Do software engineers find ‘Intelligent Design’ theory obvious, trivial or irrelevant? Eric Michael Holloway’s halfway-right, mostly-wrong, double-talking IDist ideology on display

Recently over at PS, IDist Eric Michael Holloway wrote the following to describe himself & why he accepts/believes in IDT: “we software engineers find ID so obvious.” (https://discourse.peacefulscience.org/t/why-we-do-not-evolve-software/3760/2) I’d like to unpack this statement & challenge the (il)logic behind it & Eric’s views of IDT, given that he is closely linked with the Discovery Institute, Robert Marks & the new Bradley Centre. Personally I find it rather sad & troubling that ideological IDists like Eric are still actively attempting to deceive others with a semantic game, even their fellow religious, while ignoring the ‘game-ending’ points that Abrahamic monotheists who are scholars & scientists, along with not a small # of atheists & agnostics, have levelled at IDT/IDism. IDists have shown time & time again that they either cannot or will not respond to calm, careful, exact criticism, so let us see if Eric Michael Holloway will be any different.

The other side of Eric Michael Holloway’s blindness to semantic accuracy in this case is that indeed, people are doing a lot of ‘designing,’ sometimes even bad designing around the world. It’s not just software engineers who see ‘bad designs’ or ‘good designs’, but rather we can learn where & when to properly make use of ‘design thinking’ in everyday life and more likely specifically in work situations. This kind of ‘design’ that doesn’t need the qualifier ‘intelligent’ before it contrasts with Eric’s tricksy theory from Seattle that includes ‘Intelligence/intelligence’ yet intentionally without identifying it. IDT thus operates at far too abstract a level for most people to do much with, while ‘real design theory’ is used ubiquitously throughout multiple fields of the contemporary academy and is widely practised even today in business, research & development, planning, operations & of course engineering. This ‘design thinking’ is simply not IDT & Eric Michael Holloway likely knows this already. The stubborn intent to propagandize the ideology of IDism by IDists is what has led to the IDM-specific affliction now known as ‘Expelled Syndrome,’ where IDists languish on the margins academically & scientifically, as well as culturally, even while some aspects of their overall critique are valid without their IDT making such grand claims.

While it’s rather obvious that computer engineers & developers design & code software and not even necessary to say that ‘computers are designed,’ it’s a rather different conversation when the main topic is origins of life, origins of information or origins of humanity, which is what the leaders of the Intelligent Design Movement (IDM) say is the main focus of ‘Intelligent Design’ theory (IDT). The IDM & its leaders, however, appear both rather confused & stubborn about their confusion. It’s leaders are notorious double-talkers between divine Creation and human-made design. This is on display in the vast array of human-made designs that the IDM has used as analogies (mousetrap, flower arrangements, Mt. Rushmore, etc.) to divine ‘Design’ & Creation in their works. It is well known that they have an overtly political & rhetorical strategy (which I discovered while visiting the DI’s summer program in 2008) of not capitalising ‘Intelligent Design,’ though divine ‘Design’ & Creation is precisely what 95%+ of them actually mean, when promoting and trying to defend their ‘strictly scientific’ theory about the origins of life, information & humanity. It’s a theory defended ambitiously by unsupportable claims & the IDM leadership knows this, but won’t answer for this to anyone publicly, which sadly makes them unworthy of trust or admiration.

Frankly, I really don’t understand how IDists can deny that they continue to double-talk while they refuse to identify legitimate ‘design thinking,’ ‘design theory’ & ‘design theorists,’ all of which imply/infer /intelligence, and their over-rhetorical position, beating the same drum since the mid-90s, already here in 2019. Could somebody here please explain with some modicrum of kindness or at least even-handedness why IDists do this when their bluff has already long been called, not just by atheists & agnostics, but also by religious theists? Will Eric Michael Holloway return to TSZ & attempt to clear his name by distinguishing two types of ‘design/Design’ that the IDM leadership will not? Or is he instead resolved to carry a battered & sinking IDist reputation with him for his career, not only among atheists & agnostics, but among those scholars & scientists who share his religious worldview, yet reject the juvenile ideology that he is now apparently possessed by that according to IDM rules actually requires his dishonesty?

Do software engineers find ‘Intelligent Design’ theory obvious, trivial or irrelevant? Please share your explanation here.

124 Replies to “Do software engineers find ‘Intelligent Design’ theory obvious, trivial or irrelevant? Eric Michael Holloway’s halfway-right, mostly-wrong, double-talking IDist ideology on display”

  1. colewd
    Ignored
    says:

    It’s a theory defended ambitiously by unsupportable claims & the IDM leadership knows this, but won’t answer for this to anyone publicly, which sadly makes them unworthy of trust or admiration.

    What unsupportable claims are these?

  2. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    That ‘Intelligent Design’ is a ‘strictly scientific’ theory. It obviously isn’t. The closest description of what the Discovery Institute in Seattle means by ‘Intelligent Design’ is that it is their half-baked worldview.

    What I’ve come to realise is that IDism is an ideology, not a ‘strictly scientific’ theory. Most leaders of the IDM do not just promote ‘Intelligent Design Theory’ they promote IDist ideology. Let’s at least find common ground to understand what they’re doing & saying with their double-talk, ok? Or are you similar to Mung, who just won’t talk about their double-talking out of some unspoken principle? Otherwise, wake up; the evidence is too much to hide.

  3. colewd
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory,

    What I’ve come to realise is that IDism is an ideology, not a ‘strictly scientific’ theory. Most leaders of the IDM do not just promote ‘Intelligent Design Theory’ they promote IDist ideology. Let’s at least find common ground to understand what they’re doing & saying with their double-talk, ok?

    I think we have some common ground here.

    I don’t think it is strictly a scientific theory in the same way I don’t think evolution is strictly a scientific theory. They both make scientific claims but also appeal to ideology and philosophy. As with anything there are many different people involved on both sides with different agendas. If you attack the id ideology without attacking the evolution ideology you are only looking at half the problem.

    The irony here is that Darwin started all this when he successfully argued that inference to the best explanation should become a scientific standard. My interest in this debate is that it does hang on the edge of science and philosophy and that in itself is interesting.

  4. Entropy Entropy
    Ignored
    says:

    colewd:
    I don’t think it is strictly a scientific theory in the same way I don’t think evolution is strictly a scientific theory.They both make scientific claims but also appeal to ideology and philosophy.

    Science always “appeals” to philosophy, whether explicitly or implicitly. Nothing can be done without a good philosophical basis. However, evolution is strictly a scientific theory. It doesn’t appeal to “ideology” whatsoever.

    colewd:
    As with anything there are many different people involved on both sides with different agendas.

    Sure. The scientists involved in evolutionary studies have the agenda of advancing scientific understanding, while the ID movement is a hypocritical movement that’s all about inserting their religious beliefs into the scientific curriculum, undermining actual scientific discovery when it conflicts with their religious beliefs, and making money out of ignorant creationists.

    colewd:
    If you attack the id ideology without attacking the evolution ideology you are only looking at half the problem.

    What is that evolution ideology Bill? Be very very clear, because when I got convinced that evolution is science (very good science), I didn’t encounter that I had to accept some ideology in order to understand and accept the evidence, I was very convinced that god-did-it was the one and only answer back then. Unless you call scientific investigation without the shackles of religious beliefs “ideology,” but that would be cheating.

    colewd:
    The irony here is that Darwin started all this when he successfully argued that inference to the best explanation should become a scientific standard.

    Really? When? Where? Where are those books where Darwin defends “inference to the best explanation” at all?

    You seem to imply that ID is about inference to the best explanation, but how could that even be an explanation when its philosophical problems won’t allow it to get off the ground, and when it doesn’t explain anything? When it proclaims, almost with pride, often with anger, that it is not about identifying those Magical Designers? The Designers would be of utmost importance, the only way to actually be able to “infer” Design, yet they don’t want to find Them. Isn’t that “interesting”?

    colewd:
    My interest in this debate is that it does hang on the edge of science and philosophy and that in itself is interesting.

    Funny that. From our exchanges, I’d think that you prefer to ignore the profound philosophical problems with ID, while projecting those problems into evolution just because it disagrees with your beliefs. But feel free to explain the ideological/unscientific basis for evolution.

    ETA: Some corrections for clarity (hopefully). Also, added a few capitals in reference to The Designers, otherwise I might offend the ID community. The plural form might be offensive enough already.

  5. petrushka
    Ignored
    says:

    I guess it boils down to what you think an explanation does.

    Epicycles explained the observed motions of the planets. Still do.

    The important question is, which explanations suggest fruitful lines of research.

  6. Erik
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory: Frankly, I really don’t understand how IDists can deny that they continue to double-talk while they refuse to identify legitimate ‘design thinking,’ ‘design theory’ & ‘design theorists,’ all of which imply/infer /intelligence, and their over-rhetorical position, beating the same drum since the mid-90s, already here in 2019.

    Dembski’s legacy is so strong. He set the tone and nature of double-talk that will forever define IDism. Take that away and there will be no IDism.

  7. CharlieM CharlieM
    Ignored
    says:

    colewd: If you attack the id ideology without attacking the evolution ideology you are only looking at half the problem.

    I think that you have brought up a very good point here.

    Why Can’t Evolutionary Biologists Quit Believing in Intelligent Design? is a piece by Stephen Talbott in which he does actually criticise both sides. It’s worth reading in full.

    The designs which we can all observe are either attributed to external intelligent designer (quite often God) or forces originating outwith the organisms which give rise to structures that give the appearance of being intelligently designed {RM & NS). Neither side gives much consideration to the possibility that the intelligent agents might very well be the organisms themselves.

  8. colewd
    Ignored
    says:

    Entropy,

    Funny that. From our exchanges, I’d think that you prefer to ignore the profound philosophical problems with ID, while projecting those problems into evolution just because it disagrees with your beliefs. But feel free to explain the ideological/unscientific basis for evolution.

    While microevolution has a theoretical basis macroevolution does not. It is simply based an extrapolation of the evidence for microevolution. It has nothing to do with my beliefs it is simply not science if we define science in terms of the scientific method.

    Macroevolution is nothing more than a philosophical claim as no one can demonstrate a mechanism that can generate the transitions it claims are a fact.

  9. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    colewd,

    No, Darwin didn’t “start all this,” though he’s an important figure among some others.

    “I don’t think it is strictly a scientific theory in the same way I don’t think evolution is strictly a scientific theory.”

    Good for you that you don’t consider IDism (or IDT) as a “strictly scientific” theory.

    As for me, I consider evolutionary theory in biology & other natural-physical sciences as ‘scientific’ theories. The biggest problem is with ideological evolutionism, not with evolutionary theory in natural sciences. It becomes harder when ideological evolutionists deny being ideologues even as they exaggerate the number & types of applications of evolutionary biology in society, culture, politics, religion, literature, etc. In opposing those people & their dehumanising ideas, surely I would side with Eric Michael Holloway, while under no circumstances accepting the double-talking from the DI or Eric’s fellow IDists.

  10. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    colewd,

    This is a worn out trope: “While microevolution has a theoretical basis macroevolution does not.” Filipchenko coined the micro-/macro- division in biology without much problem. It’s armchair creationists & who misunderstand what the terms are meant to distinguish. If it really pains you & you feel torn between micro- & macro-, then the appropriate way to relieve yourself is by identifying & accepting the ‘meso-‘ level. Ok? Done. Please stop using that trope.

  11. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    CharlieM,

    “Neither side gives much consideration to the possibility that the intelligent agents might very well be the organisms themselves.”

    You’re looking at the wrong landscape if that’s your honest conclusion.

    Every single social scientist & humanities scholar thinks about “the intelligent agents.” They are not included in your ‘sides’ assessment, though, are they/we? It’s the IDists at the DI who are ignoring that into a double-talking dead end. And it is not admirable; it is misguided … even with nice & good intentions.

  12. colewd
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory,

    It becomes harder when ideological evolutionists deny being ideologues even as they exaggerate the number & types of applications of evolutionary biology in society, culture, politics, religion, literature, etc. In opposing those people & their dehumanising ideas, surely I would side with Eric Michael Holloway, while under no circumstances accepting the double-talking from the DI or Eric’s fellow IDists.

    We agree way more than we disagree. As far as the macro micro words. We can drop all this as long as we agree science has shown simple adaptions among specific species and no more.

    What is an issues is the exaggerated evolutionary theory that is taught in schools. This at best a political game of indoctrination which is total nonsense. The only current counter argument with any traction is id so until the nonsense stops I am ok with id in all its glory as a counter argument.

  13. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    Erik,

    It’s also interesting that they’ve largely marginalised Phillip Johnson & his anti-naturalism, while Dembski was just invited back to the DI after not long ago retiring.

  14. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    colewd,

    “science has shown simple adaptions among specific species and no more.”

    Ah, the incredulity of an armchair ‘scientist’ fueled by creationist, then later by IDist writings. Does that ring a bell?

    “The only current counter argument with any traction is id so until the nonsense stops I am ok with id in all its glory as a counter argument.”

    ‘Creationism’ has similar traction to IDism in USA. Both ideologies are insufficient & oftentimes misleading attempts. One can believe in divine Creation without being an ideological creationist or IDist. Don’t whisper that in a non-mainstream protestant evangelical church in the USA, though, because you will most likely be persecuted for it & perhaps shunned. That’s what both BioLogos & Peaceful Science show.

    I literally have no idea why you’re using a Freudian term, the ‘id’ to substitute for what the DI calls ID or IDT & which in most cases sinks into ideological IDism. Allying oneself with the DI or IDM doesn’t seem like a wise idea, but rather like a dead-end.

  15. Neil Rickert
    Ignored
    says:

    CharlieM: Neither side gives much consideration to the possibility that the intelligent agents might very well be the organisms themselves.

    I guess I am not a side. But I certainly consider that.

  16. EricMH
    Ignored
    says:

    I think I might agree with you generally, but it’s hard to know exactly what your point is.

    I think the ID argument that human designers create CSI, therefore CSI is indicative of big D Design is a bit vague, though not strictly wrong. There is ambiguity with ID proponents what exactly is meant by ‘chance’ and ‘necessity’ in the CSI calculation, which is the root of the problem you might be intuiting.

    However, this doesn’t cause any problems for my claim that ID is obvious from a software developer perspective. Try generating any sort of complex, effective program using any algorithm of choice, genetic or otherwise, and you’ll see it just cannot be done. The basic problem is simple combinatorics: the search space grows exponentially as the code lengthens, and this applies just as much to the genetic code. Probably why we have so many engineers in our camp.

  17. T_aquaticus
    Ignored
    says:

    colewd:
    Entropy,

    While microevolution has a theoretical basis macroevolution does not.It is simply based an extrapolation of the evidence for microevolution.It has nothing to do with my beliefs it is simply not science if we define science in terms of the scientific method.

    Macroevolution is nothing more than a philosophical claim as no one can demonstrate a mechanism that can generate the transitions it claims are a fact.

    Macroevolution is interpolated from the genomes of living species. It is not extrapolated. We have the endpoints of evolution all around us. We can compare their genomes and test the theory of evolution, such as the prediction that transition mutations occur at a higher rate than transversion mutations, and CpG mutations will occur with the highest rate of any group of substitution mutations. We can map the divergence of LTR’s in orthologous ERV’s. We can map the divergence of sequences since common ancestry. We have a direct record of macroevolution in the genomes of living species.

  18. T_aquaticus
    Ignored
    says:

    EricMH:
    However, this doesn’t cause any problems for my claim that ID is obvious from a software developer perspective.Try generating any sort of complex, effective program using any algorithm of choice, genetic or otherwise, and you’ll see it just cannot be done.The basic problem is simple combinatorics: the search space grows exponentially as the code lengthens, and this applies just as much to the genetic code.Probably why we have so many engineers in our camp.

    1,000 years ago, humans couldn’t produce a fusion reaction. Did this mean that 1,000 years ago the Sun was powered by the supernatural? What humans can or can’t do is not a de facto indication of what nature can or can’t do.

  19. T_aquaticus
    Ignored
    says:

    colewd:
    Gregory,

    What is an issues is the exaggerated evolutionary theory that is taught in schools.This at best a political game of indoctrination which is total nonsense.The only current counter argument with any traction is id so until the nonsense stops I am ok with id in all its glory as a counter argument.

    What “exaggerated evolutionary theory” is being taught in schools? Perhaps you could cite some textbooks?

  20. EricMH
    Ignored
    says:

    T_aquaticus: 1,000 years ago, humans couldn’t produce a fusion reaction. Did this mean that 1,000 years ago the Sun was powered by the supernatural? What humans can or can’t do is not a de facto indication of what nature can or can’t do.

    Yes, the difficulty of humans reproducing natural phenomena does seem indicative of some sort of designing force beyond our realm, although this is a somewhat different topic. Nature doesn’t seem capable of originating anything it doesn’t already have, so what it has must have come from a different source than nature.

    Per the OP, the combinatorics of digital codes is what mathematically seals the deal in the case of the genetic code.

  21. CharlieM CharlieM
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory: CharlieM,

    “Neither side gives much consideration to the possibility that the intelligent agents might very well be the organisms themselves.”

    You’re looking at the wrong landscape if that’s your honest conclusion.

    Every single social scientist & humanities scholar thinks about “the intelligent agents.” They are not included in your ‘sides’ assessment, though, are they/we? It’s the IDists at the DI who are ignoring that into a double-talking dead end. And it is not admirable; it is misguided … even with nice & good intentions.

    When you say, ” your ‘sides’ assessment”, what side do you think I am on?

    When he talked about sides Talbott was discussing the differing views of conventional biologists and ID representatives, and the supporters of each.

    Anyone who has an opinion on the matter thinks about “the intelligent agents”, that is what the whole debate is about.

  22. EricMH
    Ignored
    says:

    Also, I must say I’m both humbled and flattered to be considered in the same league as Dembski et. al. The recent work produced by Dr. Ewert and Dr. Montañez is quite impressive, and way beyond my abilities.

  23. CharlieM CharlieM
    Ignored
    says:

    Neil Rickert:

    CharlieM: Neither side gives much consideration to the possibility that the intelligent agents might very well be the organisms themselves.

    I guess I am not a side. But I certainly consider that.

    That’s great 🙂

    Did you read the Talbott piece?

  24. OMagain
    Ignored
    says:

    What was the most significant scientific development in ID in 2018?

  25. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    EricMH:
    “I think I might agree with you generally, but it’s hard to know exactly what your point is.”

    Ok, so if you agree that IDists at the DI double-talk, that’s a start. Otherwise, evading a clear, simple, important point by saying you don’t know ‘exactly’ what that point is, is not going to work. IDists double-talk between ‘design theory’ & ‘intelligent design theory’ which is my main point. You do it when you conflate software design with origins of life, information & humanity. It is very obvious that you are confused about this & perhaps don’t even realise you are double-talking. Are you denying they do this or not? There are tons of examples.

    “I think the ID argument that human designers create CSI…”

    Nice, however, that isn’t an IDist argument. Are you suggesting that an IDist has calculated CSI for a human-made thing? Could you please say which IDist has done that? Links are welcome.

    “There is ambiguity with ID proponents what exactly is meant by ‘chance’ and ‘necessity’ in the CSI calculation, which is the root of the problem you might be intuiting.”

    No, that’s not the problem I am ‘intuiting’. Please read what I wrote again. Your red herrings won’t distract from the very simple point about double-talking that you are engaging in apparently on purpose.

    “ID is obvious from a software developer perspective.”

    Software ‘design’ is obvious & trivial to even mention because everybody already knows this. Do you realise that ‘software design’ is *NOT* what ‘Intelligent Design’ theory was designed for?

    Or are you one of those IDists who just make a ‘theory’ of design instantiation up on his own & thinks that’s enough to convince people … of things like that Dembski is “the Isaac Newton of information theory?” If so, your academic career with Marks isn’t going to last very long & will likely be bound for infamy.

    Taking a personal stand to stop the double-talking among IDists would be admirable by you, EricMH. I have learned not to expect honesty & forthrightness from IDists, as long as they’re captured by the DI’s ideology, which it seems you learned in part at their Summer Program.

  26. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory: Or are you similar to Mung, who just won’t talk about their double-talking out of some unspoken principle?

    Sure. Let’s just forget about my recent mention of Meyer’s upcoming new book.

  27. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    There is more to the DI than just ID theory.

  28. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    EricMH,

    Wow, is this insular & provincial! There are so many better qualified & less ideological scientists to work with, more insightful and as far as following people to places other than Biola, Baylor & King’s College (NY), courageous beyond anything I’ve witnessed in the IDM.

    Some people not accustomed to science and rigorous scholarship, stop themselves at IDism & crow endlessly about its potential. Others have a look at IDT carefully & fairly, see the constant & unaddressed, unacknowledged, unapologetic double-talk & lack of evidence to back up their claims aside from mere pobabilism, & instead move on up the ladder of knowledge, leaving missionary IDists far behind with their political bedfellows.

    That may be a tough pill to swallow, EricMH, but if you can’t see higher, more realistic & better than IDism, maybe you ought to get out & start asking people?

  29. RodW
    Ignored
    says:

    It seems to me that the debate with ID has devolved over the years. A decade or more ago IDers accepted that NS was a mechanism for producing information and complexity. They disputed the details of how much complexity it can produce in a given amount of time ( this is pretty much still was Behe argues) Now IDers take it as axiomatic that natural mechanisms cannot produce information, and they assert it with no attempt to back it up. Perhaps this is in part because the evo folks have been remiss in coming up with clear precise examples showing how info can increase. I think this is where the argument should be
    I’ve always been mostly on the side that thinks ID isn’t science. Now I’m not so sure. Ewert’s alternate ‘model’ for the nested hierarchy is something that really attempts to explain biological patterns in terms of design. My gut feeling is that it fails when you look at the details but only a person with a great deal of expertise in phylogeny AND computer architecture would be able to explain that in a compelling way. I’ve considered trying to work my way through his paper but I just dont have the time to invest

  30. Neil Rickert
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    says:

    CharlieM: Did you read the Talbott piece?

    Too much rhetoric; too little substance.

  31. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung:
    There is more to the DI than just ID theory.

    Yeah, of course. So what? Without IDT/IDism, their biggest cash cow, the DI would undoubtedly collapse. Do you deny this? Cascadia isn’t helping, human exceptionalism is just driven by Wesley Smith, little expansion from there. Otherwise it’s just a political think tank, which one can easily notice looking at their Board of Directors.

    Btw, you forgot to respond to this, on the same topic: http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/id-3-0-the-new-bradley-center-at-the-di-is-dembski-returning-from-retirement/comment-page-2/#comment-241845

  32. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: Sure. Let’s just forget about my recent mention of Meyer’s upcoming new book.

    What? You’ve mentioned the double-talking in Meyer’s upcoming book? Where?

  33. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    T_aquaticus: We have the endpoints of evolution all around us.

    They are not endpoints. They are merely way stations along the path to nowhere.

  34. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory: You’ve mentioned the double-talking in Meyer’s upcoming book?

    I didn’t say anything about double-talking in the book. I haven’t read it. But perhaps the title provides a clue.

  35. Mung Mung
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    says:

    OMagain: What was the most significant scientific development in ID in 2018?

    The fact that you don’t know the answer to this question is telling.

  36. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    CharlieM:
    When you say, ” your ‘sides’ assessment”, what side do you think I am on?

    You appear to be an Abrahamic monotheist. Is that correct? It was you who started talking about ‘sides,’ so be welcome to situate yourself.

    “When he talked about sides Talbott was discussing the differing views of conventional biologists and ID representatives, and the supporters of each.”

    This thread is about the ridiculously obvious & misleading statement by EricMH about ‘software developers’ & ID. Please stick to that.

    “Anyone who has an opinion on the matter thinks about “the intelligent agents”, that is what the whole debate is about.”

    Which ‘intelligent agents’ do you have in mind, CharlieM? IDism is piss poor talking about this & doesn’t have scholars trained in the right fields. Simple as that, really. Who do you suggest in the IDM is actually trained in the study of ‘intelligent agents’ THAT CAN BE NAMED & STUDIED? EricMH certainly does not qualify, nor does Dembski, Meyer, Behe, Wells, Nelson, Minnich, Axe, Gonzalez, Gauger, et al. None of them are competent on that topic that you say, perhaps rightly, “that is what the whole debate is about.” So, why pretend otherwise?

  37. CharlieM CharlieM
    Ignored
    says:

    Neil Rickert: Too much rhetoric; too little substance.

    I take it that means you skipped over it. But thanks for replying.

  38. EricMH
    Ignored
    says:

    RodW: Now IDers take it as axiomatic that natural mechanisms cannot produce information, and they assert it with no attempt to back it up.

    Perhaps you missed the entire body of work of someone called William Dembski?

  39. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: I didn’t say anything about double-talking in the book. I haven’t read it. But perhaps the title provides a clue.

    Ah, ok, first time to hear of it. “The Return of the God Hypothesis: Compelling Scientific Evidence for the Existence of God.”

    This man has turned into an embarrassment to Cambridge University’s History & Philosophy of Science Department. His PhD thesis there was a joke & drenched in leftist activism by his special advisor. Meyer’s works melt into occassionalism, as the DI’s funder Ahmanson couldn’t fully understand when confronted with it in First Things by Stephen Meredith. Meyer is a clown in a suit, who has made his living scraping funds from non-mainstream evangelical protestants as if they are too stupid to see through the double-talk. It is too obvious for the rest of us to stomach, even though Meyer is dripping in ‘good intentions’ with ideological gloss.

  40. Gregory Gregory
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    says:

    EricMH: Perhaps you missed the entire body of work of someone called William Dembski?

    He retired. And frankly, his work isn’t very impressive. That’s not a ‘body of work’ most people, nay, anyone I know, would be proud of due to ideological contamination. The double-talking Dembski has done repeatedly, the silly mocking of people who reject IDism & the inability & lack of follow-through to actually produce an “ID theory of mathematics” were Dembski’s undoing. He retired, EricMH. And so should you. Save your career & dump the ideology. You’ll feel better & see things more clearly once you eventually do.

  41. Joe Felsenstein Joe Felsenstein
    Ignored
    says:

    EricMH:

    RodW: Now IDers take it as axiomatic that natural mechanisms cannot produce information, and they assert it with no attempt to back it up.

    Perhaps you missed the entire body of work of someone called William Dembski?

    I guess I missed it too, for a proof of that is not to be found anywhere in the papers, online postings, or books by Dembski that I have seen.

  42. Alan Fox Alan Fox
    Ignored
    says:

    EricMH:
    Also, I must say I’m both humbled and flattered to be considered in the same league as Dembski et. al.

    What would you consider Dembski’s greatest contribution to efforts of “Intelligent Design” proponents to come up with a scientific theory or hypothesis?

    The recent work produced by Dr. Ewert and Dr. Montañez is quite impressive, and way beyond my abilities.

    I guess you are referring to George Montañez’s paper A Unified Model of Complex Specified Information, published recently at Biocomplexity on-line journal. I see Ewert also has a paper published there, The Dependency Graph of Life. I have to say Montañez is very ambitious in attempting to unify all the various versions of “specified complexity” though I’m not at all sure he pulls it off.

  43. Joe Felsenstein Joe Felsenstein
    Ignored
    says:

    Alan Fox: I have to say Montañez is very ambitious in attempting to unify all the various versions of “specified complexity” though I’m not at all sure he pulls it off.

    He may be able to unify all the various versions. To really pull off using those as indications of ID, he would also have to supply proofs that natural evolutionary processes could not result in CSI being in the genome. I haven’t seen him attempt that.

  44. Entropy Entropy
    Ignored
    says:

    colewd:
    While microevolution has a theoretical basis macroevolution does not.It is simply based an extrapolation of the evidence for microevolution.

    This is simply false. Evolution at higher levels is not mere extrapolation. It’s much more, it’s fossil record, it’s examination of genetic evidence, it’s putting together evidence from several sources. Regardless, I wanted to know about those ideological/unscientific things you were claiming to be behind evolution, not about whether you thought that macroevolution was just an extrapolation.

    When it comes to ID, the religious beliefs are very obvious. The unscientific ideologies pushed come from religion. That’s the only way to “ignore” proper philosophical foundations. IDiots are willing to ignore any evidence for things like evolving new information, be it by simulation or by experiment, by moving the goal posts, by ignoring the evidence, by drawing straw-men, or by claiming that experiments only prove ID, no matter how carefully the experiments are performed. Yet, when it comes to their bullshit, their standards suddenly disappear. Poor math, equivocal definitions, outrageous claims, misapplied/misinterpreted science, misapplied statistics, inappropriate metaphors and analogies, even claiming not to care about identifying “The designer,” become the norm. Anything goes because they want it to be true, because their religions have to be true.

    colewd:
    It has nothing to do with my beliefs it is simply not science if we define science in terms of the scientific method.

    That you don’t know how evolution is scientific doesn’t mean that it doesn’t follow the scientific method. Even though there’s much more to evolution than extrapolation, extrapolation is part of the tools available to science, only it has to be supported by further evidence in order to become acceptable beyond pointing to hypotheses.

    colewd:
    Macroevolution is nothing more than a philosophical claim as no one can demonstrate a mechanism that can generate the transitions it claims are a fact.

    Sorry, but even by your false claims, that evolution is mere extrapolation, that would not make evolution “nothing more than a philosophical claim,” since it would then be, at least, a reasonable hypothesis based on what’s known at the shorter-time levels of evolutionary phenomena. However, you’re wrong. Mechanisms have been proposed and demonstrated to do quite a bit of what’s required for life to evolve, and for the evolutionary relationships among very divergent life forms to be established beyond reasonable doubt. It’s still a work in progress for sure, with a lot of work still to be done, but the evidence talks about much more than just extrapolations.

  45. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    “When it comes to ID, the religious beliefs are very obvious. The unscientific ideologies pushed come from religion. That’s the only way to “ignore” proper philosophical foundations.”

    “When it comes to evolutionary psychology, the worldview is very obvious. The unscientific ideologies pushed come from atheism. That’s the only way to ‘ignore’ proper philosophical foundations.”

  46. Neil Rickert
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory: When it comes to evolutionary psychology, the worldview is very obvious. The unscientific ideologies pushed come from atheism.

    I don’t know where that comes from.

    Count me as very skeptical of evolutionary psychology. And I have seen criticism of EP from outspoken atheists. I think you paint with too broad a brush.

    Yes, I’ll grant that there are also atheists who support EP.

  47. Entropy Entropy
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory:
    “When it comes to evolutionary psychology, the worldview is very obvious. The unscientific ideologies pushed come from atheism. That’s the only way to ‘ignore’ proper philosophical foundations.”

    Sorry Gregory, but you’re just confusing Bill. Evolutionary psychology is one of those places where unprepared people have gone nuts with trying to fit everything psychology (more often than not it’s human behaviour) into natural selection without proper justification for doing so.

    The unscientific ideologies in evolutionary psychology do not come from atheism, but from over-enthusiasm for the power of natural selection to explain adaptations. These psychologists tend to forget that not everything is necessarily an adaptation, and that they should consider matters more carefully before attempting evolutionary explanations. (There’s also some decent evolutionary psychology, but it’s hard to find in an ocean of ineptitude.)

  48. Adapa
    Ignored
    says:

    EricMH

    Per the OP, the combinatorics of digital codes is what mathematically seals the deal in the case of the genetic code.

    Wow. You use human produced software as a very rough analogy to biological life and DNA, find the human produced software can’t evolve complexity, then conclude life can’t evolve complexity either??

    That is some amazingly piss poor logic Eric. Have you ever investigated the possibility your human software doesn’t accurately model biological life in some critically important ways? Or are you so happy to reach your pre-determined conclusion that intellectual honesty in science just isn’t important to you?

  49. Adapa
    Ignored
    says:

    Entropy: Sorry Gregory, but you’re just confusing Bill.

    Not that that’s particularly hard to do. 🙂

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