If you can’t dispute the message, attack the messenger. So far, that’s the sum total of any arguments against ID (Intelligent Design) I can offer. If indeed anyone has a valid argument against it, by all means, share. Keep in mind though; saying ID is not supported by science or scientist is the gist of this article, and what will be addressed below.
Ben Stein’s documentary, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”, is a documentary about the monopoly one world view holds on the science departments in our nation’s schools. Of course, the ones that share this world view will fight tooth and nail to hold on to this jewel as long as possible. Among other reasons covered in the documentary, all the grant money alloted for research is limited to this world view.
Darwin’s work has allowed them to do so for quite some time now. But times they are a changin’.
This blog post is an attempt to gather some of the scattered so-called “point-by-point” approaches the holders of this world view often argue. The problem is that the “point-by-points” are scattered over different subjects and post. In my many debates on various websites, all I get is the same ol’ same ol’ double standard game of “lead the conversation”. This game has rules that these people would like to think apply to everyone. Rules that will only allow their world view a voice in this so-called “discussion”. Anything that does not adhere to this world view is simply stupid, an therefore not allowed. When these people are in a position of authority, they will simply get rid of the opposition.
As it is now, these rules do apply in the government of scientific research in the public school system.
On a wap site or Google community this is no big deal. (Not to me anyway. It’s like playing chess with a two year old) But in the classroom it’s an entirely a different matter. Below I will show the origin of this rule, but for now I will only address this point about what adherence to this rule actually does.
By what authority do these rules apply? Their own, of course. For example, lets look at some of these rules, as well as look at some of the things they say about this film, and ID in general.
Their main argument?
ID is not science, and the scientist that support ID are not real scientist.
This is a clip from the Scientific American website. Notice the opening two paragraphs. The opining line infers that supporters of ID are trying to undermine “real science”.
“In the new science-bashing movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Ben Stein and the rest of the filmmakers...
The rest of the statement is a blatant lie. It states that Ben Stein says Darwins book, “The Descent of Man” is responsible for the Holocaust. This isn’t at all what was said. What was said was that Hitler had it in mind when he carried out his work. Attack the messenger…
The next paragraph states this:
“No one could have been more surprised than I when the producers called, unbidden, offering Scientific American’s editors a private screening. Given that our magazine’s positions on evolution and intelligent design (ID) creationism reflect those of the scientific mainstream (that is, evolution: good science; ID: not science), you have to wonder why they would bother.”
Why they would bother is obvious to the supporters of ID. To allow you to build your own case against yourself. Hello? The film is questioning the agenda behind what you call “mainstream science”.
So to address the first point in this post, I will state a claim that these opponents of ID are apparently not aware they are making. These claims are statements that say ID is not science, supported by science, or that the scientist that support it are not scientist, posted or otherwise inferred, and ultimately make a claim that ID is not scientific; or that scientist that support it are not real scientist.
Lets address this point, although one might think it a silly thing to do. It’s very obvious that real scientist support ID. Some are not only real, but the top scientist in the field of study they are in, such as Dr Francis Collins
[ http://www.genome.gov/10000779 ] just to name one. I won’t list all the scientist that support ID.
The film featured, “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” is self evident. The interviews are with real scientist. The other featured films are also real science, and/or the views of real scientist. The Scientific American website posted several articles making some bold accusations of conspiracy to deceive the scientist in the film to think they were being interviewed for some other film. This is so silly it needs no answer.
It doesn’t change what they said in the film.
For reference, here is but one of the former evolutionist that have changed their view to creationism, and there are quite a few. (Antony Flew, the the atheist top dog before Dawkins, is another major factor to consider. He also changed his view to creationism) So my question is; if scientist think ID is valid scientifically, then why is it not considered in public school, if not for the sole purpose of forcing a world view on our children?
Lets address another issue of this point-by-point approach of science vs science… And yes, I meant to say that. The problem with modern science, as it is now being practiced, is that the rules are now out of date. What has been used as a staple rule of thumb for decades now is something called methodological naturalism.
From the Scientific American article:
“Actually, science avoids design explanations for natural phenomena out of logical necessity. The scientific method involves rigorously observing and experimenting on the material world. It accepts as evidence only what can be measured or otherwise empirically validated (a requirement called methodological naturalism). That requirement prevents scientific theories from becoming untestable and overcomplicated.”
Untestable? Overcomplicated? According to who?
To quote from this definition of methodological naturalism:
“Methodological naturalism is concerned not with claims about what exists but with methods of learning what nature is.”
Really? Then just how do you use it to to tell me what does, or does not exist?
“It is strictly the idea that all scientific endeavors—all hypotheses and events—are to be explained and tested by reference to natural causes and events. The genesis of nature, e.g., by an act of God, is not addressed. This second sense of naturalism seeks only to provide a framework within which to conduct the scientific study of the laws of nature. Methodological naturalism is a way of acquiring knowledge. It is a distinct system of thought concerned with a cognitive approach to reality, and is thus a philosophy of knowledge.” (from the same page as above link)
So this rule that modern science adheres to is a philosophy…interesting.
1.the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.
Is it any wonder that opponents of ID state it’s not science? What gives them the authority to monopolize the philosophy of knowledge, existence, and reality, especially when by definition this philosophy concerns academic progress?
Lets look at some other word definitions:
Metaphysical naturalism, also called “ontological naturalism” and “philosophical naturalism”, is a philosophical worldview and belief system that holds that there is nothing but natural elements, principles, and relations of the kind studied by the natural sciences, i.e., those required to understand our physical environment by mathematical modeling. Methodological naturalism, on the other hand, refers exclusively to the methodology of science, for which metaphysical naturalism provides only one possible ontological foundation.
So lets establish another point:
Their naturalistic world view is a belief.
Their “belief” allows only one possible ontological foundation. Okay; what does this actually say? Ironically, it says the same thing atheist say about theist, and their agenda to force a world view on everyone.
Metaphysical naturalism holds that all properties related to consciousness and the mind are reducible to, or supervene upon, nature. Broadly, the corresponding theological perspective is religious naturalism or spiritual naturalism. More specifically, metaphysical naturalism rejects the supernatural concepts and explanations that are part of many religions. (From the same page as above link)
To make another point, I will address another problem:
The above paragraph is an opinion. The problem is with the word definitions and how they are manipulated. Most important is the impact it has on the forming of ones world view, especially children in public classrooms.
For instance the word supernatural has no fixed definition, and is in fact defined differently for one reason only.
What is observable, and by who?
Robert T. Pennock
“Robert T. Pennock contends that as supernatural agents and powers “are above and beyond the natural world and its agents and powers” and “are not constrained by natural laws”, only logical impossibilities constrain what a supernatural agent could not do, and “If we could apply natural knowledge to understand supernatural powers, then, by definition, they would not be supernatural”. As the supernatural is necessarily a mystery to us, it can provide no grounds on which to judge scientific models. “Experimentation requires observation and control of the variables…. But by definition we have no control over supernatural entities or forces.” Science does not deal with meanings; the closed system of scientific reasoning cannot be used to define itself. Allowing science to appeal to untestable supernatural powers would make the scientist’s task meaningless, undermine the discipline that allows science to make progress…
( I can’t help but wonder what progress “we” are talking about here)
…and “would be as profoundly unsatisfying as the ancient Greek playwright’s reliance upon the deus ex machina to extract his hero from a difficult predicament.”
Now lets look at the next paragraph:
“Naturalism of this sort says nothing about the existence or nonexistence of the supernatural, which by this definition is beyond natural testing. As a practical consideration, the rejection of supernatural explanations would merely be pragmatic, thus it would nonetheless be possible, for an ontological supernaturalist to espouse and practice methodological naturalism.”
Here’s the problem with this:
The idea “I can’t see it, so nobody can” is injected into the definition of both words, science, and supernatural, and the issue becomes who, or what controls the definition, [or moreover], which world view decides what is observable.
I say this because what man A can not see, man A terms supernatural. If man B can see it, then it is natural to him by definition. So the rule of adherence to definition lies with the scientist, and the actual interpretation of the evidences “they” observe, or deem unobservable.
Why is this important? Because rules are then made about observation, and limits put on observation to third parties. This would be fine, if we were talking about rocks, and not deities with personalities, and wills to choose to show up for the experiment, or respectfully decline…
and an assumption becomes an accepted fact by the scientist that hold the same world view.
I realize this is a long post, so to conclude I will make another point. First, lets look at the next paragraph in the above definition:
“For example, a scientist may believe in God, while practicing methodological naturalism in their scientific work. This position does not preclude knowledge that is somehow connected to the supernatural. Generally however, anything that can be scientifically examined and explained would not be supernatural, simply by definition.”
Lastly, from the same page:
“Take philosophical naturalism to be the belief that there aren’t any supernatural entities–no such person as God, for example, but also no other supernatural entities, and nothing at all like God. My claim was that naturalism and contemporary evolutionary theory are at serious odds with one another–and this despite the fact that the latter is ordinarily thought to be one of the main pillars supporting the edifice of the former. (Of course I am not attacking the theory of evolution, or anything in that neighborhood; I am instead attacking the conjunction of naturalism with the view that human beings have evolved in that way. I see no similar problems with the conjunction of theism and the idea that human beings have evolved in the way contemporary evolutionary science suggests.) More particularly, I argued that the conjunction of naturalism with the belief that we human beings have evolved in conformity with current evolutionary doctrine… is in a certain interesting way self-defeating or self-referentially incoherent.”
— Alvin Plantinga, Naturalism Defeated?: Essays on Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism, “Introduction”
To state the point:
World views determine how any evidence is examined, and interpreted.
To quote Dr Francis Collins:
“Creationist and evolutionist scientist worked side by side to design and build the Hubble telescope. The agreed unanimously about the science involved in design and implementation of the scope. What they did not agree on, however, was the interpretation of the data gathered by the scope, and what it told them as scientist.”
If there are scientist that favor ID, and think evidence supports it, then why shouldn’t it be considered as sound academic doctrine for our children to decide for themselves the paths they should take?
Just for an example of how world view can be used with science, I am posting a film about quantum and the Bible. This may seem silly to some, but there is a very good question about the elements that make up everything. How did the writers of Genesis know which element was first, and composed all others? If they were uninformed, non scientific goat herders, why would they not assume something else was created first, and how would they know that all things are made from this first element?