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Scott Beach



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Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 04 2007,15:33   

Intelligent design is often referred to as a scientific theory but this is not technically correct.  Intelligent design is an unverified scientific hypothesis.

See http://intelligent-design-hypothesis.com

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 04 2007,15:59   

"The hypothesis of intelligent design is that something intelligent, um,  designed something".

Gee, thanks.  THAT certainly clears everything up.  (sigh)

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Scott Beach



Posts: 6
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 04 2007,16:57   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Mar. 04 2007,15:59)
Gee, thanks.  THAT certainly clears everything up.  (sigh)

Lenny:

The proponents of intelligent design are intentionally misrepresenting ID by describing ID as a "scientific theory."  They should not be allowed to tell that lie over and over and I am trying to POLITELY stop them from lying by accurately describing ID as an unverified scientific hypothesis.

In "The God Delusion," author Richard Dawkins formulated and considered the God Hypothesis.  Building on his example, I put intelligent design into the form of a scientific hypothesis.

Dawkins judged the God Hypothesis as very unlikely to be correct.  Similarly, I believe that the Intelligent Design Hypothesis is very unlikely to be correct.  However, I refrained from stating this opinion on the above-referenced web page because the proponents of ID are (I cautiously assume) making good-faith efforts to subject their hypothesis to scientific testing at their "God Lab."  They might not be making scientifically honest efforts to test their hypothesis but I am willing -- for now -- to give them the benefit of the doubt.

I am very skeptical but I feel that it would be unfair to criticize their efforts to confirm their hypothesis if they are in fact making good-faith efforts to proceed in accordance with the rules of science.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 04 2007,17:17   

Quote (Scott Beach @ Mar. 04 2007,16:57)
The proponents of intelligent design are intentionally misrepresenting ID by describing ID as a "scientific theory."  They should not be allowed to tell that lie over and over and I am trying to POLITELY stop them from lying by accurately describing ID as an unverified scientific hypothesis.

I think ALL of us are completely aware that IDers are just lying to us when they claim to have a scientific theory, hypothesis, or whatever.  The IDers don't give a rat's ass about "science".  They're not interested in answering any scientific questions.  They don't care about developing a better understanding of the natural world.  They present no scientific hypotheses or theories.  They do no scientific research of any sort.  They nothing at all scientifically useful to say. They're not concerned about any of that.  What they ARE concerned about is religious fanaticism, and the desire to use political power to enforce their religious fanaticism onto everyone else, whether everyone else likes it or not.  This fight simply is not about "science".  It is about raw, naked, political power.

They are liars.  Dishonest, deceptive, evasive, deliberate, calculating liars.

I see no need to be "polite" to them about it.

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Henry J



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(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 04 2007,18:41   

Re "Intelligent design is an unverified scientific hypothesis."

And that is still not technically correct. To qualify as scientific, it has to actually explain something about the subject matter, i.e., there have to be some observable details that are expected if the hypothesis is correct (or at least a reasonable approximation), but not expected if it's wrong.

Henry

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 04 2007,19:15   

Quote (Henry J @ Mar. 04 2007,18:41)
Re "Intelligent design is an unverified scientific hypothesis."

And that is still not technically correct. To qualify as scientific, it has to actually explain something about the subject matter, i.e., there have to be some observable details that are expected if the hypothesis is correct (or at least a reasonable approximation), but not expected if it's wrong.

Henry

Exactly.  Their, uh, "explanation" consists solely of "our explanation is better than yours."  But if I ask them just what the #### their "explanation" *IS*, all I get is various versions of (1) "Jesus saves!!!" or (2) "I don't have to tell you".

IDers quite literally have nothing scientific to offer.  Not surprising, though, since ID is a political strategy for theocracy, that has nothing whatever to do with "science".

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Freelurker



Posts: 80
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 04 2007,20:50   

Scott,

I’ll give you credit for one thing; you state the IDist position more accurately/honestly than the DI does. Attempting to sound scientific, the DI states their claim as:

“…certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause …”

But, as has already been said in other comments here, IDists show no interest in actually explaining anything. They eschew the need for a “mechanistic” model or story. As you appear to recognize, their position, in practice, is different from what they state. I would state their position as:

“ .. certain features of the universe and of living things justify belief in the existence of an intelligent cause …”

And that’s not too different from your “hypothesis.”

--------------
Invoking intelligent design in science is like invoking gremlins in engineering. [after Mark Isaak.]
All models are wrong, some models are useful. - George E. P. Box

  
Scott Beach



Posts: 6
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 04 2007,21:46   

Henry:

I have read discussions of intelligent design in which the participants debate whether ID can be stated as a scientific hypothesis.  I have seen "scientific method" defined as being applicable to "intersubjectively accessible phenomena" and I have wondered whether ID really can be stated as a scientific hypothesis or not.  

In the course of reading Richard Dawkins book "The God Delusion," I was persuaded that the creation of the universe by a supernatural agent can be regarded as a scientific hypothesis.  And I agree with Dr. Dawkins that the God Hypothesis is very unlikely to be true.  According to his typology, he and I are both "de facto atheists."

Having accepted the proposition that god can be stated and evaluated as a scientific hypothesis, I concluded that intelligent design can also be stated and evaluated as a scientific hypothesis.  However, this treatment of ID depends on exactly how "hypothesis" and "scientific method" are defined.  I believe that you and Lenny and other people can reasonably use different definitions for these terms and then conclude that ID cannot be regarded as a scientific hypothesis.  

Whether ID can or cannot be regarded as a scientific hypothesis is really not much of an issue because the Discovery Institute's "God Lab" is unlikely to find evidence that verifies an ID hypothesis.

I disagree with Lenny on the point of being polite.  When addressing the issue of teaching ID in high school biology classes, we should address fellow citizens/voters in a polite manner.  We should simply explain that ID has not been verified and that, in the absence of verification, ID does not warrant inclusion in the curriculum of a biology class.  

There is plenty of evidence that ID is in fact a creationist movement.  We can therefore politely tell our fellow citizens that ID can appropriately be examined during a class on comparative religion.

Scientists should refrain from engaging in public debates with IDists.  When scientists participate in public discussions of ID they should calmly and firmly and politely point out that ID has never been confirmed.  They might lead the audience in praying that the Intelligent Designer materialize and introduce him/her/itself.  We both know what the result of that prayer would be.  That result would dampen the enthusiasm of people who are leaning toward accepting ID as valid.

I am a natural-born scientist (an INTJ) and I have NO inclination to accept supernaturalistic assertions.  However, most people are not INTJs.  They are more emotional than rational and they do feel comfortable with supernaturalism.  I therefore believe that it is counterproductive to be impolite during discussions of ID because that will generate negative emotional responses and thus prevent many people from hearing carefully reasoned scientific explanations.

So I recommend that you and Lenny be polite, even when you really just want to scream a few expletives at those %@$+@&ds.

  
Henry J



Posts: 4079
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 04 2007,23:52   

Scott,

All I did was point out that a proposal for a new hypothesis has to offer an actual explanation for something. How is that impolite?

Re "I was persuaded that the creation of the universe by a supernatural agent can be regarded as a scientific hypothesis."

The concept "creation of the universe by a supernatural agent" doesn't conflict with biological evolution as presently understood, as far as I can tell.

Re "However, this treatment of ID depends on exactly how "hypothesis" and "scientific method" are defined. "

I have to disagree with that. The way to make I.D. scientific isn't by redefining terms, it's finding some verifiable set of observations that is expected if I.D. is true, but not expected if it's false. Without that, its a conjecture in search of something to explain.

Henry

  
Scott Beach



Posts: 6
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 05 2007,00:44   

Quote (Henry J @ Mar. 04 2007,23:52)
Re "However, this treatment of ID depends on exactly how "hypothesis" and "scientific method" are defined. "

I have to disagree with that. The way to make I.D. scientific isn't by redefining terms, it's finding some verifiable set of observations that is expected if I.D. is true, but not expected if it's false. Without that, its a conjecture in search of something to explain.

Henry

Henry:

I have seen some people define hypothesis in a way that excludes the consideration of supernatural causes and then assert that ID cannot be regarded as a scientific hypothesis.  I really do not have a problem with defining hypothesis in that manner but, for the sake of bringing ID out into the open so that it can be considered, I have used a definition of hypothesis that does allow supernatural causation.  Otherwise, the IDists can continue their game of (1) hiding the definition of ID and (2) trying to divert attention away from ID by making attacks on the theory of evolution.

I am not going to play that stupid game.  I have put ID into the form of a scientific hypothesis and I will challenge IDists to defend their hypothesis.  I will refuse to be drawn into their game of demanding that I defend evolution.  

I will not waste my time defending evolution.  I will demand that the IDists put their hypothesis and evidence on the record where it can be evaluated by the scientific community.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 05 2007,07:09   

Quote (Scott Beach @ Mar. 05 2007,00:44)
I will not waste my time defending evolution.  I will demand that the IDists put their hypothesis and evidence on the record where it can be evaluated by the scientific community.

Alas, that is also a waste of time.  ID is a political movement, with political goals.  It has nothing to do with science, its adherents were not won to it by science, and they will not be won away from it by science.

No matter HOW polite you are, you simply will not win this fight by sitting people down and teaching them science.  It's simply not what this fight is all about.  Indeed, by treating this thing as a "scientific dispute", you are simply fighting the fundies on their own terms, and allowing them to set the agenda and the rules of order.

It's one reason why scientists, in general, make very poor creationist/ID-fighters.

ID is a political movement, with political goals.  People do not support those political goals.  So the way to beat the IDers is political, not scientific.  The science is, in effect, utterly irrelevant.

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 05 2007,07:14   

Quote (Scott Beach @ Mar. 04 2007,21:46)
I therefore believe that it is counterproductive to be impolite during discussions of ID because that will generate negative emotional responses and thus prevent many people from hearing carefully reasoned scientific explanations.

They, uh, don't CARE about any "carefully reasoned scientific explanations".  That simply isn't what this fight is all about.

From my website (http://www.geocities.com/lflank):

Don't focus on the science. Non-scientists trying to argue over science is a recipe for disaster. On the other hand, scientists arguing over science is a recipe for boredom. Nobody wants to listen to deadly-dull lectures on "pre-biotic polymer chemosynthesis" or "the homology between type III secretory apparatus and the bacterial flagellum" (yawn). This isn't a science symposium. Don't treat it as one. Treating this as a "science debate"; only reinforces the false impression given by IDers that there is a legitimate scientific debate, with two equally valid sides. There isn't. It allows them to set the agenda and to fight on their own chosen terms. Don't do it. This fight is a political fight. It's simply not about science.

Keep in mind that IDers are vulnerable on many fronts, so use them all. Most theologians reject the religious assumptions of the ID/creationists and their fundamentalist base. The IDers have no science to speak of. No one agrees with their political extremism. Many of the prominent IDers spout out things that are, quite frankly, nutty (such as Phillip Johnson's denial that HIV causes AIDS). The ID movement's funding comes mostly from fundamentalist extremists and, in the case of the Center for Science and Culture, largely from one single radical ayatollah-wanna-be. Internally, the ID movement's supporters are an unsteady marriage of convenience between a variety of different religious zealots, most of whom would ordinarily be ready at the drop of a hat to wage Holy War on each other. Their most vocal "supporters" undermine their own legal strategy by preaching their religious opinions at every opportunity. So attack them on every possible front. Don't let up for a second, come at them from every possible direction, and don't give them an instant's rest. Above all, take the fight to the IDers. It's not enough for us to be defensive and react to what the IDers do -- we need to start setting the agenda and go on the offensive, introducing things that we want and forcing the other side to defend themselves against it.

The only thing that will beat ID/creationism (and all its future derivatives) is an informed public that makes it clear to everyone that it does not want a fundamentalist Christian theocracy, won't support it, won't allow it, and will do whatever it takes to prevent it.

So get out there and help.

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Freelurker



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(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 05 2007,11:22   

Quote
I have put ID into the form of a scientific hypothesis and I will challenge IDists to defend their hypothesis.
They won't own up to your statement of their position. When pressed, they will retreat to their minimal position, which is "All we are doing is detecting design."

--------------
Invoking intelligent design in science is like invoking gremlins in engineering. [after Mark Isaak.]
All models are wrong, some models are useful. - George E. P. Box

  
Scott Beach



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Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 05 2007,13:29   

Freelurker:

You wrote, "They won't own up to your statement of their position."  If they will not acknowledge what is obviously a correct statement of the intelligent design hypothesis, and present data that verifies the hypothesis, then they have absolutely no business representing ID as a "scientific theory."

The Intelligent Design Network asserts that, "The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection" (http://intelligentdesignnetwork.org ).  This so-called theory has the opinion "best" embedded in it.  Stated in this manner, intelligent design cannot be a scientific theory because a scientific theory cannot contain the theoretician's personal opinion.  A theoretician can hold the opinion that his theory is the best possible explanation but he cannot put his opinion directly into the statement of his theory.  

The intelligent design hypothesis that I formulated does not contain my opinion or anyone else's opinion.  And that hypothesis has not been verified so it cannot be referred to as a theory.

At this time, there is no theory of intelligent design.  The intelligent design "theory" is a hoax, a propaganda ploy.  None of the proponents of intelligent design has ever stated intelligent design in the form of hypothesis or presented data that verifies such a hypothesis.  So if they make reference to "the theory of intelligent design" as thou that theory actually exists then they are doing so for the purpose of deception.

I stated intelligent design in the form of a scientific hypothesis for the purpose of demonstrating that intelligent design is not a theory but is at most an unverified hypothesis.  Someone needed to do that and I did it.  From that point forward, anyone who represents intelligent design to be a "theory" is lying.  And if they lie to you, nail them and refer them to my web page about the intelligent design hypothesis.  Please use that web page as a tool to stop the proponents of ID from lying about the scientific status of ID.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



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Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 05 2007,17:56   

Quote (Scott Beach @ Mar. 05 2007,13:29)
I stated intelligent design in the form of a scientific hypothesis for the purpose of demonstrating that intelligent design is not a theory but is at most an unverified hypothesis.  Someone needed to do that and I did it.  From that point forward, anyone who represents intelligent design to be a "theory" is lying.  And if they lie to you, nail them and refer them to my web page about the intelligent design hypothesis.  Please use that web page as a tool to stop the proponents of ID from lying about the scientific status of ID.

Yeah, that'll stop 'em right in their tracks, no doubt.

(sigh)

Like I said before, scientists, for the most part, make abysmally poor creationist-fighters.

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Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Freelurker



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Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 05 2007,19:45   

Scott,

Please take some friendly advice; don’t invest too much of your ego in the idea that you have formulated a new logical gotcha that is going to have significant impact on the ID movement.

The situation is just not that simple, as Lenny has described in his previous comments.

--------------
Invoking intelligent design in science is like invoking gremlins in engineering. [after Mark Isaak.]
All models are wrong, some models are useful. - George E. P. Box

  
Dr Sven



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Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2007,07:27   

IMO both evolution by natural selection and evolution by intelligent design are best described as models of the origin of the variety seen in life.

There is one very clear diference between these two models. The model of evolution by natural selection has been described in detail and the mechanisms contained in it can be seen to explain many aspects of how the current biosphere evolved.

Evolution by intelligent design on the other hand is extremely vague on details. It concentrates solely on pointing out aspects of evolution that may still be difficult to accept as having been reached by natural selection. Mostly its proponents use arguments of personal incredulity which in itself are complete null arguments.

Unless the ID movement can present mechanisms by which ID is supposed to work that can be falsified by experiment it cannot be credited even with the title scientific hypothesis. Of course it will not be possible for the ID movement to present any credible mechanisms (ie. one's that work by natural laws). This would push the question only to the evolution of the intelligent designer.

Any designer working outside the natural laws could then also be called 'god'. Therefore the debate would become a theological debate about a creator god, which is how it should be.

The real problem is the way the ID movement uses smoke screens, deception and outright lies to push this theological debate into the scientific arena.

My hope is that the scientific community will concentrate on finding ways to explain the aspects of evolution that the ID movement exploits. At least then there would come something out of this whole sorry saga.

  
Zucadragon



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Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: May 28 2007,00:43   

I would like to add that intelligent design is not a hypothesis  or a theory, for it to be a hypothesis it requires a testable scientific idea but intelligent design is not testable, on the contrary..

Saying "an intelligent designer did it" goes against all scientific testing methods ever invented (or being invented still), it pulls a conclusion where all information is not yet figured out.

A good point for instance is the Bombardier beetle, it was called irreducibly complex because it couldn't have evolved.. This means an intelligent designer did it... BUT, if they had done actual research they would have realised (As real scientiests did when "they" did the research) that the organism wasnt irreducibly complex at all... ID is now at the flagellum point and slowly but surely it is being figured out as well and then they'll step to the next, and the next, and the next point.

It is not a hypothesis or a theory.

  
Henry J



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(Permalink) Posted: May 28 2007,17:13   

Not to mention that if it were discovered that the flagellum (or one or some of them) were "designed" (a.k.a. deliberately engineered by some agency), an obvious question to ask then would be whether the designer/engineer was a friend, or an enemy, of humanity. From what I've read (here and on PT) about flagella and how they're used, the more likely conclusion is enemy. That strikes me as the opposite of what the ID pushers seem to be wanting people to think.

Henry

  
Not A Monkey



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Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,07:48   

Both Evolution and Intelligent Designs are tests of Faith.

There is no need for Intelligent Design since the word of God is in the Bible, and no one knows what happened better than God, especially since none of us were present for the first 6 days of creation.  

Why do we need a theory like Intelligent Design?  It's just a sugar-coated idea to pull the wool over the eyes of satanic secularists, and yes, a weapon of choice in a political agenda.

True believers, that is, those that will rise when the end comes, rather than rot as ashes for eternity, need not Intelligent Design not Evolution.

They read the Bible.  The Bible does not mention Intelligent Design, therefore, Intelligent Design does not exist.  Only God exists, and his word.

Genesis 31:38
"I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks."

  
Zucadragon



Posts: 2
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(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,15:26   

please go somewhere else, I dont want the forum to shake from the laughter you are producing out of us..

IF it isn't in the bible and thus it isn't there..

Then why do you have a brain... Your brain specifically isnt in the bible, so it must not exist..

End of deal, we only deal with people who have a brain and by your own logic you dont have one.. Please come back when you accepted the reality of a brain.

  
Not A Monkey



Posts: 24
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,15:32   

True enough, since the word "brain" actually never appears in the Scriptures, I have to accept your evaluation as correct.

Proverbs 12:1
"Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid."

  
NoMissingLink



Posts: 13
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,15:41   

Quote (Zucadragon @ May 29 2007,15:26)
please go somewhere else, I dont want the forum to shake from the laughter you are producing out of us..

IF it isn't in the bible and thus it isn't there..

Then why do you have a brain... Your brain specifically isnt in the bible, so it must not exist..

End of deal, we only deal with people who have a brain and by your own logic you dont have one.. Please come back when you accepted the reality of a brain.

I think that people who are inside the bible have brains.. how else would the person mentioned below be described as "intelligent"

Samuel 25:3
   
3 His name was Nabal and his wife's name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband, a Calebite, was surly and mean in his dealings.

  
Not A Monkey



Posts: 24
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: May 29 2007,19:39   

Mmmm... I don't have a ready answer for this one.  Can there be intelligence without a brain, especially in a female?

I am going to ask my Pastor, and if he has an answer, I'll let you know quickly.  I wouldn't want to leave you hanging in a spiritural and theological limbo, it might make you vulnerable to the influence of the Evil One.  Pray as much as you can until I get back to you, to protect your soul.

God bless

Genesis 32:14
"two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams,
Genesis 32:15
thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys.

  
Rev. BigDumbChimp



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(Permalink) Posted: May 30 2007,08:55   

ID is a "sciency" Public Relations campaign and that is it. Period.

  
Scott Beach



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Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2007,21:31   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Mar. 05 2007,17:56)
Quote (Scott Beach @ Mar. 05 2007,13:29)
I stated intelligent design in the form of a scientific hypothesis for the purpose of demonstrating that intelligent design is not a theory but is at most an unverified hypothesis.  Someone needed to do that and I did it.  From that point forward, anyone who represents intelligent design to be a "theory" is lying.  And if they lie to you, nail them and refer them to my web page about the intelligent design hypothesis.  Please use that web page as a tool to stop the proponents of ID from lying about the scientific status of ID.

Yeah, that'll stop 'em right in their tracks, no doubt.

(sigh)

Like I said before, scientists, for the most part, make abysmally poor creationist-fighters.

Lenny:

The IDists refuse to define ID so I thought why not define ID in a way that includes natural selection!  How does this definition sound to you...

Intelligent design is the assertion that many billions of years ago an intelligent designer designed and created the universe, including the Earth and a form of life that has evolved, by natural selection, into the many different forms of life that exist today.

See the whole statement at http://intelligent-design-hypothesis.com

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 05 2007,21:44   

ID is dead. And your "definition" or whatever didn't have a damn thing to do with killing it.   (shrug)

No point arguing with them anymore.  They're only fit now to be laughed at.

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www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
guthrie



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 09 2007,18:39   

Quote (Scott Beach @ June 05 2007,21:31)
 How does this definition sound to you...

[b]Intelligent design is the assertion that many billions of years ago an intelligent designer designed and created the universe, including the Earth and a form of life that has evolved, by natural selection, into the many different forms of life that exist today.

Better.  But its even better if you change it to:

Intelligent design is the assertion that last thursday or many billions of years ago an intelligent designer of some kind designed and created the universe, including the Earth and everything on it, by some means or another which we have no evidence for.

  
Darth Robo



Posts: 148
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 13 2007,07:28   

Scott, you're not the same dude who turned up at the Dawkins forum claiming the sun has a solid surface, are you?  (If not, then um, sorry!;)   ;)


I should check these other forums more often.  The fun I miss, eh?   :)

--------------
"Commentary: How would you like to be the wholly-owned servant to an organic meatbag? It's demeaning! If, uh, you weren't one yourself, I mean..."

  
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