Today on Blogcritics
Home » Culture and Society » Science and Technology » Intelligent Design: The Difference Between Natural and Supernatural

Intelligent Design: The Difference Between Natural and Supernatural

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

I haven’t written much about intelligent design because I’ve never felt it to be worth writing much about. ID is formulated so as to be neither provable nor disprovable, much like the existence of God. Thus, it is not science, or at least it wasn’t before the Kansas School Board changed the definition of science to allow supernatural phenomena.

They went from “Science is the human activity of seeking natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us.” to “Science is a systematic method of continuing investigation that uses observations, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena.” The change is subtle, but the effect is to open the door for supernatural explanations, provided they have the scientific trappings of experiments and measurements.

So, that sort of concerned me, because, as a Kansas high school science student I don’t want my education viewed as sub-par the world over. Still, I figured, the school board can say whatever they want, but science teachers won’t teach it. Then Salon.com told me that 50 percent of science teachers in Kansas are willing to teach creationism or ID along with actual science. That kind of surprised me because as far as I know all the science teachers I’ve had in high school have been atheists. In any case, there hasn’t been the least hint of religion. Despite the best efforts of our science teachers, though, some students simply refuse to listen or, as the Kansas Board of Education instructs, ‘enhance critical thinking and the understanding of the scientific method’ by tolerating a little cognitive dissonance. It is my understanding that students are now allowed to opt out of the evolution unit, to avoid damaging their fragile little brains.

I wonder what benefit the religious community receives from placing themselves in the realm of science. By trying to arrive at scientific proof of the existence of god, they have placed their supernaturalism on the same plane as, say, the thermodynamic principle. I think it would be natural for religion to try and stay as far away from science as possible, because when religion is judged by the standards of science it fails. Does the religious community want to go on to explain the virgin birth, the parting of the waters of the Red Sea? Because from a scientific standpoint these are impossible without impractically large fans and a full laboratory; equipment that didn’t exist during the time period.

All ID is is an effort to muddy the waters; to change science into politics. In politics, it is run of the mill to come to a conclusion and then find or manufacture facts to support it. No one bats an eye, and the other side comes back with different facts and different conclusions. The idea is that somewhere in the middle is the truth.

There’s a reason that science doesn’t have political parties. In science there is only one set of facts. There is debate about what evidence is valid, but all of the debate is about how accurately the evidence reflects the physical world. The conclusions that can be drawn from facts are limited by other facts. The concrete nature of science is what it draws its authority from. If Intelligent Design can force science to expand itself into the realm of religion or philosophy or politics, then it has won. It has taken away science’s claim to objective truth, which is what scared religion in the first place. The goal of science is to be left alone to do science, and then to convey scientific knowledge to subsequent generations. The goal of religion is to make science subservient, to make the observable subservient to the unobservable. To me, that’s a bad goal.

Powered by

About Leoniceno

  • Nancy

    “In science there is only one set of facts.” LOL, obviously you have never seen/heard a bunch of paleontologists at a convention going at it over extremely “iffy” fragments of some hominid or other! Worse than Dems vs GOP.

  • Shannon Lewis

    From a philosophical perspective, the fact that Atheism IS a religion (at least, broadly defined, as the word is being applied to the ID movement as well – which includes Agnostics – those who don’t know – and the rest who fall FAR from the evangelical Christian camp) is the main reason ID theory came about: Science, in fact, was becoming anything BUT a science, but instead simply an extention of the Atheist religious belief in a materialistic worldview. If your philosophy of Science only stands on a leap of faith – in the case of materialistic science that leap is “there is no God, or at least, even if there might be, we’ll do science as though He/She doesn’t exist or have any contact with the universe he/she may or may not have created” – how is that Science any better than creationism. ID, however, asks some very good questions, sets up some unique programs of study and inquiry, and looks as though it may be very helpful to the future not only of it’s own movement (who knows – if ID theory is wrong, it’s own methods will disprove itself), but of the Scientific community as a whole. Scientists have long had too much faith in themselves – ID theory adds a helpful dash of skepticism to the mix.

  • http://www.myspace.com/setonedgemusic shannon lewis

    From a philosophical perspective, the fact that Atheism IS a religion (at least, broadly defined, as the word is being applied to the ID movement as well – which includes Agnostics – those who don’t know – and the rest who fall FAR from the evangelical Christian camp) is the main reason ID theory came about: Science, in fact, was becoming anything BUT a science, but instead simply an extention of the Atheist religious belief in a materialistic worldview. If your philosophy of Science only stands on a leap of faith – in the case of materialistic science that leap is “there is no God, or at least, even if there might be, we’ll do science as though He/She doesn’t exist or have any contact with the universe he/she may or may not have created” – how is that Science any better than creationism. ID, however, asks some very good questions, sets up some unique programs of study and inquiry, and looks as though it may be very helpful to the future not only of it’s own movement (who knows – if ID theory is wrong, it’s own methods will disprove itself), but of the Scientific community as a whole. Scientists have long had too much faith in themselves – ID theory adds a helpful dash of skepticism to the mix.

  • Vern Halen

    “The goal of science is to be left alone to do science, and then to convey scientific knowledge to subsequent generations. The goal of religion is to make science subservient, to make the observable subservient to the unobservable.”

    Never heard about this being a goal of religion. Citation, please?

    Is it a problem to make the observable subservient to the unobservable? Observable: murder. Unobservable: justice. Maybe not the best example, but I hope you get my drift.

  • http://leoniceno.journalspace.com Sam Jack

    What I meant when I said, “There is only one set of facts” is that only observable phenomena are taken into consideration. That was the ‘one set’ that I was referring to; sorry if I wasn’t clear.

  • http://leoniceno.journalspace.com Sam Jack

    “if ID theory is wrong, it’s own methods will disprove itself.”

    I see little chance of that happening.

  • Bliffle

    The faithists may regret inserting ID into scientific discourse because inevitably it will lead to ID being treated to the same rough examination as science principles, like, indeed, evolution. And if you think evolution has holes and inadequacies and gets treated rough by ID fans, just wait until ID gets the same treatment: talk about holes in theories!

    Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.

  • Bliffle

    Lewis:”From a philosophical perspective, the fact that Atheism IS a religion (at least, broadly defined, as the word is being applied to the ID movement as well – which includes Agnostics – those who don’t know – and the rest who fall FAR from the evangelical Christian camp) is the main reason ID theory came about: Science, in fact, was becoming anything BUT a science, but instead simply an extention of the Atheist religious belief in a materialistic worldview.”

    Wow! There’s a bunch of Big Claims, which should, accordingly, have Big Proofs. To start with “Atheism IS a religion” seems to me untrue as the atheists I know are unconcerned with religion in any form. Do you know of something like a “Universalist Atheist Church” that has meetings, doctrine, scripture, etc.?

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    Sam Jack: You have some impressive writing skills. Are you seriously still in high school? If so, I’m fucking impressed.

    Shannon Lewis: You have no idea what your talking about. I presume that you’ve actually completed High School. If so, you may want to go back and re-take a few classes. Maybe the kid who wrote this article could tutor you.

  • Bennett

    Luckily for the world of (US) science, yesterday’s scathing and eloquent ruling puts it all to rest. Science is science, and ID is creationism dressed up to fool fools.

    Sorry, no deal here.

  • Baronius

    Anyone remember the Darwin Fish? You still see it around on the backs of cars, the fish with feet (sometimes with the word “Darwin” written inside). It was a response to the Jesus Fish which identified the driver as a Christian. The Darwin Fish said that the driver believes in evolution instead of God. Note the thinking here: evolution as an argument against God.

    It’s obvious that some of the support for ID comes from frustrated Christians. It’s equally clear that ID is opposed by people who see it as a threat to naturalism. Have you ever read any Richard Dawkins? He hates religion. While many people see evolution and religious faith as compatible, there are people on both sides of the debate who don’t.

    I hope this doesn’t sound like the classic playground argument about who started it. But we should be honest. Both sides are motivated by beliefs. ID theory is less partisan at its core because, while Christianity doesn’t need creationism, atheism requires some means of spontaneous generation.

    But science is fool-proof, based on hard evidence, right? Sadly, no. Here, I can believe that Sam Jack is a high school student, because of his unfamiliarity with the debates within science. The ultra-Darwinists and supporters of punctuated equilibrium theory are fierce opponents. Physics is in open war over the theory of everything; geologists settle timeline debates by purging departments; statisticians fight dirty over Bayesianism. Scientific arguments are won as often by tenure denials as by analyses. The academic response to ID theory carries a familiar stench.

    Finally, let me point out that ID theory isn’t opposed to science. It is a collection of evidence which points to the improbability of random organic development within the required time frame.

  • gonzo marx

    Baronius…i’m going to say only one thing to your well written comment

    I.D. is NOT a Theory by scientific definition

    American Heritage dictionary sez…
    *A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.*

    I.D. is an unprovable hypothesis…and thus falls into the field of metaphysics, even philosophy…but NOT science

    i do hope that helps…defining things accuratately is just kinda…well…scientific

    Excelsior!

  • Bennett

    No, I think that most of us who are opposed to ID being inserted into science classes are opposed because it ISN’T science.

    People of all faiths, of no faith, and of undetermined faith, all have a vested interest in the quality of our children’s education. We don’t want to muddy the waters of science by adding psychic mumbo jumbo, or anything that confuses the task at hand.

    Teach our kids what we KNOW, as best we can, using established scientific knowledge, and let them get metaphysics or comparative religion classes when they go to college.

    This is about biology and geology classes, not nuclear physics. Quit trying to frame a rejection of this ID crap as some kind of attack on your church or your personal belief system.

    You get the kids (of your faith) on Sunday, do what you will. But Monday through Friday the kids learn the three R’s, history, and Science.

    Indoctrination is not education.

  • gonzo marx

    Bennet sez…
    *Indoctrination is not education.*

    best…line…of….the….Day!!!

    the cookie is on me

    Excelsior!

  • Bennett

    Thanks Gonzo! Yummy!

  • gonzo marx

    de nada, hermano

    i know..i am WAY overdue for sending you a long e-mail…my Apologies, and soon come

    Excelsior!

  • Bennett

    Looking forward to it!

  • http://leoniceno.journalspace.com Sam Jack

    About Richard Dawkins: I am almost as unimpressed with him as I am with the ID people. Dawkins has had an important role in explaining evolution to the general populace, but to do so, he has departed from pure science by making aesthetic judgements. It doesn’t matter that I happen to agree with him; Dawkins does escalate the conflict. He does attack religion.

    Dawkins came by his notoriety in much the way that Scalia did: by espousing an absolute philosophy and defending it wittily. There’s a place for that to happen, and far be it from me to stop Dawkins from expressing his opinions, but I think that he’s working counter to the goal of most scientists, which is, as I said, to be left alone to do science. Destroying religion isn’t on their plates, and the fact that Dawkins is prominent as both an evolution and atheism advocate just mixes them up together.

    I think that religion and science need to draw a truce at “non-overlapping magisteria,” and in his unwillingness to make that his position, Dawkins is doing just as much to escalate the conflict as Michael Behe and the Dover School Board.

    -Sam

  • Shark

    Baronius: “Both sides are motivated by beliefs. ID theory is less partisan at its core because, while Christianity doesn’t need creationism, atheism requires some means of spontaneous generation.”

    What a load of deluded bullshit.

    READ A FUCKING DICTIONARY and get back to us.

    Every “explanation” requires “spontaneous generation — God is no better answer than “the big bang” — except that we have a ton of evidence for the big bang — and not a hint of evidence for “God” — despite over 2000 years of folks like you studying His Instructions.

    ID explains “complexity” by positing a creator [inevitably resembling the Christoid Yawah, Abba, Lord God, Big Daddy, etc] at the “beginning” — yet they [IDiots] are left with the same dilemma they mock evolution for: who made the “complexity”.

    ID needs to answer one question:

    WHO/WHAT MADE GOD?

    =======

    re: Richard Dawkins — Dawkins is hostile toward religion for a number of good reasons, the main two being

    1) “religion” [especially American Christoidanity] has recently declared war on science

    2) the Islamic Terrorist attacks on 9/11 and the subsequent “crusade” by G.W. Bush are both sides of the same RELIGIOUS COIN.

    Shark says, “Gawd Bless Dawkins!” for having the balls to stand up and say Evolution is a FACT — and that Christiods and Islamics are equally dangerous to the life of the mind and the future of humankind and its science.

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    as a graduate of the kansas school system (the first 8 years in catholic school), i am floored by the continuing effort to interject ID into any curriculum other than humanities…and why aren’t the ID’ers persuing that option?

    even in catholic school we were taught about evolution, that God created the process and that that process could not only be studied but observed…sister helen marie used mold as a starting point for that lecture…she went from mold to penicillin to antibiotics to what they treat to what they would no longer treat to why they could no longer be treated with the same antibiotics…i was more interested in the guy sitting next to me than evolution but sister helen marie seemed pretty excited about it…
    i will never understand the whole debate…my beliefs don’t conflict with my science because i wasn’t taught a conflict between them…

    come on creationists, throw us a bone (bearing in mind that the theory of gravity might hamper the effort)…

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    “Finally, let me point out that ID theory isn’t opposed to science. It is a collection of evidence which points to the improbability of random organic development within the required time frame.”

    if ID isn’t opposed to science, then why do ID followers reject the science behind evolution?
    if ID has a collection of evidence, where is it? put everything about evolution and ID side by side on a table…take away books, opinions, papers, and the people who set them there…what do you have left? on the evolution side of the table are fossil records and petri dishes full of squishy stuff that has mutated and will continue to mutate all through the debate…on the ID side of the table is a can of endust that the cleaning lady left behind…

    frankly, i don’t for one second trust any sector of the american population whose grasp of our mother tongue is so lacking that it doesn’t allow the understanding of multiple meanings; in this case, of the word “theory”…this one word doesn’t mean many things at once; it has several different, distinct meanings just like the words “can” or “hike” (“i can stand on this can” or “i will hike to the gas station to see the hike in gasoline prices”)…
    ID’ers ought go back to english class before venturing into science class…

  • Vern Halen

    Interestingly enough, I heard a representative from the NCSE (National Council of Science Educators, or something like that) speaking on the radio on the way home from work yesterday. According to him, ID basically says that God “poofed” the various life forms into existence. This is simply creationism – not even a possibility that evolution might be the way life developed, and definitely not science in any form I can imagine.

  • JR

    Baronius: ID theory is less partisan at its core because, while Christianity doesn’t need creationism, atheism requires some means of spontaneous generation.

    So atheism didn’t exist before Darwin?

    And if ID is less partisan, does that mean there are more atheists who believe in ID than Christians who believe in evolution?

    Think about it; does your assertion bear any resemblance to reality?

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com/ Christopher Rose

    I object to being called an atheist – the very word pulls me into a faith centred world view. All believers are faithists, but everybody else is just, well, not. That’s why there isn’t a word for people who don’t believe in astrology.

    It occurs to me that one of the main differences between faithists is that they believe in the existence of aliens as the very core of their world view – whereas the rest of us want to but the SETI results are still negative. Seriously.

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    Since it’s obviously impossible to convince the proponents of this drivel that it’s not science, let me concede for the purposes of this discussion that ID is science. That concession still would not resolve the argument over whether it should be taught in public schools. Because, after all do we teach all scientific theories in the public schools? Clearly not. Specifically, to the extent possible crackpot scientific theories are excluded. That’s why the Dover public school system doesn’t have a module on eugenics as theorized by German Scientists of the early 1940s? That’s why the Kansas school system doesn’t teach genetics as espoused by Soviet Scientists in the 1950s. And I would hope that even the most misguided reprobate would reject teaching these things in american public schools. Now the question is, does ID fall into the category of these crackpot scientific theories or is it mainstream science? To answer this question we merely have to ask the mainstream scientific community and count the articles in peer reviewed journals. Based on the normal criteria to answer these questions, ID clearly falls into the crackpot class. There were probably more articles on cold-fusion and alchemy in scientific journals than there were on ID last year. You could probably find more scientists who believe that babies form spontaneously from homonculi than agree with ID. So why reject the usual method of relying on the scientific community to tell us which theories are in the mainstream? Why bypass the people who know the most and go directly to local school boards composed of real estate agents and car dealers? The proponents of ID answer “because there’s bias here.” “We can’t trust these scientists.” “They’re a bunch of atheists with their own pseudo-religion.” In truth, this is an attempt to politicize and religify every aspect of life. Unfortunatly, in the past we’ve found that this does not tend to result in good science. (See, Galileo.)Scientists don’t accept the concept of bias. To them it’s a logical fallacy. They rely on evidence and experimentation. I beg you, let’s not go back to the dark ages.

  • http://www.richardbrodie.com/ Richard Brodie

    -oid A suffix used to indicate a poor imitation, a counterfeit, or some otherwise slightly bogus resemblance.

    Hence a “Christoid” – someone proclaiming to be Christian, but who displays unchristian behavior by seeking to ram the Bible down the throats of those who don’t accept its explanation of the existence of man, by having their doctrine taught as fact in schools which children are effectively forced by the government to attend.

    And hence a “Darwinoid” – someone proclaiming to believe in the theory of evolution, but who seeks to ram the Origin of the Species down the throats of those who don’t accept its explanation of the existence of man, by having their theory taught as fact using the same apparatus of government coercion.

    Judge Jones in Kitzmiller approvingly quotes the Selman decision which concludes that

    encouraging the teaching of evolution as a theory rather than as a fact is one of the latest strategies to dilute evolution instruction employed by anti-evolutionists with religious motivations.

    So the Darwinoids have succeeded in obtaining this lop-sided activist imprimatur, in spite of the fact that Judge Jones actually quotes the following from the National Academy of Sciences:

    This [creationism] contrasts with science, where any hypothesis or theory always remains subject to the possibility of rejection or modification in the light of new knowledge.

    So the courts are now trying to say, while acknowledging that evolution is a theory and not an observable fact such as gravity, nevertheless the public schools are forbidden to point this out to students. Instead the students are to be indoctrinated with Darwinism as though it were a fact, because to do otherwise would “dilute” the viewpoint of pro-evolutionists with anti-religious motivations.

    We should deplore this development as a violation of the Establishment clause of the First Amendment, every bit as much as we would deplore the same kind of an attempt by “Christoids” to impose the teaching of their doctrine as fact in the public schools.

  • gonzo marx

    i love that some of the ID folks are decrying this Pennsylvania judge as some kind of “activist”

    news incoming…he is a 2003 Bush appointee and considered a “strict constructionist”

    remember, knowing is half the battle…

    goOOOOooOOOooooooo Joe!

    Excelsi9or!

  • http://www.richardbrodie.com/ Richard Brodie

    i love that some of the ID folks are decrying this Pennsylvania judge as some kind of “activist”

    news incoming…he is a 2003 Bush appointee and considered a “strict constructionist”

    Jones tries to anticipate and diffuse this accusation when he states at the end of his decision:

    Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court.

    This is a half truth. He is definitely not a PROactivist judge who boldly attempts to initiate new bench legislation. He is a judge who, by timidly refraining from overturning precedent, contributes to the perpetuation of the effects of past activism.

    And by the way, I’m not one of the “ID folks” who wants to ram creationism down the throats of people who do not believe in it. I just like to see a fair and even playing field. If there are large segments of the American population who do not want particular doctrines or theories taught to their children, then such teaching should not be done in the public schools. That is a violation of parental rights.

    Neither ID nor evolution should be taught in the public schools. There is plenty of other subject matter within the field of biology that would adequately prepare a student who wanted to major in that field to easily learn about evolution after high school. If parents want their children to learn about creationism k-12 then they have to send them to a private school. The same should be true for parents who want their children to learn about evolution.

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    Teaching neither is not an acceptable solution. To be consistent, you’d have to refrain from teaching anything that even a small minority of nut-jobs had a problem with.`

  • JR

    Richard Brodie: If there are large segments of the American population who do not want particular doctrines or theories taught to their children, then such teaching should not be done in the public schools.

    If we’re going to let every crackpot parent censor subjects from the curriculum, we might as well just close the schools. The reason we pay taxes to educate the children is so the next generation will be prepared to take up the professions that make us a first world country, not so we can reaffirm the silly prejudices of people whose only distinction is that they’ve figured out how to breed (though nowhere near as prolifically as flies and bacteria).

    If Americans want to pretend evolution is false, we shouldn’t expect to have any standing in the 21st century.

    Fuck it, let’s just let the Chinese run the world; we’re too stupid.

  • Shark

    Brodie: “If there are large segments of the American population who do not want particular doctrines or theories taught to their children, then such teaching should not be done in the public schools.”

    One of the more frightening sentences seen hereabouts lately.

    More insanity: “…Neither ID nor evolution should be taught in the public schools. There is plenty of other subject matter within the field of biology that would adequately prepare a student who wanted to major in that field to easily learn about evolution after high school.”

    1) ID should not be taught in a SCIENCE class; it ain’t science; it’s metaphysics [“A priori speculation upon questions that are unanswerable to scientific observation, analysis, or experiment.”] or religion, ie. CREATIONISM, but it ain’t Science.

    2) Evolution is THE BASIS for all instruction in Biology. Everything in biology stems from an assumption of its validity as a theory.

    =====

    Gawd, I hate “debating” this shit; I’m with Dawkins/Gould on this; a “debate” only lends credibility to these wacko Christoid claims.

    PS: Brodie, thanks for analysing my new word “Christoid”. When it gets in the OED, you’ll give me credit, right?

    xxoo
    S

  • Shark

    “-oid — A suffix used to indicate a poor imitation, a counterfeit, or some otherwise slightly bogus resemblance.”

    Hence a “Christoid” – someone proclaiming to be Christian, but who displays unchristian behavior by… being a greedy, heartless, nationalistic, tribalistic, judgmental, right-wing, war-mongering, tax-cutting, death-penalty supporting asshole.

    And hence a “Darwinoid” – someone proclaiming to believe in the theory of evolution, but who seeks to ram the Origin of the Species down the throats…whoa, whoa, wait a minute!

    A “darwinoid” would be someone who proclaims to accept Darwin’s theory, and yet contradicts that assumption in his/her actions.

    =======

    sigh.

    There. That’s better.

  • http://www.richardbrodie.com/ Richard Brodie

    Teaching neither is not an acceptable solution. To be consistent, you’d have to refrain from teaching anything that even a small minority of nut-jobs had a problem with.

    No. You evidently missed where I said a “a large segment of the population”, precisely to prevent folks like those who believe the earth is flat from being able to remove all references to a spherical earth from the geography curriculum.

    I don’t like the demonization that is going on here, inferring that anyone who does not accept evolution as an adequate explanation for the origin of the human species are “nut-jobs” and “crackpots”. Maybe there should be more teaching going on in the schools regarding being respectful of other opinions than one’s own.

    As far as preparing us to be a first rate country, the reason we have alread slipped to third rate in the area of education has less to do with censoring of subjects (which isn’t even happening, except perhaps in the case of moral teachings), than it does with the lack of a wide diversity of educational choices inherent in a public educational system, a system in which very bad experiments are often universally imposed (elimination of phonetics, the new math, bilingual education etc.)

    Our only real hope lies in the privatization of education, which would not only eliminate these evolution vs. ID kind of squabbles, but would result in a multitude of innovations being introduced, the most successful of which would win out in a competitive educational marketplace.

  • JR

    Richard Brodie: I don’t like the demonization that is going on here, inferring that anyone who does not accept evolution as an adequate explanation for the origin of the human species are “nut-jobs” and “crackpots”.

    Tough shit.

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    I made a serious point in my previous post to which nobody responded. It was this tautology:

    1) schools should teach only mainstream science
    2) school boards should identify mainstream scientific theories based on the consensus of scientists in the field
    3) 99.999% is a consensus
    4) 99.999% of biologists consider ID theory suitable for wiping one’s ass
    CONCLUSION: ID is not a mainstream scientific theory and should not be taught in schools.

    Could someone from the nitwit community please address this argument.

  • http://www.richardbrodie.com/ Richard Brodie

    Shark: ID should not be taught in a SCIENCE class; it ain’t science; it’s metaphysics [“A priori speculation upon questions that are unanswerable to scientific observation, analysis, or experiment.”] or religion, ie. CREATIONISM, but it ain’t Science.

    Whom are you addressing this to? I thought I made it clear that not only do I not think that ID should be taught in a science class, I don’t think it should be any part of the public school curriculm.

    Evolution is THE BASIS for all instruction in Biology. Everything in biology stems from an assumption of its validity as a theory.

    It is sweeping non-factual statements like this that make me inclined to regard the devotees of Darwinism as constituting a religion. It reminds me of your Cristoids, who exaggerate and blow completely out of proportion what they see as the all emcompasing central importance of their pet theories.

    Here is a list of the 24 branches of Biology:

    1. Anatomy
    2. Biochemistry
    3. Biophysics
    4. Biotechnology
    5. Botany
    6. Cell biology
    7. Ecology
    8. Evolution
    9. Genetics
    10. Immunology
    11. Marine Biology
    12. Microbiology
    13. Molecular biology
    14. Mycology
    15. Parasitology
    16. Photobiology
    17. Phycology
    18. Physiology
    19. Plant physiology
    20. Radiobiology
    21. Structural biology
    22. Theoretical biology
    23. Virology
    24. Zoology

    Note that #7 Evolution is its own spearate sub-field upon which none of the others fundamentally depend. It is a field of inquiry in which a biologist could choose to specialize, and about which all professionals in the broader field should have at least a passing acquaintance.

    But I continue to maintain that there is way more than enough other unrelated material in the subject to completely occupy high school students, the vast majory of whom will not go on to major in biology. Requiring it to be taught strikes me as being like requiring that Group Theory be taught to high schoolers, most of whom will not go on to become math majors. The importance of that abstruse branch of mathematics for understanding the thoeretical underpinings of everything from arithmetic to algebraic topology, does not mean that it would wise to insist that it be taught in the secondary schools.

  • http://www.richardbrodie.com/ Richard Brodie

    For Dentista Numero Cinco:

    A restatement from the “nitwit community”:

    1) schools should teach only mainstream factual science
    2) school boards should identify mainstream factual science based on the consensus of scientists in the field
    3) 99.999% is a consensus
    4) 99.999% of biologists consider evolution, particularly cross-species evolution, as a theory not a fact

    CONCLUSION: Evolution is not a mainstream factual science and should not be taught in the elementary or secondary schools.

    And BTW this is not a tautology. Strictly speaking it is not even a syllogism, but rather an attempt at deductive argment.

    Even though our respective conclusions follow from the premises assumed, The validity of those conclusions of course depends on the validity of the premises. I reject both sets of premises, and prefer the following:

    1) schools should teach whatever they choose to teach
    2) school officials should endeavor to hire teachers who can be relied on to select curricula of their choosing that will
    a) prepare students for future academic success, and
    b) not be objectionable to their targetted parent clientelle
    3) a diversity of professional educator judgment is preferable to universal imposition of a one-size-fits-all “expert” consensus
    4) some teachers will choose to teach evolution and others will not

    HAPPY CONCLUSION: Parents instead of the state, can direct their children’s education by selecting the school/teachers with which they feel most comfortable.

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    Brodie: Your attempt to distinguish between scientific “facts” and “theories” is specious and shows an amazing lack of understanding of scientific terminology. Quantum mechanics is a theory. Newtonian mechanics is a 400 year old theory. A scientific theory is the equivalent of scientific law like gravity except covering a broader range of phenomena. A scientific theory is as good is fucking gets. It doesn’t one day hatch into a fact.

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    In other scientific news, CNN reports that the Hubble space telescope has just discovered rings around Uranus. (Rim shot.)

  • Bennett

    Of course, this “happy conclusion” will have students in many parts of the country being taught that the earth is only ten thousand years old, that Adam and Eve frolicked with dinosaurs, and that ID is a Theory, while the evolution of species is pure speculation.

    Not such a good idea.

  • MDE

    The structure of ID’s arguments should be taught in science class. They are excellent examples of what science isn’t and, as such, are instructive.

    What is ‘factual science’?

  • Vern Halen

    Actually, the structure of ID’s arguments should be taught in English class. They are excellent examples of what poorly constructed arguments are, and, as such, are instructive.

    Furthermore, the structure of metaphor should also be taught in English class, using the most influential set of documents on Western culture & thought, namely the Bible. It would go a long way toward helping our society understand the roots of its philosophies. A good example of our current illiteracy is the inability to differentiate a religious belief from a science text. Religion & science don’t have to be mutually exclusive: they ought to be complimentary.

  • JR

    Richard Brodie: Note that #7 Evolution is its own spearate sub-field upon which none of the others fundamentally depend.

    Well I’ve taken classes in numbers 2, 9, 11 and 13, and I say you are flat wrong. In particular, how can you rationally claim that evolution is not central to genetics? The mind boggles.

    And where do you get this list of the 24 branches of Biology? I bet you couldn’t find two biologists who would breakdown the field in the same way. It sounds like you just make this shit up.

  • JR

    So I’m looking through a college course catalogue and I see that “linear algebra” is its own field of mathematics. Wow, I guess graphing lines isn’t fundamental to the other fields of mathematics and doesn’t need to be taught in secondary school! I’ll bet a lot of students and the parents who have to help them with their homework will be glad to hear that.

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    Good thing linear algebra doesn’t contradict some passage in Genesis. Otherwise Apollo 11 would have landed in Ft. Lauderdale.

  • gonzo marx

    to the Fith Dentist

    shush…don’t bring up al gebra , they might find out it was invented by Muslims and want it tossed out of schools because it comes from heretics

    i’m just saying

    Excelsior!

  • Bennett

    Heh, that’s really funny, and true of course.

  • Baronius

    Have any of you read any ID theory?

  • Baronius

    JR (#23):

    ‘An atheist before Darwin could have said, following Hume: “I have no explanation for complex biological design. All I know is that God isn’t a good explanation, so we must wait and hope that somebody comes up with a better one.” I can’t help feeling that such a position, though logically sound, would have left one feeling pretty unsatisfied, and that although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.’ – Richard Dawkins

  • Shark

    Brodie: “I don’t like the demonization that is going on here, inferring that anyone who does not accept evolution as an adequate explanation for the origin of the human species are “nut-jobs” and “crackpots”. Maybe there should be more teaching going on in the schools regarding being respectful of other opinions than one’s own.”

    waaaah……

    Feh.

    I’m really sick of this kinda whiny appeal to “let’s all play nicey”.

    FUCK THAT. It’s time to speak out.

    We’re talking about science vs religion. The Christoids run the fucking country; they’ve taken over almost every aspect of our nation; now they wanna inflict their fairy tales on Science:

    We don’t tolerate BULLSHIT.

    **We ain’t gonna sit back and take it anymore!

    Take your “God Made It and That’s That Theory” back to Sunday School where it belongs!

    **[Shark taps his inner Peter Finch…]

  • Shark

    Brodie, yer little list of “fields of science” means nada.

    Ask 99.99% of scientists: Evolution is the theoretical basis for the teaching of ALL biology.

    And YOU ARE VERY SIMPLY WRONG on this issue.

  • Shark

    Bennett: as to the age of the world according to the Christoids, your figure of 10,000 years is WAY too old.

    You must be an atheist!

    In fact, Bishop James Ussher set the Date for Creation as October 23, 4004 BC.

    ======

    BTW: the late great Bill Hicks loved to point out that you’d think SOMEBODY in the Bible would have noticed a dinosaur and reported it in the Good Book:

    “…And Jesus walked along the road and said, “Man, that’s a BIG FUCKING LIZARD!”

  • Shark

    Scene: Germany, 1933

    German Psuedo-Scientist: “I can measure the size of Jews’ skull and the angle of their hook noses and prove that they’re inferior troglodytes. This is a valid scientific theory that we should teach in public schools.”

    [Crowd boos, hisses, blows raspberries, etc.]

    German Psuedo-Scientist: “I don’t like the demonization that is going on here, inferring that I’m a dangerous “nut-job” and “crackpot”. Maybe there should be more teaching going on regarding being respectful of other opinions.”

    [Crowd holds hands, sings Kumbaya, and begins march toward “de-lousing” center]

    ======

    Have a nice day!
    xoxo
    Shark

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Anyone who thinks that any theory postulating the age of the universe in THOUSANDS of years intead of billions is true just does not know how to read his Bible. Pick up a Hebrew Bible AND its commentaries (especially Nahmanides) and READ.

    Sorry, us guys have had it longer than the rest of you and understand it a bit better.

    Shabbat Shalom (sabbath peace) to all of you. See you on Saturday night (my time).

    Over and Out

  • http://www.richardbrodie.com/ Richard Brodie

    5th: Your attempt to distinguish between scientific “facts” and “theories” is specious and shows an amazing lack of understanding of scientific terminology. A scientific theory is the equivalent of scientific law like gravity except covering a broader range of phenomena.

    I understand perfectly well that equating “fact” with “theory” has more to do with political than scientific terminology.

    The existence of gravity is a perceivable fact. Einstein’s explanation that it is caused by space “curvature” is a theory. Two entirely different things.

    And BTW you are confusing the terms “law” and “fact”. That gravity exists is a fact. That it acts with a force that is proportional to mass and inversely proportion to the square of the distance of separation is a law.

    Jr how can you rationally claim that evolution is not central to genetics?

    Evolution is peripheral to genetics itself. The only thing evolution is central to is evolutionary genetics. One can study genes and chromosomes and be prepared to do significant practical work in that field with abolutely no reference to the curiosity know as Darwinism.

    You say that you have also studied Biochemistry, Marine Biology, and Molecular Biology. I presume that your singling out of Genetics means that these other three fields present even more difficulties for you in attempting to justify your absurd claim that evolution is the BASIS of ALL biology.

    Bennett: Not such a good idea (letting parents decide how they want their children educated instead of the state)

    I take it you advocate forcing all private schools, especially religious ones, to be shut down if it is discovered that they are teaching things that do not have your personal stamp of approval.

    And please, I hope all of you will forgive me for planting a few seeds that might blossom into some thinking that will be outside the confines of public discourse as circumscribed by the alternatives approved by the academic and media establishment.

  • Bennett

    Richard – No, private schools can teach that Jim Jones was the Messiah for all I care. Public schools need to adhere to a set standard curriculum developed by school administrators on a state or federal level.

    Parents either accept that curriculum, or send their children to a private school that meets their personal beliefs about education. This formula minimizes the potential corruption of the school curriculum by small groups of cultists.

  • gonzo marx

    don’t forget that now all the schoolkids MUST pass their “no child left behind” exams

    so this is supposed to set a minimum standard for achieving a Diploma…which is an excellent Thought

    the only Problem i can see revolves around who wrote the Tests

    but i digress…

    Excelsior!

  • JR

    Richard Brodie: And please, I hope all of you will forgive me for planting a few seeds that might blossom into some thinking that will be outside the confines of public discourse as circumscribed by the alternatives approved by the academic and media establishment.

    Delusions of grandeur. Yeah, the media and the academics are allied in a vast conspiracy to silence you.

    Evolution is peripheral to genetics itself. The only thing evolution is central to is evolutionary genetics.

    It is central to understanding the observable distribution over time of alleles among a population. And it is a logical result of the chemistry of nucleotides. And it is an obvious extension of our experience in breeding and domestication of plants and animals. And it is the only way we know of to make any sense of the fossil record. And it is the only footing we have in trying to proactively fight epidemics.

    Still wondering how you rationalize your breakdown of Biology. This new field wasn’t on your list.

    One can study genes and chromosomes and be prepared to do significant practical work in that field with abolutely no reference to the curiosity know as Darwinism.

    Yes, if one is washing glassware and pipetting solutions under the guidance of an actual scientist. Very practical work, in as much as it hasn’t been fully automated yet, not to mention outsourced.

    However, a “scientist” who attempts to manipulate genes without understanding mutation and adaptation as they occur in nature is a danger to humanity.

    You say that you have also studied Biochemistry, Marine Biology, and Molecular Biology. I presume that your singling out of Genetics means that these other three fields present even more difficulties for you in attempting to justify your absurd claim that evolution is the BASIS of ALL biology.

    You presume too much. I haven’t the time to waste on a detailed debunking.

    And where did I make that claim?

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    Brodie: “I understand perfectly well that equating “fact” with “theory” has more to do with political than scientific terminology.
    The existence of gravity is a perceivable fact. Einstein’s explanation that it is caused by space “curvature” is a theory. Two entirely different things.”

    I think this statement demonstrates the basic misunderstanding here. The existence of gravity is not a “perceivable fact.” In fact, gravity does not “exist” in the world of objective reality. Explanations of obsevable phenoma exist only in the minds of human beings. When you throw something out of your window it tends to move toward the ground. The earth tends to stay 93 million miles from the sun. Those are observable phenomena. It is not a directly observable “fact” that there is a “force” (another human-created concept) at work here which is the same as the one attracting the earth to the sun. Gravity is a human-created model which intends to explain these phenomena. As with all models, a theory of gravity may be useful, even if it doesn’t explain everything. Both Newton’s theory and Einstein’s theory are considered valuable because they produce good results in experiments and because they both have predictive power. In contrast, Pat Robertson’s theory that god manipulates the orbits of the planet’s by flexing his bunghole is not considered a useful theory by physicists because it doesn’t produce very good results in experiments. Newton’s theory isn’t “wrong” merely because Einstein’s gives better results in some circumstances. Robertson’s theory isn’t “wrong” either. It’s just not a very good or useful theory.

    What you don’t seem to understand is, there is no magical fact versus theory distinction which allows us to easily distiguish mainstream science from from controversial science. It’s the scientific method that counts. The scientific should have the responsibility of monitoring those issues. Political attempts to interfere with that process result in bad science. There is no controversy within the scientific community over evolution. That is not to say our current understanding of evolution is “right.” In fact, in some cases it’s probably wrong. But it’s not the place for either a mob of retards, a political party, or the government to start substituting its own judgment for that of the scientific community either because they don’t understand something or because it contradicts their favorite fairytales.

  • MDE

    Sam – re: “There’s a reason that science doesn’t have political parties. In science there is only one set of facts. There is debate about what evidence is valid, but all of the debate is about how accurately the evidence reflects the physical world.”

    Things are not this straight forward in the lab.

    Fifth above does not go into the observable fact that the very phenomena that we observe are determined, colored, structured, by the theories that we accept as true – further fudging the fact/theory distinction. Remember the clerics – masters of Aristotelian ‘empirical science’ – who could not see the moon when they looked through Galileo’s telescope.

  • Shark

    Shark’s Universal Law #23:

    “Any “debate” over Creationism [aka Intelligent Design] always degenerates to the point where those opposed have to spend most of their time explaining a concept of fact/Science/theory that the ID’ers shoulda learned in the 8th grade.”

  • http://www.richardbrodie.com/ Richard Brodie

    5th: I think this statement demonstrates the basic misunderstanding here. The existence of gravity is not a “perceivable fact.”

    I respectfully suggest you go jump off a real tall building. Perhaps you will be able to survive by telling yourself that you are not really perceiving anything.

  • gonzo marx

    you misconstrue the differences between perception of gravity’s existence and the measurable observation of it’s effects…one is implied, the other is quantifiable

    hope that helps

    Excelsior!

  • Brady

    Semantically speaking, the word “intelligent” used in the phrase before design is part of the ol’ circular logic which anthropomorphosises the biblical “god” so he can then turn around and re–create us in his/her/its image. Another vain (in both senses of the word) attempt to sneak in that ol’ time religion.

  • Tor

    Personally I still fail to understand why ‘intelligent design’ or ‘creationism’ cannot be resolved with evolution. Now, before anyone flies off the handle in either direction, let me explain.

    I love the whole theory of evolution. It has a beautiful elegance to it, a self sustaining system that allows for adaption, flexibility and the continuation of LIFE. Why in the name of whatever you hold sacred couldn’t a divine being have come up with such a complex simplicity? A system that, once set in motion, sustains and preserves itself with minimal or no interference from the original creator is not something just anyone could create, so I do not see it as insulting to the divine whatever to say that this may have been how it happened.

    Which is not to say that I agree with such a literal interpretation of the Bible which allows for people to have existed in the same time frame as dinosaurs. That, I think, says more about human arrogance than theories or facts. After all, if there was a creator of the universe, whose to say that we are anything more than some vast experiment, or that this universe was created for our benefit?

    I have always had trouble defining my beliefs. Science is a useful tool for quantifying and explaining the physical facts of the world, but there are still some things science cannot explan that spiritualism does. While I am not an advocate of combining science and philosophy, I do think that there is a point of compromise between the two.

    The only other First Causee that I like other than a creator is the theory of a circular universe…. :)

  • http://www.richardbrodie.com/ Richard Brodie

    gonzo marx, our dialectical primate, says: you misconstrue the differences between perception of gravity’s existence and the measurable observation of it’s effects…one is implied, the other is quantifiable

    And your use of the concepts of “implication” and “quantification”, as if they were somehow related in an opposing way is, to put it as kindly as I can, curious. Maybe it’s time for some definitions.

    fact – a real occurrence; an event; knowledge based on a real occurrence.

    theory – abstract reasoning; speculation; an assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture; a set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena.

    implication – an indirect indication; an inference.

    quantification – the act of discovering or expressing the quantity of something.

    In the current context, the existence of gravity can only be directly perceived as a fact when we either feel its effect on our own bodies, or see its effect on other objects. The quantification of that effect through measurements involving distance and time enables us to identify a pertintent mathematical law. Then when telescopes extend our sense of sight to where we can establish and quantify the motions of celestial bodies, and we discover that the mathematical law previously derived perfectly accounts for these motions, then we can imply that it is a fact that gravity is acting. The attempt to explain what causes gravity is where we exit the realm of fact and enter into the realm of theoretical speculation and conjecture.

    The observable facts on which the theory of Darwinism are based are the existence of some fossilized remains. Evolutionary theory is an attempt to organize these fact into a time sequence, using dating tecniques of uncertain reliablilty, in an effort to support the preconceived notion that all life, including Newton’s, Shakespeare’s, and Mozarts’s, descends from spontaneously genererated microorganisms, magically appearing in a “primodial soup”, over the incredibly brief period of a mere 2 trillion days.

    hope this helps

    Excelsior! – thin curly wood shavings used for packing or stuffing

  • gonzo marx

    well Richard, some well stated points…let’s have a look

    theory: A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.

    that’s from the American Heritage dictionary, and i think it pertains much more closely to defining scientific Theory than what you put up there

    that definition is what keep ID as metaphysics/philosophy and Lamarckian Evoloutionary Theory as a work-in-progress scientific Theory

    can we agree on that much?

    and your usage of the secondary meaning for Excelsior indicates either
    a) a taste for Humor
    b) a desire to denigrate
    c) a bit of both?

    i can easily agree there are holes in what we know of evolution…if you can agree it has worked MUCH better as a scientific Theory, (see especially the “predictive” part in the definition i quoted above), than ANYTHING that has been set out for peer review in the scientific community….ever

    my entire position has always revolved around proper categorization of the material in Question

    evolution = science (as a Theory by definition)

    ID = an unprovable Hypothesis (thus falling into the realm of metaphysics and philosophy)

    BOTH are Important fields of Study…but they are NOT the same, and should NOT be treated as such

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.richardbrodie.com/ Richard Brodie

    i can easily agree there are holes in what we know of evolution…if you can agree it has worked MUCH better as a scientific Theory, (see especially the “predictive” part in the definition i quoted above), than ANYTHING that has been set out for peer review in the scientific community….ever

    Well, I actually think the law of gravity has a better track record of predicting (things like eclipses, the existence of heretofore unobserved planets, asteroids, etc.) Considering the time frames involved in evolution won’t it be at least a few million years before we can see how successful Lamarkianism will have been at predicting, for example, what the successor species to homo sapiens can be expected to look like?

    Sorry if you took offense at my attempt to pin down a meaning for “excelsior” – no denigration intended. That was actually the ONLY definition I found. I’d be curious to know what different, primary definition you had in mind. For some reason it brings to my mind the words “excel” and “seltzer”, so I half expected to find that it referred to some kind of exotic alcoholic beverage!

  • gonzo marx

    and why are you comparing evolution to gravity, when the discussion is ID/evolution?

    gravity, save as an example of scientific Theory, doesn’t seem to relate…

    and biology as well as genetics have provided demonstable predictive results for evolutionary Theory..as has been stated time and again, or can be found in peer reviewed scientific publication pertaining to the subject matter

    as for “excelsior”…”always upward”…it is a sub-reference to Stan Lee’s Soapbox in old Marvel Comics

    and i rarely fell any kind of “insult”, i was merely noting apparent Intent, your Pardon if i was incorrect

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • MDE

    Richard – What you perceive isn’t gravity…it’s the invisible tentacle controlled by the Genie at the center of the earth whose job it is to keep each thing in its place. All things have one of these connections to the malevolent spirit holding us back from joining G-d in heaven…that’s what I heard, anyway. And that’s a fact. But it’s based on a alternate reality.

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    Based on Brodie’s definitions, both the invisible tentacle and the genie are “perceivable facts.” (Try jumping out a window and see if they’re not, heh, heh, heh.) In my view, the genie is a hypothesis which attempts to explain the phenomena of falling objects. I believe that only after a consensus of physicists accepts this hypothesis should it be taught in the schools. Dr. Brodie advocates teaching kids about the “controversy” between the competing explanations of falling objects. No doubt the discovery institute can find a school board somewhere that is pliant enough to force it’s teachers to spread the word about genie/tentacle theory (or GTT as it will soon be known.) In Brodie’s view, there is no need to first convince the scientific community that the idea has merit. It’s a political question that should go directly to the elected officials.

  • Shark

    Great Gonzo writes [for like the 1,000,000th time on blogcritics]:

    “evolution = science (as a Theory by definition)

    ID = an unprovable Hypothesis (thus falling into the realm of metaphysics and philosophy)

    BOTH are Important fields of Study…but they are NOT the same, and should NOT be treated as such”

    END OF “DEBATE”~~~~~

    …JEESUS CHRIST ON A BICYCLE!

    …FOR THE LOVE OF GAWD, CAN WE BE DONE WITH THIS NOW?!

    (PS: Pennsylvania courtroom; sound of ID being kicked out the door and landing with a ‘thud’ on the sidewalk out front…

    BYE BYE)

  • http://www.richardbrodie.com/ Richard Brodie

    Visualizing Darwinianism – Consider the Giants stadium. Its volume is 65 million cubic feet. Evolution is supposed to have begun 5 billion years ago. That’s roughly 2 trillion days. Now take an ordinary bead one quarter of an inch in diameter and let it represent one day. 2 trillion such beads would occupy a volume of around 12 million cubic feet – one fifth of the stadium. Such a pile would be a mere 30 feet high.

    Now imagine yourself sitting at the top of the seating bowl 140 feet up looking down on this little carpet of beads far below, as you contemplate the fairy tale that within such a brief number of days this earth went from nothing but inorganic matter to the incredible complexity of sentient, reasoning, feeling, self-aware beings without having been designed by any intelligence.

  • JR

    Good grief, that doesn’t even make any sense. If the 30 feet of beads represents the 2 trillion days, what does the 140 foot height of the stadium represent? If you’re just going to arbitrarily pick a height from which to observe, why not put yourself on the Goodyear blimp? And what difference does it make how high you are above the beads? There are still 2 TRILLION of them!

    If that’s how you visualize things, it’s no wonder you have such a poor grasp of science.

    Well, that and all the misinformation.

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    Brodie, I assume you’re joking with this horseshit right?

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    The best hope for intelligent design is to teach evolution in Catholic high schools.

    There is absolutely no conflict with intelligent design and evolution.

  • http://www.richardbrodie.com/ Richard Brodie

    Hmmm. I like “horseshit” much better than “fairy tale”. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Shark

    Brodie, visualize this:

    The First Christoid Church in Bumfuque, Alabama has a capacity for 1,000 religious motards.

    According to the Bible (Creationism, aka “Intelligent Design”) — some Cosmic Watchmaker created the universe AS IS a mere 6,000 years ago.

    If each member of the First Christoid Church of Bumfuque, Alabama represents 6 years in the history of the earth, sitting in the back row are the families of Noah, including his sons Shem and Ham and their wives and children — and the family of Adam and Eve, the first, original, one and only HUMANS, including their sons Cain and Abel and their wives and children.

    Visualize this: NO ONE SAW Shem and Ham and Cain and Abel’s WIVES ENTER THE BUILDING! Not only that, but they weren’t on the invitation list and they’re not listed as “members”!

    And even if they did happen to enter the building by some unseen means, most of the congregation suspect that there is some inbreeding among siblings going on there in the back row.

  • http://www.richardbrodie.com/ Richard Brodie

    Fifth, I want you to know that it was not at my request that our little interchange (used to be comments 79 and 80) was removed – you know, the one where you requested me to remove a certain part of my anatomy from a certain other part (which parts shall remain unnamed). In fact, I was more than a little disappointed that the censors were not able to appreciate that it was all in the spirit of a little good-natured fun :)

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com/ Christopher Rose

    Guys, if Shark was joking, I’m disappointed, I thought he meant it. I guess one guy’s fun is another guy’s Official Comments Policy guidelines exercise programme…

  • Luke

    Anyone see that movie evolution, if god was so great, then how come he could only make earthlings with 4 base pairs, that’s just lazyness, I want silicon based life forms with 10 base pairs dammit.
    If god made life, then he did it by making something carbon based, with 4 base pairs, and then making lots of little changes to it in order to create other things, that’s the only thing that makes sense to me, seeing as everything is carbon based with 4 base pairs, at least that’s what the movie said, I know stuff all about biology. The point is, we’re in no position to say that god is causing evolution, only that evolution is indeed happening.

  • http://www.richardbrodie.com/ Richard Brodie

    Gawd, Chris, maybe he DID mean it. (I lean a little toward the naive side.) BTW it was The Fifth Dentist not Shark, who I’m sure doesn’t mean all them nasty things he just said about that gentle congregation of motards down in Montgommorah county.

  • Luke

    #79
    Shark
    December 28, 2005
    05:32 PMBrodie, visualize this:

    The First Christoid Church in Bumfuque, Alabama has a capacity for 1,000 religious motards.

    According to the Bible (Creationism, aka “Intelligent Design”) — some Cosmic Watchmaker created the universe AS IS a mere 6,000 years ago.

    If each member of the First Christoid Church of Bumfuque, Alabama represents 6 years in the history of the earth, sitting in the back row are the families of Noah, including his sons Shem and Ham and their wives and children — and the family of Adam and Eve, the first, original, one and only HUMANS, including their sons Cain and Abel and their wives and children.

    Visualize this: NO ONE SAW Shem and Ham and Cain and Abel’s WIVES ENTER THE BUILDING! Not only that, but they weren’t on the invitation list and they’re not listed as “members”!

    And even if they did happen to enter the building by some unseen means, most of the congregation suspect that there is some inbreeding among siblings going on there in the back row.

    ——————————————

    If god created humans, then he would do so without creating recessive deleterous genes, which makes inbreeding okay, genetically speaking, that is untill the big bad satan came along and infected them with mutated deleterous genes.

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    I’m sorry I violated the policy. Nice catch Chris. Brodie is right that it wasn’t intended with any malice.

    Richard, you seem to be arguing that intutitively 5 billion years doesn’t seem like enough time for evolution to have occurred. Five billion years seems like a long time to me. You ever try to sit through the movie “Dune?” That was only three hours long. Imagine a version of Dune that was five billion years long but instead of starring Sting, it starred Mathew McConnaughy. Now imagine, a swimming pool filled with KY jelly. Still not convinced? OK, imagine if you layed the empire state building on it’s side and then inserted the tip of it up [censored]. Well, this doesn’t seem to be getting us anywhere.

    Remember that we spent the first 4 bilion years just to develop a multicellular organism. It only took a billion years to get from there to here. Even a period as short as a million years is sufficiently beyond human comprehension as to require kicking intutition to the curb.

    So five billion years doesn’t seem like enough time for evolution, but an intelligent designer could have done it in a week? Wow, that makes a lot more sense. It’s awfully convenient that this hypothetical intelligent designer has no limitations whatsoever. Therefore we’ll never discover any evidence which is inconsistent with his existence. Funny though that there’s not more affirmative evidence of his existence aside from the self-evident unlikelihood of evolution and the appearance of his mother on the side of a ham sandwich in Toledo. Oh yeah, I forgot, he keeps himself secreted somewhere because he wants us to believe in him based on blind faith alone.

    And that’s how you want serve up science to little Suzie Sixpack and little Johnny Lunchpail? Do they really diserve to be force fed this moldy cheese? I say, tell them the fucking truth for once. If their parents don’t like it, fuck-em. Tell them that when you die you lie in box and corrode. Tell them there’s no fucking Santa and that their parents bought all that shit at WalMart. And, yes, tell them their great, great grandfather was a fucking gorilla and apparently we haven’t evolved much since.

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    And by the way, if my last diatribe doesn’t win “comment of the day” I want an investigation into the selection process.

  • gonzo marx

    Luke sez…
    *If god created humans, then he would do so without creating recessive deleterous genes, which makes inbreeding okay, genetically speaking, that is untill the big bad satan came along and infected them with mutated deleterous genes.*

    ummm..that happened to Adam and Eve and then they got kicked out of the Garden…so at this point there were those nasty “deleterious genes”

    it is AFTER getting kicked out that Cain and Abel are born…and MUCH later that grandkids are involved

    so, no matter how you slice it..if we go by the geneology of Genesis…

    somebody was banging their sister, at the very least

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • MDE

    We’ve been through this, I thought. Our fallen ancestors were boinking the sub-humans.

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    what gonzo said…

    ID has yet to explain how incest jumpstarted the human race but that the same practice throughout the rest of history created (and still creates) substandard genetic material that would ultimately end in demise — not more procreation…

    it’s interesting how ID asserts that any record of God (bible) didn’t come into being until man inhabited the planet…
    science can prove the existence of dinosaurs, specifically that they existed before man…
    that man and God showed up at the same time is more than a little curious — and suspect…
    sure God says he existed before that but he only focuses on the creation of the world as we know it to include ourselves…
    what had he done before then and why didn’t he talk about it?
    is man really the top-end creation of God? or does (christian) man just think he is?

  • Vern Halen

    Three points, and I’m done here:

    1) The Bible cannot support the creationist theory using scientific principles. Evolution wins hands down when both use science as the premise.

    2) Science cannot support the theory of evolution using religious beliefs. Creationism wins hands down when both use religion as the premise.

    3) FORTUNATELY, THE BIBLE IS NOT A SCIENCE TEXT AND HAS NEVER CLAIMED TO BE ONE.

    So many posts on this thread from both sides assume we’re all reading the Bible as a textbook. Well, we’re not. Just for a change of pace I’m going to be negative here and suggest that these discussions should only involve people that actually know how to read contextually. Everyone else is talking through their hat. Get ahold of some Northrop Frye books, starting with a nice easy one like “The Educated Imagination,” then progress through to “The Anatomy of Criticism” & “The Great Code” and it should all make sense to you. And whether you believe in God or not, you’ll know why creationism isn’t a scientific theory, and you won’t have to get your shorts in a knot trying to prove or disprove it to anyone, including yourself.

    VH

  • Shark

    Just for the record re. Comment 80:

    Mr. Rose, I know that when you see an insult, your Pavlovian response is to assume that “Fifth Dentist” actually spells “Shark” — but it don’t — and I didn’t.

    Have a nice day!
    S

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com/ Christopher Rose

    Mr Shark, I just thought it was funny, like a lot of your stuff. Maybe T5D is being influenced by your incisors!

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    There is some truth to that. He’s definitely on my personal mount rushmore of blogcritics lefties (along with Gonzo Marx and Alethinos.) I particularly enjoy it when he eviscerates that idiot Bambenek.

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    Chris:

    Since you brought up the subject of my blogcritics influences, I’d like to hand out 3 more awards:

    Best overall writer: Douglas Anthony Cooper
    Best satirist: Chancelucky
    Sanest libertarian: Al Barger

    All award winners may pick up their statuettes in the parking lot, behind the Earl Anthony bowling lanes, in Clarkstown, NY between the hours of 2 and 4 am tonight. Please bring beer and/or cans of ready whip.

  • Bliffle

    So many inviting opportunities! This thread is almost TOO rich in topics. Oh well.

  • JR

    The Fifth Dentist: Sanest libertarian: Al Barger

    Is that a joke or do you think that real libertarians are by their nature insane or do you just not understand what a libertarian is?

    Personally, I don’t see how you can read Al Barger’s take on Clinton and consider him sane by any standard.

    BTW, the correct answer is: Margaret Romao Toigo

  • gonzo marx

    i have ta Agree with JR on the Award for “sanest libertarian” going to Margaret

    i’m a bit prejudiced because i easily follow her line of Reasoning, and Agree with most of her Position after arriving at the same place from a different Perspective

    IMO, big Al(and i do luv the guy) has traded in his Libertarian Card for a NeoCon secret decoder ring, and have stated why on various Threads in discussion with him

    now..to my favorite Dentist…

    moi?…a “leftie”???

    listen, just because that’s the hand i hold my fork with doesn’t mean that is my philosophical position in regards to politics(tho i am flattered to be thought of favorably)

    unless of course you mean in it’s Original Meaning, stemming from the French Parliment’s placing of Personal Freedom folks on the “Left” whith Property Rights folks on the “Right”

    in THAT definition…ok

    but i never consider myself either “left” nor “right” in the definition of today’s american political nomenclature…i am guessing that folks put me there due to my criticism of the current Administration

    i Reject the false binary/exclusionary assumtion/assertation of “you’re either with us or against us” and thus plunking people down into neat categories

    i am far too weird to be so cavalierly categorized

    Excelsior!

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com/ Christopher Rose

    Comment #18 above was chosen as Comment of the Day for Thursday 22nd December 2005. Congratulations on your debut Mr Jack!

  • http://www.fifthdentist.blogspot.com The Fifth Dentist

    Chris:
    As I threatened in comment #85, I demand an investigation.

  • Bennett

    5D – Man o mano! I hearby nominate that comment as comment of the YEAR!

    Anything, just keep the tip of the Empire State Building away from my “green zone” ifyaknowwhatImean…

    Seriously cool. Chris, you blew it.

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    This is the funniest post in a long time – heh

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com/ Christopher Rose

    T5D: You’re welcome to investigate the spongiform remains of the inside of my head anytime, just don’t tell the cops, ok?

    Bennett: I don’t think I blew it. T5D’s post was for the 28th December and the award was for the 22nd, a whole six days difference. Furthermore, I couldn’t in all honesty choose as Comment of the Day something that I’d sadly had to edit. It was so funny too!

    I don’t like editing comments at all and think that if you guys were a tad more subtle, you wouldn’t need to worry about what I might do at all. Several of you are editors here for a start and know the score as well or better than I do. Don’t cross the line so I don’t have to make such nuanced decisions would be a way to go…

    But that’s just my opinion, not an edict or law, nowt like that. Rather like Intelligent Design, wouldn’t you say?

  • Cerin O’Brien

    As a Catholic school girl who’s pretty interested in science as well as theology, I’d just like to point out that the two things don’t necessarily exist in completely separate planes. Wait, before you roll your eyes, hear me out: they do if you only know religion from a strictly literal stand point. I mean, there are some Catholics who believe that Adam and Eve really did live in an enchanted garden, and that the red sea actually parted when Moses was like, “Dude, part before we all get killed,” but there aren’t as many as I think you’d think. I’ve met maybe two and the majority of the people I know are Catholic. Most of us believe in the ideas that the bible tries to convey through the stories: the meaning behind them. Because while science is beautiful in that it makes logical meaning out of physical facts, theology is beautiful in that it makes moral meaning out of metaphorical stories. And while science has pretty much clearly disproven the idea that God created the world in seven days (or six, with a resting period, I guess), science hasn’t disproven the actual existence of a God. In fact, in some ways, it seems to be pointing more to one. The wondrous nature of the world, which is, as you said in your post, so orderly and neat and planned, seems too perfect. It is implausible to my ‘fragile little mind’ :) that there is not a God who started the whole Big Bang thing. One more point, then I swear I’m gone. To most religious people I’ve met, God is not a man with a beard in the sky throwing temper tantrums and doing whatever it is omnipotent people do. God is a sort of presence. God is in the random acts of kindness that happen everyday, and in scientists when they discover some new treatment for some old disease. God is in beauty and goodness. God’s in each of us. Or so I figure. Because you’re right, believing in some weird old guy who has strict rules that are punishable with world wide floods is slightly stupid. But maybe so is living strictly by rules you can understand instead of grasping at knowledge a little harder to find.