[asa] Paul Nelson and ID research (and a YEC sidenote) and Dover revisited

From: PvM <pvm.pandas@gmail.com>
Date: Sat Dec 09 2006 - 00:52:58 EST

Paul Nelson and Michael Shermer from Skeptic Magazine recently
discussed the origin of life and Intelligent design.

Paul Nelson had an interesting comment as quoted from the Reading Eagle:

----------Begin Quote---------------
In the future, Nelson said, studies will test the theory, and the
issue will be in high school classrooms.

"Intelligent design needs to grow up, survive peer review, and it will
eventually make it into high schools," he said.

In five years, the debate between evolution and intelligent design
will be much different, Nelson said.

"They'll be discussing the intelligent-design studies," he said.
---------End quote----------------------

So very important take homes from this:

1. Intelligent design needs to grow up
2. Survive peer review
3. in Five years we will be discussing the ID studies

Item 1 mirrors his comment in Touchstone Magazine in 2004

-------Begin Quote-----
Easily the biggest challenge facing the ID community is to develop a
full-fledged theory of biological design. We don't have such a theory
now, and that's a real problem. Without a theory, it's very hard to
know where to direct your research focus. Right now, we've got a bag
of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions such as "irreducible
complexity" and "specified complexity" - but, as yet, no general
theory of biological design.
-------End quote--------

Survive peer review: Now that's an interesting one because by all
standards ID has failed peer review, although few if any ID 'research'
has made it into peer review, it is clear that the science is not on
the side of ignorance (ID).

As far as item 3, the five years, is concerned, history has shown any
predictions by ID proponents to be highly unreliable (see below for
an example or two). And the possibilities of seeing any ID studies
relevant to be discussed in science classes in high schools seem to be
dim as the biggest challenge facing ID is to develop a positive theory
of design. So far, ID's approach to science has rendered it
scientifically vacuous.
My question to Paul would be: What ID studies?

A YEC sidenote

As with Marcus Ross seemingly accepting the time frame of the Cambrian
period in his poorly argued piece on the Cambrian explosion, Nelson in
this case seems to agree the 3.8 billion years age of the earth. It's
good to see that science can be a cure for YEC, although it does seem
to come at an incredible cost.

Paul's seminal work on common descent is still delayed although it has
been announced many times now by ID proponents as if it has actually
been published

Bill Dembski noted in 2000:
-----begin quote----
    I challenge anyone to read Paul Nelson's "On Common Descent",
which critiques Darwin's idea of common descent from the vantage of
developmental biology, and show why it alone among all the volumes in
the University of Chicago's Evolutionary Monographs Series does not
belong there
----end quote------

Dover Revisited

In the mean time the Discovery Institute seems to be on a war path
with new talking points why we should reject the Dover ruling. Seems
that the ruling is still stinging after almost a year has passed.

On PT Reed Cartwright discusses the recent talk by Behe
(http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/12/behe_reveals_th.html)
watch this space for some interesting updates on Behe's 'arguments'
and claims. Note how Behe interprets the uncertainties expressed in
scientific hypotheses as weaknesses and thus evidence of Intelligent
Design. Remind me again how ID explains the bacterial flagella? And
yet, Behe seems to suggest that ID is a better explanation... But it
does not explain anything since it explains everything and thus
nothing...
Why not abandon the attempts to suggest that ID is scientific and not
religious? It was clear to the judge, it is clear to most any informed
reader? And certainly, the most damning evidence is the lack of any
yes any scientific contribution from ID relevant to ID. Sure, ID may
doubt evolutionary (Darwinian) pathways but that's irrelevant to the
topic of ID. Now if ID could present its own hypothesis and show that
it explains the observations better than any competing hypotheses? But
as I already pointed out, such seems too much to hope for given the
nature of ID's approach to 'doing science'. Nevertheless, exposure to
ID may at least help some YECers follow in the footsteps of such
'giants' as Glenn Morton.

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Received on Sat Dec 9 00:53:46 2006

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