Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Monday, April 17, 2006

Intelligent Design

Ben has responded to my homeschooling post by saying that Intelligent Design isn't science and referring the reader to the Wikipedia article on the subject.

I thought this subject warranted a post of its own so here it goes. First of all it's really quite funny how defensive people can get over intelligent design. A lot of the arguments against it online jump right to name calling which is a really immature way to handle this discussion. (Thank you Ben for not stooping to that level). Even the Wikipedia article starts off ruthlessly dismissing it as "Junk science". Some of the sweeping statements made in the first paragraph were exadurations or untrue. For example "...claims are not science because they cannot be tested". That's absurd, there are plenty of Intelligent design theories that can be tested. Also "Intelligent design is not science and is essentially religious in nature". It is science. It happens to prove that everything around us indicates a creator. Is that religious in nature? I suppose so.

OK, off the top of my head I can think of two observations that contradict evolution. The first one is that everything tends to break down without intervention as opposed to build up... beach fronts wash away, my car needs more repairs over time, even stars in the sky head for destruction. But Darwin proposes that over time all the creatures have been building "upwards" genetically? That doesn't jive with what we know about this universe.

Another problem I have with evolution is that if man came from monkeys and there are still monkeys on the earth why aren't there still any of the in between stage creatures? That doesn't make sense. And you could ask that about any one of the creatures that evolved.

Here's a quote from "Annals of Science" an article entitled "Devolution". The guy who wrote is actually not a fan of Intelligent design, but I thought he did a fair job of presenting both sides.

"First of all, intelligent design is not what people often assume it is. For one thing, I.D. is not Biblical literalism. Unlike earlier generations of creationists—the so-called Young Earthers and scientific creationists—proponents of intelligent design do not believe that the universe was created in six days, that Earth is ten thousand years old, or that the fossil record was deposited during Noah’s flood. (Indeed, they shun the label “creationism” altogether.) Nor does I.D. flatly reject evolution: adherents freely admit that some evolutionary change occurred during the history of life on Earth. Although the movement is loosely allied with, and heavily funded by, various conservative Christian groups—and although I.D. plainly maintains that life was created—it is generally silent about the identity of the creator.

The movement’s main positive claim is that there are things in the world, most notably life, that cannot be accounted for by known natural causes and show features that, in any other context, we would attribute to intelligence. Living organisms are too complex to be explained by any natural—or, more precisely, by any mindless—process. Instead, the design inherent in organisms can be accounted for only by invoking a designer, and one who is very, very smart."

Advocates of intelligent design point to two developments that in their view undermine Darwinism. The first is the molecular revolution in biology. Beginning in the nineteen-fifties, molecular biologists revealed a staggering and unsuspected degree of complexity within the cells that make up all life. This complexity, I.D.’s defenders argue, lies beyond the abilities of Darwinism to explain. Second, they claim that new mathematical findings cast doubt on the power of natural selection. Selection may play a role in evolution, but it cannot accomplish what biologists suppose it can.

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3 Comments:

  • At 8:39 AM, Blogger Ben Meyer said…

    Walking a fine line I don't want to touch the religious side of things I am just pointing out the idea that you can't call it science. Now...


    That's absurd, there are plenty of Intelligent design theories that can be tested.


    Please name one (a online source would be preferable).

     
  • At 1:45 PM, Blogger Bruce said…

    Evolutionary biology tends to offer ad hoc explanations rather than refutable predictions. I actually can't think of any refutable predictions they make, other than Darwin's claim that if there are not great numbers of intermediary classes then his theory is refuted. Neodarwinism doesn't make that qualification. Intelligent design does, however, offer refutable predictions, which are highlighted at their main website, at the Discovery Institute.

     
  • At 1:52 PM, Blogger Bruce said…

    http://www.discovery.org/, and an article published originally at wwww.idthefuture.com.

    One representative article is at http://www.designinference.com/documents/2005.06.Specification.pdf,
    called "Specification: The Pattern That Signifies Intelligence."

     

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