TED Conversations


This conversation is closed.

Is it reasonable to teach Intelligent Design in physics or statistic classes to seniors in high school?

The purpose of permitting ID to be taught to seniors should be to attempt to find a well-reasoned explanation for intelligent life. What is necessary to permit ID to be discussed “legally”(separating church and state) in the class room is to divorce ID from any religious affiliation e.g. the Bible.

For our universe to originate by chance is about on a par with winning the Power Ball lottery a 1000 times in a row without ever buying a losing ticket! When you factor in all the conditions necessary for intelligent life to exist, it appears the universe is “fine-tuned” to support life e.g. if the force of gravity is off by one part in 10^36 in the range of all forces (the most powerful is the strong force), life does not exist. If the mass of a proton is off a tiny amount only blue giant stars can form; they can't support life.

The scientific explanation for our universe is that there are an infinite number of universes and this one originated by chance. Since we cannot observe, measure or replicate extra universes is this any more reasonable than ID?

Humanity is a pioneer in this universe; after the “Big Bang” 13.8 billion years ago, it takes a first generation star to explode to make heavy elements and a second generation star like our sun to corral those elements to support life on a planet. It takes 3.8 billion years to get from life to intelligent life.

We will be billions of years more evolved than civilizations growing up around third generation stars. By the time our sun becomes a red giant, we can take the moon, Mercury, Mars and Venus (for raw materials) and go into orbit around Jupiter; we will then extract hygrogen from Jupiter for fusion energy that will serve us until the universe ends.

  • thumb
    Jun 10 2013: "Reasonable"? Is it reasonable to teach, as undisputed, scientifically confirmed fact that all life on earth is the result of random selection of beneficial mutations over eons of time from a common ancestor which had no knowable beginning or cause? Is it reasonable to teach as undisputed, scientifically confirmed fact that the entire Universe came into existence when, billions of years ago, when nothing existed, Nothing exploded for no knowable reason or cause and resulted in Everything coming into existence? Compared to those curricula would it be "reasonable" to teach that the Universe is the result of a sentient mind causing physical reality? Sure it would be reasonable. In fact it is most unreasonable to make it illegal to even mention the idea.
    • Jun 10 2013: The Discovery Institute is the leading organization promoting the consideration of ID, but what they say is instructive, "As a matter of public policy, the Discovery Institute OPPOSES any effort to require the teaching of intelligent design by school districts or state boards of education."

      According to Monton, the go on to say, "does not support theocracy".
    • Jun 10 2013: Hi edward my friend.

      We don't teach "as undisputed, scientifically confirmed fact that all life on earth is the result of random selection of beneficial mutations over eons of time from a common ancestor." We teach that natural selection over random mutations is one mechanism proposed for evolution, not that it is the one and only way in which things have evolved. We teach that a universal common ancestor is a current conclusion from the available data. Those two things, natural selection and universal common ancestry, are separate things, by the way. One is a mechanism for evolution, the other a current conclusion from data about evolution.

      We don't teach "as undisputed, scientifically confirmed fact that the entire Universe came into existence when, billions of years ago, when nothing existed, Nothing exploded for no knowable reason or cause and resulted in Everything coming into existence." Actually we teach that it is proposed, based on this and that pieces of data, that the universe originated, probably from a very small singularity, that once proposed people found this and that other clues confirming that the universe was truly very small and hot. The age of the universe is another matter. It is calculated from other pieces of data, not the same as those leading to the big bang. Though I would think that many aspect of both the age and the big bang might be quite well supported by the data.

      We don't mention religious beliefs. They are based on nothing but faith, and thus have no place in a scientific curriculum. Would you truly like it if I talked about religions in a science class to kids in elementary, middle and high school?
      • thumb
        Jun 11 2013: A kid coming out of an American public secondary school has been inculcated, in the classroom, with an exclusive view of the Universe and life. BB Physics and Evolution Biology are the only explanations ever heard coming from a teacher's mouth, or read from a school board approved textbook. Ask any HS graduate what they learned about where the Universe and life came from. It's all they are allowed to hear in the classroom. This post is asking if it is reasonable to censor any other possible explanation. We are not driven by reason now, but by a systematic denial of the very possibility of the Universe and life being the creation of a mind. Censoring such a concept is not reasonable. I'm certain this horse is dead, Entropy. Let's put the whips away. Keep learning my friend!
        • Jun 11 2013: I'm worried more that the average high schooler lacks basic writing skills, a sound grasp of the English language, the capacity to make change without consulting a computer, and, the fact that social media has not led to greater socialization, just more bullying, etc. Is having 200 friends on face book any substitute for having two or three close friends?

          Maybe we should switch to more on line classes and allow the brick and mortar schools to gradually become extinct i.e. truly home schooling will experience a rebirth once parents begin to realize how much time is spent not learning in the class room.
  • Comment deleted

    • Jun 9 2013: But the problem is not about prejudices from the start. We came all this way after eons of learning. The big bang is not a prejudice, it's a scientific proposal, while creationism and it's subset ID are backwards superstition. Treating backwards superstition as if it was "equal" to a scientific proposal is unfair to our history as humanity and to the eons of work involved in developing the scientific method for learning about the universe.
      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          Jun 10 2013: ID can not be tested, a central part for obtaining truth. It could be true, but so could anything.
    • Jun 9 2013: Nope, backward superstitions are backward superstitions. I would not consider that santa will bring me presents, and that does not mean that I am "prejudiced." I just have learned my lessons. We humanity should learn our lessons and grow up too. There is no way in which backward superstitions, based all on anthropomorphizing natural phenomena and our story-telling imaginations (as beautiful and poetic as they can be), could be true. It's not about prejudices, it's about putting things in their proper perspective. Those backward superstitions have my full respect as cultural phenomena, as monuments to human imagination, but I shall never grant purely imaginary beings the stature of a scientific finding. Not now, not ever. I know that scientific theories get revisited, corrected, and improved. I did not say that they could not be wrong, but their foundations are very different to those of gods and Olympus and angry volcanoes who demand virgins going into their fiery bellies.

      • Comment deleted

        • thumb
          Jun 10 2013: If you're going to teach religion the big bang theory has no place there and if you're going to teach science religion should have no place there. (ID is a pseudoscience, a religion masked as science.)
    • Jun 10 2013: "That you as a person don't accept ID and creationism as fair counterparts to Big Bang, doesn't make it unfair."

      Of course not, and that was not my basis. My basis is that the merely imaginary is not at the same level as scientific work. My basis is that we should grow up already and boldly say what has to be said: fantasies are fantasies are fantasies. Leave them next to other fantasies, talk about them in the proper setting for fantasies.

      "You as a fierce believer of the truth of the big bang theory should be glad if teachers want to compare them to alternative theories or religions"

      First I wonder what part(s) of my comment could be taken to mean that I am a firm believer in the big bang theory. I can't be, since I have little knowledge about it. I know some of the scientific data leading to the idea of the big bang, but that's about it. Therefore I neither believe it, nor disbelieve it, let alone "firmly." I just accept that it is a scientific model based on scientific data. What I don't accept is that scientific models are comparable to backwards superstitions.

      But I think that now I got your point. Teaching the way you suggest in a religious setting is up to the religious setting. I wouldn't do so in public school though. It is still unfair to humanity to pretend that background superstitions are equal to scientific advances.
  • thumb
    Jun 24 2013: I will gladly teach ID to my senior physics classes when someone shows me an experimental result that supports it as a theory.
    • thumb
      Jun 24 2013: Peter,
      Use the same experimental results that support the theory that there was a ball of matter? that exploded into what is now our universe.
      What a minute, there are no experimental results, just mathematical calculations.
      So, if we were to recalculate the origination of the universe factoring in a positive value for a plan or direction or algorithm or or or giving raise to the known universe, would that work for you?
      • thumb
        Jun 25 2013: Hubble
        • thumb
          Jun 25 2013: if you are speaking of the telescope, that only peers into what happened after the big bang and provided verification of the math. it didn't show the little chunk of whatever before it exploded or how it got there.
      • thumb
        Jun 25 2013: Not the telescope Mike the man for whom it is named. He made the measurements before the theory existed. The theory came about to explain existing observations. Then the maths was deciphered to see if the physics theory would agree with the observed phenemenon. If you have a look you will find that the science "establishment" faught agianst the whole idea for many years.
        • thumb
          Jun 25 2013: OK, The man. Same analysis. His observations created or proved the math. OK. But, there still has not be an observation of the little chunk etc.
          What am I trying to say. We have no real idea of the composition of that chunk of stuff. Was it pure energy or my favorite... matter squished so hard together that there was no space between the protons or electrons or neither.

          We don't really know how it got there or if it included some script how it was to go after it blew up or did it really blow up or just maybe ooze out. All we know for sure is that after 14 B years we are part of an expansive universe of which 25% is matter and the rest is in the dark... There are some forces that we can barely explain and some that are also in the dark. The best we got is some measurements of celestial movement with which we were able to make some math calculations to generate some theories. Can't ask for anything more positive then that!
      • thumb
        Jun 26 2013: We know it wasn't protons and electrons etc as we already have neutron stars that are made of protons and electrons squished together and they're not as dense as whatever is in a Black Hole. If you squash neutrons then you are left with a mass of quarks that takes up much less space as the three individual quarks that make up a neutron are many times smaller (and lighter) than the neutron. There are experimental results from CERN that show this if you want to look.
  • thumb
    Jun 19 2013: Fine-tuning of the universe is a jaded subject.

    Think of it. There are billions of men and women in the world. What is the probability of your specific father meeting your specific mother? What is the probability that this event would have resulted in your birth and not the birth of any of the 7 billion other people? Moreover, what is the probability of this event happening in your hometown out of all possible places? Mind-boggling, isn't it? Yet, there you are, as sure as the sunrise. What can we make out of this fact? Not much, really. But we can enjoy a conversation about all these perplexities of life.

    Whatever the chances of winning a lottery might be, it is a certainty that someone will win it if it's played long enough and enough people participate. Do you know of a single lottery played for any reasonable period of time which nobody has ever won? And this remarkable event happens over and over and over with remarkable certainty. The probability of life on any given piece of rock is almost zero. But if you consider the number of rocks in the universe and consider that this lottery is played for 13.8 bln years, the probability of winning turns into a certainty.

    When event is happening, the possible alternatives are irrelevant. It's best to focus on "what is" rather than on "what might be" or "what ought to be".
  • thumb
    Jun 10 2013: When Einstein came up with his special theory of relativity, it took a long time before anyone accepted it. When he tried to incorporate Gravity into his theory (General Theory of Relativity), it took a long time before it could be proven and, therefore, accepted by the Scientific community.

    Einstein did not write this Theory for the minds of general people. Most if not all would never understand it. He wrote it specifically for the Scientific community. He knew, if he could convince them, than most of the general population would accept it and teach it in schools.

    ID asserts itself as a scientific theory but has not offered any evidence that it is a plausible, scientific theory. It is religion, pure and simple. It is not science.

    I don't want my grand-kids learning anything, declared to be Science, that is not scientifically proven. They can get plenty of Imaginary probability at the movies or on Youtube.

    Let's say we accept the idea that most mechanisms in the biological world have a strong sense of intelligent design.

    What would be the next offering from ID as a scientific field of study?

    It would be to study these mechanisms and understand how they work

    We are already doing this. ID does not offer any avenues of pursuing knowledge that are not already supplied by the scientific method. It offers no change to these methods. It can't stand alone on it's own merits as a scientific theory that should be pursued in a manner that is not already in force and being taught in schools.

    It's only food for thought, not food for truth.

    All ID really does is split the Religious world apart. On one hand, God is a super intelligent alien and less of a God as taught in Religious Organizations. It Diminishes God as a supernatural being.

    It doesn't hurt the Scientific world at all. Because science creates the opportunities to become like God by altering or coming close to creating things we see in the Universe, God is only a bit smarter than we are.
  • Jun 9 2013: Richard,

    It would seem that you have been reading the wrong literature. In any event, the probability that we would be here is 1, since we are already here. Now, I know that you are talking about prior probabilities. However, I would have to ask what is the foundation for such calculations. It seems like on the one hand, you accept the idea that the constants, the values of some main forces known to physics, could have been different, and therefore, unfriendly to life and unfriendly to intelligent life. Why would you accept such idea, that constants could have been almost anything else, yet deny the idea of multiverses? We cannot observe, measure of replicate universes with different constants. We only have what we have. So, why should we accept the constants being "fine tuned," but reject the multiverses? Why would we apply a different standard to each idea? Just so that you can claim that our universe is very unlikely? Furthermore, if our universe was very unlikely it would follow that more likely universes would have to exist, wouldn't it?

    There's more to say about the assumptions behind those probabilities, for example, whether other combinations of constants would work. But, since the argument for fine tuning fails from the start, I see no reason to visit them. I think that the main problem is philosophical: one of making too many unwarranted assumptions.

    In order to teach anything in science classes, such a thing has to go through what everything in science goes: scientific validation. ID-ers try to get their disguised religion taught via laws, which betrays their actual intent: to teach creationism instead of science in public schools. Their scientific and philosophical failures are exemplified in the "fine tuning" and other probabilities games that they play. Check the ID arguments carefully and you might soon learn to notice their unwarranted assumptions and fallacious thinking.
    • Jun 10 2013: As far as "every thing in science goes (through): scientific validation." When I was in high school I was taught, "the ontology recapitulates the phylogeny"; it is my understanding now that this is false. I was also told that the moon might have come out of the Pacific Ocean---now we have plate tectonics and know that this was a specious idea---but given serious consideration by top scientists.

      Maybe ID should not be taught in schools but be left to philosophy classes in college; as other readers point out students in physics classes should be taught physics. But which physics? Should we only teach Newtonian mechanics which we know approximates the truth because it breaks down when relativistic considerations come into play? One of my sayings is that the approximation of the truth is a lie, yet we teach Newtonian mechanics in high school with nary a reference to relativity. Do physics students have an accurate understanding of gravity in high school?

      My personal preference is that there may have been a massive number of universes that just bounced i.e. underwent the Big Crunch and underwent another big bang until this universe, which could support life, emerged. Now that it supports life, life will keep it open for an eternity. Is "dark energy" the "force"? :) If it is may the force be with you!

      The most important finding in astrophysics in the future, in my opinion, will be conclusive proof that the Big Bang had "structure" i.e. that something existed before the Big Bang. In other words I predict in our lifetime that we will see clear evidence of a bounce, and, with it, the recognition that if one bounce occurred, others would be likely. Then it just becomes a mindless throwing of the dice before a universe appears that can support life. Then the question becomes, "Who throws the dice?"
      • Jun 10 2013: I'm sorry but I doubt that you were taught that "ontology recapitulates phylogeny," since that did not make it into the textbooks, let alone with such absolutism. I was taught that some scientists had proposed that the moon might have come from a collision of some asteroid with our planet, not that the moon came from the pacific ocean. I was taught that the idea that it came from the pacific ocean was en vogue for a time long ago but that it was discredited, but that it inspired the idea that maybe that collision, and that such collision was the most supported hypothesis. What does plate tectonics have to do with the moon? Are you saying that plate tectonics is false? If so you are quite misinformed.

        But let us suppose that you were taught such things. Does that mean that we have to teach fallacious hypotheses like ID, or that we should make sure that what goes in is consistent with scientific validation?

        In physics we teach the state of affairs in theories and such. I don't know where you get your information, but I have taught science at the high-school level, and we don;t teach things as final truths. Students want to hear about the big questions, and we teach them what is best supported by the data, but we don't tell them that such are all final words on the matters. That would be as much a disservice to scientific education as teaching such fallacies as ID.

        Your personal preference might be such multiverses with multi-chunches, but such idea would have to be presented as mostly speculative. Anyway, we digress.

        I hoped that we would find evidence that the universe will bounce back, but it seems like the latest news is that this expansion is going to go forever. But whatever structure that could be found. I see no reason to think that someone is throwing any dice.
        • Jun 10 2013: I most certainly was exposed to that phrase in biology class in 1966---maybe my biology teacher just wasn't up-to-date with the refutation. You suggest I read the "wrong literature", I suggest you read books like that by Monton; you seem to read only literature in opposition to ID. I dislike the whole concept of religion and would never consider my willingness to consider the possibility of ID as religious dogma.

          ID specialists are very inventive; they have invented a whole new journal where the authors undergo "peer review", so this is a hallowed "peer-review" journal. Should I accept what they write because it is a peer-review journal? Have you read any of the their papers?

          You say "...fallacies as ID." What ID devotees want is that ID be presented as what it really is---a circumstantial evidence model awaiting validation through the standard scientific method. I reserve judgement until all the data is in. One key element of ID is irreducible parts; my gut tells me this is not a valid argument. However, when a scientist with the stature of Crick goes on the record calling the origin of life, "almost a miracle", that is hardly a refutation of ID.

          Scientists who appeal to what I call the "God of Chance" offer only speculation about how the Big Bang occurred. As you must know the physics breaks down once you get to what? About 1x10 to the -45 seconds. Depending on whose math you believe black holes with their singularity are real; others argue that the math is wrong and that with the right math, you get a collapse to a neutron star.

          Do you think we should expose students to black holes, string theory, the multiverse, extra dimensions, the false vacuum, etc.?
      • Jun 10 2013: Hi Richard,

        Check my comments. I make my own points. I don't quote from any books against ID. I have read what the IDers present in their blogs and videos. I have found that most of their stuff is repackaged arguments against science from classic creationist propaganda. They use the very same tactics. My opinions and judgements come from my own background in the sciences, and from interacting with IDers and their writings themselves.

        I know that the IDers are very "inventive." I have read their "peer-reviewed" articles and when they don't suck they are meaningless. Should you accept what they write? Read them and make your own mind. Make sure you also read actual scientific papers.

        I truly don't care one bit if IDers want to present ID as "a circumstantial evidence model awaiting validation through the standard scientific method." They have nothing going for it but fallacious thinking combined with scientific illiteracy.

        How many times should I ask you to check what Crick actually said in context?

        There's no god-of-chance. That's creationist parlance all-in-all. It is based on a false dichotomy perpetuated by creationists. Why do you think that it is either pure chance or gods? Why can't nature have properties that make it work the way it works just because that's how it works? Gravitation is not chance, magnetic fields are not chance, et cetera. yes. several processes involve some random processes, but such processes are not the whole thing. Scientists don't think that everything is just chance.

        Do you really think that current and still in-the-works scientific stuff, like string theory and multiverses, are at the same level as ID? I repeat, you should read from reputable scientific sources. IDers have misinformed you enough.
  • Jun 9 2013: It seems to me that this whole discussion is ignoring the elephant in the room.

    There are limits to human knowledge.

    Suppose, whenever this subject is raised in school, we get extremely intellectually honest, and just say that no one knows how the universe began, and there is absolutely zero evidence regarding what might have occurred prior to the existence of this universe. In all probability, we will never be able to empirically confirm any hypothesis for the origin of this universe. Every hypothesis for the origin of this universe is essentially just speculation about the unknowable.

    Even if science finds a way to initiate new universes, that would not necessarily confirm that this universe was initiated in the same manner.
  • thumb
    Jun 28 2013: what is the probability of a being existing that can create universes.

    what is the probability it would create a universe exactly like this.

    its impossible to calculate.

    id is one big fallacious argument from ignorance. it should only be used as an example of faultu logic in philosophy or religious studies of how not to thibk and the flaws of religious thinking.
  • thumb
    Jun 24 2013: To me it's not really a reasonability question. Rather it's an aesthetics question.
    Everette Hill's position in this debate is interesting to me but I stand on a different hill looking at her, if she doesn't mind the pun :)
    Einstein said : Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. To me the idea that the Universe got 'help' during creation or that it is an intelligent design with a 'purpose' seems to me simpler than the simple. If I have to wonder and imagine when something cannot be explained with certainty, the idea of ID (whether or not a veiled creationist story) is just not appealing to me. Rather that it all emerged from nothing without any so called intelligent intervention leaves more space in my imagination to befilled with rational explantion in future, if not now.
    The reasonability of teaching issues particularly in light of US laws etc. are too local for a foreigner like me.
    • thumb
      Jun 24 2013: I understand you are leaving space in your imagination for a more rational future explanation about the origin of the universe. That's a little confusing, wouldn't be more rational to imagine all explanations?

      Further, I am not sure that the Intelligent Design is all that simpler then simple. If there was ID, then the who, when, what, why and where issues come into play. No sir. Not simpler at all.. At least not for me.
      • thumb
        Jun 25 2013: It is certainly confusing Mike because you are looking for reason in imagining things where I am imagining a possible reason.

        Actually the possibility that partcles emerging out of nothing, then condensing to form elements and the elements congealing to form living cells and then living cells making out few ounces of grey matter in human head and that grey matter developing a mind and that mind reflecting back on a possible purpose of it all is far more interesting to me. Someone intelligent doing it for purpose is a spoiler. :)
        I respect your idea of simplicity. Mine is different.
  • thumb
    Jun 12 2013: Your question boils down to CAN ID BE TAUGHT. The answer is yes: Intelligent design was developed by a group of American creationists who revised their argument in the creation–evolution controversy to circumvent court rulings such as the United States Supreme Court's Edwards v. Aguillard decision, which barred the teaching of "Creation Science" in public schools on the grounds of breaching the separation of church and state.

    However, it really is still a rose by any other name. The battle will aways be there from science purists and athiests of any and all degrees. There have been religious and scientific groups that are playing well together .... and some that do not and never will play nice.

    We could change names ... open minds .... ignore ..... play nice ... etc .. However, egos would never allow that to occur. There must be a fight to prove that WE are right and THEY are wrong. To bad.

    • thumb
      Jun 12 2013: That is one way of looking at Intelligent Design. Another interpretation could be that Theologian wanted to address 'creationism' in their spectrum and keep it out of the science arguments of how the universe came to be.
      Intelligent design can be determined under scientific principals. It could be determined if there was or was't.
      For example. Some studies have shown the rate of motion of the expanding universe is relatively constant.
      That was not an expected finding. Then there is dark matter. Matter without mass? Why? Again, not an expected result. If they can find out about it, determine what it effect in the evolution of the universe. Was it there by accident or was it there to effect something like the constant rate of motion of the known mass of the universe. Some have theorized that there was a previous universe that collapsed and the mass of that universe exploded into this one. Did those folks facing the inevitable put all the info into the mix so our universe had what it needed to get us started? Was that the intelligent design?
      I have no idea about any of this stuff. Because there is so many unanswered questions, can we categorically deny any alternative?
      • thumb
        Jun 12 2013: When you put it like that, evolution and ID have possibilities of both being right. The prior existence could have designed a universe that does evolve. All possibilites, but evolution is still very valid.
        • thumb
          Jun 13 2013: I haven't made myself clear. It's not evolution and ID. It's just evolution... not the Darwinian kind, but the universe coming into being kind. Our best guess is that there was a big bang and the universe started to form until it is what it is today. Did it just happen? Or where there some plans involved which is the ID position.
      • thumb
        Jun 14 2013: Mike you seem to be unaware that ID has been largely debunked where it is testable.

        Dark matter, expanding universe, is following the evidence as per science.

        Where is the evidence for a designer? Either the designer itself or evidence of its handy work?

        Saying life and the universe is complex is not evidence.
        • thumb
          Jun 14 2013: Hi Obey,
          And I'll make the argument that because the universe is expanding at a mathematically precise rate is it the sign of an intelligent designer. Otherwise, if it was just accidental the math would be chaotic if at all discernible.
          The universe and life maybe complex but it follows very define mathematical formula.
          We know that almost everything we've learned seems to follow math. Astrophysicists
          use formulas to predict events and they happen. Strange!
      • thumb
        Jun 15 2013: Math/Physics is a tool to model reality or abstract concepts. To count, measure or calculate numerically.

        We can use math to for physical calculations such as how long it takes for an object to hit the ground when dropped from a certain height. And it is repeatable.

        The fact that the laws of nature are not changing all the time is not evidence of a designer. What you suggest it simply an argument from ignorance.

        Why would a universe without the hand of a designer be in constant flux? Do you know of other universes where this is the case?

        Why is matter made from atoms. Why are atoms the way they are. Why is gravity the strength it is. Why is there gravity. If we don't know we don't know. Maybe we will never know.

        Not understanding why something is the way it is is not an reason to plug in a supernatural god.

        This is just god of the gaps all over.

        And it really explains nothing. How did god make the universe the way it is and why. You are just guessing. And why is the universe creating god the way it is. How did the universe creating god come into immaterial existence (oxymoron) and why is it the way it is and not changing all the time. God must have a designer right or it would be chaos ?

        I can do Newtons calculations in my sleep. Not any stranger than there being a universe in the first place.
    • thumb
      Jun 12 2013: Also from the perspective of separation of church in state.

      ID is just a way to sneak in an unjustified alternative compatible with certain religious beliefs.

      They fear that science undermines some aspects of there beliefs, because it does, because the evidence does. It doesn't mean a committee of other dimensional beings did not make everything look 13 billion years old and evolved, or that there are 12 of them standing beside me. But overall it requires a great deal of supernatural speculation, or accepting a theistic or deistic belief based on a naturalistic interpretation of the evidence. Like the Catholics and Anglicans accept much of science these days they just belief in lots of unverifiable stuff as well.
      • Jun 12 2013: The major problem with permitting ID to be taught in school is the "slippery slope" problem. As my dad has said, "You don't know how to use a tool unless you know at least three ways to abuse it." I am sure that religious zealots will undoubtedly try to slip in references to the Bible either intentionally or unintentionally and we will be right back to the teaching of religion in school.

        Maybe ID should be left to college students.
  • thumb
    Jun 11 2013: # E. Driven
    So, if I understand your post, scientist are looking at the universe looking for patterns, etc. Signs of how the universe got made.
    Hmmm! isn't that what I have been saying all along?
    We can all except that the universe is out there. How did it do that. Well, there was this here explosive or a very rapid expansion of gases and stuff flew all over forming galaxies, nebulas, stars of various sizes, shapes and whatever, etc. etc.
    So, was it a blind shot... the 12 monkeys with computers typing shakespeare or is it the result of God as identified in the five books of Moses.
    I don't know and neither does anyone else. At least, I don't think anyone knows for sure.
    As far as a guess, I lean more toward Moses then the monkeys.
    Cosmologists should be looking for patterns, and everything else to understand how it all came about.
    That's science.
    As far as guessing goes, I'll acknowledge the monkeys if you could see your way to at least a 1 % chance that there might have been, not a major input, some small inclining of Intelligent Design.

    PS I still think it would be a fun exercise for a school... If a class is too much, at least put it out as a subject for the debate club.
    • Jun 12 2013: "Hmmm! isn't that what I have been saying all along?"

      Nope. You keep insisting that if it's nor random it is intelligences. I keep saying that such is a false dichotomy. That I see no reason why such things as gravitation could not be completely natural even though it is not mere randomness. There's absolutely no reason to think that because something is not random it is therefore due to plans and intelligence. Not one.

      You introduce a worse false dichotomy:

      "12 monkeys with computers typing shakespeare or is it the result of God as identified in the five books of Moses."

      Man, so you truly think that the only gods to consider under your first false dichotomy is some god from the abrahamic religions? There's many imaginary beings in human culture Mike. The biblical ones are just a few compared to every gods ever imagined, and not truly among the best ones to imagine.

      I repeat, it's not 12 monkeys. It's whatever way in which nature works. If it has both random processes and then processes that are not random, like gravitation and magnetism, for example, then that's all we can say. Inferring gods out of patterns that clearly say "this is the way things work" is far from confirming intelligences. The intelligence that you infer from patterns is no different from old tribes thinking that volcanoes were angry gods. Pure and imaginary anthropomorphism.

      The only way I could come close to 1% that intelligence might have been involved is if we found evidence for such a thing. For as long as there's nothing but fallacious thinking akin to what those old tribes did, I remain out of it.
      • thumb
        Jun 12 2013: You had me properly chastised until you spoke.of nature with random processes and not random processes gravity and electromagnetism. So, forget Intelligent design. It's nature. You know the old adage, 'you can't fool mother nature.'
        Gravity et. el. are complex forces that extend across the universe. So, you would have to agree that nature is a sentient being to have created these processes.
        As I see it our lack of understanding is semantics not dichotomy.

        I have always said that I don't know the answer to how the universe came to be.
        I have a problem to believe that is was just a random set of circumstances that came together at just the right time, in just the right way to create all that is the known universe and all the unknown.
        People who are the experts in Creationism tell us that it is a theological matter and not a scientific explanation of the universe. So, it's not creationism and not just one big accident (I think).
        What I have always said that the answer is not 0 and it's not 100, it's in 1 through 99.
        • thumb
          Jun 12 2013: "When you add everything in the universe up, you get 0" -Michio Kaku

          We can have positives be cancelled out by negative forces such as dark energy, antimatter, and gravity. So why exactly would a god create nothing from nothing?
        • thumb
          Jun 12 2013: Hi Mike, I also don't know how it got started and why the foundational things are the way they are. Or even why water is a polar molecule so we get snowflakes.

          Why in some senses is a difficult one.

          I guess what science is pointing to is what we see now didn't happen overnight and the universe is complex.Everything we understand really well in nature doesn't seem to need agency.

          Once there was stuff and gravity, I don't find it that difficult to conceptualise the first generation of stars creating heavier elements that formed planets etc etc.

          When you just happen to be the one born with some disease or struck by lighting, assigning meaning to it is so human, but maybe there is no intent. Stuff happens.

          A lot that happens in nature is not planned. Why are these particular water molecules in this cup of water. The probability of this particular combination of water molecules being here is minuscule. Yet here they are.

          I guess with the stuff we don't kno or theists ignore or refute you can inject a god or any number of supernatural explanations. Maybe the universe was created by ghosts from a previous big bang. There is just as much evidence for this as there is that yaweh or allah or bob (a relatively unknown godling) or the dragons of creation did it.

          so theists can believe what they like. I guess the point is there is little reason to believe if the truth matters to you.

          Our incredulity at the universe, our ignorance, our inability to comprehend the quantum and cosmic, our hyperactive agency detection is also not evidence or a good reason to believe in gods and goddesses, often defined in ways that may be impossible to exist, or know, or verify.

          Not being able to disprove that there is an invisible universe creating dragon in my kitchen is not a good reason to believe.

          Actually most theists who lived must be wrong, as there are so many mutually exclusive god concepts. Also the answer may be there are no gods. Everything is pretty pointing to this,
  • thumb
    Jun 11 2013: Richard Moody Jr. stated: "While somewhat out of place in this forum, I do suggest as you do that any intelligence, no matter how advanced, can "know" everything. What follows is that if knowledge is power such an entity cannot be all powerful.

    Richard, what if, what we perceive as complex, becomes in the knowing, as a simple thing? What took Issac Newton a long time to figure out is taught in one class of Physics. All knowledge builds upon other knowledge, until we see clearly the lesson. If a whole Universe can resolve from the creation of a single hydrogen atom, how complicated is the act of creating the atom in the first place? We don't know yet. But, I don't think it is beyond our reckoning

    I think that knowledge can be power, if there exists a path where thought, which has no weight and occupies no space, can have an impact on matter, space-time, and energy.

    Perhaps, one day, we will be able to project our thoughts to one another. After that it should be a small leap to pushing things around with our minds. We will need no prosthetic devices to develop our thoughts in reality.

    Maybe we won't need reality any more.
    • Jun 11 2013: As I approach senility it is scary to me the mixing of reality and fantasy; been there done that. With the advances made in special effects we could duplicate with absolute fidelity the visions of prophets. Consider The Revelation of Saint John the Devine. Maybe John's visions were caused by millions of viewers watching a movie of John's visions!

      One test I've never heard tried is to have an identical twin on the ground and one in space; then have them shown different cards used as a standard test of ESP to see if: A)They correctly identify the same card, & B)Whether it is simultaneous or whether there is a time delay.

      It is an interesting prospect to believe we will communicate with telepathy and have telekinetic powers in the future.
      • thumb
        Jun 12 2013: Gee Richard. I think I lost you somewhere.

        Such things as you talk about are far in the future. We don't have such activity taking place around here that I can see or know about.

        I'm not talking about Hollywood special effects in movies or science fiction books. Maybe this stuff is a bit over your head. I should probably quit commenting on this subject. I don't want any to think I'm some kind of head wrangler or twisting them up to the point of senility.
        If your interested in some real heady stuff, have you read "Chariot's of the Gods", or the book of Daniel?

        You don't smoke pot do you?
  • thumb
    Jun 10 2013: Just curious , what is the difference between , creationism (as described by religion ) vs ID ?
    Why ID need to attached with Physics or Statistics? Why not with Biology or say Philosophy ?
    • Jun 10 2013: The difference is that the overwhelming majority of scientists reject Creationism; some like me reject the religious (usually the Biblical version) view of ID and favor one that is testable, and, if successful, would stand apart from Creationism.

      Your suggestion that ID would more appropriate for biology classes or philosophy classes is a good suggestion.

      Right now I see only circumstantial arguments in favor of ID, not scientific evidence; what Monton provided was a test of ID that many scientists would agree was a valid test of ID. Until or unless ID provides testable predictions, unambiguous data in support of ID, etc., it does not constitute science.

      What Ed Long suggests is that we should entertain many divergent views that were discredited. Should we teach our students how science has been constructed? I present in an article in press called, "Sacrificing Truth on the Altar of Science" a dozen or more instances where scientists have corrupted/violated the scientific method. Should we teach that science is created by humans and that they have a variety of motives many of them not particularly noble?
      • thumb
        Jun 10 2013: Richard, to assume the ignobility of man will continue forever is a far reaching leap of faith.

        We may overcome our selfishness and come together in a form of scientific unity that would rival the accommodations in heaven itself. Who among us can predict the future?
        • Jun 10 2013: Interesting about predicting the future. We need only consider the loss of civility over the past 40 years (roughly coinciding with the computer revolution) to suggest, if anything, we are becoming far less noble. Consider the fact that we have to invent a phrase to describe the systemic loss of civility on the internet, flaming, to describe an obnoxious behavior, or the recognition that bullying has been raised to an art form on the internet.

          From this morass of lost civility, "we may overcome our selfishness and come together in a form of scientific unity that would rival the accommodations in heaven itself." The data suggests otherwise.
      • thumb
        Jun 14 2013: Hi Richard
        Thanks for your thoughts.
        I have no disagreement about encouraging divergent views , ideas, thought unless it is threat for others. In the education system of my country students has to study Religion as one of their subject up to 10th standard. Up to 8th standard it's mandatory for all students. So coming from that background inclusion of ID does not sound too crazy for me :)

        However I am just giving an example what happens when kids (I know your suggestion is not for kids) when they study science & religion side by side in school. My younger son who is studying 2nd standard , asked me few days back "whether Adam , was modern person like us or he was someone like prehistoric human being living in jungle "? It was real difficult question for me , as I didn't want influence his thinking process with my thought process too much.

        Yes, I agree there are scientists who manipulated scientific methods to establish their hypothesis or theories....interestingly science has got that beauty of catching them up and discarding them due to their dishonesty.
    • thumb
      Jun 10 2013: Hi Salim.
      Creationists take the bible as the Word of God. As such it is infallible & can be trusted as a reference book for science.

      ID proponents do not reference the bible at all. Their view is that the natural world is entirely too complex to have come about by the presently popular chance & natural selection. For instance, the coding in DNA is so complex that a 'mind' is the only possible source.

      Of course, if the ID guys are right, then we have to hunt around for the source of the intelligence. This has been deemed 'religious'; but is beyond the remit of the current ID movement.

      • thumb
        Jun 10 2013: "...the coding in DNA is so complex that a 'mind' is the only possible source." ~ Peter Law

        Peter, All that is in the Universe can be attributed to the creation of a single atom, hydrogen. It requires one other attribute, gravity. Gravity is inherent in the atom Hydrogen so it clumps together, forms a sun. The conversion of hydrogen takes place due the combination of hydrogen, held tightly together with gravity.

        Form this simple interaction, all the elements of the Universe are created. How these elements associate with one another, according to the separate attributes, is a simple matter of chemistry, which is well within the grasp of the mind of humans.

        It's really not that complicated. It becoming more apparent within the confines of science that RNA was the first bio-molecular configuration that can easily be put together by both energy and the elements under the right environmental conditions. It's really not that complicated. Water, a supposed creation of God, is easily chemically created. Light (energy), also considered a God creation is produce by modem men in huge amounts.

        It appears that everything attributed to the creation skills of God, can and are being created by Humans. Does this imply that human beings are capable of possessing the same creative skills as a God? Does God have to be omnipotent and all powerful? Is it possible that we can share Godlike power alongside a God of creation one day?

        Is it possible, under the light of ID that God is nothing more than an alien species, perhaps similar to Humans and possesses a super science which enables these/this being to produce the power of creation, one where a simple hydrogen atom can be created our of still smaller particles we know little about, in sufficient quantities to create a whole Universe?

        Considering the Hydrogen atom, how the Universe came to be is not a complex question, nor how chemicals interact with one another. It's a question of who created and how, the first atom.
        • Jun 10 2013: One of my fantasies is that humanity could evolve for a billion years. What could such a civilization do? Could it reach backwards in time and tweak the starting conditions of a universe that could support life? The computer simulation model makes sense to me because I have witnessed a "miracle"; unfortunately it could only be recovered by hypnosis. I observed a primitive chess computer with the transient ability to see 15 moves ahead in seconds play both sides of the board for 80-100 moves. This intelligence provided me a simple mechanism to see how far ahead it was calculating. It is my belief that, briefly, I communicated with an intelligence far superior to ours. The impression I got at the time was that this intelligence looked at the programming, learned chess in a matter of seconds and took over the board.

          Part of my belief in ID is that I have witnessed this "miracle". It has no logical explanation because the odds against it being do to chance are about on the same level as those estimates of the fine-tuning arguments in physics.
        • Jun 11 2013: While somewhat out of place in this forum, I do suggest as you do that any intelligence, no matter how advanced, can "know" everything. What follows is that if knowledge is power such an entity cannot be all powerful.
        • thumb
          Jun 11 2013: Hi John,
          Not sure why you brought up God ?

          On the subject of hydrogen; perhaps you can help me. On earth hydrogen obeys the gas laws. Simply put, it expands to fill the space allocated to it. Is there a different gas law in outer space? Why should hydrogen implode under it's own gravitational pull in space, when it does the exact opposite on earth ? Surely in the relative vacuum of space it would disperse all the more rapidly, especially if motivated by a Big Bang?
          Always wondered !

      • thumb
        Jun 14 2013: Thanks Peter for your reply.
        Yes , that's the point where religion and ID converges.....I mean in the quest of knowing the "source of intelligence" that's what I feel.
        Have a good day :)
    • Jun 10 2013: ID is creationism repackaged to look as if it were science.
      • Jun 10 2013: Yes it was repackaged as ID; that part I reject as obfuscation. However, that still doesn't alter the belief of those in favor of ID who say it should be divorced from religion (as far as I am concerned).
        • Jun 11 2013: That's just pretence. They have a religious agenda and it shows. If they didn't then they would divorce their methods from those used by their prior generations of creationists. They would renounce the straw-men of scientific findings, and they would stop blaming everything on Darwin and materialism. They would not be behind almost every attempt at putting laws in place to allow for their religious viewpoints to be taught in science classes. If they were about science, they would do science and let it run its course.
      • thumb
        Jun 11 2013: It is an attempt to package ID to serve as a platform for the presentation of Creationism.

        The attempt merely evolves into an evolutionary explanation, expanded with the idea of extraterrestrial origins.
  • Jun 10 2013: If we only teach what has been scientifically researched and proven to be true, we can eliminate a whole bunch of science topics that have been proven wrong and only teach what is "right" at the moment.

    ID provides a point/counter-point argument that brings up good discussion in class about what is accurate and correct based on what we know and don't know. Last I checked, we still teach flat earth theory, the sun revolving around the earth, and various other historical theories that are know to be wrong. Shoot, the new discoveries of the atom mean that what was taught not long ago is now wrong based on new information.

    Why can't we discuss the changing views of these issues and state them as such?

    That is the point of school after all right? To cause you to think? To force you to come to grips with issues you might not otherwise wrestle with and make intelligent decisions about them. Why can't there be a little bit of mystery and intrigue left in the world?
    • Jun 10 2013: "Why can't we discuss the changing views of these issues and state them as such?"

      We can and we do. As long as there's scientific data and actual scientific work about them. ID is just creationism disguised as if it were science. I have used ID in university courses. I would ask the students to identify the flaws in such and such, and most of my students, I am proud to report, catch such problems quite quickly. Should we do that in science class in high-school and earlier? I don't think that creationists would like that. Here, an example from the creation-whatever international: What are the flaws in this argument? Why is this not considered science? Why is this considered poor science? Is evolutionary theory really what this paragraph describes?

      Excellent as aids to see if the students understood the scientific theories, to see if they understand logic, but not very good for ID and other forms of creationism.
      • Jun 11 2013: This is the kind of discussion I was thinking was appropriate for the high school students. It is a real world discussion which can be addressed appropriately in a class setting.
  • Jun 9 2013: You just cannot divorce ID from its religious affiliation, just as you cannot divorce a child from his mother... but let's say you could, I can't see a different goal than religious indoctrination, because the moment you open the possibility of an intelligent creator behind the universe you stop talking science and start talking religion.
  • thumb
    Jun 9 2013: Ideally we should teach Physics in Physics class. That would include all that can be tested & verified. No comment need be made about god, or evolution, as all you would get would be the teacher's worldview.
    This would allow much more class time for productive work & arm the students with more useful knowledge. I'm sure that those who are interested can access the Origins arguments in their own time; but real knowledge is what they will need to earn a crust & move industry forward.

    • Jun 10 2013: Don't worry Pete, evolution is not taught in physics, but in biology. Nothing to do with world-views though. It's all about the science.

      It worries me when I read someone say that students should only learn "useful" science. Should we drop art from school? Should we not nurture our student's curiosity?
      • thumb
        Jun 10 2013: Nah ! I wouldn't teach Art in the Physics class either. OK in the Art Class though. :-).
        My daughter is a professional violinist, useful subject, you can make a good living at it.

  • Jun 9 2013: Absolutely not. The reasons are obvious.
  • Jun 8 2013: It seems that would only be reasonable if the teacher did so as a comparison. Physics I could potentially see, and even biology, as alternative theories to what is normally taught (i.e. Big Bang and evolution). However, statistics I could not see; by incorporating intelligent design in a math based class, it seems it would only be to try to push students towards intelligent design.

    The problem with teaching any sort of intelligent design in schools is not the separation of church and state. ID does have its points, and is just as much of a theory as any other. Yet, adding it to curriculum would force schools to start teaching many other theories as well. Then, there would always be radicals who want to push for teaching creationism, which at some point definitely could cross that line of church and state.
  • Jun 8 2013: You make a very interesting argument, but you are not telling the whole story.

    Intelligent Design is a hypothesis with no supporting evidence. The probabilities you state are not evidence, just interesting possibilities that raise questions that have no answers yet. I would have no objection to including Intelligent Design in a list of hypotheses to explain the origin of the universe. That list would also include:
    infinite universes,
    at least one other hypothesis involving multiple universes,
    this is the only kind of universe possible.

    When discussing Intelligent Design, both the positive and negative aspects should be discussed. My favorite example is the human reproduction system, which appears miraculous. However, for millennium it was also the primary cause of death among women. If this universe was the product of an intelligence, the purpose of that intelligence is an open question. It is possible that this universe is a computer model and everything that each one of us is experiencing is the result of a computer program.

    The rest of the story is everything that we do not know, particularly about physics. We do not know, for a fact, that it is possible for a universe to exist with physical constants that are different from the constants in this universe. We do not know, for a fact, what the chances are that this universe would come into existence; it might be 100%.

    If you are looking for a well reasoned explanation for intelligent life, you might be disappointed. It is very important to understand and teach both what we know and what we do not know. Unanswered questions are just questions, they are not evidence of anything. If science can not yet provide a well reasoned explanation for intelligent life that meets your approval, you, personally, can jump to any conclusions that suit you. But in school, we should teach only what we actually know, and question what we do not know.
  • Jul 8 2013: Mike - Look at the original context and permit a little poetic license, if you will. Scientists editing a religious text makes no more sense than a religion trying to edit a science text. The question is about teaching intelligent design which is a religious concept not a scientific one. As for the historical debate about Jefferson's editing of the Bible; that's pretty well settled by looking at his edited Bible which still exists.
  • thumb
    Jul 8 2013: Obey,
    We've down this road a hundred miles and I have no idea why you keep ignoring what I say. Are you implying that I have some motive that you are attuned to or will you just react to what I say, not what you think I might feel.
    Unless you are super psychic and can read my mind, how can you possibly even begin to know?
    This is not about what you believe or I believe, it's about a fun subject that I think bright high school kids would love to bite into....
    • thumb
      Jul 8 2013: mike im just not supportive of discovery institute id being taught in schools.

      less issue with your motives and more generic outlook. i guess you dont believe humans were created as is as per evangelucal id.

      i still have issues with teaching speculative plausibiliries but much less if in the appropriate context and spirit of open enquiry.

      im also not sure how it could be innoculated or seperated from religious thinking. im not public high schools are the right pkace for debate with religious motives or connection.

      a well informed debate would show what a nonsense id is, but again high school isnt the place.

      id from the evangelical push is designed to support creationism and undermine welldemonstrated science ie evolution.
  • thumb
    Jul 7 2013: Mr. Moody,
    This conversation had a great start but soom deteriorated into a verbal fistfight over beliefs. It seems that many would believe anything but....

    I am mixed about "beliefs". I know everyone has them (I think) and they are not subject to change. The thing that I found saddening, is the reluctance for some to allow that others may have different beliefs or maybe no beliefs one way or another. Such righteousness would warrant sainthood if they so believed.

    Your concluding paragraph does bode well for the future of humanity if we don't allow artificial life come to realize they don't need humanity to survive and prosper.

    I believe that Intelligent Design could be presented in such a manner that could eliminate the religious implications others find so objectionable. It could be presented as an unproven plausibility in the creation of the universe, an idea that could be worthy of debate if nothing else.

    I have read recently that the Roman Church has asked to be left out of this controversy, basically using the "render unto Caesar" argument.

    Can ID be proved? Not that I can see, but I can't see everything.
    As it currently stands, we can barely prove a big bang.
    • thumb
      Jul 7 2013: im not sure why you feel this was a verbal fist fight.

      also no issues with people having different beliefs.

      where we differ is on the status of those beliefs relative to evidence logic and reason. and what should be taught in school.

      id is fallacious and even debunked in key claims.

      we also differ on whether religious belifs should be taught or snuck in under teaching the controversy.

      some of us dont support teaching this fallacious and religiously driven agenda in schools.
      do you realise your idea of id may be very different from disciver y institute id. they dont just say an intelligence might be behind what we observe. id includes a lot of nonsense counter to evokution for which there is compelling evidence via fissils and dna whether it was guided or planned or jyst natural.

      surely the standard for school curriculums is not whatever a vocal religious grouo velieves and wants.

      is high school education there to teach every unverifiable belief that a lobby group o wants.
    • thumb
      Jul 8 2013: some beliefs change. some slowly. some suddenly. some dont.

      i was a born again christian in my youth. now i have different beliefs.

      even my views as an atheist have refuned over the years.

      this is not a conversarion about beliefs. its about what should be taught in school.

      unproven plausibilities framed by evangelucals dont meet the standards in my view.

      im more open to less religious view but still wonder how proposibg some magical agency to explain gaps in individualunderstanding or that of our species belongs in school.

      high school does not need to pander to vocal proponents of different unproven plausibilities.

      no issue if id was discussed in religious studies as part of the clash between religion and science and how religions havevadaotedvand respondedvto science.

      a small part of avprogram lookibgvat the evolution of religions andvtheir impacts. or part of a logic, philosophy, critical thinking, pschology or political studies course. no problem in proper context. just not as a an evangelical special interest to undermne science.
  • Jul 6 2013: Intelligent design should be included in textbooks when reputable scientists are allowed to edit the Bible and sermonize in churches.
    • thumb
      Jul 7 2013: I am not sure that they aren't or they haven't.
      • Jul 7 2013: I haven't seen or heard of a Bible which has been edited for scientific accuracy. Thomas Jefferson simply deleted the suspect passages.
        • thumb
          Jul 8 2013: Why would someone edit a history book for scientific accuracy? Would an Historian edit a scientific book for historical accuracy? Was it really Jefferson's intention to edit a bible? That has been subject to historical debate.
  • thumb
    Jul 3 2013: mike as to your scenario below, how did the intelligent aliens and their universe come to be.

    dont you need another intelligence to explain them if being logically consistent.

    this is a key flaw in the intelligent design argument. in addition to there being no evidence to support it you just push the question back. you then need a intelligent designer for the designer of our universe. infinite regression unless at some point intelligence happened without agency. which as far as we can tell is what seems to have happened in our universe.

    who designed your designers.
    • thumb
      Jul 3 2013: Obey,
      If we can't agree that there is a plausibility, however remote, that there may have been some cognitive influence in the creation of this universe, what would be the point of speculating on the origin of the origin?
      This whole conversation is all speculation, We know almost nothing of the origin of this universe. All we almost know is that there is evidence of some particles and gases that could have come as the result of a very rapid expansion of some material.
      • thumb
        Jul 3 2013: mike i have repeatedly stated there could could some agency.

        but you seem to refuse to admit any intelligence used toexplain our universe and life alsso needs an explanatio.

        that you just answer a question witg another question.

        do you agree.

        what expkains your alien creators. how did they come to be.

        it is infinite regressiob unless you accept at some point intelligence happened witgout help.
        • thumb
          Jul 4 2013: As I've also said, all is plausible. True creationists will tell you that God has always existed and always will, Cosmologists have speculated that something that exploded into what became the universe. I say that... if... there was a cognitive influence in the creation of this universe, the creationist may have insight. Now, would God be as the creationist describe or an entirely different entity that may even defy description or understanding.
      • thumb
        Jul 5 2013: and i would say my pink dragon universe creators are just as likely an explanation as your aliens or any creationist stories because we have no evidence of the existence of any creative agency, no information as too its nature just pure speculation.

        and explaining something with an unverifiable specilative agency akin to magic explains nothing.

        also that science has reasonable expkainations for 95% of what id covers. and that not being able to disprove some invisible untestible agency is a poor reason to guve it credence as a possiblity.

        and if you open the door to unverifiable speculations then an intelligent agency is just one of many possibilities equally plausible.

        our universe could have resulted fron the fart of some mindless other dimensional entity. just as much evidence of its existence and nature, and how the creation was achieved as any id proposal.

        the overall logic seems to circlar. our universe exists sova universe creator must exist. but then assume the creator doesnt need an expkanation or creator to avoid infinite regression. thats called special pleading and is a falkacious argument.

        high schook educationshould not be based on obvious fallacies and selective speculative explanations that suit religious indoctribation.
        • thumb
          Jul 5 2013: Isn't it a point in all our conversation, the best cosmologist have no more an explanation for the origin then my "Don't know, could be" and your pink thingy
      • Jul 5 2013: No, it is not a point of this conversation that the best cosmologists have no more of an explanation for the origin than your "Don't know, could be" and OBs pink thingy. That's just you and your lack of understanding/knowledge about how these cosmologists arrive(d) at their explanations. Again, theirs are based on evidence, knowledge, research. Yours is mere fantasy. There's a huge difference even if you're either unable to understanding the difference (for whatever reasons, among them not knowing about the scientific procedures and/or evidences), or unwilling to understanding the difference.
        • thumb
          Jul 5 2013: I must be typing my responses in bulubulu.
          Most of my readings on the origin of the universe has been following some of the most renown cosmologists. I have a pretty good understanding on what they say they think they know and what information still eludes them. I have read no reports on an understanding of the material that formed the big bang. Only that there were gases and particles ejected. That these materials came together to form complex chemical and physical changes employing unexplained forces and undetermined processes that came to be our entire universe, seen and unseen, complex life forms and sentient creatures
          All I ever said was that if someone was to say positively there was 'help" in this creation, I would probably say "yep, I can see that'
      • Jul 6 2013: It's not that your responses are in bulubulu, but that your responses insist on misinformed ideas about what cosmologists propose and how they do so. Here, for example, you say you have read enormous amounts of what cosmologists explain, yet you say things that I know to be false, and physics and cosmology are not my areas of research. For example, the big bang is not proposed to start as "gases and particles ejected", and physicists do know what kinds of forces and processes would produce complex chemical and physical changes after the formation of the first subatomic particles.

        Sure, they do not know a lot of things, and on that they are working very hard. Still, their work is far from being equivalent to your fantasies. I repeat: No matter how many things cosmologists still don't know, no matter how wrong many or most of their proposals will be proven to be, there's a huge difference even if you're either unable to understanding the difference, or unwilling to understanding the difference.
        • thumb
          Jul 6 2013: E.D.
          Are you kidding me? What was the last sentence of my previous post. I've said a thousand times in a thousand ways that I don't know what happened before the big bang. In fact, there are a few cosmologist theorized there was no bang.
          And there has been some info developed at the quantum level that has given some insight into the creation of the universe, but it's only insight.
          Again, I have no knowledge, insight, guess or imaginary premonition as to the origin of the universe. However, if tomorrow, a complete scientific discovery as to the origin of the universe was published and found universal support among all academia, and... in the findings were indications of ..... well, I wouldn't be all that surprised.
      • Jul 6 2013: We must be each talking different dialects of bulubulu, because I read you saying one thing here, another there. So I rather stop. We will get nowhere. Have a great weekend Mike.
      • thumb
        Jul 8 2013: im a dont know as well.

        i suggest acknowledging we dont know and accepting anything unverifiable could be is a bit different to deciding to teach special interest speculative falsehoods and fallacies in schools.
        the gaps in our scientific understanding are not support the god argument.

        science is a lot better at explaing stuff then speculative agency.

        lightning no agency

        disease no agency

        earthquakes no agency

        yet you say agency for the universe is plausible. how so?. isnt it just a possibility like any other unverfiable speculaion about life and the universe.
  • thumb
    Jul 2 2013: E.D.
    You keep addressing creationists as somewhat of low intelligence, dysfunctional, non scientifically attuned.
    Do you really want to go there?
    • Jul 2 2013: Creationist tend to be dysfunctional and scientifically illiterate. Show me how those things I mentioned are not demonstrations of scientific illiteracy. Show me how the difficulty to understand the difference between knowledge-based and mere imagination is not related to being dysfunctional at least at some intellectual level?

      I add that besides those tendencies some creationists also tend to be intellectually dishonest.

      Here's my bet: you will commit the mistake of thinking that a list of creationists with an education/"credentials" demonstrates that the tendency for creationists to be dysfunctional at some level and scientifically illiterate is false.
      • thumb
        Jul 2 2013: No, such a list would be too easy...
        It's the level of your intolerance that is disappointing. I have given you a number of opportunities to back off your venomous comments about creationists and you almost gleefully jumped to dish out more. Why? Did some creationist take your candy when you were a kid? Your comments are almost at that level.
        l can appreciate that you don't believe as they do. So, what. It's not the end of the world. And you shouldn't really care what someone else believes. They probably don't care about what you believe
        Just saying...
    • Jul 2 2013: Oh, thanks for giving me the opportunity to back off. But I like calling a spade a spade. It's not intolerance. I used to be truly angry at how charlatans lie to creationists to make a living out of them, their ignorance and their trust in them (after all, why would a true believer lie to them, right?). But years of interacting with them have shown me that most of them get what they want and thus deserve (most of them. there's a bunch who deserve way much better). I would not care at all what most of them believed if they kept it to themselves. But many make a living out of lying to children, many keep trying to make of science a joke, many come right here to lie about what I do and what and how I accept what I accept. I used to not care and to think that Dawkins was going way too far. Now I understand why Dawkins goes that way. Creationists themselves convinced me that Dawkins and other gnu-atheists had good reasons to do what they do.

      But, of course, you would think that it's just a matter of different beliefs. What else could it be. Right?

      Darn creationists stealing my candy! (I hope I didn't say that out loud.)

      P.S. What exactly would make my comments about tendencies among creationists venomous rather than conclusions out of experience?
    • thumb
      Jul 8 2013: my iq didnt change when i stopped believing in a religious view. however my critical thinking and understanding of religions had improved.

      if the jehovahs winesses are right then 99.9% of us are wrong.

      must be some poor thinking if most peoples religion reflects where they were born.

      all these conflicting breligious beliefs. cant all be right.

      a lot of mutually exclusive belifs does not inspure confidence in the processes that led to these different beliefs.

      surely you can see something wrong here.
  • thumb
    Jul 2 2013: Obey,
    Absolutely, and there are evangelicals that believe the universe happened in 6 days just 6000 years ago. There is a museum, I understand that has dinosaurs and man sharing the same cave...whatever. Ok and there is your story of pink whatevers... I was sort of trying to stay with plausible scenarios. There are cosmologists that think there was a previous universe. There are some that think there are multiverses. But, what can we actually prove. Most of our science on the universe is based on geometrical calculation of what little we can see. Much of your nature that did it all is not much more valid the any other causation. So, if you are looking for proof, I would suggest, like me, you keep an open mind. I have no idea what happened and I am not ruling out much... maybe the 6000 years and those pink things.
    • thumb
      Jul 3 2013: hi mike what makes your universe creating intelligent aliens any more plausible than my universe creating intelligent dragons. in fact your speculation had more unsubstantiated detail around their motivation.
  • thumb
    Jul 1 2013: ED
    I guess the either/or means that you are saying it's your way or nothing, which is not much of a conversation, but... I try..
    Define sentient. Consciousness? Perceptiveness, Self Analysis, ...
    Another scenario... OK
    Peoples of a previous universe see that their universe is coming to an end, so they put a series of plans or patterns or algorithms (think universe DNA) into a form that survives the end of their universe and this form
    explodes in a big bang and the creation and evolution of this universe is... preprogrammed.
    I can make as plausible a case for this story. It is no more far fetched then the currently accepted theory all those cosmologist are calculating on hundreds of blackboards
    • thumb
      Jul 2 2013: Hi Mike I can also come up with dozens of speculative scenarios not backed by any evidence. A committee if invisible pink dragons designed the universe. Hey we don't even need agency in there once you open the door to speculation. This universe could be the result of some other dimensional mishap. Anything you want.

      Being able to imagine various scenarios is not a great argument in favour of pushing ID is it?

      Your example also highlights an issue you seem to avoid. Where did the peoples (or god) in the previous universe (other dimension) come from that you use to explain this universe.

      We should also recognise that the key proponents of ID are evangelical creationists with their own agenda to subvert science, undermine the separation of church and state etc etc
    • Jul 2 2013: What Obey said, plus:

      I find it preposterous for you to say that your speculation is "s no more far fetched then the currently accepted theory all those cosmologist are calculating on hundreds of blackboards." Are you seriously serious? You speculate a bunch of beings who can do and plan universes and that is as plausible as work based on facts and calculations based on those facts?

      Your kind of reasoning is exactly why I wonder what proportion of students would be able to understand the basic philosophical and scientific problems behind such a thing as ID. My interactions with others here at TED has shown me that not being able to distinguish between something based on knowledge and something based on mere imagination is way too common. Surprisingly more common than I would have expected anyway.

      P.S. I explained to you one basic problem: putting the cart before the horse. Your answer did not show that you understood the problem (or that you read the explanation). How much better should I expect from students?
      • thumb
        Jul 2 2013: Am I reading what you are really meaning to write?
        Let's see. Cosmologists are doing calculations based on known geometrics to come to the conclusion that it is plausible that there may have been a previous universe. Blah, blah,blah that it is plausible that there are multiverses.
        Does plausible scenarios mean to you and Obey (no offense Obey) it is the absolute, no questions asked thing that happened. 100%., because it means to me it's just a plausible scenario... nothing more.

        I have never said there was any evidence that there was intelligent design.

        I have only ever said that if it was proved that there was some kind of ID, I would not be that surprised....I could see where it could have happened.

        You know what is preposterous...The statement "We don't know how the universe came to be, but it wasn't that" ... "because there is no evidence"

        There is no evidence for any cause of how the universe came to be save some stuff we think were gases and particles that could have come from some sort of an explosion.
    • Jul 2 2013: Mike,

      You're reading what I am really wanting to write, but you misinterpret it. Plausible scenarios in science are not mere imagination, but calculations and ideas backed up by facts. What you have been suggesting is not plausible scenarios in any scientific sense, they're mere imaginings far from being as valid as those proposed by scientists. That does not mean that what scientists are now proposing is 100% certified truth, but that what they are proposing is based on much more and much better than "let's us imagine some beings whose universe was about to collapse and thus decided to create another universe, and therefore ours resulted." They might still be wrong, but your mere imagination still does not compare.

      Even if your mistaken and misrepresented evidence for how the universe came to be was just "some stuff we think were gases and particles that could have come from some sort of an explosion," thinking that your scenario is just as plausible as one developed out of such evidence would still be preposterous.
  • thumb
    Jul 1 2013: E.D.
    I am going to presume that subjects at this level would be presented to students who were capable of studious study and evaluation of all the materials that could be made available.
    In my HS history class, we were divided into debate teams as Federalists and Non federalist to debate and convince the rest of the class that the Bill of Rights was a critical addition to the new Constitution. I don't think students today are any less capable then those in my day. and could handle it in either class.
    I doin't see the creation and evolution of the universe as a philosophical class. Where is this subject matter taught?
    • Jul 2 2013: Creation is not science Mike. Therefore it does not belong in science class. Also, creationism's incarnation as ID has basic philosophical problems that are much better addressed in a philosophy class. Perhaps philosophy of science. But not science class. There we would teach about facts versus mere imagination, for example. Or the logic behind some guy thinking that some advanced piece of physics has middle school conceptual simplification level problems. Or the logic of some guy thinking that such well established things like evolution have middle-school conceptual simplification level problems. The logic that leads people with little to no knowledge to think that they know better than scientists when it comes to what these scientists do. The problems inherent in a person being incapable of understanding that using arithmetics in a problem requiring advanced calculus will not really lead them to finding problems with advanced physics. Understanding fallacies and their construction. The big problem of distinguishing mere rhetoric from proper reasoning ... long et cetera.

      Such a course would be a lot of fun, but creationists would not like it one bit. I insist though that maybe too many students would not understand any of it.
  • thumb
    Jul 1 2013: Obey,
    According to stories told me by a Rabbi friend who into this stuff, It seems the elders recorded certain things happening and after making some cause and effect connections; and not having the science to attribute the problems correctly, decided it was a divine providence. not to eat pork, have circumcision, etc. Then people seemed to live longer and more productive lives.
    And I am sure it would take the threat of the wrath of God to keep me from eating a BLT.
    • thumb
      Jul 2 2013: Mike, I think it most likely religious texts are completely man made with no divine inspiration, so no issue in principle with thinking a bit of social engineering took place. In fact I think it likely. Just a bit sceptical about claims to know details about what happened 2500 or so years ago during the drafting process.

      I'd miss shellfish.

      I wonder if prohibitions against homosexuality and killing adulterers were also bronze age social engineering.