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  Topic: Top 5 reasons ID is bunk, Post your favorites< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 27 2005,12:06   

Top 5 reasons intelligent design is nonsense:

1. Reliance on ad ignoratiam arguments. This is just the old "you can't produce an eye" by chance argument, which completely ignores the fact that evolutionary biologists have traced a clear and logical
progression in stages from having a few light sensitive cells to having a full-blown human eye, with each stage showing an adaptive advantage. Behe tries to use the same tactic with complex proteins.This is just foolishness. Evolution hasn't explained everything yet,
but it keeps explaining more and more.

2. Intelligent Design fails to explain. An explanation has to explain why things are one way rather than another, but ID has no theory of what we might expect the Big Designer in the sky to do. "A magic being did it," explains nothing.

3. Intelligent Design just pushes the problem back. The most crucial thing ID should explain is, well,  intelligence, but it leaves it wholly unexplained. Evolution has an explanation for how intelligence
arose, starting with a few neural cells and progressing in
advantageous stages step by step to the most complex structure known in the universe, the human brain. ID says in effect, well, let's just assume the existence of something even more complex and wondrous: a

4. ID is incoherent. Everything depends on the mind of the Intelligent Designer, but no coherent theory of the ID's mind is possible. By hypothesis, the Designer existed before the universe, but then where did he get his ideas for designing the universe? Ideas can have two sources: they can be derived from experience or they can
be innate. Neither explanation could explain the where the Designer's ideas came from. And if the plan for the universe just arose spontaneously in the mind of the Designer, then that is an even greater wonder than the spontaneous big bang.

5. ID contradicts everything we know about intelligence.
Intelligence, by its very nature, involves storage and processing of information, and this can only be done within a physical structure. To suppose that there could have been information processing before there was any physical reality is nonsense.


Posts: 1
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 16 2005,10:54   

You are falling into the trap of assuming that "Intelligent Design" is inconsistent with Evolution. There is also the general assumption by Christian theologians that if there was an intelligent design, it came about as literally described in the Christian Bible. There is no evidence that an intelligence beyond our capability to comprehend (much less describe almost two thousand years ago) did not design and implement Evolution as the method to create our world and us!
We cannot assume that we can understand whatever, (if anything)  existed before the Universe was created, no more than we can understand what may be beyond the limits of the Universe as we theoretically define it! We cannot assume that Evolution, including
Natural Selection
Survival of the Fittest
were not tools used by an intelligent Creator.

The next issue then, is what is the  probability that we might have been designed by an intelligence that we do not understand as opposed to the probability that it was all by chance?

We discuss this at length at
, link
Intelligent Design ?

You appear to be looking for a clear scientific, proven,  answer to a question that we have great difficulty even defining. The best we can hope for is defining a probability at the present stage of human abilities.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Posts: 4966
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 19 2005,05:20   

You are falling into the trap of assuming that "Intelligent Design" is inconsistent with Evolution.

The "intelligent design" pushed by the Discovery Institute certainly is such. There's no trap there, just an ability to recognize that a re-labelling of the same old antievolution arguments still has antievolution as its content.

Science isn't about what cannot be disproved. Science is about those ideas whose consequences can be tested in some way by our experience of the world.

Consistently, those who want science and only science taught in science classes have no objections to loading up a comparative religion course with stuff about "intelligent design" and other accounts of origins that haven't passed scientific muster. But ID advocates just as consistently have no interest in pushing for that sort of inclusion in K-12 curricula.

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

Wesley R. Elsberry

Posts: 4966
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 29 2005,05:07   

Just posted the following to the Washington Post forums:


"However, I had rather take time and attention to properly address their issues than go the other way."

This has been done. See Robert Pennock's "Tower of Babel", Barbara Forrest and Paul Gross's "Creationism's Trojan Horse", Mark Perakh's "Unintelligent Design", and Matt Young and Taner Edis's "Why Intelligent Design Fails" (I'm a contributor to this book). Online, check out the TalkOrigins Archive (, TalkDesign (, (, and the Panda's Thumb ( Bottom line: The ID movement really is an empty box.

Let me expand on that. ID is pitched as not being "creationism". By this, the ID advocates mean that ID is not *exactly* the same thing as "young-earth creationism". However, once one stops arguing over what something is labelled and looks at the content, one finds that there is *nothing* argued by ID advocates that wasn't present in some form in "scientific creationism". And the same observation holds for the re-labelled antievolution playlist that ID advocates call "teaching the controversy". They are acting like there is some difference between what they improperly want inserted into science classes and the bad old "scientific creationism", when every one of the actual arguments they insist upon has a prior history in "scientific creationism".

Phillip E. Johnson, a major figure in the neoPaleyist movement, gave us his "clear" definition of a creationist in "Darwin on Trial": "Persons who believe that the earth is billions of years old, and that simple forms of life evolved gradually to become more complex forms including humans, are ‘creationists’ if they believe that a supernatural Creator not only initiated this process but in some meaningful sense controls it in furtherance of a purpose." This is what ID advocates have to disown to legitimately step away from "creationism".

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

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