Question for believers in ID.

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Dinosaur, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Of course it doesn't exhaust the concept, nobody suggested that it does.

    It is relevant inasmuch as this is their definition of "God," and if anyone is going to engage in discussion with IDers, it's important to clarify the meanings of the terms used.

    The same kind of objections can be launched against ordinary science.

    Both IDers as well as scientists look at the world, and then make claims about its essence. Sure, they make different claims, but both have in common that they make claims about the world's essence simply on the grounds of looking at the world (and refuse to acknowledge their own projections).

    Just like IDers operate out of axioms (one of them being that God is the First Cause), so ordinary science operates out of axioms.

    Referring back to one's axioms is not the fallacy of special pleading. It is simply not possible to have any kind of discourse without first positing some axioms.

    Same principle is at work in with science. Scientists are very much invested into a materialistic understanding of life, and their theories are geared toward "proving" that matter is all there is.

    You wish to talk about "God" and make claims and extrapolations about "God" - without first defining the term "God"?

    Again, the same with science: Why shouldn't we question science's axioms? Why must we keep our inquiries in line with science - but only up to a certain point, from which on there be dracones and we must shut off all inquiry?

    The way I see it, the weakness of ID criticism is that the critics accuse the IDers of exactly the same things they themselves are guilty of. Which is how the whole thing remains so upsetting, never getting resolved.

    It is my estimation so far that the ID movement in the US, along with the citicism of it, is taking place in ways that would not be possible in, say, Europe.
    The general atmosphere in the US seems to be one of supposed free speech, First Amendment, personal freedom and "pursuit of happiness" (you have that in the Constitution), a spirit of entrepreneurship and competition, but also accompanied by a tendency toward litigiousness.
    Given this context, I don't make too much of the actual arguments used in the ID debate by either side. I see no hope of settling the matter philosophically (or scientifically) as long as the social context is what it is.
    It seems that per US standards, for either side to prevail, the civil rights of the other side would have to be trampled.
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  3. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I illustrated it in the passage following the one you quoted.

    But if this intelligence is from God - and everything in this Universe is from God anyway, so the theistic reasoning - then this says something about God as well.

    What do you mean by "nature"?
    I don't understand your reasoning at all.

    I don't have any particular position regarding the Pyramids, and see no need per se to have it.

    I don't think I would care either way.

    I would think we then have two opposing political camps, who just use some particular issue (in this case, design or lack thereof) as the arena in which they fight.

    Like I said in the previous post, the horrible things that go on in this world intuitively incline me to consider that God either doesn't exist, or is malevolent. So when all the options that are left are these two: 1. God doesn't exist (and so there is no design either), and 2. God exists, but is malevolent; one chooses among them. As the second one seems repugnant, the first one is left by default. That is a possible way for arriving at the belief that the world is not designed.

    But like I said, I am consciously not inclined to either the design, nor to the non-design position.

    There are several aspects to this.

    For one, interpersonal and social terms, the question is certainly a prominent one in our culture, and comes up often enough, directly or indirectly. As most people seem to have a strong stance either way, and expect it from everyone, it is delicate to be undecided on the matter or take some meta-position to the question. So someone who is undecided or has a meta-position must find ways to evade or contextualize the topic in such a way that won't unnecessarily compromise their image in other people's eyes.

    For two, in private terms, the question can still be felt as important, as it is closely tied in with one's understanding of what the meaning or aim of life is. Depending on how one answers or otherwise deals with the question of one's origin, is what one will hope for from life and what one will deem one must do.
    Strongly taking the design stance can be disempowering, as it seems like a determinism, usually coming in two forms: 1. "It doesn't really matter what I do, I am designed, so I will reach my destination no matter what I do," and 2. "It doesn't really matter what I do, I am designed, so I am limited and there is only so much I could be."
    Strongly taking the stance of non-design is also disempowering, because it suggests there is no regularity to one's existence, so it seems that, again, it doesn't really matter what one does.
    One may also put the question aside. But how to do that skillfully is another matter.

    Strategy is a matter of intelligence.

    The "demands of the body"? I once heard from a Buddhist teacher that the body doesn't need anything, and is perfectly willing to die.

    Yes. We've talked about that many times.

    Sure. But I don't think hatred can be overcome by hatred.

    I think that it is actually the approach that theists often have to non-theists that is so conducive to the spread of atheism. Ie. theists pushing people into becoming atheists.
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  5. Balerion Banned Banned

    It's only relevant in the sense that by understanding what "designer" they're talking about, one can dismiss them out of hand, but ID's scientific claims can be debunked without any reference to who or what their designer is. The science itself is junk, so we don't even have to get into who their god is (though it's obviously they're all Christians).

    I think where you go off track is in your treatment of science as a philosophy, no more or less valid than any other philosophy. At least in your writing, science is to atheists what Christianity is to theists. This explains how you can make blanket statements like the above and expect others to recognize their inherent truth. By extension, this must be why you also feel no need to educate yourself on any of the particular fields you are so dismissive of (you once said that psychology "requires a type of strong atheism"), because you're not interested; it doesn't take a working knowledge of a philosophy to say the things you've been saying. Of course a philosophical outlook is a subjective thing. No worldview is objectively right or wrong.

    What's frustrating is that this notion of yours has been shown to be fallacious, yet you go on repeating the same misinformation. It's almost as if you have an agenda here.

    The axioms of science are not instances of special pleading, they are safeguards against it.

    First I will ask you to give me an example of a theory that is "geared toward" proving that matter is all their is.

    In the case of ID, yes. As I said above, you can debunk their science without even getting to the theology.

    I can't tell if this straw man is borne from ignorance or from intellectual dishonesty, but it's a straw man in any case. No one in the scientific community has ever said that science should not be questioned. Just the opposite is true.

    The problem with your statement here--aside from displaying a gross ignorance of the topic at hand--is that what IDers are doing is not "questioning the axioms of science." What they're doing is trying to use bad science to "prove" that evolution is wrong and the universe was designed intelligently. IDers aren't saying, "Here's a new way to look at things," they're saying, "Here's some really atrocious science, and if you don't believe it then you're part of a conspiracy that's trying to hide the truth about the universe." This is why none of their articles are published in peer-reviewed journals. If the science was good, there would be no way to hide the truth.

    And the amazing thing about it is that this isn't like back in the day when we relied on the church for our information, but mass was in Latin and us poor serfs couldn't speak it. No, science is something you learn in school, and no matter how old you are you can go back to school and pursue a career in the field of your choosing. In other words, you could literally test a theory for yourself, so there's no way to hide the truth.

    The way you see it is through the little spaces between your fingers while you try to cover your eyes. You knowing literally nothing about the science behind evolution or intelligent design, and yet you're weighing in on their weaknesses?

    I can't tell which is more appalling: your lack of understanding of how civil rights work, or your willful ignorance of the social debate between science and proponents of ID. Let me clear a couple of things up for you, then.

    There is no scientific debate. The scientific claims made by ID have been debunked.

    Philosophically, the matter is simple: One side wants to educate children, the other wants to indoctrinate them. Science is a way to measure the world, ID is nothing but religious propaganda. Do you want your children lied to? Would you rather the next generation grow up thinking that evolution--a fact of nature--isn't true? These are rhetorical questions, asked with the hope that their answers would be self-evident, but considering who I'm talking to here, I'm not so sure anymore...

    In any case, please, for the love of the flying spaghetti monster, educate yourself on these matters before you go around proselytizing about them.
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  7. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    That settles it then: the function of an organism is not self-evident, and is subject to interpretation.

    There could be all kinds of functions. Anything from "making someone happy" to "providing nourishment for other beings" etc. Occham's Razor is a very subjective tool.

    I'm probing your world-view. According to which it is apparently acceptable to think of happiness as something that comes at the expense of another's misery.

    Given your personal attacks on me, it appears that you want to keep the discussion of the topic within the confines of the status quo.

    Further personal attacks.

    I've started reading them, but these books are so filled with hate that I gave up after a few pages.

    Again, more personal attacks.

    No, this thread seems to be primarily about one party, namely, the critics of ID, demanding to define all the terms of the exchange.

    "Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
  8. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    You're right - I'm way out of your league, or you way out of mine, however you wish to phrase this.
    I'm not fit for these debates.
  9. Balerion Banned Banned

    Only insofar as one might look at a flower and assume that it is here to look pretty and smell nice, or that God put it upon the earth for our pleasure. Being "open to interpretation" doesn't mean that every interpretation is valid, or even that there's more than one interpretation.

    If you propose a flower's purpose is to make someone happy or to provide nourishment, then you are also proposing agency to the order of the universe. Evolution by natural selection (or by any other motivator) does not bring about organisms for the sake of others. Life happens, and it either adapts to nature or it ceases to exist. Therefore, a flower's purpose is no different than that of any other organism. Not only is this the simpler explanation, it also makes the fewest assumptions.

    No you aren't. You're being intentionally evasive because you realize that your point has been successfully countered, and admitting you were wrong or that someone else has made you think differently about things just isn't something you do. You're here to proselytize, not probe.

    I never said anything about happiness. I said that the extinction of the dinosaurs was beneficial to mammals. This is a fact, not a worldview. The dinosaurs died out, mammals thrived. Where is the grey area here? What does this have to do with happiness?

    As for happiness (not to allow you to derail the thread, but...), of course it can come at the expense of another (it wouldn't come at the expense of their misery; that implies that the misery itself is what is being exploited). If a person meets and falls in love with someone, chances are at least one of these people are leaving behind someone who really cares about them. Marriages end all the time because one or both parties found love elsewhere. That's the definition of happiness at another's expense. And it, too, is a fact of life.

    Now enough with the subterfuge, Wynn. I know you know you're being disingenuous. There's no one left to lie to.
  10. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I responded to that idea in the post that you are quoting:

    My point was that "ID" proponents insist that what they are doing is science, not religion. They place a great deal of emphasis on that point:

    The difficulty there (one of them at least, there are several) is that "ID" proponents aggressively assert that "ID" is science and that it should be taught in state school classrooms as science. They stoutly deny that "ID" is any sort of religious teaching or that it has any sort of religious purpose.

    In the American context, with our fundamental principle of separation of church and state, your insistence that "God" and traditional theological definitions of "God" must be accepted as axiomatic principles in "ID", would undercut and eviscerate their entire theological/political program. So they can't agree to the axioms that you insist so strongly are theirs.

    I agree with you that most of them do privately hold their personal belief in traditional Christian definitions of "God" as axiomatic. I agree with you that they are carefully crafting their "ID" arguments so that they will lead to something very similar to and certainly consistent with traditional Christian teaching.

    But those are motivations that they can't acknowledge publicly, without defeating their own purpose.

    My argument (actually in this thread it was originally Dinosaur's, I'm just agreeing with him) has been that the ostensibly empirical design arguments that "ID" proponents use, arguments that they insist point towards a Creator, don't seem to really do that at all. The reason why they don't is that once we have the interpretive principle installed that functional form (or "irreducible complexity" or whatever it is) points beyond itself to the existence of some external creator, we don't have any reason to turn the principle off again just because somebody's desired theological conclusion has been reached. It's what computer science might call a 'halting problem'. That even suggests the heretical conclusion that "God" can't be the ultimate explanation for what is empirically observed, since "God" would need explaining as well. And we are off on an infinite regress of explanations requiring explanations...
  11. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    Can you give a link or something that demonstrates aggressiveness?
    And please state what is religious about observing design in nature?

    Please don't ignore me, I'm asking you a fair question in response to a claim made by you.

  12. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    I guess you haven't been paying attention, but creationists are quite aggressive about pushing creationism in public schools and Texas schoolbooks.

    Seeing the arrangement of natural things as design implies a designer, which is religious. It's not design we actually see, but something different than resembles it superficially, Dawkins coined the word "designoid" to refer to this.
  13. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    Hi wynn, I'll talk to you another time, it appears you have no energy for this.

    Let me know when you're full of beans.

  14. Balerion Banned Banned

    Go back through the thread, there have been several examples cited, as well as I link which I provided to an internal document leaked from the Discovery Institute which discusses their "Wedge" strategy, the express purpose of which is to "destroy materialism."

    And no one said that there is anything inherently religious about seeing the illusion of design in nature. What they said was that there is something very religious about the ID movement. It is simply creationism under a different name. They do knowingly bad science, and lie to advance that agenda.
  15. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    But what is the real problem here?

    If the (atheist) scientists are sure that ID is not science, then where is the problem?

    Apparently then, the actual problem is that the (atheist) scientists do not have the political savvy to deal with the IDers.

    I really don't understand what you want here.

    If you think that the IDers are wrong, then what is the problem?

    How to convince them that they are wrong?

    How to prevail over them in a manner that doesn't transgress their constitutional rights as US citizens?

  16. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    A scene from "The Big Bang Theory":

    Sheldon: Evolution is a fact.
    Sheldon's mother: And that's your opinion.
  17. Balerion Banned Banned

    How many times does it need to be said? The problem is that they're trying to get it taught in schools. And when they're not trying to get it taught in schools, they're trying to create enough subterfuge that it becomes difficult to teach evolution. There are biology teachers in the US who won't teach evolution--not because they're covert creationist, but because they're afraid of "offending the students." The ID movement is a problem.

    Even many devout religious scientists don't want creationism taught in schools, so it's not an atheist agenda. It isn't even about atheism, it's about whether or not you want your child to learn the truth or to be lied to. The US is already far behind many of the industrialized nations of the world, so compounding the problem by introducing religion as science would not bode well for the nation's future.

    Each and every time this matter goes to trial, the creationists lose. So science doesn't need political savvy, what they need is a cultural advantage, and right now that advantage belongs to the IDers, because they're using the average American's ignorance of science to feed them garbage which to them appears to be plausible.

    The rights of the IDers are not being transgressed. It's the other way around, actually, because by introducing ID--a Judeo-Christian creation myth--to the curriculum of a public school, they are violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The state would be endorsing a religion if they allowed it to be taught as truth, which is why ID and creationism before it always loses at trial.

    It's interesting, though, that you only seem concerned with the constitutional rights of the religious, but not the atheist. I know your depth of knowledge of this issue goes only as far as what you've read here on Sciforums, but you should have had at least enough to understand this concept. Is this more intellectual dishonesty, Wynn?
  18. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    This is why I believe you to be a troll. We've been over this many times.

    BS in the science class. Pay attention.
  19. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

    The answer to the ID vs Evolution ‘dilemma’ is that there can be no ‘random’, for that means that not anything was depended on. What was depended on was the environment, to which survival was fine-tuned. That’s not enough, though, for, in turn, nature had to have the capability for creatures to form and adapt in the first place.

    So, the capability for our existence was absolutely inherent in the universe all along, the universe having had to be such in particular to be able to produce life. If not, we wouldn’t be here to discuss it. A differently formed universe may not have had this capability.

    We will always look back to see what we at first think are fortunate events, such as asteroids wiping out the dinosaurs and much of other life, but asteroids (and there basis) were ever on the way here.

    The universe also had to be very large, which it is, and so then there are places, amid all the ‘junk’, like the Earth, where all the conditions line up just right, which is a lot of them, such as even there having to be a moon for stability, lest the Earth wobble too quickly in and out of hot and freezing zones.

    It is all still a design without a Designer, since a Designer could made the right place and put all the creatures on it intact and fully formed.

    Evolution took ages, which is yet another indication that it is true, along with fossils, DNA, and embryonics all matching each other, which is an undeniable triple (even quadruple) conjunction of confirmation.

    So, all, now, is what it had to become, the outcome already guaranteed by the particular arrangements of nature in the beginning, which amounts and more were circumstantial, not existential, unless it is that tiny things of any properties can always combine and amount to higher and higher composites and complexities, these tiny things unable to be ‘inert’, due to the forced default condition of the Beginning, such as that actual infinities are impossible, such as infinite density, forcing things like waves within waves to ‘blow’, from the bandwidth limitation, waves having to be so since they are continuous functions without lessor parts, and so they can be the first ‘thing’, with an opposing primal wave so that all cancels to nothing, which is the only source of existence, so that something is not actually obtained, free and clear, from nothing, and that, while much annihilation of the opposites did occur, the remainder could not once it all blew up. The zero-sum balance of ‘sum-things’ remains apparent in the universe today as polarity of charge, matter/anti-matter states (ever produced in pairs), gravity’s negative potential energy canceling that of the positive kinetic energy of stuff, and there being two and only two stable matter particles in free space—the electron and the proton, hinting that there are only two ways to make them.

    In our case, in our universe, whatever happened in the Beginning is what happened, but is was such that we had to become after 13 billion years. No choice; no luck’ no ‘random’.

    And, too, we do what we must (determinism), which might be disheartening to some, that is, until the other shoes drops, and we look into what the opposite of ‘determined’ would be, which is ‘undetermined’ events, which are not possible, but if they were, in our imagination, then that would lead to complete chaos.

    So, now, the former disheartened are perhaps a bit happier that our will does depend on things such as our memories, experiences, learnings, and associations.

    We are in a scripted play, yes, but at least we get to be in it, and it is fun. We also like that we have found truth, even though it’s like Dennet’s universal acid that eats away all our superstitions (if we had any).
  20. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member


    Why should scientists(atheist or not)have to deal with politics at all. Science deals with facts, not opinions.

    The IDers are trying to get their OPINION taught as SCIENCE. As long as IDers keep their opinions out of a classroom dealing with facts, no problem. Our rights include the right to remain ignorant of the facts and opinionated, but they do not include the right to impose that ignorance and opinion in the classroom of our public schools.

    Sheldon is correct, his mother is ignorant of the facts, that is not my opinion, it is a fact. And the Big Bang Theory is a comedy TV show, not a classroom.

    The function of an organism are subject to INVESTIGATION and testing to confirm the result of that investigation. It is not subject to interpretation without reference to those investigations.

    You are not talking about function, you are talking about purpose, something never seen in Nature(though often invented by philosophers.

    Scientist go beyond just "looking", they test what they think they know. If only theists would do the same you might have a point. There is no faith in science, nothing is accepted without testing and verification. Such thoroughness applied to religious beliefs creates atheism. Science is a method that looks at reality without preconceived beliefs(scientists may be MOTIVATED by belief, but there is no room for such beliefs in the Scientific Method).

    Once you assume that it's all done by magic you are a babe lost in the woods. Science only has two axioms, 1. the Universe is as it seems and 2. that man is capable of understanding that Universe. Everything else in science is based on investigation and verification by testing. Scientists are very careful to only claim to know what has actually confirmed, theists assume to know everything(IE God did it)from the start and can never learn anything of any value based on that.


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  21. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    Sci, way to much speculation recently.

    You don't think that "most basic" might have come to be a father?

    I still have not seen an argument why "most basic" can't simultaneously be the most simple thing in the universe, and the most set. Maybe the simplicity of it makes it strong, thats what I think.
  22. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

    The most basic, simplest thing does not have a complex, composite system of mind to think with. Those kinds of systems come together billions of years later.
  23. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    How so? How can you tell?

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