It's Time to Teach the Controversy

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Christine J. Watson, Apr 16, 2003.

  1. Christine J. Watson

    Christine J. Watson
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    Hello Baptist Board members:

    Below is an article I wrote and had published in the March issue of the Christian Times. I was wondering if anyone here embraces the efforts of the Intelligent Design Theory advocates who are currently attempting to get ID discussed in public schools. If you are a Creationist and do not agree with this movement why or why not? Most evolutionists outrightly object to its inclusion in science curriculum because ID advocates have been very successful at exposing the hoaxes and flaws of Darwinism.

    PS I will be away from access to a computer for 3 days but upon my return will visit this board for replies.
    God bless,
    Christine


    It’s time to teach the controversy
    By Christine Watson
    CHRISTIAN TIMES- Opinion
    Intelligent Design Theory has gained much ground. Over the past four years, intelligent design proponents have been successful at revealing the many serious flaws of Darwinism to the public. As a result, the dogmatic, ‘naturalism-only’ philosophical approach that Darwinist scientists continue to force on students in order to keep alternate theories out of the debate in classrooms has clearly been exposed.

    Such bias has not gone unnoticed by congressional leaders. On June 13, 2001, U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, R-PA, proposed an amendment in the newly signed education bill that said, “it is the sense of the Senate that (1) good science education should prepare students to distinguish the data or testable theories of science from philosophical or religious claims that are made in the name of science; and (2) where biological evolution is taught, the curriculum should help students to understand why this subject generates so much continuing controversy and should prepare the students to be informed participants in public discussions regarding the subject.”

    The amendment included no provisions for implementation or enforcement but supports the conclusion that science education would be more effective if it prepared students to understand these controversies.

    Some science educators who expressed objection insisted that there was no scientific controversy over biological evolution but merely a religiously or politically based resistance to scientific knowledge, which should not be dignified by allowing it to be expressed in science classes.

    This is an old enervated argument. According to their logic, the many persons with outstanding scientific credentials who have expressed skepticism toward the theory of evolution must not really be scientists. “More important,” states Phillip Johnson in his latest book entitled, The Right Questions: Truth, Meaning and Public Debate, “is that the Darwinist educators cannot afford to acknowledge to either their students or the public that there is a distinction between the data or testable theories of science, on the one hand, and philosophical or religious claims that are made in the name of science, on the other. All Darwinist propaganda depends on blurring that distinction so that a credulous public is taught to accept philosophical naturalism/materialism as inherent in the definition of ‘science’.”

    Johnson points out that, “Education in other subjects aims at helping students to understand the subject as completely as possible. However, education in biological evolution (Darwinism) must aim at keeping the students and the general public confused so they will continue to accept philosophy as science and not perceive that the scientific evidence is not consistent with the scientistic philosophy (naturalism) that the ruling metaphysicians of science want them to believe. Darwinism and clear thinking are at odds with each other.”

    In a Focus on the Family article entitled, “Ohio Paves Way for Evolution Debate,” Terry Phillips states, “The victory seems to already be making an impact in Ohio schools. Board member Deborah Owens Fink noted that after the board’s preliminary vote in October indicating an ‘intent to adopt’ the new science standards, many school districts called to say they were allowing students to openly debate intelligent design.”

    “Previously,” Ms. Fink said, “students did not know about intelligent design or did not feel comfortable discussing it in the classroom; however, now students are actively searching the Internet and other sources to learn more about it.”

    Additionally, the school board modified the definition of science itself to no longer reflect a naturalistic worldview. The new definition is, “Science is a systematic method of continuing investigation, based on observation, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, and theory building, which leads to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena.” This replaces the old definition, which said, “Scientific knowledge is limited to natural explanations for natural phenomena.”

    Other states are considering similar changes. Teachers and students will now have the opportunity to present alternate views and the amendment will protect their legal right to do so.

    Students will now have the opportunity to study the concept that the universe is the product of a rational mind which provides a far better metaphysical basis for scientific rationality than the competing concept that everything in the universe, including our minds, is ultimately based in the mindless movements of matter.

    Genome research actually supports the view that a supernatural mind designed the instructions that guide the immensely complex biochemical processes of life. Gene Myers, a computer scientist who was instrumental in assembling the genome map for Celera Corporation, told Tom Abate, science reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, “What really astounds me is the architecture of life. The system is extremely complex. It’s like it was designed.... There’s a huge intelligence there. I don’t see that as being unscientific. Others may, but not me.”


    Christine Watson has a bachelor’s degree from Kean University and is currently a student of Christian Apologetics in the “Defending the Faith MA Lecture Series” at Biola University. Her previously published articles on this subject include, “A New Challenge to Darwinism,” and “Materialism Can’t Explain Life.”
     
  2. The Galatian

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    Almost all IDer's have a religious belief in ID, rather than any evidence. This is one reason that scientists have not seriously considered ID as a theory.

    The fact that it is unable to make any verifiable predictions is a second reason. Dembski's "explanitory filter" turns out to be useless, unless he's already assumed the answer beforehand.

    The few IDer's like Michael Denton, who do not have an overt religious agenda, accept modern evolutionary theory.

    They are considerably different than the usual IDer, like Jonathan Wells, whose faith in the Rev. Myung Sun Moon led him to believe he had a mission from God to "destroy evolution".

    When ID loses it's religious dogma, and finds something useful to science, scientists will flock to it. Until then, it's a dead issue in science.
     
  3. BobRyan

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    All Evilutionists have a religious belief in evolutionism rather than any actual "Evidence" from science for their doctrine.

    In the same way - no scientist would allow the IDer to say "objects fall to the ground - therefore God created the world" even so no objective scientist would allow "WE exist therefore God did not create us" as 'evidence for evilutionism'. And with that - the house of cards for evilutionists - falls flat.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  4. Paul of Eugene

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    Actually, intelligent design theory boils down to a simple denial that evolution can work. Having accepted the denial, design is then proposed as the only remaining alternative.

    The great insight of Darwin was to propose a method that allowed for complex adaption without the necessity of direct design. The problem of what was driving evolution was thereby solved for the scientific community.

    It represents an advance, you see, from the problem of having nothing but intelligent design for a theory of how the species evolved.
     
  5. The Galatian

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    You've been misled. Ask a scientist why he accepts evolution, and he'll start talking about the evidence, not faith. That's why evolutionary theory changes from time to time, as new evidence shows a need for it.

    You're right, we wouldn't. Did someone tell you that evolutionary theory says that?

    Well, the ol' Strawman is down for the count again, but if you want to criticize evolutionary theory, you'll have to argue against things it actually says.
     
  6. Doubting Thomas

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    There is plenty of evidence for evolution, if by evolution one simply means "change with time".

    Bacteria become resistant to antibiotics all the time. This is hailed as "evolution". Finch beaks can vary tremendously. This too is called "evolution".

    The problem is the mechanisms which account for such variation in no way can explain how bacteria and finches come into being in the first place, the extravagant claims of Darwinists notwithstanding. Natural selection and mutation can produce for all sorts of variability in preexisting organisms, but these processes are impotent in producing the organism itself with its irreducibly complex biochemical structures. Neither can purely natural mechanisms account for the presence of specified complex information found in living things. Hence the Intelligent Design movement.

    The problem is not with "evolution" per se. The problem is that a growing number of scientists dispute that there is all this so-called "evidence" which allegedly supports the grand metaphysical claim of Darwinism.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  7. The Galatian

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    Specifically, "change in allele frequency over time."

    And the finches themselves evolve into new species and genera, as even Duane Gish, of the Institute for Creation Research admitted. And it goes much, much farther than that.

    No, that's wrong. Can you name even one major group of living things that cannot be shown to have had intermediates (or have intermediates still living today)? And if there are such intermediates, where would you draw the line? How could you draw the line? It is impossible.

    That's true. Without organisms, a change in allele frequency would be impossible. But evolutionary theory doesn't make any claims about how life began.

    Actually, natural selection plus mutation has been directly observed to bring about irreducibly complex features. Would you like to learn about it?

    No, that's wrong too. Recently, some bacteria evolved the ability to metabolize nylon oligomers. We know exactly how this specified complex information evolved. It was a frameshift mutation.

    I have no problem with new religions, so long as they don't pretend to be something else.

    In fact, the opposite is true. Scientists like Michael Denton and Glenn Morton, who formerly were critical of Darwinism, have concluded that evolution is the correct explanation for life's diversity. ID began with the promise of new insights into biology, but hasn't been able to produce any discoveries whatever. Nor have any of the touted "methodologies" worked. Consequently, they now hang on mostly by converting creationists.
     
  8. Doubting Thomas

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    And guess what? They're still finches.

    Depends what you mean by "intermeditate". If your referring to a purported branch point on the "phylogenetic tree", your merely begging the question.


    Well, that's good to know.

    Sure--knock yourself out.

    That's great--and when you see a bacteria "evolving" into a eukaryotic organism, let me know.

    Yeah, too bad Darwinists won't admit that their metaphysical claim is nothing more than the creation myth of philosophical naturalism. (Their limited success in explaining limited change, notwithstanding)
     
  9. Paul of Eugene

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    Doubting Thomas, your complaint about how little evolution we observe today reminds me of when I was a child. I observed the hands of the clock and observed that they did not move. My mother told me they did move, only to slowly to be seen by the eye. I did not believe her. But she was right anyway.

    In the same way, we see all the evolution we can reasonably expect to occur within the short time frame we have been watching for it. It is unreasonable to complain we don't see more than evolution theory predicts we will see in such short time frames.

    Remember that the typical YEC thinks of all history taking place in only 6000 or so years while those of us willing to accept the findings of science acknowledge an age of the earth going back about 4 and a half billion years.
     
  10. Doubting Thomas

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    Gee..that's convenient. Ask for proof of macroevolutionary changes and you get: "It's just too slow to observe. But, see, we have all this evidence of microevolutionary changes and given enough time the same processes which are responsible for producing variability within a preexisting population of organisms can also change that type of organism into something with a completely different body plan and with new organs and functional structures and everything! I know you'll never live long enough to see it because it's just so slow. (In fact macroevolution must be slow, because we haven't seen it) But just trust us, okay?"

    Such is the faith of the Darwinist.
     
  11. The Galatian

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    Barbarian observes:
    And the finches themselves evolve into new species and genera, as even Duane Gish, of the Institute for Creation Research admitted. And it goes much, much farther than that.

    Yep. In a few million years, one expects only new genera to evolve. But that's like saying that humans evolved from apelike primates in a few million years, and one says "so what, we're still apelike primates." You see, those finches are much more different from each other than humans are different from chimps.

    Barbarian, on the existence of intermediate forms:
    No, that's wrong. Can you name even one major group of living things that cannot be shown to have had intermediates (or have intermediates still living today)?

    Neither can anyone else.

    Forget phylogenetics. Just tell me what major group of living things has no members of the group with characteristics intermediate between that group and another group. There aren't any.

    Barbarian observes:
    But evolutionary theory doesn't make any claims about how life began.

    But Genesis does. It says that life was brought forth by the earth and waters, at God's command.

    Barbarian asks:
    Actually, natural selection plus mutation has been directly observed to bring about irreducibly complex features. Would you like to learn about it?

    Here's a few, plus Behe's attempt to talk around them:

    http://biocrs.biomed.brown.edu/Darwin/DI/Design.html

    Barbarian regarding evolution of specified complex information:
    No, that's wrong too. Recently, some bacteria evolved the ability to metabolize nylon oligomers. We know exactly how this specified complex information evolved. It was a frameshift mutation.

    (sound of goalposts being frantically repositioned)

    Um, we were talking about complex specified information evolving. I gave you an example. You changed the subject.

    Barbarian on the religion of ID:
    I have no problem with new religions, so long as they don't pretend to be something else.

    You're thinking of the Cartoon Theory of Evolution, again. The real one, indeed all of science is only methodologically naturalistic that's why Christians and people of all faiths can do science. Remember, if you ask a scientist why he thinks evolution is true, he'll start talking about evidence, not faith. Science depends on evidence.

    If you ever do think of a major group of organisms with no intermediate examples, let us know. It would go a long way to support your ideas.
     
  12. Doubting Thomas

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    Barbarian??? :mad:

    [ April 18, 2003, 02:51 PM: Message edited by: Doubting Thomas ]
     
  13. Paul of Eugene

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    Hi, DT! You misunderstand the nature of my post. I was not saying this is all the proof there is for macroevolutionary changes. I was saying that your complaint we have not observed speedy evolution (which evolutionists do not claim to exist) is not relevant. But since you asked for proof of macro evolution, I cite the presence of vestiges as evidence. For example, I can wiggle my ears, using vestigal ear wiggling muscles. Today, this movement has absolutely no benefit for me (unless you count the advantage it gives me in an evolutionary debate - [​IMG] ) and many of my fellow homo-sapiens cannot voluntarily move these muscles at all. Changing from a functional ear movement to a non-moving ear is a macro evolutionary change, I claim, and the presence of the vestigal ear moving muscles is evidence that change occurred!
     
  14. Doubting Thomas

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    You mean they CAN'T??? [​IMG]

    Perhaps...but whether or not one can truly call this "macro-evolutionary", it seems like there is a LOSS of something rather than a GAIN.
     
  15. Paul of Eugene

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    Oh, there was a gain. It was in the brain, in that the brain came to be able to discern spatial location of sounds by means of detecting variations in the timing of arriving sound waves together with variations in the way the alternate ears handled amplification of the higher frequencies. These improvements in sound location work best when the ears are held fixed, keeping the ratios directly comparable. Its all part of a new, improved package made possible by bigger brains.

    But am I hearing you correctly, in that you are willing to agree that there may physically be ancestors in our past that actually moved their ears? Do you realize how many species back that would have to be?
     
  16. Helen

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    Hi Christine,

    I am an active person in the ID camp and my husband and I are blessed to know Phil Johnson and a number of others as good personal friends. I have spoken on ID to various groups through the past few years. First of all, your article was very good. Secondly, contrary to many of the responses you got, ID has nothing to do with religion or religious views – which is why there are so many different religious views represented in the ID movement. ID is using the same methods forensic science and archeology use to determine possible causes for the artifacts and evidence seen. Because there is an inescapable conclusion in several areas regarding the evidence for intelligent design, however, it is accused of being religious. However ID does not demand that you identify the Designer or even agree that there is one. It simply indicates that there is clear evidence that some phenomena we find in nature give indications of being the result of intelligent design.

    Galatian is speaking either from preferred ignorance or by way of Red Herring Lane. ID essentially presents a series of criteria, of which the Dembski filter is only one, by which an objective way may be used to determine whether or not something may be the product of intelligent design. This is done all the time in science by other names. There is nothing unscientific about looking at a still life painting and presuming a painter. According to Galatian and others like him, however, it becomes quite unscientific to look at the original three-dimensional objects which were the subject of the painting, and think there might be any indication of intentional design behind them. It’s an interesting corner they have painted themselves into.

    Paul of Eugene is also wrong in saying that “intelligent design theory boils down to a simple denial that evolution can work.” ID actually says nothing about evolution. It says something, instead, about origins. There are a number of evolutionists of one sort or another in the ID camp. They are usually theistic evolutionists on the order of Michael Behe, who credit God or some Intelligent Designer with starting everything and then evolution being programmed in so it would take over from there. There are other IDers, such as myself, who disagree with this. So while I am against the vast majority of what evolutionists present as true, I can share the ID camp quite comfortably with theistic evolutionists, simply because ID is not a religiously-oriented idea.

    Doubting Thomas pointing out a definition trick that is a last resort of many evolutionists. Thomas, no one is arguing variation. Antibiotic resistance is evident in nature when no antibiotics have been around. This has been documented in a number of studies published in peer-reviewed journals. The rest of his post is correct, as well, and I suggest that those interested in seeing what is going on here read it again.

    Galatian then brought up again the ‘change in allele frequency over time’ (he forgot to say ‘in a population’). A change in allele frequency says nothing about evolution at all, only about allele frequencies. Changes in allele frequencies do not produce new forms or functions in organisms apart from what was there before. The alleles were already there, in other words, and only their predominance changed slightly back and forth through time!
    He asked for one major group of living things to be shown which do not have intermediates. Intermediates are presumed on the basis of a belief that evolution happened. Therefore to point to these ‘intermediates’ as evidence is creating a circular argument. There is no evidence apart from a presumption of evolution that ‘intermediates’ between the higher taxonomic groups are intermediates at all!

    He then goes on to say that evolution makes no claims about how life began. Galatian seems to forget that this is a thread about Intelligent Design, which is precisely concerned with how life began!

    To Doubting Thomas: Barbarian IS Galatian. He was requested by the webmaster here or an administrator to not use the name ‘Barbarian’. He is a teacher (heaven help the students!) and spends inordinate amounts of time on various forums arguing for evolution. He has posted under a number of other names, too, during the five years I have seen his material. For the most part his arguments never change and once you learn his style you can spot him under any of his pseudonyms!
     
  17. The Galatian

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    The ID religion is sufficiently vague to accomodate a wide variety of doctrines. We have Phillip Johnson, whose motivation is a rather conventional Christian fundamentalism. But there is also Jonathan Wells, who is a disciple of the Rev. Myung Son Moon, and Lee Spetner is Jewish. With the exception of Wells, they represent minority viewpoints within their respective faiths.

    I have a good friend who is a forensics expert. He never uses anything ID proposes. Everything has to be evidence. And when an archaeologist or paleontologist looks at a bit of rock, he has to use specific evidence about the rock to tell whether it's just a broken rock or a primitive tool.

    I can't think of one ID buff who doesn't also subscribe to a religious ideology, (or, if yow want to count Michael Denton, agrees that naturalistic evolution is a fact)

    Nonsense. By now, Helen, you know I tell the truth. And I do know what I'm talking about.

    Perhaps you could tell us of a significant finding in ID that was done, using Dembski's filter. By that, I mean a finding that was not already presumed before the "test". If you like we could test it here. How about seeing if it can tell the difference between "designed" and "not designed" DNA sequences?

    Evidence counts. I'd be pleased to see what the "explanitory filter" or any other method in ID has done to show it. Even Paley, when he used his example of a watch, had to use a human artifact, because if he didn't, no one would see design in anything else. ID is a sort of demotion for God, reducing Him to a mere "designer", rather than an omnipotent creator.

    When Jonathan Wells announces that he has a mission from God to "destroy evolution", that pretty much explains it all.

    Nope. Allele frequencies can't change in individuals, Helen. It can only happen in populations.

    Sure it can. In humans, for example, a change allele frequencies have recently produced populations with a certain percentage immune to HIV infection, the ability to digest lactose, and the ability to resist hardening of the arteries. All new functions.

    You misunderstand. "Change" also includes the introduction of new alleles or even new genes (all genes are also alleles, which are particular forms of genes)

    Nope. You can simply suppose that God created each one by itself, like a little nature deity. The intermediate forms still exist regardless of your belief. So tell me which major group lacks intermediate forms.

    Then perhaps evolution isn't your proper target.

    Note:"Barbarian" Got his name because of a rather aggressive atheist who told him that he did not understand how "barbaric" Christians are. I turned the other cheek, and took the handle as my own. He wasn't pleased. Because one person here objected to the name, I changed it for this forum to Galatian (who were Christian barbarians) Sometimes I forget. Sorry.

    My kids have always scored in the high 90s on the state tests. More people ask to be in my classes than I can accomodate. And even though Texas requires evolution to be taught, I've yet to have a parent complain about the way I present it.

    I encourage them to discuss their concerns with me, and often, after we talk, they are much less worried about what the curriculum is about.

    Three, actually, if you include my own name, and the one the moderator here asked me to assume. Barbarian, Galatian, Pat. Any others? I don't think so. Help me out here, Helen. What else?

    Reality is always a constraint in science. That's another way it differs from creationism. Creativity is not a useful trait when it comes to evidence.

    I do have a rather distinctive style, thank you. But I'm really a rather boring guy. Let's get back to the subject at hand, shall we?
     

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