Friday, July 28, 2006

Science Education

1. Is Science education is not simply a matter for scientists alone? Do the parents of the children have a crucial place in the discussion?
2. Is the world view that is behind the approach to issues of origins a matter of great concern to many parents? Does the approach have huge implications well beyond the confines of the subject? Where there is a world view conflict between teachers and parents is this a recipe for a very uncomfortable parent/school relationship?
3. Is the tendency of strict methodological naturalism to become closely allied to philosophical naturalism and in some cases to become indistinguishable?
4. Do both philosophical naturalism and methodological naturalism tend to lead to an overly positive view of the evidence for abiogenesis and macro-evolution?
5. If scientists say that science education should be taught in an atmosphere of philosophical naturalism and parents say that they want science taught in an atmosphere of theism who should win?
6. If the majority of parents want a religious ethos and environment for their children during their formative years does the state have the right to deny them their desire? Is it right for the tax system to be used to provide an education which ends up being hostile to the worldview and ethos that the majority of parents desire? Is this a stable situation in the longterm?

58 Comments:

Blogger Lifewish said...

1. Is Science education is not simply a matter for scientists alone? Do the parents of the children have a crucial place in the discussion?

That depends. Do parents have a crucial place in Home Economics/Nutrition classes even if they're breatharians? If so, how do we avoid the obvious conflicts? If not, why not?

(Note: I'm not attempting to equate breatharianism with ID, just providing another example of how non-mainstream views could give rise to home/school conflict)

I'd personally say that the parents definitely have a role in education, but the scientifically-established facts are not on the negotiating table. If parents think they possess a more accurate set of facts, they first need to argue their case with well-informed adults (e.g. the scientific community) before attempting to change the curriculum.

2. Is the world view that is behind the approach to issues of origins a matter of great concern to many parents? Does the approach have huge implications well beyond the confines of the subject? Where there is a world view conflict between teachers and parents is this a recipe for a very uncomfortable parent/school relationship?

Yes, probably, and probably. On the other hand, that's no excuse for not teaching established science.

3. Is the tendency of strict methodological naturalism to become closely allied to philosophical naturalism and in some cases to become indistinguishable?

I don't think school-level education delves deeply enough into the philosophy of science for this to be an issue. Kids know that they can't explain a chemical reaction with "gremlins did it". The extent to which they extrapolate from that will vary massively between individuals, and really isn't something schools can or should influence.

4. Do both philosophical naturalism and methodological naturalism tend to lead to an overly positive view of the evidence for abiogenesis and macro-evolution?

Not particularly. The evidence for macroevolution is fairly strong*. Currently we don't have a full scientific hypothesis or model of abiogenesis, but then we don't have even a partial scientific hypothesis of life's creation that involves any other approach.

More later.

* If you want me to elaborate you'll need to provide me with a brief description of where microevolution stops and macroevolution starts.

4:11 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

Andrew: " Is Science education not simply a matter for scientists alone? Do the parents of the children have a crucial place in the discussion?"

Is the teaching of accounting simply a matter for accountants alone? Should parents who have no abiliity in accountancy have the right to cut out the accountants and tell their children that 2+2= 5? Or even god?

Andrew: "Is the world view that is behind the approach to issues of origins a matter of great concern to many parents?"

No. Unless you define "Many" as "very very few creationists types".


"Does the approach have huge implications well beyond the confines of the subject?"

No.

"Where there is a world view conflict between teachers and parents is this a recipe for a very uncomfortable parent/school relationship?"

Yes. If a Zoroastran parent insists that they teach the battle between Ahura Mazdā and Ahriman as science. Get the connection? But no if they don't (which they don't, unless they are obsessive extremist Zoroastroan nutters).


"Is the tendency of strict methodological naturalism to become closely allied to philosophical naturalism and in some cases to become indistinguishable?"

Don't know. You tell me.

"Do both philosophical naturalism and methodological naturalism tend to lead to an overly positive view of the evidence for abiogenesis and macro-evolution?"

No. Unless you have evidence to the contrary.

"If scientists say that science education should be taught in an atmosphere of philosophical naturalism and parents say that they want science taught in an atmosphere of theism who should win?"

I say Scientists should teach science. Who do you say? Priests?

"If the majority of parents want a religious ethos and environment for their children during their formative years does the state have the right to deny them their desire?"

They should teach their religion at home. The state has no legitimate say in it. Of course, most "Christian" parents are so ignorant of the religion they purport to espouse that this would lead in a single generation to the death of established Christianity through total ignorance.

"Is it right for the tax system to be used to provide an education which ends up being hostile to the worldview and ethos that the majority of parents desire?"

The majority of parents in the UK are irreligious. Are you arguing for the closure of faith schools and the banning of religious teaching in other state schools? Good onyer mate!

"Is this a stable situation in the longterm?"

Is the situation where ignorant Christian poarents have the religious teaching of their kids subsidised and indeed substituted by the state desirable? Not IMO.

So why don't you call for parents to teach their kids religion? and get schools out of the morass of competing religious "truths"?

6:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"1. Is Science education is not simply a matter for scientists alone?"

No. It is also a matter for professional educationalists, particularly science educationalists.


"Do the parents of the children have a crucial place in the discussion?"

I would deny that they have a crucial place in the discussion - they have no greater place in the discussion than they would have in the discussion of English or Maths education - which is necessarily a peripheral one.


"2. Is the world view that is behind the approach to issues of origins a matter of great concern to many parents? Does the approach have huge implications well beyond the confines of the subject? Where there is a world view conflict between teachers and parents is this a recipe for a very uncomfortable parent/school relationship?"

Origin of Life/Abiogenesis is a very minor topic in science education. It is generally mentioned in passing as part of setting the scene for what is a major topic: Evolution. I would therefore claim that this series of questions blows the issue out of all proportion.


"Is the tendency of strict methodological naturalism to become closely allied to philosophical naturalism and in some cases to become indistinguishable?"

Methodological Naturalism is pervasive in society, not only in Science but also in Law. It is hard for a person to avoid its effect. That being so, it is reasonable for them to get a formal education in it, rather than learn about it in a garbled manner. This is more likely (not less) to help them understand the difference between Methodological and Philosophical Naturalism, and the pragmatic necessity of the former.

"4. Do both philosophical naturalism and methodological naturalism tend to lead to an overly positive view of the evidence for abiogenesis and macro-evolution?"

No. Macroevolution, in the form of speciation, is a well-documented scientific fact. Abiogenesis, in some form, is the only alternative to a hypothesis that life always existed. Abiogenesis by natural processes is the only alternative to the explicitly religious idea of Abiogenesis by divine intervention.


"5. If scientists say that science education should be taught in an atmosphere of philosophical naturalism..."

Given that scientists don't say this, I don't see any point in addressing this point further.


"6. If the majority of parents want a religious ethos and environment for their children during their formative years does the state have the right to deny them their desire?"

Yes. The state has a responsibility to provide a broad-based secular education to children. It would be unwise, and most probably impracticable, for it to attempt to cater to the wide range of "religious ethos and environments" that parents might desire. If they desire such, they should send their children to a private religious school, or home-school them.


"Is it right for the tax system to be used to provide an education which ends up being hostile to the worldview and ethos that the majority of parents desire?"

Given the wide range of idiosyncratic worldviews, I think it is impracticable to do otherwise. Would you expect schools to likewise pander to Geocentricism, Flat-Earthism, denial of Germ Theory (as a cause of disease) and who knows how many other (generally religiously-based) worldviews? The possibility that it is a majority worldview is irrelevant. If the state panders to the religious worldviews of the majority, it must also pander to those of minorities as well - otherwise it is relligious favoritism.


"Is this a stable situation in the longterm?"

I would claim that it is the only practicable long-term strategy.

10:48 am  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Anon,
"Abiogenesis by natural processes is the only alternative to the explicitly religious idea of Abiogenesis by divine intervention."

In other words abiogenesis by natural processes is an axiom of science even if it is wrong.

11:28 am  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Anon
"If the state panders to the religious worldviews of the majority, it must also pander to those of minorities as well - otherwise it is relligious favoritism."

In other words you are not democratic in your view of how the state should work.

11:30 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In other words abiogenesis by natural processes is an axiom of science even if it is wrong."

No. In other words abiogenesis by natural processes is the only possibility open to scientific investigation. For anything else, you need to go to the Theology Department down the hall.

"In other words you are not democratic in your view of how the state should work."

To the extent that I am against an unfettered "tyranny of the majority," yes. Particularly so when this hypothetical majority wishes to impose its own theological slant on science education.

12:56 pm  
Blogger Lifewish said...

Part II

5. If scientists say that science education should be taught in an atmosphere of philosophical naturalism and parents say that they want science taught in an atmosphere of theism who should win?

The scientists. The alternative is to drop science per se as a school subject and instead teach "natural theism" or something. Anything else is false marketing.

6. If the majority of parents want a religious ethos and environment for their children during their formative years does the state have the right to deny them their desire? Is it right for the tax system to be used to provide an education which ends up being hostile to the worldview and ethos that the majority of parents desire? Is this a stable situation in the longterm?

Firstly I'd note that, certainly in the UK, I find it unlikely that the majority of parents would support a religious school environment. Apart from anything else, they'd never be able to agree on which religion to teach. So this question is very much a hypothetical.

And my answer would be that the state does have a right to deny them that desire, because the inevitable consequence of that desire is the indoctrination of other people's kids with the specific religious worldview that they end up settling on.

I do think that the parents have a right to demand that schools limit themselves strictly to discussion of what might be termed "consensual reality" - verifiable experimental data and the valid falsifiable conclusions that can be drawn from it. Currently, as best we can tell, things like macroevolution fall into that category, so schools aren't behaving unethically if they decide to teach them.

Abiogenesis is a trickier one, due to the comparatively tentative nature of the field, but I'd say that it was valid to teach it as long as the tentative nature of the field was discussed. When IDers produce their own cogent explanatory hypotheses, they can be discussed too.

The problem of disagreements as to what constitutes "consensual reality" is a real one. I'd say that the best approach would be a long-term project to see who can best support their hypotheses with concrete data. Peer review fits this criterion, so I'd say that it's valid to take the academic consensus as being representative of consensual reality (at least in the hard sciences).

If you try to avoid upsetting anyone, you'll end up not actually being able to teach anything. If anyone can think of a better approach, or a legitimate reason that, for example, ID proponents should be treated with more care than geocentrists, please enlighten me.

2:35 pm  
Blogger Lifewish said...

No. In other words abiogenesis by natural processes is the only possibility open to scientific investigation. For anything else, you need to go to the Theology Department down the hall.

Well, creation by advanced aliens or extremely cooperative deities would technically be open to scientific investigation. However, for those to count as serious possibilities, you'd have to either find a crashed spacecraft or get the deity to help you pass the Randi challenge.

5:16 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Anon,

According to your framing of the argument in science abiogenesis by natural processes is a fact by definition...there is no point doing experiments to prove it to be true all we are doing to working on the mechanism.

5:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"According to your framing of the argument in science abiogenesis by natural processes is a fact by definition...there is no point doing experiments to prove it to be true all we are doing to working on the mechanism."

Unlike ID, Science is interested in how as well as whether.

8:28 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Well, creation by advanced aliens ... would technically be open to scientific investigation."

I believe creation by advanced aliens would count as a "natural process." Of course in order for it to be a better explanation for unintelligent Abiogenesis to have occured in their world (otherwise where did these advanced aliens come from) rather than ours, some evidence must be found that there exist planets whose primitive environment is sufficiently more likely than ours for unintelligent Abiogenesis to occur, for it to still be a better explanation in spite of the extra complication of them coming here to seed life. You'd also have to prove that they're a more likely infection vector than a comet or such.

But I'm afraid that I'm still going to send your "extremely cooperative deities" along to the Theology Department.

8:42 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Annon,

My point is that according to your framing... Science is not interested in the "whether" of abiogenesis by natural processes...it is an axiom, a given fact according to your definition of science.

Thus whatever contact the Theology people have with a cooperative deity their evidence can never be allowed into the realm of scientific fact.. even if they held a public demonstration of abiogenesis by a god who was happy to answer detailed questions afterwards.... even if it was possible to time travel and watch abiogenesis at the begining and see a god doing it...this could never be part of science.

Thus the science lessons would be contstrained by their boundary rules to teach scientific facts which were known to be untrue.... "If you want to know what really happened chaps...you'll have to go along to the Theology department. We're only allowed to tell you what didn't happen here."

9:36 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"My point is that according to your framing... Science is not interested in the "whether" of abiogenesis by natural processes...it is an axiom, a given fact according to your definition of science."

Just like science takes as an axiom that a force called gravity causes things to fall, not invisible pixies pushing them down. If you abandon Methodological Naturalism, very few (if any) facts remain factual.


"Thus whatever contact the Theology people have with a cooperative deity their evidence can never be allowed into the realm of scientific fact.. even if they held a public demonstration of abiogenesis by a god who was happy to answer detailed questions afterwards.... even if it was possible to time travel and watch abiogenesis at the begining and see a god doing it...this could never be part of science."

The result would be a sudden spurt of interest in Natural Theology, or whatever name would be applied to the field of studying such divinities. But the study would not be part of science, for the simple reason that science by its nature is incapable of studying that which cannot be explained by natural laws (which would include even the most cooperative of deities).


"Thus the science lessons would be contstrained by their boundary rules to teach scientific facts which were known to be untrue...."

Science lessons are under the same constraint as science itself, to explanations by natural laws. It does not contain all truths, but does contain all truths observable by people not having the same religious beliefs, aesthetic tastes, etc. Science is intersubjective - that is both its value and its limitation.

12:04 pm  
Blogger Lifewish said...

I believe creation by advanced aliens would count as a "natural process."

Right, gotcha.

So what definition of "natural" are you using here? I can't think of one that would adequately distinguish between sufficiently advanced aliens and sufficiently helpful deities.

My point is that according to your framing... Science is not interested in the "whether" of abiogenesis by natural processes...it is an axiom, a given fact according to your definition of science.

Maybe we need a generic disclaimer in science classes along the lines of:

"Science is only interested in questions that can be answered using the process of hypothesis testing. We therefore restrict our attention to conjectures that can be assessed for accuracy. It's possible that an answer of a different form could be correct (e.g. last-Thursdayism), but science has no way of determining if this is the case so there's no point in scientists or science teachers spending time on it. For discussion of these sorts of questions, we draw your attention to the Philosophy course down the hall."

So, for example, in the situation with abiogenesis, this could be interpreted as "maybe God did do it, but, until we figure out some way to distinguish that from abiogenesis, there's no real scientific point in considering it".

Any thoughts?

1:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So what definition of "natural" are you using here? I can't think of one that would adequately distinguish between sufficiently advanced aliens and sufficiently helpful deities."

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke

This being so, I'd ask the "sufficiently advanced aliens" to camp out in the Theology Department until such time as our science has advanced sufficiently that we can distinguish their technology from the supernatural.

I rather doubt if the deities, no matter how helpful, can show us how their supernatural powers work, in a scientifically reproducable manner - so they're stuck in the Theology Department permanently.

5:38 pm  
Blogger Lifewish said...

I rather doubt if the deities, no matter how helpful, can show us how their supernatural powers work, in a scientifically reproducable manner - so they're stuck in the Theology Department permanently.

At present, we can barely explain how effects like gravity work. All we can say is that they exist and they behave in a certain fashion. Why should supernatural abilities be any different? If we discovered that (for example) poltergeists did actually exist, why shouldn't we analyse them using the standard scientific process?

There's two definitions of "supernatural" in play here. One is an ad hoc category containing folkloric and religious entities - ghosts, goblins, ghouls and gods. The other is everything that can't be tested scientifically - for example, a God who has no influence on the universe.

The first definition is an excellent guideline for keeping science fact-based - having it as a de facto groundrule is a necessary curb on the human tendency to attribute lightning strikes to Zeus. However, it is only a guideline, and would presumably be revised if it was determined that any of these entities actually existed in a scientifically-demonstrable fashion. The second definition is an essential component of science.

You seem to be saying that science should leave well alone on critters that fall into the first category. I'd say that that's only acceptable if these entities fall into the second category, or as long as there's no evidence supporting their existence.

7:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will admit that my conception of these "helpful deities" is purely speculative - so may well be completely erroneous.

1:05 am  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Lifewish,

Would you accept that good science has been performed and taught in an atmosphere of theism in the past?

8:33 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrew:

I would claim that an atmosphere of theism has hampered science in areas such as astrophysics, geology and biology - therefore it has not always been conducive to "good science."

I would further claim that theism is fundamentally extraneous to science, which is meant to be intersubjective.

11:15 am  
Blogger Lifewish said...

I will admit that my conception of these "helpful deities" is purely speculative - so may well be completely erroneous.

OK, concrete example. Say the Goddess Namagiri got in touch with you and said "I want to prove to the world that I exist. Being omniscient, I'll whisper in your ear anything you need to know". Would it be possible to scientifically determine from this that Namagiri actually existed (or rather, that Her existence was a good hypothesis)? I'd say: yes. This is what things like the Randi challenge are for.

Would you accept that good science has been performed and taught in an atmosphere of theism in the past?

I would fully agree that good science has been performed in an atmosphere of theism in the past. As far as I can tell, this has mostly occurred in situations where theism has let science go about its business without interference. The same is true of, for example, communism.

Whether good science has been taught in an atmosphere of theism is a trickier question, in part because I haven't given much thought to what constitutes good science teaching. My current simplistic approach is that what you're teaching is good science if you've gone to the trouble of convincing the sceptical experts in the relevant field before you start teaching it to the kids.

In the case of teaching science in an atmosphere of theism, that gets dodgy. Presumably you'd be teaching theism intermingled with science? If so, by my definition you wouldn't be teaching good science, because in a theistic environment (say Taliban-controlled Afghanistan) the requisite population of sceptical adults doesn't exist.

Any thoughts or better definitions?

11:28 am  
Blogger allygally said...

Andrew:

the truth is simple: Intelligent Design is religion. It is not science. If you want the evidence read the Dover transcripts. Both Behe and Fuller admit it is religion. Fuller says so in so many words and Behe by saying the definition of science should be stretched to include astrology so that it can also encompass ID.

BTW, you promisede, months ago, to provide a refutation of Judge Jones' judgement. As we approach the first anniversary of the start of the trial, would it be the right time for you to attempt to answer the judge's devastation of the DI position and the fiction that ID is not about religion?

If reading the entire trancripts and witness statements etc is too daunting, I would suggest a good place to start is here;

http://www.csicop.org/intelligentdesignwatch/kitzmiller.html

9:17 am  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Allygally,

I have read the entire transcript once but writing something on it would mean reading it through again carefully and presenting my thoughts. The conclusion from my first reading was that he had basically got the ACLU to write it for him.

Since making the comment that I would write something about the judgement the Discovery Institute has published a document dealing with the judgement in far more detail than I would be able to do... have you read it?

Have you got references to any reviews/rebuttals of its arguments?

The judges repeated claims that there is no ID peer-reviewed literature is one aspect which indicates that this judgement cannot stand in the long term.

10:09 am  
Blogger allygally said...

Andrew said: " The conclusion from my first reading was that he had basically got the ACLU to write it for him."

Andrew, you cannot reasonably believe that. No-one with an open mind could. Jones is a respected judge. He is a registered Republican, a Lutheran church-goer, sponsored by Senator Santorum (who, at least before the Dover decision, was happy to be seen to support ID), and appointed by GW Bush. Before the case the ID people were crowing that Jones was the perfect man for the job.. You can see some of this at the web address I posted on my last post. Here it is again.

http://www.csicop.org/intelligentdesignwatch/kitzmiller.html

"Since making the comment that I would write something about the judgement the Discovery Institute has published a document dealing with the judgement in far more detail than I would be able to do... have you read it?"

Andrew. This is your blog. We want your opinion, not the DI's. You promised...

As for reading the DI's "refutation", I'm not sure. Is it a book or a web page or what? If a web page, could you post the address? I have visited the DI website on numerous occassions. I'm sure if they had any different "killer facts" they would have them there as well. They do not.

"Have you got references to any reviews/rebuttals of its arguments?"

Since I am not clear what document you refer to, clearly not. But if you ID (get it!) the doc I will try.

"The judges repeated claims that there is no ID peer-reviewed literature is one aspect which indicates that this judgement cannot stand in the long term."

ID has been going in its present form for a decade. The Wedge Document says that a key part of the strategy is to gain scientific respectibility by publishing documents for peer review. As far as I know there is no peer-reviewed scientific literature dealing with ID. As I understand it, there are a number of books and articles, some of which propose ID related ideas such as Irreducible Complexity and Specified Complexity, none of which have been peer reviewed and accepted by the accepted scientific peer review process.

In any case the DI claim that the judge got it wrong is selective in its evidence gathering. See this for context.
http://austringer.net/wp/?p=348

BTW, just how many articles and on which subjects have been published in reputable journals in support of ID and peer reviewed in the accepted scientific manner? In a decade you would expect the number to be in the hundreds. Can you list these documents and the journals they were published in, the responses they received from relevant scintists and any further research ideas they may have inspired? If ID had any scientific substance the science community should be buzzing with it by now....

12:10 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

Here's an applicable quote from the Dover judgement... The context can be found at the austringer site I gave previously..

"Professor Behe admitted that: “There are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred.” ([195]22:22-23 (Behe))".

Seems quite clear to me.

1:29 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Allygally,

Just read the Elsberry piece you referred to...

I have to say that my opinion of Elsberry dropped considerably upon reading it.

It is just critising of quotation gone completely bonkers!

In each case the quotation by Luskin is accurate and Elsberry (in my view) completely fails to establish his point that Judge Jones meant something different from what he said... I am astonished that Elsberry thinks that the time taken to produce this page was well spent.

1:33 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Our expectation of what ID should or should not produce in a given time is not the issue. My point was that Judge Jones statements are demonstrably false and this can never be a good foundation for a satisfactory legal judgement.

1:35 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Even very good judges have been know to make mistakes. I hope that I can recognize a good legal judgement even if I totally disagree with its conclusion. I just felt that Jones judgement was partisan whatever his credentials were before. I have read a large amount of material on this controversy and I do not say that about everything I read that I disagree with. There are many writers on the anti ID side whose arguments I respect. Judge Jones just is not one of them I am afraid.

1:39 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Your quote of Behe is saying something totally different from Judge Jones.

1:44 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Allygally,

A slight modification of your Behe quote...

There are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for abiogenesis supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how abiogenesis actually occurred.

Does this mean that is should be illegal to mention abiogenesis in schools?

2:04 pm  
Blogger Lifewish said...

In each case the quotation by Luskin is accurate and Elsberry (in my view) completely fails to establish his point that Judge Jones meant something different from what he said...

Really? When I read it I got the strong impression that in each case having the complete quote gave some sort of context that made sense of the quote. In most cases, for example, it was quite clear that the judge was talking about primary research in peer-reviewed papers. I'm not aware of any ID papers of that sort, and apparently neither was Behe during cross-examination.

Of the ID research of which I'm aware, the majority has been published in the form of books (which receive comparatively little peer review) and popularised videos. I'm aware of only one paper that was:
1) peer-reviewed
2) published in a reputable journal
3) produced by an ID proponent
4) in active support of ID
and that was a synoptic paper rather than being primary research. Dembski of course publishes lots of non-peer-reviewed papers, but for the purposes of this argument they don't count. There have been a few other papers in Rivista Di Biologia and ISCID's journal, but it's definitely stretching it to call those scientific publications.

Not to mention the fact that the vast majority of the writing I've mentioned is devoted to demonstrating the implausibility of non-ID processes rather than the plausibility of ID processes, so could legitimately be considered not to be ID research.

I am honestly not aware of any other ID research. If you know of any that I've missed, please do tell me.

(Oh, and I realise that this is nit-picking, but if there's only one peer-reviewed ID paper out there, Judge Jones would be strictly accurate in saying "it has not generated peer-reviewed publications")

2:09 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Lifewish,
You said:
"Really? When I read it I got the strong impression that in each case having the complete quote gave some sort of context that made sense of the quote."

Let us take the first example...
Can you point me in the direction of the qualifications from the context that make the text extracted by Luskin mean something other than what it means on its own?

2:22 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Looking at the list that Luskin provides...

I would think that the Behe & Snokes paper is the best example of ID stimulated research.

The associations made the editors uncomfortable and Lynch's paper was intended to be a closely related rebuttal of ID type arguments.

I have not read the Lonnig paper but the title looks very IDish to me.

2:39 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

Andrew. Behe said there are no peer reviewed articles on ID...it could not be clearer...

"Professor Behe admitted that: “There are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred.” ([195]22:22-23 (Behe))".

It's a direct quote!

Can you list the peer reviewed articles in support of ID? Or, as Behe says, are there none?

Or would you allow..articles advocating for intelligent designwhich are NOT supported by pertinent experiments or calculations and which DO NOT provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred...

as somehow "scientific".

3:14 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

"There are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for abiogenesis supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how abiogenesis actually occurred.

Does this mean that is should be illegal to mention abiogenesis in schools?"

I smell a herring (red in colour..)
However...

I don't know if your first sentence is correct...but assumimg it is....

You could of course "mention" abiogenesis.

Why not? As I understand it abiogenesis is a number of hypotheses, with differing strengths and weaknesses which attempt to provide a nuturalistic explanation for the origins of life. If you told kids or young adults of an appropriate age that these attempts were going on and they had not yet produced a scientifically peer reviewed and agreed theory, that would be ok IMO.

If you want ell them that Paley's watchmaker is a scientific theory...baloney!

3:29 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Allygally,

The Behe quote cannot be summarized as:
"there are no peer reviewed articles on ID"

As I tried to point out above the Behe quote is more detailed and specific and really assumes a materialistic reductionist view of a design event... it can be reduced to neurones and molecules.

3:31 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Allygally,

I suspect we are misunderstanding each other...

You (I think) were arguing that ID is not science on the basis of the Behe admission which you quoted.

You are (I think) arguing that abiogenesis is science despite the fact that it fails the same test that ID fails.

3:37 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

Andrew said "You (I think) were arguing that ID is not science on the basis of the Behe admission which you quoted."

Not strictly true. ID is science in that it makes a possibly scientific proposal (there is an intelligent designer). It is not a scientific theory because it has not been subject to the full rigour of the scientific method. It fails on evidence, peer review and falsifiability (at least). There is no identifiable body of work (apart from mutual DI types back sctatching each other) which has flowed from ID. There are a million such half-formed ideas...they cannot all be forced into schools because they have rich advocates.

"You are (I think) arguing that abiogenesis is science despite the fact that it fails the same test that ID fails."

I am saying that abiogenesis could be mentioned,as an hypothesis. It has at least created experiments and papers which have been peer reviewed and followed up by other relevant scientists. It has a body of work and some evidence.

ID has done basically nothing except bleat that atheists are stopping it being taught - qite revealing in itself... is it not.

4:02 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

Andrew said "The Behe quote cannot be summarized as:
"there are no peer reviewed articles on ID""

Andrew, point me to the opeer reviewed articles on ID. Please. Stop playing games. If these articles exist, show me them...If they do not exist (as Behe says) then stop pretending that they do.

4:41 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

Andrew said "As I tried to point out above the Behe quote is more detailed and specific and really assumes a materialistic reductionist view of a design event.."

By "materialistic" do you mean scientific? i.e. Behe is saying ID is not scientific....
That's what I said!

4:45 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

Andrew said "I just felt that Jones judgement was partisan whatever his credentials were before."

Do you mean you just WANTED the judgement to be partial.. and the wish is father of the thought.

Never mind how you feel. Where is the proof that the judgement is partial?

5:01 pm  
Blogger Lifewish said...

Let us take the first example...
Can you point me in the direction of the qualifications from the context that make the text extracted by Luskin mean something other than what it means on its own?


I would agree that that's one case where adding context doesn't substantially change the meaning of the sentence.

However, I would ask: had Judge Jones actually been introduced to any peer-reviewed ID research by either side? If not, it's legally dubious as to whether he's even allowed to (for example) google for ID research to check his ruling. He's certainly not required to do so - the burden is very much on the defendants to make him aware of any pertinent papers.

I haven't read the entire transcripts of the trial, but I can't remember any instance of his being informed of such research. If he wasn't told about them, I'd say he was completely justified in making that statement.

I would think that the Behe & Snokes paper is the best example of ID stimulated research.

I'll have a look at it.

5:01 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Allygally,

Would a paper supporting irreducible complexity be classed as a paper which "supports" ID?

5:15 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

"Would a paper supporting irreducible complexity be classed as a paper which "supports" ID?"

No. IC is one claim that proponents of ID make. However, even if true, IC does not show that there must have been an intelligent agent, only that there are questions against the current understanding of evolution by RMNS. So IC attacks evolution, it does not necessarily support ID.

5:34 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

I said: "No. IC is one claim that proponents of ID make. However, even if true, IC does not show that there must have been an intelligent agent, only that there are questions against the current understanding of evolution by RMNS. So IC attacks evolution, it does not necessarily support ID."

Even so, do you have a peer reviewed IC paper? Can we see it?

5:47 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Lifewish,

The Behe & Snoke paper was part of Behe's submission as an expert witness.

6:30 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

It wasn't only Behe. Fuller actually admitted in his deposition that ID was creationism. He later tried to backtrack and implied there was "only" a historical link. Here is the relevant section of the trial transcript.

Q. If you could go to the next page, Page 68, and starting on Line 21, the question is, Intelligent design is creationism, not just six-day creationism? And then your answer beginning on Line 24, It is a kind of creationism, it is a kind of creationism.

I didn't read the same passage twice. It's actually twice on there. Did I read that accurately?

A. Well, it looks like that is what the sentences say. But, I mean, if I may, let me just have a look here. Well, it seems to me that what I'm talking about here is that there is some historical connection between creationism and intelligent design. And so in that sense, there is a genealogy that goes back to that. But that's all I'm saying at this point. I'm not saying that to practice intelligent design, one has to be some kind of creationist.2

Full transcript here;

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/day15pm2.html#day15pm681

7:28 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Allygally,

If IC is true then it is an important contribution that the ID camp have made to our understanding of life.

7:31 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

Andrew said: "If IC is true then it is an important contribution that the ID camp have made to our understanding of life."

If it is true. But is in not proven. And it in terms of ID it is negative. IF it is true, it weakens evolution. It does not make intelligent causation any more likely.

And anyway, it is not proven to be true.

7:35 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

Andrew said "If IC is true then it is an important contribution that the ID camp have made to our understanding of life."

The "ID camp" is not ID. If some scientists stumble upon a truth by accident, that does not prove their original direction or idea was right. And... IC is not proven...so the question is hypothetical. Unless you have peer reviewed proof that IC is accepted as "true" by the scientific community.

7:41 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Allygally,
"It wasn't only Behe. Fuller actually admitted...etc"

Is this a real red herring or what?

7:47 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

Andrew said: "It wasn't only Behe. Fuller actually admitted...etc"

Is this a real red herring or what?"

I wouldn't know Andrew, you're the red herring expert.

All I know is that Fuller said that ID was a kind of creationism. He then tried to withdraw from that position.. but the evidence is there.. if you have eyes to see...

7:57 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Allygally,

Well whether ID is creationism in a cheap tuxedo is a different issue from whether Judge Jones was wrong or not in his assertion that there is no peer reviewed literature in support of ID. Which is what I thought we were discussing.....

8:15 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

Andrew said : "Well whether ID is creationism in a cheap tuxedo is a different issue from whether Judge Jones was wrong or not in his assertion that there is no peer reviewed literature in support of ID. Which is what I thought we were discussing....."

If its creationism, as Fuller seems to think, then it cannot be science...which is what the judge said...and which is what we are discussing.

8:29 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

allygally said...

And if you need reminding, here is my contribution, from which the seconf half of this thread grew.

"Andrew: the truth is simple: Intelligent Design is religion. It is not science. If you want the evidence read the Dover transcripts. Both Behe and Fuller admit it is religion. Fuller says so in so many words and Behe by saying the definition of science should be stretched to include astrology so that it can also encompass ID."

8:37 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

PS. we have still to see the peer reviewed literature on ID.

8:39 pm  
Blogger Lifewish said...

OK, I've looked up the Behe and Snoke paper (it's available here for anyone who's interested). Two points:

1) This isn't actually an ID paper per se, it's a skepticism-of-standard-evolution paper. There is a difference (in theory, at least).
2) Under cross-examination, Behe stated that:
a) prokaryotes are more common than the population size his paper uses
b) even so, his irreducibly-complex structure could actually evolve in 20,000 years
c) his model was fairly simplistic and only considered the possibility of one pathway

So not only does the paper not demonstrate ID, it doesn't even significantly rule out evolution. Actually, I'd go further and say that this could more easily be classified as a pro-evolution paper than an anti-evolution paper. It's frankly hard to see how it could legitimately be classed as an ID paper.

As such, I think the judge was probably correct to discount this one.

11:43 am  
Blogger Lifewish said...

Incidentally, I think we need to remove another item from Luskin's list of peer-reviewed papers. The final one, written by Lonnig, was published in an anthology not a journal, and I can find no information on what standard of peer-review was used.

Of course, as I mentioned before, I'm not actually aware of any of these (apart from Behe&Snokes) being mentioned to Judge Jones, so he was certainly under no obligation to hunt them down. That's the defence's job.

4:34 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Lifewish,

Behe's example in this paper is much simpler than the standard IC objects/structures usually referred to. I am not sure that he would call it an example of IC. However this example shows the difficulty of explaining the origin of an IC structure especially in organisms with a smaller popn size.

5:29 pm  

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