Reply Sat 8 Oct, 2005 05:21 am
http://www.techcentralstation.com/100705C.html


Why Intelligent Design Is Going to Win
By Douglas Kern Published 10/07/2005


It doesn't matter if you like it or not. It doesn't matter if you think it's true or not. Intelligent Design theory is destined to supplant Darwinism as the primary scientific explanation for the origin of human life. ID will be taught in public schools as a matter of course. It will happen in our lifetime. It's happening right now, actually.

Here's why:



1) ID will win because it's a religion-friendly, conservative-friendly, red-state kind of theory, and no one will lose money betting on the success of red-state theories in the next fifty to one hundred years.



I've said it before and I'll say it again: families that reproduce people tend to reproduce ideas, as well. The most vocal non-scientist proponents of ID are those delightfully fertile Catholics, Evangelicals, and similarly right-leaning middle-class college-educated folk -- the kind whose children will inherit the country. Eventually, the social right will have the sheer manpower to teach ID wherever they please.



Despite what angry ID opponents may tell you, the advent of ID won't hurt American productivity a bit. Belief in ID does nothing to make believers less capable in science or engineering. No geek in the world will find his computer mojo diminished because of his opinions on irreducible complexity. To the contrary: ID might make biology and the natural sciences more appealing to believers who might otherwise find science to be too far removed from God's presence. As ID appeals to the conservative mindset without hurting anyone's skills, why wouldn't the social right embrace it?



To be sure, believers don't need ID to accept modern science. The Catholic Church, for example, made peace with traditional Darwinist theory long ago. Many scientists see no contradiction between Darwinism and their own religious beliefs. Rightly understood, Darwinist theory doesn't diminish God's glory any more than any other set of rules governing the world. An omnipotent God can act through scientific media as well as miraculous interventions.



But if ID is correct, then the intelligent designer of life must have lavished astonishing care and attention upon the human race to give it unique dignity and value -- as well as handicaps and temptations that only virtue can overcome. The God of Moses and Jesus didn't leave fingerprints at this scene, but it's His MO all the way. And as believers are detectives of the Almighty's presence, they're naturally more inclined to follow the clues revealing that familiar pattern.



2) ID will win because the pro-Darwin crowd is acting like a bunch of losers.



"Ewww┬ůintelligent design people! They're just buck-toothed Bible-pushing nincompoops with community-college degrees who're trying to sell a gussied-up creationism to a cretinous public! No need to address their concerns or respond to their arguments. They are Not Science. They are poopy-heads."



There. I just saved you the trouble of reading 90% of the responses to the ID position. Vitriol, condescension, and endless accusations of bad faith all characterize far too much of the standard pro-Darwinian response to criticism. A reasonable observer might note that many ID advocates appear exceptionally well-educated, reasonable, and articulate; they might also note that ID advocates have pointed out many problems with the Darwinist catechism that even pro-Darwin scientists have been known to concede, when they think the Jesus-kissing crowd isn't listening. And yet, even in the face of a sober, thoughtful ID position, the pro-Darwin crowd insists on the same phooey-to-the-boobgeois shtick that was tiresome in Mencken's day. This is how losers act just before they lose: arrogant, self-satisfied, too important to be bothered with substantive refutation, and disdainful of their own faults. Pride goeth before a fall.



3) ID will win because it can be reconciled with any advance that takes place in biology, whereas Darwinism cannot yield even an inch of ground to ID.



So you've discovered the missing link? Proven that viruses distribute super-complex DNA proteins? Shown that fractals can produce evolution-friendly three-dimensional shapes? It doesn't matter. To the ID mind, you're just pushing the question further down the road. How was the missing link designed? What is the origin of the viruses? Who designed the fractals? ID has already made its peace with natural selection and the irrefutable aspects of Darwinism. By contrast, Darwinism cannot accept even the slightest possibility that it has failed to explain any significant dimension of evolution. It must dogmatically insist that it will resolve all of its ambiguities and shortcomings -- even the ones that have lingered since the beginning of Darwinism. The entire edifice of Darwinian theory comes crashing down with even a single credible demonstration of design in any living thing. Can science really plug a finger into every hole in the Darwinian dyke for the next fifty years?



4) ID will win because it can piggyback on the growth of information theory, which will attract the best minds in the world over the next fifty years.



ID is a proposition about information. It contends that the processes of life are so specific and carefully ordered that they must reflect deliberate action. Put simply: a complex message implies an even more complex sender. Separating ordered but random data from relevant, purposeful data -- that is, separating noise from messages -- is one of the key undertakings of the 21st century. In nearly every field, from statistics to quantum physics to cryptology to computer science, the smartest people on the planet are struggling to understand and apply the unfathomable power of information that modern technology has bequeathed to them. We have only scratched the surface of the problem-solving power that the Internet and cheap computing power open to us. As superior intellects strive to understand the metaphysics of information, they will find the information-oriented arguments of ID increasingly sensible and appealing. ID will fit nicely into the emerging worldview of tomorrow's intellectual elite.



This emerging worldview will take a more expansive view of science than does the current elite. Consider the "meme" meme. We all know what a meme is: a thought pattern that spreads from person to person and group to group like a viral infection spreading through a population. Yet memes cannot be bisected, or examined under a microscope, or "falsified" via the scientific method. Even so, we can make statements about memes with varying degrees of objective truthfulness. Is it possible to speak of a "science" of concepts? Right now, the scientific establishment says no. This unhelpful understanding of science will soon be discarded in favor of something more useful in the information age.



5) ID will win because ID assumes that man will find design in life -- and, as the mind of man is hard-wired to detect design, man will likely find what he seeks.



The human mind seeks order in everything. The entire body of knowledge available to mankind reflects our incorrigible desire to analyze, systemize, hypothesize, and theorize. It may well be that our brains are physically configured in such a way that we can't help but find order and design in the world. Don't look so surprised, evolutionists -- a brain attuned to order and design is a brain more likely to survive. The ability to detect design is essentially the ability to detect patterns, and the ability to detect patterns is the key to most applications of human intelligence. Hammers tend to find nails, screwdrivers tend to find screws, and the human mind tends to find design. Of course, the propensity to see designs doesn't mean that the designs aren't actually there. But the quintessential human perception is one of design -- and, to the extent that perceptions define reality, a theory built on the perception of design has a huge advantage over its competitors.



The only remaining question is whether Darwinism will exit gracefully, or whether it will go down biting, screaming, censoring, and denouncing to the bitter end. Rightly or wrongly, the future belongs to ID. There's nothing irreducibly complex about it.



Douglas Kern is a lawyer and TCS contributor. To see another view of the debate over ID, read "Descent of Man in Dover" by Sallie Baliunas on TCS today.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 5,885 • Replies: 80
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Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Oct, 2005 05:52 am
Gunga

I thank you for sharing your guesses on this issue.

I think you are wrong.

I think ID will not win...nor even prosper much...except maybe, over the short run here in the United States where superstition has managed to intrude itself with some force.

But even we will get over it.
0 Replies
 
raprap
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Oct, 2005 08:29 am
ID may win temporarily in the courts in isolated cultures where the religious Stalinists choose to enforce politics whim over demonstrated science.

As a result ID's best hopes are depression, dark ages and plague. So in my mind the best evidence of ID would be an occurrence of biblical apocalypse. Which begs the question--is apocalypse what the ID crowd ultimately wants?

BTW Gunge, I find your major argument as the most telling, that in your opinion, that Darwinism is irreconcilable with any deism in general. I find that as the most politically indicative and scientifically and/or theologically weakest of all the ID arguments.

Consequently, if ID wins it will not be as the result of a scientific success, it will be a simple political action and a the desire for this to be the "End Times"

BTW Evolution's laboratory track record is demonstrably more consistent with ID. I have yet to hear of a principal of ID that has been used to develop a new vaccine, develop agriculture, or explain an ecological niche. What I have heard ID do is complain consistently that it doesn't get enough time in science textbooks. And then it does it under the false premise that science is religion.

Oh! When is your religious science crowd going to start carping about the second law of thermodynamics? And Pi being irrational? Or zero? After all the number zero is not biblical.

Rap
0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Oct, 2005 08:43 am
I just love the idea of intelligent design.

It's never mentioned in the bible (and on the third day God figured out how hummingbirds should mate...)

And suddenly it's whipped out by people who would normally use the 'god's will is unfathomable' argument in scenarios about starving children.

What is the story behind the idea of ID? Why didn't 14th century popes mention it? Why doesn't it cop a mention in the gospels, or in Leviticus?

As a self-confessed atheist cynic, I can only think of it as a pathetic attempt to hijack an idea/theory that seemingly disproves a pivotal section of a quite common religious belief. In my opinion it actually provides evidence of just how compelling elements of Darwinism are; so that adherents to a popular myth would go to such lengths to discredit it.

More gunja, gunga.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Oct, 2005 08:48 am
http://www.motoguzzi-us.com/bikes/v11lemans/photos/v11lm_01.jpg

This is why ID is going to win. A normal person can look at something like one of the new Mottoguzzi bikes and tell that it was designed and engineered. An evolutionist can't. An evolutionist looks at a picture like that and figures

Quote:
"Gee, what a hell of a coincidence for the wind to have blown all of that steel, aluminum, rubber, electrical wire and electrical components and what not all together so it ended up looking like that!!"


No rational person has any difficulty figuring which of those two approachs is correct.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Oct, 2005 08:58 am
gungasnake wrote:
http://www.motoguzzi-us.com/bikes/v11lemans/photos/v11lm_01.jpg

This is why ID is going to win. A normal person can look at something like one of the new Mottoguzzi bikes and tell that it was designed and engineered. An evolutionist can't. An evolutionist looks at a picture like that and figures

Quote:
"Gee, what a hell of a coincidence for the wind to have blown all of that steel, aluminum, rubber, electrical wire and electrical components and what not all together so it ended up looking like that!!"


No rational person has any difficulty figuring which of those two approachs is correct.


Yeah...but a person with a brain can look at what we see of the universe...and simply acknowledge that we don't know how it all came about.

In any case, in order to have your Mottoguzzi bike analogy work properly...the "normal people" who look at it and decide that it had to be engineered and designed...would have to have as a background motivation that it was designed and engineered by Santa Claus for a particular recipient.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Oct, 2005 08:59 am
elves work in mysterious ways.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Oct, 2005 09:06 am
Gunga appears to work on the belief that if he says omething often enough it will be true.

Is that unintelligent redesign?
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Oct, 2005 09:07 am
Frank Apisa wrote:


Yeah...but a person with a brain can look at what we see of the universe...and simply acknowledge that we don't know how it all came about.

Evolutionists can't. Evolutionists demand that their theory to be taught as the ultimate fact of the matter and that all other theories be excluded from the classroom.

0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Oct, 2005 09:08 am
dyslexia wrote:
elves work in mysterious ways.



I have always found them to be rivetingly transparent in their workings.....like those see through Swatches.
0 Replies
 
Acquiunk
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Oct, 2005 09:18 am
Gunga is using the theory of Natural Selection, ID'ers will out reproduce non ID'ers, to buttress his claim that ID will prevail. He is in effect making a Darwinist argument in an attempt to discredit Darwin.

The smug ignorance of the ID crowd is breath taking
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Oct, 2005 09:37 am
ID can only win among the ignorant. Like all such unsubstantiated dogma based ideas, it too will pass.
0 Replies
 
Acquiunk
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Oct, 2005 09:42 am
edgarblythe wrote:
it too will pass.


Probably, but it has the potential to do a lot of damage in the mean time. Already the cutting edge in areas of genetic research such as stem cell research is passing from the US to Asia, South Korea in particular.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Oct, 2005 10:04 am
gungasnake wrote:
Frank Apisa wrote:


Yeah...but a person with a brain can look at what we see of the universe...and simply acknowledge that we don't know how it all came about.

Evolutionists can't. Evolutionists demand that their theory to be taught as the ultimate fact of the matter and that all other theories be excluded from the classroom.



Learn how to use the quote function, Gunga...it makes what you are trying to pontificate more understandable.

In any case...the "evolutions" are merely saying that superstition should not be taught in science class. And I don't fault them for that.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Oct, 2005 10:13 am
gungasnake wrote:
http://www.motoguzzi-us.com/bikes/v11lemans/photos/v11lm_01.jpg

This is why ID is going to win. A normal person can look at something like one of the new Mottoguzzi bikes and tell that it was designed and engineered. An evolutionist can't. An evolutionist looks at a picture like that and figures

Quote:
"Gee, what a hell of a coincidence for the wind to have blown all of that steel, aluminum, rubber, electrical wire and electrical components and what not all together so it ended up looking like that!!"


No rational person has any difficulty figuring which of those two approachs is correct.


Yes, but a scientist looking at this bike for the first time may start doing some research. He may find other motorcycles in the junk yard that bear some resemblance to the one above. He may find other innovations on other bikes that didn't work very well. Looking around, he may see other vehilcles that resemble the bike above, but took different paths to fill different niches. A standard two wheel mountian bike that inhabits rural areas. Sleek racing bikes, mopeds, powered scooters, etc all filling different needs in the environment. He might start putting together a tree of how all these devices fill certain needs and might even be able to trace them back to a common ancestor. Does that mean that the original precursor did not have a designer, no. Nor does it mean that the course of evolution was not intelligently guided. Yet it is clear from the junkyard record that some things were tried and didn't work out and if that sharp looking bike above claimed incredible disdain for the idea that it is decended from the same ancestor that my child's tricycle is, we would find that laughable.
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Oct, 2005 10:20 am
After reading Gould's book "A Wonderful Life" http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1995/PSCF9-95Cook.html
I'm left with a lot of unanswered questions, but it seems a monumental vanity that the history of Earths specimen's are related to the arrival of Homo Sapiens.

Some of the Pre-Cambrian creatures found in the Burgess Shale from 500 million years ago look to me like Unintelligent Design.


http://img272.imageshack.us/img272/6537/opabin29ss.jpg



http://img272.imageshack.us/img272/7548/2004galleryhallucigenia1sy.jpg




I agree with Gould that the history of evolution isn't a cone headed by man, but a bush with branches that have withered and died...punctuated equilibrium as he calls it.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Oct, 2005 09:51 pm
panzade wrote:


I agree with Gould that the history of evolution isn't a cone headed by man, but a bush with branches that have withered and died...punctuated equilibrium as he calls it.


PE has at least as many problems as standard Darwinism.

The obvious problems include:


1. It is a pure pseudoscience involving a claim that lack of evidence actually supports the theory. Similarly, Cotton Mather claimed that the fact that nobody had ever seen or heard a witch was proof they were there (if you could see or hear them, they wouldn't
be witches...)

2. It amounts to a claim that inbreeding is the most major source of genetic advancement in the world. Apparently Steve Gould never saw Deliverance...

3. PE requires these tiny peripheral groups to conquer vastly larger groups of animals millions if not billions of times, which is like requiring Custer to win at the little Big Horn every day, for millionsof years.

4. PE requires an eternal victory of animals specifically adapted to localized and parochial conditions over animals which are globally adapted, which never happens in real life. In real life, the animals which are globally adapted (the larger herds) will invariably prevail against such isolates. In real life, the first time you ever introduce ordinary dogs, cats, and rats to one of Darwin's little island paradises, the exotic animals get wiped out.


5. For any number of reasons, you need a minimal population of any animal to be viable. This is before the tiny group even gets started in overwhelming the vast herds. A number of American species such as the heath hen became non-viable when their numbers were reduced to a few thousand; at that point, any stroke of bad luck at all, a hard winter, a skewed sex ratio in one generation, a disease of some sort, and
it's all over. The heath hen was fine as long as it was spread out over the East coast of the U.S. The point at which it got penned into one of these "peripheral" areas which Gould and Eldredge see as the salvation for evolutionism, it was all over.
0 Replies
 
tecoyah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Oct, 2005 05:23 am
It is unfortunate that Intellegent Design has become such a Hot Topic in this country, and says much about the overall intellect of our society. I truly hope we can work past this stage of Dogmatic hinderence, and get back on track with the children who have fallen so far behind in science already. The next 50 years could define what we become as a species, as far as Technology and scientific advancement. It would be a pity to spend this time going backwards, rather than becoming more.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Oct, 2005 06:07 am
Here's another way to look at the thing...

This is a Maserati engine:

http://art.auto.free.fr/images/maserati-engine.jpg

and this is a duck:

http://www.dof.virginia.gov/images/wildlife-wood-duck-photo.jpg

Every single cell in the duck's body is more complicated than the Maserati engine. If no rational person would look at the engine and figure that it just sort of happened, why would anybody think that of the duck?
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Oct, 2005 06:11 am
Gunga -- I wonder what your opinion of the Great Spaghetti Monsterist theory of creation is. Should it be taught in public schools too? Will it?
0 Replies
 
 

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