Friday, October 28, 2005

Intelligent Design vs Evolution

[hit the link to read the article that got me thinking about this]

People who believe in intelligent design need to understand something - it isn't science. Science requires the use of the scientific method. You cannot test intelligent design. You cannot propose an experiment to verify it. You cannot collect data. What is intelligent design, if not a theory? It is an opinion. It is your "opinion" that evolution doesn't fully explain what you observe.

Guess what? That's okay... but your opinion has no bearing on teaching biology. Biology students need to learn biology science. They need to learn about the theories, laws, experiments, etc. so that when they get older and issues in biology come up (think stem cells, bioengineering), the students will be able to have an intelligent debate.

I never understand why these stupid debates happen. For reference, I'm Catholic. I believe God created everything. But I also believe in evolution, and the big bang. My religion tells me the answer to the "why are we here" question. But it doesn't tell my how it happened. Think about it - God is all powerful and all knowing... don't you think he could have created the universe in The Big Bang, and then started evolution as the process to create the vessel for the human soul.

It takes a lot of arrogance to say to biologists that their best theory of how life evolved is wrong, and offer nothing but an opinion as a replacement. Get it through your head - science and religion don't mix things up as they don't talk about the same things. Science == how things happened, when they happened, and what happened. Religion is all about WHY things happened. As a biology class isn't asking "why are we here", that means intelligent design is a pointless waste of time outside of Sunday School.

19 comments:

Saffron said...

Sometimes I begin to think that the world is to wrapped up in trying to figure out how and why we live to actually enjoy it.

Erlenmeyer said...

It surprising how the "religious" often criticize valid scientific theories, attcking thier merit. Yet, at the same time, use faulty or non-scientific theories as their platform. Criticize good science, use bad science as an alternative!

Science can entiher confirm nor deny the presence of a soul - nor should it be their intended goal. Religion on the other hand, is not a scientific discipline and does not make testable predictions. And you know what, that is ok! Each functions quite well within their own realm.

Gods Prophet said...

I have my own opinions on this matter, and let me share with you one of them. As Achronos has already pointed out, it is pointles using one against another and so using this in schools is a good thing? They need to understand the facts first, then move on to this later if they so wish.

Fighter4Christ said...

Science and religion are alot more similar than most people think. They are intricately woven together in many ways. For example, science is made up of collected theories, some of which have been "proven" and made into laws. However, time reveals that these "laws" are infact theories as well. Netwon's "law" of gravity is F=GMm/d^2. This law is broken when tested using a vacum, and is therefor, a theory. Religion, in most cases, are also theories.

Furthermore, if science WERE to prove theories such as the Big Bang, they would only lead to more evidence of a God. Example: The idea is that all of the matter and energy in the universe was confined to a single point; stable for eternity. If it were stable for eternity, there is absolutely nothing that could have sparked a reaction of that singularity. For what outside force could have acted on it if all of the matter and energy in the universe are already there and stable? If you set a marble out in space it would remain in exactly that state for eternity or until either some force or some matter propelled by a force acted upon it.

Erlenmeyer: People criticize scientific theories, specifically evolution, because they have began being taught as facts and laws instead of theory.

gods prophet- Exactly what are "the facts"? Is that not what has been debated for eons?

Achronos said...

I have no problem debating a scientific theory... in the realm of science. My problem with intelligent design is that it basically says "science can't explain what happened here" and doesn't offer a testable alternative.

You cannot debate a scientific theory like evolution without talking in the realm of the scientific method. Intelligent design doesn't discuss things in that realm - it seeks to remove the creation of our universe, world, and ourselves from the scope of what science can talk about and declares it was simply "designed" like that.

God created the soul of man with an intellect and free will. That is how we are made in His image. Why would we have these gifts if we weren't supposed to use them.

Faith demands we ask why. Why did the big bang happen? But faith should not demand to know how something happened or what happened. Science demands that, and doesn't ask why.

I reject any scientific reasoning that is not grounded in the scientific method. This means intelligent design is a form of faith, not science, and it should stay far away from classrooms. I pity the poor children who have to hear it because some fundamentalists want to force their religious views into the public school system.

Adullam said...

We could debate evolution with science all day! The second law of thermodynamics (the LAW of entropy) states that a system will always move from a state of order to a state of disorder. Evolution inferrs the exact opposite. In fact we have millions of observable instances showing how genetic mutations will NOT work out to benefit an organism wile we have NO observable evidence that they will.

For instance:

-Cancer
A very common genetic mutation. Thousands of people are sick today because of it and it shows no promise for our benefit.

-Anemia
This genetic mutation causes a humans blood to keep from clotting. I guess your chances of a heart attack are low, but you could die from a very insignifigant wound.

-Downs syndrome
This is caused when an embryo has an extra chromosome. This is not a mutation, but this would also be a necessary process in evolution due to different species having different chromosome counts.

I have entered no religion into this post and all of this evidence is observable AND has information available for independent study. I would advise everyone who is interested in what is true over what is popular to do their own research.

Anonymous said...

You all are missing the bigger picture. There is absolutely no evidence for evolution... NONE. There should be several hundred million fossils of intermediate species... NONE EXIST. We would have found a lot of them before we found the dinosaurs. I don't believe that evolution (if correct) contradicts my faith as a Christian. But to teach evolution in schools is stupid. ID shouldn't be taught either. If evolution really did happen we would have a surplus of physical evidence... WE DON'T. There are only 2 possibilities for evolution. 1) The intermediate species had extremely long life-spans and vanished from the face of the Earth upon their death or 2) Evolution didn't happen and just maybe Adam and Eve were real flesh-and-blood people.

Sparky said...

Evolution, Intelligent Design, and Creationism are all theories. They are all UNPROVEABLE (until a time machine is invented). Because the scientific method requires direct observation and testing, how can any of these theories become law?To be sold out to either of these theories and take them as absolute truth requires FAITH. Christians do not have a problem stating that Creationism is taken on faith. I wish most Humanist would also be so intellectually honest about thier faith in evolution.
Intelligent Design is mostly a counter theory to evolution and uses much of the same reasoning as evolution. Example: Evolutionary theory guesstimates that the current formation of the universe took 13.7 billion years. For evolutionist massive amounts of time are requiresd to allow for the 'Chance' of evolution to take place. Intelligent Design observes the current formation of the universe and guesstimates what the 'chances' are that such a immense, intricatly complex universe could ever spontaneously just happen. Sadly evolutionists in their faith based 'religeous zeal'refuse to look at the immense, intricate complexities of the universe. Perhaps they believe that if they do, their sacred cow of evolution would be cast in doubt, robbing them of thier precious 'faith' and thus forcing them back to the land of theory and science. I'm not saying Intelligent Design is the 'truth' but thier scientifically gathered observations should not be so readily dismissed. I say sceintists of all persuations should drop thier 'faith' and get back to the boring, cold, hard scientific method. Free from opinions and politics, thus producing more truly unquestionable facts.

Excalibur said...

First of all, check this out. For Achronos, I'm not sure if any opinions brought up there would "represent the policies or opinions of [your] employer," but for everyone else, it's a nice place to look more into these topics.

I wanted to look at what adullam said. When I took biology, one of the things my teacher taught me when we spent time on evolution was that "Evolution is not progress." For example if a bird develops the ability to consume a poisinous berry plant without becoming ill, the plant might evolve to have spines so that the bird can't reach the berries. Then the bird will develop a longer beak in order to reach the berries. Anyway, you get the point. I just wanted to point out, that when you say "Evolution inferrs [a state of disorder to move to a state of order]" my biology teacher disagrees (supposing I paid attention in class)

I think that Achronos hit it on the nail when he says that religion should only dictate "Why".

I generally hold back my opinions on everything for several reasons. I don't really know why I made this post...

Erlenmeyer said...

Adullam, citing the second law of thermodynamics as an argument against evolution merely demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of what that law states.

goliah said...

COMPLETELY UNEXPECTED. A real monkey wrench is about to hit both sides in the ID vs Evolution debate and particularly religion is in for difficult times. For a wholly new interpretation of the teachings of Christ, contained within the first ever religious claim and proof that meets all the criteria of the most rigorous, evidential, testable scientific method, is published and circulating on the web. It is titled The Final Freedoms. An intellectual, religious and political bombshell!

It is described by a single Law and moral principle, offering its own proof, one in which the reality of God confirms and responds to an act of perfect faith, by a direct intervention into the natural world, delivering a correction to human nature, including a change in natural law [biology], consciousness and human ethical perception [proof of the soul], providing new, primary insight and understanding of the human condition!

So while proponents of ID may have got the God part right, if this development demonstrates itself to be what it claims, and the means exist to do so, all religious teaching, tradition and understanding of ID are wholly in error, while the proponents of evolution who have rightly used that conception to beat down the credibility of religious tradition, but who have also used it to deny the potential for God, are in for a very rude shock.

However improbable, what history and theology have presumed to be impossible is now all too achievable. The implications defy imagination! No joke, no hoax and not spam.

Review copies of the manuscript, prior to paper publication, are a free pdf download from a number of sites including: www.energon.uklinux.net and http://thefinalfreedoms.bulldoghome.com

Gods Prophet said...

(expansion):

You are quite right. Intelligent Design is not a question of science. To explain the un-explained is impossible and therefore we move onto an entirely new subject all together. I agree that this should not be taught in Biology lessons. However, i still believe at some point in the future, it should be taught.

One more question remains though. Who is this supposed creator? God? Certainly he is a worthy and major candidate, but by no means the un-disputed creator. So should we therefore assume this is a question of religion and Science? Perhaps. Yet, religion has one thing in common; Higher being[s]. Does intelligent Design's mystery creator have to be a higher being? In my personal opinion, no. So therefore i propose this is not a question of religion and science. This is a question of faith and science. Faith in another entity (though not necessarily higher). When does this become an issue of pure science or religion again? When the mystery of the external creator is unravelled.

Creator. Nature or supernatural force?

Anonymous said...

I don't believe that god created the world in seven days, just as rome wasn't built in a day. (oppinions differ)
I agree with Achronos in that science and religion shouldn't be mixed just as religion and politics should not be mixed under any circumstances.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe that god created the world in seven days, just as rome wasn't built in a day. (opinions differ)
I agree with Achronos in that science and religion shouldn't be mixed just as religion and politics should not be mixed under any circumstances.

Anonymous said...

To me it seems the story of creation is not literal, it is more metaphorical as just about everything else in the Bible. Its sickening to see people take what the bible says as literal solid fact when its obserd to believe such fantasy stories could ever be true.

A metaphorical analyzation of the story of creation could be like this: 7 days represents not 7 days as in one week but 7 stages in the period billions of years. And the figure portrayed as "God" the creator could be representing time since everything is created by time. It took time to create our galexy, to create our solar system, the planet we live on, the creatures that live on this planet and us human beings.

If you want to blur the line between religion and science, think of religion as a metaphorical explanation.

Anonymous said...

"There should be several hundred million fossils of intermediate species."

For the last time, no, there should not! This was established right back with Darwin! Two species of Galapagos birds were observed as being almost identical, with only the beak differing. One suitable for piercing shells the other for cracking nuts. It is a matter of *fact* and not opinion that these birds not only shared a common ancestor, but evolved (according to which food was most abundant in the area inhabited by either species) quite rapidly.

There are currently an approximate 200 intermediate skulls with reference to the human being, but it's obvious that the development of a body, rather than just an adjustment to an appendage, would be rather more incremental.

Anyway, anyway, anyway.. I was brought up protestant Christian, but long ago shirked it all in favour of atheism.. So I obviously agree with religion ought not to be mixed up into science.. Or given leverage in politics, or anything else.. Damned Bush!

JesusFreak!! said...

I believe that God did create the World in 7 days. as someone stated earlier Rome wasn't built in a day. That is irrevellant!! Rome was built by mere humans The world bulit by God. There is a difference between God and human. So saying that Rome wasnt bulit in a day is irrevellant unless u were to make the point that there was no God! then that would be a totally different dicussion. But right now we are debating Intelligent Design and Evolution! Fighter for Christ i agree with you Science has a very tight tie with religion. and in fact i have found that the more ppl try to disprove God the more they end up backing him up!! As was said by many this is an extremely contraversial topic and opinions are more than numerous! THis is just what i think!

JesusFreak!! said...

But that is exactly the fun!! the world is not happy with one answer because that answer leads to another question! we want all things answered!! there are some things we cannot answer with science or math. there are things that exist that we dont understand!
NO MATTER WHAT THERE WIL BE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS TO NON-BELIEVERS AND BELIEVERS. I believe that the difference between the two is that believers accept the fact that they wont know al the answers and they are fine with that!! Non-believers need an answer to everything. because they dont believe that there is a higher power or that there are things not understandable then they search and search for things they may not find!! THis i think is an important difference between the 2. this is just my opinion again! just my opinion!!

AJ said...

It's probably too late for me to say anything but I'd just like to point out a few facts.

First of all, no one was there when the world and universe was created. Therefore, there can be very little concrete conclusion as to how it happened. The reason why we choose to accept Evolution is because it was the one "theory" that rose above all others as more "legitimate". As such, it has been drilled into everyone's head since it became mainstream. Consequently, any attempts to counter act it are often shot down or go unreported because everyone trusts evolution as being the "correct" theory.
Personally, I see no problem with adding Intelligent Design as an alternative to Evolution in school curriculum. Sure, it doesn't have to be included in the science department but it is more than a sufficient alternative to teaching Evolution. Perhaps it can placed in the religion or philosophy department. Not everyone thinks that everything must be explained scientifically. Science is a construct of man.
The people that support ID don't think that it should replace Evolution, they just want an alternative. After all, it is public school which is state funded and parents get a say in how things are run. Evolution is a theory and that being true means that there should be other "theories" taught as well. I believe ID is a sufficient alternative to Evolution. IMHO, Evolution has many holes and lacks the sufficient proof simply because no one was there. Scientific discovery happens because the scientists do the fieldwork. Frankly, there is no fieldwork for Evolution. Any scientist will tell you that.