RSS 2.0 Feed

» Welcome Guest Log In :: Register

Pages: (4) < [1] 2 3 4 >   
  Topic: AAAHHHH!!!! The Cornell ID Course, Post-mortem time< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,14:28   

Link Here
Cornell University to offer ID class

Quote
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, April 9 – The Intelligent Design Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Club at Cornell would like to applaud Allen MacNeil, the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) Department, and Cornell University on this summer’s new course, BioEE 467: “Evolution and Design: Is There Purpose in Nature?”

Five and a half months after President Rawlings’ State of the University address condemning intelligent design, this course is Cornell’s first to focus on the theory from a historical and scientific perspective. Based on books such as Dembski and Ruse’s Debating Design and Behe’s peer-reviewed Darwin’s Black Box, the course purports “to sort out the various issues at play, and to come to clarity on how those issues can be integrated into the perspective of the natural sciences as a whole.”

This four credit seminar course, taught by the EEB Senior Lecturer Allen MacNeil, will also take a broader look at the historical disputes surrounding evolution.


--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,14:31   

Quote
CREDIT & GRADES: The course will be offered for 4 hours of credit, regardless of which course listing students choose to register for. Unless otherwise noted, course credit in BioEE 467/B&Soc 447 can be used to fulfill biology/science distribution requirements and Hist 415/S&TS 447 can be used to fulfill humanities distribution requirements (check with your college registrar's office for more information). Letter grades for this course will be based on the quality of written work on original research papers written by students, plus participation in class discussion.

http://evolutionlist.blogspot.com/

This has course info

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,14:59   

Don't freak out BWE. Even if they manage to temporarily get some hand waving into a university, that's all they have. they got no theory, they got no predictions, they got no experiments. There's no ID science. Nothing to be concerned about.

   
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,15:19   

yes, this was mentioned on PT as well.

did you check out the recommended reading list?

Any reason we shouldn't write to the instructor for clarification?

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,16:57   

I'm sure DaveTard will announce this as a victory.

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,17:03   

I wonder what UD will think of this?

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,17:51   

It's OK, the smell is still in the water.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,18:09   

should we write to Cornell and call for a boycott?

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,18:23   

This Prof is an interesting bunch of guys. Read some of his other posts. :D

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,18:34   

send me a PM.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,18:59   

Done.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,19:14   

ditto.  check your inbox.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 10 2006,19:50   

from Telic thoughts

Quote
thebluesite Says:
April 10th, 2006 at 3:07 pm  

~expletive deleted~


shhh!

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,08:57   

I can't believe Cornell would do this. This pisses me off. Maybe we should organize a boycott?

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,10:24   

You never know. Might be worth Digging into the past of the professor. You know, find out how impartial he really is.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Jay Ray



Posts: 92
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,10:28   

Carl Sagan must be rolling over in his grave of the imagination.

Come back, Carl!  We need you more than ever!

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,10:47   

Quote (BWE @ April 11 2006,15:24)
You never know. Might be worth Digging into the past of the professor. You know, find out how impartial he really is.

I wonder if he's a Christian? If so, that explains it. Surely Christians have no place teaching science classes. Teaching math at Bible colleges in the South, sure, but not science.

I'm going to write my liberal Congresswoman this very afternoon.

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,10:51   

Quote (Jay Ray @ April 11 2006,15:28)
Carl Sagan must be rolling over in his grave of the imagination.

Come back, Carl!  We need you more than ever!

Indeed, ever since he's been gone, no one says 'billions and billions' anywhere near as well anymore.  :p

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
MidnightVoice



Posts: 380
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,15:04   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 11 2006,15:51)
Indeed, ever since he's been gone, no one says 'billions and billions' anywhere near as well anymore.  :p

I miss the "Yuman " race

--------------
If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,15:08   

and to think that Cornell is the home of Stephen T. Emlen.

my oh my.

harumph i say!  

harumph!

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,15:20   

Check out the Sal post on this over on UD.

it will be interesting to see if DT can convince his flock of his "fox in the henhouse" hypothesis.

Will DT present evidence to support his hypothesis, or will he simply browbeat his crew into submission with threats of banishment?

tune in tommorrow and see, on...

"As the 'Tard Turns"

  
Allen_MacNeill



Posts: 5
Joined: April 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,17:01   

From http://evolutionlist.blogspot.com

COURSE LISTING: BioEE 467/B&Soc 447/Hist 415/S&TS 447 Seminar in History of Biology

SEMESTER: Cornell Six-Week Summer Session, 06/27/06 to 08/03/06

COURSE TITLE: Evolution and Design: Is There Purpose in Nature?

COURSE INSTRUCTOR: Allen MacNeill, Senior Lecturer in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This seminar addresses, in historical perspective, controversies about the cultural, philosophical, and scientific implications of evolutionary biology. Discussions focus upon questions about gods, free will, foundations for ethics, meaning in life, and life after death. Readings range from Charles Darwin to the present (see reading list, below).

The current debate over "intelligent design theory" is only the latest phase in the perennial debate over the question of design in nature. Beginning with Aristotle's "final cause," this idea was the dominant explanation for biological adaptation in nature until the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species. Darwin's work united the biological sciences with the other natural sciences by providing a non-teleological explanation for the origin of adaptation. However, Darwin's theory has been repeatedly challenged by theories invoking design in nature.

The latest challenge to the neo-darwinian theory of evolution has come from the "intelligent design movement," spearheaded by the Discovery Institute in Seattle, WA. In this course, we will read extensively from authors on both sides of this debate, including Francisco Ayala, Michael Behe, Richard Dawkins, William Dembski, Phillip Johnson, Ernst Mayr, and Michael Ruse. Our intent will be to sort out the various issues at play, and to come to clarity on how those issues can be integrated into the perspective of the natural sciences as a whole.

In addition to in-class discussions, course participants will have the opportunity to participate in online debates and discussions via the instructor's weblog. Students registered for the course will also have an opportunity to present their original research paper(s) to the class and to the general public via publication on the course weblog and via THE EVOLUTION LIST.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: This course is intended primarily for students in biology, history, philosophy, and science & technology studies. The approach will be interdisciplinary, and the format will consist of in-depth readings across the disciplines and discussion of the issues raised by such readings.

PREREQUISITES: None, although a knowledge of evolutionary theory and philosophy of biology would be helpful.

DAYS, TIMES, & PLACES: The course will meet on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:00 to 9:00 PM in Mudd Hall Room 409 (The Whittaker Seminar Room), beginning on Tuesday 27 June 2006 and ending on Thursday 3 August 2006. We will also have an end-of-course picnic at a location TBA.

CREDIT & GRADES: The course will be offered for 4 hours of credit, regardless of which course listing students choose to register for. Unless otherwise noted, course credit in BioEE 467/B&Soc 447 can be used to fulfill biology/science distribution requirements and Hist 415/S&TS 447 can be used to fulfill humanities distribution requirements (check with your college registrar's office for more information). Letter grades for this course will be based on the quality of written work on original research papers written by students, plus participation in class discussion.

COURSE ENROLLMENT & REGISTRATION: All participants must be registered in the Cornell Six-Week Summer Session to attend class meetings and receive credit for the course (click here for for more information and to enroll for this course). Registration will be limited to the first 18 students who enroll for credit. Auditors may also be allowed, space permitting (please contact the Summer Session office for permission to audit this course).

REQUIRED TEXTS (all texts will be available at The Cornell Store):

Behe, Michael (2006) Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Free Press
ISBN: 0743290313

Dawkins, Richard (1996) The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton (reissue edition)
ISBN: 0393315703

Dembski, William (2006) The Design Inference : Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521678676

Johnson, Phillip E. (2002) The Wedge of Truth: Splitting the Foundations of Naturalism
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
ISBN: 0830823956

Ruse, Michael (2006) Darwin and Design: Does Evolution Have a Purpose?
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674016319

OPTIONAL TEXTS (all texts will be available at The Cornell Store):

Darwin, Charles (E. O. Wilson, ed.) (2006) From So Simple a Beginning: Darwin's Four Great Books
Hardcover: 1,706 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton
ISBN: 0393061345

Dembski, William & Ruse, Michael (2004) Debating Design: From Darwin to DNA
Hardcover: 422 pages
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (July 12,
ISBN: 0521829496

Forrest, Barbara & Gross, Paul R. (2004) Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0195157427

Graffin, Gregory W. (2004) Evolution, Monism, Atheism, and the Naturalist World-View
Paperback: 252 pages
Publisher: Polypterus Press (P.O. Box 4416, Ithaca, NY, 14852; can be purchased online at:
http://www.cornellevolutionproject.org/obtain.html)
ISBN: 0830823956

Perakh, Mark (2003) Unintelligent Design
Hardcover: 459 pages
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1591020840

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,17:10   

don't tell me we hooked the wrong fish?

Good luck with your course.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,17:26   

the latest quote from Salvador -if only we could submit darwinists to the inquisition - Cordova:

Quote
Dang, if only we IDists could have a chance to teach it at a secular university the right way, things would really sizzle.


LOL

he still doesn't get it.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,17:50   

I don't get it. What required reading list for a class on ID could be complete without Jack Chick's Big Daddy?

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,18:16   

LOL

  
UnMark



Posts: 97
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,19:01   

Sounds interesting.  I'd probably take the course just for kicks...  but I'm a wierd like that.

  
Jay Ray



Posts: 92
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,19:11   

Quote
From the description:

Our intent will be to sort out the various issues at play, and to come to clarity on how those issues can be integrated into the perspective of the natural sciences as a whole.


Color me ultraviolet.  

Integrated? Is that possible?  It seems to me that either there is design or there is not design.  Surely integration is not an appropriate word to use here.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,19:14   

Quote
The latest challenge to the neo-darwinian theory of evolution has come from the "intelligent design movement," spearheaded by the Discovery Institute in Seattle, WA. In this course, we will read extensively from authors on both sides of this debate, including Francisco Ayala, Michael Behe, Richard Dawkins, William Dembski, Phillip Johnson, Ernst Mayr, and Michael Ruse. Our intent will be to sort out the various issues at play, and to come to clarity on how those issues can be integrated into the perspective of the natural sciences as a whole.


And thank you for doing the good work. Out here in Oregon, we have measure 37. Different discipline, same problem.

http://www.oregon.gov/LCD/measure37.shtml

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,19:27   

from Sal's thread, doug says:

Quote
In college, we’re asking for critical thinking which is where the relatively new ID sciences can shine.


LOL.  D*mn, these folks ARE funny!

it's like saying,

"d*mn, if only we could get those guys with the nukes and tanks to fight us!  Boy our sticks and stones would show them, by golly!"

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 15 2006,08:31   

So I guess this fizzled, eh?

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 15 2006,12:53   

Looks like it. You can always hope Thordaddy shows up and says something like "How can you say that ID has not been taught at Cornell in the past? Aren't you aware of a little thing called farming? Or do you wish to deny that transsexuals (bisexual females) don't return there movies to Blockbuster and therefore should be sent to leper colonies?!?!" and you guys'll be off to the races again.

   
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 15 2006,14:28   

Quote (stevestory @ April 15 2006,17:53)
Looks like it. You can always hope Thordaddy shows up and says something like "How can you say that ID has not been taught at Cornell in the past? Aren't you aware of a little thing called farming? Or do you wish to deny that transsexuals (bisexual females) don't return there movies to Blockbuster and therefore should be sent to leper colonies?!?!" and you guys'll be off to the races again.

Check out MacNeill's recent posts at PT on the subject of his class. Sounds like he's the classic "gee-whiz-ID-makes-a-lot-of-interesting-points-both-sides-seem-to-have-a-lot-of-good-
evidence-evolution-types-seem-like-they-have-awfully-closed-minds" type of doofus.

And of course, for the next 30 years ID geeks will be crowing about this as an example of ID "holding its own in academia".

sigh...

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 24 2006,13:46   

and behold, he laid his hands upon lazarus, and promptly lost his lunch, for Lazarus was decrepit, and rotting...

I hereby resurrect this thread to continue the discussion about the objectives and results of the ID/evo class experiment conducted by Allen MacNeill at Cornell University.

some extra background:

-this thread started off as an attempt at baiting some of the commenters at UD, so don't mind if the commentary seems a bit odd for most of the first page.

-if you want to get the latest, you might try picking it out of the trainwreck of a thread PvM started over here:

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archive....omments

you do have to read a very large portion of the thread to make sense out of much of Allen's commentary on the course, as his early comments were a bit more cryptic than they should have been.

that said, I think it would be worthwhile to continue discussion on this particular topic.

and, if there's a way (Steve), could we change the topic title to something a bit more descriptive than:

AAAHHHH!!!!

I'll paraphrase much of what i said about the course in that PT thread later tonight.

cheers

edit:

thanks Steve :)

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,00:30   

Quote
I'll paraphrase much of what i said about the course in that PT thread later tonight.
Any kind of summary of that thread from someone who kept up with it would be useful. I didn't follow the course to much and I don't really fancy wading through hundreds of posts.

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,04:00   

Chris my summary goes like this.

MacNeil said nobody changed their minds BEFORE telling everyone that only one 'confessing' IDer showed up the other was invited .....Triple Major and Sancho Sal's enchanted Dulcinea...Hannah Maxson ..whom I suggested had to have had  a hot arse (L.H.O.O.Q) otherwise what would be the point.

The PT crew said nyah nyah told u so.

Popper's protoplasm ticked everyone off for being boreholes.

PIM ticked PG off for being an AH.

PG won everyones heart by ticking off Lenny (again) Pim and MacNeil ....yah PG.

Unregistered User gutted someone or something ....yah RU.

Lenny made MacNeil invoke Godwin after 200 posts and claimed a new record....wow .....or not.

Pim and MacNeil wondered aimlessly around some postmodernist urban landscape of politeness talking to the walking wounded..... Big Tent Question Beggars of the First Order a la Seinfeld's Bizzaro World

Every time MacNeil was called to account he tossed some meat to the wolves in the form of Evolutionary Psychology papers detailing his view religions(or more precisely mythological world views) are behind wars from paleolithic times...which someone picked him up on and he failed to reply.

He did go on about politeness A LOT...so did Pim.

I chimed in near the end and tried to draw a few snipers PG chickened out or lost interest.

Lenny shot them through both eyes with a beauty right at the end

Sorry to all the Steve's who remain unmentioned but contributed valuably and various others you know who you are.

STJ said it was a train wreck...but what a beautiful wreck.

Thank you...thank you...I'll be available for international TV interviews provided plane tickets are supplied with stopovers in Rio outward bound and return.

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,05:25   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 15 2006,19:28)
 
Quote (stevestory @ April 15 2006,17:53)
Looks like it. You can always hope Thordaddy shows up and says something like "How can you say that ID has not been taught at Cornell in the past? Aren't you aware of a little thing called farming? Or do you wish to deny that transsexuals (bisexual females) don't return there movies to Blockbuster and therefore should be sent to leper colonies?!?!" and you guys'll be off to the races again.

Check out MacNeill's recent posts at PT on the subject of his class. Sounds like he's the classic "gee-whiz-ID-makes-a-lot-of-interesting-points-both-sides-seem-to-have-a-lot-of-good-




evidence-evolution-types-seem-like-they-have-awfully-closed-minds" type of doofus.

And of course, for the next 30 years ID geeks will be crowing about this as an example of ID "holding its own in academia".

sigh...

Okay, I hereby retract all the mean things I said about MacNeill here. He turned out to be a LOT smarter than I thought.

But the ID folks will still make stupid comments about his class as an example of ID "holding its own in academia".

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,06:20   

I did have a nice erudite and intteligent post here, but when i tried to open the recent PT page about the Cornell stuff, internet explorer crashed.

Anyway, it seems to me that many people were expecting too much from this course.  The description says:
Quote
This seminar addresses, in historical perspective, controversies about the cultural, philosophical, and scientific implications of evolutionary biology. Discussions focus upon questions about gods, free will, foundations for ethics, meaning in life, and life after death. Readings range from Charles Darwin to the present (see reading list, below).


This is not the same as a course intended to showing the scientific vacuity of ID, rather the course looks like it is supposed to explore the issues and debates surrounding ID.

Therefore, much of the oprobium heaped upon McNeill by the more, umm, enthusiastic people at the Thumb is over the top.  At the same time, it has given us something of a tactical victory.  Assuming that MacNeills reporting of the outcome of the course is correct, this:
Quote
If not, then at least for the participants on the notorious Cornell evolution and design seminar, ID is an entirely theoretical hypothesis restricted to the origin of life, the origin of the genetic code, and the origin of a few selected biochemical pathways (and the bacterial flagellum), currently lacking empirical verification and without clearly defined methodologies for verification or falsification.

sounds similar to what most of us have ben saying all along.  This leaves ID'ers with only their faith to fall back upon, thus demonstrating ID's total lack of scientific traction.

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,06:27   

Also, I keep suggesting that the ID movement take on Hannah Maxton as a biology researcher.  She seems intelligent and committed enough to do the job.

  
C.J.O'Brien



Posts: 395
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,08:33   

On the PT thread, I lost my sympathy for McNeill when he equated Johnson's Darwin on Trial with Dawkins's Blind Watchmaker, calling them both "polemics" or some such rot.

He's not dealing with the issues. It seems more like the media, pre-Dover, when every article had to have "balance."

Good pedagogy and balanced reporting do not require tolerance for intellectual dishonesty. Some ideas are just factually and logically wrong. ID is one of them, and any treatment of it in an academic environment that doesn't come to that conclusion is corrupt and counterproductive to free inquiry in my book.

And I don't care one whit how "polite" Sal acts when he smears his lying sleaze all over the web. Lying is lying.

--------------
The is the beauty of being me- anything that any man does I can understand.
--Joe G

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,08:36   

Quote (Ichthyic @ Aug. 24 2006,19:46)
and behold, he laid his hands upon lazarus, and promptly lost his lunch, for Lazarus was decrepit, and rotting...

I hereby resurrect this thread to continue the discussion about the objectives and results of the ID/evo class experiment conducted by Allen MacNeill at Cornell University.

some extra background:

-this thread started off as an attempt at baiting some of the commenters at UD, so don't mind if the commentary seems a bit odd for most of the first page.

-if you want to get the latest, you might try picking it out of the trainwreck of a thread PvM started over here:

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archive....omments

you do have to read a very large portion of the thread to make sense out of much of Allen's commentary on the course, as his early comments were a bit more cryptic than they should have been.

that said, I think it would be worthwhile to continue discussion on this particular topic.

and, if there's a way (Steve), could we change the topic title to something a bit more descriptive than:

AAAHHHH!!!!

I'll paraphrase much of what i said about the course in that PT thread later tonight.

cheers

edit:

thanks Steve :)

Wesley musta done that, I just now noticed the request.

   
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,08:44   

MacNeill's criticism of the PT community was a little weird. I'm just writing it off as unfamiliarity with the people involved in the day-to-day argument. Anyway, it was nice to see the class validate certain points we've been making for years. 1 Most ID books are political and religious polemics, rather than science 2 Pretty much the only ID item which could concievably be considered science, CSI, isn't defined-enough to be applied to anything.

It looks to me like the Hannah Maxson types were reduced to arguing that the inference 'looks designed means was designed' was valid. And that's just the desperation of a zealot.

   
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,09:09   

Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 11 2006,15:47)
I wonder if he's a Christian? If so, that explains it. Surely Christians have no place teaching science classes. Teaching math at Bible colleges in the South, sure, but not science.

I'm going to write my liberal Congresswoman this very afternoon.

####, Arden/George, this comment far exceeds the stupidity benchmark I previously calculated for you!

--------------
Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
don_quixote



Posts: 110
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,09:21   

Quote (Robert O'Brien @ Aug. 25 2006,14:09)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 11 2006,15:47)
I wonder if he's a Christian? If so, that explains it. Surely Christians have no place teaching science classes. Teaching math at Bible colleges in the South, sure, but not science.

I'm going to write my liberal Congresswoman this very afternoon.

####, Arden/George, this comment far exceeds the stupidity benchmark I previously calculated for you!

I think it's fair to assume that he meant 'Fundamentalist Christian'. Y'know the ones who deny reality. It kind of gets in the way of being a science teacher, just as being a schizophrenic does (no offence to schizophrenics ;-)

Would you describe yourself as a Fundamentalist Christian, O'Brain?

  
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,09:32   

Quote (don_quixote @ Aug. 25 2006,14:21)
Would you describe yourself as a Fundamentalist Christian, O'Brain?

No.

--------------
Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,09:44   

Maybe just sarcasm-challenged.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,09:49   

LOL.

   
don_quixote



Posts: 110
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,09:56   

Quote (Robert O'Brien @ Aug. 25 2006,14:32)
Quote (don_quixote @ Aug. 25 2006,14:21)
Would you describe yourself as a Fundamentalist Christian, O'Brain?

No.

Ahh... it's good to hear that you are not one of those deluded people who believe they have evidence that falsifies the ToE.

Well done, young man!

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,14:42   

There were at least 3 separate topics being discussed simultaneously in that thread, so it's taken me some time to pull out my commentary specific to Allen's course, but without further excuse, here 'tis.

I'm not even going to cover much of what Pim said in that thread, as he must have been on drugs or something; he was all over the board, claiming that ID is a "theoretically valid hypothesis", equating all PT posters to creationists, and wondering why we even maintain PT to begin with.  so... uh, I'm just going to strike that up to a bad day for Pim and move on, as many have seen the regular posts from him previously about the vacuity of ID in all aspects anyone can think of.

much of my responses were based on Allen's first full post discussing the issues, which can be seen here, and I would recommend for context for the rest of the discussion on this thread:

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archive....-121417

Here are some of my comments, based on that and later comments, interspersed with comments from Allen and others.

[quote]
...indeed, while both sides apparently “learned something”, according to Allen, both sides just as equally did not change “her/his mind over the course of the summer”.

What this shows, as most here already could have guessed, is that no matter how much we attempt to “break our intellectual backs”, people given to the ID worldview (the vast majority of that differing little from an essentially creationist mindset), will not be swayed by any argument of reason or evidence.

Heck, if Allen couldn’t do it by carefully walking through all the relevant literature, step by step, I tend to think it simply can’t be done.

In the same way, I can also guess that those who think Francis collins will have better luck with his “approach” will end up being disappointed as well.

I’m tempted to say:

“Can we just get on with the inevitable game of whack-a-mole now, and put aside all attempts at reconciliation?”

but, I suppose there might yet be some way of putting this idiocy to rest that involves some sort of intellectual argument. Anything is possible.

bottom line though, the evidence to me, and others here, seems to point to a potential underlying psychological malady that creates this kind of worldview. This is also suggested by the cites posted in this thread, previous research on heritability of ultra-religious behavior that was posted here last year, and just about every long-term discussion any of us have had with those who purport to be YEC’s or IDers (the denial and projection are obvious and rampant in just about every post they make).
[/quote]

Allen later clarified by informing us that the 2 (yes only 2) ID supporters in the class were actually invited, and not Cornell students, and as to what he meant by "nobody changed their minds", he was really referring to the evolution supporters not being influenced by the ID texts covered in the course.

However, he also pointed out (when asked) that there is no public record of either of the two ID participants recognizing the vacuousness of Behe or Dembski's literature, and seemed to not only have no problems with those students knocking the Dawkin's text covered in the course, but evidently agreed with much of their criticism:

Allen:
[quote]This is why we dismissed Phillip Johnson’s book, The Wedge of Truth and why we spent relatively little time discussing Dawkins’s The Blind Watchmaker, as both were essentially “position statements,” rather than scientific analyses.
[/quote]

After a back and forth with Wheels, I clarified a bit of my thinking on whether there is value in evidentiary argument in addressing the issue of creationism, and whether that a class designed as Allen's was could possibly acheive the goal of rational debate influencing the belief structures of creationists (interspersed comments are from Wheels post):

[quote]
Wheels:
     
Quote
Creating a more informed public that can see through ID bullshit for themselves is the first and probably the most difficult step


actually, this “step” has already been tried, and apparently has failed.

regardless of whether it has to do with inadequate funding for educational institutions, or poor teachers, or poor administrations, the end result is that the proportion of those profession essentially what amounts to creationism has changed little in the last 20 years or so, according to the gallup polls.

without a SERIOUS overhaul of the entire educational system, I can’t see how this will change in the near future.

and even if the money were there to make significant changes, you simply can’t force somebody to learn something their parents don’t want them to learn - they’ll simply put their kids into a “private” school.

     
Quote
A more achievable short-term goal would probably be to defuse much of the tension between religious groups and secular science, because provocation isn’t going to make people suddenly more reasonable, rational, and agreeable.


the problem is, that regardless of what folks within the blogosphere seem to think, it’s the creationists THEMSELVES that are generating just about ALL of the tension; the scientists are simply reacting, and relatively few even are.

The right wing see the issue as a “hotbutton” issue, just like homosexuality, that can easily be exploited for political gain, and they are doing their utmost to rile up the “faithful” to create the very tension we see now.

The only way to “defuse” the situation is to get idiots like robertson, Kennedy, Dobson, and Chimpy McGrin to stop trying to play politics with their basic grassroots powerbase.

that’s like asking a junkie to stop shooting up.

not terribly realistic.

     
Quote
Dr. Pennock’s books on Creationism which don’t ever give the impression of any personal religious beliefs at all but present the cases free of bias, informatively and academically, while still revealing the anti-evolutionist movers to be clownishly inept and hopelessly thickskulled besides being factually wrong.


this is an intellectual argument that will fly over the heads, or be deliberately ignored, by the vast majority of creobots and those placating to them, like Coulter.

again, like the attempt by Allen, it simply will not fly with those “already convinced of the evils of materialism”.

and again, let me stress that the evangelical movement in america has far less to do with religion than it does with politics.

blaming religion for the idiocy these folks exhibit is a totally seperate issue from religion as a whole.

otherwise, we would see creobots more commonly in other countries, which we don’t.

     
Quote
I see it as a problem of personality and psychology rather than religion or areligious beliefs, it’s a fundamental problem with the way some people think (or don’t think) of things, especially in regards to the possibility of themselves being ignorant and wrong, rather than whether or not they choose to believe in a Flying Spaghetti Monster.


yes, and this underlying pychology predisposes certain individuals to glom onto the kind of creationism we discuss here.

again, the very reason i refer to it as a “malady”; it shares little in common with much other “religion”.

Note that this is also exactly the reason why i said that Collins will have similarly dismal results in trying to reach those afflicted. We can leave the specifics of whether collins himself is suffering from some of the same issues for another day.

     
Quote
Consider the almost unfailing tendency of Creation proponents to recycle and reguritate decades-old bull despite being irrefutably and demonstrably wrong .


can be quite nicely bottled under “denial”….and the ever oft heard claims of evolutionary theory as “religion” can similarly be put under the category of “projection”.

I can point to a classic case of these very things: our own little AFDave who posts over in ATBC.

He’s just one of the hundreds of creobots that have posted here that exhibit rampant denial and projection, without even realizing it of course.

it’s like I flashback to my psych 101 classes every time i read their posts. hence the reason I prefer the term “creobot”.

     
Quote
But I always argue to the bitter end for the sake of the spectators, the fence-sitters, those who don’t know about this whole “evolution” thing but might be willing to give it a shot if only somebody would teach them about it.


more power to ya. lurkers have popped in from time to time on the thread created by AFDave to thank those refuting him over and over again, and to note how wrong Dave is.

It doesn’t change Dave’s mind though.

[/quote]

In response to Allen accusing those critical of the course of being "uncivil"...

     
Quote

Allen said:      
Quote
the majority of people on both sides of this issue are not interested in rational discussion nor logical arguments supported by evidence.


(Note: does anyone find it odd that this directly contradicts the supposed purpose of the course? - If true, why start a course whose design was supposed to bring "clarity" via rational discussion?)

Allen:

one, I did attempt to address some serious flaws i saw in the analysis used in this paper, and in the published one you cited.

two, you are completely naive to think that rational discourse will solve this issue.

You really need to take a reality check and spend some time speaking with some REAL YECers like Dave over in ATBC.

150 plus pages of attempts to rationally present biology, genetics, and geology to him and he thinks we are all just deluded. The only real value has been to some of the lurkers, all of whome de-lurked and flat out pointed out how we had it right and Dave was being irrational. Which affected Dave not in the slightest.

THAT’S the reality here. your course was a nice bit of exploration, but on the national stage, it means very little, to tell the truth.

Your analysis of the reaction here ignores the fact that many of the people commenting have been dealing directly with creationists for years, and as your own post mentioned, have seen very little in the way of evidentiary argument having any impact.

Both yourself and Pim are overestimating the value of rational debate.

As i said, ever try to rationally talk a junkie out of being a junkie?

It rarely ever works. You have to attack the psychological barriers that these people put up to maintain their delusions.

The quotes from the papers you have posted so far, along with the quotes of how you apparently “graded” mistakes like the crypsis one, suggest that you are more interested in coddling the belief structures that generated the mistakes, than breaking them down to correct it.

Moreover this:

It’s people like you folks that make me wonder if I’m really on the right side, here.

is an especially troubling thing to hear from tenure track professor from Cornell.

Perhaps you are at that.

Perhaps we can discuss the issue of search imagery vs. “innate” imagery at some other time and place more appropriate.

ITMT, i see a tremendous amount of hedging on your part, combined with a tendency to promote factual errors and a very bizarre analysis of how posters here view this whole issue.

I really think you should take a step back from this issue, take a breath, and rethink.

We aren’t the ones who set this up to be a game of “whack a mole”, but try as we would, that does seem to be where it always ends up.



which basically was the last post I made on that specific issue.

now a lot of that is out of context to some of the important posts others made in between, and the posts that Pim and Allen were making about the course and interpretations, so I will double back and simply copy the more relevant of their posts so you can see for yourselves:

Comment #121339 (Allen):

     
Quote


Actually, very early in the summer when things started heating up at the Evolution and Design website, Hannah and I stumbled upon a very equitable system of moderation. She (a self-avowed IDer) was in charge of moderating people clearly identifiable as ID supporters, whereas I (a vehement pro-evolutionist) was in charge of moderating people clearly identifiable as EB (“evolutionary biology”) supporters. After a few difficult cases, it seemed to work out pretty well. Both of us were suitably abashed by the intemperate remarks put forth by people we viewed as being on “our side,” and both of us took care to let nearly all comments through, unless they clearly (indeed, egregiously) violated the clearly stated “rules of engagement.” Within a day or two it became apparent to me that almost everyone had stopped hurling epithets and started providing reasoned support for their arguments (or not, in which case it was blindingly obvious to everyone reading the comments who was playing fast and loose with the truth).

As I pointed out in the latest post at our website, I don’t think anyone changed their mind as a result of the seminar, but I do believe that most of us came away with a much clearer and more comprehensive grasp of the issues and how each side viewed them, and what kinds of evidence each side used to defend their views (or not, as the case may be). Furthermore, there was strong concensus at the end of the course that almost all of what most people think of as evolutionary biology (and quite literally all of what Darwin presented in the Origin of Species) is virtually untouched by ID, which focusses almost exclusively on issues surrounding the origin of life and the genetic code, plus a few selected biochemical pathways (and, of course, the bacterial flagellum). We spent a week deconstructing Michael Behe and William Dembski’s arguments (and their books) and found that the much-vaunted Darwin’s Black Box says virtually nothing about nearly all of evolutionary theory (and that even Behe himself concedes that there is “strong evidence” for common descent), and that Dembski’s “explanatory filter” and “complex specified information,” while mildly interesting from the standpoint of probability theory, has almost no demonstrable application to real-world biological systems.

Therefore, far from undermining evolutionary biology, the works of these two authors (taken at face value) have almost no relevence to the great bulk of evolutionary biology. Furthermore, all of the participants (including the ID supporters) rejected Phillip Johnson’s The Wedge of Truth as pure political polemic, not worthy of our time and attention; indeed, one of the most ardent ID supporters stated “That isn’t ID.” If not, then at least for the participants on the notorious Cornell evolution and design seminar, ID is an entirely theoretical hypothesis restricted to the origin of life, the origin of the genetic code, and the origin of a few selected biochemical pathways (and the bacterial flagellum), currently lacking empirical verification and without clearly defined methodologies for verification or falsification.



Comment #121417 (Allen):

     
Quote


Three questions were posed. The following are my answers to these questions, as they did not explicitly come up in this format this summer:

(1) What is the current status of ID research?

As far as I know, there is no empirical research that either validates or falsifies any of the principle claims of the primary authors of ID texts (i.e. Michael Behe and William Dembski, but also including David Berlinski, Guillermo Gonzalez, Stephen Meyer, and Jonathan Wells). Only Behe and Dembski have presented even quasi-empirical applications of ID theory. The remainder fall into the same category that Phillip Johnson did this summer - that is, they write what amount to polemics based on opinion and speculation, nearly all of it negative (that is, they do not present positive hypotheses, they merely attack various aspects of evolutionary theory). As noted earlier, Behe and Dembski’s works were the primary focus of our seminar this summer, and the conclusions most of us arrived at have already been noted.

I believe that the primary reason that there is essentially no empirical research being done to either validate or falsify ID theory is that ID theory in general does not consist of positive hypotheses that can be empirically tested. As many have pointed out, Behe’s concept of “irreducible complexity” is based almost entirely on ignorance and lack of information, rather than on “first principles” (i.e. on theoretical formulations that lead to the conclusion that the evolution of “irreducibly complex” objects or processes are impossible).

Dembski’s mathematical speculations remain precisely that: speculations without the slightest shred of empirical support. After spending many hours working through Dembski’s mathematics, we concluded that it is currently impossible to use his “explanatory filter” (as expressed in mathematical terms) to determine if a given biological entity quallifies as “complex specified information” (CSI). Although Dembski’s mathematics are mildly interesting from a purely intellectual standpoint, they do not lend themselves to making actual calculations, again because there are so many unknown variables that must be quantified before his equation(s) for CSI can acually yield confirmatory or disconfirmitory judgements.

Therefore, unless someone undertakes a program of research tha proposes a series of testable positive hypotheses based on ID theory that can be empirically validated, it appears likely that ID theory will eventually come to the same fate as Bergson and Deleuze’s concept of élan vital; a footnote to the progress of empirical science, of interest only to those interested in failed pseudoscientific “theories.”

(2) With Behe and Dembski essentially marginalized, who are the scientists working on the theory of ID?

As far as I know, there are none. With the possible exception of Guillermo Gonzalez, all of the other authors listed above do not perform empirical research. Rather, they pursue an essentially negative program of attacking evolutionary biology and proposing philosophical speculations (based almost entirely on fundamentalist Christian theology) as a substitute.

(3) What is the role of the Discovery Institute and why are they so keen on influencing Boards of Education?

The Discovery Institute is a purely political entity, not currently engaged in any form of empirical research (nor supporting such research in either monetary or other ways), whose entire function appears to be to promote a political program intended to force a basically fundamentalist Christian viewpoint into the public schools and, eventually into local, state, and national governments and laws. These goals are explicitly stated by the directors of the Discovery Institute in the “wedge document” and have been its primary raison d’etre since its inception.

We did not directly discuss the Discovery Institute, the “wedge document,” the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial and decision, nor the writings of any of the polemicists listed above. This was a deliberate decision on the part of the participants in the seminar, as we all wanted to restrict our analysis and discussion to the scientific claims of the principle ID theorists. This is why we dismissed Phillip Johnson’s book, The Wedge of Truth and why we spent relatively little time discussing Dawkins’s The Blind Watchmaker, as both were essentially “position statements,” rather than scientific analyses. I my opinion, the same can essentially be said for Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box, leaving only Dembski’s The Design Inference as the only non-polemical work in all of ID “theory.” And, as noted above, we concluded that Dembski’s mathematical work only suggests a possible way of distinguishing between “natural” and “designed” objects and processes, without presenting an empirically testable way of so distinguishing.

So, was the whole exercise “worth it?” It was indeed, as it helped all of us come to clarity on many of the foregoing points. As I have stated elsewhere, I don’t think anyone changed her/his mind over the course of the summer, but I believe (based on our discussions, especially during the last class) that we did come to some clarity on the issues, on the kinds of arguments made by both sides, and the kinds of evidence that would qualify as confirmative or disconfirmative on either side of the issue. Currently, there is abundant confirmative evidence for most of evolutionary theory (with the exception of the origin of life, the genetic code, and selected biochemical pathways) and virtually no empirical confirmative evidence for ID theory. Unless ID “theorists” take steps to become ID “scientists,” this situation is unlikely to change.



Comment #121422(flint):

     
Quote


Kind of exhausing trying to wade through the meticulously careful political correctness here, which has served only to muddy the semantics almost beyond recognition.

There is no “ID theory.” There is only the irremediable religious position statement. Goddidit. With that as a given, of course nobody is going to change their mind. Blather about the “kinds of evidence” that might undermine ID is fatuous: ID is not based on any evidence, and exists in flat-out defiance of any and all relevant evidence. Furthermore, it cannot possibly be otherwise. Allow evidence’s foot in the door, and ID evaporates like it never existed. Contrast with the politically correct “virtually no emprical comfirmative evidence for ID theory.” When, as is obvious, there is no such thing as ID theory, and evidence is irrelevant to the Believers. Sheesh. Let us not break our intellectual backs bending over to give the benefit of nonexistent doubt.



Comment #121452)Registered User

(Note, RU spent quite a bit of time persuing the discussion forum set up for the class)

     
Quote
Don’t worry, Flint. Allen is extremely flexible in this regard. Civility trumps truth in the land of infinitesimally pointy heads.

Reading Allen’s description of the course “results” here, one might imagine that you could go to the Evolution and Design blog and find all sorts of statements where Allen’s ID peddlin’ buddy Hannah Maxson is criticizing the statements of Behe and Dembski and their inspirational guru, Phil Johnson.

You’ll not find that. And you’ll also discover that as the course blog goes on, you’ll find less questions answered by the “honest” and “passionate” Ms. Maxson. That is because asking certain obvious questions of Allen or Hannah violated their strange creationist-favoring “ground rules” and resulted in the banning of those who dared ask those questions.

All that is left, then, is endless blithering about where the greatest source of Salvador Cordova’s confusion lies. Been there, done that.

As for what actually happened in Allen’s class, it remains something of a mystery since almost all the reporting on the class came from Allen or Hannah, both of whom seem deeply committed to ensuring the appearance of the “success” of the class, according to their own terms. The blog was certainly a success in terms of creationist marketing as it contains commentary by both Allen and Hannah which is sharply critical of at least one prominent evolutionary biologist (Dawkins) and — as far as I can tell — precisely zero statements by Hannah criticizing the well-known lies of her ID heroes.

What’s up with that, Allen? Any thoughts? Does Hannah lack the gene for admitting baloney? Any adaptive advantages in that mutation?



Comment #121702(Allen):

     
Quote

I find it interesting that, rather than discuss the content of E. Broaddus’s paper, most of the commentators at this website feel fully justified in attacking both the motives of the students taking my seminar course and my motives in offering it, and in my enforcing some minimum standards of civility at the course website. That virtually none of the commentators has demonstrated any familiarity with the content of the students papers posted at the website (all but one of which vigorously support the “evolution side”) indicates to me that they have already made up their minds about what happened in the course and don’t want to be confused by the facts. This despite the fact that there is a detailed commentary online available to all at http://evolutionanddesign.blogsome.com/, currently comprising 24 posts (several by the students in the course) and over 1,500 comments from both sides of the issue, plus downloadable copies of most of the final research papers written by the students in the course. What can one conclude from this except:

• the commentators at Panda’s Thumb don’t give a #### about students or their ideas, regardless of whether they agree with them or not

• the commentators at Panda’s Thumb also don’t give a #### about arguments based on evidence (even when those arguments support their own position), but prefer to make definitive statements about courses in which they have not participated and research papers that they have not read

Almost anyone viewing the comments here would be justified in concluding that commentators at the Panda’s Thumb (i hesitate to refer to them as “evolutionary biologists”) are utterly uninterested in what a bright, hard-working, conscientious student is thinking vis-a-vis a topic of much discussion among evolutonary psychologists, and are instead only interested in getting back to playing “whack-a-mole.” This conclusion simply amplifies one that I came to reluctantly after a couple of weeks of moderating the Evolution and Design website: the majority of people on both sides of this issue are not interested in rational discussion nor logical arguments supported by evidence. They are only interested in polemics and character assasination for political reasons that are fundamentally unrelated to questions of scientific investigation or philosophical discussion.



Comment #121708(Allen):

     
Quote

“We’ll just have to take MacNeill’s word for it, while ignoring the censorship Maxson is quite clearly exerting on the blog itself. We must also be careful not to CONCLUDE anything from said censorship…”

Clearly, the poster who wrote this paid no attention to my own description of how the course website was moderated, nor displayed any understanding of why a COURSE website should not be conducted in the same kind of drunk mudwrestling format that goes on here.

It’s people like you folks that make me wonder if I’m really on the right side, here. When Sal Cordova treats me and my students with civility and you folks heap nothing but scorn on them, what am I (and they) supposed to conclude?



Comment #121798(Pim):

     
Quote

If I overestimate the power of scientific discourse on those studying to become a scientist then let that be so. I fully recognize that this is but one of the many prongs necessary.

Your flaw seems to be that you presume that I am considering rationale debate to be the only way to resolve the ID issue. On the contrary. But with the rise of IDEA clubs on campuses, it helps to evaluate the arguments in a rationale manner and in an environment free of detractors.

How many IDers are impressed by arguments that ID is nothing but Christianity in drags? It may make one feel good to make such statements, certainly I have been guilty of such remarks as well. But it is also very ineffective and only serves to strengthen the resolve of IDers.
If rationale arguments or debate are overrated then perhaps it’s time to close PT? Or does PT serve a purpose after all? Even if it is a relatively minor one?…



Comment #121922(Allen):

     
Quote

In Comment #121890 Popper’s ghost wrote:

“It might have been useful if MacNeill had responded to my question in my initial post..: “Since these statements are direct contradictions to fundamental ID dogma, how can it be that there was “strong consensus” and yet no one changed their mind?”

Because all but two of the registered students in the seminar came into it with pretty strong opinions already in favor of evolution and opposed to intelligent design (this is Cornell, after all). None of these students changed their minds and came to accept ID, despite spending six weeks reading Behe, Dembski, Johnson, etc. and listening to Hannah’s impassioned defenses of Dembski’s mathematical speculations. Most of them were non-scientists, however, and they did come to understand and appreciate the value of reasoned argument and support via evidence for their positions, not to mention becoming much better informed about ID (and therefore better able to argue against it).

The remaining two students came into the class as committed IDers (Hannah and Rabia were not registered students, BTW; they were “invited guests” - invited by me). These two students were considerably less convinced of the ID position at the end of the course than they were when they came in, shifting from a blanket rejection of all of evolutionary theory to accepting most of evolutionary theory while maintaining a “wait and see” attitude about the origin of life/genetic code/selected biochemical pathways. One of these two also came to accept common descent (primarily because it became clear that Behe does so as well, and therefore a “good IDer” can accept common descent without giving up ID). The other (a self-described YEC) shifted very significantly over the summer, coming to accept natural selection as the primary “engine” of microevolution, and “having an open mind” about macroevolution. Both of these two IDers came into the course pretty strongly opposed to evolution and supportive of ID, but by the end (and as a result of the process by which we analyzed the various readings assigned for the course) they came to appreciate and apply the technique of critical analysis and argumentation with supportive evidence.

To me, that makes the course very much worthwhile. So much so, in fact, that I’m repeating it as a special section in my good friend and colleague Will Provine’s evolution course this fall (Will is wildly in favor of the idea, BTW). Should make life even more interesting between now and the winter solstice.



Comment #121930(Allen):

     
Quote


“…has either of your pro-ID students made statements, equivalent to those you’ve now made on their behalves, on the blog or elsewhere, that you are in a position to share?”

Nope. The only students in the course who posted or commented on the blog were already staunch evolution supporters (i.e. members of the overwhelming majority in the seminar).



Comment #121938(Pim):

     
Quote

I think the significance of this ‘experiment’ or seminar was that IDers were exposed to viewpoints which showed how teleology in nature is expected (Ayala, Ruse etc) and how analogy is a very weak argument. In other words, how science already deals with concepts of ‘design’ and ‘teleology’ and how ID refuses to address these topics.
The discussion of Dembski’s CSI showed that Dembski’s definition of design as the set theoretic complement of chance and regularity is based on the assumption that the set is non-empty and on the assumption that we can successfully eliminate any and all chance and regularity scenarios. Furthermore, the students reached the conclusion that even if Dembski’s arguments were right, it lacks empirical relevance as any application to a non trivial problem seems impossible.
And finally, I believe that various students came to appreciate the conflations of terminology such as information, design, complexity by ID. They do not really mean what one expect them to mean.

I cannot speak for Allen or the participants of this class as I only participated in the blog discussions. I have found Allen’s approach quite effective when he shows how ID concepts are hardly new to science. Design, analogy, teleology… In other words, Allen managed to undermine much of the foundational relevance of ID by not only showing that ID is vacuous but also how science does deal with these issues all the time, without the need to let our ignorance resort to conclusion not warranted by the evidence.
Perhaps I am naive in my thinking here but I have found Allen’s approach to be quite ingenious (sp).



*whew*

Ok, i think those were the main quotes that were the basis for much of the debate.

bottom line, I was a bit concerned about the following things:

1.) There appeared to be no objective measure of either the goals, or the results, of the course, and the design of it seemed to me to be less than the "ingenious" nature that Pim ascribed to it.

Invited ID participants?  there was an IDEA club on campus - none of them wished to participate, or could suggest any other ID supporting students to participate?

More work needed to be done here to get a better sample of participants.

Moreover, an objective framework needed to presented as to what the actual goals of the course were aside from some ambiguous definition of "clarity".  As an addendum to that, the results were NOT presented with any clarity from either the instructor, or any of the witnesses or participants.  It was horribly confusing trying to piece together from what Allen was saying (see the quotes above!) what the actual results of the course were.

2.) I am concerned that accuracy in the course was given over to some vague feeling of "civility" that allowed much misinformation to not only go unchallenged, but even rewarded in the class.  my concerns are typified in my response to a comment of Pim's:

Comment #121856(Sir_Toejam)

     
Quote

Pim:      
Quote
What if Allen believes that allowing students to discover their own errors on their own terms is far more efficient than telling them that they are wrong, wrong wrong…


and when they don’t “discover their own errors”?

we simply let them slide, right?

seems an odd way to teach.



again, this leads to the question as to what the goals of this course actually were, and whether there should have been any responsibility of those acting as instructors to in the end, attempt to correct the actual factual errors, or even misinterpretations of evidence, that the students presented in the course.

If i teach an algebra course, and reward my students for any random answer to a problem, so long as they "show their work", I'm really leaving the job half done, am I not?

this must be a huge post by now, so I'll leave it here and let whoever catch up.

cheers

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,15:13   

Quote (Robert O'Brien @ Aug. 25 2006,14:09)
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 11 2006,15:47)
I wonder if he's a Christian? If so, that explains it. Surely Christians have no place teaching science classes. Teaching math at Bible colleges in the South, sure, but not science.

I'm going to write my liberal Congresswoman this very afternoon.

####, Arden/George, this comment far exceeds the stupidity benchmark I previously calculated for you!

Actually, I have no memory of writing that, but I think I was being facetious.

From now on I'll remember that you don't do irony.

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,15:38   

actually, Arden, I think what RO did is exactly what i warned against in the post i resurrected this thread with.

I told everybody that the first page of the thread was primarily concerned with a private effort to bait some of the commenters (mostly Sal) into making some dumbass statements over on UD about the course and our reaction to it, which was of limited success.

I warned folks not to take what was on the first page seriously, but I guess RO forgot to read that bit, and missed the sarcasm besides.

In fact, that's a good description of RO; he's always just a bit off target, no matter what he's commenting on.

but then you know this, having seen him quite frequently over on PZ's blog.

In fact, didn't PZ, of all the posters on pharyngula, only identify RO and Jason by name as being trolls?

food for thought...

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,15:41   

Quote (Ichthyic @ Aug. 25 2006,20:38)
In fact, didn't PZ, of all the posters on pharyngula, only identify RO and Jason by name as being trolls?

food for thought...

Jason is an upstart; I was causing Peezee dyspepsia long before he came along.

--------------
Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,15:44   

actually, i'd say it's all the responses to your trolls that cause him any discomfort.

but of course, being proud of being a troll is certainly something to consider in your case.

keep piling up those points, baby.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Robert O'Brien



Posts: 348
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,16:06   

Quote (Ichthyic @ Aug. 25 2006,20:44)
but of course, being proud of being a troll is certainly something to consider in your case.

As my friend Alan once wrote about me (before we became friends :)):

He's not your garden variety troll; seems more like a legendary, chromatic dragon riding troll from the ethereal plane AC:-1, HP: 150, 100% resistant to magic. Bearing a sky-blue banner with a white integral sign between the limits of heaven and ####. Gauntlets of digging and crushing.

Anyway, my banishment from Peezee's blog is a good thing in that fall term will be starting soon and I should not be wasting my time wading through the offal there.

--------------
Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei

    
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,16:52   

or, might i make the suggestion, should you bring your offal here, either.

If you don't have something of worth and substance to contribute on topic, please leave.

I personally think discussing the possibilities and efficacy of classes like what Allen experimented with to be of far more import than a continuing discussion of your success as a troll.

continue, and I'll make sure to start making a case for your permanent removal here as well.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,17:03   

Only on the internet will a guy tell you how awesome he is using Dungeons and Dragons terminology.

Icky, I wouldn't worry. R O'B's modus operandi is to make a smarmy potshot and then hide for a while. I doubt it's going to derail the thread. If it does, I'll move it to the Bathroom Wall.

   
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,17:08   

that's not been his MO on pharyngula, but we'll see.

ITMT, i wouldn't mind one bit if you shoved everything that hasn't currently been on topic since we resurrected this thread to the BW, including this post.

thanks

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,17:47   

Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 25 2006,22:03)
Only on the internet will a guy tell you how awesome he is using Dungeons and Dragons terminology.

Yes, that was revealing in the same way as when Paley gets all angry and posts photos of boxers. Tells a little more than was intended.

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 25 2006,17:55   

Quote (Ichthyic @ Aug. 25 2006,23:08)
that's not been his MO on pharyngula, but we'll see.

ITMT, i wouldn't mind one bit if you shoved everything that hasn't currently been on topic since we resurrected this thread to the BW, including this post.

thanks

I'm very reluctant to do that. Sure, half the posts on this board violate the board rules, but I'm very sensitive to reducing liberty. We've all seen the Davetardian results at UD when a moderator gets drunk on power. He11, half my posts are off-topic. When I see something going awry, I try to judge if I think it's going to seriously derail the thread. So far I've only deleted posts when I thought it would lead to a vigorous discussion which is totally off-topic.

I'll leave all this stuff up for now, with a request for future commenters to discuss Cornell ID Course-related things.

   
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 27 2006,20:04   

so... I guess it shouldn't surprise me nobody else has much to say on this, as the results have certainly not been presented in any objective fashion by either Allen or Pim (if that's really Pim over there).

However, I would like to hear any other thoughts on how the class could be better constructed, what people here think the stated goals of such a course should be, and how we could objectively measure the results.

so, uh, *bump*

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 27 2006,22:25   

Good questions, but I cant think of any intelligent answers.  As far as I can see, the course had a reasonable aim, in that it was to examine critically part of the culture wars.  Obviously some people would rather the course had been designed to change the minds of ID followers, but that is not exactly a legitimate primary aim of any academic course.  

As for how to measure the outcome, thats a bit hard.  Didn't he put out questionaires about it all before and after?  Also, when you are effectively trying to mark essays, it can be hard to talk about "objectivity".  

As for class construction, it seemed fair enough, except that I am not convinced that opening it all up ontoa blog where PvM and Salvador could slug it out in front of everyone was really a good idea.  It let Salvador put out a lot of rubbish, and meant that anyone could drop by and prejudice the case for either side, without definite reference to the actual science.

Lastly, I cant quite decide whether MacNeil is a bit naieve, or very adventurous, to effectively jump straight into a furnace like he did.  

Anyone seen the ID crowd make anything out of this?

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 28 2006,02:06   

Quote (guthrie @ Aug. 28 2006,03:25)
Good questions, but I cant think of any intelligent answers.  As far as I can see, the course had a reasonable aim, in that it was to examine critically part of the culture wars.  Obviously some people would rather the course had been designed to change the minds of ID followers, but that is not exactly a legitimate primary aim of any academic course.

If the point were to examine a part of the culture wars, the political aspects of ID would have been front and center, and there would have been no attempt to avoid discussing the political aspects and pretend that it's all just "science".

As for changing IDers mind's, it's an impossible task and one we shouldn't waste our time on.

MacNeill (and Pim) are naive enough to think that if we just sit the poor rubes down and calmly teach them science, they will all slap themselves in the forehead, exclaim "Lo! I've been wrong these many years!" and then rush off to defend science.

Alas, ID simply doesn't have anything to do with science, and everything to do with politics.  ID simply cannot be understood without looking at the political and religious background which produces it.

Which is why MacNeill's course had zero effect on anybody.

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 29 2006,00:43   

Thanks for the overview, although I have to say I'm stll confused on what the pont of the course was, especially since  everyone who attended appeared to have made their minds up based on current evidence, so it was obvious from the start that no one would change their mind.

Does anyone know if the ID advocates present agreed with the official outcome of the course regarding the scientific status of ID?

Quote
If the point were to examine a part of the culture wars, the political aspects of ID would have been front and center, and there would have been no attempt to avoid discussing the political aspects and pretend that it's all just "science".


Yes the mixing of the culture wars and science seems very bizaare and counterproductive to me.

Quote
Alas, ID simply doesn't have anything to do with science, and everything to do with politics.
Agreed, the only avantage of focusing strictly on the science would be to show that stripped to the bare bones any scientific claim of ID is based simply on unreasonable demands of evidence or mischaracterisations of evolution. But this has been done a hundred times before.

  
truth machine



Posts: 33
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 29 2006,01:35   

Perhaps the purpose was to "teach the true controversy", as Pim puts it in this extraordinary PT post:

http://www.pandasthumb.org/archive....-123802

Quote
One final note, even if the efficacy of the approaches chosen by Allen may generate skepticism (and for good reasons), I fail to understand why the same does not apply to any approach that serves to educate people about ID? One surely cannot hope to change the mind of all ID proponents with a single argument. I see reason and logic as far more effective than insults and easily refuted claims that ID is unscientific or religiously motivated. Easily refuted in the sense that by separating the theory from its historical baggage, or distancing oneself from the unfortunate words, actions of some IDers, one can resurrect a scientific concept as the foundation for ID. A foundation which, as I have argued here and elsewhere, is of little relevance and leaves ID mostly scientifically vacuous. I personally am thrilled on Allen’s involvement in teaching about ID and evolutionary theory, including some philosophical issues. We need more of these hand on seminars and classes, increase the involvement of teachers to teach the true controversy.

Perhaps we can collect a series of approaches and determine their efficacy on changing people’s minds?


ID has a scientific concept as its the foundation and it's easy to refute the claim that ID is unscientific or religiously motivated -- wow, who knew?

  
truth machine



Posts: 33
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 29 2006,02:01   

[quote=guthrie,Aug. 25 2006,11:20][/quote]
Quote

Anyway, it seems to me that many people were expecting too much from this course.  The description says: ... This is not the same as a course intended to showing the scientific vacuity of ID, rather the course looks like it is supposed to explore the issues and debates surrounding ID. Therefore, much of the oprobium heaped upon McNeill by the more, umm, enthusiastic people at the Thumb is over the top.


Why do you assume that the description accurately describes the actual seminar?  It doesn't seem to fit MacNeill's description of what transpired.

Quote
At the same time, it has given us something of a tactical victory.


I can't imagine why you think so; a grand total of two people in the seminar didn't accept evolution before it started, and afterwards one was still a YEC and the other was still an IDer.

Quote
This leaves ID'ers with only their faith to fall back upon


As has always been the case.

Quote
thus demonstrating ID's total lack of scientific traction.


That has already been demonstrated many many times over.  The only thing this seminar did was induce one IDer and one YEC to tell MacNeill that their views had slightly shifted, and to give a number of intelligent Cornell students the impression that ID is intellectually respectable and worthy of scientific analysis.

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 29 2006,02:21   

Quote (truth machine @ Aug. 29 2006,07:01)

Quote

Why do you assume that the description accurately describes the actual seminar?  It doesn't seem to fit MacNeill's description of what transpired.

BEcause, not being omnipotent, I have not read everything related to the course that is available.  Yet it seems to me that MacNeills original course aim and his description of what happened are broadly similar, given the lack of detail in the course description.  

Quote
I can't imagine why you think so; a grand total of two people in the seminar didn't accept evolution before it started, and afterwards one was still a YEC and the other was still an IDer.

I said tactical for a reason- it appears that they managed to make it clear that there is no science behind ID, and the only reasons that people still supported it were their personal religious ones.  

Quote

That has already been demonstrated many many times over.  The only thing this seminar did was induce one IDer and one YEC to tell MacNeill that their views had slightly shifted, and to give a number of intelligent Cornell students the impression that ID is intellectually respectable and worthy of scientific analysis.

Something doesnt have to be worthy in order to be scientifically analysed.  We reserve the right to analyse anything scientifically, and the fact that this has been done to something in no way confers scientific legitimacy upon it.  It would be interesting to talk to the other students on the course and see what they made of it all.

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 29 2006,02:55   

Im trying to work my way through the post. A lot of the attacks against Pim seem to be because of his apparently granting legitimacy to ID arguments by posting refutations. Or am I missing a lot of context.

  
truth machine



Posts: 33
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 29 2006,03:15   

Quote (Chris Hyland @ Aug. 29 2006,07:55)
Im trying to work my way through the post. A lot of the attacks against Pim seem to be because of his apparently granting legitimacy to ID arguments by posting refutations. Or am I missing a lot of context.

That's a rather vague claim; can you support it with evidence?  It seems to me that most of the criticisms of Pim are for making unsupported claims, employing ad hominems, being hypocritical, and so on.  For instance, early on he writes

Quote
I think that the course has exposed the scientific vacuity of intelligent design and while few if any may have changed their immediate positions, it has helped spread the seed of doubt.


and then writes

Quote
Did you attend the seminar? Did you discuss with the participants? Or are you being ‘guided’ by the comments on the blog? Realize then that most of the blog participants were NOT seminar attendees.


and then writes

Quote
I cannot speak for Allen or the participants of this class as I only participated in the blog discussions.



That's just one of many examples of his hypocrisy.

  
truth machine



Posts: 33
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 29 2006,03:31   

Quote (guthrie @ Aug. 29 2006,07:21)

BEcause, not being omnipotent, ...


Not being omniscient is not a reason to make assumptions.

Quote
I said tactical for a reason- it appears that they managed to make it clear that there is no science behind ID, and the only reasons that people still supported it were their personal religious ones.  


So expending considerable resources that could have been employed teaching straight science is a tactical win if it resulted in two people on the planet getting clear that there is no science behind ID?  Even if so, I don't think there is any reason to think that they did get clear on that.  The only thing that MacNeill said of all the participants is

Quote
all of the participants (including the ID supporters) rejected Phillip Johnson’s The Wedge of Truth as pure political polemic


Beyond that, he characterized the result of the seminar as

Quote
ID is an entirely theoretical hypothesis restricted to the origin of life, the origin of the genetic code, and the origin of a few selected biochemical pathways (and the bacterial flagellum), currently lacking empirical verification and without clearly defined methodologies for verification or falsification


which is not quite the same as "there is no science behind ID" or "the only reasons that people still supported it were their personal religious ones".  Even lacking empirical verification, there can be good reasons to entertain "an entirely theoretical hypothesis".

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 29 2006,04:21   

Quote
That's a rather vague claim; can you support it with evidence?


I haven't read a lot of the posts, and I agree he said some very weird things that would seem to suggest he grants ID some scientific respectability. But I also saw a lot of posts that took issue with him posting refutations of ID arguments, which was a little weird. But as I said Im probably taking them out of context because I havent read the whole thing.

  
truth machine



Posts: 33
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 29 2006,04:35   

Quote (Chris Hyland @ Aug. 29 2006,09:21)
 
Quote
That's a rather vague claim; can you support it with evidence?


I haven't read a lot of the posts, and I agree he said some very weird things that would seem to suggest he grants ID some scientific respectability. But I also saw a lot of posts that took issue with him posting refutations of ID arguments, which was a little weird. But as I said Im probably taking them out of context because I havent read the whole thing.

By "support with evidence", I had in mind quoting or linking to one or more of these "lot of" posts.  You should be able to do that regardless of whether you have read the whole thing if you did in fact see posts of the sort that you claim you saw.

  
truth machine



Posts: 33
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 29 2006,04:54   

Quote (Chris Hyland @ Aug. 29 2006,09:21)


I haven't read a lot of the posts, and I agree he said some very weird things that would seem to suggest he grants ID some scientific respectability.

Yes, he certainly said some "weird" things, such as

 
Quote
They are scientific hypotheses, whether you and I like it or not. The true damage is done by those ignoring that ID is based on an hypothesis. That the hypothesis turns out to be scientifically vacuous is quite a separate issue.


Hmm, so it's a hypothesis that is both scientific and scientifically vacuous.

He also says

 
Quote
I do claim that most IDers believe/want to believe that there is a scientific foundation for ID


AND

 
Quote
there IS a scientific component to ID, however vacuous it may be


So not only do most IDers believe/want to believe that there is a scientific "foundation" for ID, but there really is a scientific "component" to ID, but it's "vacuous"; as someone else said, and Pim agreed, this "component" is "the null set".

What an incoherent mess. If Pim is right that we should include logic and reason in our arsenal, then it would be best if he remains silent and leaves it to someone who isn't so confused.

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 29 2006,18:42   

Quote
If Pim is right that we should include logic and reason in our arsenal, then it would be best if he remains silent and leaves it to someone who isn't so confused.


oh, I did get a chuckle out of that one.

please do try to stick to Pim's extension of his specific addressal and definitions of CSI in terms of being applicable to the subject of a course on the ToE and ID.

Is there practical application of attacking ID based on the approach he suggests (check post 124194 for the most complete example I can find)?

I find the intended audience this would impact to be vanishingly small, AFAICT.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
truth machine



Posts: 33
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2006,13:15   

Glen Davidson's posts near the end (124397 and 124405)   identify what's wrong with Pim's approach.

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 18 2007,18:17   

*bump*

for spags.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
SpaghettiSawUs



Posts: 77
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: June 18 2007,18:43   

Cheers, gotcha.

Will pickup on the 'morrow, saved it off and read in bed (no internet at home atm so nicking bro's wireless - family for ya ;))

Regards
Spags

--------------
On June 23, 2007, 01:06 PM AFDave wrote: "How can we dismiss their theories without first reading their work?"

  
SpaghettiSawUs



Posts: 77
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: June 19 2007,11:42   

right then,
I've had a good digest of the thread.

To start with McNeill's comment:  
Quote
Furthermore, all of the participants (including the ID supporters) rejected Phillip Johnson’s The Wedge of Truth as pure political polemic, not worthy of our time and attention; indeed, one of the most ardent ID supporters stated “That isn’t ID.” If not, then at least for the participants on the notorious Cornell evolution and design seminar, ID is an entirely theoretical hypothesis restricted to the origin of life, the origin of the genetic code, and the origin of a few selected biochemical pathways (and the bacterial flagellum), currently lacking empirical verification and without clearly defined methodologies for verification or falsification.
Just to take it piecemeal.
Quote
...all of the participants (including the ID supporters) rejected Phillip Johnson’s The Wedge of Truth as pure political polemic, not worthy of our time and attention; indeed, one of the most ardent ID supporters stated “That isn’t ID.”
Note the distinction that McNeill fails to make clear: everyone dismisses it as political polemic (fine) but only the ardent ID supporter says "that isn't ID". Which leaves it open (at least in the minds of the non-IDers) that The Wedge is both ID and a political polemic.

Now as Allen tells us there were only two IDers taking part, both of whom were invited, we know who it could be. As any fule kno: The Wedge IS ID except to on-message ID advocates: the brownshirts, the ID thugs, the blustering lying right-wing authoritarian fudamentalists. Who is the best candidtate for that label? I'd bet my money on Hannah. Oh jeez you can just see her "getting the vote out for Bush" (and I wonder whether "bush" is also McNeill's motivation... obliquely... but that's just unwarranted speculation and aspersions as to the quality of Hannah's ass).

It is sad to see that McNeill appears to have fallen for this schtick, but he does leave himself some wriggle room to be fair:
Quote
If not,...
Allowing some space for the conclusion that this was the participants' agreed definition and not (necessarily his own):
Quote
...then at least for the participants on the notorious Cornell evolution and design seminar, ID is an entirely theoretical hypothesis...
Yet this is a clear non-sequitur. This clause "at least for the participants" makes the illogical step from the predicate: "The Wedge is not ID" (which is only clearly rejected by one IDer in the discussion. This is a fallacy of over-extrapolation, and pretty basic. Doesn't garner much respect.

He goes on to what this definition supposedly is:
Quote
...restricted to the origin of life, the origin of the genetic code, and the origin of a few selected biochemical pathways (and the bacterial flagellum), currently lacking empirical verification and without clearly defined methodologies for verification or falsification.
Ok, we all know this to be a false representation of ID, but let's be charitable, after all they are looking for a "scientifically acceptable" definition of some sort. Yet the definition arived at is of a non-scientific nature any because of the use of the clause "without clearly defined methodologies for verification or falsification".

What really hit me here though (it just jumped off the page) was the way bacterial flagellum (that most ancient of creo-con canards) makes it into this "generic definition". This smacks of the ID messenger (Hannah?) somehow setting the parameters by the back door. Why is it necessary (to the definition being prescribed) to include flagella, in parentheses? It doesn't take an Einstein to see something is wrong here, inclusion of the flagella argument in a generic description is to me an obvious clue as to the content of any "discussion" which led to this definition being adopted.

So I find it very disappointing to see this. While I admire McNeill's intent to remain polite, he seemingly allows himself to be led up the garden path by being too polite to say "hang on a minute".

I think it is clear that he doesn't buy this definition himself, so in allowing Hannah to set the parameters in this way perhaps he had something up his sleeve. Maybe he wanted to see the flagella argument get a thorough covering, hoping to thoroughly refute it during  the course perhaps.

What he seems to have missed most however, and the PT guys were all vocal on this one, is that you cannot trust these lying scumbags, and evidence doesn't faze them. Note that Allen even lets the macro-evo/micro-evo definition game slip through (obviously not realising when called on it by PG) the huge difference in intent when creo-bots use the terms as opposed to evolutionary biologists. Someone slipped a blindfold on him for that one and he was just "too polite" (I guess) to see it.

I'll have a few more thoughts pretty soon, just wanted to make some prelims on McNeill's MO.

Cheers
Spags

--------------
On June 23, 2007, 01:06 PM AFDave wrote: "How can we dismiss their theories without first reading their work?"

  
SpaghettiSawUs



Posts: 77
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: June 19 2007,12:07   

Ok Ichthy,
This comment by you deserves alot more attention:
Quote
There is even a case to be made that some of these “God Camps” very much resemble brainwashing cults, and could be considered a form of child abuse. Regardless, there is LOTS of room to argue for marginalization.

I've seen the way that these camps work, and I've seen the drongos they turn out. My neice was recruited into the Xtian Fellowsip at uni a few years back and in the summer happily went off to "summer camp". She returned as a complete stranger, a completely brainwashed Jesus-cult member.
With the free hand that these people have to apply their own self-justified "teaching methods" (i.e. psychological conditioning and hypnosis techniques), it is no wonder that so many of the ost zealous believers have attended one of these camps. I'd bet good money that Hannah went to at least one, as did AFDave, as did many others.
Given the time for reinforcement, you can pretty much guarantee that by the end of the week practically everyone wil have given their lives to Jebus.

There is a girl at DI, name escapes me, who went to bible camp at age 14, gave her life to the holy-handed one (pun intended) and is now a dedicated IDist.

I'd suggest some form of expose on these retreats. It would need a couple of (strong minded) plants and some hidden camera technology. I wonder how practical that would be to set up?

The point is that again, ID acceptance is a mere symptom of the brainwashing (they're primed to accept anything), but with a government such as that in the US at present I can't see how these camps can be curtailed without a massive public outcry over them. I wonder if that could be acheived in any way. Enough to get the issue out into the public arena.

Its definitely an idea that could be pursued, especially if the outcome turned out to be shocking.

Jeez, what a frickin hill to climb, while people like McNeill are happy to allow statements like "The Wedge is not ID" to slip by and lend these idiots the respectability of an institution such as Cornell.

Cheers
Spags

--------------
On June 23, 2007, 01:06 PM AFDave wrote: "How can we dismiss their theories without first reading their work?"

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 19 2007,13:08   

Quote
This comment by you deserves alot more attention:


http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin....ination

:)

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 19 2007,18:02   

Quote (SpaghettiSawUs @ June 19 2007,12:07)
Jeez, what a frickin hill to climb, while people like McNeill are happy to allow statements like "The Wedge is not ID" to slip by and lend these idiots the respectability of an institution such as Cornell.

Ah well, ID is dead now.  Dead, dead, dead.  Even the Republicrat Party won't give them the time of day anymore, and without the political support of the Republicrat Party, the IDers are nothing but a sewing circle.


The IDers are fit now only to be laughed at.

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
SpaghettiSawUs



Posts: 77
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: June 19 2007,18:52   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ June 20 2007,00:02)
 
Quote (SpaghettiSawUs @ June 19 2007,12:07)
Jeez, what a frickin hill to climb, while people like McNeill are happy to allow statements like "The Wedge is not ID" to slip by and lend these idiots the respectability of an institution such as Cornell.

Ah well, ID is dead now.  Dead, dead, dead.  Even the Republicrat Party won't give them the time of day anymore, and without the political support of the Republicrat Party, the IDers are nothing but a sewing circle.


The IDers are fit now only to be laughed at.

I hope you are not misunderestimating the nature of the beast ;)

You should never misunderestimate,
just ask good old Dubya.

It could be that Dumbski's latest tome is the last gasp of this lot for a while. But while YEC "museum" is getting $20 per two walking feet of Tard addict, I'm not gambling that they've gone away.

I'd love to see the creo-museum become the creo-mauseleum (sp?), so we'll see if the "Disney" hit is worth it, or it goes broke once everyone's seen it. From what I've see it's all pretty, well, dire really.

But then, alot of these people think GOD TV is cool, so who's accounting for taste?

As for ID? They'll be back. When you see the same old tard in a different slop bucket, you'll know it.  

:)

Cheers
spags

--------------
On June 23, 2007, 01:06 PM AFDave wrote: "How can we dismiss their theories without first reading their work?"

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 19 2007,23:28   

Quote (SpaghettiSawUs @ June 19 2007,18:52)
But while YEC "museum" is getting $20 per two walking feet of Tard addict, I'm not gambling that they've gone away.

I'd love to see the creo-museum become the creo-mauseleum (sp?), so we'll see if the "Disney" hit is worth it, or it goes broke once everyone's seen it. From what I've see it's all pretty, well, dire really.

Given the lawsuit from the Aussies and the abysmally bad press that AiG's mega-church has gotten, I'm not thinking that their "creation museum" is gonna be much help to them . . . . .

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 19 2007,23:32   

Quote (SpaghettiSawUs @ June 19 2007,18:52)
As for ID? They'll be back. When you see the same old tard in a different slop bucket, you'll know it.  

Oh, the anti-evolution nutters will NEVER go away.  They are like cancer --- eternal.  I figure two, three years tops, and they'll be back with the same old crap under a brand new name.

But (1) ID is dead as a fish, and will never be resurrected, and (2) anti-evolutioners without political power are just as harmless as anti-round-earthers without political power.

And I think it will be a long long long time before anti-evolutioners ever get near political power again.  Even the neocons think they're nuts.  (shrug)

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 19 2007,23:34   

Quote
Even the neocons think they're nuts.


now if they'd just SAY it.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,06:55   

Quote (Ichthyic @ June 19 2007,23:34)
Quote
Even the neocons think they're nuts.


now if they'd just SAY it.

Well, they want the fundie money and votes.

They know a bunch of chumps when they see it.

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,14:20   

exactly, so effectively there is no difference as far as the fundies are concerned, and they will continue to provide support for the neocons, and the neocons will continue to encourage them.

an endless cycle of stupidity.

of course, unless you want to talk about how a course like MacNeill's would, or wouldn't, change that, it's kind of a tangent to the thread.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
SpaghettiSawUs



Posts: 77
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,15:07   

I'm still trying to get my head around something with "intentionality" that came up in the thread.
It seems to me that a non-sequitur is getting through that AM also misses.

Of course the concept of intentionality and pattern matching is very useful, but "intent" is a first order abstraction. To make the leap to "is it designed?" is not, the question arises only with an inserted objective definition outside of the realms of intentionality: "design".

Since it is intentionality which gives rise to abstraction and eventually language and tool-using (for example) it is only from the fruits of intentionality that one can ask secondary questions such as "is it designed?".

To pre-empt an objection it may be that the "design inference" can arise after intentionality and pattern recognition has evolved to a level sufficient to allow intentional objects to become "designers", but it remains a superimposition of a later concept over the earlier. It's subtle but this seems to be a successful muddying of the waters.

Any idea that "intentionality" may by its very nature eventually lead to intentional beings making the "design" inference is a subtle non-sequitur. The "design inference" is a teleological superimposition, and only truly comes about after some "design concept"  (which surely must go much further than mere "intentionality") has been established.

"Intentionality" has no more reason or cause to "ask is this designed?" than "is this red?".

Just try to make the point more clearely: an intentional object (a mind) is aware of other intentional and non-intentional objects. Intentionality is determined by various pattern recogition hypothesising mechanisms within the mind. Higher orders of intentional awareness lead to greater social patterns, as we recognise the potential inter-web of minds with which we contend.

The "argument from design" post-dates the evolution of human level intentional awareness and the advent of religion by a long time. The early theisms did not originate in the question of "design" but rather through the supernatural misapplications of intent ("false positives") with regard to natural phenomana. Therefore the idea of "God as designer" did not arise as a natural result of the evolution of intentionality, yet the "god as intentional object responsible for rain" may have. "Design" is a later superimposition based on a sequence of reasoning conducted a priori, extrapolated from behaviours known to human intentional objects.

"Intentionality leads to the design inference" is therefore meaningless IMO, as it seems to rest on a logically incoherent proposition. What's more, it cannot explain the "god inference" since theism predates the "design inference", which is a later bolt-on to theism based on theology and teleology, and not directly derived from intentionality.

Am I alone in thinking this? Others seemed to be making a similar point IIRC, though probably using tighter terminology.

I hope it makes sense.

Cheers
Spags

--------------
On June 23, 2007, 01:06 PM AFDave wrote: "How can we dismiss their theories without first reading their work?"

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,17:50   

Quote (Ichthyic @ June 20 2007,14:20)
exactly, so effectively there is no difference as far as the fundies are concerned, and they will continue to provide support for the neocons, and the neocons will continue to encourage them.

an endless cycle of stupidity.

of course, unless you want to talk about how a course like MacNeill's would, or wouldn't, change that, it's kind of a tangent to the thread.

Well, there's no CHOICE as far as the fundies are concerned.  After all, they can't very well leave the Republicrats and join the Democans, can they.

It's the same ring of futility that has the American, uh, "labor movement" (such as it is) and the Democan Party joined at the hip.  One side gets money and votes, the other side gets lip service.


And as for college courses changing that (or anything else) --- you can sit every ID/creationist on the planet down and force them to read the entire collected works of Gould, Dawkins, Darwin, Mayr, Dennett and anyone else you can think of --- and it won't change a thing.  They were not won TO their position through logical argument or science, and they won't be won AWAY from it by logical argument or science, either.  (shrug)

In every instance I have seen in the past 25 years where a creationist has given up creationism (and I can count that total number on the fingers of both hands), it was THEOLOGICAL arguments that won the day.  IF you can convince them that science isn't really trying to grab their Bibles out of their hands, then MAYBE you can move them to some sort of theistic evolutionist position where they will leave evolution and science alone.

(Many of the ones I've seen, though, then went on to become atheists, thus once again continuing to follow that deep-seated fundie teaching that if ANY of the Bible is wrong, that means ALL of it is wrong -- for the most part, all they've done is exchange one form of fundamentalism for another).

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,18:34   

Quote
After all, they can't very well leave the Republicrats and join the Democans, can they.


why not?

karl Rove managed to convince the vast majority of Texas to become republican from a mostly democratic base in less than ten years.

if he can do it...

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: June 20 2007,21:34   

Quote (Ichthyic @ June 20 2007,18:34)
Quote
After all, they can't very well leave the Republicrats and join the Democans, can they.


why not?

Well, given that the Democans and the Republicrats aren't all that distinguishable anymore (and given that historically it was indeed the segregationist southern Democans who preached all the "God and Guns" nuttiness until Nixon won them over to the Republicrats), you're probably right.

Tweedle-dee, Tweedle-dum ---- makes no difference.  (shrug)

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: June 22 2007,23:21   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ June 20 2007,06:55)
Quote (Ichthyic @ June 19 2007,23:34)
Quote
Even the neocons think they're nuts.


now if they'd just SAY it.

Well, they want the fundie money and votes.

They know a bunch of chumps when they see it.

Ask Jack Abramoff or Ralph Reed about that.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: May 30 2008,08:39   

Bump for the recent PT discussion.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: May 30 2008,16:31   

Suggestion for Allen MacNeill on course online discussion this time around:

1. Don't offer special privileges to IDC advocates just because they are IDC advocates.

2. Have one or a small group of the class registered students propose moderation guidelines and enforce them. Do not select the students in the group based on viewpoint.

3. Legitimate questions can be inconvenient; the inconvenience they pose is not a reason to skip by or delete them.

The concern about keeping to issues and away from ad hominem does not imply that the discussion cannot be sharp when focused on the issues. In fact, that sort of sharpness should be encouraged and rewarded.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 30 2008,18:02   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ May 30 2008,16:31)
Suggestion for Allen MacNeill on course online discussion this time around:

1. Don't offer special privileges to IDC advocates just because they are IDC advocates.

2. Have one or a small group of the class registered students propose moderation guidelines and enforce them. Do not select the students in the group based on viewpoint.

3. Legitimate questions can be inconvenient; the inconvenience they pose is not a reason to skip by or delete them.

The concern about keeping to issues and away from ad hominem does not imply that the discussion cannot be sharp when focused on the issues. In fact, that sort of sharpness should be encouraged and rewarded.

Allen - For those of your students that qualify and show promise, you could have them compare and contrast reality vs. The ID Worldview.  Post-Grad work would compare and contrast reality vs. Sal.

--------------
Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Bob O'H



Posts: 2132
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 31 2008,13:58   

I didn't follow the discussion at PT, but looking at it now, this caught my eye:
 
Quote
Following Eldridge and Gould’s presentation of punctuated equilibrium this situation changed, and that change accelerated with the discovery of new mechanisms of microevolutionary change (such as Hamilton’s kin selection and Trivers’s reciprocal altruism).

So Eldridge and Gould started the changes off?  OK, what were the dates when these pieces of work were presented?

Punc eek:
Eldredge, N., & Gould, S. J. 1972. Punctuated equilibria: an alternative to phyletic gradualism. In: Models In Paleobiology (Ed. by T. J. M. Schopf).
Hamilton’s kin selection:
Hamilton, W.D. 1964. The genetical evolution of social behaviour I and II. — Journal of Theoretical Biology 7: 1-16 and 17-52.
Trivers’s reciprocal altruism:
Trivers, R.L. 1971. The evolution of reciprocal altruism. Quarterly Review of Biology. 46: 35-57.

I'm tempted to make snarky suggestions that perhaps someone should acquaint themselves with a decent historian.

--------------
It is fun to dip into the various threads to watch cluelessness at work in the hands of the confident exponent. - Soapy Sam (so say we all)

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: May 31 2008,22:13   

"Eldridge". Ouch. That misspelling is particularly common among antievolutionists.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
  95 replies since April 10 2006,14:28 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Pages: (4) < [1] 2 3 4 >   


Track this topic Email this topic Print this topic

[ Read the Board Rules ] | [Useful Links] | [Evolving Designs]