Monday, October 10, 2005

ID Proponents Have Larger Goals

From today's Philadelphia Inquirer:

Intelligent design's big ambitions: Advocates want much more than textbooks

The advocates of "intelligent design," spotlighted in the current courtroom battle over the teaching of evolution in Dover, Pa., have much larger goals than biology textbooks.

They hope to discredit Darwin's theory as part of a bigger push to restore faith to a more central role in American life. "Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions," says a strategy document written in 1999 by the Seattle think tank at the forefront of the movement.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Matthew Heaney said...

About the creationism trial on Dover, PA, an article at Ken Miller's web site says:

"They will also seek to convince District Court Judge John E. Jones III
that ID has nothing to do with God or religion."

http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/aaas-dover-news/darwin-court.html


I don't see how this statement is defensible, since Michael Behe has said on numerous occasions that he thinks the "intelligent designer" is the Christian God. For example:

(1)

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4734942

At time 2:50, Behe says:

"I find it congenial to think that the designer is likely to be God."


(2)

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1079785

At time 22:30, there is this dialog with Behe:

Q: Who would the purposeful, intelligent design belong to?

A: Who's the designer?

Q: Yeah

A: I'm a Roman Catholic. I'm a Christian. I certainly would think that the designer is God. And probably most people would. But that conclusion is not forced by coming to the conclusion of intelligent design. Somebody else might think it was some new age force, or a space alien or something like that.


Neither of the conjectures that "God" or "new age force" is the intelligent designer can be considered scientific, so how can one argue that ID has nothing to do with religion?

Following the Pope's 1996 encyclical, Behe wrote a NYT Op-Ed in which he argued that:

"Intelligent design may mean that the ultimate explanation for life is beyond scientific explanation. That assessment is premature. But even if it is true, I would not be troubled. I don't want the best scientific explanation for the origins of life; I want the correct explanation."

http://www.rae.org/darmicro.html


So Behe is *not* restricting himself to scientific explanations. By his how admission, the "correct explanation" is religious.

Will the lawyers for the plaintiffs confront Behe with his own argument that ID is actually a religious explanation?

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Matthew Heaney said...

Article in Minnesota Daily about a recent talk by Michael Behe:

Intelligent Design 101: Short on science, long on snake oil

http://www.mndaily.com/articles/2005/10/10/65535

This part of the article was especially interesting:

Much to Dr. Behe’s distress, the TTSS is a subset of the bacterial flagellum. That’s right, a part of the supposedly irreducible bacterial “outboard motor” has a biological function!

When I asked Dr. Behe about this at lunch he got a bit testy, but acknowledged that the claim is correct (I have witnesses). He added that the bacterial flagellum is still irreducibly complex in the sense that the subset does not function as a flagellum.

His response might seem like a minor concession, but is very significant. The old meaning of irreducible complexity was, “It doesn’t have any function when a part is removed.” Evidently, the new meaning of irreducible complexity is “It doesn’t have the same function when a part is removed.”

The new definition renders irreducible complexity irrelevant to evolution, because complex adaptations are widely thought to have evolved through natural selection co-opting existing structures for new functions, in opportunistic fashion.[italics mine - MJH]

11:08 AM  

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