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  1.    #1  
    August 23, 2005
    LETTER: Intelligent Design not supported by science

    We, the undersigned faculty members at Iowa State, reject all attempts to represent Intelligent Design as a scientific endeavor.
    Advocates of Intelligent Design claim the position of our planet and the complexity of particular life forms and processes are such that they may only be explained by the existence of a creator or designer of the universe.
    Such claims, however, are premised on 1) the arbitrary selection of features claimed to be engineered by a designer; 2) unverifiable conclusions about the wishes and desires of that designer; and 3) an abandonment by science of methodological naturalism.

    Methodological naturalism, the view that natural phenomena can be explained without reference to supernatural beings or events, is the foundation of the natural sciences....
    Regarding the last statement, since when is it considered "scientific" to exclude a possible outcome prior to investigation?

    See remainder at:
    http://www.iowastatedaily.com/vnews/.../430a8680abec8
  2. #2  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    Regarding the last statement, since when is it considered "scientific" to exclude a possible outcome prior to investigation?

    See remainder at:
    http://www.iowastatedaily.com/vnews/.../430a8680abec8
    The full quote says "Methodological naturalism, the view that natural phenomena can be explained without reference to supernatural beings or events, is the foundation of the natural sciences. The history of science contains many instances where complex natural phenomena were eventually understood only by adherence to methodological naturalism."

    What is your problem with that? It's a fact that science explains things very nicely without referring to supernatural beings. Prior to science, people thought thunder was the result of Thor hammering onto mountains somewhere, now we know better. In theory, it is possible that science comes across a phenomenon that makes necessary the introduction of a devine guiding force, but frankly, so far there is no indication for this.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  3. #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    In theory, it is possible that science comes across a phenomenon that makes necessary the introduction of a devine guiding force, but frankly, so far there is no indication for this.
    I agree. Thus far in science it seems as if the unanswerable remains as such. Whether or not we will discover in the end that God, or some other nebulous higher power/being, is directing the cosmos remains to be seen. It seems to me that Intelligent Design proponents miss out on some basic tenets of religious belief, that is, religion is based on a blind faith......following something that is, at its basic essence, unaswerable.

    Those scholarly pursuits that have been explaiined/answered (be it theory or law), are a result of intellectual endeavors that apply Reason and, in the end, are considered "natural."
    I've heard that polar bear steaks are tough, but maybe if you marinated them in beer they'd turn out all right.
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    #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    The full quote says "Methodological naturalism, the view that natural phenomena can be explained without reference to supernatural beings or events, is the foundation of the natural sciences. The history of science contains many instances where complex natural phenomena were eventually understood only by adherence to methodological naturalism."

    What is your problem with that? It's a fact that science explains things very nicely without referring to supernatural beings. Prior to science, people thought thunder was the result of Thor hammering onto mountains somewhere, now we know better. In theory, it is possible that science comes across a phenomenon that makes necessary the introduction of a devine guiding force, but frankly, so far there is no indication for this.
    The problem I see is that it is being stated that one possible outcome is being excluded without being scientifically ruled out. Your example of thunder is a good example, the thought of it being Thor was not excluded because it was not proven at that point, but once it was understood that theory was excluded. What if scientist had decided to excluded atmospheric conditions without ruling them out? I know in todays science that is far fetched, but it would not have been at that time. Just because they disagree with the possibility of a creator they have not scientifically eliminated the possibility, nor has it been proven scientifically.
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    It's a fact that science explains things very nicely without referring to supernatural beings. Prior to science, people thought thunder was the result of Thor hammering onto mountains somewhere, now we know better. In theory, it is possible that science comes across a phenomenon that makes necessary the introduction of a devine guiding force, but frankly, so far there is no indication for this.
    ... and when Science can't explain it nicely, they assign responsibility to their god called "Random". That is their divine guiding force.
    Recognizing that I volunteered...
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    The problem I see is that it is being stated that one possible outcome is being excluded without being scientifically ruled out.
    The possibility of a creator or a guiding force is not excluded from the start. It just turned out that such a guiding force is not needed to explain the phenomena we observe in nature. As mentioned above, it is possible that one day we come across a phenomenon which cannot be explained without a supernatural being, but currently, there is no indication for such a guiding or planning force.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskanDad
    ... and when Science can't explain it nicely, they assign responsibility to their god called "Random". That is their divine guiding force.
    Science is about cause and effect, not about "responsibility" of this force or that. And I guess it is quite obvious that "random" can never be a "guiding force". However, please don't start saying evolution is a random process, because it isn't, and nobody who knows the basics of the story would ever say so.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
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    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    The possibility of a creator or a guiding force is not excluded from the start. It just turned out that such a guiding force is not needed to explain the phenomena we observe in nature. As mentioned above, it is possible that one day we come across a phenomenon which cannot be explained without a supernatural being, but currently, there is no indication for such a guiding or planning force.
    Yes the are rejecting that possiblity as quoted
    "We, the undersigned faculty members at Iowa State, reject all attempts to represent Intelligent Design as a scientific endeavor."

    Science has not been able to prove how we have our beginning so all possibilities that have not been scientifically excluded are still a possibility. Since it has not been disproved then it may still be needed. The statement in quotes rejects that idea.
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    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Science is about cause and effect, not about "responsibility" of this force or that. And I guess it is quite obvious that "random" can never be a "guiding force". However, please don't start saying evolution is a random process, because it isn't, and nobody who knows the basics of the story would ever say so.
    Evolution is a theory. Theories have not been proven. If it could be proven it would be headlines around the world. It has not been proved to be a false theory unles you can say that since there are links missing in the evolution process it must be false. If someone finds skelatal remains of the evolution process (not an occasional bone) then it might be able to be proven. If we evolved we should be able to find remains of species during evolution.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    Yes the are rejecting that possiblity as quoted
    "We, the undersigned faculty members at Iowa State, reject all attempts to represent Intelligent Design as a scientific endeavor."

    Science has not been able to prove how we have our beginning so all possibilities that have not been scientifically excluded are still a possibility. Since it has not been disproved then it may still be needed. The statement in quotes rejects that idea.
    No it doesn't. The quote says that they "reject all attempts to represent Intelligent Design as a scientific endeavor."

    "Intelligent design" is not a scientific endeavor because the things the proponents of ID propose are not based on scientific data, but on unfounded claims. They have nothing in their hands to make their case.

    But I guess it is really up to you. If you want to go on making a very strange impression in the rest of the world as the only nation in which a significant part of the population clings to medieval ideas about the creation of the world and the evolution of species, go ahead. I honestly don't understand where this anti-scientific, stubbornly fundamentalist thinking comes from, but I am sure glad I don't have to deal with anything of that sort on this side of the Atlantic (nor in any other part of the civilised world). I mean, even the Catholic church made its peace with evolution long ago, why not you?

    Maybe it is only a matter of time. It took quite a while for the religious side to accept that earth is not flat and that the sun does not revolve around earth, so maybe gradually also evolution will be accepted by most in the US.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  11. #11  
    I've decided not to dignify ID with a response.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    Evolution is a theory. Theories have not been proven. If it could be proven it would be headlines around the world. It has not been proved to be a false theory unles you can say that since there are links missing in the evolution process it must be false. If someone finds skelatal remains of the evolution process (not an occasional bone) then it might be able to be proven. If we evolved we should be able to find remains of species during evolution.
    I guess you don't know anything about the meaning of the word "theory" in science. And surely you must be joking about the perceived lack of "skeletal remains of the evolution process". "Occasional bone"???

    All of these questions have been discussed on TC x times, and lots of good sources with basic information on evolution have been posted, it doesn't make sense to go through all of it again.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
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    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    I've decided not to dignify ID with a response.
    Good
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    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    No it doesn't. The quote says that they "reject all attempts to represent Intelligent Design as a scientific endeavor."

    "Intelligent design" is not a scientific endeavor because the things the proponents of ID propose are not based on scientific data, but on unfounded claims. They have nothing in their hands to make their case.

    But I guess it is really up to you. If you want to go on making a very strange impression in the rest of the world as the only nation in which a significant part of the population clings to medieval ideas about the creation of the world and the evolution of species, go ahead. I honestly don't understand where this anti-scientific, stubbornly fundamentalist thinking comes from, but I am sure glad I don't have to deal with anything of that sort on this side of the Atlantic (nor in any other part of the civilised world). I mean, even the Catholic church made its peace with evolution long ago, why not you?

    Maybe it is only a matter of time. It took quite a while for the religious side to accept that earth is not flat and that the sun does not revolve around earth, so maybe gradually also evolution will be accepted by most in the US.
    Sorry, was doing too many things and scanned instead of reading. ID is not recognized as a scientific endeavor by the majority of the scientific community today. That does not mean it will never be recognized and individuals who are a whole lot smarter than me are spending their time in that area.

    But, utilizing verified science, it seems that as the science of DNA continues that more of Darwins theory is proven wrong. One day it will either be proven or proved wrong, and I think DNA will be the avenue that will end the debate. Evolution at the micro level is far different than that of the macro level, yes organisms will evolve for their surrondings (verified through science) however macroevolution (one species becoming a new species) has not been verified (the missing link is still missing).


    Actually IS 40:22 talks of the circle of the earth. That was well before science caught up to the idea
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Science is about cause and effect, not about "responsibility" of this force or that. And I guess it is quite obvious that "random" can never be a "guiding force". However, please don't start saying evolution is a random process, because it isn't, and nobody who knows the basics of the story would ever say so.
    Strawman argument. I've noticed you cling to those. I would agree with you that nobody who knows the basics of evolution would say that the process was random. I know the basics. I'm not saying it's a random process. Please don't start saying the unicorns are brown when anyone with daughters could tell you otherwise!

    I will try to avoid semantics discussions with you (e.g. responsibility, cause/effect) as you have missed the point in the past.

    "Random mutation" and "natural selection" are pillars in the evolution discussion. (are we still together on this one?) These two are used to help explain "why" the changes (known as evolution) occur. Science gets only this far into the "why" and happily assigns one or the other as an explanation. Using these pillars, science can avoid saying "I don't know" and also avoid having to consider a force beyond their ability to measure.

    I'm not blaming anyone. You've got your mind set and I'm not looking to change it. That's OK by me.
    Recognizing that I volunteered...
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    Good
    Would a response from daThomas actually dignify ID?
    Recognizing that I volunteered...
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    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskanDad
    Would a response from daThomas actually dignify ID?
    Good point.
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    ID is not recognized as a scientific endeavor by the majority of the scientific community today. That does not mean it will never be recognized and individuals who are a whole lot smarter than me are spending their time in that area.
    I wouldn't count on that.
    But, utilizing verified science, it seems that as the science of DNA continues that more of Darwins theory is proven wrong. One day it will either be proven or proved wrong, and I think DNA will be the avenue that will end the debate.
    You are largely right, only that this has already happened. The evidence from molecular biology and genetics on the DNA level have totally confirmed the evolution of species, past and present. This is actually what led the Catholic church (representing more than half of the roughly 2 billion Christians worlwide, meaning far, far more than the relatively small group of fundamentalist Christians in the US) to give up their resistance against evolution.
    Evolution at the micro level is far different than that of the macro level, yes organisms will evolve for their surrondings (verified through science) however macroevolution (one species becoming a new species) has not been verified (the missing link is still missing).
    Is that what you have been told? Sorry, but you have been fooled.

    I guess it is not surprising that in a country where in many places evolution is such a controversial issue that it is not taught in schools any more, people end up knowing little or nothing about the subject. That makes them easy victims for disinformation and unscientific religious propaganda. Without knowing, you have become a victim of this.

    I guess it's not easy to leave behind years of disinformation, or no information at all, but if you still have an open mind, this may be a good starting point: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskanDad
    "Random mutation" and "natural selection" are pillars in the evolution discussion. (are we still together on this one?) These two are used to help explain "why" the changes (known as evolution) occur. Science gets only this far into the "why" and happily assigns one or the other as an explanation. Using these pillars, science can avoid saying "I don't know" and also avoid having to consider a force beyond their ability to measure.
    Science explains how things work, and how things progressed following the big bang. It does not care about the question "why?" in the sense of "what is the deeper meaning behind it?".

    Science proves beyond doubt that the evolution of species is what took place on earth, and still takes place. It's up to you what sort of deeper meaning you want to assign to those facts, if any. You can also try to deny those facts if it makes you feel more comfortable, but judging from experience, denying facts will not take you very far. After some centuries of resistance, most Christians and EVEN the Catholic church have started accepting that earth revolves around the sun, so I am confident that evolution will be accepted as real, too, even if the message has not spread in major parts of the US population yet.

    Good night.
    Last edited by clulup; 10/01/2005 at 04:44 AM.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  20.    #20  
    My purpose in raising the question was not to promote "Intelligent design" but to see if the assertion of the approximately 120 faculty and staff was indicative of "scientists" in general. If this notion is prevalent, it helps me understand why mention of god or supernatural beings/events is such a lightening rod.
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