Two Tales from the Evolution Beat

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First, in The Christian Science Monitor, an interesting account of the ways scientists hope to solve engineering problems by investigating nature's emergent orders, so that "ants could help with traffic patterns, bees could provide insights on aerodynamics, and skunk cabbage may reveal new ways to regulate temperature."

Second, in The New York Times, a story about some of the problems besetting adherents of "intelligent design":

The Templeton Foundation, a major supporter of projects seeking to reconcile science and religion, says that after providing a few grants for conferences and courses to debate intelligent design, they asked proponents to submit proposals for actual research.

"They never came in," said Charles L. Harper Jr., senior vice president at the Templeton Foundation, who said that while he was skeptical from the beginning, other foundation officials were initially intrigued and later grew disillusioned.

"From the point of view of rigor and intellectual seriousness, the intelligent design people don't come out very well in our world of scientific review," he said.

While intelligent design has hit obstacles among scientists, it has also failed to find a warm embrace at many evangelical Christian colleges. Even at conservative schools, scholars and theologians who were initially excited about intelligent design say they have come to find its arguments unconvincing. They, too, have been greatly swayed by the scientists at their own institutions and elsewhere who have examined intelligent design and found it insufficiently substantiated in comparison to evolution.

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  1. Intelligent design, argued correctly, is the province of philosophers, rather than “researchers” or evangelicals. That is where the disconnect comes from. Philosophers don’t give a fuck about stuf like grants. tat’s why they are philosophers!

  2. Rats! I was hoping someone would have found traces of genetic tampering on earthlings by the annuakki.

  3. Quibble: “nature’s emergent orders” are not “evolution.”

    Order for free and complexity are broader subjects than evolution. (They warm the cockles of an anarchist, by the way.)

  4. wow evolution has utility who would a thunk…and ID has no utility…suprise suprise.

    This is why I have really no interest in this debate.

    It does not matter which on a person belives in, it only matters which one will make a better mouse trap.

  5. The Templeton Foundation, a major supporter of projects seeking to reconcile science and religion, says that after providing a few grants for conferences and courses to debate intelligent design, they asked proponents to submit proposals for actual research.

    “They never came in,” said Charles L. Harper Jr., senior vice president at the Templeton Foundation, who said that while he was skeptical from the beginning, other foundation officials were initially intrigued and later grew disillusioned.

    What a surprise.

  6. er, “evolution” myth.

    My bad.

  7. “Hey, I think there’s an invisible man over there!”

    “I won’t believe you until you show me a picture.”

  8. The latest issue of Cell (a research journal) has an excellent editorial on college science education, written by Bruce Alberts (whose book on molecular biology sits on virtually every researcher’s desk here, mine included). Part of it addresses Intelligent Design (although most of it is on other topics). Some excerpts:

    For example, why spend a lifetime, constrained by the laws of physics and chemistry, trying to obtain a deep understanding of how cells accumulate mutations and become cancerous if one can postulate a supernatural step for part of the process? Yet we can be certain that, without the deep understanding that will eventually come from insisting on natural explanations, many powerful cancer therapies will be missed.

    Can the ID folks give me a criterion for when it’s OK to give up on a line of inquiry, and conclude that the problem I’m working on cannot be understood in terms of chemistry and physics? Because ID is ultimately an attack not only on biology, it’s also an attack on the principles of chemistry and physics that govern the function of living organisms.

    For all those who teach college biology, the current challenge posed by the intelligent design movement presents an ideal ?teachable moment.? I believe that intelligent design should be taught in college science classes but not as the alternative to Darwinism that its advocates demand. It is through the careful analysis of why intelligent design is not science that students can perhaps best come to appreciate the nature of science itself.

    And so we finally see a call for teaching ID: As an example of how not to do science.

    Maybe the ID folks could do some selective quotation and make it look like Alberts embraced their cause.

  9. The citation, for those with access to a research library, is:

    Bruce Alberts, “A Wakeup Call for Science Faculty”, Cell, vol. 123, pg. 739-741, December 2, 2005

  10. As a firm believer in ID, from these stories, if one weren’t appropriately vigilant, one could get the impression that ID really isn’t a valid scientific thoery.

  11. Why do you have a book on molecular biology? A little light reading for when your optics journals start to give you a headache?

  12. I have two projects. One is optics, and the other is trying to apply methods of theoretical physics to the study of how blood vessel networks form around tumors. It helps to have a good reference on molecular biology.

  13. Oh, as an optics researcher, I should emphasize that the equations of optics, while supported by centuries of evidence, and validated by the performance of billions (trillions?) of dollars worth of modern technologies, are nonetheless “just a theory.”

    🙂

  14. I’d just like to say that John Templeton, of the Foundation and the investment firm, is (was?) a brilliant, wierd bird. One of the most successful porfolio managers in history, sometimes he just sounds like a scientologist. You never know if you need to grab your notebook or your tin foil.

  15. Maybe the ID researchers were waiting on divine inspiration for a research topic.

    Creationism has (in a sense) evolved into Intelligent Design. If ID is becoming extinct, I wonder what its offspring will be.

  16. (Hope I’m not feeding a troll, but…)

    nobody – how, exactly, is ID a valid scientific theory?

  17. Creationism has (in a sense) evolved into Intelligent Design. If ID is becoming extinct, I wonder what its offspring will be.

    If the tone of Pat Robertson after Dover’s recent school board election is any indication, I would say it will be something along the lines of “Believe as I do, OR ELSE!”

  18. right, joe. Going after “the day after tomorrow” hype, which is a common theme in the media, is like accepting ID. Right. Nature magazine is the epitome of policy decision. No salvation outside your liberal world where you tell the rest of us what to do and clap yourself on the back for being a critical thinker. Screw an onion.

    That reaction is the same as the “go after iraq” mentality. We have some good science but predictions are difficult. To hell with more science LET’S DO SOMETHING!
    But for you, being skeptical of the misapplication of science is the same as ID skepticism.

    ***blow me***

    being skeptical of M1EK’s WE MUST DO SOMETHING. or those who believe in Kyoto – it’s exactly the same as being skeptical of ID proponents. don’t try to steal the debate the way Bush and Rove have with the Wah on Terrah.

    Accepting the science is one thing. Being skeptical of misapplications or various agenda by those who distort the science is another. And you and the other fascist liberals here trying to brand heretics to your policy (not the science, which is there for everyone) as whores of ADM or Exxon. Very Rovian of you. Can’t change stripes, huh.

    In your zeal, you’ve equated your policy goals with the science. And you are rejecting different policy conclusions (e.g., rejecting Kyoto) and claiming that you are the only scientific one.
    Rrrrrriiiiiggggghhhhhhht

  19. Lowdog-

    I think that nobody was being sarcastic. He was saying that a firm believer will have to go through a lot of mental gymnastics to avoid the conclusion that ID is not a valid scientific theory.

  20. Re: The article Dr. T mentioned. It can be downloaded in pdf from cell.com, if you’re willing to register.

  21. joshua corning-

    The reason this debate is worth watching is because a bunch of ignorant and power-hungry school board members are actually making teachers teach ID.

    They might as well teach Lord of the Rings as truth along with the Bible. At least the writing is better.

    Slainte’-

    Hopefully, ID’s offspring will come in the form of some mass suicide cult.

    All I want for Solstice are my two first amendments…

  22. “For all those who teach college biology, the current challenge posed by the intelligent design movement presents an ideal ?teachable moment.? I believe that intelligent design should be taught in college science classes but not as the alternative to Darwinism that its advocates demand. It is through the careful analysis of why intelligent design is not science that students can perhaps best come to appreciate the nature of science itself.”

    Personally, I find Phrenology and Free Energy to be much more interesting, as far as pseudo-scientific claptrap goes.

    ID doesn’t have nearly the whizbang appeal of a perpetual motion machine, or the fun of finding out if you’re a shifty person because of that lump on the side of your head.

    Compared to a lot of pseudoscience, ID is just, well, boring.

  23. Maybe there was no response because both sides have come to realize that it’s fundamentally “no pun intended” a fool’s errand to even engage in a debate where each side is based in such different assumptions.

    Thoreau; Is light a wave or a particle ? Sounds mutually exclusive.

  24. BTW-I Kansas University prof who said some disparaging things about “fundies” in an e-mail was jumped and beaten up last night. The story is at http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/13336935.htm
    I’m not sure if it requires registration, though.

  25. That should be “A Kansas…”

  26. It interferes with itself like a classical wave.

    It carries discrete units of energy like a classical particle.

    Hence we call it “non-classical.”

  27. Sheesh, even the Vatican has rejected Intelligent Design. Kansas Baptists and other Fundies are now lower in the intellectual pecking order than Catholics! Har har.

  28. Wave? Particle? no, it’s a String! (or rather, many strings)

  29. treefroggy, light is a probability distribution, just like you. Dr.T can calculate your deBroglie (sp?) wavelength if you like. Where have you been?

    I jest. Particles and waves are post hoc models we tie to our experience of macro space. We may not be able to draw a picture of what a photon ‘really’ is, but that does not invalidate QED as a science.

  30. Joe, I believe in being skeptical of everything, but I agree with you about the absurdity of the majority of global warming denial.

    It doesn’t really relate to ID, though. ID can be easily defeated on theoretical grounds without needing to even go into the specifics; that is, it skips the entire scientific process and goes straight to the conclusion that It Must Have Been God. Global warming, on the other hand, is debated (where there is a debate) on evidentiary grounds.

  31. “treefroggy, light is a probability distribution”

    Light is light, probability distributions are used to describe and predict its behavior as accurately as possible. The correct answer is that it is neither a partical nor a wave, those are just mathemelogical constructs used for the same.

  32. I’m sure that you could calculate my De Broglie wavelength, but that would be “Bohr-ing”.

    My point was that duality negates neither perspective.

  33. joe,

    Note that the term is “climate change skeptics.” We’re skeptical of mainstream explanations for a lot of what’s going on, but I, at least, am willing to be convinced by evidence. I still, though, think that a good bit of the science is driven by ideology. But I am willing to be convinced otherwise. ID proponents are not. I don’t think that any non-acceptance of alternative views on climate change are driven by a conspiracy; by unconscious prejudice, maybe, but maybe not. Tinfoil-hatted I am not, even though I disagree with mainstream science on this issue.

    But don’t let me spoil your fun. All climate change skeptics are the same as ID proponents. They’re exactly the same thing, and your argument completely refutes any questioning of scientific consensus on climate change.

  34. Sometimes light behaves like a wave, sometimes like a stream of particles. Why not assume that light is a transitional condition, a state between pure energy (wave) and pure matter (particle)?

  35. “My point was that duality negates neither perspective.”

    Which is fine. If people want to sit around coffee shops, wearing berets, smoking cloves and talking about how valid ID is, swell.

    However, they aren’t. ID proponents are trying to force their lumpy-shaped peg into the squarely measured hole of science.

  36. Speaking of pseudoscience, there’s a cruise ship going on an expedition inside our hollow earth next year…

    http://www.expeditioncompany.net/upcoming_trip.htm?trip_id=67

  37. “they asked proponents to submit proposals for actual research.
    “They never came in,” said Charles L. Harper Jr.”

    This is a lie. We submitted a proposal to prove the validity of the Great Flood but were rejected as being “too costly”. We only wanted build a vessel the size of a football field, and procure two of every animal. Granted, we’ve run into little snags, like the Chinese who are reluctant to cough up pandas without us shelling out 10 million each, but still, we managed to keep the tag down to half a trillion, give or take a couple billion. Pocket change.

  38. Number6 – That story looks fishy. How dumb would the professor have to be to get out of his car? Pulling over is OK. Pull over, and when they get out of their car, drive away while they climb back in the truck. But get out to talk? No. Either he is making this story up in a sympathy shifting game, or he is completely out of touch.

  39. scientists hope to solve engineering problems by investigating nature’s emergent orders, so that “ants could help with traffic patterns, bees could provide insights on aerodynamics, and skunk cabbage may reveal new ways to regulate temperature.”

    Hmmmph. Next they’ll be saying that free people acting solely through voluntary association could produce a wealthy and happy society.

  40. I’m totally signing up for the Hollow Earth expedition…right after I invest all of my money in buggy-whip futures and buy more on margin!

  41. It is my understanding that the test of a scientific theory is it’s ability to predict future events, not it’s description of past events.

    Would anyone like to tell me what the theory of evolution has correctly predicted? (and not just the observations of similar but slightly different species it has offered explanations for. How, in this regard is evolution better than creationism or Intelligent design?)

    Evolution is suppose to be a response to environmental changes as different portions of each litter die or survive and procreate. So why is the concern about the alleged problem of global warming only about mass extinction? Why haven’t we observed evolution in action during the last few centuries of rebound from the last mini ice-age?

  42. Yeah, is that hollow earth shit real? $18000? Fuck that. I mean, it sounds like a neat expedition, but would that journey really cost you $18000 if there wasn’t some bullshit “theory” attached to it? (Not that it wouldn’t, I honestly don’t know, never looked into a N Pole expedition before.)

  43. Would anyone like to tell me what the theory of evolution has correctly predicted? I>

    Evolution doesn’t “predict” anything. It merely explains the data we’ve collected regarding biology.

  44. A scientific theory doesn’t have to predict “the future” per se, it just needs to be able to predict what the evidence will say. In this case, one example would be that evolution predicted that humans evolved into their current form over a period of many years. Fossil evidence of ancient human ancestors were discovered later, fulfilling that prediction.

  45. zach, there are certiainly credible, honest, scientific debates going on about Global Warming. The broad consensus among scientists is that manmade global warming is real and serious, but questions about “how much?” are still being hashed out. That’s now what I’m talking about – I’m talking about conservative ideologues and the corrupt “researchers” they fund, who have adopted many of the same non-arguments as IDers. James Inhofe, who is currently the Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (R-Oklahoma), channelling Joseph McCarthy, stood on the floor of the Senate and declared that Global Warming was “the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on mankind.”

    grylliade, I’m not saying “All.” I’m saying, keep an eye on your “friends.”

  46. It is my understanding that the test of a scientific theory is it’s ability to predict future events, not it’s description of past events.

    A scientific theory needs to predict new events. They don’t need to be new solely by being in the future. A new event might be discovering a new island with new species that are explained by the existing theory.

  47. Would anyone like to tell me what the theory of evolution has correctly predicted?

    This is a little long winded, so bear with me. Gregor Mendel came up with his “theory” of genetics (i.e. dominant and recessive genes) around the same time as Darwin and his “theory” of evolution, the mid 19th century.

    A Darwinist probably predicted (I am at work so I can’t take the time to look it up) that similar species would share many more genes than species that were not nearly as closely related.

    Now, until the invention of powerful microscopes in the 20th century, no one was ever able to actually see a gene. But when they did, what did they find with humans and chimps for instance? They found that we share over 99% of our genes with chimps. Now remember, a lot of our DNA is “dead code”. It doesn’t do anything. It is an evolutionary hold over. Chimps and humans share the same “dead code”.

    It makes you ask “Why would an intelligent designer design 2 species with the same genetic code that does nothing?”

    Why haven’t we observed evolution in action during the last few centuries of rebound from the last mini ice-age?

    I believe the extinction of mega fauna in North America and Australia are at least partially attributed to climate changes due to retreating glaciers.

  48. declared that Global Warming was “the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on mankind.”

    You must admit, though, that there is a gigantic bait-and-switch going on. Mankind is altering the climate by production of greenhouse gasses. Therefore we should saddle industry with high arbitrary costs to force CO2 production back to 1990 levels.

    There are several steps missing in there, none of which are the expertise of climate scientists.

    Indeed, global warming skeptics are accused of politicizing the debate. Frankly, the climate scientists who declare that governments must force societies to allocate their limited resources to address the results from a pet area of research are the ones politicizing the debate.

  49. Number6 – That story looks fishy. How dumb would the professor have to be to get out of his car? Pulling over is OK. Pull over, and when they get out of their car, drive away while they climb back in the truck. But get out to talk? No. Either he is making this story up in a sympathy shifting game, or he is completely out of touch.

    The latter. He shouldn’t have gotten out(at least not without a firearm in hand) but it did happen.

  50. I eagerly await the neo-cambrian explosion that evolutionists should be (but strangly haven’t) predicted.

  51. mediageek

    My favorite pseudoscience is hands down, “Zero Point Energy”; which is best explained in the fascinating, although ultimately ridiculous book, “The Hunt for Zero Point: Inside the Classified World of Antigravity Technology” by Nick Cook.

    Anti-Gravity, Nazis, levitation–it’s got everything.

  52. Joe, my point is that in the case of global warming denial, even said corrupt researchers are involved in a debate based on evidence. A lot of that evidence can be debunked easily enough, but ID is based on entirely untestable ideas. That makes ID decidedly the more absurd of the two, and ignoring that to simply point out their similarities is disingenuous.

  53. Alkurta,
    Recently I’ve read that the so called “dead code” is not lying there “doing nothing.”

    But why wouldn’t an intelligent designer reuse ideas. Why reinvent the wheel for each species?

    Brian24,
    What the fossil evidence tells us regarding human development is still scanty. It makes as much sense to say that the recently discovered fossils of hobbit sized humans proves that Tolkien’s account of Middle Earth is bona fide history.

    The fossil record can’t tell us if we came from a hybrid of Neanderthals and Cro-magnums (and who if any is their common ancestor?) or evolved from Cromagnums only.

  54. I take that back…somewhat. Evolution HAS predicted certain things:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA210.html

  55. I eagerly await the neo-cambrian explosion that evolutionists should be (but strangly haven’t) predicted.

    Huh?

    Anyway, evolution has been spectacularly good in its predictions. The problem, as some have mentioned, is a misunderstanding of what a prediction is. For example, what we now know about the close relationships between many species is a natural prediction of evolution, as alkurta pointed out. None of that was known at the time of Darwin, and no other “competing” theory would have made this prediction. Yet with our understanding of DNA we now know the mechanism behind what Darwin postulated. One could say the eventual discovery of that underlying mechanism, entirely consistent with the theory, was a profound and startling prediction. What are the odds that if evolution was just bunk, 100 years later we discover the chemical basis for life which just happens to be well-suited to evolution? Another “prediction” that has been amazingly successful would be that we should find fossils of extinct species that lived millions of years ago with those that lived at the same time and not commingled with recent species. Again, that has proved to be true. If you found human bones in the belly of a T.Rex fossil, (or in any rock we know to be of a similar age) evolution would be out the window. But all observations have been consistent with the theory. So overall the observed support for the theory is overwhelming and the contradictions non-existent.

  56. I eagerly await the neo-cambrian explosion that evolutionists should be (but strangly haven’t) predicted.

    NoStar, the last I read, scientists don’t have a very good explanation for the neo-cambrian explosion, but the nice thing about science is that people will keep looking for an explanation.

    I am sure there are scores of grad students who are working on their theses(sp?) on this very subject and who knows, maybe they will find evidence of an Intelligent Designer. 😉

  57. What the fossil evidence tells us regarding human development is still scanty.

    Ah yes, the old “there aren’t enough transitional fossils” line:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC200_1.html

  58. Thoreau,

    You probably know this, but in June, Alberts’ excellent bioterrorism editorial was the subject of a hit and run post.

    https://www.reason.com/hitandrun/2005/06/bioterrorism_ho.shtml

    mccleary

  59. But why wouldn’t an intelligent designer reuse ideas. Why reinvent the wheel for each species?

    Why not? You’re omnipotent, after all. Why would an intelligent designer design us at all? How would he do it? What traces are there of these methods?

  60. Alkurta:
    NoStar, the last I read, scientists don’t have a very good explanation for the neo-cambrian explosion, but the nice thing about science is that people will keep looking for an explanation.

    I think noStar is implying that due to global warming, there ought to be a “neo-cambrian” expolsion, ala the “pre-cambrian explosion.”

  61. Based on personal idealogy or not, if you invited GW skeptics to submit proposals for research you’d get a ton of them. The fact that not a single research proposal was submitted for ID just shows that even its proponents don’t treat it as real science.

    The broad consensus among scientists is that manmade global warming is real and serious, but questions about “how much?” are still being hashed out.

    Good point, but I would say that the broad consensus is that man has some effect on global warming. The question of seriousness relates directly to the unknown “how much” question. The truth is that the more dire the prediction, the more play it gets which does distort the debate. This is not a conspiracy, simply a fact of life in our media-driven society. When a study says that human effect on climate change is relatively small and can be remedied through simpler changes, no one pays attention. That’s also why the anti-global-warming crowd resorts to it’s own hyperbole.

    Remember kids, real science is usually very boring and very narrow. ID cannot compete on a real scientific level, but it’s gangbusters for the public.

  62. It makes as much sense to say that the recently discovered fossils of hobbit sized humans proves that Tolkien’s account of Middle Earth is bona fide history.

    That’s just silly, unserious and a total misunderstanding of the science to say that.

    The fossil record can’t tell us if we came from a hybrid of Neanderthals and Cro-magnums (and who if any is their common ancestor?) or evolved from Cromagnums only.

    So? And as it turns out, while until recently this was a big debate, the DNA evidence is now pretty clear and convincing that Neanderthals were not our ancestors.

    But why wouldn’t an intelligent designer reuse ideas. Why reinvent the wheel for each species?

    See now this IS an example of what is and is NOT a prediction. What that is, is a post-hoc rationalization. The difference being that some mechanism consistent with evolution was REQUIRED by the theory but any eventual discovery would be consistent with ID – hey He just designed it that way! Please tell me how ID could ever be found to be wrong?

  63. PS to Akurta,

    Mendel’s genetic theory is very useful at making predictions and is certainly scientifically verifiable.

    Darwin’s theory is still at a hypothesis stage.
    I’m sure it gained much credibility by being piggybacked on to Mendel. However, it makes few, if any, verifiable predictions. But I eagerly await the explanation of how a few animals can mutate into the diversity of a Cambrian like explosion and when we can expect the next one.

  64. The broad consensus among scientists is that manmade global warming is real and serious, but questions about “how much?” are still being hashed out.

    I don’t know how you jump ahead to “real and serious” without first resolving “how much”, joe.

    If the answer to “how much” is that the man-made contribution to global warming is a few percent, then I think we can safely conclude that said contribution is not “real and serious”.

    Given the history of climate change, the fact that the current warming trend pre-dates “large-scale” man-made CO2 production, and the myriad of other variables (solar radiation, anyone? water vapor), I think we are a pretty long way from having anything approaching a valid scientific conclusion that man-made global warming is real and serious.

  65. LowDog,
    Sorry for the slow response, but as thoreau pointed out, I was being sarcastic. I guess that’s *sort* of like trolling, huh? 🙂

  66. As I think about it, I guess I am slightly surprised that there were no research proposals. Dembski claims that he can do calculations to show that the mutation rates don’t match up with the fossil record, or something like that. You’d think that somebody with tenure at a religious university would be willing to go into the lab and track mutations in yeast or bacteria or fruit flies, and show that the patterns observed are consistent with Dembski’s observations.

    I confess that I haven’t seen more than a few synopses of Dembski’s work, but that seems to be the gist of it. He claims that he can do quantitative stuff related to mutation rates, so you’d think that somebody would want to test that in a lab.

  67. Cromagnum? Cromagnum?

    As in, This is a .44 Cromagnum, the most powerful caveman in the world…

  68. When scientists achieve consensus on the question “Is manmade global warming a phenomenon?” they are acting as scientists. When they say “The results of man made climate change have a probability of causing harm,” they are acting as scientists. When they say “We must implement central controls on carbon emmissions because that is a good first step,” they are acting as policy wonks with ideological preferences. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but an appeal to the consensus of experts breaks down when you start polling cardiologists on how to bake a chocolate cake.

  69. AML:

    Awesome. I always wanted a shiny .44 Cromagnum with a 12″ sloped brow.

  70. This is choice:

    Within Our Hollow Earth at the City of Jehu, expedition members could take an inner earth monorail train to visit the lost Garden of Eden located under America on the highest mountain plateau of the Inner Continent. It is also the capital city of Inner Earth, according to Olaf Jansen. Perhaps in this City of Eden we can visit the palace of the King of the Inner World, as did Olaf Jansen and his father.



    *Please note that if we are unable to find the Polar opening, we will be returning via the New Siberian Islands to visit skeleton remains of exotic animals thought to originate from Inner Earth.

    God, if only there were a magazine that would cover my fare.

  71. Darwin’s theory is still at a hypothesis stage.

    No… it can’t be a “hypothesis” if it’s a still theory. I take it you slept through high school science or did you go to one of those nice religious schools that taught you that JEEZ-us was all the science you’d ever need?

    But I eagerly await the explanation of how a few animals can mutate into the diversity of a Cambrian like explosion…

    All right:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC300.html

    …and when can we expect the next one.

    Sigh… again:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA210.html

    Try reading it this time.

  72. I agree completely JL. The problem is that the failure to make such a distinction is not only a trap for greenies, but also for conservatives and libertarians, when they decide that the only way to have a political debate about global warming is to attack the science behind it.

  73. To say that evolution makes no predictions is a complete misunderstanding of evolution. It is the framework in which all thinking about biology occurs. It makes God only knows how many small predictions every day that are borne out by the results of scientists. It’s akin to denying that mathematical insight can give ideas about how to proceed with physical research, and denying that math makes any predictions about physics.

  74. NoStar,

    Why would an intelligent designer give us an appendix? Why are humans so prone to hernias? Why don’t women have even larger hips than they do, to accommodate large baby heads? Why do humans, and mammals in general, use lungs that are far less efficient than those of birds? There’d be no penalty for having bird-like lungs, after all; why are we saddled with crappy lungs? And that’s just a few questions that I think intelligent design can’t answer. If we are designed, it wasn’t very intelligently. However, most of our design flaws are consistent with having to make do with adapting features designed for other purposes to new ones. That, I think, is one of the greatest arguments against creationism or intelligent design. If we were designed, we wouldn’t be so poorly made.

    I eagerly await the neo-cambrian explosion that evolutionists should be (but strangly haven’t) predicted.

    Well, even if there’s a mass extinction going on, we won’t see the recovery in our lifetimes, probably not even if radical life-extension becomes possible. Give it a few centuries, or a couple millenia.

    James Inhofe, who is currently the Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (R-Oklahoma), channelling Joseph McCarthy, stood on the floor of the Senate and declared that Global Warming was “the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on mankind.”

    Hasn’t he ever heard of Scientology? But I digress. That’s a pretty absurd statement, and exactly the sort of thing I hate to be associated with. I think, though, that the climate change crowd has also perpetrated more than its share of such silliness. “The late Quaternary mass extinction event” is one of them, especially if it’s held to be almost as great as the Pre-Cambrian one. “The greatest challenge ever faced by mankind” is another, though I can’t quote you a source. But you and I both know that those people are out there, painting climate change as a dire threat to the very existence of life on this planet. And it might be, though I very sincerely doubt it. My point is, both sides (at least at the scientific level) are trying to debate it honestly. The skeptics are losing, but I still think that they’re going to turn out to be more right in a century than the proponents. Both are probably going to have a lot of egg on their faces, though. In all honesty, I think that the probable result will be a rise of 1 to 2 ?C, and that we’ll muddle through with stop-gap solutions that don’t radically alter the growth in standard of living, and that some species will go extinct, but mostly life will go on as it always has. Most ecosystems will have to find a new equilibrium, but few will be destroyed by climate change. *shrugs* It’s mostly the politics of the climate change crowd that I disagree with, and the use of the more extreme predictions to push their preferred solutions.

  75. JL and Zach:

    good call. Questioning the proposed policy solution is not akin to ID support or evolution doubting. Not being in agreement with the media hype or the political hype or even some of the political conclusions – such as the Kyoto treaty is the path to take.

    Let the facts speak for themselves:
    1) are we in a period of climate change?
    2) what is the man-made proportion of that?
    3) what are courses of action based on #1,#2

    being skeptical of politically-loaded solutions (or non solutions, for that matter) is important.

    rejecting good science because of bad policy (rejecting climate change models because you feel kyoto is silly) is not a good way to proceed. I’m sure that’s one of the oft-bantered fallacies.

    assessing the weight of ideology in the proposed solution is also a component of this debate. and being vocally skeptical of one side does not mean approval of the other side. nor should the debate be deflected in that way.

    start with the good science. then separate into the political solution camps. but don’t get wrapped up in attacking kyoto that you throw out the baby, too. how’z that for a mixed metaphor.

    happy tuesday.

  76. JDM:

    Good point. Let me put it another way then: Evolution can’t be used to predict change the same way that meterology can be used to predict the weather. It doesn’t work the way noStar thinks it would.

    Which brings me to ask again: What evidence does noStar have that proves intellegent design, creationism, or whatever he wants to call it?

  77. NoStar:

    Repeat after me: FAL-SI-FI-A-BLE. OK? Falsifiable, look it up. In a nutshell, in proposing a _scientific_ hypothesis, on must conceive of an experiment (or a circumstance), which, by turning out a certain way, would prove said hypothesis wrong. T. rex and human bones (mentioned above) in the same stratus would qualify for evolution. Hell, Chuck Darwin himself listed a number of such circumstances in Origin of Species (RTFB – Chapters 6, 8 and 9, specifically) – and may I point out that the hybridism issue was successfully resolved through Mendelian genetics?

    Now, the experiment that would falsify ID is…?

    …QED, ID is not a scientific theory or even a hypothesis.

  78. While watching the movie, March of the Penguins, a couple of questions occurred to me.

    1) Why would an intelligent designer create a bird that can’t fly?

    2) If an intelligent desginer wanted an animal in Antartica that filled the nich that penguins do, why didn’t he make it a mammal to better deal with the cold?

    3) And why didn’t this intelligent designer give Penguins a pouch to keep the eggs warm?

    For those who haven’t seen the movie, when it is a penguin’s turn to go to the ocean to feed, it passes the egg to its mate. If either penguin is clumsy and the recipient does not “catch” the egg correctly between its legs, if the egg us exposed to the cold for as little as a minute, the egg will crack and the chick will die.

    Why would an intelligent designer do such things? Or is this an example of “moving in mysterious ways” ?

  79. http://www.earth-house.com/Mystery_Travel/Ooparts/ooparts.html

    Out of place artifacts – OOPARTS

    Maybe there ARE human artifacts found next to dinosaurs?

  80. However, it makes few, if any, verifiable predictions.

    I already pointed to two biggies. One, a chemical mechanism consistent with evolution – like DNA which in which we can clearly see the effects of mutation- was a requirement and hence a prediction. Also, that we should not find previously extinct ancient species together with later and modern species out of place in the geological record. The immense amount of fossils found in the last hundred years have ALL complied with this requirement – not a single case ever has disagreed, yet, if not for evolution, why should that be? Where were humans when the dinosaurs roamed the land? That is clearly a prediction that has been observed over and over again tens of thousands of times with each new fossil discovery.

    Cambrian like explosion and when we can expect the next one.

    What does that have to do with evolution? We can’t even predict when the next hurricane will happen, hell, even the next rainy day is a often a problem, why would you set such a ridiculous standard for evolution? It is typical though – set a standard for evolution that is silly and impossible, regardless of the overwhelming nature of the real evidence out there, then say it must be the case that some other non-scientific theory to which you apply no standard whatsoever must be equally as valid. As I said, that’s simply non-serious thinking. Please tell us when God will “intelligently design” some more species for us… Please.

    And as a side note about predicting something like the Cambrian explosion, do you realize the time scales involved? This “explosion” happened over perhaps 30 million years. All of human civilization has happened in about one half of one percent of one million years. That means the entire history of human civilization could be repeated 6000 times in the period of this “explosion” and any single 70 year life-span could be lived over 400,000 times! So expecting some prediction such as that which occurs on evolutionary time scales to be verified is bizarrely absurd and created merely for the rhetorical ability to say “see- your theory can’t do the impossible!”

  81. taktix

    “joshua corning-

    The reason this debate is worth watching is because a bunch of ignorant and power-hungry school board members are actually making teachers teach ID.

    They might as well teach Lord of the Rings as truth along with the Bible. At least the writing is better.”

    is it just me or why do we care what school boards say and do…so long as we can CHOOSE what school board our child is under…this isn’t a science debate…it is privatize school debate.

    Christians have every right to have there children not tought evolution..it is dumb but it is their right…just like smoking and pot is dumb…you still should have every right to be dumb.

  82. “Why would an intelligent designer give us an appendix? Why are humans so prone to hernias? Why don’t women have even…”

    This is fun! Why do my wife’s cats know enough to poop in a litter box, but will throw up any old place, then try to bury either, wherever it occurs?

    The fact that the “knowing to do it where they can bury it,” and the “knowing that they have to bury it afterwards” are completely separate behaviors is evidence enough for me that a) cats are stupid, and b) so was their designer.

  83. JC (heh), public schools are a fact of life and shouldn’t just be ignored when this sort of debate comes up. A simple “just privatize the schools” doesn’t do much towards solving the problem in front of certain public school boards right now.

    In other words, there is a libertarian concern here, but not really, since public schools aren’t going away any time soon. Mostly the ID issue is a science-education concern.

  84. Ummm, unless I am confused, even the ID proponents aren’t trying to argue against evolution happening at all, they are trying to argue for ID in certain crucial early stages. I could be wrong but I don’t think they are out there denying that evolution takes place at all.

    That is the province of only the most fundie moonbats. Behe and others are hung up on the margins like the blood clotting mechanism and the flagellum, but not general trends of evolution.

    nmg

  85. Joe:

    We should be careful when trying to bundle ‘global warming’ skeptics with I.D. proponents. Although I don’t really believe this, it’s easier to equate it with the opposite: global warming believers were certainly closer to proponents of I.D. Especially in the early days of the GW prophecy. To wit:

    Global warming in the early days was rather prophetic. And we had just come from a big global cooling scare- where major, and I say MAJOR media outlets were calling for immediate action because the ‘science was settled’. The proponents of global warming told us there was an invisible man standing in the room, the skeptics merely demanded a picture. When the GW proponents couldn’t produce a picture, they produced computer models telling us what the picture MIGHT look like in twenty, no fifty, no one hundred (are we far enough out yet?) years.

    Even in the early days, many of us did believe that the world could be, even probably was warming– slightly. Because the thinking (non-ideologically driven) skeptics know that we don’t live in a static climate… leading to the logical result:

    1. The earth is not a static climate. Therefore:
    2. The earth’s climate may be in a current warming trend or,
    3. The earth’s climate may be in a current cooling trend, and:
    4. That trend may, or may not be caused by human activity (read c02 emissions).

    The science surrounding the global warming theories are incredibly complex- and are further muddled by ideological pandering- on both sides. There’s plenty of good GOOD science which still suggest that mere C02 emissions into the atmosphere have negligible effect on global climate. Settled? No. But because it’s climate, we have to use all kinds of wierd and strange proxy identifiers– global sea ice (north or south pole?) atmospheric temperatures (land based probably flawed, satellite based better) sea temperatures etc.

    Plus, there are tons of very, very confusing and seemingly schizophrenic theories supporting global warming: Global warming causes global cooling. Sea ice should decrease here, but maybe increase there. Arctic temperatures should rise the quickest… or not.

    Please, I know you’re a global warming believer- and if you haven’t guessed, I’m a global warming skeptic. But I don’t automatically equate you with I.D. Please don’t equate us with it.

    Paul

  86. NoStar – Fox breeders show possible mechanism for the rapid development of the “domestic” dog from wolf. http://tinyurl.com/at98t

    Comment by: johnl at December 6, 2005 04:39 PM

    Yup, with the help of a semi-intelligent designer.
    I’d like to see evidence of this happening in the wild. I believe it must, but I’d like to see happen.

  87. nmg-

    You are right, the ID proponents who get the most attention only argue for ID in certain cases (or at least they only do so in public). But to say that a feature here and there cannot be explained by science is an abdication of inquiry. As Bruce Alberts said in the article that I quoted above:

    For example, why spend a lifetime, constrained by the laws of physics and chemistry, trying to obtain a deep understanding of how cells accumulate mutations and become cancerous if one can postulate a supernatural step for part of the process? Yet we can be certain that, without the deep understanding that will eventually come from insisting on natural explanations, many powerful cancer therapies will be missed.

    –Bruce Alberts, “A Wakeup Call for Science Faculty”, Cell, vol. 123, pg. 739-741, December 2, 2005

    It’s the laziest way to do science: If you can’t figure it out, attribute it to divine intervention.

  88. While watching the movie, March of the Penguins, a couple of questions occurred to me.

    1) Why would an intelligent designer create a bird that can’t fly?

    2) If an intelligent desginer wanted an animal in Antartica that filled the nich that penguins do, why didn’t he make it a mammal to better deal with the cold?

    3) And why didn’t this intelligent designer give Penguins a pouch to keep the eggs warm?

    For those who haven’t seen the movie, when it is a penguin’s turn to go to the ocean to feed, it passes the egg to its mate. If either penguin is clumsy and the recipient does not “catch” the egg correctly between its legs, if the egg us exposed to the cold for as little as a minute, the egg will crack and the chick will die.

    Why would an intelligent designer do such things? Or is this an example of “moving in mysterious ways” ?

  89. They might as well teach Lord of the Rings as truth along with the Bible. At least the writing is better.
    Some parts of the bible are very well written, particularly the book of Job, which I suspect was written by an atheist.

  90. Oh I wasn’t defending Behe’s approach, I was merely pointing out that NoStar appears to be a moonbat.

    nmg

  91. “Some parts of the bible are very well written, particularly the book of Job, which I suspect was written by an atheist.”

    does that mean William Blake is an atheist as well?

  92. joe is wrong (what’s new there?). There is a lot of money put into the efforts of scientists who are indeed skeptical of anthropogenic climate change.

  93. LOL… this is hilarious:

    Trading bibles for porn in San AntonioAtheist group at UTSA encourages students to exchange religious materials … It’s part of a program called Smut for Smut sponsored by the student organization called Atheist Agenda.

  94. NoStar – The foxes were not selected for floppy ears, curly tails, or ornamental spots, but tameness. For canines, the ability to hang around with humans without biting them comes along with ornamental features. Some wolves seem to have ran a similar breeding project themselves a few thousand years ago. And the spots helped people recognize friends from a distance. Worked out pretty well for the wolves.

  95. There is a lot of money put into the efforts of scientists who are indeed skeptical of anthropogenic climate change.

    Yes, but it all comes from oil and coal companies so anything that’s found can safely be ignored since it is the work of lying whores. 🙂

  96. I’d like to see evidence of this happening in the wild. I believe it must, but I’d like to see happen.

    Again, wait a million years and you will. Why do you keep implying that you should be able to detect such a slow process? If a clock moved a million times slower that would be evident if you wait long enough but any demand to see the clock move in order to believe it would be silly.

    The artificial selection process is important because it proves the principle that IF certain characteristics tend to make reproduction more likely then species can change quite dramatically. To get it to happen in a short period that selection process must be quite drastic (meaning the odds of propagating one’s genes into the next generation are either 1 or 0 as is the case with breeders). But if the odds are only increased by a very small amount then it could take millions of years to see significant change.

  97. Brian Courts,
    (damn Reason server ate my first attempt at this!)

    Please note that I at no time argued for the teaching of creationism or intelligent design in a science class. The purpose of science regardless of the existance of a creative designer is to explain how things worked, work now, and will work.

    Evolution most certainly occurs (e.g. multiple varieties of finches, wolves to dogs, and dinosaurs to jungle fowl to chickens.) Curiously the best examples are those helped along by a semi-intelligent designer, man.

    It’s just that I object to evolution being taught as a completely understood phenomenon. This is an impediment to further understanding. They way evolution and other science is taught in school today, it might as well be carved on stone tablets. Treating Darwin like our new Moses is injurious to science and ill serves religion too.

    I believe in evolution and it seems to have occured in the order understood by ancient Hebrew prophets and scribes 4000 years ago: first plants, then fish, then animals, then man. I do not confuse religious truths with science. Many christians do, just as many pseudo-scientific people think of scientific truths as written in stone.

  98. NoStar – The foxes were not selected for floppy ears, curly tails, or ornamental spots, but tameness. For canines, the ability to hang around with humans without biting them comes along with ornamental features. Some wolves seem to have ran a similar breeding project themselves a few thousand years ago. And the spots helped people recognize friends from a distance. Worked out pretty well for the wolves.

    Comment by: johnl at December 6, 2005 05:48 PM

    Johnl,
    Ah, the “law of unintended consequences” has applications in the hard sciences as well as the social sciences where libertarians usually notice it.

  99. Hey nmg,

    BUY A VOWEL!

  100. “I’d like to see evidence of this happening in the wild. I believe it must, but I’d like to see happen.”

    or better yet just read “The beak of the Finch”

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/067973337X/reasonmagazinea-20/
    bbs_1/002-2474749-9120828?n=507846&s=books&v=glance

    yup there is a return key in there so remove it for it to work…or just search on amazon

  101. joshua corning,
    If that books does what its reviewers say it does, then I thank you for an excellent recommendation.

  102. I am really surprised that at least one fundie didn’t send in a copy of the book of Genesis with a grant request, no need for further research, the designer left me his notes.

    How did Noah get a T-Rex on the ark?

  103. Isaac Bartram,

    Sure. Anyway, the idea that there isn’t a discussion amongst climatologists about the nature of any anthropogenic climate change, much less its effects, is hogwash.

  104. Scott,

    He banged a gong
    (to) get it on.

  105. My favorite pseudoscience is hands down, “Zero Point Energy”; which is best explained in the fascinating, although ultimately ridiculous book, “The Hunt for Zero Point: Inside the Classified World of Antigravity Technology” by Nick Cook.

    Be careful, your phrasing is misleading — “zero point energy” itself is a predicted phenemonon of good old quantum mechanics theory, and its existence is supported by the well-documented “Casimir effect.”

    As to whether it’s possible to extract usable energy from the ZP field, that’s another thing. And whether Nazis could have used it to build antigravity flying saucers is yet another.

  106. .. I’ve had a couple of questions for the global warming alarmists

    1. The history of climate on Earth has shown cyclic variations for as far back as can be measured. Considering that we are currently coming out of an Ice Age, which way would the temperature be expected to go?
    a) Down
    b) Up

    2. This is a two-part question. 1) Environmentalists claim that CO2 emissions from humans are the primary cause of global warming. Considering that natural sources can overwhelm human sources (for example, Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines pumped three years worth of human CO2 emissions into the atmosphere in one eruption), how do the environmentalists separate human CO2 sources from natural ones? 2) The Earth has been regulating CO2 levels in the atmosphere without the help of humans for billions of years. What is it about the current conditions that would prevent this regulation at this time?

    3. Suppose for a moment that the environmental extremists get their way and all humans and human-caused CO2 were instantly removed from the Earth. Which scenario would they expect?
    a) The global temperature falls to what it was before the Industrial Revolution and stays there forever.
    b) The Earth continues on its cyclic variation, temperatures continuing to rise until the start of the next Ice Age.

    .. Hobbit

  107. Here is something that seems to fit the theory of evolution of humans.

  108. Paul,

    There are a couple of major differences between the vast majority of climate scientists on the one hand, and the IDers and global warming deniers on the other For one thing when their work is challenged credibly, climate scientists have responded and modified their theories. IDers and “skeptics” have responsded by declaring the truth unknowable, and attacking the instruments (carbon dating, uranium decay measurements, computer modeling) used by the scientists, and by pointing to the ever-shrinking gaps as positive evidence of a counter-theory.

    Skepticism is a fine and healthy stance, and when used appropriately, good for science. But it’s also a convenient pose for those who would manipulate the reasonable person’s innate skepticism to deny demonstrable truths. By, for example, claiming that there was anything like the consensus that exists regarding global warming, regarding global cooling.

  109. Isaac,

    Research money from legitimate funders goes to a whole spectrum of legitimate researchers, who produce a whole specturm of work about global warming. Their results are all over the place, but cluster in a fairly tight, very high bell curve.

    There is also a great deal of money from front groups for industry, to liars and whores, to conduct phony research and spout the company line. It is these “brave dissidents” who have trouble finding legitimate funding and getting published in credible journals.

  110. Hobbit,

    If you try hard, you might be able to climb out of the straw before my buddies and me carry out our nefarious plan to wipe all the humans off the face of the earth. Idiot troll.

  111. joe,

    Name one field of science that is anything like climatology in terms of the complexity of problems it tries to quantify and predict, then list it’s predictive successes.

    Also, try not to call people idiot trolls so soon after you’ve pulled self-contradictory, meaningless phrases like “their results are all over the place, but cluster in a fairly tight, very high bell curve” out of your ass, and made up stories about imaginary TV interviews.

  112. Joe,

    Nice way to dodge the Hobbit’s questions.

  113. It’s just that I object to evolution being taught as a completely understood phenomenon.

    Then frankly you’re complaining about nothing, because it isn’t taught that way. It’s taught as science, and any scientific conclusion is tentative, open to modification based on evidence. Evolutionary theory isn’t somehow regarded as an exception to that rule. Insisting that it is only demonstrates a lack of understanding on your part of how science works.

  114. Joe,

    …by pointing to the ever-shrinking gaps as positive evidence of a counter-theory.

    No gap in evidence could possibly be evidence of the counter-theory that God created us; whereas it’s obvious that a gap in evidence could demonstrate that certain conclusions based on said evidence are erroneous. Again, the distinction is obvious. You continue to refuse to consider anything but scientific consensus. By your logic, if most scientists think an idea is not credible then it’s logically equivalent to metaphysics. That’s as harmful to scientific pursuit as anything I can think of.

  115. Zach, It is in fact taught that way. Too much of science is taught poorly. Science is taught as history and facts. The methodology of science is not taught well at all. Curiosity, scepticism, and open mind are necessary for the scientific method to work.

    Often it is established scientists who lead the derision of those with new facts and ideas. And it is the assumptions held by scientist even more than their facts that they defend most ferociously.

    Case in point: Geologists long made the erronious assumption the geologic processes (i.e. uplift, erosion) always occur slowly (some still do, at least among the textbook writers.) When J. Harlan Bretz discovered in 1922 evidence of massive flooding in Eastern Washington experts like W. C. Alden, chief of Pleistocene geology at the U.S. Geological Survey refused to believe his evidence because it went against their assumptions. Bretz became a laughing stock in the established geologic scientific circles. It took 30 years, but at the age of 70, Bretz and his evidence were given the respect they deserved. This was partly due to the massive amount of evidence he collected that showed it was indeed running water and not glaciation that created the huge miles-long ripples in the Palouse area and the channels in the scablands. But it was also due to the fact, that Bretz was fortunate enough to outlive the established scientific community.

    If only science were as scientific as it claims to be…if only scientific opinion was truely based on only the scientific method.

    I recently read an article by Richard Feynman on the teaching of science. His opinion was that much of what is taught as science is in fact not science at all. Some of it like definitions are necessary to learn science, but are not themselves science. He pointed out that giving a name to a phenomenon (like inertia) is not the same as understanding it. If I may be so bold as to paraphrase his theme (and I am): Science is not as many think (including some scientist) a collection of facts and assumptions. That should be called Engineering. Science is learning how to observe as a tool for understanding.

    To restate a point I made earlier: When established scientific theories and assumptions are taught like religious laws cast in stone, science is not being taught.

    With science taught the way it is, it is little wonder that religious truths are in turn presented like scientific theory.

    Scientists and teachers need to do a better job in teaching what science is.

  116. Science is not as many think (including some scientist) a collection of facts and assumptions. That should be called Engineering. Science is learning how to observe as a tool for understanding.

    Engineering isn’t a collection of facts and assumptions either.

  117. That was a great lecture NoStar. If you really think that’s the case, and have actual facts to back that up, you should write a letter to a school board about it. I would agree that skepticism wasn’t emphasized quite enough in my public school science curriculum, but I got over it.

    However, none of this has anything to do with intelligent design. You’re essentially arguing that science is not taught as well as you’d like it to be, so why not just go all the way and teach mysticism instead?

  118. It took 30 years, but at the age of 70, Bretz and his evidence were given the respect they deserved. This was partly due to the massive amount of evidence he collected that showed it was indeed running water and not glaciation that created the huge miles-long ripples in the Palouse area and the channels in the scablands. But it was also due to the fact, that Bretz was fortunate enough to outlive the established scientific community.

    Perhaps. But, as in all real science, the evidence was the key. ID has no evidence to support it, because it’s a metaphysical idea. When the current established scientific community is dead, ID will still be a metaphysical idea.

  119. It took 30 years, but at the age of 70, Bretz and his evidence were given the respect they deserved. This was partly due to the massive amount of evidence he collected that showed it was indeed running water and not glaciation that created the huge miles-long ripples in the Palouse area and the channels in the scablands. But it was also due to the fact, that Bretz was fortunate enough to outlive the established scientific community.

    Perhaps. But, as in all real science, the evidence was the key. ID has no evidence to support it, because it’s a metaphysical idea. When the current established scientific community is dead, ID will still be a metaphysical idea.

  120. Engineering isn’t a collection of facts and assumptions either.

    Comment by: thoreau at December 7, 2005 03:48 PM

    After living with Engineering students and later a Boeing Engineer, I came to the conclusion that Engineering taught Engineers how and where to look up the information they needed.

  121. Zach, I have never, on this thread or anywhere, argued for the inclusion of ID as a subject in a science class.

  122. Forgive me for misinterpreting you then. You do seem to be arguing as if it’s a legitimate scientific theory though.

  123. Zach, if science was taught at all well, the students themselves would understand when they were handed a load of crap (from a scientific standpoint, that is.)

  124. I came to the conclusion that Engineering taught Engineers how and where to look up the information they needed.

    Damn, I wish I’d known that all the info could just be looked up. I wouldn’t have wasted so much time in classes like advanced electromagnetics (after all Maxwell’s equations are pretty to look at, but who needs ’em), linear systems, network theory, advanced math for engineers, stochastic signal processing, and on and on. I just hope the market never figures out how over-priced engineering grads are or they might just start hiring clerks to look everything up. Now if I could only figure out where to find the answer to this little modeling problem I’ve been stuck on I could go home and have a beer instead of working late again tonight.

  125. Brian, let me know when you solve the modeling problem and I buy you the beer.

  126. Brian, let me know when you solve the modeling problem and I’ll buy you the beer.

  127. I came to the conclusion that Engineering taught Engineers how and where to look up the information they needed.

    Oh, there’s certainly a lot of stuff that engineers need to look up in the course of their work. But after they’ve looked up that info they need some problem solving skills to figure out what to do with it, and some creativity to turn that into something new that they can patent and sell.

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