should creationists be allowed in science?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by steeven91, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. synthesizer-patel Sweep the leg Johnny! Valued Senior Member

    I think that people are a little hard on Behe - he asked the toughest question of evolutionary theory that a creationist has ever asked of it.
    It might have taken someone with an undergraduate level of education in cell biology almost a whole hour to find the answer.

    In many ways he did ToE a service as although his challenge was barely a credible one, he did help to publicise very nicely why and how the idea of ID was wrong.

    For the benefit of posters like Greenboy, Behe's challenge went something like this:
    While evolution predicts that life evolves in a series of small steps making gradual improvements, certain cellular structures (in particular the bacterial flagellum) are so complex that they could not have evolved, because if a single part is removed they would have no function whatsoever. They therefore must have been designed and created whole by a unnamed intelligent designer. He termed this irreducible complexity.

    So the challenge was clear - if no precursory structures to the bacterial flagellum exist, then we have a strong argument in favour of IC, if not then it is falsified.

    Unfortunately while Behe might (or might not, I don't know) be a half decent biochemist, his knowledge of celluar biology was seriously lacking as there are numerous known precursor structures tha we already know about such as the Type-III Secretory System, or T3SS which uses 10 of the flagellar proteins to construct a toxin-injection machine that some predatory bacteria use to kill other cells, and a structure called a Sex Pillus which bacteria use to exchange genetic material with each other.

    When presented with this evidence and cross examined in a court of law, Behe conceded that the science of Intelligent Design was intuitive rather than empirical in nature and more akin to the study of astrology.
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  3. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Yep. A cell is spandrel city.
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  5. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

    Scaffolding, as used to build an arch of bricks.

    Behe put out a newer book, but with just the same old stuff, not even attempting to counter the new arguments against. He is stuck in a rut.
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  7. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Working as I am on a semi-heretical position in evolutionary biology, I'm inclined to be sympathetic to him. I just don't agree with him. Would the evolutionists on the forum say that his is a better challenge, at least, than trying to refute the fossil record? At least it has the smack of an alternate hypothesis, wrong as it is.
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    What is an "evolutionist"? It makes it sound like evolution is merely a belief or an opinion, rather than an established component of the canon of science.

    It's like "allopathy," a woo-woo word the homeopathy wackos coined to make it seem as though modern scientific medicine has a reasonable alternative.

    We have to be careful to not oblige the antiscientists, by unwittingly adopting words they coined deliberately to make the scientific method appear to be only one of many ways (and not the best one) to gain an understanding of the natural universe.
  9. Mircea Registered Member

    Okay. I believe in Hegelian Dialectics, so I think it is important that all theories have some [credible] challenge to them, in order to improve the theory and advance it.

    That's silly. Who says mutations must be gradual improvements? In any event, that wouldn't be Evolution, that would be Natural Selection (and they are not the same).
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Natural selection is "a key mechanism of evolution." It is evolution, in the sense that turning left is driving a car: only one part of the process.
  11. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    My comments are allohumanic; we live in a world that agrees and disagrees with fact. This is realpolitik. Should I say "sane" and "insane"? No; while I do believe that creationism and design are irrational, others have as much moral right to believe them as I to the establishment of evolutionary science. Whether it frustrates me or not is irrelevant.

    Ding ding.

    However, saltation is still, so far as I'm concerned, part of evolution; seconded on Fraggle's comments on n.s. as a component of evolution - mutation, drift, evolution. My evol lecturer also called meiosis a component of evolution...I think this would fit into drift, maybe, but mechanically it's not untrue, as distinct from drift and n.s..
  12. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    I agree. The trouble is that the anti-evolutionists show great ingenuity in finding problems which have complex scientific explanations, but simple bible ones.
    This means that people with no more than a general science education understand the one and not the other.

    Take for example the question "Why are there upright fossils which pass through layers of geological strata"

    "Bible Answer":
    They were all laid down together at the same time in the Flood.

    Geological Answer:
    Brief periods of rapid sedimentation favor their formation. Upright fossils are typically found in layers associated with an actively subsiding coastal plain or rift basin, or with the accumulation of volcanic material around a periodically erupting stratovolcano. Typically, this period of rapid sedimentation was followed by a period of time, decades to thousands of years long, characterized by very slow or no accumulation of sediments. In river deltas and other coastal plain settings, rapid sedimentation is often the end result of a brief period of accelerated subsidence of an area of coastal plain relative to sea level caused by salt tectonics, global sea level rise, growth faulting, continental margin collapse, or some combination of these factors.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
  13. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Precisely: and another reason why gross Ockham is a bad idea.
  14. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member


    The guy's name was William not "Gross".
  15. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Ogly Ockham Ogly Ockham Ogly Ockham ewwwwwwwwwwwwww!

    Probably had cooties.

    No, really. He probably did. Lice all over the place in them days.
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Evolutionary theory has been used to make thousands of predictions, for more than a hundred years.

    You have been told that, several times, and provided with examples. Ignorance is no longer a viable excuse for you, when you continue to post that particular falsehood.

    Tip: in general, whenever a creationist starts a sentence with "science says" or "according to science" or "according to evolutionists" or words to that effect, what follows is invariably false. If you are a creationist, and you find yourself leading off with some such phrase, try leaving it out and seeing if you still have an argument or reasonable claim.

    And if you are quoting someone, adjust your estimation of their reliability accordingly - downward, considerably.
    You give him more credit than he earns: he actually argued not that they had no function at all, in any context, but that they had no capability of fulfilling any fraction of their current function.

    That is, he built an assumption of design into his argument - the assumption that a current or immediately related function of any complex structure was the purpose or role of that structure, somehow assigned.

    That naturally congenial presumption of purpose is key to the confusion often generated by that argument, and consequent garnering of large fortune by author Behe (he's probably a multimillionaire from sales of his books and various appearances etc). Drop the assumption of purpose, and irreducible complexity simply doesn't exist - it's oxymoronic: anything structurally complex can be reduced, by definition. The question becomes one of really absent precursors rather than theoretically impossible ones, the problem one of demonstrating that no precursors existed in any role or circumstance - the difficulty of such a determination, and the uncertainty of its dependence on failure of imagination or exhaustiveness of investigation, are apparent.
  17. yaracuy Banned Banned


    I am relatively new . But what wrong to be a creationist . I believe in creation , and evolution so why would you discriminate .
    Does science is seclusive for atheists ?

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  18. Saquist Banned Banned


    I'm hoping this is a limerick.
    Because that's not in the bible...

    Otherwise that makes the person after you saying "precisely" look like an utter nincompoop. (yes that is a word amazingly enough)
  19. Twine Registered Senior Member

    This is quite simply false. While there are predictions it cannot make, you can say the same of quantum mechanics (or any theory, really). Prediction doesn't mean absolute determination. One prediction of evolution is that the over-administration of antibiotics would lead to bacteria developing resistances to the antibiotics. Another is that species can be bred for specific characteristics.

    Don't forget that macro-evolution has actually been observed, when a population of E. Coli developed the ability to metabolize citrate. Evolution predicts that such a change is possible, and also that the change would have originated in one bacterium, then propagated to its decendants. Indeed, they did trace the mutation back to a specific point in time, and only one of the populations evolved at that time, as evolutionary theory would predict.

    iceaura explains it better than myself, though.
  20. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Well, the seizing of a single misstatement as your sole rebuttal to a relatively complex post is no response at all, Saquist. It's the lowest kind of dodge possible, I think. It makes you look like an utter coward.
  21. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    No problem. It's one of those "divided by a common language" events.
    I've put inverted commas around "Bible answer"
    That's what I meant anyway.

    These people (I don't mean you Saquist)
    are so sneaky, and so adept at twisting the meanings of things.

    They are also winning the battle of opinion with non-scientists.
    Every poll confirms it.
    It's a lot easier to understand.
    Plus, if you believe it you get eternal bliss.

    Add inverted commas to that last sentence as desired.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
  22. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

    I am in the process of proving there is a ghost in the machine. You can call it what you want and if you want to help you can . I can give you my Hypothesis thus far in private. Don't want the naysayers eating Me up like a pack of wolves. It is dangerous as can be for the elements of the proof can drive you to insanity. It has for many threw out time. Even Issac Newton was considered Ett Ett by some by approaching the phenomena, for he thought he was the Christ and Jesus was an impostor. That is some of the crazy I am talking about.
  23. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    If you think the thoughts that drive men mad, you will go mad.
    It is a terrible price to pay.
    Some escape it by becoming childlike.

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    Albert Einstein. Father of the Atomic Bomb
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011

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