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Herald article on Intelligent Design


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#1 ubizmo

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 12:03 PM

A week or so ago, I got a call from an old friend whom I met by being a UB reader. He said that he had just read the article on Intelligent Design in The Fellowship Herald and thought I might have been the anonymous author. As it happens, I still get the Herald in the mail, and it was sitting there on my desk, but I hadn't had a chance to look at it. But I was pretty sure I hadn't written anything for it!

I read the article, and was very flattered that anyone might think that I had written it, since it's very well written. It makes no mention of the UB at all, but is as good a synopsis of the Intelligent Design movement and its background as anything you'll find anywhere.

Michael Behe's book, Darwin's Black Box, was originally published in 1996. It caused a huge uproar, which continues to this day. I read it shortly after it was released, and my first response was to write to Behe and ask how he managed to keep his job at Lehigh. I know that universities can find ways to get around tenure. Anyway, I eventually had several opportunities to attend public conferences where Behe presented his views. I was amazed at the way he was treated. I'd never before seen such naked and intense hostility directed at anyone.

I'd been reading the UB for about three years at that point, but Behe's book wasn't my first brush with criticism of Neo-Darwinism. I'd read Michael Denton's book Evolution: A Theory in Crisisabout ten years earlier. Denton's treatment is not a defense of Intelligent Design--the term didn't event exist then--or any other view. It's just a scientific critique of Neo-Darwinism. Still, it was news to me at that time that there were "real" scientists who didn't accept Neo-Darwinism. In my education, I had been fully indoctrinated in the view that only religious fanatics with dubious scientific credentials had doubts. When I finally started reading the UB in 1993, I already had pretty serious doubts about Neo-Darwinism and was extremely interested in the UB's treatment of evolution. This is why, when Behe's book came out in 1996, it struck me pretty forcefully.

Creationism had been around for a long time, and it never interested me in the slightest, but Intelligent Design is a very different thing (despite the attempts by its opponents to blur the two together). I think this is one of the more interesting cases of the UB being ahead of its time. Intelligent Design isn't a scientific discovery so much as a new interpretation of evidence, although much of that evidence wasn't yet available when the UB was written and published. This has been, and continues to be, for me one of the more compelling aspects of the UB, even though I don't have enough scientific expertise to make a truly informed judgment about these matters.

I recommend the Herald piece to anyone interested in this subject.

#2 -Scott-

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 04:39 PM

Yea that is a very interesting story Todd. I can't imagine alot of people in the 1930's using a type of defence such as this one for intellegent design hahahaha.


65:4.3 Many features of human life afford abundant evidence that the phenomenon of mortal existence was intelligently planned, that organic evolution is not a mere cosmic accident...

36:6.4 When the Life Carriers have designed the patterns of life, after they have organized the energy systems, there must occur an additional phenomenon; the "breath of life" must be imparted to these lifeless forms. The Sons of God can construct the forms of life, but it is the Spirit of God who really contributes the vital spark. And when the life thus imparted is spent, then again the remaining material body becomes dead matter. When the bestowed life is exhausted, the body returns to the bosom of the material universe from which it was borrowed by the Life Carriers to serve as a transient vehicle for that life endowment which they conveyed to such a visible association of energy-matter.


The vital spark--the mystery of life--is bestowed through the Life Carriers, not by them. They do indeed supervise such transactions, they formulate the life plasm itself, but it is the Universe Mother Spirit who supplies the essential factor of the living plasm. From the Creative Daughter of the Infinite Spirit comes that energy spark which enlivens the body and presages the mind.


If one man craves freedom -- liberty -- he must remember that all other men long for the same freedom

#3 ubizmo

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 05:02 PM

Yea that is a very interesting story Todd. I can't imagine alot of people in the 1930's using a type of defence such as this one for intellegent design hahahaha.


The only one I can think of is Teilhard de Chardin, who died in 1955, but his view of guided evolution wasn't nearly as scientifically grounded as Behe's.

#4 HSTa

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 01:46 PM

Iím not very familiar with all the theories, but I found a lot of reading resulting from this thread. Wanted to say something anyway, so I just wrote this:

I feel a little like the watchmaker, because I have worked a lot with (electronic) clocks.

Posted Image

The watchmaker analogy, or watchmaker argument, is a teleological argument for the existence of God. By way of an analogy, the argument states that design implies a designer. The analogy has played a prominent role in natural theology and the "argument from design," where it was used to support arguments for the existence of God and for the intelligent design of the universe.
William Paley in 1802


http://en.wikipedia....chmaker_analogy


Then there was Sir Fred Hoyle, whom I briefly even discussed the Urantia-book with:

http://www.coppit.org/god/hoyle.php

Hoyle realized that there can be some variation in the exact sequence, so the odds would be reduced to one in 10^20, and for Abiogenesis Groving to 10^40000.

Hoyle on Evolution:

The serious part of the Kellogg symposium provided Sir Fred Hoyle with an opportunity for a moderate (and self-critical) statement of his case for disbelieving conventional views about the evolution of the Universe, the "big bang" among them. Hoyle has been associated with the Kellogg laboratory since his collaboration in the mid-195Os with W.A. Fowler and the two Burbidges (Margaret and Geoffrey), now known as the gang of four, on the problem of nucleogenesis.


10^20 is not far from the number of stars in the grand universe, according to the UB glasses of water in the oceans analogy.

The came the The Blind Watchmaker:

The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design, by
Richard Dawkins, 1986.


Can we see any light today; will the Blind Watchmaker be cured?

#5 ubizmo

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 07:10 PM

The key point about Intelligent Design that distinguishes it from most versions of creationism is that it doesn't reject evolution. While most creationists argue that the various species, or at least classes of species, were created separately and have no common ancestors, ID (at least as Behe does it) accepts the common descent of all organisms, a cornerstone of evolutionary theory. ID parts company with Neo-Darwiniwm, of course, in claiming that in order for this evolution to take place, a great deal of complexity had to be "front-loaded" into the original life forms.

This is why many creationists reject ID. And of course, this front-loading is precisely what is hinted at in the UB. The original life implantations, carefully "formulated" for conditions on this planet, had to have been jammed with all the genes that would be needed for evolution to take place.

The UB's account is a version of what Francis Crick called (and later recanted) "directed panspermia."

Another point deserves to be emphasized. Neo-Darwinist apologists such as Dawkins like to make the point that the evidence points to imperfect design, not the handiwork of an omniscient Designer. Here, the UB's vision of a hierarchically organized superuniverse fits perfectly. The formulation of planetary life is handled by beings who are advanced beyond our ability to understand, but they are not infallible. Moreover, we are told that some things didn't turn out as planned on our experimental world. The UB addresses this in a way that the "flatter" traditional theology cannot.

#6 -Scott-

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 12:56 AM

I always chuckle to myself when I think what kind of courage it would have taken and still does to say that an Elephants and Horses have superior mind's to Chimpanzee's and the higher primates. hahahaha. WHAT!? The scientific world would have you hanged!.

Or that animals only function threw Motor behaviour. WHAT?! animals have no personality,no insight, no soul!!..que child screams across the globe "awww but Patch -our dog- loves me" .....

Edited by boomshuka, 04 August 2011 - 12:59 AM.

If one man craves freedom -- liberty -- he must remember that all other men long for the same freedom

#7 Howard509

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:01 PM

According to Michael Behe's court testimony, Intelligent Design has such a broad definition of scientific theory that astrology would be included as science. The judge appointed by the Bush administration concluded that ID is religion, not science. What positive evidence for design has ID proposed that can hold up to scientific scrutiny?

According to their own internal document, "the wedge strategy," the Intelligent Design movement is really a right-wing political and religious cause:

http://en.wikipedia..../Wedge_strategy

Edited by Howard509, 07 January 2013 - 04:09 PM.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience. -
Teilhard de Chardin


#8 Howard509

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:56 PM

Astrology is scientific theory, courtroom told
http://www.newscient...troom-told.html

Again, if Intelligent Design is a scientific theory, why can't it stand up in court and why hasn't it been published in peer-reviewed science journals?

While I accept design as a matter of faith, what demonstrable, peer-reviewed evidence makes it a scientific fact?

According to the late evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, science and religion are two non-overlapping magisteria. Science as a discipline has nothing to say whether for or against the existence of an intelligent designer.

http://en.wikipedia....ping_magisteria

The purpose of science is to find natural explanations for what we observe in the natural world, just as a plumber looks for natural explanations to conduct his work. There is nothing about evolution that inherently contradicts theistic belief, if one is willing to welcome it as God's method of creation.

A few years ago, I actually wrote an opinion article on Intelligent Design for which I interviewed an evolutionary biologist at a Catholic university. He had a lot to say about the non-scientific nature of Intelligent Design and the compatibility of evolution and faith.

When I attended a lecture by Jonathon Wells, he intentionally quoted Charles Darwin out of context to say that evolution excludes design in the universe, when the actual quote says the exact opposite. When I asked him during the Q and A session what his involvement was with the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, he said that he'd only discuss it in private.

When I asked Wells about his homepage at the Unification Church website which says that he earned his degree in biology specifically because Moon instructed him to "destroy Darwinism," Wells lied to my face by saying that Moon actually told him not to earn the degree.

When I asked Wells why we share endogenous retroviral insertions with chimps, he said that, rather than it being from common descent, God may have used a chimp's embryo in creating Adam and Eve.

If Wells is such a charlatan and liar, what does that say about Behe and other members of the Discovery Institute? Let's not forget that the judge who overturned Intelligent Design in Dover is a Republican and a churchgoer. Even he saw through their religious and political agenda.

In April 2010, the American Academy of Religion issued Guidelines for Teaching About Religion in K-12 Public Schools in the United States, which included guidance that Creation Science or intelligent design should not be taught in science classes, as "Creation science and intelligent design represent worldviews that fall outside of the realm of science that is defined as (and limited to) a method of inquiry based on gathering observable and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning." However, they, as well as other "worldviews that focus on speculation regarding the origins of life represent another important and relevant form of human inquiry that is appropriately studied in literature or social sciences courses. Such study, however, must include a diversity of worldviews representing a variety of religious and philosophical perspectives and must avoid privileging one view as more legitimate than others."[137]
http://en.wikipedia....design#Reaction


If there is an Intelligent Design book I could read published after the Dover decision that provides positive evidence for design, instead of a god of the gaps line of argument, I'd be happy to read it. I obviously don't have a bias against evidence for God's design as such. It just has to follow scientific standards.

Edited by Howard509, 16 January 2013 - 12:46 AM.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience. -
Teilhard de Chardin





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