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Intelligent Design Ruled "Not Science"


Kanada Kev
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http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/06/25/id_not_science/

UK Gov boots intelligent design back into 'religious' margins

Not science, not likely to be science

By Lucy Sherriff → More by this author

Published Monday 25th June 2007 12:35 GMT

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The government has announced that it will publish guidance for schools on how creationism and intelligent design relate to science teaching, and has reiterated that it sees no place for either on the science curriculum.

It has also defined "Intelligent Design", the idea that life is too complex to have arisen without the guiding hand of a greater intelligence, as a religion, along with "creationism".

Responding to a petition on the Number 10 ePetitions site, the government said: "The Government is aware that a number of concerns have been raised in the media and elsewhere as to whether creationism and intelligent design have a place in science lessons. The Government is clear that creationism and intelligent design are not part of the science National Curriculum programmes of study and should not be taught as science. "

It added that it would expect teachers to be able to answer pupil's questions about "creationism, intelligent design, and other religious beliefs" within a scientific framework.

The petition was posted by James Rocks of the Science, Just Science campaign, a group that formed to counter a nascent anti-evolution lobby in the UK.

He wrote: "Creationism & Intelligent design are...being used disingenuously to portray science & the theory or evolution as being in crisis when they are not... These ideas therefore do not constitute science, cannot be considered scientific education and therefore do not belong in the nation's science classrooms."

The petition was signed by 1,505 people. ®

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There's a reason why ID is never discussed in peer-reviewed science journals - it never makes it past the gate. It ain't science.

oh yee of little faith, much eastern holistic medicine wasn't discussed in peer-reviewed journals for decades because it too was not thought to be "science". still ain't in many circles. ;)

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Even though I'm decidedly anti-science on a lot of issues, I have to side with DEM on this. To me Creationism is in fact antithetical to science. If I were a creationist (I'm agnostic), I'd be firmly against trying to insert myself into the science debate, a place where I can't ever hope to win.

Science seeks to prove or disprove hypotheses through tests based upon logic and reason, whereas creationism seems to argue that such tests cannot begin to prove theories about our coming to be (given the limits to our own knowledge and perception). Thus, either creationism can either see position itself as a "science naysayer" if you will, using science to try to disprove science, or it can take a much more productive stance (again, as I see it) and present itself as a counterdiscourse to science.

To use a reference to theory, it's a bit like asking a post-positivist researcher trying to defend his/her research to positivists using their definition of validity. They wouldn't even try. They'd say "the basic premises that you use to judge validity are flawed."

To me, creationists have to take that sort of ground if they want to be taken seriously.

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true, though I think that fits in with what I said above anyway.

I do, too, and I agree with what you wrote, but it's an important thing to bring up in the evolution vs. creation science debate: science (evolution) is based on observing the world/universe around us, with the only preconception being a metaconception: base concepts on what we observe in the world/universe, and can prove (via observing) about the world/universe.

Creationism comes to the table with a only serious preconception: namely, that we were created as an intended act; they observe (and then interpret) only in the context of proving their concept correct. In science, the concept can be changed as we accumulate observations and conduct tests; creationism admits no such change to its concepts (i.e., its "meta"conception is not to change the creationism concept).

Aloha,

Brad

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do we have souls? has anyone ever observed a soul? upon what evidence do people base their belief in the existence of the soul? ironically, my sig below seems fitting. im just saying that sometimes gaps in current scientific understanding are more the problem than a belief in what is immeasurable (at this point in time?). am i a creationist? nah, just a shit-disturber :P fun thread.

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I think in order for something to be properly scientific, it has to follow - following Karl Popper here - a principle of falsifiability, i.e., there has to be a hypothetical attitude towards all truth claims. The ID people can't tolerate that; for them, ultimately, the idea of a Creator is a non-negotiable; the randomness of an evolutionary schema isn't acceptable. The way I see it, the infinite (or indefinite) possibilities of random mutation can - has to - stay on the table, given the incalculable variety of ways that things can turn out.

And soul? That just seems to me (following Young Hegelians like Feuerbach) wishful thinking, and projection, coming from our own transience and insecurity. Anything like soul, or identity, is based on consistencies of memory; that, though, is based on the gray matter of the brain - neural pathways, habits of thought, that depend on brain "stuff". Once the body is dead and decaying, those pathways disintegrate, and identity is lost, to be consumed by worms, bacteria, and other critters that are hungry like us.

That says nothing, of course, about the sheer fact of the universe having been crossed by experiencing beings; what we live and experience is forever inscribed in the surface of Infinity, as part of What Has Happened. I just wouldn't put too much stock in it, in terms of being able to draw on any of it further on up the road, after our brains have decayed.

[Douglas Adams] You may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space. [/Douglas Adams]

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I think in order for something to be properly scientific, it has to follow ...

well, that's the point. why does it have to be scientific? science is only one paradigm of thought (obviously, the hegemonic one) and it is contextual of current methods and theories. expecting someone to prove the existence of the soul (or God, for that matter) is just as problematic as expecting someone to prove its non-existence. i would venture in a kuhnian way that there are many things current scientific thought still cannot 'explain'. the implication seems to be that if something cannot be explained by current science, it is relegated to the dumpster of religion, and should not be 'taught'.

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I'd think it important that kids know about the existence of ID, if only to help them think critically about it, to better understand the way that scientific rationality operates (or is supposed to operate).

I'm also all for the teaching of religion in schools - provided that it is offered in a way that tolerates critical thinking about it, rather than to have a bunch of values foisted on impressionable minds. As a society, we're increasingly religiously illiterate. The trouble's always been, I've come to understand, resistance from parents who don't want their traditions subjected to any scrutiny.

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I'm also all for the teaching of religion in schools - provided that it is offered in a way that tolerates critical thinking about it, rather than to have a bunch of values foisted on impressionable minds. As a society, we're increasingly religiously illiterate. The trouble's always been, I've come to understand, resistance from parents who don't want their traditions subjected to any scrutiny.

That's exactly it. It's the parents/elders who create the problems. So many are under the belief that if their children should learn anything about any other religion than their own, then they may get brainwashed into following that doctrine. When it is involving those young, impressionable minds, is that the pot calling the kettle black or what?? "Damn, don't you brainwash my child with your information about religion "x", they are getting brainwashed quite nicely by my own religion "y"."

My wife, a teacher, has experienced this many times. Whether it be about Christmas, Ramadan, Eid, Easter, Valentine's Day, Hallowe'en, etc. etc. There is always somebody who is determined that they are being persecuted for their religion.

My mom took my son to the art gallery on the weekend. Some cool displays before it goes under renovations for 8 months. There was one sculpture called "Crucifixion Without the Cross". No need to give a 5-year-old a monster lesson on what it represents. Rather, it's fun to just ask what he sees. He saw a man jumping in a pool with his arms stretched out, but he was already dead. :) Pretty good, IMHO. Last night he was looking at his books about the planets and dinosaurs and giving his own interpretation on what came first. It was very entertaining and I'm sure would drive my evangelical family members crazy

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On the kid note..I was driving with three kids in the car awhile back and the youngest points at a church and says "Look a castle!." To which the 8 year old said ,"No, that's a church where Christians go."The oldest then cleared it up, "No ,not Christians, mostly just people who go to church."

The best analyisis of the church going population I've ever heard.

As far as souls go..I'd agree that our various conceptualizations of what the soul may be are at best a well conceived shot in the dark.And also that what we think or believe-if strongly enough, makes some sort of energy imprint on Infinity(whatever that may be).But I don't see that drawing a line between what is believed and what is true makes a substantial difference in terms of faith or the elements of religion.In essence what we believe becomes what is reality.On the micro level-if I truly believe that I am abducted by aliens, than my ego/intellect/whatever will rearrange the facets of my life to support that conclusion, and that will be reality to me.On the macro level if I fervently believe that I will be greeted at the pearly gates by a bearded white guy then the likelihood is that that is exactly what I will experience-regardles of whether in actuality I am a tiny molecule floating in space.I don't see that any truthful reality can counteract the application of will to perception.

The above argument obviously hangs on assuming that the human ego is a force as ,if not stronger than any other scientifically proven force.

And that force is also a very limiting trap.

I agree wholeheartedly with phistaper on the science issue.While science can be viewed as stronger, purer validity because as bradm says, it allows for the original hypothesis to be revised,it still requires a base line that may be erroneous,and until that base is changed can contextualize facts in just as fanciful construct as religion-while parading as clinical, unbiased and "scientific".All of life is subjective when it gets right down to it.

Excuse the appalling grammar!

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While science can be viewed as stronger, purer validity because as bradm says, it allows for the original hypothesis to be revised,it still requires a base line that may be erroneous,and until that base is changed can contextualize facts in just as fanciful construct as religion-while parading as clinical, unbiased and "scientific".

I agree, but there is, I think, a built-on mitigating factor in that area: the easiest way to get ahead in science is to unequivocally demonstrate that some currently-held belief is wrong (i.e., change the base line). (Consider something like the part of Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity that says nothing with mass can travel at or above the speed of light, c. If that was a "fanciful construct", and thus false, it should be easy to demonstrate that it's false, and the first physics student to do so would be in the running for the Nobel Prize. The fact that this hasn't happened reinforces my belief that Einstein't StoR is accurate.)

Aloha,

Brad

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The above argument obviously hangs on assuming that the human ego is a force as ,if not stronger than any other scientifically proven force.

And that force is also a very limiting trap.

Well put. This is what seems to me to be the problem with faith commitment. There is something to say about the phenomenology of it all, as you say; if I'm a Jain, e.g., then I can be perfectly happy thinking that karma is molecular stuff that sticks to my soul and holds it down, and as a metaphor, that's great. The problem seems to come up when it becomes all about self-preservation (which boils down to trying to ensure that one's identity persists indefinitely). People can do all sorts of awful stuff to that end, which brings it into the world and experience of others. It's in that interpersonal domain that I think "reality" can start to be assessed (and, maybe most importantly, tested).

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I can be perfectly happy thinking that karma is molecular stuff that sticks to my soul and holds it down, and as a metaphor, that's great.

Right. Religious thought really backed itself into a corner by trying to play the enlightenment/modernism game, and by trying to square itself in those terms and with that language.

I have a soul. That is quite apart from whether souls "exist" in any meaningful way. It is rather a way of narrowing in on a particular aspect of our humanity, of hinting at our participation in the infinite - even if that participation is only fleeting, of communicating something that is otherwise difficult to communicate. When I speak of "my heart", for instance, I am rarely speaking of that blood-pump in my chest. This "other heart" clearly doesn't exist in my body, but we all know what I mean when i say "my heart feels heavy" and there is a truth to it even if the statement is a biological absurdity.

These people are playing a foolish game by trying to offer themselves as an alternative to science. In my mind religion/spirituality need be in competition with science about as much as poetry and music need be in competition with science.

But all of the crass literalism gets in the way, and makes religious thought and belief increasingly irrelevant to a majority of people. Every one is busy fighting a fight that nobody has patience for and that is ultimately not winnable (ID as curriculum being a perfect example) when they simultaneously hold the keys to something that just about everyone is hungry for.

To which the 8 year old said ,"No, that's a church where Christians go."The oldest then cleared it up, "No ,not Christians, mostly just people who go to church."

Gold.

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To which the 8 year old said ' date='"No, that's a church where Christians go."The oldest then cleared it up, "No ,not Christians, mostly just people who go to church."[/quote']

Gold.

.., Myrrh and Frankincense

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I was thumbing through the WNC recent lectures, and came across one from this past April called "God and the Genome" by Francis Collins (a physician and DNA scientist). Very relevant to the topic of this thread, particularly when he gets to dealing with creationism and intelligent design as a scientist and athiest-cum-theist.

He also engages Dawkins very respectfully and patiently.

(not an endorsement, a couple of times reverts a bit too much to C.S. Lewis style apologetics for my tastes, yadda yadda, but very engaging)

link (wmv formats)

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Interesting debate here (though it's a bit stymied given the fact that it's on the Coren show). It's in the dynamics of this conversation, I find, that the real action is. The creationist, in other words, is really, really, impatient, and that speaks volumes.








Creation/Evolution Debate on Michael Coren Show








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