| || |
This is a discussion on Intelligent Design within the The Debate Forum forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; Originally Posted by CassiusClay314 The noun design is to describe an intricate structure of parts that work together to output ...
Kitzmiller v. Dover: Decision of the Court
Take special note of page 46 and onwards:
Kitzmiller v. Dover: Decision of the Court (p46)
For reference, the judge writing the verdict (John E. Jones III) is a Christian/believer living in the rural heartland of PA, yet even he has some very harsh things to say about ID as represented in the trial. ID was the "scientific" idea being promoted by the school district, and Michael Behe testified at this trial.
Note this overview of Behe (the main expert witness on ID, the coiner of the term "irreducible complexity," and author of "Darwin's Black Box," one of the main texts on the theory):
As a primary witness for the defense, Behe was asked to support the idea that intelligent design was legitimate science. Behe's critics have pointed to a number of key exchanges under cross examination, where he conceded that "there are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred", and that the definition of 'theory' as he applied it to intelligent design was so loose that astrology would qualify as a theory by definition as well. His simulation modelling of evolution with David Snoke described in a 2004 paper had been listed by the Discovery Institute amongst claimed "Peer-Reviewed & Peer-Edited Scientific Publications Supporting the Theory of Intelligent Design", but under oath he accepted that it showed that the biochemical systems it described could evolve within 20,000 years, even if the parameters of the simulation were rigged to make that outcome as unlikely as possible.
The final court holding is that, "Teaching intelligent design in public school biology classes violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States (and Article I, Section 3 of the Pennsylvania State Constitution) because intelligent design is not science and "cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents."
EDIT: I find Section 4 even more humorous:
Nowadays, if you let people know you don't believe in God, you have pretty much naturally selected yourself OUT of office in the US, in many regions. Oh times have changed.Section 4, Religion: No person who acknowledges the being of a God and a future state of rewards and punishments shall, on account of his religious sentiments, be disqualified to hold any office or place of trust or profit under this Commonwealth.
No they don't. The idea that "nature" (the problems with the concept of "nature" here are a whole other issue) has some kind of inherent order to it is one that is hardly universally agreed upon and especially in recent years has come under a great deal of scrutiny. For one, the idea makes little sense when one thinks about it: If nature itself contains obvious "design," then what does being "natural" even mean? What's the basis for comparison here? Secondly, how do you prove that any perceived "design" in nature is actually "design" or even "order" and not simply humans imposing their own cognitive biases on the study of the natural world? Finally, there's no real proof that nature has any kind of inherent order or balance or equilibrium, nature is most of the time rather chaotic by most definitions of the word.Originally Posted by CassiusClay314
If you're interested in a more in-depth look on this I'd suggest the second episode of the Adam Curtis BBC documentary "All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace." It's a great series and I recommend the whole thing, but the second episode in particular addresses this issue in great detail.
If something develops organically, it is basically like a stream following gravity. Things unfold in a chain of events based on whatever rules exist. So any "order" is kind of pre-ordained simply by knowing the rules and the starting arrangements of the involved material and the amount of "flex" in the system. Patterns will be created.
It just doesn't mean those patterns were imposed or dictated by an intelligent force.
Well yeah, I'm not saying the natural world is some kind of Plane of Chaos where no rules whatsoever apply. Sorry if I didn't explain that well enough. It's more the idea that there's some kind of essential character of order to "nature", that there is some kind of perfect form of it that seeks to be preserved rather than disrupted or changed, and if disrupted or changed will return to its natural state of order and equilibrium. I'm not so much speaking on the fact that a design requires or implies a designer, it's more calling into question whether we can call what we see in nature a "design" in the first place. "Nature" doesn't exist for humans and there's no reason to think it has to, should, or would conform to human ideas about design and order in an objective sense. When people say nature has a "design" and "order" it seems they are speaking more to how they personally interpret the concept of nature and the world around them, because there is at least as much evidence that nature is fundamentally chaotic and in flux as there is that there is some sort of natural order to things.
And again, if nature has a "design" then what does something without a design look like? Usually when we say "design" we mean created by a human or other creative entity, so the obvious contrast would be something apparently not created by a creative entity, like a rock or a tree or a cloud. But if we say that "nature" itself has a "design" to it, regardless of whether that design is the result of an intelligent God or if things just happened to fall into place like that, then words like "design" and "nature" effectively become meaningless for the purposes of this conversation. The concept of "design" is incoherent without an undesigned object to compare it to, and if all of "nature" and the universe has some sort of design to it then there's no actual undesigned objects that exist.