Comments on: Ben Stein on Intelligent Design Conservative commentary served up in bite-sized bits Mon, 10 Mar 2008 12:23:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: Doug Payton Mon, 10 Mar 2008 12:23:02 +0000 If it’s religion, then it doesn’t belong in a science class.

Let’s assume that. Then the decision should only touch on whether or not it’s got some hint, some whiff of religion. If it does, it’s out. No need for a judge to rule on it in terms of science. And yet he felt he had to.

(Remember President Thomas Jefferson’s admonitions to keep a strict separation between church and state matters.)

Please understand your history before commenting on it. The Danbury Baptists were asking a specific question and Jefferson was giving a specific answer. The Baptists were concerned specifically about the government interfering in church matters. Jefferson was assuring them it wouldn’t. Too many people read the “separation” clause out of context. If it means what you say it means, then the first act of Congress, to open in prayer, goes against the very first amendment. I have a feeling that the guys who wrote the Constitution had a better idea of what it means than today’s ACLU.

(Wasn’t it Jesus who warned us to allow that which is Caesar’s to be kept separate from the rest, i.e. religion?)

Please understand religion before commenting on it. The question posed to Jesus was whether someone should pay their taxes. Jesus’ answer was simple acknowledgment of both forms of authority; man’s and God’s. It has absolutely nothing to do with church-state separation.

Just wanted to note one thing from your response to Casey:

If I go from the root of a bush to the furthest leaves, every time I reach a branching, I take one branch or another.

But that choice itself is a random selection. So the effect is cumulative, random changes. If you want to consider it non-random, then you need to show who’s making the choice, which one might think sounds a bit like ID.

By: Bernard Kirzner, M.D. Mon, 10 Mar 2008 06:14:27 +0000 Casey,

One of the most astounding confirmations of Darwinian evolution is in the knowledge we now have in genetics, in embryology, in microbiology, etc. Darwin got it right without the substantiating information we now have with newer technology. That’s what good science does. Make predictions which then can be proven or disproved. And Evolution gets a resounding A+ on alternative proffs from many different areas of science. It’s true whether it agrees with Genesis or not.

As for Evolution as a random process, it is only a straw man argument you have, that is a weak idea of what Evolution is which you can then try to show is wrong.

The idea of Evolution by Natural Selection is a decidedly NON_RANDOM process. Mutations are random, but even there, there are only a very limited number of amino acids to be shuffled about. BUT NATURAL SELECTION IS A CUMULATIVE NON-RANDOM PROCESS.

If I go from the root of a bush to the furthest leaves, every time I reach a branching, I take one branch or another. ALL THE OTHER POSSIBILITIES FROM THE BRANCH NOT TAKEN ARE NO LONGER PART OF THE EQUATION. As we branch out we repeatedly make separations, each time eliminating the other possibilities that go with the branch not taken. The effect is cumulative, not random. Scientists don’t talk about Evolution as random, because we know it is not. Creationists talk about Evolution as random as a “straw-man” argument which makes it seem impossible. It’s not random, and it’s not impossible.

And the fossil record is loaded with species after species, phyla and families of creatures and plants with clear transitional structures from fish to land creatures, from land mammals to Whales with residual lower limb bones without feet or legs.

It’s cherry picking that allows one to ignore the reality of Evolution and grasp at tiny cracks. Evolution is not a belief, it’s a conclusion based upon overwhelming scientific information from many different areas of science, independent of each other. Religion is a belief, not needing documentation, but science and specifically Evolutionary biology is a well founded science conclusion.

All this being said, scientists wouldn’t conclude that Intelligent Design is false. It’s untestable by science, so it’s not a science issue. It may be true or it may be false. But either way, Evolution is real, and it’s well tested knowledge.

By: Bernard Kirzner, M.D. Mon, 10 Mar 2008 05:48:03 +0000 Doug.
The reason that Judge Jones had to hear and make legal judgement on ID as science, is that it was/is in a science class that it was to be included. Once ID/Creationists say they/you are really talking about science, not religion, in a science class, not a political debate, not a church sermon, but in a science environment or location….then ID must stand to the same strict standards of proof that all scientific ideas and conclusions must.

If it’s religion, then it doesn’t belong in a science class. (Remember President Thomas Jefferson’s admonitions to keep a strict separation between church and state matters.) (Wasn’t it Jesus who warned us to allow that which is Caesar’s to be kept separate from the rest, i.e. religion?)

If it is being tauted as science than a discussion of ID as science is legitimate and necessary, logically and especially legally. Jones couldn’t make a decision without reviewing whether or not ID was science or “just” religion. And note, a part of the trial clearly showed that ID was nothing but Creationist ideas in sheep’s clothing, i.e. literal interpretations of the bible, presented as science.

By: Casey A. Telling Thu, 25 Oct 2007 02:56:53 +0000 B. Kirzner implies that once we had better technology to study scientific issues we were able to leave the idea of intelligent design behind, and that this is what took place with Galileo. Nothing could be further from the truth. ‘Vertical’ evolution schemes are what are being left behind in the wake of progress in science. When Darwin and his supporters started putting forth their ideas they were very ignorant of the true nature of heredity and genetics. The cell was a total mystery to them so they hallucinated the idea that its contents could come togeher by random actions on chemicals. This is why even nono-religious biology scientists and writers are referring to such evolutionary theorizing as being in a crisis. The idea of vertical evolution runs contrary to our experience and the fossil record. Even if one holds to the evolutionary timescale now popular it is mathematically a virtual impossibility to achieve any kind of useful biological order by random events. Natural selection works on those entities already in existence, not the producing of them. Kirzner is simply out of touch with reality.

By: Doug Payton Tue, 23 Oct 2007 13:07:35 +0000 I’ll just note that quite a number of evolutionists and/or atheists subscribe to the ideas of ID. ID doesn’t name or deal with who or what is the “I” in ID. It’s just a matter of noting the shortcomings of evolution. Darwin himself didn’t try to grapple with how or why life came to be in the first place. It’s only recent Darwinists that have turned evolution into a specifically atheistic philosophy.

Thanks for the pointer.  I read the summary on Wikipedia and more of the article as well.  Indeed, Judge Jones seemed to pass judgment against ID as a scientific theory.  I guess now science is something that is decided by the judicial branch of government rather that, y’know, scientists.  Had he simply passed judgment on the constitutionality or legality of it, that would’ve been one thing.  But he really overstepped his bounds with some of those statements.  One wonders if, regardless of his background, he had some predisposition towards his ruling long before the trial, given the vehement wording of his non-judicial opinions.

By: Bernard Kirzner, M.D. Tue, 23 Oct 2007 11:48:27 +0000 We don’t give time in physics classes in school to the flat earth theory, even though its in the bible.
We don’t give time in astronomy classes in school to theories about the Earth as the center of the Universe, even though in the bible.
We don’t and shouldn’t give time in biology classes for creationism, and its child Intelligent Design, even though it is based upon Bible Science.
Intelligent Design is a philosphical religious theory, which has not and won’t lead to any hypothses to test, no science research, and no articles in real science journals. It just isn’t science.
Why should we waste our students time on theories without scientific merit, when the rest of the world is studying real biology, and leaving the US in the dust, with over half of us not accepting Evolution as a legitimate understanding of the world?
Equal time is fine for a political debate, but this is not a political, or free speech situation. In the world of science, the real world, theories have to stand up to review and counterarguments, which Evolution has done pervasively. Intelligent design has no scientific basis.
If Evolution has holes in the cloth, as Ben Stein is saying, Intelligent Design, doesn’t even have cloth. It just isn’t modern science, its bible science, i.e. science based on outdated understanding of the world.
Galileo could only understand the solar system when the technology improved with telescopes. Until then there was no good way to measure the movements of the planets, sun and stars accurately. Once the equipment improved our understanding improved.
The same with biology, and just about every area od science independently supports evolutionary thinkign and understanding, areas such as genetics, geology, radiation dating of the earth, palientology, embriology.

this isn’t a political debate.

If you stil want to get religon into our classrooms, read the judge’s conclusion about Intelligent Design as science, from the Kitzmiller vs. Dover trial. A bush appointed, republican judge, lsitening the both sides of the arguement about getting Intelligent design in biology classrooms, who had a chance to listen for weeks to both sides with cross examination, and the need to substanciate opinions, came to a resounding rejection of Intelligent Design as science.
Read it before you make a decision. Read all 139 pages of Judge jones’ opinon, not a review of it.
A relatively short version is in Wikipedia: