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 Bush: Intelligent design should be taught
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moakley
SFN Regular

USA
1888 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2005 :  04:14:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send moakley a Private Message
The same article appeared in the Charlotte Observer to which I sent a letter to the editor. My letter, slightly edited, was printed today. You may recognize my skeptic friends education in its contents.

quote:
`Intelligent design': It's dressed-up creationism

If proponents want intelligent design to be seriously considered as science, it should be accountable to the rigors of science: clearly state the theory, identify what predictions can be made based upon the theory, and identify how the theory can be falsified. Charles Darwin dedicated an entire chapter to how evolution could be falsified in "Origin of Species." What research supports their theory? In what peer-reviewed journals have they published their findings? If the doubting scientists on the Discovery Institute's list are doing credible work in intelligent design, this should be easy.

Intelligent design is nothing more than creationism in a cheap suit.

Michael L. Oakley
Charlotte

They removed my reference to "The Wedge Strategy." I suspose they don't want to encourage people to get their information from any other source.

Life is good

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. -Anonymous
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13474 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2005 :  08:10:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
Nice letter Moak.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2005 :  08:15:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Kil

Nice letter Moak.

Ditto!


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26020 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2005 :  21:24:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by dv82matt

I'm not really against some discussion of intelligent design taking place in schools. I'm sure that is already discussed as the situation warrants in most science classrooms. But I am against adding a discussion of intelligent design to the school curriculum.

Let's not forget that schools are primarily places for children to learn and not forums for open debate.

I'm not so sure that ID would nessecarily come of as badly as we think it would. Consider the audience. Highschoolers are not generally known for their critical thinking skills.
Exactly. And those pushing the "teach the controversy" stuff are saying that the pros and cons of both evolution and ID should be discussed, and then the kids get to make up their own minds.

While not stupid, highschool kids mostly don't have the breadth of experience necessary to properly weigh one position against the other. Evolution, in all its glory, is more complex than the proverbial "rocket science." Getting a good grasp of the subject takes more than 40 hours of study (about half a highschool semester in my county).

Hell, students don't tend to be exposed to enough mathematics to understand that Dembski's stuff doesn't work until college. Yet ID proponents assert that highschoolers who may not be required to take anything beyond basic algebra and geometry are sufficiently equipped to make an informed decision regarding the strength of their non-existant theory.

Again, that's the crux of the issue: we (here in the US) don't let people under 18 vote or go into the military, or make legal or medical decisions because they tend to not be "wise" enough to do so. Yet in the eyes of IDists, every single 10th-grade biology student (at 15 or 16 years old) is capable of understanding evolutionary science to the same extent as people with four or more years of post-graduate work on the subject.

Inflating a person's sense of self-worth is a great way to get political muscle, and the IDists are busy telling American parents that their kids are frikkin' supergeniuses.

But, of course, given the lack of any sort of ID theory, that's all this is: a political power-play. Dembski's denial that this has anything to do with religion is simply a lie, given that he's said that any science which doesn't glorify Jesus is a bankrupt science. The number of non-religious proponents of ID can be counted on the fingers of a single hand, with fingers to spare, even. ID is a political ploy to turn back the clock by 300 years or more, and put American science firmly back in the hands of the church.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Starman
SFN Regular

Sweden
1613 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2005 :  00:09:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Starman a Private Message
From Boston Globe, It is just a theory.
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Dry_vby
Skeptic Friend

Australia
249 Posts

Posted - 08/09/2005 :  04:55:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dry_vby a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Starman

From Boston Globe, It is just a theory.





Ha, ha.

That reminds me of the lyrics to that song:


"Isn't it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air..
Where are the clowns? "

Send in the clowns

"I'll go along with the charade
Until I can think my way out.
I know it was all a big joke
Whatever it was about."

Bob Dylan
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Starman
SFN Regular

Sweden
1613 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2005 :  02:32:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Starman a Private Message
I sometimes enjoy to read Editorial Comics made by idiots.

Chuck Asay is almost always wrong. Here is a nice strawman on this subject.

"Any religion that makes a form of torture into an icon that they worship seems to me a pretty sick sort of religion quite honestly"
-- Terry Jones
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2005 :  03:04:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
Heh, here's another good one, albeit slightly off-topic: Overheard at a creationist museum.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Starman
SFN Regular

Sweden
1613 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2005 :  07:29:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Starman a Private Message
Screw ID, lets teach DUH!
quote:
I'd like to propose a third alternative theory. I call it the theory of "Design by Unintelligent Hand," or "DUH" for short. The basic concept? The Creator is an utter dumbass.
Complete with evidence and a DUH fish.

"Any religion that makes a form of torture into an icon that they worship seems to me a pretty sick sort of religion quite honestly"
-- Terry Jones
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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2998 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2005 :  07:36:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Starman

Screw ID, lets teach DUH!
quote:
I'd like to propose a third alternative theory. I call it the theory of "Design by Unintelligent Hand," or "DUH" for short. The basic concept? The Creator is an utter dumbass.
Complete with evidence and a DUH fish.



But is it falsifiable? Definitely scientifically more valid.

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
Edited by - pleco on 08/10/2005 07:37:55
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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4955 Posts

Posted - 08/10/2005 :  08:00:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message
RNC shill (and Coulter-lite hack) Kathleen Parker recently took up the ID debate mainatining the predictable position:
quote:
[Bush's] His words seem uncontroversial enough -- that kids ought to be taught both ID and Darwin (not necessarily in equal amounts, though he wasn't explicit on that point) "so people can understand what the debate is about" . . .

Back to playing devil's advocate, what if ID were taught in the interest of making education more interesting? Whatever else is true or merely theoretical, the question of man's origin is endlessly fascinating, as demonstrated by headlines and blogs last week. The Web site technorati.com, which tracks public interest in the blogosphere, counted 17,000 blog entries on ID as of midday Thursday.

If adults find the issue that compelling, might not high-school students also? I realize students have been rendered nearly insomniac by the intense level of intellectual stimulation commonly found in public schools, but what's the harm in spiking the punch a little?

Meanwhile, the father of evolutionary theory seems in no danger of being displaced by Bush or advocates of ID, which, by the way, is not the same as creationism, as is often misunderstood.
And on and on and on. It was such a lame repetition of the standard party line that I just about stopped reading half-way through. But then I saw this line:
quote:
Objectively, what would be the harm in inviting discussion of this new theory alongside others that have the imprimatur of modern science? Truth has nothing to fear from charlatans, after all. And alert, stimulated children incited to prove or disprove intelligent design would hardly suggest a failure of public education. (emph added)
Oops! How in the hell can a person "disprove" ID?!? How can you prove it? Since ID in short amounts to a massive argument from personal incredulity, it becomes hard to imagine how one can disprove it! All one has to do is simply keep positing that some thing or other is "irreducible complex" and wait while the evolutionist waste time trying to show otherwise. Once proven wrong, move on to another thing and repeat!

But that's the beauty of the RNC shills who dominate today's newspaper and radio opinion pieces-- they don't know what they're writing about, they just know what stance they have to take. And tragically, our hapless public gets duped hook, line, and sinker!
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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4955 Posts

Posted - 08/11/2005 :  18:17:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message
Anyone interested in a nice summary/history of the ID movement should check out the New Republic, which has a nice feature on the whole thing. You may have to enter data to read the while article, but it should still nevertheless be free. Even at that price, it's worth reading in my opinion...
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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4955 Posts

Posted - 08/11/2005 :  18:38:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message
Just reading through the very excellent article cited about, I found:
quote:
Well, if we admit that the designer had a number of means and motives, which can be self-contradictory, arbitrary, improvisatory, and "unguessable," then we are left with a theory that cannot be rejected. Every conceivable observation of nature, including those that support evolution, becomes compatible with ID, for the ways of the designer are unfathomable. And a theory that cannot be rejected is not a scientific theory. If IDers want to have a genuinely scientific theory, let them propose a model that can be rigorously tested.
My point, exactly!
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moakley
SFN Regular

USA
1888 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2005 :  10:00:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send moakley a Private Message
There was finally a response printed to my letter to the editor concerning Bush's Intelligent Design comments. The only question I have is, what in my letter was she responding to?

quote:
`Intelligent design' isn't central issue

In response to " `Intelligent design': It's dressed-up creationism" (Aug. 5 Forum):

Questions surrounding how and why Earth and humankind were created may never be answered. So leave the matter alone. What we should be concerned with is why we were created and how we respond to being here.

Because I believe in intelligent design as a gift from God, I try to treat the earth and every living being with love and respect. Isn't that a sufficient and reasonable response for everyone?

Karen A. Evans
Charlotte

emphasis added ...

Life is good

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. -Anonymous
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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4955 Posts

Posted - 08/12/2005 :  12:39:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by moakley

There was finally a response printed to my letter to the editor concerning Bush's Intelligent Design comments. The only question I have is, what in my letter was she responding to?

quote:
`Intelligent design' isn't central issue

In response to " `Intelligent design': It's dressed-up creationism" (Aug. 5 Forum):

Questions surrounding how and why Earth and humankind were created may never be answered. So leave the matter alone. What we should be concerned with is why we were created and how we respond to being here.

Because I believe in intelligent design as a gift from God, I try to treat the earth and every living being with love and respect. Isn't that a sufficient and reasonable response for everyone?

Karen A. Evans
Charlotte

emphasis added ...
No shit, moak! You'd at least like a response actually, you know, respond to something you said. Instead, though, we get a special plea to like ID because she happens to "treat the earth and every living being with love and respect"? Neat.
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