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Give Us Scientific Proof For Creationism


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I’m not sure what fossil evidence you’re referring to as evidence of a “creation” event. The formation of the universe in terms of the big bang cosmological model is a singularity. A singularity by definition is a onetime event.

 

I was not referring to the "creation event". I was not referring to the beginning of the universe, since I view that as off track to this discussion (and you agree its a separate question) I meant evidence that complex life forms like animals and humans just pop into existence as they would if they were individually created by a God.

 

I think we’re all in the same boat with respect to that issue. As someone who posits evolution, you must believe that at some point there was a transition to the organic world from the inorganic world. Is there fossil evidence for that? What kind of proof can anyone offer for origins? The topic at hand is scientific proof for creationism, I'd like to hear scientific proof for living things arising out of inorganic non-living

material? What empirical, repeatable, observable, evidence is there for that? If you can offer some, I’d be willing to hear it.

 

I believe that laboratories have created very complex molecules that are the basis for life, although someone who is more current on their science would be able to give you more information. I will admit that we don't have a complete understanding of how life something like RNA and the complexities of a cell originated. Our information with regard to the atmosphere of the early earth, where this took place, is incomplete. Needless to say, it was quite a different atmosphere than we have today.

 

In spite of this gap in our knowledge, it is a fact that living things evolve through a process of mutation and natural selection.

 

Does that mean that because evolution doesn’t address the question of origins, you don’t have the burden of providing your own “scientific proof” for the origin (not creation) of all things?

 

I think you have the burden of proof that all things originated through supernatural means since we don't see supernatural forces popping animals into existence from thin air or constructing them from dirt. I don't mean to be ridiculous, but that is what the Bible says.

 

I only argue that the universe is caused because everything that begins to exist has a cause for its existence. God did not begin to exist. The universe came into existence a finite time ago. Every effect has a cause, every contingent being is caused by another, everything that comes to be is caused by another, non-being cannot cause being. God is a Necessary Being, a Being that cannot, not exist. God is non temporal, non spatial, and non corporeal. A philosophical argument would be: Everything that comes to be is caused by another. The universe came to be.

Therefore, the universe was caused by another. But since you’re not looking for a philosophical argument, but a scientific one, I may be barking up the wrong tree.

 

I think you are positing a God where none is necessary. How do you know the universe came into existence a finite time ago? If everything must have a cause, why not God too? Maybe there are many universes? We don't have complete scientific information on what occurred before the Big Bang since the scientific laws as we know them break down. We do not have a complete understanding of quantum physics, but advances may be made soon in Switzerland with the large Hadron collider. I am not a scientist but I endeavor to keep myself informed. Anyone can throw out statements without proof.

 

Yes complexity and the presence of artifacts such as radio signals is a sign of intelligence. That doesn't mean these systems didn't evolve. I recommend you read "The Blind Watchmaker" by Richard Dawkins. This book explains evolution of complexity very well, much better than I can.

 

I am not one who favors a Bible in the public school classroom, unless the class is literature and the Bible is being discussed as ancient literature, as I would any other sacred text. I don’t think it has a place in the science class. I really do appreciate your comments. Thank you.

 

I am glad to hear it. I have no problem with separate classes for the Bible being taught as literature. Thank you.

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Han, I may be mistaken, but my understanding is you wrote the topic of this discussion “addressed to Christians who do not believe in Evolution, but believe in an alternative explanation, like Creationism.” And then you went on to ask “What evidence is there for Creationism?” So I don’t understand why you say that I’m “jumping from Creationism to Christianity like they are the same thing.”

 

You’re right and I agree with you, creationism and Christianity is not the same thing, but you’re asking the question to Christians, so that’s the context that I’m responding to the question. It is out of a biblical worldview as I understand it. Muslims, Jews and Hindus believe in a creation event, but the question wasn’t posed to Muslims, Jews, or Hindus. I understand that there are Christians who are theistic evolutionists, but it seems that if you’re talking about evolution in the Darwinian sense, that seems to be a logical inconsistency. Isn’t evolution supposed to be a purely natural, undirected, unguided, process? How does a deity guide and unguided process?

Yes, you got a point, in one sense, but lets see if I can explain what I think went wrong. It's correct, it's directed to Christians, but I'm looking for evidence, arguments, and proof on the scientific level, so to use a belief in a religion as the evidence for Creationism will only ignore the question. Basically, believing in Christianity is one thing, but having evidence for Creationism is another.

 

I agree with evolution to the extent that there are changes within species, but unless you can show me scientific evidence that shows for example, that cats give birth to dogs, and dogs give birth to birds, over long periods of time, I don’t accept evolution in that sense.

"Cats giving birth to dogs" is a misrepresentation of how evolution works. Cats never did give birth to dogs, and cats are not ancestors to dogs in any way. They have common ancestors, but it wasn't a cat, nor a dog.

 

And I have heard critique of Evolution soooooo many times, but so far, I have heard soooooo little of direct, positive, tangible evidence for Creationism.

 

Think about this: even if Evolution would be wrong, it wouldn't prove Creationism. Lets say Aliens from another dimension created our planet and the life on it. You would probably say, "yeah, but who created them?" But that's not the question. How did we get here? Prove that Creationism is the answer. Don't disprove the alternatives, but take on the challenge of proving that we were Created on this planet by the Jesus-God.

 

As I argued above, I just don’t see how there can be a natural cause as a first cause. Han, you would have to show scientific proof to me how nothing can come from something. How can matter “create” itself? How can a cause not be ontologically prior to its effect? If the universe came to be, as did time and space, there can be no time before time. That’s a logical impossibility

How nothing came from something? Science believe that there were "something" before the Big Bang. The Big Bang theory states that it was a intensively hot state of energy. Time and space didn't exist, but energy existed, so it was not "nothing". That's the scientific theory right now, including mathematical models to support it.

 

And when you ask how something can be ontologically prior to itself, then you're just making the assertion that "natural" only include our universe, but I consider anything and everything that exists to be natural, in other words, "supernatural" doesn't exist.

 

But then again, why should I defend Big Bang and Evolution, when the thread is about PROOF FOR CREATIONISM?

 

Listen, even if Big Bang, too, was not true, it doesn't mean Creationism is true. There are alternative theories for how the universe came to be, and several of them are stated by modern cosmologists.

 

Please provide an example of an irreducibly complex system that has been debunked.

The eye, the flagellum, the mouse trap argument...

 

Again, I do admit that I don’t have any “proof” in the scientific sense for creation. I believe it was an event that happened one time in the past, and the past is not observable or repeatable. But please allow me to make an analogy here and I apologize if it falls short.

Right. So "Creationism" isn't really a science, it's, at best, a hypothesis, and at worst, a fairytale.

 

I was a homicide investigator. When I walked into a crime scene, I didn’t have the luxury of going back in time to empirically observe a homicide. Before me was the empirical fact of a dead body. Did this person have a heart attack? Did this person fall accidently and hit his head on the tub causing his death? Does this person have a slit across his throat? A bullet in his brain? Is there blood spatter across the ceiling and on the walls?

 

All of these things that I can observe now will allow me to make some deductions about what took place in the past. Samurai sword through the chest? I know it’s not a natural death. 95 year old man with a bad heart, weak lungs, declining health in recent years, lots of meds on the table, dead in his bed with a smile on his face? Well, yeah, maybe there’s a good chance its natural causes. I just think there are things we can examine and infer that there is an intelligent cause behind them.

Right. And that's what thousands and thousands of scientists have done over the last hundreds of years, and figured out, based on evidence they have seen, that Evolution is a better explanation. So how can you fault them? Scientists tend to believe Evolution because it makes MORE sense to explain the data they have presented to them. The fossil record do match the theory. DNA match the theory. Observed mutations match the theory. Retro viruses match the theory. And on, and on, and on...

 

Evolution can even explain ring species, while "kind of animal" in the Bible and the Noah's ark cannot.

 

So if we should follow the methodology of homicide investigation, it's important that we look at the explanations that fits best, not the ones which we have fallen in love with, or the one which is most convenient for the DA.

 

I’m not posting to “win” arguments or puff my chest out, I just appreciate you hearing me out and the opportunity to dialogue.

Yes, I have noticed that you're taking a serious and honest approach, and I will try to honor that. I tend to be a jerk sometimes, so I'll do me best to stay nice. :)

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I only argue that the universe is caused because everything that begins to exist has a cause for its existence. God did not begin to exist. The universe came into existence a finite time ago.

 

This is a fallacy. It is accurate to say that the Universe as we know it came into existence a finite time ago. There are many theories as to how that event was triggered. However, every serious study of the Big Bang posits that matter, energy, time and space have always existed in one form or another.

 

So secular science says that the substance of the Universe did not begin to exist, but rather changed form (and is continuing to change). No causation paradox here, thank you very much.

 

If it is possible to imagine a "god" who always existed, then it is equally possible to imagine a Universe that has always existed. The difference is, we have evidence for the existence of the Universe. We have none for the existence of God.

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The reason that the question seems stacked against Creationism is because the evidence is stacked against Creationism. Evolution can offer fossils, a sturdy predictive model, DNA, and a host of other empirical data and observations which re-enforce the likelihood that the theory is accurate.

Davke, Thanks for your comments, I appreciate the feedback. Your position was well argued. Here is my response to you. I would still argue that the reason the question is “stacked” is because the doctrine of creation is not science. The doctrine of creation, and I avoid using the term “creationism,” simply to avoid the assumption that I am arguing for a literal six day creation event, and the age of the universe is 6,000 years old. By doctrine of creation, I mean that a theistic God created the universe ex nihilo, out of nothing. That biblical doctrine of the origin and ultimate source of all things is not a scientific doctrine.

 

The fossil evidence is one that is not as air tight as you may make it out to be. You’re familiar with Stephen Jay Gould, Niles Eldredge, and Steven Stanley proposed a new theory called “punctuated equilibrium” because the fossil evidence hadn’t changed much since Darwin’s day. I know that Gould’s work has been challenged, but Gould says that most of the fossil species has two features which are inconsistent with gradualism.

 

1. Stasis. Most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking pretty much the same as when they disappear, morphological change is usually limited, and directionless;

2. Sudden appearance. In any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears at once and ‘fully formed.’ (From “Evolution’s Erratic Pace,” Natural History, vol. 86, May 1977)

 

Darwin wrote this is OoS, “There were innumerable intermediate links now missing. Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this perhaps is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against my theory.”

 

Paleontologist Colin Patterson was quoted as saying, “One of the reasons I started taking this anti evolutionary view or let’s call it non evolutionary view, was last year I had a sudden realization… I had been working on this stuff for 20 years and there was not one thing I knew about it. That was quite a shock for me!”

 

Richard Lewontin of Harvard University confesses;

 

"Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite patent absurdity of some of its construct, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of it extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment to materialism.

 

It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute for we cannot allow a divine foot in the door." Dennis Overbye, “Zillions of Universes? Or Did Ours Get Lucky?” The New York Times, October 28, 2003.

 

DNA seems more plausible to me to be the result of intelligent causation than blind chance and random selection. DNA’s four letter genetic alphabet (nucleotide bases) in one human cell has 5 million pages of information (that’s 25,000 two hundred page books). Human language has specified complexity, just as the genetic “language” of DNA has specified complexity. The letter frequency is the same in both life (DNA) and a language. Random errors in DNA, as one would expect with random variations, would introduce radical changes in function that could be disastrous, and even fatal.

 

Richard Dawkins said, “One Ameba has 1,000 Volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica.” Carl Sagan, “The human brain has 20 million volumes of genetic information. It equals the library of congress.”

 

Because sequences of DNA are able to code for proteins, it could be described as messages. Just as a random pairing of alphabets give gibberish and a meaningless text, so the random pairing of DNA sequences would not be biologically significant.

 

University of London cell biologist E. J. Ambrose said that “There is a message if the order of bases in DNA can be translated by the cell into some vital activity necessary for survival or reproduction.”

 

It seems that if you’re talking about “language,” “codes,” “information” and “messages” it is more plausible to me that that is a result of intelligent causation and not natural selection and random mutations.

 

I have no problem with Creationists saying that God is outside the purview of Science. Science studies the physical, not the metaphysical. The problem arises when Creationists try to claim that they are offering an alternative scientific theory, and demand that their views be taught as science. This is absurd. God is outside the purview of science, but science must include a "theory of God"?

 

I agree with you here. “Creationism” is not an alternative scientific theory, and as such should not be taught as science. I do think however, that there are things in the creation account which are consistent with scientific findings. I also think that intelligent design is valid in that design itself is empirically verifiable.

 

I think that there are features of the world which cannot be explained by natural selection and random variation. Have a great weekend!

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I also think that intelligent design is valid in that design itself is empirically verifiable.

Desi I would be interested in seeing this empircal verfication of intelligent design.

 

Also, would you be open to the idea that organisms could be self-designed?

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Desi,

 

Patterson explained: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/patterson.html

 

Also, Punctuated Equilibrium does not negate Evolution, it is still Evolution. Modern Evolution is: Evolution 2.0, a new version, not Darwin Evolution 1.0. Just like upgrades of Windows. Which version are you running? Vista? Well then, it can't have been made by Microsoft, since it's not XP. :shrug: Evolution is still Evolution, and Punctuated Equilibrium is just an improvement to explain the fossil record. That's how science works, and that's the beauty of it. It improves and changes depending on new research, while religion is about "correctly" interpreting an old book to make it fit to new discovery.

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The doctrine of creation, and I avoid using the term “creationism,” simply to avoid the assumption that I am arguing for a literal six day creation event, and the age of the universe is 6,000 years old. By doctrine of creation, I mean that a theistic God created the universe ex nihilo, out of nothing. That biblical doctrine of the origin and ultimate source of all things is not a scientific doctrine.

 

Thanks for the clarification. I actually sort of assumed you were not a young earth creationist - you seem far to intelligent to swallow that nonsense.

 

The fossil evidence is one that is not as air tight as you may make it out to be. You’re familiar with Stephen Jay Gould, Niles Eldredge, and Steven Stanley proposed a new theory called “punctuated equilibrium” because the fossil evidence hadn’t changed much since Darwin’s day. I know that Gould’s work has been challenged, but Gould says that most of the fossil species has two features which are inconsistent with gradualism.

 

1. Stasis. Most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking pretty much the same as when they disappear, morphological change is usually limited, and directionless;

2. Sudden appearance. In any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears at once and ‘fully formed.’ (From “Evolution’s Erratic Pace,” Natural History, vol. 86, May 1977)

 

Allow me to add to (and perhaps clarify) what Hans wrote above.

 

Gradualism was Darwin's original hypothesis. It turns out to have been wrong. This is not because the fossil record has not changed much since Darwin's day, but because it has changed tremendously. Darwin was working with a mere handful of fossils compared to what we have today. What's more, we now have radioactive decay dating, as well as a much more sophisticated understanding of the geological and paleontological records.

 

What those records show is, as you have noted, lengthy periods of stasis punctuated by relatively sudden appearances of new species. I stress the word "relatively" because we are talking in geologic terms here: a new species appearing over a period of 50,000 or 100,000 years is "sudden" in such a context.

 

Since 1977, quite a bit of research has been done in the field. As with most science, you read out-of-date textbooks at your own peril. The picture we have today is of long periods of relative stasis, during which little or no change occurs. This appears to be because there is no reason for such change to occur: the food chain has reached a state of balance, in which species are able to survive in their particular niches without the need for change. Then a dramatic environmental shift occurs: an ice age, a meteor shower, a disease which wipes out a key species, a shift in the tectonic plates - it could be anything, really. But the end result is that survival suddenly becomes much more difficult, and a number of species are forced into extinction, while others adapt, mutate, and new species emerge.

 

Darwin's original idea was that all life evolves very slowly and gradually on a continuous, steadily rising line. The truth appears to be that some life-forms are forced to evolve at random intervals as a result of environmental stressors, while others die out, and still others (like cockroaches) have no need to adapt.

 

This is the beauty of science: it continually tests and re-tests existing theories, modifying them as needed to incorporate new information. The continual refinement of the theory of evolution is not proof against evolution at all. It is an example of the robust nature of the scientific method.

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Desi I would be interested in seeing this empircal verfication of intelligent design.

 

Also, would you be open to the idea that organisms could be self-designed?

 

Empirically speaking, Legion, the idea of design being the result of intelligence is something that is undisputed. Obviously the issue becomes hotly debated when one posits design in say, biological systems. But the idea of design itself entails two components. Specification and complexity. When an intelligent agent acts, (and when I use the term “intelligent agent” here, I’m not using the term euphemistically to mean a deity), it leaves behind identifying marks that signals intelligence.

 

This mark of intelligence is what ID advocates would say is specified complexity. An object, event, or structure exhibits specified complexity if it is both complex, and by complex they mean “not easily reproducible by chance,” and it is specified, meaning “displays and independently given pattern.” It is important to understand that the two must go together. Things can be specified and not infer intelligence, and things can be complex and not infer intelligence.

 

For example, if you see a random sequence of Scrabble pieces put together. “cnsk jdkjordeuj dflfjkldlj al dpncv djfkjdfoiueoirnf jfoiiojfo ijfghhhdsldier hfdhfoeh jfdo” This random arrangement of Scrabble letters shows complexity, but not specificity. Suppose the sequence of letters kept repeating the same three letters, “thethethethethethethethe” This is show specificity but not complexity. In neither case, would you infer intelligence from these random sequences of letters. Now suppose you see a sequence of letters in this arrangement, “legion regalis is a special ops warrior scholar stationed in north carolina with three thousand nine hundred thirty two posts on a blog” This sequence of letters conveys a meaningful text and is both specified and complex.

 

ID advocates didn’t make up the term “specified complexity,” it was originally used 30 years ago by a man named Leslie Orgel, who was an origin-of-life researcher. He wrote a book called “The Origins of Life” (1973) where he noted that “Living organisms are distinguished by their specified complexity. Crystals such as granite fail to qualify as living because they lack complexity; mixtures of random polymers fail to qualify because they lack specificity.” (p. 189)

 

Suppose you head out to the Grand Canyon with your family for vacation and you see the complexity of the patterns in the geological strata. You would understand that in terms of natural causes. Now as you continue along in your vacation, and you visit Mt. Rushmore. Would you infer the same natural causation to Mt. Rushmore that you did to the Grand Canyon? You wouldn’t, because Mt. Rushmore is both complex (what’s the probability that that formation in the side of the mountain would be a result of natural causes?) and it is specified, it replicates quite accurately the image of four Presidents in U.S. history. You would rightly conclude that Mt. Rushmore is a result of intelligent causation and the Grand Canyon is a result of natural causes.

 

Just a quick note on complexity. There are several factors that make up the idea of complexity, one of which is “probabilistic complexity.” Say you had a combination lock whose dial ranged from number 0 to 39 and you must get the right sequence of numbers and turn it in three different directions to get the lock open. You will have 64,000 different possible combinations (40 x 40 x 40). This number (64,000) gives a measure of complexity for the combination but also corresponds to a 1/64,000 probability of the lock being opened, assuming the person trying to open it doesn’t have prior knowledge of the combination.

 

If you had a lock with numbers 0 to 99, that had to be turned in five alternating directions and would increase the complexity to 1/100,000,000,000 probability of it being opened (100 x 100 x 100 x 100 x 100). So the greater the complexity, the greater the improbability. The “complexity” in specified complexity has to do with probability.

 

So when I say that intelligent design is empirically verifiable, I’m arguing that the idea of specified complexity as a characteristic of design makes it a fundamentally sound conclusion that under the right circumstances highly improbable events are properly ascribed not to chance, but to design and design is a result of intelligence. Design detection is not just used in Intelligent Design theory, but also used in archeology, cryptography, artificial intelligence, and even cheating.

 

One renowned scientist (I forget his name at the moment) was found to have used one set of statistical data to describe two different research projects. When his colleagues saw the graphs, they suspected that the chance of this complex data matching two entirely different research projects was highly improbable. They looked into it further and found their suspicions to be true. He lost his position at the university and was discredited. That is a form of design detection.

 

So design can be empirically verified. The big question that most on this blog would object to is the idea that there are highly intricate and highly complex biological systems that have features which are both specified and complex thus shows evidence of design. Now the fact that they show evidence of design is something that even opponents of ID recognize, but of course they reject the inference of intelligent causation.

 

Dawkins wrote that “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” (The Blind Watchmaker, p. 1)

 

Francis Crick said, “Biologist must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.” (What Mad Pursuit, p. 138)

 

To the idea of organisms being self-designed, I think has some challenges for all of the above reasons. Living organisms have features which exhibit specification and complexity (examples of which I can give in a further dialogue). I think there are things in nature which exhibit specificity without complexity, and complexity without specificity. But when something has both specificity and complexity, those are the hallmarks of design and design comes from intelligence. I just think there are serious challenges to the idea that organisms are “self-designed.”

 

Once you use the term “design,” that infers intelligence. Dawkins and others would reject using the term "design" in the same sentence as "living organisms" and that is why he says biology is the study of things that give the “appearance” of design. I think a “self-designed” organism would be rejected by both ID advocates and evolutionists, but for very different reasons.

 

PS Davka, HansSolo, and DevaLight, please give me a little time to respond to your comments. I welcome the dialogue. Thanks to all of you.

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Empirically speaking, Legion, the idea of design being the result of intelligence is something that is undisputed. Obviously the issue becomes hotly debated when one posits design in say, biological systems.
Doesn't the second sentence contradict the first? This argument is on par with arguing that evolution is disputed within biology, it isn't. Evolution argues (and hey, has evidence) that something can have the hallmarks of design without intelligence playing a role. But this does not mean that evolution is just random, it is not, but it is very myopic, it cannot "see" past the present. It works one generation at a time over long periods of time (even with punctuated equilibrium, one is dealing with thousands to millions of years). It is the long periods of time that most people do not take into consideration, but given enough time (say, billions of years), even the remotely improbable events start becoming probable. (Daniel Dennett in Darwin's Dangerous Idea does an excellent job of going over this topic, and others, and I recommend you check it out.) Desi, you have summed up nicely what is wrong with the creationist/id arguments: assuming design indicates intelligence without actually ever proving it. It is sad that nothing has moved past Paley's fallacious argument. It's been how long?
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Please provide an example of an irreducibly complex system that has been debunked.

 

This Nova Presentation provided an example of an irreducibly complex system, specifically the flagellum, that has been debunked. This page by Kenneth Miller also covers the specific topic.

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Please provide an example of an irreducibly complex system that has been debunked.

 

This Nova Presentation provided an example of an irreducibly complex system, specifically the flagellum, that has been debunked. This page by Kenneth Miller also covers the specific topic.

 

Apparently, the trial also covered the issue of the irreducible complexity of the blood clotting system, which Dr. Miller soundly refuted. The millerandlievine.com article linked to above mentioned this, but the following blog articles go into a little more detail:

 

Guest Post By Ken Miller #1

 

Ken Miller Post #2

 

Ken Miller Post #3

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Empirically speaking, Legion, the idea of design being the result of intelligence is something that is undisputed. Obviously the issue becomes hotly debated when one posits design in say, biological systems. But the idea of design itself entails two components. Specification and complexity. When an intelligent agent acts, (and when I use the term “intelligent agent” here, I’m not using the term euphemistically to mean a deity), it leaves behind identifying marks that signals intelligence.

 

 

So, let me get this straight. You're a Christian who believes the universe was created by an intelligent being, but that this being is not God and you are a Christian who does not believe in God but at the same time believes in intelligent design? Who did create the universe then? Xenu? Can we please cut out the "this is not a religious belief" crap and admit that this is an argument for religion? Because this kind of crap just makes you look intellectually dishonest and I don't trust liars. But I guess it's ok for xtians to lie as long as it's lying for Jesus.
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So, let me get this straight. You're a Christian who believes the universe was created by an intelligent being, but that this being is not God and you are a Christian who does not believe in God but at the same time believes in intelligent design? Who did create the universe then? Xenu? Can we please cut out the "this is not a religious belief" crap and admit that this is an argument for religion? Because this kind of crap just makes you look intellectually dishonest and I don't trust liars. But I guess it's ok for xtians to lie as long as it's lying for Jesus.

 

I'm not prepared to claim that Desi is lying, but this excerpt from the Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial transcript certainly lends credibility to the assertion that "Intelligent Design" is just another cover for the religious nature of "scientific" creationism:

 

NARRATOR: Barbara Forrest's testimony would make a strong case that the Dover school board was thrusting religion into the classroom. And in comparing the Of Pandas and People drafts, Forrest discovered that the authors had apparently made their revisions in haste.

 

BARBARA FORREST: In cleansing this manuscript, they failed to replace every word properly. I found the word "creationists." And instead of replacing the entire word, they just kind of did this, and got "design proponents" with the "c" in front and the "ists" in the back from the original word.

 

NICK MATZKE: So the correct term for this transitional form is "Cdesign proponentsists." And everyone now refers to this as the "missing link" between creationism and intelligent design. You've got the direct physical evidence there of a transitional fossil.

 

NARRATOR: Barbara Forrest's testimony not only traced the creationist lineage of Pandas. Citing a Christian magazine's interview, Forrest let one of the intelligent design movement's own leaders, Paul Nelson, speak for himself.

 

BARBARA FORREST: The question he was asked was, "Is intelligent design just a critique of evolutionary theory or does it offer something more? Does it offer something that humankind needs to know?" This is his answer: "Easily, the biggest challenge facing the I.D. community is to develop a full-fledged theory of biological design. We don't have such a theory right now, and that's a real problem. Without a theory, it's very hard to know where to direct your research focus. Right now, we've got a bag of powerful intuitions and a handful of notions, such as irreducible complexity, but as yet, no general theory of biological design."

 

Since the notion of irreducible complexity turned out to be nothing but a bag of halitosis-laden wind, the ID proponents don't even have that in their arsenal.

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A Response to Neon Genesis

 

Your comments avoid my premise that "design infers intelligence." If you have an opportunity, you can scroll up to my earlier posts where I make an unabashed claim that I am a Christian and I am committed to the idea that a theistic God (as revealed in the Bible) created the universe in a finite moment in the past ex nihilo, so I don't think anyone that I have been dialoguing with and who's been critiquing my position can accuse me of being intellectually dishonest. Your second sentence shows me that you're a bit confused. It is no secret that many (not all) ID advocates are theists. Many are Christians and there are both Muslim and Jewish ID advocates. There are also scientists who are agnostics and see major hurdles that evolutionary theory has in explaining complex biological structures and are sympathetic to the design argument.

 

The identity and source of creation is something that creationists (such as Ken Ham, Dr. Dino, etc.)argue for, but ID differs in that while ID theory does have theological implications, it is not in the purview of ID to identify who the intelligence is. I can detect design in sheet music composed by Mozart and come to a valid conclusion that the music in front of me is designed and therefore exhibits characteristics of intelligence. The question of who wrote the music is something that can be taken to the next level and debated about, but the identity of Mozart is totally irrelevant to the fact that the sheet of music is a result of intelligent causation.

 

Creationism has prior theological commitments, whereas intelligent design seeks features in the world that exhibit evidence of design. Creationism is committed to two presuppositions. 1) There exists a supernatural agent who creates and orders the world, and 2) the biblical account of creation recorded in Genesis is scientifically accurate.

 

ID advocates, has no prior religious commitments and interprets the data of science on generally accepted scientific principles. ID no where attempts to identify the intelligent cause responsible for the design in nature. For the ID advocate, the conclusion of design comes from an inference from the data and not a deduction from religious authority. It makes no claims about the origin or duration of the universe, is not committed to flood geology, can accommodate any degree of evolutionary change, does not prejudge how human beings arose, and does not judge how a designing intelligence brought the first organisms into being.

 

The "Designer" is compatible with the creator-God of the world's monotheistic religions, it is also compatible with the watchmaker-God of the deists, the Demiurge of Plato's Timaeus and the divine reason of the ancient Stoics (i.e., logos spematikos). Like David Berlinski, one could take an agnostic view about the designer, treating specified complexity as a brute fact, unexplainable in terms of chance and necessity. Having said that, again there are design advocates who are Christians, but the question of who is the Designer is out of the purview of ID research.

 

What is it about design itself that does not infer intelligent causation? That might be a more productive dialogue than hurling accusations.

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Doesn't the second sentence contradict the first?

 

I had things that are designed by humans in mind with the first sentence, such as looking at a car, a poem, a dvd player, a building, a sheet of music, a painting, etc. Looking at these objects, one can infer intelligent causation and I don't think that idea is a stretch. The second sentence is the hot button issue when you infer intelligence from biological systems that are said to be "designed."

 

Daniel Dennett in Darwin's Dangerous Idea does an excellent job of going over this topic, and others, and I recommend you check it out.)

 

Thanks for the recommendation. Dennet's book is on my reading list!

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There are also scientists who are agnostics and see major hurdles that evolutionary theory has in explaining complex biological structures and are sympathetic to the design argument.

That's an oxymoron. Saying someone can believe both in ID and be an agnostic at the same time is like saying someone can be a Republican that also believes in communism. If they believe in ID, then they are not an agnostic by the very definition of the word agnostic. In any case, whether they're an agnostic or not, they're obviously not a critical thinker and you should know by now that arguments from authority do not work on us, whether they're religious or "agnostic" and so just because someone self-professes to be an agnostic that also somehow magically believes in ID at the same time does not mean we will believe ID is true without evidence.

 

The identity and source of creation is something that creationists (such as Ken Ham, Dr. Dino, etc.)argue for, but ID differs in that while ID theory does have theological implications, it is not in the purview of ID to identify who the intelligence is. I can detect design in sheet music composed by Mozart and come to a valid conclusion that the music in front of me is designed and therefore exhibits characteristics of intelligence. The question of who wrote the music is something that can be taken to the next level and debated about, but the identity of Mozart is totally irrelevant to the fact that the sheet of music is a result of intelligent causation.
I think a more accurate analogy is that intelligent design is creationism in a cheap tuxedo.

 

ID advocates, has no prior religious commitments and interprets the data of science on generally accepted scientific principles.

Do you honestly think we're going to take your claim that people like Ben Stein had no prior religious commitments seriously? The same Ben Stein who tried to argue that evolution was an ebil godless liberal conspiracy plot in which atheism leads to Stalinism? The same Ben Stein who had to give his own movie ratings because no one else would because everyone else could see through the lies?

 

 

It makes no claims about the origin or duration of the universe, is not committed to flood geology, can accommodate any degree of evolutionary change, does not prejudge how human beings arose, and does not judge how a designing intelligence brought the first organisms into being.
So what does it claim? Because it sounds like you're admitting ID is a useless theory that explains nothing about the universe at all.

 

Having said that, again there are design advocates who are Christians, but the question of who is the Designer is out of the purview of ID research.

 

So then you've just admitted ID can not be proved by science at all then and if it can't be proved by science because it's out of science's league, then it cannot be a legitimate theory and it's clearly pseudoscience with no basis in reality and no reason to believe it. You know what they say about how the imaginary and the invisible often look a lot alike. And you're arguing from double standards in that you deny IDs are making claims about who the Designer is yet you turn around and jump to the conclusion it must be the Christian god when you put on your Sunday dress suit to go to church? Do you regularly tell other Christians at church that you're a Christian who does not believe the universe was created by God but by an ambiguous Designer yet at the same time you simultaneously believe in God? How does this work again?
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The second sentence is the hot button issue when you infer intelligence from biological systems that are said to be "designed."

It is only a "hot button issue" in the minds of creationists/IDiots. It is not something that is debated within biology because evolution is, at this point, beyond refutation (that is, all evidence points to it), and evolution describes how something is designed without intelligence.

 

So what does it claim? Because it sounds like you're admitting ID is a useless theory that explains nothing about the universe at all.
Yeah, that sounds about right.
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  • 1 month later...

Hans, the rules for what may be posted in this thread are somewhat strict, so I wasn't sure if these videos fit in this thread though I think they do. But now I see you are joking around about pier-review so maybe it's okay. :)

 

It's two videos by the atheist astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson on why Intelligent Design should be taught along with real science.

 

Part 1: Neil Tyson - Gods retreat from cosmology.

 

Credit for finding them goes to atheist olidp on Reasonable Faith.org.

 

"Science is a philosophy of discovery, intelligent design is a philosophy of ignorance. I mean...have you discovered anything lately? If not then get out of the science classroom..."

 

I have never seen it put so succinctly before. I will memorize this and use it from now on...thanks Ruby!

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Why is the brilliant Isaac Newton “at the limits of his knowledge” just because he believes that God is the source of the physical laws that operate in the universe? Could it be the case that “the most brilliant man who ever lived (Tyson’s description) has a different set of philosophical presuppositions that views a theistic universe as a reasonable alternative to Tyson’s rejection of it?

 

 

I think you missed his point. Tyson was saying that you can read the entire works of Newton (or any other scientist he mentioned) and they never mention god or ID until they come to something they do not understand. THAT is when they invoke god. Then if you wait 100 years or so, someone comes along and solves that problem with experiment/evidence, etc and then the invoking of god is pushed back to something else we don't understand.

 

He was trying to say that throughout history, humans assign god ONLY to the things we do not understand. When we understand the mechanics behind things, we see no need to have god there anymore.

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  • 3 weeks later...
I think all these arguments points to exactly the problem with Creation Science, it doesn't exist. They don't have a science. Their only way to argue Creationism is to criticize the alternatives.

 

Creationists who insist that their beliefs are supported by science are nothing but charlatans, exploiting the gaps in ordinary people's knowledge. The very fact that they resort to intellectual dishonesty and trickery to put their case is ample indication that they have no actual, scientific evidence to back up their claims.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest I Love Dog

I had some 7th dayers at my door the other day. I explained that I didn't have a faith. The older person, a little old man of 84, hunched over, said "I suppose you believe in evolution", to which I replied "Of course, there can be nothing else". He said, "Well, we are sure not a bit like monkeys" and I looked at him and thought, well, you are possibly the human being who is the closest that I've ever seen to a chimpanzee. His whole posture and stance was just like a chimp, the creature whom scientists believe that we are closest too! He was a living testimony to evolution, without being disrespectful

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Guest I Love Dog

 

He was trying to say that throughout history, humans assign god ONLY to the things we do not understand. When we understand the mechanics behind things, we see no need to have god there anymore.

 

Exactly! If only god-followers would understand this!

 

We can take the belief systems of people through history and see how they invented gods who carried out what they couldn't understand.

 

It's easy to see how it happened. The problem is that god-followers today are still living inside the minds of people from 2000 years ago, people who didn't have the scientific explanations. The leaders/priests/teachers in those times earned themselves much respect by telling people that invisible deities performed all the tasks that kept the planet going.

 

It's obvious that science can't tell us EXACTLY how life began, but they are getting closer and we sure now know that it was nothing to do with a supernatural deity invented by gypsy nomads 2000 years ago!

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I've been debating with a guy named Perry Marshall who has his own blog about ID. The trouble is that IDiots are pointing at modern human DNA and asking how it could just come about in it's amazing complexity? It did not just come about. It all started off with a tiny strand of RNA* which could self replicate and "primitive" DNA came along later and after four billion years and who knows how many changes ended up as modern DNA.

 

IDiots lost the Dover school case because two books were submitted. They were both the same but the first one talked about creationism and the second one had creationism replaced with ID. IDiots indeed.

 

 

* http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,479777,00.html

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Babylonian Dream

Here are some things that were created:

 

- Corn

- most breeds of dogs

 

And all by man. That's the only creationism that exists. But that's just the result of selective breeding, not really creationism.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest FaithDefender619

Christians,

 

This is a topic addressed to Christians who do not believe in Evolution, but believe in an alternative explanation, like Creationism.

 

If you believe in Theistic Evolution, and there's an interest in discussing that and how it stands versus Natural Evolution, then we can create a topic for that too.

 

But for now, lets keep this thread to one, just one single issue: What evidence is there for Creationism.

 

Lets us loosely define Creationism:

 

It's the believe that a Divine Creator did not use Evolution to create the biological life on this planet, but rather instantaneously and magically made plants, animals, insects, and humans appear just by speaking words.

 

(So LNC, you don't fit the topic, since you would fall into the Theistic Evolution, and not Creationism, m'kay.)

 

The scientific proof for creationism is simple. Science itself proves creationism. Think about this. In the naturalistic evolutionary epistemology things are constantly changing things are constantly evolving and there are no constants. Yet science proves there are laws and constants in nature. Gravity is a constant its an absolute. When you drop somthign you know it will hit the ground and not float up into space. Time. You know that for a certian amount of hours in a day it will be dark and it will get light. The very foundation of science ASSUMES creation. Science is based on the 5 senses in which a scientist will observe, test and reproduce an experiment. However if natural evolution is correct how does the scientist know that his 5 senses are working properly? And lets say the experiment is done millions of times nad produces the same result and a scientific law is made. That is an assumption that in times past and in the future things have been the same. Science assumes the uniformity of nature and assumes a law like order to nature. But how is this possible if there is NO LAW GIVER? It isn't. Its simply rubbish.

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