University of Chicago had reproduced the atmosphere of the primitive earth and shot electric sparks through it to simulate lightning. The experiment resulted in the creation of a reddish goo that contained amino acids, the building blocks of life.

 

My mind flashed to the logical implication: If the origin of life can be explained solely through natural processes, then God was out of a job! There was no need for a deity if living organisms could emerge by themselves out of the primordial soup, then develop naturally over the eons into increasingly complex creatures.

 

I would probably still be mired in atheism if it weren't for the woman I later married. Leslie's decision to follow Christ prompted me to use my journalism and legal background to investigate whether or not Christianity makes sense—a quest that included studying the scientific evidence for a creator as well as the historical evidence for Jesus. My conclusions ultimately ended up changing my entire life.

 

My initial fall into spiritual skepticism is hardly unique. I've lost count of the number of doubters who've told me that their seeds of uncertainty were planted when they studied Darwinism in school. As Oxford evolutionist Richard Dawkins said: "The more you understand the significance of evolution, the more you are pushed away from an agnostic position and toward atheism."

 

Dawkins isn't alone in believing that science clashes with faith. However, my extensive investigation convinced me that the opposite is true. Actually, the most up-to-date scientific evidence points more powerfully toward God than ever before in history.

 

Hopefully, these new findings will give the members of your congregation the confidence and knowledge they need to help their spiritually skeptical friends discover that science—when done right—can be a tremendous ally to faith.

 

Contradicting Darwin

My investigation into the scientific evidence for God began with an analysis of Charles Darwin's claim that the natural processes of evolution are responsible for all the diverse forms of life we see today. It didn't take long to discover that much of what I had been taught about evolution was simply wrong—and that natural processes cannot account for the origin and development of life. The evidence is startling.

 

For instance, scientists have concluded that the atmosphere Miller used in his origin-of-life experiment didn't really reflect the environment of the early earth after all. When an accurate atmosphere is used in the experiment, the building blocks of life are not produced—not even close! In fact, no one has offered a viable theory for how non-living chemicals could have somehow self-assembled into the first living cell.

 

I also learned that the drawings by 19th century biologist Ernst Haeckel, which purport to show that the earliest embryos of human beings and seven other animals are virtually identical, were actually faked—and scientists have known it for a hundred years. Yet his drawings helped convince me—and generations of other students—that all of life must share a common ancestry.

 

Moreover, the fossil record has stubbornly refused to confirm the grand claims of Darwinism and, in many ways, points toward opposite conclusions. In short, I found that the foundation of Darwinism crumbles under critical examination.

 

A Cumulative Case for Creator

At the same time, new findings are leading more and more scientists to conclude that God must have been responsible for creation. Consider these six fields of study:

 

Cosmology. Virtually all scientists concede that the universe began suddenly in a flash of light and energy. Once-agnostic astronomer Robert Jastrow was forced to concede that although details may differ, "the essential element in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis is the same; the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply, at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy."

 

Logic dictates that whatever begins to exist has a cause. The universe began to exist, so therefore the universe has a cause. In fact, experts have demonstrated that the universe must have been created by an "uncaused, 'beginningless,' timeless, immaterial, personal being endowed with freedom of will and enormous power"—a good description of God.

 

Physics. One of the most striking discoveries of modern science has been that the laws and constants of physics unexpectedly conspire in an extraordinary way to make the universe habitable for life. For instance, physicist-philosopher Robert Collins said that gravity is fine-tuned to one part in a hundred million billion, billion, billion, billion, billion. There are dozens of such parameters that require precise calibration to produce a universe that can sustain life. This cannot be the product of mere chance—instead, it's persuasive evidence of God's existence.

 

This evidence was so powerful that it was instrumental in Georgetown scholar Patrick Glynn abandoning his atheism. "Today the concrete data point strongly in the direction of the God hypothesis," he says. "It is the simplest and most obvious solution to the ... puzzle."

 

Astronomy. Earth's position in the universe and its intricately choreographed geological and chemical processes work together with exquisite efficiency to create a safe place for humans to live. For example, astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez and science philosopher Jay Wesley Richards said it would take a star with the highly unusual properties of our sun—the right mass, light, age, distance, orbit, galaxy and location—to nurture living organisms on a circling planet.

 

Biochemistry. Darwin said, "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down." Enter biochemist Michael Behe, who demonstrated exactly that through his description of "irreducibly complex" molecular machines.

 

These microscopic, biological contraptions—such as cilia, the whip-like hairs on the surface of cells that move fluid across the cell's surface, and the motor-like flagella that propel bacteria—are extremely unlikely to have been built piece-by-piece through Darwinian processes. To function, they had to be fully present. These amazing systems—which far exceed the capacity of human technology—point toward a transcendent Creator.

 

Biological information. The six feet of DNA coiled inside each one of our body's 100 trillion cells contains a four-letter chemical alphabet that spells out precise assembly instructions for all the proteins our bodies are made from. Cambridge-educated Stephen Meyer has said that no hypothesis has come close to explaining how this information got into biological matter by naturalistic means. On the contrary, whenever we find this kind of information, it's always the product of an intelligent source.

 

Consciousness. Many scientists now conclude that the Bible is right when it says human beings are both body and spirit. According to a researcher who showed that consciousness can continue after a person's brain has stopped functioning, current scientific findings "would support the view that 'mind,' 'consciousness,' or the 'soul' is a separate entity from the brain."

 

Designed for Discovery

To me, these scientific discoveries affirm God's existence in an awe-inspiring way. I have to agree with nanoscientist James Tour of Rice University, who said, "If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God."

 

In a sense, that's what the apostle Paul told us in Romans 1:20: "From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God."

 

In other words, God designed the universe so that we would discover Him as we explore the world. And today we have an unprecedented opportunity to let seekers know that the facts of science support the beliefs of Christianity as never before.

 

I'm going to laugh now. Hahahaha.

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atinymonkey - what's with the atitude? By the way, it's spelled abiogenesis.

 

Actually, natural selection has been used as a model to describe the genesis of life from lifelessness, BY SOME SCIENTISTS. I have decided this best explains the problem. You may disagree with this approach, and that's fine. It does not mean it is wrong - it's an idea. I would recommend two books which describe this phenomenon in more detail, but only in the context of a much larger thesis:

 

Maps of Time, from David Christian and The Machinery of Life by David Goodsell.

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Me (a strong atheist) and a friend (a strong Christian) were having a small debate over AIM about evolution vs. "intelligent design". He emails me an article later saying that it "proves everything" and that "evolution is wrong". The article goes something like this:

 

...

 

I'm going to laugh now. Hahahaha.

 

 

Yeah.

 

News flash: journalist doesn't understand statistics and misuses logic. And: Sun rises in east. Film at 11.

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i find it amusing that when people DO find flaws in darwinism, all who believe in darwinism blatantly deny it as being a mistake or a lie. they never bother to actually look into it. because that would make them wrong, and they certainly cannot be wrong. they automatically assume that, because it is trying to disprove darwinism, it must be wrong.

 

no, i'm not a creationist. i'm not really sure WHAT i believe, but, being a supporter of neither, i find darwinism to be just as likely as the idea of ID. so before you call me a lunatic creationist, know that i am not.

 

i am merely stating my own opinions.

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i find it amusing that when people DO find flaws in darwinism' date=' all who believe in darwinism blatantly deny it as being a mistake or a lie. they never bother to actually look into it. because that would make them wrong, and they certainly cannot be wrong. they automatically assume that, because it is trying to disprove darwinism, it must be wrong.

 

no, i'm not a creationist. i'm not really sure WHAT i believe, but, being a supporter of neither, i find darwinism to be just as likely as the idea of ID. so before you call me a lunatic creationist, know that i am not.

 

i am merely stating my own opinions.[/quote']

darwinism is not the same thing as evolution. i have yet to see a flaw in evolution. if you have some, i would like to see them.

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i am aware that they are not the same thing. i was not speaking of evolution.

 

anyways, i'm curious, what do you all find wrong with the theory of intelligent design? what kind of scientific facts disprove it? (specifically facts that just DISPROVE it. i don't want an essay on why evolution is true. what kind of evidence do you have that SPECIFICALLY disproves the idea of a creator?)

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i find it amusing that when people DO find flaws in darwinism' date=' all who believe in darwinism blatantly deny it as being a mistake or a lie. they never bother to actually look into it. because that would make them wrong, and they certainly cannot be wrong. they automatically assume that, because it is trying to disprove darwinism, it must be wrong.

 

no, i'm not a creationist. i'm not really sure WHAT i believe, but, being a supporter of neither, i find darwinism to be just as likely as the idea of ID. so before you call me a lunatic creationist, know that i am not.

 

i am merely stating my own opinions.[/quote']

 

As yourdad pointed out, Darwinism isn't evolution; the theory has advanced past that. As such, nobody with a clue defends Darwinism. They may assume you meant "evolution" and defend that, however.

 

Opinions mean squat in science. What evidence have you got?

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i was under the impression that the whole ID/evolution debate is usually made up of people stating their opinions. and so are the threads on this board. if they have articles and evidence to back themselves up, great. but not everyone does. i was merely stating something i thought to be true. no need to go and fuss at me.

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anyways, i'm curious, what do you all find wrong with the theory of intelligent design? what kind of scientific facts disprove it?

 

There's no more facts disproving intelligent design than there's facts disproving the idea that a giant yellow troll from Alpha Centuri gave DaVinci a pyramid of Germanium. But there's no fact to prove ID is true, they just claim evolution "isn't enough to explain the complexity of life". IDist are only attacking evolution when it fails (and it's not perfect), shouting "It's god !!!".

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i am aware that they are not the same thing. i was not speaking of evolution.

 

anyways' date=' i'm curious, what do you all find wrong with the theory of intelligent design? what kind of scientific facts disprove it? (specifically facts that just DISPROVE it. i don't want an essay on why evolution is true. what kind of evidence do you have that SPECIFICALLY disproves the idea of a creator?)[/quote']

 

You cannot go about the world beliving in everything that cannot be disproven. Can we disprove there is naturally-occurring cheese 10 trillion light years away from us? No, does it mean we should believe it? No.

 

The problem with intelligent design is that there isnt ANYTHING to prove it as a truth. It basically says, "we dont know this, why bother think about it? it was god". Science is not about "here, have an answer. Next", it is about an infinite search for truth.

 

And just because something cannot be explained right now, it doesnt mean that we will not find scientific answers in the future.

 

If you dont believe in evolution, thats cool.

See, if evolution is replaced by a better theory, we would change our minds. If ID is proven wrong, well, you get people yelling 'burn!'.

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On the McNeill- Lehrer news hour 05/05/05 there was a debate on subject topic . It was the usual 'if there is a clock there must be a clockmaker type argument " . NOBODY , however raised the obvious question host or guests , raised the question of well over a billion & half years of biological incrementalism in honing the complexity of the mechanisms of being "alive " as we understand it now . In an earlier issue of Scientific American ( I forget the issue ) there was an article on molecules capable of self replication ; surely it is not an impossible jump to say eons of natural selection on such entities could give us what we have now ? PS I totally reject the concept of intelligent design .

 

Well here goes. I hope if my responses are not suitable for science, the mods will simply move the thing or advise rather than suddenly sock me with warning points or ban me.

 

Though I don't personally think all the harmonized complexity of everything from DNA to the organized and complex cosmos can be achieved by natural processes without a designer, I'm not going there with my argument. My statements are as follows:

 

1. So much of what we observe in life seems to require most of the functions of the complex organism to be in place and complete for the survival and propagation of the species........things like imune systems, sexual propagation, antioxidants........on and on we could go.

 

2. Add to the above, the positions and solar system distances, gravity, earth atmosphere and such must all be precisely in place for the above to even begin to happen.

 

3. Add to the above, imo, even ID must meet the first law of thermodynamics, in that all energy existing must needs have had to have eternally existed. My buzsaw hypothesis calls for an eternal almighty designer having eternally existed and having been eternally creating, destroying, changing and managing things in a boundless spaced universe according to his will and desire. (PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT BUZSAW IS NOT A YEC!!) It also calls for a host of intelligence existing in the universe, beings which are not visible by the human eye just like other energy which has been discovered to have always existed, which mankind has been unaware of until the scientific capability has been achieved to detect this energy. We who are convinced that we have discovered the existence of this energy the spiritual realm if you will cannot prove to someone not connected and who has not experienced it personally. It being intelligent has the power to reveal it's existence to those who are willing to receive it. That's all I want to say about the higher ID dimension here. I've said it in as near of a scientific way that I know how.

 

4. Most of what is observed, if created in tact by a designer would of necessity be created with the appearance of age as per the age which the big bangist and evolutionist would calculate. Take for example, the sun. If it was created on day four of creation, as the Genesis record states, it would have had to have been created fully developed, in tact to the degree that it will function for planet earth as it is since it was created intelligently in tact. I understand the protostar stage of the sun would have been around 30 million years. Then after that stage, I would assume it would need more time/age appearance, likely at least a couple of billions of years, to become sufficient to do what we oberve it to be doing for the solar system for the sustenance of life on earth. The bottom line is that it certainly would look far more aged than a few thousand years. Also, Adam and Eve and other complex life would have, imo needed to have been created with the appearance of age in order to survive and propagate, according to the Genesis record, from which I base my hypothesis.

 

I did a great debate over at Percy's EvC (Evo vs Creo) board a year or so ago with one of the moderator evolutionists, in which I clearly won, showing that my buzsaw ID hypothesis not only satisfies the universe's scientific 1st ltd, but the 2nd and 3rd as well. The admins pshawed it as a nonevent and it wasn't long before I was suddenly permanently banned without warning after having never even having had a temporary suspension in my 2+ year sojourn there and around three thousand posts.

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