Friday, September 07, 2007

Dembski vs ERV?

Remember the line, folks-- ID Creationism has nothing to do with religion.

Note from the Trinity Baptist Elders:

Trinity will be undertaking a very intense and strategic effort to present the gospel to the University of Oklahoma. God has given us incredible mission fields here in Norman with our proximity to a campus that welcomes thousands of students, many of whom have either never heard the gospel or have rejected the truth of the scriptures.

In our effort to penetrate the university campus with the gospel, we are bringing Dr. William Dembski to OU on September 16-17.

His presentations will be open to the public generally but will specifically target students and professors within several science departments at OU. In case you are wondering, these departments and their teachings are not friends of Christianity.

Make no mistake about it, our goal for this project is not to win a debate or to simply present an alternative worldview. Our prayer for this entire effort is for God to open doors so the power of His gospel would be made known to groups of people who need to hear the truth. The issues of intelligent design and evolution are far greater than simply differing perspectives about science. The overall issue is one explaining the world in which we live. Another issue, Naturalism, eliminates God from the equation and thus affects every other part of life. That makes this issue one of vital gospel importance!
Dont worry folks, Ill be there.

*smile*

EDITED 09-08-07 to add--
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA! Title of his talk:
"Why Atheism is no Longer Intellectually Fulfilling: The Challenge of Intelligent Design to Unintelligent Evolution"
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA! PRICELESS!

17 September at 7 PM in Meacham Auditorium



(Oklahoma Homies-- send me an e-mail! Lets carpool or meet for dinner/lunch or something!)

33 comments:

The Factician said...

Oh, I can't *wait* to hear about this one...

Ian said...

That's so cool! Thanks so much for the heads up. Really looking forward to seeing Dembski talk (of course, the 16th is the worst possible day...I'm hoping the stuff aimed at students will be on the Monday).

Hermagoras said...

Nothin' but science, y'know. Hilarious.

J-Dog said...

EEEWWW - Demsbski and Trinity Baptist Elders!
Don't forget your Hazmat suit when you go.

If you actually do get a chance to ask a question at an open mic (instead of the usual creo filtering through "written questions"...) Nail him. Nail him good.

I'm thinking you can make him cry, just like a little girl. Just be careful, cuz he is very slimey.

carlsonjok said...

If you could post the schedule of campus events, that would be super. I'd like to attend, but it may be difficult given personal obligations.

Kevin Z said...

It would be like way beyond awesome if you can get someone else to film the talk. Or at least bring a digital voice recorder. A video post of you asking dembski a question would be priceless. I would even send you a voice recorder, but really there $10 at mallwart.

dreikin said...

Alas, I'm a bit far away to see this one (Fl.). Do you know if it will be recorded, or if someone can do it for them?

After your radio debate, I'd be particularly interested if you get to go up against him.

Good luck (or cookies, if you don't want luck).

Forthekids said...

Maybe I'll have to take a little road trip for this one...hate to have to settle for a second hand report.

Who told you ID has "nothing" to do with religion? I think Phillip Johnson, himself, made no bones about the religious *implications* of ID.

But, then again, when considering the science, the inference of design doesn't carry any more weight than evolution in terms of religious *implications*.

The Rev. Jenner J. Hull said...

Oh, the opportunities to show Dembski for the moron he is are so very ripe!

And now you've got forthekids commenting, so, for the sake of Our Holy Lord, Satan, please deal with her when the situation arises.

She's real passive/aggressive with her comments, almost to the point of completely unintentional brilliance.

386sx said...

So just pray and then have God open some doors. What do they need Mr. Debmski for? Pray, have God open some doors, maybe get Him to take out the Laundry or something while He's at it. Pray -> God opens doors and takes out laundry. I don't see what the big deal is.

Albatrossity said...

FtK wrote

But, then again, when considering the science, the inference of design doesn't carry any more weight than evolution in terms of religious *implications*.

Classic. Of course, this ignores the reality that, when "considering the science", ID has no weight at all. But that is probably considered to be a good thing if you are "anti-materialist".

Forthekids said...

"But that is probably considered to be a good thing if you are "anti-materialist"."

Oh, on the contrary, luv. I'm not "anti" materialist, but rather I support an even playing field for the materialist and those who find materialism wanting.

Not everyone supports the notion that the materialist worldview is the only path that can be considered when contemplating the makings of our universe or what can or cannot be considered "truth" or "facts".

Materialism doesn't pose a problem for me, but rather it's the idea that other avenues in which to find truth should be banished from society that I find worrisome.

Tyler DiPietro said...

FtK, wrong orifice. You're supposed to talk out of your mouth, not fart out of your ass.

Setting aside the fact that "materialism" is little more than a boogeyman that exists only in the imagination of IDiots, assailing it without even attempting to present a coherent alternative is about as useless as it gets. That at least goes a long way explaining the utter uselessness creationism.

Albatrossity said...

FtK erected this straw man and set it aflame:

Materialism doesn't pose a problem for me, but rather it's the idea that other avenues in which to find truth should be banished from society that I find worrisome.

Please document the assertion that some group (materialists, scientists, atheists?) advocates that "other avenues in which to find truth should be banished from society."

And if you can do that, please provide evidence that these attempts have been even partially successful. Ever.

thanks in advance

luv

Forthekids said...

Sorry...I take that back. Many naturalists only *wish* other avenues could be banished from *society*.

But, certainly the "scientific community" intends to banish anything other than materialistic conclusions from being considered in the realm of science.

IE...Baylor circus/JJ's decision/Sternburg/Gonzalez/Crocker...

Forthekids said...

LUV...

Albatrossity said...

FtK backtracked:

Many naturalists only *wish* other avenues could be banished from *society*.

Yet another undocumented assertion. How do you know what others "wish"?

And yet another

But, certainly the "scientific community" intends to banish anything other than materialistic conclusions from being considered in the realm of science.

"Banish" is an interesting verb. And quite inaccurate here. Science is limited to observations of the natural world. It simply cannot be applied to entities or forces outside the natural world. And finally, conclusions are very different from observations. If your observations are limited to the natural world, your conclusions, by necessity, have to be limited as well. Please provide some experimental approach to allow science to study entities or forces (e.g. intelligent designers, souls, etc.) that seem not to interact in any observable way with the natural world.

Frankly, I'm glad you retracted that strawman, because it would be interesting to see how you justified it in light of this truly "banishing" goal from the Wedge Strategy:

Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies.

Projection, anyone?

Hermagoras said...

FtK said,

But, certainly the "scientific community" intends to banish anything other than materialistic conclusions from being considered in the realm of science.

For me the key phrase, one ID proponents fail to understand, is in the realm of science. I'll not quibble with the rest of this sentence, much as I'd want to. Rather, I want to point out that it's not supernatural explanations as such to which science objects, but supernatural explanations presented as science.

To Pope's translation of The Iliad, one scholar remarked, "A pretty poem, Mr Pope, but you mustn't call it Homer." I don't have a problem with supernatural beliefs; in fact, I may share a few. But I mustn't call them science.

ERV said...

Banish? We're talking about banishing? Like I was banished from UD for talking about science? Yes, lets talk about 'banishing'!

I totally want to 'banish' ID!! Im threatened by their findings! Why, with all the ID Creationists inventing new cancer therapies, and all the ghost whisperers solving all the crimes, and the psychics ruining EVERY World Series, I am TOTALLY threatened by non-materialists! I want to banish them so I can keep the world crippled for my own monetary and personal gain!

LOL!

Forthekids said...

“Yet another undocumented assertion. How do you know what others "wish"?"

I suppose I spend too much time reading anti-theist blogs. Certainly Dawkins, Myers, Weinburg, Harris, et. al and many of their supporters would like nothing more than to see religion cease to have influence on the masses. But, you’re right...in general, I believe that the majority of people who are atheist or agnostic don’t have a problem with people who hold to various religious beliefs.

“Science is limited to observations of the natural world. It simply cannot be applied to entities or forces outside the natural world. And finally, conclusions are very different from observations. If your observations are limited to the natural world, your conclusions, by necessity, have to be limited as well. Please provide some experimental approach to allow science to study entities or forces (e.g. intelligent designers, souls, etc.) that seem not to interact in any observable way with the natural world.”

Science being limited to natural causes may not lead to the *truth* in regard to origins. You’ve been after me repeatedly because you believe I am not actually searching for truth but rather looking for something to support my religious beliefs. Yet, from what I have read, evolution does not provide the answers for the reason why the “illusion” of design is so prominent in nature. If one is actually interested in "truth", the inference of design should not be off limits to discussion.

If nothing else, the inference of design will push scientists to further look for answers to fill the gaping holes in their molecule to man assumption, as well as prompt more in-depth studies into origins (as we have already seen happen).

Behe has prompted many scientists to more closely consider the extent to which evolution can actually be considered viable. With ID, there is no need whatsoever to conduct experiments that would “study entities, souls, etc.”. Inferring design does not negate the possibility that the source of intellect responsible for this “illusion” is a natural one, but then again, it may be due to a supernatural agent. But, to try to make the point that knowledge of designing source is not necessary to infer design consider that one need not know who it was that designed an automobile in order to infer that the automobile was indeed the product of an intelligent designer.

“Frankly, I'm glad you retracted that strawman, because it would be interesting to see how you justified it in light of this truly "banishing" goal from the Wedge Strategy:
Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies."

While I believe that paranoia in regard to the “Wedge” is truly over the top, I believe that that particular sentence could justify the irritation that materialists feel due to the unfortunate choice of words. Someone became a tad over zealous in their delivery, IMHO.

Personally, I have no doubt whatsoever that “materialism” will never be “overthrown”, just as I realize that theism will never be squashed in the manner that Dawkins and other materialists would prefer.

My preference would be that society and our universities remain open to both, and that our students be allowed to consider of both materialism and it’s counterpart in science as well as other areas of study.

As a Christian, I believe that we are all given the free will to make a choice as to what we will accept as “truth”. That choice will never be relinquished, and just as a materialists would not want to see their belief that there is nothing other than matter itself rejected as an option in public education, neither should non-materialistic views be removed from our school corridors as long as we are not forcing a particular religious belief on our students.

Design allows just that.

Smokey said...

ftk wrote:
"Behe has prompted many scientists to more closely consider the extent to which evolution can actually be considered viable."

No, he hasn't. If they were scientists, they would be making and publishing new observations.

There are none. Not even Behe has sufficient faith to test his own hypotheses (that are often dishonestly presented as facts).

olegt said...

ftk,

There is one little problem with your program of incorporating the supernatural in science. It's awfully hard to perform reproducible experiments with supernatural subjects (or objects).

Dembski et al. understand that very well. As a result, they don't suggest any experimental ways to prove ID. They are content with inferring the supernatural through elimination of natural explanations.

If scientists took such silliness seriously, we'd never discover quantum mechanics! You see, in the beginning of the 20th century, Niels Bohr proved rigorously that classical physics (both Newtonian and relativistic versions) is incompatible with magnetism (the Bohr-van Leeuwen theorem). By Dembski's logic, this eliminates any natural explanation and thus establishes a supernatural origin of magnetism.

Of course, the paradox was resolved and a natural explanation of magnetism was found when a new physical theory, quantum mechanics, was born. And classical mechanics is still alive and well (I taught it last year to freshmen), even though it cannot explain magnetism and fails on the microscopic scale. But hey, no physical theory explains everything.

So whatever paradoxes come from Dembski (who is no Niels Bohr) or Behe, modern biology will survive. Not because of the academic establishment that resists changes but because it has been thoroughly tested by experiments. As long as IDers offer nothing but speculations and criticism (but no theoretical framework and no experimental tests), they can whine all they want, it won't make any difference.

The Factician said...

I don't want to banish non-materialistic ideas. In fact, I'd like to see some non-materialistic science with my telescope. Or my microscope.

Either one. FtK, could you direct me to some instructions about how I can see some of this non-materialistic goop?

Albatrossity said...

FtK wrote:

Science being limited to natural causes may not lead to the *truth* in regard to origins... [personal allusions deleted here]... Yet, from what I have read, evolution does not provide the answers for the reason why the “illusion” of design is so prominent in nature. If one is actually interested in "truth", the inference of design should not be off limits to discussion.

Well, it certainly isn't off limits for discussion; we seem to be discussing it here, there, and everywhere. But science, in order to be considered science, has to go beyond inference and discussion with experiments. Experiments. You know, those things that seem to be lacking in any discussion of ID today.

So I'll ask this question again. If you can answer it, you will move ahead of Behe, Dembski, Wells, and all of the other masters of ID discussion.

Please provide some experimental approach to allow science to study entities or forces (e.g. intelligent designers, souls, etc.) that seem not to interact in any observable way with the natural world.

Thanks in advance

quantok said...

FtK, imagine 20 years have passed and ID proponents have put together a solid and coherent body of material. What would a high-school science textbook that embraced ID look like?

Would IDers really accept a broadly sympathetic approach in the curriculum to the possibility of design in complex systems, or is something more desired — perhaps the presumption at an absolutely fundamental level that all physical processes are aspects of purposive design? In fact, wouldn't the emergence of a rigorous ID hypothesis alienate many of its lay constituents, who clearly warm to ID not for its scientific insights but for its perceived resistance to non-teleological world views?

So, what would scientific ID look like? Presumably, it would follow Behe and others in accepting common descent, so all speciation would be explained by natural processes within the 'edge of evolution'. In effect, it wouldn't be mainstream ID to argue that the intelligent designers constantly intervene to alter genomes.

The key areas of debate would probably involve biogenesis (particularly how many bio-g events had occurred in history) and also the emergence of phylogenetic classes (maybe orders?) or Kinds. I would guess that no true ID will ever concede an evolutionary pathway from amphibian to mammal, but it's easy to imagine it willing to accept the fossil record for whales as cataloguing a natural process of genomic change over time.

Old Earth will be absolute canon — to be wrong about deep time practically every well-established physics hypothesis (from radioactive decay to stellar distances) would have to be refuted. I doubt a mature ID science will decide there's any mileage in an ID cosmology, beyond speculation about the early origins of the universe. I would also bet that Flood geology will be completely ruled out by any remotely impartial ID textbook.

I've based this speculation on an arbitrary measure of scientific plausibility — my bias, of course. But a textbook that looked like this might have a chance of finding itself in high school science curricula. Do you think this would be a victory for ID; or would it have conceded too much to naturalism?

To repeat the question: what would the ID science textbook look like?

Doppelganger said...

Funny how FtK posts comments all over on those evil censorous closed-minded atheist blogs, but she won't let anyone critical of her baloney post on her blog...

Typical.

TexasSkeptic said...

Oh dear, you've done it now ERV: left yourself wide open to the miners.

Your words, before Standard Handling by ID Theocrats:

"Banish? We're talking about banishing? Like I was banished from UD for talking about science? Yes, lets talk about 'banishing'!

I totally want to 'banish' ID!! Im threatened by their findings! Why, with all the ID Creationists inventing new cancer therapies, and all the ghost whisperers solving all the crimes, and the psychics ruining EVERY World Series, I am TOTALLY threatened by non-materialists! I want to banish them so I can keep the world crippled for my own monetary and personal gain!

LOL!"

After Standard (Shameless?) Handling by ID Theocrats:

"I totally want to banish ID!! Im (sic) threatened by their findings. . .I am TOTALLY threatened by. . .(them). I want to. . .keep the world (scientifically) crippled for my own monetary gain!"

How long before this particular SHIT shows up somewhere?

(Hope you like the acronym. I made it up myself!)

Mark Studdock said...

How is ID somehow invalidated because a church in Norman Oklahoma invites Dembski to speak on the OU campus.

The church is interested in spreading the Gospel. Isn't that what churches do?

No where does their "letter" argue that ID is a faith based or religious theory and that ID is the gospel. Of course, the religious implications of ID, if it is true, favor Christianity more than naturalism.

BTW, if ERV is an atheist, does that mean that evolution is not true. That is, if she holds to EVO, is it not out of a desire that it is true and therefore that its implications are true?

Anti-ID people look so silly to the fence sitters...

Anonymous said...

ERV, please p()Wn Dembski!!@!!!!!1!!!!uno!

Albatrossity said...

Mark Studdock blathered:

Anti-ID people look so silly to the fence sitters

Now, Mark, you know it isn't good to lie for Jeebus. If you are pretending to be a fence-sitter, you will need to explain this, and this, and this and a few dozen other trollish posts on Pandasthumb.org..

your mom's diary said...

I'm glad to see that there actually will be some sort of interaction in this kind of event, finally. I've always scratched my head at why the scientific establishment has been so dismissive of ID, yet so often refused to engage them in public. It seems to me that if IDers just do not have the argument, the smart thing to do would be to publicly wipe the floor with them.

Albatrossity said...

I've always scratched my head at why the scientific establishment has been so dismissive of ID, yet so often refused to engage them in public.

That is an outsider's view of science. If you understand how science works, you understand that public debates, although entertaining, rarely are a tool of scientific inquiry. Scientific debates occur in peer-reviewed publications and at scientific conferences. Those are two places where you rarely, if ever, find any ID supporters.

And before you characterize this as elitist, think back to the number of scientific controversies that were settled in public debates. Or the number that were taught in high schools before being accepted by the majority of scientists working in the field. Can't think of any? Neither can I.

So that is at least part of the reason that the scientific establishment is "dismissive". The real work of science (and scientists) is not done in public. You have to pay your dues first; you can't jump to the head of the line just because you are the loudest at a public debate.

That said, I'm glad that ERV and friends will be present to hear Dembski, simply for the entertainment value. But if his topic is as advertised ("Why Atheism is no longer intellectually fulfilling"), it doesn't sound much like science to me...

Steverino said...

"As a Christian, I believe that we are all given the free will to make a choice as to what we will accept as “truth”. That choice will never be relinquished, and just as a materialists would not want to see their belief that there is nothing other than matter itself rejected as an option in public education, neither should non-materialistic views be removed from our school corridors as long as we are not forcing a particular religious belief on our students.

Design allows just that. "

FTK...I cannot begin to post, in how many ways, your comment betrays your ability to critically think.