Debate and Discussion

Subversive religious aims of proponents of ID theory?
ozoneocean at 4:56AM, Jan. 10, 2006
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(This isn’t a debate on evolution, this is a debate on aims of ID)
I thought this would be a much better debate for this subject than one about evolution, since “Intelligent Design” and evolution don’t really start of on an equal footing; ID has no broad scientific backing, the amount of research into ID is miniscule to nonexistent, etc, etc.

So what are the aims of the main proponents of ID? Are they actually enlightened scientific idealists? Or are they simply using ID to cynically undermine the scientific theory of evolution in order to further a conservative Christian agenda?
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:23PM
ozoneocean at 6:24AM, Jan. 10, 2006
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Now this probably won't be as popular as a “debate” where we just end up trying to explain evolution to people. But if you accept evolution as the prime scientific theory for explaining the origins and diversity of life on this planet, then it’s more valuable to examine the motives of those who seemingly seek to undermine it.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:23PM
isukun at 6:57AM, Jan. 10, 2006
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I don't think ID in and of itself has any foul intentions, but the school boards in those areas that push for it often do. The recent case in Pennsylvania kind of highlighted that, though. I actually find it kind of ironic that at a Catholic school we were taught both, but neither seemed to contradict or negate the other. ID was not taught, or even mentioned, in the biology class. It was brought up in one of the christian philosophy classes, but it wasn't presented in a way which would conflict with the theory of evolution. I believe they even mentioned evolution as one of the signs of intelligent design.

.: isukun :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:03PM
Linh at 5:47PM, Jan. 10, 2006
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mike z.
Absolutely nothing religious has any place in schools as part of the ciriculum. Christian customs may persist as part of this social instutition, but only evolution should be taught in classrooms.
Well, I disagree on this point. Religion does have a place in schools. It's very important in courses such as religious studies, philosophy, anthropology, psychology, etc.

However, dropping religious ideas such as ID in a science course is just silly. The ID proponents can try to disprove evolution all they want, because even if they succeed it still won't change the fact that ID does not belong in a science course. It doesn't even matter if it's true or not. It's not science in its current form, end of story.

While I highly doubt that the Intelligent Design supporters are “enlightened scientific idealists”, I also don't believe they have a “conservative Christian agenda” (Although it's getting hard to maintain this stance; too many times have I heard an ID supporter also ask for religious ideals in the government). With science and technology increasing their grip on society, Christians feel that their faith is under attack. They are afraid that if things continue this way, Christianity will lose all influence. In my opinion, their motive is to try to save their faith from what seems like its impending downfall.

It was brought up in one of the christian philosophy classes, but it wasn't presented in a way which would conflict with the theory of evolution. I believe they even mentioned evolution as one of the signs of intelligent design.
I'm curious, what was their solution to the fact that evolution requires millions of years and Christians believe that the world is only a few thousand years old?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:35PM
Black_Kitty at 6:32PM, Jan. 10, 2006
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Linh
I'm curious, what was their solution to the fact that evolution requires millions of years and Christians believe that the world is only a few thousand years old?

Some Christians view the creation story in Genesis as metaphorical with the main message being God as the creator of the universe.

I live in Canada so maybe the Catholics are more liberal here but I've never really met a Christian who actually believes the world is only a few thousand years old. Did you get that from Inherit the Wind or something?

.: Black Kitty :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM
ccs1989 at 6:36PM, Jan. 10, 2006
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mike z.
Absolutely nothing religious has any place in schools as part of the ciriculum.

Hmm…well in school we're reading one of the Divine Comedies, Dante's Inferno, at the moment. It's not in a mainstream English class but it is part of the ciricullum of the subject. Religion is so deeply rooted in society that I don't think it does any good to completely ignore it. It just has to be taken up…carefully. There are a lot of aethiests in that class.

Anyway as for ID…I'm tempted to say it's just another word for creationism. But I don't really know enough about it to say that. As for if it's intent is to push cristian propaganda into the everyday life of students…yes some school boards can push it in that way. However it is worth mentioning, just so it can be debated.

Overall I think it's quite easy to undermine any ‘scientific’ basis that ardent ID supporters think that it has, but that's just because of my stance on religion overall.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:37AM
Linh at 10:37PM, Jan. 10, 2006
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Black Kitty
Some Christians view the creation story in Genesis as metaphorical with the main message being God as the creator of the universe.

I live in Canada so maybe the Catholics are more liberal here but I've never really met a Christian who actually believes the world is only a few thousand years old. Did you get that from Inherit the Wind or something?
Har, I wish. I've had quite a few people use that against me as evidence against evolution. Apparently, there were some important historians who combed the Bible and arrived at the time frame of 5000-10000 years for the age of the world.

I don't know, maybe I've just been meeting the wrong people.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:35PM
isukun at 6:58AM, Jan. 11, 2006
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I don't know, maybe I've just been meeting the wrong people.

Must be. I was taught biology by a Catholic priest and we still learned the world was billions of years old. Part of the philosophy classes I took did in fact go over possible realistic explanations for events in the Bible as well as an analysis of when books were written and why some stories are meant to be metaphorical. Like how Genesis was written to compete with other popular religions at the time which had elaborate creation stories. It wasn't meant to be taken literally, it's simply a metaphor for the nature of mankind that got twisted by later generations.

Anyway as for ID…I'm tempted to say it's just another word for creationism. But I don't really know enough about it to say that.

ID in and of itself is not synonymous with creationism. Many Christians believe in ID and still support evolution. ID simply claims that the world shows enough structure to suggest the influence of a supernatural power. It doesn't even necessarily have to support the idea that a Christian God created the world seven thousand years ago. A Buddhist or Shinto believer could just as easily support ID.

.: isukun :.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:03PM
Ronson at 7:14AM, Jan. 14, 2006
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I don't think the ID people view their belief as “evolution guided by God”, because then I don't see where there's a problem.

Every IDer I've seen on tv goes to great lengths to say “evolution is just a theory, and here's ours”.

They point to the contradictions and disagreements pertaining to evolution to say it's less valid…and then offer no proof that ID is correct.

Hold on, I'm going to google ID and see if there's a boiled down definitions somewhere…Here it is from Wikipedia (bold mine)…

Intelligent design (ID) is the concept that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.“ Leading proponents, of which all are affliated with the Discovery Institute, say that intelligent design is a scientific theory that stands on equal footing with, or is superior to, current scientific theories regarding the origin of life.

An overwhelming majority of the scientific community views intelligent design not as a valid scientific theory but as pseudoscience or junk science. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has stated that intelligent design ”and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life" are not science because they cannot be tested by experiment, do not generate any predictions and propose no new hypotheses of their own.

Yeah, now I'm really confused. Are they really just saying that evolution was guided by an unknown force? If so, then what's the problem? Teach evolution in school and suggest to your kids at home that evolution was guided by the god of your choice.

Reading that definition, evolution is the proven bit and ID is just an unprovable extra that scientists can't include in a scientific examination.

The whole thing is rediculous anyway. If ID were really true, why have so many species died out over the billions of years?
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
Anonymous at 1:23PM, Jan. 14, 2006
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ID is an attempt at marketing. By getting ID into schools, next to science in science class, religion stands to benefit from a boost to it's credibility.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:53AM
mykill at 3:09PM, Jan. 14, 2006
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Intelligent design folks, in my opinions, are just like scientists in many ways.

The difference is the set of fact they work with.

The people who are politically maneouvering I.D into schools and such are DISTINCT from the people who take the work very seriously, even if its the same person.

Inteliigent design is, or can be, a scientific inquiry into the reality of a given interpretation of God. It's an explanation no more proven or disproven than the Big Bang. The difficulty is that for Intelligent Design proponents, Scripture is elevated to a status of “observable evidence”, and many of the proponents are so faithful they arn't even aware of how they are diverging from scientific method.

I personally feel an aspect of ‘intelligent design’ may be valid, but I think the ‘intelligence is terrestriat, not ’Godly'. What I mean is I believe species evolve in ways they have intention to evolve. For example, it's not just that smart people survived dumb people, but that parents wanted and intended their offspring to be smarter than themselves.

Now this is just a theory without scientific proof. But it doesn't rely on scripture and , to me anyway - seems to make more sense then purely random ‘mutation’.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:09PM

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