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What is Intelligent Design?

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Guest $iLk

I'm going to be honest and say that I don't know anything about any current theory that is preached by proponents of Intelligent Design - but I want to share my own understanding of what this theory could be/is and whether or not it is objectionable.

I view science as a field in which observation, testing, and ultimately falsification is in place.

I view religion as either being faith-based, philosophy or otherwise based.

When two people fall in love, they view it in terms such as 'soul mate', or otherwise philosophical views of love. Or they might view it in terms of chemical changes brought about by pheremones, and hormonal fluctuations.

But one thing that religious or philosophical bases of understanding have is a sense of purpose. Science doesn't focus so much on the why things are happening in as much as the observation of exactly what is occuring - to a lesser extent why.

I would view intelligent design as accepting scientific methods in terms of studying or observing - but believing that there is some inherent purpose into why things are working as they are - instead of chalking it up to random accidental coincidence.

Trees absorb carbon dioxide and replace it with oxygen... humans and animals absorb oxygen and replace it with carbon dioxide. This much is known scientifically - but I find myself asking why things fit together as they do.

Why some animals eat meat, why some eat vegetation, why some eat both.

Is it a cosmic accident of the carbon molecules and primordial strands of dna that existed way back when - or was there a purpose at work in everything coming together as it was meant to?

One doesn't have to ridicule believers of intelligent design as 'believers in their imaginary friend in the sky' in order to understand the concept of purpose. I find it an inherently more plausible belief to have than cosmic accident. Things we observe scientifically needn't nullify religious/philosophical belief and vice-versa. I believe it entirely within the realm of possibility that the two go hand in hand.

What are your thoughts?

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First: Science is a philosphy on how to find solutions to problems or awnser questions.

Personnaly, I'm the exact opposite of you. I find it more likely that some random occuarance allowed us to be rather than some powerful being (Of course there is always the anthropic principle). Not that I am saying that we couldn't be created by some being(s) but that somewhere down the line one of those beings were created by "chance", in which case occam's razor steps in and we're then ones who were lucky (or it will unless other facts arise).

Yes science and religion need not contradict each other, but, unfortunatly, religion has had a bad track record on denying facts that don't fit with their belief system (happened in the middle ages with the major Christain faction and is currently happening now with some Islamic states).

If you care, ID in a nutshell is the "theory" (note quotation marks) that life on earth is too complex to exsist without some intelligent being to have had a large infulence on it (which brings up more problems than it solves).

Now hopefully we can have a flame-free discussion.

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Guest $iLk

Well that's what I'm saying is that I believe that everything fits together far too well to be random happenstance.

Also there is this from Saint Augustine:

quote:

Plea to reject nonsense

In his work The Literal Meaning of Genesis (De Genesi ad litteram libri duodecim), Saint Augustine (354-430), embarrassed by Christians who would not accept this implication of the Doctrine of Creation, wrote against them. This translation is by J. H. Taylor in Ancient Christian Writers, Newman Press, 1982, volume 41.

"Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, [..] and this knowledge he holds as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason?"
[1 Timothy 1.7]

I think the "Christians" that give Christianity a bad name are those knee-jerking against 'the devil' whenever their faith is challenged.

My view is that I can take a greater understanding through incorporating science into my worldview and religious views. I haven't seen anything that convinces me that an Intelligence wasn't involved in creating everything.

Regardless of whether it was a literal 6 day creation or 6 'ages' of creation. I'm not certain how to take the Biblical account of Genesis.

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ESSAYS ON ORIGINS:

Can Evolution Produce an Eye? Not a Chance!

by Dr. David N. Menton, Ph.D.

This version copyright © 1994 by:

Missouri Association for Creation

_____________________________________________________________________

[No. 10 in a series] April 1994, Vol. 4, No. 4

_____________________________________________________________________

The human brain consists of approximately 12 billion cells, forming

120 trillion interconnections. The light sensitive retina of the eye

(which is really part of the brain) contains over 10 million

photoreceptor cells. These cells capture the light pattern formed by

the lens and convert it into complex electrical signals, which are then

sent to a special area of the brain where they are transformed into the

sensation we call vision.

In an article in _Byte_ magazine (April 1985), John Stevens compares

the signal processing ability of the cells in the retina with that of

the most sophisticated computer designed by man, the Cray supercomputer:

"While today's digital hardware is extremely impressive, it is

clear that the human retina's real-time performance goes

unchallenged. Actually, to simulate 10 milliseconds (one

hundredth of a second) of the complete processing of even a

single nerve cell from the retina would require the solution of

about 500 simultaneous nonlinear differential equations 100 times

and would take at least several minutes of processing time on a

Cray supercomputer. Keeping in mind that there are 10 million or

more such cells interacting with each other in complex ways, it

would take a minimum of 100 years of Cray time to simulate what

takes place in your eye many times every second."

If a supercomputer is obviously the product of intelligent design,

how much more obviously is the eye a product of intelligent design? And

yet, evolutionists are dead certain that the human eye (and everything

else in nature) came into being by pure chance and the intrinsic

properties of nature! Evolutionists occasionally admit that it is

difficult for even them to believe such a thing. Ernst Mayr, for

example, has conceded that:

"...it is a considerable strain on one's credulity to assume that

finely balanced systems such as certain sense organs (the eye of

vertebrates, or the bird's feather) could be improved by random

mutations." (_Systematics and the Origin of Species_, p. 296).

Evolutionists rarely attempt to calculate the probability of chance

occurrence in their imagined evolutionary scenarios. While there is no

way to measure the probability of chance occurrence of something as

complex as the eye, there are ways to calculate the probability of the

chance occurrence of individual protein molecules that are essential to

life. Over a thousand different kinds of proteins have been identified

in the human body, and each has a unique chemical composition necessary

for its own particular function.

Proteins are polymers, whose chemical composition depends on the

arrangement of many smaller subunits called amino acids. There are 20

different kinds of amino acids that are used to construct the proteins

of all living organisms, including man. These amino acids are linked

together end-to-end (like a string of beads) to form a single protein

macromolecule. The average protein consists of a string of 500 amino

acids. The total number of combinations of 20 different amino acids in

such a string is, for all practical purposes, unlimited. Each protein

in our body, however, must contain a specific sequence of amino acids if

it is to function properly. It is the task of the genetic system in our

cells to organize the assembly of the amino acids into precisely the

right sequence for each protein.

Proteins have been called _informational_ macromolecules because

their amino acid sequence spells out information, in much the same way

as the letters of the alphabet can be arranged to form a sentence or

paragraph. We can appreciate the improbability of randomly assembling

one of the essential proteins of life by considering the probability of

randomly assembling the letters of the alphabet to form even a simple

phrase in English.

Imagine if we were to try to spell out the 23 letters and spaces in

the phrase "THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION" by using the evolutionary principle

of _chance_. We might proceed by randomly drawing characters from a

Scrabble set consisting of the 26 letters of the alphabet plus a space

(for a total of 27). The probability of getting any particular letter

or space in our phrase using this method would be one chance out of 27

(expressed as 1/27). The probability of getting all 23 letters and

spaces in the order required for our phrase can be calculated by

multiplying together the probability of getting each letter and space

(1/27 x 1/27 x 1/27 -- for a total of 23 times). This calculation

reveals that we could expect to succeed in correctly spelling our phrase

by chance, approximately _once_ in eight hundred, million, trillion,

trillion draws! If we were to hurry the process along and draw our

letters at the rate of a billion per second, we could expect to spell

our simple little phrase once in 26 thousand, trillion years! But even

this is a "virtual certainty" compared to the probability of correctly

assembling any one of the known biological proteins by chance!

The 500 amino acids that make up an average-sized protein can be

arranged in over 1 x 10^600 different ways (that's the number ONE

followed by 600 zeros)! This number is vastly larger than the total

number of atomic particles that could be packed into the known universe.

If we had a computer that could rearrange the 500 amino acids of a

particular protein at the rate of a billion combinations a second, we

would stand essentially no chance of hitting the correct combination

during the 14 billion years evolutionists claim for the age of the

universe. Even if our high-speed computer were reduced to the size of

an electron and we had enough of them to fill a room measuring 10

billion light years square (about 1 x 10^150 computers!), they would

still be exceedingly unlikely to hit the right combination. Such a

"room" full of computers could only rearrange about 1 x 10^180

combinations in 300 billion years. In fact, even if all the proteins

that ever existed on earth were _all different_, our "room" full of

computers would be exceedingly unlikely to chance upon the combination

of _any one of them_ in a mere 300 billion years!

Evolutionists counter that the whole probability argument is

irrelevant since evolution is utterly purposeless, and thus never tries

to make anything in particular! They insist, more over, that "natural

selection" makes the impossible, possible. But evolutionists were

vigorously challenged on this claim by mathematicians in a symposium

held at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (the proceedings were

published in the book, _Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian

Interpretation of Evolution_) Murray Eden, Professor of Engineering at

M.I.T. said:

"The chance emergence of man is like the probability of typing at

random a meaningful library of one thousand volumes using the

following procedure: Begin with a meaningful phrase, retype it

with a few mistakes, make it longer by adding letters; then

examine the result to see if the new phrase is meaningful.

Repeat this process until the library is complete."

I will leave it to the reader to consider the probability that an

intelligent Designer and Builder can intelligently design and build an

eye.

_______________________________________________________________________

Dr. Menton received his Ph.D. in Biology from Brown University. He has

been involved in biomedical research and education for over 30 years.

Dr. Menton is President of the Missouri Association for Creation, Inc.

Originally published in:

St. Louis MetroVoice

PO Box 220010

St. Louis, MO 63122

_______________________________________________________________________

Corrections and revisions have been made by the

author from the original published essay.

This text file prepared and distributed

by the Genesis Network (GenNet).

Origins Talk -- (314) 821-1078, Walt Stumper, Sysop.

FidoNet, 1:100/435; FamilyNet, 8:3006/28;

GenNet, 33:6250/1

[email protected]

[email protected]

Voice: (314) 821-1234

Genesis Network I -- (407) 582-1972, Jim Johnston, Sysop.

FidoNet, 1:3609/11; FamilyNet, 8:3111/0;

GenNet, 33:6150/0

CompuServe: 73642,2576

Voice: (407) 582-1880

Contact either of the above systems for

information about file distribution and echos.

--- *** ---

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Hmmm...

If it's acceptable to believe the impetus for intelligent design is purpose then wouldn't one need to identify or define exactly what that purpose is?

So if a God created man to serve him/her, is that our purpose? If so, to what end? Simply to feed his/her ego? If the Universe was created by an intelligent being, why did he/she/it do it?

One can discern as much purpose behind the chaos theory and the seemingly unbelievable events that have led to the existence of all things. That is, that there is no purpose, or at least not one that makes sense to us, which is no different than the God theory.

Ultimately it all comes down to the same question, Why? So when we look at both theories and they both resolve to the same question, it's simply a matter of choice as to which one is believed. I for one prefer to believe the empirical evidence science has provided that answers some of the questions that formed the basis for a belief in God in the first place.

That being said, I've had enough intriguing experiences in my life that cause me to believe that there is far more to this Universe than meets the eye. Maybe there is intelligent design behind it, maybe there isn't.

So to prevent my mind from imploding I just accept things as they are and trust in the instincts we all possess as products of whatever forces brought us into being. (Hmmm that sounds suspiciously like faith!) More importantly I am commited to enjoying my life, thereby lending my own sense of purpose.

When you think about it what better purpose could there be than to simply experience all of the wonderment life has to offer? So does it really matter whether a God created us or if we sprung from a vaccuum?

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quote:

So does it really matter whether a God created us or if we sprung from a vaccuum?


To Christians yes, it does. Very much so. In reality, it matters to all people of faith. In my humble opinion, it SHOULD matter to all people NOT of faith too...

It is the belief that the "Designer" is not just an ambivalent divine kid with an ant farm, but is deeply vested and concerned for us that makes the difference for those who see a difference.

If someone believes in a Creator, but believes HE/SHE/IT is utterly indifferent to our existence, then to them, there probably is no perceivable difference.

As far as purpose, there IS no purpose in chaos. Chaos is the very antithesis of purpose, and thus with purpose and those who strive for purpose frankly detest chaos.

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Guest

Intelligent design is NOT and NEVER can be a scientific theory, it can't EVEN be a hypothesis.

It is NOT scientific.

It is A: Nonfalsifiable

B: God of the gaps, and what happenes when those gaps are filled?

And C: Creationism trying to disguise itself as science, in order to get into the public science class curricculum.

Total and utter NONSENSE...

If ID is considered science, then ASTROLOGY can be considered science.

it IS NOT science, and can NEVER claim TRUTHFULLY to be.

It has NEVER been peer reviewed, it has NEVER been published in ANY scientific journals, because BEHE and OTHERS, KNOW that it won't pass muster, so they have skipped the scientific avenue and have taken it to the political one.

This is NOT what you do with a "scientific" theory, this is what you do when you have something to hide, (not being scientific), yet still want it taught, (go directly to the schoolboards).

Behe and the Discovery institute are snake oil salesman, trying to pass creationism off as science.

Sorry, with me, it's a NO GO!!!

Don't even think about it....

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quote:

Originally posted by Prez:

It is the belief that the "Designer" is not just an ambivalent divine kid with an ant farm, but is deeply vested and concerned for us that makes the difference for those who see a difference.


So how being vested and concerned change the equation? If His concern was so deep than why not protect His children as you would yours? (aside from the usual free-will argument)

quote:

As far as purpose, there IS no purpose in chaos. Chaos is the very antithesis of purpose, and thus with purpose and those who strive for purpose frankly detest chaos.

So what is our purpose in God's creation?

I would argue that lack of purpose is actually a very liberating experience once you come to terms with it, and before you think it, no that doesn't mean "anything goes". As I stated before, I find great comfort in just being.

Jag...

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Guest $iLk

We don't have to know what the purpose is. A chicken being raised in a farm might have delusions of grandeur that it's purpose is to be fed by those caring people who bring it food every day - while it's true purpose isn't apparent until it's head is lopped off.

Whether nefarious or altruistic the purpose might be; some might view it as one or the other, we can still have a purpose for existing - even though we might not be able to grasp what it is.

The purpose of humans in the 'Matrix' being that they were merely living AA batteries.

Who knows? I only need to recognize that there is a purpose and go from there.

I personally - based off events in my own life and moments of deep clarity and things being revealed - believe in the Christian God.

But that does not preclude me from accepting scientific observations... I don't really see the conflict except when people define the problems between religion and science incorrectly.

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quote:

Originally posted by Soback:

ESSAYS ON ORIGINS:

Can Evolution Produce an Eye? Not a Chance!


Sorry, this whole article has been blown out of the water and disproven for the silly thing that it is.

Not only has the eye EVOLVED, but it has evolved 9 different times, in a number of different ways.

Could the eye evolve? Oh yeah, and it can also disapear as well.

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Guest $iLk

Jag, I've taken your argument as well myself on another forum - but after some retrospective thinking, I know that a scientific theory does not always have to be set up as falsifiable. First and foremost science is based on observation. Science itself does not conflict with religious belief - but the semantics of what does and does not constitute a peer-reviewed theory causes conflict.

As I said above - most conflicts I see arise when people (on both sides) define the place of either incorrectly.

Intelligent Design is just as credible based on observation as the idea of "Random occurrence".

How can you falsify the Big Bang?

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quote:

Originally posted by $iLk:

Jag, I've taken your argument as well myself on another forum - but after some retrospective thinking, I know that a scientific theory does not always have to be set up as falsifiable. First and foremost science is based on observation. Science itself does not conflict with religious belief - but the semantics of what does and does not constitute a peer-reviewed theory causes conflict.

As I said above - most conflicts I see arise when people (on both sides) define the place of either incorrectly.

Intelligent Design is just as credible based on observation as the idea of "Random occurrence".

How can you falsify the Big Bang?

It is based on FALSIFIABLE observation, and evidence, there is a HUGE distinction....

Id is NOT falsifiable....

It is god of the gaps, NOTHING more, Since we don't know how this occurred, then GODDIDIT, sorry, that's great for religion, BUT UNACCEPTABLE in science...

OK, I will edit this, The Big Bang.

That is an argument put out by MANY ID proponents, and it's, again, complete and total nonsense.

THe different hypothesis of the Big Bang theory are ALL falsifiable, either through observation now, or through future observation when technology gets better in the future.

EVERY hypothesis put forth MUST be falisifiable in some way, and EVERY REAL scientific hypothesis put forward about the big bang is FALSIFIABLE, whether it's true or not, we can and will find out through further scientific investigation.

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Guest $iLk

What I understand Jag, is that the tenants of the theory of Evolution can be disproven by finding remains of a complex organism of a certain age (like billions of years).

It's set up as falsifiable were we to find a complex organism older than the age at which evolution was said to have begun.

That being said: How is the 'big bang' set up to be falsified?

We barely understand the gravitational relationships of galaxies/solar systems/etc. in space. Our very limited observations into outer space have led some to cook up a 'big bang' theory.

How can you disprove it without being able to go back in time billions/trillions of years?

Might as well say I can prove Intelligent Design if we go back to when the universe began also.

Or the infamous spaghettie monster.

Seriously - the observations have been made. One could also observe the way everything fits together and postulate that perhaps there is purpose or reason - hence Intelligent Design.

Falsifiable I would suppose by proving that things occurred by chance.

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quote:

Originally posted by $iLk:

What I understand Jag, is that the tenants of the theory of Evolution can be disproven by finding remains of a complex organism of a certain age (like billions of years).

It's set up as falsifiable were we to find a complex organism older than the age at which evolution was said to have begun.

That being said: How is the 'big bang' set up to be falsified?

We barely understand the gravitational relationships of galaxies/solar systems/etc. in space. Our very limited observations into outer space have led some to cook up a 'big bang' theory.

How can you disprove it without being able to go back in time billions/trillions of years?

Might as well say I can prove Intelligent Design if we go back to when the universe began also.

Or the infamous spaghettie monster.

Seriously - the observations have been made. One could also observe the way everything fits together and postulate that perhaps there is purpose or reason - hence Intelligent Design.

Falsifiable I would suppose by proving that things occurred by chance.

See my ABOVE edited post...

There are NO observations falsifiable or not for ID, NONE.. ALL obseervations that Behe has put forward have been falsified, as in shown to be untrue.

Behe basically threw up his hands and said, "I can't figure it out, god must have done it." Sorry, AIN'T scientific, and MUCH better scientists then he HAVE figured it out.

And no, complexity has NOTHING to do with evolution, NOTHING.... SO get that out of your head right now.

It has to do with natural selection, and other things, a creature can and will become LESS complex if it gives that creature an advantage, or does NOT need that more complex feature anymore.

Evolution is NOT a goal, it is a natural process, without ANY goals whatsoever, except that it is used to allow a creature to change in order to survive it's environment. We are talking generations here silk, not one creature.

So far we have NOT found human remains at the same level as dinosaur remains etc, BUT, if we ever do, that will falsify a MAJOR component of evolution.

Evolution is scientific, because ALL of it's hypothesis are Falsifiable, in some way shape or form, and it has been proven as much as scientific theory can be "proven" to indeed have been the case, and now with DNA and genetic fingerprinting and study, we can now tell, approximately, when we broke off from a common ancestor. It's fascinating.

If anyone EVER tells you that science questions Evolution as a theory, you can tell them straight out, that they are LYING through their teeth...

When you say, we barely understand, etc, you are trying to go with a god of the gaps excuse.

God of the gaps is UNACCEPTABLE in science, and that's ALL ID is.

Science is NOT afraid to say, "we don't know, YET!!!"

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quote:

Originally posted by Jaguar:

...and now with DNA and genetic fingerprinting and study, we can now tell, approximately, when we broke off from a common ancestor. It's fascinating.

I think this leads to the idea the evolution does happen, but it could be occuring with a little help and guidance from a supreme being?

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quote:

Originally posted by Matchoo:

I think this leads to the idea the evolution does happen, but it could be occuring with a little help and guidance from a supreme being?

That hs NOTHING to do with science, that is a NONfalsifiable assertion.

If you wish to BELIEVE that, in a religious context, hey, be my guest, but NEVER claim that it is scientific, because it's not...

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quote:

Originally posted by Jaguar:

quote:

Originally posted by Matchoo:

I think this leads to the idea the evolution does happen, but it could be occuring with a little help and guidance from a supreme being?

That hs NOTHING to do with science, that is a NONfalsifiable assertion.

If you wish to BELIEVE that, in a religious context, hey, be my guest, but NEVER claim that it is scientific, because it's not...


Well until the time comes that science can prove without a doubt that life came to pass without the help of a supreme being, science had better get used to the idea that MAYBE (I'm not saying it did) life came to pass with the help of a supreme being.

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The trouble stems from the fact that God is not about to part the clouds with His hand and speak with a divine voice we all could hear and know was His. (Or, at least I don't think He is, but who am I to say?)

There was no hand from the sky stopping those planes from crashing into the towers. There was no divine lightning that came down and saved those men who had their heads sawed off after many agonizing hours of terror in captivity in Iraq. No invisible shields protected all of the children in Beslan when the raid went bad. The Tsunami that killed hundreds of thousands, the earthquake in Pakistan - the list goes on and on.

For whatever reason, God has removed Himself from giving the significant and obvious divine aid the Israelites enjoyed in the Old Testament. Does that mean that God has stopped helping mankind? In my opinion, absolutely not. But back when seas were parting and the dead were raised by the Hand of God, faith was somewhat easier to come by. That, in my opinion, is the rub. It is God's plan (in my belief) that those who believe today must come to that belief with only the gentlest of divine prodding and encouragement, so small that it could easily be rationalized away by 100 different explanations. Ultimately, the unverifiability of faith-based subjects is apparently by divine design, and faith will often run counter to logic and science.

What this does is cause believers to mostly respond to challenges of their faith by declaring that the very point of faith is to not 'see' and still believe, much along the lines of what Jesus said to Thomas when they met for the first time after the Resurrection. Conversely, skeptics, doubters, and non-beleivers point to the convenience of this very concept since it in essence requires no proof.

Ultimately, the scientific verification of intelligent design is probably well beyond our capability, and it is probably for a reason. I believe that 'proof' is only necessary for those without faith, or those who aren't sure but are skeptical. Either way, there will be 'proof' one way or another, so I tend to not worry about it too much.

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quote:

Originally posted by Matchoo:

quote:

Originally posted by Jaguar:

quote:

Originally posted by Matchoo:

I think this leads to the idea the evolution does happen, but it could be occuring with a little help and guidance from a supreme being?

That hs NOTHING to do with science, that is a NONfalsifiable assertion.

If you wish to BELIEVE that, in a religious context, hey, be my guest, but NEVER claim that it is scientific, because it's not...


Well until the time comes that science can prove without a doubt that life came to pass without the help of a supreme being, science had better get used to the idea that MAYBE (I'm not saying it did) life came to pass with the help of a supreme being.
Science doesn't have to GET USED to anything.

The people themselves will HAVE TO get used to the idea that there is RELIGION, for nonfalsifiable answers, FAITH, and then there is SCIENCE, that which can be explained with falsifiable evidence and explanations.

It is NOT science that needs to get used to anything, it is people that need to get used to the idea that there are limits in science, and that is JUST the way it is.

Science is NOT religion, and Religion is NOT Science.

You can discuss science in a theology discussion, but you cannot discuss theology in a scientific discussion, because it then becomes a theological discussion.

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Humans are turning to evolution based programs to help solve engineering and other technological problems.

Biggest problem with ID is "who created the creators?" question.

Also, the Bible, Koren are books created by people. I can write one, you can write one, that does not make them undeniable fact. Of course, as always, there is probably some truth to them, just don't be terribly surprised if it dosn't happen to be the truth you want.

Jaguar: I have a feeling you'll have to repeat that several more times.

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Let's stop beating around the bush and agree that the term Intelligent Design is nothing but window dressing a Religion as science in an attempt to make it acceptable to teach as part of a scientific curriculum.

Jag has stated it about as clearly as it can be, it is not scientific.

Prez,

I can understand the aversion to chaos theory, but what if chaos is God's design? All those catastrophies you listed must be beyond God's control right? Maybe that is so because in order to create the Universe he had to do so in a chaotic fashion. What laws is God bound by? If He is not bound by any laws then why would He create a Universe for his blessed children that threatens to wipe them out in countless ways?

$ilk,

How can you state purpose is irrelevant when defining purpose is clearly the impetus and foundation of Religion. Those first questions that asked how and why and resulted in God were an attempt to define cause and purpose. Since science has answered so many of the how's, all we have to do is answer why. For the time being this is the one question neither Science or Religion can answer.

To state purpose is irrelevant, then in the next breath state that all you need is to understand there is one, doesn't make sense. If it is irrelevant as you state, then why even care if there is one?

My whole point is, if one can accept that there is purpose without definition, then why can't one accept spontaneous creation without intelligence?

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Grizzle -

There are those who believe that every single terrible event is a vengeful and angry God punishing those who have sinned. The parallels to them are quite clear - the tsunami and Pakistani earthquake "obviously" were retribution for the evil Muslims perpetrate on the world, they say. Even 9/11 and our recent rash of hurricanes are examples of God's anger at us Americans for ignoring the divine providence that the Founding Fathers themselves wrote about many times being the biggest reason for the existence of America. I have read many articles proclaiming the Jews' massacre during WW2 was their punishment for forsaking their deliverance as the chosen people of God so many times. I could go on, but you get the picture.

There is a reason for this line of thinking of course; the Bible tells us that God has wrought destruction upon mankind before. How much worse could New Orleans be compared to the state Sodom and Ghamorha (spelling?) were described?

The problem comes from men trying to say that they understand the mind of God. Not only is this foolish and arrogant, it is potentially dangerous. Misrepresentation of God's motives by those with no knowledge whatsoever of them weakens and destroys the faith of many who might otherwise try to understand what faith is all about.

I can't give you the answer you are hoping to hear, because the truth is I myself don't know. I have my theories, my educated guesses, but I can't say for sure. I can only say that I BELIEVE that God does what He does without council, for He requires no more than His own, and it is not for us to question, or even understand; only believe. Does this stop me from questioning or trying to understand? What do you think? I AM only human, after all...

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Guest $iLk

By stating that purpose is irrelevant I am (for the sake of discussion) taking a neutral ground on religion - but focusing on the way things are as being the result of intelligence rather than randomness.

I see two choices, hardly a false dilemna that things either occurred randomly - or things occurred as part of an intelligent being's purpose.

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quote:

Originally posted by $iLk:

By stating that purpose is irrelevant I am (for the sake of discussion) taking a neutral ground on religion - but focusing on the way things are as being the result of intelligence rather than randomness.

I see two choices, hardly a false dilemna that things either occurred randomly - or things occurred as part of an intelligent being's purpose.

The first can be scientifically proven, in other words with Falsifiable evidence.

The 2nd cannot be falsifiably proven, therefore it is NOT and CAN not be considered scientific.

Just as ID is NOT scientific, and therefore should NOT even be considered teachable in a SCIENCE class.

Any other class is fine with me, but NOT science class, because it is NOT science, and has NO place next to an ACTUAL scientific theory like evolution.

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