Thursday, October 9, 2008

Exposing ExpelledExposed: Introduction

Imagine that you are a scientist. You worked hard to obtain advanced degrees in the areas of research that really intrigue you. You dream of making new discoveries and publishing your findings in scientific journals of world-wide reputation. You are eager to pass on your knowledge to eager students who will take what you have taught them to discover things you never dreamed about. Throughout your education and during your entire professional life, it has been drilled into you that to be a scientist worthy of the name, you must accept the tenants of Darwinian evolution. Even if you are religious, perhaps a devout Christian, it has been conveyed to you in so many ways, some subtle, some not so subtle, that your religion is a private matter with no bearing on the world of science. No matter what you believe, you must never question Darwinian orthodoxy concerning the origins of life.

Lets further imagine that there are aspects of evolution that you cannot reconcile with what you have observed in your own research. You do not even have to be a believer in the book of Genesis to be dissatisfied with evolutionary assumptions and conclusions. In fact, you don't have to be religious at all to experience such dissatisfaction. In fact, you may be irreligious, but find merit in other explanations of life's origins such as Intelligent Design.

To extend this imaginary picture further, lets say that you make some complimentary references to Intelligent Design in class, or you allow the publication of a paper sympathetic to Intelligent Design, or you write such an article yourself. What if the consequences are that you are harassed at work so that it is impossible to teach and conduct research? What if your professional competence and qualifications are maligned? What if your colleagues investigate your background and outside activities? What if you lose the position at that prestigious institution? What if you are a reporter covering scientific topics and in a story chronicling the evolution/Intelligent Design debate you give equal time to both sides and then you find you are no longer a full time reporter because of it?

Sound off base? Impossible in the world of science where everyone involved is in search of objective truth? Not according to Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, the documentary featuring Ben Stein. This film chronicles real people similar to the hypothetical scientist who in fact challenged evolutionary dogma or simply sought a fair hearing for Intelligent Design. These people, such as Dr. Richard Sternberg, claim that they suffered retaliation from an evolutionary vanguard within the hallowed walls of Science that is intent on silencing all dissent from evolution. The film not only lets those who claim to have suffered professional retaliation to tell their story, it also gives their colleagues time on film to refute such charges. Expelled also explores the relationship between Darwin's ideas and the Holocaust. It also examines the implications for mankind if Darwinian explanations for the origin of life are correct.

Now, imagine you are me. Suppose I see Expelled and post a favorable review on this blog. Suppose the review posts at 6 a.m. and I receive a reply ninety minutes later. (A record for this relatively unknown blog.) Lets pretend that this blogger calls himself Ben Franklin, a nom de plume to preserve his true identity. Ben Franklin takes issue with my review and refers me to a website that he emphatically claims refutes everything Expelled asserts from the charges of retaliation to issues regarding evolution itself. I go to that website and read it carefully. Should I not assume that the charges the website makes against the individuals in the film be backed up with references to documentary evidence? Should I not expect the website to deal honestly with the evidence it does cite? Should not the site quote the entire evidential record concerning a disputed point and not quote selectively to conceal the truth? When the evidence clearly demonstrates that the organization sponsoring the website actively participated in persecuting one of those profiled in Expelled, should not that website acknowledge that as it portrays those who appeared in Expelled in unflattering terms? Suppose that in fact this website fails to live up to ANY standard of honest reporting most would come to expect. Not only that, but as I peruse the Internet, perhaps I find a concerted effort to discredit Expelled and very little effort at rebuttal in the blogosphere. How should a blogger respond?

This is in fact what happened. In May I saw Expelled in a local theater and on May 14th, I wrote a favorable review. Ben Franklin did indeed respond and recommended the website spoken of above. That website is Expelledexposed.com. (This site can also be accessed at http://www.evolutioniscool.com/ .) I investigated the site and even from my first perusal it was obvious that the site's authors engaged in making unsubstantiated charges. These same authors arrogantly assume that what they assert will be taken at face value by gullible readers and expect no one to investigate the site's claims. After debating Ben Franklin over the sites veracity and discovering a concerted effort on the Internet to discredit Expelled, I thought it would be good to do a series of posts on Expelledexposed.com. Even though such a task is not my primary purpose as a blogger, I feel that if no other blogger is willing to examine the evidence, I might as well. (The Discovery Institute is a great source of information on this subject.) The stakes are higher than the reputation of a movie, its producers, and those it features. The purpose of Expelledexposed.com goes deeper than portraying those appearing in the film in a negative light. It seeks to discourage readers from even contemplating that there may be alternative explanations to life's beginnings.

Expelledexposed.com is produced by the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). The NCSE website defines that organization's objective as defending the teaching of evolution in America's public school classrooms; the stated objective is to keep evolution in the classroom and keep what it labels "scientific creationism" out. Members of the NCSE work in tandem with groups across the U.S. to prevent the introduction of "scientific creationism" into the public school science curriculum. One of the NCSE services is to provide "expert witnesses" who testify at public hearings and in courtrooms against allowing any science teaching that challenges Darwinian evolution. The NCSE is profiled in Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed and it features an interview with its Executive Director, Dr. Eugenie C. Scott.

As stated earlier, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed chronicles the professional retaliation suffered by those who in some way challenged Darwinian Orthodoxy and sought a fair hearing for Intelligent Design. Expelledexposed.com seeks to refute these allegations. One does not have to be a participant in these events to see the flaws in the website's version of events. The sources it cites, such as a government report, it cites selectively to give a bad impression of those claiming to have been persecuted. Such is the case of Richard Sternberg. In 2004, Sternberg was a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. He also served as editor for "The Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington (PBSW)," a scientific journal published by The Biological Society of Washington (BSW). Sternberg's activities as editor were outside his research duties at the Smithsonian and therefore not under the jurisdiction of his superiors at the Smithsonian. Yet when Sternberg allowed a peer reviewed article, "The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories" by Dr. Stephen Meyer, to be published in the PBSW, Sternberg suffered retaliation from evolutionists at the Smithsonian furious that an article friendly to Intelligent Design had been published in a respected scientific publication. There was a concerted campaign to have Sternberg removed as a Research Associate at the Smithsonian. These charges were investigated by the U.S. House of Representative's Committee on Government Reform. The committee issued a report vindicating Sternberg and outlining a conspiracy to get Sternberg fired from the Smithsonian. An appendix to the report, containing memos, e-mails, letters, official policy statements, etc., provides the evidence for the House report's conclusion. Expelledexposed.com claims that the evidence contained in the report's appendix actually disproves Sternberg's claims. Yet a full reading of the appendix paints a different picture than the selective treatment of it by expelledexposed.com and bloggers it links to.

Expelledexposed.com fails to engage in the full disclosure of the evidence; it manipulates the evidence to damage Sternberg's reputation. The website fails to fully disclose the truth in another matter: the government's report accuses the web site's sponsor, the NCSE, of colluding with Sternberg's colleagues to get Sternberg fired from the Smithsonian. For the website to trash Sternberg and deny he had been persecuted over the publication of the Meyer paper while failing to disclose that the web site's sponsors took an active part in that persecution is intellectual dishonesty at its worst. And for this expelledexposed.com needs exposing. Other blogs expelledexposed.com links to attempt to exonerate the NCSE of trying to ruin Sternberg, but in Part I, I will point to the evidence contained in the government reports' appendix that serves as a "smoking gun", proving the charge correct.

Expelledexposed.com alleges that Sternberg did not suffer retaliation for allowing a paper favorable to Intelligent Design to be published in a scientific journal; the website states that Sternberg was in hot water for conduct warranting dismissal from the Smithsonian. Yet the appendix to the government report contains admissions from Sternberg's superiors that Sternberg engaged in no conduct deserving dismissal. The appendix contains clear evidence that the real reason Sternberg's colleagues and the NCSE conspired against him was the publication of the Meyer paper. Expelledexposed.com charges Sternberg with publishing the paper without proper peer-review. The website and allied blogs quotes an official statement by the BSW as evidence that the paper was published in violation of proper procedures. Again, the website is selective in the evidence it presents; contrary evidence, statements from the BSW's then-President acknowledging proper procedures were followed, contained in the appendix and on Sternberg's website are ignored. Expelledexposed.com also fails to disclose that the NCSE wrote the first draft of the BSW statement denying that the Meyer paper had been peer-reviewed.

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed profiled others besides Sternberg who claimed to be persecuted for challenging Darwinian orthodoxy. However, since there is so much more material dealing with Sternberg, more emphasis will be given to his case than the others. Other issues to be covered in these articles are the relationship between Intelligent Design and Creationism, the relationship between Darwinian Evolution and eugenics and Nazi philosophy and the Holocaust plus the compatibly, or lack of, between evolution and Christianity.

The issue of the government report and its appendix needs to be addressed. The report, 29 pages in length, substantiates the charges made by Sternberg that he suffered retaliation for publishing the Meyer paper. Expelledexposed.com and the blogs it links to dismiss the report as the political handiwork of the religious right under the direction of Congressman Mark Souder and former Senator Rick Santorum. The appendix to the report is 74 pages. The portrayal of the appendix by expelledexposed.com and evolutionary minded blogs is schizophrenic. At times the appendix is either portrayed as a bewildering collection of loosely related documents unconnected with the allegations made in the government report. At other times, the appendix is supposed to contain evidence exonerating those the report criticizes. The first time I read it, I was bewildered. Yet as I repeatedly read through it, the connection of the individual elements with the report became more evident. Far from being a collection of unrelated documents, they told a coherent story. For the benefit of readers, I will provide here a table of contents of what is contained in the appendix:

p. 2-6. Letter to Smithsonian officials from Souder/Santorum. The letter denies that Stenberg's allegations are a figment of his imagination. Mentioned is harassment against Sternberg and evidence the Meyer paper had been peer-reviewed. The Smithsonian officials are taken to task for not taking the matter seriously and asked what they will do to rectify the situation. Evidence of anti-religious ideology at the Smithsonian is mentioned.

p. 7-8. Reply from the Smithsonian. Discrimination against Sternberg and an anti-religious atmosphere at the Smithsonian is denied.

p. 9. A statement of Smithsonian policy on Diversity and Equal Employment.

p. 10-12. Letter from the same Smithsonian official to Sternberg declaring Sternberg to be a Research Associate in good standing. Allegations of harassment by Sternberg are dismissed. Assurance given that those who differ on the origin of species will not be discriminated against. Sternberg welcome to reapply for a position. Sternberg given a new sponsor. Sternberg not to be given grant to make up for loss of research time. Sternberg's notes still at the Smithsonian and available to him. Access to Smithsonian granted.

p. 13. Sternberg appointed to Research Collaborator. (Not recommended as Research Associate as he formally had been.)

p. 14-15. A Statement of the duties of a Research Collaborator at the Smithsonian.

p. 16-20. Notes to and from Sternberg's colleagues and superiors. One colleague in particular is urging Sternberg's superior (Sternberg's new sponsor) to fire Sternberg for alleged violations of policy, to which Sternberg's superior states is not any basis for firing Sternberg. This "sponsor" hopes that Sternberg will resign if asked, and he was asked. (p. 18) From these pages it is evident that the publication of the Meyer paper is what really angers Sternberg's colleagues and superiors. Yet the publication of the Meyer paper is stated to be outside Smithsonian jurisdiction, so the Smithsonian cannot fire him over the matter. (p. 19) Ways to discover who reviewed the Meyer paper are discussed.

p. 21-27. Letters exchanged between Sternberg and his superiors relating to Sternberg's appointment as Research Collaborator.

p. 27-29. Letter from Sternberg colleague to Sternberg's superior. Proof that the publication of the Meyer paper sparked an interest in Sternberg's background (religion, politics), but no hostile intent expressed. Sternberg said to have mishandled laboratory specimens and failed to return over fifty Smithsonian Library books. Letters decry the publicity over the Meyer paper. Anti-religious statements made by some.

p. 30-35. Communications between Sternberg's superiors and the NCSE on how to best handle Sternberg. Shows collusion between Smithsonian and the NCSE in investigating Sternberg's background and activities outside the Smithsonian in an attempt to fire Sternberg. Smoking gun:  this from the NCSE on page 32: "If there are reprecussions for von Sternberg from the article, they should be because of his poor judgement in publishing it..." This directly contradicts the contention of expelledexposed.com that Sternberg was not targeted for publishing the Meyer paper. The evidence of collusion between the Smithsonian and the NCSE is clearly shown in these pages. See p.73-74 for evidence of collusion as well.

p. 36-51. Memos regarding reorganization of office space where Sternberg worked. Some colleagues do not want to share space with Sternberg for fear of association. p.47- Sternberg declared to have done nothing wrong so he cannot be let go until his term as Research Associate expires. Sternberg cannot be fired for publishing a paper outside Smithsonian jurisdiction.

p. 51-53. Reprecussions from the Meyer paper. Messages among Sternberg's colleagues and superiors. Sternberg's version of the truth over the Meyer paper discussed.

p. 54-55. More on office space. Sternberg's superior states Sternberg did nothing wrong regarding lab specimens. (p. 54)

p. 56-60. Lab procedures policy statement. More dealing with office space. Note, the issue of one's relationship with the Creationist movement and future employment with the Smithsonian is discussed. (P. 59) Remember that Sternberg was assured that those who disagreed on the origin of species would face no discrimination (p. 10-12)

p. 60-62. Differences between being a Research Associate and being a Research Collaborator discussed.

p. 63-67. Issues pertaining to Meyer paper. Efforts to ascertain who reviewed the Meyer paper. Anti-religious sentiments expressed. (p. 66) Background information on Sternberg and Meyer.

p. 68-69. Letter and outline from Sternberg to his superior concerning Sternberg's future research plans.

p. 70-71. Reprinting of previously presented material.

p. 72. Sternberg's editorial practice vindicated by the then-President of the BSW. The BSW is the publisher of the journal in which the Meyer paper was published.

p. 73-74. The NCSE to the then-President of the BSW. The NCSE supplies a draft statement to the BSW claiming the Meyer paper not peer-reviewed. It may or may not have been proper for the NCSE to provide a draft statement. Yet it is another example of the failure of expelledexposed.com to reveal its involvement in the matter when it points to the BSW statement denying peer-review took place as evidence Sternberg acted improperly as editor while failing to acknowledge NCSE involvement in the drafting of the statement in the first place.

Finally, I am providing a list of abreviations to aid you in understanding the following articles, the next one in particular. It will be assumed that when readers read Part I, they would have already read this Introduction. I will refer to certain organizations and websites, etc., using these abreviations without explanation. Reading Part I without knowing these abbreviations could cause readers to become confused. I thought it best to publish this Introduction days before Part I so the reader can study the material presented here. Please study expelledexposed.com and the blogs it links to beforehand. Also read the U.S. Government report and its appendix closely, preferably more than once. They can be accessed at The Discovery Institutes Website, or at Sternberg's website, which should also be studied closely. Here are the abbreviations to keep in mind as you read further:

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed------------------Expelled

Expelledexposed.com----------------------- expelledexposed

Intelligent Design----------------------------------ID

Richard Sternberg's website ---------------------- Sternberg

Report of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform ------------------------------------------------------------------Gov.report

Appendix to the Report ---------------------------Appendix

The National Center for Science Education --------NCSE

The Smithsonian Institute ------------------------SI

"The Origin of Biological Information and Higher Taxonemic Categories" by Dr. Stephen Meyer --------------------------------------------------- The Meyer Paper

The Biological Society of Washington--------------BSW

"The Procedings of the Biological Society of Washington"----PBSW

I hope this is helpful as you read Part I which will be published soon. .

18 comments:

Olorin said...

“Lets further imagine that there are aspects of evolution that you cannot reconcile with what you have observed in your own research.”

One need not imagine that. It happens all the time. Mendelian “digital” genetics replaced Darwin’s concept of “pangenes.” Horizontal transfer of genes and endogenous retroviruses greatly modify Darwin’s “tree” of life. Epigenetics posits that some heritable traits may be picked up environmentally, rather than from Darwinian evolution. When that happens, real scientists publish papers and convince---or not---their peers by their observations and experimental results.

The reason that intelligent design feels harassed is that it demands admittance to science without having to produce any observations or experimental results, without having to produce any positive scientific evidence whatsoever of design nor any scientific model or mechanism as to how designs occur, without even undertaking any scientific research to back up its claims.

Believe what you like as a matter of religious faith. Just don’t call it science unless you can bring something of scientific merit to the table. Intelligent design has been discriminated against only as being vacuous, not as being “heretical.” The biggest worry of a scientist who comes up with solid evidence of intelligent design will be getting plane reservations to Stockholm to pick up his Nobel prize. But, so far....

Mr. Guthrie said...

Olorin, thank you for your comments. As to your reference to what I wrote, I am aware that scientists have moved beyond much of what Darwin postulated in the 19th century. This will be mentioned in a future post in this series. The fact that many views are held within the world of science is not news to me. Many respected scientists advance theories go against conventional wisdom and suffer no professional retaliation. That is, as long as they don't cross a certain boundry. The boundry in question is the assertion that evolution is the only true explanation for the origin of life. A scientist who questions that assertion faces retaliation on many levels, as these blog posts will demonstrate.
I have read your blogger profile; it indicates you have a great interest in such matters. You state that Intelligent Design has produced no observations or experimental results, that ID has provided no evidence of design or models explaining how design occured, nor has it produced scientific research. Can you tell me of any situation where a university or research institution was granted money from the government or from private foundations to research the claims of ID, and the claims were found to be false? If you can, can you provide links to an unbiased news story or academic publication that covered the story? I am a novice when it comes to science, but can you tell me how a theory is to be tested when funds to research it are not to be granted, that papers on the theory are not supposed to be published in "respected publications", and those who would persue research into the theory are denied labs, equipment, and in the case of Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez of Iowa State university, whose record in astronomy is impecible and whose textbook on the subject is used by his collegues at Iowa State, was denied tenure.

Mr. Guthrie said...

Olorin, I had to publish what I had written before I had completed them or I would have lost what I wrote. I had no time to my comments.

As I was saying, how can ID produce results if those who wish to research it are denied the means to do so? In this situation, how can evolutionists then logically claim that ID has no merit.

And yes, those who favor Intelligent Design do face professional harassment from their collegues, as EXpelled:No Intelligence Allowed documents. As in the case of Dr. Richard Sternberg, the evidence that his collegues at the Smithsonian Institution conspired with the National Center of Science Education to have him removed as a Research Associate at the Smithsonian is irrefutible, as Part I of this series will demonstrate.

Don't assume that all those who see merit in ID, who question evolution's assumptions or conclusions, or who claim to have been persecuted for doing so are Evangelical Christians such as myself. Sternberg claims to have rejected Evangelical Christianity while growing up. (See his website richardsternberg.org) Patricia Winnick, a reporter profiled in Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, claims to be a secular Jew who perhaps may embrace Orthodox Judaism. Ben Stein has publically stated that he is not an evangelical Christian. One whole article in this series will deal with this subject. As I wrote in this Introduction, one need not be religious at all to have profound doubts about evolution being the sole explanation for life's origins.

I thank you that you grant me the right to believe what I want as a matter of religious faith. But you forbid me to bring my faith to the table when discussing science? By what authority do you speak? Darwinists claim that evolution is the sole explanation for life's origins. To make such a claim is a religious statement. You say you can believe what you want but you are not allowed to teach it as truth in the public forum. That is arrogance. I have to end my comments or I will lose what I have written.

Mr. Guthrie said...

Olorin, I ran out of time at the computer at the public library and had no time to proof read and correct my remarks. Yet I think you and other readers probably understand what I wrote.

I wanted to elaborate on my comment that to claim that evolution is the sole explanation for the origin of life is a religious claim. An intellectual presupposition to the acceptance of evolution is the view that the realm of science is divorced from the realm of religion. Since religious beliefs cannot be proven by the scientific method of hypothesis and experimentation, they have no place in scientific discussion; so says modern science. This leads many scientists, as it led Darwin, to deny a creator's role in the formation of the universe. To state that evolution is the sole explanation for life's beginnings, and that any other explanation based on religion is false, is a religious claim. When you deny God's role in creation, you are making a religious claim. When you deny that man was not created in God's image but is an animal, you make a religious claim about man. Therefore, for evolutionists to deny creationists a place at the table when discussing science and man, it is one religious claim supressing its rivals.

Olorin said...

“But you forbid me to bring my faith to the table when discussing science? By what authority do you speak?”

Religious faith is not appropriate as a justification of a scientific hypothesis in the same way that the periodic table of elements is not appropriate to a theological tenet. It is irrelevant by definition. Science studies the natural world, and frames theories for the purpose of predicting and controlling natural phenomena. Therefore, its domain excludes “super”natural (arbitrary, unpredictable, uncontrollable) causes for natural phenomena. My authority is the commonly accepted definition of “science.” [1]

“Darwinists claim that evolution is the sole explanation for life's origins. To make such a claim is a religious statement.”

Wrong. Darwin’s original theory of evolution explicitly excluded any explanation of life’s beginnings from inanimate matter; he started from a point hwere heritable variation and natural selection were already in operation, and explained the diversity of organisms from that point. The “origin” in Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” describes how a subsequent species originates from a previous species. Since Darwin’s time, several hypotheses concerning abiogenesis have been put forward: the “warm pond,” the undersea volcanic vent, clays as catalysts, and so forth. Current research focuses on autocatalytic reactions and lipid vesicles, that do not require DNA or even RNA, as the mechanisms for the first life.[2] No one claims that any of them is the sole explanation for the origin of life. However, in contrast to intelligent design, research and testing of these hypothesis is being conducted.

“You say you can believe what you want but you are not allowed to teach it as truth in the public forum.”

Wrong. You can teach your faith in a public forum. We exclude your faith from science for the same reason that we exclude Mozart from an art-history classes. Not because it’s wrong, but because it’s inappropriate to the subject matter at hand. In addition, teaching anything as “truth” in science is inappropriate per se. Science deals only in provisional knowledge, not in absolute truths. Any scientific theory may be modified or overthrown in whole or in part. To do this, however, requires physical evidence, not faith or the pronouncements of authorities. Evolution, for example, is supported by 150 years of accumulated evidence, and the evidence continues to roll in at the rate of 1,570 peer-reviewed journal articles per year.[4]

Claims of discrimination are almost universally made by crackpot “scientists.”. Cold fusion, N-rays, homeopathic medicines, Velikovsky, Joe Newman’s perpetual-motion motor ---all have claimed discrimination when they were tossed out for failing to produce any evidence.[5]

Has ID been discriminated against by some kind of world-wide conspiracy of evolutionists bent on suppressing Darwinian orthodoxy? The question almost answers itself.

First, the theory of “intelligent design” really began with William Paley in 1802. At that time, it was the only theory of life’s diversity. Was there any scientific research into this theory during the 19thC? You will look in vain for any investigation into the mechanisms, characteristics, or parameters of design by an intelligent agency. None of its proponents so much as lifted a finger to find out whether or not it was true or not. (Contrast this with the conflagration of research ignited by Darwin’s 1859 book advancing his evolutionary model.) In the years between 1850 and the neo-Darwinian synthesis of the 1940s, evolution was a consensus, but certainly not exclusive. Many people believed in the design of life forms by a non-human intelligence, and discrimination against it was not apparent. Yet no experiments to test the existence of such design were proposed, nor were any detailed theories or predictions of design proposed, much less published.

In the past decade or two, scientists have fought the efforts of Intelligent Design (now capitalized) to sit at the pot luck of science without bringing any food to the table. This “discrimination” only demands physical evidence, not any orthodoxy.[3] But, even so, does the overwhelming evidence for evolution preclude any research into ID? In 1999, the Templeton foundation offered the Discovery Institute a rather large grant to fund two years of research into ID. When the Institute failed to even come up with a proposal as to what they would investigate, the Foundation yanked the grant. This doesn’t sound like discrimination. The Discovery Institute founded its own research organization, the Biologic Institute, in 2005. What has it produced thus far? Absolutely nothing. How is it discrimination when ID’s own organization fails to find evidence? [6] The Polyani Center, established by William Dembski at Baylor University to investigate non-evolutionary aspects of biology, was closed down several years later with no results whatsoever. Dembski even founded a journal, Progress in Complexity, Information & Design, specifically for “peer reviewed” research in ID. None of the articles before 2005 contained any studies, experiments, computer models, or other data that would support ID. Since 2005, there have been no articles at all. Is is discrimination when your own journal can’t find anything to publish?

Michael Behe, the only working scientist who is a proponent of ID said it best: “There are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred.”[7] Behe’s concept of “irreducible complexity” is central to ID. Why, in the dozen years since he proposed it, has not he or anyone else conducted any experiments or observations that might lead to a test of its validity, other than mere claims that it negates evolution? Even with the disavowal of his colleagues, he has a tenured position that would allow him to investigate this. William Dembski has a concept of “complex specified information” that purports to detect design. Why has he never, in 10 years,[8] applied this test to any actual system, organic or otherwise? He holds a position at an institution that would only be too happy to have intelligent design advanced as a theory? Discrimination? I think not.

This discussion will not change your mind as to your beliefs. That’s not the purpose. The goal is merely to uphold science from your belief that faith should be admitted as justification for scientific theories.

Faith and ideology have been shoehorned into science before, with disastrous results. By the 9th Century, Baghdad was the scientific capital of the world. While Europe slept through the Dark Ages, Islamic scholars retrieved Greek science and added to it in chemistry, astronomy, mathematics, and other fields. Then the mullahs decided that this knowledge conflicted with the Qur’an, and they quashed it. An awakening Europe was more than happy to build upon the Arabs’ science–to the detriment of the Islamic science; Baghdad is now the capital of misery, not knowledge.

Nazi Germany suppressed relativity and quantum mechanics as products of “Jewish science,” and drove out the scientists who accepted these theories, replacing them with second-raters who followed the party line. This ideological suppression of science drove many scientists to flee to England and America. Where a number of them employed these theories to devise atomic weapons to defeat the Axis. So Hitler’s ideological suppression of science was counterproductive, to say the least. And Germany, which formerly ruled the roost in theoretical physics, is still trying to catch up, 60 years later.

In the 1920s, the USSR was the breadbasket of Europe, even after Stalin’s forced collectivization. Then came Trofim Lysenko, with his Lamarckian views that fit hand-in-glove with Communist ideology. Plant the same crop together, he said, because, being of the same class, they will cooperate, rather than competing, as different “classes” of crops would. Stalin bought this line, and suppressed Darwinian evolutionary research, even imprisoning many world-famous biologists. By the 1970s, the USSR was wracked by famines. The government finally came to its senses and liquidated Lysenko, But it was too late. The damage of replacing science by ideology had already been done, and the shortqges were one of the major reasons for the implosion of the USSR.

In our own day, the denial of science in general and evolutionary biology in particular is already beginning to be felt. Several major US drug companies now conduct their research in China, which has always been strong in science education. Singapore and Korea have attracted a number of prominent biological researchers away from the US. Asian and European grad students, who used to remain in the US, are increasingly heading back home, partly because of increasing acceptance there, and partly because of short-sighted restrictions by the US government. Science and technology are important to our future; I worry that increasing denigration of science and poor science education will turn our own country into a backwater.

This is why faith-based theories are not only bad science; but also have a pernicious effect on society. Again, believe and preach what you like. Don’t call it “science.

=========
[1] For a short history of the divergence between “natural” causes and “theistic” explanations, see Westfall, “The Construction of Modern Science” (Cambridge University Press, 1877). “Introductory Readings in the Philosophy of Science,” E.D. Klemke et al., eds. (Prometheus, 1980) includes a number of chapters by leading philosophers. In particular, Sir Karl Popper’s essay “Science: Conjectures & Refutations” (id., pp.19-34) discusses the differences between science and pseudoscience.

[2] See, e.g., “ A Simpler Origin for Life,” Scientific American, June 2007, pp. 46-53.

[3] Do scientists try to overthrow current theories? “Are Aliens among Us” Scientific American, December 2007, pp.62-69 describes the efforts of several investigators to find evidence here on Earth of living organisms that have not evolved from a common ancestor. Note that this research is actively searching for physical evidence, rather than merely spouting the unsubstantiated claims of ID. And their projects have not encountered discrimination from any Darwinist oligarchy.

[4] The number for 2006. I very recently read of an interesting application of evolutionary theory in guiding research. The inventor of a class of molecules called “taste modulators” discovered them because she realized that the current theory of the sense of taste could not have evolved in that way. So she used evolutionary insights to modify the theory of taste, and found a number of compounds that can enhance or suppress the taste of foods, without having any taste by themselves.

[5] For additional examples, see Robert Park, “Voodoo Science” (Oxford University Press, 2000). Park is a physicist who served as a Washington liaison for the American Physical Society. As such, he was personally involved in may of the cited examples.

[6] Well, they have developed a computer program, “Stylus,” that claims to simulate the evolution of Han (Chinese) characters. What this may have to do with the evolution of proteins, or of anything else, is anyone’s guess.

[7] Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Board of Education, 400 FSupp2d at 745. From the transcript, trial day 11 (Oct 18, 2005), PM session.

[8] Since its publication in “The Design Inference” in 1998.

Mr. Guthrie said...

Olorin, you have been busy, but I'm afraid neither your arguements or historical presentations hold water.

Yes, you are correct when you state theacceptemodern definition of science; science studies the natural world and frames theories for the purpose of predicting natural phenomena. But to study the natural world with the assumption of no special creation (in the words of Carl Saganin 'Cosmos':"The universe is all there is or ever will be)is a religious act. To assume the lack of a creator, one has to make the religious decision that a creator is not present.

Ernst Mayrn islexander Agassiz Professor of Zooology, Emeritus, Harvard. A Fellow of the Royal Society and winner of numerous awards, he is the author of more than a dozen major works on evolution and the philosophy of science. This is from his book One Long Arguement:Charles Darwin and the Genesis of Modern Evolutionary Thought:
" Darwin was unable to build on this foundation but rather started from the fundamental question that Lyell had bequeathed to him, namely, how do new species originate? Although Lyell had appealed to'intermediate causes' as the source of new species, the process was nevertheless A FORM OF SPECIAL CREATION. (Capitalization mine.) 'Species may have been created in succession at such times and at such places as to enable them to multiply and endure for an appointed period and occupy an appointed space on the globe'(Lyell 1835, 3:99-100) For Lyell, each creation was a carefully planned event. The reason why Lyell, like Henslow Sedgwick and all others of Darwin's scientific friends and correspondents in the middle of the 1830's, accepted the unalterable constancy of species--that is, the inability of species, once created, to change--was the one piece of the old dogma of a created world that remained inviolate after the concepts of the recency and constancy of the physical world had been abandoned.
"No genuine and testable theory of evolution could develop until the possibility was recognized that species have the capacity to change, to become transformed into new species, and to multiply into several species. FOR DARWIN TO ACCEPT THIS POSSIBILITY REQUIRED A FUNDAMENTAL BREAK FROM LYELL'S THINKING...(Capitalization mine." (Mayr, p.17-18. One Long arguement, Harvard University Press, 1991) In other words, Darwin had to reject a special creation to arrive at his conclusions. A religious act. Again, from Mayr: "But perhaps the most important consequence of the theory of common descent was the change in the position of man. For theologians and philosophers alike, man was acreature apart from the rest of life. Aristotle, Descartes, and Kant agreed in this, no matter how much they disagreed in other aspects of their philosphies. Darwin, in the Origin, confined himself to the cautiously cryptic remark, 'Light will be thrown on the origin of Man and his history' (p. 488). But Ernst Haeckel, T. H. Huxley and in 1871, Darwin himself demonstrated conclusively that humans must have evolved from an ape-like ancestor, thus putting them right into the phylogenetic tree of the animal kingdom. THIS WAS THE END OF THE TRADTIONAL ANTHROPOCENTRISM OF THE BIBLE AND OF THE PHILOSPOHERS.(Capitalization mine)" (Mayr, p.24-25) Thus, to assume that man is not the product of a special creation is a religious act. If you can't trust Mayr on this, who can you trust?

It is interesting that cite the examples of earlier civilizations where science once florished. It is interesting that you imply similarities between current evangelical rejection of evolution to the forces that caused the decline in scientific endeavors in these civilizations. It is also interesting that you provide no citations to any historical work to prove your point. Not only will I answer your arguements, I will provide source material backling up my claims. But since the free wifi site is going to close soon, I will do that tomorrow. I will demonstrate from history that it is the Christian world view that birthed the modern scientific revolution in the west. And I will be quoting well-known scientific names who advanced such a position even though they themselves were not Christians. I will also deal with the other subjects covered by your comment, dealing with what you wrote but also with how you failed to answer my questions in my last comment. (Unfortunately, for some reason, blogger is not allowing me to correct my mistakes without removing other parts of the text.)

Olorin said...

You make the mistake that many creationists make---some do it deliberately That a natural explanation for the diversity of life is the same as denying the existence of God. Obviously this is not true. Many scientists are Christians, myself included. Many others are Jewish, Muslim, and other faiths.[1]

So why does disallowing religious faith into biology deny God? You don’t seem to mind that we exclude God from formulations of the law of gravitation. Remember that medieval philosophers thought God moved the planets directly. When Newton found his law of gravitation, he kicked God out of astronomy. But not entirely: when he found that the inverse-square law created unstable orbits, he concluded that God micromanaged the orbital details to prevent the planets flying off.[2] Today, no one even tries to introduce religious faith into any theory of gravitation. Why should we allow religion into biology but not into gravitation? Pythagoras attributed musical harmonies to the gods. Today we speak of mathematics[3] and psychoacoustics as sources of pleasing music, not God. Why should we consider faith for biology, but not for music theory? Medieval alchemists employed incantations and spells for compounding their elixirs and invoked spirits for mixing their potions. Today, chemists rely on the periodic table, not on their faith. Why then should we admit faith to biology but not to chemistry?

As explained in the cited Westfall book, for example, modern science is defined on methodological naturalism---seeking natural causes for natural phenomena. The transformation away from supernatural causation occurred mainly in the 17thC. Not coincidentally, this is when science awoke from a long sleep and burgeoned into the pervading role it has today. Look at this dialog:

Q: Why do stars twinkle?
A: Because God made them that way.
Q: Why can electrons appear across an energy barrier without going over it?
A: Because God wills them to do that.
Q: Why is our salmon preservation program not working?
A: Because God... but you get the idea.

Now look at another set of answers to these questions:

A: Because variations in air pressure refract light differently[4].
A: Because the Schroedinger wave equation predicts this will happen with a certain probability.
A: Because it generates an evolutionary selection pressure for fewer eggs.

Let’s look at the practical consequences of the first set of answers (”God did it”)

C:
C:
C:

Now let’s look at some consequences of the second set of answers:

C: By detecting the variations with a laser beam, we can correct for these refractions, and make more sensitive telescopes.
C: We can calculate the probabilities and make tunnel diodes to produce a negative resistance.
C: We can modify the catch parameters and the environment to reduce this pressure.[5]

Is this far-fetched? Not at all. Bringing religion---that is, supernatural causation---into the equation is a roadblock. Supernatural explanations explain anything---which is to say that they explain nothing. And supernatural theories are vacuous. Suppose I say that all marbles bigger than 1cm are purple. Can I test this? Yes. Suppose my explanation is that glass turns purple when cast into a large object. Might this theory be of use in predicting te color of other glass objects? Yes again. Suppose you say that a Designer wills that certain marbles are purple. Can you test this? How would you even begin?[6] Might this explanation have any practical uses in predicting the color of other glass objects? The answer is left as an exercise.

At bottom, the limitation of science to methodological naturalism[7] has many practical benefits, and is a philosophical decision. It is not a religious decision; it does not make science in general or evolution in particular a “religious” view---that canard has been raised an refuted too many times already.[8]

PS: You don’t have to dig up references purporting to show that the Christian world view birthed the modern scientific revolution in the west. And I will be quoting well-known scientific names who advanced such a position even though they themselves were not Christians. I’ve probably seen all of them already. This is not a new argument. Note that correlation does not imply causation, and that science slept for 1500 years under Christianity. Then Arab secular science and mathematics lit a fire in Europe, and science progressed in spite of opposition from the Church.

=====================
[1] One of the joyous things about science is how scientists of vastly differing faiths and political persuasions can cooperate with each other. You won’t ever see the String Theorists mounting a crusade against the Quantum Loopers, sacking their campuses, looting their cyclotrons, and carrying off their postdocs.

[2] This conclusion prevented Newton from further investigations into natural causes for the instabilities. It remained for Laplace to develop a theory of perturbations to explain them. Another case where religious faith blocked the progress of science.

[3] See “Music: A Mathematical Offering,” David Benson (Cambridge University Press, 2007). Beware: bring along a familiarity with partial differential equations, and with the theory of groups.

[4] Yeah, I know. This is of course not the entire answer. See “Sky in a Bottle,” Peter Pesic (MIT Press, 2007)

[5] Australia has a blue-fin conservation program that does exactly that; preliminary results are encouraging. The US government doesn’t like evolution, so they merely pray that God will bless the present program.

[6] Remember her that intelligent design explicitly forbids assigning any specific characteristics, attributes, powers or goals to their Designer.

[7] Note again that methodological naturalism is not at all the same as philosophical naturalism, the view that there is nothing else besides matter and energy. The latter is atheistic, the former is neutral as to faith.

[8] Psychology calls this tactic “projection.” Rhetoric calls it “turning the tables.”

Mr. Guthrie said...

Olorin, This comment will be exclusively focused on your implication that modern Evangelical/Fundamentalists would supress science and bring about a decline in western science similiar to other cultures. You say that religion should not be brought to the table when science is discussed, yet it is Biblical Christianity that made the scientific revolution possible. The following are quotes from Francis Schaeffer's "How Should WE Then Live?: The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture." (Fleming H. Revell Company, Old Tappan, New Jersey, 1976). Much of this material will appear in a future post in this series. Note that the author cites well known scientists to back up his claim.
"The rise of modern science did not conflict with what the Bible teaches; indeed, at a crucial point the Scientific Revolution rested upon what the Bible teaches. Both Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947)and J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967) have stressed that modern science was born out of a Christian world view. Whitehead was a widely respected mathamatician and philosopher, and Oppenheimer, after he became director of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton in 1947, wrote on a wide range of subjects related to science, in addition to writing on his own field on the structure of the atom and atomic energy. AS FAR AS I KNOW, NEITHER OF THE TWO MEN WERE CHRISTIANS OR CLAIMED TO BE CHRISTIANS, YET BOTH WERE STRAIGHTFORWARD IN ACKNOWLEDGING THAT MODERN SCIENCE WAS BORN OUT OF THE CHRISTIAN WORLD VIEW. (Capitalization Mine.)
"Oppenheimer, for example, described this in an article "On Science and Culture" in Encounter in October 1962. In the Harvard University Lowell Lectures entitled Science and the Modern World (1925), Whitehead said that Christianity is the mother of science because of 'the medieval insistence on the rationality of God.' Whitehead also spoke of confidence 'in the intelligible rationality of a personal being.' He also says in these lectures that because of the rationality of God, the early scientists had an 'inexpungnable belief that every detailed occurrence can be correlated with its antecedents in a perfectly definite manner, exemplifying general principles. Without this belief the incredible labors of scientists would be without hope.' In other words, because the early scientists believed that the world was created by a reasonable God, they were not surprised to discover that people could find out something true about nature and the universe on the basis of reason." (Schaeffer, p.132-133)
"Third, not all the scientists to be considered in this section were individually consistent Christians. Many of them were, but they were all living within the thought forms brought forth by Christianity. And in this setting man's creative stirring had a base on which to continue and develop. To quote Whitehead once more, the Christian thought form of the early scientists gave them 'the faith in the possibility of science.'
Living within the concept that the world was created by a reasonable God, scientists could move with confidence, expecting to be able to find out about the world by observation and experimentation. This was their epistemological base--the philosophical foundation with which they were sure they could know.(Epistemology is the theory of knowledge--how we know, or how we can know.) Since the world had been created by a reasonable God, they were not surprised to find a correlation between themselves as observers and the thing observed--that is, between subject and object. This base is normative to one functioning in the Christian framework, whether he is observing a chair or the molecules that make up the chair. Without this foundation, Western modern science would not have been born." (Schaeffer, p. 133-134)
"On the Christian base, one could expect to find out something true about the universe by reason. There were certain other results of the Christian world view. For example, there was the certainty of something "there"--an objective reality--for science to examine. What we seem to observe is not just an extension of the essence of God, as Hindu and Buddist thinking would have it. The Christian world gives us the real world which is there to study objectively. Another result of the Christian base was that the world was worth finding out about, for in doing so one was investigating God's creation. And people were free to investigate nature, for nature was not seen as full of gods and therefore taboo. All things were created by God and are open for people's investigation..."(Schaeffer, p.140)
"The Greeks, the Moslems, and the Chinese eventually lost interest in science. As we have said before, the Chinese had an early and profound knowledge of the world. Joseph Needham (1900-), in his book The Grand Titration (1969), explains why this never developed into full-fledged science: 'There was no confidence that the code of natures laws could ever be unveiled and read, because there was no assurance that a divine being, even more rational than ourselves, had ever formulated such a code capable of being read.' But for the scientists who were functioning on a Christian base, there was an incentive to continue searching for objective truth which they had good reason to know was there. Then, too, with the biblical emphasis on the rightness of work and the dignity of all vocations, it was natural that the things which were learned should flow over into the practicle side and not remain a matter of mere intellectual curiousity and that, in other words, technology, in the beneficial sense, should be born." (Schaeffer, p. 142)
It would appear that Christianity was a major factor in the birth of modern science. Science waned in other civilizations because it had no base from which to continue.
For you to compare the decline in science in ancient civilizations or the events in Germany, the USSR and Iraq to what might happen if (Evangelical/Fundamentalist) religion were allowed a place at the table is intellectually shallow and an exercise in sterotyping. To what do you attribute the decline in American Science Education? Since only evolution has a place at the table, you certainly cannot blame those who want to teach alternatives to evolution along with evolution. (Most modern day dissenters from Darwin acknowledge that evolution must be taught in schools; they are not interested in turning science classes into religion classes.) According to Gallop polls, 85% of Americans with a background in science, whether at the Ph.d level, colledge or highschool level, believe in evolution. Only 15% are creationists. (Source, article by Pamela Winnick, who is profiled in Expelled:No Intelligence Allowed, http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05345/620180-109.stm ) It appears that one must look for other causes for the decline in science education than true science being supressed by Fundamentalists with a theological agenda.
I had asked you by what authority you would deny those who advocate alternatives to evolution a place at the table; you can only cite the modern accepted definition of science. But to cite the definition does not answer the question.
I will answer the rest of your comment later this evening.

Mr. Guthrie said...

Olorin, I see that you have sent me another comment. I'll post it after I have finished commenting on your previous comment.
You state that alternatives to evolution (ID or Creationism) have no place in the science classroom. You liken it to teaching Mozart in Art History class. We don't agree on this point so I won't comment on it. However, if a teacher teaches material which would be proper in another class, there are enough local controls to take care of the situation. There would be no need for a national organization to attempt to discredit the offending teachers with uncited sources as the National Center for Science Education has done with those featured in Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. That is what this series of posts is about.
Which leads me to remind you of what I asked of you in a previous comment. I asked if any University or private foundation gave the appropriate funds to research ID. I asked for unbiased sources. In your Templeton/Discovery example, you provided no citation. Nothing. Like the NCSE's expelledexposed website, you paint an unflattering portrait of ID and ID proponents with no evidence to cite. Can you cite an unbiased source? You do cite Behe's testimony that no peer-reviewed article concerning ID research has been published. However, Behe was mistaken, for the Meyer paper, which was published in the "Procedings of the Biological Society of Washington" was peer reviewed. In having the paper published, Sternberg incurred the wrath of his Smithsonian collegues and the NCSE. You don't have to take my word for it; the then-President of the Biological Society of Washington confirmed it in writing, and that confirmation appears in the appendix to the government report exonerating Sternberg. This confirmation will be cited in the next post to be published soon. If you read the guide to the appendix I provided in the article, you should have no trouble finding it. The link to the appendix is in the article. Also, I have just realized that the Discovery Institutes webpage gives a list of peer-reviewed works on ID: http://www.discovery.org/a/2640
You say that those who believed in life forms designed by non-human intelligence suffered no discrimination between the 1850's and the 1940's; I assume this includes those who believe in Biblical creation. So. That would indeed be the case. Belief in a non-human creator, God, has been around for centuries and it took at least a century for Darwinists to gain the power they now have in academia and the media. Did I say that all proponents of ID suffer persecution? No. Behe is one who states he has suffered no career setbacks for advocating ID. Your mention of a world-wide conspiracy against ID advocates is a straw man designed to make the legitimate charges of discrimination appear ridiculous. Again, that is the same tactic employed by the NCSE which is on full display in expelledexposed.com.

Mr. Guthrie said...

I do not deny that there are those scientists who believe in evolution and confess Christ as their savior: John Polkinghorne(spelling?)and Francis Collins come to mind. Previous to posting this article, I republished a 3-part review of Collin's "The Language of God" where I took great issue with his evolutionary pronouncements but praised his efforts to witness for God among his atheist collegues.
That is all the time I have for now. I will reply again tomorrow. That will be the last post on this issue, unless you can cite those unbiased sources I asked for. I have enjoyed the debate, but to continue the present subject would be fruitless. Also, I am a slow typist and don't always have the time to respond to lengthy comments. Others may comment before the publication of the next article, but when that article appears, I will only accept comments directly pertaining to the subject matter.

Olorin said...

"Also, I have just realized that the Discovery Institutes webpage gives a list of peer-reviewed works on ID"

I discovered that page several years ago. The list is bogus. First, it lists publications that the DI _claims_ support ID; the authors themselves claim that they do not support ID. Second, the list includes articles that have subsequently been retracted by the editors, or whose conclusions have been renounced by the authors. One handy Web site is http://deardiscoveryinstitute.blogspot.com/2008/03/peer-reviewed-id-publications.html. There are several others.

Mr. Guthrie said...

Oh Dear. It appears I have misplace two comments. I was about to publish the comments from James and Anonymous when they just disappeared. I don't know who is at fault, myself or blogger's comments section, which has been acting up on me that past few days. If you can, please resubmit them and I'll try again to post them. Thanks for your participation in the debate.

Mr. Guthrie said...

Olorin, I have gone to the website you directed me to and I have the same criticisms I have brought up earlier, lack of citations. These are not the objective findings of a disinterested party; they are the opinions of a website that is dedicated to, as it declares, to discrediting the Discovery Institute. I even went to a further website recommended by the site you recommend. It had no citations. It had references, but they were not totally related to any specific charges alledged in the post. Two of the references were to the official statement by the Biological Society of Washington that the Meyer paper was not peer-reviewed. As the next article will demonstrate, the evidence will disprove that. The fact that articles don't appear in Nature or Scientific American does not prove that the peer-review process they underwent was less rigorous or non-existant. Those publications will not publish anything favorable to ID, period. To insist that articles on ID appear in publications such as these to prove the peer-review process was legitimate is akin to saying that Political Party X's policies cannot be workable unless they are endorsed by their opponents party platform.
As to the statement that science slept for 1500 years under Christianity, that is just bogus. In the first few centuries of the Christian Church, it was not powerful enough to suppress science as it met in caves and in each other's houses. The Roman Empire was crumbling from within when the invasions from Germanic barbarian armies conquered the western Empire. That was the beginning of the Dark Ages, when science all but disappeared. Yes, the Church was opposed to progress out of superstition, but it also preserved much of the knowledge from the classical world. It is a historical fact that the High Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Scientific Revolution occured simultaneously in history. There was no age of light when the power of the church was reduced and science was suddenly emancipated. No. The Reformation played a role in bringing about modern science. For someone who claims to be a Christian, you should be more aware of the actual history of the Church.
I have deleted your other two comments. As I said, to continue this line of arguement any further serves no purpose. And I need time to do other things, like getting the next article, already written, ready to publish. If some other reader would wish to debate on this topic with you, I would be glad to publish your comments. Don't get me wrong. I have enjoyed the debate very much. This is why I blog. But I must make time for other things. But, if you do find citations for your portrayal of ID advocates in an earlier comment, from unbiased sources, then I will be glad to see them.

Mr. Guthrie said...

I have found the missing comments. Thanks James for both of them. I did not know they appeared with previous articles.

Olorin said...

"You say that religion should not be brought to the table when science is discussed, yet it is Biblical Christianity that made the scientific revolution possible."

We may have crossed wires here. I replied to this point, but it has not yet appeared. My apologies if the following is a repeat:[0]

You seem top be arguing that, because Christianity provided a favorable backdrop for modern science, religious faith deserves a role n science. I disagree with you as to the extent to which Christianity was a help or a hindrance to modern science. However, this argument is beside the point. If I should provide a hall for a convention of a political party, does this give me the right to determine the platform of that party? No.

Excluding faith from science is done for practical reasons. Explanations based upon supernatural causes are by definition unpredictable and uncontrollable.[1] Since the purpose of science is to predict and control, supernatural explanations must be excluded.

Unless you can show that admitting such arbitrary causation advances the power of naturalistic science in some measurable way, scientists will continue to resist it. Satisfying your--or others’---religious sensibilities is not enough. You may believe what you like, but please do not call it science.. And I won’t call evolution “religion.”[2]

=================
[1] Unless you include sorcery as a valid research method. But I think that went out centuries ago.

[2] Would you invite me to teach evolution to your Sunday-school class? Turn about is fair play, is it not?

[0] Please leyt nme know of any restrictions you wish to impose because of your limited access.

Tim Sheets said...

So much for objectivity in science. Looking forward to this!

Thanks!

T <><

bobxxxx said...

Can you tell me of any situation where a university or research institution was granted money from the government or from private foundations to research the claims of ID, and the claims were found to be false?

Hello. You seem to be forgetting, or perhaps you didn't know, or perhaps you don't want to admit it, but Intelligent Design is nothing more than a religious belief in magic. How the heck can any scientist research magic? The whole thing is too ridiculous and too childish to talk about. That's why real scientists ridicule and laugh at the fake scientists who invoke intelligent design, also known as magic, to solve scientific problems.

If you continue to promote the idea that magic can be a valid idea in science, educated people will never take you seriously. This is the 21st century, not the Dark Ages. Grownups are not suppose to believe in magic anymore.

Mr. Guthrie said...

Bob, Bob, if you read the comments section of this article, you will see that I have already had this arguement with Olorin. My question to him, which you quote, was could he provide any objective sources to prove that ID has been tested by scientists who proved that it is not true science. By objective sources, I do not mean evolutionist blogs quoting each other. He could not because there has been no scientific discreditation of ID. To state that there has been none because it is just magic is just another way of saying that we will not seriously consider your views because we don't like them.
As for the issue of magic, I refer you to my comment to bobc in my original review of Expelled in May. (By the way, are you and Bobc one in the same? The tone you use is similiar.)
If I worried about the opinion of others, I would not be blogging. Since I am educated, I am already in their fold. In fact, my secular education led me to becoming a Christian.
Olorin could not answer my question. And he has not responded to the other articles detailing the evidence of persecution against those who dissent from Darwin. Perhaps he can't. Can you?