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Worse than creationism: Dualism - Page 2

post #41 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
Wait a minute - I am the godless somethingorother...

Weather or not god is a physical being, I don't see how you can think that it simplifies a complex process to say "god did it". Adding a god to a process makes it more complex, even if you think it is a sin to look under the hood and see what makes that god tick.

Regardless of what the god is made from, astral ether or whatever, the result is the same - you have to be orders of magnitude more complex than the world that you manipulate.

Well, I think that math is awfully complex. Therefore, it must have been created by a more powerful being than Iperhaps Isaac Newton or my math professor Bob.

The logic is wonky. But whatever.

Quote:
And why is it dangerous to remove the requirement of faith? That is kind of like saying that it is dangerous to remove ignorance. If there is a god that has no detectable physical impact that we can see, then there is no reason to believe that he exists. [/B]

Faith requires doubt. Faith requires the possibility that this thing might not be so. To render God empirical is to remove this component, and as a result, I would argue, destroys religion.
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post #42 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
If there is a god that has no detectable physical impact that we can see, then there is no reason to believe that he exists.

How would you detect God's physical impact?

( or are you saying that God has no physical manifestation that can be detected? )
post #43 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
How would you detect God's physical impact?

Really big scale.
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post #44 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
How would you detect God's physical impact?

Using a godometer, of course!
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post #45 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
Using a godometer, of course!



We truly do need some kind of rim shot icon/symbol here.
post #46 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
Really big scale.

What does that mean? Like creating a universe?
post #47 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
How would you detect God's physical impact?

( or are you saying that God has no physical manifestation that can be detected? )

I'm saying that outside of a few virgin mary images burned into burritos, I have seen no modern physical evidence that god exists.
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post #48 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
Faith requires doubt. Faith requires the possibility that this thing might not be so. To render God empirical is to remove this component, and as a result, I would argue, destroys religion.

But what is wrong with destroying religion? Religion is many things:

- a way to deal with fear of death
- a placeholder for real knowledge, before we were able to figure out what the structure of the universe was, and before we knew the origion of life.
- a way to control the lower classes

There are alternatives to each of these now.
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post #49 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
I'm saying that outside of a few virgin mary images burned into burritos, I have seen no modern physical evidence that god exists.

That still doesn't really clarify your statement much. But, all snarkiness aside, what you appear to be saying is that you are a materialist...meaning that unless something is manifested materially (and in your own direct observation at that) it must not exist.
post #50 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
But what is wrong with destroying religion? Religion is many things:

- a way to deal with fear of death
- a placeholder for real knowledge, before we were able to figure out what the structure of the universe was, and before we knew the origion of life.
- a way to control the lower classes

There are alternatives to each of these now.

Well, my point is that this is really not the smartest move for religious types to make.
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post #51 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
That still doesn't really clarify your statement much. But, all snarkiness aside, what you appear to be saying is that you are a materialist...meaning that unless something is manifested materially (and in your own direct observation at that) it must not exist.

I think you mean "empiricist." Which, in the 18th century, would've been contrasted with the "rationalists."
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post #52 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
I think you mean "empiricist." Which, in the 18th century, would've been contrasted with the "rationalists."

Actually...I meant materialist. Though he may also be an empiricist.
post #53 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
But what is wrong with destroying religion? Religion is many things:

- a way to deal with fear of death
- a placeholder for real knowledge, before we were able to figure out what the structure of the universe was, and before we knew the origion of life.
- a way to control the lower classes

There are alternatives to each of these now.

- I am not really afraid of death.
- We still don't know the origin of life.
- Though probably not reasonably considered "lower" class...I don't feel controlled by religion (does this mean that there are no "upper" class folks that are "religious" in any way?)
post #54 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
What does that mean? Like creating a universe?

Chris Cullia, I think that threads like this get started either under pretext or ignorance of the subject at hand. What we have is the machinations of some materialists, [whom I love and respect] who are attempting to defy logic to prove a point: in a world of ultimate contingency, the concept of any resolution of this thread's topic is illusory.

In fact, I've been thinking about this whole business, from postmodernism, materialism, etc. to evolution, intelligent design, behaviorism, etc. ...and I think I've got it: there is no real intent at resolution on these matters, it's essentially misdirection. Just as you can compare the completeness of J.S. Bach to the disjointed, fragment manure of John Cage or Philip Glass, you can see that there is no intent to solve anything --- the whole point is to leave things as a proven mess. This is what bothers evolutionists so badly: even the suggestion that 'the evolution' was planned destroys their whole philosophical framework.

As long as things remain fragmented there is no higher calling, no higher intellectual pursuit other than to prove that all is ultimately chaos.

It's like comparing Rembrandt to Jackson Pollock.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #55 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
That still doesn't really clarify your statement much. But, all snarkiness aside, what you appear to be saying is that you are a materialist...meaning that unless something is manifested materially (and in your own direct observation at that) it must not exist.

Not to answer for e#, but just to add my own slant...

I often see the word "materialism" used in a bit of misleading way. Science can measure plenty of things which are not at all material.

Suppose you decide to give people a test to rate their moods. You can certainly find definitively measurable effects in people's moods after subjecting them to different experiences (say, half the people tested are greeted warmly and put in a cozy room, the other half are dealt with very impersonally and seated in a bare concrete room).

A "mood" is not a material thing. To a materialist, a mood is a condition of a material system (your brain), which can be measured statistically via physical means (including subject-provided marks on a piece of paper) even while the mood itself is not material.

What I suggest is replacing the common caricature "you deny anything you can't see!" with "For that for which there are no distinct and clearly definable direct or indirect means of measurement or detection, there exists no good reason to assert the existence of that thing, and proposing the existence of such a thing offers no useful explanatory value."
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post #56 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by dmz
This is what bothers evolutionists so badly: even the suggestion that 'the evolution' was planned destroys their whole philosophical framework.

Even the suggestion? Destroys? Hardly. Suggest away. I can easily entertain the thought without the slightest cognitive distress. I'd even find it exciting if there was ever a way to detect such a thing. But until that kind of detection is possible, until there's a clear operative definition of what one would be trying to detect, it's no more than an interesting idea.

I certainly hope no helpless, innocent particularity -- just minding its own business, not looking for any trouble -- gets destroyed here by our brash materialistic stomping about. That would be too sad to bear.
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post #57 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
- I am not really afraid of death.
- We still don't know the origin of life.
- Though probably not reasonably considered "lower" class...I don't feel controlled by religion (does this mean that there are no "upper" class folks that are "religious" in any way?)

You are a christian - you have to admit that your religion helps you deal with the death of those close to you, and lessens your personal fear of death.

Religion is no longer really a class based control system, but it certainly used to be. If you read "guns, germs and steel", it details how religion was involved in the formation of the first tribes larger than large family groups - it gave the people a common bond that made them look out for each other, and it gave them a reason to have a non-working tribal cheif-god that they donated part of their catch or crop to.

By the middle ages, that tribal cheif had expanded to a larger aristocracy, and peasents were willing to toil through a hard life because they would be rewarded in the afterlife, and this only became undone in the last couple centuries. The people believed that the aristocracy was put into power by god, and had the devine right to rule.
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post #58 of 195
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by e1618978
But what is wrong with destroying religion? Religion is many things:

- a way to deal with fear of death
- a placeholder for real knowledge, before we were able to figure out what the structure of the universe was, and before we knew the origion of life.
- a way to control the lower classes

There are alternatives to each of these now.

It does other things for people too:

- a place to volunteer money and time for charity
- to gain a sense of community
- to connect with one's history and culture
post #59 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
It does other things for people too:

- a place to volunteer money and time for charity
- to gain a sense of community
- to connect with one's history and culture

But, there are alternative ways to do these things too.

I do think one does need to separate individual faith from corporate religious institutions. These are different things. I do happen to believe that (some) religious institutions exist merely to continue their own existence, power, wealth, control, etc. (Of course I would argue that these are merely human institutions using God or faith or religion or the Bible as a means to their own end.) Not all mind you. some are simply collections of people that, individually have a religious faith that they wish to excercise in community.
post #60 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
Even the suggestion? Destroys? Hardly. Suggest away. I can easily entertain the thought without the slightest cognitive distress. I'd even find it exciting if there was ever a way to detect such a thing. But until that kind of detection is possible, until there's a clear operative definition of what one would be trying to detect, it's no more than an interesting idea.

No, that's not really what I meant. I guess it's a truism, but Evolution without [the scientific meaning of] randomness, wouldn't be Evolution, it would be ID or the FSM making a soufflé, or something else -- but in any event it wouldn't philosophically satisfy what is at the heart of so many of these discussions. The recent speech at Cornell that tore into ID really brought this up.

But then again, I may need less wine and more sleep.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #61 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
Are you a dualist?

I'm biochemical soup. Yeah baby.

Quote:
Is this really as bad of a belief as this author makes it out, worse than creationism?

Mr Bloom said this in the last paragraph:

"Psychologists have not been shy about reporting theories and results to the general public, but we have been mostly silent about this foundational discovery about mental life. Our reticence is understandable. The scientific conception of the mind will not be received cheerfully; dualism is common sense, it is intimately linked to religion, and it is the foundation of the very comforting belief that there is an afterlife."

Based on this paragraph, his earlier reasoning for Creationism being not as dangerous as dualism is therefore not proper. Creationism is a manifestation of this dualism he speaks about, is it not? How could one make a "good or bad" comparison when the two are so intricately linked?

I say he only reasons so because of his own self-absorbed ego: his field of study is the realm of the brain while Creationism is more of a political movement, so therefore dualism is more dangerous in his mind. Or perhaps he just thought it would make his artical more entertaining?

As for Mr Leshner's "evangelical athiests" comment, he was only being polite. Has not the almighty Father himself, Zeus, been disproven? If so, why not God? If the answer is no, I submit that said definition of God has been so diluted that it is bereft of meaning.
post #62 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by THT
Creationism is a manifestation of this dualism he speaks about, is it not? How could one make a "good or bad" comparison when the two are so intricately linked?

I think the idea is that Creationism follows from dualism.
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post #63 of 195
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by THT
Based on this paragraph, his earlier reasoning for Creationism being not as dangerous as dualism is therefore not proper. Creationism is a manifestation of this dualism he speaks about, is it not? How could one make a "good or bad" comparison when the two are so intricately linked?

He'd probably agree that they're linked, but he does have specific reasons for why creationism isn't as bad: That perception of how species came to be doesn't have an impact on day-to-day life, whereas dualism has implications for real things like abortion and end-of-life issues, the insanity defense, etc. I'm not sure creationism is as irrelevant as he suggests, because I think it is such a fundamentally anti-science attitude that it must have spill over to other issues. But I think he has a point about the immediate real-world implications of both views.
Quote:
I say he only reasons so because of his own self-absorbed ego...

I'm shocked you would think such a thing!
post #64 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
I think the idea is that Creationism follows from dualism.

I'd say it is probably the other way around. But, yes they appear to be inter-linked.
post #65 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
Does Occam's razor mean that more complex things are false? It seems to me that usually things are a lot more complex and not nearly as neat as they originally appear. The orbit of the planets isn't a circle, pi isn't equal to 3.0, etc.
Is divine intervention really more complex? It seems a lot simpler than reality to me. Saying that God put everyone here sure seems simpler than evolution.

I agree that often assumptions based on Occam's Razor are incorrect. In biology things tend to be very complex (because evolution is a random mess-nah nah got that in) and the simplest explanation often is an over simplicification. Nonetheless, in terms of logical thinking and hypothesis formation, Occam's razor is very useful and appropriate. In the absence of any tangible evidence, the assumption that god exists is more complicated than assuming that we are all here due to the processes for which science has found evidence.

I don't consider it a fair application of Occam's razor to propose 'God did it' as the simplest explanation, just because it is simpler than a more complicated explanation based on actual evidence.

I guess I can use Occam's razor to substantiate my belief that the mind is nothing more than the functinal outcome of the brain. Dualism suggests a greater compexity for the origin and fate of the mnd for which there is no evidence. Indeed, if you accept Houdini's experiment to attempt to contact the living after his death, than one could suggest that there is some evidence that there is no life after death.
post #66 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
He'd probably agree that they're linked, but he does have specific reasons for why creationism isn't as bad: That perception of how species came to be doesn't have an impact on day-to-day life, whereas dualism has implications for real things like abortion and end-of-life issues, the insanity defense, etc. I'm not sure creationism is as irrelevant as he suggests, because I think it is such a fundamentally anti-science attitude that it must have spill over to other issues. But I think he has a point about the immediate real-world implications of both views. I'm shocked you would think such a thing!

First I think that creation thought/belief does impact day-to-day life because it is not simply about the origin of life and species but it says something important about the existence of a creator...which has profound implications for day-to-day life.

P.S. Creation thought is not fundamentally and inherently anti-science. While I don't doubt that some people that believe in creation are anti-science, most that I know certainly are not...and believe quite strongly in the scientific method. This continued sound-biting of creation thought only serves to unnecessarily alienate and insult people.
post #67 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
I'd say it is probably the other way around. But, yes they appear to be inter-linked.

Praps. I thought about that as soon as I posted it. IIRC, Jaynes argues that for the Greeks, the interioritythe voices in our headswe all take for granted registered as the voice of the Gods. So perhaps it is the other way around.

Despite this, it seems to me that this concept of the mind being discrete from the body, or of the self as being somehow located within but not made up of the body, has at its heart the metaphysical notion that there must be something beyond the body, that there must be something more than what there seems to be. It's funny, this problem of metaphysics that people like Nietzche and Heidegger try to get out of; the idea that there must be something beyond a metaphysical understanding of the world is itself a metaphysical concept, isn't it?
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post #68 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by THT
If the answer is no, I submit that said definition of God has been so diluted that it is bereft of meaning.

For anyone who's been following Kitzmiller v. Dover Board of Education, AKA the "Panda Trial", this is a big part of the trouble the "Intelligent Design" advocates are running into in court.

When you strip away the Christian elements of creationism in order to present (*cough* pretend it's *cough*) something which is religiously neutral, there's very, very little left to say, and nothing anyone knows how to test. Unless one can tease out specific predictable characteristics of this Designer or Its designs, which are falsifiably subject to experimentation, all you will have accomplished is saying, "that which we cannot explain is caused by That Which Does the Unexplainable" -- a useless tautology which goes against the maxim "entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily".

Michael Behe -- along with William Dembski, one of the two leading lights in the ID movement -- even testified in court that the definition of science would have to be changed in order to encompass ID, and under cross examination admitted that under the changes he proposes that astrology would also be a science! This is from Behe himself!
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Peter came out and gave us medals
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post #69 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by Carson O'Genic
I don't consider it a fair application of Occam's razor to propose 'God did it' as the simplest explanation, just because it is simpler than a more complicated explanation based on actual evidence.

To amplify your point, it helps to keep in mind that although Occam's Razor is often loosely stated as something like "the simplest explanation is usually the best", the original Latin says:

   Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.

This translates to "Entities should not be multiplied more than necessary". Saying "God did it!" might be much easier to say, but all it does is add one more entity (God) to entities already known to exist (the physical universe and the laws of that universe as we know them). Much like I'd mentioned in my last post, all one does by proposing such a God is to take all that one can't explain and shove into a box that can't be explained any better labeled "God".

There's no added explanatory power to doing this whatsoever.
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post #70 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
There's no added explanatory power to doing this whatsoever.

Sure there is. You're not supposed to question it.
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post #71 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
Sure there is. You're not supposed to question it.

I know of something else you are not supposed to question.
post #72 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
I know of something else you are not supposed to question.

Begs the question.
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post #73 of 195
I thought it was too late to beg the question.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #74 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by dmz
I thought it was too late to beg the question.

Hey! I thought you were nuzzled up with a 2003 Rosemount shiraz like me!

Edit: er, case in point about why commas are necessary. This should be "...shiraz, like me," otherwise it suggests that I am somehow the shiraz with which you are nuzzling.
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post #75 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by midwinter
Hey! I thought you were nuzzled up with a 2003 Rosemount shiraz like me!

Edit: er, case in point about why commas are necessary. This should be "...shiraz, like me," otherwise it suggests that I am somehow like the shiraz with which you are nuzzling.

A-Ha!, PRONOUN trouble!

-actually I was just forced to watch (against my will, no less) Batman Begins --- It's actually pretty good, if you don't pay attention to the plot---LOOK!! shiny object fight!!.......but, due to the various laws or gravity, matrimony and the cyclical nature of the universe, snuggling is out -- even for good eastern Washington vintages.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #76 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by dmz
A-Ha!, PRONOUN trouble!

-actually I was just forced to watch (against my will, no less) Batman Begins --- It's actually pretty good, if you don't pay attention to the plot---LOOK!! shiny object fight!!.......but, due to the various laws or gravity, matrimony and the cyclical nature of the universe, snuggling is out -- even for good eastern Washington vintages.

You know, I HATE Batman. Hate. HATE HATE HATE. I hated all the Batman movies. I hated the Batman show when I was a kid.

But Batman Begins? Lurved it. Bought it on DVD.

And yes, I think my wife would be a bit miffed if there were nuzzling.
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post #77 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
I know of something else you are not supposed to question.

I'm sure it fits the well-cultivated persecution complex of some to suggest that you aren't "supposed to question" evolution, but this certainly isn't the case.

The issues in Kitzmiller v. Dover Board of Education are whether or not evolution is being particularly singled out for questioning among all other scientific theories, all of which are also open to question, in order to stigmatize that particular theory for religious reasons, and whether or not the alternative proposed (ID) constitutes religious doctrine more than science.

Kitzmiller aside, you can question evolution all you like. However:

Nonsensical questions (like talk show host Larry King's recent question, "If evolution is true, how come there are still monkeys?" -- a stunningly stupid question on at least two levels) which proceed from not even understanding what evolution is all about, don't have to be treated as stunning blows against evolution until they are answered.

Endless demands from not merely skeptical, but implacably hostile opponents, for more and more answers and more and more experiments, often things outside of the theory (evolution does NOT concern itself with how life first began, for example) and/or essentially impossible experiments (like "Show me a monkey turning into a person!" -- fits into the previous category pretty well too) do not constitute stunning blows against evolution simply because they go unfulfilled.
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post #78 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
T. Much like I'd mentioned in my last post, all one does by proposing such a God is to take all that one can't explain and shove into a box that can't be explained any better labeled "God".

There's no added explanatory power to doing this whatsoever.

To amplify your amplification..

I think it is pretty clear that with science and increased knowledge that we have shoved God in a box as well. The gods of yesteryear could be easily tested and proven false because they were given many tangible attributes. But as the world and unverse has been explanied the idea of god has necessarily retreated into the realm of the intangible.

The attempt to shove the origin of life on Earth back into the box with god is just is as laughable as the idea that the Sun circles the Earth.

edit: On further consideration, the relegation of god to the intangible is also, I beleive, what lets many scientists continue to beleive in god and still believe in evolution etc.
post #79 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by Carson O'Genic
edit: On further consideration, the relegation of god to the intangible is also, I beleive, what lets many scientists continue to beleive in god and still believe in evolution etc.

And this, again, is why I said earlier that this is an incredibly dangerous line of argument for believers to take. It's like they're only thinking about winning this particular argument at all costswithout any consideration for what might happen 5 or 6 moves later in the chess game.
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post #80 of 195
Quote:
Originally posted by shetline
For anyone who's been following Kitzmiller v. Dover Board of Education, AKA the "Panda Trial", this is a big part of the trouble the "Intelligent Design" advocates are running into in court.

When you strip away the Christian elements of creationism in order to present (*cough* pretend it's *cough*) something which is religiously neutral, there's very, very little left to say, and nothing anyone knows how to test. Unless one can tease out specific predictable characteristics of this Designer or Its designs, which are falsifiably subject to experimentation, all you will have accomplished is saying, "that which we cannot explain is caused by That Which Does the Unexplainable" -- a useless tautology which goes against the maxim "entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily".

Michael Behe -- along with William Dembski, one of the two leading lights in the ID movement -- even testified in court that the definition of science would have to be changed in order to encompass ID, and under cross examination admitted that under the changes he proposes that astrology would also be a science! This is from Behe himself!

I understood that Behe also testified that ID wouldn't actually qualify as a theory, only a hypotheses.
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
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"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them" -Isaac Asimov
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