i am anil plese my mwe a/c 

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I used to read Panda's Thumb regularly, back when there were sometimes hundreds of comments with the IDiots and biologically competent going at it. Both the defenders of ID in these comments, and those, fall into two main categories: first, the few who defend Creationism in religious terms, and second, the much larger group who use variations on the argumentum ad ignorantum, that is, we don't know all the details so every possible explanation is equally true.

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"What I can't endorse is the paternalism of teaching an elite academic norm that intelligence design, ghosts, UFOs, etc. are too silly to even consider, in order to correct a public biased to think these options excessively likely."

I think you're confused. They are all too silly, but no one can afford to teach that in high school because there's not enough time to teach important things.

"ID is a theory with clear claims and explanations."

You seem to be just plain ignorant.

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Why don't we just teach children that the answer to any why question is because God wants it that way or God designed it that way. That would shorten the wasteful length of time we spend on education. We good also save money on all those textbooks we spend money on and we could just have one book in the library, the Bible. After all it explains everything, how the world got created in seven days etc. While you're at it you could throw out all those medicines you take when you're sick and you won't need health insurance or expensive doctors and surgeons most of whom believe in erroneous theories such as evolution and germs (have you ever seen a germ ?). If you or your family are sick it's because for inscrutable reasons God wants it that way, so just have faith and don't worry your pretty little heads over these things

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Shorter Nagel: We should include a philosophy of science component in high school science curricula.

Okay. By why talk as if the issues were peculiar to "intelligent design"?

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Intelligent design has its crackpot proponents - Dembski and Behe are certainly among them. All fields have their crackpots, though. We don't write off Darwinian theory because of the excesses of certain negative eugenics enthusaists - rather we ignore them - or else assign them to cleaning duties.

Nick Bostrom assigns the ideas that we are living in a simulation around a 20% chance of being true. Unless there is a compelling counter-argument (resulting in assigning a much lower probability), intelligent design needs to be taken seriously.

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Don't be disingenuous, Tim. The hypotheses you list are not those which opponents of Darwinian evolution want to be taught in schools, and which elicit so much controversy among members of the general population. The fine-tuning of the natural constants and conditions, the simulation hypothesis and the idea that terrestrial life originated elsewhere in the Universe are all respectable topics of debate. "Intelligent design", as advocated by the William Dembski, Michael Behe and others evangelicals affiliated to the Discovery Institute is utter rubbish, on a par with astrology, "ufology", and Holocaust revisionism.

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I previously posted my list of the remaining potentially-viable intelligent design hypotheses on this thread:


Want to claim that intelligent design is unscientific or disproven? Those are the hypotheses you need to address - not a load of outdated, historical claptrap.

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A field of straw men is on the loose. Where to start?

Robin wrote

What I can't endorse is the paternalism of teaching an elite academic norm that intelligence design, ghosts, UFOs, etc. are too silly to even consider, in order to correct a public biased to think these options excessively likely."Silly" and "flat wrong" are not synonyms.

The "paternalism" of teaching excellent science is so that students learn ... well, excellent science.

Intelligent design has been considered, and demonstrably failed. In the end it offered no explanation at all. By the late 20th century, after the failures of natural theology and "scientific" creationism, it had been boiled down (by current ID proponents) to

Sometime or other some agent(s) designed something or other, and then somehow or other manufactured that thing in matter and energy, all the while leaving no independent evidence of the design process, the manufacturing process, or the presence (or even the existence) of the designing and manufacturing agent(s).One can cover that in about 60 seconds, leaving the rest of the class period for genuinely productive activities.

Kitcher's analysis is dead on: He calls ID "dead science" and its proponents "resurrection men." My undergraduate students read Paley and Cuvier (the latter in translation), and then go on to Darwin and then on to the modern synthesis, thence to molecular biology and genetics and finally evo-devo. So they see how intelligent design tried and how it failed. But that's a semester-long college course dedicated to just that topic. Try it in a secondary school in a one-week unit taught by the assistant football coach.

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In case anyone cared, the Royal Society has now issued a statement clarifying the views of Professor Reiss on creationism:

The Royal Society is opposed to creationism being taught as science. Some media reports have misrepresented the views of Professor Michael Reiss, Director of Education at the Society expressed in a speech yesterday.Professor Reiss has issued the following clarification. "Some of my comments about the teaching of creationism have been misinterpreted as suggesting that creationism should be taught in science classes. Creationism has no scientific basis. However, when young people ask questions about creationism in science classes, teachers need to be able to explain to them why evolution and the Big Bang are scientific theories but they should also take the time to explain how science works and why creationism has no scientific basis. I have referred to science teachers discussing creationism as a worldview'; this is not the same as lending it any scientific credibility."


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I support teaching the controversy. To dodge religious issues, the debate should be on whether evolution is a reasonable explanation for the origin of the species. Religion should not be mentioned.

The lessons that kids will learn from watching adults argue diplomatically over a scientific issue is more valuable than having them all on the evolution bandwagon.

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It seems that someone at the Royal Society listened to Robin Hanson and is now publicly advocating a form of "democratic idealism". Director of education Rev Michael Reiss, a biologist, stated that intelligent design should be taught in British schools on the grounds that "10 per cent of pupils [...] believ[e] in the literal account of God creating the Universe and all living things." How is this supposed to advance either truth or happiness more than the current paternalistic approach is beyond me, but perhaps Robin could explain that to us, or to justify why paternalism is an evil even worse than both falsehood and misery.

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If you used a betting market, Christians would organize to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into bets on teaching creationism.

Yes, they might. That would result in an enormous money-making opportunity for anyone who knows better. If creationists want to throw their money at us non-creationists, they're welcome to.

A stronger objection was made earlier in the thread. If we just measure future acceptance, one side of the issue or the other is likely to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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Why not use theological arguments against Intelligent design???

ID requires a God that would create a universe of the size we observe. God could have put the photons in place six thousand years ago, so that we would see those stars, or alter the speed of light; God could have made fossils, so that we could falsely imagine the theory of evolution; or create the illusions so that scientists make consistent, false observations; but why would God do that? So that He could condemn to Hell all those who did not believe in Creationism contrary to all the evidence, including many Christians who accept scientific calculations of the age and size of the universe?

Why would God create such wonderful, creative people "in his own image"- ie, loving and creative, so that they would find out all this evidence for the age of the universe or of the world, and of evolution- He would be creating them, and trapping them with their innate creativity into rejecting Him and going to Hell. What an evil God, a Trickster, using our best qualities to drive us from Him.

Yes, there are still Christians (or at least one) reading this blog regularly. No, we do not all believe in Intelligent Design as currently postulated.

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> I think there's a scientific case for the criticism that Darwinian evolution is not sufficient to explain all life we observe on earth. The problem is, critics generally do not offer a better theory (saying 'God did it' is obviously not scientific).

I think it is better to criticize ID theory as an empirically empty hypothesis, rather than as unscientific.

Some hypotheses might be "true" while not being terribly "useful".Tautologies like this: "when it rains, it rains." Or: "in evolution, the most successful will survive". (where "successfulness" is defined by "surviving in the process of evolution")

These hypotheses are empirically empty. They are impossible to falsify, because the scope of outcomes they predict is so broad that it doesn't restrict the possible set of outcomes in any meaningful way. As such, they are not of any help to the agent who employs them to reduce complexity and to provide certainty for his actions.

(note that an omniscient being (e.g a superrational homo oeconomicus) would not require the help of hypotheses. it would simply and correctly predict the world as it would be in the future and act accordingly. Imperfect beings like us however cannot do so and must make "good guesses" with the help of imperfect hypotheses if they want to act at all. The hypotheses never completely correspond to the facts in all and every circumstance, but if they are "good" they have a good chance of predicting states of the future which are relevant for the success of our indidivuals plans)

I think intelligent design can be criticized quite effectively on these grounds. It may be "true", yes. But to state that the world and its living organisms have been created according to a plan doesn't restrict the set of possible outcomes in any meanginful way. Any observed state of the world is in principle compatible with it being a part of a "plan" (fossils might be part of a plan to test the faith of believers, for example).

Only through specification of the contents of the "design plan" could ID imply testable results by restricting the scope of possible outcomes. However, this would be equivalent to knowing the mind of god, and nobody can seriously believe to possess that knowledge. Thus, ID might be "true" or not, but the problem is that that wouldn't change anything for us. Thus we should be indifferent to this "theory".

The theory of evolution (not the tautological version of it I stated above) on the other hand might not explain every single fact in the course of evolution. But it can provide "pattern-explanations" which rule out broad classes of outcomes, and thus bring some empirical content to our hypotheses about the world.

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When Ken Miller refuted Behe in that courtroom, he pointed to a collection of 'homologous' proteins as proof the bacterial flagellum was the product of evolution. This assertion does not pass basic logic.

My understanding of what the argument was about is as follows:

The ID people claimed that the bacterial flagellum was "irreducibly complex", meaning it couldn't have evolved, because its various parts had no function on their own.

So Miller simply said "actually the main part is simply the Type-III secretory system."


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