Friday, October 30, 2015

Pope Francis on evolution

Here. 

50 comments:

B. Prokop said...

"The Catholic Church has long had a reputation for being anti-science – most famously when Galileo..."

God, but I am heartily sick of atheists and God-haters forever blathering about "poor Galileo". If that's all they've got - just one extremely confused and far from clear-cut instance of so-called "Catholic opposition to science" - then they need to sit down and shut up NOW. This is ridiculous, and I am done here. Don't expect me to "dialog" with any responses to this comment. If you want to grasp even the edge of the complexities of this issue, then listen to THIS. It doesn't cost all that much, and it might possibly just open your eyes to something other than the ignorant, know-nothing anti-Catholic propaganda you've been fed all your life. (As a bonus, Dr. Guy Consolmagno, S.J., is about as entertaining a speaker as one could ask for.)

Peter Johnson said...

Amen.

Hugo Pelland said...

The article states that Galileo was the most 'famous' example, not the only one... what about much more recent things, such as human evolution? It seems that Pope Francis departs from his predecessors, so weren't they anti-science? (Only the recent ones who had access to the same information of course. We cannot blame anyone from centuries past to have been wrong on this issue.)

Cal Metzger said...

The Catholic Church bases a description of reality that is based on nothing more than bunch of preposterous stories, culled over, handed down, and changed over time.

What could be more anti-science?

Hugo Pelland said...

Cal, it's not because some of their beliefs are anti-scientific that their beliefs on scientific matters are wrong, or at least not all wrong.

Crude said...

An idiotic article, since 'Intelligent Design' requires neither the denial of the Big Bang nor evolution.

As for anti-science claims, atheists and secularists have always been supreme in that category.

Just remember: The Republic needs neither scientists nor chemists; the course of (social) justice cannot be delayed.

Gyan said...

Intelligent design is however a denial of biology since it reduces living things to artifacts, a more serious matter in my opinion.

Dave Duffy said...

"Don't expect me to 'dialog' with any responses to this comment"

Bob,

I read, or heard, about a political campaign where the candidate (can't remember who) had an interesting story to tell about his life as an American. He told his story so many times he was sick of it. The story made him physically ill to repeat. He said to his staff he would never repeat the story again. His campaign manager told him that in reality, hardly anyone in America had actually heard the story so he had to continue repeating the story even if he was nauseous of the story and it sounded wooden.

That's the way it is in defending the Catholic Church. Hardly anyone knows Her story. You are good at this format in defending the church. Keep it up and don't check out.

When I finally got around to reading about the "Galileo Controversy" I was amazed at how much of my understanding was wrong about the event. I wish I knew more when the topic came up when I was a young man.

I am speaking as someone outside of Catholicism, but a great admirer of the Church.

Crude said...

Intelligent design is however a denial of biology since it reduces living things to artifacts, a more serious matter in my opinion.

The standard telling of evolutionary theory also reduces living things to artifacts - hence 'The Blind Watchmaker'. So apparently most people are denying biology.

Nevertheless, it's worth highlighting again: anyone who says that ID involves a denial of the Big Bang or Evolution are either lying or misinformed.

Hugo Pelland said...

Crude, I am willing to concede I am misinformed about Intelligent Design. But my understanding of biology is fairly good, I think, and I never saw any sign of something I would refer to as 'Intelligent Design'.

The only fragments that I've heard of were things like 'eye complex = intelligent design', which is nonsensical; complexity is expected of a natural process like evolution. So what does ID say about living organisms for you? What would you suggest as a starting point? What does it add to our current understanding of biology and chemistry?

...i.e. how is ID pro-science?

Crude said...

Hugo,

Crude, I am willing to concede I am misinformed about Intelligent Design. But my understanding of biology is fairly good, I think, and I never saw any sign of something I would refer to as 'Intelligent Design'.

You concede that you're misinformed about what Intelligent Design even is. In the very next sentence, you tell me you've never seen anything that seemed like 'Intelligent Design'.

Imagine if someone told you that they were willing to concede they're misinformed about evolution, but 'their understanding of biology is fairly good, and they've never seen anything that was evolved'.

How seriously would you take them? Especially if they followed it up with talk about how what they -have- heard about evolution involves nonsensical things like 'A monkey gives birth to a human'.

Hugo Pelland said...

Crude, the point is that we can understand biology, evolution and the underlying chemistry principles while never ever running into something that we would call 'intelligent design'. If you think otherwise because you understand both biology and ID, please do explain...

Hence my previous questions:

So what does ID say about living organisms for you? What would you suggest as a starting point? What does it add to our current understanding of biology and chemistry?

...i.e. how is ID pro-science?

But of course, I heard just enough already to except what you just did; no answer, just dodge. And it will remain like that because, if ID had anything to offer, it would be part of modern biology.

On the other hand, your parallel with someone claiming they understand biology but not evolution is inadequate since not understanding evolution means not understanding biology and chemistry, or even simple reproduction, with the monkey example you gave. That example directly contradicts evolution, what we know about biology. The 'complex eye' example I gave on the other hand is not nonsensical according to ID; a designer coupd create something complex like the eye, as is. But I don't know much since it's not science, and I care a lot more about science than religious explanations.

Not knowing much about ID only means that: not knowing much about ID on its own, not knowing much about that non-scientific topic. It has no impact on understanding biology because nothing in biology requires design inference, to understand something else. The natural processes at play do not point to an intelligent designer. They are very well understood under purely natural conditions without external influence of an agent.

TL;DR, biology requires evolution to make sense. But not knowing much about ID has no impact on understanding biology. So what does ID bring to the table?

Crude said...

Hugo,

Crude, the point is that we can understand biology, evolution and the underlying chemistry principles while never ever running into something that we would call 'intelligent design'.

Intelligent design, that thing you're admittedly misinformed about, and haven't learned about it since you realized as much?

See, here's the situation we're in, Hugo. You admit you don't know all that much about ID. Hell, you apparently didn't even realize it's compatible with evolution. So on the one hand, you ask me to explain more about ID... but then, before you so much as finish the comment, you're right back to saying 'I don't see ID anywhere in biology!'

You don't see that thing you're admittedly ignorant about. Imagine that.

You reply 'But it's different! Evolution is essential to biology! This thing I'm misinformed about isn't!' But... the person who is misinformed about evolution says the same thing. You're mirror images of each other.

So, let me ask you a question.

Person X says, 'I'm admittedly misinformed about a topic. But I'm going to talk about it and its scientific ramifications, because even though I don't know about it, I don't like it.'

Pro-science or anti-science attitude?

Hugo Pelland said...

"Intelligent design, that thing you're admittedly misinformed about, and haven't learned about it since you realized as much?"
Right, I don't know much because I never hear about it when I read/watch/learn about SCIENCE. It is simply not present in the academic field or scientific literature. I gave you a chance to explain; you blew it, so far.

"See, here's the situation we're in, Hugo. You admit you don't know all that much about ID. Hell, you apparently didn't even realize it's compatible with evolution. So on the one hand, you ask me to explain more about ID... but then, before you so much as finish the comment, you're right back to saying 'I don't see ID anywhere in biology!'"
I am pretty sure it is 'NOT' compatible with evolution, yes. But no, I did not see 'I don't see ID anywhere in biology!'; you are misquoting this time. I don't see anything that I would call 'design' in biology. And since that thing you are trying to support is called 'Intelligent Design', I am completely justified in saying, it's a freaking bad start... because if you have the word 'design' in the name and there is no design anywhere in the thing you want to study.

"You reply 'But it's different! Evolution is essential to biology! This thing I'm misinformed about isn't!' But... the person who is misinformed about evolution says the same thing. You're mirror images of each other. So, let me ask you a question. Person X says, 'I'm admittedly misinformed about a topic. But I'm going to talk about it and its scientific ramifications, because even though I don't know about it, I don't like it.' Pro-science or anti-science attitude?"

Person X is anti-science of course; just like someone pretending that ID has anything serious to do with biology is. You're right, I am not particularly aware of what ID says but the example I gave you is a real one, something that ID proponents actually tried to use in court to defend their idea. You, on the other hand, gave an example of 'A monkey gives birth to a human' which is not something that biologists would ever say. That's the difference. If you don't understand this, you are the one who knows little about biology and I would not be surprised, given that you seem to imply here that ID has something useful to offer which, if it were true, biologists would be talking about. But they don't. That is the point Crude: why would anyone even start to care about ID when biologists themselves don't care for it?

Again, that's why I asked some basic questions above: why should I, or anyone, even care about ID when its very label goes against what we already know about biology? Basically, ID is the one saying that 'A monkey gives birth to a human' and I am asking why on Earth should we even give 1 minute of attention to this crap? I was willing to concede I don't know much about it and would be interested to give it a shot, since you said it somehow does 'not' contradict evolution. But apparently that was too hard of a request for you to answer! If anyone were to ask me to explain my beliefs in 'X' after I insisted that they are compatible with 'Y' and 'Z' then I would do so.

You, Crude, instead decided that because I told you I don't know much about 'A', except that it sounds like it contradicts 'B' and 'C', you refused to even try to start explaining your beliefs in 'A'. Well guess what, this can only mean 1 thing: you either lie about 'A' and don't really think it's worth defending, i.e. you don't believe in 'A' and are just trolling, or you cannot really defend it and dance around the point, using bad reasoning to support your view. Extremely smart people have been studying 'B' and 'C' and 'A' never came up, so why do you think 'A' is relevant?

Crude said...

Hugo,

Right, I don't know much because I never hear about it when I read/watch/learn about SCIENCE. It is simply not present in the academic field or scientific literature. I gave you a chance to explain; you blew it,

I'm pointing out your approach here, which is 'I don't know about ID, I'm misinformed about it. But, I'm going to make declarations about it already. Now, explain this thing which I already have cast judgment about.'

You're at once admitting you're misinformed about ID, then spinning around and saying that you don't need to be informed to talk about it anyway.

And really, I don't need a chance to explain ID - I can just do so, and I've done it on here many, many times.

Person X is anti-science of course; just like

No, no 'just like'. Okay: so person X is anti-science.

Tell me, Hugo. Don't you think 'Person X' sure is a whole lot like you in this conversation?

That's no insult. I'm calling attention to your own behavior and attitude.

You're right, I am not particularly aware of what ID says but the example I gave you is a real one, something that ID proponents actually tried to use in court to

No. The example you gave me was a misinformed caricature of the ID argument: "X is complex, therefore X is designed."

And before you accuse me of misreading you, let's quote you: "The only fragments that I've heard of were things like 'eye complex = intelligent design', which is nonsensical;"

You've heard fragments of caricatures. You admit that you're misinformed. But, by gosh, that doesn't give you even a moment's pause in making declarations about the thing you're misinformed about.

By your own standard, you're anti-science. But why? Why not just say 'I was wrong. I shouldn't talk this way about the thing I admit I'm misinformed about, and have only encountered fragments of discourse about (and, I'd add, probably from hostile sources)?'

This is a problem you can correct in a moment. Why not do exactly that?

Hugo Pelland said...

No Crude, I am not wrong because you misunderstood. You said it went like this:
"'I don't know about ID, I'm misinformed about it. But, I'm going to make declarations about it already. Now, explain this thing which I already have cast judgment about.'"
I am making declarations about BIOLOGY and explained how, in BIOLOGY, there is no notion of 'design' and it is thus completely normal to be skeptical of some claims about an intelligent designer, even if we know little about it.

Don't you think 'Person X' sure is a whole lot like you in this conversation?
No, because according to you that 'Person X' would say
"'I'm admittedly misinformed about a topic. But I'm going to talk about it and its scientific ramifications, because even though I don't know about it, I don't like it.'"
This is NOT what I am doing, because I am talking about, again, what BIOLOGY has to say about 'design'. Moreover, and that's pure speculation but, I might actually know more about ID than a lot of actual biologists, because they simple don't care about it. Not everyone is interested in the intersection between science and religion like I am...

By your own standard, you're anti-science. But why? Why not just say 'I was wrong. I shouldn't talk this way about the thing I admit I'm misinformed about, and have only encountered fragments of discourse about (and, I'd add, probably from hostile sources)?' This is a problem you can correct in a moment. Why not do exactly that?
Sure, I can do 'part' of that:
- I did not comment on anything scientific that ID presents, since I am not even aware of anything scientific about it. There is really nothing to study; but you insist there is. So please do explain what's scientific about it and correct your own views, based on a misunderstanding, as I am being anti-scientific about ID. I am asking what it has to offer that does not contradict science.
- In turn, sure, I can agree that I shouldn't talk this way about the thing I admit I'm misinformed about. But again, I don't know what's scientific about it.
- No, I did not hear things only from hostile sources. Years ago, I read sources from proponents of ID themselves, but never really went back to it because it was not scientific. This is the only reason why I insist that "I don't know much" because it's been a long time and I never heard anything about it ever again, because you need to search for it explicitly, or be part of a religious group that's sympathetic to the ID cause. It's a fringe movement with not scientific backing.

So again, to be crystal clear since you don't seem to get it:
- ID means 'Intelligent Design', so even without knowing anything about it, it is safe to assume it relates to the notion that an intelligent designer influenced the development of life.
- However, Biology shows no sign of design; the natural processes of evolution work without external influence from an intelligent agent.
- Hence, there seems to be a direct contradiction between ID, starting with the name!

Thus my questions:
So what does ID say about living organisms for you? What would you suggest as a starting point? What does it add to our current understanding of biology and chemistry? How is ID pro-science? I would add: how does it not directly contradict biology?

Crude said...

Hugo,

I am making declarations about BIOLOGY and explained how, in BIOLOGY, there is no notion of 'design' and it is thus completely normal to be skeptical of some claims about an intelligent designer,

Even on this much you're wrong. No notion of design in biology? That would be news to Darwin: see 'artificial selection'. See, for a more modern example, Monsanto and others.

This is NOT what I am doing, because I am talking about, again, what BIOLOGY has to say about 'design'.

'Biology' is a field; it doesn't talk. You mean biologists, who have a variety of views on the matter. At this point, it's worth noting that not all biology is evolution.

And, as I've noted, you are utterly wrong even about design in this limited context. To hear you talk, animal husbandry doesn't exist - or maybe humans aren't intelligent designers.

No, I did not hear things only from hostile sources. Years ago, I read sources from proponents of ID themselves, but never really went back to it because it was not scientific. This is the only reason why I insist that "I don't know much" because it's been a long time and

Actually, you didn't just say you don't know much. You admitted you were misinformed. Which, insofar as you seemed to agree that ID requires one to reject evolution and the Big Bang (!), seems apt.

Your sole contribution here is 'ID says eye = complex therefore design'. But that's wrong.

- However, Biology shows no sign of design; the natural processes of evolution work without external influence from an intelligent agent.

That's fascinating. See, I was under the impression that the above is an utterly non-scientific question, precisely because there's no possible way to scientifically test the claim. You, however, know better.

Please, provide me with the research articles and peer-reviewed experiments where biologists tested for the presence or lack of design or guidance in evolution. This must be a recent development, since as recently as the 1990s, Eugenie Scott was lecturing the NABT about this sort of thing as going outside the bounds of science.

By the way, here's the great thing: I don't think ID is science. I've said as much on this site repeatedly over the years. The difference is, I've actually bothered to read Behe and others' writings on this. You apparently, by your own admission, read something years ago and went "Icky! Design-talk!" and ran away, only remembering ID = bad. And also, that there's no such thing as intelligent designers influencing biology (Monsanto, GMOs? What superstition.)

Why, Hugo, are you anti-science? Why do you approach topics this way?

Hugo Pelland said...

"By the way, here's the great thing: I don't think ID is science. I've said as much on this site repeatedly over the years. The difference is, I've actually bothered to read Behe and others' writings on this. You apparently, by your own admission, read something years ago and went "Icky! Design-talk!" and ran away, only remembering ID = bad. And also, that there's no such thing as intelligent designers influencing biology (Monsanto, GMOs? What superstition.)"

- Behe!? He is the one who used the complexity of the eye as an example of intelligent design, along with other useless examples such as the flagellum. Don't you know they lost in court using these arguments to try to put ID in kids' classroom? So things have not changed then... Why should I go back to this? And yes, I did go "Icky! Design-talk!" but only after many articles read, documentaries watch and so on. So you can laugh if you want but your usage of ridicule means nothing. It's a childish technique Crude; good job on exposing the level of discourse you can have.
- Intelligent designers influencing GMOs is something completely different. Again, it tells a lot about you Crude right there. You prefer to be dishonest...
- Yes, there is APPEARANCE of design in Biology; this is obvious. The eye does look like a well-designed machine meant to see stuff. Except that it's part of a living organism, it evolved and did not require input from an intelligent agent. It happened naturally.
- If you don't think ID is science, great, there is nothing else to discuss with you.

Crude said...

Hugo,

Behe!? He is the one who used the complexity of the eye as an example of intelligent design, along with other useless examples such as the flagellum.

Thank you, Hugo. And Behe nowhere - absolutely nowhere - says 'It's complex, therefore it's designed.' As for whether his claims are useless or not, let's be honest; do you really think you're coming across as someone who would know? You're misinformed, and you've flat out said what you did read, you read years ago, and you stopped reading the moment you disagreed.

Also...

Don't you know they lost in court using these arguments to try to put ID in kids' classroom?

So, court judges determine what is and isn't science? Fascinating. Sounds like yet more 'anti-science' to me.

Intelligent designers influencing GMOs is something completely different.

No, it's not completely different. It is, according to ID proponents themselves, pretty well the same sort of intelligent design they're looking for.

But by all means, feel free to explain - as someone utterly misinformed about ID - how belief that an intelligent designer(s) interacted with biology is A) Totally acceptable and scientific and not at all a challenge to evolution if Monsanto does it, but B) Utterly unacceptable, anti-scientific and incompatible with evolution when the designer is not identified.

Yes, there is APPEARANCE of design in Biology; this is obvious. The eye does look like a well-designed machine meant to see stuff.

Again, fascinating. Let me repeat my challenge:

"Please, provide me with the research articles and peer-reviewed experiments where biologists tested for the presence or lack of design or guidance in evolution. This must be a recent development, since as recently as the 1990s, Eugenie Scott was lecturing the NABT about this sort of thing as going outside the bounds of science."

Here's my suspicion, Hugo: You don't have these articles or experiments. They don't exist, and your claim is unscientific, yet which you want to pass off as science.

That is as anti-science as can be. So why do you embrace anti-scientific thinking?

If you don't think ID is science, great, there is nothing else to discuss with you.

Sure there is: your approach to ID, and your classification of it - indeed, your arguments against it - is anti-scientific. Meanwhile, your knowledge and understanding of biology and science is abysmal.

This is really how you react to ideas you dislike? You avoid reading about them, but attack them anyway, and get angry when you're forced to admit you're out of your depth? This is that 'pro-science' attitude people talk about?

grodrigues said...

@Hugo Pelland:

"You prefer to be dishonest..."

The only dishonest idiot here is you. Crude pointed out the obvious: you admitted you have no idea what you are talking about and yet pontificate confidently about it. The first sentence in your latest post is "He is the one who used the complexity of the eye as an example of intelligent design, along with other useless examples such as the flagellum. Don't you know they lost in court using these arguments to try to put ID in kids' classroom?" which shows that you *cannot* even keep apart Behe's arguments in favor of ID from the specific issue discussed in the court, which asks for different considerations and type of arguments (and quite apart whether the decision was a fair one or not). Then you ask "Why should I go back to this?" Go back to what? You admitted that you know nothing about ID, your comments show abundantly that you know nothing (really, even me, that knows or cares preciously little about ID knows that "The only fragments that I've heard of were things like 'eye complex = intelligent design', which is nonsensical;" is an idiotic straw-man) so go *back* to what? God forbid that you should actually know what you criticize. Then you say "And yes, I did go "Icky! Design-talk!" but only after many articles read, documentaries watch and so on." Yeah right. Your degree of understanding shines through your comments.

Hugo Pelland said...

@grodrigues
So you also have nothing to say in support of ID, right?
Regarding not knowing anything about it; I was modest, and expressed how I am willing to conceded I don't know much, if someone wants to express new ideas. Looks like I might know more than needed to reply to the non-sense being spit out here after all. There is nothing serious being discussed here; just random attacks on what I may or may not know on ID.

grodrigues said...

@Hugo Pelland:

"So you also have nothing to say in support of ID, right?"

No, not much. In part because as I said, and unlike you, I hesitate to pontificate on what I know little about (and again, to lay the cards on the table, what I do know inspires only a yawn). At any rate, why is that surprising? Is your reading comprehension that miserable that you did not understand my point? Maybe you want me to explain it to you as if you were a 5-year old?

Hugo Pelland said...

@grodrigues
Oh I know my reading comprehension is just fine, thank you, and I know which part of my words you got wrong; but I wanted to confirm that you do have nothing to say about ID, and that there is thus nothing further to discuss on that topic. Again, I don't care about random insults on what I may or may not know about ID, and I will thus not bother to correct your wrong interpretation of what I wrote.

B. Prokop said...

I've hesitated to break into this conversation before now, because my position on ID ought to be well known to long-time followers of Dangerous Idea. Namely, I fail to see the point in insisting on some detail in creation as evidence for design, when I see the entirety of the natural world as designed. Why quibble about such minutiae as an eye or a bacterial flagellum, when the whole dang thing is what you ought to be looking at?

Many moons ago, crude made a connection between ID and SETI, in that both disciplines look for things "out there" which do not appear to be products of blind chance, but rather of deliberate "artificial" construction (the word artificial coming from the Latin artificium, meaning craftsmanship). I agree with his point in so far as if SETI is considered to be "science", then ID ought to be as well. The problem (as far as I personally am concerned) is that I am not entirely convinced that SETI is science, because its proponents by and large assume that ET is "out there", and all they have to do is find him.

Now don't get me wrong! That does not mean I am critical of SETI. It's just that it does not seem to strictly adhere to the "lanes in the road" that most science at least pays lip service to, which is that one ought to gather the data first, and only then make the hypothesis. SETI seems to have put the cart before the horse.

Crude said...

Hey Grod, nice to see you as always.

With Hugo reduced to panicked self-defense, bs and inconsistencies in flight, I'll turn to Bob.

I agree with his point in so far as if SETI is considered to be "science", then ID ought to be as well. The problem (as far as I personally am concerned) is that I am not entirely convinced that SETI is science, because its proponents by and large assume that ET is "out there", and all they have to do is find him.

I'm more than happy to consider SETI 'not science'. And I've long said that I don't find 'X isn't science' to matter all that much, there's plenty of non-scientific reasoning which is productive, positive, and which we rely on day to day anyway. Science, in fact, is distinctly limited.

The point about SETI wasn't original to me, but it's meant to deal with one criticism of ID which I think doesn't work, or which people are hypocritical about. See, that's the thing - the fact that I think ID isn't science doesn't make me think that every negative claim about ID is positive or correct. That would be irrational, and I suppose, anti-science.

David Brightly said...

Suggestion: let's change the label 'ID' to 'SAEP'---the Search for Anomalies in the Evolutionary Paradigm. It would then include Lynn Margulis's work on endosymbiosis. Would that make a difference to how it's perceived?

Mr. Green said...

"Grod"? Isn't he that super-advanced gorilla who mercilessly attacks his opponents with his highly developed intelligence?

...OK, right, I get it now.

Gyan said...

B Prokop,
"I see the entirety of the natural world as designed"
The word "designed" needs to be unpacked The Thomists say that God has created a world in which things act consistently--that is the things have natures. And thus, God acts through these natures. The special sciences investigate the natures (the secondary causes) and do not need to invoke God (the primary cause).

God may act directly--and His direct acts are called miracles since they supervene on nature. But then miracles are not subject matters of special sciences.

What ID is trying to do is study the primary causation-direct acts of God-as a special science. It violates the Thomist understanding of hierarchy of sciences and thus from that perspective ID is very dubiously a special science.

Gyan said...

Thus coyness about the "designer" apart, ID is essentially the claim that specific features of the living organisms are miraculous, strictly speaking.
And as miracles are outside the province of science, the ID amounts to a denial that the subject matter of biology exists in itself.

Crude said...

Thus coyness about the "designer" apart, ID is essentially the claim that specific features of the living organisms are miraculous, strictly speaking.

No, it's not. Which is why ID proponents never refer to the need of a miracle, and why 'coyness' is deployed in this curious manner of 'They don't say what I need them to say, so I'll say it for them, then criticize them on the basis of what I said'.

Seriously, I can dispense with this in a heartbeat: Give your evidence to back up your claim. And if your evidence is no better than 'Well, these ID proponents are Christians', then I've got some bad news about those Thomists you claim to endorse.

Gyan said...

Crude,
See my reply to B Prokop above.

Crude said...

Gyan,

Nothing you said answers what I've pointed out.

Give your evidence to backup your claim that ID = miracles. They deny it expressly. There exist arguments that show that ID alone could not possibly pick out God or miracle alone.

Your animosity towards ID is not evidence.

Gyan said...

ID is a claim that certain features of the living things could not have evolved and are evidence of a designer. Not either this designer is an alien or is God Himself.
The alien designer is hardly a serious claim and leads to regress. Who designed the designers?
Then the designer is God Himself. Now God either acts indirectly by creating consistently acting things--that is "nature" or He acts directly--that is "miracles".
So, if ID posits that certain features of living things were "designed", they must be pointing to something that did not occur by itself--i.e. did not occur naturally. In this way, the designing is supernatural and thus miraculous (provided the designer was God and nobody expects otherwise).

Mr. Green said...

Gyan: ID is a claim that certain features of the living things could not have evolved

Except it isn't. That's practically the very opposite of what ID says. Like Crude, I wonder where you're getting that from. If somebody told you that ID is about things not being able to evolve, then I'm sorry to say you have been misled.


Crude: this curious manner of 'They don't say what I need them to say, so I'll say it for them, then criticize them on the basis of what I said'.

Followed by an extra dose of criticism for "hiding" the thing they never said in the first place....


David Brightly: let's change the label 'ID' to 'SAEP'---the Search for Anomalies in the Evolutionary Paradigm.

That might make a difference to how it's perceived, but probably a misleading one, since ID is more about looking for regularities.

Hugo Pelland said...

Gyan's summary is accurate:

"1. What is the theory of intelligent design?
The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection."

5. Is intelligent design theory incompatible with evolution?
It depends on what one means by the word “evolution.” If one simply means “change over time,” or even that living things are related by common ancestry, then there is no inherent conflict between evolutionary theory and intelligent design theory. However, the dominant theory of evolution today is neo-Darwinism, which contends that evolution is driven by natural selection acting on random mutations, an unpredictable and purposeless process that “has no discernable direction or goal, including survival of a species.” (2000 NABT Statement on Teaching Evolution). It is this specific claim made by neo-Darwinism that intelligent design theory directly challenges.

http://www.discovery.org/id/faqs/#questionsAboutIntelligentDesign

And regarding #5, it's not because they slap a label of 'neo-Darwinism' on part of the Theory of Evolution that it makes it less accurate; what they disagree with is a direct result of research in biology which shows no purpose, no direction, no goal, within evolution.

The only thing that does make sense is nature, as a whole, being started by an intelligent mind and left to be as is. Basically, what Bob mentioned above is more consistent than what ID is trying to claim. "I fail to see the point in insisting on some detail in creation as evidence for design, when I see the entirety of the natural world as designed." I don't agree with that view but it makes more sense than ID, who attempts to find tiny pieces of evidence within nature that point to some form of agency, with no proposed mechanisms as to how it would have happened, or is still happening.

And everyone here seems to agree that ID is not science, but some still want to defend it for some reason...

Crude said...

Gyan,

ID is a claim that certain features of the living things could not have evolved and are evidence of a designer. Not either this designer is an alien or is God Himself.

Sorry - you're wrong from the start.

Neither Behe nor Dembski claims that these features 'could not have evolved'. They argue that, given our current understanding of evolutionary theory, some features are unlikely - even extremely unlikely - to have been the products of evolution as currently modeled. No 'Could not have', and in fact Behe explicitly rejects claims like this as a fool's game.

Likewise, 'evolved or designed' is a false dichotomy. Artificial selection is evolution; it's just guided evolution.

The alien designer is hardly a serious claim and leads to regress. Who designed the designers?

It's an entirely serious claim, and no less than Francis Crick used to support it. Nor does the fact that we'd have no explanation for the designers impact the reasoning - that's like saying that saying a Volkswagon was designed by a human is a non-answer because we're left asking who designed the human. But the question here is proximate, not ultimate; we want to know the origin of the Volkswagon, not 'of all things'.

At the same time, I again say - David Hume expressly gave a critique of the analogical argument from design. Are you claiming that Hume failed utterly, and that any indications of design in nature must point to God? Do you say the same thing about GMOs?

So, if ID posits that certain features of living things were "designed", they must be pointing to something that did not occur by itself--i.e. did not occur naturally.

ID posits that GMO salmon were designed. Are GMO salmon supernatural?

Hugo,

Gyan's summary is accurate:

Judging by that link, Gyan is completely wrong, as were you. That link does not cite God, nor does it reject evolution.

And regarding #5, it's not because they slap a label of 'neo-Darwinism' on part of the Theory of Evolution that it makes it less accurate; what they disagree with is a direct result of research in biology which shows no purpose, no direction, no goal, within evolution.

That's fascinating. Once again, I'd like you to show me the peer-reviewed scientific research where 'purpose, direction and goal' - by God, no less - was searched for in evolution, and scientifically shown to not exist.

Funny how whenever I ask this question, people change the subject or go silent.

Hugo Pelland said...

" Judging by that link, Gyan is completely wrong, as were you. That link does not cite God, nor does it reject evolution."
God, no, they explicitly reject the idea that it has to be a god. At the same time though, they are a Christian organization with clear intentions. Find me some actual secular ID groups and I will gladly concede that both exist. But that is quite unlikely since folks without a religious agenda see no interest in ID, being that it's not real science...

They do reject evolution though. As I said it's not because they slap a label of 'neo-Darwinism' on part of the Theory of Evolution that it makes it less accurate; what they disagree with is a direct result of research in biology which shows no purpose, no direction, no goal, within evolution.

" ID posits that GMO salmon were designed. Are GMO salmon supernatural?"
We understand the mechanisms behind GMOs; they don't propose none for ID other than the implicit... miracle.

" That's fascinating. Once again, I'd like you to show me the peer-reviewed scientific research where 'purpose, direction and goal' - by God, no less - was searched for in evolution, and scientifically shown to not exist."
Scientific research does not disprove these things, that's true, but it's because it does not even discuss them. Hence, they are not covered scientifically and thus out of the equation. Nature does not have any inherent purpose, direction nor goal, so when something is studied and found to be purely natural, we can conclude that this thing has no purpose, direction nor goal. It's really that simple. It could still be that a god started the whole thing we call 'nature' but what nature is does not imply any form of purpose, direction or goal. That would be the 'only' case of natural things acting with intent.

" Funny how whenever I ask this question, people change the subject or go silent."
Right, but what if it's because it a really dumb point? Nobody ever argues on the purpose, direction or goal of tectonic plates movement, cloud formation, chemical reactions, nuclear decay, oh but evolution... now that's something that may have some direction. Non-sense... it does not have any more nor less purpose/direction/goal than any other natural phenomenon.

Actually, wait, let me re-phrase part of what I just said. There are people who think that nature has intentions: ignorant religious folks who think that hurricanes hit evil people, earthquakes are because of homosexuality, or tsunamis hit countries of a certain religion ... of course I don't think anyone writing here is that crazy, but, well, I don't know actually...

grodrigues said...

"Scientific research does not disprove these things, that's true, but it's because it does not even discuss them. Hence, they are not covered scientifically and thus out of the equation. Nature does not have any inherent purpose, direction nor goal, so when something is studied and found to be purely natural, we can conclude that this thing has no purpose, direction nor goal. It's really that simple."

So the argument is:

(1) Science does not disprove the existence of purposes, goals, etc.

(2) Science does not even discuss whether purposes, goals, etc. exist.

(3) Therefore purposes, goals, etc. do not exist.

How can any sane man respond to such pretzel logic?

Crude said...

Hugo,

God, no, they explicitly reject the idea that it has to be a god. At the same time though, they are a Christian organization with clear intentions. Find me some actual secular ID groups and I will gladly concede that both exist.

Raelians, Nick Bostrom style hypothesizes, David Berlinski...

They do reject evolution though.

No, they explicitly do not. If you'd like to argue that animal husbandry, etc, is 'not evolution', feel free - you're going to pay one hell of a price.

We understand the mechanisms behind GMOs; they don't propose none for ID other than the implicit... miracle.

This is fascinating. We don't understand the mechanism behind the Origin of Life. By your logic, it's clearly miraculous.

Magnets too, because hey - why not?

Scientific research does not disprove these things, that's true, but it's because it does not even discuss them. Hence, they are not covered scientifically and thus out of the equation. Nature does not have any inherent purpose, direction nor goal, so

I believe Grod dealt with this superbly.

Right, but what if it's because it a really dumb point?

Of course. I mean, you can't even grasp it, and you have trouble even stating it (You went from 'Science proves this about nature' to 'Science is silent about this' without missing a beat.)

Actually, wait, let me re-phrase part of what I just said. There are people who think that nature has intentions: ignorant religious folks who think that

Buddy, trust me - when you're getting hammered this hard, trying to go for mockery is not a good move.

Tell us more about science proving things don't exist by not talking about them because science is about evidence and its silence about your evidence-free assumptions is proof! :D

Gyan said...

"given our current understanding of evolutionary theory, some features are unlikely - even extremely unlikely - to have been the products of evolution as currently modeled."

is the coyness ID is well-known for. It translates in the non-coy language as
"could not have been".

Hugo Pelland said...

Crude,
"Raelians, Nick Bostrom style hypothesizes, David Berlinski..."
- Raelians are certainly not secular; it's a religious cult
- Nick Bostrom style hypothesizes don't relate to biology; different ID, purely hypothetical
- David Berlinski; didn't know him, apparently a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. That's precisely who I quoted above.
I see the point though, it could be possible... you just failed.

" They do reject evolution though.
- No, they explicitly do not. If you'd like to argue that animal husbandry, etc, is 'not evolution', feel free - you're going to pay one hell of a price.
"
I have no idea what you mean here and yes, they do reject evolution: "... living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection"
This is a direct rejection of the theory of evolution, which does include natural selection as a driving force for all living things. It's not the only force, but it does apply to all. Rejecting part of it is a rejection of evolutionary theory.

grodrigues said...
" So the argument is:
(1) Science does not disprove the existence of purposes, goals, etc.
(2) Science does not even discuss whether purposes, goals, etc. exist.
(3) Therefore purposes, goals, etc. do not exist.
"
Right, it did sound like that. That was badly phrased! You can just keep (1) and (2), but add that Science does not discuss these because it's a useless set of hypothesis, and fix (3) with 'Therefore, believing nature has purposes, goals, etc... is unsupported by scientific observations.

" How can any sane man respond to such pretzel logic? "
By fixing it and making it clear that ID is non-scientific, by inferring an intelligent cause in purely natural systems, well understood by science. Yet, that's what they want; to be relevant in science.
And again, everyone here seems to agree with that but some have a beef with the fact that it's not only anti-science in its explanations but also in its rejection of biological evolution.

grodrigues said...

@Hugo Pelland:

"You can just keep (1) and (2), but add that Science does not discuss these because it's a useless set of hypothesis, and fix (3) with 'Therefore, believing nature has purposes, goals, etc... is unsupported by scientific observations."

So the new argument is:

(1) Science does not disprove the existence of purposes, goals, etc.

(2) Science does not even discuss whether purposes, goals, etc. exist.

(3) Therefore believing in that which Science neither disproves nor so much as discusses is unsupported by Science.

(4) Therefore purposes, goals, etc. do not exist.

Yes, a staggering improvement.

Look, your last sentence in November 04, 2015 7:02 PM was "of course I don't think anyone writing here is that crazy, but, well, I don't know actually". So there are crazies writing here, they are not just *that* far gone. Maybe, maybe no, but what is demonstrably true is that you do not know, you are ignorant. Whether about the specific issues being discussed, whether in even formulating a valid argument.

Hugo Pelland said...

No, you got #4 wrong this time. No need to actively believe the opposite of a claim to disbelieve the claim.

Crude said...

Gyan,

is the coyness ID is well-known for.

It's 'well known' for it exclusively among its detractors. And considering you're an atheist who likes to masquerade as a Catholic, you're the last person who should be calling anyone out for 'coyness'.

Hugo,

- Raelians are certainly not secular; it's a religious cult

They're a bunch of guys who believe in aliens interacting with the world, and who are ardent and shameless atheists. If they're a religious cult, Jerry Coyne's a member of one too.

- Nick Bostrom style hypothesizes don't relate to biology; different ID, purely hypothetical

Considering Bostrom's inferences point to us being computer simulations, it certainly does relate to biology. Calling it 'hypothetical' means little; every ID proponent of note admits to the possibility of being wrong. So does, for that matter, every scientist worth talking about.

- David Berlinski; didn't know him, apparently a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. That's precisely who I quoted above.

You realize Berlinski is a secular jew, right?

Once again, Hugo - you're out of your league.

I have no idea what you mean here and yes, they do reject evolution: "... living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection"
This is a direct rejection of the theory of evolution,


No, it's not. It's a direct rejection of the idea that unguided evolution is a total explanation. You're right back to saying that anyone who believes in the existence of artificial selection is an evolution denier.

Bite that bullet if you wish.

You can just keep (1) and (2), but add that Science does not discuss these because it's a useless set of hypothesis, and fix (3) with 'Therefore, believing nature has purposes, goals, etc... is unsupported by scientific observations.

'Therefore, believing nature lacks purposes, goals, etc, is unsupported by scientific observations.'

Hugo Pelland said...

Crude,
As I said, you got a good point that some groups could be secular and support ID. The problem is that the examples you gave are 2 groups that are non-secular, even if 1 group is Atheists they are certainly religious, and even if the other has a secular jew as member, the 'group' has a clear non-secular agenda. So I don't get what your point is? Do you have actual examples of secular groups doing research on ID, in biology, just like SETI does for out of space radio waves? It does not change anything since it's their claims that would be interesting to look at, to see if their version of ID means anything more than the failed attempts of the DI...

"No, it's not. It's a direct rejection of the idea that unguided evolution is a total explanation. You're right back to saying that anyone who believes in the existence of artificial selection is an evolution denier."
If it were really just a rejection of 'unguided evolution is the total explanation' for valid reasons, it might be interesting to consider, but ID says that the alternative is design, for no reason at all. That's the real problem. Moreover, unguided evolution does explain diversity among living things, while artificial selection has clear mechanisms, origins and observable processes that are well understood and actually evidence for how natural selection does the same thing... unguided.

"'Therefore, believing nature lacks purposes, goals, etc, is unsupported by scientific observations.'"
Just like any other scientific observations, it is based on the imperfect, but extremely reliable, principle of scientific inference. I got to repeat the following: Nobody ever argues on the purpose, direction or goal of tectonic plates movement, cloud formation, chemical reactions, nuclear decay, oh but evolution... now that's something that may have some direction. Non-sense... it does not have any more nor less purpose/direction/goal than any other natural phenomenon.
So I would add this time, to be even more explicit: the burden is on the one claiming that there is indeed purpose/direction/goal somewhere in nature. That's what the Discovery Institute attempted to do, and failed at.

But you agree with that Crude, no? Because you said ID is not scientific... that's what I find strange here. Perhaps you are uneasy with the fact that, even if ID is not science, they should be right in their conclusions. As a Catholic, you agree with them on the big picture after all.

Crude said...

Hugo,

The problem is that the examples you gave are 2 groups that are non-secular, even if 1 group is Atheists they are certainly religious

Hugo, you've defined 'people who believe in space aliens' as religious. I point out secular philosophers and jews inferring design, and you regard them all as religious, or part of religious groups. The Discovery Institute is not a religious organization, they expressly deny that ID infers God's existence and they flatly say ID could be inferring aliens for all they know - and that's not good enough either.

Go ahead and label anyone who disagrees with you 'religious'. I'll just - quite happily - note that Jerry Coyne, Richard Dawkins and the rest are as religious as anyone else. Apparently, the bar is easy.

If it were really just a rejection of 'unguided evolution is the total explanation' for valid reasons, it might be interesting to consider, but ID says that the alternative is design, for no reason at all.

No, they make arguments - largely analogical, inferential ones based on demonstrated capacities of intelligent agents - to that effect.

That's the real problem. Moreover, unguided evolution does explain diversity among living things, while artificial selection has clear mechanisms, origins and observable processes that are well understood and

Fantastic. This is now my third or fourth time asking you for the scientific experiment which investigates these matters, and which has determined that evolution is unguided. I expect this will likewise be your third or fourth time ducking hte question.

Just like any other scientific observations, it is based on the imperfect, but extremely reliable, principle of scientific inference.

There's no inference here. By your own statement, science doesn't investigate these things - it's incapable of it. There has been no 'observation' of non-design. There is no scientific test for it.

Nobody ever argues on the purpose, direction or goal of tectonic plates movement, cloud formation, chemical reactions, nuclear decay,

Yes, they do. It's all wrapped up in that 'Omnipotent God' thing. Just as there are people who argue that there is no purpose, direction or goal in all of the above - but, curiously, they never bring actual science into the matter.

So I would add this time, to be even more explicit: the burden is on the one claiming that there is indeed purpose/direction/goal somewhere in nature.

No, the burden is on the person making the claim. If you wish to claim 'there is no guidance or purpose', congratulations: you've made a claim. Now supply the evidence.

You have a third option: withdraw from making claims. That is, in fact, the scientific reply - 'No claim one way or the other, because this is not a scientific question.'

As for the Discovery Institute's success - really dude, you can't even coherently state their views. You've bungled every explanation of their aims and attitudes, even with google at your disposal, and by your own admission, you read most of what you read about them years ago, went 'Eww, it's coming to a conclusion I dislike!' and bolted. What reason does anyone have to value your opinion?

But you agree with that Crude, no? Because you said ID is not scientific... that's what I find strange here. Perhaps you are uneasy with the fact that, even if ID is not science, they should be right in their conclusions.

"I find it strange that, though you disagree with Bernie Sanders, Crude, that you strongly object to my claim that he's a child molester. I don't understand how a person like you thinks. If you disagree, especially strongly, with a person or thing, shouldn't you agree with all slurs thrown their way?"

Gyan said...

Crude,
"atheist who likes to masquerade as a Catholic"
I have never referred to my religious affiliations, in any case irrelevant to philosophical discussions.
Indeed, you undermine the Catholic position that all people irrespective of their religions, Hindus, Protestants, Jews etc could and should agree on the Natural Law, for you apparently think for a non-affiliated person to speak of Thomism or Aristotle is "to masquerade as a Catholic" as if Catholics have a proprietary right over Aristotle.

Crude said...

Gyan,

I have never referred to my religious affiliations, in any case irrelevant to philosophical discussions.

It's quite relevant. In particular, I'm making a point - the ID proponents expressly deny that their inferences can only mean 'God'. Not only that, but a fairly prominent historical philosopher made the same exact argument. You brush that all aside and say that, no matter what, you feel that they (a diverse group including Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, and agnostics) must mean 'The Christian God', so you accuse them of lying and 'being coy' based on that alone.

Fine; then I'll just make the same charge of you as a reason to dismiss your views. Object if you like, but you'll have to object in a way that amounts to a defense of ID proponents from your own criticisms.

Indeed, you undermine the Catholic position that all people irrespective of their religions, Hindus, Protestants, Jews etc could and should agree on the Natural Law, for you apparently think for a non-affiliated person to speak of Thomism or Aristotle is "to masquerade as a Catholic"

Tell me what the Catholic position about atheism is.

Gyan said...

You didn't say atheist but atheist in a Catholic mask. So apart from proving my atheism you need to show I have claimed to be a Catholic

Crude said...

You didn't say atheist but atheist in a Catholic mask. So apart from proving my atheism you need to show I have claimed to be a Catholic

You think 'atheist in a thomist mask' is much better?