A Quiz for ‘Intelligent Design’ Theory Proponentsists

A Quiz for ‘Intelligent Design’ Theory Proponentsists

(Even for those IDist outliers like nullasalus at UD who don’t think IDT is scientific, but who think they are tricking people that logically & responsibly reject IDT)

 Another simple YES/NO exercise.

Acronyms:

IDM = Intelligent Design Movement

IDist = Intelligent Design ideologue

DI = Discovery Institute

IDT = (Uppercase) Intelligent Design theory

USA = United States of America = )

 

Questions:

 1. Is the DI-led IDM making a concentrated, dedicated effort to distinguish good science from bad science by actively and publically rejecting the outdated ‘young Earth’ views of many undereducated, anti-science, evangelical Christians in the USA?

2. Have IDM leaders Michael Behe, Stephen Meyer, William Dembski and Phillip Johnson *all* linked their own version of IDT to their personal Christian faith in public statements, interviews and/or articles?

3. Have several prominent Abrahamic theists (particularly those active in science, philosophy & theology/worldview conversations) openly rejected IDT on the basis of distinguishing Uppercase ‘Intelligent Design’ Theory (the Discovery Institute’s ‘strictly scientific’ theory) from lowercase ‘intelligent design’ (aka the non-scientific, theological/worldview ‘design argument’)?

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A quick question for Dr. Liddle and other skeptics

[Vincent Torley has posted this at Uncommon Descent. As many people who might like to respond, not the least among them Dr. Liddle herslf, are unable to do so directly, I reproduce it here. The rest of this post is written by Vincent Torley]

Over at The Skeptical Zone, Dr. Elizabeth Liddle has written a thought-provoking post, which poses an interesting ethical conundrum about the morality of creating sentient beings. Continue reading

Darwin backwards?

What is it with ID proponents and gambling?  Or rather, what is it that makes people who play p0ker and roulette think that that gives them a relevant background for statistical hypothesis testing and an understanding of stochastic processes such as evolution?  Today, “niwrad”, has a post at UD, with one of the most extraordinary garblings of evolutionary theory I think I have yet seen.  He has decided that p0ker is an appropriate model this time (makes a change from coin tossing, I guess).

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Getting some stuff off my chest….

I don’t think that science has disproven, nor even suggests, that it is unlikely that an Intelligent Designer was responsible for the world, and intended it to come into existence.

I don’t think that science has, nor even can, prove that divine and/or miraculous intervention is impossible.

I don’t think that the fact that we can make good predictive models of the world (and we can) in any way demonstrates that how the world has observedly panned out was not entirely foreseen and intended by some deity.

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Random Mutations: vjtorley

vjtorley, at UD, writes a post entitled It’s time for scientists to come clean with the public about evolution and the origin of life that includes this:

Edward Frenkel, a professor of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, recently reviewed a book titled, Probably Approximately Correct: Nature’s Algorithms for Learning and Prospering in a Complex World (Basic Books, 2013) by computer scientist Leslie Valiant, in a report for the New York Times (Evolution, Speeded by Computation, September 30, 2013). The following excerpt conveys the gist of Dr. Valiant’s conclusions:

The evolution of species, as Darwin taught us, relies on natural selection. But Dr. Valiant argues that if all the mutations that drive evolution were simply random and equally distributed, it would proceed at an impossibly slow and inefficient pace.

Darwin’s theory “has the gaping gap that it can make no quantitative predictions as far as the number of generations needed for the evolution of a behavior of a certain complexity,” he writes. “We need to explain how evolution is possible at all, how we got from no life, or from very simple life, to life as complex as we find it on earth today. This is the BIG question.”

Dr. Valiant proposes that natural selection is supplemented by ecorithms, which enable organisms to learn and adapt more efficiently. Not all mutations are realized with equal probability; those that are more beneficial are more likely to occur. In other words, evolution is accelerated by computation.

The criticisms being made here of the Darwinian theory of evolution are pretty devastating: not only is it far too slow to generate life in all its diversity, but it’s also utterly incapable of making quantitative predictions about the time required for a structure of known complexity to evolve, by natural selection. And there’s no reason to believe that the “nearly neutral theory of evolution” espoused by biologists such as Professor Larry Moran would fare any better, in this regard.

 

Dr Torley is a scholar and a gentleman and someone for whom I have a great deal of personal respect. In fact I owe him more than one debt of personal kindness.  But that does not mean that I think his ideas are correct, and I submit he is profoundly wrong here in an extremely useful way.  Unusually, the passage he cites is very specific about the kind of randomness that cannot be the kind of randomness that would produce Darwinian evolution: equally distributed.

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What Is [wrong with] the Science Behind Intelligent Design?

The FAQ at the Discovery Institute CSC site links to an ID “summary” , entitled What Is the Science Behind Intelligent Design?, dated May 1, 2009.  So five years out of date, but worth deconstructing all the same, as it basically gives away the farm.

Here goes:

Intelligent design (ID) is a scientific theory that employs the methods commonly used by other historical sciences to conclude that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.

Well, no, not to my knowledge it doesn’t.  It employs very odd methods indeed, and even fewer that are actually empirical.  But we’ll unpack that as we go.

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