8.11.2005

Time for the Evolution Wars!

The latest article at Answers In Genesis deals with the growing debate over evolution and intelligent design in the public schools. You can read their article here.

With Bush's recent remarks and mounting support of Intelligent Design (ID) in the scientific world, many proponents of secular humanism are starting to be alarmed. The liberals are turning out in full force to, as they would claim, "defend science against religion."

But this isn't a question of "science vs. religion." As I showed in my recent article, teaching of evolution is so scientifically bankrupt as to amount to deception. Proponents of ID only want logical, scientific criticisms of evolution to be presented to public school students so that they can make their own conclusions.

Of course, this is too much for the secular scientific fundamentalists. Rather than showing why evolution is worthwhile, they ruthlessly attack Biblical Creationism and ID, comparing it to belief in a flat earth and reciting outdated and disproven "support" of macroevolution such as the "backwards" retina (see this article for a refutation) and the cop-out that "little differences add up to big changes", totally ignoring the subject of irreducible complexity.

If, in fact, evolution is so supported by the facts, why is the secular humanist consortium so opposed to allowing any alternate viewpoints? It isn't, as they loudly proclaim, an issue of "separation of church and state" (click here for my refutation of this absurd phrase), for ID only points out that life cannot arise without outside intelligence. As Ken Ham questions, "Is evolution so weak that it has to be legislated in order to protect it?"

The fact is that the forces of secular humanism are so wrapped up in their belief system that they cannot allow anything that could possibly suggest a Divine Intelligence.

Personally, I believe in Biblical Creationism. I also believe that it is perfectly Constitutional and academically honest to teach the Biblical account in Natural History classes. But right now, this is something that liberalism just won't allow. Perhaps the introduction of Intelligent Design to the public schools will open up the door to an acceptance of honesty and integrity in scientific criticisms.


On another note, Eric and I just created a new header for our joint site, The Truth About Macroevolution using Adobe Photoshop. Click on the link to check it out!

In Him,

D3

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have no objection to anyone’s religion. If you want to believe in God, Jehovah, Allah, or a supreme being by any other name, do so. You can also believe in Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, ghosts, flying saucers, Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. It’s your right.

I do object when you try to force your religion on other people. If you want to stick you head in the sand and pretend that God created the universe in 6 earth days some 4,000 years ago, be my guest. But, don’t try to force everyone else to accept your screwball fairytale as being science. “Creationism”, “Intelligent Design”, or whatever other name you want to give it, is fantasy, not science. Scientists make observations about the physical world, then formulate theories to explain those observations. When, and if, further observations fail to support those theories, they are revised or abandoned. Creationist do exactly the opposite. They take a theory (fairytale) and try to find facts to back it up. Any facts that contradict this theory (fairytale), are ignored. If anyone tries to bring up these contradictory facts, they are immediately accused of fabricating them, or misinterpreting them.

In short, knowledge is gained by people with open minds. People who observe the world around us and try to understand it. Those who already “know” everything, are a hindrance to the expansion of knowledge. They oppose every idea that contradicts their beliefs, simply because every contradictory idea threatens to expose their ignorance. Today’s creationists are simply carrying on the same struggle to suppress knowledge that their predecessors waged in ages past. One need only remember how they treated Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton when they tried to contradict the then accepted belief that the earth was the center of the solar system.

So, if you want to believe in fairytales, do so. But don’t try to force the schools to teach them to our children. Our educational system is pathetic enough already. At least give the children a slim chance to learn.

Brian said...

First off I was not raised in a school system that teaches life must have happened naturally, me like the overwhelming majority of Americans have recieved religious education outside of the public schools. And at no point in my education in public school, was I told that GOD didnt create the world. But Im tired of discussing philosophy. so ill just repeat the scientific errors in your arguments.

I agree. We are limited by only being able to study one form of life. However, here's the clincher:

I admit that the possiblilities for different life forms are incredible. But from what we know about life here on Earth, we can say with a great deal of confidence that if "Earthian" life began to develop, the odds that it could continue are terrible.


this comment in no way addresses that there is a unimaginably large number of pathways that could lead to "earthian" life.

But even if we accept your "statistic" of 10^(-150) just for the sake of discussion. When you multiply that number by the infinite possible universes, you actually get an infinite number of universes with human life. I guess your complaint was that, infinite universes doesn't mean they are all different. But in fact in these theoris with an infinite number of universe, they are all different. And while these theories may just be speculative, they serve as counter-examples that proves there is no THEOREM that says
axiomatic science cant explain life.
So since we know it's possible for axiomatic science to explain life, why would we give up on axiomatic science? And by proposing to use GOD to explain life, your proposing giving up on axiomatic science. So the question I have for you, is what is your reason for giving up on axiomatic science?

SecDef said...

Anonymous, evolutionists go out and try to find proof for their arguments, too. :) They are kinda in a catch-22 situation, whereas we are not. If all scientific evidence backed evolution, that would not affect us. God *could* have created the earth with an appearance of history that it never had (just as when Jesus performed the miracle with the loaves and fish, those fish that were created 'looked' like they were X-many years old when in fact they were just seconds old). So neither side loses anything if all evidence pointed to an old earth.

HOWEVER, if evidence points to a young earth, then Creationists are vindicated by science, and evolutionists are totally defeated.

Let me recap: At worst (for us), it is a draw; at best, a total victory. Now....which side would you rather be on? :)

David, good post!

David S. MacMillan III said...

Hey SecDef,

I'd like to point out that you are comparing Naturalism:

Some natural process that we don't know about caused/evolved life.

to Biblical Creationism:

Jesus Christ created the universe approximately 6,000 years ago.

Naturalism should be compared to Intelligent Design:

Some supernatural process/being created/evolved life.

Since we weren't there, we don't know what happened. Currently, there are no natural processes that would explain how life evolved. Therefore, both Naturalism and ID have an equal chance at being correct.

This is what should be considered, not Naturalism vs. Biblical Creationism. Biblical Creationism is a possible model for ID, just like Darwinism is a possible model for Naturalism.

That should explain things to you too, anonymous. I want to point out two equally viable possibilities to our students:

A. It all happened through a natural process that we haven't found yet.

B. It all happened through a supernatural process/being.

Why do you have a problem with that, anonymous?

I'm pressed for time right now; I'll respond to Brian's comment once I can get around to it.

In Him,

D3

Brian said...

Since we weren't there, we don't know what happened. Currently, there are no natural processes that would explain how life evolved. Therefore, both Naturalism and ID have an equal chance at being correct.

since you claim to be objective you have to compare these two theories using some objective measure. This calls for bayesian statistical anaylsis(it's the only appropriate objective measure)

Just to humor you I will suppose the probablity that evolution can create life is 10^(-150). And of course the probabily that GOD can create life I will assume to be 100%. Now all thats left to finish this calculation, is knowledge of what are called the "a priori" probablities for the existance of evolution and for the existance of GOD.

But there is no objective way(that I can imagine) to obtain those apriori probablities. If there is no objective way to obtain those numbers, then there is no objective way to compare evolution to ID.

David S. MacMillan III said...

But there is no objective way(that I can imagine) to obtain those apriori probablities. If there is no objective way to obtain those numbers, then there is no objective way to compare evolution to ID.

That's why we must look objectively at different plausible models for each hypothesis. We have no natural processes (empirical science) that substantiate either naturalism or ID. Therefore, it is only logical to present the two options to students equally.

How do we compare them? Although there is nothing more that we can say regarding empirical science applied to the hypothesis themselves, we can always look at the evidence that supports/contradicts the models that are presented.

A popular model for naturalism is Darwinian Evolution. A popular model for ID is Biblical Creationism. We can compare these two to any evidence that we can find; transitional fossils would support the Darwinian account and massive flood deposits would support the Biblical account.

Here's the basic layout:

To be academically honest, we should present Naturalism and ID as equal possibilities, then we can give different models of each with evidence that supports or contradicts them.

Does this sound logical to you?

SecDef said...

No, I didn't mean to put forth naturalism; I was trying to say that, as in the miracle of the loaves and fishes, when Jesus created the fish with an appearance of history that they never had (i.e. they looked 3 years old when they were only 1 second old), so He could have done the same with the universe (even though I believe He didn't).

Brian said...

Here's the basic layout:

To be academically honest, we should present Naturalism and ID as equal possibilities, then we can give different models of each with evidence that supports or contradicts them.

Does this sound logical to you?


sure in a Philosophy or Relegion course that would be fine. But in a science course only axiomatic models should be discussed.

Brian said...

I think this is okay article and its from a conservative viewpoint, that explains why ID is not science.

ID/evolution article

David S. MacMillan III said...

Hey Brian,

Here's a sentence from the article. It was good, but it made a few small errors:

Evolution falls on the scientific side of Popper's line. However, this does not confer upon it the kind of status that many presume.

There are two kinds of evolution. There is the part of evolution that is empirical science (natural selection, random mutations, etc., study of a natural process). I have no gripe with teaching this in a science class; it is simply a natural process that we observe today.

Then there is another sort of evolution that is the same kind of "science" as ID. According to the article, this would be metaphysics; I would call it natural history. Natural History is the study of "pre-historic" history; studying present data to discern the events of the past.

When scientists catalogue examples of natural selection, this can be taught in a science class because it is empirical and falsifiable. But when scientists teach that we all got here because of natural selection and random mutations, this crosses over into Natural History. We can't disprove the hypothesis that random mutations and natural selection created life, just like we can't disprove the hypothesis that a supernatural being created life.


sure in a Philosophy or Relegion course that would be fine. But in a science course only axiomatic models should be discussed.

EXACTLY! We have finally come to an agreement.

In a science course, we must limit ourselves to studying axiomatic theories and natural processes. Natural Selection is a natural process that we observe. Biogenetic mutations are natural occurrences that we can observe.

But in a Natural History course, we can compare ID and Naturalism ("maybe it was random mutations and natural selection, or maybe it was something supernatural"). But since both of these are speculations about the past, neither of them are axiomatic and neither of them are falsifiable or proveable.

I don't want to teach ID in a science course. I just don't want people:

A. Teaching hypothesis on Natural History in axiomatic empirical science class,

or B. Excluding ID from a Natural History class on the basis that it is unaxiomatic, unfalsifiable, or unobservable. By definition, Natural History (which includes Naturalism) is unaxiomatic, unfalsifiable, and unobservable.

See?

Brian said...

I guess my question would be, can u describe in any more detail, which part of evolution are metaphysics?

David S. MacMillan III said...

I guess my question would be, can u describe in any more detail, which part of evolution are metaphysics?

Certainly! I would call it Natural History rather than metaphysics; that's a really general term while Natural History is more specific to our discussion.

The study of natural processes such as natural selection and genetics belongs in science class.

But saying that an unobserved combination of natural selection and mutation caused life to develop is not science. It is entirely speculation regarding the past.

There are two ideals regarding Natural History. The first is Naturalism: life evolved through an unobserved natural process. The other is ID or supernaturalism: life came into being through supernatural intelligence.

Neither ideal of Natural History belongs in science class; science studies observed natural processes.

Now if you want to teach natural history and science in the same class, that's your choice. But you can't exclude ID from Natural History because it "isn't science"; by definition Natural History isn't science because it isn't observable, testable, or repeatable.

The theory of macroevolution states that natural selection and mutations combined to bring about life. This is not a theory about current natural processes; this is a theory about what happened millions of years ago.

If it's the study of the present (natural processes we observe) it's perfectly legitimate science.

If it's a theory about the past (ID or Naturalism) it belongs in Natural History class.

See?