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 Letter from pastor regarding evolutionists' "fear"
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Fripp
SFN Regular

USA
727 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2005 :  05:09:18  Show Profile Send Fripp a Private Message
Hey folks,

I usually ignore these letters but this one must have rubbed me the wrong way this morning:

From http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/editorial/12306532.htm

[Begin quote]

Why fear a theory?

Re: "Bush backs teaching intelligent design," Aug. 2:

I've always felt that fear of another person's beliefs shows insecurity in my own. I am a Christian who has taught my children the worldview and values of the Bible. But I am not afraid to have them study the beliefs and practices of other philosophies and religions. I am confident that the truth of God's word will be readily apparent to them and embraced by them, in light of the weaknesses and inadequacies of the speculations of mere human beings.

This leads me to question why evolutionists are so fearful of the concept of intelligent design being taught alongside evolutionary theory in our children's classrooms. Both theories base the interpretation of scientific data on unprovable assumptions. Intellectual honesty demands an acknowledgment of these assumptions, which are tantamount to a person's faith. What are evolutionists afraid of? That the evidence for their theory will be found wanting? Or that the assumptions of their faith will be exposed?

Dan Kiehl

West Chester

dskiehl@comcast.net

The writer is pastor of Meadowcroft Presbyterian Church, which meets on the campus of Cheyney University.

[End quote]

I have a response drafted but I would love to have some input from the pros here. Thanks in advance.

"What the hell is an Aluminum Falcon?"

"Oh, I'm sorry. I thought my Dark Lord of the Sith could protect a small thermal exhaust port that's only 2-meters wide! That thing wasn't even fully paid off yet! You have any idea what this is going to do to my credit?!?!"

"What? Oh, oh, 'just rebuild it'? Oh, real [bleep]ing original. And who's gonna give me a loan, jackhole? You? You got an ATM on that torso LiteBrite?"

filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2005 :  06:09:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
This leads me to question why evolutionists are so fearful of the concept of intelligent design being taught alongside evolutionary theory in our children's classrooms. Both theories base the interpretation of scientific data on unprovable assumptions. Intellectual honesty demands an acknowledgment of these assumptions, which are tantamount to a person's faith. What are evolutionists afraid of? That the evidence for their theory will be found wanting? Or that the assumptions of their faith will be exposed?

Ain't skeered...

The fact is that no one is afraid of ID. Anyone with any sort of a backgound in biology can easily debunk it before lunch and have the afternoon free for serious discourse.

The fact is that ID is no more than a dishonest effort to get creationism, a mere philosophy that has exactly zero emperical evidence in it's support taught as science. ID was concieved by the Institute for Creation Research. The ICR has no scientific credibility.

The fact is that the Theory of Evolution is backed by a vast myriad of studies both in the lab and in the field, and is supported by virtually all of the available evidence. The Discovery Institute lacks even proper laboratory facilities and does no field work nor studies of any sort beyond spinning the works of others to suit their spavined philosophy.

The fact is that ID is no more than a stratgem to infiltrate science classes with religion.

The fact is that we would love to have Mr. Kiehl and anyone else who thinks that he/she has a case for ID in here to present it. Do pass along the invitation.



"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!

Edited by - filthy on 08/05/2005 06:41:05
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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2005 :  06:48:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message
Yeah, I don't recall ever seeing anyone saying that "evolutionists" (whatever that means) were afraid of ID. ID should not be taught in a science class because it is NOT science. Teach it somewhere else - philosophy, religion, paranormal...

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
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Fripp
SFN Regular

USA
727 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2005 :  07:09:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Fripp a Private Message
Thanks filthy for your response. I used it and dashed off a letter to Mr. Kiehl this morning.

And here is the response I got back:

[begin quote]

Mr. Painter,

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on my letter to the Inquirer. I make no claim to be an expert in either evolutionary or ID science; I only do some casual reading on the subject. But I think you are vastly overstating your case to say that there is "exactly zero empirical evidence" for intelligent design in the universe. I suspect that you've only been listening to one side of the argument. For instance, if you look into it, you will find that ID scientists and the Institute for Creation Research are not connected.

By the admission of many evolutionists themselves, there are certain elements of their theory that are necessary to the theory and, at least currently, cannot be proven by scientific evidence. That is no different than what ID scientists say about their theory. Both theories ask us to decide, "Which interpretation of the scientific data is the best fit? What prior assumptions are best confirmed by the scientific evidence?"

I also think you misunderstand what I'm advocating. Public school science classes shouldn't teach about world religions. And I agree with you that public school science classes shouldn't be expected to present every religion's interpretation for the origins of the universe. But Intelligent Design scientists do not endorse any religion. They make the simple point that the universe bears very clear, distinct marks of an intelligent entity that was involved in its origins. For example, it's very difficult to study the way the human eye or human nervous system operates without entertaining that possibility. Cellular biologist Michael Behe shows that the components of a living cell are "irreducibly complex" - like a mouse trap, each component is absolutely necessary for the cell to exist and operate. By Darwin's own standards, this is powerful evidence that a cell couldn't have slowly evolved over a long period of time. Our children should be given this information. Intellectual honesty demands it.

I believe that it takes more faith to believe that these things evolved by chance. At any rate, it is a form of censorship to keep a reasonable theory for the order, complexity, and beauty of the universe from being considered in our children's education - a censorship comparable to what happened to Galileo when he wanted to present evidence that the sun, not the earth, was
the center of the solar system.

The Bible teaches that "[God's] power and divine nature have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made" (Romans 1:20). It is an appropriate scientific pursuit to determine if the universe does give evidence of a powerful, intelligent Designer. Once the children of our culture have studied those arguments from a scientific perspective - having heard both sides of the argument - they can come to religious teachers like me to find out more about who this Designer is.

Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Dan Kiehl

[End quote]

If my work schedule allows, I plan on responding with Talk Origins' essays on Behe, Argument from Ignorance, and Irreducable Complexity.


"What the hell is an Aluminum Falcon?"

"Oh, I'm sorry. I thought my Dark Lord of the Sith could protect a small thermal exhaust port that's only 2-meters wide! That thing wasn't even fully paid off yet! You have any idea what this is going to do to my credit?!?!"

"What? Oh, oh, 'just rebuild it'? Oh, real [bleep]ing original. And who's gonna give me a loan, jackhole? You? You got an ATM on that torso LiteBrite?"
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2005 :  07:46:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
ID has no theory; only conjecture, and unsupported conjecture at that. And nothing evolves by chance; that is a piece of misinformation put forth by dishonest creationists to further muddy the waters.

Mr. Kiehl seems to be a reasonable person, but he has obviously bought into the ID talking points, whole hawg. Ask him, politly, to identify this designer. Without knowing at least what if not who the designer is, the conjecture grows even weaker.

Is it God? If so, which one, and how do you know that? Is it a whole 'nother set of Laws of Physics? If so, how do they differ from the ones we are familiar with, and how do you know that?

And so forth. Laying the TO, or portions of it, on him might be a good idea, although in my experience these folks usually refuse to look at it. Talk about scairt...

Heh, Behe, Dembski, et al, have had a past, close association with ICR and I have no reason to think that the relationship has ceased to exist except perhaps, in public.




"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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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2005 :  09:05:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
quote:
By the admission of many evolutionists themselves, there are certain elements of their theory that are necessary to the theory and, at least currently, cannot be proven by scientific evidence. That is no different than what ID scientists say about their theory.

Oh boy, does this beg the question. That certain elements of a theory cannot be proven is moot if most of the theory is supported by vast amounts of evidence. And as the years go by the evidence in support of evolution just keeps growing. It has grown to the point that at this time it is one of the best-supported theories in science. It is their spin that what cant be proven are necessary to a theory's survival. Furthermore, it is their spin that certain aspects of evolutionary theory cannot be proven. That suggests that those things he is referring to cannot be falsified. And that is just so much baloney.

Exactly what part of Intelligent Design theory is falsifiable? Intelligence outside of the realm of anything that can be scientifically tested did it? Eyes are not irreducibly complex. Take away a part of the eye and it doesn't work. True. But the evidence suggests that the eye did evolve from photosensitive cells. The fact that it became more complex is evidence for evolution. These guys like to look at working structures and suggest that they could not have evolved, simply because they are complex and look designed. What kind of theory is that? I will tell you what it is. It's an extremely lazy way to look at how things got here. Furthermore, there are flaws in the design that again suggest evolution since a well thought out design should not have the kinds of flaws we see. Since evolution goes where it goes, a flaw will not be selected out if it is not an impediment to the survival of a species. We get sore backs because bipedal walking is not optimal. But it works for us. I could go on…

ID does not rise to the level of a scientific theory. It isn't falsifiable, it makes no predictions, and there is no evidence to support the theory that can be tested. It fails on so many levels that I have to wonder about the evolutionary flaw that allows us the capacity for the kind of wrong thinking that allows for ID to even be considered by the few who are pushing it…

Edited to add this:

quote:
But Intelligent Design scientists do not endorse any religion. They make the simple point that the universe bears very clear, distinct marks of an intelligent entity that was involved in its origins.


I wrote this for inclusion on our Claims list:

“Intelligent Design:

Look, were not really saying God did it. Just some intelligence much greater than our own with the ability to create everything…”

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2005 :  12:23:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
quote:
Filthy:
ID was concieved by the Institute for Creation Research.

The ICR did not come up with ID except in the broader sense that God as an intelligent designer created everything. They still identify as young earth scientific creationists and feel that ID is a move in the wrong direction. See:
The Design Revelation (#194)
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2005 :  12:43:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Fripp
From the Pastor's letter:
But I think you are vastly overstating your case to say that there is "exactly zero empirical evidence" for intelligent design in the universe. I suspect that you've only been listening to one side of the argument.
I love when this argument is used. "I've looked at all the evidence and evolution isn't supported. You must not be familiar with the material I've seen."

Why does it never occur to these jerks that we are intimately familar with ID arguments and the arguments which show why they fail? It is always the ID supporters who have only "been listening to one side of the argument." There is zero support for ID, since every argument which has been offered has been promptly demolished. This pastor obviously doesn't even know enough to know he doesn't know enough.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 08/05/2005 19:45:51
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2005 :  14:38:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Kil

quote:
Filthy:
ID was concieved by the Institute for Creation Research.

The ICR did not come up with ID except in the broader sense that God as an intelligent designer created everything. They still identify as young earth scientific creationists and feel that ID is a move in the wrong direction. See:
The Design Revelation (#194)
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.



You are correct; I wrote in haste. ID is from Center For The Renewal Of Science & Culture, whatever that might mean. Their long-term goals amount to the much same thing, though.

Sorry 'bout that and thanks for the correction.


"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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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2005 :  19:37:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
quote:
Cellular biologist Michael Behe shows that the components of a living cell are "irreducibly complex" - like a mouse trap, each component is absolutely necessary for the cell to exist and operate.


This argument always seems to be able to piss me off because it is just completely and utterly false.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25997 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2005 :  21:35:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
Unliky filthy, I'm terrified of ID. As I said over here, ID is a political power play to hand control of scientific knowledge back to the church. The implications of a successful ID plan are horrific.

Sure, they've failed in every Federal court case, and the "Wedge" has failed to reach its five-year goals, but don't downplay the movement itself. The leaders have, after all, already dismissed the "Wedge." All they need to win is time and the ability to pander to the credulous.

Oh, on the other hand, I'm not afraid of ID "theory," 'cause there isn't one.

- 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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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 08/05/2005 :  21:44:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
quote:
Mr. Kiehl seems to be a reasonable person, but he has obviously bought into the ID talking points, whole hawg. Ask him, politly, to identify this designer. Without knowing at least what if not who the designer is, the conjecture grows even weaker.



If ID says that life cannot arise by a combination of the proper circumstances and laws of nature, then it says that it is not possible for ANY life to have arisen within the universe.

Therefore, the only possible creator, is one of supernatural origin. (i.e. god)

When these IDists throw out the claim that they don't advocate any designer, I can only laugh at their stupidity or be pissed off at their willingness to outright lie to those who can't follow the logic.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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tomk80
SFN Regular

Netherlands
1278 Posts

Posted - 08/06/2005 :  06:17:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit tomk80's Homepage Send tomk80 a Private Message
quote:
By the admission of many evolutionists themselves, there are certain elements of their theory that are necessary to the theory and, at least currently, cannot be proven by scientific evidence.

This shows one of my pet peeves in this whole debate. Scientific theories are never proven in any way. A scientific theory is the best current explanation for all of the evidence we have gathered and from which hypotheses can be drawn that can be further tested. I think that one of the reasons ID is able to gain so much support, is because people aren't clear on this.

Tom

`Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.'
-Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Caroll-
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moakley
SFN Regular

USA
1884 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2005 :  06:54:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send moakley a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.

Unlike filthy, I'm terrified of ID. As I said over here, ID is a political power play to hand control of scientific knowledge back to the church. The implications of a successful ID plan are horrific.
...
Absolutely. Recently in a conversation about my lack of belief in the supernatural I was asked if I feared anything. I said that "I feared religious extremism ruining everything for all of us right minded people on this planet." Though I was not considering ID and its political agenda at the time it's clear that I should. The implications frighten me too.

Life is good

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. -Anonymous
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Starman
SFN Regular

Sweden
1613 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2005 :  02:48:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Starman a Private Message
Patric J Buchanan wants to show how ignorant he is and WorldNetDaily is the perfect forum for ignoramuses.

Nothing new at all...

"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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Fripp
SFN Regular

USA
727 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2005 :  06:01:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Fripp a Private Message
Monday, August 8 update:

I sent back a letter on Friday responding to a few of his points (essentially the standard stock answers that ID'ers like to use) and, as yet, have not heard back from him.

I want to thank Filthy especially for his excellent dissection of Mr. Kiehl's statements. Filthy, I used some of your quotes verbatim. I apologize for I lacked the time to properly re-word them.

In my first letter to Mr. Kiehl, I did extend an invitation for him to post here in this forum, and I sincerely hope that he does. I feel somewhat dishonest for using other people's thoughts and quotes as if they were my own.

I was also hoping to ask Mr. Kiehl why he felt "threatened" by evolution. Being he is a pastor, he perhaps felt that ID validated his beliefs. I wanted to ask him exactly how evolution threatens his faith in a higher power.

I also wanted to ask him how much of the "other side of the argument" he's read since he claimed "that [I]'ve only been listening to one side of the argument".

Keep tuned in...

"What the hell is an Aluminum Falcon?"

"Oh, I'm sorry. I thought my Dark Lord of the Sith could protect a small thermal exhaust port that's only 2-meters wide! That thing wasn't even fully paid off yet! You have any idea what this is going to do to my credit?!?!"

"What? Oh, oh, 'just rebuild it'? Oh, real [bleep]ing original. And who's gonna give me a loan, jackhole? You? You got an ATM on that torso LiteBrite?"
Edited by - Fripp on 08/08/2005 06:02:24
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