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This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Debate over term "intelligent design creationism"

The oxymoronic term "intelligent design creationism" is one of my pet peeves. I don't know who coined the term, but it took a pretty sick mind to do it. The term is now being debated on the "Thinking Christian" blog -- here is my first comment in that debate (I have since added other comments):

Creationism is not inherent in ID -- creationism is just a philosophical implication of ID. In actual practice, ID is just the study of the probability that the complexity and diversity of living things could have arisen by random genetic variation and natural selection only.

I never liked the term "intelligent design" because it implies the existence of an intelligent designer, and such implication is not necessary in the study of ID. But as Juliet said in Romeo and Juliet, "what's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

Nick Matzke's first comment is telling: "Two words: cdesign proponentsists." There is a hell of a lot more to this debate than just that typographical error. Nick's arguments are based on stereotyping and guilt-by-association.

Ironically, many religious creationists reject intelligent design. One of the reasons why they reject ID is that they feel that god's word does not need scientific evidence to support it. Some creationists feel that it is blasphemous to even imply or suggest that god's word needs scientific evidence to support it. [link]

One of the main reasons why Darwinists insist that ID is creationism is to have a basis for using the Constitution's establishment clause to attack ID.

Also, many people make the mistake of assuming that ID is the only scientific (or pseudoscientific) criticism of evolution theory. For example, coevolution can be a big problem for evolution even if irreducible complexity is not. [link]

Here is another one of my comments in that thread:
.
One of the problems is that many people interpret the term "intelligent design" literally -- they start asking, "who is the intelligent designer?" "What does the intelligent designer look like?" etc. But there are many figurative or idiomatic terms and expressions that do not really mean what they appear to literally mean. "Intelligent design" could be defined as the study of whether living things have the appearance of being intelligently designed, i.e., whether it appears that it is unlikely that they could have arisen from unintelligent causes such as random genetic variation and natural selection. Describing the identity and/or characteristics of an imaginary "intelligent designer" is beyond the scope of ID, just as describing the origin of life is beyond the scope of evolution theory, but critics of evolution theory do not keep insisting that evolutionists describe the origin of life. As for whether or not ID is "good" science, there is no constitutional principle of separation of bad science and state.

And here is part of another comment:

Wheels said (#87),
Ken Miller, Catholic and biologist, is a well-known opponent of ID because he recognizes that there isn’t any science involved, that it’s just bad and recycled arguments from earlier anti-evolution efforts, and that it’s not compatible with his own faith regarding Creation and understanding of the world.

Regarding the statement, “it’s not compatible with his own faith regarding Creation and understanding of the world,” William Jennings Bryan had a good answer for that:

If those who teach Darwinism and evolution, as applied to man, insist that they are neither agnostics nor atheists, but are merely interpreting the Bible differently from orthodox Christians, what right have they to ask that their interpretation be taught at public expense?

As for the term “intelligent design creationism”: it is clear that the intent of the users of this term is to obfuscate. They are playing with words, trying to take advantage of the ambiguity of the term “creationism.” Nothing that they say will change that fact.

Even if intelligent design is a part of creationism, what purpose is served by adding the qualifier “creationism” to the term “ID”? If ID is unique to creationism, then wouldn’t just “ID” alone be a sufficient description? Adding that qualifier implies that ID is part of other things as well — how about “intelligent design science”?

Yeah, I should have said, "what other kinds of ID are there"? LOL

There is also a debate on Panda's Thumb.
.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Michael said...

"intelligent design creationism"

Who would quote a term like this? I suspect it was some militant evolutionist who coined the term because creationism wasn't allowed by the courts to be taught in the public schools. Thus, by making the connection would make ID illegal even though the two are not the same.

Friday, October 16, 2009 1:30:00 AM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

The first reference to the term I've found is in Robert Pennock's 1999 book Tower of Babel. He talked about "intelligent design creationism." Eugenie Scott used the term in an article in "Science" in 2000, and Pennock published a thick book of pro-and-con essays, Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics, in 2001. I'm suprised that Behe was willing to have an essay of his published in that book, and perhaps Pennock didn't tell him what its title was going to be. Darwinists have used that trick at times.

I thought Pennock was a materialist atheist, but it seems he's a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers,) who got an award in 1997 from the Templeton Foundation, a "theistic evolution" outfit. So it appears he's a "Christian Darwinist." They are often the most fanatical Darwinists around.

Saturday, October 17, 2009 2:59:00 PM  
Blogger James Hanley said...

1. "cdesign proponentsists" is a meaningful term because, contrary to what Mr. Fafarman wrote, it was not a typo. It was evidence that in the Of Pandas and People, they had simply replaced the word "creationists" with "design proponents," (but had messed up the replacement in that one spot). That means they wrote a whole book about creationism, then when creationism was banned, they just rephrased it as intelligent design in their creationist textbook. So ID is creationism. A person hardly need be a militant evolutionist to use the phrase "intelligent design creationism," as it clearly is drawn directly from the anti-evolution Pandas textbook

2. If ID is just about the probability of evolution by random mutation and non-random selection, then what if it turned out that such evolution really was so improbable as to be impossible? Then how could everything have come to be? Wouldn't it have to be a designer? So your criticism of the term intelligent design makes no sens.

Michael, ID is illegal to teach. Are you not aware of the Kitzmiller v. Dover case? One of the main reasons the judge ruled ID unconstitutional is because of the evidence from the Pandas book that they just replaced the word creationism with the words intelligent design (they had multiple editions of the text, so they were able to verify this). So ID is unconstitutional because, in fact, they are the same.

Thursday, October 22, 2009 3:19:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> "cdesign proponentsists" is a meaningful term because, contrary to what Mr. Fafarman wrote, it was not a typo. <<<<<<<<

Bozo, it is an unintentional misspelling, i.e., a typo.

>>>>>> It was evidence that in the Of Pandas and People, they had simply replaced the word "creationists" with "design proponents," <<<<<<<

Yes, I know the story behind "cdesign proponentsists." And it was not needed evidence, because they could see everywhere that one term replaced another.

>>>>>> A person hardly need be a militant evolutionist to use the phrase "intelligent design creationism," as it clearly is drawn directly from the anti-evolution Pandas textbook <<<<<<<

A person does need to be a "militant evolutionist" to think that one book conclusively defines ID. And as I and others have shown, the term "creationism" in IDC is at best superfluous and at worst inappropriate.

>>>>>> Then how could everything have come to be? Wouldn't it have to be a designer? <<<<<<

Evolution theory does not describe how life originated. So how did life originate? Wouldn't it have to have a designer?

As a said, describing a designer is beyond the scope of ID, just as the origin of life -- and a description of the designer of original life -- is beyond the scope of evolution theory.

>>>>> Michael, ID is illegal to teach. Are you not aware of the Kitzmiller v. Dover case? <<<<<<

Bozo, the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision is controlling only upon the Dover Area school district.

Friday, October 23, 2009 1:20:00 AM  

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