Creationism does NOT belong in science.

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Zero, Jun 24, 2002.

  1. Chiasma Registered Member

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    Warren, I don't think you understand.

    Yes, your story is correct. If you heat up the beaker, the bits and peices will not come together and reform the bacteria. It is a crazy notion that it might (again common sense would tell you that). That is not what I am saying.

    First lets look at known data. This experiment has happen. They have used electricity to fuse molecules together (in particule, RNA). This chain of molecules has been shown to have enzymatic activity. Enzymatic activity is shown to be involved with replicating (as with RNA, replicating itself). Once replication start, the chance of evolution now comes into play. Now, how did all of this get into a bound membrane, I don't know. I don't study this stuff. But the point I am trying to make is that there is sound data that supports all of this.

    The process of abiogenesis took probablly millions or billions of years. I'm talking about going from simple molecules to, let say, something similar to a virus, or even the most simple of bacteria. If evolution is card stacking, so be it (I'm not sure what you ment by that). Maybe it was a few different process that converged, and found symbiosis more advantages, thus birth of life. I don't know, again I don't study this stuff. But there is data that could be used to derive a theory. From a theory to a hypothesis, than designing test to disprove that hypothesis. It is possible. It is science.

    I also predict that if artificial life is made in a lab, that it will be designed (your right on this in other words). Why? Well most scientist don't want to set up a huge beaker and wait another billion years to see if that works. It will be built and design so that they get what they want in a resonable time. It just makes common sense that it will be built like a machine. Also, it would be easier this way. If scientist tried to creat life the exact way nature did, it would be to difficult. To many variables could go wrong. They would have to stimulate the components in a certain order, in a certain time, using certain condition. Probably a lot of waiting so that evolution could take place. I guess they could go and mutate the right DNA nucleotide at the right time, but that would be difficult, and fall under design, so you would have to wait for natural evolution. As you can see, there is that time issue again. Who knows how long one would have to wait. Not saying that they couldn't figure it out, but why do something like that when building it like one would a machine would be easier.

    Most scientist I know have an opean mind. They will listen to all theories, but can only accept scientifically sound ones. Those are the ones that can be tested.

    I am not saying that your wrong on your theory. Design could happen, and it may very well have happened. Hell, it could be a combination of science and ID. One could argue that an intelecual supernatural being could use the rules of physics, evolution, etc.. and used that to create (or design) the very life that science has predicted.

    It just that ID can not be tested. That is all this is about. Where to put things. ID is a philosophy, not science.
     
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  3. Canute Registered Senior Member

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    Chiasma - you seem to be saying that by definition the notion of 'purpose' (creation,. teleology, ID etc) is not scientific, since we have no test for its presence. As far as I can see this must be true.

    However Warren has a point in saying that science therefore cannot claim the absence of teleology any more than it can claim its presence (to do so would be 'card-stacking'). However I don't think you ever suggested otherwise.

    Thus creation, ID, purpose, teleology, etc are not scientific concepts and may or may not be true, which if I remember correctly is what you said right at the start.

    As you say - it's a question of where to put things. I just wish science wouldn't keep assuming that because they've banished a problem into metaphysics or religion that it's been solved. The dirt is still there under the carpet.
     
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  5. Warren Registered Senior Member

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    Canute << Chiasma - you seem to be saying that by definition the notion of 'purpose' (creation,. teleology, ID etc) is not scientific, since we have no test for its presence. As far as I can see this must be true.

    However Warren has a point in saying that science therefore cannot claim the absence of teleology any more than it can claim its presence (to do so would be 'card-stacking'). However I don't think you ever suggested otherwise. >>

    Warren<< Correct. Science has no test to distinguish between teleological and non-teleological causes, yet that has not stopped it from speculating and testing about non-teleological causes so why can't science speculate and test for teleological causes. If a teleological perspective helps us better understand some aspect of biotic reality does it really matter if we call it science? >>

    Canute<< Thus creation, ID, purpose, teleology, etc are not scientific concepts and may or may not be true, which if I remember correctly is what you said right at the start.>>

    Warren<< Teleology is a non-scientific concept only if one wishes to arbitrarily define it that way. It really makes no difference if ID is a philosophical argument as long as it's capable of generating testable hypotheses and being further supported or weakened by new data. Labels are irrelevant.>>

    Canute<< As you say - it's a question of where to put things. I just wish science wouldn't keep assuming that because they've banished a problem into metaphysics or religion that it's been solved. The dirt is still there under the carpet.>>

    Warren<< The non-teleological perspective is no less indebted to metaphysics than the teleological perspective.>>
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2003
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  7. Canute Registered Senior Member

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    Warren<< The non-teleological perspective is no less indebted to metaphysics than the teleological perspective.>>

    Quite agree - that's what I was trying to say. (BTW I find your use of quotes very difficult to follow).
     
  8. Phyxer Registered Member

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    HEY I like to argue with creationism too! Sorry that was kind of out of date....................................... DOT DOT DOT
     
  9. revbill2001 Registered Senior Member

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    Life happens!
     
  10. kmguru Staff Member

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    Creationism does NOT belong in science....

    Why not? (this thread will continue until sciforum shuts down)

    Let the scientitists find GOD.....

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  11. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    If you want to flame ask this question on a theology forum... or at the very lest the religion sub-forum, here though we are all friends

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  12. =SputniK-CL= Registered Senior Member

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    "There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be."
     
  13. eleven Registered Member

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    creation is all in the mind which belongs to no one but yourself.
    so believe in creationism.
    science is based on someone's on faith in thier hypothosis anyway.
    as for teaching in the school system it is not fit to teach either subject not at this time anyway.
     
  14. jjhlk Guest

    Creationism does not belong in schools. Funny how changing it to "intelligent design" manages to sway some people though. (scientists need more say in politics)

    Intelligent design should not be taught (other than to show how bad it is) because the whole idea is ridiculus. The basic idea is this (correct me if I'm wrong): the universe is so complicated that something intelligent must have created it. Apparantly there is some stupid watch analogy too...

    We know how so many things are created. In fact, we basically know how everything was created, in broad terms. So we know that the only really trickey subject is the big bang. What created it? Well the big bang just happens to prove the argument that the universe is complicated and requires intelligent design wrong. How is an explosion so complicated that it needs to be designed by intellects? Puh-leeze. Just because we can't figure it out now doesn't mean we should try to apply intelligence to it and thus equate it with us (major ego trip).

    eleven, science requires what you could call faith. But science explain things with tests and empirical evidence. Religion has no tests or evidence. Science's faith is justified, and will change readily if need be. It seems like you are trying to apply a broad meaning to the word, so that you can equate science and religion (well creationism, but they're the same thing in the christian context).
     
  15. Canute Registered Senior Member

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    "In fact, we basically know how everything was created, in broad terms. So we know that the only really trickey subject is the big bang."

    Doh.
     
  16. Ares Registered Senior Member

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    "Intelligent design should not be taught (other than to show how bad it is) because the whole idea is ridiculus. The basic idea is this (correct me if I'm wrong): the universe is so complicated that something intelligent must have created it. Apparantly there is some stupid watch analogy too..."

    I agree many of the arguments from design have been undermined by discoveries in science, but I think there is a better argument against presenting creationism as a 'science' than arguing that the traditional 'proofs' of God's existence don't work.

    Creationists have argued that creationism is
    scientific in nature and is hence teachable in the science classroom. Now this term and its meaning are critical to the issue as to whether creationism should be taught in the science classroom. The general view amoungst scientists appears to be that religion and philosophy do not belong in the science classroom, but to religious studies and philosophy courses instead. The view of creationists however, is that enough evidence (allegedly) exists to point towards the existence of a creator, and science can be used to demonstrate that the being deemed 'God' and known through Judeo-Christian revelation, actually exists.

    Thus the opponent of the teaching of creationism needs to demonstrate that the methodology of creationism, and what it seeks to discover, is basically unscientific in nature. Once this is demonstrated, it is fairly easy to argue creationism has no place in the science classroom, since it is simply not science but rather a religious and metaphysical worldview about which science cannot provide definitive evidence for or against, and hence lies in the realm of philosophy or religious studies, and should be discussed there.

    Creationism in my view (ignoring my disagreements with its goals and aims for a moment) contains severe methodological problems which need to be addressed before it can even be considered properly scientific. One is that creationists resort frequently to ad-hoc hypothesis; if one hypothesis is shown to be false, another one (often miraculous in nature) is substituted into its place. A second fault is creationism seems happy to use miracles as much as natural laws as an explanatory device, when miracles (by definition being acts of an infinite being totally beyond our understanding outside what is revealed by revelation), i.e. that fossil beds were all laid down during the flood of Noah. A third problem with creationism is that creationists seem to misunderstand the idea of 'proof', demanding evolutionists 'prove' for instance that birds evolved from dinosaurs, or humans from a hominid ancestor. Nothing in empirical science can be 'proven' the same way, as say, a proposition in Euclidian geometry can, due to the problem of induction.

    There are many other flaws in creationism and intelligent design theory, and I refer readers to standard sites (i.e. the Skeptic's Dictionary and Talk.origins) for a good run-down.
     
  17. DeeCee Valued Senior Member

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    1,793
    Interesting thread..
    I admit I've not had time to read all the posts here

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    so I apologise if I'm repeating a previous post. Here goes..
    Whats the point of the ID hypothesis?
    If we're trying to understand the origins of life then ID seems like an abdication of inquiry. If ID is the source of life on this planet (which I personally doubt) Then shouldn't we be looking towards answering the question "how did the designers come into being?"
    It is, after all, the origins of all life we are trying to investigate.
    How do proponents of ID as a theory of origins intend to address this issue?

    Dee Cee
     
  18. jjhlk Guest

    You better believe it.
     
  19. jjhlk Guest

    Intelligent design isn't an honest argument, it's a manipulation to get creationism taught in school. (And try and elevate it to the level of certain other sciences) I agree: any ID argument is fraught with circular logic.
     
  20. Warren Registered Senior Member

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    ID is a teleological perspective for generating testable hypotheses about the natural world. It is not creationism.

    The dictionary defines teleology thusly: “the use of design or purpose as an explanation of natural phenomena.” Teleological processes are "goal directed" processes.

    The creation/evolution debate at its core is best described as teleology versus non-teleology and it's 2500 years old. The arguments for intelligent design began with people like Socrates and Aristotle.

    It is often said that science can't investigate the supernatural, I agree. However, the scientific method, the process of hypothesizing, predicting, and testing, can be used to investigate the possibility that life may be the product of advanced bioengineering.

    ID does not involve "God did it" explanations nor does it posit miraculous, empirically undetectable processes. The ID perspective looks for traces of bioengineering and nanotechnology at the origin of life billions of years ago. This approach is naturalistic intelligent design, much like we see intelligent agency today building synthetic molecular motors, bioengineered proteins, etc. In my opinion, it is wrong to think that only a non-teleological approach can run an investigation based on observations, logic, and testing. The non-teleologists do not have exclusive rights to this type of thinking nor is one obligated to abandon observation, hypothesis-making, testing, etc. because they are skeptical of non-teleological origin explanations.

    There is evidence that supports the suspicion that evolution itself was designed. As for neo-Darwinism, I think it will become clear as time goes on that these mechanisms play only a rather trivial role in the process of evolution.

    My own personal view is that life itself was designed through intelligent intervention (although I hold this view provisionally). The question, for me, is whether design extends beyond this and in what form did it express itself? My teleological views allow me four possibilities when interpreting evolution:

    1. Interventions in evolution (i.e., analogous to artificial selection).

    2. Key events in evolution were the unfolding of front-loaded states.

    3. Evolutionary mechanisms were designed to facilitate and exploit (1) and (2)

    4. The standard non-teleological account of evolutionary mechanisms apply, but may be responsible mostly for minor change.

    Nevertheless, I am not one who tries to explain biology, and its history, with only one basic form of explanation. In my opinion, there is an asymmetry between non-teleology and teleology that allows the latter view to be more immune from this blindness. Why? A teleological perspective does not have to be pure and absolute, as it can incorporate a non-teleological perspective. Take the automobile for example: one who accepts a teleological explanation for its origin is not obligated to accept teleological explanations for how it works (i.e. invoking spirits as the cause of the pistons going up and down). A non-teleological view, on the other hand, resists any form of teleological explanation (otherwise, it becomes teleological).

    I think of ID as a parallel, alternative approach and not as a wholesale replacement of current evolutionary theory. The debate about ID often revolves around either/or thinking - either ID is true and should serve as the basis of science or it is not true and should continue to be excluded. But why can't we take a both/and approach? It's not a question of the teleological view replacing the mechanistic view, it's a question of using both perspectives in parallel. That is, just as light is best understood when viewed as both wave and particle, might not the origin of biological complexity involve both teleological and non-teleological explanations?

    When the non-teleologist attempts to account for natural history, the explanations in his tool box amount to chance, natural selection, and notions of self-organization (the first two being primary). The teleologist can not only draw from the same set of explanations (as not everything requires a teleological origin), but can also draw from the following hypotheses: key events in evolution were the result of intelligent intervention; evolution was front-loaded at certain points; evolution was directed at certain points; and evolution was designed to evolve certain forms of complexities.

    A both/and approach is less likely to be blinkered than an either/or approach. Of course, another lesson to be drawn from investigating ambiguous topics such as this is the need to be tentative and provisional. Yet non-teleologists often come across as dogmatists.
     
  21. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    That's all well and good, but the fact remains that the vast, overwhelming majority of people who believe in 'intelligent design' are religious fundamentalists who believe that god created the world in six days and that the idea of evolution is part of a satanic conspiracy. The very term 'intelligent design' was coined by fundamentalist creationist Christians who wanted to find a way to slip creationism into public school science classes. The funides had given up on ever getting the courts to allow openly religious dogma to be taught in schools, so they had to come up with something that was at least vaguely scientific-sounding; enter 'intelligent design'.

    You can make a good argument that ID doesn't have any inherent theological implications, but it doesn't really matter. In most scientific and religious circles 'intelligent design' is little more than a code word for biblical creationism that fundamentalists use when talking to judges, school boards, and lawmakers.
     
  22. Warren Registered Senior Member

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    All ID actually asks at the moment is “teach the controversy”. In spite of all the debate, Darwinist supporters continue to insist no controversy exists. When ID supporters achieve any actual means to impose belief in “design” upon anyone, I’ll join you in protest. However, today it's Darwinian orthodoxy that students are indoctrinated with by government edict.

    Some advocates of Darwinian evolution try to conflate intelligent design (ID) with creationism. In fact, intelligent design is quite different from creationism, as even some of its critics have acknowledged. University of Wisconsin historian of science Ronald Numbers is critical of intelligent design, yet according to the Associated Press, he "agrees the creationist label is inaccurate when it comes to the ID movement." Why, then, do some Darwinists keep trying to identify ID with creationism? According to Numbers, it is because they think such claims are "the easiest way to discredit intelligent design." In other words, the charge that intelligent design is "creationism" is a rhetorical strategy on the part of those who wish to delegitimize design theory without actually addressing the merits of its case.

    In reality, there are a variety of reasons why ID should not be confused with creationism:

    1. Calling ID "creationism in disguise" is a rhetorical ploy used by some Darwinists to attack intelligent design.

    Scientists and scholars supportive of intelligent design do not describe themselves as creationists. Indeed, intelligent design scholars do not regard intelligent design theory as a form of creationism. Therefore to employ the term "creationism" to describe ID is inaccurate, inappropriate, and tendentious.

    2. Unlike creationism, intelligent design is based on science, not sacred texts.

    Creationism is focused on defending a literal reading of the Genesis account, usually including the creation of the earth by the Biblical God a few thousand years ago. Unlike creationism, the scientific theory of intelligent design is agnostic regarding the source of design and has no commitment to defending Genesis, the Bible or any other sacred text. Instead, intelligent design theory is an effort to empirically detect whether the "apparent design" in nature observed by biologists is genuine design (the product of an organizing intelligence) or is simply the product of chance and mechanical natural laws. This effort to detect design in nature is being adopted by a growing number of biologists, biochemists, physicists, mathematicians, and philosophers of science at American colleges and universities.

    3. Creationists know that intelligent design theory is not creationism.

    The two most prominent creationist groups, Answers in Genesis Ministries (AIG) and Institute for Creation Research (ICR) have criticized the intelligent design movement (IDM) because design theory, unlike creationism, does not seek to defend the Biblical account of creation. AIG specifically complained about IDM’s "refusal to identify the Designer with the Biblical God" and noted that "philosophically and theologically the leading lights of the ID movement form an eclectic group." Indeed, according to AIG, "many prominent figures in the IDM reject or are hostile to Biblical creation, especially the notion of recent creation…." Likewise, ICR has criticized ID for not employing "the Biblical method," concluding that "Design is not enough!" Creationist groups like AIG and ICR clearly understand that intelligent design is not the same thing as creationism.


    4. Fair-minded critics recognize the difference between intelligent design and creationism.

    Scholars and science writers who are willing to explore the evidence for themselves are coming to the conclusion that intelligent design is different from creationism. As mentioned earlier, historian of science Ronald Numbers has acknowledged the distinction between ID and creationism. So has science writer Robert Wright, writing in Time magazine: "Critics of ID, which has been billed in the press as new and sophisticated, say it's just creationism in disguise. If so it's a good disguise. Creationists believe that God made current life-forms from scratch 6.000-10,000 years ago. The ID movement takes no position on how life got here or how long it took and many adherents believe in common descent. And they all grant a role to the evolutionary engine posited by Darwin: natural selection. They just deny that natural selection alone could have driven life all the way from pond scum to us."

    Whatever problems the theory of intelligent design may have, it should be allowed to rise or fall on its own merits, not on the merits of some other theory.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2003
  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    It seems to me that most claims of ID are negative. They proceed along lines like: "Darwinian evolution can't explain X, so X must have been intelligently designed". However, no compelling evidence of intelligent design is provided. And, of course, it is not true that if Darwinian evolution can't explain X, X must be due to ID.
     

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