RSS 2.0 Feed

» Welcome Guest Log In :: Register

    
  Topic: Stephen Meyer, UK Telegraph Article< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Alan Fox



Posts: 1391
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 28 2006,23:07   

Thanks to William (Isaac) Dembski for spotting Meyer's article in the UK Daily Telegraph

From his article:

Quote
Contrary to media reports, ID is not a religious-based idea, but an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins.


As it was developed by Philip Johnson, and considering the wedge document, not to mention the dearth of scientific research, this seems a bit rich.

Quote
By contrast, ID holds that there are tell-tale features of living systems and the universe that are best explained by a designing intelligence. The theory does not challenge the idea of evolution defined as change over time, or even common ancestry, but it disputes Darwin's idea that the cause of biological change is wholly blind and undirected.


Natural selection is not "blind and undirected", Species adapt to fit their niches, as those niches change over time via climate change, continental drift, cataclysms such as meteor strikes, etc., etc.

Quote
The biochemist Michael Behe points out that the flagellar motor depends on the co-ordinated function of 30 protein parts. Remove one of these proteins and the rotary motor doesn't work. The motor is, in Behe's words, "irreducibly complex".


The vast amount of work produced since Behe's (1996) assertion seems to have slipped by Mr Meyer, though not by Judge Jones, fortunately.

Quote
Is there a better explanation? Based on our uniform experience, we know of only one type of cause that produces irreducibly complex systems: intelligence.


An unscientific assertion. What uniform experience can be considered evidence and how is that scientific?

Quote
The informational features of the cell at least appear designed. Yet, to date, no theory of undirected chemical evolution has explained the origin of the digital information needed to build the first living cell. Why? There is simply too much information in the cell to be explained by chance alone.


Not X does not prove Y. What evidence is there that there is an "Intelligent Designer" at work. People may believe this, many scientists are theists, but belief is not science.

Quote
So the discovery of digital information in DNA provides strong grounds for inferring that intelligence played a causal role in its origin.


Abiogenesis is an intractable problem, and may remain so for  a very long time, but the leap of faith to an Intelligent Designer is not science, it is religion.

Quote
Thus, ID is not based on religion, but on scientific discoveries and our experience of cause and effect, the basis of all scientific reasoning about the past. Unlike creationism, ID is an inference from biological data.


"Pandas and People" and the wedge document clearly demonstrate the evolution of creationism into intelligent design.

Quote
Nevertheless, this new theory must also be evaluated on the basis of the evidence, not philosophical preferences. As Professor Flew advises: "We must follow the evidence, wherever it leads."


What theory. Please, please state the theory of Intelligent Design. I heartily agree with the quote from Flew. Do you not see the irony there Dr. Meyer?

Same old canards. The problem is this will be new to many English readers, who will be unaware of the duplicitous nature of the Discovery Institute and the creo/ID movement in general. At least they do not (yet) have a significant support base in the UK. Is there a link on the Telegraph website for comments? I didn't spot one. Maybe the paper will publish an opposing view.

  
Bob O'H



Posts: 2132
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2006,04:13   

I sent a letter to the Editor clearing up any mis-understanding that Meyer may have (inadvertently) created by explaining that ID is only scientific if you redefine "scientific".  And then citing Behe etc. as evidence.

I had forgotten that Meyer directed the Disco Institute when the Wedge was drawn up, otherwise I would have raised that as well.  I think we should be writing letters to the papers (oh gods, has it come to that???) pointing out the duplicity and dis-honesty of the ID crowd.

Incidentally, I saw the article after it was pointed out at Bad Science yesterday.  There are a few discussions about ID there, and we're sending them over to PT, so you may see some oddballs at the garden party.

Bob

--------------
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)

   
Alan Fox



Posts: 1391
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2006,04:40   

I'll add my two penn'orth and pop them a letter, or do they have email?

I've been waiting for the strawberries Romanov to be served. I think they're holding them back for the posh folks.

  
Bob O'H



Posts: 2132
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2006,04:43   

The email address is a bit hard to find, but this is it:
dtletters@telegraph.co.uk
(yes, their letters page has the dt's!;)

As for strawberries Romanov, well we all know what happened to them in the end.

Bob

--------------
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)

   
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2006,05:21   

Interestingly, among the credits ascribed to Dr Meyer:
Quote
Stephen C Meyer edited ‘Darwinism, Design and Public Education’ (Michigan State University
Press). He has a PhD in philosophy of science from Cambridge University and is a senior
fellow at the Discovery Institute in Seattle.
... the Telegraph left out his current employer, Palm Beach Atltantic University:
Quote
To assure the perpetuation of these  basic concepts of its founders, it is resolved that all those who become associated with  Palm Beach Atlantic as trustees, officers, members of the faculty or of the staff, must  believe in the divine inspiration of the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments; that man  was directly created by God; that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin...[etc.]

Probably just an inadvertant omission.

--------------
Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
Alan Fox



Posts: 1391
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2006,08:31   

Quote
Probably just an inadvertant omission.


Worth pointing out to the Telegraph though. I'll give it a go.

  
Bob O'H



Posts: 2132
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2006,08:45   

Quote (Alan Fox @ Jan. 29 2006,14:31)
Quote
Probably just an inadvertant omission.


Worth pointing out to the Telegraph though. I'll give it a go.


Hmm.  The problem is to not make it look like an ad hominem attack: Meyer's article wasn't about the theological side.  If you can get around that (and the Wedge might help), you might also find
this useful.

Does anyone out there have a quote from Meyer saying that ID is about God?  Something like the Dembski's Logos theory cracker.

Bob

--------------
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)

   
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 29 2006,11:24   

Re "features of living systems and the universe that are best explained by a designing intelligence."

At the risk of sounding like Lenny, why do they never get around to telling us what that "best explanation" actually is, rather than merely claiming to have it??

Re "we know of only one type of cause that produces irreducibly complex systems: intelligence. "

The term "Avida" comes to mind here (unless I misspelled it).

Re "Abiogenesis is an intractable problem, and may remain so for a very long time, [...] "

Perhaps the details of abiogenesis are unresolved, but if there was a time when there wasn't life, and later a time when there was (and is) life, then abiogenesis happened some some means. Er, what was their point again?

Henry

  
Bob O'H



Posts: 2132
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2006,06:06   

The Telegraph published some letters about Meyer's article today, including a cut-down version of mine, with the sarcasm de-clawed.

Bob

--------------
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)

   
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2006,06:58   

One of the things the Discovery Institute does well is it targets ordinary people and appeals to existing cultural leanings and biases.  Sure, they are nothing but lying propagandists in the truest sense, but they are obviously good at it.  

I think what is needed is the equivalent of the Discovery Institute (sans the dishonesty and distortions).

And by equivalent I mean an organization that:

1) Writes articles that appeal to (or at least can be understood by) the average Joe.

2) Makes use of online news opportunities (gets included in things like Google News

3) Writes timely articles that take the Discovery Institute and their latest distortions to task.

4) Seeks to educate the public about the Discovery Institute's war on science in a language non-scientists can comprehend and appreciate.

5) Can frame the debate in a manner that taps into cultural biases and existing values.  What I mean by this is most people could care less than evolution is under fire.  Most people have a mistaken impression of what evolution is so the thought of "Darwinism" being under assault is not going to keep most people up late at night.

The war is not a bunch of scientists taking on "Darwinsim", the driving force behind the war is a group of fundamentalist evangelicals who want to replace science with "theistic understandings".  Understanding who the driving force is behind IDC and what their motives are would be alarming to most Americans.  But unless you read PT or some of the other similar blogs the average Joe is pretty much in the dark.

I know there are numerous science blogs that attempt to do what I am suggesting (PT is one good example), but so far I don't think any of them are succeeding.  Many write about the dishonest things being said and done by the Discovery Institute but the audience for these very good articles is so miniscule (or comprised of primarily the evo choir) I don't think the net effect on public perception is measurable.

Anyhow...That's my story...

--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
improvius



Posts: 807
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2006,07:26   

The problem is that the DI is telling people what they want to hear.  I gues you could say that there is a demand for BS, and they are just the suppliers.  People want there to be a supreme guiding force.  They want to believe that the world was "designed" by some sort of "intelligence".  So long as that demand exists, there will always be con artists catering to it.  I don't think scientific PR has any hope of competing with it.

It would be like getting people to stop eating Snickers and start eating carrots instead.

--------------
Quote (afdave @ Oct. 02 2006,18:37)
Many Jews were in comfortable oblivion about Hitler ... until it was too late.
Many scientists will persist in comfortable oblivion about their Creator ... until it is too late.

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2006,07:44   

Quote
I don't think scientific PR has any hope of competing with it.


If any science organizations ever learn how to do PR I think quite a bit could be accomplished.  It certainly beats doing nothing, or only singing to ones own choir.

And I think if people realized what value modern biology brings to the quality of their own lives in terms of medicine, fighting disease, etc., people would be more sensitive to the notion of biology being under attack.  

The public sees Darwin being defended and they could care less about Darwin.  Correct me if I am wrong but if you are attacking Darwin you are attacking modern biology which includes the field of medicine.  IDC is a science stopper and that has real world ramifications (not just philosophical whatnot) but the public has no idea of this.  That's my point.  Well one of them anyhow...

But no one is going to convince a true believer otherwise, so no need to waste time on that demographic.

Finally, I made similar comments in another thread here where one reply was "p.r. takes money".  This "we'll probably lose before we even start, so why start" is probably not the best approach.

At some point science will need the support of the average Joe and unless they start paying attention to the average Joe that support is unlikely or at least not a given.

--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2006,11:08   

PR takes money?  How much money could we raise if every scientist in the USA gave a dollar, and companies employing scientists gave 10 dollars?

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 30 2006,11:34   

Quote (guthrie @ Jan. 30 2006,17:08)
PR takes money?  How much money could we raise if every scientist in the USA gave a dollar, and companies employing scientists gave 10 dollars?

As far as an online resources go, the articles are already being written.  The issue lies in how they are being promoted, or for that matter not promoted.

And there is probably a ton of people who are pr savvy that would volunteer some time to a pr effort.  I think most of it would be a matter of somone(s) organizing and packaging existing information.

--------------
Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 31 2006,01:30   

I suppose its all part of the simple fact that science is now completely integrated into scoeity, and societies attention has moved on.  I'm not that old, but looking back at the 20's through to 60's, there was a certain importance and awareness of science that to some extent seems to be lacking nowadays.  Old people, feel free to correct me if you like.  ;)

  
Bebbo



Posts: 161
Joined: Dec. 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 31 2006,01:41   

Quote (Alan Fox @ Jan. 29 2006,05:07)

Meyer says:

"Thus, ID is not based on religion, but on scientific discoveries and our experience of cause and effect, the basis of all scientific reasoning about the past. Unlike creationism, ID is an inference from biological data."

One only has to apply this "reasoning" to the origin of the human brain to show how stupid (and circular) it is.

  
Alan Fox



Posts: 1391
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 31 2006,06:41   

Quote
Old people, feel free to correct me if you like.


As a kid at school from the mid fifties, I certainly remember the excitement of Sputnik, the Space Race, former UK prime minister Harold Wilson's "white heat of the technological revolution" speech, Scientific American and advances in molecular biology, encouragement form my high school to pursue a degree in science.

No such enthusiasm for science and technology other than IT and media studies in the nineties, when my daughter was in the education process.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 31 2006,06:55   

Quote
guthrie
I suppose its all part of the simple fact that science is now completely integrated into scoeity, and societies attention has moved on.  I'm not that old, but looking back at the 20's through to 60's, there was a certain importance and awareness of science that to some extent seems to be lacking nowadays.  Old people, feel free to correct me if you like.  ;)


Y'know, I was thinking something like that myself. At the University of Washington in the 70's and 80's science departments were undergoing radical shifts.
Problems in the late 70's were mostly things like trying to get the grad students to stop growing psylocobe mushrooms in their offices and the like and by the 80's the problems were more like how to keep the undergrads from sneaking in in the evening and raping the grad students.

The insular world of science used to make pronouncements, sort of like papal bulls I guess. People would say ooh and ahhh. Now these pronouncements rarely show up in the newspapers because, if they come from universities, they are largely too complex, if they come from gov't agencies they are largely censored, and if they come from business they are largely technologically oriented.

/rant

--------------
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

   
Dean Morrison



Posts: 216
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 02 2006,08:28   

Some of the British Contributors are trying to get a UK forum together to resist the introduction of ID to the UK - we only started yesterday - so the site is still in development (Smooth grey light is the name of the forum template) - but new contributors are especially welcome...

http://justscience.1.forumer.com/index.php?showtopic=2

  
  18 replies since Jan. 28 2006,23:07 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

    


Track this topic Email this topic Print this topic

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