Intelligent Design – Science or Religion?

For those who may be interested, Dr. Sean Pitman recently gave a provocative presentation at Loma Linda University (linked below) as part of Dr. Paul Giem’s Second Look Seminars – a series of presentations on origins.   Dr. Pitman’s topic was:

Intelligent Design:  Science or Religion?

The talk was based on a review of Judge John Jone’s ruling in the 2005 Kitzmiller vs. Dover case over the effort to teach intelligent design theories in public schools as competing scientific theories to mainstream theories on origins – especially the origin of life on Earth.Â

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18 thoughts on “Intelligent Design – Science or Religion?

  1. One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you. Joshua 23:10




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  2. There are some people like Brantley prefer to “pretend” that supporing dark ages policies is really “a good thing” if you look at them just right.

    In the dover case we have a thought-police style solution where courts are asked to sift and censure class rooms to the point of punishing public school boards upwards of 2 million dollars for daring to add a 1 minute statement as an introduction to a science class. The heretical statement apparenly admits that “a book exists in the library” that is not in favor with evolutionists – and presto! A 2 million dollar judgment against the school.

    This is supposed to be a “good thing” according to some people.

    I am surprised that any SDA would be falling for dark ages censorship at that extreme level of thought-police tactics.

    In fact I would not be too surprised to find that in SDA classrooms there are statements about “a book existing in the library” on the subject of blind-faith-evolutionism. And yet in the thought-restricted world of certain liberals, that level of open disclosure is to be shunned and even banned as heretical if done by liberals admitting to conservative views of the origin of life on earth.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  3. I’ve wanted to insert a certain notion of mine about Intelligent Design that is far from the famous flagellum, the coagulation cascade, the irreducibility of DNA.

    Now’s a good time to do it, while, as on an Alaskan cruise with all the passengers jostled together on one side of the ship ogling a gaggle of orcas, all the passengers of our good ship EduTru have roared over to another deck to like or dislike the Smartphone Four and bevy of hammerhead barristers thrashing and spouting out there in the treacherous Straits of Ethics.

    What I wanted to say, if only to myself –- it’s lonely over here! — is that, as homage to the consoling convenience and virtual reality of statistics complete with computer-generated T values or flip like-dislikes, it is to be granted that the odds, though pretty astronomical even by eonic terms, could allow a fluky random conflation of molecular apparatuses for the cascade of keratin extrusions to form a blue heron’s lacy tail feathers. But there is no formula, no possible odds, odds just don’t apply, reducible or irreducible, whipped, spun, scrambled or marinated in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, that those feathers by random could turn out so simply — beautiful.

    Erv’s Odds could authorize the kinetics of the sundry atmospheric moieties to materialize as vapor of a certain pressure and instant formal configuration, with the sun happening to be at just the angle, focus, and intensity to fasciculate photoelecromagnetic wave forms of a predominance of frequencies from 400-550 THz. But I’m seeing backlit clouds, a rim of pure glow shouting against contentedly submissive violet velvet. I’m seeing translucent velvet violet vapor as homogenous as amber, that you can’t feel but only see, merge indistinguishably into violet, vaporously translucent mountains that would kill you if they were an avalanche. Odds? Beyond odd.

    So I agree: Intelligent Design should never be taught only in science class. It belongs also in Aesthetics 101.




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  4. Wesley Kime: I’ve wanted to insert a certain notion of mine about Intelligent Design that is far from the famous flagellum, the coagulation cascade, the irreducibility of DNA.
    Now’s a good time to do it, while, as on an Alaskan cruise with all the passengers jostled together on one side of the ship ogling a gaggle of orcas, all the passengers of our good ship EduTru have roared over to another deck to like or dislike the Smartphone Four and bevy of hammerhead barristers thrashing and spouting out there in the treacherous Straits of Ethics.
    What I wanted to say, if only to myself –- it’s lonely over here! — is that, as homage to the consoling convenience and virtual reality of statistics complete with computer-generated T values or flip like-dislikes, it is to be granted that the odds, though pretty astronomical even by eonic terms, could allow a fluky random conflation of molecular apparatuses for the cascade of keratin extrusions to form a blue heron’s lacy tail feathers. But there is no formula, no possible odds, odds just don’t apply, reducible or irreducible, whipped, spun, scrambled or marinated in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, that those feathers by random could turn out so simply — beautiful

    Well said –

    Paul put it somewhat differently.

    He said “they are without excuse” who pretend not to notice elegant, artistic, infinite intelligence behind the making of “said feathers”.

    So sad that there are 1 or two of our own SDA friends who just don’t get the point.

    in Christ,

    Bob




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  5. Is Intelligent Design Science or Religion?

    As a Seventh-day Adventist believer first and as a physics teacher second, I interpret Dr. Pitman’s presentation to mean that Intelligent Design belongs to the realm of philosophy, not science.




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  6. @Emeritus:

    As a Seventh-day Adventist believer first and as a physics teacher second, I interpret Dr. Pitman’s presentation to mean that Intelligent Design belongs to the realm of philosophy, not science.

    I’m not sure how anyone who actually watched my presentation could come to this conclusion? I’m not sure how I could have been any more clear in suggesting that the human ability to detect the need to invoke intelligent design to explain various features of our universe can be done in a very scientific manner?… as is the case for anthropology, forensics, and even SETI?

    The same arguments used to support the hypothesis for design in these mainstream sciences can also be used to support the design argument for living machines as well.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  7. @Oink: Dr. Pitman’s arguments are trivial. Real science is nontrivial. Therefore, Dr. Pitman’s lecture really wasn’t about science.

    Dr. Pitman might have discovered that his lecture actually misrepresented science if he had presented a thorough review of the meaning of science.




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  8. @Emeritus:

    Dr. Pitman’s arguments are trivial. Real science is nontrivial. Therefore, Dr. Pitman’s lecture really wasn’t about science. Dr. Pitman might have discovered that his lecture actually misrepresented science if he had presented a thorough review of the meaning of science.

    Please do present the “real” definition of science and its meaning for us so that I can move beyond my own trivial understanding of it.

    After all, as far as I’m aware, the basis of science is in fact very simple and intuitive. As one of my university professors put it, “Science is a very basic BS detector.”

    While the implications of scientific methodologies may be quite important and non-trivial, there’s really nothing fancy about science itself – about the basic scientific method and forms of scientific reasoning. It seems to me that even children use a form of scientific reasoning during the process of learning new and useful information about the world in which they find themselves.

    So, for you to suggest that the very basis of science is this mystical complex enterprise is just a bit surprising to me – given that you are actually an emeritus professor in some field of science yourself as your moniker suggests.

    I would therefore be very interested in your own non-trivial definition of science and what it “means” – contrary to what I presented in my lecture. Specifically, please do explain to me how science is in fact unable to detect the need to invoke intelligent design to explain various features of our universe in which we live?… how this is all just “philosophy”?

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  9. Friends, fellow Christians: I’m new to this blog; I was attracted by the title “Educate Truth,” interested in hearing more about the truth of the Bible as presented in Christ. I fear to say anything because of the attacks I see on all of these posts, but I have a comment: If this site is supposed to reflect the education of truth in a Biblical context, shouldn’t we all present it in the most Christlike way? As I read the Gospels I find that Jesus had a lot to contend with but always handled it without the slightest hint of sarcasm, even though it cost him his very life.

    I’m not commenting on this article or its responses in particular. And I know we have freedom of speech and open dialogue and discussion. My two cents simply is this: We will always come up against people who have opposite ideas, opinions, and worldviews than we have, and we will probably not be able to change their minds to our views by arguing with them. Instead, if we take a few thoughtful moments in prayer, maybe we can respond in a way that will draw others to Christ instead of looking like the same kind of forum as the rest of our non-Christian neighbors.

    Forgive me if my comment sounds too simplistic or if it sounds judgmental: I don’t mean for it to be because I am speaking to myself as well; I need this reminder in my life daily!




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  10. Sean Pitman: Please do present the “real” definition of science and its meaning for us so that I can move beyond my own trivial understanding of it. … I would therefore be very interested in your own non-trivial definition of science and what it “means” – contrary to what I presented in my lecture.

    Specifically, please do explain to me how science is in fact unable to detect the need to invoke intelligent design to explain various features of our universe in which we live?… how this is all just “philosophy”?

    First, on the definition of science, I do hope you realize that you’re just repeating the unsophisticated logic of the Discovery Institute and according to Michael Behe, the Institute’s chosen witness to testify in the now infamous Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District court case, that to broaden the accepted definition of science to include Intelligent Design, then the definition would also be broad enough to include astrology. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/day11pm.html

    Second, I must emphasize that you only invoked two definitions of science in your lecture to decide the question, “Intelligent Design – Science or Religion?”, and both of those definitions are extremely nonstandard. Providing only two nonstandard definitions is being unreasonably selective and that makes me wonder why you are ignoring the definition of science as understood by all the notable discoverers of the laws of nature. I interpret your quote from Richard Feynman as a misrepresentation of science. If you really wanted to cite an authority like Feynman, why didn’t you reveal his very precise thinking on the definition of science?

    I do not recall saying that science is unable to detect the need to invoke intelligent design to explain various features of our universe. My view is simply that the existence of the Creator is obvious (Psalm 53:1) and that even a good dictionary definition of science reveals that you’re not characterizing science properly.




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  11. @Emeritus:

    Providing only two nonstandard definitions is being unreasonably selective and that makes me wonder why you are ignoring the definition of science as understood by all the notable discoverers of the laws of nature.

    Now it all comes clear. You’re Eugene Shubert – the one who thinks that HIV isn’t the cause of AIDS (Link). The one who talks directly with God, has prophetic understanding, and is the fulfilment of William Miller’s dream.

    On your website you wrote:

    By faith and prophetic understanding, I believe that I have been appointed to bring about the fulfillment of William Miller’s dream… The second half of the dream foretells an experience fulfilled largely by me. ( Link )

    I’m sorry, but you’re hardly in line with mainstream science, philosophy… or even the religious views of the Adventist Church.

    Sean Pitman
    http://www.DetectingDesign.com




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  12. @Sean Pitman:

    Sean Pitman:
    @Emeritus:

    Now it all comes clear.You’re Eugene Shubert – the one who thinks that HIV isn’t the cause of AIDS (Link).The one who talks directly with God,

    I see no reason to condemn Kary Mullis just because he’s a Nobel Laureate in chemistry and has crazy ideas. And I have never said that God talks to me. The closest I ever got to hearing from God is being reproved by the Holy Spirit speaking audibly to me, saying, “There is no excuse for sin.” And consistent with that, there was also a time when an angel reproved me in a dream. But I had greater revelations. I wasn’t always following my own will. I do treasure a Holy Spirit communication that a prayer of mine was answered. There was also a dream years later where I dreamed that I was confessing my whole life to my Father and when I finished my confession, my Father told me that I am justified.




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