Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:18 pm

ID is doing religion.
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:26 pm

I'm relatively clueless on biological evolution, but the Creation/ID POV don't just go after biology, they have issues with physics and geology as well.

Here are some statements from the American Physical Society:
http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/81_1.cfm
(Adopted by Council on November 22, 1981)

The Council of the American Physical Society opposes proposals to require "equal time" for presentation in public school science classes of the biblical story of creation and the scientific theory of evolution. The issues raised by such proposals, while mainly focused on evolution, have important implications for the entire spectrum of scientific inquiry, including geology, physics, and astronomy. In contrast to "Creationism", the systematic application of scientific principles has led to a current picture of life, of the nature of our planet, and of the universe which, while incomplete, is constantly being tested and refined by observation and analysis. This ability to construct critical experiments, whose results can require rejection of a theory, is fundamental to the scientific method. While our society must constantly guard against oversimplified or dogmatic descriptions of science in the education process, we must also resist attempts to interfere with the presentation of properly developed scientific principles in established guidelines for classroom instruction or in the development of scientific textbooks. We therefore strongly oppose any requirement for parallel treatment of scientific and non-scientific discussions in science classes. Scientific inquiry and religious beliefs are two distinct elements of the human experience. Attempts to present them in the same context can only lead to misunderstandings of both.

http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/99_5.cfm
(Adopted by Council on November 14, 1999)

The American Physical Society views with grave concern the recent Kansas State Board of Education decision to remove references to evolution and the Big Bang from its State Education Standards and Assessments. The decision to modify its previous draft of these standards is a giant step backward and should sound an alarm for every parent, teacher and student in the United States. On the eve of the new millennium, at a time when our nation's welfare increasingly depends on science and technology, it has never been more important for all Americans to understand the basic ideas of modern science.

Biological and physical evolution are central to the modern scientific conception of the Universe. There is overwhelming geological and physical evidence that the Earth and Universe are billions of years old and have developed substantially since their origins. Evolution is also a foundation upon which virtually all modern biology rests.

This unfortunate decision will deprive many Kansas students of the opportunity to learn some of the central concepts of modern science.

http://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews ... design.cfm

APS President Says Intelligent Design Should Not Be Taught as Science (2005)

APS President Marvin Cohen, University Professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley, issued a statement in August saying that only scientifically validated theories, such as evolution, should be taught in the nation’s science classes. His statement was in response to remarks by President George Bush regarding intelligent design, a form of creationism.

In comments to journalists in Texas, President Bush had said that intelligent design should be taught side-by-side with scientific theories of evolution in the classroom. Those remarks were later clarified by Presidential Science Advisor John Marburger.

“We are happy that the President’s recent comments on the theory of intelligent design have been clarified,” said Cohen. “As [Marburger] has explained, President Bush does not regard intelligent design as science. If such things are to be taught in the public schools, we believe they belong in a course on comparative religion, which is a particularly appropriate subject for our children given the present state of the world.”

The APS Council has long opposed the inclusion of religious concepts such as intelligent design and related forms of creationism in science classes, passing two public statements on the issue in 1981 and 1999. (quoted above).

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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby clw_uk » Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:36 pm

Hey




I am as it is willing to be wrong,


Something you dont have in common with IDers

what I have been saying from the start is that this film is saying that the debate isn't over the result isn't final, which I agree with.


No but they want to make it final by claiming god did it, say that and you end research since you claim and answer to the question (without actually investigating via the scientific method)

The film was ID/religious propaganda trying to dress itself up as science at the expense of evolution

Ben Stein has said that evolution is wrong, science is evil and that belief in God is the only good. He would want to be burning witches next :jumping:


ID is trying to say something on the topic of how life began, which would naturally have an effect on how evolution is seen, Evolution is saying that ID stunds learning, hinders 'propper' science, yet doesn't address the question or do itself justice. just because a god or something which could be called god may be posited with a theory doesn't mean that the theory is wrong, but it also doesn't mean the theory is right either, untill the origin of life can be proven the debate isn't over.


Its a belief not a scientific theory since there is no evidence to support it, not a tiny shred


Not saying it cant be a philosophical theory or a religious one but its not science


metta
Last edited by clw_uk on Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:37 pm

Hi Mike,
just on your last quote not enough time to go through the lot, but I think ID should be looked at allong side Evolution etc, not in science class and personally I think RE should just stop as it doesn't teach the essence of what makes up religious thought, I think it would be far better to have a philosophy and debate class (PD) would seam far more useful than teaching RE and not the philosophic arguments.

as aristole said "it is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it"
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby clw_uk » Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:40 pm

Manapa wrote:Hi Mike,
just on your last quote not enough time to go through the lot, but I think ID should be looked at allong side Evolution etc, not in science class and personally I think RE should just stop as it doesn't teach the essence of what makes up religious thought, I think it would be far better to have a philosophy and debate class (PD) would seam far more useful than teaching RE and not the philosophic arguments.

as aristole said "it is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it"



Thats not what the ID lobby want (the ones that the film and apparently yourself are supporting), they want it taught as science along side evolution, they want a personal belief that has no evidence to enter into the science class
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby Individual » Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:37 am

mikenz66 wrote:I'm relatively clueless on biological evolution, but the Creation/ID POV don't just go after biology, they have issues with physics and geology as well.

They have issues with philosophy.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/creationism/
Creationism in the sense used in this discussion is still very much a live phenomenon in American culture today — and in other parts of the world, like the Canadian West, to which it has been exported. Popularity does not imply truth. Scientifically Creationism is worthless, philosophically it is confused, and theologically it is blinkered beyond repair. The same is true of its offspring, Intelligent Design Theory. But do not underestimate its social and political power. As we enter the new millennium, thanks to Johnson and his fellows, there are ongoing pressures to introduce non-evolutionary ideas into science curricula, especially into the science curricula of publicly funded schools in the United States of America. In 2004, in Dover Pennsylvania there was an attempt by the school board to introduce Intelligent Design Theory into the biology classrooms of the publicly funded schools. As it happens, this was rejected strongly by the federal judge trying the case — a man who was appointed by President George W. Bush no less — and the costs of the case will surely deter others from rushing to follow the example of this board (who were incidentally then promptly dropped by the voters.) But the battle is not yet over and things could get a lot worse before they get better, if indeed they will get better. Already, there are members of the United States Supreme Court who have made it clear that they would receive sympathetically calls to push evolution from a preeminent place in science teaching, and with its recent turn to the right it would be foolish to assume that if a case came its way that Creationism or ID theory would be rejected as unsuitable for public school classroom use. If additions are made, with present appointments, we could find that — nearly a century after the Scopes Trial, when the Fundamentalists were perceived as figures of fun — Creationism in one form or another finally takes its place in the classroom.
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:38 am

Manapa wrote:I think ID should be looked at along side Evolution etc, not in science class ...

But as Individual says, that's what the ID people want. To call it Science. I don't think science has all the answers, but in a science class we teach science. When we run a course on cosmology should we talk about the Christian, Islam, Hindu, or Buddhist versions of the history of the Universe? What would be the point?

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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby Mawkish1983 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:42 am

I can't speak on behalf of all scientists (obviously) and my field is materials and physics, not biology, geology or cosmology etc but as you asked, here are my thoughts.

I've seen there debates. Lots. Forgive of for generalising: I tend to see an enormous amount of misunderstanding from the ID camp about the very basics of evolution. Notice in this thread abiogenesis hasn't even been mentioned, this is pretty normal in there debates. I tend to see IDers lumping evolution, abiogenesis and the 'big bang' together and saying things like "there's on proof". They miss the point. Philosophically the concept of "proof" is meaningless and science is not in the business of "proving" things. Observations are made, these are facts. From those facts postulations are made, to which theories are created such that the facts can be better understood and, importantly, predicted. In science, there is only ever proof that something isn't right, not proof that something is right. Consider, for example, the general relativity debate. It was only when we were able to examine the nanoscopic world that we discovered special relativity only worked on the large scale. The theory (a model) was proven not to be complete. Whether it was 'right' or 'wrong' is irrelevant. It was able to predict (with great accuracy) the facts of the operation of the universe on the large scale, but it's limits became known so more robust theories had to be created, vis a vis quantum theory. Even with quantum theory the history of the discovery of the quark is a good example of how science isn't in the business of "proving" things, it simply works to create better and better predictive models.

That being said, these are the facts. There are fossilised remains of ancient animals and plants. There remains show that species, in general, are not discreet groups but change (the age of the fossils can be obtained by radiometric dating) over time. Evidence of this gradual species change can be witnessed today, consider what man's farming techniques have done to the banana, for example! So, we know for a fact that life does evolve, this is an observable fact. Modern genetic testing corroborates this, we can see that specimens that appear to be closely related have the most similar DNA, suggesting a family relationship. These are facts. The theory of evolution (the use of the same word 'evolution' possibly causes confusion) works to explain the process by which these changes occur. As I said before, the theory works to make predictions, as evidence is found that doesn't support the theory, the theory is modified. This, however, doesn't change the facts.

I have seen time and time again proponents of ID saying that "evolution hasn't been proven, it's just a theory". They do not know what a scientific theory is nor what it is for, clearly. Or, more worryingly, they do but are deliberately misleading people. Scary. I also hear stories about how ID is shunned from mainstream science as if by some great conspiracy. This is not the case. There are two important kinds of publications in science journals (ignoring letters and reviews): papers sharing new facts that have been discovered and papers suggesting theories to explain those facts. These papers are peer reviewed to make sure misinformation isn't published. ID supporters (indeed, anyone!) is welcome to submit papers to be reviewed, but if they are found not to present new facts or theories to predict facts, they are rightly discarded. This is where ID falls down. ID doesn't seek to find theories to explain and predict facts, it makes claims of 'truths' and 'proofs' that in no way present new facts nor present new predictive theories, ergo ID is not science. This is why they have thier own publications. Not because they are forbidden from publishing in a mainstream journal but because they do not present any science. [NOTE: In science circles you will hear of 'proofs' but these are works of algebra and logic, not a proof of a theory's 'truth' but a proof that the theory can predict the facts known at that time. The idea of a theory being 'true' is nonsensical to a scientist. If it's 'truth' you're after, ask a philosopher :)]

As for abiogenesis, teams are working on understanding this but it should be remembered what 'life' technically is. Life is nothing more than a biochemical process. Life, as a process, is a fact. Theories about the first cause of this process are being created. Watch this space :)

As for the big bang, this as another fact. It is an observable fact that the universe is expanding (see Dopler shift) and we can extrapolate that expansion back to a single point. It must be remembered we're limited by language and the very dimensions of spacetime are defined by the movement of the matter therein, matter itself being a bit of a mystery (hence the LHC, a machine build to test a predictive theory). Anyway, cause cause of the universe is not known (and some people think it is unknowable). Ideas have been put forward from M-theory but at the moment as no predictive theories have been put forward these ideas seem to be the realm of philosophy, not science.

I just realised I should mention that these fact that are observed can be misinterpreted (and sometimes/often are), but, as I said, the IDers are completely free to present their own facts if they should discover any. So far their main aim seems to be simply to discredit the good science already done, rather than do any of their own.

I've probably gone on long enough.

So, yes, this scientist here thinks that IDers are misguided at best, or downright corrupt at worst. What IDers do is not science.

If you do want to discuss my thoughts further you'll have to PM me I think, I can already predict how the responses are going to go on here (having seen them a thousand times elsewhere) so I can't see any benefit me staying with this thread :)

Feel free to PM me.
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby christopher::: » Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:53 am

Science asks questions about the nature of the Universe. Scientists propose theories and hypotheses based on the available evidence. They design experiments in order to verify what they propose. Some theories cannot be verified, but it doesn't mean they are not science, as long as they fit the evidence.

I see at least two schools of ID, one disputes the evidence of science and proposes instead theories based on what is taught in the bible. That's not science, though if they try to highlight holes in the evidence, it can provide an opportunity to show how bogus their approach is, and that's science. Problem is they are very crafty, so science teachers would rather keep them out of the classroom.

Another school, and a lot of scientists fall into this school, including Einstein, respects the evidence and modern theories but also puts forth a spiritual hypothesis that is consistent with the evidence. It fits into a Science class, in my view, when you get to certain unexplainable things and start to ask for theories about them.

Such as the origins of the Universe, with all its highly specific laws and lawful properties.
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:55 am

Another school, and a lot of scientists fall into this school, including Einstein, respects the evidence and modern theories but also puts forth a spiritual hypothesis that is consistent with the evidence. It fits into a Science class, in my view, when you get to certain unexplainable things and start to ask for theories about them.

Such as the origins of the Universe, with all its highly specific laws and lawful properties.


It still is not science.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby christopher::: » Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:59 am

In your opinion, tilt.

How do you explain the laws of gravity, electromagnitism, strong and weak nuclear forces? Scientists talk of a need for a Unified Theory of Everything. A Creative Intelligence beyond the Universe can be one such theory.
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:34 am

christopher::: wrote:In your opinion, tilt.

How do you explain the laws of gravity, electromagnitism, strong and weak nuclear forces?


God made them, just as it made the AIDS virus, TB, the human capacity to kill, funnel-web spiders, cancers of various types ....

Scientists talk of a need for a Unified Theory of Everything. A Creative Intelligence beyond the Universe can be one such theory.


A creative intelligence beyond the universe? What would that be, what could that be? Where would it be? If we are really talking science, where is the falsifiable aspect to a "creative intelligence beyond the universe?" If it is beyond the universe then it would have no relationship to the universe, so then what good would it be? Can't be used to explain anything. No way to verify it. Can't be proved, can't relate to it, can't know it, all because it is beyond the universe. There being no science in that, it fits into the realm of religion and philosophy.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby Mawkish1983 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:37 am

(had to interject, a theory of everything is just a theory that relates all forces. The first big step was when it was realised electric and magnetic forces were one in the same, since then the strong and weak nuclear force have also been explained in the same terms and are also facets of the same thing. The last problem is the gravitational force because it seems so much weaker but in this case M-theory provides a possible explanation, we're just waiting to see if it produces anything testable. The "theory of everything" is just a unification of the forces... nothing else)
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:39 am

Mawkish1983 wrote:(had to interject, a theory of everything is just a theory that relates all forces. The first big step was when it was realised electric and magnetic forces were one in the same, since then the strong and weak nuclear force have also been explained in the same terms and are also facets of the same thing. The last problem is the gravitational force because it seems so much weaker but in this case M-theory provides a possible explanation, we're just waiting to see if it produces anything testable. The "theory of everything" is just a unification of the forces... nothing else)


And it is something that can be tested.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:41 am

Richard Dawkins put it quite well. Any intelligence that created the universe would have had to have evolved just the same as we did, so perhaps some intelligence did create life but why call it God since it to would have evolved (and some day die) like we did, we are more complex and higher in knowledge than an ant yet we dont call ourselves the God of ants



I dont think there is an intelligence behind it (i dont think dawkins does either) but if there is the above would apply


N.B. I think his argument is similar to the Buddhist approach


metta
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby Mawkish1983 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:41 am

tiltbillings wrote:And it is something that can be tested.

Yep, the very definition of science.
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:54 am

christopher::: wrote:How do you explain the laws of gravity, electromagnitism, strong and weak nuclear forces? Scientists talk of a need for a Unified Theory of Everything. A Creative Intelligence beyond the Universe can be one such theory.

Not to be too condescending, but unless you have taken graduate level courses in physics any opinions you might have about the strengths and weaknesses of modern physics are, frankly, irrelevant. Not that I would discourage you from reading accounts of it...

O course, there are weaknesses. And strengths. Last semester I showed my students how the spin of the electron, and how that spin interacts with a magnetic field (the "g value"), arises naturally from Dirac's relativistic quantum mechanics of 1928. In another semester or two they might have some vague idea how to calculate the electrodynamic corrections to the "g value" that give an agreement between theory and experiment to better than one part in ten to the power of ten. But why does it work like that? Why that particular equation (and the other interactions in the Standard Model)?

I don't know, of course, but I'm confident that the next next advance, like the "modern physics" revolution (which is over 100 years old!) will come from people who (like Einstein, Rutherford, etc) actually understand the technicalities.

Metta
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:39 am

Hi Mawkish
Thank-you!!!
I am responding mainly to, or through your post but adding relative points which address other posts, so not all will be entirely relevant specifically to your post.
I agree that some ID proponents who (I am assuming) come from creationism, or are creationists just jumping on the ID band wagon hoping to prove creationism in one way, shape or form, although there are those who want to get a theory together and looked at so "scientific truth" can be found, and it is this group I am dealing with ie those trying to use science, not those who are distorting science (thinking of a comedy stand up show and book googlewhacked by dave gorman), personal views on religion what a god is or isn't etc and using that to discredit a thread of science or a legitimate theory as wrong withough putting it through the machiene of testing is bad science which is happening by the extreamists on both sides, but there are those in the middle willing to entertain the idea and find a workable theory but because they do or do not 'believe in a god and the influence people such as Dawkin or the idiocy of the creationist/IDers is putting them off because they don't want the hassle or the stigma of how the issue is, or they don't want to be ascociated with ID (depending on what side of belief in god they are on).

the describing of what god is or isn't, isn't the point as there are many theories about what a god is and just because a being can be called a god doesn't mean it wasn't created, look at most of the gods in different religions, The Greek panthion as an example were all created from the titans or other gods in the later generations and sometimes both, and any potentail theory which has portians of ID may potentially result in Gods being classified in some way as to the kind of god they are (think of the different classes of god in buddhism) but the point is finding an answer which can be worked with for better understanding. just as the Buddha would disregard something as wrong just because part of it was wrong, so to does science, but after saying that, science doesn't disregard things as wrong just because it doesn't seam logical to begin with, in this regard the Buddha would say it wasn't relevant to the path, or to put it into this context evolution happened in this way, a god (what ever being that could describe) isn't necesarily relevant to the path evolution took but to the origins.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:51 am

I agree that some ID proponents who (I am assuming) come from creationism, or are creationists just jumping on the ID band wagon hoping to prove creationism in one way, shape or form,




ID is creationism, they are the same thing. The only difference is if they are Young earth creationists or old earth creationists or deists, although all the ones i have seen are actually theists



metta
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Evolution and Intelligent Design/Creationism

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:54 am

clw_uk wrote:
I agree that some ID proponents who (I am assuming) come from creationism, or are creationists just jumping on the ID band wagon hoping to prove creationism in one way, shape or form,




ID is creationism, they are the same thing. The only difference is if they are Young earth creationists or old earth creationists or deists, although all the ones i have seen are actually theists



metta


Is that so!

no middle ground there at all? and are you sure?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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