Intelligent Design is Anti-Evolution (Against Rebuttal)

(Ed note: I can’t seem to get the internal links working correctly.  The original is here.)

Joe’s rebuttal follows the break.

Before I get started I wanted to thank OgreMKV for agreeing to move up the date to release our rebuttals.

Rebutting Ogre-

Strange that in a debate on whether or not Intelligent Design is anti-evolution, OgreMKV refused to provide any definitions of “evolution”. Without saying what “evolution” is you cannot say that ID is anti-evolution, because you can just move the goal-posts as it suites you.
And also I take it that OgreMKV doesn’t understand how to debate or he wouldn’t have referenced IDists who agree with everything in my opening post.

In his opening OgreMKV stated:

Personally, I would prefer to be able to present data and facts and compare them with other data and facts and get an actual, logical, testable answer.

Well we can’t do that until we are clear on what each other’s position is. You seem to have a mental block about Intelligent design and evolution so we must first address that and only then can we move on. Also I presented data and facts and we will see how you deal with those. My bet is that you are going to choke on it.

Next OgreMVK rants about a definition for Intelligent Design- that would be required if the debate was on “What is Intelligent Design”- however it isn’t. The debate is Intelligent Design’s relationship with evolution.

My opponent’s responsibility here is to show that a single coherent and consistent definition of Intelligent Design exists.

Actually my responsibility is to show that Intelligent Design is not anti-evolution and I have done just that (and you helped).

So Ogre produces a definition of ID and says:

Wait, I thought ID wasn’t anti-evolution. Natural selection is a part of evolution. Most would say that it’s a major part of any evolutionary theory. Yet, Intelligent Design, as found on Uncommon Descent (a blog “Serving the Intelligent Design Community”), is defined as being the opposite of or opposing natural selection.

The definition didn’t say natural selection didn’t exist. It said it couldn’t account for certain features. As I have said- you have some sort of mental issue.

Next stop:

What really fun about all this is I will not undertake to define evolution (as my opponent desperately wants me to, so he can attack that). I will use only the words and statements of the proponents of Intelligent Design. They are the ones who lead the movement. They are the ones who cannot decide on a definition of Intelligent Design or even what ID is supposed to say, do, or be.

And guess what? I used the words and statements of the ID leadership. And the words and statements you used also support my claim. Thank you. (by providing quotes that show Intelligent Design is anti- DARWINIAN/ NEO-DARWINIAN evolution only!)

As a matter of fact anyone who reads Dr Behe’s testimony will see he agrees with what I said in my opening post. Dr Behe’s testimony starts here– be sure to read it all.

After that he references Barbara Forrest- an atheist on an agenda. Too bad the publisher of the book was barred from the trial. It’s the only way people like her can “win”- by not having an opponent to correct her nonsense (Darn! Due Process Summarily Denied; Lost the Very First Lawsuit We Were Never In). Also she took the “definition” from a rough draft, not a released version of the book.

Using a released version of the book the quote referred to the fossil record and is supported by (the theory of) punctuated equilibrium.
But anyway Dr Behe weighed in on that quote also:

Dr Behe = A Q= pro-ID lawyer

Q I would like to direct your attention to page 99, please. I would like to read to you and oft-quoted passage in this case thus far. If you’ll look at the bottom on page 99, it’s going to continue onto 100 as well. It says, quote, Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency with their distinctive features already intact: Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks and wings, et cetera. Some scientists have arrived at this view since fossil forms first appeared in the record with their distinctive features intact and apparently fully functional rather than gradual development.

And I would like to get your reaction to that section?

A- Well, it says — it says that some scientists have arrived at this view. I think that’s a way of saying that this is a matter of disagreement and dispute.

I certainly do not think that intelligent design means that a feature has to appear abruptly. And I — I certainly would have written this differently if I had done so.

Q Now, you say you would have written it differently. Is there another reference or another section in Pandas that you could direct us to to emphasize that point?

A Yes. I wrote the section at the end of Pandas which is discussing blood clotting. And on page 144 of the text there’s a section entitled “A Characteristic of Intelligent Design.” And it begins, “Why is the blood clotting system an example of intelligent design? The ordering of independent pieces into a coherent whole to accomplish a purpose which is beyond any single component of the system is characteristic of intelligence.”

Q And why did you direct us to that particular section?

A Because I think it more clearly conveys the central idea of intelligent design, which is the purposeful arrangement of parts.

Q Do you see that then as a, perhaps a better characterization, or more accurate characterization of intelligent design?

A Yes, I like this a lot better.

Despite the ruling there still isn’t any evidence that demonstrates that an accumulation of genetic accidents (the proposed evolutionary mechanism) can construct a useful and functional multi-part system but there is plenty of evidence they can break them.

But anyway OgreMKV says the following about the definition Forrest read:

Since parts of evolutionary theory states that life did not begin abruptly and that distinctive features were not intact when a new species was specially created (indeed that no new species were specially created), then this flies in the face of evolution.

Unfortunately there isn’t any part of evolutionary theory that deals with the origin of life. The theory of evolution is silent on that topic:

Now, the origin of life is certainly an interesting topic, but it is not a part of evolutionary theory. abiogenesis and evolution

See also Misconception: “Evolution is a theory about the origin of life.”

And seeing OgreMKV refused to provide a definition of “evolution” he can’t say anything about it.

Later on Ogre says:

Yet, evolution is not allowed to have multiple definitions (i.e. a fact AND a theory, historical AND predictive, experimental AND observational), but ID is allowed to do this.

That is just an outright lie. The problem is there are MANY definitions of evolution and evolutionists use that to equivocate. Meaning while talking about one definition of evolution they will apply that to all definitions. Dr Behe talks about that in his testimony:

Q. Has it been your experience that supporters of Darwin’s theory of evolution and opponents of intelligent design have conflated the evidence for the occurrence of evolution, the change over time, with the evidence for the mechanism of evolution, natural selection?

A. Yes. In my experience many people confuse the various parts of Darwin’s theory. They don’t make the distinction that Ernst Mayr makes, and people see that there has been change in the world and a lot of people then assume that because there has been change in the world, then it must have been change driven by natural selection. And that’s a mistaken conclusion.

(see also The Meanings of Evolution)

And that is followed by more testimony saying that ID is not anti-evolution but argues against Darwinism- ie natural selection and random mutations producing the diversity of life.

But OgreMKV does chime in to expose his cluelessness:

Even if we leave aside the truth of either claim (evolution or ID), the point that Behe is making is that one of the two must be correct and one of the two must be wrong. ID says things are designed. Evolution says they are not. It’s that simple. Since things cannot be both designed and evolved, then ID is anti-evolution.

ONLY Darwinian and Neo-Darwinian evolution say living organisms and all their subsystems are not designed. IOW OgreMKV is guilty of equivocation- equivocating evolution with Darwinian and neo-Darwinian evolution. When Richard Dawkins wrote his “weasel” program a random sequence of letters evolved into a sentence. It evolved via a targeted search, ie it was designed to evolve.

So you can see things can easily be both designed and evolved. And as a matter of fact things can be designed to evolve! Just look at genetic and evolutionary algorithms- designed to evolve.

OgreMKV says:

So, Michael says ID is not anti-evolution, yet a mere double handful of sentences later he states that “the only focus of intelligent design is on the mechanism of evolution”.

My guess is OgreMKV “learned” about ID from (mis)reading the transcripts of this trial plus whatever “sound bites” he and his ilk could find. It is obvious he hasn’t read any pro-ID literature- or perhaps he did, which would be even more pathetic.

The “mechanism”, as in blind, mindless natural selection and random genetic changes (ie genetic accidents/ errors/ mistakes)- including drift, HGT- all random/ chance events that accumulate- vs telic, non-random, goal-oriented processes- the mutations would be directed by the internal programming of the cell just as a computer program directs the flow of bits.

One more note on testimony- when giving testimony the context is important. Each question is not asked in a vacuum. It is all a long continuation. My guess is Ogre is ignorant of the Court process too.

Then OgreMKV abandons the debate to rant about ID and religion- I will respond to that also:

“Intelligent Design is based on scientific evidence, not religious belief.”– Jonathan Wells “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design”

in “The Design Revolution”, page 25, Dembski writes:

Intelligent Design has theological implications, but it is not a theological enterprise. Theology does not own intelligent design. Intelligent design is not a evangelical Christian thing, or a generally Christian thing or even a generally theistic thing. Anyone willing to set aside naturalistic prejudices and consider the possibility of evidence for intelligence in the natural world is a friend of intelligent design.

He goes on to say:

Intelligent design requires neither a meddling God nor a meddled world. For that matter, it doesn’t even require there be a God.

But I am sure that will be ignored also…

In his book “Signature in the Cell” Stephen C. Meyer addresses the issue of Intelligent Design and religion:

First, by any reasonable definition of the term, intelligent design is not “religion”.- page 441 under the heading Not Religion

He goes on say pretty much the same thing I have been saying for years- ID doesn’t say anything about worship- nothing about who, how, why, when, where to worship- nothing about any service- nothing about any faith nor beliefs except the belief we (humans) can properly assess evidence and data and properly process information. After all the design inference is based on our knowledge of cause and effect relationships.

Other people have also weighed in on this- including John Morris, the president of the Institute for Creation Research:

“The differences between Biblical creationism and the IDM should become clear. As an unashamedly Christian/creationist organization, ICR is concerned with the reputation of our God and desires to point all men back to Him. We are not in this work merely to do good science, although this is of great importance to us. We care that students and society are brainwashed away from a relationship with their Creator/Savior. While all creationists necessarily believe in intelligent design, not all ID proponents believe in God. ID is strictly a non-Christian movement, and while ICR values and supports their work, we cannot join them.”

To sum it all up OgreMKV refused to provide a definition of “evolution” saying he was going to leave it up to the words of statements of IDists- the ID leadership. And the words he and I provided support my claim, that ID is not anti-evolution rather it argues against one very narrow definition of evolution.

There is a lawyer’s adage that says:

If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts.

If you have the law on your side, pound the law.

And if you have neither, pound the table

So it is interesting that while I have pounded the facts OgreMKV has pounded the table.

My rebuttal will end with a thank you- Thank you OgreMKV for helping make my case.

This entry was posted in Creationism / ID, Debate, Evolution and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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