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Author Topic:   Is Intelligent Design Religion in the Guise of Science?
Member (Idle past 1964 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007

Message 154 of 204 (449316)
01-17-2008 5:17 PM
Reply to: Message 153 by faust
01-17-2008 3:33 PM

Re: And Should it be Taught in Our Schools?
faust writes:
Morton's Toe, which is having one's second toe be larger than the hallux, was present in less than 5% of caucasians during the 1950's. It is now over double that and within some caucasian populations as much as five times that. And this is just one genetic trait over the course of half a decade.
Presumably you meant half a century there, or let's say two generations. For a characteristic to double in a population group over two generations would require the reproductive rate of those individuals with it to be significantly higher than those without it, surely. Something like three kids for those with it to two for those without. Either that or a massively higher youth mortality rate amongst those without compared to those with.
I don't doubt that such characteristics are constantly increasing and decreasing in population groups, I just find the rate of change you're describing impossible to explain. Especially as caucasians have had very low infant mortality rates during the period, and toe size wouldn't seem to effect fertility, or to be a major factor in sexual selection! So this seems like impossibly rapid genetic drift.
I suspect that the 1950's surveys must've been inexact.
As this is off topic, I'll answer the O.P. question.
Is Intelligent Design Religion in the Guise of Science?
That's an easy "yes", with the added comment that it's very poorly disguised. I.D. is about an interventionist designer, rather than a God who merely creates the universe and lets things roll, so it's not only religion, but very much in the creationist tradition.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 153 by faust, posted 01-17-2008 3:33 PM faust has not replied

Member (Idle past 1964 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007

Message 162 of 204 (449503)
01-18-2008 6:21 AM
Reply to: Message 160 by Beretta
01-18-2008 5:40 AM

History lesson
Beretta writes:
Actually Darwinism is what really belongs to the dark ages -it's old, it's tired and it does not line up with reality.New paradigm coming up -you are going to have to throw off the 150 year-old shackles or be left behind.
Actually, it's the other way around. The William Paley expression of I.D., set out in 1802, was widely accepted at the time, and the majority of European scientists and philosophers of that time could be regarded as "I.D.ers" of one kind or another. The young Darwin, before he started to observe life forms closely, thought that Paley's comparison of organisms to a designed watch made sense.
Ever since Darwin and Wallace, the drift has been going the other way, and the modern American I.D. movement represents the final rump of (invariably superstitious) conservative scientists who are clinging rather desperately to an old idea that once prevailed.
Like those who cling to the steady state theory of the universe, and the recently extinct minority of geologists who insisted that continents do not move laterally, their views don't fit the evidence at all. The I.D. people are of more interest to psychologists than anyone else, as illustrations of the disabling effect that religion can have on the human mind.

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 Message 160 by Beretta, posted 01-18-2008 5:40 AM Beretta has not replied

Member (Idle past 1964 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007

Message 170 of 204 (449844)
01-19-2008 12:08 PM
Reply to: Message 166 by Beretta
01-19-2008 6:38 AM

Re: And Should it be Taught in Our Schools?
Beretta writes:
The rest is based on a belief that small changes will add up to a big overall change eventually.You choose to be believe that based on guesswork -I choose not to based on empirical science -you know observation etc.
If a small amount of water falls over a waterfall in one second, it does not require any great faith to come to the conclusion that a much larger amount, about sixty times, will fall over it in a minute, and that the small "one second" amount calculated over centuries or millennia will add up to an enormous amount.
If you can observe a groove in the rock where the waterfall goes over it, and sand deposits originating from that particular type of rock further downstream, you can combine that information with the many other observations (a word you like to use) that tell us that water erodes rock, and come to the conclusion that the water has been, is, and will be eroding the rock.
All very simple, even for a creationist. We then know that the waterfall is constantly changing its shape and its nature. Even though the changes are imperceptible over a short period of time, over a long period of time, the groove could become a gully, or a ravine, and the waterfall could change from going in a one stage drop over a cliff to being a series of small waterfalls, or rapids.
Common sense, and in keeping with all other observations of small changes adding up to larger ones.
Yet you seem to want to make a bizzare exception in biology, and to describe a phenomenon (small changes adding up to large changes, which is so normal as to be seen by thinking people as common sense) as requiring faith:
Berretta writes:
The belief that evolution happened is the only reason you imagine any one creature gave birth step by step to any other creature that is fundamentally different.
You clearly don't realise it, but you may as well try to argue that waterfalls do not change over time; that they were created as they are, and will remain as they are, and that the small scale erosion we observe can never become large scale erosion. Is part of of your creationist mantra "a waterfall will always be a waterfall and can never become a series of rapids, or a level stream running through a canyon"?
Bringing this round closer to the topic of I.D. which the thread's supposed to be about, your creationist arguments are not in agreement with some of the arguments put forward by the modern I.D. movement. People like Behe accept that at least some organisms change into others without requiring the intervention of invisible designers.
You seem to be more in tune with some young earthers, who think that organisms do evolve into other organisms, but only within "kinds". There's a magical limitation on degree of change allowed in both forms of creationism, but the I.D.ers generally seem to set that limit much higher. All limitations are arbitrary, because none of them are evidence based, so creationism as a whole will never be able to decide what the intelligent designer does and doesn't do.
Perhaps a waterfall could become two or three smaller waterfalls in your God's world, but isn't allowed to become rapids? But the I.D.ers might allow it to become rapids, but never to wear the rock right down into a level stream bed in a canyon.
Edited by bluegenes, : typo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 166 by Beretta, posted 01-19-2008 6:38 AM Beretta has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 171 by Beretta, posted 01-20-2008 12:11 AM bluegenes has replied

Member (Idle past 1964 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007

Message 178 of 204 (450077)
01-20-2008 2:41 PM
Reply to: Message 171 by Beretta
01-20-2008 12:11 AM

Imagine no Imagination
Beretta writes:
I understand your argument but just don't think the analogy is suitable for the occasion. The process that you outline is easy to see and its possibilities are easy to imagine but can you so easily extend it to biological evolution using the evidence that we have at our disposal?
Very easily. What I'm pointing out is that lots of small changes adding up to large changes is the norm. The whole point is that you are deciding, with complete lack of reason, to make an exception for biology. Look at the history of anything, a country, a mountain range, a river, a human culture, your own life from birth to present, whatever you want, and you see that constant small changes add up to large changes.
Beretta writes:
The first problem would be with the geological time frame. If you believe as most geologists do that it is representative of time (due to uniformatarian assumptions) then obviously it looks like these large changes must have occurred -so "they weren't there and now, with time, they are." But how about looking back at those assumptions in the first place.
By a vague "most" geologists, I think you mean more than 99%, and I'd suggest a virtual 100% of those from cultures that do not indoctrinate children with Jewish mythology as truth. If you're questioning the physics of dating methods, the modern I.D. movement doesn't do that.
The only assumption underlying science is that reality can be observed.
Beretta writes:
Then - you can breed a mongrel mutt into large dogs or small dogs with time and selection but is there a limit to what you can produce, even given time to accomplish the task.If you breed small, you lose genetic information for large. The whole process involves getting rid of the information you do not require.
There's no known limit to what you could breed, other than that it would be a DNA based creature. Nature requires far longer than the time that we've been breeding dogs for two different populations of the same mammal to diverge into clearly separate species, so it's hard to see what point you think you're making here. Your last sentence seems to imply that wolves, from which dogs were bred, have all the attributes of all dogs. Can wolves be as big and strong and intelligent as St, Bernards, run as fast as greyhounds, follow scent as well as bloodhounds, and win a fight with a Rottweiler? Really?
It appears that lots of "information" has been added to dogs, and artificial breeding, like evolution in the wild, is a matter of both adding and subtracting characteristics. Genetic mutations do both.
Beratta writes:
Empirical science only shows that we will get a dog of some kind; same thing with fruit flies forced to mutate rapidly through many generations -did they morph, in some ways but only in negative and destructive ways because that is mostly what mutation does -but they are clearly all fruit flies so can new and useful genetic information build up as a result of mutation over time -we don't know that empirically.
With fruit flies, you can get about 30 generations a year, and I haven't heard of an experiment that's gone on for more than a few years, let's say five, which is 150 generations. In the wild, for a fruit fly to become something that is not a fruit fly, you'd be talking about tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of generations.
Now, look at your question/statement that I've put in bold. Dogs have been bred for thousands of generations, so think about my comments above. Think about the most intelligent breeds of dogs, and ask yourself whether or not an increase in the intelligence of wolves is "new and useful information built up as a result of mutation over time" and whether or not we know that empirically.
Beratta writes:
So we have no absolute evidence that these large scale changes supposedly represented by the geological column are possible and it is not ironclad that the geological column equals time.
I think Percy has already commented on your "iron clad" type terminology, but I'll add something different. In the case of your creator God and his supposed creation, it isn't a question of "no absolute evidence", it's a question of absolutely no evidence at all, giving your beliefs the scientific ranking of garden fairies and the man in the moon. I strongly suggest that you apply the same level of cynicism to all creation mythologies that you apply to the scientific consencus of our times (but I know that this'll conflict with desire, so you won't).
Beretta writes:
We can see a mutation of information being transmitted through the generations and maybe imagine the long term morph of the entire human but it is based on believing that it has happened in the past, not on empirical science with repetition and observation.
Not at all. Such imagination is useful for forming a speculative hypothesis, but it doesn't make for a theory. A collection of fossils, like the horse ancestors/ancestor relatives, are examined and measured up by paleontologists and anatomists in the present, and the process can certainly be repeated and it is certainly observation. At the same time, mutations can be observed all over the genomes of our own species and others. You have your own individual ones that you did not inherit. We all do.
Use the evolutionary imagination, and it might tell you that because we have much larger brains then the other apes, creatures with brains larger than theirs but smaller than ours must have existed along the line in between. But the observation and evidence comes with looking at ancient skulls with brain cases considerably larger than those of the other apes, but considerably smaller than our own, and sure enough, these exist. Coincidence?
To bring this round to the topic, the I.D.ers are religious creationists like yourself, but they tend to have a better understanding of science than biblical literalists, and they know that they have to fit creationism around the ever growing body of evidence that shouts "evolution", like the things I'm mentioning here.
But your example is easily imaginable even for creationists who must clearly be credited with having no imagination. The sorts of changes we are comparing to, biologically speaking, are the reptile to bird types of changes where somehow the info for feathers and hollow bones and a new and completely different lung structure and circulatory system and nerve innervation to allow the new assets to do their job,built up to produce an entirely new kind of creature with entirely new abilities.This is rather difficult to imagine. Such perfection, such a random mechanism like mutation, no plan, just voila take that.
We have no testable scientific reason to believe this.
You seem to be transferring a creation type view onto evolution, in a sense. What mutations do is produce variety within a species, which is why you and I do not have identical bones, lungs, circulatory system, etc. You can doubt mutations that significantly change bones, if you want to, but look at this:
That's a particularly interesting mutation, because it produces three measurable characteristics, one advantageous (strong bones) one neutral (curly kinky hair) and one disadvantageous (shitty teeth). But the point is that these kind of things happen all the time in all animals, most of them uselessly neutral or negative, but all together, producing considerable variety.
From a dinosaur to a modern bird would be something that happens over millions of generations, and don't you think it odd that we find fossils of dinosaurs with apparent feather like structures, and things that look like birds, but with dinosaur like characteristics, including teeth? Is it really the devil out to fool scientists, or would you admit that there might be the teensiest little possibility that your creation that leaves no evidence might just be a superstition that never happened?
When you say:
Such perfection, such a random mechanism like mutation, no plan, just voila take that.
It shows that you see mutation, correctly, as random, but that you don't understand natural selection. As I say, you get enormous variety within a species, but the fact that organisms have to be fit in order to survive, reproduce, and pass on their genes always leads to an enormous prejudice in favour of useful characteristics.
The end result can look very clever, but exactly the same thing happens with the random change and selection programs used to design airplanes.
I agree that Behe accepts that concept but there are a whole range of individual beliefs accepted within ID. The point of ID is not the theological belief systems of the individual but instead the disbelief really that a mechanism such as random mutation could have invented or put together the marvels of nature in the first place. Not one of its adherents disbelieve in the concept of random mutation and selection, they just question the origin of the initial genetic information and most question the limits of change that are possible given what we can know and test and demonstrate empirically.
They want magical origins for the marvels of nature, but they have no evidence that magic happens, so they're a bit stuck from a scientific point of view.
Or perhaps we only object when the waterfall morphs into a bird and no clear link is imaginable.
As you're a believer in the supernatural, surely waterfalls into birds should be easy for you. Just like changing a rib into a woman, or a woman into a pillar of salt, you don't need links, just a click of the creator's fingers, and all is explained.
Who needs science for explanations?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 171 by Beretta, posted 01-20-2008 12:11 AM Beretta has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 184 by Beretta, posted 01-26-2008 10:07 AM bluegenes has replied

Member (Idle past 1964 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007

Message 189 of 204 (451334)
01-27-2008 9:57 AM
Reply to: Message 184 by Beretta
01-26-2008 10:07 AM

Admin. Nosey has pointed out that we're off topic on a lot of this stuff, Beretta, which makes it difficult for me to reply. If you'd like to transfer any of your arguments onto new threads as the topic, I'd be happy to reply, and we'd no longer have the off topic problem (my fault as much as yours on this thread, I'm sure).

This message is a reply to:
 Message 184 by Beretta, posted 01-26-2008 10:07 AM Beretta has not replied

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