Re: [asa] Expelled and ID

From: David Clounch <>
Date: Sun Apr 20 2008 - 13:19:01 EDT

On Sat, Apr 19, 2008 at 5:39 PM, Dehler, Bernie <>

> ID is saying it is "science" so it can be more serious.
One must ask, "You of course mean ID proponents (people), or IDM (ID
Movement)?" ID is an idea, not a group of people. (Though ID, "the idea"
gets terribly distorted by people).

> To make it science, you have to bear on scientific things, such as math
> (statistics) and biology. So they are appealing to the hard sciences to
> bring it into the scientific realm.

How does one rule it out (scientifically) without applying the very same
tools? But if the tools cannot be used to decide, then how can one even
have a scientific conclusion? And if not that then what is left? Aren't
all conclusions then just personal opinion, philosophical positions, or
religion? Thus I don't see the science in the [no design] hypothesis.
To draw such a conclusion science has to deal with the question - not just
pre-judge it by putting on a blindfold. But as you said, science cannot
deal with it.
If you are correct this would seem to indicate that the conflict between
[design] hypothesis and [no design] hypothesis cannot be resolved

*** A Central Question***
Could we not therefore reasonably conclude that science is itself neutral?

But everyone seems so upset, and many incessantly claim science __isnt__
__neutral__. Thats the pink elephant in the room, isn't it? Isn't that the
source of all the trouble?

Let me put it another way, trying to use your phraseology. "God didn't make
it" is not a hypothesis, since it cannot be tested.

However, this latter question could be contradicted if, and only if, one
could demonstrate empirically (via the scientific method) that natural
processes produce design. Even then one still might not be able to say [God
didn't make it], but at least one could say [it (design) happened
naturally]. But doesn't demonstrating such a thing via scientific method
mean employing the very same tools, tools used to look for design, that the
ID people proposed in the first place?
This is why forbidding the whole question by law seems shortsighted. I
mean, I dont see what anybody is afraid of if they are so convinced that
science is actually neutral?

The answer is: Its really about power and the fear of losing power. If
science is neutral it destroys the power base of certain factions.

Finally, I guess I'd pretty much agree with what DF said. "proof and
falsification are claims too strong to be supported". I'm thinking that's
right. In biology neutral is probably the right answer until we know more.
In cosmology it seems to me Barr's argument on symmetry is looking like the
right answer. To me the querstion of cosmological design and biological
design are separate questions. I haven't seen Expelled, but I'd bet in the
movie these questions are all stirred together. That sort of mixing would
be terribly confusing to the public.

Dave Clounch [ASA]

 However, they have no scientific hypothesis. "God made it" is not a
> hypothesis, since it can't be tested.
  By definition, the scientific method requires a hypothesis that can be
> tested. You also can't test evolution per "origin of life," but there are
> other parts of evolution which are testable… ID has nothing testable. They
> think by disproving known naturalistic methods, God is then the default
> answer—but it isn't.
> ------------------------------
> *From:* [] *On
> Behalf Of *Mountainwoman
> *Sent:* Saturday, April 19, 2008 2:10 PM
> *To:*
> *Subject:* [asa] Expelled and ID
> Having just seen Ben Stein's "Expelled," one thought that occurred to me
> is the following:
> Is Intelligent Design a modern incarnation of the classic teleological
> argument for the existence of God and therefore belongs in the philosophy
> and/or theology departments of universities rather than in the science
> departments?
> Paul Bruggink (ASA Member)
> Clarington, PA

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Received on Sun Apr 20 13:26:45 2008

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