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Cap'n Refsmmat

A (hopefully) complete rebuttal of Intelligent Design

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I've written up a simple essay explaining the major ID arguments, and exactly why they are wrong. I'm looking for input from all of you members, as I'd like to improve it and hopefully make it a useful resource for future debates on SFN.

 

It's attached. Fire away with criticism!

 

(on another note, this is my first document typeset in LaTeX)

 

edit: attachment removed, revised version available below

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Nicely done. But as it reinforces my already held opinions, I cant judge it objectively. Wait for the anti evolution brigade to batter at your door.....

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Okay, first of all, I'd like to mention that writing anything down is a waste of time because what makes IDers so special is that they don't read anything. A 30 second commericial with explosions and pretty, but not slutty looking, women would perhaps do the best at convincing your target audience.

 

I used to write professionally so I'm a bit of an angry little bastard when it comes to looking at other people's work. I've reviewed what you've done and I'd seriously go back and look thoroughly at it's organization. It appears to suffer greatly. Don't rush it. You'll be fine. But really think about organization here.

 

Some other notes:

 

Part 1:

 

To say that The Discovery Institute is an ID supporting group is perhaps a bit of an understatement. And with the presentation the way it is, you mention ID by itself before defining intelligent design as ID.

 

The last sentence of your first paragraph is interesting, as it appears that you're divorcing intelligent design from (Old Testament) religion entirely. What did Heraclitus say? Was he the L Ron Hubbard of back then or what?

 

I'd add to your part 2 that a theory must be built entirely on natural explainations, an intense point here in Kansas.

 

I don't like what you used for clarification in number 2 of why ID is lame. Probably a better statement there would be, "Science can not test intelligent design because it can not control for the supernatural, or what doesn't really exist."

 

I'd point out that Behe is a PhD. You don't want to seem biased.

 

I like that you appear to be aiming this at people who know nothing about science, for example ID supporters. But still I'd take the simplification a step further and I would even consider dropping section 3.2 because that may be a tough one to grasp for the audience.

 

In section 3.3 I'd watch your tone a little bit. Because of who the audience is I wouldn't say an intelligent designer does this or that, I'd just talk about intelligent design as the bad idea that it is. I'd also talk about the sneaky motivation it has for changing from creationsim. I do like where you went with the prostate points, and I'd include something about hip bones in whales, which generally freak IDers out.

 

I'd totally reconsider your conclusion.

 

Please don't think I'm being critical of you. I'm actually being nice. This is how I support other writers.

 

My advice would be to keep it simple and respectful to ignorance while at the same time being critical of ID and the fact it isn't science. Really watch your tone and organization. You're dealing with a very sensitive and very ignorant group of people here.

 

Good luck.

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silkworm, don't worry, that's constructive criticism, which is exactly what I wanted. Thank you.

 

I'm working on a second draft now.

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Okay, I've come up with a second draft. However, I'm not quite sure what sort of reorganization you'd want, so I've left the organization alone. I've reworked a few sections and reworded some things. More input?

 

edit: newer version below

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All I'm going to add further is simply a reiteration. Organization is everything in writing effectively. You have to really focus on it. If I were you, I'd start from scratch and really structure it before I wrote anything. I'd also make sure to be respectful and not appear biased. We all like to bitch about ID, but you're writing this to enlighten ID supporters right? ID supporters are your target audience? You don't want them to tune out.

 

I do like that you put homologous structures in there. But because these people are who they are, I'd use explainations rather than terms. Do you know what I mean?

 

Here, I'd also like to mention a little trick that National Geographic did recently, and I was delighted by it as I sat in a doctor's office. The cover said something like, "Could evolution be wrong?" I of course grabbed the copy as soon as possible wondering who lobbied them, but I was happy to see a big fat NO followed by an explaination. It probably made more progress at enlightening a scientifically disinterested, yet willingly combative, audience than anything else that comes to mind. National Geographic obviously understood the bait they were giving because ID advocacy groups pass a lot of goods that simply give (albeit misrepresented) ammo to fight the evolutionists with and National Geographic had to know that with their reputation to the layman and offering more ammo would be an irresistible pick up to ID supporters. I just hope a lot of them bought it for the cover.

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ID has been around since OT times, right? And Darwin put Evolution on the map as an all encompassing theory, secularizing science. In the 1900s the adversaries of Evolution was so severe many thought it would never recover. It wasn't until 1930-40 during the Evolution Synthesis that it became officially accepted among most scientist.

 

I don't know why you'd want ID to be correctable and dynmaic, making it VERY difficult to disprove. E is VERY correctable and dynamic, definitely agree there.

 

The irreducible section is very interesting. Are whales the only animal missing part of the blood clotting system?

 

3.2 No real proof, just said the guy didn't have enough imagination because he couldn't think of some kind of life contradictory to what's on Earth.

 

I think it's called ID to encompass all beliefs not exclude, i've heard of non Christian IDers.

 

3.4 Personally, homology doesn't make a good enough case in either direction. I think whales have hips because they're mammals

 

So far so good. . . . just 2 cents

 

What are currently the best books for the evidence of Evolution or books disproving ID??

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ID has been around since OT times, right? And Darwin put Evolution on the map as an all encompassing theory, secularizing science. In the 1900s the adversaries of Evolution was so severe many thought it would never recover. It wasn't until 1930-40 during the Evolution Synthesis that it became officially accepted among most scientist.

 

I don't know why you'd want ID to be correctable and dynmaic, making it VERY difficult to disprove. E is VERY correctable and dynamic, definitely agree there.

 

The irreducible section is very interesting. Are whales the only animal missing part of the blood clotting system?

 

3.2 No real proof, just said the guy didn't have enough imagination because he couldn't think of some kind of life contradictory to what's on Earth.

 

I think it's called ID to encompass all beliefs not exclude, i've heard of non Christian IDers.

 

3.4 Personally, homology doesn't make a good enough case in either direction. I think whales have hips because they're mammals

 

So far so good. . . . just 2 cents

 

What are currently the best books for the evidence of Evolution or books disproving ID??

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Looking at the defense of ID with the 'watch theory.'

 

Basically this idea states that nobody questions the fact that a watch was made by a man because of it's complexity and it's obvious artifactual features. This logic is applied to organisms. The mechanisms for, say, cellular respiration are so complex, they couldn't have evolved by chance.

 

However, what about a simple man-made object, such as a paper-clip. Is this object not made by man because it isn't complex?

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Cap'n Refsmmat,

Your rebuttal doesn't address the "Argument from Inevitability".

aguy2

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All I'm going to add further is simply a reiteration. Organization is everything in writing effectively. You have to really focus on it. If I were you, I'd start from scratch and really structure it before I wrote anything. I'd also make sure to be respectful and not appear biased. We all like to bitch about ID, but you're writing this to enlighten ID supporters right? ID supporters are your target audience? You don't want them to tune out.

That's all true, but I still don't know what sort of reorganization I could do. It seems rather logical at the moment.

 

I do like that you put homologous structures in there. But because these people are who they are, I'd use explainations rather than terms. Do you know what I mean?

I'll clarify that bit and explain some more.

 

Here, I'd also like to mention a little trick that National Geographic did recently, and I was delighted by it as I sat in a doctor's office. The cover said something like, "Could evolution be wrong?" I of course grabbed the copy as soon as possible wondering who lobbied them, but I was happy to see a big fat NO followed by an explaination. It probably made more progress at enlightening a scientifically disinterested, yet willingly combative, audience than anything else that comes to mind. National Geographic obviously understood the bait they were giving because ID advocacy groups pass a lot of goods that simply give (albeit misrepresented) ammo to fight the evolutionists with and National Geographic had to know that with their reputation to the layman and offering more ammo would be an irresistible pick up to ID supporters. I just hope a lot of them bought it for the cover.

Yep, I had the same reaction when I saw that issue. I'll see what sort of title I can stick on it.

 

3.4 Personally, homology doesn't make a good enough case in either direction. I think whales have hips because they're mammals

The term "mammal" does not mean "animal with hips" though. Why would they have hips if they don't need them at all?

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1

The term "mammal" does not mean "animal with hips" though. Why would they have hips if they don't need them at all?

 

I agree it doesn't mean "animal with hips". Hips along with a whales other qualities is why it's classified as a mammal, so that's what a meant. Mammals have hips and whales are mammals, so they have hips. A whales hips are used in reproduction(lol, gross, i know).

 

More importantly, I don't think homology is proves a point in either direction. ID can use it, too.

 

Just my 2 cents. . . .

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could you change the format of it? my cable box is broken, so my connection is gone again and i have to use the library computers. they don't like pdf documents.

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I agree it doesn't mean "animal with hips". Hips along with a whales other qualities is why it's classified as a mammal' date=' so that's what a meant. Mammals have hips and whales are mammals, so they have hips. A whales hips are used in reproduction(lol, gross, i know).

 

More importantly, I don't think homology is proves a point in either direction. ID can use it, too.

 

Just my 2 cents. . . .[/quote']

 

I think the big deal here is that many whale fossils have tiny little legs that were on their way out due to the evolution of the whale into an animal that was increasingly more active in the aquatic environment.

 

However, fossils may be a hard subject to deal with with your audience, Capn. Maybe an introduction and an explaination of fossils and their importance and solid examples of what we know because of them. You could use the Shroud of Turin (and the "Torino" olympics are happening right now) as an example to hit them close to home if it wasn't a fake.

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I'll keep the focus on the paper. I agree with Silkworm's 2nd paragraph. Dealing with the fossil record in general is another crucial battleground, it's an ID stronghold.

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could you change the format of it? my cable box is broken, so my connection is gone again and i have to use the library computers. they don't like pdf documents.

Not really. I'm using LaTeX to format it, so it's either PDF or DVI.

 

However, fossils may be a hard subject to deal with with your audience, Capn. Maybe an introduction and an explaination of fossils and their importance and solid examples of what we know because of them. You could use the Shroud of Turin (and the "Torino" olympics are happening right now) as an example to hit them close to home if it wasn't a fake.

The fossil record would be a good idea for a section, but what's this about the Shroud of Turin?

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why would you need [math]\LaTeX[/math] for this?

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The fossil record would be a good idea for a section, but what's this about the Shroud of Turin?

 

What do you mean what's this about the Shroud of Turin? God miracled Jesus' rotting corpse to burn a heavenly image into the cloth it was wrapped in. It was the first of many miracles divine stains, burns, and potato chips.

 

My point is, it's important to the Christians because it's a "Messiassol," or Messiah fossil, even though it's much less like a Lucy, and more like a Piltdown.

 

That's probably too combative to feed that to your audience without asking for a lot of barf and tears.

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What do you mean what's this about the Shroud of Turin? God miracled Jesus' rotting corpse to burn a heavenly image into the cloth it was wrapped in. It was the first of many miracles divine stains' date=' burns, and potato chips.

 

My point is, it's important to the Christians because it's a "Messiassol," or Messiah fossil, even though it's much less like a Lucy, and more like a Piltdown.

 

That's probably too combative to feed that to your audience without asking for a lot of barf and tears.[/quote']

 

Just curious, is that in the bible?

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Not that I'm aware of. But I've never feared Hell enough to learn the original languages of the texts and read the original texts, so, like everyone else who hasn't, what I'm aware of what is in the Bible is what I'm told is in there. I've never been told it's in there. It's an actual artifact though. Google Shroud of Turin, I'm sure you'll get tons of information on it. I'd say the majority of christians are aware of it.

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Why do you think you have to learn Hebrew(OT) and Greek(NT)? I hear they have some modern translations. Personally, the Shroud of Turin is a big, who cares, either way. I think it would be a weak foothold of faith considering the alternatives.

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I just find it interesting that christians call the Bible the word of God, and claim to hold it in such high esteem with so much value, yet take its bastardization through translation and editing (especially with the extremely popular King James' version) as on the same level of its pure form. The Bible is full of parables, and no doubt idioms. As anyone who has studied a foreign language, idioms don't translate too well, and you have to rely on the translator's judgement to make his or her best effort at conveying the meaning. It just pisses me off that these people are willing to stick their nose into other people's life based on a religious belief in a book that they don't really know what it says. It seems to me, if you really were a christian and you really believed that the Bible is the word of God that you would become fluent in the language that God dictated it in in order to understand his word directly. I think that any other approach, consider the monumental importance many christians claim that their religion is to their life, any other approach appears to me to be pretty half-assed.

 

Really, concerning the topic of this thread, if the devil put all of those fossils there to confuse us, who says the devil didn't translate the Bible for the same purpose?

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