History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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ACLU to Brunswick: Don’t teach ‘intelligent design’ as science …// Darwiniana to ACLU: Don’t teach darwinism as science // ‘design’ as a valid scientific argument

April 8th, 2015 · No Comments


Although I respect the ACLU its behavior on evolution since the Scopes Trial is open to severe question, with some question as to the integrity of its defenses here. And the Dover Trial simply sowed the same doubt, about lawyers, all over again.

The world needs relief from Darwinian dogma, and from the lawyers hired to defend it. Even if we consider the religion/state divide and the separations of church and state the fact remains that Darwin’s theory is open to severe challenge (the theory of natural selection) and is probably on its way out. It should have been dropped long ago, and even at the time of the Scopes trial a little research would have shown, what even Bryan didn’t appreciate, the scientific flaws in the theory. The same charade happened in Dover as the ‘shark lawyer’ tactics exposed the design argument but egregiously left the flawed Darwin argument intact. These tactics are unfair to the schools and have stunted biology education of millions. Even physicists working at the level of string theory can’t seem to grasp where darwinism goes wrong.
The claim that ‘design’ arguments are theological and an attempt to bring religion into the classroom are in one sense obvious, but in another sense unfair. Religious proponents of design have muddled the public sphere with ‘crypto-theocratic’ strategies (that don’t work) and part of this was the use of design arguments as theological surrogates for creationists arguments. The latter have, apparently, been renounced by the distinct so-called ‘Intelligent Design’ lobbies/lobby/Discovery org whose discussions of ‘intelligent design purport’ to be science.
At this point we suffer a stalemate or else a crippling complication to analysis. The term ‘intelligent’ prefaced with ‘design’ is intractable and can’t easily be absolved of religious or theistic arguments. But at the same time it claims to bring a decision procedure to ‘design’ arguments. It is however confusing to preface ‘intelligent’ to design and then call this science. I think the strategy is clever, potentially fruitful, but needs to be stated as a variant without the term ‘intelligent’. We see that biological entities and processes shown design, why annex the term ‘intelligent’ unless we know that a mind is at work in nature. And here the stalemate intensifies because we are mixing, not religion and science, but metaphysics and scientism and the result is nothing much except the stalemate.
The point here is that if ‘design’ is discoverable in nature this therefore can have a scientific status. The design argument might have done better by skipping the adjectival preface ‘intelligent’. Design in nature would have to proceed in stages to any demonstration of the far more difficult question of ‘mind’ in nature. In any case, the issue of design in biology is not hard to demonstrate. Any biochemical machine or process with a mechanical ‘purpose’ is evidence of design in nature, design as complete ‘fait accompli’. Every textbook has pictures of dozens of such ‘machines with a purpose’, so the nature of the argument is that these can’t also evolve by design. Why the restriction? And clearly the argument by random natural selection is unproven and probably ridiculous.
So it is completely off the mark to seek legal redress for bad biology and we are close to the complaint, mostly misstated, of those who challenge ‘evolution’, usually when they mean darwinism.

So the complaint is that ‘intelligent design’ isn’t science. But darwinism isn’t science either. The proponents of ‘design’ might do better to drop the term ‘intelligent’ and speak of design in biological organisms, and design in biological evolution, both. It is thus clearly not a question of separation of church and state to claim ‘design’ is a part of science process: it has to be science if it is advanced as the only explanation for a particular biological process. We can see that the public, whatever its religious biases, is confronted by deceptive forms of ‘science’ and these have corrupted the science of evolution. And lawyers in a court of law are generally very poor vehicles of clarification. It is easy to assemble a legal speech defending darwinism and exposing ‘design’ as religion. But it is too obvious a sad legacy of distortion by the ACLU for almost a century. The ACLU needs to stop the obstruction of justice obscuring the evolution debate.

Note: the question of design is well within the purview of science: a thermostat is one close cousin. The example has been given of a device whose causality acts from the future, a logically consistent situation, with or without a physical representation in the space-time we are familiar with. But if the element of design visible in biochemical machines is anything like this the question arises as to the dimensionality of biological organisms/machines and whether there is some set of processes that can mimic higher dimensionality inside ‘normal dimensionality’. Isn’t a feedback device just this? We need not invoke a new dimension (except as a gedanken experiment) to see that feedback devices ‘exit the space’ of ambient temperature by showing a measurement of a causal process outside of that process in the ‘rigging of the apparatus’. In any case any function of more than 3/4 variables f(x,y,z,t,..) is higher dimensional’.

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