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Date: 2007/03/04 15:33:09, Link
Author: Scott Beach
Intelligent design is often referred to as a scientific theory but this is not technically correct.  Intelligent design is an unverified scientific hypothesis.

See http://intelligent-design-hypothesis.com

Date: 2007/03/04 16:57:12, Link
Author: Scott Beach
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Mar. 04 2007,15:59)
Gee, thanks.  THAT certainly clears everything up.  (sigh)

Lenny:

The proponents of intelligent design are intentionally misrepresenting ID by describing ID as a "scientific theory."  They should not be allowed to tell that lie over and over and I am trying to POLITELY stop them from lying by accurately describing ID as an unverified scientific hypothesis.

In "The God Delusion," author Richard Dawkins formulated and considered the God Hypothesis.  Building on his example, I put intelligent design into the form of a scientific hypothesis.

Dawkins judged the God Hypothesis as very unlikely to be correct.  Similarly, I believe that the Intelligent Design Hypothesis is very unlikely to be correct.  However, I refrained from stating this opinion on the above-referenced web page because the proponents of ID are (I cautiously assume) making good-faith efforts to subject their hypothesis to scientific testing at their "God Lab."  They might not be making scientifically honest efforts to test their hypothesis but I am willing -- for now -- to give them the benefit of the doubt.

I am very skeptical but I feel that it would be unfair to criticize their efforts to confirm their hypothesis if they are in fact making good-faith efforts to proceed in accordance with the rules of science.

Date: 2007/03/04 21:46:19, Link
Author: Scott Beach
Henry:

I have read discussions of intelligent design in which the participants debate whether ID can be stated as a scientific hypothesis.  I have seen "scientific method" defined as being applicable to "intersubjectively accessible phenomena" and I have wondered whether ID really can be stated as a scientific hypothesis or not.  

In the course of reading Richard Dawkins book "The God Delusion," I was persuaded that the creation of the universe by a supernatural agent can be regarded as a scientific hypothesis.  And I agree with Dr. Dawkins that the God Hypothesis is very unlikely to be true.  According to his typology, he and I are both "de facto atheists."

Having accepted the proposition that god can be stated and evaluated as a scientific hypothesis, I concluded that intelligent design can also be stated and evaluated as a scientific hypothesis.  However, this treatment of ID depends on exactly how "hypothesis" and "scientific method" are defined.  I believe that you and Lenny and other people can reasonably use different definitions for these terms and then conclude that ID cannot be regarded as a scientific hypothesis.  

Whether ID can or cannot be regarded as a scientific hypothesis is really not much of an issue because the Discovery Institute's "God Lab" is unlikely to find evidence that verifies an ID hypothesis.

I disagree with Lenny on the point of being polite.  When addressing the issue of teaching ID in high school biology classes, we should address fellow citizens/voters in a polite manner.  We should simply explain that ID has not been verified and that, in the absence of verification, ID does not warrant inclusion in the curriculum of a biology class.  

There is plenty of evidence that ID is in fact a creationist movement.  We can therefore politely tell our fellow citizens that ID can appropriately be examined during a class on comparative religion.

Scientists should refrain from engaging in public debates with IDists.  When scientists participate in public discussions of ID they should calmly and firmly and politely point out that ID has never been confirmed.  They might lead the audience in praying that the Intelligent Designer materialize and introduce him/her/itself.  We both know what the result of that prayer would be.  That result would dampen the enthusiasm of people who are leaning toward accepting ID as valid.

I am a natural-born scientist (an INTJ) and I have NO inclination to accept supernaturalistic assertions.  However, most people are not INTJs.  They are more emotional than rational and they do feel comfortable with supernaturalism.  I therefore believe that it is counterproductive to be impolite during discussions of ID because that will generate negative emotional responses and thus prevent many people from hearing carefully reasoned scientific explanations.

So I recommend that you and Lenny be polite, even when you really just want to scream a few expletives at those %@$+@&ds.

Date: 2007/03/05 00:44:21, Link
Author: Scott Beach
Quote (Henry J @ Mar. 04 2007,23:52)
Re "However, this treatment of ID depends on exactly how "hypothesis" and "scientific method" are defined. "

I have to disagree with that. The way to make I.D. scientific isn't by redefining terms, it's finding some verifiable set of observations that is expected if I.D. is true, but not expected if it's false. Without that, its a conjecture in search of something to explain.

Henry

Henry:

I have seen some people define hypothesis in a way that excludes the consideration of supernatural causes and then assert that ID cannot be regarded as a scientific hypothesis.  I really do not have a problem with defining hypothesis in that manner but, for the sake of bringing ID out into the open so that it can be considered, I have used a definition of hypothesis that does allow supernatural causation.  Otherwise, the IDists can continue their game of (1) hiding the definition of ID and (2) trying to divert attention away from ID by making attacks on the theory of evolution.

I am not going to play that stupid game.  I have put ID into the form of a scientific hypothesis and I will challenge IDists to defend their hypothesis.  I will refuse to be drawn into their game of demanding that I defend evolution.  

I will not waste my time defending evolution.  I will demand that the IDists put their hypothesis and evidence on the record where it can be evaluated by the scientific community.

Date: 2007/03/05 13:29:59, Link
Author: Scott Beach
Freelurker:

You wrote, "They won't own up to your statement of their position."  If they will not acknowledge what is obviously a correct statement of the intelligent design hypothesis, and present data that verifies the hypothesis, then they have absolutely no business representing ID as a "scientific theory."

The Intelligent Design Network asserts that, "The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection" (http://intelligentdesignnetwork.org ).  This so-called theory has the opinion "best" embedded in it.  Stated in this manner, intelligent design cannot be a scientific theory because a scientific theory cannot contain the theoretician's personal opinion.  A theoretician can hold the opinion that his theory is the best possible explanation but he cannot put his opinion directly into the statement of his theory.  

The intelligent design hypothesis that I formulated does not contain my opinion or anyone else's opinion.  And that hypothesis has not been verified so it cannot be referred to as a theory.

At this time, there is no theory of intelligent design.  The intelligent design "theory" is a hoax, a propaganda ploy.  None of the proponents of intelligent design has ever stated intelligent design in the form of hypothesis or presented data that verifies such a hypothesis.  So if they make reference to "the theory of intelligent design" as thou that theory actually exists then they are doing so for the purpose of deception.

I stated intelligent design in the form of a scientific hypothesis for the purpose of demonstrating that intelligent design is not a theory but is at most an unverified hypothesis.  Someone needed to do that and I did it.  From that point forward, anyone who represents intelligent design to be a "theory" is lying.  And if they lie to you, nail them and refer them to my web page about the intelligent design hypothesis.  Please use that web page as a tool to stop the proponents of ID from lying about the scientific status of ID.

Date: 2007/06/05 21:31:25, Link
Author: Scott Beach
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Mar. 05 2007,17:56)
Quote (Scott Beach @ Mar. 05 2007,13:29)
I stated intelligent design in the form of a scientific hypothesis for the purpose of demonstrating that intelligent design is not a theory but is at most an unverified hypothesis.  Someone needed to do that and I did it.  From that point forward, anyone who represents intelligent design to be a "theory" is lying.  And if they lie to you, nail them and refer them to my web page about the intelligent design hypothesis.  Please use that web page as a tool to stop the proponents of ID from lying about the scientific status of ID.

Yeah, that'll stop 'em right in their tracks, no doubt.

(sigh)

Like I said before, scientists, for the most part, make abysmally poor creationist-fighters.

Lenny:

The IDists refuse to define ID so I thought why not define ID in a way that includes natural selection!  How does this definition sound to you...

Intelligent design is the assertion that many billions of years ago an intelligent designer designed and created the universe, including the Earth and a form of life that has evolved, by natural selection, into the many different forms of life that exist today.

See the whole statement at http://intelligent-design-hypothesis.com

 

 

 

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