From: David Campbell <>
Date: Fri May 18 2007 - 11:45:56 EDT

> What has Paul Nelson admitted?

He made the point that scientific disproof of ID claims implies that
they are scientific claims in a debate here on campus with Michael
Shermer. I don't immediately remember the examples given (possibly he
referred to Shermer's rebuttals). However, one example of such would
be the LGM (little green men) nickname for pulsars before they were

A scientific claim popular in current ID is that one species cannot
form from another. New species are observed forming all the time, so
that is an example of a wrong scientific claim, not of non-science.
The basic premise of ID does not make specific predictions, but
specific ID advocates often make scientific claims.

Although ID likes to invoke "examples such as Nicholas Caputo who probably
rigged the votes, some varieties of forensic science such as detecting
plagiarism, and cryptography or SETI problems", these are cases where
we have a good idea as to what occurs "naturally" and what might be
expected of the "artificial." How does one decide if a rock was
flaked by early humans or not? Determine patterns of natural
breakage, consider what purposes humans might have had for shaping the
rock, and see how the rock measures up. How does one decide if a
complex biochemical system required Intelligent Design? Get a complex
biochemical system made by Intelligent Design and one that wasn't and
compare them. Certain difficulties in implementation exist.

> What about a lot of claims of Darwinism going wrong?

A number of evolutionary claims are incorrect. A number of ID and
creation science claims are incorrect. Are mistakes corrected or
dogmatically repeated? Is the mistake understandable in light of what
the originator had available, or should he have known better to begin
with? Are there correct claims supporting the view? Do you harp on a
mistake corrected fifty years ago by your rival while ignoring your
own mistakes? Are purportedly incorrect claims actually
misrepresentations on the part of advocates of other views?
Evolution, ID, and creation science should not be treated
monolithically with regard to the above points-there are better and
worse versions of all.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Fri May 18 11:46:43 2007

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