Everything Wrong with Intelligent Design Proponents All Rolled Into One

In a OneNewsNow article titled (I shit you not) “Intelligent Design for Dummies,” Marcia Segelstein explains everything you need to know about ID-proponents in one paragraph:

Science was never my forte, and heated debates over Darwinism, evolution, creationism and Intelligent Design never piqued my interest. As far as I was concerned, all that mattered was my belief that God created the universe and everything in it. How He did it, when He did it, and what complex processes were involved were beyond my extremely limited understanding. They still are. And what continues to matter most to me is that God get the credit for creation.

She then explains how Michael Behe‘s arguments in Darwin’s Black Box are revolutionary.

Why do Creationists give us so much easy ammo…?

Ron Britton at Bay of Fundie rips this article apart thoroughly. If that’s not enough, Talk Origins has plenty of information for anyone who wants to learn about how Behe is so misguided.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    I always like to get my science from people who exclaim that science is not their forte.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    But reading an interview in SALVO magazine with a man named Brian Westad made me understand how the predominance of Darwinism can be a stumbling block to faith, even for believing Christians.

    Bzzzt! You lose. ID is an attempt to disguise the religious nature of Creationism in order to circumvent existing legal precedents. Admitting that your motivation is religious voids the entire point of ID.

  • Phil Bear

    “God somehow sparked life, and unguided evolution then took over.”

    That’s great. What an explanation! F**k science!

  • http://thinkingforfree.blogspot.com Eamon Knight

    I read Behe’s book a few years ago. It really is one long argument from ignorance — Behe’s.

  • Tom

    If you want to know how Behe is misguided, why not just watch a marvelous PBS program about how he made a fool of himself in Pennsylvania?

  • http://cycleninja.blogspot.com Paul Lundgren

    Better question: why do creationists get a free pass from the press?

  • Polly

    “Intelligent Design [is] for Dummies,”

    There we go, all better.

    Does anyone else ever reach a point where you start to feel sorry for them? I do sometimes. I feel sorry for people who sincerely believe lies…sometimes.

  • Joel

    “Science was never my forte.”

    Then shut the hell up!

  • http://www.cvaas.org R.C. Moore

    A quote from Philip Johnson (one of the authors “science” advisors), from the website Tom noted above:


    If there were that great a commonality between chimps and humans, it ought to be relatively easy to breed chimps and come up with a human being, or by genetic engineering to change a chimp into a human. We ought to see humans occasionally being born to chimps or perhaps chimps born into human families.

    One has to work hard to be this stupid.

  • numsix

    @R.C. Moore
    If there were that great a commonality between chimps and humans, it ought to be relatively easy to breed chimps and come up with a human being, or by genetic engineering to change a chimp into a human. We ought to see humans occasionally being born to chimps or perhaps chimps born into human families.

    Perhaps they are the proof of the above statement.*

    *My apologies to our simian relatives

  • Anonymous

    Is it just a coincidence that evolution is taught most poorly in the Bible Belt? Check out this map:

    http://roadsofstone.files.wordpress.com/2007/04/evolution-teaching-in-the-us.jpg

  • Homegrown

    “How He did it, when He did it, and what complex processes were involved were beyond my extremely limited understanding” – Ok why don’t you just leave the thinking to the adults then hmmm?

  • cassiek

    Head, meet desk. Repeat.

  • James H
    “God somehow sparked life, and unguided evolution then took over.”

    That’s great. What an explanation! F**k science!

    That’s a fairly intolerant statement. As far as evolution/intelligent design/creationism goes, the “God somehow created life” strikes me as a reasonable compromise for a person trying to reconcile spiritual beliefs with scientific beliefs.

    That “somehow” could, in fact, be a process simply undiscovered by science.

  • Bob

    I see too many name calling, personal attacks, cheap shots, insults but not enough good answers to back up evolution theory.

    Watch this video from evolution supporters turned ID supporters: http://www.discovery.org/v/611

    Science should be things that are falsifiable. If you can not prove it wrong, it is not science.

    Can anyone tell me how you can falsify evolution theory?

    ID on the other hand can be clearly falsified. One way is to show proof that random mutation could produce a new species.

  • Pseudonym

    @Paul Lundgren:

    Better question: why do creationists get a free pass from the press?

    That one is easy.

    The “mainstream media” in the US relies on manufactured controversy. The job of a talking head, for example, is to get people on the programme that they disagree with and argue heatedly with them or, if they can’t get them on the programme, mock them from 30,000 feet. If it’s too complex an issue, dumb it down so that people see the heated argument and mockery and not the underlying issue.

    It doesn’t matter which side you’re on. Whether you’re Rush or Bill, Keith or Rachel, that’s your job.

    Denialism (whether it’s global warming denialism, creationism or whatever) is exactly the kind of manufactured controversy that the system needs to survive.

  • Chal

    Bob, quick question, have you ever actually tried to look up the answer to your question?

    To make it easy for you: evolution can be falsified by showing modern creatures buried in the same strata as ancient ones. Poodles in the Permian is the standard one-liner here. Alternatively, you could show features passing from creatures on separate branches of the tree, like mammals getting features from birds that reptiles never had. (Check out atavisms). You could also find some way to disprove common descent.

    And by your standards, ID has been falsified. New species have been observed to have been created through natural selection operating on random mutations. As an exercise for the reader, try to find 3 species observed to have originated in modern times through evolution by natural selection.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Clueless Bob: “I see too many name calling, personal attacks, cheap shots, insults but not enough good answers to back up evolution theory.

    Where have you looked? Try opening a science book some time. I can recommend:

    Evolution: The Triumph of an idea by Carl Zimmer. Agood start for people like you who clearly need a basic level introduction

    Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters by Donald R. Prothero. Transition fossils up the wazoo. Clearly and overwhelmingly addresses all of the Creationist lies about the fossil record.

    The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution by Sean Carroll. Takes the unusual and complementary approach of concentrating on genetic data for evolution.

    ID on the other hand can be clearly falsified. One way is to show proof that random mutation could produce a new species.

    You mean like these:
    Observed Instances of Speciation
    Some More Observed Speciation Events

    Now that that’s been done, do you accept that ID has been falsified? Or will you retreat to some other lame excuse?

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Watch this video from evolution supporters turned ID supporters: http://www.discovery.org/v/611

    I clicked through, but the video at the other end was at least 18 minutes long. I don’t have that much time to waste. Could you give us the Cliff notes version? Who are these “evolution supporters turned ID supporters”? How many of them are on the payroll of the Discovery Institute? Were they involved in writing the wedge document which clearly reveals the Discovery Institutes theocratic plans to overturn all of science?

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Can anyone tell me how you can falsify evolution theory?

    The way to falsify any theory is to consider the available data, consider what predictions that theory makes, formulate a hypothesis which would distinguish whether those predictions are true or not, and run an experiment to test it. Then, when you’re done, you should publish the results in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, so that other people can examine your methods and findings.

    In other words, you should do all the things that real scientists, who accept evolution as the best and only viable explanation for the diversity of life we see around us, do on a regular basis; i.e. the things that the Discovery Institute never ever does.

    Let’s consider just one example: Richard Lenski has a long term experiment in his lab in which he has been growing E. coli bacteria for decades under differing conditions. Here is his web page listing some of the publications which have resulted from the experiment:
    Long-term evolution experiment with E.coli
    You can see there are several dozen publications listed. One of them in particular drew some attention when it came out:

    Blount, Z. D., C. Z. Borland, and R. E. Lenski. 2008. Historical contingency and the evolution of a key innovation in an experimental population of Escherichia coli. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 105:7899-7906.
    You can find a link to the abstract, and to the complete paper, at the link above.

    I’ll try to give you a simple summary: The bacteria were being fed glucose as a carbon source, but the medium contained citrate as a buffer. Some of the bacteria became capable of digesting the citrate as a carbon source. This required a couple of mutations, the first of which displayed no obvious benefit (i.e. was neutral).

    This strikes directly at Creationist claims about the probability of beneficial mutations.

    Experiments like this, seeking to test evolutionary theory, are carried out and published on a regular basis. If you can’t find evidence for evolution, you obviously haven’t looked very hard.

  • Matteo

    “Why do Creationists give us so much easy ammo…?”

    Why do you bother with the weakest arguments of your opponents rather than the strongest? Morons can be found advocating any position, evolutionary theory included. What, precisely, is the point in sparring with the weakest presentation of a case?

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Matteo:

    1) There are no strong arguments for Creationism.

    2) The ID big shots went to great pains (when speaking for public consumption, not at the church group meetings that are so prevalent in the movement) to pretend that ID is science, and is not based on religion. However, the multitudes in the pews, like Segelstein, have never been able to stick with that message. They show up the “ID is not religion” message.

  • Polly

    @Matteo,

    If you have something to add to the discussion please provide specifics. If you know of “strong” arguments, then why not present them? I’m sure you’ll get some worthwhile feedback from a few people here.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Matteo: What, precisely, is the point in sparring with the weakest presentation of a case?

    Having a good laugh.

  • ThatOtherGuy

    “…Design Proponents…”

    I think you mean “cdesign proponentsists.”

  • Bob

    To make it easy for you: evolution can be falsified by showing modern creatures buried in the same strata as ancient ones.Poodles in the Permian is the standard one-liner here.

    Not really, because for some animals, evolutionists just say that they have not been changing much in millions of years.

    Alternatively, you could show features passing from creatures on separate branches of the tree, like mammals getting features from birds that reptiles never had.

    Platypus (http://creation.com/platypus-thumbs-its-nose-or-bill-at-evolutionary-scientists)

    i.e. the things that the Discovery Institute never ever does.

    That is not true. They did (http://www.allaboutscience.org/intelligent-design-peer-reviewed-faq.htm)

    I’ll try to give you a simple summary: The bacteria were being fed glucose as a carbon source, but the medium contained citrate as a buffer. Some of the bacteria became capable of digesting the citrate as a carbon source. This required a couple of mutations, the first of which displayed no obvious benefit (i.e. was neutral).
    This strikes directly at Creationist claims about the probability of beneficial mutations.

    Well, not really. It is the other way around for several reasons:

    1. They started and ended with E. coli bacteria

    2. The populations were maintained

    They discovered that all five populations had fixed a different mutation in one gene (glpK). This gene codes for the protein glycerol kinase, which is the first enzyme used to break down glycerol so the bacteria can use it.

    In the original strain this protein is inhibited (adjusted so it works very slowly), but mutations in this gene increased its activity so the bacteria were able to grow more rapidly. There were mutations found in a second gene (RNA polymerase) in three of the populations that also adjusted things so the bacteria were able to grow significantly faster.

    Genetic change over time does not support an evolutionary origin unless the pattern of change demonstrates the formation of new, complex biochemical pathways by chance events—such a pattern is conspicuously absent.

    Instead, these bacteria appear designed to be able to adapt.

    The ID big shots went to great pains (when speaking for public consumption, not at the church group meetings that are so prevalent in the movement) to pretend that ID is science, and is not based on religion. However, the multitudes in the pews, like Segelstein, have never been able to stick with that message. They show up the “ID is not religion” message.

    The beliefs of the supporters and the implication of a theory should not make it any less scientific.

    Extra reading: Ancient Fossils with Preserved Soft Tissues and DNA (http://naturalselection.0catch.com/Files/fossilizeddna.html). How could these survived the supposedly millions of years given the nature of these things?

  • Bob

    Also, more about the e-coli experiment and how it actually go against evolution theory: http://www.scienceagainstevolution.org/v12i11f.htm

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Bob, why don’t you suggest that they publish that in a peer-reviewed scientific journal?

  • Bob

    They are trying to publish their articles in a peer-reviewed scientific journal (http://www.allaboutscience.org/intelligent-design-peer-reviewed-faq.htm).


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