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Should Id Be Included In Science?


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#1 Method

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 10:13 AM

A new paradigm has begun to appear and it wants to be included within science. By paradigm I mean (Merriam-Webster) "a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated; broadly : a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind".

This new paradigm is Intelligent Design, ID hereafter. ID puts forth that life and information require the input of an Intelligent Designer. While ID is religiously neutral, it is still reliant on a deity or supernatural force for the theory to work. This is because, according to ID supporters, abiogenesis is not capable of producing life nor the information required for life. While the Designer for life on Earth could be a natural being, this still begs the question of who designed the Designer, and furthermore who designed the First Designer.

In contrast, the currently accepted scientific theory of Abiogenesis theorizes that life came about by chance reactions between organic molecules which resulted in a replicating chemical reaction which carried genetic information. These replicating reactions were then theorized to undergo a process called Evolution, resulting in the biodiversity we see today. These accepted theories do not require the intervention of a deity or supernatural force in contrast to the form of ID being presented to school boards such as the current "trial" in Kansas.

The question is whether either or both of these theories are fit for a science classroom. I think that the criterium should be the scientific method, the very foundation of science and the criterium by which Abiogenesis and Evolution are judged. The scientific method is also known as methodological naturalism, a philosophical framework (ie paradigm) that natural phenomena are best described through natural mechanisms. ID requires a supernatural mechanism, a Designer who is not natural in origin nor in function. Abiogenesis requires chemical reactions which we can observe happening in nature today, and Evolution requires mechanisms which we can also observe in nature today (e.g. random mutation, speciation, and natural seleciton).

In my judgement, ID fails at being scientific because of the need for a supernatural Designer. Therefore it should not be taught in a science class. Evolution, being supported by the scientific community and also being derived from natural mechanism, is wholly sufficient in it's scientific foundation. Abiogenesis, by default, is the only option for the beginning of life in a natural universe and in science, even if abiogenesis occured once and then that life was responsible for Designing life throughout the Universe.

Some argue that science should include supernatural mechanisms. My argument is that "Then it wouldn't be science". Science is the pursuit to explain nature within natural laws. If another method is needed, then another method is needed. However, this new method would not be science. The job for ID supporters, as I see it, is to demonstrate how relying on supernatural mechanisms makes better predictions about the natural world than using natural mechanisms. I know this is a difficult task, but it has to be done before we abandon science and methodological naturalism as the best tools for studying the natural world.

#2 Guest_Paul C. Anagnostopoulos_*

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 10:56 AM

If IDers could demonstrate that some or all natural information requires a sentient designer, and if they would stop the disingenuous refusal to address the identity of that designer, I might be convinced that ID is science.

Note that the demonstration that natural information requires a designer is necessarily a logical problem, not an empirical one.

~~ Paul

#3 Modulous

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 12:01 PM

The problem with ID is the 'I' part. IDists are very good at demonstrating that life appears designed, not a problem since neo-Darwinism agrees. The problem they face is demonstrating intelligence. I have discussed this issue with one of the folks at Design Dynamics, the best evidence for intelligence so far posited that I have heard is that 'function is an attribute assigned by intelligence'. An indadequate response unfortunately.

Some IDers don't require the designer to be supernatural (oddly), they do an appeal to the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics as evidence of an unseen 'observer' assuring reality exists.

#4 Method

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 12:25 PM

The problem with ID is the 'I' part. IDists are very good at demonstrating that life appears designed, not a problem since neo-Darwinism agrees. The problem they face is demonstrating intelligence.


Very good point.

I am keeping an open mind. I will allow natural Intelligent Designers to be hypothesized. I see no problem with this. However, the staunch position of "no Abiogenesis" and "no Information from non-intelligence" precludes IDer's from taking that same position.

  I have discussed this issue with one of the folks at  Design Dynamics, the best evidence for intelligence so far posited that I have heard is that 'function is an attribute assigned by intelligence'. An indadequate response unfortunately.


It is this same argument that booted Paley out of the biology game. Paley explained that if a watch was found on the ground surely you would think that someone designed it. Well, of course, because a watch has a function outside of itself (and watches don't reproduce by themselves). A biological organism's only purpose is to spread it's gene, it has no function outside of itself. This is why Darwin stated (paraphrasing) that if you were to find a species whose only purpose was to increase the survival of another species then his theory would be falsified. This is the biological equivalent to Paley's Watch. We do not see species who surrender their own net reproductive rate in order to increase the net reproductive rate of another species. We do see symbiotic or commensal relationships, but both parties end up increasing each other's reproductive potential. The only area where we see the "Biological Paley's Watch" is with domesticated breeds, species who were actually intelligently designed. This is why Darwin made a special distinction between NATURAL selection and ARTIFICIAL selection, to demonstrate what would constitute intelligent design.

The sad thing is that ID could be a real science, but it is the denial of the possibility of Abiogenesis or Evolution that make it impossible for ID to be a science. I really feel that if the ID movement were not headed and supported by an anti-science christian sect that ID could could really make some advances, even if they do not to find intelligent design in biological organisms. I am not against ID, but rather the use of methodological supernaturalism.

Some IDers don't require the designer to be supernatural (oddly), they do an appeal to the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics as evidence of an unseen 'observer' assuring reality exists.

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Yes, the old "does a falling tree make a sound in the woods if no one is there to hear it." How do we know that the "observer" in QM is intelligent? We don't, much less if one actually has to exist. I am not sure if the religious convictions of those within the ID movement would allow such a place for their beliefs, a small area of probability amongst "quantum foam" and zero-point energy. But hey, it's their choice.

#5 Method

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 12:30 PM

If IDers could demonstrate that some or all natural information requires a sentient designer, and if they would stop the disingenuous refusal to address the identity of that designer, I might be convinced that ID is science.


It is easy enough to detect human intervention in bacterial genomes, don't forget. So we, as in biologists, are already able to detect design in biological organisms. This is because they know HOW a KNOWN designer does the designing.

Note that the demonstration that natural information requires a designer is necessarily a logical problem, not an empirical one.

~~ Paul

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It seems to be more of an assertion, really. Untill all known sources of information are known then you really can't say one way or the other. For instance, the "dance" used by bees carries information and yet is not from an intelligence, unless you want to claim that bees are intelligent. Some claim that they do this dance because they are forced to through their genetic makeup. Therefore the real source of information is their DNA. However, can we not extend this to humans? Is the informaiton we create a product of our genetic makeup? Too many questions left unanswered.

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 09:08 AM

This is why I say it is a logical problem. If you could demonstrate logically that a designer was required, you'd be all set, without the need for empirical evidence of the designer. Of course, you still might not know the identity of the designer.

~~ Paul

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 03:08 PM

I don't care if they teach ID or not. If we just teach that which is truly subject to the scientific method, can be demonstrated in real time, and leave out materialsitic pressupositions, then evolution would get about 2 minutes in the class room.

It seems to be more of an assertion, really.  Untill all known sources of information are known then you really can't say one way or the other.


The laws of nature regarding information require a mental source for its origin. Until you can produce an example otherwise, then the law stands.

For instance, the "dance" used by bees carries information and yet is not from an intelligence, unless you want to claim that bees are intelligent.  Some claim that they do this dance because they are forced to through their genetic makeup. 


Well, we don't know exactly how intelligent they are, but they can communicate via a code, and this is an example of a code that occurs in nature that is not man made. Therefore, the statement that only humans create codes is false. The question is, where did this code originate from? Whether you attribute it to instinct or mentality, there are no known materialistic process that produce codes or information, so the only choice at the moment was an intelligent source.

These examples are especially interesting since its possible, barely,...., but possible, to maintain the illusion of physical evolution via neo-darwininsm, but when the mental/instinctive attributes of life are considered that would also have to simultaneously evolve with the physical ones, then IMO, it becomes untenable unless you are a true beliver.

It reminds me of the cartoon, where a critter swallowed a shotgun, and was afraid until it accidently fired from his tail. Once that happened, he realized he was good to go. Evolution needs the same kind help.....

Therefore the real source of information is their DNA.


The information is stored in their DNA, its not the source of it.

However, can we not extend this to humans?  Is the information we create a product of our genetic makeup?


Our ability to create information is partly based on our genetic makeup since the soul operates through the brain. Different brains have different functional capacities, so its partly true that the ability to create information has a limitation that comes from genetics.

That given, information is not a material quantity and requires a non-material aspect for its origin. Man has this aspect, and its called a soul.

Terry

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 03:33 PM

I don't care if they teach ID or not.  If we just teach that which is truly subject to the scientific method, can be demonstrated in real time, and leave out materialsitic pressupositions, then evolution would get about 2 minutes in the class room.

Staying within the same constraints, how would you propose the remainder of the hour be spent?

The laws of nature regarding information require a mental source for its origin. 

Wait. Which laws of nature was that again?

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 10:14 PM

I believe people should have a choice to what they learn in this area. Let's not force the issue of either, but leave it up to the student or parent. What would be wrong with that? For even God gave a choice to man, from the very first one created.

#10 Modulous

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 10:46 PM

I believe people should have a choice to what they learn in this area. Let's not force the issue of either, but leave it up to the student or parent. What would be wrong with that? For even God gave a choice to man, from the very first one created.

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I agree, and people do have a choice...I fully endorse ID making its way into philosophy classses. One day maybe, it will make it as a science. There is a problem with choice in the public system because in the end it means people will have to choose what to spend their tax on, rendering pointless most of the government.

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 05:59 AM

Staying within the same constraints, how would you propose the remainder of the hour be spent?


Based on the press' opinion about America's weight problem,......PhysEd.....:)

I don't know...... Are you suggesting that we can't effectively teach sciene without evolution? That's about as absurd as it gets. Everything known, not imagined, about biology, geology, physics, etc..., can be taught without evolution being mentioned.

The only reason evolution is taught in public schools is because humanists want to proselytize America's youth. It serves absolutely no other purpose.

Given that, I suppose under the equal protection clause of the Constitution, it could be argured that all interpreations of scientific data about the past should be taught in public schools, or none at all, since by allowing only materialistic viewpoints in education, the state is descriminating against the beliefs of a certain class of people, i.e. those who don't believe in materialism.

Wait. Which laws of nature was that again?


Professor Gitt’s universal laws for Information

It is impossible to set up, store, or transmit information without using a code. 
It is impossible to have a code apart from a free and deliberate convention. 
It is impossible to have information without a sender. 
It is impossible that information can exist without having had a mental source.

It is impossible for information to exist without having been established voluntarily by a free will. 
It is impossible for information to exist without all five hierarchical levels: statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and apobetics [the purpose for which the information is intended, from the Greek apobeinon = result, success, conclusion73]. 
It is impossible that information can originate in statistical processes. 


Good discusson on Informatin problem of evolution

Terry
P.S. I don't want to get too far off topic with Information, but it was mentioned, so I hope its OK to address it to a certain point.

#12 Modulous

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 06:43 AM

P.S. I don't want to get too far off topic with Information, but it was mentioned, so I hope its OK to address it to a certain point.

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I agree, but I did spot some problems with Gitt's work. The biggest is that information is stored without a code all the time (the mass of Jupiter is information, this essentially a data versus information issue), and the second biggest one is that information cannot exist without a free will. The second one isn't a problem except for the small issue of its total unfalsifiability. That's all by the by though.

In reply to the meat of your post: At what degree of certainty do we teach history in school? Do we have stop at the point when written records begin?

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 07:04 AM

It is impossible to set up, store, or transmit information without using a code.

This means that every object contains multiple codes, because we can derive information from everything.

It is impossible to have a code apart from a free and deliberate convention.

What is a "free and deliberate convention"?

It is impossible to have information without a sender.

Is a rock a sender?

It is impossible that information can exist without having had a mental source.

This is a bald assertion. It means that every object in the universe has a mental source.

It is impossible for information to exist without having been established voluntarily by a free will.

Define "free will."

It is impossible that information can originate in statistical processes.

What does he mean by "statistical process"? Does he mean stochastic process?

~~ Paul

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 07:09 AM

Based on the press' opinion about America's weight problem,......PhysEd.....:)

For once, we are in complete agreement.

I don't know......    Are you suggesting that we can't effectively teach sciene without evolution?  That's about as absurd as it gets.  Everything known, not imagined, about biology, geology, physics, etc..., can be taught without evolution being mentioned.

The constraints were:

subject to the scientific method, can be demonstrated in real time, and leave out materialstic presupositions.

Geology at least would appear to suffer.

As for Gitt, we can continue that discussion in any of the other threads on that topic -- but since his entire argument hardly rises above the level of hand-waving, I submit that it is a bit of an extravagance at this point to refer to his ideas as "Laws Of Nature".

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 09:08 AM

subject to the scientific method, can be demonstrated in real time, and leave out materialstic presupositions.

Geology at least would appear to suffer.


I rest my case.....

Terry

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 09:13 AM

I agree, but I did spot some problems with Gitt's work. The biggest is that information is stored without a code all the time (the mass of Jupiter is information, this essentially a data versus information issue), and the second biggest one is that information cannot exist without a free will. The second one isn't a problem except for the small issue of its total unfalsifiability. That's all by the by though.


There are no problems with Gitt's ideas, only inablity to understand or refusal to accept them. Niether of which negates them.

In reply to the meat of your post: At what degree of certainty do we teach history in school?  Do we have stop at the point when written records begin?


History belongs in the history class, not science class. If we want to discuss the history of the earth in science classes, then all interpretations of scientific data should be taught, or none at all.

Terry

#17 BruceHG

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 09:57 AM

Method,

I think you have identified a very important question when you stated, “The
question is whether either or both of these theories is fit for a science classroom.” I assume that that means are either or both of these science? To satisfactorily answer this we need to understand what science is. There is more than one kind of science. Operational science seeks to explain recurring natural phenomena. To do this it investigates the phenomena using the scientific method. Data is collected, analyzed, and theories are proposed. These are tested and further refined as needed. The source of the data used is observation and experimentation. Origin science by contrast is about a singular event; it is historical; it is non-repeatable. It is therefore not possible to investigate this event using the scientific method. The origin event is gone. There is no datum. Neither ID, nor Creation, nor Evolution qualifies as operational science.

As to the question, “...who designed the First Designer?”, The ID’er, the creationist could ask the evolutionist, “What is the precursor of the Big Bang?” The Big Bang and The First Designer are really the same construct. Both are construed as First Causes. Neither is capable of proof nor falsification. Both are a matter of faith. The question of which faith should be followed must be decided by means other than the scientific method.

You stated, “Abiogenesis requires chemical reactions which we can observe happening in nature today, ...”. Even if this is true it tells us nothing about what occurred at The Origin. Whether these chemical reactions even present a plausible explanation of the pathway from non-life to life is a topic of considerable difficulty. For a thorough elucidation of this very problem I refer you to The Mystery of Life’s Origin by Thaxton, Bradley, and Olsen,1984.

You further stated, “...and Evolution requires mechanisms which we can also observe in nature today (e.g. random mutation, speciation, and natural seleciton).”. Again, the fact that we can observe these things in operation today tell us nothing about how life came to be in the first place. By the way, you miss the real question when you say we can observe these mechanisms today. The real question here is do these mechanisms do what the evolutionists claim they do. I submit that they do not.

Bruce

#18 Modulous

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 10:04 AM

There are no problems with Gitt's ideas, only inablity to understand or refusal to accept them.  Niether of which negates them.

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I provided my reasoning to my objection, you just hand wave it away? If you wish to address it any further detail, by all means start up a thread.

History belongs in the history class, not science class.


Are you saying that history shouldn't be backed with science? When learning about the past, whether it be forensics, history, cosmology anthropology, paleontology, geology, day-to-day, and so on, we apply science to that field, right? I assert that history and science frequently go hand in hand. Therefore, not teaching how history and science work together is a bad thing.

Should we teach our kids carbon dating in history class? Should we teach them about the cumulative effects of random mutation of DNA coupled with selection? Do we teach kids paleontology in history class or biology class? I think biology class personally.


If we want to discuss the history of the earth in science classes, then all interpretations of scientific data should be taught, or none at all.


All interpretations? Should we teach all interpretations of scientific data for all of science? Should we teach the leprechaun interpretation of the water cycle? Perhaps we should teach the geocentric model of the solar system?

I assert we should teach the model that explains the scientific data in the most parsimonious manner and if multiple models do this, then we should teach both.

#19 Modulous

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 11:39 AM

The ID’er, the creationist could ask the evolutionist, “What is the precursor of the Big Bang?” The Big Bang and The First Designer are really the same construct. Both are construed as First Causes.

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Why would you ask a biologist a question of cosmology? The equivalent question to ask a biologist would be regarding abiogenesis.

You stated, “Abiogenesis requires chemical reactions which we can observe happening in nature today, ...”. Even if this is true it tells us nothing about what occurred at The Origin.


I agree - we probably won't ever know for sure how life started. Biochemists aren't trying to find that answer. They are trying to find out how it could have started. They aren't trying to find the answer to prove IDers or creationists wrong. They do it so that they can better understand biology and how life works.

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 11:49 AM

Are you saying that history shouldn't be backed with science? When learning about the past, whether it be forensics, history, cosmology anthropology, paleontology, geology, day-to-day, and so on, we apply science to that field, right?


Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. The sometimes no, i.e. that which is speculated about, and cannot be deomstrated via the scientific method, should be left out of the classroom, or all speculations should be allowed.

I assert that history and science frequently go hand in hand.  Therefore, not teaching how history and science work together  is a bad thing.


You are asserting that a naturalistic/materialistic interpretation of how science and history go together should be taught. Many of us do not subscribe to your interpretation of history, or even what you consider as science "science". So I think is rather arrogant for humanists and naturalists to force thier opinions and religion onto those of us who don't agree with them, by means of government.

Should we teach our kids carbon dating in history class?


The idea behind carbon dating could be taught, but then the problems with it should also be taught. I think they generally are not taught. Generaly, someone floats the basic idea, and then says, so we know A,B,C, etc.... Well, that usually just one side's interpreation of the data, and that what should not be taught.

There are interprations that could be taught that go against the scientific community's concensus, that are legitimate, e.g. that the ubiquity of C14 in diamonds, and oil, demonstrates that the earth may not be mbllions of years old.

If we are going to go down that road, then there is no reason to limit ourselevs to one sides opinion.

Should we teach them about the cumulative effects of random mutation of DNA coupled with selection?


Not beyond what can be demonstrated via the scientific method. Equivocation of observed natural selection to accomodate for the entire diversity of life from a single celled organism is nothing but speculation, and has no place in a public schoool's science class.

If we are going to speculate, then critiques of such ideas should also be presented, e.g. Lee Spetner's demonstration of how neo-darwinian theory cannot work to account for the grand scale of evolutuion, not just the wishful thinking of true belivers.

Do we teach kids paleontology in history class or biology class? I think biology class personally.


Who's interpreation of paleontology? Whatever cannot be demonstrated via the scientific method is speculation, and should be stated as such, not as scientific fact. What makes your interpreation better than a creationists? Nothing, you just like yours better because its fits your paradigm of the world we live in. Its a pure philosophical decision.

Why not teach both, and let people make up their own minds? Answer, evolutionists are afraid people won't believe them......

I assert we should teach the model that explains the scientific data in the most  parsimonious manner and if multiple models do this, then  we should teach both.


This is nothing more than you stating what your prefered religion is, and why you think it should be adopted by the state.

Who decides what interpration is correct or the most parsimonious? When is the state going beyond its bounds and enforcing naturalistic/materialistic philosophy/religion on those captive of the public school system, or should we say the state school system?

Atheists do not have the right to indoctrinate America's youth with naturalistic/materialistic philosophy any more than any other religion with their philosopy, and that's all this really amounts to, its just being done in the name of "science".

Terry




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