Saturday, June 04, 2005

Have we been 'Intelligently Designed' ?

There are some people who definitely seem to think so!!!

It has been a very interesting experience to watch the tussle between darwinistic evolutionists and the proponents of intelligent design(ID). On the one hand, we have a scientific theory in the truest sense, backed by real fossil-based evidence. On the other, we have this new ID 'theory' claiming to be the david to Darwin's Goliath.

My knee- jerk reaction was to treat ID theory as creationist bullshit, not worth my time. That could still be true. However, that wouldn't be really scientific.

{Let us take a small detour}
  1. S: (n) theory (a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena) "theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses"; "true in fact and theory"
  2. S: (n) hypothesis, possibility(a tentative theory about the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena) "a scientific hypothesis that survives experimental testing becomes a scientific theory"; "he proposed a fresh theory of alkalis that later was accepted in chemical practices"
(Source : http://www.cogsci.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/webwn2.1?s=theory)

{End of detour}

So, ID proponents have to predict certain events based on their hypothesis and then collect experimental evidence that supports their predictions.

After doing a cursory read of this document published in the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly (NCBQ), I came across this passage.

"Some claim that design theory makes no predictions and therefore is not scientific. It should first be noted that part of the very definition of evolution is that it is unpredictable. Design theory does, in fact, make predictions. For example, it predicts that the genome was designed for a purpose and that a function would be found for what had been called “junk DNA.” This prediction has recently been corroborated."

WOW!!!.

Question 1

Now, why would such a document be published in the NCBQ ? Shouldn't it be published in a more main-stream scientific journal like Nature ?

Question 2

Here is a list of some of their other publications :

:: Teaching Origins Science in Public Schools: Memorandum and Opinion, by John H. Calvert, Esq. and William S. Harris, PhD (as to matters of science), dated March 21, 2001. Order copies at $8.00 at IDnet@att.net.

Memorandum from IDnet Managing Directors and Managers Responding to Resolution of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that seeks to Censor Intelligent Design - HTML version or PDF version.

John H. Calvert, J.D. Are we designs or occurrences? Should science and government prejudge the question? (Nov 10, 2003 Draft)

Fredric J. Heeren, Was the first Craniate on the Road to Cognition? A Modern Craniate's Perspective

WHERE, O WHERE, ARE THE PUBLICATIONS IN PEER-REVIEWED JOURNALS ?


How is one to make a fair and unbiased judgement call if these theories are not exposed to avenues of mainstream scientific criticism ? I am going to take the knee-jerk route. What about you ?


1 comment:

Mark Nutter said...

I don't think the ID folks are too interested in making specific, testable predictions because ID isn't really about science, it's about establishing a monopoly for creationism by eliminating the competition (evolution). If you look at where they're really spending their money, it's on lobbying school boards and congressmen and on developing slick PR materials and publishing books and movies for the general public, all of which is designed to promote creationist anti-evolution propaganda. The operative word here is monopoly, not science. Claiming that evolution is "controversial" is just the first step in claiming that it has been "discredited."

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