Sunday, October 15, 2006

Darwinism-ID Debate

The debate on Darwinism and Intelligent Design between Michael Shermer and Jonathan Wells can be heard or seen here (although I could not get the video to work).


Craig Fletcher said...

You can right-click on "listen to the Podcast" and download the MP3 audio file of the debate to your computer or MP3 player and hear the debate that way.

Also, I noticed on the main page of this site comments about Dawkin's "The God Delusion".

It says:

The God Delusion, by the Oxford University evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, is based on his controversial BBC documentary, The Root of All Evil? Dawkins presents his view of religion as a cultural virus that, like a computer virus, once downloaded into the software of society corrupts almost all programs it encounters.

I would comment on this ridiculous premise but I'm busy at work and moost of you heavy philosophers out there are smarter than me so I'll defer.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

Mr. Stockwell:

Wells defined Darwinism. He gives example of ID research in his new book. One reason why ID is not more published is that the Darwiniam/materialist establishment rejects most of it on principle. Wells documents this kind of thing in his new book as well.

Clint said...

1) It blows my mind that (in this case) Shermer is going on and on about how we don’t need to stop when the science gets tough and posit the God of the Gaps. So, he is saying that we need to “roll up our sleeves and keep doing science.” BUT, he is not starting from a scientific premise. THIS IS IMPORTANT. He assumes materialistic natural philosophy. This is where his science begins. BUT, this is not a scientific theory. This is a philosophical theory. How is this any different from positing a “god of the gaps”? Further, most serious ID scholars are not wanting to posit a “god of the gaps.” They are simply wanting to pose a problem with Darwinism and follow the evidence where it leads. They want to be able to practice this without being called “pseudo-scientists” or “masked creationists.” Most of the time their position is reviewed in popular media it is straw-manned as such (though, we have been guilty of the same),

2) Something I heard William Dembske say at a conference I attended a year or so ago really stuck with me. WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR THE FACT THAT ALL EXPERIMENTS NECESSARILY INVOLVE PERSONAL AGENCY? The scientist might be able to recreate, in a controlled environment, microevolution. However, they cannot recreate macroevolution. Most importantly though, experiments cannot occur without personal agency. So, to create the sorts of things they are wanting to argue for, they must “design” the parameters. They must “fix the books so to speak.” No experiments occur, or come about, or coalesce “randomly” or by “unguided processes.” This is a problem.

3) Jonathan Wells pointed out that polls show consistently that about 80-85% of the nation do not believe in a Darwinism that posits that things came about by “unguided processes” or “random mutation.” However, ALL tax payers currently pay for this science to monopolize public education. Further, as Jonathan Wells rightly insisted, the “universities are not the bastions of competing ideas” that we think they are. Rather, they are just as politicized and monopolized, even to the point that any prof that engages in I.D. is ostracized, often times being forced to leave or fired. One example of this is Guillermo Gonzales. There is a professor at the institution where he works that is on a crusade to get him fired. Does this sound like intellectual freedom?

Concerning positive evidence for ID...I think that is where they are trying to go. It has only been 10 years. Perhaps if intellectual freedom was allowed more progresses could be made. Perhpaps the reason that there was so much media attention for ID initially is precisely b/c it is controversial. One does not need to have a full system of science to notice problems and posit theories.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

ID people have created their own on-line journals for the papers that have been rejected or never would be accepted! Check Dembski's web page.

Ed Darrell said...

The false claim that the science establishment somehow frustrates the publication of creationist papers was first tried in federal court in 1981. Because the issue is rather central to whether the current flavor of creationism is science, Judge William Overton allowed that a few papers written by creationists but rejected by the journals should be inserted into the trial transcript.

Alas for creationists, their bluff called, they could produce not a single piece of research, let alone research that had been written up and submitted anywhere for publication.

The issue was alive again in the Dover, Pennsylvania trial, with almost exactly the same results.

If there were any ID research, why do you suppose the ID advocates refused to bring it forth to save the idea, in the Pennsylvania trial? There is no rational answer that does not make ID advocates out to be mad; the more practical result would be simply that there is no such research.

The "journals" which have sprung up to publish ID research generally are one-issue affairs, failing to attract any submissions. In the one case where a formerly scholarly journal has been subverted, there has yet to be published any original research that would lend any support to ID.

So the question becomes more poignant, Dr. Groothuis: If there are, in fact, journals dedicated to getting ID research published, how can we possibly explain the utter lack of such publications?

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...


What do you make of this?

Volume 4.2, November 2005

ISSN: 1555-5089

Past Issues

Volume 4.1, July 2005

Volume 3.1, November 2004

Philosophy of Mind Issue,
Volume 2.3, October 2003

Double Issue, Volumes 2.1 and 2.2
January - June 2003

Volume 1.4, October - December 2002

Double Issue, Volumes 1.2 and 1.3
April - September 2002

Volume 1.1, January - March 2002

Progress in Complexity, Information, and Design (PCID) is a quarterly, cross-disciplinary, online journal that investigates complex systems apart from external programmatic constraints like materialism, naturalism, or reductionism. PCID focuses especially on the theoretical development, empirical application, and philosophical implications of information- and design-theoretic concepts for complex systems. PCID welcomes survey articles, research articles, technical communications, tutorials, commentaries, book and software reviews, educational overviews, and controversial theories. The aim of PCID is to advance the science of complexity by assessing the degree to which teleology is relevant (or irrelevant) to the origin, development, and operation of complex systems.

Articles accepted to the journal must first be submitted to the ISCID archive. To be accepted into the archive, articles need to meet basic scholarly standards and be relevant to the study of complex systems. Once on the archive, articles passed on by at least one ISCID fellow will be accepted for publication. The journal will be published in electronic form only (there will be no print version).


PCID features several flexible advertising options including sponsorship and CPM. Click here for more details.

William A. Dembski, General Editor
Jed Macosko, Associate Editor
Bruce Gordon, Associate Editor
James Barham, Book Review Editor
John Bracht, Managing Editor
Micah Sparacio, Webmaster


The editorial advisory board peer-reviews articles submitted to the society's journal and comprises the society fellows.

Tim said...

Ed's comment about "creationist" papers in the Arkansas trial is apparently intended to have something to do with the current discussion about ID. Insofar as it does, I think it's an unfortunate move on his part. Behe has had his work rejected by good journals, not because the reviewers found anything scientifically wrong with it but because it did not "advance the dominant paradigm." I've seen some of the letters.

That is shameful.

Jeff said...

For those interested...Michael Shermer is scheduled to be on The Narrow Mind this Friday, 9-10am PST. Phone lines will be open. See link for details.

The Daily Fuel said...

Has anyone read The Language Of God, by Francis S. Collins, the head of the Human Genome Project who arrived at belief from a life of atheism?

Dr. Collins enumerates various reasons why Creationism and Intelligent Design are more dangerous for faith than for science, with their requirement that people ignore accumulating scientific evidence without proposing scientifically sound alternatives. He attacks the lack of "opportunity for experimental validation [and] of a robust foundation for [the] claim of irreducible complexity." He describes ID as a "God of the gaps" theory, warning people of faith of the "dismal history" of such theories, which "run the risk of simply discrediting faith." He concludes his analysis saying "Intelligent Design fits into this discouraging tradition, and faces the same ultimate demise."

Surely it is only one man's opinion, but doesn't it send shivers throught the spine of ID proponents?

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...


There are no shivers here. I have read all these kinds of arguments before and have read reviews of Collins. ID people have handily addressed all of it. See William Dembski, The Design Revolution.

Collins is, by the way, a Christian who accepts Jesus as Lord. He finds evidence for God at the macro level. What do you think of these arguments?

The Daily Fuel said...

The way I see it, the fact that Collins accepts Jesus as Lord means in fact that his critique of ID cannot be motivated by a disdain for religion, but by a love for science. His point is precisely that proponents of Intelligent Design do more of a disservice to faith than to science, since they offer ammunition to those who doubt the true motives of some self-anointed Christians.

Ed Darrell said...

I make of that journal that it doesn't publish science -- the titles of the articles tend toward philosophy -- and that it's wholly captured by ID advocates. So it makes my point: If it doesn't publish ID papers, what is the excuse? Where is the ID research? Even the on-line journals, refereed by ID-biased partisans, has nothing to show.

Dr. Behe has more than three dozen papers to his credit, in major scientific journals. He has never been rejected in such a submission that anyone has recorded. If someone knows of a Behe paper being rejected, I'd like to see the work first.

Behe did have a journal refuse to publish a letter to the editor he had written -- but to claim a letter to the editor as "research" only again demonstrates the poverty of science in ID. Were ID a scientific proposition, one would think that there would be any number of scientific experiments going on at any time, with a few dozen submissions each year. Instead, we are offered a refused letter to the editor, and an on-line, biased journal that has no research in it.

So the questions remain: Since any serious research could have saved creationism for schools in 1981, and since any serious research in ID creationism could have saved ID for the schools in 2005 -- why are the IDists/creationists/whatever-you-want-to call-themists holding their work from the public? What is so dangerous in ID that it cannot stand the light of day? Or is it something not dangerous that cannot stand the light of day?

This is a function of academic integrity. In a world where evolution produces thousands of research papers annually, how can anyone claim ID is science when it has such an awful record in doing research and getting it published?

Are there research articles done that have been rejected? The courts can't find them when people are under oath and penalty of perjury. Why should we believe the truth changes when these people are not under oath?

And, if there really is any lab anywhere on Earth doing ID research, why is it no one can produce a photograph of the lab? Where is it located? Who runs it? What is the project they are working on this week?