Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

Rush Holt (TPMCafe) - Intelligent Design: It's Not Even Wrong

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Editorials & Other Articles Donate to DU
Dudley_DUright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-08-05 07:06 PM
Original message
Rush Holt (TPMCafe) - Intelligent Design: It's Not Even Wrong
As a research scientist and a member of the House Education Committee, I was appalled when President Bush signaled his support for the teaching of "intelligent design" alongside evolution in public K-12 science classes. Though I respect and consistently protect the rights of persons of faith and the curricula of religious schools, public school science classes are not the place to teach concepts that cannot be backed up by evidence and tested experimentally.

Science, by definition, is a method of learning about the physical universe by asking questions in a way that they can be answered empirically and verifiably. If a question cannot be framed so that the answer is testable by looking at physical evidence and by allowing other people to repeat and replicate one's test, then it is not science. The term science also refers to the organized body of knowledge that results from scientific study. Intelligent design offers no way to investigate design scientifically. Intelligent design explains complicated phenomena of the natural world by involving a designer. This way of thinking says things behave the way they do because God makes them behave that way. This treads not into science but into the realm of faith. A prominent physicist, W. Pauli, used to say about such a theory "It is not even wrong". There is no testable hypothesis or prediction for Intelligent Design.

It is irresponsible for President Bush to cast intelligent design - a repackaged version of creationism - as the "other side" of the evolution "debate." Creationists and others who denigrate the concept of evolution call it a theory, with a dismissive tone. They say that, as a theory, it is up for debate. Sure, evolution is a theory, just as gravitation is a theory. The mechanisms of evolution are indeed up for debate, just as the details of gravitation and its mathematical relationship with other forces of nature are up for debate. Some people once believed that we are held on the ground by invisible angels above us beating their wings and pushing us against the earth. If angels always adjusted their beating wings to exert force that diminished as the square of the distance between attracting bodies, it would be just like our idea of gravitation. The existence of those angels, undetected by any measurements, would not be the subject of science. Such an idea of gravity is "not even wrong". It is beyond the realm of science. So, too, is intelligent design.

Colloquially, a theory is an idea. Scientifically, a theory is an accepted synthesis of a large body of knowledge, consisting of well-tested hypotheses, laws, and scientific facts, which concurrently describe and connect natural phenomena. There are actually very few theories in science, including atomic theory, the theory of gravity, the theory of evolution, and the theory of the standard model of particle physics. Without the ability to test the hypotheses of Intelligent Design, it cannot be considered a theory in the scientific sense.


:applause: Bravo Congressman Holt (He has a Ph.D. in Physics)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
bullimiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-08-05 07:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. but maybe jeebus made the world.
i love you jeebus.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
kiraboo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-08-05 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. bullimiami, jeebus will damn you to hell for your false piety. fall to
your knees!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
delete_bush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-08-05 07:47 PM
Response to Original message
3. Can we all say "I Love Rush!"
What a great way to engage a freeper, mention that Rush is against ID, plus I'm sure there are a lot of other sensible things he believes. They'll think they've entered bizzaro world for there can be only one Rush.

I do however like the angels/gravity connection. I always thought when I was face down drunk in the gutter it was little DEVILS that were pushing me down.

Rush Limbaugh, he's not even wrong.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Dudley_DUright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-08-05 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Rather ironic that two people named Rush are at opposite
extreme tails of the IQ normal distribution (I will leave it to you to intuit which is which :-) )
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-05 02:19 AM
Response to Original message
5. Right--it doesn't conflict with science, but it's not science either
even if you taught it, what could you say more than their might be a designer?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
shrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-05 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
6. Exactly
What I've always said.

Religion and philosophy are one thing. Science is another discipline entirely. Intelligent Design cannot be considered science because there is no way to test its validity. Through the ages, there has never been any way to prove or disprove the existence of God; therefore, any discussion involving a designer (God) belongs in the Religion or Philosophy disciplines.

And I am a practicing Catholic, btw.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Karmageddon Donating Member (596 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-05 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
7. you have to admit, intelligent design (ahem) theory is pretty damn funny
Almost as funny, and just as believable as the Flying Spaghetti Monster theory.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Emillereid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-09-05 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
8. This theory of 'intelligent design' was soundly rebutted in the 18th
century -- before evolution was even a gleem in Darwin's eye. It's basically the old watchmaker argument come back to haunt us. If one accepts the idea that the universe seems to be the result of intelligent design and that therefore there must be a designer, then it begs the question as to who or what designed or made the designer. I mean God appears to be a damn intelligent design in his own right. Did he just pop into existence in a big bang too??? Is he but a timeless singularity out of which everything arose.

Good grief -- we're back where we started from.

By the way, if there is an intelligent designer -- I wonder if we might have an intelligent discussion about some flaws that have become apparent in his design. Is he open to criticism; is he willing to talk upgrades. Did he really design Bush??? Does he have bad days too? Maybe he should take it up with his maker!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
klyon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-10-05 07:13 PM
Response to Original message
9. so putting it in science class it will show up its weaknesses and
be found by students with open minds to be lacking in the scientific realm and dismiss therefore hurting the religious position.

It can be presented to students as philosophy and or in world religion classes but as science it is not going to fly. Students will see through.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Tue Mar 05th 2024, 03:15 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]

Home » Discuss » Editorials & Other Articles Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC