Re: [asa] ID: Neither Science nor Religion

From: PvM <pvm.pandas@gmail.com>
Date: Tue Jul 01 2008 - 13:31:37 EDT

On Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 6:44 AM, Nucacids <nucacids@wowway.com> wrote:
> Hi PvM,
>
>
>
> "I need not be an ID advocate to be able to understand their
> motivations, their scientifically vacuous concepts and what I have
> come to see as theologically risky position."

> But Gregory makes a good point - you have the perspective of an *outsider.*

And why is the perspective of a well informed outsider more or less
relevant than the opinion of someone who wants to redefine the meaning
of ID to suit his purposes? Are we not both outsiders? Surely in your
exchanges with Greg you must have come to realize that he holds very
similar opinions about this as I do.

> I'd add that it is the perspective of an outsider who clearly demonstrates
> hostility toward ID. This means you are likely engage in both confirmation
> and disconfirmation bias as part of your "understanding." When it comes to

We all suffer from biases, the question is thus not the existence of
bias but rather the validity of the arguments

> demonizing ID proponents, confirmation bias will come into play, as your
> mind will seek out incidents and writings that work to confirm your
> previously held negative stereotypes. When it comes to disconfirmation

I am glad to hear that you accept that a bias can cause blindness in
all sides. However, while you are correct that bias may cause
'stereotypical thinking', the level, and even the existence of said
stereotyping needs to be established before one comes to reject the
validity of the arguments presented. Now I fully understand that it
sometimes may be easier to talk about one's opponent's position in
terms of biases rather than address the arguments.

> bias, you will employ hyper-skepticism toward all aspects of the ID concept
> (otherwise, you'll see yourself as lending some support to something you are
> hostile toward).

Now you are stereotyping yourself. I see that you surely make all the
effort to support your claims about biases and stereotyping,
ironically by following the path you laid out for others.

> For example, as an outsider, what method do you use to understand someone
> else's motivations? Motivations, after all, are subjective. As for
> evaluating concepts and arguments, as an outsider, do you probe in a way to
> truly understand or just enough to play the role of debunker?

The same applies to insiders, thus we can all argue about people's
motivations, biases or we address the issues raised. You same to have
made your choice.

> "ID proponents have defined themselves and their positions quite well and if
> others want
> to reuse the same name for a different concept then they are inviting
> confusion."

> What ID proponents are you talking about? Are you talking about Bill
> Dembski or Krauze? Michael Behe or me? Jonathan Wells or Joy? Paul Nelson
> or Bilbo? Philip Johnson or Albert de Roos?

The mainstream ID proponents which start with the "Godfather of ID"
Philip Johnson and follow the path through William Dembski, Michael
Behe and others. It's not that hard to establish the position of the
founders of this movement as their plans, motivations, and definitions
have been quite well laid out in their own writings.

> You come to the table as an outsider, *reacting* to public figures and media
> sensationalism. I come to the table as an insider, knowing other fellow
> travelers who, for years, do not conform to your stereotypes.

Now you are typecasting again and presuming to know what I bring to
the table. A psychological typecasting to which you used to object
strongly but I guess it matters if one is on the giving or receiving
end as to whether or not such an approach has any validity. I do
understand. However, I am hardly the uninformed outsider you wish to
portray me as, although if this gives you comfort, you may surely
continue your stereotyping, after all, as you stated so well, we all
suffer from our biases and I am glad that we can live by example.

> The confusion stems from people trying to create a caricature out of our
> social reality, as if all ID proponents are carbon copies of the select few
> voices who find themselves in the newspapers because of their focus on the
> culture wars. Let me briefly explain something.

Please do as I so far see an interesting caricature of our own device.

> What kicked off the ID thing was Michael Behe's first book. But it had two
> different, parallel effects. On one hand, Behe himself became involved in
> the socio-political show, where the Wedge efforts culminated in the Dover
> trial. Whether or not Behe intended his book as simply one step in the
> Wedge does not matter, as the book, like many books, had other side effects.

Seems interesting how history seems to have been forgotten here.

> In this case, it also independently sparked an internet subculture of people
> who were intrigued by the concept of design in biology, but did not buy into
> the socio-political agenda. To this day, this subculture, which was never
> part of the Wedge, remains. It is a subculture that is truly diverse in a
> political and religious sense. It is also diverse when it comes to specific
> positions about ID. The whole notion of painting this entire subculture as
> being no different from the DI is not only ridiculous, but misleading.
> Social reality is far more complicated than a sound bite.

So you agree that there is a subculture of ID and a mainstream of ID
and that if the subculture insists on recycling terminology, it may
lead unnecessary to confusions. Yes, there may be a small sub-culture
of people who have come to reject the foundation of ID as laid out by
its founders and in the Wedge document and yet this is what people
have come to understand to be the ID movement. That there are small,
splinter groups which claim to reject the Wedge is interesting from a
purely historical perspective but it fails to address that ID is both
lacking from a scientific perspective and strongly founded in the
supernatural.

> There is a simple, and ethical, way of eliminating the confusion. If
> someone wants to publicly criticize or condemn "ID proponents," or "ID,"
> don't paint with a broad, vague brush. Be specific. Inform the reader who
> you are talking about rather than bait the reader to fill in the blanks with
> their own stereotypes.

Hear hear, can we expect such a similar attitude from all sides. And
lets be clear, I have been upfront with my comments about ID and who I
include. Should I let the discussion be distracted by a small minority
who claims to disagree with ID but wants to ride its coattails?

> It always amazes me when I have to tell scientists and academics not to
> stereotype. You would think such highly educated people would already know
> the anti-intellectualism inherent in stereotyping.

Pot kettle black my dear friend. So far, the stereotyping comes from you.

> "Now I am thrilled that Mike (and Greg) have come to agree that ID is
> not scientific, a minority position amongst ID proponents,"

> Come to agree? I know that this has always been my position from the start
> and I seem to recall the same thing holds true for Greg. Did you come to
> the opinion that we "come to agree" because of stereotype or was it a
> subtle, intentional attack?

Have you stopped beating your wife?

> "although we have to be careful with the term ID and not confusingly apply
> it to
> two very different concepts."

> This is an ironic piece of advice given that most ID critics are not careful
> at all when attaching the term 'creationist' to all sorts of different
> concepts, now are they? Why the change in heart?

Again, you have come to paint ID critics with a broad brush here.
Indeed, you claim that these critics are not careful on purpose. See
how biases can cloud our minds?

> "However, I disagree with Mike's suggestion that ID is not religious"

> Like I said in the OP, Ironically, while many on the ID side are
> uncomfortable with the "ID is not science" position and comfortable with the
> "ID is not religion" position, there appears to be perfect symmetry when it
> comes to the critics, who are uncomfortable with the "ID is not religion"
> position and comfortable with the "ID is not science" position.

Yes, as I said, I disagree with your claims and arguments. It's not a
matter of being uncomfortable but a matter of reality that ID is
founded in religious ideas and concepts.

> " but rather more like a police investigation, when in fact ID has no
> similarities to such an analogy."

> Here you need to read the essay you respond to. The bit about the police
> investigation is part of a list introduced as follows: I have previously
> fleshed out different aspects of *my views/approach* But why read when
> stereotypes save time, eh?

Again you seem to be making all efforts to avoid the obvious namely
that your analogy was fallacious. Have you come to reject your
previous aspects of your views/approaches?

> "Let's see where the 'path of the future' may lead rather than proclaim
> victory against reality. As ID proponents have clearly stated, "Design
> theorists are no friends of theistic evolution.""

> See? This is just what I am talking about. You take a quote from one
> person, Bill Dembski, and put it in the mouth of 'ID proponents.' Why do
> you stereotype like this?

It has nothing to do with stereotyping, as this sentiment runs
strongly amongst ID proponents, and although a minor subculture claims
otherwise, it is the clear reality which you want to reject as a
stereotype rather than address the reality and where it leads.

> "Is that all? How do you intend to achieve such a nobel goal?"

> Giving people a chance is actually a very modest goal. To achieve it, I
> simply make my arguments public.

And thus you should not be uncomfortable when your public arguments
are disagreed with and call them stereotyping.

> "Perhaps you should chose a less confusing name for what you propose
> since 'design' is taken as representing our level of ignorance."

> Confusion stems from reliance on stereotype and intellectual laziness. If

Indeed it does, of course you wield the two sided weapon well until it
comes to cut your own arguments.

> one applies critical thinking, no confusion will exist. If you are
> confused, it is because you have chosen stereotype over critical thinking Of
> course, since stereotype is far more useful than critical thinking when it
> comes to propaganda and rhetoric, I suppose I can understand why some would
> choose to abandon critical thinking and then blame others for their own
> confusion.

Who is stereotyping here? I understand the irony in your own comments. Do you?

Fascinating how Mike seems to reject my objections on the grounds of
bias and stereotyping, two kinds of conduct he seems to be well
familiar with.

Sad how Mike seems to be willing to publicize his arguments but
unwilling or unable to defend his position other than with ad hominem
attacks.

Such is life I guess and such is why most critics of ID have come to
ignore this minor subculture which seems to ride the coat tails of its
parent without doing any hard work to differentiate itself, other than
by claiming that they are being stereotyped. If it looks like a duck,
walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, what am I but to conclude?
Surely your response has only served to strengthen my arguments that
ID is not defined by its small subculture but rather by its
mainstream. Thus when claiming that ID is not religious, ignores the
simple facts of reason.

>
> - Mike Gene
>
>
>
>
>
>>> Commonly applied is just that - commonly applied. In other words, more
>>> popular. In other words, easier to run across due to media attention and
>>> socio-political rabble-rousing. But as someone who has extensively used
>>> the
>>> internet to interact with numerous ID proponents over the last eight
>>> years,
>>> I can inform folks that "commonly applied" also means stereotype. I have
>>> met many people over the years who consider themselves supportive of ID,
>>> yet
>>> who would not conform to the common, pop media stereotypes of ID. After
>>> all, ID itself means different things to different people.
>>
>> And thus the concept of ID becomes nebulous almost to a level of being
>> useless.
>>
>> Hey Greg, good to hear from you again
>>
>>> Do you see, ASA, the problem of what happens when a person opposes
>>> 'natural' to 'supernatural' and to nothing else? It is used as a >weapon by
>>> some as much as others would use it to teach and enlighten. Pim uses it to
>>> ridicule 'intelligent design,' not as a way of uplifting >the divine!
>>
>> Indeed, ID should be ridiculed for is vacuous positions on science and
>> its shaky and dangerous theology, and not to mention its attempts to
>> introduce religious concepts back into science and science education.
>> The founders of ID have been quite clear and while we have witnessed a
>> recent whitewashing of history under the concept of 'teach the
>> controversy', it is clear that there is no real controversy in science
>> as to evolutionary theory.
>>
>>
>>> As it turns out, PvM speaks merely as an 'outsider' - who is he to tell
>>> intelligent design advocates who they are and who they are not, >what they
>>> believe and what they don't? It would be like telling someone they are not a
>>> Boston Celtics fan, they are even not a Boston >Celtics fan, when really,
>>> they do cheer for B.C.! Pim is not an 'insider' to ID, and hasn't show the
>>> courage to publicly declare himself >(cheering for Darwinian evolution) as
>>> Mike Gene has just done in this thread speaking for both TE and ID.
>>
>> What some may see as courage other may see as simple unfamiliarity
>> with the historical facts of the ID movement. Now I understand that
>> some may wish that the founders of ID had been more careful in hiding
>> not just its religious motivations but also had refrained from
>> defining design the way they did and yet, this is what happened. I
>> have no reason to express my explicit support for evolutionary theory,
>> as a scientist I have to accept the solid foundation of the science
>> involved. I am not sure what you mean by Darwinian evolution, as this
>> is a somewhat dated concept which fails to recognize the decades of
>> exciting research, hypotheses and theories that form the foundations
>> for evolutionary theory.
>> I need not be an ID advocate to be able to understand their
>> motivations, their scientifically vacuous concepts and what I have
>> come to see as theologically risky position. ID proponents have
>> defined themselves and their positions quite well and if others want
>> to reuse the same name for a different concept then they are inviting
>> confusion.
>>
>> I understand Gregory's obsession with ID and the human social sciences
>> and yet ID has made claims that it does belong to the scientific realm
>> and I intend to treat it as such while the so called social sciences
>> seem to be struggling with the concept. Mike is free to explain his
>> definitions of ID and I am surely free to explain to Mike why I
>> disagree with his statements.
>>
>> Now I am thrilled that Mike (and Greg) have come to agree that ID is
>> not scientific, a minority position amongst ID proponents, although we
>> have to be careful with the term ID and not confusingly apply it to
>> two very different concepts. However, I disagree with Mike's
>> suggestion that ID is not religious but rather more like a police
>> investigation, when in fact ID has no similarities to such an analogy.
>> Let's see where the 'path of the future' may lead rather than proclaim
>> victory against reality. As ID proponents have clearly stated, "Design
>> theorists are no friends of theistic evolution. "
>>
>>>
>>>
>>> As for me? I'm simply offering people a chance to move beyond the
>>> superficial analysis and uncover an intellectual world that goes a little
>>> deeper than something you would read in a newspaper.
>>
>> Is that all? How do you intend to achieve such a nobel goal? After
>> all, what may seem to some, less informed, as superficial analysis
>> actually goes to the heart of the argument regarding ID namely that ID
>> as formulated by the mainstream proponents, in fact, those who started
>> the movement and defined the concept, is a scientifically vacuous
>> concept which is founded in religious motivations and concepts. I have
>> no problem with the latter, after all different people find
>> 'salvation' in different manners however I do object to the scientific
>> lack of relevance of ID and its attempts to undermine science
>> education in this country and beyond for theological reasons.
>>
>> Perhaps you should chose a less confusing name for what you propose
>> since 'design' is taken as representing our level of ignorance.
>> So what do you have to offer that you believe will achieve your promises?
>>
>>
>>
>> --
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>
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Received on Tue Jul 1 13:33:06 2008

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