Tuesday, October 23, 2007

No Intelligence Allowed

 
Ben Stein is the star of a new film that's about to be released. It's called Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed and it's supposed to document the behavior of the evil atheist Darwinists who are suppressing the truth about how life began. (It was God that did it, dummy.)

Stein is interviewed by Bill O'Reilly, providing us with an excellent example of the intelligence that's being expelled from scientific debate. Why in the world should we have any respect for the opinion of Ben Stein?



One of the things that constantly amazes me about this issue is how people like Bill O'Reilly can survive on a major TV network. I guess intelligence isn't a requirement.


[Hat Tip: PZ Myers at Pharyngula (Two people vying to out-stupid each other)]

22 comments :

  1. Yeah, I know, tell me about it. Bill's a nut. I think people watch his show to feel smart. You don't get 'em much creepier than O'Reilly.

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  2. One of the things that constantly amazes me about this issue is how people like Bill O'Reilly can survive on a major TV network. I guess intelligence isn't a requirement.

    You think?!

    I'd go further and say it often seems like a handicap.

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  3. Yes please, let's have all the cards on the table.
    1) Abiogenesis and the theory of evolution are not the same.
    2)ID/Creationism is not a theory purely a belief.
    2) Einstein did not believe in a personal god.
    3) Yes, Newton did work within a religious framework, that's why he had to keep his work on alchemy well hidden.
    4) If these people believe in being open why did they have to lie to Prof Dawkins and Myer to get them on film.

    Oh for an interviewer with intelligence and a scientific education but, like politicians, being rational and ethical is a contraindication in their line of work.

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  4. Ben Stein sounds as though he wants to be fair; he admits that evolution is a good theory, that the alternatives might be wrong or even that they may be stupid, but wants them to be aired. He is looking for a level playing field, academic parity in the debate between evolutionists and anti-evolutionists. No doubt Larry will feel that this is like flat earthers asking for scientific parity, but round-earth theory is not as open-ended an object as evolutionary theory.

    Although I favor evolution as an explanation, I realize what a can of worms I’ve taken on board (the alternatives are even bigger cans of worms). Each aspect of evolution is a complex and open-ended domain of study - from the efficacy of mutation to ‘compute’ organic structures, through dating techniques and guessed evolutionary scenarios, to questions about whether the fossil record is as it should be assuming evolution. In view of the state of evolutionary theory I have to admit that as a non-specialist member of the public I’m in no position to throw the apparent reasonableness of Ben Stein back into his face. Moreover, I personally try to cultivate a certain reserve toward the ideas I hold, whether they are evolution or theism (another can of worms). An emotional sell out to a set of ideas can be very intellectually debilitating. In contrast criticism and science benefit from cool self-analysis.

    But it’s easy for me to talk about being cool – I fortunately lack vested interest. As an example of vested interest take the ID community. ID notions are now bound up with lecture circuits, reputations, institutes, corporate donations, big money, big names, and above all a large mass of ID followers who need feeding from time to time with bulletins. If I may use a biological metaphor: ID concepts are now ‘genotypes’ in symbiotic relationship with the ‘phenotype’ of a human sub-community. Hence organic structures (like the notorious ‘flagellum’), which originally might have been posed as a useful test case for evolutionary theory, now have interpretations that affect the interests of an interest group thus increasing their resilience in the face of contra–evidence. This is not a good atmosphere for science.

    But are evolutionists exempt from similar temptations? Good science demands a degree of detachment from ones own ideas, a detachment that makes it easier to admit error. This detachment is not easy to cultivate when science is turned into a spectator sport. It gets even worse, as we have seen with intelligence and genetics, if it gets political. Remember Lysenko?

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  5. Timothy V Reeves says,

    Ben Stein sounds as though he wants to be fair; he admits that evolution is a good theory, that the alternatives might be wrong or even that they may be stupid, but wants them to be aired. He is looking for a level playing field, academic parity in the debate between evolutionists and anti-evolutionists. No doubt Larry will feel that this is like flat earthers asking for scientific parity, but round-earth theory is not as open-ended an object as evolutionary theory.

    The key phrase there is "anti-evolutionist." You can't oppose evolution in a knee-jerk irrational manner and expect to be welcomed by the scientific community. You also can't oppose scientific facts—that's why YECs won't get tenure.

    There's plenty of room left for dissent. Michael Behe, for example, should not be kicked out of his department and neither should Scott Minnich or Michael Denton.

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  6. Larry Moran can’t kill the message, so he takes aim at Bill O’Reily.

    Scientific reality should be overwhelmingly affirming evolution theory after 150 years; instead, it increasingly reveals anti-random, pro-design characteristics.

    The more I visit Sandwalk, the more I am convinced that either its creator and fans don't realize that their naturalistic worldview clouds their view of scientific reality, just as a young-Earther’s view of scientific reality is clouded by their homemade, non-orthodox Christian doctrine. Or, Larry and fans do realize it and simply refuse to admit it.

    It was not that many months ago that Larry Moran suggested that a student who successfully complies with and passes all the academic requirements for a degree in natural science should be denied a diploma, due exclusively to his personal young-Earth beliefs. Isn’t that suppression? And, why would students be suppressed and not professors who do not fall in line with naturalistic dogma, like Guillermo Gonzalez?

    The idea that this argument is about ‘intelligence’ is a smoke screen. It’s about honesty.

    Dragon

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  7. Anonymous says,

    It was not that many months ago that Larry Moran suggested that a student who successfully complies with and passes all the academic requirements for a degree in natural science should be denied a diploma, due exclusively to his personal young-Earth beliefs. Isn’t that suppression?

    "Suppression" isn't the word I would use in a case like that. I believe it's only common sense to refuse to grant a degree in natural history to someone who believes the Earth is only 6000 years old and evolution never happened.

    Let's think of an analogy. Imagine someone who believes that Napoleon never existed and the Napoleonic wars are made-up fantasy. On questioning, they tell you with a straight face that Trafalger never happened and Waterloo is a myth. Imagine that such a person applies to graduate with a degree in history.

    Would you give it to them?

    And, why would students be suppressed and not professors who do not fall in line with naturalistic dogma, like Guillermo Gonzalez?

    I would not grant tenure to an Assistant Professor in a science department who rejected evolution and claimed that the Earth was only 6000 years old.

    I would not grant tenure to an Assistant Professor in a history department who claimed that Napoleon never existed.

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  8. Now, Larry that does give me the jitters to say the least: that is, refusing to grant first degrees in natural history to YEC ‘kid’ undergraduates, who, after all are merely being asked to jump through some examination hoops in order to secure their diplomas. Principles revolving round access rights to education and freedom of choice are at stake here. It’s different at the tenure/research stage, as members of a faculty have got to be able to work together as a team, and in any case modern ‘natural history’ IS evolutionary theory in many respects.

    Hi Dragon: As the notion of ‘intelligence’ has such a key role in ID this invites questions about the nature of intelligence and how it achieves what it does. The irony is that the operation of intelligence, as I understand it, has some features in common with evolution itself: incremental assembly, trial, error, searching, rejecting and selecting, and above all an ability to adapt (hence complex ‘adaptive systems’). To me evolution is a kind of intelligence, but a limiting kind of intelligence, where the ‘cognitive performance parameters’ are ramped down towards the limit of the lower end. But having said that there is a caveat: randomness, which is the ‘informational’ resource of evolution, is not a trivial concept that we can ignore as unproblematic.

    PS although I am a theist I favor the standard evolutionary view.

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  9. Timothy V Reeves says,

    Now, Larry that does give me the jitters to say the least: that is, refusing to grant first degrees in natural history to YEC ‘kid’ undergraduates, who, after all are merely being asked to jump through some examination hoops in order to secure their diplomas.

    They aren't kids, they're adults, and adults take responsibility for their own education.

    There should be more to getting a degree than merely "jumping through some examination hoops." You should also be able to demonstrate that you really learned the material. This is why so many undergraduate science degrees require a "thesis" of some sort and an oral exam.

    I'd really like to see all students pass an exit exam before we give them a degree. This will separate the truly educated from those who just have enough smarts to pass the exams.

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  10. OK, conceded, not kids and not hoops. But can we deny YEC undergraduates a degree if they show evidence that they have fully understood natural history and evolution as a system of thought regardless of their lack of commitment to it. (In fact it’s a bit like studying theology - you can get a degree in it without believing a word of it.) This seems to set a very dangerous precedent to me. What about the principles of access rights to education and freedom of choice?

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  11. But can we deny YEC undergraduates a degree if they show evidence that they have fully understood natural history and evolution as a system of thought regardless of their lack of commitment to it.

    This isn't history. You don't fully understand biology if you reject the basic principles.

    (In fact it’s a bit like studying theology - you can get a degree in it without believing a word of it.)

    That's quite different. You are being asked to understand the history of religious thought. It's like getting a degree in nineteenth century literature. You don't have to believe the novels in order to appreciate them.

    This seems to set a very dangerous precedent to me. What about the principles of access rights to education and freedom of choice?

    What are you talking about? You are free to believe that 2 + 2 = 5 but that doesn't mean we have to give you a degree in mathematics just for trying. Similarly, you are free to believe that evolution never happened and all the fossils are less than 6000 years old but that doesn't mean you get a degree in paleontology for believing that scientists are idiots.

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  12. You guys are missing the point Proff. Moran explained rather well.

    Science is a work-in-progress and evolution is the central dogma with regards to all Biology.

    You shouldn't give a degree to a person in a particular field if their beliefs (as that is wut they are--nuthin more) are in COMPLETE contradiction with well established scientific fact. His example regardin a history student was dead on.

    Believing in a creator is one thing but denying observable phenomena and physical fact is a whole other thing (certain ppl will always believe the Earth is a few thousand yrs old even when they are faced with piles of irrefutable evidence). Believing in something to the extent that you are willing to deny physical reality...I don't know...Seems mighty ignorant to me. Science should NOT turn a blind eye towards ignorance--it's poison.

    I imagine the scientific community would be more than happy to teach creationism in schools if there was empirical evidence to support it.

    However, scientists can only work with empirical, testable concepts and materials. Nothing more. That's why it aint bein taught.

    But I'm a 2nd yr Molecular Gen/Microbio. undergrad. What do I know?

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  13. Larry, I've regretfully only got time to respond to you first response to me.

    Respectfully, your analogies don’t work because they embody the same obvious naturalistic bias that I previously pointed out. They assert that only young-Earthers don’t believe the obvious.

    Young-Earthers misinterpret the Bible by overlooking the fact that over twenty chapter-long narratives in the Bible coincide with what natural science tells us about the creation of the universe and Earth. They reject accepted science. They do this to explain their doctrine.

    Naturalists believe that life began in a pre-biotic soup, even though there in not one scintilla of geological or any other kind of evidence that anything close to a pre-biotic soup ever existed. They do this to explain their doctrine.

    Young-Earthers place their faith in special revelation (scripture) and reject natural revelation (science), and naturalists place their faith in natural revelation and reject special revelation. A progressive creationist sees complete consistency between both and as a result there is more to be gained by both science and what you would probably call metaphysics – the meaning and purpose of life, not just its existence.

    Dragon

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  14. Dragon says,

    Young-Earthers misinterpret the Bible by overlooking the fact that over twenty chapter-long narratives in the Bible coincide with what natural science tells us about the creation of the universe and Earth. They reject accepted science. They do this to explain their doctrine.

    Because YEC's reject science they don't deserve to get a science degree. This isn't difficult to understand.

    Naturalists believe that life began in a pre-biotic soup, even though there in not one scintilla of geological or any other kind of evidence that anything close to a pre-biotic soup ever existed. They do this to explain their doctrine.

    I assume that use are using "naturalists" to mean atheists. Atheists are people who haven't bought into any of the stories about supernatural beings. (Religious people, on the other hand, only reject 99.9% of the stories.)

    When it comes to explaining the origin of life, atheists can only speculate because there's very little hard evidence at the present time. Naturally (pun intended) this speculation doesn't involve supernatural beings since atheists see no evidence that such beings exist.

    It's not true that scientists in general "believe" in a pre-biotic soup. That's one of several possibilities. The real position of scientists (and atheists) is that they don't know how life began.

    Young-Earthers place their faith in special revelation (scripture) and reject natural revelation (science), and naturalists place their faith in natural revelation and reject special revelation.

    If by "naturalists" you mean atheists then it's true that they don't look to supernatural beings in order to explain of the natural world. It's not true that they put their "faith" in natural revelation, it's just that they have failed to be convinced that there's any other kind of "revelation." There's a big difference between how you express this position and how I express it.

    Let me ask a question that may help you understand. I assume you don't believe in the tooth fairy, right? Would it be accurate for me to describe your position as putting your faith in the non-existence of the tooth fairy?

    A progressive creationist sees complete consistency between both and as a result there is more to be gained by both science and what you would probably call metaphysics – the meaning and purpose of life, not just its existence.

    Very few "progressive creationists" see complete consistency between their religious beliefs and science.

    I've often heard religious people say that there's more to be gained by combining science and religion. Can you explain this? Use a neutral example like the religion of the ancient Greeks. What more did they gain by believing in their gods?

    I don't think there is a special meaning and purpose to life. What do you think I'm missing that makes you a better person than me?

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  15. Sorry Larry, I don’t want to disrupt your very interesting debate with Dragon (which I’ll leave to you, although I’m reading it) but I am disturbed by the a-priori refusal to grant YECs degrees.

    Now, given that YECs may harbor contempt for what you do (e.g. believing scientists are idiots) I certainly have sympathy with you when you say this:

    Because YEC's reject science they don't deserve to get a science degree

    But to express this opinion is one thing; to article it, formalize it and institutionalize it is another.

    You can study a novel as if it’s real life, as if it has no real world context flagging it as fiction. Similarly theology can be studied stripped of any context that might challenge its veracity, and that’s called ‘dogmatic theology’. Likewise, from the YEC point of view evolution can be studied ‘dogmatically’, and in principle it is possible for a YEC to come to an understanding of evolution as just so many counter factuals. Now, you and I would both vehemently disagree with the context that YECs have created (a context that is mixture of bogus logic and conspiracy theory) that reinterprets ‘dogmatic evolution’ as a lie from hell. But whilst these extra-curricular beliefs do not impinge upon a ‘dogmatic’ treatment of evolution I feel that these private ‘contextualising’ beliefs are beyond the scope of what a university department is being asked to examine. Although in practice it is likely that YEC beliefs would affect the quality of their work, and so accordingly you could refuse a degree on more conventional grounds, I’m very much against the precedent set up by penalizing YEC degree candidates via an institutionalized refusal to grant them degrees even if their work is completed to a satisfactory standard. This smacks of religious persecution. Where is it going to stop? Who next is for the ‘legal’ chop because some one finds their private beliefs offensive? As a theist this makes me feel very insecure. Unless we can show that a person’s private beliefs seriously impact our social conditions I believe it is wrong to deny them society’s services. Institutions have no right to probe this deeply into people’s inner lives.

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  16. Moran says… “Because YEC's reject science they don't deserve to get a science degree. This isn't difficult to understand.”

    Dragon replies…
    1. As much as the young-Earther’s view of science is distorted, there are still many things that can be done with a science degree, besides use it to evangelize naturalism and atheism.
    2. There are big questions here. Should a publicly funded university discriminate based on religion, and should a privately funded religious university discriminate based on so-called non-religion. (I believe that atheism is a religion, simply with an unorthodox object of worship.) Therefore, for a private Christian school to refuse to issue a diploma to an atheist / naturalist would be just as suspect, in my mind.

    Moran says… “When it comes to explaining the origin of life, atheists can only speculate because there's very little hard evidence at the present time.”

    Dragon replies… If the Genesis (pun intended) of evolution theory is ‘speculation’ and actually aligns more with a supernatural, interventionist view, they should publicly and honestly say so, instead of presenting evolution (as good a proposition as it is) as a virtual fact.

    Moran says… “Naturally (pun intended) this speculation doesn't involve supernatural beings since atheists see no evidence that such beings exist.”

    Dragon replies… There you go again, pointing out the bias (spec) in the eyes of others and denying the bias (log) in your own eye. I don’t think the exclusion of the supernatural from speculation is “Natural.” I think it is a free and deliberate choice, exactly like the young-Earthers choose to deny the reality of science. The Bible and science are both like a spectrum. One end is plainly obvious and provable. The other end is mysterious and will never be known. The middle is open for testing and INTERPRETATION! Interpretation is inevitably colored by one’s adopted worldview.

    Moran says … “Would it be accurate for me to describe your position as putting your faith in the non-existence of the tooth fairy?”

    Dragon replies… The tooth fairy can’t be tested. There is nothing to correlate, as there is with the extensive record of the Bible and all the people places and events recorded in it. Unlike the tooth fairy, both science and the Bible actually invite investigation and testing (“Test everything.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21). So, just like Christians (progressive creationists) test science, atheists are invited to test scripture, especially the hundreds and hundreds of implied and explicit predictions related to natural phenomena. If you don’t test it (scripture), you won’t “see” the correlation and consistency with revealed science. Interesting! - That you would use an analogy that relies on the actual reality of a parent to place the money under the pillow.

    Dragon

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  18. I think there is no mechanism that will effectively stop creationists from obtaining their degrees and exiting the university. As long as they hypocritically know how to answer what they know is expected from them, they may pass through all the sieves. They have proven they can do that. So, while I fully agree that anybody who maintains the earth is 6000 years old should not get a title in geology or natural history, but there is no simple solution to the problem (like an exit test). In fact, such "simple solutions" end up making the roght view as being dogmatically imposed upon students. Anyone can swear allegiance to naturalism for practical purposes, much like many have had to swear allegiance to god for prcatical resons (whether they believed it or not)

    The problem come form within science. Yes, I'm saying that ID is a secondary symptom of some decadence form within science itself. The solution is for science to perfect itself, by 1) discouraging and avoiding any facile ideology within sicence (for instance, adaptationism-utradarwinism) 2) recognizing the need that scientists be philosophically literate. That is we must expell this "scientistic" premise that philosophy is just BS or useless in science. That is part of the narrowness and mediocrity that got us here in the first place.


    It is a pretty historical fat that "stray" academics like behe have hyped up ID. Scientists may realize the insufficiencies of ultradarwinism, but having no preparation in the philosophical domain, they become confused and interpret this to mean that supernaturalism must be embraced (usually a happy "coincidence" since such scientists usually come from a highly religious background).

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  19. Dragon said…”A progressive creationist sees complete consistency between both (science and the Bible - wherever the two overlap) and as a result there is more to be gained by both science and what you would probably call metaphysics – the meaning and purpose of life, not just its existence.”

    Moran replies… “Very few "progressive creationists" see complete consistency between their religious beliefs and science. I've often heard religious people say that there's more to be gained by combining science and religion. Can you explain this? Use a neutral example like the religion of the ancient Greeks. What more did they gain by believing in their gods? I don't think there is a special meaning and purpose to life. What do you think I'm missing that makes you a better person than me?”

    Dragon replies… First of all and most certainly, especially since I have had the pleasure of meeting you, I DO NOT think of myself as a better person than you! Where does that come from? I think you are a gifted man in many ways and you are blessed and privileged to do what you do for your own professional aspirations and personal pleasure. Further, we all profit from the hard, sometimes tedious and beneficial work you and your peers do, naturalist or otherwise. I respect you and your work.

    Whether there are “Very few progressive creationists who see complete consistency between their religious beliefs and science” or not is debatable and irrelevant. If you are under that impression, it’s possible that (respectfully!) you may need to get out more and spend some time with some progressive creationists who are not cloistered in a university environment and who are fully qualified in both science and theology.

    Further, all religions are not all alike. Every religion cannot be true, especially since many are diametrically opposed. If they were all true, none would be true, because truth and falsehood would lose their meaning. I am unable to be neutral. Judeo Christianity stands apart not only from the polytheism of the Greeks and pantheism of the Eastern religions, but all others as well. When ‘tested’ (scientific method), no religious book, besides the Bible, is found to have an accurate predictive record of natural phenomena that is completely consistent with what archeology, anthropology and science have revealed, and therefore, no other book has the explanatory power of the Bible. All other religious books have incomplete, inconsistent and contradictory records, concerning creation accounts and verifiable natural phenomena.

    Simply put, informed Christians can watch as science is tested and they can do the same with scripture. They see both to be in agreement, wherever there is an overlap of the two. That’s not the same as “combining science and religion.” That’s not my suggestion. I said that they could both “gain,” not become the same. It’s hard for me to explain how, except to make a poor example. I remind you that I am an amateur’ not a ‘pro’ like you. It seems to me that a female obstetrician must have wonderful insight into the beginning of life. If that woman becomes a mother, she must gain an amazingly new and profound understanding of all she previously knew about the beginning of a new human life. The Christian scientists that I know, have a similar experience with their understanding of science and faith.

    Your question about the “special meaning and purpose to life” is too much for me to handle off-the-cuff, and as an amateur at theology as well as science, people far better than me have struggled with questions like that. I am humbled and overwhelmed by it. Therefore, I will try to answer it one week from today.

    Dragon

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  20. Larry Moran asked …, “What do you think I'm missing that makes you a better person than me?”

    Dragon replies … I’ve already answered that question by expressing personal and professional respect for your person. It’s my worldview that I think is better.

    Moran also said… “I don't think there is a special meaning and purpose to life.”

    Dragon replies … I (an ‘amateur’) decided not to try to form the perfect response, after consultation with my (‘pro’) friends. So, here is my feeble attempt to respond to your adopted worldview.

    A good rational worldview requires testing, just like natural science. Passing the test requires a worldview to possess coherence, explanatory power and the need to explain the internal (non-physical needs) of people. Maybe you can see from the comparison below how a Christian would see coherence in the idea of a supreme Creator God that is so much like them. Maybe you an see how Christians could see explanatory power in the Bible, which has demonstrated predictive power and consistency with the natural world for over four thousand years, and also addresses the deep internal human needs of people. In the end, for Christians and non-Christians alike, it will always come down to the veracity of the Bible.

    After making the eleven comparisons below, the only reason I see for naturalists denying a degree to a non-naturalist student or tenure to a non-naturalist professor would be because the naturalists can, and because they think they’re worldview is better.

    Naturalist Universe - Originated from nothing and without a plan or purpose. Original creation ‘event’ had no ‘cause’, at least not a purposeful, intelligent cause.
    Christian Universe - Created from nothing by infinite, eternal and personal God for his glory. Original creation ‘event’ had a purposeful, intelligent ‘cause’, God.

    N. Design - Order, regularity and fine-tuning emerged coincidently.
    C. Design - Order, regularity and fine-tuning came from God’s creative plan and purpose.

    N. First life - Somehow emerged accidentally from nonliving matter through purely natural processes.
    C. First life - God, who possesses life, created various life forms.

    N. Personhood - Persons emerge from impersonal and unintelligent natural process.
    C. Personhood - God, being supernatural, made human beings personal and intelligent.

    N. Minds - Mindless and/or non-conscious natural processes produced self-conscious beings with minds.
    C. Minds - God’s infinite, eternal, and self-conscious mind is the cause of people’s finite self-conscious minds.

    N. Rationality – Human rational faculties and sensory organs came from a blind, non-rational survival mechanism.
    C. Rationality – Human rational faculties and sensory organs were created in the image of the all-wise God.

    N. Morality – Blind, impersonal and non-moral natural forces stand behind purely human (non-supernatural) moral conventions.
    C. Morality – God is a perfect moral being, and his holy character is the source and foundation of all moral goodness and stands behind all people.

    N. Epistemological content – Information, knowledge and truth came from a blind, impersonal and unintelligent natural source.
    C. Epistemological content – Information, knowledge and truth came from an infinitely wise and rational God who is Truth.

    N. Aesthetics – Beauty and elegant theories came from blind, purposeless and valueless natural processes.
    C. Aesthetics – Beauty and elegant theories came directly from God’s creative power and infinitely wise mind.

    N. Human volition – People emerged from mechanistic natural forces beyond their personal volitional control with only capriciously assigned value and rights.
    C. Human volition – People have inherent dignity, moral worth and absolute rights because they bear God’s image.

    N. Human meaning – While there is no ultimate meaning to human life, there may be subjective meaning in life by choice.
    C. Human meaning – Human beings find their ultimate meaning, purpose and significance in their Creator and redeemer.

    Dragon

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  21. wow, I cant believe anyone can post on this site without having to log-on! It looks like no one has posted since 2007 but in case there is anyone reading I thought Id try posting as this has sparked some feelings inside me.
    I have read the conversation with amazement. I have to admit that I didnt realise that there was such hot debate between intelligent design and science fact. I assumed that supporters of ID where all religious nutters spouting laughable arguements, but I am pleasantly surprized by how articulate they are! But this is part of the problem. It is very easy to be blinded with words. I think you only have to open your eyes (to watch evolution occuring all around you), and leave your paranoias behind, and the truth is clear.I find the natural world and the process of evolution amazing and wonderful-without having to add a supernatural element to it. In fact, that to me spoils the beauty of it. The world has found a delicate balance through millions of years of evolution, tiny adjustments until everything finds its place- and we, having evolved brains that are large enough to appreciate its beauty but not quite big enough to realise the damage we do to it, have the privileged position of sitting back and watching this process occur. Unfortunately we havent stuck to our 'place' and seem to be causing quite a lot of damage and damaging the balance. But even as we cause pollution the natural world adapts to survive- the organisms with the most advantagous characteristics survive and go onto reproduce (I know you all know how it goes)- but even this drives evolution forward. The same phenomena has been observed after each huge natural disaster- the world adapts. If there is a god he must be shaking his head at the mess we are making of things! Maybe if we were designed- it was one step too far and its back to the drawing board for God!! The world was doing fine for millions of years without us, and it will continue to do well after we all kill ourselves off through our own ignorance. I am a molecular biologist and I believe understanding the mechanisms of life is both wonderful but also dangerous in the wrong hands. Its a shame that some people feel its necessary to add fairy stories to explain what is already an awesome world with just the simple mechanisms which are clearly observable. It is so elegant! If the only evidence for ID is the bible, a small man-made object made of paper containing words written by man which are open to endlessly different interpretations, I would rather go outside and take in some of the natural world- huge, beautiful and ancient, and be in awe that we have managed to explain so many of its components and mechanisms through science. Lucky us. Lets hold onto it as long as possible!

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