Horizon – Intelligent design

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Goku, Jan 26, 2006.

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  1. To its supporters, intelligent design heralds a revolution in science and the movement is fast gaining political clout. Not only does it have the support of the President of the United States, it is on the verge of being introduced to science classes across the nation. However, its many critics, including Professor Richard Dawkins and Sir David Attenborough, fear that it cloaks a religious motive – to replace science with god.

    Throughout the 20th century Christian groups resisted the theory of evolution. Many US states did not teach it until 1968 when the Supreme Court ruled that banning the teaching of evolution contravened the first amendment of the constitution of America, the separation of church and state. It was however still legal to teach religion as part of science class until the Edwards vs. Aguillard case in 1987, where mentioning a theory called 'creation science' in biology lessons was also deemed unconstitutional. This left evolution as the only theory of biological origin that science teachers were allowed to teach.

    Frankly I fear that the God Botherers on the other side of the pond are attempting to manipulate the planet into the belief that the only true God is the US approved one.

    This is supposed to be the 21st Century. Why is it that medaeval claptrap is dictating the progress of science?
  2. "do as your told! or after your dead we will get you!!"
  3. As a Scienctific arguement it's an interesting one however it has been disproved at every turn and is quite obviously just a tool of the very frightning right wing fundamentalist christians that have currently seized the seat of power in America
  4. The church of the flying spaghetti monster: invented by a Yank and fellow pastafarians who claim as it has as much validity as ID it should be afforded equal teaching time! He's petitioning US education authorities to get equal billing


    Who says septics don't do irony?

    Check out the e-mails from christians who object. I'd post an example here but they're not very 'christian'

  5. As they pointed out, saying that "you can't prove that so it proves us right" isn't very sientific.
  6. Soldier_Why

    Soldier_Why LE Moderator

    You could very well be right. However, if I remember correctly there was a poll in the US not very long ago where over half of those questioned believed that the world was created 'as is' by God.

    The beauty (if I can call it that) of Intelligent Design is that it has removed the blatant religiousness of creationism and attempted to replace it with pseudo-science. The upshot of this is that ID now appeals to many more average individuals than even creationism did in its hey-day.

    A recent court case in Dover, PA dealt with just this subject - an over-zealous school board whilst not 'overly' attempting to introduce Intelligent Design into science class, mandated that a statement critical of evolution be read at the beginning of each class. To cut a long story short, the science teachers refused to read it so the principle of the school (or someone similar, I can't really recall) had to read the thing. This statement also included a reference to the book 'Of Pandas and People', an apparent 'alternative' to the 'evolutionary heavy' text books already in use.

    The Judge in the case eventually ruled that ID was an inherently religious subject (creationism in a cheap suit many have called it) and that the book 'Pandas' was a creationism text dressed up to look like a science book.

    Anyway, if anyone is particulary interested in the views of those across the pond, Mil.com currently has a thread on the subject running at 349 pages at the last count.

    Please note, if you read this thread you will encounter some scary religious types, militant atheists, the odd sycophant and more than a few fcukwits!

    (Yes, I have posted more than a few times on that thread, you may decide for yourself which of the above descriptions apply to me!)
  7. Christian fundamentalism is alive and well in the UK too, folks.

    Fortunately the US constitution more or less guarantees that these nutters won't prevail in the long run - I hope!
  8. Intelligent Design (ID) is, basically, a corruption of scientific process (SP). SP demands that any hypothesis made (i.e.; that God exists) can be proven by empirical - experimental - results and observed evidence.

    At the present time, empirical evidence cannot prove beyond doubt that Darwinian evolution is correct. However, no alternative hypotheses can meet the empirical standards of it as a theory. There are, however, a number of unanswered issues; a classic being, exactly how did any form of life arise from the primordial soup of organic molecules believed to be present on the Earth when my mum was young?

    SP would suggest that there has not been a sufficiently convincing hypothesis about this presented to satisfy peer review... yet. ID, on the other hand, suggests (states?) that this example - among others - is far too complex to have happened 'naturally', and that there must have been be a hidden Power at work. The insinuation, as ID is expounded mainly by Christian fundamentalists, is that that Power was the classical God of our upbringing (apologies to anyone who wasn't brought up with Him, but you get the idea).

    ID presents itself as a scientific alternative to Darwinism, but fails to play by the same rules as Darwinism has had to in order to become the widely-accepted theory regarding the development of life on Earth, as it says that at a given level of complexity, SP can no longer answer the questions raised by observed fact.

    There are, as I pointed out to a couple of bible group recruiters on the doorstep over Christmas, some problems with the whole Christian v. Science debate as presented:

    1) Christianity, like any religion, requires belief and faith. Science is not an alternative belief or faith; it is the endeavour to rationally explain what we observe in day-to-day life.

    2) Am I honestly being asked to good things because I'm told to, rather than because they're good things to do/be?

    3) The two hundred million cavalry (Revelations 9:16-ish) are going to be in some serious sh1t when the MIRVs detonate, fire smoke and sulphur notwithstanding. I mean, really... with some quick, rough calculations, I reckon 1 horse is takes up about 1 sq. metre, so even allowing for spacing, they'd take up about 900 sq. km, and with any self-respecting sunshine bucket, it'd only need a couple or so to turn them into so much glue.*

    And, no, I don't think much of ID. BTW, the Dover school board that brought it in got voted out at the next elections, so common sense still punches in the US.


    * I am prepared to be utterly wrong on these figures. I will blame Messrs San and Miguel.
  9. It never ceses to surprise, and frustrate me that ID is taken seriously at all. It's central crux, that of irreducible complexity is just Paley's ontology with cell organelles instead of a watch. It's tenants have been soundly rebuffed at every turn and in every guise.

    I have always firmly believed that this was the strength of the scientific process in that new evidence can replace a widely accepted theory, hence the quote that I have heard attributed to Sir Fred Hoyle and Peter Medwyar

    "My dear fellow, I wish to thank you. I have been wrong these 15 years"

    No theory should be inviolate, your statement is broadly correct but it feels misleading. Given the choice between ID and SP I know where I would bet my life savings.
  10. ID is arrse as science: it argues from incredulity: "I can't believe that something so fantastic/complex/clever could have developed without a guiding intelligence, therefore it can't be true."

    This is no different from the straight religious argument: "If it contradicts the scriptures it is wrong, despite evidence to the contrary, because I believe so."

    What is scary to me is the absolute belief in their own rightness, without question, and the refusal to entertain any possible alternative view.

    What's worse is that there are folk in the White House who think that Armageddon is a good thing.
  11. :lol: :lol: I don't care if you're wrong: it's a great demonstration of how different the scripture is to reality - and more ammo with which to torment my god-botherer son! 8)