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Author Topic: Behe the Creationist  (Read 4430 times) Average Rating: 0
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Justin Kissel
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« on: June 10, 2007, 08:15:26 PM »

According to the reviews that I've read, in Behe's latest book, The Edge of Evolution, he basically makes the point that almost every significant change/act in the history of the universe (and life on earth) had to be directed by an intelligent designer. ID proponents usually are quick to emphasise that intelligent designer does not automatically equate to God. Ok. So what type of intelligent designer other than a god could create galaxies, set them in motion, etc.? What type of intelligent designer other than a god could create the laws of nature? Behe assigns these types of things to the product of design in his book. Is there anyone out there who accepts ID but not creationism that can help me understand the difference between the two, and who this IDer might be other than god?
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2007, 08:38:35 PM »

Creationist believe God created the "kinds" from non-living matter.  Kinds are the originals that the different species have adapted into.  An example is that dogs, wolves, coyotes, and foxes probably have a common ancestor.  They represent "dog" kind.  Creationists often believe the Earth is young.  Young Earth Creationists generally believe in the Flood.

People who believe in Intelligent Design say the universe is too complex to happen by itself.  They can believe in evolution but they would say God must have controlled the process.  I suppose they could believe in some other process.  I'm not sure if creationists could fit under this umbrella as well.  My impression is no.
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2007, 10:02:45 PM »

I guess you could argue that an alien race which evolved from simpler structures designed biology on earth and technically remain within the realm of science; of course, there is no support for such a theory and ultimately no need for one. But the ID argument is essentially that we have yet to give a perfect explanation of every minute detail of our evolutionary history, therefore evolution could not have occured, therefore some deity created the universe. Ultimately ID is an absurd notion with no basis in science and nothing more than a deliberate attempt at deception and misinformation by radical creationists. The evolution we can see of viruses throughout their occupation of a single animal or the evolutionary preservation of exon regions vs. intron regions in the genome or the ability to make predictions using the genomes using the model of evolution should all be sufficient to put to rest these superstitious objections to science.
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2007, 10:20:31 PM »

But the ID argument is essentially that we have yet to give a perfect explanation of every minute detail of our evolutionary history, therefore evolution could not have occured
Not true. One can accept both evolutionary science and Intelligent Design- they are not mutually exclusive. The only difference is that Intelligent Design insists that evolution is "guided", and the "proof" it presents of this is irreducibly complex systems.
The ID argument is that Natural Selection can only choose between functioning systems. It cannot choose between systems which are "partially evolved". For example, since it takes 30 different proteins to produce a bacteria's flagellum, therefore these 30 proteins must have evolved simultaneously, because if one were missing, the system couldn't work, and therefore would simply have been discarded by Natural Selection.
It is a misconception that Intelligent Design aims to prove the Evolution "did not occur". It merely says that Evolution alone cannot account for the existence of systems it considers "irreducibly complex".
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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2007, 10:57:59 PM »

I guess you could argue that an alien race which evolved from simpler structures designed biology on earth and technically remain within the realm of science;
Perhaps, but one couldn't hold this thesis and be an adherent of Intelligent Design unless these aliens evolved without irreducible complexity.
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2007, 11:02:39 PM »

Not true. One can accept both evolutionary science and Intelligent Design- they are not mutually exclusive. The only difference is that Intelligent Design insists that evolution is "guided", and the "proof" it presents of this is irreducibly complex systems.
The ID argument is that Natural Selection can only choose between functioning systems. It cannot choose between systems which are "partially evolved". For example, since it takes 30 different proteins to produce a bacteria's flagellum, therefore these 30 proteins must have evolved simultaneously, because if one were missing, the system couldn't work, and therefore would simply have been discarded by Natural Selection.
It is a misconception that Intelligent Design aims to prove the Evolution "did not occur". It merely says that Evolution alone cannot account for the existence of systems it considers "irreducibly complex".

These various proteins could have had other uses, they could come from parts of the genome that were otherwise dormant, they could have existed without a specific use but continued to exist because they were related to other more essential elements of the genome (how many millions of bases of human dna serve no purpose?). These proteins could have been part of entirely different systems that coexisted at one time and merged togehter, eventually trimming off the older less necessary elements. There are simply too many possibilities about the development of a system to write it off as 'irreducible complexity'. The development of cells was the most difficult element of the development of life witnessed by the fact that the evolutionary timeline for single cells was as long as the time to evolve from single cells to modern humans. Considering the sensitivity of evolution over the course of a billion years and the diverse number of possible permutations it is absurd to consider any level of complexity to be irreducible.

The notion of irreducible complexity is rightly dismissed by the scientific community as creationist propaganda born out of ignorance of biological diversity, a failure to understand the computational ability of cells, and an extreme lack of imagination.

ID is nothing but creationism in disguise, it has and can contribute nothing to the advancement of the biological sciences and only threatens the very basis of biological research, fortunately the scientific community saw it for the nonsense that it is when it was first presented and dismissed it so it has been unable to cause the damage that was intended. Instead of wasting our time burying our heads in the sand crying 'we can't do it!', we should spend our time trying to understand how these systems evolved and use that knowledge for the advancement of the biological (and computational) sciences.
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2007, 11:03:42 PM »

Perhaps, but one couldn't hold this thesis and be an adherent of Intelligent Design unless these aliens evolved without irreducible complexity.

When the most logical explanation is aliens...perhaps it's time to reevaluate the fundamental approach.
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2007, 11:12:53 PM »

GiC,
Woah. Hang on there big fella!
I was merely pointing out the misconception that Intelligent Design "disproves" the existence of Evolution. I'm not arguing that ID is correct, I was merely describing it's thesis, which is what Asteriktos' question is about. I don't think he's after an argument of whether ID is correct or not, he merely is asking how this school of thought thinks.

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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2007, 11:15:22 PM »

These various proteins could have had other uses, they could come from parts of the genome that were otherwise dormant, they could have existed without a specific use but continued to exist because they were related to other more essential elements of the genome (how many millions of bases of human dna serve no purpose?). These proteins could have been part of entirely different systems that coexisted at one time and merged togehter, eventually trimming off the older less necessary elements. There are simply too many possibilities about the development of a system to write it off as 'irreducible complexity'. The development of cells was the most difficult element of the development of life witnessed by the fact that the evolutionary timeline for single cells was as long as the time to evolve from single cells to modern humans. Considering the sensitivity of evolution over the course of a billion years and the diverse number of possible permutations it is absurd to consider any level of complexity to be irreducible.

The notion of irreducible complexity is rightly dismissed by the scientific community as creationist propaganda born out of ignorance of biological diversity, a failure to understand the computational ability of cells, and an extreme lack of imagination.

ID is nothing but creationism in disguise, it has and can contribute nothing to the advancement of the biological sciences and only threatens the very basis of biological research, fortunately the scientific community saw it for the nonsense that it is when it was first presented and dismissed it so it has been unable to cause the damage that was intended. Instead of wasting our time burying our heads in the sand crying 'we can't do it!', we should spend our time trying to understand how these systems evolved and use that knowledge for the advancement of the biological (and computational) sciences.

GiC,

It appears to me that Asteriktos merely asked us to explain the differences between Creationism and Intelligent Design, something Ozgeorge has tried to do.  What you're doing is spouting your opinion of why Intelligent Design is nothing but BS, which doesn't appear to even remotely answer the OP's question.  I think he just wants the facts, not your propaganda.
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« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2007, 11:17:48 PM »

GiC,
Woah. Hang on there big fella!
I was merely pointing out the misconception that Intelligent Design "disproves" the existence of Evolution. I'm not arguing that ID is correct, I was merely describing it's thesis, which is what Asteriktos' question is about. I don't think he's after an argument of whether ID is correct or not, he merely is asking how this school of thought thinks.

George

Ah, well I guess we read the question differently, I had assumed he was getting at whether or not ID and Creationism must be logically equivalent, which I would argue they are. I guess those who hold to Intelligent Design may believe they differ from traditional creationists, but this would not be a logical conclusion.
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2007, 11:24:48 PM »

GiC,

It appears to me that Asteriktos merely asked us to explain the differences between Creationism and Intelligent Design, something Ozgeorge has tried to do.  What you're doing is spouting your opinion of why Intelligent Design is nothing but BS, which doesn't appear to even remotely answer the OP's question.

I was simply pointing out that ID and creationism were essentially one and the same, it's nothing more than creationist propaganda; the arguments may differ slightly because science has reduced one set of arguments to absurdity, but the anti-scientific presuppositions are equivalent. As to the element of the question that asks whether or not IDers are essentially delusional and don't see this, perhaps with some but I seriously doubt this is the case with most.

Quote
I think he just wants the facts, not your propaganda.

So that which is generally regarded as good solid science, you regard as propaganda? Interesting.
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2007, 11:35:19 PM »

I think the reason ID proponents avoid using the word "God" is that the word is inextricably bound up with the God of the three great monotheistic religions. Now, no doubt many ID proponents believe in this specific God (along with 3.5 billion others), but ID arguments do not attempt to prove the existence of this God but only of some sort of intelligence that designed the physical universe to exist and function as it does. In other words, they avoid using the word "God" because you do not have to be a Christian, Jew or Muslim to be a proponent of ID.
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« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2007, 12:08:12 AM »

So that which is generally regarded as good solid science, you regard as propaganda? Interesting.
I don't see you having shown in any clear-headed rational way how your view is good solid science, nor have you really offered any evidence that the logic underlying both ID and Creationist theory is the same.

BTW, have you ever read Michael Behe?  I've read his book Darwin's Black Box, and I've heard him speak in public, so I'm qualified to say that you appear to be reacting not to anything Mr. Behe has actually said but to a straw man of your own construction.
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« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2007, 01:15:03 AM »

I don't see you having shown in any clear-headed rational way how your view is good solid science, nor have you really offered any evidence that the logic underlying both ID and Creationist theory is the same.

BTW, have you ever read Michael Behe?  I've read his book Darwin's Black Box, and I've heard him speak in public, so I'm qualified to say that you appear to be reacting not to anything Mr. Behe has actually said but to a straw man of your own construction.

I am reacting to the absurd notion that non-darwinian factors were involved in the evolution of life on this planet. I think the reaction of Behe's own department sums up the only necessary response to this pseudo-science:

'The department faculty, then, are unequivocal in their support of evolutionary theory, which has its roots in the seminal work of Charles Darwin and has been supported by findings accumulated over 140 years. The sole dissenter from this position, Prof. Michael Behe, is a well-known proponent of "intelligent design." While we respect Prof. Behe's right to express his views, they are his alone and are in no way endorsed by the department. It is our collective position that intelligent design has no basis in science, has not been tested experimentally, and should not be regarded as scientific.'

http://www.lehigh.edu/~inbios/news/evolution.htm

Quite frankly, there are too many important things that can be studied today in the field of Biology for one to waste their time with this useless theory that by it's very construction cannot yield any positive scientific results. Now is not the time to take the bury our head in the sand approach, rather our time would be much better spent determining the mechanics of how these complex systems have developed (and viable theories have been presented for nearly every so-called case of 'irreducible complexity', theories that have infinite more potential to aid the advancement of human knowledge and the biological sciences than the mythology of intelligent design).
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« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2007, 02:47:00 AM »

I am reacting to the absurd notion that non-darwinian factors were involved in the evolution of life on this planet. I think the reaction of Behe's own department sums up the only necessary response to this pseudo-science:
Yet you have not proven the incontrovertibility of Darwinian Evolutionary theory necessary to prove any other explanation absurd.

Quote
'The department faculty, then, are unequivocal in their support of evolutionary theory, which has its roots in the seminal work of Charles Darwin and has been supported by findings accumulated over 140 years. The sole dissenter from this position, Prof. Michael Behe, is a well-known proponent of "intelligent design." While we respect Prof. Behe's right to express his views, they are his alone and are in no way endorsed by the department. It is our collective position that intelligent design has no basis in science, has not been tested experimentally, and should not be regarded as scientific.'
Yet this is merely the opinion of Lehigh University based on what they define to be scientific, a definition with which one is totally free to agree or disagree.  Evidently, you have chosen to recognize Lehigh's definition of science as authoritative, which is totally your prerogative.

Quote
http://www.lehigh.edu/~inbios/news/evolution.htm

Quite frankly, there are too many important things that can be studied today in the field of Biology for one to waste their time with this useless theory that by it's very construction cannot yield any positive scientific results. Now is not the time to take the bury our head in the sand approach, rather our time would be much better spent determining the mechanics of how these complex systems have developed (and viable theories have been presented for nearly every so-called case of 'irreducible complexity', theories that have infinite more potential to aid the advancement of human knowledge and the biological sciences than the mythology of intelligent design).
Yet the OP did not ask for your opinion of the merits (or lack of) of Intelligent Design theory, of which the above is nothing more.
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« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2007, 09:34:03 AM »

I think the reason ID proponents avoid using the word "God" is that the word is inextricably bound up with the God of the three great monotheistic religions. Now, no doubt many ID proponents believe in this specific God (along with 3.5 billion others), but ID arguments do not attempt to prove the existence of this God but only of some sort of intelligence that designed the physical universe to exist and function as it does. In other words, they avoid using the word "God" because you do not have to be a Christian, Jew or Muslim to be a proponent of ID.
Good answer.
ID does not seek to prove the existence of God, it merely presents an argument that there is evidence to support the existence of a higher intelligence. It beats me why some scientists are bent on not allowing this possibility. The existence of a higher intelligence is just as much a possibility as the existence of alien life in other parts of the universe. Why would science allow the possibility of non-terrestrial life, but not the possibility that it might be smarter than terrestrial scientists? Wink
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« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2007, 10:05:55 AM »

Yet you have not proven the incontrovertibility of Darwinian Evolutionary theory necessary to prove any other explanation absurd.

The predictions that have been made and research that has been accomplished using darwinian evolution is more than sufficient evidence. Please, tell me, what great biological advancements have been made based on the assumptions of creationism? You will know them by their fruits.

Quote
Yet this is merely the opinion of Lehigh University based on what they define to be scientific, a definition with which one is totally free to agree or disagree.  Evidently, you have chosen to recognize Lehigh's definition of science as authoritative, which is totally your prerogative.

The definition of Lehigh and of every other scientific faculity in the world. Of course you are free to call science non-science, just as you are free to call a duck a pig...but the fact of the matter is that science is not a matter of opinion and the IDers are just plain wrong. If you do not support darwinian evolution you are useless to and have no place in the biological sciences.

Quote
Yet the OP did not ask for your opinion of the merits (or lack of) of Intelligent Design theory, of which the above is nothing more.

My opinion? Hardly, what I presented is the standard position of the scientific community. In fact, it's the only legitimate opinion, one is, of course, free to object to darwinian evolution just as they are free to object to the copernican model of the solar system, but in both cases they are just plain wrong.

Good answer.
ID does not seek to prove the existence of God, it merely presents an argument that there is evidence to support the existence of a higher intelligence. It beats me why some scientists are bent on not allowing this possibility. The existence of a higher intelligence is just as much a possibility as the existence of alien life in other parts of the universe. Why would science allow the possibility of non-terrestrial life, but not the possibility that it might be smarter than terrestrial scientists? Wink

Because there is no scientific evidence that such intelligence exists and therefore it is not a scientific topic. Furthermore, the assertion is a negative one, it is not presented in a scientific manner, no IDer has given us an experiement by which the viability of their thesis can be tested and either supported or disproven. Darwinian Evolution has given us a model that has made several accurate predictions supporting its viability as a biological model, ID and creationism have done no such thing, these 'bury your head in the sand' approaches are simply not viable and can only detract from viable research and thus are not taken serously outside of a few fringe religious sects.
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« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2007, 10:29:38 AM »

Because there is no scientific evidence that such intelligence exists and therefore it is not a scientific topic.
Does God have anything to do with mankind's existence?
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« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2007, 10:32:49 AM »

Because there is no scientific evidence that such intelligence exists and therefore it is not a scientific topic.
What a strange thing to say.
There's no evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial life either- so why should that be a scientific subject?
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« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2007, 10:36:32 AM »

In fact, it's the only legitimate opinion

Or the more fashionable one.
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« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2007, 10:37:58 AM »

What a strange thing to say.
There's no evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial life either- so why should that be a scientific subject?

And they have wasted millions of dollars on SETI.
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« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2007, 12:11:41 PM »

What a strange thing to say.
There's no evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial life either- so why should that be a scientific subject?

But based on the evolution of life on earth it is at lest plausable that it evolved elsewhere. Thus this hypothesis derived from scientific obervation is being examined by scientific means. And this is research that at least has the potential of advancing our scientific knowledge by understanding how evolution might have solved the problems of creating life in different ways on different worlds. So please tell me, what experiment do you propose to prove the existence of an intelligent designer, and how would a successful experiment advance the biological sciences?
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« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2007, 12:18:28 PM »

But based on the evolution of life on earth it is at lest plausable that it evolved elsewhere.
And given the existence of self consciousness and intelligence on earth it is at least plausable that self consciousness and intelligence exists elsewhere.... So what's the problem?
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« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2007, 12:35:01 PM »

So please tell me, what experiment do you propose to prove the existence of an intelligent designer, and how would a successful experiment advance the biological sciences?

That's easy.  If it can be proven that a certain electromagnetic force--pressumably guided by an intelligent designer--influences the development of cells in living organisms, then mutation and random selection are discarded in one fell swoop. 

In effect, the millions of fruit flies that are being slaughtered in the laboratories to prove mutation will be spared.

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« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2007, 01:28:35 PM »

And given the existence of self consciousness and intelligence on earth it is at least plausable that self consciousness and intelligence exists elsewhere.... So what's the problem?

Biological intelligence, yes...but non-biological intelligence?

That's easy.  If it can be proven that a certain electromagnetic force--pressumably guided by an intelligent designer--influences the development of cells in living organisms, then mutation and random selection are discarded in one fell swoop. 

In effect, the millions of fruit flies that are being slaughtered in the laboratories to prove mutation will be spared.

Well, what evidence do you have for these electromagnetic fields? These could be most useful, the means to walk on water, fly, manipulate nature, cast lightning from heaven...once we understand these fields we essentially become God, please, by all means, get publishing.
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« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2007, 02:25:43 PM »

Speaking of SETI, I find it ironic that scientists are listening to radio waves from the heavens looking for intelligent life.  If these same scientists received information as complex as the genetic code of Earth's simplest lifeforms, they would say it proved the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life.

However, these scientists see even more complex information on Earth and say it proves nothing.  They are truly blind.
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« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2007, 02:39:33 PM »

Speaking of SETI, I find it ironic that scientists are listening to radio waves from the heavens looking for intelligent life.  If these same scientists received information as complex as the genetic code of Earth's simplest lifeforms, they would say it proved the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life.

However, these scientists see even more complex information on Earth and say it proves nothing.  They are truly blind.


Well, if you have such an edge on scientific knowledge, why arn't you using your theories to push the edges of human knowledge? Surely, your great insight into this scientific model can be used to make remarkable predictions? You claim to understand the theory behind the sciences...so what? How can science use this great insight? What can we accomplish with it.

I say again, you will know them by their fruits.
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« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2007, 06:35:44 PM »

Biological intelligence, yes...but non-biological intelligence?
Who said it had to be "non-bological"?
And even if it is, I still fail to see the problem. Non-biological intelligence is alread a field of scientific study: http://www.unesco.org/courier/2001_07/uk/doss42.htm
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« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2007, 06:43:30 PM »

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Speaking of SETI, I find it ironic that scientists are listening to radio waves from the heavens looking for intelligent life.  If these same scientists received information as complex as the genetic code of Earth's simplest lifeforms, they would say it proved the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life. However, these scientists see even more complex information on Earth and say it proves nothing.  They are truly blind.

I don't quite understand what you are saying here...
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« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2007, 07:07:25 PM »

Who said it had to be "non-bological"?
And even if it is, I still fail to see the problem. Non-biological intelligence is alread a field of scientific study: http://www.unesco.org/courier/2001_07/uk/doss42.htm

And I have no doubt that non-biological intelligence will become predominant on this planet, but there is still no reason to believe it to be capable of naturally occuring, non-biological intelligence requires, to the best of our understanding, biological intelligence to initiate it.
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« Reply #30 on: June 11, 2007, 07:18:18 PM »

non-biological intelligence requires, to the best of our understanding, biological intelligence to initiate it.
To the best of our knowledge.
But, then, anything is possible in a Universe which is 13.7 billion years old in which inert moleculles can begin self replicating and evolve into a human being in less than 3.8 billion years.
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« Reply #31 on: June 11, 2007, 07:57:17 PM »

To the best of our knowledge.
But, then, anything is possible in a Universe which is 13.7 billion years old in which inert moleculles can begin self replicating and evolve into a human being in less than 3.8 billion years.

Well, if we find life forms that make use of what we regard as inorganic elements in their fundamental composition it's more likely that we'd simply have to reevaluate our understanding of organic to relate to anything that naturally evolves.
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« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2007, 08:30:47 PM »

Well, what evidence do you have for these electromagnetic fields?

Acupuncture.  And you don't need to walk on water to appreciate its benefits.

http://www.medicalacupuncture.com/aama_marf/journal/vol13_1/article7.html

Electromagnetic Fields and Life
In the early 20th century, there was a rush to embrace biochemical explanations for disease and healing as the modern pharmaceutical industry emerged with many impressive successes. Medical treatment became largely based on drug therapies and surgical interventions, and the 19th-century boom of interest in electromagnetic healing methods was largely lost. In the midst of this, a few notable scientists published important discoveries in the field of BEM. Lakhovsky wrote a valuable book in the 1920s in which he explained many interrelationships between high-frequency electromagnetic fields, including cosmic radiations and living things.3 In the book's introduction, he writes:

What is life? It is the dynamic equilibrium of all cells, the harmony of multiple radiations which react upon one another. What is disease? It is the oscillatory disequilibrium of cells, originating from external causes.

Lakhovsky explained how living things interrelate by receiving and giving off electromagnetic radiations. The radiatory energies of living cells described by Lakhovsky make direct energetic communication between life forms possible. The Russian scientist Pressman summed up 3 effects of such fields: they allow living things to sense information about the environment; they faciliate organization and control within the organism; and they are used for communication between living things.4

Biophotons is the term Popp used to describe the energy communication medium between life forms, and explained how they regulate many physiological functions, including growth, maturation, cell differentiation, enzymatic activity, and the immune system.5 Del Giudice published an article in which he expounded on a model of resonance and interaction between systems of particles bonded by electromagnetic fields, in which the particles move harmoniously through field effects.6

Indeed, such particle communication has been demonstrated in the study of quantum physics. A basic principle of this science is that all parts of the universe are connected to, and in communication with, all other parts. This communication is instantaneous and freely available to those entities that can perceive it. Quantum theory was first advanced by Planck at the end of the 19th century, and was further refined by Bohr. Bohr, who coined the term quantum leap in reference to the ability of electrons to instantaneously jump to different orbits through absorbing and dispersing energy, demonstrated that such movement happens at velocities faster than the speed of light.7 Quantum physics has been described as a field of study in which modern scientific inquiry and measurements meet intuitive spiritual principles. Indeed, the concept of a universal data bank from quantum physics parallels the esoteric concept of the Akashic Records, which holds timeless records of all thoughts, words, and events in history. The principle of the interrelatedness of all waves and particles in the universe correlates with what has been described as God, Universal Mind, or Spirit.
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« Reply #33 on: June 11, 2007, 08:36:07 PM »

I don't quite understand what you are saying here...

My point is that scientists who would say that a radio signal is an obvious sign of intelligence ignore the much greater sign of intelligence that life on Earth represents.  People can build radio transmitters and send Mozart to the nearest star.  That's an obvious sign of intelligence.  However, we can't recreate the simplest life forms on Earth.  I think that clearly shows a much greater intelligence must be behind life on Earth.  St. Paul would agree (Romans 1:18-23.)
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« Reply #34 on: June 11, 2007, 08:58:52 PM »

An interesting article on the subject of Intelligent Design, one of the most thorough and reasonable critiques I've read so far:

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/05/30/050530fa_fact
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« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2007, 09:06:17 PM »

Well, considering that this thread has deviated from the OP's intent of merely seeking the differences between Intelligent Design Theory and Creationism and has become a debate over the merits of ID theory...

Science is fundamentally a discipline based on the observation of nature.  Science seeks to explain natural phenomena that can be observed and verified via empirical means.  Limiting itself strictly to the observation of nature, science can only offer explanations based on causative agents within the natural order.  When faced with a yet-unexplained phenomenon the most scientific thing to say may be "We just can't explain this based on what we know now; maybe we'll discover the reason some time in the future."  Reference to supernatural causative agents, while not necessarily opposed as the subject of a totally separate discipline, must be rejected as a short-circuit of the scientific process.  All a scientist of religious faith can say responsibly is, "The scientific record offers no evidence to support beyond any reasonable doubt the existence and work of a supernatural entity, but neither does it argue against faith in such a being.  I can express my personal faith in a Deity, and I can invoke the scientific record as evidence to support my faith.  But when I do so I speak only my own faith-informed interpretation of this record, which is not submissible as legitimate science."

This is what I see in Intelligent Design theory.  Maybe the theory is legitimate as an underlying philosophy or as a tenet of religious faith, but I don't believe it should be taught as genuine science in any classroom.  Classroom science should be based on what is generally accepted as scientific method, and, frankly, ID theory doesn't qualify as such.  The underlying reason is this:  A scientific theory must be falsifiable--that is, it must possess within itself the potential to be proven wrong via further observation.  There is simply no way the assertion that life must have been created by an intelligent supernatural agent can be proven wrong via scientific inquiry, for science is not equipped to address the reality of the supernatural.
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« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2007, 09:18:22 PM »

for science is not equipped to address the reality of the supernatural.[/b]

You have created a box called "science" and I don't think you can escape from it with that mentality.
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« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2007, 09:24:10 PM »

You have created a box called "science" and I don't think you can escape from it with that mentality.
Should Orthodox Christians shun the findings of genuine scientific research as inimical to our faith?  I see science as another way of knowing God with the result of even further deepening my reverence for His awesome majesty.  Such inquiry is not to be avoided for fear that we might lose our way.

Let me reiterate something I said earlier in the post you quoted:
All a scientist of religious faith can say responsibly is, "The scientific record offers no evidence to support beyond any reasonable doubt the existence and work of a supernatural entity, but neither does it argue against faith in such a being."
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« Reply #38 on: June 11, 2007, 09:51:48 PM »

Should Orthodox Christians shun the findings of genuine scientific research as inimical to our faith?

You are only assuming that it is genuine.  I don't see today's materialistic methods that are largely based on inductive reasoning as "genuine" scientific research.

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Classroom science should be based on what is generally accepted as scientific method

The scientific method with its reliance on induction is a case in point.

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« Reply #39 on: June 11, 2007, 10:40:53 PM »

You are only assuming that it is genuine.  I don't see today's materialistic methods that are largely based on inductive reasoning as "genuine" scientific research.

How do you define "genuine science"?

Why is inductive reasoning necessarily a bad thing?
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« Reply #40 on: June 12, 2007, 08:26:28 AM »

St. Christopher

Well, I'm not a scientist--not by a long shot--but let me add 1 1/2 cents here. That we exist and can think seems to point towards there being life on earth. We don't know for sure how life came to be originally, but we have a pretty good idea how life went from point A to point B as far as biological life goes; it's called the theory of evolution. It's a theory in the scientific sense (not the everyday sense), meaning that it's an idea that seeks to make sense of various different (and even disparate) facts. A scientist cannot "prove" (ie. demonstrate infallibly and with 100% assurance) evolution, nor would he claim to be able to do so. That's why scientists use words like tentative when speaking of their beliefs. But there are certainly different degrees of evidence, and with that comes different degrees of assurance.

I don't really see how a scientist getting a signal from SETI would react any differently than getting a sign of life on earth. In both cases, he'd assume some type of evolutionary process, because that's the current idea which has the most verifiable, testable, repeatable evidence supporting it. I guess the reason that I wasn't understanding your point is that you seemed to be mixing apples and oranges, and I didn't quite see the connection. I'm still not sure that I have, so I'm sorry if I've misread you. You'll just have to forgive a "truly blind" guy like me Wink

All,

Regarding the original question, I'm fine with however people wanted to take it, and however people want to discuss it. I guess what I was looking for was something like this.

1) In what way is ID different than Old Earth Creationism? They both seem to allow for an old earth/universe, but include God in an evolutionary process every step of the way (unlike, say, Deism). It's just that they replace natural selection with divine selection as the mechanism. If ID really is the same as old earth creationism--apart from more sophisticated arguments--then what is the reason for the name change? I think I know the answer, but rather than assume I'm right, I'm looking for alternatives.

2) Some say that the difference between ID and OE Creationism is that the former doesn't require that the ID be a god. So... what would this ID be, then? Specifically, what ID other than a god could create the universe, the laws of the universe, etc.?

EDIT--Fixed a typo
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« Reply #41 on: June 12, 2007, 10:01:37 AM »

Well, if we find life forms that make use of what we regard as inorganic elements in their fundamental composition it's more likely that we'd simply have to reevaluate our understanding of organic to relate to anything that naturally evolves.
Science has explained the material realm except for genisis quite well. The reason it failes in explaining it, is because genisis is linked to the uncreated realm. I really think that all sciences have there limitations once they try to understand the uncreated realm. Something as simple as love, can never be explained by science. Yet it exists right in front of there face.
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« Reply #42 on: June 12, 2007, 10:41:46 AM »

Science has explained the material realm except for genisis quite well. The reason it failes in explaining it, is because genisis is linked to the uncreated realm. I really think that all sciences have there limitations once they try to understand the uncreated realm. Something as simple as love, can never be explained by science. Yet it exists right in front of there face.

Science has actually done quite well at explaining the formation of life, the problem is that some people dont accept the excellent explanations (which are supported by the fact that models have been developed from the theory and have made accurate predictions) because they are allowing religious dogmatic formulations to usurp their common sense. The problem isnt science, science has been doing exactly what it is supposed to do, the problem is the Falwell types and other closed minded fundamentalists (more often than not with a political agenda) who are fortunately becomming increasingly irrelevant in the whole scheme of things.

As for love, there have been many wonderful papers published on the subject including narrowing it to a certain part of the brain and a certain type of activity in that part of the brain...it's not quite as mysterious as you suggest.
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« Reply #43 on: June 12, 2007, 04:55:21 PM »

Science has actually done quite well at explaining the formation of life, the problem is that some people dont accept the excellent explanations (which are supported by the fact that models have been developed from the theory and have made accurate predictions) because they are allowing religious dogmatic formulations to usurp their common sense.


Could you point me to the correct scientific explaination for the formation of life. I don't think science has given any concreate explaination other than theory at this point. Otherwise they would be in the stages of development by now. Grin

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The problem isnt science, science has been doing exactly what it is supposed to do, the problem is the Falwell types and other closed minded fundamentalists (more often than not with a political agenda) who are fortunately becomming increasingly irrelevant in the whole scheme of things.

 
 Political standpoints are based on known facts and not theories. Fortunately, scientific funding requires a breakthrough before funds are allocated to any particular field. Could you imagine how broke the government could become if it funds every day dreaming scientist.

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As for love, there have been many wonderful papers published on the subject including narrowing it to a certain part of the brain and a certain type of activity in that part of the brain...it's not quite as mysterious as you suggest.
Are you suggesting that one must have a brain to be capable of love? Wouldn't that imply that the uncreated can't love. What would you call the uncreated saving action of God. When he sent his son into the world to save it?


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« Reply #44 on: June 12, 2007, 05:47:22 PM »

Could you point me to the correct scientific explaination for the formation of life. I don't think science has given any concreate explaination other than theory at this point. Otherwise they would be in the stages of development by now. Grin

Initial states of the formation of life? That's a pretty basic ones, the organic molecules that make up life are quite simple, in ancient acidic pools where trillions of different molecular combinations occured several occured of what we today describe as organic molecules. That's Biology 101, have any more trivial questions? As for it being a theory, yeah it is, but so is the existence of the natural numbers, which quite frankly is of greater certainty than even your existence.

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Political standpoints are based on known facts and not theories. Fortunately, scientific funding requires a breakthrough before funds are allocated to any particular field. Could you imagine how broke the government could become if it funds every day dreaming scientist.

Well, a breakthrough is not required, but solid and promising scientific research is required...why do you think the proponents of ID don't get that much money? Because their mickey mouse theory isn't worth the time of day, much less hard earned grant money.

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Are you suggesting that one must have a brain to be capable of love? Wouldn't that imply that the uncreated can't love. What would you call the uncreated saving action of God. When he sent his son into the world to save it?

I'm suggesting that love is a well defined human emotion that can be explained scientifically and that any other understanding of love is merely a derivative of this human emotion.
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