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DarelRex
New Member

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2008 :  17:46:16  Show Profile  Visit DarelRex's Homepage Send DarelRex a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here's my analysis of Dembski's/Wells's "The Design of Life." I review this book from the perhaps unusual standpoint of someone who nominally agrees with the central ID argument, but is badly dismayed by the enormous amount of religious and quasi-religious junk that all the major ID authors mix in with it -- even as they insist that ID be evaluated separately from religious creationism.

http://alienryderflex.com/keeping_id_honest.shtml

I find "The Design of Life" to be much worse in this regard than any previous pro-ID book.

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2008 :  19:01:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Welcome to SFN, DarelRex!

You have chosen a rather unstable middle-ground to defend, I think. Good luck with that!

I think that once one has eliminated the logical fallacies and rhetorical trickeries of ID, one doesn't have a stronger ID remaining, but no ID at all.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2008 :  19:58:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi, DarelRex. Thanks for the link. You're right that ID in general has a large crypto-religious agenda-- that's the whole point. But I can't say that I agree with your rather poor discussion of "Darwinism" itself. For instance, you complain that
Darwinists [are] fond of using equivocation to bolster their position when convenient . . . [saying] "evolution" means the theory or the facts, again whichever works better right now to make the skeptical seem foolish.
But this doesn't even make sense. How is noting the fact of change in allele frequency over time, and also noting that there is a really compelling theory to explain that fact, "equivocating"?

You also write about a
tactic Darwinists use to “prove” their thesis by pointing to flaws in biblical scripturalism:

A. Falsity of religious scripture
B. Truth of Darwinism
There are plenty of people who argue about the "falsity of religious scripture" but I don't know of anyone who concludes that evolution ("Darwinism") is true because of it. There are plenty who will hold that the opposite is correct-- because evolution is true, Genesis 1-2 cannot be-- but that's a different story.

In any event, as I said, you do make some good points in your critique of the ID movement as presented in The Design of Life, and I'm sure many of us at SFN would be delighted to talk more about your ideas of ID.

If you feel like it, DarelRex, feel free to start a thread on that topic, even!

You critique the way the authors of The Design of Life handle Dawkins, and propose a better one, saying that
[Dawkins' statement] "DNA was always there" is indeed lazy from the perspective of satisfying scientific curiosity — but so is any purported explanation that flies in the face of evidence, including Dawkins's Darwinism. The available evidence refutes both Dawkins's reductionist evolutionism and the idea that DNA was always there. That leaves (largely unspecified) designers as the only empirically viable explanation.
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DarelRex
New Member

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2008 :  10:37:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit DarelRex's Homepage Send DarelRex a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for your friendly comments, Halfmooner and Cuneiformist!

I realize that I may be trying to defend a position that pleases almost no one in this debate, but I feel I have to go with my gut and see what comes of it.

What I meant by equivocation (theory vs. facts) was that the word "evolution" can be defined as a collection of factual observations, but it can also be defined as Darwin's explanation of what caused those facts. By using the two definitions interchangeably, one can create the impression that the undeniable truth of the facts carries over (through the equivocation) to Darwin's theory.

Now if Darwinists don't generally argue for Darwinism in that manner -- fine, that's great. My point in "Keeping ID Honest" is that most ID authors do charge that Darwinism is widely promoted via equivocations -- so of course they shouldn't be using equivocation for their own purposes, as I show them to be doing in "The Design of Life."
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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2008 :  11:03:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by DarelRex
I realize that I may be trying to defend a position that pleases almost no one in this debate, but I feel I have to go with my gut and see what comes of it.
Well, that's good-- though sometimes gut instincts aren't always right. So be sure to take them in for a check-up now and again. Again, if you're interested in going over the finer arguments behind ID (or modern evolutionary theory), I am sure lots of people would love to talk about them!

What I meant by equivocation (theory vs. facts) was that the word "evolution" can be defined as a collection of factual observations, but it can also be defined as Darwin's explanation of what caused those facts. By using the two definitions interchangeably, one can create the impression that the undeniable truth of the facts carries over (through the equivocation) to Darwin's theory.
Oh, I see. Well, you're right to some extent. I guess part of the confusion lies in the fact that Darwin's theory of evolution is a particularly robust one, and by now the evidence is so overwhelming that many are quite happy talking about the fact of evolution in reference to Darwin's theory.

Now if Darwinists don't generally argue for Darwinism in that manner -- fine, that's great. My point in "Keeping ID Honest" is that most ID authors do charge that Darwinism is widely promoted via equivocations -- so of course they shouldn't be using equivocation for their own purposes, as I show them to be doing in "The Design of Life."
Ah, I didn't quite get that, but now that you've spelled it out, I of course agree. It's a poor tactic to accuse the other side of doing X and then to do X yourself!
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2008 :  18:16:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message  Reply with Quote

What I meant by equivocation (theory vs. facts) was that the word "evolution" can be defined as a collection of factual observations, but it can also be defined as Darwin's explanation of what caused those facts. By using the two definitions interchangeably, one can create the impression that the undeniable truth of the facts carries over (through the equivocation) to Darwin's theory.


Do you believe evolutionists do so to purposefully mislead?

Language can be a tricky thing in all of it's various forms, and the language of science is no different. And this does in fact happen all over science. There is the fact of gravity and theory of gravity. As I see it, there are three options. Change the language of science, ignore science, or get used to it. Creationists seem to have taken a 4th which I was previously unaware of: bitch about it constantly.

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
Edited by - Ricky on 01/25/2008 18:17:17
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2008 :  07:32:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi DarelRex & welcome! It is an interesting link indeed.

Evolution as a fact and a theory, is explained in the link. A problem with ID and YEC as well, is that both fall back on antecedent as an argument. Neither the so-called Big Bang nor abiogenesis have anything to do with the Theory of Evolution. Yet they put them forth endlessly. Of course, the correct reply to these straw men is: "I dunno..... Yet."

Anyhow, looking forward to your further input.











"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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DarelRex
New Member

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2008 :  08:14:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit DarelRex's Homepage Send DarelRex a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ricky: Let me clarify -- I do personally believe that evolutionists exploit equivocations to promote their position (I guess I pretty much said so in my review of "The Design of Life"), but I'm not making any particular claims about how often, how many, which ones, to what degree, etc. My strong point was that ID authors seem incensed that equivocation is exploited at all -- but there they are, using it themselves.

filthy: Is "I dunno ... yet" an acceptable answer to Dawkin's question, "Where did [the designers] come from?"

Cuneiformist: I guess by "my gut" I really I meant my best inference to what the current evidence means. I don't really want to take you up on your offer to go over the finer arguments behind ID; I'm sure I would just refer to the myriad writings of pro-ID authors and you would refer to those of pro-evolution authors. I feel that what I can contribute to this debate that isn't already super-saturated (or perhaps covered at all) is to point out the logical disconnect between ID and free-will/morality. Right now it appears that all the ID authors like a presumptive connection of the two, and evolutionists don't mind it either. That leaves me (alone?) to tease the two apart.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2008 :  08:48:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
filthy: Is "I dunno ... yet" an acceptable answer to Dawkin's question, "Where did [the designers] come from?"
Sure, why not? After all, they never identify the "Designer," so it might be reasonably assumed that they too, dunno. Yet. The only question is: how long 'yet' might be. Dunno that, either.

Heh, yet!




"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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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2008 :  09:04:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by DarelRex
Cuneiformist: I guess by "my gut" I really I meant my best inference to what the current evidence means. I don't really want to take you up on your offer to go over the finer arguments behind ID; I'm sure I would just refer to the myriad writings of pro-ID authors and you would refer to those of pro-evolution authors. I feel that what I can contribute to this debate that isn't already super-saturated (or perhaps covered at all) is to point out the logical disconnect between ID and free-will/morality. Right now it appears that all the ID authors like a presumptive connection of the two, and evolutionists don't mind it either. That leaves me (alone?) to tease the two apart.
I don't think any evolutionary biologist cares about the free-will/morality question as far as it pertains to the science of evolution. IDist may care, but it's only because ID is nothing but biblical creationism in a very thin veil.

And seriously, what finer arguments are there to ID? Besides critiquing (poorly) current evolutionary theory, what arguments are there at all for ID? Do Dembski and Wells put forward some positive arguments for ID in Design of Life?
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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2008 :  10:31:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by DarelRex
filthy: Is "I dunno ... yet" an acceptable answer to Dawkin's question, "Where did [the designers] come from?"
Well, you may not yet know, but we can make some educated guesses. If life on earth is too complex to have arisen naturally (i.e. without a designer), then the designer must also be too complex to have arisen naturally and so too must have been designed by a designer. We can extrapolate that back until we have to conclude that the original designer must be something supernatural. And once we do that, we're right back where we started: God did it. Which is what ID really is.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26006 Posts

Posted - 01/26/2008 :  10:45:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Cuneiformist

I don't think any evolutionary biologist cares about the free-will/morality question as far as it pertains to the science of evolution.
Right. Any evolutionary biologist who does care isn't doing so because of the science. The theory of evolution is descriptive, not prescriptive.

On another note:
Originally blogged by DarelRex

Say... aren't Darwinists fond of using equivocation to bolster their position when convenient? “Evolution” means micro or macro, whichever works better for deflecting detractors at the moment. Or “evolution” means the theory or the facts, again whichever works better right now to make the skeptical seem foolish.
This is completely wrong. The fact is that the creationists argue against "evolution" in the broadest terms, and then when real-life observations of evolution are brought up, the creationists screech (for example) "yeah, but it's still a bird! We don't disagree with microevolution." That is the equivocation - a transparent bait-and-switch - and it's being done by the creationists.

And it's also the creationists who complain that evolution is "just a theory" and thus make themselves look silly. We can observe evolution as it occurs (the fact of it) and the theory explains how it occurs. That the creationists don't (or can't) understand the difference is certainly not the fault of any evolutionary biologists. Once again, the equivocation is from the creationists.

- 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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Lugh Shiva
SPAMMER

4 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2008 :  04:24:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Lugh Shiva a Private Message  Reply with Quote
[Text plagiarised from an Abbie Smith comment deleted - Dave W.]

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