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> Intelligent Design, Teaching in schools ruled out
Julian
post Dec 20 2005, 06:45 PM
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BBC Story

Judge John Jones today ruled that the teaching of ID in Dover, PA was an unconstitutional violation of the first amendment.

A key finding was that
QUOTE
Judge Jones said he had determined that ID was not science and "cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents".


The Dover School Board responsible for the decision to bring ID into the science classroom had already been voted off by local parents.

Do you agree with Judge Jones' decision?

Does this indicate a turning of the tide away from unfounded superstitious clap-trap and back towards empirical science and rationalism?

Or is it a mere hiccup in the necessary shift back towards a religious worldview in all aspects of education?

What are the implications for the rest of the country, if any?

Should the President reconsider his view that "both sides" of the debate should be taught, now that one side has been found to be illegally unconstitutional?
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Christopher
post Dec 20 2005, 08:26 PM
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QUOTE
Ironically, he adds, it is a somewhat academic ruling in the Dover area since parents there voted last month to replace the school board members who brought in the policy.

wacko.gif That move provoked US TV evangelist Pat Robertson to warn the town was invoking the wrath of God.  wacko.gif

I would start by praising the people of Dover for running the people who tried to promote this joke out of office. thumbsup.gif Restores some of my faith in America wink.gif

Do you agree with Judge Jones' decision? Any rational person should. Teaching fantasy as Science is an insult or poorly plotted joke at best.

Does this indicate a turning of the tide away from unfounded superstitious clap-trap and back towards empirical science and rationalism? i would hope so, but as long as people still fall for the cold reading John Edwards "speaks" to spirits garbage, i suppose its too much to expect that rationalism will swing back into force.

But even still...... A Skeptical Manifesto
try it you'll like it. I Promise.


What are the implications for the rest of the country, if any?

Should the President reconsider his view that "both sides" of the debate should be taught, now that one side has been found to be illegally unconstitutional?


I'll answer both of these. Sadly it really won't matter much. The religious right and the conservative echo chamber on both radio and cable will just start their usual rants about activist judges and judeo christian founded country, yada yada yada and that Liberals and Gays and Secularist demon worshipping, child eating anti christs are assaulting christians and their beliefs in America -- as well as christmas may soon be cancelled at any moment.
The president will probably use this to start rallying the troops for the upcoming elections for the GOP. throw in some more protecting the word marriage from gays and they got a party. w00t.gif

Besides no matter how much evidence you present the faithful will always manage to ignore it and find fault.

This post has been edited by christopher: Dec 20 2005, 08:30 PM
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carlitoswhey
post Dec 20 2005, 09:07 PM
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Do you agree with Judge Jones' decision?

Well, speaking as a Christian who believes in the Judeo-Christian nature of our country, I'm in full support of this decision. Science class should be about science. The only question is whether the state would permit this question to be examined in a religion class, or whether public schools can have religion classes.

Since Judge Jones was appointed by President Bush, noted tool of the religious right and conservative echo chamber, I'm especially cheered by the news.

Does this indicate a turning of the tide away from unfounded superstitious clap-trap and back towards empirical science and rationalism?

I remember someone asking Stephen Hawking what was there before the big bang. He said it was an irrelevant question, like asking "what lies 5 miles north of the north pole." I guess he didn't want to engage in unfounded superstitious clap-trap. Noted religious wacko St. Augustine actually asked the question in the fourth century, and answered "before God created the universe, there was no time, and therefore no Before." Deep stuff.
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logophage
post Dec 20 2005, 09:46 PM
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Do you agree with Judge Jones' decision?

I agree with the principle of the decision, however I don't agree with the fact that the court had to make a decision. It concerns me that science and politics have mixed here. The courts should not be determining what is and is not science. It saddens me that it came to this.

Nevertheless, the ID folks pushed and pushed their agenda trying to force their form of creationism to be taught in science class. ID is not science; it never will be. It is philosophy and has value being taught in a philosophy or comparative religion class.

Does this indicate a turning of the tide away from unfounded superstitious clap-trap and back towards empirical science and rationalism?

No. It indicates that politics and the legal profession have now entered the science classrom.

Or is it a mere hiccup in the necessary shift back towards a religious worldview in all aspects of education?

I don't mind comparative religion and philosophy being taught in the classroom (actually, I encourage it). It has no place in the science classroom. I don't go to a spanish class to learn chemistry.

What are the implications for the rest of the country, if any?

Hopefully, this stuff will remain out of the courts. I doubt it though.

Should the President reconsider his view that "both sides" of the debate should be taught, now that one side has been found to be illegally unconstitutional?

You mean, Dubya? Reconsidering? I'm sure he thinks about it everyday...
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srobert
post Dec 20 2005, 10:02 PM
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QUOTE(Julian @ Dec 20 2005, 10:45 AM)

Do you agree with Judge Jones' decision?

No. In the Scopes trial, Clarence Darrow argued against the suppression of ideas that were contrary to dogma of religious authority. Today it appears that the theory of evolution has become dogma and a form of scientism has become a dominant religion. I think in the long run, science will demonstrate, case by case, that evolution by natural selection and mutation accounts for each species in existence today. But I see no compelling reason to censor the speech of those who wish to say otherwise. The truth does not need to be protected from competition for mindspace. Attempting to censor Intelligent Design seems contrary to the spirit of free speech outlined in the first amendment.

QUOTE
Does this indicate a turning of the tide away from unfounded superstitious clap-trap and back towards empirical science and rationalism?


Your question shows your bias. I don't believe in any religion. But I know some intelligent rational people who do. I refrain from referring to their beliefs as "superstitious claptrap". But to answer your question, no, it is likely that the fundamentalist will react against this ruling in a way that may have adverse effects upon the open discussion of scientific, religious and philosophical issues.

QUOTE
Or is it a mere hiccup in the necessary shift back towards a religious worldview in all aspects of education?


The ruling is a shift in favor of dogma, a reverse-dogma, but dogma, nonetheless. And yes, it is likely that for a period of time, reactionaries will shift the worldview back to a time when those who didn't accept the Christian view will not feel comfortable expressing dissent.

QUOTE
What are the implications for the rest of the country, if any?


I predict increased polarization around this issue. I also predict that in some areas of the country I.D. will become mandatory and have "equal time" in high school biology class. In other areas of the country, it will be illegal to mention it in class.
The question of whether I.D. qualifies as a scientific theory is not a scientific question but a philosophical one. We should not have allowed it to become a legal question.
I also predict that those who are educated with exposure to the theory of intelligent design will have a better understanding of the philosophy of science and of the theory of evolution than those who are taught evolutionary theory as an unquestionable truth.

QUOTE
Should the President reconsider his view that "both sides" of the debate should be taught, now that one side has been found to be illegally unconstitutional?

This President seems to me to be incapable of reconsidering his view on anything. In this rare instance, he shouldn't have to. He was right the first time.
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AuthorMusician
post Dec 20 2005, 11:16 PM
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Preambling:

Cool new avatar, Julian. I like Red Meat and especially this bird, although Milkman Dan comes in a close second.

Do you agree with Judge Jones' decision?

Yep. ID presupposes a supernatural being in the natural world, which is really hard to prove. But if one wants to believe this, there's no restriction other than teaching the belief in public schools.

Does this indicate a turning of the tide away from unfounded superstitious clap-trap and back towards empirical science and rationalism?

People will always be superstitious, it's a part of our nature. I'm proudly superstitious about God and angels along with demons and daemons, the latter of which I must believe in to do Unix systems administration. I don't really care what anyone else decides to believe or if they know how to analyze a computer operating system. Except I'll teach this if paid well.

Or is it a mere hiccup in the necessary shift back towards a religious worldview in all aspects of education?

A religious worldview is fine for the soul. The mind gets pretty bored with it, if such exists in a person. Some have found the loss of mind to be highly profitable both in monetary and political spheres. As long as people are willing to pay, I guess religious world views sans minds will be with us. Hopefully, education will retain its minds. I'm pretty sure it will.

This is not to say that being religious necessarily means tossing out the old gray matter. Trying to fit reality to the religion is the intellectual mistake. Thus we have oddball religious celebs blaming people for the natural disasters that come our way, as if a supernatural being micromanages creation, which is pretty darn immense if you think about it.

What are the implications for the rest of the country, if any?

I do think the rest of the country has figured out the basic motivations of these ID people. They not only want to mess up public education, they want to destroy it in favor of religious education in private, for-profit institutions and charter schools that, though probably not religious in nature, don't do so well with education. But they make a lot of ra-hah, and for some that's reason enough.

When Colorado Springs figures this out, the rest of the country will follow. Don't ask me why, it just seems to work that way. And yes, CS has seen the truth of the matter.

Should the President reconsider his view that "both sides" of the debate should be taught, now that one side has been found to be illegally unconstitutional?

Of course, but President Bush has demonstrated logical disconnects all through his career. I don't see any motivation for him to change at this point. He's looking at retirement in a few years with a fat pension that can't be taken away and a genuine library.
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nebraska29
post Dec 20 2005, 11:28 PM
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QUOTE
Today it appears that the theory of evolution has become dogma and a form of scientism has become a dominant religion.


Science shouldn't be about science? How is it a religion?, isn't that the argument that turns the issue away from the fact that I.D. is a smoke and mirrors version of creationism?

QUOTE
But I see no compelling reason to censor the speech of those who wish to say otherwise.


So if someone demands to teach flat earth theory in geography class, they should be allowed to do it? How about heliocentric theory in astronomy? The issue isn't free speech, it's about science and whether or not the paradigm which represents the entire basis of modern science should be taught alone, or with a contrived version that doesn't start with a hypothesis, but rather, a religious conclusion from the very start.

QUOTE
I don't believe in any religion. But I know some intelligent rational people who do. I refrain from referring to their beliefs as "superstitious claptrap".


That is good of you, but while I have friends that I disagree with, I don't believe they should teach science, nor should I enter an operating room and proceed to instruct the surgeon. wacko.gif

QUOTE
I also predict that those who are educated with exposure to the theory of intelligent design will have a better understanding of the philosophy of science and of the theory of evolution than those who are taught evolutionary theory as an unquestionable truth.


Teaching a controvery is a good way of teaching, but what will happen in this instance is that a teacher won't be able to shoot holes through I.D. as they would like to, as they would be taken to task over favoritism or of putting their own beliefs on the kids. ermm.gif


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jaellon
post Dec 20 2005, 11:35 PM
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Do you agree with Judge Jones' decision?

No. Although I personally don't think ID should be taught in science class as a legitimate scientific theory, it is not a Constitutional question. I find myself repeating this a lot but...

1) Teaching ID does not establish a religion for the students.
2) Teaching ID does not prohibit the free exercise thereof.

And that is where the authority of the U.S. Constitution ends. For some reason, many people think the First Amendment says something like this:

1) A few people hate religion
2) Therefore, anything that touches on religion is forbidden.

The fact that this debate is raging proves that Intelligent Design as at least a widely accepted theory, however fallacious it may be. Evolution may have a multitude of evidence in its support, but it is still a theory, not a law. It would be one thing if Evolution were being dismissed, in favor of ID, but that is not the case here, and it still would not be a constitution question.

The judge has some additional problems interpreting the constitution, it seems:
QUOTE
Ironically, he adds, it is a somewhat academic ruling in the Dover area since parents there voted last month to replace the school board members who brought in the policy.
Why would the decisions of the parents in the Dover area have any bearing on whether teaching ID is unconstitutional? This would be useful evidence if the case were about the board members being charged with defying the will of the parents. The question is whether teaching ID is constitutional, however, and the will of a small segment of the populace has no bearing on that question.

Does this indicate a turning of the tide away from unfounded superstitious clap-trap and back towards empirical science and rationalism?

Biased question. Another example of a question formulated like this is, "Have you told your wife that you're gay?" There is no right answer that fits the format of the question (Yes/No), unless you first accept the premise that religion is "unfounded superstitious clap-trap".

Or is it a mere hiccup in the necessary shift back towards a religious worldview in all aspects of education?

Biased question the other way.

The previous two questions assume that everyone falls into one extremist camp or the other. I can't honestly answer either one of them yes or no.

What are the implications for the rest of the country, if any?

Lawsuits against other schools that try to teach ID are basically given a free pass, now. Unless the Supreme Court overrules this decision, it now has legal precedent.

Should the President reconsider his view that "both sides" of the debate should be taught, now that one side has been found to be illegally unconstitutional?

Without regard to this issue...

Why would the fact that one court made a decision mean that the President (and everyone else for that matter) should change his view? That reasoning logically leads to the conclusion that the President (and everyone else) should accept that eminent domain grants governments the right to seize property under the loosest definition of "public use", because of Kelo v New London.

If the President should reconsider his view, it is not because one court made a particular decision. Courts are wrong sometimes.
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nebraska29
post Dec 20 2005, 11:50 PM
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QUOTE
1) Teaching ID does not establish a religion for the students.


Does the conclusion that there is a "designer" come before or after the hypothesis of how the earth was created? whistling.gif For some reason, I doubt that the scientific method was followed and that someone said-wow!, there must be a reason for this!." It's creationism re-dressed so as to attempt to pass constitutional muster.

QUOTE
2) Teaching ID does not prohibit the free exercise thereof.


But do Hindus believe this is how the earth was created? Why shouldn't we include the Buddhist notion? How about the view of the Maya? The I.D. thing is unseparable from fundamentalist christianity because those are the people who are most adamantly for it. It's one thing if you had scientists for it, but that's not who it originated among.

QUOTE
1) A few people hate religion


What does this have to do with anything?, science should be about science, not religious notions about science that are only proposed to counter-act ideas that religous people don't find that mixes with their faith.

QUOTE
The fact that this debate is raging proves that Intelligent Design as at least a widely accepted theory, however fallacious it may be. 


No given contention is proved true simply because it is debated. The debating notion is only the product of intesive lobbying and aggressive movement on the parts of fundamenalist christians who sit on school boards and state boards of education.

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Julian
post Dec 21 2005, 12:17 AM
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QUOTE(srobert @ Dec 20 2005, 11:02 PM)
QUOTE
Does this indicate a turning of the tide away from unfounded superstitious clap-trap and back towards empirical science and rationalism?


Your question shows your bias. I don't believe in any religion. But I know some intelligent rational people who do. I refrain from referring to their beliefs as "superstitious claptrap".


May I refer you to the response of jaellon?
QUOTE(jaellon @ Dec 21 2005, 12:35 AM)
Does this indicate a turning of the tide away from unfounded superstitious clap-trap and back towards empirical science and rationalism?

Biased question.  Another example of a question formulated like this is, "Have you told your wife that you're gay?"  There is no right answer that fits the format of the question (Yes/No), unless you first accept the premise that religion is "unfounded superstitious clap-trap".

Or is it a mere hiccup in the necessary shift back towards a religious worldview in all aspects of education?

Biased question the other way. 

The previous two questions assume that everyone falls into one extremist camp or the other.  I can't honestly answer either one of them yes or no.


BOTH of these questions were biased - one in favour of the ID/creationist camp, the other in favour of the scietific rationalist camp.

They cancel each other out, removing bias from my opening post. That was my intention, at least, as I was hoping o tpost later in the thread with my full-on and biased opinion.

SO, heres goes...

I deny that using a set of two opposing questions on a matter like this is an oversimplification, since the essential core of each position is mutually exlusive - it's not as if ID is saying "Well, it probably all did happen entirely according to the most modern understanding of Darwinian evolution, but who can say whether an omniscient creator didn't set up the laws of physics, chemistry and biology knowing that of all the possible options the world as we know it today would have been the end result". Instead, the fundamental position of ID is that a supreme being of some sort designed life as it is today - there was an active part played.

This is the diametric opposite of the evolutionary perspective.

I AM biased, as it happens, but not against religion (at least not in this case). Anglicanism/episcopalianism and Catholicism both accept Darwinian evolution in it's entirety along the lines of the theoretical statement I posited above - an all knowing God could have set up the universe with the laws it currently has and expected the outcome as at now. But by the same token, they accept that Biblical creation accounts (of which there are at least three, none of which are entirely consistent with the others) are essentially simple aetiologies that are more of historical and sociological interest; they tell us things about Jewish thinking in about the second millennium BC. They don't tell us anything useful about how the world actually came to be.

The religious people who take this view are indeed, as you described, intelligent and rational people, and are no less noble and no more laughable than any other intelligent rational person.

But belief in the literal truth of Biblical creation is simple not rational, no matter how intelligent the person who holds that view is.

And, more pertinently - and in line with the central point of Judge Jones's ruling - it is not scientific (empirically observable, repeatable, and - crucially - falsifiable).

People who believe it are entitled to their opinion. People who belive it shoud be taught in science class - the ID stalking horse campaigners for full-on creationism - are not necessarily stupid or mailicious. They're just wrong, and constitutionally wrong at that.

This post has been edited by Julian: Dec 21 2005, 12:19 AM
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phaedrus
post Dec 21 2005, 04:36 AM
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QUOTE
Do you agree with Judge Jones' decision?


Yes, as I am sure the Discovery Institute would.

QUOTE
Does this indicate a turning of the tide away from unfounded superstitious clap-trap and back towards empirical science and rationalism?


Empirical science and rationalism has been the status quo for well over a hundred years. There is turning of the tide, it is buisness as usual.

QUOTE
Or is it a mere hiccup in the necessary shift back towards a religious worldview in all aspects of education?


So long as the First Amendment is in place religion will flourish as the Founding Fathers intended. Federal sanctioning of religious doctrine is never allowed nor is the ridicule of religious conviction. Both the religious worldview and the secular nature of scientific inquiry are safe from both extremes, God bless America.

QUOTE
What are the implications for the rest of the country, if any?


Intelligent design will not be taught in public schools, the only question is whether or not Darwinism will ever enjoy the same criticism other scientific theories do. I for one wonder why this particular philosophy is above criticism while none of the others are but a public school ciriculum is not the place to address that.

QUOTE
Should the President reconsider his view that "both sides" of the debate should be taught, now that one side has been found to be illegally unconstitutional


The President has absolutly nothing to do with this, dispite the fact that he belives in an intelligent designer. He is entitled to his opinion as we all are, including impressionable school kids who are probably more interested in recess.
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Devils Advocate
post Dec 21 2005, 07:34 AM
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QUOTE(srobert)
No. In the Scopes trial, Clarence Darrow argued against the suppression of ideas that were contrary to dogma of religious authority. Today it appears that the theory of evolution has become dogma and a form of scientism has become a dominant religion.


The theory of evolution isn't a dogma, religion is a dogma. Dogmas are opinions that are authoritative and accepted without proof, which oddly enough, is ID. Also, the judge didn't rule that the school couldn't teach ID at all, just that it couldn't be taught in the saice class room because it is not science.

Do you agree with Judge Jones' decision?

Yes.

Only science should be taught in science class.
ID is not based on science.
Therefore, ID shouldn't be taught in science class.

Does this indicate a turning of the tide away from unfounded superstitious clap-trap and back towards empirical science and rationalism?

Sure I guess. I think it more shows that people are making a distinction and that distinction is being enforced.

Or is it a mere hiccup in the necessary shift back towards a religious world view in all aspects of education?

Hopefully the former.

What are the implications for the rest of the country, if any?

It will be set as precedent and can be invoked in other areas with this problem, namely Kansas.
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smorpheus
post Dec 21 2005, 08:49 AM
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QUOTE(phaedrus @ Dec 20 2005, 08:36 PM)

Intelligent design will not be taught in public schools, the only question is whether or not Darwinism will ever enjoy the same criticism other scientific theories do. I for one wonder why this particular philosophy is above criticism while none of the others are but a public school ciriculum is not the place to address that. 

This is absolutely absurd Phaedrus, we've hashed this out endlessly in other threads. You cannot challenge a well-established scientific theory with thinly veiled creationist pseudo-science and expect the scientific community to seriously address these allegations.

Perhaps if Creationists weren't trying to prove the Earth is 5,000 years old, and in fact went back to focusing on actually trying to find real science to dispute Darwinism they would eventually make headway. Unfortunately decades of work in that vein were getting them little to no progress, which is why the entire movement seems to have been shifted almost entirely behind this dead-end quasi-scientific theory.
QUOTE
1) Teaching ID does not establish a religion for the students.
2) Teaching ID does not prohibit the free exercise thereof.

It does in fact establish using religion as a way of challenging science in the classroom. There is no way to separate Intelligent Design from religion.

Two-hundred years of judicial precedent says this judge ruled right. If you want to change the interpretation of the establishment clause by the United States Judicial System, you have an awful lot of case-precedent to undo.

Take a look at this verbiage. This judge was absolutely outraged by the antics of these intellectually destructive miscreants.

http://wireservice.wired.com/wired/story.a...w=wn_wire_story

QUOTE

It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.

The judge flatout calls them liars. Remember, this judge believes in ID. This judge was a nightmare appointment for the ACLU, yet look at the results. Do you think this could possibly be a sign of future rulings?
QUOTE
Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board's decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.

QUOTE
We find that the secular purposes claimed by the Board amount to a pretext for the Board's real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom, in violation of the Establishment Clause.

QUOTE
Repeatedly in this trial, Plaintiffs' scientific experts testified that the theory of evolution represents good science, is overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, and that it in no way conflicts with, nor does it deny, the existence of a divine creator.

QUOTE
After a searching review of the record and applicable case law, we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the court takes no position, ID is not science. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980's; and (3) ID's negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community.

And this from a conservative George W. Bush-appointed judge.

What's the Discovery Institute's response?
QUOTE
"The Dover decision is an attempt by an activist federal judge to stop the spread of a scientific idea and even to prevent criticism of Darwinian evolution through government-imposed censorship rather than open debate, and it won't work," said Dr. John West, Associate Director of the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute, the nation's leading think tank researching the scientific theory known as intelligent design. “He has conflated Discovery Institute’s position with that of the Dover school board, and he totally misrepresents intelligent design and the motivations of the scientists who research it.”


No, he just classified ID where it belongs, in the attic with teaching Creationism in the science classroom. Where something like 99% of scientists feel it belongs.
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srobert
post Dec 21 2005, 09:44 PM
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QUOTE(Devils Advocate @ Dec 20 2005, 11:34 PM)
 
QUOTE(srobert)
No. In the Scopes trial, Clarence Darrow argued against the suppression of ideas that were contrary to dogma of religious authority. Today it appears that the theory of evolution has become dogma and a form of scientism has become a dominant religion.


The theory of evolution isn't a dogma, religion is a dogma. Dogmas are opinions that are authoritative and accepted without proof, which oddly enough, is ID. Also, the judge didn't rule that the school couldn't teach ID at all, just that it couldn't be taught in the saice class room because it is not science.


If you accept it only on the authority of biologists, then it becomes dogma. Particularly when some biologists present it as unquestionable fact. That's a variation of "We have determined that our opinion is correct. No other opinion need be heard". This is the danger of scientism in that those who are perceived as having scientific credentials fulfill the functional role of shaman or clergy. Scientism's own adherents will not recognize it by the term "religion", but that's its psychological function. Scientism is not good science.

QUOTE
 
Only science should be taught in science class.   
ID is not based on science. 
Therefore, ID shouldn't be taught in science class.


So who has the authority to define what is and isn't science?
If I were teaching a biology class, say, on the junior high level. (And I was not hampered by law). One of my first assignments in this area would be:
Write me an essay explaining how the theories of evolution and intelligent design meet, or do not meet, the criteria of a scientifically formulated theory. Why do you think these criteria are valid?

This assignment would be preceded by a class discussion of both theories and of criteria proposed by Karl Popper regarding whether the propositions arising from the theory could be confirmed by measurable, observable phenomena, whether falsifiable statements could be framed within the theory. The grade would be based upon demonstrating an understanding of such criteria (and not upon the acceptance of either theory or upon agreement with what constitutes legitimate criteria).

I don't think it likely that the I.D. theory will receive verification by scientific processes, but I do think that it meets the criteria of a scientific theory. Those who say it is only a thinly veiled form of Creationism are arguing with "straw men". I think that characterization of I.D. is arrived at, not by studying I.D. itself, but by a disdain for its religious supporters.
Neither I nor the serious advocates of Intelligent Design theory are advocating that the book of Genesis be studied in a science class. They are merely proposing that some biological systems exhibit characteristics that uniquely identify them as having been designed rather than as arising by happenstance. I disagree, but I'm defending their right to say this and to say that they have framed the statement as one that can be scrutinized by the methods of science.

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logophage
post Dec 21 2005, 10:19 PM
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QUOTE(srobert @ Dec 21 2005, 01:44 PM)
If you accept it only on the authority of biologists, then it becomes dogma. Particularly when some biologists present it as unquestionable fact. That's a variation of "We have determined that our opinion is correct. No other opinion need be heard". This is the danger of scientism in that those who are perceived as having scientific credentials fulfill the functional role of  shaman or clergy. Scientism's own adherents will not recognize it by the term "religion", but that's its psychological function. Scientism is not good science.

Here we go again; the old "science is religion" canard. To deconstruct the rhetorical technique: (1) take thing X and make it an Xism and then (2) declare that people "adhere" to Xism and thus proselytize its declared tenets. Bleh...

QUOTE
So who has the authority to define what is and isn't science?

Who has the authority to declare what is and isn't english? Can russian be english?

QUOTE
If I were teaching a biology class, say, on the junior high level. (And I was not hampered by law). One of my first assignments in this area would be:   
Write me an essay explaining how the theories of evolution and intelligent design meet, or do not meet, the criteria of a scientifically formulated theory. Why do you think these criteria are valid?

I would love to see students write essays on this topic, however I would not want them to do it in a science class. A philosophy class is the appropriate place for such discussion.

QUOTE
I don't think it likely that the I.D. theory will receive verification by scientific processes, but I do think that it meets the criteria of a scientific theory. Those who say it is only a thinly veiled form of Creationism are arguing with "straw men".  I think that characterization of I.D. is arrived at, not by studying I.D. itself, but by a disdain for its religious supporters.

All right. I'll bite. What predictions does ID make than can be verified? Is ID testable? Do any parts of the theory have the ability to be falsified? Since ID was first proposed, how much literature has been written by proponents verifying specific claims.

QUOTE
Neither I nor the serious advocates of Intelligent Design theory are advocating that the book of Genesis be studied in a science class. They are merely proposing that some biological systems exhibit characteristics that uniquely identify them as having been designed rather than as arising by happenstance. I disagree, but I'm defending their right to say this and to say that they have framed the statement as one that can be scrutinized by the methods of science.

I would support ID as a science if it can ever meet the standards of science. Specifically, it must be testable, predictive and falsifiable. Failing those standards, ID is a philosophy.
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phaedrus
post Dec 21 2005, 11:15 PM
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QUOTE
This is absolutely absurd Phaedrus, we've hashed this out endlessly in other threads. You cannot challenge a well-established scientific theory with thinly veiled creationist pseudo-science and expect the scientific community to seriously address these allegations.


Why is it that whenever Darwinism is criticized it has to be religiously motivated? What is more Sir Issac Newton is considered one of the greatest scientists of all times. His Principia is a classic work that unified the physical sciences of his day and a landmark in the development of our conception of modern science. He had this to say about Intelligent Design:

"I do not think it explicable by mere natural causes but am forced to ascribe it to ye counsel and contrivance of a voluntary agent.' A month later he wrote to Bentley again: 'Gravity may put ye planets into motion but without ye divine power it could never put them into such a Circulating motion as they have about ye Sun, and therefore, for this as well as other reasons, I am compelled to ascribe ye frame of this Systeme to an intelligent Agent.' If, for example, the earth revolved on its axis at only one hundred miles per hour instead of one thousand miles per hour, night would ten times longer and the world would be too cold to sustain life; during the long day, the heat would shrivel all the vegetation. The Being which had contrived all this so perfectly had to be a supremely intelligent Mechanick."

(Isaac Newton and Intelligent Design )

QUOTE
Perhaps if Creationists weren't trying to prove the Earth is 5,000 years old, and in fact went back to focusing on actually trying to find real science to dispute Darwinism they would eventually make headway. Unfortunately decades of work in that vein were getting them little to no progress, which is why the entire movement seems to have been shifted almost entirely behind this dead-end quasi-scientific theory.


We are not talking about decades, Intelligent Design was around for centuries before Darwin's On the Origin of Species and the Preservation of Most Favored Races. Now, as far as producing credible scientific research Intelligent Design advocates have produced scientific criticism of Darwinism.

"Gene duplication is thought to be a major source of evolutionary innovation because it allows one copy of a gene to mutate and explore genetic space while the other copy continues to fulfill the original function. Models of the process often implicitly assume that a single mutation to the duplicated gene can confer a new selectable property."

Simulating evolution by gene duplication of protein features that require multiple amino acid residues (Michael J. Behe and David W. Snoke, Protein Science, DOI: 10.1110/ps.04802904)

This statement is absolutly true and consistant with how Intelligent Design is misrepresented and unfairly ridiculed:

"The Dover decision is an attempt by an activist federal judge to stop the spread of a scientific idea and even to prevent criticism of Darwinian evolution through government-imposed censorship rather than open debate, and it won't work," said Dr. John West, Associate Director of the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute, the nation's leading think tank researching the scientific theory known as intelligent design. “He has conflated Discovery Institute’s position with that of the Dover school board, and he totally misrepresents intelligent design and the motivations of the scientists who research it.”

I personally would never advocate the teaching of Intelligent Design in public schools. The main reason is that public ridicule of religious conviction would be unavoidable. The only real question is whether of not Darwinism can be subjected to valid criticim and the answer keeps coming back no. No other scientific theory enjoys this kind of immunity except Darwinism.

I don't advocate teaching Intelligent Design, I advocate removing the antitheistic rationalism of Darwinism. What would be left is genetics, molecular biology with directly observed and demonstrative science rather then Darwin's contrived philosophy of origins.

Have a nice day smile.gif
Phaedrus

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AuthorMusician
post Dec 21 2005, 11:49 PM
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QUOTE
I personally would never advocate the teaching of Intelligent Design in public schools. The main reason is that public ridicule of religious conviction would be unavoidable. The only real question is whether of not Darwinism can be subjected to valid criticim and the answer keeps coming back no. No other scientific theory enjoys this kind of immunity except Darwinism.

I don't advocate teaching Intelligent Design, I advocate removing the antitheistic rationalism of Darwinism. What would be left is genetics, molecular biology with directly observed and demonstrative science rather then Darwin's contrived philosophy of origins.



phaedrus,

This is simply not true. The ideas of Darwin have been challenged and modified over the years. Just ran across an article, think in Natural History, about genes crossing over in plants, between different species. I'm not talking about cross-pollination but the actual transference from one distinct species to another. The Human Genome project found lots of non-functional genes in our mix, probably introduced by viruses. We have already begun genetic engineering.

It is imaginable that humans will design a new species down the road as we learn more about how genetics work. Going backward, we'll probably be able to map out how and where genetic changes occurred to bring forward new species. I think the probability is high because we have come such a long way in understanding genetics, mutations, and now cross-species genetic, um, what do you call it, maybe sharing? Maybe invasions? I don't know, but genes do interesting things.

The point is that Darwin's ideas have been challenged, are being challenged, and will forever be challenged by the scientific community. Scientific ideas are not static. Religious ideas tend to be, although certainly evolution has happened within religions too. Go figure.
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KivrotHaTaavah
post Dec 22 2005, 12:00 AM
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smorpheus:

Well-established? Really....well, that's news to me. I mean weren't we just talking about "hopeful monsters?" And about PE? And those given that the fossil record simply fails to demonstrate the evolution that one would expect given your "well established" theory? Or should I simply say that the fossil record contradicts your theory? And that's why we had talk of "hopeful monsters" and Gould's PE?

And never mind that your theory isn't really science to begin with, I mean, how many asssumptions do you have to make that cannot and never will be proven? What was the rate of mutation through the history of life on earth, and so there is no mistake, make it, rates of mutation, since we are talking about more than a single living species living in a single locally defined place at a singular moment in time. Which brings me to my next point, what were the conditions? I mean, don't we have to know what conditions purportedly acted upon the purported random mutation[s]? I mean, you are speaking about things being selected for and things being selected against, yes? And it was the environment that was doing the selecting, yes?

And, yes, try as hard as we might, we can find no remotely worthy statistical analysis of your theory. Why is that? Is that because of what I just said, i.e., we don't know rate[s] of mutation and we don't know the conditions at the time? Or is it because the math otherwise does not work?

But getting back to the fossil record, if your theory is correct, why no new phyla after the so-called Cambrian explosion of more than 500 million or so years ago? I mean 50 or so phyla come into existence during that period, 30 or so survived, and since then, it's all been those 30 or so, and while change occurs, no species ever deviates from the basic body plan of its phyla. Why is that? Why no new phyla? And why no cross-overs [as it were]?

And if evolution is truly a free agent, i.e., random, then why this statement in Science:

"The hypothesis that the eye of the cephalopod [mollusk] has evolved by convergence with vertebrate [human] eye is challenged by our recent findings of the Pax-6 [gene] ... The concept that the eyes of invertebrates have evolved completely independently from the vertebrate eye has to be reexamined."

And the reason for the concern here is the gene in question is comprised of 130 or so amino acids. And there are what, 20 or so amino acids found in life? So, the possible combinations are 20 to the 130th power? That's a rather large number, yes? But, yet, according to your "well established" theory, every animal species just so happened to have a random mutation or mutations and just the right selection occurring, to account for every animal species having the same gene for eye development. If this didn't concern "science" and "God", each and every statistician worth her or his weight in salt would laugh us to scorn [and otherwise wonder why, if we're so lucky, we aren't sitting at a table in a Las Vegas casino].

And speaking again of a priori assumptions, here's a whopper:

"Since advantage-providing mutations will almost always be selected and copied..."

Really? You mean it wasn't a case of that animal developing a proto-thumb but too bad for her, she just got ate by that predator over there, and before she could reproduce.

And speaking of reconsideration, how about China and those chordates? I was taught, what seems like eons ago, that us and the rest of our chordate friends evolved from invertebrates, gradually over time. But it seems that our friends in China who look for and study fossils are now saying otherwise. And so we have this teaser for the BA Festival of Science:

"As the phylum to which we belong, chordates attract more than their fair share of scientific attention. Yet understanding their origins and early evolution remains difficult because the organisms that arose during this crucial period of evolution almost never fossilized. New fossil discoveries, mostly from China, are challenging some long held views of our early relatives."

See: http://www.ucd.ie/geology/geologyinfo/rewr...storyoflife.htm

Almost never? Well, maybe not, since we've found them in China. And they've disproved what I was taught as FACT. And there's the rub. You speak of well-established, but every time I turn around, long held views are first being challenged and then disproved. We can add a character or two or three or four that I haven't mentioned yet, Neandertal man, since in my day, he was in the chain of succession, but he's not now.

But back to China and chordate evolution. Oh, sorry, and recall again the Cambrian explosion of some 500-550 million years ago. Well,....:

"CHENGJIANG, China The fish-like creature was hardly more than an inch long, but its discovery in the rocks of southern China was a big deal. The 530millionyearold fossil, dubbed Haikouella, had the barest beginning of a spinal cord, making it the oldest animal ever found whose body shape resembled modern vertebrates."

So, not some gradual evolutionary process occurring over time, but present way back when we had this thing called the Cambrian Explosion. And so we have the next paragraphs of that same Boston Globe article:

"In the Nature article announcing his latest findings, JunYuan Chen and his colleagues reported dryly that the ancient fish "will add to the debate on the evolutionary transition from invertebrate to vertebrate." But the new fossils have become nothing less than a challenge to the theory of evolution in the hands of Chen, a professor at the Nanjing Institute of Paleontology and Geology. Chen argued that the emergence of such a sophisticated creature at so early a date shows that modern life forms burst on the scene suddenly, rather than through any gradual process.

According to Chen, the conventional forces of evolution can't account for the speed, the breadth, and onetime nature of "the Cambrian explosion," a geologic moment more than 500 million years ago when virtually all the major animal groups first appear in the fossil record."

And to put the matter in its most elemental form, as I see it:

"The debate over Haikouella casts Western scientists in the unlikely role of defending themselves against charges of ideological blindness from scientists in Communist China. Chinese officials argue that the theory of evolution is so politically charged in the West that researchers are reluctant to admit shortcomings for fear of giving comfort to those who believe in a biblical creation."

"Evolution is facing an extremely harsh challenge," declared the Communist Party's Guang Ming Daily last December in describing the fossils in southern China. "In the beginning, Darwinian evolution was a scientific theory. . . . In fact, evolution eventually changed into a religion." Taunts from the Communist Party wouldn't carry much sting, however, if some Western scientists weren't also concerned about weaknesses in so called neoDarwinism, the dominant view of evolution over the last 50 years."

And to continue:

"Virtually all of today's living phyla or major animal groups make their first impressions in the geologic period known as the Cambrian. And Chengjiang, in the southern province of Yunnan, contains the oldest and best preserved Cambrian fossils in the world. JunYuan Chen has coauthored half of all the papers on the Chengjiang fauna.

Chen's discovery of the earliest creature with a primitive nervous system, called a chordate, is, for him, but one more piece in a puzzle that looks less and less like the conventional picture of evolution through natural selection."

So, leave it to the communist Chinese to tell the purportedly free and enlightened West that we have made evolutionary biology a dogmatic religion, as someone here has already alluded to. Oh, sorry, the link:

http://www.omniology.com/A-LittleFish.html

Oh, sorry, one more. Going back to my above remarks about why no new phyla [or body plans] since the Cambrian:

"Because new animal groups did not continue to appear after the Cambrian explosion 530 million years ago, he believes that a unique kind of evolution was going on in Cambrian seas. And, because his years of examining rocks from before the Cambrian period has not turned up viable ancestors for the Cambrian animal groups, he concludes that their evolution must have happened quickly, within a mere 2 or 3 million years."

And, if Western evolutionary biology was a science and not a dogmatic religion, we'd also be saying the same thing as our Mr. Chen:

"According to Chen, the two main forces of evolution espoused by neoDarwinism, natural selection ("survival of the fittest") and random genetic mutation, cannot account for the sudden emergence of so many new genetic forms."

And going back to our erroneous quote about beneficial mutations being selected for and it's just too bad that the conditions were not right for fossil formation so that we might prove the point [and the quote I excerpted is from Richard Carrier]:

"What they had actually proved was that phosphate is fully capable of preserving whatever animals may have lived there in Precambrian times. Because they found sponges and sponge embryos in abundance, researchers are no longer so confident that Precambrian animals were too soft or too small to be preserved."

And speaking of making headway:

"Taiwanese biologist Li was also direct: "No evolution theory can explain these kinds of phenomena."

So, the answer to question no. 2 is "no" since our science departments are already teaching superstitious, religious clap-trap, but under the guise of "science." And to answer question no. 4, the implication is that in its quest to destroy all things religious, a perverted scientific atheism will continue on peddling fantasy as fact.


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phaedrus
post Dec 22 2005, 12:25 AM
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QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Dec 21 2005, 06:49 PM)

phaedrus,

This is simply not true. The ideas of Darwin have been challenged and modified over the years. Just ran across an article, think in Natural History, about genes crossing over in plants, between different species. I'm not talking about cross-pollination but the actual transference from one distinct species to another. The Human Genome project found lots of non-functional genes in our mix, probably introduced by viruses. We have already begun genetic engineering.

It is imaginable that humans will design a new species down the road as we learn more about how genetics work. Going backward, we'll probably be able to map out how and where genetic changes occurred to bring forward new species. I think the probability is high because we have come such a long way in understanding genetics, mutations, and now cross-species genetic, um, what do you call it, maybe sharing? Maybe invasions? I don't know, but genes do interesting things.

The point is that Darwin's ideas have been challenged, are being challenged, and will forever be challenged by the scientific community. Scientific ideas are not static. Religious ideas tend to be, although certainly evolution has happened within religions too. Go figure.
*



Fair enough, but we are talking about teaching school age children basic biology. I think it would be a lot more 'scientific' to focus on the here and now and stop making these flights into the far unlit primordial past. You mentioned the Human Genome Project, you could take the opening discussion into any scientific ciriculum without the slightest hint of Darwinism:

"The rediscovery of Mendel's laws of heredity in the opening weeks of the 20th century1, 2, 3 sparked a scientific quest to understand the nature and content of genetic information that has propelled biology for the last hundred years. The scientific progress made falls naturally into four main phases, corresponding roughly to the four quarters of the century. The first established the cellular basis of heredity: the chromosomes. The second defined the molecular basis of heredity: the DNA double helix. The third unlocked the informational basis of heredity, with the discovery of the biological mechanism by which cells read the information contained in genes and with the invention of the recombinant DNA technologies of cloning and sequencing by which scientists can do the same."

Initial sequencing and analysis of the human genome, Nature 409, 860-921 (15 February 2001)

Notice that there is not one mention of Darwinism in this landmark publication. This would be suitable for any public school discussion of genetics or molecular biology with no need for Darwinism clouding the issues. Even with the breathtaking accomplishments of Genetic research I still feel the life sciences are still in their infancy. Like you I believe we will continue to unlock the mechanics of how life and the universe around us unfolds and develops. I just think it is wrong to brand any reference to an intelligent designer as psuedo science. Brilliant men of science have concluded this based on well informed scientific research.

My personal opinion is simply this, if you want to conclude an intelligent designer, exclusivly natural processes or a mixture of the two that's your buisness. That should be the attitude of any school board or legislative body that is considering the question at hand. That is not what I see happening here, Darwinism is being criticized and people go ballistic over something that schools don't even need, namely Darwinism.

Neodarwinism is an adhoc mixture of genetics and Darwinian speculation about lifes origins. You can remove Darwinism and science itself would not be changed one iota, in fact it would improve the quality of its content tremendously.

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Phaedrus

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logophage
post Dec 22 2005, 12:37 AM
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QUOTE(phaedrus)
My personal opinion is simply this, if you want to conclude an intelligent designer, exclusivly natural processes or a mixture of the two that's your buisness. That should be the attitude of any school board or legislative body that is considering the question at hand. That is not what I see happening here, Darwinism is being criticized and people go ballistic over something that schools don't even need, namely Darwinism.

The issue is not whether or not Darwinism is being criticized. Criticize all you want; if it's a good scientific theory, it will either withstand the criticism or it will be modified. In fact, the latter is exactly what's happened in the past 150 years. Darwinian evolution has been highly modified since its first proposal in the Origin of Species. No one in the scientific community even calls it "Darwinian evolution". It's just known as the "Theory of Evolution".

Again, that's not the issue at all. The issue is that there is this theory purported as an alternative mechanism to evolution that does not meet the standards of science. It is neither predictive nor testable nor falsifiable. There has been no literature written furthering specific claims. It is impossible to verify or deny. Thus, it is not science. Period.

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