Thursday, May 29, 2008

Is Science atheistic?

“Some say God is living there. I was looking around very attentively, but I did not see anyone there. I did not detect either angels or gods…. I don’t believe in God. I believe in man—his strength, his possibilities, his reason.” (Titov USSR)


The question that interests me is whether atheistic scientists are willing to acknowledge that a clear line can be drawn between science and atheism. Can one be just as committed to science and yet believe in the reality of God, spirits, miracles and special revelation or is an atheistic, materialistic world view the only real position that a true scientist can take.

1. Is science intrinsically atheistic? Atheistic science is the true un-encrusted form whereas theistic science is a primitive medieval form of science prior to its emancipation to full grown materialism.

2. Can the tools of science be seen as a valuable toolbox which can be used usefully within a variety of philosophical contexts and presuppositions but has limited value in actually testing those contexts and presuppositions.

3. Can the results and evidence produced by the toolbox of science be seen in different ways according to the presuppositions and philosophical contexts of the individual scientist? Do the presuppositions and philosophical context of the scientist affect the way in which the data is interpreted and put together? Do the presuppositions and philosophical context predispose individual scientists to particular interpretations of the evidence?

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87 Comments:

Blogger Psiloiordinary said...

Science looks for natural explanations for things. It excludes the supernatural.

We have not seen any convincing evidence of the supernatural.

Do you have some evidence of the supernatural? Perhaps you can share it with us?

8:27 am  
Blogger Psiloiordinary said...

One reason that the supernatural is excluded from science is that it tends to stop it dead in its tracks.

Here is an example of this today;

http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2008/05/28/cold-comfort/

Here is a link to a catholic evolutionary biologist who points out that the claims of "different interpretations" are either simple errors or deliberate falsehoods, presumably perpetrated in the name of the god of the particular ID/Creationism proponent;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRsWAjvQSg

9:14 am  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Psilo,

You said: "Science....excludes the supernatural."

You then asked "Do you have evidence of the supernatural?"

Is this possible "evidence" (that you suggest I share) for the supernatural scientific or not?

If science excludes the supernatural how can it look for evidence for it?

9:15 am  
Anonymous Brian said...

"If science excludes the supernatural how can it look for evidence for it?"

You've just explained the flawed basis for ID - congratulations.

Science is a methodology for explaining observations. It is neither theistic nor atheistic. I haven't met a scientist who ponders the inclusion/exclusion of a deity as an explanatory possibility. That doesn't have to preclude a personal belief (in either) but it shouldn't be included in the scientific process. Theistic science is an oxymoron in that it assumes the observations fit the facts; science works the other way round - facts are derived from the observations. If you incorporate philosophy or presuppositions (theism) into that process you get theology.

I accept there can be philosophical and theological implications from science (eg stem cell research) but I cannot see how you can use these to direct (constrain) the scientific process. By doing so you remove the objectivity that makes science work. If you are theistic you may not always agree with what science has to say. If, in your worldview, that makes some science wrong (eg evolution) then it all has to be wrong. Is computer science, chemistry, electromagnetism (a)theistic or is that label only applicable to anything that impacts your faith?

10:23 am  
Blogger Psiloiordinary said...

So no evidence then?

;-)

11:42 am  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

"If science excludes the supernatural how can it look for evidence for it?"

Oh, that's beautiful.

What a spectacular "own goal".

Here's a link that might help you out of your confusion.
It's called...

What Is The Scientific Theory of Intelligent Design?

http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Hangar/2437/idtheory.htm

Enjoy.

Oh, by the way...
Andrew, how old do you think the Earth is?

6:19 pm  
Blogger Psiloiordinary said...

He doesn't like to say.

9:53 pm  
Anonymous Brian said...

Just an observation but are atheists the only people who read and participate in this blog?

11:25 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

"He doesn't like to say."

He doesn't? My oh my.
How ....interesting.
(giggle)

Most people have no problem with telling you how old the Earth is.
Even if they're not sure they can quickly look it up.

The only people that go all cute and coy over the question are...well...y'know...Young Earth Creationists.

Odd that.
:)

So how about it Andrew?
How old is the age of the Earth?
Do tell. Please.
Pretty please.

"Just an observation but are atheists the only people who read and participate in this blog?"

Oh Brian, you're so behind the times.
Intelligent Design has NOTHING to do with religion.

(Nudge,nudge. Wink,wink.)

Nothing, nothing, nothing at all.
Don't you read the press releases of the Discovery Institute?
It's all about the SCIENCE.
What's the phrase they parrot all the time?
"Following the evidence where it leads..."

See? All science so far.
Why, there's probably millions of atheists out there who can see the scientific proof of ID.

It' only a strange coincidence that a very specific group of christian fundamentalists happen to be pushing the idea.

(Mention the name Berlinski in three...two...one...)

7:40 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still, even the greatest scientists may have ideas you find repulsive. Walter Isaacson quoting Einstein in his biography "Einstein", 2007:

On the nature of God: "That deeply emotional conviction of a presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God."
On whether science leads to religion: "Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of nature -- a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort."
On how religion motivates scientific inquiry: "The cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research."
/ Steve, Sweden

2:09 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

Anonymous said...
something or other about Einstien and god.

Huh?

So...you're not interested in discussing Intelligent Design?

(chuckle)

You'd rather talk about how Einstien mentions god and so...what?

Lets' examine that logic.
He was a smart guy and so...if he believed in god then...it's good enough for the rest of us too?

Sounds like a dumb argument.

Still, I can understand why you don't want to talk about the 'science' of ID.

There is no science. You know it. I know it. It's a fraud. Smoke and mirrors.
The hosts of this site know it.
That's why they bravely disappear and abandon their own threads when the going get's even a little bit tough.
They've got nothing. Not a sausage. Sweet stuff all.

Notice the lack of action here lately? Hmm?

By the way...
Einstein wasn't a god botherer.
(Far from it.)

Here's a podcast interview of the author of the book you mentioned.
You might find it interesting.
It blows your argument out of the water.

http://www.theskepticsguide.org/skepticsguide/podcastinfo.asp?pid=150

Here's a little something extra an the subject. The comments are pretty blunt and to the point.

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2008/05/einstein-on-god.html

So now what?
Care to explain how ID is a real scientific theory?
No?
Oh dear.

:)

5:49 pm  
Anonymous Steve, Sweden said...

Some of you -- no, not you, Cedric; this is only for serious people -- might be interested in an interview with philosopher and ex-atheist Anthony Flew in
'The Source':

Anthony Flew: There were two factors in particular that were decisive. One was my growing empathy with the insight of Einstein and other noted scientists that there had to be an Intelligence behind the integrated complexity of the physical Universe. The second was my own insight that the integrated complexity of life itself – which is far more complex than the physical Universe – can only be explained in terms of an Intelligent Source. I believe that the origin of life and reproduction simply cannot be explained from a biological standpoint despite numerous efforts to do so. With every passing year, the more that was discovered about the richness and inherent intelligence of life, the less it seemed likely that a chemical soup could magically generate the genetic code. The difference between life and non-life, it became apparent to me, was ontological and not chemical. The best confirmation of this radical gulf is Richard Dawkins' comical effort to argue in The God Delusion that the origin of life can be attributed to a "lucky chance." If that's the best argument you have, then the game is over. No, I did not hear a Voice. It was the evidence itself that led me to this conclusion.'

"Richness and inherent intelligence of life..." Cedric, I told you this was not for you.

12:20 pm  
Blogger Psiloiordinary said...

Have you heard of the "argument from authority" logical fallacy?


Have you heard of logic?

Regards,

Psi

1:53 pm  
Anonymous Steve, Sweden said...

"Argument from authority"? Trusting your betters, you mean?

Colin Patterson at the Museum of Natural History looked through the stories about proven descent:

"Is Archaeopteryx the ancestor of all birds? Perhaps yes, perhaps no: there is no way of answering the question. It is easy enough to make up stories of how one form gave rise to another, and to find reasons why the stages should be favoured by natural selection. But such stories are not part of science, for there is no way to put them to the test."

Still, you belive in these stories, don't you, dear Psiloi?

(Myself, I would say that of course there is a connection between different, eh, creatures. And I see no reason to deny the changes through the millennia. Life began even a bit before the Cambrian Explosion, some 550 million years before present, so a lot of things have changed.)

3:07 pm  
Blogger Psiloiordinary said...

Here you go dearest;

"Appeal to authority as logical fallacy
An (fallacious) appeal to authority argument has the basic form:
A makes claim B;
there is something positive about A,
therefore claim B is true.
The first statement is called a 'factual claim' and is the pivot point of much debate. The last statement is referred to as an 'inferential claim' and represents the reasoning process. There are two types of inferential claim, explicit and implicit."

and;

"Logic is the study of the principles of valid inference and demonstration. The word derives from Greek λογική (logike), fem. of λογικός (logikos), "possessed of reason, intellectual, dialectical, argumentative", from λόγος logos, "word, thought, idea, argument, account, reason, or principle"."

- - -

Your use of the comment about Archaeopteryx reveals your ignorance of the subject which you seem so arrogantly certain about.

There are no authorities in science, just evidence and logic.

That you have to resort to authority rather than evidence and logic must really grate with you and explains your tone.

Regards,

Psi

PS if you start being nice I will point out the logical fallacy in your argument about the fossil evidence for you.

5:04 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

Steve said..."Some of you -- no, not you, Cedric; this is only for serious people..."

Ouch, you wound me.

(yawn)

Anthony Flew?
You're actually using Anthony Flew as an argument?
That's so...sad.

Psiloiordinary is quite correct in pointing out that you're just using an 'argument from authority'.
Not very original and not very convincing at all.
Dumb, actually.

Why don't you seem to be interested in talking about Intelligent Design?

If you keep on avoiding the topic, it just makes you look foolish.

Oh and before I forget, you are a quote-miner.
Don't know what it means?

(Look it up.)

You are deliberately quote-mining Colin Patterson.
Shame on you.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/patterson.html

You might try reading the Bible.

There's that bit that goes....

"Thou shalt not bear false witness"

Remember?

7:24 pm  
Anonymous Steve, Sweden said...

Psil:

Above (5:04 PM) you give us two simple definitions of terms. Please: What has this to do with the problem of intelligent design, which lies behind this discussion?

I began with a quote from Einstein: "Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of nature -- a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble." Your reaction to that was that you don't care what that old man said; you have read much more and know much better than him.

Good. Then let me give you another little problem. In "The Blind Watchmaker" chapter 3, professor Dawkins wants to show us how easy it is for evolution to, eh, create complicated things, like for instance this quote from Shakespeare: METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL. (Capital letters; think of DNA.)

Dawkins sat down at his Mac and began programming i Basic. When he was ready he let the machine "create" a starting line of 28 letters, chosen by the Mac's random function. Then he let the machine make copies of this line, with little changes, "mutations". How many? He does not say. 100 perhaps. He was programming in Basic...

Then he compared all these lines with the sentence he looked for, found the line closest, and took this as a new starting point. Again new lines, and again compare with the desired goal. Repeat! Repeat until you reach the correct destination, the Shakespeare quote. Dawkins was successful in the 43rd generation.

Now obviously this must be a joke, some kind of advanced British academic joke. He knew the goal, and -- with the help of his computer and Basic expertise -- he got there after 43 generations. And now he pretends that this is how evolution worked, how life began...! Psil - can you please explain this joke to me.

(It strikes me - perhaps professor Dawkins does after all believe in a higher Intelligence behind our world!)

7:33 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

Steve said..."What has this to do with the problem of intelligent design, which lies behind this discussion?"

Intelligent Design lies behind this discussion?
Wonderful.

So how about we drop the arguments from authority and the dishonest, unchristian quote-mining and we talk about Intelligent Design?

(Don't let it languish in the background.
Let's tackle it head on.)

So...what is Intelligent Design?
Is it a scientific theory?

:)

P.S.
Acting deliberately dense about Dawkins Weasel Program doesn't magically demolish modern biology and (by default) magically produce any ID science.
It just makes you look ignorant.

(In addition to you being a quote-mining 'Liar For Jeezuz'.)

Here's some help for you on simple programs that model evolution.
It's a nice SIMPLE video with SIMPLE words and PRETTY pictures to help people like yourself who feel asleep in science class.

Why Intelligent Design is WRONG, Part I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2SVMKZhV2g

Why Intelligent Design is WRONG, Part II
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx5t5_trnuU&feature=related

Good Luck.

6:13 am  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

Oh, I almost forgot.
Steve, how old do you think the Earth is?

(Just curious)

8:33 am  
Anonymous Steve, Sweden said...

Andrew Rowell:

This person who calls himself variously Cedric Katesby and Psilly something, is rather tiresome. One might wonder why he's got this hang up about ID. I was an atheist, for logical reasons as I thought, until I was 25. But I never had any problems about Christians and their faith -- if faith made them happy, why complain. If there is no God, and the world has somehow come into existence all by itself -- why bother about people thinking something else?

But it seems clear enough that this Psilly fellow is not really a convinced atheist. Deep inside - or rather: no so deep inside - he fears that there may be something to those old stories about a God and a creator.

Yes, there might. There have been three serious attempts to get rid of faith and Christianity: The French revolution 1789, the Russian revolution 1917, and Nazism 1933.

Already in 1793, worship of the goddess Reason resulted in "la Terreur". The Nazi Thousand Year Reich survived for 12 years; then die Übermenschen stood in the ruins of Berlin, knocking bricks. Scientific Atheism, finally, endured for 70 years -- after which the Soviet Union was kaput.

But -- already in 1998, father Hilarion Alfeyev could tell the World Council of Churches that now the Russian Orthodox Church had more then 100 million members, most of them baptized during the last ten years.

And from China came a report, in January 2007, that Mr Yie Xiaowen of the "China State Administration for Religious Affairs" had informed party members that now there were 130 million Christians in China.

Both Russians and Chinese had experienced "Scientific Atheism" in their own lives. So they looked for something better - and found it...

11:38 am  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

Steve addresses Andrew Rowell..."
This person who calls himself variously Cedric Katesby and Psilly something, is rather tiresome."

Oh dear. This won't do at all.
I'm Cedric. Psiloiordinary is a totally separate entity. But thanks for the indirect compliment.
Doh!

:)

Addressing Andrew and hoping he'll come in and save your bacon is a waste of time. He can't defend Intelligent Design as a valid scientific theory either.
However, it does make for an amusing read.
Double Doh!

:)

Steve said..."One might wonder why he's got this hang up about ID."

Had you bothered to look at the name of this website you would have noticed that the name of it is "ID in the United Kingdom".

Kind of giveaway, I would have thought. Plus there's all sorts of links to ID friendly websites.

I'm not the one with the hang-up on ID. I think it's a fraud.
I didn't go and create a web-site devoted to it!


So what's the hot topic around here, Steve?
What's this site devoted to?

Think hard. Think really hard!

(Steve furrows his brow and grips his colouring crayon more tightly. Then he reaches for his Bible...)

No, no, Steve. Creationism is in the OTHER department. Just down the hall, second door on your left.
Can't miss it.

ID isn't creationism and it has nothing to do with religion, right?

(Nudge, nudge, wink, wink)

It's all about the science, yeah?

(Steve nods happily. He now remembers the party line as taught by the Discovery Institute.
Stick to the science! Yeah, that's what they said. Don't let them label you as creationist dummy.)

Good.
So what do we discuss around here?

Say it with me slowly, Steve.

I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.E.N.T. D.E.S.I.G.N.

Good, Steve, very good.

"I was an atheist, for logical reasons as I thought, until I was 25..."

Nobody cares, Steve. Honest.

"If there is no God, then blah, blah, blah, blah...."

No Steve.
This isn't Kreationism Korner.
You have religious beliefs?
That's nice.

Believe what you want.
Nobody cares.

It's when you make scientific claims that you become oh so very interesting.

So how about it Steve?
What do you think Intelligent Design is?
Do you think it's just philosophy or religion?
Please tell us you do.
That would be surprisingly honest of you.
:)

P.S.
How old is the age of the Earth, Steve?
I noticed that you dodged this question the last time around.

(chuckle)

P.P.S.
Steve, you seem to abandon your creationist talking points the instant I skewer them with a rebuttal.

We've done the Argument from Authority number.

Plus the deceitful quote-mining routine.

Then you moved on to the "Computer models of evolution are too hard for me to understand so...they must be a joke" gag.

At this rate you'll run out of material!

To save you time and stress, let me give you a link to all of the usual suspects of the creationist talking points.

You can choose the talking point that you think is a real "stumper" and I can refer you to the rebuttal at the botton of the page article cited.
Simple enough?

It's called the Talk Origins Archive.

http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-index.html

Enjoy.
Take your pick.
I'll still be here to help you.

Remember Steve, every time you Bear False Witness, you are breaking one of god's sacred laws.

4:10 pm  
Anonymous Steve, Sweden said...

Andrew Rowell: If you google "Cedric Katesby" and "Psiloiordinary" you'll see that this person is more or less full time "commenting" on other persons' blogs about ID. Like here.

It's irritating, but has a positive side: Now we know that he has no real arguments against Intelligent design.

I was nine when a little comrade told me that if you set a chimpanzee at the piano and let it play, it will sooner or later come up with Chopin's Revolutionary Etude. Nonsense, I said. Chance will never create real order.

This thought, however, is much too complicated and advanced for our Psilly friend. Isn't that something to be grateful for?

6:00 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

Steve, Steve, Steve.

"Now we know that he has no real arguments against Intelligent design."

Who is this "we" business?

It's just you Steve.
Nobody's coming to rescue you from your foolishness.

Andrew (at least when it comes to a scientific discussion of ID) is very definitely Not At Home.

(Although I must say that I would pay good money to see him trying to pull your creationist chestnuts from the fire.)

Steve said..." Chance will never create real order."

Ah, I'm glad to see you're taking my advice on the Talk Origins Archive.
Thank you.
The old "random chance" talking point.

Here's your link.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/chance/chance.html

(No need to thank me. It's all part of the service.)

Now Steve, let's argue about Intelligent Design.

What is it?

Do you actually have an opinion or do you wait around for others to provide one for you?

Is Intelligent Design a scientific theory?
Yes or No?

Why is this question so hard for you?

Oh and....

How old is the age of the Earth?
Please say it's 6000 years old.
Please. Pretty please.

(giggle)

6:43 pm  
Blogger Psiloiordinary said...

Hi all,

I can confirm to everyone that I am not Cedric.

I have an exam on Tuesday so I am a bit short for time at the moment.

I thought Steve implied he thought the world was old ?

Anyway, will catch up later.

Regards,

Psilly

(I like the name Andrew, kind of like the old english for "blessed" don't you think?)

7:00 pm  
Anonymous Steve, Sweden said...

Andrew: It is quite interesting to see this intellectual breakdown of the godless. Reminds me of C.S.Lewis' "Perelandra", and the confrontation between Ransom and the anti-person, who is slowly disintegrating.

I used to be scared by them - the godless - when I realized their (combined) strength (that was in the 70's) - but now I know better. It's a question of power. And final power is most definitely not with them.

(Anyone can see that the godless are dying out, in this part of the world, and being replaced by people who actually believe in God, in one way or another. So it is in Sweden, so it is in the UK.)

7:54 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

Psi, good luck with your exams.

..............................

Psiloiordinary said..."I thought Steve implied he thought the world was old ?"

Ah hah! So he did.

Previously Steve said..."Life began even a bit before the Cambrian Explosion, some 550 million years before present, so a lot of things have changed."

550 million years.
Well, that's something at least.
It's good to know that you're not a totally nutty YEC.

(You do realise that this is a YEC friendly website, hmm?)

What do you think of YEC'ers, Steve?
Do they understand good science?

Why do you suppose that that the Intelligent Design movement is covered in YEC supporters and YEC funding like a rash?

You did know that, didn't you?

8:03 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

Steve said..."It is quite interesting to see this intellectual breakdown of the godless."

Imagine how much more interesting it would be if you talked about Intelligent Design.

Go on. Be a devil.
Give us your thoughts.

:)

8:16 pm  
Anonymous Steve, Sweden said...

Andrew: No doubt kosmonaut Titov may have said that he didn't see God in space -- but it was Yuri Gagarin's supposed words that became famous.

But they were said by Nikita Khruschev during a party plenum devoted to anti-religious propaganda. “At that time Khruschev gave all the Party and Komsomol organizations the task to promote this propaganda and said: why should you clutch at God? Look, Gagarin flew in space and saw no God”.

With time however, these words began to be deliberately ascribed to Gagarin, “who was the people’s favourate and such a statement from his lips could be of tremendous importance”.

But ‘Yuri was baptized just as any Russian (!) and, as far as I can know, was a believer” and he just could not “utter such words”.

Interfax

The full story -- an interview with Colonel Petrov of the 'Gagarin Air Force Academy' -- here..

8:30 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

No argument for Intelligent Design?
Oh dear.

(Just as I predicted.)

Poor Andrew.
He spend time and effort to publish a book and create an ID website and yet...creationists like Steve doesn't want to talk about ID.

Face it Andrew, ID is dead.
It's going nowhere fast.

Now if you'd created a site devoted to the Soviet Space Era then....

:)

9:05 pm  
Anonymous Brian said...

Just in case you were confused by the tactics behind the promotion of ID (Ssssshhhh - it's not religion) take a look at Dumbski's blog and the blurb on his new book;

"The book is geared at Christian young people (junior high and high schoolers) as well as for Church groups (e.g., Sunday Schools) to help get out the word about ID....."

I will guarantee it doesn't have a definition of ID, despite it's title.

This is a gift to the lawyers in Louisiana!!

PS - I'm not Andrew either.

8:37 am  
Anonymous Steve, Sweden said...

Andrew: In an American Gallup in May, 44% said that "God created man in present form", 36% that "Man developed, with God guiding", and only 14% that "Man developed, but God had no part in process". 5% didn't know.

-- Nice bone this, isn't it, Cedric! Psill...! It's Tuesday! Now start grunting! Tell us that YOU are not intelligent, and that YOUR existence is just pure chance - a piece of bad luck in fact - and that there is NO meaning in your life. True enough, I agree. And you are SO glad that you are not American, and you detest that awful man Bush, who is a Christian.

Did I take your, eh, arguments away, Cedric? But who cares what you are grunting: He doesn't? My oh my. How ....interesting. (giggle) Nudge,nudge. Wink,wink. Nothing, nothing, nothing at all.

5:33 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve, you are evidently an idiot.

11:13 am  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

Oh Steve.
You're not helping your credibility level at all.

Try and maintain some personal dignity.
This is the Internet.
Other people are watching you.

You are supposed to be a Christian.
You're supposed to have a strong moral character and forgive your enemies.

Remember this?

"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

—Luke 6:27-31. NIV

So there you have it, Steve.
Straight from your own playbook.
Now pull yourself together and play nice with the other children.

(Just to show that there's no hard feelings on my part, I just want you to know that I forgive you.)

Now let's get back on track, shall we?

.................................

First of all, it would be a good idea to stop addressing all your posts to Andrew.
He has never replied to you.

Every time you call out for Andrew, it's looks just a tad odd.
Sort of like a man talking to himself.
A desperate, lonely man.
For your own sake, please stop.

Then there's the choice of your topic material...

Reports from the World Council of Churches on baptisms.

Your memories of being a nine-year old playing the piano.

Telling the plots of stories by C.S. Lewis.

Anecdotes about Soviet Cosmonauts.

American Gallup polls.

Whatever next?

I think we all understand that you have wide-ranging interests but are you sure this is the best way to talk about Intelligent Design on the Internet?

You're running the risk that others might think that you're a PARODY of a supporter of Intelligent Design.
I'm talking about Poe's Law here.

http://rationalwiki.com/wiki/Poe's_Law

Now, I don't really mind but my handle is actually Cedric Katesby.
It's not Andrew.
Nor is it Psiloiordinary.

Plenty of people think that Intelligent Design is a fraud and a joke.
Especially scientists.
It's not just one person creating sock-puppets on the Net to somehow 'subvert' the ID movement.
I'm Cedric.
Psi is Psi.
Brian is Brian.
...and Andrew hardly ever shows up.
Honest.

Now, this...'unfortunate outburst' of yours.
Perhaps I'm partly to blame?

I'll admit that I've been a bit rough on you.

I was very shocked that you would so callously mis-represent Einstein the way you did.

Also you didn't help matters by following up with a quote-mine on Patterson.
Bearing False Witness is wrong.
There's just no excuse for it.
Please don't do it again.
You know it makes god sad.

Plus, it probably didn't help your mood at all when I pointed out that all your talking points are catalogued over at TalkOrigns.
Once you realised this, you almost immediately stopped using them.

I'm sorry if you felt frustrated but, well, why re-invent the wheel?
All the sciency-sounding talking points you will ever need are all there.
Look at it as a one-stop shopping mall devoted to creationist thinking.

If it's any consolation, you're not the first Christian to conflate science with atheism. Believe me when I say that there are millions of hard-working scientists who do very good scientific work and also happen to be ... religious!

Dr Ken Miller is a famous example.
He's a Catholic and also happens to be a very famous biology professor at Brown University.
Here's a little video about him.
He's very easy to understand.
You'll like him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9a-lFn4hqY

So how about it Steve?
Shall we all take a deep breath and discuss Intelligent Design like reasonable people?

Let's start with the basics:

What is Intelligent Design?

(This isn't a trick question. Feel free to use any definition you like. Take your time in formulating your answer.)

P.S.
I do forgive you, Steve.
Really.

7:06 pm  
Anonymous Brian said...

Oh well, another defender of the 'Truth' who just can't take it when they get the 'truth' instead!!

Just a thought Steve; are you Bill? You sound irrational enough!

PS I'm still not Andrew.

11:48 pm  
Anonymous Steve, Sweden said...

Andrew, I think you should follow the advice in Matt. 7:6 ! Put an end to the free commenting on your blog. Accept only those very few comments that have a serious content.

But I admit -- even absurd things like the "joking" of Brian Cedric can be useful reading. I mean, here is this fellow spending lots of time -- google his name! -- telling us that there is NO intelligence in the world.

Not in the Katesby world, at least. Cedric is godless -- there is no real, lasting meaning in his life. How ....interesting. (giggle) Nudge,nudge. Wink,wink. Nothing, nothing, nothing at all. -- that is how his thoughts go.

(Meaning to one's life: In the Nazi KZ's, people were put to the final test. Among the Norwegians, there were two groups who tended to survive -- Christians and Communists. People who saw a deeper meaning to their life.)

But, as I have said before, the godless "Cedric" types are dying out -- in Sweden, in the UK and in the rest of Western Europe. And those who replace them almost all believe in God, somehow. Deo gratias.

10:05 am  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

Steve said..."Put an end to the free commenting on your blog. Accept only those very few comments that have a serious content."

That's right, Steve. Squirm.
:)

Censorship on an ID blog?
It's been done already.

ID blogs are infamous for censorship. It's one of the many reasons why the general public doesn't take Intelligent Design seriously.
A neutral observer, cruising the pro/anti ID blogs will notice that almost all ID blogs have either a "no comments" policy or heavily censor their posts to the point of absurdity.
Take the website "Uncommondescent" for example.
Hardly a day goes by where a commenter is not expunged.
The result: An echo chamber for Dembski and Co. A place where only "yes-men" are allowed.

Is this the future of ID?
Yeah. Probably.

Of course, if you're interested in what get's censored at Uncommondescent, there's a specially devoted thread to it at the Pandasthumb.org
It's called "The Officially Uncommonly Dense Discussion Thread"

www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?s=486e0d0ca63c0947;act=ST;f=14;t=1274

Always worth a peek.
Nine hundred and eighty-four pages and STILL going strong!

The host of this web-site is one of the very, very, VERY few ID blogs where you can post pretty much what you want as long as you stay civil.
(And for that, he deserves respect)

Me? Sure I'm sarcastic.
Biting even!
A devastating wit, caustic asides topped off by elegantly simple scientific questions about ID that no ID supporter dares to answer.
However, I keep my language clean and I focus on the science.
Religious beliefs?
Who cares? What you believe is strictly your problem.
Science, however, belongs to EVERBODY.

If the host of this web-site decided to enforce censorship, well, it's his site.
Of course, in very short order ID in the UK would probably be a deceased as http://id-texter.blogspot.com/

No comments at all.
Last post was March 2007.
Welcome to the exciting world of ID. The future of science.
Get on board now or miss out!
(snort)

Hang on.
How about this for an idea?
Why not invite Steve to have a ***special guest spot*** on this blog?

He gets to post all of his evidence for ID.
Think of the possibilities...

More stories about how famous people believed in god.

Updated opinion polls from around the world on how many people believe in god.

More personal testimonies on how Steve was an atheist but then became a believer in pixies...er...god.
Even more stories from the archives of the Soviet Space Agency and how they couldn't disprove god.

Endless updates on how more people in Sweden are now turning to god than there were yesterday.

Talk about an untapped mountain of knowledge on Intelligent Design!
(Wow.)

How about it Steve?
Are you willing to devote yourself to this noble cause?

In so many ways, you truely are a perfect representative of the typical supporter of ID.

.................................

Steve said...Brian Cedric can be useful reading."

Huh?
Have you given up on calling me Psill?
What's changed your mind?

Steve said..."...here is this fellow spending lots of time -- google his name! -- telling us that there is NO intelligence in the world."

When you google it, you really should type in "Cedric Katesby" for the sake of accuracy.

When you do, please quote the part where I ever said "There is no intelligence in the world".
It's kinda sounds like you're making things up as you go along.

Good luck with that.

So Steve....

What is Intelligent Design?
Why is this question so hard for you?

1:16 pm  
Anonymous Steve, Sweden said...

580 words, 3478 strokes. And still Cedric has not opened his Bible! But then...

-- The following may be of interest to some of you (always excepting Mr. Katesby of course, the man who looks down on Einstein):

D'Souza: "Robert Jastrow, one of the noted astronomers of our time and, as it happens, a former professor of mine at Dartmouth, died earlier this year.

Jastrow was one of the great popularizers of science. One of his books, Red Giants and White Dwarfs, became a national bestseller and conveyed to a whole generation of Americans the excitment and mystery of space exploration. When American astronauts landed on the moon, Jastrow provided expert commentary for the TV networks covering the event.

But Jastrow never permitted popularization to get in the way of serious professional accomplishment. After getting his doctorate in physics from Columbia, he became head of the theoretical divison at NASA. Later he was appointed head of the Goddard Space Institute. In 1992 he became chairman of Mount Wilson Observatory in California.

... One of Jastrow's gems is a little book called God and the Astronomers in which Jastrow, although himself an agnostic, made a startling argument. He argued that "the astronomical evience leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world." Jastrow not only documents his claim but shows why leading scientists including Einstein resisted the new discoveries, because they threatened the dogma that scientific laws enjoy eternal validity. Jastrow showed that in reality the laws of physics themselves came into existence with the Big Bang; beyond or apart from our universe, there are no such laws.

Jastrow's story reads like a detective novel, with the only difference that the facts he recounts are true. And here is his stunning conclusion: "For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries."

4:28 pm  
Blogger Psiloiordinary said...

Hi All,

I see we now have the following on record;

Argument Ad Populum

The classic technique of completely ignoring logical fallacies when they are pointed out in your own argument together with a good thick helping of repetition.

Happy to be of service.

Regards,

Psi

5:09 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

Steve.
You finally figured out my handle is Cedric Katesby.
Congratulations.

Only took you SIX POSTINGS.
You're a quick one, you are.
;)

Did you give up on trying to find a posting of mine on the Internet that supports your claim that I said "There is no intelligence in the world"?

You gave up?
Smart move.
Please don't lie in the future.
I'm clever enough to spot your lies and then embarrass you with them.
You have been warned.


How come you've stopped posting to Andrew?
Have you taken my advice?
Good for you.
My advice is worth listening to.

Steve said..."...excepting Mr. Katesby of course, the man who looks down on Einstein"

(No need to be formal.
Cedric will be fine.)

I don't look down on Einstein at all.
He was an amazing man.
I like him so much that I take offence when dishonest people like you misrepresent him.

Lately, all your posts can be summed up into two types...

19. ARGUMENT FROM NUMBERS
(1) Millions and millions of people believe in God.
(2) They can't all be wrong, can they?
(3) Therefore, God exists.

197. ARGUMENT FROM SCIENTISTS
(1) Some famous scientists believed in God.
(2) Therefore, God exists.

Hundreds of Proofs of God’s Existence
http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/GodProof.htm

You need new material if this is going to be entertaining.

P.S.

So Steve....
What is Intelligent Design?
Why is this question so hard for you?

(chuckle)

7:19 pm  
Anonymous Brian said...

So Steve....
What is Intelligent Design?
Why is this question so hard for you?

Cedric,

I think you are being a little unfair asking Steve such difficult questions! Not even the high priests of ID know the answers to those blatantly leading questions.

I think he's still coming to terms with the fact that neither you, I or psilo are Andrew.

Or are we?

11:22 pm  
Anonymous Steve, Sweden said...

I didn't expect that, Cedric, but in one comment on "Mere Comments" you actually appear like a serious, reflecting person: "Yet I would like to ask you what is the basis for your belief? Is it religious or do you truely believe that it's scientific?"

Could you then please explain to us how life began? A warm little pool, fireworks in the sky, and presto -- amino acids are changing into... into.... into proteins? Don't try that fairy tale here!

(There is a prize for one million dollars to win, if you come up with a realistic description of how life could have begun. "Origin of Life prize". See especially "Clarification of what the Foundation is looking for". And why not also "Suggested texts - Submitters may find helpful the following background readings from varied perspectives, presented in chronological order".)

You could for instance try to pass the little obstacle that chirality presents... Chirality (of amino acids and sugars) is "a characteristic signature of life". Of the four forces of nature (electromagnetic, weak, strong and gravity) only the weak force can tell the difference between left and right chirality. But the weak force is only effective within the individual atom. How then could life have begun "all by itself", with those amino acids lapping about in a pool of vapid water?

Of course I know that you have no answer to this problem at all. And of course I know that in spite of this you will come up with a "reply" of 1000 words or more... You godless ones are stupid ! (A thought strikes me: Is that perhaps why you so frantically deny Intelligent design? Remember mr Dawkins who says that it is sooo easy: just compare the temporary results with the desired answer, and take the nearest one...)

9:12 am  
Blogger Psiloiordinary said...

Hi Steve,

You have given us the God of the Gaps argument also known as the argument from ignorance logical fallacy.

You have also just called me stupid. Thanks.

PS that is known as the Ad Hominem logical fallacy. But I prefer to just think of it as being rude. Manners maketh the man and all that.

Regards,

Psi

1:28 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

A long time ago Cedric (at Mere Comments) asked..."Yet I would like to ask you what is the basis for your belief? Is it religious or do you truely believe that it's scientific?"

Steve replies..."Could you then please explain to us how life began?"

No Steve.
This is called "answering a question with a question".

It's the sort of tactic that is frowned upon in polite society.

I am making no claim.
You are.
You're the supporter of Intelligent Design, remember?
I'm not.
Do you understand this?

Steve continues..."Of course I know that you have no answer to this problem at all."

It doesn't matter if I have an answer or not.
That doesn't help YOU with Intelligent Design.

Steve said..."A thought strikes me..."

(That would be a first)

Steve continues..."Is that perhaps why you so frantically deny Intelligent design?"

No Steve.
There's nothing 'frantic' about my position.
All I'm doing is asking simple scientific questions about Intelligent Design.

You're the one that's frantically avoiding the issue.

You're happy to insult people.
To quotemine.
To talk about your childhood.
To cut and paste at random.
To reassure the world that Sweden is the new Christian superpower or whatever...

Yet you are strangely...silent... on Intelligent Design.

How can I be "frantically denying Intelligent Design" when you don't even seem to be able to discuss it?

All I have to do is say "Behold, the typical supporter of Intelligent Design. He's got nothing."

...and that's it.
Your position is toast.

Every new posting here where you refuse to discuss Intelligent Design just REINFORCES MY POSITION!

Can't you see that?

Cedric once said..."Yet I would like to ask you what is the basis for your belief? Is it religious or do you truely believe that it's scientific?"

You like this form of question better?

You think it's 'serious' and 'reflecting'?

Somehow more serious and reflecting than asking what is Intelligent Design?

Fine. We'll do it your way.

Steve, you believe in Intelligent Design.
I would like to ask you what is the basis for your belief. Is it religious or do you truely believe that it's scientific?

(waits patiently)

4:56 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

(...and waits...)

4:46 pm  
Anonymous Steve, Sweden said...

Dear Cedric, You 'replied' in 356 words -- same old phrases as usual, of course, but at least not the 1000 I expected.

Here is a link to an article in "Men's News Daily" about the ID conflict. No degree needed for reading it. (Still, don't bother, Brian Cedric. This is not meant for you. Try this instead!)

11:40 am  
Anonymous Brian said...

Thanks Steve

I never you you cared!

(I assume you meant; Brian, Cedric?)

6:31 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

It doesn't help you Steve.

All this endless Linking, Cutting and Pasting, Fallacious Arguments etc.

Why don't you want to talk about Intelligent Design?

Do you notice that I'm not "frantically denying Intelligent Design" in this post nor in any of my other posts?

I'm willing to discuss it.
I'm happy to discuss is.
I'm VERY, VERY, keen do discuss it.

Yet you...just can't bring yourself around to the topic.

You're avoiding it like the plague.

What is Intelligent Design, Steve?
Why is this question so hard for you?

Come on Steve. Come out of your shell.
Share your thoughts, your insights.
Dazzle us with the intellect of a typical ID supporter.
Go for it.

:)

P.S.
Perhaps I'm Andrew but I don't know it?

4:50 am  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

Ahh, typos...

That should read...

"to discuss it" not "to discuss is"

and

"to discuss it" not "do discuss it"

5:18 am  
Anonymous Brian said...

Let me give you a helping hand Steve. Cedric will be waiting an eternity otherwise;

Intelligent Design is like faith; you don't question why, but you have to believe it...... (please feel free to continue Steve)

Steve, like Cedric and Psilo, I too am familiar with all the links you so kindly provide. What I (we) would like to hear is YOUR views on ID. You have a voice but you seem reluctant to share your opinions. Is it really such a difficult question; what is ID?

8:25 am  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

(..several days go past...)

Oh dear. I think we've frightened him away.
Come back Steve.
We have a couple of simple questions for you.

:)

Hang on a second!
Maybe Steve was really Andrew?
Perhaps Andrew created a sock-puppet to drum up some excitement for us?
Or maybe not.

..............................


So, any more ID supporters out there lurking?

Please join the conversation.
We'd love to chat with you about Intelligent Design.

What do you think it is?

1:21 pm  
Anonymous Steve, Sweden said...

Dear Psillies - Brian, Katesby et al,

The "discussion", as you call it, has been about the little problem whether you are intelligently designed or not. I tried to say that you were; you - who should know better - said NO, you are NOT. No intelligence was used when you were made.

I have thought it over, and must admit that you are right. There is no intelligence in you.

Evolution has clearly gone backwards, in your case. Some millennia ago, the situation was not quite so bad:

"Psiloi were irregular conscripts -- perhaps sometimes even slaves -- and were generally too poor to afford even basic defensive equipment. ... Psiloi occupied the lowest position in the Greek and Macedonian military hierarchies, and are generally equivalent in every way to the velites of the Roman army of a somewhat later time."

3:17 pm  
Anonymous Brian said...

Steve

My wisdom teeth hurt, my appendix is rumbling, my back aches from standing and I have to take vitamin C! That's some 'intelligent' designer!

As I have merely acquired intelligence, rather than been borne of it, this leads me to the conclusion that I'm just another evolved ape who knows that fairies don't exist (sorry if this is news to you). I'm sorry I'm not a 'special one' as you seem to wish me to be but thanks for your concern. I'd rather be an individual, not part of the mass.

4:01 pm  
Blogger Psiloiordinary said...

Well done Steve. I am indeed the "poor bloody infantry" of the ancient world.

Anyway back to the science . . .

Regards,

Psi

4:17 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

Steve, welcome back.

You took so long to reply I was worried that you might have been 'raptured'.

.................................

Steve said..."Dear Psillies - Brian, Katesby et al,"

Steve, have you decided that we're different people again?
Good for you.

..................................

Steve said..."No intelligence was used when you were made.

I have thought it over, and must admit that you are right. There is no intelligence in you."

Non sequitur. Try again.

..................................

Steve said..."The "discussion", as you call it, has been about the little problem whether you are intelligently designed or not. I tried to say that you were."

When?
All you've been doing is moaning about God!
Any old garden-variety creationist can do that. The new "buzz-phrase" is Intelligent Design. Get with the program.
You supposed to keep it all scientific and hard-nosed.

Once you start reaching for your Bible, the general public figure out pretty quickly that ID is just the same ol' same ol'.
It's only standard-issue Creationism dressed up in a cheap tuxedo.
You're living proof.

If you think that people are Intelligently Designed...then MAKE A SCIENTIFIC ARGUMENT!
PRESENT EVIDENCE!

How hard can this be?

Let's start with the basics...

Now focus, Steve.
Focus.

(Deep breath)

What is Intelligent Design?
Is it a scientific theory?

6:07 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Just back from Holiday and waded through the comments. Just so you know I do look at most of them.

Good to hear from you Steve.

Can I go back to the beginning?

Psilo asked for (presumably) scientific evidence for the supernatural after defining science as excluding the supernatural by definition. This is an impossible task. This was what I was trying to ask about in the original post.

2:01 pm  
Blogger Psiloiordinary said...

You presume wrong Andrew. Any kind of persuasive evidence will do.

Fire away.

Regards,

Psi

5:47 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

"Any kind of persuasive evidence will do."

Seconded.

7:49 pm  
Anonymous Paul said...

Someone might argue that the description of miracles in the bible - take the resurrection of Jesus for example - has persuaded them personally of the existance of the supernatural. An atheist would reject such evidence and I fear you would soon elastic back to a situation where persuasive evidence = scientific evidence. Paul

11:58 am  
Blogger Psiloiordinary said...

Nah - persuasive will do.

We have lots more eye witness accounts of alien abductions than we do of the miracles in the bible.

Do folks here believe in alien abduction?

Anything you find persuasive will do.

Regards,

Psi

5:15 pm  
Blogger Andrew Rowell said...

Psi,
What is the maximum number of witnesses to a single alien abduction?

5:24 pm  
Blogger Psiloiordinary said...

I don't know Andrew, what is the maximum number?

Psi

9:50 pm  
Anonymous Brian said...

I'd hazard a guess at more than 500!

Still doesn't make it real.

11:00 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

Paul said..."Someone might argue that the description of miracles in the bible - take the resurrection of Jesus for example - has persuaded them personally of the existance of the supernatural."

Yes, and that would be a traditional Christian argument.

The kind of Christianity that DOESN'T play sly little word games and use code-phrases like "Intelligent Design" when what they REALLY mean is god.
If a Christian wants to claim that god is the creator of all things then...fine.
(shrug)

That's called religion.
That's called faith.
Honest, old fashioned and unapologetic.
Fine and dandy.
Go with what you're comfortable with.

Nobody's going to call that science, so there's no problem.

Intelligent Design, however, claims to be a whole different kettle of fish.

So let's have it Andrew.
Please.

At long last, give us the science of ID.

Let's start with the basics...

:)

12:00 am  
Anonymous paul said...

Sorry if what follows is straying a bit off topic but I’ll freely confess that I don’t have the intellect to compete with other posters on this blog.

For the Christian the bible is the ultimate authority. And the bible itself declares that believing that the universe was created by God is ultimately a matter of faith. Hebrews 11.3 : “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”

The bible also talks about God’s invisible qualities being seen through what he has made. So looking at nature and asking the question “What is the best explanation for this flower or fish or whatever ?”…Is it the forces of natural selection acting upon randomly occurring variations within a living organism or a supernatural Creator is a legitimate question and will ultimately be determined / swayed by your pre-existing worldview.

It seems to me that for those who want to believe there is sufficient evidence for belief. And for those who don’t there isn’t. Paul

1:43 pm  
Anonymous Brian said...

At the heart of this debate is the fact that you don't take science on faith - that's what facts are for. If you look at any of the previous posts of us 'ID critics' you will see that when it comes down to personal faith we have no problem - each to their own!

Unfortunately, ID tries to conflate faith with reason but fails, consistently, to provide evidence to support it's claims. That suggests it is deliberately deceptive or inept. Having followed this debate for a number of years now it seems obvious (to me) it is the former. This isn't about 'belief', it's about honesty.

6:31 pm  
Blogger Psiloiordinary said...

Hi Paul,

Yes you are right - for those who want to believe there is always sufficient evidence.

In fact for those who want to believe they can even choose to ignore contradictory evidence e.g. a 6,000 year old earth. This is where honesty comes into things.

This illustrates exactly the point at issue here.

I agree with Brian, believe what you like, be free.

But for freedom not to degenerate into anarchy we need some kind of standard. The standard I chose when making decisions is evidence which stands up to non-believers i.e. on it's own merits.

Anything else is post-modern nonsense.

I think that one sign of wise man is to be change your mind when faced with persuasive evidence.

Fire away with the ID evidence anytime you like Andrew. . .

Regards,

Psi

1:36 pm  
Anonymous Paul said...

Thanks Brian and Psiloiordinary for your thoughts.

I agree Psiloiordinary - a sign of a wise man is somone who is prepared to be open to evidence and to have the courage to change their worldview when that evidence is compelling. I guess that argument runs both ways - theist to atheist and non-believer to believer. I guess the debate here is all about what constitutes compelling evidence - and on that opinions clearly vary. Paul.

9:02 pm  
Blogger Psiloiordinary said...

Indeed they do.

I am still waiting to be given some evidence to decide whether or not my worldview needs revising.

Fire when ready . . .

10:54 pm  
Anonymous Brian said...

I think that, regardless of your personal beliefs, evidence is evidence. It's what makes science and faith opposing positions. I wouldn't compel a person of faith to examine the evidence (it's called 'faith' for a reason) but I would expect someone proposing a scientific explanation to provide evidence that can be scrutinised.

This debate has nothing to do with any worldview - that's a personal issue. Science, on the other hand, is very much a public endeavour and if you're not prepared to play by the same rules you cannot expect to avoid the criticism that will inevitably follow.

1:00 am  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

It's OK to make up your own opinion.
It's not OK to make up your own facts.

So let's have it Andrew.
Please.

At long last, give us the science of ID.

Let's start with the basics...

:)

6:16 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting Post

9:37 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

Not really all that interesting.

"...origin of life context, blah , blah, blah the materialists’ faith commitment blah, blah blah, one can postulate a God, blah, blah, blah, there is no coherent theory that explains the origin of life from non-life without intelligence either, blah, blah, blah, his insistence that nature must be self-contained is in fact faith against the weight of evidence, blah, blah, blah, believe in abiogenesis by faith, I won’t begrudge you. But some of us prefer to be a little more evidence-based."

Number 98.
ARGUMENT FROM DESIGN (II), a.k.a. GOD OF THE GAPS, a.k.a. ARGUMENT FROM PERSONAL INCREDULITY (II), a.k.a. DESIGN/TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT (IV)

(1) Isn't X amazing!
(2) I don't understand how X could be, without something else (that I don't really understand either) making or doing X.
(3) This something else must be God because I can't come up with a better explanation.
(4) Therefore, God exists.

http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/GodProof.htm

................................

So... back to Intelligent Design.
What is it?
Is it a scientific theory?

2:20 am  
Anonymous Brian said...

It would appear the overwhelming lack of evidence suggests ID is NOT a scientific proposal. It must be a position of faith.

8:32 am  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

Brian said..."It would appear the overwhelming lack of evidence suggests ID is NOT a scientific proposal. It must be a position of faith."

If only they could honestly admit it and be done with it.

9:23 am  
Anonymous Brian said...

That might restore my faith!!

6:43 pm  
Blogger Dissenter said...

Hi people. I will attempt to answer the question about what ID is in the context of the question 'is science atheistic'

I love science. I remember the day in chemistry A level class when the 'penny dropped' for me about the periodic table of the chemical elements. I was so amazed to see the underlying mathematical unity of all matter. Same for physics and biology etc.

However, at the same school in zoology class my head was crammed with a load of pretended evidence about evolution which I now realise never held any water. The dark and light peppered moths which are still dark and light peppered moths claimed to have evolved, the 'primal soup' nonsense taught without any of the road blocks between a small dirty mix of just 2 amino acids and one strand of a small protein, the extreme specified non-random complexity of genetic information carried digitally encoded on DNA which screams 'design!', the deliberate frauds-not just Piltdown man-reluctantly admitted to and glossed over as honest mistakes or 'hoaxes', Haeckel's fake embryo drawings still being used, the misrepresentation of the fossil record....etc.

And still, if anyone tries to question this evidence, he can look forward to being called silly rude names, and if he allows free comment on a blog can expect perseverated repetition of smug cliches and Dawkinisms, and then to be sneered condescendingly at for not spending 4 hours a day tediously answering each nit-picking, cliche, quip and slogan, when already answered directly or though references and links. Then of course if the abuse and perseveration annoys so much that comment is disallowed, this is called censorship. Head I win, tails you lose?

Intelligent Design (ID) is in my eyes an argument, or inference, or reasoned proposition, which can rationally (provided one does not AXIOMATICALLY exclude the possibility of the supernatural) be made about a thing which looks too complicated to have come about by non-intelligent design, so therefore probably is. The ID inference can reasonably be made about a watch, a car, a computer, a guitar-or a living cell, which is more complicated than any of the other objects mentioned.

Its hard to tie down and define the concept, but easy enough to understand if one has an open mind. Paley's 'watchmaker' (Natural Theology) sets it out reasonably well, Michael Behe (which is referenced from this site) explains things in much more detail. No wonder the atheists hate him.

I don't see that ID can be 'proved' in the same way we can, for example, 'prove' that most lung cancer is caused by cigarette smoking. ID is primarily a set of arguments derived from the complexity of living things against the neo-Darwinian synthesis which claims that life came into being from non life by random combinations of non-living chemicals with no design input. ID, like its similarly hard-to-explain concept 'creation science' is about using logical facts and arguments to falsify Darwinian evolution.

Evolution claims that a single celled organism once upon a time accidentally made itself from dirty water and sparks and then developed progressively into ever more complex and varied forms on which natural selection worked to give us all the living things that have ever existed. And this happened by natural selection acting on random copying erors which gave rise to better new forms. THIS is the fairy story that made the world intellectually safe for atheism.

At the heart of evolutionism is the belief that random DNA copying errors (for that is what mutations are) produce added complexity and new features. That they do not (with the possible exception of a few minor examples, mostly in cultured bacteria) is an everyday observation which can be readily tested. It is also logical and predictable, order does not come from chaos without an intelligent input.

In a nutshell, ID is basically saying that this assertion of ordered complexity arising from chaos by chance does not make sense. It is not mere personal incredulity to say this, there is a lot of biology and maths(although I don't think personal incredulity is always a bad thing. I worry much more about personal CREDULITY).

Michael Behe (I suppose someone will to say his evidence doesn't matter as he was mugged by a hostile judge in Dover) has meticulously set out several biological systems (blood clotting, immunity, intraflagellar transport etc) and demonstrated that THEY ARE too complicated to have self assembled without a designer.

I'll stop there, for now.

PS re 'evidence of the supernatural'. The Apostle Paul asserted in Romans chapter 1 that the evidence for Creation was so clear that nobody had any excuse for denying the obvious fact that 'God did it.' The Lord Jesus said on another ocasion that if anyone wanted to do God's will, that person would see the truth. You can call that auto suggestion or self-fulfilling prophecy if you like, God calls it 'giving grace to the humble, and sending the proud empty away.'

The evidence for the truth of Christianity is largely historical, with many prophecies concerning Christ and the Jewish nation being fulfilled centuries later in counter-intuitive but clear manner, making the Bible the only consistent millenial historical narrative concerning God's interaction with man of it's kind.

There is, crucially, the evidence of the ressurection. Comparing this with alien abduction is as casually flip as the flat earth slander. If Jesus did not rise, his early followers were committing themselves to persecution and martyrdom for what they knew was a lie. Is there any comparable case in history? There is no accou to explain the birth, growth and survival of the church which makes more sense than the traditional one. Heard of Occam's razor?

Other evidence is moral and cultural, for example the manifest benefits of following the Christian path (by contrast for example with the horrors of Nazism, state atheism such as Mao, Stalin, Pil Pot, and the demerits of non-christian religions.) This evidence would require several long essays.

The evidence for Christ is not to be found in a laboratory or telescope (how could it be?) but it is there. He said 'Seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened to you' However, God has given us free will and we can deny the evidence.

In my experience of life, not just conerning religion and evolution, I find that people of all kinds choose what to believe (to the extent that indoctrination and censorship leves them free to think, a moot point) and then if necessary adopt some version of evidence that suits them. They then accuse everyone else of being wrong. I am accused of doing the same.

The truth is out there, but aside from materialist reductionism (which works quite well for weighing apples and electrical wiring, for example) how can we know when we have found it?

regards

PPS Andrew mate, don't apologise for not responding to every comment, if you do then you're giving the opposition a blank cheque against your time.

12:47 pm  
Anonymous Cedric Katesby said...

How much ignorance can somebody squeeze into one post?
Dissenter goes for the record.


1)The dark and light peppered moths myth.
2) The 'primal soup' myth.
3) Piltdown man
4) Haeckel's fake embryo drawings
5) The misrepresentation of the fossil record....etc.

You missed out on so many others. Why stop there?

6) Evolution violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics, don’cha know.?
7)Nobody’s ever shown me a pig turn into a butterfly.
8) I accept micro-evolution but you can’t prove to me marco-evolution.
9) If people came from monkeys, then how come there are still monkeys?
10) All those fossils were laid down by The Flood just after Noah got on a really, really, really, REALLY big boat.
11) All those fossils were laid down by the Devil to tempt our faith.

If you’re going to wallow in ignorance and use the classic creationist canards then go for gold. Do it properly!

Feel free to use this as a resource…

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/

Dissenter said…“And still, if anyone tries to question this evidence, he can look forward to being called silly rude names…”

Before questioning the evidence, it helps to actually read up on it first.
Calling a creationist “ignorant” is not a silly rude name.
It’s just a simple statement of fact.

Dissenter said…“Intelligent Design (ID) is in my eyes an argument, or inference, or reasoned proposition…”

It’s an argument? An inference? A proposition?

How about an idea? Guesswork? Philosophical musing? Theological pondering?

It’s hard not to notice that you are carefully steering clear of the label “theory” or “hypothesis”.

;)

Yet ID supporters regularly claim that ID is a scientific theory or a hypothesis.
They’re wrong, of course.
(I’m glad to see that you and I agree on this at least.)

Dissenter said…“Paley's 'watchmaker' (Natural Theology) sets it out reasonably well.”

Yes, it does. There’s a reason for that. Paley’s argument is ID. They’re exactly the same. Tarted up in sciencey sounding language but essentially they’re the same. Nothing new here.

Dissenter said…“Michael Behe (which is referenced from this site) explains things in much more detail.”

Sorry, are we talking about the same Michael Behe that is on record as accepting common descent?

Dissenter continues…“No wonder the atheists hate him.”

Atheists hate Michael Behe? Hmm, don’t think so.
You seem to be confusing atheists with the scientific community.
Behe’s arguments have ZERO traction in the world of science.
Even people on his own faculty want nothing to do with him.
The scientific community is not exclusively made up of atheists.
There are plenty of Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Christian biologists too.
I guess you didn’t realize that, huh?
It’s not science versus religion.
It’s science versus ID creationism.
Big Difference!

Dssenter continues…“I don't see that ID can be 'proved' in the same way we can, for example, 'prove' that most lung cancer is caused by cigarette smoking.”

How did we establish the link between smoking and cancer?
Oh yes, by using the scientific method. Handy thing that.

Can ID be ‘proved’ by the scientific method. Well, no. Oops.

Dissenter says…”ID is primarily a set of arguments derived from the complexity of living things against the neo-Darwinian synthesis…”

Don’t be so modest. ID is EXCLUSIVELY a motley collection of re-hashed creationist arguments. There is no positive evidence for ID at all.
Andrew has never presented any on this blog.
Steve certainly didn’t.
You are not about to.
It’s the old False Dichotomy thingy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9MdYU0S7CQ

Dissenter said…” ID, like its similarly hard-to-explain concept 'creation science' is about using logical facts and arguments to falsify Darwinian evolution.”

Wow. I can see the Discovery Institute tearing their hair out over this one!
All of their propaganda work gone to waste.
Just a couple of minor changes and I think we can be in sync…

“ID, like its similarly hard-to-explain concept 'creation science' is about using arguments to falsify Darwinian evolution.”

Yep. That sums it up. Couldn’t agree with you more.

“Evolution claims that a single celled organism once upon a time accidentally made itself from dirty water…”

Nope. Sorry. This is wrong. Had you bothered to actually study biology, you’d find out that this is not what “evolution claims”.
Instead of making crap up, how about you do a little reading on the subject first? That way you won’t appear ignorant on the Internet and embarrass yourself.

“That they do not (with the possible exception of a few minor examples, mostly in cultured bacteria) is an everyday observation which can be readily tested.”

Then why are you revealing this exciting new breakthrough only here?
Quick, publish your scientific paper now! Claim your Nobel Prize.

(…sound of crickets chirping…)


“In a nutshell, ID is basically saying that this assertion of ordered complexity arising from chaos by chance does not make sense. It is not mere personal incredulity to say this, there is a lot of biology and maths…”

Biology and Maths! Yay.
Science at last. All this theology talk was making me sleepy.

Ok, so what biology experiments or mathematics support ID?
Please cite the papers produced.
The Discovery Institute claims to have hundreds of scientists that “Dissent from Darwinism” so some of them must have produced even a tiny bit of this “lots of biology and maths”.
It’s been over twenty years now. How much work has been done on ID in the realm of biology and mathematics?
Let’s have it. Please. Pretty Please.

:)

“Michael Behe …has meticulously set out several biological systems (blood clotting, immunity, intraflagellar transport etc) and demonstrated that THEY ARE too complicated to have self assembled without a designer.
I'll stop there, for now.”

No, no, no. Don’t censor yourself. Don’t be shy!
I am willing to listen to you.
Where can I read these papers that Michael Behe produced that demonstrated to the scientific world his claims?
It sounds so fascinating and …well…sciencey.

Why didn’t he produce any of this stuff at the Dover trial?
Or if he did, what was the result. Please give details.
Let me help you out with that.
(giggle)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Behe#Dover_testimony

Dissenter starts to preach with…” The Apostle Paul asserted in Romans chapter 1 that blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…”

Yeah, yeah, whatever. You claim to be a Christian.
Be a Flying Spaghetti Monsterist if you want.
Nobody cares.

Thanks for re-igniting this thread. Nobody’s posted here for weeks and weeks!
Please don’t go away.
I’d love to hear more from you. You sound very special.

P.S.
How old do you think the Earth is?
(Just asking, thanks)

2:37 am  
Blogger charles said...

All science is subliminally atheistic because it is a, by definition, seeking and explaining NATURAL cause and effect.

However, Social Theory is not scientific. Social Theorists take the data accumulated by scientific experts in history, social psychology, archeology, etc. and intuitively "bend" it (rationalize) in order to make their interpreting of the data the least offensive to the faithful.

Unfortunately, the result is that this is what ends up in our schools, is then taught from generation to generation and shapes our whole secular belief system!

more on this subject is at
http://atheistic-science.com
http://www.asa3.org/archive/
evolution/199606/0119.html

2:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh no "Disaster" has made it to this site as well!

Yes you are stupid Stevie!

4:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’ve not read all the posts but can’t hepl some observations.

If there really was no substance to ID, would there be so much heat from it’s enemies? Wouldn’t they just ignore it?

Why are they so abusive & arrogant? I’ve seen posts like, “do you know logic?” How disrespectiful. I can’t remember who said this but it's telling: “When someone asks a legitimate a question, it's not an answer to question their credentials. It’s pretty much an admission you don’t know the answer & want them to go away.”
How many times have we heard Dembski, Behe etc are not scientists? They have PhDs!! They may be mistaken yes but there ARE scientists & the charge of a religious plot is worse than ridicuolous.

Another thing, I’ve not heard ONE person take up a specific issue about ID claims e.g. interdependent systems dependent on interdependence cannot be arrived at by gradual addition of parts & still function whislt in the making. Even if you didn’t know any biology or examples of such systems, the statemement is just logically cogent if not totally valid. Worse, if you know of such systems but have no idea how they actually arose, it's pretty inviting a proposition that they DID NOT arise by gradual steps. I’m of ocurse referring to Irreducible Complexity (IRC) a term now contaminated. What you get instead are web attachments of emotive comments. IRC is a feature of biology whether we like it or or not. The cell after all is irreducibly complex & so is life itself.

10:00 pm  
Blogger Psiloiordinary said...

Hi,

Your argument would also work perfectly for holocaust deniers, 9/11 truthers and Antivax campaigners.

This is because it is a non-sequitur.

- - -

Lots of people have made lots of refutations of the various claims of IRC.

Here's one - the bacterial flagellum is reducible and various chunks of it operate in bacteria today BUT with a different function.

This illustrates the wider reason why IRC fails as an argument in principle i.e. exaptation.

This is so old hat in scientific circles that it is actually very funny that creationists keep on bring ing it up.

Hope this clears things up for you,

Regards,

Psi

7:52 am  
Blogger Psiloiordinary said...

Here you go;

IRC debunked againd

7:55 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Psiloiodinary.
“This illustrates the wider reason why IRC fails as an argument in principle i.e. exaptation.”

You confuse the IDEA of IRC with an example of IRC. The latter may or may not be correct but its incorrectness is not a refuation of the former. Exaptation is purely speculative (please see below). My point is IRC, the IDEA. I notice you (conveniently) ignored the FACT that life is IRC.

The trouble with tcurrent arguments on the flagellum is no-one has any detailed complete pathways of its origin but conjured up scenarios. There’s of course a potentially infinite number of these plausible scenarios depending on one’s imagination. But unless one senarios has been demonstrated it's just a story someone’s made up. Evolutionists here fail to separate what’s imagined from what’s been demonstrated. Let’s face it, anyone can imagine anthing.

“This is so old hat in scientific circles that it is actually very funny that creationists keep on bring ing it up.”

....This is hardly a refuation of anything. It borders on appeal to ridicule a trait that dogs evolutionists I’m sorry to say. Let’s stick to ideas & empirical data if of course, you don’t mind.

7:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"IRC debunked againd." Indeed. Once we’ve got past triumphalism, here’s the question.

Is the claim that:
“The pieces were involved in some other, different function. They were recruited and acquired a new function,” fact or the author’s opinion to the fit the facts? If it’s the author’s opinion, he hasn’t debunked anything unless the latter is just a matter one’s imagination.

It may be the case that Darwinian pathways to present molecular structures are unknowable. Whilst this is NOT evidence for ID, filling these in with imaginary ones isn’t evidence for evolution either. The cold reality is we don’t know but let’s not a priori rule out explanations because they don’t fit Darwinism. One would think lessons were learned from fossils.

Again, this may debunk a specific example incorrectly thought to be IRC but this doesn’t refute IRC the idea.

Is life not IRC?

8:09 pm  
Blogger Psiloiordinary said...

Oh I see.

You don't actually understand your own argument do you?

The claim is that if something is IRC then it could not have evolved by lots of small steps through variation and selection.

That is the claim - that one example of IRC means evolution is impossible.

Hence the fact that smaller bits of this (take your pick from creationist claims over the decades; eye, heart, knee joint, immune system, blood clotting system, flagellum, wing . . .)do exist and can be selected for when the purpose is not that we see today, refutes the claim of IRC disproving evolution in principle and in specific examples.

The claim ignores exaptation.

It's a bit like claiming that building a bridge with an arch is impossible - until someone shows you how scaffolding works.

- - -

Now to your goalposts again. They seem to have moved a bit;

"It may be the case that Darwinian pathways to present molecular structures are unknowable. Whilst this is NOT evidence for ID, filling these in with imaginary ones isn’t evidence for evolution either. "

No one claimed they were.

If you fancy a bit of empirical data here is some evidence for evolution though.

Please also note that anyone of these lines of evidence could contradict any of the others. The fact that none of them do is in itself pretty strong evidence for evolution.

Take your pick.

Or perhaps give us your best evidence for creationism.

Cheers,

Psi

10:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Psiloiordinary
“The claim is that if something is IRC then it could not have evolved by lots of small steps through variation and selection.”

.......Put like that, it’s simplicistic & omits a vital component i.e. the system couldn’t have had its present function until all the parts were in place.** This is obvious. It is NOT that the system couldn’t have functioned as SOMETHING ELSE & so it doesn’t ignore exaptation.

Evolutionists can postulate exaptation but a postulate is not a demonstration; it could be right, it could wrong. The often touted ‘pre-flagellum’ is the T3SS but unfortunately t’s phylogenetically YOUNGER. I’m not sure if anyone’s shown that T3SS bacteria actually evolved into flagella bacteria or this is just assumed & if so it’s yet more assumption taken as fact. On that note, you have side-stepped 2 of my questions.

1. Is life not IRC?

2. Is the claim from your web attachment: “The pieces were involved in some other, different function. They were recruited and acquired a new function,” fact or assumption? I put it that it is yet another assumption sold as established truth.

Please answer them.

IRC applies to MOLECULAR MACHINES not organs or limbs e.g. heart which I wouldn’t get excited about. They are good for endless evolution-creation debates since all they are is anecdotal evidence which can be argued either way.

“Or perhaps give us your best evidence for creationism.”

...Information.
** [“A single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein removal of anyone of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.]”

7:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’ve not been on these threads for a while but back again, the same old fallacies. Let’s pick a few, paraphrased:

(1) Christians have faith & scientists evidence. Really? Dare we ask if the scientists have faith in any of the evidence or their ability to appraise it? EVERYONE has faith in *something;*it’s the object of faith not faith itself that atheists can’t stand. They have a hell lot of faith in themselves.

(2) Only science gives us truth. Really? Just that the statement “only science bla, bla, bla” is NOT scientific, it’s a philosophical claim.

(3) I have wisdom teeth meaning I’m badly designed therefore not designed or at least not intelligently. Really? So the 1st Hubble telescope whose mirror was completely out of focus must not have been designed! It was a terrible design & only a design denier can claim non-design based on poor design.

(4) This is the best: “This isn’t about belief.” I see. Do you believe that & if it’s not about belief why should we believe anything you post?

Atheism & evolutionism in particular are intellectually bankrupt. Take away the rhetoric & massive funding & you are left with statements like this: Things are not designed, they just appear designed. So when I see my hand grasping objects I must keep telling myself it’s not designed to do that, it just appears that way. ?????

PS
I wonder what it takes to ask for evidence one has decided, in advance that it cannot exist. That's a very clever trick I think

9:01 pm  

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