Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Prominent Academics support Truth in Science.

Previous posts on "Truth in Science":
http://idintheuk.blogspot.com/2006/09/launch-of-truth-in-science.html
http://idintheuk.blogspot.com/2006/11/truth-in-science-materials.html
http://idintheuk.blogspot.com/2006/10/truth-in-science.html

It has emerged that 12 prominent academics wrote to Tony Blair and Alan Johnson, the education secretary, last month arguing that ID should be taught as part of science on the national curriculum.

They included 1. Norman Nevin OBE, Professor Emeritus of Medical Genetics, Queen's University of Belfast, 2. Antony Flew, formerly professor of philosophy at Reading University; 3. Terry Hamblin, professor of immunohaemotology at Southampton University; 4. John Walton, professor of chemistry at St Andrews University, 5. David Back, Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Liverpool; 6. Steve Fuller, Professor of Sociology at Warwick University; 7. Mart de Groot, Director, Retired, Armagh Astronomical Observatory; and 8. Colin Reeves, Professor of Operational Research at Coventry University

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-2524442_1,00.html

http://www.truthinscience.org.uk/site/content/view/217/63

19 Comments:

Anonymous Hrafn said...

The list in the TiS blurb appears to only 11: 8 named & 3 unnamed TiS board/council members.

Of the named 8, 3 are in the Arts/Mathematics, 2 are in completely unrelated scientific fields and 3 are in biomedical fields. However, none of those last three (who are in Medical Genetics, Pharmacology & Immunohaematology respectively) are in fields that have direct relevance to evolution.

Further, one of them, Fuller, has testified that ID is Creationism and that it is "implausible that the designer is a natural entity".

4:04 am  
Anonymous john donne said...

hrafn, relevance?

The signatorees didn't say that evolution was irrelevant to an undersanding of the origins of life, and they didn't call themselves experts in evolution, either. They are arguing for an alternative to be taught alongside it. So all your cut-and-paste documentation is worthless.

8:50 am  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

John:

Given that ID does nothing more than repeat tired old creationist arguments against evolution, I would think that a knowledge of evolution would be directly relevant to evaluating its value.

ID is not an "alternative" to evolution, it is a set of fallacious arguments against evolution.

In fact, over in the US they have largely given up on the ID label, as it has gotten too tarnished (having had its creationist roots too widely publicised), and are now attempting to peddle these arguments under labels such as "teach the controversy" and "critical analysis of evolution."

1:11 pm  
Anonymous john donne said...

you know, hrafn, if i were inclined to use your rhetoric, i would say you're a deceptive liar, opportunistically twisting isolated remarks to your advantage. but i'll refrain from doing that. readers of this blog know that what you said in your last post is 'incomplete' at best. for whom the bell tolls, indeed....

6:59 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

john donne said... "The signatorees didn't call themselves experts in evolution, either. They are arguing for an alternative to be taught alongside it."

ID is not an alternative to evolution. ID is a political scam to get creationism taught in science classes in the USA. It is creationism pure and simple, as revealed at the Dover trial.


Arts graduates who support ID are no more justification for teaching it than bus drivers who support it.
Do you have a list of bus drivers who support ID? Why not?

7:15 pm  
Blogger Paul (probably - maybe Liz) said...

Well, there's me. Does that count?

Oh, sorry. I see what you mean. Er, as you were, then.

8:27 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Firstly, I would be surprised if I couldn't find 12 prominent academics in each university in the country who would write to the PM asking that the TiS stuff be thrown in the bin.

Secondly, have any of these distinguished academics published anything scientific on the subject of ID, preferably in the scientific literature?

Thirdly, what has their being prominent academics got to do with it anyway? You can be a nobel prize winner and still get stuff wrong.
guthrie

10:34 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

Paul said...
Well, there's me. Does that count?Paul, if you are a bus driver you would add as much legitimacy to ID as any of the signatories...

Mabe you should ask to be appended thus;

Paul (probably - maybe Liz) PSV HGV.

11:36 pm  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

"...if i were inclined to use your rhetoric, i would say you're a deceptive liar, opportunistically twisting isolated remarks to your advantage."

Feel free to do so John, if you can SUBSTANTIATE that claim.

1:59 am  
Blogger Paul (probably - maybe Liz) said...

"You can be a Nobel prize winner and still get it wrong."
Here, I make the point that in actual fact, the amount of dissent is not important - it's the fact that dissent exists. One juror in 12 has the potential to change the course of a trial - and there's nothing magical about 8.3% - just the fact that not everybody is convinced.

And of course, even if everybody were convinced - if there was no dissent at all - that still wouldn't make something true.

The point being that naming names, quoting proportions etc. on either side has little force, other than to emphasise the fact that not everybody is convinced. And you don't win arguments by ridiculing your opponent - you win them by persuading them.

12:40 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul, once again a nice enough post, but since there are still people who think the earth is flat or that it is still orhbited by the sun, how exactly does the fact that dissent exists make any different to anything?

Furthermore, I note no move by the Creationists to actually persuade the rest of us by means of superior evidence.
guthrie

p.s I take it I am not the only one finding that blogger word verification often does not work?

7:30 pm  
Anonymous Hrafn said...

Paul (probably - maybe Liz):

Dissent is irrelevant if it is ignorant dissent - it becomes nothing more than a fallacious argument from personal incredulity.

Given that there is no evidence that the "prominent academics" in question are knowledgeable about evolution, their dissent can be dismissed.

9:01 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Allygally,
The word "evolution" is a slippery word. One of the points that I found helpful in Howard's introduction was his picking out of three distinct areas of dispute:
1. Abiogenesis.
2. The origin of all the vast variety of different groups of living organisms.
3. The origin of consciousness in humans.

I think all would agree that 2 and 3 belong within evolution. I would describe these steps as macroevolution.
Some argue that 1 is outside of the scope of the subject "evolution." In the popular mind and in some text books abiogenesis is dealt with under the heading of evolution.
I do not know of anyone who believes in a nonintelligent origin for 2 and 3 who believes in an intelligent origin for 1.

With regard to the word verification... I sometimes (say 1 in 3) times find I have to type the letters in twice... I usually assume it is because I can't read the letters properly! (I am after all a creationist idiot :-) )

10:01 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

Andrew Rowell said "The word "evolution" is a slippery word. One of the points that I found helpful in Howard's introduction was his picking out of three distinct areas of dispute:
1. Abiogenesis."

Evolution is a perfectly clear concept. It is not at all slippery..

Abiogenesis is about origins of life, evolution is about development of life, after it has arisen.

2. The origin of all the vast variety of different groups of living organisms.
3. The origin of consciousness in humans.

I think all would agree that 2 and 3 belong within evolution.

"In the popular mind and in some text books abiogenesis is dealt with under the heading of evolution."

Andreew! You and I know that the popular mind is not the place to judge science or any other ideas.

"I do not know of anyone who believes in a nonintelligent origin for 2 and 3 who believes in an intelligent origin for 1."

Yeeeesssss? Aaannddd?

With regard to the word verification... I sometimes (say 1 in 3) times find I h(I am after all a creationist idiot :-) )

It's not that. I agree with guthrie...too often the right answer is rejected..

10:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I am at work, the word verification doesnt come up- I;ve worked out its probably some kind of secutiry setting that I need to alter, or cannot since itll be on the server.
I still sometimes have it reject a correctly spelt word though.
guthrie

4:23 pm  
Blogger allygally said...

Paul said..."...the amount of dissent is not important - it's the fact that dissent exists."

No. It is whether the dissent is properly founded. In the recent court case about Muslim protests against Danish cartoons, someone held a placard saying "no to freedom". and another "no to freedom of expression". This is dissent. It exists. But the important point is the basis of this dissent. If the placard said "no to dictatorship" or "no to execution without trial", there might be a case. It might get some support.

So dissent of iself is less important than whether that dissent is based on any real foundation. ID is dissent against science without basis in science. that's why it is not, of itself, important. The political aspect is different of course, but that is based on lying about ID, so ov

10:45 pm  
Blogger CoralPoetry said...

Hi,

Science operates on academic integrity. “Truth in Science” is based on lies. The authors distort scientific facts and libel dead people.
.
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http://thesquire.blogspot.com/2005/03/being-nice-takes-longer.html
.
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TAKE BACTERIAL ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE. EVOLUTION DESCRIBES THE MECHANISM FOR ITS DEVELOPMENT AND THE SAME THEORY SUGGESTS MEANS TO SLOW DOWN THE DEVELOPMENT OF ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE. HOW DOES INTELLIGENT DESIGN, WHICH DENIES THAT MUTATIONS CAN BE BENEFICIAL TO AN ORGANISM, DEAL WITH ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE?

Intelligent Design is just as valid as the Time Cube, which is not scientifically valid. ID is an attempt to force Fundamentalist Christian beliefs into the public discourse by means of suppressing rational, evidence-based science.

There is an order to creation - go ask a physicist. Monsignor Stuart Swetland, the campus Catholic chaplain, had his original B.S. in Physics, and has a t-shirt that says "And God said: [Maxwell's equations] ...and there was light." From physics directly flows the study of Chemistry, the interactions between the electrons of atoms. Many of these atoms form molecules. Those containing carbon are incredibly versatile, and as such carbon is the basis for most, if not all, organic molecules. These can arise through various means. The amino acids are known to have come from the prebiotic soup. Nucleic acids are a bit harder to create, but analogous precursors (which I'll mention again later) with similar catalytic properties could be constructed from 2-carbon molecules, which are much more abundant. The sugar backbone of RNA and DNA themselves differ by only one atom (which is important in DNA's stability) and since the nucleoside bases used by both DNA and RNA are similar (three are exactly the same, while the other two differ only by a methyl group) it is easy to transfer information between the two data media. In fact, this transference takes place all the time, is called either transcription or reverse transcription, depending on the direction of the transfer. Without transcription, genes in DNA couldn't be translated into proteins, which are what actually do most of the work of the cell. The RNA copies of genes are translated into proteins (which themselves are strings of amino acids) by ribosomes. Ribosomes themselves are merely groups of a few RNA strands that, together, are catalytically active and can use other RNA tags attached to amino acids to order those amino acids according to the instructions in the gene and to link the amino acids together into proteins. Current data indicates that ribosomes may be the oldest part of the cell machinery, and it is easy to assume that if RNA can facilitate the coordination of different strands of RNA to create a protein, that RNA catalysts (called ribozymes) may have also existed that could function as RNA copying machinery to replicate genetic material. In fact, short nuclear RNAs have been found that, when associated with each other, can excise out segments of other RNAs and re-attatch the pieces so that the new, shorter RNA makes sense to the ribosomes. Once RNA machinery, and then proteins, got going, all that was needed to create the most primitive cell would be to enclose a ribosome, some other RNAs, some amino acids, and some free nucleotides in a lipid bilayer (most likely formed from a bubble in the sea where this all occurred). Who's to say that God did not use this method to create a cell, over spans of geologic time? Remember, God has all the time in the world. He can be patient. Since God is not necessarily excluded from creation, even though evolution exists, there is no moral vacuum. Science is not atheistic, and neither is evolution. SCIENCE IS AGNOSTIC, BECAUSE THE PRESENCE OR ABSENCE OF GOD CANNOT (currently, and likely for some time) BE PROVEN FROM DIRECT, RE-CREATABLE OBSERVATION.

The Scientific Method doesn't reject God, it merely rejects faulty hypotheses.

1:45 pm  
Blogger CoralPoetry said...

Why is the Dept of Education in the UK getting the nuclear fall-out from the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, and its proponents of ID in a re-branding, repackaged (evolved)form of creationism?

This quote from Caroline Crocker (the second proponent of ID emanating from the University of Southampton - the most vociferous ID pusher being Professor Terry Hamblin of Southampton Uni) who has been barred by her Department from teaching Evolution and Intelligent Design in the USA.

"There really is not a lot of evidence for evolution,"

"Without the accountability of Judgment Day and Hell, why would people follow the Ten Commandments?"
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http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v434/n7037/box/4341062a_bx1.html
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The Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at George Mason University said:

"I'm a Buddhist, but I don't think we should teach reincarnation in biology classes."

Regards,
Coral

2:53 pm  
Blogger CoralPoetry said...

Hi,

This is the ULTIMATE incontrovertible proof that science is wrong and creme eggs are right.
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVcdMSZx4AU&mode=related&search=
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Regards,
Coral

7:46 pm  

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