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Intelligent Design - A Surprisingly Worthwhile Video

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Whenever i hear the phrase Intelligent Design i tend to switch off thinking it's something to do with Creationismâ„¢ (6000 year old earth loons). But i was persuaded to watch this documentary by a non-Christian PhD biochemist. It turns out what they are describing can genuinely be utterly divorced from religion, sets out no alternative explanation but merely makes the case that more is at work than chance.

This video has some really interesting information about cells and bacteria that i've not seen presented so clearly before, for that alone it's a highly recommended way to spend 60 minutes.

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=...125669588896670

I think we have a big problem with objectivity on this subject. I think people instinctively feel that there is no stable middle ground, it's either Darwinism or Christianity or a massive void. With the post-Christian disillusionment that overtook religion here the strong subconscious urge to take a stable answer has been met with Darwinism and people will defend their faith in it as strongly as any religious believer. Personally i don't understand what solace Darwinism offers, I can quite happily live with uncertainty and would much rather do that than close my mind.

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Personally i don't understand what solace Darwinism offers...snip

Why should Darwinism offer solace? I don't look for solace from quantum mechanics, or any other branch of science or engineering. I don't see what solace has got to do with the choice between Darwinism or Creationism. Would you please explain what you mean?

One of the problems I have with intelligent design is that people use it when they don't understand something. There may be no-one in the world who understands an aspect of (say) biology but the key word to bear in mind is 'yet'. There are plenty of things we now understand that once would have been ascribed to the sky spirits, wood nymphs, the sun god etc. As our level of understanding of the universe has increased, the mystery of many phenomena has disappeared. Understanding something does not stop it being beautiful or amazing - indeed many things become all the more remarkable once we have a true understanding of their cause and nature.

A choice to be rational does not indicate a closed mind.

Perhaps this non-Christian PhD chemist could persuade you to read a little Dawkins.

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and also on the problem that if this is the best "he" could do then "he" really can't be much good.

(or, "his" notion of what is good is entirely different from mine!).

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There are plenty of things we now understand that once would have been ascribed to the sky spirits, wood nymphs, the sun god etc. As our level of understanding of the universe has increased, the mystery of many phenomena has disappeared. Understanding something does not stop it being beautiful or amazing - indeed many things become all the more remarkable once we have a true understanding of their cause and nature.

Interestingly enough though you hit upon a key point the people in the film are trying to make - That in Darwins time his theory seemed plausible, now that we have electron microscopes we have a better understanding. Darwinism is being scientificly questioned, which should be fine, no kind of emotional backlash surely? Yet it has come to a point where it is akin to blasphemy to do so and most people, like anyone responding before watching the film, simply won't listen to the argument before shouting it down. Pretty strange behaviour if Darwinism's not a solace giving emotional prop.

After watching that film i'm counting the decades before Darwinism has become one of those things only a few desperate Luddites cling too. But if Darwinisms not accurate and with the Christians becoming ever more vague in their sense of direction what instead? It's exciting stuff, a new and more realistic seeming direction. I thought Intelligent Design was just from another group of cranks, and i know i'm sticking my neck out bringing it up, but i'm now thinking it's got serious legs. Just watch the film.

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It all falls down on one question, "who creates the creator?"

?? The film doesn't propose any answers to what/who instigated all this, just that the idea it all happened by chance is looking impossible in the light of our recent scientific understanding of certain verifiable things. Watch the film.

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After watching that film i'm counting the decades before Darwinism has become one of those things only a few desperate Luddites cling too.

I'm not.

It's quite possible that in the future the rational world model of evolution is tweaked, or even changed - in the way that Newtonian mechanics is now considered a special case of relativity, but was used to put man into space (and back)

That's not the same as, or any excuse to, throw our hands in the air, declare evolution as not explicable rationally and look for a somewhat supernatural explanation

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Pretty strange behaviour if Darwinism's not a solace giving emotional prop.

No, you still haven't got it. A defense of Darwinism is not because people need solace. I will defend the statement 2+2=4, not because it gives me solace but because no matter how many times the maths is done, the result is the same. This is not an emotional backlash.

Darwin's work was spectacular given the technology available during his life. Yes our knowledge of science has improved by orders of magnitude but his ideas still apply. He died in 1882, I suspect you will not get to count the decades before Darwinism is discredited.

So one Google video has been enough to make you a supporter of intelligent design? I doubt many people here will believe you. As I said before, go read Dawkins. When you have a better understanding of both sides of the argument, then please feel free to come back and ask people to watch the video you refer to.

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Intelligent Design is nothing more than creationism masquerading as science. It used to be called Creation Science until an attempt to require that CS be taught alongside evolution in public schools in Louisiana was declared illegal by the US Supreme Count in 1987 (Edwards vs Aguillard). This discredited CS (in terms of being able to introduce it into the school curriculum to undermine evolution) to the point where it was repackaged to look more scientific and renamed "Intelligent Design".

It is not testable. It makes no predictions. It is not science.

Edit: Restructured one little bit

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Ask a scientist about earthquakes and he/she will tell you how often they occur, where they are likely happen and how to build a house that won't fall down. These questions are answered in a way that is falsifiable - they can be proved incorrect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Popper).

For many this answer is inadequate, and so they look for a way to make earthquakes go away or to know when one will occur. They look to gods, to strange behavior in animals, anyone who can answer what can't be answered. The difference is that the statements by these people can't ever falsified. They fall outside the meaning of what's scientifially knowable (pray hard and if you're pure the earthquake won't get you).

When a scientific statement is falsified in some way, the science community usually celebrates when it's got over the shock (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Khun). This is because (for example) overthrowing classical physics when we started to understand quantum mechanics showed how right Newton was, while it revealed a whole amazing world that he couldn't reach.

Take this on board:

Good science makes statements that are easy to falsify (so that they can be tested, broken, improved and we make progress). Good theories never prove that something is true.

Pseudo science makes sweeping statements that can't be falsified. They lead to stagnation and misunderstanding.

Creationism is dangerous because it wraps mumbo-jumbo up in words that are purposefully designed to blur the line. When 99.9% of people don't even understand that Science doesn't ever even prove that a theory is true (merely that it is easily falisifiable and hasn't failed the test yet) and its easy to see how peope get suckered by it.

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Ask a scientist about earthquakes and he/she will tell you how often they occur, where they are likely happen and how to build a house that won't fall down. These questions are answered in a way that is falsifiable - they can be proved incorrect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Popper).

For many this answer is inadequate, and so they look for a way to make earthquakes go away or to know when one will occur. They look to gods, to strange behavior in animals, anyone who can answer what can't be answered. The difference is that the statements by these people can't ever falsified. They fall outside the meaning of what's scientifially knowable (pray hard and if you're pure the earthquake won't get you).

When a scientific statement is falsified in some way, the science community usually celebrates when it's got over the shock (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Khun). This is because (for example) overthrowing classical physics when we started to understand quantum mechanics showed how right Newton was, while it revealed a whole amazing world that he couldn't reach.

Take this on board:

Good science makes statements that are easy to falsify (so that they can be tested, broken, improved and we make progress). Good theories never prove that something is true.

Pseudo science makes sweeping statements that can't be falsified. They lead to stagnation and misunderstanding.

Creationism is dangerous because it wraps mumbo-jumbo up in words that are purposefully designed to blur the line. When 99.9% of people don't even understand that Science doesn't ever even prove that a theory is true (merely that it is easily falisifiable and hasn't failed the test yet) and its easy to see how peope get suckered by it.

I thought you were talking about Darwinism up until the last paragraph. Strange how it fits so well with what you say.

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The irreducible complexity argument (especially as related to the flagellum) is addressed here

http://www.christs.cam.ac.uk/darwin200/pag....php?page_id=g2

I didn't see anything to contradict evolution. What did I miss ?

I read the page and just as expected they "proved" what they wanted to prove with a simple wave of the tongue. "The existence of these similar proteins provides an indication that the flagellum did arise from existing structures rather than being produced in fully functional form by an intelligent external creator."

The problem with this debate is our inability to see a third choice. They certainly didn't address the point sufficiently but in their minds it was sufficient in relation to an alternative they see as utterly impossible.

I think we have too muddled an idea of the word "god". White bearded man on cloud?

Why is the idea of "something out there" so utterly repugnant unless it is because the concept has been poisoned by false religion and people falsely claiming to speak for the thing out there. I thought it was interesting how many people latched onto some of the concepts from The Matrix, many people feel there is more to this existence than randomness, there is something going on. If it's true that we couldn't have happened by chance it opens up the mind to wider possibilities. What is the nature of the design? What is the nature of the creator? What is the purpose if any?

Oh and Darwinism as clear cut as 2+2=4 :lol: Glad to see you have a sense of humour.

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In a nut shell, Darwin's theory of evolution is a bunch of ideas about pigeon breeding applied to some wild animals Darwin watched for 28 days on an island thousands of miles away, since taken as gospel by a bunch of unquestioning, increasingly fanatical, loonies.

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I thought you were talking about Darwinism up until the last paragraph. Strange how it fits so well with what you say.

Oh well, I tried. Simpler words this time.

Closed minds like simple answers that way leads to stagnation.

Darwinism has already been radically overhauled by the neo-darwinists, more insights will follow, but not from the creationalists/ID route - because its not science.

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In a nutshell, intelligent design is a rehash of a bunch of ideas packaged together in a failed attempt to introduce religious teaching into science classes, taken as gospel by a bunch of unquestioning, increasingly fanatical loonies.

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Oh well, I tried. Simpler words this time.

Closed minds like simple answers that way leads to stagnation.

Darwinism has already been radically overhauled by the neo-darwinists, more insights will follow, but not from the creationalists/ID route - because its not science.

Agreed. This is the strength of a scientific theory - it is open to revision and improvement based on new evidence. This is not the case for ID. I don't know of anyone that claims that Darwin is "Gospel". It is, however, (IMO) rightly recognised as playing a critical role in developing our understanding of the diversity (and commonality) of life of earth.

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The problem with this debate is our inability to see a third choice.

It's actually that what you propose as a third choice is one of the other two inna false beard and funny hat. And then there's the question of why we need to make a choice at all. Believe in God, feel free - it's quite possible to have a faith that's orthogonal to a rational world model, many do - just don't try to use faith-concepts inside the rational world-view.

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I read the page and just as expected they "proved" what they wanted to prove with a simple wave of the tongue. "The existence of these similar proteins provides an indication that the flagellum did arise from existing structures rather than being produced in fully functional form by an intelligent external creator."

Did flagella evolve from existing structures or do they require a supernatural being to explain them ?

Occam's Razor.

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Twice, and in two separate posts, you seem to be saying that Darwin's theory of evolution is based on nothing more than chance:

... what they are describing can genuinely be utterly divorced from religion, sets out no alternative explanation but merely makes the case that more is at work than chance.

and:

The film doesn't propose any answers to what/who instigated all this, just that the idea it all happened by chance is looking impossible in the light of our recent scientific understanding of certain verifiable things.

If you think that evolution is exclusively based on chance, it may be that you don't understand Darwin's theory.

Perhaps if you're going to compare two theories, it would be best to be fully aware of both in order to properly make up your mind about which you think is most plausible.

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Oh and Darwinism as clear cut as 2+2=4 :lol: Glad to see you have a sense of humour.

I was trying to make it simple for you. I thought you might need it.

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Guest Skinty

The economy is "irreducibly complex". It relies upon money. Take away money and it no longer works. We have all come to depend upon exchanging essentially worthless items that we ascribe value to. Yet this system originally evolved and only later standardised through design.

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