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Friday, November 06, 2009

Podcasts in the intelligent design controversy, with comments

1. David Berlinski and The Deniable Darwin

Excerpt from my comments:
Earlier this year I was listening to a committed materialist, theoretical physicist Larry Krauss of Arizona State U, explain in detail, exactly how the world is going to end.

For the life of me, I couldn't figure out how he differs from the hellfire sect banging on my door inconveniently on Saturday morning, handing me a tract explaining ... how the world is going to end. Krauss says he has "science" on his side. Yes, but ... . science has changed its mind on a number of issues many times in the past few centuries, when its theories proved false.

So has the hellfire sect, though the history is less often recorded.
Anyway, listen here.
On today’s episode of ID the Future, mathematician and consummate skeptic David Berlinski shares with Discovery President Bruce Chapman about his award-winning essays from Commentary Magazine and the answers that are unacceptable to the scientific community.

The essays first published in Commentary Magazine are now available in The Deniable Darwin & Other Essays , a new book published by Discovery Institute Press, where nothing is exempt from Berlinski’s famous skepticism, excluding neither Darwinism nor intelligent design from his critical eye. The 32 essays included in this volume span fifteen years of wit and insight. Visit the website for more information.
More about the book:
When it comes to some of life’s most profound questions—the origins of life, of matter, of the universe itself—does modern science already have everything all figured out? Many scientists would like us to think they are mere steps away from solving all the deep enigmas of physical existence.

Consummate skeptic David Berlinski shows that all such confidence is at best a bluff.
I should say so. Earlier this year I was listening to a committed materialist, theoretical physicist Larry Krauss of Arizona State U, explain in detail, exactly how the world is going to end.

For the life of me, I couldn't figure out how he differs from the hellfire sect banging on my door inconveniently on Saturday morning, handing me a tract explaining ... how the world is going to end.

Krauss says he has "science" on his side. Yes, but ... . science has changed its mind on a number of issues many times in the past few centuries, when its theories proved false.

So has the hellfire sect, though the history is less often recorded.

Look, I am a Catholic Christian and am busy and don't know how the world is going to end.

Onto the next pod:

2. You should also listen to this one:
How Information Theory Is Taking Intelligent Design Mainstream: An Interview With Dr. William Dembski

This episode of ID the Future continues Casey Luskin's interviews Dr. William Dembski on his new peer-reviewed paper, "Conservation of Information in Search: Measuring the Cost of Success," published in IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics A, Systems & Humans.

How does this peer-reviewed scientific paper support intelligent design? Listen in as Dr. Dembski shares how his research tests evolutionary theory using information theory and the follow-up paper that he and fellow researcher Dr. Robert Marks are working on.

For more information, read the paper at EvoInfo.org.
Darwinism, as fronted today, is a bankrupt idea. But lots of public payrollers front it into their retirement by sounding alarms about the awful things that will happen if anyone is permitted to question it.

The fact is, natural selection is an immense conservative, not creative, force in nature. As I have said before, it explains why wild wolves of the northern forest* tend to look alike but tame dogs - subject only to intelligent (?) design could be dachsunds, chihuahuas, or Newfoundland rescue dogs.

I can only attribute the current belief in the supposedly immense creative powers of natural selection to urbanization, indoctrination in schools, the desire to avoid conflict, and atheist superstition.

*Note: Yes, I did once meet a wolf. He sure looked like a wolf to me, but he was part of a sled dog pack. When a typical pack bark started up, he could only howl. Okay, he was a wolf, as I had guessed. (In general, wolves do not bark.) I did not rat him or his keeper out. Look, when you need a job, you need a job. Each sled pack member gets frozen bricks of chicken parts daily. And every form of refuge has its price. Also, there is no unemployment insurance lineup for wolves.

3. The Origins of Intelligent Design: Countering Darwinist Urban Legends

Listen here

On this episode of ID the Future, CSC’s Robert Crowther takes aim at Darwinist misinformation about the origins of intelligent design. Crowther makes mincemeat of the assertion that the term “intelligent design” was fabricated following the 1987 Edwards v. Aguillard Supreme Court case, showing instead that the term is over 100 years old. He also targets the old Darwinist canard that terms like micro- and macro-evolution were made up by Darwin’s critics.

For more information on the history of intelligent design, read CSC Senior Fellow Jonathan Witt’s "The Origin of Intelligent Design."
As Darwinism becomes increasingly unbelievable in the light of new information, it is no surprise that urban legends start up, to defend it. But it is useful to know which charges some overheated person is making at a public meeting are in fact urban legends. Remember, that person may have been pumped in advance by a Darwinist or Christian Darwinist operative, and may not even realize that the Truths they have been told are merely legends, so go lightly over the earth. Also, remember, many teachers are compelled to recite Darwinist nonsense (or other nonsense, possibly) to keep their jobs. No reason to assume they believe it.

Whatever happened to the days when teachers were considered professionals, like doctors and lawyers?

4. The Real Frankenstein: Giovanni Aldini

Listen here.
On this special Halloween edition of ID the Future, John West shares the inspiration for Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

In his book, Darwin Day in America, West examines the experiments that Italian scientist Giovanni Aldini conducted on human corpses. His gruesome experiments provided the inspiration for Frankenstein and foreshadowed the rise of a virulent strain of materialism that attempted to use science to reduce human beings to mere matter in motion.
Okay, Hallowe'en is over and we have mostly got the window soap message pranks and toilet paper pranks out of our lives, but West's book is much recommended by me. He really helped me understand how materialism came to be a dominant force in society.

5. Darwin's Predictions With Cornelius Hunter

Listen here:

On this episode of ID the Future, Cornelius Hunter is interviewed by Casey Luskin about his website, DarwinsPredictions.com , and his blog, Darwin's God:

Listen in as Dr. Hunter examines the evidence of evolution's failure as a theory and answers the objections evolutionists raise to his arguments.
Well, which of Darwin's predictions ever did come true? I'd be interested to hear.

I don't know what's true, but I know what isn't. And I hate seeing Brit toff Darwin compared to refugee scientist Einstein or emancipator Abe Lincoln.

Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:




5. Posted November 5, 2009


Darwinism and popular culture: A tour of the textbooks

Sometimes, when discussing the much misunderstood Scopes Trial, I have referred to the textbook from which Scopes was teaching, Hunter's Civic Biology, which seems to have been an amalgam of civics and biology, with a dose of eugenics thrown in, and smug assertions about "highest" or "lowest". Bad idea. Enough already with total subject confusion, ecological misunderstanding, and useless social conflict. Here's an interesting site where Ron Ladouceur gives us a tour of exotic textbooks of our storied past.

I am glad my own biology teachers focused on the cell theory of life, the germ theory of disease, and the life and times of the endangered ribbon snake (= ecology).

There is only so much students will take away when they graduate (if they do) , and you want it to be something they can make sense of in dealing with their own life and environment.


Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:

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