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Obey No1kinobe

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Is intelligent design science and should it be taught in public schools?

Most definitions of modern science describe a methodology of finding testable explanations of the universe or similar.

I often hear evolution is a theory not a fact. A scientific theory explains the facts and is verifiable or demonstrable. Evolution is one of the most validated theories around.

I propose ID is not science. It is not verifiable and its challenges to evolution. For example the arguments about irreducible complexity have been debunked e.g. a subset of components of the bacterial flagellum are used by some bacteria inject harmful proteins into other cells. There are so many transitional forms scientists argue whether some of them are birds, reptiles or mammals.

To allow ID into science you would need to change the definition of science and drop the testable requirement. This would enable astrology, alchemy and crystal healing alongside astronomy, chemistry and physics.

I also hear the argument why not include all sides of the debate. Scientifically there is no debate. Philosophically, this is akin to suggesting alchemy be taught alongside chemistry, or Greek mythology as history.

I propose it should not. This does not stop parents teaching their kids any religious dogma they choose within the law. But it is not science and religious beliefs have no place being taught in public schools.

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Closing Statement from Obey No1kinobe

ID is a form of creationism promoted by the Discovery Institute and supported by many evangelical Christians. The Institute defines it as "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.

Evolutionary theory is the foundation of modern biology. Whether you want to believe it or not explains the development different species and genetic similarities between species. Essentially gene frequency changes due to natural selection, from less adapted to more adapted. At some stage the divergence of one group may get to the point where they can not interbreed successfully with other related groups or their ancestors ie they become a new species. This is a gradual process, supported by much evidence in the fossil record, DNA and gene analysis.

The key argument for ID is irreducible complexity which proposes the bacterial flagellum, immune system, blood clotting could not have evolved or developed from something similar. They need all the parts to do anything. In all cases it has been proven that these are reducable. They could have evolved.

ID is basically, life is complex, hard to explain, so it must be designed. Read the comments and Í hope you see there is a sound argument that ID has tried to bypass scientific consensus. It is a discredited hypothesis except for those who want to believe. Also, you start to get into mythology when you try and describe and explain the creator for which there is nop verifiable evidence.

While there is no scientific evidence for design, we can not scientifically say the universe isn't. That is a philosophical question. If you value the truth then science can inform faith. We can respect religion except where it is wrong. The universe is not 6,000 years old. Life evolved. We should not make special exceptions to promote falsehoods in schools. Our children deserve better. If our growing understanding makes some beliefs obsolete, so be it

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  • Aug 16 2012: Obey: intelligent design is a testable theory. For example, scientists at the Biologic Institute are doing studies from an ID perspective on the origin and role of information in biology, functional and design constraints, and design patterns and hallmarks. At the Evolutionary Informatics Lab, they study the role of design using information sciences. As they put it:
    "What if patterns best explained as the product of intelligence exist in biological systems? In that case, the intelligence in question would be an unevolved intelligence. For most persons, such an intelligence has religious connotations, suggesting that it as well as its activities cannot properly belong to science. Simply put, intelligent design, when applied to biology, seems to invoke ‘spooky’ forms of causation that have no place in science. Evolutionary informatics eliminates this difficulty associated with intelligent design. By looking to information theory, a well-established branch of the engineering and mathematical sciences, evolutionary informatics shows that patterns we ordinarily ascribe to intelligence, when arising from an evolutionary process, must be referred to sources of information external to that process. Such sources of information may then themselves be the result of other, deeper evolutionary processes. But what enables these evolutionary processes in turn to produce such sources of information? Evolutionary informatics demonstrates a regress of information sources. At no place along the way need there be a violation of ordinary physical causality. And yet, the regress implies a fundamental incompleteness in physical causality's ability to produce the required information. Evolutionary informatics, while falling squarely within the information sciences, thus points to the need for an ultimate information source qua intelligent designer."

    Should ID be taught in public schools? Consider this: are students in science class taught to critically think? Or are they spoonfed ideas?
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      Aug 16 2012: Thanks Andrew. No issue teaching critical thinking. In fact I would support it.

      Is ID versus evolution the best way to teach critical thinking?

      Why pick this topic? What are the motives?

      Why not start with the basics, and use faith based beliefs for examples. I'm not suggesting that is the best way, just turning it around.

      When ID or some other theory is found to better explain what we observe, and it has scientific consensus then it should be taught in science.

      ID seems to look for things that are hard to explain and promote a creative intelligence as the cause. I guess they failed with irreducible complexity so moving on to something else. I've heard some arguments information. Maybe they will come up with something better. Good on them.

      IC if proven might indicate abrupt creation in some body part and biological functions. It actually does not mean this happened in conjunction with evolution for everything else.

      The intelligence argument seems even weaker if your end goal is to show humans were created as are. The outcome is there is a possibility an intelligence helped set up some biological information systems. This does not deny the bulk of evolution. Its almost guided or assisted evolution. If I may paraphrase - some parts of reality are so complex maybe they were created that way.

      I'd need more than the quote above to be convinced of the assertion "points to the need for an ultimate information source an intelligent designer"

      A single cell is remarkably complex. How did it get that way. Maybe it was created. The operation of a single cell is incredibly complex maybe a supernatural intelligence is driving these cell processes and all other processes in nature and the cosmos we find hard to understand.

      Seems like a fancy argument from ignorance.

      Why isn't there evidence of an actual gods rather than arguments that they may be responsible for things that are hard to understand for our limited brains?
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      Aug 17 2012: Most scientists who discovered the law we use to make scientific deductions are know by name and can take credit for their work. To my knowledge no entity has come forward to claim the work of Scientific design. Let the creator speak or let the subject die. I'm sure if such a creator could create all we accept as reality that creator could speak to us about it.
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        Aug 17 2012: Some would say the creator has spoken in an old collection of books or through the words of prophets or god incarnate.
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          Aug 17 2012: Some say the earth is flat and we never set foot on the moon. I think I'm done with this questions and point you to read my last post.

          It's been enjoyable conversing with you. See you around with a another question perhaps. If you would like to discuss more on the topic you can email me at my address listed in my profile.

          Later....
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      Aug 18 2012: Thanks for the comments JM
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      Aug 18 2012: If intelligent design doesn't mean a spooky creator in the sky then it's merely moving the question of how life arose and how species formed.

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