Tag Archives: ID

Intelligent Design – I don’t think so

Why Intelligent Design (ID) proponents will never be taken seriously, and why they have nothing to add to the scientific evidence for life on earth.

from http://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/kitzmiller/kitzmiller_342.pdf (pg 77,78) the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District text of court decision. Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District

The immune system is the third system to which Professor Behe has applied the definition of irreducible complexity. Although in Darwin’s Black Box, Professor Behe wrote that not only were there no natural explanations for the immune system at the time, but that natural explanations were impossible regarding its origin. (P-647 at 139; 2:26-27 (Miller)). However, Dr. Miller presented peer-reviewed studies refuting Professor Behe’s claim that the immune system was irreducibly complex. Between 1996 and 2002, various studies confirmed each element of the evolutionary hypothesis explaining the origin of the immune system. (2:31 (Miller)). In fact, on cross-examination, Professor Behe was questioned concerning his 1996 claim that science would never find an evolutionary explanation for the immune system. He was presented with fiftyeight peer-reviewed publications, nine books, and several immunology textbook chapters about the evolution of the immune system; however, he simply insisted that this was still not sufficient evidence of evolution, and that it was not “good enough.” (23:19 (Behe)). [my emphasis]

We find that such evidence demonstrates that the ID argument is dependent upon setting a scientifically unreasonable burden of proof for the theory of evolution.

So ID has proven that no matter what, or how much, evidence they are presented with, they will never accept it or be happy with it. They have proven that they have a completely closed mind, they believe in an Intelligent Designer (God) and will not accept any evidence that disproves that idea. Therefore the ID movement can have no claim whatsoever on having any sort of scientific idealogy, as science is willing to accept new evidence no matter which way that evidence leads.

From reading “Only a Theory” by Kenneth R. Miller

Intelligent Design – neither intelligent nor designed

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The Cognitive Dissonance is Strong in This One

Watched an awesome video last night on ABC1 TV Compass program called: Christianity: A History – God and the Scientists; do yourself a favour and watch it (streaming video or download, about 50 minutes). The presenter Colin Blakemore (a British neurobiologist at Oxford University and Warwick University)

interviews scholars and churchmen in order to understand how science transformed Christianity over the last four centuries. He shows how scientists born of the Enlightenment realised that the laws of the universe were there to be discovered, not read about in the Bible. He argues that science is the biggest challenge Christianity has ever had to face, and that it will eventually make religion unnecessary. from ABC Compass

It was a very informative show covering some of the history of science particularly how it pertains to Christianity. Despite Christianity actually starting many universities and initially encouraging thinking, they changed their mind quite quickly when anyone discovered something that went against church dogma (Copernicus, Galileo et al). The church doesn’t come across as being very open-minded (but has it ever?) and some of the methods used to dissuade free-thinking and scientific investigation were rather cruel (an understatement, torture methods used during the inquisition were horrendous), As Blakemore points out, the church didn’t always have to actually physically torture people, sometimes the mere threat was sufficient for people to recant their (correct) ideas. Self censorship is a powerful weapon.

The cognitive dissonance shown by some of the people Blakemore interviewed was interesting, the Vatican astronomer seemed fully conversant with all the latest astronomical findings and seemed quite happy to discuss the earth being 4.5 Billion years old, but some how still managed to fit God into the equation. But the greatest cognitive dissonance shown was by Dr Jason Lisle, an astrophysicist and scientific adviser for the Creation Museum! He fully believes the biblical version of creation that God created everything in six days, that dinosaurs roamed the earth alongside humans, including Adam and Eve. I could hardly comprehend it when Lisle replied to one of Blakemore’s questions with

“If we find some experiment that seems on the surface to disagree with the word of God, we go with the word of God”

at about this stage I think a part of my brain melted from the sheer idiocy. The scientific method, which someone with a PhD in Astrophysics should know, does not allow you to disregard results of an experiment just because you don’t like those results; you have to go where the FACTS direct you, like it or not. I could not understand how someone could get a PhD in Astrophysics and be so deluded, as the title of this blog says: The Cognitive Dissonance is Strong in This One. If you just want to watch Blakemore’s visit to the Creation Museum, including the interview with Lisle, check the link, it goes for about 4 and 1/2 minutes. But be warned, the Stupid It Burns!

the_stupid_it_burns.jpg

Blakemore’s visit to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) left me wide eyed with the sheer enormity of the project, that thing is HUGE. People talk about the majesty of some religious buildings, and I agree some churches are architecturally and/or artistically inspiring, but the LHC is truly majestic in its own right.

How could anyone not be amazed with what science can achieve? How can anyone disregard scientific facts and instead accept what was written thousands of years ago by people who knew no better. We know better now, it has been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that much of what is written in the bible is wrong, that the bible is not a scientific book. So why do so many people still cling to the biblical fallacies, and prefer (misguided) belief over scientific evidence?

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Books – brief reviews

Updated my reading list in the sidebar with some new additions.

The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins.

An excellent lay-persons guide to Evolution. It is such a pity that books like this have to be written to try and counter-act the complete misinformation that the Creationists, ‘Intelligent Designers’ and other narrow minded religious people spout.

Evolution is a Fact, get over it people, especially the misinformed sheep that believe anything if it come from a pulpit.

The saddest thing about this book is that the people who really need to read it won’t, in fact most will flat out refuse to.

It should be compulsory for everyone on the planet to read at least chapter 1 of this book, it would be good if this was freely available to download and read (perhaps it is?), then no one would have an excuse to use the “just a theory” pathetic argument against evolution.

Deer Hunting With Jesus by Joe Bageant.

A book that tries to explain why so many Americans vote against their own best interests, and discusses the class war that no one else wants to talk about, the white American underclass. This book is written in a easy to read story-telling style but covers a lot of topics, including the American health care system (or complete lack thereof), Americans at War, and why so many Americans want a theocratic state ( a rather scary section of the book).

He does get on his soap box a few times, but overall an interesting and thought provoking read.

Blog Update

I have also added tw0 comments to my previous blog post, about my new Kindle eBook reader, that will be of great interest to any Australians who are considering buying one.

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Filed under atheism, book review, books, christian right, creationism, Darwin, education, eReader, evolution, ID, religious, science, unemployed

Will the Senate get it right?

The 7.30 report tonight discussed how the Senate is due to discuss private school funding.

A vote is expected in the Senate late tonight on the Government’s controversial $28 billion assistance package for private schools. The Coalition is resisting key elements of the bill, including a national curriculum and public disclosure of the finances of non-government schools. The nation’s top private schools have condemned the public disclosure provisions accusing the Government of a hidden agenda to cut funding, but the Government strongly denies this.

The transcript should be up tomorrow as well as the podcast if you missed it.

Of course the religious private schools are crying foul and don’t think they should disclose where all their money comes from. The interviewees came up with all sorts of lame reasons why they should be above everyone else when it comes to full monetary disclosure, but it was easy to read between the lines:

We don’t want people to find out how rich we are, because the government might not give us as much tax-free taxpayers money.

May write more once the transcript is up.

From the paper a couple of weeks ago, the private schools complaining why they shouldn’t have to disclose where their income comes from, comes this quote:

… half the present courses being scrapped and possibly prohibit the teaching of intelligent design in Christian schools.

Oh dear, the Christian schools, that get vast amounts of tax-free taxpayer’s money, might not be able to afford to teach ID, how sad. </sarcasm>

By all accounts private schools get 2/3 of education funding but only teach 1/3 of all students, how the heck is that right?

update 3 Dec

The Senate vetoed the bill last night, the main reason being stated is that the opposition are not happy with the national curriculum. from abc.net.au/news

Last night the Opposition and Family First Senator Steve Fielding combined to remove the parts of the bill relating to a national curriculum.

But the Government will not accept the amendments when the bill is returned to the Lower House.

The government wants to have a national curriculum for all schools, but, somewhat unfortunately, the curriculum isn’t finalised yet. Hence the opposition and Senator (right-wing fundamentalist religious party) Fielding are saying they can’t pass the bill not knowing what’s going to be in the final draft of the national curriculum. On the face of it this would seem a somewhat reasonable stance, however (donning sceptical hat) I don’t think this is what it is really about. (donning educated guessing hat) I would assume the government’s national curriculum is going to be conservative and aimed to ensureĀ  students throughout Australia all get taught the same basic subject matter (reading, writing, arithmetic), I can’t imagine it’s going to have any outlandish subjects that have to be taught.

So, even though the final draught hasn’t been released, what could possibly be worrying Senator Fielding and members of the opposition? May I hazard a guess, they are worried that the new national curriculum will ban teaching ID and dedicated religious subjects? Who knows?

As Matt points out in the comments not all religious schools teach ID or Creationism, in fact some have very good biology subjects. However there are some schools that teach these subjects, or whilst teaching evolution also teach that the bible is the ultimate authority, hence confusing young impressionable minds.

Have a look at my post A Christian Education for some further information on this topic.

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Teach the Controversy

The IDiots are always telling us to ‘teach the controversy’, well what would happen if schools had to teach all the controversies?

per_table

As Humanist Mama says

… we might need to extend the school day to fit in all of these “controversies” so our kids will be good and ederkated.

I don’t know about getting a T-shirt with the above picture on it (probably a bit complicated) but the link in HM’s comments has some fine Teach the Controversy T-shirts. I think I might get me some, I particularly like the Geocentric Universe one. What’s your favourite?

Hat Tip to Humanist Mama for the Periodic Table and hat tip to Caitlin for the T-shirts link.

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Expelled Exposed

Well I guess I might as well join the bandwagon and post a link to the Expelled Exposed web site.

If it’s good enough for Possummomma, it’s good enough for me.

PZ Myers has requested as many people to put the Expelled link on their site. In his own words:

We need to get the NCSE’s counter-site to the hideous little propaganda film, Expelled, to rank higher in the search engines. The way to do this is for lots and lots of you to link to the Expelled Exposed site with the word Expelled. It’s not hard: just copy this code into a blog post.

<a href="http://expelledexposed.com/"><em>Expelled</em></a>

Whenever you write about the movie, use that link. Do it a bunch of times, if you want. It’s more effective if many people use the same link every time, though, than for one person to be repetitive.

There, I’ve done it.

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Why are we paying to teach ID?

The SMH has been headlining the weekend news with stories of taxpayers over funding private schools to the tune of $2b (yes, that is two Billion dollars). As if that isn’t bad enough, it turns out that some of this money is going to schools which teach Creationism and/or Intelligent Design! Sean the Blogonaut has been discussing this problem at his blog.

I provided Sean with the links to the applicable SMH articles, which make quite interesting, and somewhat disturbing, reading:

Taxpayers owed $2b

Loophole keeps schools in clover

Opinion – In black and white, the unfairness of school funding

The Government needs to plug-up these loopholes and stop providing so much money to private schools.

The opinion piece, and one of the letters to the editor, question why nothing has been done about this. One would think the current Government could have a field day blaming the previous government for this fiasco. Then making themselves look good by fixing it. It’s been two days since the report in Saturdays SMH was released and not a peep out of the Government. Is it because a large portion of this money is going to the Catholic school system?

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