Monday, August 16, 2010

Can An Intelligent Designer's Foot Be Allowed Inside The Science-Room Door?

Michael Behe, professor of biochemistry at Leh...Image via Wikipedia
This is a good debate.  Lively, and rancor-free.

The two gentlemen, both Roman Catholics, debate whether there's room for Intelligent Design in science. Behe is a leading advocate for Intelligent Design (ID); Stephen M. Barr is a professor of physics.

Barr argues that we should keep philosophy and theology out of science and limit science to the pursuit of natural explanations for natural phenomena described in naturalistic terms. Behe (pictured) counters that Darwinism often contains philosophical or theological arguments; if such arguments are permitted in Darwinism, why not in ID? He also argues that detecting evidence of a mind is within the proper domain of human experience and science. We infer intelligent design wherever we see parts (material) purposively (mind) assembled to perform a function.

Behe sets up his argument as follows:

1. Life reeks of design.
2. Darwin purports to explain the appearance of design in nature.
3. Since Darwinism, which is one explanation of the appearance of design in nature is taught as science, ID should be as well.
4. Failure to teach both can lead to irrationality.

Is ID a legitimate scientific position?

Listen to the debate, and decide for yourself.

A great way to inform yourself on the issue. Recommended.


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12 comments:

Anonymous said...

SDC said:

Still banging the drum for your imaginary invisible magic man in the sky? Behe is the same clown who was unable to raise even a SINGLE WORD in opposition to Ken Miller's proof that human chromosome #2 is a fusion of 2 other primate chromosomes present in the great ape genotype.

RkBall said...

Behe is not opposed to the idea of common descent, so I'm not sure of the relevance to his argument.

jonathan said...

"1. Life reeks of design."

No, life reeks of apparent design, which is only apparent because we as humans use our brains (a pattern deciphering brain) to attempt to fit the apparently designed into a nice neat package. It only looks designed because he thinks it does, and that goes with all intelligent design supporters.

"2. Darwin purports to explain the appearance of design in nature."

No, it succeeds at showing why and how organisms adapt to their surroundings and progress to a more complex nature, NOT why they have apparent design. The apparent design is only in OUR HEADS, not in nature, nor else where. It is a human thing.

"3. Since Darwinism, which is one explanation of the appearance of design in nature is taught as science, ID should be as well."

Falsity after falsity. I don't know if I should smack him or applaud him for consistency. Apparent design is a by product of our brains. Evolution does not attempt to tell us why things are apparently designed. ID should not, I REPEAT, should not be taught as science.

"4. Failure to teach both can lead to irrationality."

Wrong. ID wants to be forced into the educational system without one ounce of evidence supporting it. The reason science is taught as it is and why the material is taught as it is is because it has withstood the test of time. If I had no proof of fairies, yet believed in them and had a fantastical view of them, would you want me to teach Fairy Ecology in school as a science class? If you answer yes then you are obviously joking and or ridiculing the question. If you answer no then you can see the problems with why ID cannot be taught as science.

I don't have to listen to the debate for this summary. ID is not a legitimate science and should not be taught as such. Theology class is the only realm this should ever be in. One more thing, you never answered my question I asked you weeks ago. I'll repeat it for you.

Why does there need to be a god?

RkBall said...

"Apparent design is a by product of our brains"

What is your proof for this?

RkBall said...

"One more thing, you never answered my question I asked you weeks ago. I'll repeat it for you.

Why does there need to be a god?

I didn't? I'm pretty sure I did. Short answer would be "everything contingent, i.e., non-necessary thing which exists must have a sufficient cause or reason for its existence.

The only sufficient cause or reason for all that exists -- the universe, minds, moral sense, logic, abstracts, human longings for eternal life, meaning, purpose, etc. -- is a personal, rational, moral Creator.

God exists to fulfill the deepest longings of the human heart. Otherwise, they are the mere results of a mindless, purposeless universe and its cruel process which we call darwinism.

Regain your humanity. Rebel against the atheist machine.™

jonathan said...

"What is your proof for this?"

Ask and you shall recieve, but in reality you can have simply googled it as well and gotten the answer. No harm though. Here's a good source for you:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=brain-seeks-patterns-where-none-exi-08-10-03

"I didn't? I'm pretty sure I did. Short answer would be "everything contingent, i.e., non-necessary thing which exists must have a sufficient cause or reason for its existence.

The only sufficient cause or reason for all that exists -- the universe, minds, moral sense, logic, abstracts, human longings for eternal life, meaning, purpose, etc. -- is a personal, rational, moral Creator.

God exists to fulfill the deepest longings of the human heart. Otherwise, they are the mere results of a mindless, purposeless universe and its cruel process which we call darwinism."

No, I'm pretty sure that this falls far from being an answer. I could simply substitute 'god' with any number of fictitous entities, but this does not make it an answer. The question is: WHY does there need to be a GOD? I'll break it down to a few other questions:

Why does a god need to exist for the universe to exist?

Since the universe exists, why does GOD need to be the cause of it?

Now if you cannot answer these questions then a simple "I don't know" would suffice. You asked me earlier where my 'proof' was for my claim that the brain is a pattern making brain and I gave it to you, now I ask you where your proof is for your claims. Please only reply with scientific claims and not philosophical ones.

R. G. Harvie said...

The agenda of Christian theocrats has no place in Government.

Period.

And it's poisoning the Conservative effort.

ID is theology disguised as science. It is an effort to slightly open the door to support of the state for organized religion.

As a Christian, I have no interest in the state advocating religious discussion of any kind - other than a broad poly-theistic survey of world religion perhaps.

P@J said...

Behe? Really?

I’m not one to rely on character assassination, and frankly, I aiming for character in Behe’s direction would probably prove impossible. The guy has less knowledge and more hubris that Ben Stein.

Behe has been making the same tired arguments for 20 years. Here he is re-hashing arguments convincingly rebutted 10 years ago at least. Here is a good example from 2001.

I don’t mind discussing science here, will even dip my feet in philosophy (although admitting I am out of my element). Behe’s tired old denialism is not worthy of addressing further. It has been done. To death. It is like arguing with a flat-earther or a Moon Landing hoax believer. Completely pointless.

P@J said...

God exists to fulfill the deepest longings of the human heart

Interesting. Therefore, there was no God until such longings existed. Seeing as there was no purpose or reason fir his existence. This rather fits the Atheist ides: God is an invention of man, not vice-versa.

Lou said...

Many people want nothing to do with the Creator of the universe, as if He was some sort of kill-joy, some sort of Tyrant , some sort of Alien to be fearful of, or some sort of myth...

The articles about Intelligent Design or extra-terrestrial beings, in Newsvine, reminds me of a book titled:

Who is this Alien? This Higher Power in the Universe...This Supreme Intelligence

The book's about Intelligent Design concepts that are based on scientific discoveries. Hence, it is science and logic blending together forever…..to support the existence of a Supreme intelligent being…..….

Concerning evolution, scientists at the Genome project and other scientists have concluded that there is an element of design built into creation that cannot be explain by evolution. No life form, be it a single cell, multiple cells or even evolutionary cells can exist without DNA. Genome scientist and other scientists have concluded that every life form is a product of DNA and the DNA molecule is a product of an intelligent source, a Supreme intelligent being.

Genome scientist, Professor Francis Crick, and other scientists have come to a conclusion that the DNA molecule originated from some alien source in the heavens, some extra-terrestrial source , not from evolution, according to History channel documentary about “The universe.”

Yes, there is an intelligent life form beyond our galaxy...Many scientists and individuals are searching the heavens for extra-terrestrial beings; believing by faith that something is out there in the heavens. They will be surprised when this Supreme intelligent being reveals its identity to every scientist at the same time from east to west and north to south ...including every human being on this planet-yes at the same time……….It will not be a secret.

Check out the new book, written in layman’s term, titled "Who is this Alien? It’s all about this Intelligent being, this supreme intelligent being, creator of the DNA Molecule with all of its genetic instructions and intelligence “ to build you- a product of DNA.”

Check it out on Amazon, Barnes or www.kingdomcomeforever.ecrater.com..............Lou

RkBall said...

"God exists to fulfill the deepest longings of the human heart

"Interesting. Therefore, there was no God until such longings existed. Seeing as there was no purpose or reason fir his existence. This rather fits the Atheist ides: God is an invention of man, not vice-versa.

It's like answering a child who asks why does every child have both a mother and a father. And the parent answers, so there will be two people who love there to love you -- if one gets sick the other can take over.

IOW, it's answered from the child's point of view, the point of view of the child's needs.

Either the deepest longings of the human heart have an Answer, or the darwinian processes that created them are exquisitely cruel.

RkBall said...

Jonathan. Please see fresh post. Thanks.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"