Nitpick: disproven, not debunked. The latter word implies junk science, which phlogiston theory was not. For other more recent disproven theories, refer to the aether theory, or that electron have regular orbits, and a little more thought will yield any number of other discarded theories.
So I was looking at past science through modern eyes. It happens. It's a minor point anyway.
Regardless, my point was that you appealed to authority, ignoring the fact that your authority is constantly in flux...
How is it in flux? The theory of evolution has been around for over a century and it keeps getting stronger. It's not going anywhere.
and does not even necessarily agree with itself
Yes, there are debates over details of evolution. For instance, how big a part natural selection plays in speciation, or which modern species a certain fossil is ancestral to. But there is no disagreement over the main facts: that all life shares a common ancestor, that natural selection plays a part in speciation, that life on Earth is billions of years old, that life has changed over time, that changes can be inherited, that humans are related to chimpanzees, and so on. And as scientists find new evidence, the debates are resolved. Creationists will look at these debates and immediately conclude that all of evolution is crumbling to the ground. It's like if someone called in to NPR's Car Talk
with a automotive problem, one of the hosts said it might be the spark plugs, the other says it might be a fan belt, and you suddenly concluding that since the hosts disagree, they know absolutely nothing about auto mechanics, that auto mechanics is a fraudulent field, and that the car was actually possessed by a demon.
...especially as there are secular scientists who do support ID.
There are secular scientists who think the world is flat, too. How many of these ID scientists actually work in a field related to evolution?
Intelligent Design is not 'wanting' as such, you know
. It explains the origin of life perfectly well.
"Uh, God did it. But we're not going to say how, or why, or when. We've got no explanation why modern life looks the way it does. We have no explanation for why life falls into a tree like hierarchy
. We have no explanation for the fossil record. We have no idea why God gave everyone potential time bombs of disease, attached them to our large intestines, and made them look exactly as if they had descended from digestive organs no longer used." Yeah, real useful. It's like saying "It's magic!" It answers nothing and just makes more questions.
Accommodation is very different from explanation. An explanation tells why something is one way and not another. A theory which accommodates anything explains nothing, because it doesn't rule out any possibilities. Accommodating all possibilities also makes a theory exactly useless. Since creationism accommodates all possibilities, it is not explanatory.
When theories get overturned, such as, say, Newtonian physics, they get overturned by theories that not only explain all the data, they also explain why the old theory worked for so long. Why did the Intelligent Designer decide to make life look evolved? Do you have an answer? If ID really is the right answer, why does life show all the signs of common descent?
What predictions does ID make? Evolution predicted
which later turned out to be true. This is usually a hallmark of a firm scientific theory. What does ID predict? To even make headway on the question, we'd have to know how and why the designer designed -- in essence, ask who the designer is -- and most ID proponents will dodge the question and say "ID's not that kind of theory!
" They don't want to admit that they have God in mind.
It's just that many scientists think it's a copout (which it is), and they think they can explain life on this planet without needing to resort to the supernatural.
Science hasn't had any problems so far in using methodological naturalism
Are you at all familiar with the God of the Gaps?
"We need the supernatural to explain weather/disease/planetary motion/the origin of Earth! Science will never learn these things!"
"Uh, actually, we just found out a natural explanation for that..."
If science keeps coming up for natural explanations of phenomena, what does that say about the role of the supernatural?
disprove ID, you must absolutely disprove the existence of the supernatural, or prove beyond doubt that natural processes can give rise life - and good luck doing either of that.
You may be familiar with the maxim "the burden of proof lies on he who alleges". Actually, probably not, but I can dream. If you want to claim that the origins of life necessitated intelligence, then do it. Prove it. Don't just go "Ha! You can't disprove me for sure! I'm right!" It's not our
job to disprove your claims. It's your
job to back them up. ID can't be absolutely disproven because its proponents keep making up excuses every time the evidence doesn't go their way: "The designer can work however he wants!" This means it's about the same level as "magic fairies make the lights in my house turn on" and "the world was created three hours ago and we were all created with fake memories". When scientists discuss evolution -- or any other scientific field -- they support their claims by providing the evidence and the logical arguments and inferences. Others then evaluate the claims and the evidence, until a consensus is reached that the claim has been demonstrated to a reasonable degree.
Are you at all familiar with the concept of falsifiability? If there is no possible evidence that would go against a hypothesis, then the hypothesis is probably BS and is useless for science. There are many ways evolution would be disproved
. How does ID stack up in that regard? If the designer can make life any way he wants, how could you find evidence that would say he didn't make life?
And, as I mentioned repeatedly in the recent Faith vs. Reason
thread, it is impossible to prove anything 100% in the real world. All we can do is attain as much certainty as possible. You're probably pretty certain your computer exists, or that Africa exists, but could you prove it 100%? Could you prove they're not hallucinations? Science, or any systematic study of the world, works by finding as much certainty as possible. It is, of course, possible that life was created 6000 years ago by a bloodthirsty Bronze Age deity. It is also possible that aliens invaded 80 years ago and completely removed any trace of the invasion. It is also possible that I am God and I will condemn all non-atheists to an eternity of explaining why they're not supposed to believe in me (with visual aids and fire). It is also possible that the World Trade Centers are still standing but the government is using holograms and space-time distortions to hide them. It is also possible that President Bush is a robot puppet built by dinosaurs who live at the North Pole. It is also possible that this whole world is really a virtual reality simulation and I'm busy being a battery for pissed-off machines. The reason no one believes these claims is because there's absolutely no evidence to support them, and usually very good evidence against. In other words, there is a high degree of certainty that these claims are bunk. There's no evidence of Intelligent Design, and most of the slipshod, jerry-rigged, hack-job, suboptimal mechanisms of living things tend to point away from an Intelligent Designer. And when the Intelligent Designer is supposed to be a god of love, one has to wonder why so many of his designs are designed to kill, maim, poison, infect, wound, and eat each other.
I've also gotten over the fact that most experts have debunked my claims, thanks, and I don't need to save face, either, certainly not by slandering scientists.
So you follow YEC even though you know most of its claims are BS...? Wow. You must have a really high opinion of the scientific capabilities of sheep herders who lived two-and-a-half millennia ago and thought the world was flat.
I also have to wonder why you worship a God who made the universe 6000 years ago, flooded the world, and then changed everything around so it all looked like the universe had started 13-some-odd billion years ago, the world had started 4.5 billion years, and all life had evolved from simple beginnings with no floods to speak of. Why? Why would God deceive all the people who devoted themselves to a rational, systematic study of his creation? I believe Galileo Galilei once said "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."* Creationists go "Oh, we're supposed to believe God", but God created the universe**! The universe should be as much a part of God's testimony as the written stuff. It's the Really Old Testament! Why would he make his creation and his word contradict each other? Why do you worship a deceitful God?
And it's not slander if it's true, by the way. Creationism is bad science, bad logic, and bad theology.* Except he didn't say it in English.
** Well, they think so, anyway.
I'm actually betting you didn't know who Flew was, before you read the article. Am I right?
Never heard of him. So much for being well-known and respected. I can get a good idea of how well he's researched the issue, just as I could tell that someone who claims the world is flat probably doesn't know much about geography.
And I just checked up on the fellow. There's no indication he has a biology, biochemistry, or any sort of scientific background.
I know you are not going to change your mind (note I never brought arguments for ID)
I've heard them already, thanks anyway.
...but I found the sight of you people doing exactly what the stereotypical 'fundy' supposedly does when presented with a conflicting viewpoint too funny not to comment on.
I'm not surprised you can't tell the difference. For starters, we weren't presented with a "conflicting viewpoint"; no one denied that Flew turned to deism, nor was anyone compelling us to follow his example. We pointed out that the reasons for his change of heart were brought on by bad science, even though he should have known better, and expressed dismay at this. I've made this point repeatedly.
"It is useless to try to explain science to someone who isn't interested in what the facts have to say. And it's useless to try to learn anything from such people. If they are clever, as [ID proponent Philip] Johnson is, they can find a way to claim that almost any fact supports their position. If evolutionists agree on something, it's a dogmatic orthodoxy; if they disagree, they're squabbling about every detail of evolutionary theory." - Brian Spitzer