"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Monday, December 27, 2004

The ID Question

What we really need to know about the confrontation between Intelligent Design theory and its dominant counterpart, the neo-Darwinian synthesis, is whether they somehow fit into the framework laid out by Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. He showed that dominant theories are often pushed aside by upstarts, but rarely give way in a rational fashion. Careers, funding, and pride are at stake. The struggle will be ugly and we can't necessarily expect the dominant group to play fair.

6 comments:

Tlaloc said...

On the contrary the pertinent question is: does ID qualify as science? The answer of course is "no." Intelligent Design creates no testable hypotheses. Thats because its a philosophy and not a science.

There's nothing wrong with teaching philosophy in school, indeed I wish we taught much more in middle and highschool especially. However trying to put a philosophy in opposition to a theory is disengenuous and disadvantageous to both.

Hunter Baker said...

The jury on ID is still out. It is not merely a philosophy. If biochemist Michael Behe isn't doing something scientific in his book "Darwin's Black Box," then I'm not sure what we should call it. "Advanced hole poking" perhaps.

Greg said...

Tlaloc, let's say a scientist creates conditions in a science lab which he deems to represent the earth's conditions billions of years ago and then suddenly amino acids are produced. Would you consider those amino acids to be the result of random chance absent of a creator or would you say those amino acids were created by the scientist? In other words, would such a test bolster the case for or against intelligent design?

Here's another question. Which is a more complicated design: a human being or a Cray supercomputer? If you agree that the human is a more complicated design, would such an admission bolster the case for or against intelligent design?

And finally, if there is a God, who created God? There seem to be, in general, two options: A) In the beginning, there was nothing, and then somehow, some way, some speck of a nanoparticle was created by chance inside something that didn't exist to begin with and that started everything or B) There technically is no beginning and some Being has always existed (i.e., infinity would be reality).

Admittedly, it's a mindbender any way you think about it. =)

Greg said...

Getting back to the broader topic of what the little schoolchildren are being taught these days, it seems rather clear that the public schools happily teach about all the fights that the Catholic Church has had over the years with some of humanity's finer scientists. However, these same schools don't take the time to explain that nowhere in the Bible does it teach that the earth is the center of the universe nor that it's flat.

It seems unfair to me that public schools take every opportunity to teach on incidents that seemingly weaken the case for a good God, yet they sweep under the rug anything that might give some credence to the Bible.

Greg said...

Heheh, I'm going to launch a pre-emptive strike here. =)

In my previous post, I didn't mean to suggest that all public schools are the same when it comes to discussing science and history in the classroom. Some do a much better (and fairer) job than others.

I also probably failed to convey my simple point: If a school is going to bring up disputes that the Catholic Church had with scientists regarding the shape and location of the earth, then the school should take a moment to explain what the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible say on these matters as well.

Tlaloc said...

Hunter: "The jury on ID is still out."

The Jury was never in on whether ID was a science because it fails the most basic requirements.


Hunter: "If biochemist Michael Behe isn't doing something scientific in his book "Darwin's Black Box," then I'm not sure what we should call it."

What testable hypothersis has he formed?


Greg: "In other words, would such a test bolster the case for or against intelligent design?"

It's irrelevent because again ID isn't a scientific theory. Science answers how questions, not why questions. How did life come to its present state on earth? Evolution. Why? That's up to philosophers.


greg: "Which is a more complicated design: a human being or a Cray supercomputer?"

Human's are more complex but humans took millions of years to come around while the Cray took less than a century from the first transistors to completion.


greg: "However, these same schools don't take the time to explain that nowhere in the Bible does it teach that the earth is the center of the universe nor that it's flat."

Thats because they teach history and not theology. Historically the Catholic Church has been a huge impediment to the advancement of knowledge.