Intelligent Design is not creationism

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by Teleologist, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. Intelligent design is often equated with creationism. They are not the same, not even close. ID is not based on the Biblical account of creation, it doesn't invoke the supernatural, and it isn't anti-evolution.

    Here is a quote from a prominent ID advocate that blows the assertion that ID is creationism right out of the water. William Dembski says:

    According to Darwinian theory, evolution is a blind, undirected, purposeless process. In the words of Richard Dawkins:

    Stephen J. Gould has compared the evolutionary process to a drunk reeling back and forth between the bar room wall and the gutter (Gould 1996 page 149). He has also described intelligence as an evolutionary accident.

    If one rejects this view, is their only choice to be anti-evolution? No. One can view evolution as a teleological process, a process that was designed.

    Evolutionary biologist Denis Lamoureux says:

    So is evolution like a drunk reeling back and forth between the bar room wall and the gutter or is it like an embryological process? The former describes the Darwinian view of evolution and the latter is the intelligent design perspective. While the embryological process is entirely naturalistic and doesn't require an intelligent entity intervening to "attach a nose or an ear" it nevertheless is not a Darwinian process. The embryological process is teleological. In other words, it is a goal-directed, pre-programmed process. It doesn't depend on accidents (mutations) coincidentally linking together with random changes in the environment to produce a baby. So the issue before us isn't ID versus evolution. It's teleological evolution vs non-teleological evolution. A blind watchmaking process vs a goal oriented process.

    Polls show that about half of those that believe in God also believe that God guided/directed the evolutionary process. This view is not compatible with Darwinian evolution which is a blind, undirected, purposeless process. The alternative? Cambridge Paleontologist Simon Conway Morris says:

    There is no reason why a teleological approach can't run an investigation based on observations, logic, and testing. Evolution and design can co-exist. Things can be designed to evolve. Evolution can be designed. Evolution can be used by design.

    The ID perspective allows one to investigate these evolutionary possibilities:

    1. Evolution was front-loaded such that its unfolding was channeled.

    2. Evolution was designed such that it could acquire new information over time.

    3. Permutations of 1 and 2.

    Here is a comparison of ID with creationism:

    Creationism posits a supernatural creator. ID doesn't.

    Creationism claims the earth is 6,000- 10,000 years old. ID doesn't dispute the earth is 3.5-4 billion years old.

    Creationism claims the earth’s geology can be explained primarily by a worldwide flood. ID doesn't.

    Creationism claims that "Created kinds" of plants and animals can vary only within fixed limits. ID doesn't make this claim.

    Creationism rejects common ancestry. ID doesn't.

    Creationism is anti-evolution. ID isn't.

    The reason ID critics insist on equating ID with creationism is because they want to discredit ID with the public by associating it with the controversial tenets of creationism. It's not that they merely want to point out that creationism and ID both reject the Blind Watchmaker hypothesis because that wouldn't discredit ID with the public. Polls show that around 45% of Americans believe that God created plant and animal life as described in Genesis. Another 45% believe God guided an evolutionary process to do the job. Neither group thinks natural history is devoid of design and the ID critics know they aren't going to get anywhere by pointing that out. But the group that accepts guided evolution can be turned against ID if they are convinced that ID supports a young earth, rejects common ancestry, is anti-evolution, anti-science, etc.

    Don't be duped by the ID critics. ID is not creationism.
  2. lkh


    Your whole premise is falsified by this false statement. Evolution has purpose and direction. Survival.
  3. lkh

    Judge rules against ‘intelligent design’
    ‘Religious alternative’ to evolution barred from public-school science classes
    HARRISBURG, Pa. - In one of the biggest courtroom clashes between faith and evolution since the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, a federal judge barred a Pennsylvania public school district Tuesday from teaching “intelligent design” in biology class, saying the concept is creationism in disguise.

    U.S. District Judge John E. Jones delivered a stinging attack on the Dover Area School Board, saying its first-in-the-nation decision in October 2004 to insert intelligent design into the science curriculum violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

    The ruling was a major setback to the intelligent design movement, which is also waging battles in Georgia and Kansas. Intelligent design holds that living organisms are so complex that they must have been created by some kind of higher force.

    Jones decried the “breathtaking inanity” of the Dover policy and accused several board members of lying to conceal their true motive, which he said was to promote religion.

    But the judge said: “We find that the secular purposes claimed by the board amount to a pretext for the board’s real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom.”

  4. I'm too lazy to type a long post here but really a short post won't do justice. But I'll give it a try.

    You look at how our universe has evolved to today's shape, and wonder, "wow, that's remarkable. There is no way all of this could have happened without a really clever design." But you're really fooled by the randomness.

    The purpose or "design" you see in nature, is similar to what in the market is called "survivor bias." All poor designs, bad ideas, those without real "purpose," happened but then failed the test of nature.

    Here is a good analogy. Once I asked one of my military friends what he considered as a great general. His answer was that if someone won five major battles in a row then he would be considered a great general. Then I asked what he thought the percentage of great generals were among all the generals in history. He thought about it for awhile, and then answered, "maybe 3%."

    I laughed. If you flip coins 5 straight times, the chance of 5 straight heads is 3%! So were these 3% really great generals, or were they just lucky?

    As a feeble human, I don't think we will ever know the answer to that question. Then why I am against the ID theory? Because it's worse. Not only it won't bring anything to the table as far as our knowledge goes, it prevents scientific thinking. It makes us lazy, makes us less likely to question our own thinking, less likely to challenge false observation. All of this are harmful to science.
  5. IKH wrote:
    Not so. The National Association of Biology Teachers endorses the following tenets of evolution:

    Richard Dawkins says:

    Stephen J. Gould has compared evolution to a drunk reeling back and forth between the bar room wall and the gutter (Gould 1996 page 149). He has also described intelligence as an evolutionary accident.

    Douglas Futuyma in his book Evolutionary Biology says:

    Monroe W. Strickberger, of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, notes in his widely-used textbook Evolution:

    Paul Davies says:

    Simon Conway Morris says:

    That evolution has direction and purpose is the ID position and it stands in opposition to the Blind Watchmaker hypothesis that contends that evolution is an accidental/coincidental process.
  6. stu


    • 1. Front loaded or
      2. designed or
      3. Both

      ..... by what exactly ?
    "Evolution has ..." !
    Are you saying ID now accepts evolution as a fact ?

    I think you will find generally that is not the case. Unless of course some serious ground shifting is taking place and ID proponents have eventually realized refuting the evolution fact stands no chance of ever becoming tenable argument.

    What IS the Intelligent Design position? ID is design by intelligence. So what is designed and what bits evolve from any such design? Intelligence for instance !?
    I would suggest 'Blind Watchmaker' describes evolution as inevitable more than accidental or coincidental. Chance events within unavoidable circumstances are really incidental events, likely to occur because they can occur. That they do occur is then hardly accidental.
  7. I doubt any reasonable person would deny that the universe is programmed, i.e. there is movement and direction along a predictable line. Even the evolutionists and Darwinists suggest that there is a programming of change via what they call "random" changes, it is an essential element in the foundation of their Darwinist theory. The survival instinct among all living beings is also so strongly programmed as to be found in each and every single creature.

    Anyone who has ever seen a table of random numbers, knows that this table is a result of a program created by a human being to produce random numbers. The table of random numbers did not spontaneously appear, it was created and designed by a human being for a specific purpose.

    So a human being can program a table of random numbers. Hooray! The tiny human mind can generate random numbers!

    The table of random numbers follows a pattern, a programming, we can predict that randomness will follow the programming! Though we cannot predict the pattern itself, the sequence of the numbers, we can predict that each and every single time the program will produce a string of random numbers.

    The universe is similarly programmed, yet the Darwinists and others suggest that there is no possibility of programmer!

  8. Stu wrote:
    Most of the scientists at the forefront of the ID movement such as Michael Behe do accept common ancestry as a fact. I'm not aware of anyone that is anti-evolution. ID'ers are focused on empirically detecting evidence of intelligent design in the natural world. Prominent ID advocate William Dembski says:

  9. stu


    As Darwin never did have anything to say on the origin of life itself , and as you are putting it forward that ID'ers concur with the process of evolution as a fact, why would intelligence not be part of the evolutionary process rather than a cause of it?
  10. zzz wrote:
    Reminds me of something Dembski once said:
    #10     Nov 5, 2006