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Interesting article on a controversial subject.

8 comments

  • Raul.Duke 7 years, 5 months ago

    The discovery institute is not an institution of science, it is a religious organization. The evolutionnews.org page is a great example of disguised branding in the hope that people who find themselves there will be tricked into thinking they are reading actual science. There is actual science in the article, but like science fiction the real science is used to prop up the fiction and lend it plausibility The only thing sincere is the institute's position on evolution, which they think is not real, and certainly is not based in science.

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  • cogan

    cogan 7 years, 5 months ago

    @jsb014 & tinman97030, glad you enjoyed it!

    <p>@Raul.Duke, thanks for your thoughts. You may disagree with the Discovery Institute's position on origins, but it's a bit of shallow thinking to say the concept of design is not scientific. Perhaps what you mean is that it is not materialistic science? We can agree on that. But based on sheer observation, design is simply a logical conclusion. I'd really enjoy your thoughts on the following paper, Atheists Against Darwinism http://www.epsociety.org/library/articles.asp?pid=66 Oh, and by the way, I'm not, nor is anyone else I know, under any false suppositions about the theistic nature of those involved in the Discovery Institute. Let's keep the ad hominem (e.g., your employing the phrase "disguised branding") out of the discussion. Doesn't really add much. I would prefer if you responded to the points in the article rather than your opinions on the people behind it. But again, I appreciate your taking the time to comment.

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  • Raul.Duke 7 years, 5 months ago

    A few bits...
    I disagree that my comment on the origin of the article was ad hominem. The domain name is a deceit, whether I agree with them or not about ID, and that deceit has a bearing on the authority a casual reader of the information should give to what is contained within its pages. Not the same thing as calling Behe wrong because he is ugly or something (I have no idea what he looks like).
    The stem cell article linked was benign and scientifically informative except for one paragraph…
    ”In any other context, we would consider this type of complexity, with a program that tells components what [to] do and when to do it, a hallmark of the most sophisticated engineering. Those kinds of instructions do not just arise in a kind of add-on or co-opted Darwinian method. The more we delve into the inner working of the cell, the more we see how complicated it is – complicated in a way that suggests purpose and design”
    There is no support whatsoever offered as to why this must “suggest” design, or why the complexity cannot arise from evolution. The implication, and the change from third person to first person plural, is to make the author of the article and the research he/she was summarizing suddenly appear together and in agreement. Someone coming across this article in any number of ways could be forgiven for thinking that the original research was somehow supportive of the ID position – which it is not and a reading of the original work from which the article was composed would find no speculation from the researchers about the origins of the mechanisms described or ID/evolution debate.
    So I maintain that the page name is a deceit that leads to more deceit, both subtle but present.
    The link you provided discussing the wedge strategy makes me wonder why an idea that if it is as you say “simply a logical conclusion” needs a PR strategy of any kind, or disguised branding. Why not call the page “intelligentdesignnews.org”?
    Building support for the idea of ID through endorsement of atheists is not the same thing as actually having evidence. Project Steve http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Steve made light of this appeal to authority tactic though it is apparently still in employ by the ID movement.

    word limit..continued in next post...

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  • Raul.Duke 7 years, 5 months ago

    Attacking evolution by claiming ID is being wrongly dismissed as non-science is also probably a fallacy of some kind. Red herring? The Atheists Against Darwinism picking on the philosophical grounds of the science/non-science argument is not the same thing as attacking the actual evidence for evolution. I would also point out that the second article has several quotes that lack proper context, such as the Dawkins quote on p6, where it is claimed Dawkins supports the scientific status of ID – no mention is made, though, that in context he is in the process of laying out the evidence as to why ID is scientifically wrong and not supported by evidence.
    This lack of success picking on the evidence of evolution, though, is the whole reason for articles by philosophers about wedges and misleading web pages reposting science news with an injection of ID.

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  • cogan

    cogan 7 years, 5 months ago

    Hey Raul.Duke,

    Thanks again for taking time to share your thoughts.

    I have a few responses, for what it's worth:

    - "The domain name is a deceit"
    A domain name is like a phone number. It should be something easily remembered and easily typed. Saying it is deceitful is presumptuous. I would speculate that the issue you have with the Discovery Institute is not their choice of domain names, but that they happen to hold a view you find repugnant.

    "I have no idea what [Behe] looks like."
    - He looks surprisingly like what I imagine Brad Pitt will look like at his age. It's weird actually. Look at him here http://www.centerforinquiry.net/media/poi/images/behe.gif

    "There is no support whatsoever offered as to why this must 'suggest' design, or why the complexity cannot arise from evolution."
    - It suggests design based on observation. Everything we can observe with this kind of complexity indicates design. And when we try to replicate this kind of complexity without design, the results it yields are lackluster at best.

    "Someone coming across this article in any number of ways could be forgiven for thinking that the original research was somehow supportive of the ID position"
    - Would you agree that it is not only acceptable but common practice to draw reference to someone else's observations who may disagree with you with the intention of pointing out an angle of their discovery that they may not have recognized? The people who engage in these kinds of discussions become familiar very quickly with the names of scientists, philosophers, and organizations involved in the field, and are under no false presuppositions as to what view is represented by whom. If the reader is not aware of any number of given dynamics, the organizations they are reading are not to blame. It quite easy to find out who stands where.

    "Building support for the idea of ID through endorsement of atheists is not the same thing as actually having evidence."
    - First, the reason I referenced the article was because you seemed to intimate that the Discovery Institute is not scientific but religious in nature (as those they were intrinsically opposed). The article was linked to show that ID is not a religious issue. Again, see my point above regarding observable facts relating to design.

    "Attacking evolution by claiming ID is being wrongly dismissed as non-science is also probably a fallacy of some kind."
    - Please clarify, are you saying I am attacking evolution? Or that the paper I linked is doing so? I think neither is true, but I'd appreciate clarity on what you mean.

    At the end of the day though, I'm pretty sure we'll end up agreeing to disagree. I have no intention of changing your mind on the matter, as I think it is more of a volitional commitment on your end.

    Thanks again, Raul.Duke. Sincerely!

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