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trishran
Skeptic Friend

USA
196 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2005 :  13:57:46  Show Profile Send trishran a Private Message
The Oregonian [Portland, Oregon] 9/27/05, p. A6, has an article from the AP: "Evolution v. intelligent design" whose subtitle is just false: "A Pennsylvania case brings an age-old science debate back to the courtroom."

Excuse me, but ID is no more a subject of scientific debate than Lysenkoism was [even when Lysenko's ideas were promoted by the Soviet Union on pain of exile or death]. Scientific debates involve scientists - usually from more than one country - debating the evidence. ID proponents do not offer the world any evidence to debate about, but criticize science for the gaps in the fossil record that scientists themselves have publicized.

ID is not being debated in university science departments, the NSA, the Royal Society or any other reputable scientific forum. ID is championed by religiously motivated individuals, including the so-called scientists who support it, like Michael Behe and William Dembski, who admit that it is religion and not evidence that drive their support of ID. The fact that this very article is accompanied by a photo of Cindy Mummert reading her Bible outside the federal courthouse demonstrates that even the person choosing the photos sensed there is a connection with religion - specifically Christianity.

The debate about ID is being fought in the school boards and courtrooms of the states in which science education is already the weakest - while kids in countries with far fewer resources than ours are studying evolutionary-based science, which will surely give them a large edge in the global economy.

Finally, the debate is far from "ages-old" considering that evolution was first proposed in 1859, and ID/creationism was developed in the 1980s, specifically to make it politically feasible to inject religious belief into the science classrooms of American public schools.

I know, I know, I'm preaching to the choir...

trish

Paulos23
Skeptic Friend

USA
446 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2005 :  17:15:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Paulos23's Homepage Send Paulos23 a Private Message
Yes, but we so love the song and dance.

You can go wrong by being too skeptical as readily as by being too trusting. -- Robert A. Heinlein

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
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trishran
Skeptic Friend

USA
196 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2005 :  18:16:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send trishran a Private Message
thanks Paoulos23

trish
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26015 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2005 :  19:05:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by trishran

Finally, the debate is far from "ages-old" considering that evolution was first proposed in 1859, and ID/creationism was developed in the 1980s, specifically to make it politically feasible to inject religious belief into the science classrooms of American public schools.
Actually, there isn't a single ID argument which isn't a warmed-over young-Earth creationist argument. While the term "Intelligent Design" can be traced back to 1989's Pandas and People, the arguments used to support ID go back even further. Some back to the realization of the function of DNA, but the main argument is Paley's 1831 watchmaker, with (for example) "Mount Rushmore" replacing the word "watch."

- 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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trishran
Skeptic Friend

USA
196 Posts

Posted - 10/01/2005 :  17:45:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send trishran a Private Message
I have to say one thing that struck me the first time I read Paley's "watchmaker" argument: If it is a "fact" that the world and everything in it is so obviously designed, why does someone feel the need to write a book-length manuscript to confirm this? Do we see books of hundreds of pages that confirm that the sky is blue, water is wet, spring feels good?

trish
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 10/01/2005 :  19:27:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by trishran

I have to say one thing that struck me the first time I read Paley's "watchmaker" argument: If it is a "fact" that the world and everything in it is so obviously designed, why does someone feel the need to write a book-length manuscript to confirm this? Do we see books of hundreds of pages that confirm that the sky is blue, water is wet, spring feels good?



Just because something is a fact doesn't mean that it has to be glaringly obvious. Evolution is a prime example of this. The evidence is all around us, in every single lifeform that we look at, dead or alive. Yet no one realized this for hundreds of years.

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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trishran
Skeptic Friend

USA
196 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2005 :  19:45:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send trishran a Private Message
Maybe I'm mis-reading the creationists/IDists, but it seems to me that they are always arguing that creationism is just so obvious...

trish
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26015 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2005 :  07:09:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
It's "obvious" only when one misunderstands what counts as evidence. Complexity, for example, is often not a sign of design. That's why Rube Goldberg's machines are funny: they do things in an absurdly over-complex manner.

- 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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