Wall Street Journal publishes anti-Christian propaganda! i

Underseer

Diabloii.Net Member
Wall Street Journal publishes anti-Christian propaganda!

OK, OK, my thread title is a little inflammatory. I am well aware that
  • Not all Christians are creationist
  • Not all conservatives are creationist
  • Non-fundamentalist conservatives seem to get a perverse pleasure out of tweaking the noses of fundamentalists from time to time.
So no one jump on me about the subject title. It was just a joke.

Anyhow, interesting read, although I find if funny that the writer acts as though this is the first hole found in "Intelligent Design." :D

Flaws in 'Intelligent Design'

SCIENCE JOURNAL
By SHARON BEGLEY


Evolution Critics Are Under Fire
For Flaws in 'Intelligent Design'
Even before Darwin, critics attacked the idea of biological evolution with one or another version of, "Evolve this!"

Whether they invoked a human, an eye, or the whip-like flagella that propel bacteria and sperm, the contention that natural processes of mutation and natural selection cannot explain the complexity of living things has been alive and well for 200 years.

Biologists used to just roll their eyes (and sometimes descend to name-calling) at all this. More recently, they've been joining with First Amendment groups to oppose moves to water down the teaching of evolution in classrooms.

But now they are firing back with science. Their target: a line of attack that has promised over the past decade to "smash through the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence to bring Darwin to the canvas once and for all," as cell biologist Kenneth Miller of Brown University, Providence, R.I., puts it.

The latest flaps are over Georgia's proposal (withdrawn last week) to eliminate the word "evolution" from science classes, and a Missouri bill requiring that biology curricula include a creationism off-shoot called "intelligent design."

This new antievolution argument evolved (no irony intended) from the belief that living things are so complex they only could have been designed by an intelligent being.

For years, intelligent-design theory had been bogged down in what one wag calls "the argument from personal incredulity" ("I can't see how natural forces could produce this, so it must be the work of God"). Darwin's new foes, however, are smart enough to realize that just because most of us can't imagine how the sun can burn so hot for so long, it doesn't follow that God, not nuclear fusion, keeps the fires stoked.

In 1996, biochemist Michael Behe of Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa., therefore offered a stronger argument against evolution. Complex living structures, he argued in his book "Darwin's Black Box," possess "irreducible complexity." That is, they can't function until all their components are assembled, much as a mousetrap isn't much good until the base, spring, bar and all the rest are connected.

Moreover, the individual parts of complex structures supposedly serve no function. Because evolution selects only the fittest innovations, useless ones vanish. The odds against a bunch of useless parts lying around at the same time and coming together by chance are astronomical, mathematician and evolution-critic William Dembski of Baylor University correctly notes.

But a funny thing happened when biologists started scrutinizing structures said to be irreducibly complex. Take the flagellum. It turns out that its base -- which Darwin's foes assert has no stand-alone function -- is made of the same necklace of proteins that compose a kind of syringe used by primitive microbes.

Called the type III secretory system, this microsyringe enables a bacterium to inject a toxin into its victim (this is how bubonic-plague bacteria kill). This component of the flagellum, then, could have been hanging around a very long time, conferring benefits on any organism that had it, ready to combine with other structures (which also perform functions in primitive living things) into a full-blown, functional flagellum.

"As an icon of antievolution, the flagellum has fallen," says Prof. Miller, a practicing Catholic. "If bits and pieces of a machine are useful for different functions, it means that natural selection could indeed produce elements of a biochemical machine for different purposes."

It's like discovering the mousetrap bar was a fine toothpick long before it got together with the other parts to kill rodents.

Components of other irreducibly complex structures and systems, it turns out, have functions, too. Humans, for instance, have a complex multipart biomachine that plays a key role in how cells produce energy.

Irreducibly complex? Maybe not. Two of the six proteins that make up the proton pump that produces energy are dead ringers for those in ancient bacteria. Evolution could have co-opted them when it was putting together the more complicated biochemical processes inside animals, including people.

Biologists have pinpointed the origins of only a few of the complex structures in humans and other higher organisms. Even in these cases, Prof. Behe argues, they have not explained, step by step, how simple systems could evolve into complex ones. But with discoveries like the microsyringe, Darwinians have cast serious doubt on the claim that it is impossible for evolution to shape any complex system.

In one of those strange-bedfellows moments, theologians are joining biologists in criticizing intelligent design. Biologist and Anglican priest Arthur Peacocke, for instance, argues that evolution is God's way of creating. George Coyne -- astronomer, Jesuit and director of the Vatican Observatory -- goes further. Invoking God to explain what we can't otherwise account for, he says, is "a kind of idolatry," because true faith should come from within and not because we can't fully explain the natural world.

The evolution wars show no sign of ending, but maybe they are starting to generate a little light as well as much heat.

• You can e-mail me at [email protected].


Updated February 13, 2004
 

Smelly

Diabloii.Net Member
Science kills religion and religious theories... nothing new here! :lol:

I'm going to make a shirt that says : "Science killed God." It's brilliant. Utterly brilliant.
 

Underseer

Diabloii.Net Member
Smelly said:
Science kills religion and religious theories... nothing new here! :lol:

I'm going to make a shirt that says : "Science killed God." It's brilliant. Utterly brilliant.
Uhm, science does not "kill religion." In fact unless I'm very mistaken, theistic evolutionists outnumber atheist evolutionists. Science is only a threat to religious beliefs when people try to use something in the material world as proof of their religious beliefs (which is stupid because the source of religious beliefs should be faith).

This may be off base, but I've always suspected that an undercurrent in the Evolution vs. Creationism debate has very little to do with atheists and has more to do with literal OT interpretations vs. allegorical OT interpretations. Evolution vs. Creastionism is just a proxy for a larger argument people would rather not make directly.
 

toader

Banned
This is kinda new actually.

Most articles are scientific evidence that is trying to prove christianity wrong.

On the flip side, this is an article trying to prove it right, by offering anti-evolution evidence.

This seems to be a pro-christian article, which makes me wonder....did Underseer actually read this article? His title says otherwise. (unless Im missing the point of the article)
 

CaptJoe213

Diabloii.Net Member
Science didn't kill God, if anything, close minded religion leads to the opposition of God and science. There is no reason that they cant exist together without contradiction. The problem begins with believers that refuse to accept anything scientific (reguardless of proof) that doesn't fit exactly with their narrow views. Science could be viewed as the study of the way God did things, though so many religious people refuse this.

For example...the Big Bang theory. If I walked up to you and made a fireball burst out right above my outstretched hand, you might think 'ooh a magic trick, wonder how he did that? gas lines in his sleeve?' If I told you the nothingness above my palm suddenly exploded into the fire, and was serious about it, you would call me an idiot. But yet, supposedly NOTHING, as in theoretical nothing, the lack of existence, a true void, just went BANG! and created everything in our reality? Nothing cannot become something, this is against the laws of physics, the very laws that would govern such an event. Now, throw in a omnipontent entity that could bend the laws some, and it may well have happened that way. If God caused the Big Bang, then it's not impossible. Science cannot explain how true nothingness became something, Religion cannot explain how God spent those 'seven days', so the two compliment each other.

Science and Religion are not diametrically opposed, only the mindsets of each side are that way. It could be said that religion becomes a crutch for things that we are currently unable to explain, but science does it too....I asked several extremely intelligent people with knowledge of the field for more details on Big Bang, as in how did nothingness become something..and I'm always met with 'that's just what happened'. Science crutches with 'we are absolutely right even with holes we cannot explain' where religion crutches with 'God did it'. Both have flaws. Both can relate, it is only personal beliefs that keep the two from coexisting peacefully.
 

Underseer

Diabloii.Net Member
Most articles are scientific evidence that is trying to prove christianity wrong.
First of all, most such articles are not "trying to prove Christianity wrong" unless you believe that proving evolution somehow unproves Christianity (hint: a majority of Christians world-wide believe in some form of evolution).

This seems to be a pro-christian article, which makes me wonder....did Underseer actually read this article? His title says otherwise. (unless Im missing the point of the article)
Re-read it. It is neither pro-Christian nor anti-Christian, it merely punches holes in "Intelligent Design", which is the latest attempt by OT literalists to pass off creationism as a scientific theory.
 

toader

Banned
hmm...

Maybe I shoulda used the word Creationist in place of where I said Christianity...all places...that would make more sense.

I know what your talking about though. I myself and a Christian that believes in evolution.
 

mouschi

Diabloii.Net Member
CaptJoe213 said:
Science crutches with 'we are absolutely right even with holes we cannot explain' where religion crutches with 'God did it'. Both have flaws.
You have a flawed view of science. No scientist will ever say that they are absolutely right. In science, it is impossible to prove anything. I know of no one with an understanding of science that thinks otherwise. Science does not "crutch" with anything because it assumes nothing.
 

Underseer

Diabloii.Net Member
mouschi said:
You have a flawed view of science. No scientist will ever say that they are absolutely right. In science, it is impossible to prove anything. I know of no one with an understanding of science that thinks otherwise. Science does not "crutch" with anything because it assumes nothing.
This is one of the most common misconceptions about science. What are science teachers doing in their classrooms?
 

maccool

Diabloii.Net Member
toader said:
Most articles are scientific evidence that is trying to prove christianity wrong.

On the flip side, this is an article trying to prove it right, by offering anti-evolution evidence.
I know Underseer touched on this. However, science is not out to prove any religion right or wrong. There are no secret meetings where we make plans to discredit Jesus, Allah, Vishnu, or any of the other wonderful dieties out there.

The conflict, in my opinon as a licensed and bonded scientist, arises when pseudoscientific arguments are used to prove a particular religion 'right' or more correct than, a) another religion or and/or b) science itself.

How difficult is it to say, "This is what I believe, I accept it as a matter of faith."? Any credible/normal/respectful person won't question that. Sure, some dope is going to come down hard under the guise of science, but that ain't right.

Science can't prove or disprove any aspect of religion. They are two separate things: one driven by logic and the mind, the other driven by the heart and emotion. Both rock in their own way. That's not to say that someone can't be scientific and religious, anyone can. It's just when one tries to kick the other in the shins, feelings and egos can get bruised.
 

Sergeant

Diabloii.Net Member
Science didn't kill religion. God is the most expert physicist, chemist and biologist in existence. The minds of our greatest would vaporize if they tried to grasp all he knows.

I mean, God didn't create the universe and world out of NOTHING. God, a past master of physics, geology, chemisty and biology simply took materials already there and put his vast knowledge and power to use.

Science does not refute religion and vice versa. Science is one of the things God is very good at. :D
 

toader

Banned
Yea Mac--

Thats why I said....replace Christian with Creationist.

I got to thinking about some of the same things. But I guess you missed that post by me saying to switch the words out....I dont feel like editing :D
 

toader

Banned
Sergeant said:
I mean, God didn't create the universe and world out of NOTHING. God, a past master of physics, geology, chemisty and biology simply took materials already there and put his vast knowledge and power to use.
Yay, a fellow Christian. I agree with that statement I quoted you on. BUT...I often find myself wondering...where did those original materials come from?

You say God took the materials already there, and used them. Were they there before God? Did he make them too? If so, out of what?


(to all atheists: See, Christians can question their own beliefs and theories, I like to call it growth :D )
 

Smelly

Diabloii.Net Member
toader said:
(to all atheists: See, Christians can question their own beliefs and theories, I like to call it growth :D )
I call it questioning your faith. All I'm hearing is God fearing nothingness. So, what came before God? Religion is just going to stay quiet or say "God is everywhere" or something along those lines. Science killed God because God will never be described by science, other than "something those religious people believe in". And that is what I meant by science killing God.
 

SaroDarksbane

Diabloii.Net Site Pal
I'd say science has attempted to kill religion, but it only got 50% done. In the past, religion has been used to explain the hows and whys of our existence, but when science came along, it readily took over the role of explaining the hows. It fails miserably at the whys, however.

I've never seen religion and science as being contradictory. They merely attempt to explain different sides of the same coin.
 

toader

Banned
Smelly said:
I call it questioning your faith. All I'm hearing is God fearing nothingness. So, what came before God? Religion is just going to stay quiet or say "God is everywhere" or something along those lines. Science killed God because God will never be described by science, other than "something those religious people believe in". And that is what I meant by science killing God.
So your logic is this....if I understand you correctly.

Science cant explain God....so, because of that....Science killed God?

[guinness commercial voice]
BRILLIANT!!
[/guinness]

Yes it is questioning your faith. Every single Christian questions their faith, it is natural and encouraged. Thats the only way to make it stronger.
 

Plum

Diabloii.Net Member
Underseer said:
First of all, most such articles are not "trying to prove Christianity wrong" unless you believe that proving evolution somehow unproves Christianity (hint: a majority of Christians world-wide believe in some form of evolution).
Can you clear up what you mean by that? As I'm reading it now, it appears that you're suggesting that Christianity, of which a major element is creationism, is compatible with the theory of evolution. I'm not sure if I'm misinterpreting this though.
 

Underseer

Diabloii.Net Member
Plum said:
Can you clear up what you mean by that? As I'm reading it now, it appears that you're suggesting that Christianity, of which a major element is creationism, is compatible with the theory of evolution. I'm not sure if I'm misinterpreting this though.
Yep.

Creationism is only a major component of Christian sects that teach that the entire Old Testament is literal. Many Christians believe in odd things like "allegory" and "parable."

Creationist Christians nominally outnumber evolutionist Christians in America (Christians: 84% of the American population; creationists: 45% of the American population), but America is the only industrialized Christian nation in which this is true. In all the other industrialized Christian nations, evolutionist Christians outnumber creationist Christians, often by a wide margin. Globally, theist evolutionists outnumber creationists.
 

Underseer

Diabloii.Net Member
PS: if you're wondering about the other 39%, most of them believe in evolution, but that it was guided by the hand of God. A small percentage of the above believe in evolution without direct interference/guidance by God.
 
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