Inteligent design, what's the deal?

But Intelligent Design sounds so catchy.

Uh, science does not “invalidate” the existence (or non-existence) of God.

Indeed, Cless. But science also does not accept the existence of things whose existence hasn’t been proved.

It’s not a stalemate between “doesn’t prove” and “doesn’t disprove” as people like to say. It doesn’t matter whether God exists or not, until this question is solved, you simply can’t take God into account in any scientific work.

Moreover, we are not trying to prove that God doesn’t exist. We’re trying to show that ID, whether having God, ET’s, the FLying Spaghetti Monster or beings from another frequency as the intelligent entity behind evolution, is not scientific, and therefore should not be taught in biology class.

Sadly, a lot of people think biology is more about religion than science. You know the letters the FSM guy sent to the Kansas School Board? One of the answers he got was “It is a serious offense to mock God”. Which shows that the real goal of people who want ID in Bio classes is to have kids forget Darwin and spend their time worshipping God instead.

You can believe whatever the hell you want but a few things don’t change:

1-Its not science
2-Therefore it doesn’t belong in a science class
3-Intelligent design is creation science is creationism, which is endorsement of judeo-christian religious concepts. Because this isn’t science, any discussion on such concepts falls upon philosophical grounds that can be challenged by anyone that doesn’t agree with said concepts.


If you’re a scientific person then you understand the scientific method and you thus contradict yourself as Ren so kindly pointed out. There’s nothing scientific about what you said.

Hiryuu already said Intelligent Design isn’t a science. Nor did he ever say it should be taught in a science class.

Anyway, from my understanding, ID isn’t traditional Creationism. Some people might try and use the guise of ID to push the Genesis story, but ID itself isn’t necessarily the Genesis story. Speaking in the broadest terms, ID states that evolution as we know it relies on too much chance to occur by itself. So, some kind of Greater Being, whether it be the Judeo-Christian God or not, had a hand in guiding the process. That’s not the same as the Creation story. However, it’s purely philisophical and does have no place in a science class, but it is not the same as traditional Creationism.

That’s what this thread is about: ID being presented as a science. Talking about the validity of ID in a thread that discusses whether or not ID should be taught is thus misleading if you mean to say you don’t think it has scientific validity.

And its not because the packaging is tweaked around from what Creationism was that ID doesn’t make direct references to specific deities. It doesn’t change in the end that despite the nuance that this gives ID, that the reason ID is presented is the same as why creationism was presented and that it was presented and supported by the same groups of people that presented creationism.

And I really wish people didn’t just simplify evolution to chance. Evolution by chance is called genetic drift and this is a very weak evolutionary force. Evolution by natural selection, while influenced by chance, is different from what you’d call random shit happening. Evolution by natural selection is very strong in terms of how it affects species and populations of organisms.

Except if Hiryuu clearly states that it’s not a science (multiple times in multiple posts) and states that it should not be taught in science classes, that pretty much waves away sort of misleading comments. In fact, nowhere does he say ID itself is valid or validated by any proof. He merely spoke that the general idea of some sort of ID (probably like the one I explained) is not invalidated nor can it be invalidated by science as it gets into the more philisophical argument over the existence of God. But, once again, Hiryuu says it’s not a science and has no place in science classes.

Everyone should read a book called “The Selfish Gene” by Richard Dawkins for an “alternate” view of survival of the fittest and why evolution appears to happen the way it does. Its a great read and should help you all understand evolution that bit better.

Good. So, since everybody agrees that ID belongs to philosophy classes instead of Bio ones, let’s end this discussion and start talking about The Flying Spaghetti Monster Game. My high score was 4250.

The problem with the whole argument is that people blur the lines between this philosophical discussion and the scientific discussion and thus by bringing the philosophy back into play, you merely prolong the problem, if only by giving it credit by mentioning it in such a context. If people were to stop having that discussion, the entire debate about the place ID should occupy in the classroom would be over.

Where in my post did I say believing in God is based on a scientific method? Notice the BUT after “mainly scientific person.” “But” in english grammar usually means that what you say afterward is going against what is said before, not agreeing with it.

The whole point of my post was that belief in evolution does not rule out the idea of a God. Yes that is philosophical/religious. I never said it was not. Plus, I hope you are not implying that someone that believes in a God can not be a scientific person.

You have proven my point of how the terms evolution and ID are such broad terms and people just manipulate them how they want to puff out their own chest.

Well, you pretty much said that you would loosen belief in God if someone could scientifically explain what existed before the universe, and you also tried to justify belief in ID by comparing evolution to a rigged slot machine.

Belief in a religion and/or ID is one thing. Trying to justify them is another, which is crossing the abyss that separates science and religion. If you don’t want to get caught trespassing, do not try to justify your religious beliefs with logic. When you used the slot machine metaphor you were raising an untestable hypothesis, and when you said you believed in God creating the universe due to lack of better explanation to the universe’s history you were perverting the Razor of Ockham.

You have proven my point of how the terms evolution and ID are such broad terms and people just manipulate them how they want to puff out their own chest.
No, I just enjoy being an asshole sometimes. I don’t take any pride in doing what I do. Showing the things people should have learned at school before talking about science is more like duty than leisure.

Explain to me what evolution is then. All you’re doing is puffing out your own chest and think you’re all smart and clever by saying “ohoho evolution is so vague and abstract”. It certainly sounds like you don’t know what you’re talking about. Prove me wrong.

If you don’t want to get caught trespassing, do not try to justify your religious beliefs with logic.

Um, much of philosophy is predicated on logic. Logic isn’t the sole property of science.

There is a difference between justifying religion with science and pointing out possibilities that could exist outside of known science. You seem to be hung up on the false idea that I’m trying to prove God’s existence using methods of science. I keep saying that current experimental evidence obtained through methods of science do not rule out God’s existence and explained how I think that. Now I have said the same thing in 3 straight posts.

Explain to me what evolution is then. All you’re doing is puffing out your own chest and think you’re all smart and clever by saying “ohoho evolution is so vague and abstract”. It certainly sounds like you don’t know what you’re talking about. Prove me wrong.

I explained partly in the first post. Evolution at its most basic is something like gradual change for the better. You would be hard pressed to find an intelligent person who does not believe in evolution at all.

Micro-evolution, the changes within a species, can be observed on the scale of a typical human life-span. Macro-evolution, the changing of one species to another, is more foggy. If a virus changes/mutates and becomes resistant to previously successful treatments is that micro or macro evolution?

Now based on those two things alone it does not preclude the existence of a God. Some then extend the idea of evolution to mean the whole set of micro and macro changes among living things since the dawn of life and that life was just started by a fortuitous mixing of the right chemicals in the right environment. This is where it begins to hinge on creationism.

So you can believe in 4 versions of evolution: on a micro-scale, a macro-scale, history-scale, creation-scale. As I know it true Darwinian evolution fits in the history-scale. You can correct me on that.

Intelligent Design to some people means that God created each individual species, to others that God set the world at some point in time and macro/micro evolution proceeded from there. The latter way providing a way for them to “co-exist.”

We are not dealing with set-in-stone book definitions of either topic. That is why the debate rarely changes anyone’s minds. Everyone just uses the definition that justifies their beliefs. If you can get everyone to agree on only one solid definition for each the debate would end quickly.

Firstly evolution can be gradual or it can happen in bursts. Let’s start by explaining what evolution by natural selection is: there is differential reproduction because of inheritable traits, something a parent inherently passes onto their offspring. Now what leads to changes in what allows a population of organisms to reproduce varies. This can be gentle changes in climate, ecology, predator populations or it can be a cataclysm where an asteroid half the size of Texas slams violently into the Earth. This whole range of things that can happen will place the organisms under completely different sets of conditions and who survives to reproduce will determine what the subsequent generations are like. The point about evolution is that there is change over time. Evolution serves to explain what happens, how it happens. It doesn’t seek to attribute value or meaning or spirituality. Evolution is the why of biology. Its why you see changes occur in populations and how it is that we come to see what we see around us. The world works as a series of actions and reactions. Because nothing stops in the world, change doesn’t stop.

Splitting apart evolution into different topics you choose to accept and reject shows your lack of understanding of the inter-relatedness of what it is you’re trying to present.

The basis is very simple: certain organisms will reproduce more under certain conditions than others. If this selective advantage has a genetic basis, this is natural selection because the trait they have is what gives them a reproductive advantage and it will become more common in a population over successive reproductive events. In other words, individuals with this trait will occupy an increasingly greater proportion of the gene pool.
Fitness is defined by one’s ability to survive and reproduce. If you don’t reproduce, you have no fitness. It has nothing to do with making something “better” because the term “better” is subjective and depends entirely on the context of a given situation.

The thing with evolution is that DNA mutates over time in separate populations of organisms. These organisms encounter different pressures in different locations and environments, so these pressures make it so some mutations/traits work and some don’t. These mutations/traits being selected for aren’t always the same, so the 2 populations acquire differences. Eventually, these populations become reproductively isolated in some way, and they can’t swap their mutations and as the pressures they face are different, they only continue to diverge in their differences, like birds with different shaped beaks adapting to different kinds of food that they need to eat. Like people with different skin colors depending on their distance from the equator north or south wise.

Earlier I mentionned how what is good is subjective. There are tons of examples about that and I’ll use one involving viruses since you mentionned viruses earlier. People use evolution to treat AIDS. They don’t use human evolution to do it, but the virus’ evolution. Because evolution works on reproduction, how differential reproduction leads to different traits becoming the dominant trait inside a population depending on the pressures the population faces, you can kill HIV with drugs and then the virus will mutate and no longer be affected by drugs.

Essentially, this drug treatment is a selection event. You select for viruses resistant to your drugs by killing those that aren’t. The thing is, these viruses are less efficient at reproducing than the normal HIV virus. So what the doctors do is they put you on drugs, kill tons of virus, resistance is aquired. Then they take you off drugs, let the more efficiently reproducing virus retake over, the inefficient virus is outcompeted by the efficient one. The efficient one is not resistant to drugs, so they reapply the drugs and the efficient virus dies. So on and so forth.

The point is that you can experimentally create conditions for the selection of different traits in all kinds of organisms and these organisms will thus respond to these changing conditions in the way traits that promote survival and reproduction become more common.

Organisms throughout time have been subject to these kinds of conditions and their responses to these conditions have always been fairly strong where within a few generations, you can have drastic variation in the allelic content of a given population.

The problem with the whole debate about ID vs evolution is because people try to merge their ideas about how they think religion plays into science, how for some people it allows their ideas to “co exist”. The fact of the matter is, this makes them think that it should play a role in education because they think it makes sense because it explains to them something they don’t understand into terms they do and there is nothing scientific about this relationship.

The problem that people have is exactly the same one you’re presenting by saying that we’re not dealing with definitions set in stone. Guess what: the facts are there, they are set in stone and the problem is with people being uneducated and being content about the state of their ignorance. They are given answers and this provides them with a security they do not wish to give up. It has nothing to do with the validity of the science behind it.

Science does present ideas as to how things might’ve started out, but there is no scientist that will admit he knows exactly how it all started. We have ideas as to what might’ve happened and we’ve made observations that under very specific conditions. I will admit that some of the stuff being presented has some plausibility but I’m not going to push it forward as dogma like I would how DNA, RNA and proteins work.
However, that’s no excuse to start throwing around random stuff people think of.

Its funny that in this day and age, people think it is absurd that primitive people had all these deities for all these things about life and how it just makes sense that the superstition be thrown away. But the fact of the matter is, people keep doing it nowadays under the same conditions whether it comes to ID or organic foods or what they eat to prevent themselves from being sick. They desperately look for answers to fill in the gaps, regardless of the basis for that information and they do this because they are insecure.

What I’m trying to say is that as much as God’s existence is not outruled, it also isn’t proven, and therefore talking about God’s existence is missing the point.

Intelligent Design, or more accurately neocreationism, is a pseudoscience and will keep being so until it can be proven by the scientific method. Until then, no argument supporting it has any validity.

I’m not trying to “win” a discussion or anything, nor am I saying that you should not speak about your beliefs. What I am trying to say is that Biology is science, while neocreationism is not. And unless you can change the status of neocreationism, you should not mix the two. It has to do with following etiquette and morals, not holding the “bigger truth”.

Just put yourself in other people’s shoes for an instant. Imagine the uproar I would cause if I stepped into a church and tried to discuss with the believers about Jesus’s sexuality. I could start an argument claiming that Jesus was gay. It doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that he wasn’t, and also he said himself that he came to change the laws of the Old Testament and he never got married. It is a possibility that exists outside known religion. I wouldn’t be trying to prove it, I would just be showing logical possibilities. I could even suggest the insertion of such topic in theology classes in schools or colleges. Still, what good would that be? That would be an idea better kept to me and my close ones rather than broadcast, for it would lead to pointless flaming rather than anything constructive.

When you say that one can believe in evolution and intelligent design at the same time without contradicting oneself, it does not matter if your intentions are good or not, you are just doing the above to people who are really scientific. You get to offend many people who have serious careers in the fields of science.

So, please… I’m asking a serious please from the heart here, ok? Please don’t feed the hatred anymore. It tends to generate mutual prejudice between scientists and creationists, which is all unwanted. I will defend your right to express your ideas to the very end even if I disagree with them, but I also think that people who have put a lot of effort into studying our world don’t have to hear things that will make them feel like they’re being mocked.

edit: Sin, I read your last four paragraphs in awe :open_mouth: Thanks, you made my day!

I said nothing about me personally accepting or rejecting the different parts. I believe in evolution. What you are describing fits under the history scale definition I provided does it not? I believe that to be the case as well.

As far as the actual topic. The main reason for some of ID being taught in school is is to show that there are boundaries to what we know and do not know in science. That reasoning I believe. I do not believe they should teach it with a religious intent. That part has nothing to do with religion.

Yeah, then why don’t we pick a neutral topic instead of one that will surely turn into religious discussions even if we don’t mean to?

If we are to discuss the boundaries of our knowledge, we should talk about, let’s say, time travel instead. It is hypothetically possible. Whether this hypothesis will become theory is a hotter discussion than the origins of life. It is indeed one of the most controversial topics in nowadays science. And in this particular field, people have a harder time trying to insert pseudo science into the discussion.

Or we could talk about quantum physics. This field has much more practical return than the origins of life, since we can actually build stuff with this knowledge. However, it is even broader than the theme I suggested above, and everyday’s discoveries regarding the quanta give us novel views of the universe, breaking the ones we already had from studying only the macroscopic world.

Oh, if you were actually trying to say “let’s talk about something other than our science that can also be a model for reality”, why don’t we pick Yin Yang philosophy then? The Five Elements model offers pretty accurate solutions for lots of problems, mostly because it was developed by observation of cause and effect and tested for millenia against complex situations (rather than a belief that could never be tested nor put to practical use).

I could go on with of other fields that would give constructive discussions about the boundaries of scientific knowledge without ever getting even close to mentioning anything religious. However, none of them will ever be chosen by a school board, because the objective of the insertions we were originally talking about are not to educate.

Supporting ID in schools with your motivation is a good thing. But let’s get back to Earth, we are not in a Utopia, it won’t be used with good intentions by school boards, so I say we should avoid it.

The main reason for some of ID being taught in school is is to show that there are boundaries to what we know and do not know in science. That reasoning I believe. I do not believe they should teach it with a religious intent. That part has nothing to do with religion.

What they’re doing is reasoning, but not <i>correct</i> reasoning. The boundary of what we do or do now know does not subject one particular branch of possibilites with <i>zero evidence</i> to a higher priority than another one with an equal lack of evidence. If ID is not taught with religious intent, but with the reasoning that it is simply <i>a possibility due to the limits of science</i>, then it is by sheer illogical thought and stupidity instead of theology under which the flag of ID as a science is raised.