Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Evolutionists Anonymous: A 12 Step Program for Those who Suffer from Methodological Naturalism

Posted in: Humor

The following 12 steps have worked for those of us who were previously suffering from the bondage of evolutionary theory. If you happen to be suffering as we once were, we suggest that you give them a try.

1. We admitted we were powerless over Evolutionary Theory and that our research in the various fields of science had become horrendously unfruitful as a result.

2. Came to the valid inference that an Intelligent Cause much greater than time, chance, and natural processes was responsible for the fine-tuning of the universe and complexity in biology. And we understood that such a postulate could restore us to scientific integrity.

3. Made a decision to turn our efforts and research over to the duty of detecting specified complexity in nature as it was placed by an Intelligent Cause and committed ourselves to leaving specific questions about said Cause open for later philosophical discussion.

4. Made a searching and fearless inventory of our scientific methods and our previous dogmatic, antisupernatural biases.

5. Admitted to an unspecified designer, to ourselves, and to another scientist the exact nature of our errors.

6. Were entirely ready commit to a robust ID research program in an effort to make amends for years of methodological naturalism.

7. Humbly asked the unspecified designer to remove our naturalistic presuppositions.


8. Made a list of all ID theorists we had publically slandered, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made public amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would jeopardize their tenure, research grants, or hopes for a fair dissertation examination.


10. Continued to take inventory of our scientific methodology and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through hypotheses, testing, and experimentation to improve our ability to detect design in nature, hoping only for a better understanding of irreducibly complex biological systems and for research grants to further such investigation.


12. Having been set free from dogmatic methodological naturalism as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other suffering evolutionists whenever possible, and to practice these basic ID postulates in all of our scientific affairs to the best of our ability.

Although these previous 12 steps are only a suggestion, they have been incredibly successful in helping many a confused, depressed, and hopeless scientist break free from the bondage of macro-evolution and subsequently live a life of complete scientific satisfaction and integrity . . . one day at a time.

Read more!

Monday, August 29, 2005

ID Falsifiability ala Behe

Posted in: Science

"ID says that intelligence is needed to make complex functional structures. So ID predicts that random mutation and natural seelction won't be able to do so. If a Darwinist showed that mutation/selection could make impressive, complex, functional systems, ID would be falsified."

--Mike Behe

[For more on the falsifiability of ID, see the article by my friend Casey Luskin at http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/846 ]

Read more!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Dembski and the "shark-jumping" Evolutionists

Posted in: Science

Dr. Dembski has a cool post in regards to how evolutionists may have finally "jumped the shark" in thier efforts to thwart the ID movement.

This enjoyable post can be seen here http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/278

And I highly suggest you check it out if you desire to find out what "jumping the shark" actually is.

Enjoy

Read more!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A Call to Arms

Posted in: Science

There was a recent request submitted to SES for some help over at a science chat forum which can be found at the respective URL www.sciencechatforum.com

Word has it that the only critic of evolution there is a directed panspermeist. Some ID perspective would be useful over there, I am sure ;)

I am going to venture on over to the site and see if I can help. Please join me if you so desire.

Thanks!

Read more!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Highly Effective Ways to Argue Theism: Dada Apologetics

Posted in: Humor

In the spirit of postmodernism, one needs to adapt to the changing needs of the modern day unbeliever. Let’s face it, classical apologetics is dead (it’s all rational and stuff). Frankly, nobody has the time to think critically on these issues. Thankfully, there’s a way to share ones faith with the staunchest critic and leave them speechless every time. Born out of the Dada movement in poetry and art comes Dada apologetics!

Let’s say your dialoging with Al Atheist. Al Atheist says, “I simply cannot believe that a God exists that would allow such gratuitous evil in the world.” How would you respond? Knowing that an actually thoughtful answer is useless, you turn to the Dada apologetic method. Now, ideally you would want to choose a book at random, but in the spirit of apologetics let’s simply stick with one book about apologetics. For this example I’m using Geisler’s Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics (it’s the largest book on the topic). I will randomly flip the pages and stop whenever the mood strikes me. Then I’ll blindly finger out a word on the open page in front of me. Repeat this process until the sentence is complete. But how many words should I keep my sentence to? Sentences can vary quite a bit in length, so I’ll randomly say twenty words (not including definite and indefinite articles like a, an, as, of, and the). Let’s return to the conversation, shall we?

Al Atheist: “I simply cannot believe that a God exists that would allow such gratuitous evil in the world.”

Cory Christian: “Kinds skepticism a confirmation of ministry spanned predictions identified as the cosmos cited contradiction passages a sense of self-stultifying the formally example basis of James speak as perfection though.”

Al Atheist: “Wow! That’s amazing. It’s like...it’s like you knew exactly what I needed to hear. I’m dropping my atheism right now!”

See how easy it is? We didn’t need to bother with actually answering Al Atheist’s...er...Al Allelujah’s statement with facts or reason. This method bypasses the mind and goes directly to the heart. Granted, it can be a bit cumbersome and time consuming to pull out a book and finger words when talking face to face. That’s why I suggest one carry around about 100 5x7 cards with pre-made Dada apologetic sentences written on them. Imagine how you’ll woo the crowds with your mind-boggling command apologetic material. This method is so easy and effective it won’t be long before other religious groups are amping-up their apologetic arsenal. We better jump on this now, because evangelicals can’t handle an onslaught of Dada trained Jehovah’s Witnesses.

If you don’t achieve the same amazing results as with Al Atheist above, then you obviously are not using the method correctly. If this is the case, then review the article on Ad Baculum apologetics and you should receive better results.

Read more!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Tired of Bad Arguments

Posted in: Science

I am no expert on ID Theory nor do I pretend to be. As a matter of fact I don't really care for science at all; metaphysics and epistemology are infinitely more interesting in my opinion. So why am I writing on this topic? Well, because I can't stand bad arguments and the debate over ID Theory is full of them. This entry was inspired by an hour of the "Diane Rhem" show on NPR. The show was, overall, fair-minded and represented both sides pretty well (for NPR). What drove me nuts though is the unspoken assumption that evolution is a matter of fact and that modern science depends on it for its very existence. Science would not be science, they claim, if it were not for evolution. This is ridiculous! Modern science was being done long before the theory of evolution came to be the accepted theory and it did just fine. Moreover, there is overwhelming evidence that modern science developed as a direct influence of a theistic worldview. Regardless, the fact is that you can learn to do science, and to do it very effectively, without knowing the first thing about either the theory of evolution or intelligent design; for neither evolution nor ID are, in the strictest sense, science. Why? Simple, you cannot reproduce or verify either through experimentation. These are forensic conclusions based on observed effects and using the evidence available to reason back to their probable cause. What is frustrating is that this criticism is leveled only against the ID position when it in fact it applies to both positions.

Another argument that drives me nuts, but is used all the time, is the claim that there is a difference between "scientific truth" and "religious truth." Nonsense! Truth is truth. Whatever corresponds to reality is true be it science or religion. Granted all truth cannot be arrived at by means of the scientific method (evolution, if it is truth, is included in this category) but the scientific method is not the only means of arriving at truth. You could say that religious truth and scientific truth are arrived at by different means, that is fair, but what the proponents of this argument are really saying is that these two truth exist in entirely separate spheres of knowledge and reality. Does the proponent of evolution really believe that, for the man of faith, the world was actually created by God? Hardly. Can the origins of the world be both evolutionary for the scientist and created for the man of faith? Not unless the laws of logic have suddenly been suspended. Observation should tell any scientist that these opposing ideas cannot both be true; and this is really the core of the issue. However, the question of origins is not one that is open to scientific inquiry. Science is not being defended (or attacked) in either case, what is being debated is the best interpretation of the fact that there are things that exist. What the evolutionists are really defending here is naturalism and materialism over and against supernaturalism and theism (and lets be honest, ID may not support any one religion but it certainly is arguing for theism of some sort), not science; philosophy, not biology.

To close, Let me summarize what is really being said behind the rhetoric: "Look, we evolutionists deal in the real world where we all know that there is nothing supernatural. If it helps you "creationists" to sleep at night to believe in fairies, or demons or God, or any other superstition then we will let you call that "religious truth", which we know is a euphemism for fantasy, and allow you to continue to wallow in your medieval ignorance while we do something useful." It is smug, condescending, and belittling to people who are quite intelligent and have an extremely legitimate argument. It is ideology and not science that is keeping ID Theory from being taken seriously. What we have here is really a battle between worldviews, not scientific methodologies. Science will go on just fine without either evolution or intelligent design, but ID is grounded in good scientific, physical, and mathematic evidence and should be given a fair hearing.


And here is the rest of it.

Read more!