Why don't scientists take on Intelligent Design?

Well, the forum 'puter deleted this from where I wanted to update a previous post, but that’s just as well. Gives me an excuse to put it here, under a more attractive title (imho).

I’m starting this thread in reaction to a silly who’s trying to explain that the Cambrian "explosion" was physically impossible and required the 'outside tinkering’ of his God.

For starters the Faith-shackled depend on deliberately false self-certain assertions, among them:

All Cambrian biological diversification occurred over an exceedingly short time.

That there is no evidence of diversification earlier in time.

That it’s physically impossible for these changes and developments to have happened.

Zero appreciation for environmental influences on biology. (i.a.)


I want to add that only through understanding the natural physical building blocks that Earth spent billions of years refining and rearranging can we appreciate what those building blocks helped create.

Also, that only through understanding their environments and how those have changed through time, can we appreciate why a species is what it is, diversifies, or dies out.


Within science respecting discussions regarding Evolution, seems to me the monster in the closet that’s rarely mentioned is Intelligent Design - and when it is, it’s beaten right back into the closet.

I believe it would be valuable for scientists to acknowledge our humanity and our mind’s constant curiosity about our ‘origin’ and the ‘why’ question.
I’m pretty sure all of us possess little voices in our heads constantly prattling on about the world it’s experiencing - even if that world doesn’t get beyond Reality TV and shopping programs, or Bible stories.

When seriously learning about Evolution, particularly lay-people with no formal or deeper understanding of the ways of science, its natural for the incredible details to overload our mind and simply overwhelm.

The impression of a grand directed pageant is staring us in the face and its utterly magnificent - that is where the Intelligent Designer comes into play - like an automatic safety valve. Why? Because it helps our minds process the truly mind-boggling information we are constantly hit with when studying evolution, or biology at the molecular level.

I believe that needs to be acknowledged.

Besides, what does science have to fear, it already has an Intelligent Designer at hand, MATHEMATICS.

Don’t we? Why not celebrate that ? !

Another matter, Creationists make much of “randomness” - yet as we learn more and grow, it becomes ever clearer that “Randomness” doesn’t exist in our natural universe. There are constraints that begin with the Big Bang and are further amplified through biology and evolution.

Why not celebrate that?

They say people need stories and myths to make sense of the world around them - why not supply some fact based stories, that are so much more satisfying than myths, because they enable a life time of nonstop learning and personal discovering regarding the existence beyond us.

What does the Christian offer? A demand for obedience and constant obsessive worshipping? Seriously, what else do the loud mouth phony Christians offer?

Me, I have the wonder of a speck of dust that wanted to be more and an inspired life time worth of discovery and deeping appreciation that I belong to this world and to this time with a visceral awareness that vapid preachers of self-delusion can’t touch.

I also have a worm that simply wanted to live and have babies, oh but the places her babies would go:

How do we get from a simple worm to all this complexity?
Martin Smith - Origins Ecdysozoan Body Plans - What a scientist sounds like.
https://confrontingsciencecontrarians.blogspot.com/2019/09/martin-smith-origins-ecdysozoan-body.html

Oh, and lets not forget about the
Mathematical connections to Intelligent Design.

NOVA The Great Math Mystery - The Language Of The Universe

NOVA leads viewers on a mathematical mystery tour — a provocative exploration of math's astonishing power across the centuries. We discover math's signature in the swirl of a nautilus shell, the whirlpool of a galaxy and the spiral in the center of a sunflower. Math was essential to everything from the first wireless radio transmissions to the prediction and discovery of the Higgs boson and the successful landing of rovers on Mars. But where does math get its power? Astrophysicist and writer Mario Livio, along with a colorful cast of mathematicians, physicists and engineers, follows math from Pythagoras to Einstein and beyond, all leading to the ultimate riddle: Is math an invention or a discovery? Humankind's clever trick or the language of the universe?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lR84HJP54fg</blockquote>

The concept of intelligent design was, ironically, very intelligently designed. There’s just enough voodoo in it to put it squarely outside the realm of scientific testability, but not enough to make it obvious to the average schmo, who is the intended audience. Getting it to replace evolution in scientific communities was only ever a pipe dream. Their goal was to get it to replace evolution in the general public. The general public was their target audience, not the scientific community. That’s why ID makes no specific testable claims, so it can’t be scientifically falsified.

@widdershins

Indeed. It’s perfect.

 

@widdershins : The concept of intelligent design was, ironically, very intelligently designed.
Yeah, it took intelligence lawyers. But, I think malicious, cynical, calculatedly deceptive does a better job of describing what they did.
There’s just enough voodoo in it to put it squarely outside the realm of scientific testability,
I’ll give you that.
but not enough to make it obvious to the average schmo, who is the intended audience.
Well, don’t forget that besides the schmo’s, it was aimed at laws. Not science.
Getting it to replace evolution in scientific communities was only ever a pipe dream.
I’ll grant you that. I sure hope you didn’t misread the above to assume that’s what I was advocating.

This isn’t about ID becoming a focus of investigation - I’m talking about ID being discussed openly.

I’m advocating ID becoming a topic of discussion.

I’m advocating wrestling the notion back from Creationists and redefining ID.

I’m advocating acknowledging those voices within our respective minds.

I’m stating that seriously contemplating deep evolution and biology at the microscopic level overwhelms most. Furthermore, that just like in mathematics, when mathematicians get stumped by an unknown - they insert an algebraic function so they can move on.

In the same vain, I’m suggesting that the human mind has a natural impulse to insert Intelligent Design.

Pretending it’s not there, as I’m suggesting the scientific community does, I believe has been most counter-productive of stances to take.

It’s about acknowledging that the notion of grand design, intelligent design, god directed is as natural a human reflex, as our reactions of awe when faced with the wonders of our Earth’s long evolution.

Their goal was to get it to replace evolution in the general public.
And just like climate science denial, it’s been rather too successful these past decades -

only one of the cascading consequence has been brainwashing enough Americans that they were willing to put all the nations eggs into a con-artist’s basket. What frightening is all the liberals seem capable of doing is laughing about it on nightly TV. Folks too intimated to confront deliberate lies and to get a little militant truth.

The general public was their target audience, not the scientific community.
So that justifies it being ignored by the scientific community? While the malicious dishonest dog’n pony running away with the show?

As public polls make clear.

That’s why ID makes no specific testable claims, so it can’t be scientifically falsified.
Right. That should be simple enough to explain.

Of course I know the response to that. Don’t waste your time on them.

My response WTF are youz thinking???

Silent opposition gets nothing done!

While their Faith-blinded craziness gets more and more extreme, now they are literally strangling the government We The People depend on.

Debate them, explain to them why they are wrong, even if they are not listening!!!

Can anyone imagine why that would be important?

How about helping us evolve and enunciate our own thinking and understand???

How about helping others on our side to learn about things they simply haven’t had time for yet???

How about giving the susceptible better options?

TBG: “Indeed. It’s perfect.”
Yeah, perfectly designed to brainwash their clan and then confuse the rest of us into inaction and apathy.

.

It’s about acknowledging that the notion of grand design, intelligent design, god directed is as natural a human reflex, as our reactions of awe when faced with the wonders of our Earth’s long evolution.
As such, it should be treated as psychology and philosophy not an Earth Science. But treat it we should have. Now we got that runway problem.

But that doesn’t mean scientists can’t talk about the philosophy now and then. :wink:

@citizenschallengev3

But that doesn’t mean scientists can’t talk about the philosophy now and then.
Why do you think they don't...?

Granted, I am not in a scientific field. But when I have hung out with scientists (and atheists in general) at Skeptics & Humanist events, I hear a lot more discussion about ethics and the meaning of life, and thoughts about the nature of reality, than I ever heard at gatherings of Evangelicals or Republicans. I’m not even joking.

I also read publications like https://aeon.co/ and lots of others with tons of deep discussion on science, philosophy, history, culture, etc.

I don’t understand what you think is lacking.

What lacking is successful messaging.

I find it amazing how many come at me with that sort of defensiveness - then I look at the headlines and who we made president, and I wonder, seriously - Can I ask what you think we’ve been doing right? Organizing some global marches, that repeat the same slogans and help folks blow off steam, its wonderful, but sorry, doesn’t impress me. What else? Faith-blinded thinking and confusing EGO for God, that’s the heart of the problem - I believe we should be able to intellectually confront that with more than the Atheists’ talking circuit.

Look at the utterly juvenile level of our public climate science dialogue, thanks to corporate media and our social media meltdown into a sales driver.

Where’s this substantive constructive talk happening? Please share.

I don’t see it, mainly what I see is us still being played by the Koch/Bannon/Murdoch script and never coming up with anything challenging and refreshing and sticky.

If you’re interested in my specifics regarding short coming and some suggestions, glad you asked, I have striven to enunciate my complaint concisely and rationally, :

d) Considering our dysfunctional public dialogue in 14 verses.

https://confrontingsciencecontrarians.blogspot.com/2018/12/our-dysfunctional-public-dialogue.html

From

there if you want, check out the others in the series.

f) Considering the Missing Key to Stephen Gould’s “Nonoverlapping Magisteria” (NOMA)
e) Map v Territory Problem, Statistical Certainty vs Geological Realities

c) Intellectually Confronting Faith-Based thinking and Dogma Driven Deceptions
b) Saying No To Reality. Questioning the Geologic Column
a) Who says understanding Earth’s Evolution is irrelevant?

STOP CALLING SURFACE “COOLING,” GLOBAL COOLING ! ! !

{Help me find someone in that world that would be interested in those sorts of fundamentals. Cause if they are out there I sure would like to see.}


 

 

Because for all the talk going on I’m not hearing any ringing messages taking on the right wing delusionals directly.

I don’t see any liberals who can clearly enunciate their values.

Admittedly my bandwidth is fairly narrow, still . . .

Why I’m so pissed? Well, look at the state of public dialogue - look at how much more messaging power Trump’s bullshit has than rational fact based dialogue. I can’t wrap my head around how we allowed rationalism to lose out to Reaganomics, even though we knew it would bit our kids and some of us.

 

We have our fainting spelling and then keep right on talking past each other, while the crazy right wing is running away with the goodies…

Who’s fighting back on the ID with something more Dawkin’s attitude.

Who’s trying to really point out the fundamental difference between the movie in our heads and real physical reality? and so on . . .

 

Okay, @citizenschallengev3. I hear you now.

I realize the below isn’t a satisfactory response, but it’s all I got.

I think that as a society, we suffer from:

:heavy_check_mark: Information overload, and a dearth of information.

:heavy_check_mark: Too much time on our hands, and not enough time.

:heavy_check_mark: Oversimplication of issues, and unnecessarily complicating issues.

:heavy_check_mark: Overstimulation, and boredom.

And most importantly, here:

:heavy_check_mark: Cognitive dissonance about what we think we want from the media, and what we really want from the media.

A personal story for you:

My final decade at the newspaper, I was the editor of a special section called “Neighbors.” It focused on good news about people and organizations in the community.

“Neighbors” was the result of multiple reader surveys in which people said they were “tired of bad news” and “sick of all the negativity.” They wanted uplifting, hopeful stories. They asked for this, again and again. So we gave it to them.

After having gotten burnt out on “hard news” (rapes, murders, fires, etc.), I loved this job. It wasn’t the shallow, “Baby tigers born at the zoo!” stuff. It was meaningful stuff – stories that mattered.

I won several awards for writing and community service. More importantly to me, I had a 4-inch binder full of cards and emails from subjects and readers thanking me for my work.

Before EVERYTHING was online, newspapers could tell what articles people were reading by looking at advertising response rates. It’s simple: Merchants reference a particular product, or provide a coupon, in a print ad. A large number of responses to an ad suggests a large number of readers on that page. The higher a response rate, the more money a merchant is willing to spend.

Print ads cost anywhere from several hundred to many thousands of dollars; astronomical amounts of money. In contrast, online ads are ridiculously inexpensive. It’s actually the print ads – not online ads, not per-copy purchases, and not subscriptions – that pay for the bulk of staff salaries and overhead (including buildings, equipment, paper, ink and delivery).

Well, advertising rates for my section decreased, as fewer merchants advertised there. They simply got no response to ads in my section. The staff got smaller. Eventually, I had the equivalent of three full-time jobs, yet the ads in my section no longer even covered my own meager salary.

For a couple of years, my department code was changed to allow other sections of the paper to cover the costs of keeping me on. I had received perfect job reviews for 10 years, and I was still getting kudos from readers. But finally one morning I came to work and HR was waiting for me at the door.

The lesson:

Readers say they want certain things from the media. And they sincerely believe they want these things from the media. But their purchasing habits belie these claims.

Also, people say they want fast food restaurants to offer healthy alternatives. But they still mostly buy cheeseburgers and fries.

Scientists have taken on Intelligent Design and completely debunked the notion of “irreducible complexity”, the fundamental argument of ID.

Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial is a documentary on the case of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District—which concentrated on the question of whether or not intelligent design could be viewed as science and taught in school science class. It first aired on PBS stations nationwide, on November 13, 2007, with many reruns, and features interviews with the judge, witnesses, and lawyers as well as re-enacted scenes using the official transcript of the trial
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judgment_Day:_Intelligent_Design_on_Trial

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QttLGOGue4M

And here is proof of common ancestry.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU2L5nTSHtc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQWJbLTyDlc

@write4u

Yes, “Judgement Day” is an excellent ddocumentary. It has been posted multiple times in these forums. I’m not sure about the other two videos.

I think the point @citizenschallengev3 is making, though, is that a few videos, books or websites isn’t much. For example, “Judgement Day” is from 2007 … and here we are, sharing it all the time. There should be a dozen newer, better films about this.

We shouldn’t have to keep debating this, even. These issues should have been put to bed. Yet in America, huge percentages of people still deny both Evolution and Climate Change, when the rest of the world accepts both. So somehow, the message isn’t getting out and isn’t being heard.

 

 

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/how-many-creationists-are-there-in-america/

 

 

That’s cuz us Merkins are free …

to be dumbasses.

They say people need stories and myths to make sense of the world around them – why not supply some fact based stories, that are so much more satisfying than myths, because they enable a life time of nonstop learning and personal discovering regarding the existence beyond us.
The Sacred Depths of Nature is one of the best stabs at this that I've seen. Maybe I'm still not getting your proposal. The problem seems to me to be that science is specialized. So, I like talking about a cat that may or may not be dead in a box, but some people just aren't interested. Some like the idea of waves and particles changing depending on the observer, but that gets abused real fast. Then there's that "star stuff" thing, my friend Starbeam is into that one. TO do this kind of marketing, I think you need some kind of generalist, more like a High School science teacher who is really good at engaging people. Dawkins was once that guy, but then he got into debating creationists. Bill Nye, also has been politicized. Sheldon Leonard?

We humans are all about narratives.

It is the best story that will control the 7 Kingdoms.

It strikes me that the people who do the sciencey stuff are very different kinds of people than those who create the narratives.

I already said that I think sciencey people and atheists are actually deeper and more philosophical than religious people. So that isn’t the problem. Maybe the problem is that their stories really appeal to themselves and each other. They won’t ever take the place of the grand narratives created over centuries when religion and science were the same thing.

Adam and Eve … Noah’s Ark…the Crucifixion and Resurrection… You don’t need to be religious for these stories to have symbolic value. Part of the reason is that these grand narratives tell us something about ourselves … about innocence lost, about survival against odds, about hope.

It isn’t up to scientists themselves to create a narrative. That job would be better suited to those who study literature and communications and marketing. But I don’t see it catching on.

Tee, It isn’t up to scientists themselves to create a narrative. That job would be better suited to those who study literature and communications and marketing. But I don’t see it catching on.
I'm hoping that's what people understand when they read my stuff.
Lausten, Maybe I’m still not getting your proposal. .... (you talking to me)

She is author of the best-selling book, “The Sacred Depths of Nature” which, in examining cosmology, evolution, cell biology, and aspects of life, celebrates the mystery and wonder of being alive and suggests that religious naturalism can serve as the basis for “planetary ethic” that draws from both science and religion


I’m proposing we first stop to take a deep breath and reassess our situation. For examples, just from that sentence seems Ursula is also about putting it all together into one pot as though - it’s our human mind and thinking that’s in charge.

I’m for first stopping to appreciate it is the universe in charge. We are a creation of the universe. Put our mind into perspective - discuss the difference between Map and Territory that too many don’t recognize. It’s about gaining some cosmic humility and perspective. Even just to ponder the thought of what Earth Centrism means, and how it actually reflects a fundamental physical reality with keeping in mind.

It’s all about perspective and attitude. Because attitude makes all the difference. We were sold on Reaganomics, too much is never enough, and endless increasing growth is the way to get there. Now everything our society does embodies the imperative. Perhaps I’m so different because I was an impressionable teenager being horrified at the insanity of the posters and attitudes of grow, grow, grow. One didn’t need to be smart, just observant and thoughtful to appreciate that that was a road map to disaster. We are now living the first pages of this self-induced inevitable disaster, (nay given another few generations a cataclysm), and all our leaders are seem to be behaving weirder than lunatics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYSXbB1IM6A

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-king-of-hearts-archive-20180308-story.html

I think we’d be in better hands with that crowd.

=======================================

I was pondering some of the stuff Tee wrote and my cynical angry attitude towards Democrats and liberals, progressives in general can be boiled down to their smug complacency. They never take stuff seriously enough. Then a thought crystalized:

If we're not changing minds, we are failing.
Listen to what Susan Rice has to say about her early concerns about trump's appeal and prospects. All, that f'n complacency, after Clinton, Gore, that election wasn't stolen, it was f'n arm-wrestled from the wimpy Democratic powers that be, then the dirty tricks alt-right propaganda campaign against Obama, and they still didn't get it - it boggles my mind.

Most still don’t seem to, and now we’re into the terrifying zone - We really could lose our country to the oligarchs lock stock’n barrel in the next three years - if something doesn’t change.

That’s what I’m talking about.

 

Oh and it all started with unopposed faith-based thinking and their self-certain superiority because they actually know God’s mind and God is in their back pockets.

so back to intelligent design

 

Why not acknowledge the notion of some Intelligent Design as an understandable reaction to the mind-boggling ways and means of Evolution and the pageant of Earth’s creation.

Be able to provide a story to explain (or process) the difference between an Intelligent Design and an Intelligent Designer - take the f’n battle right back to the faith-shackled. If nothing else it would help our own side be not so clueless as they currently remain.

 

Does the notion of rhetorical jujitsu ring a bell?

@citizenschallengev3

Why not acknowledge the notion of some Intelligent Design as an understandable reaction to the mind-boggling ways and means of Evolution and the pageant of Earth’s creation.
Do you mean Intelligent Design specifically? Or simply the idea that Something Out There made all this?

Because Intelligent Design really is a specific thing. It exists in response to Fundamentalist Protestant Christianity, (almost) entirely. And it says something very specific:

 

ID presents two main arguments against evolutionary explanations: irreducible complexity and specified complexity. These arguments assert that certain features (biological and informational, respectively) are too complex to be the result of natural processes. (Wiki)
Earlier in the thread I explained why I think the entire mindset behind irreducible complexity is problematic. (I don't know anything about the other.)

From a theological perspective, the majority of religions in the US, and the vast majority of religions in the world, have no conflict with Evolution.

From a social perspective, it seems like a larger number of Americans believe in Creationism than there are actual Fundamentalist Christians. There are various reasons why the polls show that. Maybe it’s the way the question is asked, and people think they’re simply saying “God did it,” not that Evolution isn’t true. I don’t know.

Anyhow, maybe I have missed something here, but … rather than “acknowledge Intelligent Design,” which IMHO simply gives a dangerous idea more credibility … Why can’t people just be told or reminded that it IS possible to believe in God and Evolution? The Jews do. The Catholics do. People of other religions do. All these other people manage to keep all their stories as metaphor.

They won’t ever take the place of the grand narratives created over centuries when religion and science were the same thing.
I think they are in a position to do that though, since now, science is culture. People don't think about the history of oil and auto manufacturing, they just speed down the road in their magic machines.
about innocence lost, about survival against odds, about hope.
Which are all in the stories of discoveries and even can be used to anthropomorphize the formation of elements or the interaction of land and sea.
That job would be better suited to those who study literature and communications and marketing.
But people expect that they can access the scientist, the one with the information, who can answer any random question. The marketing person would have to say, "let me go back and ask the scientist that, then I'll get back to you." People don't trust that.

@Tee Bryan Peneguy

Do you mean Intelligent Design specifically? Or simply the idea that Something Out There made all this?
That 'something out there may have guided this. For me it's self-evident that's what natural laws and universal constraints make up that something.

I’ll admit I hadn’t given the Evangelical definition much thought - in fact I’m embarrassed to admit I’m don’t know much about the “specified complexity” I’ll have to look it up.

But I do know plenty about “irreducible complexity” and don’t know of any case where the idea holds upon closer honest examination - if they have, I’d love to hear about it. It certainly isn’t eyes, or the tiny bones that make up our inner ear, nor the Cambrian Explosion for that matter. In every case closer honest examination, evaporates the notion and reveal the slow march of evolution.

rather than “acknowledge Intelligent Design,”
I'm not talking about acknowledging Intelligent Design, I'm talking about deliberately wrestling back that term - and inserting a more reality based meaning in the public awareness.

Brings us back to your “Something Out There made all this?” - the only grip I have with what you wrote there is the word “made” - Evolution isn’t like baking a cake - it’s something qualitatively different.

Yes, most religions are fine with evolution and don’t feel the need to micromanage what their Gods do because on a guttural level they appreciate that Gods are a matter of our fertile MINDSCAPES, while evolution and what’s happening in our physical universe is a different arena altogether, that of Material Reality, Physical Reality.

people think they’re simply saying “God did it,” not that Evolution isn’t true.
I suspect you have a good point their, which is another argument in favor of my vocal advocacy - help people develop a more honest grasp of Evolution and our place in it.

 

Wish I had more time, but in another rush this am.

 

<i>Oh, but than I’m driven by the notion that unless we are changing minds, we are failing. </i>

<i>Whereas most seem simply happy keeping their heads low and hoping it’ll work out for the best. It won’t! If I’ve learn one thing from living six decades is that the biggest lie is - ‘everything happens to work out for the best’ bull shit on that.</i>