Talk:Intelligent design/Archive 17

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Archiving. While I realise that some of these discussions might have still been commented on, I don't believe they were useful, or were going to be. I have linked to often discussed topics abve. If any of these topics need to be discussed, feel free. Please start fresh. -- Ec5618 10:07, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

While I completely agree, not your decision to make; nor was archiving anything from October necessary. - RoyBoy 800 22:47, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

Questions about 'Origins of the concept' sections

"For over a millennium" may be an inaccurate observation. Perhaps the 'Logos' concept of Heraclitus (535-475 BC) could qualify as an intelligent agent. Even the idea of the 'demiurge' from Plato (427-347 BC) seems to fit as an intelligent agent. Also, Aquinas' Fifth Proof referenced in the paragraph is based on Aristotle’s 'Prime Mover' (384–322 BC). Do these candidates fit ID’s concept of an intelligent designer? Seems to me they ontologically fall between an alien and a transcendent God.

If they do qualify as intelligent designers, it seems like the historical origin goes back more than 2,500 years. Therefore, changing "For over a millennium" to read "For over two millennia" seems justified.

Anyone have any thoughts?

--JosephCCampana 20:30, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

Good point; a correction seems warranted, with the appropriate references you mention.Gandalf2000 22:06, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
I had the concept going back to Plato when I originally wrote that section. [1] David Bergan 06:12, 17 October 2005 (UTC)
Bergan, why was the time frame pushed up? --JosephCCampana 21:27, 17 October 2005 (UTC)
Couldn't tell you. I haven't been keeping a close eye on things for the last couple months. David Bergan 02:34, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Ok, sounds good. I'm new here, so do I check with anyone else, wait for more feedback, or do I just make the change myself? BTW G2000, Tolkien is great, just finished the Silmarillion last week. --JosephCCampana 01:55, 16 October 2005 (UTC)

I would suggest something along the lines of "For millenia, philosophers have believed that the complexity of nature's "design" that operates for complex purposes indicates the existence of a purposeful supernatural designer/creator, .. ". Note 'For millenia', which puts no upper cap on the amount of time philosophers have held this beief, and 'believed' as opposed to argued. I'd prefer 'argued' if we could refer to specific people, books and ways in which the argument was made, otherwise, I feel 'believed' covers the concept without requiring more proof.
And feel free. -- Ec5618 09:36, 16 October 2005 (UTC)

New criticism section

I did some research finally on the question of the definition of intelligence (see some archive from a few months back) and added an appropriate section. I've included the references to Dembski's only forray into the subject of intelligence which derives from a tu quoque passing of the buck to SETI and forensic anthropology with another reference to a particularly good CSICOP article about the problems posed from people who actually study intelligence (most of them are in AI/Cognitive science fields). Joshuaschroeder 08:31, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

(Tu quoque. Nice, I had to look that one up. BTW, the wikipedia definition is a little weak on that term.) It seems that it's a little premature to identify pro or con arguments based on the definition of intelligence, unless there is clearer evidence that ID proponents or critics have spent more time on the topic. If so, by all means, flesh it out. Otherwise, it seems like it might be original research Gandalf2000 15:03, 17 October 2005 (UTC)
I have referenced what is written on the topic in the article already. Is there anything in particular you think is "premature"? The whole point of the criticism is that the use of intelligence as a defining characteristic is "premature". It's a point that Dembski dismisses in a very off-hand manner and it's also a point that is made more poignant by studies of AI as the article shows. Joshuaschroeder 20:18, 17 October 2005 (UTC)
You're awesome Joshuaschroeder. - RoyBoy 800 00:15, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
This quote not only linked to the wrong source; it is out of context: "no pre-programmed device can be truly intelligent, that intelligence is irreducible to natural processes." Those are not Dembski's words, as implied; they are what the skeptics perceive to be an underlying assumption of ID. In other words, it's a straw man to knock down. (Some ID proponents would counter that humans are pre-programmed to be truly intelligent. Others may call the point a red herring; the question is not where intelligence comes from, it's where specified complexity comes from. Nevertheless, my primary point here is not rebuttal.) Please correct the quotation.--Gandalf2000 02:22, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
I disagree that the quote is out of context. The paragraph is about what is perceived to be the argument by IDists. This is a description of that argument. If you think it is an incorrect description, show a citation, but right now you sound like you've pulled a bait-and-switch. Criticizing the point being made by claiming that specified complexity is really what is interesting is beside the point because the endeavor is called Intelligent Design. If it was called "Specified Complexity Design" then I'd agree with you. Joshuaschroeder 15:28, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
You miss my main point, which is that the source is incorrectly given for the quote. The article currently reads like this:
The criticism is a counter to Dembski's argument of irreducible complexity, namely that "no pre-programmed device can be truly intelligent, that intelligence is irreducible to natural processes."
But the quote is not from Dembski's argument, it is from an article explicitly summarizing what skeptics claim to be a presupposition of Dembski's argument. the The quote is actually from Taner Edis (Darwin in Mind: Intelligent Design Meets Artificial Intelligence. Skeptical Inquirer Magazine). Further, this sloppy quotation is also linked to the wrong footnote. The footnote takes you to Jonathan Wells ("The case for intelligent design in the classroom,"). I'm asking you to please fix both aspects of the incorrect citation, or remove it altogether. (Again, in my opinion, it appears to be a straw man in a popular magazine, not worthy of encyclopedic inclusion, but I believe to omit it altogether should come from consensus rather than just my opinion.)--Gandalf2000 19:03, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
We should not give the appearance that the quote is Dembski's. I have rewritten the sentence to that effect. However, your objection that it is a strawman in a popular magazine is meaningless in the face of the fact that most of ID discussions take place in such venues. Joshuaschroeder 19:51, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

Lack of objectivity

The above comments from contributors such as Joshuaschroeder provide an example of the clear lack of objectivity in this article. The level of criticism contained in the article is disproportionate. For example, the sections on "Fine-tuned universe" and "Specified complexity" are comprised of mainly conceptual criticism over anything else. Is such thinly-veiled bias necessary? If I wanted a dedicated critique of ID, I'd visit

WP:RTA before making blanket objections. The article is extremely well-cited, and its content is very objective in that it presents both sides in their entirety. That covering the responses of mainstream science is more lengthy than presenting the assertions of ID proponents is attributable to the nature of ID — it's comprised of mostly criticisms of the science orthodoxy, aside from the inferences drawn by Behe and Dembski. Your objection has already been raised and addressed in the previous archive, 16. FeloniousMonk 04:42, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
Both sides of the ID debate have lack of objectivity. How's that for a worthy admission? But realizing that, we're working together to try to provide clarity of each position based on the literature. The point is not to win the argument, but to represent both sides fairly. Yes, as FeloniousMonk says, reading the archives is a good idea. We have talked at length about how to restructure the article slightly, to more clearly represent the train of thought on each side.--Gandalf2000 19:12, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
But the opening paragraph clearly demonstrates bias. All of the major proponents of ID would dispute that the concept of the "Christian God" is essential to ID. It follows as a matter of course that ID is more friendly to theism than naturalism, and in a predominantly Christian population like the United States, that theism will be Christian, hence the personal private convictions of ID proponents are, in general, Christian. But that does not make Christian Theism a necessary part of ID as given in specific ID arguments. The fact that agnostics like Antony Flew are sympathetic to ID demonstrates this clearly, as does the presence of Muslim, Mormon and Jewish advocates, among other worldviews. The following statement: "Though publicly ID advocates state that their focus is on detecting evidence of design in nature without regard to who or what the designer might be, in statements to their constituents and supporters, nearly all state explicitly that they believe the designer to be the Christian God" is very clearly gratuitous and tendentious. If all of the major proponents of ID would dispute this statement's relevance to the argument as presented in the literature, how can you claim this article is unbiased, espescially when it is presented in the first paragraph, where essential information about the subject should be given highest priority? This is not objective, this is taken directly from the anti-ID talking points. SanchoPanza 16:30, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Can you explain what you mean? ID is necessarily creationist - it's a "hypothesis" about the action and nature of God. It's relevant, when a group pushes a new idea about God, to address whether they are Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Raelians or Scientologists. It's normal to give religious ideas that sort of a context. Guettarda 16:42, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Regardless of who's talking points its taken from, the avowed christian agenda of ID proponents is a very real problem for the theory/movement. They've admitted that proselytization is the raison d'etre of the theory, but the theory itself implies otherwise. I'm not sure that it should be in the first paragraph, but it's not surprising that it is. — goethean 16:34, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
(Wade A. Tisthammer) I wouldn't say it “presents both sides in their entirety.” For instance, the ID claim for the fine-tuning of the universe is that certain physical constants being changed would prevent any form of physical life, not just life as we know it (see Mere Creation).
Amazing, considering that we only have one data point for so-called "physical life" and that is "life as we know it". Just how do you expect us to believe statistics based on the extrapolation from a single data point? Why would such speculative pondering be considered encyclopedic? Joshuaschroeder 21:51, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
(Wade A. Tisthammer) Remember, I'm just pointing out that the ID side has not been presented in its entirety here, not that all ID claims are entirely correct. If you want to see what they claim regarding this particular issue, please see this web article. On the surface at least, some of what the article says seems valid. If there were only hydrogen in the universe for instance, there would not be adequate chemical properties in the universe to have life of any sort (though there might be a lot of hydrogen gas floating around). Regarding the ratio of electron to proton mass, if different there would not even exist sufficient chemical bonding. Examples like these illustrate the kind of reasoning (right or wrong) ID scientists use. It doesn't need to be based merely on “extrapolation from a single data point.”
Superficial validity is not criteria for inclusion in an encylcopeida, especially when the claim is being made that "life as we know it" represents the sum total of all possible life. Such a claim is neither referenced nor is it taken under advisement. To wit, why does life need to be made of atoms? Why does it need to be dependent on chemistry? We have most of the universe made out of matter and energy that physics hasn't even begun to explain -- to claim that this stuff couldn't permit lifeforms is a question no one has even begun to ask. So your point is not even close to being reasonable since it definitely is based on extrapolation from "life as we know it". In fact, all such "fine-tuning" arguments that are made have no agreed upon explanation, as seen in the article on Fine tuning and here in this article as well. That ID makes gradiose claims to this regard I am well aware, but they are well discussed and explained in this article. Therefore I fail to see the point of your objections. Joshuaschroeder 18:49, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
You may think the ID position has only “superficial validity” but that doesn't justify distorting the actual ID position in the wikipedia. Additionally, you really haven't come up with a good counterargument regarding a universe with nothing but hydrogen could somehow spontaneously form any sort of life. Given what we know of chemistry (and the characteristics we attribute to life), that is not plausible. And my point of my objections is this: this article is heavily biased and makes frequent (though probably unintentional) distortions. I’ve pointed out some of these distortions right here.
Whatever its faults, ID is also not an “argument from ignorance.” It isn't the mere fact that evolution doesn't have a means, it’s also the alleged barriers (e.g. irreducible complexity, chemical problems of abiogenesis) that exist in the natural world.
(Wade A. Tisthammer) The claim, “By ID's own arguments, a designer capable of creating irreducible complexity must also be irreducibly complex” is a bit fishy, and the author provides no references (the same is true with "fundamental assumption of ID that every complex object requires a designer"). Behe himself (the guy who introduced irreducible complexity) concedes in Darwin's Black Box that maybe the designer is composed of something which could have come about naturally. This is part of the reason why the question of “who designed the designer” hardly leads into any circular reasoning or logical fallacies as the author claims. Another reason is that we can tell if something was designed without knowing where the designer came from. If astronauts found obelisks and nuclear power plants on Pluto, we can rationally infer design without knowing where the heck the designer came from, and this would certainly not involve using “circular reasoning” or other “logical fallacies.” The object of ID (in biology) is not the ultimate origin of every complex thing, just life on Earth.
While the author derides so-called "arguments from ignorance", he immediately appeals to an "argument from incredulity" with his hypothetical nuclear power plant on Pluto. Are we supposed to take this seriously? Joshuaschroeder 21:51, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
You can, particularly considering that I did not use an argument from incredulity with the thought experiment regarding the nuclear power plant.
This isn't a "thought experiment". It is a counterfactual. Joshuaschroeder 18:49, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
You might want to look up the term "thought experiment" in the dictionary. If you do you'll see that what I called a thought experiment really is a thought experiment.
I simply said that we could rationally infer design here (I did not say how, incredulity or otherwise).
This isn't a criteria, it is a rationalization that has no extensive properties nor does it offer predictability. It's like the Face on Mars controversy -- devoid of content. Joshuaschroeder 18:49, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Your missing the point. The article still distorts what ID is. And ID does make testable predictions.
One of the problems regarding a vehement critic writing an article about ID is the nasty tendency to unintentionally distort the opposition (as in this case). Not surprisingly, the distorted view tends to be a lot easier to attack than the real thing.
--Wade A. Tisthammer (10/25/2005)
Your view seems to be based on whismy and not on anything more. Again, I see no reason to take you seriously. Joshuaschroeder 18:49, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps because what I say is true regarding the article distorting the actual ID position?
In short, the web article is heavily biased against intelligent design and makes frequent (though probably unintentional) distortions.
None of which you have pointed out, I might add. All you do is make accusations and offer no direction for improvement. A lot of hot air, it seems. Joshuaschroeder 18:49, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Read what I said again. I gave multiple examples of where the article distorted the actual ID position. Why have you ignored them?
Still, it seems difficult to get an unbiased article on this issue because it is so controversial—unless perhaps we get Del Ratzsch to do it (read the book The Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side is Winning the Creation-Evolution Debate).
--Wade A. Tisthammer (10/20/2005)

Upon initial examination, it would seem that both sides of the issue are presented, but only in the form of ID followed by criticism. The chance for an ID response to criticism is not provided, especially evidenet in crucial areas such as the labelling of ID as unscientific. Such a definite conclusion, without argument to its contrary, cannot help but be biased. Would it not aid in the solution of this debate if ID proponents were given a chance provide a rubuttle? Eccentricity 23:13, 26 October 2005

As I have shown (see above on the 10/20/2005 segments) the ID position is often not accurately represented. For instance, ID claims that a number of constants are fine-tuned for any kind of physical life, not just life as we know it. And yet the wikipedia article pretends that this claim doesn't exist (e.g. the criticism that the fine-tuning argument assumes “no other forms of life are possible”). Sill, perhaps it might be useful to have to ID entries, one "pro" and one "con"? This is unorthodox but...
--Wade A. Tisthammer (10/20/2005)

YEC's view of ID

I think we should have a section about how young earth creationism is disgusted by and seeks to separate itself from intelligent design as its bastard child. For example: ID and President Bush—the deeper issues, AiG’s views on the Intelligent Design Movement, and The god of an old earth David Bergan 21:55, 18 October 2005 (UTC)

This may warrant a passing mention in the ID article, perhaps in the section on the distinction between ID and creation science; but details belong in the article on young earthism, or maybe more specifically in an article about AIG. (In terms of distinction, one group seeks to reconcile theism with science; the other promotes a specific biblical interpretation regardless of science.) Having recently attended an AIG conference session, I can confirm their focus was on "millions of years" as the root of all cultural decline. I'm not sure they would even want to call ID a "bastard child", as they explicitly list evolution, theistic evolution, progressive creation, gap theory, day-age theory, as all being in the "enemy" camp.--Gandalf2000 22:36, 18 October 2005 (UTC)
Answers In Genesis represents only one YEC pov. Plenty of other YECs have responded positively by getting behind the ID movement. The topic would be better placed at Intelligent design movement. That article already covers the fact that the movement has been selling ID as a 'big tent' to YECs, and that doing so is a specifically listed item in the movement's strategy. FeloniousMonk 00:13, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
Agreed.--Gandalf2000 01:49, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Revert war

This keeps getting added back in:

Although many Intelligent Design advocates may believe in the Christian God, the theory is not limited to him. Intelligent design is not to be confused with Creationism. Creationism acknowledges the God of the bible and the genesis story and then uses science to prove biblical claims. ID is a movement that looks at the science purely, and comes to no other conclusion then there must be intelligence.

The reason I have removed it (and I assume others have as well) is the POV, especially in the last sentence. If we'd like to discuss this, let's do it here, but I am about to make a request for someone to be blocked if it keeps getting reverted without discussion. Jokestress 19:22, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Adding this passage has been the pet project of a particular anon editor who's been at it now for at least a week. Not only does the passage have pov issues, but it is factually incorrect. ID is by definition a form of creationism. Since the passage has no place in a factual, accurate article, myself and others have been removing it on sight. I've also left cautions about adding nonsense and pov at the various IPs associated with the anon, all to no avail. FeloniousMonk 19:30, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
Agreed that this para is poorly worded, but the main problem is that it flatly contradicts the first paragraph, which infers that Christian Theism is essential to ID. All of the major proponents of ID have been at pains to demonstrate the difference between creationism and ID, and that Christian Theism is not essential to making a design inference. Nothing in ID proper -- the argument itself -- eliminates any worldview except strict reductionist naturalism. The first paragraph must be amended to show this, or at least clearly state IDs position with regards to Christianity. Basically what the first paragraph says is: "IDers claim thus and so, but it's apparent to everyone else that this is clearly not the case." Until you eliminate such clearly biased statements, it seems to me you're just inviting a revert war. SanchoPanza 16:48, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Not only incorrect and misleading, the passage sports bad grammar as well: "...conclusion then there ..." Calling something science does not make it so. It appears to me there is nothing much we can do other than watch the page and revert, unless and until we are reasonably certain the ip(s) is(are) not being used by other contributors. Unless we request a lock... KillerChihuahua
Even though the anonymous contributor's addition is poorly worded, I think I see his/her point. Perhaps the paragraph is just meant to illustrate that ID doesn't necessarily advocate a literal interpretation of the Bible. I guess it just has to do with one's opinion of creationism. Of course ID is a form of creationism, but the two aren't synonymous given the "Young Earth" connotation that many people seem to associate with creationism. Perhaps some kind of explanation could be given to the IPs instead of just a warning about nonsense. Or perhaps since I've just mentioned it on the talk page, that should be sufficient for anyone wishing to edit the article. Having said that, I still don't see a necessity for including the above paragraph in the article since I think than an intelligent (ha) reading of the article demonstrates that ID and Young Earth Creationism are not equivalent. Indeed, there is a sidebar listing the subpages in the "Creationism" category, and Young Earth Creationism is a separate article... imagine that. -Parallel or Together? 04:46, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

revert war response

I'm sorry the grammar is bad. I'll apologize for the mistakes. The concept however, is valid. Intelligent Design is constantly misunderstood by outside evolutionary onlookers. Intelligent design may be a type of Creationism, but only because they both believe in an intelligence. Here is a piece of an article insert to help you understand Intelligent Design and it's relationship to religion. I urge everyone to make this paragraph add on work. The Intelligent Design article can become misleading to outside readers looking for a good definition of the theory.

"A design inference is compatible with belief in a Creator, but intelligent design theory is limited to the observation and detection of design in nature, not the identification of the Designer. It draws its authority from investigation, observation and logical analysis per the scientific method - not from religious text. Thus, intelligent design is not creation science, although many creation scientists are also intelligent design theorists. Creation science derives its authority from the Genesis account, which the courts have held to be a religious text. A design inference is not "creation science" and has not been held by any court to be a religion."

ID uses empirical observations to "prove" the existence of something that cannot be proven through empirical observation. As such, it is akin to flood geology, creation science, and other attempts to use science to "prove" the existence of the supernatural. As far as the last sentence above, ID is about to be held by a court to be a religion in Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District. Jokestress 21:36, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Wow Jokestress! Does your crystal ball pick stocks too? 19:28, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Evolution has many unanswered question. Can information in the form of DNA develop by itself? Where are the missing links? Why is there such a large fossil gap? It would be wrong to say that evolution is science because evolution comes to conclusions without fossil evidence. The only scientific conclusion that can be claimed is that all life forms adapt to their enviroments. It is not scientific to say that all life forms evolve because of the lack of scientific evidence.
Intelligent design did not begin with the inference or assuption of a creator, that is the theories conclusion. It does not hold to any one God but to an intelligence. Intelligent Design even holds that the intelligence could be alien. Intelligent design does not hold to any religious literature. It is near impossible to establish ID as a religion and you would be mistaken to think that it is. It is a misunderstanding and ignorance to the scientists that develop the theory. Have you read any books by the advocates? (unsigned User:
Can information in the form of DNA develop by itself?
Yes, through natural selection acting upon variation.
Where are the missing links?
They are hidden in places like museums and universities.
And detailed in websites and scientific journals. - RoyBoy 800 02:10, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
Why is there such a large fossil gap?
Why do you think there are? Why do you think there should not be any?
Evolution is scientific. It does not only draw its conclusions on the fossil record, but also genetics and comparative morphology and the convergence of these three disparate lines of evidence. Thanks. (unsigned User:Jason Potter)
I formatted the above so people can follow it. Please sign entries with four tildes (~~~~) so everyone can follow the conversation better. Thanks! Jokestress 00:32, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Bloodwater 17:36, 22 October 2005 (UTC)I would have responded before but FeloniousMonk has a fetish for banning me from the discussion.

1.DNA comes about through natural selection? natural selection can only exist in the first place because of DNA. How you you suppose that a lifeform could exist without an instruction book? 2. According to any institution, missing links don't exist. I would be interested to hear of an example of a missing link in a museum. 3. As for fossil gaps, you need to read into your theory more. It is a widely known fact that there are many large fossil gaps.

The only thing scientific about evolution is the fact that all lifeforms "adapt" to their enviroments. Even creation scientists recognize this fact. User:bloodwater 23,october 2005(UTC)

Origin of life, Thomas R. Cech are places where you find information that might enlighten you. Then again, no amount of evidence can convince the willfully ignorant. Bill Jefferys 17:49, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I don't think you know what you're talking about. Each of your points has passed through these pages before.
  1. Natural selection also works on other levels. Sand, for example could be seen as a progression toward rocks with fewer cracks in them (sand has few cracks, so it is not easy to break it). It is conceivable that a polymer that is able to rebuild itself if it is destroyed has advantages over polymers that are completely destroyed. Selection needn't imply a biological advantage.
  2. Missing links do exist, because when they are found, they are no longer seen as 'missing', but rather as part of the fossil record. Several fossils of humanoids have been found, each being a missing link, linking us to earlier 'humans'.
  3. Read the comment again. Fossil gap. 'Why do you think there should not be any?' Consider this: Tyrannosaurus rex lived on this Earth for rather a long time, yet we have only ever found 7 fossils. Can you not imagine that entire species could have died out before living long enough to leave any fossil evidence. Not every species has bones, nor do members of every species drown in layers of muddy, loose sand.
I'll not bore you with a long post, but this comment of yours is completely false:
The only thing scientific about evolution is the fact that all lifeforms "adapt" to their enviroments. Even creation scientists recognize this fact.
Still, there's no shame in not knowing. -- Ec5618 18:15, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Sand doesn't think. You are comparing non-living grains of sand with intelligence. Life is the only thing on earth that is known to increase the order around itself.

Missing links don't exist. No scientific institution has a missing link. I would like to know why you think so. Even USA today says, "the only problem with missing links is they are still missing."

Every species on earth evovled, missing links should be the most abundant fossils on earth.

You are highly mistaken.You should go back to school. At least do yourself a favor and re-think the problems with evolution. There are problems with all theories but it is willful ignorance to believe that evolution doesn't have problems.

Regardless, we should not be discussing these things. Oxford scholar F.C.S. Schiller employed the term "Intelligent Design," in an 1897 essay, writing that “it will not be possible to rule out the supposition that the process of Evolution may be guided by an intelligent design.” It is obvious that Mr. Johnson, the supposed father of ID, only made the idea of Intelligent Design popular. It is not based on relgious assumptions and therefore not religious. It is misleading in the article to call it a "Christian movement." The movement is sustained by severeral former atheists and agnostic scientists of high education. These former atheists range from men like Phillip Johnson, Michael Behe, William Dembski, and Dean Kenyon, author of "Biochemical Predestiation," are all former atheists. Dean Kenyon was made popular by co-founding the popular theory of Biochemcial predestination in the 70's. His theory answers how DNA and life came to be naturally. Dean Kenyon was confident until he began to doubt his own book. The information added and subtracted from this article appears to be governed by evolutionists. I don't expect that any amount of evidence will pursuade you to add my piece into the article. I do hope that you have enough common sense enough to see that ID is not religious. The article is misleading when you tell the reading audience that ID is a "Christian movement." Lastly, if I do not reply after a little while, it's because FeloniousMonk decided to ban me again for discussing here. Bloodwater 18:27, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

I'll not bother with you any more. Suffice it to say that I used sand as an analogy, not as an example of highly intelligent life. Missing links are missing because found links are no longer missing. Links that were missing are plentiful. Evolution has problems. For one, people seem be think it's hip to dismiss it offhand. -- Ec5618 18:44, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

We may have the same mentalies. I thought it was "hip," to dismiss ID or biblical creationism :)Bloodwater 18:50, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps, in some circles. However, most people who fail to appreciate creationism don't care about it enough to visit this page, let alone edit it, whereas we often see uninformed creationists come here to spout rhetoric and debunked arguments. I assure you, most of the editors here have been around long enough to have heard almost every argument ever made for ID, and know how to debunk it. -- Ec5618 11:35, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
ID is religious. The Discovery Institute's Wedge document makes this abundantly clear. Bill Jefferys 20:32, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

What religion does it adhere too? If you say Christianity, why? Because many Christians acknowledge it too? Bloodwater 00:45, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

How do you interpret the Wedge Strategy document's call for a "a broadly theistic understanding of nature?" What do you think theism is? Chopped liver? Bill Jefferys 23:42, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

ID is religious because religious men support it? take a look at the thread at the bottom of the page. Your objections are answered. Bloodwater 00:43, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

This is not an answer. What does "theism" mean? Answer the damned darned question. The thread at the bottom of the page does not answer this objection. Bill Jefferys 00:49, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Please observe Wikipedia:Civility. You raise a valid question, though.
ID as a philosopical concept needn't be defined by its proponents. As a movement however, it clearly is. And the fact that the movement refers to its basic premise as theistic is telling, and undeniably true. What that eventually means can be debated, but ID advocates clearly see ID as a vehicle for theism. What say you Bloodwater? -- Ec5618 11:35, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
ID as a movement and as it is understood right now is, as you agree, basically theistic. The fact that one might imagine some kind of airy-fairy purely philosophical intelligent design that was not theistic just moves the goalposts from what the real discussion is all about. (I don't think you can do this, and will elaborate below). I would put it this way:
The Discovery Institute and its fellows, starting with Phillip Johnson and continuing down the line through all of the major proponents of ID today, including Michael Behe, William Dembski, Jonathan Wells, and so on, the list is very long, is clearly the architect of Intelligent Design (with capital letters) as currently understood. It is the intellectual center of essentially all current activity about ID. Intelligent Design in this sense is a religio-political pseudoscientific movement. It is not an airy-fairy philosophical position, even if it were possible to construct one.
For political and legal reasons, the Discovery Institute has attempted to keep its theistic position under wraps; unfortunately for them, the Wedge document got leaked, and they did acknowledge it as theirs. So this kind of knocks the pins out of their attempts to forge a legal position that will pass First Amendment muster.
Now, as to the question about whether a purely philosophical nontheistic intelligent design (lower case) position can be constructed. I contend that it cannot be constructed. When you talk about 'intelligent design' this clearly entails an intelligent designer. Now the Discovery Institute says that they don't care about the nature of the intelligent designer. The reason why is clear: If they were to open that can of worms, they'd be in even greater legal jeopardy than they are now. But, pace the DI, there is no reason why we should not ask the question. Well, Michael Behe says in his book that "it might be space aliens." He doesn't believe it, but he mentions it. OK, could it be space aliens? I suppose that one might imagine that life on Earth arrived through the agent of space aliens, but even that might have religious implications, as the Raelian embrace of ID shows. But, let's ignore them, does this mean that one can have a nonreligious ID by invoking space aliens? I don't think so. For then one has to ask, who designed the space aliens? They must also be complex, for if they were not, some sort of blob-lifeform that arose spontaneously, this undercuts the ID argument that irreducible complexity (Behe) and complex specified information (Dembski) can't arise spontaneously, and the entire ID enterprise falls apart. So the aliens have to be IC and CSI, and invoking space aliens hasn't solved the problem. One ends up with a potentially infinite regress of us created by aliens created by aliens created by...
Unfortunately, this infinite regress has to terminate. The universe has a finite age, and thus one can only have a finite sequence of creating space aliens. Something has to have created the first space alien, and that something cannot be part of our universe. It has to be some sort of very powerful being external to the universe. According to Gonzalez and Richards' book, it has to be capable of creating fine-tuned universes. Sounds pretty much like a god to me. What sort of god is not clear (although one might be able to look at the kind of universe we have and make inferences...this would inevitably involve questions uncomfortable to most theists such as the Problem of Evil. A good case can be made for polytheism, given the data. But I digress...
Thus, while you are free to talk in the abstract about purely philosophical intelligent design positions that don't have theistic implications, in reality that dog don't hunt. Bill Jefferys 13:40, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

The infinite regress argument has been addressed countless times in the ID literature, not to mention by Aristotle, St. Thomas, and about a hundred thousand philosophers and theologians since the 4th century. In any case this is not the place to settle DI arguments or rehash what has been volleyed about on Panda's Thumb, TalkOrigins and Pharyngula a million times. I thought the point of this discussion page was to address bias/POV issues, not a forum for would-be ID experts to pronounce judgments on the entire project. Let's get back to the task of presenting a fair, charitable statement of both sides' positions, thus ensuring Wikipedia's continuing credibility. SanchoPanza 17:06, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Or actual experts, in the case of Bill Jefferys. — goethean 17:29, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Dr. Jefferys is an expert in astronomy, not philosophy of religion. He should stick to his field of expertise. The infinite regress objection is not solid enough to be presented as the kind of slam dunk Dr. Jeffreys is making it out to be. Unless you want to take Bertrand Russell's side of a highly constroversial philosophical argument over natural theology. I submit that Wikipedia is not the place to do that. SanchoPanza 17:53, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

It is interesting that I am attacked as merely an expert on astronomy, and not on philosophy of religion (not that I concede this claim), by an anonymous individual whose credentials are entirely opaque. I have always contributed in these electronic venues using my real name. This has been true since I first became involved with UseNet in the early 1980s, and it is still true here on WikiPedia, almost 25 years later. I don't use sock puppets, and I don't hide my identity.

Who is this "SanchoPanza" anyway? He doesn't even have a Wiki user page. Why should I, or anyone, pay attention to his ruminations about my qualifications when we can't find out about his own qualifications to speak on any issue whatsoever? If he is really an expert in the field of Philosophy of Religion, why doesn't he demonstrate this by identifying himself by real name and revealing his credentials? Why does he hide behind a pseudonym, if he is such an expert? What does he fear? Bill Jefferys 02:48, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

Dr. Jefferys writes:

"For then one has to ask, who designed the space aliens?"

No, one does not. You're objecting to the wrong argument. Maybe there is an infinite regress of space aliens. Some Hindus believe in an infinite regress of elephants, one on top of the other, supporting the universe. What does this have to do with the price of tea in China? The conclusion of a design inference argument is not the discovery of a necessary, non-contingent Being. If it were, then your objection would speak to it, although, as I pointed out, even this objection has been addressed by philosophers and natural theologians. A simple, straightforward perusal of Aristotle's Physics beta, which I'm sure you've read, should put this objection to rest. But hang on to it if you must.

With regards to a design inference, however, it is a total and complete non sequitur. At no point of a design inference is this objection relevant. What part of the argument could it possible refute? All that this objection proves -- if it were successful -- is that the purported designer is contingent, not a necessary being. But DI does not object to this. It merely ascribes the property of "having been designed" to the object in question. It makes no predications about the designer.

Many of you want DI to be natural theology. You'd really like it to make claims it doesn't make, so you can bring out all the old warhorse objections that have been kicking around since Hume. Unfortunately for you, the DI argument, as a self-contained philosophical argument, is simply modest and restricted as to the scope of its conclusion. Protest and interpolate all you want, it doesn't change the fact of what is being argued in a proper design inference. SanchoPanza 18:11, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

One other thing -- many commentators here, including Dr. Jeffrys and FeloniusMonk, seem to think that The Wedge Document is the design inference. While it's interesting from a political/sociological standpoint, it is not part of the philosophical argument. I myself think it is a highly questionable cultural strategy, even if one agrees with its Christian intent. But that doesn't affect my understanding of the design inference itself. There is no content in the Wedge Document that affects The Design Inference one way or the other, and this article should point that out. If what you are really concerned about, Dr. Jeffrys, is the Wedge Strategy, wouldn't it be more advantageous to separate the design inference from the political goals associated with it? Or does the scarier associations of the Wedge and Discovery work better for your philosophical goal of refuting ID at all costs? SanchoPanza 18:25, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

The Wedge strategy as detailed in the Wedge Document speaks to the leading ID proponent's intent and credibility, that is all. The real issue is: Is the Wedge Document an adjunct to the Design Argument, or does is the Design Argument serving the Wedge strategy? Reading the Wedge Document, the latter appears to be the case, though we leave it for the reader to decide here. FeloniousMonk 19:25, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Bill Jeffries - you missed a potential source of intelligence. Read up on quantum computing a bit (for instance did you know that IBM implemented the first working qubits using the spin states of carbon atoms in amino acids as storage elements?) then tell me what physical law(s) prohibits a quantum neural network (a computer that learns) from existing in any or all forms of life from the simplest bacteria on up. Would this qualify as an intelligent agent in ID theory? Bill Dembski said it does when I asked him. 19:22, 25 October 2005 (UTC)Dave Springer (emeritus systems design engineer from Dell Computer Corporation).

Two appeals to authority in one post. And one's authority on the subject matter is questionable... FeloniousMonk 19:36, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Sancho Panza is incorrect. My argument was not an infinite regress argument, but rather a statement that in a universe of finite age there cannot be an infinite regress of designers within that universe. This is for physical reasons, not philosophical ones.
He is also incorrect to assert that one does not have to ask who designed the space aliens. Recall, that my comments were addressed to the question as to whether ID has religious implications. It does, if the observation of intelligent design implies the existence of god(s). It does imply the existence of god(s). Therefore, ID is religious, apart from any claims made by its current crop of proponents.
Now you can make the rhetorical point (as Dembski does) that ID "theorists" are only interested in detecting the fact of design, but uninterested in determining the nature of the designer(s). Apart from the fact that it is very odd for people claiming to be making scientific arguments to be uninterested in learning about the mechanisms involved in what they are studying, the fact is that (as other evidence has made abundantly clear) that the ID-ers are quite interested in the nature of the designer, and in fact they identify it with their favorite diety. The "we are only interested in the fact of design and not the nature of the designer" is simply a ploy, and indeed is a falsehood, designed to conceal the religious intent of the modern Intelligent Design movement for the very good reason that only in this way does ID have a chance of passing first amendment muster.
As for the quantum computer argument, I rather doubt that such computers can exist in bacteria (loss of conherence, you know). But suppose otherwise. Are you suggesting that the intelligent designers might be bacteria? I am sure the good citizens of Dover, PA would be interested to learn this. Bill Jefferys 20:53, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Bill Jeffries - you dodged the question about what physical laws prohibit QC in a cell. If you don't know of any just say so. Your unsubstantiated doubt isn't worth spit especially given you're a stargazer and I'm actually a computer design engineer. I'm suggesting that neural networks can exist in cellular machinery and that these neural networks can evolve, respond to their environment with heritable genetic and epigenetic modification, and in their actions exhibit the characteristic signs of intelligence. Address the points if you can and leave the straw men at home when you come out to play. 14:53, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
Again, insults bracketed by fallacious appeals to authority. (talk · contribs) has admitted to being "DaveScot" at Anyone else notice he sounds an awful lot like (talk · contribs) "Dave Springer...emeritus systems design engineer from Dell Computer Corporation"? Instead of trolling and insulting contributors in good standing here, is the one who needs to leave something at home when he comes out to play; that something being his incivility and the misbegotten notion that this page and its article are a playground. FeloniousMonk 17:08, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

Let me help with your stalking of me, FeloniousMonkey. Yes, both are me and I made no attempt to hide that fact. One IP address is my home computer and the other is the computer on my yacht. In the future you might just try asking politely if you want to know more about me. --DaveScot 19:09, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
For the record, I specifically pointed to the physical laws that would probably prohibit QC in a cell. The problem is that to do quantum computing, you have to maintain coherence [misspelled in my original note, perhaps this is why you missed it]. In a situation like a cell, I am very dubious that one would not get instant decoherence in the environment of a biological cell, and I would have to have experimental evidence to be convinced otherwise. One of the things about being an astronomer/astrophysicist is that one has to understand physics. Quantum physics and all that entails is part of the astronomer's armamentum.
"physical laws that would probably prohibit" Good one, Doc. Is "probably" a technical term you use a lot in your field of expertise? LOL
Your notion that neural networks might exist in a biological cell is different. Neural networks do not have to be based on QC. They can be based on classical computing technology (and are, e.g., Bayesian networks). That they might exist in single cells is interesting, if highly speculative. I would again want experimental evidence before going further. Bill Jefferys 18:01, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
Mobile elements jump around the DNA molecule like hot grease in a frying pan. Nobody knows what they're doing. Given the extreme complexity of other cellular machinery it's hardly a challenge for nature to have evolved nanoscale neural networks at the cellular level. QC is widely regarded as being able to predict protein folding and my observations of nature indicate that nothing that can be accomplished by science & engineering should be denied to nature accomplishing before humans did. You of course are free to place bounds on nature wherever you want subject to your anti-Copernican mediocrity bias that nothing intelligent exists in the universe except on this planet in last few thousand years. Far be it from me to urge you towards objectivity or an understanding of what is physically possible - teaching old dogs new tricks isn't my thing. DaveScot 18:54, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
Bill Jefferys writes: "I would again want experimental evidence before going further." Join the club, doc. I want experimental evidence that the accumulation of random mutations filtered through natural selection eventually produces novel cell types, tissue types, organs, and body plans. As far as computers in cells... they're already there. The question isn't whether they exist but what all they're doing. DNA/ribosome is nothing if not a computer controlled milling machine that cranks out 3D structures (proteins) according to coded instructions (genes). It's classic von Neuman architecture. Those genes are only a fraction of the information coded into the DNA molecule. What's the function of the rest of the code? What else are these biological computers doing? Could they be responsible for the overwhelming appearance of design in nature? These are questions worthy of research. They are also questions prompted by ID which is nothing more or less than the hypothesis that design can be mathematically distinguished from non-design and that design exists in nature independent of and prior to human causation. There's nothing to be afraid of in that except perhaps if you're an anti-religion secular humanist Copernican mediocrity denying whackjob and don't care for the implications behind non-human intelligence in the universe. Are you one of those whackjobs, Bill? I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you're not but so far in my experience it's become almost a law of nature that anyone dogmatically opposed to ID is one of those whackjobs. DaveScot 19:38, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
"anti-religion secular humanist Copernican mediocrity denying whackjob" And you wonder why your arguments and objections get no traction here...? You do your side a genuine disservice with shabby rhetoric like that. Your Bill should be real proud. To our Bill here: Please don't feed the trolls. FeloniousMonk 19:47, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
No, I don't wonder at all. Civility doesn't work. Look at all the civil attempts to get reasonable NPOV edits in this article - all fail. You, FeloniousMonkey, and your ilk embrace your evolutionary narrative like religious scriptures. Your secular worldview doesn't permit non-human intelligence to exist in the universe. Talk about hubris. Nothing will shake your faith in it. 17:36, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
I'll try not to, Felonius Monk. When people start calling me names, I realize that they don't have a real argument, and I bow out. Bill Jefferys 22:53, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
Good deal, Jefferys. I work better without interruption from the peanut gallery. Dodder off now. They're asking for you by the shuffleboard at Sun City. 17:36, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
Dr. Jeffreys writes:

in a universe of finite age there cannot be an infinite regress of designers within that universe. This is for physical reasons, not philosophical ones.

There are at least two wrong assumptions in this argument. One, that all of the designers are contingent and non-necessary, necessitating the infinite regress; and Two, that they are physically extended beings in this universe. Of course, a non-contingent, non-spacially confined being looks rather divine from human perspective. But to rule this possibility out by philosophical fiat sets up the reverse situation, which is positivism: the only possible object of rational thought must always being empirically verifiable, at least in theory. This view of epistemology has been shown to be problematic, and there are very few philosophers who adhere to it currently.
Further, it is irrelevant even then. The fact that a successful ID argument might bring about a bit of a conundrum for a strictly naturalistic, reductionist worldview is hardly grounds for rejecting it, if the argument itself is sound.
And further still, why are we having this debate? The discussion should be to whether or not the article itself fairly presents both sides. The infinite regress argument, or any variation thereof, has not been consistently successful at refuting ID. I'm not aware of any serious philosophical opponent of ID who consistently pulls it out, and I do try to keep up. If I'm wrong here, please correct me. And while Dr. Jeffrys certianly counts as a scientific critic of IDers like Guillermo Gonzalez in the realm of astronomy, I'm not sure we should count his particular take on the philosophical implications of ID as in any way definitive of the opposing viewpoint. No offense. SanchoPanza 21:44, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Again, that's not a call for SanchoPanza to make. Things are decided by consensus here, and the community affords each contributor whatever credibility it deems they merit. Consistently high quality contributions, like Jeffrys', are reflected in the community's esteem and trust of him. SanchoPanza needs to stop trying discredit those he opposes since it's considered a form or personal attack. Instead, he should trying making his arguments on their merits... like the rest of have. FeloniousMonk 22:02, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
I gave very specific reasons why Dr. Jefferys objection should not be considered a standard objection to ID, and why it isn't relevant to the article. It has no historical importance, because, very simply, as far as I know, such an argument has not been published in a peer-reviewed philosophical journal or otherwise been successful in a forum where ID was debated in a respectable academic setting.
Your vision of Wikipedia seems very different from the one I've come to expect over the years, reading some of the very high quality philosophical articles here. Most of them read like high-end essays pulled out of The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. You seem to think that Wikipedia should be a forum where the community decides what good philosophy is by consensus, rather than a community deciding what the facts on the ground are, and reporting them accurately. Philosophy itself is not generally pulled off that well by committee.
I'm not interested in engaging in a lengthy philosophical debate about ID here for this very reason. If you want to do that, we can find another forum. But unless your name is H. Allen Orr, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Dembski, Ruse, Forrest, Behe, Johnson, or any of the signifigant players in the discussion, or can otherwise demonstrate a mastery of the subject much, much higher than what has been demonstrated here so far, in my opinion your philosophical take on the subject is irrelevant to the goals of Wikipedia, which should be to simply and humbly attempt to report the facts. If that's being disruptive, then I'll bow out. --SanchoPanza

SanchoPanza: " Of course, a non-contingent, non-spacially confined being looks rather divine from human perspective."
Yep, like I said, "Looks Sounds pretty much like a god to me." And, I would venture, to most everyone else too. Bill Jefferys 22:40, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Ok, (and it seems I am getting involved in a philosophical debate over ID) but I also said

But to rule this possibility out by philosophical fiat sets up the reverse situation, which is positivism: the only possible object of rational thought must always being empirically verifiable, at least in theory. This view of epistemology has been shown to be problematic, and there are very few philosophers who adhere to it currently.

Setting aside for the moment that the objection is irrelevant to a local design inference anyway, can you rule out non-contingent, non-extended beings from the realm of philosophical discourse without committing yourself to some kind of naive positivism? -- SanchoPanza 04:09, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
Dr. Jefferys wrote:

So the aliens have to be IC and CSI, and invoking space aliens hasn't solved the problem.

See, you've confused Michael Behe for St. Thomas Aquinas. Michael Behe isn't trying to solve the "problem" of how to account for all contingent beings in the universe. He's trying to examine one particular biological entity, rationally and consistently. Now, stretch for a moment and just -- for the sake of argument -- assume that he has been successful in inferring the design of the bacterial flagellum. All of his data is in order, and his use of Dembski's EF is sound, valid and all that good stuff. There is no further "problem" to be solved at this point. Behe's local problem is taken care of, and he can move on. Until someone produces the space alien in question, there's nothing to work on, no data to examine no alien to wonder about. All we have is the abstract quality of "having been designed" applied to the object at hand. If you want to postulate about where any contingent entity comes from, you can look to Aristotle, St. Thomas, or William Craig for that matter. But that's a different philosophical problem.
There's no more of a connection between infinite regress and a CSI object than there is between infinite regress and any contingent, non-necessary object under any kind of investigation. SanchoPanza 04:57, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
If you want to discuss CSI, that article is down the hall. FeloniousMonk 05:17, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
SanchoPanza: "Setting aside for the moment that the objection is irrelevant to a local design inference anyway, can you rule out non-contingent, non-extended beings from the realm of philosophical discourse without committing yourself to some kind of naive positivism?"
Since any data are consistent with the existence of such entities, it is not possible to rule out such entities. Period. I wouldn't even bother trying to do so.
This is also why ID has nothing to do with science, and everything to do with religion. Scientific propositions are vulnerable to evidence. The entities you propose are not. They are, as you said, an awful lot like gods. Bill Jefferys 16:01, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
There are philosohical, not religious, problems with the de facto positivism you're trying to set up in order to rule out ID, but as I myself have argued this is not the place to hash out those issues, so I'm going to let it lie. Thanks for the responses. SanchoPanza 18:04, 26 October 2005 (UTC)


We've been through the NPOV cycle endless times before, discussed it at length and see nothing that has substantially change in the aryicle or with ID, other than someone now thinks it's clearly dominated by Darwinists. Based on that, I will revert.--CSTAR 00:40, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Agreed. This is probably the most common objection seen, and one raised invariably by ID proponents who show up here. The article's content well-supported by evidence and by policy. New arrivals merely resurrecting old objections should be directed to the archives, and perhaps have why that particular objection fails to hold water explained once to them. Beyond that, they're going to have to get used to having both the pro and con of ID enumerated. FeloniousMonk 01:25, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
Maybe we can make a FAQ of common objections and link it from the top of the article? Jokestress 01:32, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
Good idea. FeloniousMonk 02:03, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
Ah, but there's the rub. The reason the objections keep coming is because the flaws in the article still exist. I fully agree that "having both the pro and con of ID enumerated" is great. But having the con enumerated and the pro obfuscated is another matter altogether.--Gandalf2000 04:08, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
Flaws? Perhaps the flaw is with those who don't know about the material deciding what "enumeration" and "obfuscation" is in regards to these subjects. Joshuaschroeder 04:53, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
The flaws have to do with the tone, structure, and characterizations in the article. It's not necessarily the material, but the way the material is presented. Animus dominates the article, an attempt to put the most negative spin on every controversial or disputed assertion -- and this is particularly obvious not on issues of content, but implications of motive and character.
Big example #1: So what that many Christians support ID and look to other Christians for support of ID? It's a fact, but it's presented as a scandal.
How is it presented as a scandal? It is simply pointed out that while IDists claim an agnostic intent, it is an inescapable fact that they are Christian theists, and many of them were creationists until the ID movement caught on. So, please, give an example of how this is presented as a scandal. It looks more like you are just upset that the subject was brought up at all, which to me looks like you aren't familiar with the issues surrounding ID (since this particular subject is very important and is the crux of much of the current controversy). Joshuaschroeder 15:31, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
Wow. They admit that presuppositions influence science. I see that many of the contributors have a strong anti-Christian bias, as revealed on their User pages and contribution history. But in this article I don't see attacks against ID and arguments for naturalism framed as attacks against Christianity and/or theism, though I imagine that this contributes heavily to their means and motivation.
Contributors' views (or lack thereof) have no bearing on the subject material of any article here on Wikipedia inasmuch as articles are supposed to be descriptions rather than theses. You may, of course, question the motivations of contributors and criticize particular contributions that smack of bias or lack of NPOV, but a blanket condemnation such as only serves to be inflammatory and doesn't help in the editorial process. Give specific examples or stop harping. Joshuaschroeder 15:31, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
The ID movement states that it is trying to get the public debate out of religion into the realm of science and philosophy. But that can't be right; they certainly must be scheming, corrupt back-room power-brokers instead. And the ID opponents, why, they're all motivated by pure science. They have no personal convictions or presuppositions at stake because they're inherently neutral and unbiased.--Gandalf2000 15:21, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
If you can manage to rewrite a passage or section of the article to be less hostile, please go ahead. If you can do so without stating infactualities, sugarcoating the truth, or turning arguments around on themselves, your edits should not be reverted.
However, you must have noticed by now that from time to time, people drop by this page, and claim it's biased, sometimes without even bothering to read the article. If these people have a point outside of general discontentment, they have not yet made it. -- Ec5618 15:58, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
Apt words: "sugarcoating the truth". It seems the primary contributions have been sugarcoating and vinegar-coating....--Gandalf2000 06:16, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Intelligent design is not an assertion it is a philosophical hypothesis. This article is horrible and in no way should it be a featured article. Intelligent design is a philosophical hypothesis, not assertion, nor is it dogma. It always has been. Recently, in the United States and ONLY in the United States the hypothesis has been co-opted by Christians in order to spread their particular dogma of Christian creationism. Not only that, but Atheists have latched onto this movement to preach their gospel that intelligent design is an assertion and thus dogma. This is entirely ridiculous and very sad. Please talk to someone with a PhD in religion and/or philosophy and ask them to explain it to you. I'm not one of those people, but I do know that intelligent design as a concept is NOT an assertion, nor is it dogma. If you want to write an article about people who believe in the concept of intelligent design, GO TO THE THEIST PAGE. --Ben 00:59, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

If we're to be accurate, ID does not qualify as a philosophical hypothesis in any meaningful sense of the term. ID offers only philosophical objections to evolution, not any positive hypothesis for the intervention of a designer. ID rests on an inference.
Yes, ID proponents insist that their concerns are scientific and educational. And they say that their motives, wholly religious in nature according to their own statements, are irrelevant to the merits of their arguments. But the problem is there is no argument to ID, at least in the scientific sense. ID's entire contribution to science to date is an unsupported conclusion drawn from an inference that rests on a shaky premise, accompanied with a collection of criticisms of the scientific method and community.
The fact that the leader of the movement is a retired law professor shows the complete absence of scientific substance of their "hypothesis." Johnson may be an expert in law but he's an obvious dilletante in biology and science. The few ID proponents with legitimate science credentials have never produced scientific data to support their claims.
So in the absence of scientific accomplishment, ID's arguments rest solely on its proponents motives and goals, as revealed through their own pronouncements. Considering this, trying to write an article about ID without mentioning its' proponents and their motives and goals is like trying to write an article on Catholicism that ignores the priesthood. In that sense, I suppose you were right to advise us to consult a professor of religion to assist with writing the article.
Since philosophy has been brought up, Hume gutted the design argument in his "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion" a point worthy of a sentence or two in the article I think. FeloniousMonk 03:18, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

FeloniusMonk (PhD? MS? MDiv?) wrote:

That inference asserts that a certain premise is true — that life is too improbable to have arisen naturally. From this premise and inference the leap is made that the universe and the life contained therein are the result of some unidentified intelligent being performing some undefined action at some unspecified point in time. There is no hypothesis there, and what's is there is insufficient to discuss its scientific merit seriously, much less enumerate in the article as some "hypothesis."

This is very sloppy language, not to mention one of the most disasterously inaccurate statements of the design inference I've read so far, much less by someone writing signifigant portions of a public article on the subject. I doubt seriously Felonius has ever done graduate work in philosophy, but I'm open to being proven wrong. If I am, I want the number of his grad school to call and complain.

First of all, an inference doesn't "assert", it infers. Second, an inference doesn't arrive at a premise, it uses premises to arrive at conclusions. Third, one does not "leap" from a premise. If one has a premise to base an argument on it is not a leap, by definition. For someone who has supposedly read so much of the ID literature, you have not demonstrated that you have even a basic, tenuous grasp of the argument, nor of a rudimentary philosophical understanding that would provide a basis for the sweeping negative judgments you're making about it.

And this is my complaint. Felonius is not making arguments about what is the best, NPOV perspective of ID, he's making philosophical arguments against it. Whether or not he is qualified to do so (which he clearly -- so VERY clearly -- is not) is not the point. Once a major contributor to an article begins to insert himself directly into the debate, then we're no longer doing Wikipedia. We've left the realm of NPOV and entered the realm of vanity press.

Felonius needs to cease with the ad hoc philosophy and stick to source-citing to justify his edits and reverts.

I've added to the introduction. It is ok with me now.--Ben 02:05, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
FeloniousMonk could you explain what is factually inaccurate and pov about my addition to the disambiguation intro? Thanks. --Ben 04:32, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
No problem. The dablink template you created is pov as well as factually inaccurate because your template stated that the article is "about the American idiom Intelligent Design which concerns only anti-evolutionist Theists and teleological arguments for their beliefs." You're implying that there's another non-"American" form of intelligent design being proffered by non-"anti-evolutionist Theists." ID is a uniquely American product. There is only one "Intelligent Design" — the one being peddled by Behe, Dembski, Johnson, et al. Your template was significantly less helpful than that it replaced. FeloniousMonk 04:49, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
You say yourself that ID as the article describes it is a uniquely American product, so no problem there (though, for some reason, you mention it sarcastically as if there was a problem.) Secondly, there is another form. "Intelligent Design" as the article describes it is an idiom, in that the literal meaning of the phrase "intelligent design" is removed from the description. Homophora might be a better term rather than idiom. You admit as much yourself when you say ID is "the one being peddled by..." That is an idiomatic description, based on culture, not a literal description based on the meaning of the phrase "intelligent design" (in context of course). An example of another form would be someone who believes an intelligent designer designed evolution. This means these people believe in an intelligent designer and accept the theory of evolution. Deists believe this.[2]--Ben 05:07, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Again, your template was significantly less helpful than that it replaced; it muddled the issue. A disambiguation template is supposed to simply do just that, disambiguate. Not editorialize or expound. And you're missing the essential point that though there may be many sorts of people who believe in ID, there's really only one sort that is responsible for promoting it. Take a guess. FeloniousMonk 05:16, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Patently ridiculous. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. My addition directed people interested in "intelligent design" in the literal sense to the appropriate page: Theism, and disambiguated the topic by providing key differences between the article's write-up of Intelligent Design and Theism. Yours does not. This article itself borders on violating many Wikipedia policies, including original research, personal essay, and propaganda machine. This can be sorted out by others. I only want to provide disambiguation to direct people to the appropriate topic. Maybe you forgot to read my previous post: Deists believe in both intelligent design and evolution. In fact, the link I provided even mentions intelligent design in the question about Deism and evolution and further shows that intelligent design and deism are indeed frequently confused, saying "Intelligent Design Theory" is so-called "Creation Science" masquerading as Deism."--Ben 05:38, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
I apologize, my comments about the article violating Wikipedia policies was mainly done out of frustration. It is not integral to my point and I needn't have said it. I do believe from what I have read that it seems to me that the style of writing is very argumentative, but this for the most part is irrelevant to my main point about disambiguation. I do not know enough about the ID movement, nor have I examined the entire article closely enough to determine whether it violates policy. Note that of course I still maintain that my introduction is needed, helpful, neutral, and factual as per the reasons described above.--Ben 06:45, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Felonius has clearly made this article one of his pet projects and considers himself an expert on ID. He is one of the most active, if not the most active, editors of this article, both with additions and reverts. SO, let's say Felonius were a tenured philosohy professor or an actual research scientist. That would still not justify statements like this one, on a Wikipedia discussion page, where the ostensible project is to present both sides of a position without bias: "If we're to be accurate, ID does not qualify as a philosophical hypothesis in any meaningful sense of the term."

What is your definition of a "philosophical hypothesis" Felonius? Can you cite the source? What are your credentials for making this grandiose assertion?

This is absurd. Felonius' motives are clearly suspect, not to mention the fact that his credentials to make pronouncements like this, even in a debate, are highly questionable. Until this community can find a way to limit abuses like this, Wikipedia's credibility will suffer. How can anyone hope that the article can be brought in line with NPOV when even the discussion page does not focus on simple, humble citations of arguments and texts, and is so rife with such tendentious nonsense? SanchoPanza 17:25, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

What "abuse" - knowledgeable editors writing about things they know about? Can you explain what is wrong with that statement? It really doesn't matter what you think about FM (who, from his writing and depth of knowledge is probably either a prof or a doctoral student). Can you provide some evidence that it does qualify as a philosophical hypothesis? As far as I can see, it lacks clear logical structure. Dembski's "filter" is logically flawed. Behe's examples of irreducible complexity is a moving target, it isn't formulated clearly enough to be disproven. So, from a philosophical standpoint, there is no hypothesis because there is no way to test the hypothesis (or hypotheses) as a whole. Whatever the underlying "reason" for this, the fact is that the final product is a not a philosophically valid hypothesis.
As for a source - why not start with Popper's Conjecture and Refutation? Guettarda 18:17, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
I've read C&R, as well as Objective Knowledge, which is more than I can say for most scientists who've come out of the woodwork screaming "unfalsifiable!!" at ID. Sir Karl does not command anything like consensus on the question of what constitutes philosophy. Popper is the last refuge of reductionists (mostly science-types) who want to maintain a veneer of philosophical credibility -- and no more. In actual philosophy, continental or analytic or otherwise, there is very little consensus as to what philosophy is. Some would say Nietzsche isn't philosophy at all, maybe not even Plato. Philosophy is an ongoing dialogue that has offered as many answers to that question as there are major philosophers.
But on any reasonable examination, a man like William Dembski, who has two PhD's, one in philosophy, who addresses long-standing objections to one of the oldest philosophical arguments in the canon, and has his work published on Cambridge Press, has every right to have his work called "philosophical," and I guarrantee you some off-hand comment in the discussion section of Wikifreakinpedia doesn't change that. SanchoPanza 18:45, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Actually Popper is rolling over in his grave having his name abused to support a failed hypothesis.
(I took the liberty of replacing "Marx" with "Darwin" wherever it appeared. This yields a hilarious result.)
The Darwinist account of history too, Popper held, is not scientific, although it differs in certain crucial respects from psychoanalysis. For Darwinism, Popper believed, had been initially scientific, in that Darwin had postulated a theory which was genuinely predictive. However, when these predictions were not in fact borne out, the theory was saved from falsification by the addition of ad hoc hypotheses which made it compatible with the facts. By this means, Popper asserted, a theory which was initially genuinely scientific degenerated into pseudo-scientific dogma. 19:39, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Just don't try to call it science. All the appeals to authority can't change that. FeloniousMonk 19:13, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
There was no appeal to authority. I made no argument about what philosophy is, just that your statement that ID was not philosophy was ridiculous. Even most of the ID critics will say things like "teach ID in philosophy class, but not science." SanchoPanza 03:24, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
You're confused. I said ID doesn't qualify as a hypothesis, philosophical or otherwise. I've never commented on ID status as philosophy. FeloniousMonk 03:37, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
Is your argument that, since there is no clarity as to what philosophy is, you cannot call something not a "philosophical hypothesis"? That's ridiculous - if your point is that philosophy can't be defined, then you can't say that someone else's definition is invalid.
But on any reasonable examination, a man like William Dembski, who has two PhD's, one in philosophy, who addresses long-standing objections to one of the oldest philosophical arguments in the canon, and has his work published on Cambridge Press, has every right to have his work called "philosophical,"
Apart from being a fallacious argument from authority, FM wasn't saying that Dembski's work wasn't "philosophical" (although how you can argue this up pr down is rather strange) - he said that ID was not a hypothesis in a philosophically valid sense (as opposed to "hypothesis" in the common English usage of the word). I asked you to explain how it is - if you can't explain how his statement is wrong, you really don't have the right to get upset about it.
I'm sorry that you are so impressionable that you are dazzled by two PhDs. Personally, most of the time getting a second PhD shows either a lack of focus, or a desire to dazzle people with credentials rather than with substance. There are at least two PhDs on this page opposed to ID, and they are connected to separate brains - by your reasoning you should be more dazzled by us. As for the juxtaposition of the CUP pub - that's just dishonest, to try to use it bolster your argument that Dembski's work counts as philosophy.
As for your claim to have read Popper, obviously you must have missed the point if you say that ID is a falsifiable hypothesis. I recommended it because what you have written suggests that you are deeply confused about what constitutes the philosophy of science. If you are still that confused as to what a hypothesis is, and what falsifiability is, then you should remedy that deficiency in your understanding before you engage in attacks on others. Guettarda 19:29, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Guettarda said:

Apart from being a fallacious argument from authority, FM wasn't saying that Dembski's work wasn't "philosophical" (although how you can argue this up pr down is rather strange) - he said that ID was not a hypothesis in a philosophically valid sense (as opposed to "hypothesis" in the common English usage of the word).

I ask you -- what's the difference? Here's the original quote (which, I note, has been since removed):

If we're to be accurate, ID does not qualify as a philosophical hypothesis in any meaningful sense of the term. ID offers only philosophical objections to evolution, not any positive hypothesis for the intervention of a designer. ID rests on an inference.

SanchoPanza 20:43, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
What's the difference? I'm sorry, now I'm truly baffled. Are you asserting that ID does offer a positive hypothesis for the intervention of a designer? That is new to me. I have never heard anyone make that assertion before.
I also think it's offensive for you to quote me out of context in such a way that it looks like my comment about your fallacious appeal to authority somehow applies to FM. But...typical tactic of ID/YEC. Guettarda 20:50, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Somewhere the thread of this argument got lost in translation. I have no idea why you're offended. I didn't quote you maliciously. Any amibiguity in that sentence is all your own, and that wasn't even the part I was referring to. I was pointing out that your distinction between "philosophical" and "a hypothesis in a philosphically valid sense" is meaningless, which it is.
I'm not even sure what the phrase "positive hypothesis for the intervention of a designer" means. I'm not being "nitpicky" by pointing out that all this ad hoc philosophizing is beyond the ken of both you and FM. If you don't have a serious background in philosophy, i.e., a graduate degree or are doing graduate work, or can otherwise acquit yourself as a well-read autodidact in this area, you should keep the discussion oriented towards making sure this article is fair and substantive.
Again, all of this is so far afield from what should be happening in this discussion. I don't mind that the substantive criticisms of ID are placed in this article in all their glory. But the article and this discussion has become simply an anti-ID screed, as your final comment clearly shows. SanchoPanza 03:24, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
It is not for you to determine or dictate who is or is not qualified to edit and in which area. At wikipedia anyone is allowed to contribute in whatever way they choose within the policies and guidelines. Further, you're making assumptions about others that violate WP:FAITH. You've been warned about this before. If you continue to attempt to suppress others in this manner you can be temporarily blocked from editing for being disruptive. Take the time to read WP:CIVIL and WP:RULES. Having to constantly reign you in is getting tiresome and your welcome is wearing thin. FeloniousMonk 05:28, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
So all opinions are welcome, except the ones that question the editors general methodology according to the WP guidlines? Who is dictating to whom here? The policies and guidelines, as I've read them, state very clearly that articles are not to be argumentative. Are you going to respond to my objection that your personal philosophical justification for edits and reverts are irrelevant and out of bounds according to WP:NPOV, or are you just going to quote more guidelines at me? Sure, all points of view should be welcome, but when editors are citing Hume and Popper to justify tendentious edits, rather than going directly to the subject at hand, then what we're doing is actual philosophy rather than objective fact-gathering, and that constitutes non-NPOV. Answer me this one question directly, FM, without quoting guidlines like a boy scout: is the point of this discussion page to arrive at a NPOV as regards ID as presented in the literature or is it to arrive at novel philosophical discoveries?? Which approach is closer to the WP guidelines? Which does WP do well, and which would be a total disaster? SanchoPanza 06:35, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
The project's goal is to have articles that reflect reality. "As presented in the literature" is just one aspect of that. In all article all significant and credible povs are to represented fully and fairly. This article does just that, as the supporting cites and refs attest, despite your best efforts to characterize it otherwise.
You need to tone-down your bullying and badgering tone and rhetoric if you want to continue here and be taken seriously. You've already been warned about your disruptive behavior. FeloniousMonk 06:49, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
There's still a very simple question on the table: should edits/reverts be justified by appeals to general philosophical principles in the context of a novel, ad hoc philsophical critique of ID, or should they be justified by closer examination of the sources in question? I don't dispute that the article is repleat with accurate citations. What I object to is philosophical argumentation. It's one thing to provide accurate representations of the numerous critiques of ID out there. It's another thing to use this discussion page to develop one's own novel philosophical critique apart from what's out there in the public record. The world simply doesn't care what WP editors happen to think is or isn't good philosophy. It seems to me that the goal of an article like this should be to present both sides in such a way that either party concerned would look at the article and say, "yeah, that's what we think. That's fair." I don't think this article resembles that in any way, and the reason for much of that, it would seem, is that many of the main contributors hold their own philosophical opinions higher than that of the parties concerned. That, to me, is not NPOV. SanchoPanza 07:28, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
Dude - what philosophical argument? You mean that ID as an "hypothesis" lacks anything upon which to derive positive inference? Apart from the fact that it's patently obvious to anyone who looks at it, it's an argument that has been made all over the place. Sorry I don't have any ref's at hand, but it something you come across in many, many published accounts. Nothing novel in that. Anyone who has read any critical analysis of ID has come across that assertion. Who are you trying to fool? Guettarda 12:25, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
[After edit conflict] It isn't malicious to quote my comments to mean the opposite of what was intended? As for knowing what an hypothesis is - I'd say my background - formal in science, informal in philosophy of science - are adequate for that. But maybe you need to heed your own advice and stop talking about things which you obviously do not understand. Once again, are you able to provide any evidence to back up your attack on claims that ID lacks a positive hypothesis? I couldn't care less about whether the terminology matches the jargon you picked up in your "computer science with a course in philosophy" background...the point is that, having made the complaint, the onus is on you to "put up or shut up". ID does not say anything - it merely says "there are holes in naturalistic science". Is that an hypothesis? Please support your assertion, instead of wandering off on tangents to attack people. What next - will you attack people's grammar and spelling on the talk page - and back it up with the fact that Dembski knows how to spell? You're being absurd. And, more to the point, you have yet to answer a single one of my questions. It's simple, you went off on a whole tirade about FM's statement about ID's shortcomings as an hypothesis. Please support your assertion - a single shred of evidence would be nice. And then, after you have dealt with the substantive things, feel free to go off about how badly people spell. Guettarda 05:31, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
Guettarda -- there was no malicious intent in my quote. In your entire rant you did not demonstrate this, nor respond to anything I actually wrote. I supported my assertion three posts ago. I'm done talking to you. SanchoPanza 06:35, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
So, let's see - you have wasted people's time here, and you refuse to back up your claim with a single shred of evidence, and you have not answered a single one of my questions. So why are you wasting people's time here? Simple choice - support your accusations, or withdraw them. Is that too difficult a concept for you? As for my failure to respond to anything you wrote - quit making up fantasies. I have simply asked you to back up your accusation - you have responded with insults and by enumerating Dembski's degrees. You have not gotten close to supporting your accusation. So - do you have a point, or are you simply being disruptive/trolling? Guettarda 07:02, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
"Rant"? You've been warned about being civil here and not mischaracterizing others. Continue to badger and bully others and you will be blocked from editing. FeloniousMonk 06:53, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
I've been falsely accused of being malicious with my quoting. I was accused of "being absurd" and "going off on a whole tirade." I was told to "heed my own advice" and "stop talking about things you don't understand." I was very bizzarely accused of critiquing people's spelling, and my background and qualifications were not-so-subtly impugned. But the one thing you notice was that I used the word "rant," and therefore I'm the bully. Whatever, Felonius. Block away if it makes you feel better. SanchoPanza 07:05, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
My comments were based solely on what you said, dude. You claim expertise in areas, but your logic contradicts itself. Which suggests that you learned a few big words in a class and are parroting them back. You used Dembski's list of degrees as proof of...something... You came in attacking, and you have refused to back up your attack. When questioned, you go off on a tangent, attacking people's wording and sentance construction. The obvious next step along which you were going would be to critise spelling. You made an accusation based on the substance of ID as an hypothesis. That's a valid point to raise here. But you have not shown that your criticism has any more substance than would an criticism of spelling. So, you have no point - you are only here to attack other editors. Please refrain from doing so. Your edits here are disruptive, they are full of personal attacks, and they appear to be trolling. If you ever had a point, make it. If not, stop insulting people. Simple enough. Guettarda 07:17, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

FeloniusMonk wrote:

That inference asserts that a certain premise is true — that life is too improbable to have arisen naturally. From this premise and inference the leap is made that the universe and the life contained therein are the result of some unidentified intelligent being performing some undefined action at some unspecified point in time. There is no hypothesis there, and what's is there is insufficient to discuss its scientific merit seriously, much less enumerate in the article as some "hypothesis."

This is sloppy language, not to mention inaccurate.

First of all, an inference doesn't "assert", it infers. Second, an inference doesn't arrive at a premise, it uses premises to arrive at conclusions. Third, one does not "leap" from a premise. If one has a premise to base an argument on it is not a leap, by definition.

This is my complaint: Felonius is not making arguments about what is the best, NPOV perspective of ID, he's making philosophical arguments against it. Whether or not he is qualified to do so is not the point. Once a major contributor to an article begins to insert himself directly into the debate, then we're no longer doing Wikipedia. We've left the realm of NPOV and entered the realm of vanity press.

Felonius needs to cease with the ad hoc philosophy and stick to source-citing to justify his edits and reverts.

You know as well as I do that every valid inference must rest on valid premises for it's conclusion to be true. Premises are assertions. Hence an inference (or its conclusion) can be said to assert. I would say try reading Inference but clearly you're just nitpicking to silence what you perceive to be an opponent. So whether or not I'm right is not the point, is it?
This sort of tendentious, disruptive behavior in highly frowned upon by the community. For someone who's only been registered one day, you seem to know the landscape around here pretty well. Care to account for that? Perhaps you contributed here under another username. Regardless, you've been warned against being disruptive and WP:NPA. FeloniousMonk 20:10, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Well, it ain't exactly rocket science, Felonius. I'm a programmer who's in school part-time studying philosophy and I have an interest in ID. Does that satisfy you? I edited Intelligent design movement once, under an IP, which you reverted. There's no subterfuge.
My complaint remains that you have consistently made philosophical arguments against ID to justify your edits and reverts, rather than cite source texts of the authors in question and give a fair, charitable read of both sides. I'm not saying you can't have an opinion and still be somewhat objective. I'm saying that when you start citing Hume (inaccurately, I might add) to justify yourself, rather than citing the sources in question, i.e., major proponents of ID, then you've left NPOV. SanchoPanza 20:27, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts... or rules.
You're free here to challenge anyone's contributions or the reasoning used to sustain them, but not to disrupt or flame other contributors in so doing. You should not expect to receive much credence here when tossing out blanket statements. Also resurrecting issues previously settled without new evidence to present is considered by most here disruptive, and likely to earn you a place on their crank or ignore lists. Lastly, trust is what allows Wikipedia to function. WP:FAITH will get you started, but failing to account for past participation, contributing under false pretenses, etc. are all red flags. Clearly you know ground here. WP:FAITH enjoins me to give you the benefit of the doubt, but it doesn't mean I trust you. We've suffered a long string of disruptive POV vandals here, most of which were anon, some of which have been identified. So far your methods here have been no different than theirs. FeloniousMonk 20:46, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
I've taken the snarkier elements of my comments out, hopefully all in good wiki spirit. Consider that a retraction and an apology for any possible personal attacks. But I stand by my point that this discussion has become entirely too philosophical. When people are citing Popper and Hume and not Ruse, Behe or Dembski, then we're playing at philosophy, not contributing to the reputation of Wikipedia. SanchoPanza 20:53, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
SanchoPanza, it's considered bad form to even edit your own comments for content, especially after someone has responded to them. You can use <strike> </strike> to strike out your comments if you want. Like this.--Ben 22:12, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, Ben. Duly noted. SanchoPanza 03:24, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
Hiya, I just wanted to say that I was simply saying that "That there is an intelligent being who designed the universe" is a philosophical hypothesis. I do not know anything about Dembski or the merits of his arguments, though they certainly include this hypothesis.--Ben 22:05, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

The following passage from the first paragraph:

Though publicly ID advocates state that their focus is on detecting evidence of design in nature without regard to who or what the designer might be, in statements to their constituents and supporters, nearly all state explicitly that they believe the designer to be the Christian God.

seems unfairly weighted against ID and in favor of critics. A signifigant proportion of the ID literature has been dedicated to establishing that its conclusions to not entail belief in the Christian God. The structure "Though...nearly all state..." is argumentative, and has not given sufficient space as to how ID makes this distinction. It gives the impression that ID proponents make this distinction with a wave of the hand, but since we know they're all Christians, this distinction is meaningless, and an example of duplicity. I can put together a couple of sentences explaining more specifically how this distinction is made in the literature, for your perusal. I think this is important. If this issue is to be raised in the first paragraph, equal time should be given, particularly on a subject that has occupied a signifigant portion of the ID literature. SanchoPanza 14:21, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

That's a specious justification for a whitewash. The issue is not that "ID proponents make this distinction, but since we know they're all Christians, this distinction is meaningless." It's that they say one thing to the public — ID is not concerned with the identity of the designer — and a completely different thing to their constituency and supporters: "Intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John's Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory" -- William Dembski [3]
So the passage as it is is a simple descriptive statement of fact: ID proponents do publicly claim that their focus is on detecting evidence of design in nature only, but tell their constituents and supporters that they believe the designer to be God. And it's fairly worded as it is; it leaves out identifying explicitly duplicity on their part, but leaves it for the reader to decide on their own. No doubt as a motivated ID proponent you find it important to mitigate even the hint of duplicity from the desciption of ID proponents in the article. But if duplicity exists , then whitewashes, obfuscations or glossing over them will not satisfy the requirements for accuracy and completeness. This intro is the result of months of back and forth, compromise and research. I for one am not supportive of reopening it because ID proponents want to give it "equal time," whatever that is. FeloniousMonk 16:19, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
I suggest, Felonius, that if you can post a hyperlink to it, it isn't private. Second, the relationship between Dembski's faith and how he distiguishes ID from Christianity proper is spelled out clearly in Intelligent Design, which, you'll remember, has the subtitle "The Bridge Between Science and Theology." Your allegation that Dembski's connection between his faith and ID is "private," inferring that it is some kind of secret that he only let's out to some inner circle, is patently false, and not borne out in the literature. Dembski's Christianity has been front and center from the very beginning. Why would he go get an MDiv from Princeton if he wanted to keep his faith "private"? Virtually all of the ID advocates have been very direct with their statements regarding their personal beliefs, and just as direct as to how they distinguish between the common reason that underwrites ID and the personal faith that they connect to it in their devotional life.
The language is argumentative in its structure -- the "Though" sets up a suscpicious tone and is very leading; it most certainly does not "leave it to the reader." It telegraphs what it wants the reader to think about the motives of ID. SanchoPanza 17:39, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
That's a straw man; I've never said it was private. I said ID proponents tell the general public one thing and fellow travelers something completely different. This is well-supported and covered fairly in the article. The implication that doing this is disingenuous is left for the reader to discern. FeloniousMonk 18:27, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
It's not a straw man, it's a fair inference directly from your statement. You've opposed what ID says "publicly" to what they "tell their constituents and supporters." The opposite of "public" is "private." The clear implication is that you think there is subterfuge, an attempt to conceal their real agenda by only being open about their faith to sympathizers, while proclaiming something different to the public. This is the real straw man, because all of the statements about faith that you've presented as evidence are in fact part of the public record! There is no distinction between "public" ID and ID "for supporters." This is not born out by fact or direct inspection of the literature. If your contention that there is one version of ID for the public and one for supporters breaks down, then your justification for the leading language in the first paragraph carries no weight. SanchoPanza 20:19, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
Well, on this side, you have ID proponents saying: "Proponents of Intelligent Design regard it as a scientific research program that investigates the effects of intelligent causes. Note that Intelligent Design studies the effects of intelligent causes and not intelligent causes per se" And then they turn around and say: "The world is a mirror representing the divine life ... The mechanical philosophy was ever blind to this fact. Intelligent design, on the other hand, readily embraces the sacramental nature of physical reality. Indeed, intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory." And that's just one proponent, Dembski, in one book: Signs of Intelligence: Understanding Intelligent Design.
When you take clearly conflicting statements like that with other statements like:
"... intelligent design should be understood as the evidence that God has placed in nature to show that the physical world is the product of intelligence and not simply the result of mindless material forces. This evidence is available to all apart from the special revelation of God in salvation history as recounted in Scripture. ... To be sure, creationists who support intelligent design think it does not go far enough in elucidating the Christian understanding of creation. And they are right! ... Even so, there is an immediate payoff to intelligent design: it destroys the atheistic legacy of Darwinian evolution. Intelligent design makes it impossible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist. This gives intelligent design incredible traction as a tool for apologetics, opening up the God-question to individuals who think that science has buried God" --Dembski, [4]
...along with statements from the leadership like ""Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of Intelligent Design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools." [5], it's abundantly clear that they are taking out of both sides of their mouth. FeloniousMonk 21:15, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
Observation: It seems we're talking about two different issues, so let's keep them distinct. The main issue I have with the language in the first para is that it makes a distinction between "public" ID and something resembling "private" ID and uses this distinction to imply IDers have something to hide, or have two different messages for two different audiences. Since everything they've said is in the public record, as your citation demonstrates by way of making my point for me, I don't see how you can maintain that there is anything in the ID canon that is not "public."
Underlying this issue is the more basic question of whether or not Dembski's two statements are incompatible, or are in any way contradictory. They are not. It's perfectly natural that a Christian who believes in ID is going to connect the two in his personal devotional life. To expect otherwise or to expect that ID proponents would keep mum about this implication when addressing communities that share their personal beliefs is unreasonable. But this is no way makes Christianity essential to ID proper. You've taken something that was simply going to happen as a matter of course -- that Christian ID proponents would make a connection between their own faith and what they understand about nature by way of ID -- and turned it into a quasi-conspiracy. SanchoPanza 21:58, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
You'll have to do better than that to overcome the evidence against your explanation, which only might have been plausible were it not for the literally hundreds of other instances where Dembski and the leading ID proponents have written and spoken on the issue. There's no shortage of evidence for what the article states. They are doing a lot more than just "connecting ID to their personal religious beliefs in their personal devotional life" as you claim. Dembski specifically cites ID as opening science's door for Christian theology and that "Intelligent Design opens the whole possibility of us being created in the image of a benevolent God."
Dembski alone on the topic is conclusive and unambiguous:
  • ""[Intelligent Design has a] dual role as a constructive scientific project and as a means for cultural renaissance." --Dembski, keynote address, Research and Progress in Intelligent Design" (RAPID) conference, 2002
  • "Proponents of Intelligent Design regard it as a scientific research program that investigates the effects of intelligent causes. Note that Intelligent Design studies the effects of intelligent causes and not intelligent causes per se." --Dembski, Signs of Intelligence: Understanding Intelligent Design
  • "The world is a mirror representing the divine life ... The mechanical philosophy was ever blind to this fact. Intelligent design, on the other hand, readily embraces the sacramental nature of physical reality. Indeed, intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory." --Dembski, Signs of Intelligence: Understanding Intelligent Design
  • "... intelligent design should be understood as the evidence that God has placed in nature to show that the physical world is the product of intelligence and not simply the result of mindless material forces. This evidence is available to all apart from the special revelation of God in salvation history as recounted in Scripture. ... To be sure, creationists who support intelligent design think it does not go far enough in elucidating the Christian understanding of creation. And they are right! ... Even so, there is an immediate payoff to intelligent design: it destroys the atheistic legacy of Darwinian evolution. Intelligent design makes it impossible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist. This gives intelligent design incredible traction as a tool for apologetics, opening up the God-question to individuals who think that science has buried God" --Dembski, [6]
  • "The job of apologetics is to clear the ground, to clear obstacles that prevent people from coming to the knowledge of Christ," ... "And if there's anything that I think has blocked the growth of Christ [and] the free reign of the Spirit and people accepting the Scripture and Jesus Christ, it is the Darwinian naturalistic view.... It's important that we understand the world. God has created it; Jesus is incarnate in the world." --Dembski. National Religious Broadcasters, 2000
  • "Thus, in its relation to Christianity, intelligent design should be viewed as a ground-clearing operation that gets rid of the intellectual rubbish that for generations has kept Christianity from receiving serious consideration." --Dembski, Intelligent Design's Contribution To The Debate Over Evolution: A Reply To Henry Morris [7]
  • "If we take seriously the word-flesh Christology of Chalcedon (i.e. the doctrine that Christ is fully human and fully divine) and view Christ as the telos toward which God is drawing the whole of creation, then any view of the sciences that leaves Christ out of the picture must be seen as fundamentally deficient." --Dembski, Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology
  • "Intelligent Design opens the whole possibility of us being created in the image of a benevolent God." - Science Test, Church & State Magazine, July/August 2000.
  • "My thesis is that all disciplines find their completion in Christ and cannot be properly understood apart from Christ." --Dembski, Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology
  • "Christ is indispensable to any scientific theory, even if its practitioners do not have a clue about him." --Dembski, Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology
  • "Within naturalism, any intelligence is an evolved intelligence. Moreover, the evolutionary process by which any such intelligence developed is itself blind and purposeless. As a consequence, naturalism makes intelligence not a basic creative force within nature but an evolutionary byproduct. In particular, humans (the natural objects best known to exhibit intelligence) are not the crown of creation, not the carefully designed outcome of a purposeful creator, and certainly not creatures made in the image of a benevolent God. Rather, humans are an accident of natural history." Dembski, The Design Revolution [8]
  • "If you're a Christian, what is the theological payoff of Intelligent Design? It is important to realize that Intelligent Design is not an apologetic ploy to cajole people into God's Kingdom. Intelligent Design is a scientific research program. ...That said, Intelligent Design does have implications for theology. The most severe challenge to theology over the last two hundred years has been naturalism. Within western culture, naturalism has become the default position for all serious inquiry. From biblical studies to law to education to art to science to the media, inquiry is expected to proceed only under the supposition of naturalism. ...If fully successful, Intelligent Design will unseat not just Darwinism but also Darwinism's cultural legacy. And since no aspect of western culture has escaped Darwinism's influence, so no aspect of western culture will escape reevaluation in the light of Intelligent Design." --Dembski, The Intelligent Design Movement [9]
  • "But there are deeper motivations. I think at a fundamental level, in terms of what drives me in this is that I think God's glory is being robbed by these naturalistic approaches to biological evolution, creation, the origin of the world, the origin of biological complexity and diversity. When you are attributing the wonders of nature to these mindless material mechanisms, God's glory is getting robbed...And so there is a cultural war here. Ultimately I want to see God get the credit for what he's done - and he's not getting it." --Dembski, Fellowship Baptist Church, Waco, Texas, March 7, 2004
  • "The world is a mirror representing the divine life. The mechanical philosophy was ever blind to this fact. Intelligent design, on the other hand, readily embraces the sacramental nature of physical reality. Indeed, intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory." --Dembski, Signs of Intelligence: Understanding Intelligent Design
  • "The fine-tuning of the universe, about which cosmologists make such a to-do, is both complex and specified and readily yields design. So too, Michael Behe's irreducibly complex biochemical systems readily yield design. The complexity-specification criterion demonstrates that design pervades cosmology and biology. Moreover, it is a transcendent design, not reducible to the physical world. Indeed, no intelligent agent who is strictly physical could have presided over the origin of the universe or the origin of life." --Dembski, The Act of Creation: Bridging Transcendence and Immanence
  • "And another thing I think we need to be aware of is that not every instance of design we see in nature needs to be directly attributed to God. Certainly as Christians we believe there is an angelic hierarchy - it's not just that there's this physical material world and there's God. There can be various hierarchies of intelligent beings operating, God can work through what can be called derived intelligences - processes which carry out the Divine will, but maybe not perfectly because of the fall." --Dembski, Fellowship Baptist Church, Waco, Texas, March 7, 2004
Johnson's statements on the topic are even more damning:
  • "The Intelligent Design movement starts with the recognition that "In the beginning was the Word," and "In the beginning God created." Establishing that point isn't enough, but it is absolutely essential to the rest of the gospel message." --Johnson, foreword to Creation, Evolution, & Modern Science
  • "So did God create us? Or did we create God? That's an issue that unites people across the theistic world. Even religious, God-believing Jewish people will say, "That's an issue we really have a stake in, so let's debate that question first. Let us settle that question first. There are plenty of other important questions on which we may not agree, and we'll have a wonderful time discussing those questions after we've settled the first one. We will approach those questions in a better spirit because we have worked together for this important common end."" ... "It's [ID] inherently an ecumenical movement. Michael Behe is a Roman Catholic. The next book that is coming out from Cambridge University Press by one of my close associates is by an evangelical convert to Greek Orthodoxy. We have a lot of Protestants, too. The point is that we have this broad-based intellectual movement that is enabling us to get a foothold in the scientific and academic journals and in the journals of the various religious faiths." [10]
  • "To talk of a purposeful or guided evolution is not to talk about evolution at all. That is slow creation. When you understand it that way, you realize that the Darwinian theory of evolution contradicts not just the Book of Genesis, but every word in the Bible from beginning to end. It contradicts the idea that we are here because a creator brought about our existence for a purpose. That is the first thing I realized, and it carries tremendous meaning." He goes on to state: "I have built an intellectual movement in the universities and churches that we call The Wedge, which is devoted to scholarship and writing that furthers this program of questioning the materialistic basis of science. One very famous book that's come out of The Wedge is biochemist Michael Behe's book, Darwin's Black Box, which has had an enormous impact on the scientific world." ..."Now the way that I see the logic of our movement going is like this. The first thing you understand is that the Darwinian theory isn't true. It's falsified by all of the evidence and the logic is terrible. When you realize that, the next question that occurs to you is, well, where might you get the truth? When I preach from the Bible, as I often do at churches and on Sundays, I don't start with Genesis. I start with John 1:1. In the beginning was the word. In the beginning was intelligence, purpose, and wisdom. The Bible had that right. And the materialist scientists are deluding themselves." --Johnson, address, "How the Evolution Debate Can Be Won" Reclaiming America for Christ Conference [11]
  • "The objective (of the Wedge Strategy) is to convince people that Darwinism is inherently atheistic, thus shifting the debate from creationism vs. evolution to the existence of God vs. the non-existence of God. From there people are introduced to 'the truth' of the Bible and then 'the question of sin' and finally 'introduced to Jesus." --Johnson [12] "Darwinism: Science or Philosophy"
  • "If we understand our own times, we will know that we should affirm the reality of God by challenging the domination of materialism and naturalism in the world of the mind. With the assistance of many friends I have developed a strategy for doing this,...We call our strategy the "wedge." --Johnson, Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds
And there's the Wedge document [13], which states:
  • " Without solid scholarship, research and argument, the project would be just another attempt to indoctrinate instead of persuade."
  • ""Once our research and writing have had time to mature, and the public prepared for the reception of design theory, we will move toward direct confrontation with the advocates of materialist science through challenge conferences in significant academic settings. We will also pursue possible legal assistance in response to resistance to the integration of design theory into public school science curricula."
Again, taking in all their statements, your claims that leading ID proponents are not just paying lip service when they claim their focus is on detecting evidence of design in nature without regard to who or what the designer might be is a whitewash. What the article presents is sound and extremely well-supported; it's no conspiracy theory and there's plenty of additional evidence to support it. FeloniousMonk 23:53, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm familiar with most all of these quotes. No surprises here. First, it pretty well establishes that any distinction between a "public" ID and any other sort of ID is not meaningful. It's all public. They don't claim there is no cultural agenda. They very publically declare they absolutely have a cultural, religious agenda, and not just for an audience of "supporters," but for all the world to see, as you've demonstrated.
However, your point is well-taken that this is not simply a matter of Christians making a connection between ID and their faith as a matter of personal devotion. Obviously, evangelicals had a cultural agenda long before ID came along, and that they would seize upon ID as part of that agenda follows like night follows day.
But there is still a problem with the first paragraph. The structure of the phrase: "Though...nearly all state..." sets up a false connection tension between ID's philosophical claim of agnosticism (as made in The Design Inference, which is the basis for all subsequent claims to agnosticism) and The Discovery Institute's very public cultural agenda. The suspicion this creates in the reader is not justified. The reader absolutely should be made aware of The Discovery Institute's agenda, connections to Ahmundson (including his current personal beliefs), etc. But ID itself is and always has been agnostic -- it is simply incapable of making predications of anything except the object it examines, and when ID proponents claim that ID does not make predications about a specific designer, this is all that they mean. I think language should be inserted in this first paragraph that clarifies the nature and scope of ID's claim to agnosticism as that claim is made specifically in the literature, along with all relevant citations of the cultural agenda, The Wedge, Johnson's blockbuster quotes, etc. But there is no justification for the suspicious tone created at the end of the first paragraph, because there is no connection contradiction between the agnostic claim of ID and the fact of the cultural agenda. The two portions of that sentence are not connected by logic or fact.

"Defining Intelligent Design as science"

I have a few quibbles with this section of the article. I've meant to bring this up before, but as active as life can be I haven't gotten around to it, and as active as this page is it's hard to keep up! Sorry in advance if these have been dealt with. Paraphrasing, the section first defines science must be, and then goes on to point out how ID doesn't seem to keep up. It says that scientific theories must be Consistent (internally and externally). I take issue to the "externally" bit. Quantum mechanics and relativity seem to be at odds on certain things, though they are both good science. I don't believe that a scientific theory must be necessarily progressive, either, although it certainly helps. "I don't know" is a perfectly respectable scientific answer. If the previous theories (in this context, evolution) is somehow totally wrong, because evolution is such an encompassing field, no rival "theory" could really match it even though it's wrong. As for a theories tentativeness, I believe this requirement merely blurs theory and movement - which is for another section. What science says and what the "scientists" say are two different things.

I realize a lot of scholarship went into the making of this article, and I do believe it is one of the better ones (it cuts through the hype and gets to the heart of the matter, IMO). I realize these arguments sort of take the bite out of endnote #21. In endnote #25 I'd like to see a link for better support, because I don't think just an assertion would convince the jaded fencesitter. JustSomeKid

Thanks for the praise and the thoughtful comments and criticism. I think most of your concerns mentioned above are dealt with by the section's second paragraph (not counting the bulleted list):
"For any theory, hypothesis or conjecture to be considered scientific, it must meet at least most, but ideally all, of the above criteria. The fewer which are matched, the less scientific it is; and if it meets only a couple or none at all, then it cannot be treated as scientific in any meaningful sense of the word."
I agree, clearly "I don't know" is indeed an acceptable answer in science. But "I don't know, so it must be the result of supernatural intervention" is not. That Quantum mechanics and relativity appear to be not externally consistent on some points is an exaggeration; both are wholly consistent within the framework of empiricism and naturalism. Finding "gaps" in our current understanding doesn’t give a scientist carte blanche to fill it in with whatever she feels like and then call it science. Obviously there are plenty things we cannot yet fully explain — but science doesn't rush to find a way to explain it immediately with supernatural forces or other intellectual crutches. This goes to why any theory must be externally consistent; if it is internally consistent but externally inconsistant with other widely accepted theories, then it can be said to be less scientific than the alternative explanations that are equally internally consistent and more externally consistent. Keep in mind that the concept of both science and theory are a spectrum in which some explanations meet more of the criteria, others meet less. Those that meet none or one or two cannot b said to be scientific in any really meaningful way. Clear as mud, right? FeloniousMonk 18:03, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Have you ever read a book by an Intelligent Design advocate? What book? If you havent, that would explain your misunderstandings. But first, have you? Bloodwater 18:54, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

I've read most of the books from ID proponents, at least the major ones. I've read Behe's Darwins Black Box and Science and Evidence for Design. I've read Dembski's The Design Inference, The Design Revolution, Intelligent Design: The Bridge between Science and Theology, No Free Lunch, and the minor articles he's written. Also Johnson's Darwin on Trial, Reason in the Balance, Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds, The Wedge of Truth and the many articles he's written. And I've read the FTE's Of Pandas and People. I've also read Meyer's ID legal guidebook and most of the articles, blogs and videos on the subject. The majority of these books I own.
And you? Read many of these? How about any actual science books? Those by ID observers and critics? FeloniousMonk 19:22, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

That's very impressive but I don't understand how you can disregard it as science. Clearly it is scientific and it is based on scientific notions. How could you even begin to call it "religious," if it is not based on any know religion, but science instead. The only response to this that I have seen is that religious men support it. This reason can not be used to say that it is "religious." It seems like many people would throw down ID because it believes in an Intelligence. If science did extol the idea that there is a God, so be it.

Have you seen any DVD's by "Illustra Media?" That is a very interesting DVD series if you haven't already seen it. 20:25, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

I've seen two videos from Illustra: Unlocking the Mystery of Life, which I watched when it was shown on PBS, and The Privileged Planet, which I watched during the stink about it being shown at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
It's convenient that you should bring up Illustra Media, because it illustrates the problem here: Illustra Media is merely a front group for a creationist production company called Discovery Media [14]. Now if ID is strictly a scientific endeavor as you and other ID proponents claim, why are creationists producing their videos? Why is it largely only the Christian right that is underwriting the ID movement? It's because ID is a scientific veneer over a religious agenda. Every single leading ID proponent has publicly admitted as much. This is cited in the articles here. Dembski, Behe, Johnson, Meyer, Wells... each has proclaimed to the faithful that they are promoting a religious idea in ID and are serving a religious goal in so doing. Until one looks beyond the Discovery Institute's pre-packaged press release-ready version of events, mistaking ID for genuine science is not uncommon. In fact, that's just the way it's designed. FeloniousMonk 22:17, 22 October 2005 (UTC)
Trying to use scientific observations (such as the complexity of life) and then making untestable assertions that it was designed is not science. If you cannot test it, and/or it does not make testable predictions, you cannot call it science. To add insult to injury ID doesn't really explain origins; since it can include advanced aliens, but that doesn't specify how they did it. And that leaves the question where did the aliens come from? If one falls back to god, that doesn't explain anything. "God did it" is not scientific explanation. Understand? The premise of ID cannot be scientifically examined; even if its inferred from selective scientific evidence. - RoyBoy 800 22:26, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

For the record, User: is User:Bloodwater when he's not signed in. FeloniousMonk 22:44, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Again Monk, it is very true that Creationists support ID. It also may be true to say that many Creationists make videos under "Illustra Media." This is your proof that ID is Religious? If they use honest science to prove a point, that makes it religious? ID may have been made popular through Creationists organizations but the ideas did not orginate through them. The debate of intelligence in the universe can be traced to Plato and Aristotle. If Creationists thought that they should focus on science rather then the bible, how does that make ID religious? If science says yes, let it be, if that is the truth. If science says no, let it be, if that is the truth. I'm not positive but ID (the modern movement for court house purposes) may have been designed to not conform to any religion to make it easier to read about. For some reason, people are turned off when you talk about a particular God. For these reasons, ID is not religious. I go back to my previous statement,the only evidence you have for ID being religious is that religious men support it. It conforms to no religion but relies on scientific observation to infer intelligence.

One of the strategies employed by folks pushing these agendas is to utilize the fallacy of amphiboly: Confusing the issue by using language in an ambiguous way. In this case, it is by claiming that the ancient design argument is the same as ID.
It is true that the idea of a "design argument" is old, even ancient. And the term "intelligent design" has been used (rarely) before 1990. But "Intelligent Design" (note the capitalization) in the sense being used now is a brand-new religio-political pseudoscientific movement, inaugurated by Phillip Johnson and the Discovery Institute, and designed to circumvent the Supreme Court's ruling in Edwards v. Aguillard that ruled out earlier attempts to get creationism in and/or evolution out of the public school curriculum. If that decision had gone the other way, there would be no discussion of ID today. The strategy (devised by Johnson just after Edwards v. Aguillard) is to pretend that ID is a purely scientific, nonreligious alternative to evolution by not mentioning who the "designer" is supposed to be. But it won't wash.
The Discovery Institute, principal architect of ID, let the cat out of the bag when it put together the Wedge strategy document. This document makes absolutely clear not only the religious foundations upon which ID lies (in its call for "a broadly theistic understanding of nature"), but also the fact that ID is not a scientific, but a religio-political movement. The fact that there has not been any real research published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, even according the most liberal timetable in the Wedge Strategy document, is ample proof of this. Where is the peer-reviewed research? Why have almost all of the resources of the Discovery Institute in particular and the ID myrmidons in general been devoted to publishing popular books about their non-existent science and pushing political agendas, instead of doing the "dirty work" of actual research? The conclusion is obvious to those that have eyes to see and ears to hear. Bill Jefferys 00:56, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Bill, isn't it true that many Christians support the standard theory of evolution? That's rhetorical. It IS true and that particular view is called "theistic evolution". Now I ax ya, Bill, does that make standard evolution a "religious" view that should violate the establishment clause in the public square? Ya can't have your cake and eat it too. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Now kindly stop conflating people's religious beliefs with their scientific beliefs. I'm about as agnostic as they come and I'm an ID supporter (at least in assigning it enough merit to discuss as a possibility along with other hypothetical mechanisms in origin and diversity of life) purely on evidential grounds. I was an atheist until I read Denton's "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis" 15 years ago which convinced me that maybe I didn't have all the answers after all. But of course you do, right? 19:57, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
I am personally a Christian, and I obviously support the theory of evolution. This does not make evolution religion.
But ID is a different kettle of fish. The Discovery Institute, and Phillip Johnson, are the architects of ID. They invented ID for religious purposes, as the Wedge Document shows. There would be no ID if it were not for religion. So, ID is religion, and evolution is not.
You might be interested to know, by the way, that Denton has realized that he made some major blunders in Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, blunders that vitiate its conclusions. He is now singing a different tune. You might want to revisit this. Bill Jefferys 16:13, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

To answer RoyBoy, ID can indeed be tested. Evolution, on the other hand, can also be tested the same way. How can ID be tested? To answer this question, you need to understand what ID advocates base their conclusions off of. A main point is that Information can not come from nothing. Information can not develop by itself. Evolution says that Information can develop by itself through a series of mutation. Of course, life must first exist for mutation to occur. An element of chance or natural law must be employed to explain the origin of life. According to Gitt Werner, now a retired professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology, "there is no known law of nature, no known process and no known sequence of events which can cause information to orignate by itself in matter." Dr. Gitt has also written some Creationist papers. What he says stands. There really is no natural known law that produces information. If you can identify one, I would like to hear it. Also, if you identify one, you had better report it, because the scientific community has no knowledge of it. ID is testable because you can test to see if information can indeed develop through through nothing. So far, science has not observed this. Since science has not been able to observe this you can conclude that an intelligence did indeed create some intelligent aspects of life. You can conclude this because we already know that there is no law or process in which information can originate. Darwin understood that for his theory to be valid, you need transitional forms in the fossil record. We have increased our fossil record. Still, we have not found any transitional forms in the world. All creatures evolved, why can't we find any transitional forms? These transitional forms should be the most abundent fossils but they are not. In fact, "the missing link is still missing." Can we now conclude that Evolution is not scientific? Gitt werner- , Bloodwater 23:43, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

Thank you, Felonious Monk. I somehow missed the For any theory, hypothesis or conjecture to be considered scientific, it must meet at least most, but ideally all, of the above criteria. when scanning through the second paragraph. But I'd still like to see the last point, about ID's tentativeness, omitted because scientific ideas themselves don't declare themselves infallible, though it's proponents might declare it so. I'm going to go ahead and omit it for now.
Bloodwater, if any concept calls for the special creation of the universe and humanity as we know it, eschewing natural causation for a supernatural intelligent entity (i.e. a deity), then it is inherently creationism, and inherently religious. It's just a circumlocutory way of saying "God did it". This isn't the evolution article. Please don't be an antievolution troll. -JustSomeKid
It's widely accepted that any scientific theory is always tentative... What objection is there to noting that? It's not as if it's original research. FeloniousMonk 01:21, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Bloodwater you are absolutely correct, information does not come from nothing. How does this impact abiogenesis and evolution? Furthermore how does that permit ID to be tested? At best, it is criticism of abiogenesis and evolution; rather than a test.
As to transitional fossils, we have found some, and evolution does not require "transitional forms should be the most abundent fossils". That is a amateurish statement based on a simplistic understanding of evolution and it exposes your lack of research. I have to cut and paste my response from the archives:
It is clear your point is invalid. Evolution requires many transitional forms; but evolution also says transitional species have small populations, have a short timespan (relative to successful species since they go extinct), and indeed because they are unsuccessful, more likely to be eaten/captured by predators/scavengers. So logic indicates low fossil frequency in comparison to successful species with much larger populations, and much longer timespans. Hence, more transitional forms does not guarantee more transitional fossils... and I don't recall insulting you Djacobs. - RoyBoy 800 00:15, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
To proclaim there is no transitional fossils it to make a dishonest argument and to invite ridicule. As to information, you should familiarize yourself with a thing called physical information. When a sun explodes; that creates a whole lotta different/new information... depending on your perspective. This means, just to be crystal clear, ANY interaction involves information... information can be lost, gained, changed, removed, added, scrambled by any number of things. Natural selection through variation is a proven mechanism to retain novel, new, different information if its useful or benign. And yes, if you weren't aware, a gene doubling itself is an increase in information in every sense of the word. If you think information is simply a byproduct of conscious beings; your definition is a tad on the narrow side of reality.
I'm happy you have some interest in sciences, I'd invite you to read material by those who engage in science as a profession; not as a means to a religious agenda. - RoyBoy 800 01:52, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
It's the proponents of theories that aren't tentative. But the underlying idea is always tentative if one is capable of doubting it. Dembski believe false negatives can be gained by applying his filter - isn't this an example of uncertainty? How isn't ID tentative? That it's proponents have zeal do not reflect the theory. -JustSomeKid
Dembski is absolutely clear that his Explanatory Filter does not produce false positives (and a true positive--Intelligent Design Detected--is the only thing he cares about). He claims that his EF has detected ID, and he claims that it cannot be a false positive. This doesn't sound tentative to me. Bill Jefferys 14:22, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Royboy - unfortunately for neodarwinian narrative apologists the argument that the fossil record is woefully incomplete doesn't square with observed diversity of living forms.

I'll try to answer in brief to keep this page from becoming bloated. Evolution does not ask for a complete fossil record; and nature is under no obligation to provide one to convince religious folk. You do. If you find one let us know; we would love to see it confirm evolution.

There should be *living* transitionals. All mutations by definition happen in a single individual. Therefore there should be a continuum of slightly modified (no huge fitness advantage) individuals in living creatures.

Haven't you been paying attention? Evolution occurs thru natural selection acting on *variation*. That answers your questions if you bother to understand what it means. Every species on the planet is transitional (although some species are successful, and during relatively calm periods in an ecosystem can remain very stable genetically for extended periods of time – especially if they are smart enough to adapt using tools and changing behaviors instead of going extinct), and each individual is slightly modified from one another. (with exceptions like identical twins) Hence they are all around you, if you bother to look. Once scientists develop affordable DNA sequencers, you can confirm it for yourself. Start saving up!

Where are the humans that are *almost* a new species that have accumulated *almost* enough changes?

Extinct. Otherwise successful individuals breed quickly and a genetic line becomes dominant for the species. Which one occurred? Depends on your precise term: almost. LOL.

In fact our closest living relatives have a different number of chromosomes than we do. Tell me, does the so-called missing link "Lucy" have the same number of chromosomes as humans, as chimpanzees, or something else entirely? What molecular evidence is there that Lucy (or any other hominid fossil for that matter) is in our line of descent? It takes faith to believe what you believe, believe it or not. 20:12, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

With Lucy and other fossil evidence (corroborated with archaeological evidence and other fossils) it requires less faith and more evidentiary inference. We don't need DNA/molecular evidence to reasonably conclude fossil(s) which look transitional, actually are. I mean if we had that evidence, that would be GREAT! Then it might tell us if Lucy is or is not in our direct descent or otherwise, until then many possibilities are on the table. Many do believe Lucy is a direct descendant, if she is not that doesn't suddenly disqualify her as a transitional fossil. I'm not sure what speculative criticism accomplishes; or how it amounts to meaningful affirmative support for ID. We don't have that evidence, period. So it neither confirms nor denies her specific status, let alone having anything to do with contradicting evolution; which its safe to say it wouldn't. - RoyBoy 800 04:49, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
Tossing around blatantly POV terms like "neodarwinian narrative apologists" will get you nowhere but on the Ignore List and Crank List of those long-term contributors here. This talk page is for discussing the article. You're getting pretty far afield. Make a point or stop disrupting those who are here to actually work. FeloniousMonk 03:15, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Interesting news from the archives

While conducting my usual prowls of Dembski's blog,, for useful ideas and content, I came across some very interesting recent comments posted there involving this Wikipedia article and particular editors here. It seems there's a number of ID proponents there not just discussing this article there, but coordinating the conducting of the recent pov campaign we've been experiencing here [15]. It's with no small modesty that I note that I am mentioned personally (comment #44) in very flattering terms.

This goes a long way to explain the seemingly coordinated manner in which some of these anon (and registered) editors insert pov content. Conducting a coordinated campaign to insert highly-pov content is by definition an act of bad faith. I've correlated the usernames of several users there to editors here:

It's likely I'll be able to identify the other users there that have been active here in pushing pov content and otherwise being disruptive. I'd rather give them an opportunity to come clean here and have a fresh start instead of outing them cold.

Performing a google site search of for "wikipedia" yields some very interesting results, not all of which I've read, but I'm sure you here will find time to: [17] Correlating comments and users to to pov and other disruptive incidents here isn't hard, so have fun.

Again, for those of you at reading this, we're on to you. Conducting a coordinated campaign to insert highly-pov content is by definition an act of bad faith. Any further coordinated pov campaigning from your group there will not be tolerated here. FeloniousMonk 06:32, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the links. I hadn't read much of Dembski's blog before--and the lively feedback there. It's quite interesting.--Gandalf2000 10:18, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
But as to POV issues, it sounds like you're trying to make a scandal where there isn't one.--Gandalf2000 10:18, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
I'm not surprised in the least, and have always assumed discussions like these were going on. The same happened to Flying Spaghetti Monster, though in a much more obvious manner (obviously). This is not a scandal, though it does effectively reek of sockpuppetry.
The forum is funny read, nonetheless. The notion that evolution is unfalsifiable is painfully pervasive. And I had a good chuckle at Forum discussion should reinforce the 'scientific' theoretical value of ID while avoiding religiously drawn 'conclusions'.
The Nobel prize for medicine came up, as well. Apparently, someone is happy to note that the controversial cause of ulcers turned out to be truth, in the end. ID will surely follow suit. A geniune new idea will win through if it has merit. Merit indeed. -- Ec5618 11:35, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
The links to the contributions of the editors I provided, corellated to their posts at — something each reader will have to do on their own, show that they conducted a coordinated pov-pushing campaign at this article and at Dembski's. Doing so violates a number of the policies, guidelines and precepts we all are supposed to accept and abide by at Wikipedia.
Now you may not find that alarming, being that your pov is in synch with theirs and you've made many of the same objections and edits, and since you've not dedicated the hours to research and build a factual, well-rounded and well-supported ID article. Or experienced the frustration and abuse of trying to keep it that way. So it's not surprising it's no scandal to you. But to those here who hold WP:FAITH and WP:NOT in high regard, finding Bill Dembski's personal posse (apparently with his tacit consent) conducting a broad, organized pov campaign at this and other ID-related articles is indeed a scandal. Luckily it's one we don't have to tolerate. FeloniousMonk 15:27, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
A bunch of people saying "we see problems with this article, let's go try to fix them" is not scandalous at all. That's exactly the same reaction I had when I first read the ID article, so I'm not surprised to see a group of people with the same response. As to background, I have more background in philosophy than science, as you may notice that this is the area where my contributions have focused. So, to your point, I am taking the time to research before I edit.--Gandalf2000 16:06, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Well, they're saying quite a bit more than that. The thread clearly shows that they disagreed with the way NPOV policy is implemented and that they intended to subvert it.
As I've noted before, I appreciate your dedication and adherence to the project's policies and guidelines. FeloniousMonk 16:32, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, I'm glad we have mutual respect. I just don't see their efforts as any more inflammatory than other typical wikipedia efforts on controversial issues. Obviously, some of them don't "get it" when it comes to making edits and participating in the discussion here. But they'll learn. (Hopefully, the first thing they learn is how to create a user account and log in.)--Gandalf2000 05:11, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

By the way, (talk · contribs) is actually crandaddy, see #42, #44 (the flattering post), etc. Higgity is only quoting post #42. xetrov_znt 18:50, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

I think (talk · contribs)/Bloodwater (talk · contribs) is crandaddy. FeloniousMonk 17:31, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
For the record, I am higgity (as in the guy writing this comment that you are reading right now). I don't think I've ever made an edit to this article, but if I did, I doubt that FeloniusMonk would be all over my edit because I am not pro-ID.

Organized and coordinated? Maybe FeloniousMonkey should check out the wiki article on paranoia. --DaveScot

Please, DaveScot, aka User: no personal attacks. --CSTAR 23:04, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree, it was haphazard. - RoyBoy 800 23:45, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
But is it paranoia if they're really out to get you?--Gandalf2000 05:13, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Removed personal attack, as per own request DaveScot, feel free contribute, assuming you can leave your indignation and contempt behind. But please observe WP:Civility and WP:NPOV. -- Ec5618 15:03, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Thanks but no thanks. I have no desire to argue with leftwing POV warriors in this forum. I find it more effective to work to get representatives that agree with me into public office. Rest assured the Supreme Court won't be using this wiki article when deciding the ID question. See you there. -DaveScot

Leftwing POV warriors? "representatives that agree with me"? Supreme Court? Sounds like the Wedge strategy come home to roost. Joshuaschroeder 17:53, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Rather than comment further on DaveScot's last remark, I think it should be higlighted by placing it in a special frame box like this: <blockquote style="background: white; border: 1px solid black; padding: 1em;"> Blah </blockquote> . It will look like this


--CSTAR 18:03, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
So much for ID being a strictly scientific endeavor. So the way for ID to win intellectually is to win politically. We owe a big thanks to DaveScot for teaching us that ID is simply a political struggle between insurgents and the establishment. And also for convincingly and conclusively confirming that the Wedge strategy is well-understood by ID's lower ranks as well. FeloniousMonk 20:15, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
We really shouldn't gloat of course. An editor came, he was wrong, or at least unable to express himself. We have learned nothing we didn't already know, and DaveScot probably hasn't been convinced by our arguments. In a while, another editor will drop by, and we won't even be able to use DaveScot's comments to convince the new editor that ID is horse poo. There will always be another DaveScot, and this circus will start up again.
Though I'll admit, it feels good to see someone admit to the world that he is wrong, even if he can't admit it to himself. Yes DaveScot, run. Darn those other editors, and their leftwing POV warrior-ness. Go talk to the ignorant people who truly believe that there was ever an ark carrying animals and concentrated food, the evidence be damned. -- Ec5618 20:43, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, I'm done gloating. Can we file this discussion away somewhere dark now, please? -- Ec5618 20:43, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
No surprise, you find people on both sides saying the issue is primarily political, since ideas have consequences. If DaveScot fails to engage in the discussion, to me he is uninteresting. Meanwhile, scientists of all stripes try to form coherent, intellectually honest theories, taking into account various evidence and various presuppositions. That's what captures my attention.--Gandalf2000 20:58, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Just for that, I'd like to buy you a drink. Cheers. Happy to have you. -- Ec5618 21:12, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Second that! You both deserve a round. Hey Ec, tell us what happened at the FSM article... you said it was similar to this situation, but worse. I seemed to have missed that one and am curious. FeloniousMonk 21:19, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
The FSM article was, as was inevitable, listed on a website (BoingBoing) which invited repetitive vandalism. On top of that, there was a great influx of people from Uncyclopedia, all of whom insisted on messing up the article, Uncyclopedia style (Along the lines of I was touched by his noodly appendage, and am now carrying his child/brood. Tell all.). It seems to have cooled down a little recently (knock on wood) but luckily several editors are keeping an eye on it. -- Ec5618 21:33, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

LOL! This is so funny. Tell me, who is the complainant and who is the defendant in Dover? Anti-religion zealots are the ones that politicized this matter. These people are so driven by their hate of religion they can't even remember who sued who. Amazing. FeloniousMonk wears his hate of religion on his sleeve. Him editing this article is the classic fox guarding the henhouse. An honest person holding such bias would recuse himself. What's really comedic is 80 years ago the ACLU sued to allow both viewpoints to be taught and now they're suing to censor one of them. I guess times really do change. But it doesn't matter. Justice eventually prevails. Ain't America great that way? --DaveScot

Huh? This started out poorly even before it dissolved into the crude "anti-religious zealots" babble. DaveScot intended to make a point, I'm sure of it, but then he just lost it. Your guy dealt the bigotry card, Bill. Doesn't it sting even a little bit?
The only things I'm against are ignorance and dishonesty, and the peddlers thereof. FeloniousMonk 03:46, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
I couldn't agree more. I read Uncommon Descent quite a bit now, and from reading the comments I see that these guys are not only dishonest, but are willfully ignorant of Evolutionary Theory.

Oh, like I'm the first guy to accuse you of being an anti-religion crusader. Gimme a break. So how many rounds will you go to get the last word in? LOL 20:16, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

I thought we were talking about ID, and an ID blog? How would being "anti-religious" effect FeloniousMonk's ability to write an article about ID... unless... there was some sort of connection. - RoyBoy 800 05:09, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
"How would being "anti-religious" effect FeloniousMonk's ability to write an article about ID" Because it's an idea held in fond regard by the religious community. Duh. Are you for real? 19:43, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
So... there is a connection! If that's so... doesn't that also entail a conflict of interest (re: being scientific) for ID? Thanks for your time, for some reason I'm a little slow when talking to you. - RoyBoy 800 00:48, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
There's millions of theistic evolutionists that accept everything about the NeoDarwinian narrative except for it being an unguided process. Does that mean there's a conflict of interest there too? 17:47, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

“I am, in fact, the one who made the ‘flattering’ remarks about you, FeloniousMonk. I also offered an apology for the rashness of my actions to my fellow bloggers at Uncommon Descent (See comment 52 on your link.), and I offer one to you as well for that and for resorting to unwarranted name-calling without familiarizing myself with Wikipedia. (I’m still very new to contributing here.) That said, my feeling that this article violates the NPOV agreement has not diminished in the least; it reads like a rebuttal of Intelligent Design (ID). The auther(s) use fallacious arguments against ID and its proponents and give a disproportionately large space to its criticisms. I realize that ID is a hotly debated and extremely polarizing subject and that establishing a truely neutral point of view is virtually impossible. Let it be understood that I have no intention of inserting a biased ‘pov’ into the article. On the contrary, my intention is to remove one and to make it as neutral as is humanly possible. I want to discuss sections of the article I believe to be biased on this talk page, and hopefully we can reach an agreement that pleases us all. Let me begin by offering the suggestion that an ‘accuracy disputed’ banner be put at the top of the article. At least readers will know that not everyone agrees with the neutrality of the article and will be directed to this page, so they can see what the brouhaha all about. –Crandaddy”

The above paragraph was posted to discussion by me (DaveScot) as a favor to Crandaddy who for some reason cannot get the page to save. 09:40, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm going to be harsher than I normally am, but the goal is not to be uncivil, but to save you and us a lot of time.
  • You need to re-read the WP:NPOV policy. Specifically on tone:
"We should, instead, write articles with the tone that all positions presented are at least plausible, bearing in mind the important qualification about extreme minority views. Let's present all significant, competing views sympathetically. We can write with the attitude that such-and-such is a good idea, except that, in the view of some detractors (many detractors for ID), the supporters of said view overlooked such-and-such a detail."
  • This is not to say the proportionality of criticism is appropriate. To be honest I'm not aware the NPOV policy specifies what is fair, if it indeed lacks that information then there being more criticism does not violate Wikipolicy either. More to the point, there is far more criticism than supporting evidence for ID at this point in time; the article reflects this reality even if you choose not to acknowledge it. If that reality changes the article should change to follow suit.
  • fallacious: Since you are new to Wikipedia, making unspecific criticisms is unhelpful. You need to make specific objections to specific points/sentences/paragraphs in order for discussion and action to follow.
  • hotly debated: ID is not hotly debated. There isn't a debate, ID makes unsupported assertions, scientists clarify why they are unsupported. ID respond their hypothesis will be supported soon as design should be readily apparent and testable/verifiable. Until they provide that evidence for scrutiny, there is no "debate" regarding ID itself... there is debate as to teaching it in schools. That's another topic covered in detail in other articles.
  • "neutral as is humanly possible": Neutral does not mean removing a majority view because you don't like it. Neutral means providing a fair and accurate description of the topic. I think the amount of criticism is unfair, but that's my opinion and so it does not mean the article violates Wikipolicy.
  • accuracy disputed: Now that's a great suggestion! If you can find something not accurate in the article we can do that or remove the inaccuracy; but to slap an accuracy banner without a specific objection is crazy talk. A dispute over "neutrality" is not the same as "accuracy"; and a banner in no way helps understand what the trouble is; as it remains unspecified here (with the exception of proportionality re:NPOV, but as I said, that in of itself does not necessarily violate NPOV policy).

Don't rush, tell us what the trouble(s) are... but lets be clear here, if you cannot come up with specific objections; the best I/we can do for you is ask for guidance from Wikipolicy gurus on what is fair proportionality for criticism. - RoyBoy 800 16:44, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Rewrite section

I'd like to bring this section to everyone's attention, and suggest it be rewritten. While the section should simply point out that intelligence cannot be objectively observed, it seems to ramble on to drive the point home.

For example:

".. without ID offering what the criteria for the measurement of intelligence should be."
"How this appeal is made and what this implies as to the definition of intelligence are topics left largely unaddressed."

These lines seem to be criticising ID, instead of making note of notable criticism.

Let's wiki ! -- Ec5618 11:35, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Is it incorrect to state that ID doesn't offer criteria for the measurement of intelligence?
Is it incorrect to state that ID doesn't describe how an "appeal to designing intelligence" should be made?
I'm all for being balanced, but I fail to understand how facts with regards to the ID movement as the ones you outlined are considered rambling. Joshuaschroeder 14:54, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
I realise I am not making myself very clear, but this section needs work and has gotten very little since its insertion into the article.
I do not dispute the content of the section, but rather the tone. It is one thing to suggest that ID advocates have no real benchmark for intelligence, but quite another to heckle ID.
Also, the fact that ID is not science has been repeated throughout this article several times. While it is an important point, and is clearly often misunderstood or denied, it needn't permeate every section of this article.
I've tried to rewrite individual lines, but I was displeased with the result, so I decided to bring it to everyone's attention. Better wording might be:
"Intelligent Design assumes that intelligence can be objectively observed or measured by studying a product or design. William Dembski, for example, has claimed that "Intelligence leaves behind a characteristic signature." He also suggests that many branches of science make implicit use of such a signature: "in special sciences ranging from forensics to archaeology to SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), appeal to a designing intelligence is indispensable." [18] While this characteristic signature is often alluded to, no way to measure or define it has yet been proposed."
Obviously the last line needs to be clearer, and the fact that this is not a hallmark of transparent science should be included. I hope I've made my objections clear. Editing help is welcome. -- Ec5618 00:10, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
I appreciate your honesty in not being able to rewrite the paragraph. I have wrestled with the wording for about one month now and this is the best I could do, but I was hoping including the best version I could come up with would encourage other editors. Your version not only suffers at the end, but also at the beginning. Intelligent Design, as a worldview or way of thought, doesn't "assume" anything. The people who make arguments about Intelligent Design are the ones who do the assuming. More than that, I think what is assumed is that intelligence can be measured, nobody is saying HOW it is to be measured. This needs to be clear from the paragraph, and it looks like your edit doesn't do that. But you may be on to something. Let's try to work with it. Joshuaschroeder 06:05, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Doesn't the concept of ID, (as science as it were) depend on the existance of (undiscovered) physical proof? Doesn't ID itself then assume that intelligent can be measured? I'm willing to lean your way though, however stating that advocates are wrong is obviously less potent than stating the concept itself is based on a false or questionable assumption.
I've tried to reduce the paragraph to its basics. Once we know what the section should say, and in what order we can start to flesh it out. How's this:
"Intelligent Design advocates assume that intelligence can be objectively observed or measured by studying a product or design. William Dembski, for example, has claimed that "Intelligence leaves behind a characteristic signature." He also suggests that many branches of science make implicit use of such a signature: "in special sciences ranging from forensics to archaeology to SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), appeal to a designing intelligence is indispensable." [19] While Dembski and others often allude to these characteristic signatures, there is no no scientific consensus definition for the concept of intelligence, and the existence of intelligence itself as a physically observable entity is subject to debate.
The development of artificial intelligence may prove to be a problem for ID as a line of inquiry. Since various ID proponents claim that "no pre-programmed device can be truly intelligent, that intelligence is irreducible to natural processes," [20] if an intelligence can emerge out of a dynamically evolving computer program, there would be no means to distinguish between purely naturalistic design and design by a supernatural intelligence. Intelligence may be relegated to an illusory or even pseudoscientific attribute.
Cognitive science continues to investigate the nature of intelligence to that end, but the ID community for the most part seems to be content to rely on the assumption that intelligence is readily apparent as a fundamental and basic property of complex systems.
I've left out the details of AI, as I don't feel this article needs it. Please feel free to edit this proposal, instead of posting beneath it. -- Ec5618 17:49, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Intelligence, as an observable quality, is poorly defined

The phrase Intelligent Design makes use of an assumption of the quality of an observable intelligence, a concept that has no scientific consensus definition. William Dembski, for example, has claimed that "Intelligence leaves behind a characteristic signature." Such characteristics of intelligent agency are assumed to be observable without ID offering what the criteria for the measurement of intelligence should be. Dembski, instead, makes the claim that "in special sciences ranging from forensics to archaeology to SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), appeal to a designing intelligence is indispensable." [21] How this appeal is made and what this implies as to the definition of intelligence are topics left largely unaddressed.

As a means of criticism, certain skeptics have pointed to a challenge of ID derived from the study of artificial intelligence. The criticism is a counter to ID claims about what makes a design intelligent, namely that "no pre-programmed device can be truly intelligent, that intelligence is irreducible to natural processes." [22] In particular, while there is an implicit assumption that supposed "intelligence" or creativity of a computer program was determined by the capabilities given to it by the computer programmer, artificial intelligence need not be bound to an inflexible system of rules. Rather, if a computer program can access randomness as a function, this effectively allows for a flexible, creative, and adaptive intelligence. Forrays into such areas as quantum computing seem to indicate that real probabilistic functions may be available in the future. Intelligence derived from randomness is essentially indistinguishable from the "innate" intelligence associated with biological organisms and poses a challenge to the ID conception of where intelligence itself is derived (namely from a designer). Cognitive science continues to investigate the nature of intelligence to that end, but the ID community for the most part seems to be content to rely on the assumption that intelligence is readily apparent as a fundamental and basic property of complex systems.

Just to Defend America's Honor

Despite the common claim that this 'debate' is only going on in the United States, I feel obligated to point out that such an argument is flawed, as the debate is mostly ignored inside the United States as well, and is far more popular on the internet than anywhere else, as well as the occasional suburb or farmbelt, but for the most part (other than select internet trolls and politicians) we ignore them too, so carry on--NY101 16:35, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

You need to get out more. This issue is popular enough that the president of the United States stated his position on it. -DaveScot

  • Well he's not very bright, and I don't live in the midwest, so as I was saying, non issue, keep debating it though, the internet really cares what you think--NY101 02:32, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Bright enough to court the "values" voter. No wait, that's Karl Rove's doing... my bad. :"D - RoyBoy 800 04:03, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

ID in fiction

Why is this section on the bottom of the article? Doesn't make sense to me. - RoyBoy 800 23:09, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Did you follow the links? Mostly science fiction that contains ID concepts (wittingly or unwittingly). Seemed appropriate to me, at least for entertainment value.--Gandalf2000 16:18, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
While humourous, it doesn't seem to add anything to the article, does it? It does seem to be in line with the origins of the concept section, as it too tries to tell the reader that the concept of ID is well established. But it should probably go. -- Ec5618 17:47, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
I find the section entirely appropriate; it should be moved to at least before See also. - RoyBoy 800 21:40, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

Moved the section to just before See also, and expanded on the way ID was portrayed in each instance. -- Ec5618 21:58, 24 October 2005 (UTC)

The section is informative and should stay, although I would put it before the references and "see also".goethean 22:03, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Oops, missed that this had been done already. — goethean 22:04, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

What is the problem with my disambiguation intro?

FeloniousMonk and others who reverted my intro, could you explain why pretty pretty please? If you do not understand my opinion please let me know and I will try to explain it better. Please if you have a problem with it elaborate upon your problems rather than simply stating things like "it muddles the issue," "it's inaccurate," "it's POV," or if you disagree with certain points I would like to know why because it is clear I do not understand why people are making these claims. Please explain as best you can any problems you have with my version. I believe I have explained my position, but still, if you want more explanation I can try to simplify it or provide elaboration if you need it.

Here is the original dismabiguation text:

This article is about the concept of Intelligent Design. See also the teleological argument. For the associated social movement see ID as a movement. For the book, see Intelligent Design (book).

Here is my propose disambiguation text:

This article is about the American idiom "Intelligent Design" which concerns only anti-evolutionist Theists and teleological arguments for their beliefs. For the associated social movement see ID as a movement. For the book, see Intelligent Design (book). For information about the concept of an intelligent being(s) who designed the universe, see instead Theism.

I believe it is reasonable to expect people to look up "intelligent design" and believe they are looking for information about the concept of an intelligent being(s) who designed the universe. It is reasonable because that is what "intelligent design" means in the English language with respect to context but without respect to cultural movements and trends. Treating it only with respect to cultural movements and trends, as the current article does, is treating it as an idiom. This needs to be explained to people not familiar with the cultural movement, and people interested in the concept of intelligent design without respect to cultural trends need to be redirected to the appropriate topic. For example someone who has only heard the phrase in the context of religious debate may reasonably believe, according to context and language, that "intelligent design" is simply referring to Theism. Or, they may know enough to believe that it is referring to Theism and teleological arguments for a God (or an "intelligent designer"). Only those who have "studied" the "intelligent design movement" will interpret it as the article presents the topic (I have my own problems with the way it is currently written as it does not even make any sense--a topic, which is what an encyclopedia deals with, cannot be a "controversial assertion"--but I am willing to ignore that.)--Ben 01:25, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm still opposed to this for the same reasons I gave above in the NPOV subsection FeloniousMonk 03:48, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
I disagree with Ben's point about "what intelligent design means in English" - if I didn't know what it was about I would probably be inclined to assume it had something to do with interior design and architecture. Guettarda 03:52, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Hey, I like that. Take a look at the Not So Big House ... now there's some intelligent design!--Gandalf2000 05:27, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Guettarda: Perfectly right. If you didn't know "what it was about" you could assume it meant something like that. But like I said you have to think of context. The context here is religion. When people hear "intelligent design" they know the context is religion, either as a result of being given the context, or as a result of pop culture. People might *gasp* even spontaneously string the two words together in a conversation about religion.
Here is an example. Let's say you are at the bus stop and you overhear two mean discussing their views on religion. You miss part of it but then you hear one say "Yes, I believe in intelligent design." The other says "I, too, believe in intelligent design." Then your bus arrives and you leave. So you don't know about the movement, you don't know about the books, you don't know what a teleological argument is. Now what would you be inclined to assume the speakers were talking about (or what would your response be to that sentence)? Remember you do not know what intelligent design is, and thus all you have to work with is the phrase "intelligent design" and that they were talking about religion.
After you've thought about it, regardless of your response, consider that you are quite interested in this "Intelligent design" concept, so you look up Intelligent design on Wikipedia. Ah-ha! You think, now I understand: These two men are Christian creationists. But at this point you become quite confused. The reason you become confused is that in fact one of the men was a Sikh and was wearing a turban.
The example is intended as an allegory for the current pop culture debate. People who want to know more about "intelligent design" may have interpreted the phrase the same way as I am assuming you will in the example. They are not following the debate closely, they are simply aware of the oft-used phrase and the religious context. Maybe they themselves are Sikh, Jewish, Hindu, or anything. They think to themselves "Yes, I too believe in intelligent design, just like they are talking about on TV. I believe in God." They tell everyone this, all their friends. And then they look it up.--Ben 06:27, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

This is an encyclopedia, not an etymology manual. The term "intelligent design" has a very specific usage in today's English (that is, the claim that design in nature signals an intelligent cause). If you don't believe us, do a Google search. You'd sort through hundreds of web pages -- if not thousands -- before finding a reference to any other concept than the one discussed in this article. If you find another usage of the specific term "intelligent design" that is worthy of an encyclopedia article, please let us know.--Gandalf2000 04:23, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
The term "intelligent design" has a very specific usage in today's English (that is, the claim that design in nature signals an intelligent cause). I will grant that. That is ok with me and though it is somewhat idiomatic it makes sense to me. The thing is, does it also mean Christian creationism? Does it also mean anti-evolution? The article says it does. What about a redirect to Teleologist? Would that, in theory, be ok? It is far less ambiguous.--Ben 06:32, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
ID proponents are careful to ground their their research and scientific assertions in empirical data, rather than religiously-defined terms. They bristle at the claim they are promoting Christian creationism as science, the same way many Republicans bristle at the claim they are imposing their Christianity on others through politics. They believe (as I do) that these are separate public spheres that affect each other, but the "rules of the game" are different in each arena, be it science, religion, or politics. The rules of science say you start with empirical data, not revelation, and not religious presuppositions.
Oops missed this part. How can they "bristle at the claim they are promoting Christian creationism as science" I mean look:
"Christ is indispensable to any scientific theory, even if its practitioners do not have a clue about him." -- Dembski (lots more quotes like this on this page somewhere)
and it is well known there is a whole Christian creationist movement dedicated to teaching what they call "intelligent design" in schools and of course "forgetting" to include say, Buddhism in the discussion. You think elementary school kids understand "specified complexity?" No. They don't. It does not matter if they bristle if it is true. There are people promoting Christian creationism using "Intelligent design theory." That's a fact. And Dembski DID start with revelation. It's not like he just made up his theories and then happend to say "What's this then? God? Oh dearest me what have I discovered!?" He already believed in God and set out to prove God exists. That's just plain obvious. He hasn't exactly finished his "proof" but he's already acting as if it's proven. That's revelation even if he just started up on his complexity theory as an atheist. Now, if someone is a good, competent, philosopher and scientist then maybe one can deal with the fundamental deep philosophical and scientific questions that go along with the theory that God exists. Many people have tried to prove God exists. If you're not competent well you get "intelligent design" as Dembski sees it. Real philosphers are still discussing the formal arguments before they even GET to the science part. The first thing Socrates or someone would say would not be "and how do you perform this calculation?" He'd say "What do you mean by God?" and "What is complexity?" and "How do you determine universality?" --Ben 09:33, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
The key point of dissention between scientists who are ID-friendly and the scientific mainstream -- in the view of ID proponents -- is not the starting point, but the end point. The scientific mainstream says that interpreting the empirical data in a manner that accepts a supernatural conclusion is invalid science. ID proponents say, let the data lead you where it will, even if the evidence points to a supernatural cause.--Gandalf2000 06:34, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Well, I think that's ridiculous and I don't think you'll find that that is in fact true. In fact it's rather insulting. I wouldn't call those people scientists. I'd call them atheists, but not scientists. Of course, all scientists would agree that "misinterpreting the empirical data in a manner that accepts a supernatural conclusion is invalid science."--Ben 07:36, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
But that is a major point of contention nevertheless. The issue of falsifiability is raised precisely because a supernatural cause by definition cannot be falsified, since anything can be made to be compatible with a supernatural claim. But if you step back from the falsifiability issue, I think you are absolutely correct, Ben, in that openness to the evidence is key to good science.
If it can be proved by science it is by definition not supernatural and therefore, by definition, can be proven or falsified...--Ben 22:10, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
As to Dembski's discussion of Christ, it's important to realize he made that statement in the context of theological discussion (and if he believes Christ is the prime mover, that would be a philosophically consistent statement). But he does not make those statements in the context of discussing scientific method, which is grounded in empirical evidence.
...but what does the evidence show? What exactly is being observed? What is being proven? He seems to be missing the philosophy behind the science which would show that his observations are reasoned and scientific. Something one must do if one is attempting to prove a philosophical viewpoint. Sure he has theories that look like they can be observed, has empirical evidence, but it doesn't mean that he is observing what he says he is. It's not necessarily scientific. "How thin! The elephant is like a rope!"--Ben 22:10, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
(By way of analogy, as a Christian, I can say everyone should believe in Christ, that good laws are based on christian principles, and should be consistent with them. However, as a citizen, even if elected president, I believe the government absolutely 'should not', and 'must not' force anyone to profess Christianity, and I would argue political issues in the public square based on commonly accepted political foundations such as the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, rather than scripture.)--Gandalf2000 20:55, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

And I can't believe I just didn't use this as an example. You guys know about FSM right? Well the entire point and joke of the church of the flying spaghetti monster rests on the very ambiguity I am talking about!

"...I am concerned, however, that students will only hear one theory of Intelligent Design.

Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster..."[23] --Ben 06:38, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Well, of course, this is the typical criticism of the ID movement. Because many consider as absurd any science that leads to a supernatural conclusion -- even one proposed as modestly as an unnamed designer akin to Aristotle's prime mover -- they pick an absurd supernatural conclusion to drive home that point. The assertion of an intelligent designer, as described by ID proponents in scientific discussions, is compatible with theism, deism, and any number of religions or creation stories. In some cases, ID proponents go a step further, to say it could be more than one designer, because they can't claim the empirical data shows more than just evidence of design. To me, that's a stretch (then again, I'm a theist) but it demonstrates their willingness to limit their claims to what the evidence shows.--Gandalf2000 06:34, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
It is not intended to be a criticism. It is intended to point out the ambiguous nature of the phrase. "Intelligent design," that an intelligent being designed the universe is obviously compatible (when one takes the phrase literally) with any number of religions. That's why I wanted to put a disambiguation link to Theism.--Ben 07:36, 27 October 2005 (UTC)
Did you mean theology? The article quite clearly distinguishes between ID and creationism, though it does mention that ID may be a creationist ploy. Nevertheless, ID is a specific example of the concept of an intelligent designer, not a general notion. ID is not FSM, Origin belief, creationism, science. According to its proponents, it isn't even a belief or philosophy. ID is a pseudoscience, and part of the Wedge strategy. Which is what the article talks about. -- Ec5618 06:44, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
(I think he meant teleological argument -- which is indeed theological and philosophical -- but that's a guess.) The contention is this:
  • ID proponents claim to be using scientific observation and analysis to evaluate evidence of design in nature. That is, they are stating that methodologically, they are using empirical evidence from science and following the evidence where it leads -- in this case, it leads them to an intelligent designer behind nature.
  • ID critics say, no, they're just pretending to do that, to push through a religious agenda. It's just repackaged creationism.
The difficulty is that it's tough to tell what anyone's motives are (well, with the exception of DaveScot's). ID proponents are all over the map in terms of what creation story, if any, they support; they just say they don't want to automatically exclude intelligent cause or theism from consideration. And that's where they get pushback, since many if not most scientists say that supernatural explanations are simply not useful in science. So yes, ID proponents are trying to return (at least some) scientific inquiry to its pre-Darwinian assumptions, when most scientists saw an ordered universe to be reflective of overt design (in terms of biology) or cause (in terms of cosmology).--Gandalf2000 17:33, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

I did mean teleological argument or, more correctly, I meant Teleologist which is what I actually said :P. My motivation is that I think the "Intelligent design" is more of a pseudotopic. While I find most of Ec5618's response very strange, I agree that the "Intelligent design" theme is being used as a "creationist ploy". What's in a name? I believe the central part of the "ploy" is, in fact, the name. They're not saying they want to teach Christian creationism, they want to teach "Intelligent design" when they really mean Christian creationism. Now, the reason, I think, that they say "Intelligent design" is because if you say you want to teach Christian creationism (or Abrhamic creationism or whatever you want to call it, Adam and Eve basically) everyone would say "that idea is stupid. Adam and Eve have nothing to do with biology" But if you say you want to teach "Intelligent design" it confuses people and they think "oh, it is just an alternate theory." And then they use teleology to pretend that it is science. In my view, breaking "intelligent design" up into what it actually is will do more to get the truth out than arguing it on their terms like is being done in this article. It is, when it comes to Christian creationism and intelligent design, purposefully confusing to simply call it "intelligent design." Teleological arguments and the phrase "intelligent design" go together much better, but even then you could just say "Teleology" instead and get to the heart of the matter. At least teleology is not limited to a specific religion, and can be used (in the unscientific sense) to bolster any argument for the existence of God. Yes, I'm arguing semantics, but I think that these are really important semantics. Calling Christian creationism, or even Teleology, "intelligent design" misrepresents the actual concepts. At least if the discussion is limited to Teleology the phrase follows more naturally. From Christian creationism, it's clearly a misrepresentation. When it comes to the whole article, I would actually move a lot of stuff and frankly delete a lot of the stuff. For example, the "Who designed the designer" part of the article should really be on the Existence of God page. Now, considering the heightened suspicion here of people wanting to change things based on the loony tunes coming in and trying to say "Intelligent design proves Jebus is our Lord!" I know this wouldn't be acceptable, so instead I just want to add a single sentence to the disambiguation part to make it clear what the topic of the article actually is. Personally, I think this will at least help to untangle the mess that Christian creationists have created when it comes to intelligent design. Really, I think the whole thing has not been an issue in culture for years because it's been neatly organized by philosophers and the like. It's just been live and let live for the most part, there's been no advocacy or agenda or anything. What Creationists are doing is "muddying the waters" by creating a pseudotopic like this and, in doing so, sparking argument over stuff that commonly, nobody really cares about since it has no effect on anyone else's lives. And of course, the reason they are doing it is to spread their agenda and using this argument to try to have an effect on people's lives when the exact same ideas never did before. It isn't new, it's just taking a bunch of common philosophical and religious ideas, mashing them together and hoping nobody notices until they get their agenda pushed through. --Ben 19:57, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

I realize I wasn't very clear when I said "What about a redirect to Teleologist? Would that, in theory, be ok? It is far less ambiguous." I meant redirect Intelligent Design to Teleologist. Actually, redirecting it to Teleologism would be better. Put a link to it on the Theism page and Teleologism would be about the religion in which one believes there is an intelligent designer based on teleological arguments. Then that page could link to religions which are also Teleologist. Or something. It isn't integral to my concern, more I was hoping it would help in terms of consideration of different ways to organize the topic.--Ben 23:49, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Substantiation for Criticism, Gandalf2000's edit

The following statement has no attribution: ID "...has been categorized by the mainstream scientific community as creationist pseudoscience or junk science..."

For this harshly-worded critique to be attributed to the "mainstream scientific community", there should be authoritative quotes from a representative body of the scientific community, using the terms "pseudoscience" and "junk science". (NCSE doesn't count.) --Gandalf2000 09:20, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

I'll agree a source would be nice. For now though, note that pseudoscience is any body of knowledge, methodology, or practice that is erroneously regarded as scientific. The reference does state that "Creationism, intelligent design, and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of species are not science because they are not testable by the methods of science.". So, in effect, the source does state ID is pseudoscience. The 'junk science' label was added recently, and I'll remove it, as it might have been offensive without a source. -- Ec5618 11:35, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
The quote is fine. But it would still be useful to see the loaded term "pseudoscience" being used by a representative body of science, since that is the specific claim in the article.--Gandalf2000 05:00, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Why doesn't the NCSE count? --JPotter 16:31, 23 October 2005 (UTC)
NCSE is focused on this specific debate and could be considered partisan, rather than being an organization that represents the scientific community in general. Such a source preferably has a history preceeding the controversy, like AAAS or NAS.--Gandalf2000 05:00, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
So what if the NCSE is focused on this specific debate? Who considers them partisan? Other partisans? The real question should be is if any nonpartisans in the scientific community have voiced their concerns about whether the organization should be seen as representing the community in general. The onus is on you to give that citation. Joshuaschroeder 06:05, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Certainly NCSE has a place within the scientific community, but there is a specific definition for that term, and it's broader than NCSE. In any case, the point is not whether some people within the scientific community have called ID "pseudoscience" and "junk science"; it's whether an authoritative body representing the scientific community has used such words, as that's the (disputed) point in the article.--Gandalf2000 16:00, 24 October 2005 (UTC)
Claiming NCSE isn't an "authoritative body" doesn't make sense to me. Do you have a citation that shows that NCSE is not an authorative body? Joshuaschroeder 04:10, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

I've reverted your edits because,

  1. ID itself is inherently pseudoscience, as it claims to be a scientific theory. It is not just the movement that 'engages' in pseudoscience. The general concept of an intelligent designer is philosophy, not pseudoscience, but this article is about the capitalised phenomenon.
  2. Also it is not regarded as science (by the mainstream scientific community), because it does not fit the definition of science, which is a very good reason, surely. 'Affirmed' sounds as though it is not being allowed to call itself science (possibly for petty reasons). I just don't the appeal of 'affirmed' in this context.

As an aside, I'd like to read the Economist article for reference, or atleast know what it says. If anyone could enlighten me. -- Ec5618 06:17, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

I understand your concerns, and made a more modest edit this time. Thanks.--Gandalf2000 17:39, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
BTW, some folks at the core of the ID movement are also hesitant to call it a theory just yet, realizing that ID needs to prove its usefulness quite a bit more. But they do claim it's a reasonable and promising line of inquiry. But not being a valid theory (yet?) is different than being pseudoscience.--Gandalf2000 17:56, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
All three points you make are true. FeloniousMonk 18:07, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

This is getting tiresome. The article is making statements for which there is no attribution, no sources. The closest we have is an implied syllogism:

  1. The popular media sometimes calls ID "Intelligent Design Theory".
  2. The mainstream scientific community, as evidenced by NAS, does not consider ID to be a valid scientific theory.
  3. Therefore, the mainstream scientific community considers ID to be creationist pseudoscience or junk science.

Sorry, that doesn't add up. #1 is tangential, and #3 does not necessarily follow. Please, let's find a source that authoritatively maps these terms to the "mainstream scientific community", or not attribute them as such.--Gandalf2000 18:50, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Gandalf2000 has not explained why the NCSE isn't considered by him to be an "autority" spokesgroup for the "scientific community". Until he does, I say that his objections are not reasonable. Joshuaschroeder 16:49, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

I addressed this point (which only you have objected) in a previous section. Please continue the discussion there....--Gandalf2000 17:11, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Okay, let's step back a bit. We are writing an encyclopedia, not an editorial page. Our common ground must be the literature. Why now are we trying to attribute harsher criticism and more inflammatory words to the mainstream scientific community than the authoritative representatives of that community are using? Do we have a stake in amplifying the debate, and polarizing the issue, rather than dispassionately presenting the facts in ways that don't automatically trigger everyone's hot buttons?

I am working hard to tone down the rhetoric in this article -- and the discussion on this talk page -- so we can resume the task of bringing clarity of understanding to the arguments for and against Intelligent Design. Fighting words, assuming bad motives, and general ill-will don't contribute to the process, and generate much more heat than light. This applies equally to proponents and critics.--Gandalf2000 17:11, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

I hope you're at least having fun, Gandalf2000, because you aren't going to get your edits into this article. You believe you're arguing with people who will listen to reason and that's plainly not the case. You're arguing with close-minded ideologues and they have the adminstrative controls to enforce what they want. I'm interested in how long it will take before you concede that I'm right. --DaveScot 18:02, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

ID as a movement

The following passage, at the end of the Intelligent_design#ID_as_a_movement section, appears to have been mangled. I'd fix it, but I don't know what it said originally.

Despite a consensus in the scientific community that ID lacks merit and ID proponents have yet to propose an actual scientific hypothesis. These campaigns and cases are discussed in depth in the Intelligent design movement article.

goethean 21:09, 25 October 2005 (UTC)