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  Topic: ID/evo. events at Indiana State University, late notice, but I just found out myself< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
J. G. Cox

Posts: 38
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 24 2006,04:41   

Not sure why I just found out about this now, but if anyone lives near Terre Haute, Indiana, there are some ID/evo. events today (April 24th). Apologies for the funky formatting:

Understanding the Intelligent Design Controversy
Neil A. Manson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Mississippi
Monday April 24, 2006 - 3:15 pm
(Co-Sponsored with the ISU Department of Philosophy)
Holmstedt Hall Room 116

Panel Discussion on Intelligent Design:  Philosophical, Theological, &
Scientific Perspectives
Monday April 24, 2006 - 7:00 pm
DeDe III in the Hulman Memorial Student Union
(Co-Sponsored with the ISU Department of Philosophy)

Moderator:  Tom Johnson, Ph.D., Associate Director, CSHRS
Panel Members:

     Neil Manson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the
University of Mississippi
     Rev. Jimmy Ray Watson, Ph.D., St Mark's United Church of Christ
     Rev. Doddie Stone, Terre Haute UU Congregation
     Peter Scott, Ph.D., ISU Department of Ecological & Organismal
     George Bakken, Ph.D., ISU Department of Ecological & Organismal

Benjamin Garrett

Posts: 1
Joined: April 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 25 2006,04:23   

I wanted to go to this, but it was my wedding anneversary.  From the panel, I don't see anybody there that I think would jump up to defend ID.  Jimmy Watson is the minister at the church I attend so I might be able to get some kind of report from him if no one has a first-hand report.

J. G. Cox

Posts: 38
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 25 2006,11:43   

Unfortunately, I could not make it to the panel discussion; my students took a lot longer to finish up their lab practical than I had anticipated.

 Manson's talk was OK. It was mostly an introduction to ID and its history, with a very brief statement of his opinions on the matter at the end. There was nothing new for anyone who has been following recent events in ID.

 Manson did mention at some point that he was curious as to to the source of an apparent dichotomy in the reactions of scientists to quasi-religious statements. He claimed that physicists who used the fine-tuning of the universe argument as evidence for the existence of god(s) were not condemned by their peers; in some circles they were even celebrated. However, scientists who might champion ID or other creationism were ostracized by their peers. Manson was quite interested in the potential source of this difference in reactions among scientists.

 I thought that the answer was fairly evident; the reactions were so different because the two proclamations were not comparable. A physicist using the fine-tuning->god(s) argument is more similar to a biologist who claims that the truly wondrous workings of evolution is evidence for god(s) than one who claims the current theory for the origin of species is wrong. After all, if DNA repair mechanisms were historically just a tiny bit more or less efficient, then we humans probably wouldn't exist, now would we? A fine-tunng physicist isn't challenging any theory as to *how* the those universal constants arrived at their values, let alone a theory that has almost universal acceptance among other physicists and 150 years of evidence to back it.
 For a physicist to do something comparable to what IDers and other creationists do, that physicist would have to challenge well-supported theory. For instance, said physicist might claim that gravity does not in fact explain why the Earth orbits around the sun. In fact, the Earth is being juggled from hand to hand by a 6-dimensional being, and it is simply that 6-D movement being projected onto our 3-D universe that results in the appearance of an elliptical orbit.

 Manson didn't seem to quite understand what I was getting at, but said that he wanted to think about it some more. In any case, he also said that the fine-tuning arguments were seriously flawed, with which I agreed.

Henry J

Posts: 5760
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 25 2006,16:30   

Re "fine-tuning arguments"
Yeah, I don't see how anybody can think "find-tuning" more than a conjecture, since it's basically an extrapolation from a single data point - a handful of physical constants describing the space-time that we (probably midleadingly) call the "universe".

That's in contrast to evolution theory, that is an interpolation among millions of known species.


  3 replies since April 24 2006,04:41 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  


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