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Intelligent Design Ruled "Not Science" 1497

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the take-a-religion-course-if-you-want-it dept.
blane.bramble writes "The Register is reporting that the UK government has stated there is no place in the science curriculum for Intelligent Design and that it can not be taught as science. 'The Government is aware that a number of concerns have been raised in the media and elsewhere as to whether creationism and intelligent design have a place in science lessons. The Government is clear that creationism and intelligent design are not part of the science National Curriculum programs of study and should not be taught as science.'"
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Intelligent Design Ruled "Not Science"

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  • Hah. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@@@gmail...com> on Monday June 25, 2007 @05:07PM (#19640883) Journal
    It's not really religion either.

    God demands faith. God does not provide proof, because proof kills faith. If you see something that you think is proof of God's existence, you're wrong. He's ineffable. That means you can't effing figure him out.

    The arrogance of the goddamn literal read types is just astounding....Anyone else would look at evolution and go, "Damn! That God guy is hella fricking smart! Look at this crap! It's a system for self-improvement built into self-replicating creatures! It's awesome!" but a literal-read weenie will look at it and say, "Don't say nuthin about that in da bible. You must be wrong."

    The worst thing that can be said about the literal read types, is that they have nothing to look up to. They know all there is to know about god and everything. So very very sad.
    • Re:Hah. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Dann25 (210278) on Monday June 25, 2007 @05:13PM (#19640985)
      Paraphrasing another article.... its amazing how people that want to take everything on faith become experts on the scientific method when they want you to prove evolution
      • Re:Hah. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 25, 2007 @05:22PM (#19641159)
        Exactly! How many times has some creationist offered criticism of some experiment I show them. The criticism is sometimes very well founded, and I agree with it. Then in the next breath, they say they believe the Bible is the only truth. Where did the useful skepticism go??
        • Re:Hah. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by EaglemanBSA (950534) on Monday June 25, 2007 @07:25PM (#19642889)
          I offer criticism to many experiments, but I don't discount the existence of evolution. I believe the Bible to be wholly true, but that belief has come through useful skepticism. Tell me, after being skeptic of an experiment, then trying it time and time again, coming up with the same results...doesn't that eliminate the skepticism? Surely you're not skeptic of the existence of gravity because you've had a lifetime around it to know it's there...why is it any different for a Christian believing the Bible? Time and time again, I've found what it says to be true, so I believe it is.

          Attacking 'creationists' by name here doesn't really jive with me, because I believe evolution to be a completely probable, possible theory. It's been shown in many experiments to be the best model for development of living organisms that we know of, by the scientific method. I also believe that God created it. Believing that God created the universe and believing that a species changes from one eon to the next as an adaptation to its environment are not mutually exclusive. I, in fact, think it's pretty dadgum cool.

          • Re:Hah. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Pfhorrest (545131) on Monday June 25, 2007 @08:16PM (#19643393) Homepage Journal

            why is it any different for a Christian believing the Bible? Time and time again, I've found what it says to be true, so I believe it is.
            I'm curious, what is it that the Bible has claimed which you have observed to be true? I'm assuming here that by "found" you mean something like "observed", and not just "well that sounds right to me", as intuition is clearly no basis for grounding an argument, since arguing that way, you'd only ever convince people who already agreed with you, and never anybody who didn't.

            Note that there is a big difference between saying non-false things and saying true things. If what you say implies nothing at all, then you've not really said anything descriptive of the world, and that non-statement is no more false, but also no more true, than silence. So feel-good emotional language (blessed are so-and-so...), lists of commands (thou shalt not...), and so forth, are not even candidates for being true or false. Also bear in mind that "The Bible" is not one big theory, hypothesis, or proposition: it's a whole bunch of them, and as such, some of them could be right and others wrong, and so finding some true statements in there doesn't imply that all statements therein are true.

            In my experience, those claims that the Bible makes which are meaningful (actually say something with observable implications), and not evidently false (such as a literal reading of Genesis), are fairly trivial and not disputed even by atheists. (Christians and non-Christians, for all their differences, still agree on a whole lot of things, like for example that 2+2=4, so there are plenty of trivial things in the Bible than even an atheist will agree are true). So if you've read something in there which is meaningful, controversial (i.e. something Christians believe and non-Christians don't), and which you've observed evidence for, I'd be rather interested in hearing what is was, and what sort of evidence you've observed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jimicus (737525)
      By that definition, anyone who believes that concepts such as irreducable complexity prove intelligent design and thus the bible logically believes in the non-existence of God, as per the very similar argument espoused by Douglas Adams in The Hitchikers Guide...

      Might be interesting to try this argument with a creationist.
    • Re:Hah. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by adisakp (705706) on Monday June 25, 2007 @05:29PM (#19641279) Journal
      God demands faith. God does not provide proof, because proof kills faith. If you see something that you think is proof of God's existence, you're wrong. He's ineffable. That means you can't effing figure him out.

      That postulate leaves the existence of God vulnerable to a Babel Fish Argument [ucsd.edu] -- i.e. were someone to experience a true miracle, it would disprove the existance of such a God.
    • Re:Hah. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by lawpoop (604919) on Monday June 25, 2007 @05:44PM (#19641461) Homepage Journal

      It's not really religion either.

      God demands faith. God does not provide proof, because proof kills faith. If you see something that you think is proof of God's existence, you're wrong. He's ineffable. That means you can't effing figure him out.
      There are some religions that don't have a big faith component. A lot of types of Hindudism and Buddhism, for examples. They claim that their traditions are 'sciences' ( and they made this claim well before modern western science came on the scene ), meaning serious, systematic studies. In this case they are studying the experience of consciousness, from the subjective point of view of the practitioner.

      In other words, you don't need faith, they claim -- or rather, they don't even mention it at all. Just sit and meditate seriously for long enough, and you will have a direct experience of the divine. There's a famous maxim from one of the Zen masters, "If you see a Buddha on your path to enlightenment, kill it!"

      While it's true that they would say you can't figure God out, either, they might claim that you can 'experience' 'Him'.
    • Re:Hah. (Score:5, Funny)

      by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday June 25, 2007 @05:55PM (#19641637) Homepage Journal

      He's ineffable. That means you can't effing figure him out.

      That's beautiful. If you don't mind, I'd like to use that line. I'll try to remember to give you credit, SatanicPuppy.

      I used to date a stuck-up girl who was ineffable, too. I finally gave up and eff'ed her friend.
    • Re:Hah Hah. (Score:5, Funny)

      by rajafarian (49150) on Monday June 25, 2007 @07:38PM (#19643043)
      The belief in a creator god cracks me up:

      Who created HIM?

      No one, he always existed.

      Then why can't we say that the universe always existed?

      'Cause I'm not smart enough.
  • by oskay (932940) on Monday June 25, 2007 @05:08PM (#19640891) Homepage
    Will someone in the US government please do the same?
  • by Vihai (668734) on Monday June 25, 2007 @05:08PM (#19640903) Homepage
    ...ALLELUJA! :)
  • That's good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cromar (1103585) on Monday June 25, 2007 @05:15PM (#19641023)
    I can't believe it is such an issue in the USA. People don't seem to even understand the definition of science. While I won't diminish the importance of religion or spirituality in life, science is based on reason and logic and is therefore a very practical and useful way to understand the natural world.

    Personally, I don't see any conflict between the world being created by some God, even in 7 days, and its being formed over billions of years by natural processes. One is a faith based way of experiencing the world, the other is a sensory based, practical, and logical way. They are both useful.

    What isn't useful is to deny children understanding of what, very practically and falsifiably, is the way our reality works.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by adisakp (705706)
      Personally, I don't see any conflict between the world being created by some God, even in 7 days, and its being formed over billions of years by natural processes.

      True, just like there is no conflict between a child believing a magical fairy has given them a coin to replace the tooth they placed under their pillow and their parent believing that tricking that child by trading a coin for a bunch of tears is an easy way to pacify their child over a lost tooth.

      It's just two alternate ways to experience th
  • Whew! (Score:5, Funny)

    by oneandoneis2 (777721) * on Monday June 25, 2007 @05:15PM (#19641025) Homepage
    Thank God for that!

    No, wait...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 25, 2007 @05:16PM (#19641047)
    Oh Lord. Don't look at those sinners in the United Kingdom.

    Enjoy looking at us in the US, please?

    We love you so much we do everything in your name.

    Come to church friends and lets pray for less WMD and more enforcement of DMCA.

    So God will get so much love from us that he can ignore that hate from the UK.

    George W Bush will tell us how much God loves our prayers and how desperate we try to look better in churches than the rest of the world with all our singing and praying.
  • Just Science (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wellington Grey (942717) on Monday June 25, 2007 @05:20PM (#19641109) Homepage Journal
    While this is indeed a win, the watering down of the sciences in the UK is horrifying. I've written an article about the physics exams [wellingtongrey.net] to try and bring some attention to this topic. On the biology side, I was shocked by the most recent GCSE paper on which the last question described an experiment on lab animals and the effect exposure of a hormone had on them. The students where then asked: ''How does this experiment contradict the theory of evolution.'' Also they are asked questions like ''Who would oppose contraception'' and they get a mark for writing ''Certain religious groups.'' It's really sad.
  • by fm6 (162816) on Monday June 25, 2007 @05:24PM (#19641179) Homepage Journal
    ... how do you explain the fact that your finger is exactly the right diameter for sticking up your nose?
  • by FuckTheModerators (883349) on Monday June 25, 2007 @05:26PM (#19641217) Journal
    Fire ruled "Not cold."
  • by pauljuno (998497) on Monday June 25, 2007 @05:34PM (#19641327)
    The Flying Spaghetti Monster is not going to be happy to hear about this!
  • by PHPNerd (1039992) on Monday June 25, 2007 @05:34PM (#19641331) Homepage
    Both ID and evolution are theories, or they wouldn't have the words "The theory of" before them. I think it's important to remember that the best either camp (scientists and theologians) can offer are just theories, both with their own supporting evidences. It's sad, though, that kids can't be taught both (that is, taught an ID where the goal is to show the probability of some greater power, not necessarily any religion's god) and then be left alone to make up their own minds about which they will choose to believe. Because, when it all boils down to it, you have to have faith in something, be it science or religion. The fact is that some of those who vehemently flame ID have just as much (or more) faith in the current scientific paradigm (see: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions [wikipedia.org] by Thomas Kuhn) compared to their religious counterparts.
    • Re:Both are theories (Score:4, Informative)

      by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday June 25, 2007 @05:41PM (#19641421) Journal
      And now we're going to have Kuhn thrown in our face. ID is not a theory, save in the vernacular definition of the word. Even Michael Behe, one of its formulators, was forced to admit it during the Dover Trial. The very few predictions that it has made have been falsified, and it is in fact used by no one in actual fields that rely upon learning about the actions of intelligent agents. You can take science or leave it if you like, but don't pretend that Intelligent Design is a scientific theory. It, in fact, rejects key lines of research that real fields of inquiry into intelligent agents attempt to answer. It explicitely refuses to answer who the Designer is, where the Designer is or was, how the Designer went about producing the designs, or even, in fact, what was designed. Now you can go around trumpeting Kuhn all you want, but any line of inquiry that explicitely refuses to answer specific questions that naturally come from investigation into the hypothesis sure doesn't sound like a useful way to gain knowledge to me.

      Oh, and explain why anyone should give a damn what Kuhn says?
    • Re:Both are theories (Score:5, Informative)

      by Rycross (836649) on Monday June 25, 2007 @05:53PM (#19641599)
      Intelligent Design is not a theory in the scientific meaning of the word. A scientific theory is the best explanation that fits the evidence available, and is falsifiable. What that means is that if new evidence comes to light that disproves it, then the scientific theory can be replaced with a new theory, or modified to fit the new evidence.

      Intelligent Design does not meet the requirements of a scientific theory, because it is not falsifiable. Please stop claiming that evolution is a theory using the layman's definition of the term. Also, please do not claim that intelligent design is a theory unless you have a falsifiable model which fits all the evidence in place.
  • by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Monday June 25, 2007 @05:39PM (#19641399)
    What ID really was was an attempt to slip creation in under the door. This is because Creationists can't stand the following phrase. "I don't know."

    Here are some things that do need to be understood.

    1. Evolution does not disprove the existence of "God" but it may undermine the myth of Jehovah. That is to say, the creationists are afraid that if we get so much evidence to show that the religions of Abraham are false, or the world doesn't work the way they say it does, that God becomes impersonal and Alien to us. Which is a sane argument really. The creator of the Universe caring about what happens to us is like us caring about what happens to some Ant hill somewhere.

    If that happens, then all our wars, and churches, and institutions we built up to serve religion will be for a "God" who is disconnected and we will have built these social institutions for the sake of ourselves. Alot of powerful people don't want that.

    2. Our understanding of Evolution is incomplete. That is to say, we can see the trees, but not the entire forest. We aren't that far ahead. There are going to be errors we make in our determination in how evolution works. The creationists are going to come back and say "see! see! you screwed up! but God makes everything perfect!"

    3. If you want to know the truth of whats out there, I'd imagine religious forces in this world would seek to prevent it, or cover it up. A lot of these religions created by Abraham revolve around the idea that Man is at the center of everything. If we discovered Alien life elsewhere in the Universe, at first everyone religious would panic. Gradually, Religion would change to accommodate the Aliens. But you damn well bet there would be people saying "Jebus died on the Cross for Humans/Terrans/Earthlings" whatever.

    So, as an Agnostic, who isn't sure whats out there, I'd like to know, but I can't be sure until the technology exists for me to explore this universe in much greater depth. I'm very curious. But I feel comfortable saying "I don't know right now." The hard core religious people can't afford to be wrong. If their $Holy_Text is wrong, then they are going to realize the magnitude of some of the inexcusable things done in History.

    I think some day it will happen. We will come out with concrete evidence that exposes the whole mythology, something so observable that religion can't adjust to it. Who knows if we will accept it and become better people, or deny it and kill each other. Again, I just don't know.
    • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Monday June 25, 2007 @05:53PM (#19641617) Homepage Journal
      The creator of the Universe caring about what happens to us is like us caring about what happens to some Ant hill somewhere.

      Without detracting from the rest of your argument, this part needs work. We're limited beings, complex machines made of crude matter. The Yahoweh mythology is about an infinite being.

      Do you have absolutely no interest in what the ants are doing inside their ant hill? I think it might be neat to watch them. But I certainly don't have the resources to do so frequently, widely, or intently, so I elect not to care about them.

      Those constraints don't apply to the supreme being worshiped by the tribes of Abraham, ergo it would be surprising if he didn't pay attention to everything. And play Ski-ball at the same time.
  • The Ascent of Man (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Pedrito (94783) on Monday June 25, 2007 @06:52PM (#19642543) Homepage
    I was recently watching The Ascent of Man [imdb.com] (BBC, 1973). When discussing evolution, Dr. Bronowski says something to the effect of, "Of course, today, almost nobody denies evolution." All I could think was, "How far backwards have we gone that in 1973 the issue was pretty much considered a fact by the general population and now..." It's scary, really.
  • by fred fleenblat (463628) on Monday June 25, 2007 @07:25PM (#19642879) Homepage
    Where I get tripped over ID is that when *I* am Intelligently Designing something, such as a software module, there is a process of evolution going on in my head. I start out with the basic idea, do a first try, step back and look at it, make adaptations and enhancements, evaluate it in a test environment, refine it some more, plug it into a larger module and test that out, fix some stuff I forgot to deal with, rewrite the whole thing from scratch a couple times, try out the alternatives, pick one and go with that, do some performance tuning, roll it out to QA and customers, make staged changes based on feedback, roll those out, then maybe go work on another software module with the same process.

    So even if ID is true, it's still evolution, it's just moving the venue from "stuff happening on earth" to "stuff happening in supreme space alien's brain".

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