Should Intelligent Design replace the Darwinian Theory of Evolution? - Contra
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Should Intelligent Design replace the Darwinian Theory of Evolution? - Contra

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This was a slide that I created for my anthropology capstone course. This particular debate was whether Intelligent Design (a.k.a. Creationism) should replace the Theory of Evolution via Natural......

This was a slide that I created for my anthropology capstone course. This particular debate was whether Intelligent Design (a.k.a. Creationism) should replace the Theory of Evolution via Natural Selection. I represented the Con side. I could have added more, but I was under a time constraint. I talked about other things not mentioned in the slide.

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  • 1. Debate #2 Should Intelligent Design replace the Darwinian Theory of Evolution? Contra Jim R. McClanahan
  • 2. Big Questions #1 1) What is Intelligent Design (ID)? - “The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.” [1] 2) How is design inferred? - “Well, for starters, a system that is irreducibly complex. By irreducibly complex I mean a single system comprised of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, where the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease function.” [2] 3) What is an example of an irreducibly complex system? - The bacterial flagellum.
  • 3. Bacterial flagellum
  • 4. Basic argument: - Complex motor. - Small parts couldn’t have evolved independently. - Must have been designed. (This subject will be returned to shortly.) Flagellum anatomy
  • 5. Big Questions #2 1) Who or what is this Designer? - Public ID literature is mute. - Background agent designing the world around us. - No origin posited. - The reality of the Designer accept as truth.
  • 6. 2) Is the Designer a scientific concept? - NO - Can’t be observed - Invisible agent - No hypothesis - No explanation for the process of the creation of complex systems - Complexity ≠ mechanistic explanation for creation - No experimentation - Designer can’t be tested or falsified. - Complexity is accepted as is THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
  • 7. The Missing Step No mechanistic explanation for the creation of complexity (Complexity) (Designer)
  • 8. No Scientific Output - Design theory claimed to be at the forefront of scientific research. - However, a 1997 survey found: - “[T]his search of several hundred thousand scientific reports published over several years failed to discover a single instance of biological research using intelligent design theory to explain life’s diversity.” [3] - Surveys from 2000-2001 have identical findings. [4] - ID movement founded in 1984. [5] - “Intelligent Design” (Web of Science: 8,700 journals  1965-2014) - 990 results - Non-biology uses (e.g., artificial intelligence) - Critiques of ID (e.g., book reviews and philosophy) - No biology science papers using design theory - Popular science books intended for the general public cite more up-to-date science research than ID literature. [6]
  • 9. Discredit evolution - ID Proponents cast evolution as flawed, unscientific, and even religion. - Charles Darwin is a common target. - Misquotation of his writing  racist, sexist, or doubtful (ad hominem) - “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” [7] - The full line says: - “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find no such case.” [8]
  • 10. 1) Why do ID proponents try to discredit evolution? - Intelligent Design is an arm of Biblical Creationism. - The Designer is the Judeo- Christian god. - This is why public ID literature never elaborates. - Not science vs science - Religion vs science Big Questions #3
  • 11. 2) How do we know ID is a form of creationism? - It was shown to be in a federal court of law. - Tammy Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover Area School District, et al. - Federal Judge John E. Jones ruled the following: - “…because its basic proposition is that the features of the natural world are produced by a transcendent, immaterial, non-natural being, ID is a religious proposition regardless of whether that religious proposition is given a recognized religious label […] It is notable that not one defense expert was able to explain how the supernatural action suggested by ID could be anything other than an inherently religious proposition […] The evidence at trial demonstrates that ID is nothing less than the progeny of creationism. [9]
  • 12. Trial Background - Oct. 2004 - Dover (PA) school board members voted to use an ID biology book. - Nov. – Teachers had to read a statement to 9th grade biology classes including the sentence: - “Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. ” [10] - Dec. – Teachers and parents took the school board to court. - Many ID concepts questioned and secrets brought to light.
  • 13. Basic argument: - Complex motor. - Small parts couldn’t have evolved independently. - Must have been designed. Flagellum anatomy
  • 14. Irreducible Complexity is wrong - The “Type Three Secretion System”. - Missing components of the flagellum. - Continues to function. - Performs a different task. - No Designer needed. Bacterial Injector Bacterial Flagellum
  • 15. "Cdesign Proponentsists" ↑ Biology and Creation (1986), p. 3-33 - Supreme Court case Edwards v Agular (1987) declared the teaching of creationism to violate the Establishment Clause. [11] ↑ Of Pandas and People (1987), p. 3-41
  • 16. “Creationist” vs “Intelligent Design” word count in the various revisions
  • 17. The Wedge (1998) - Secret creationist manifesto created by ID founders. - Governing goals - “To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural, and political legacies.” - “To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.” [12] - The “wedge” is a metaphor for forcefully replacing science with religion.
  • 18. Recap 1) Intelligent Design is NOT science. - No competing hypothesis. - No mechanistic explanation for the creation of complex systems. - Complexity is just accepted as is. - Irreducible complexity is a flawed concept that ignores evolutionary antecedents which serve different functions with similar parts. - The Designer is not testable or falsifiable.
  • 19. Recap 2) No scientific output - No ID papers have been published in mainstream science journals since the founding of the movement in 1984. - Despite the claim that Design theory is at the forefront of scientific research. - Popular science books cite more up-to-date research than ID literature. 3) Purposely misquote Darwin - Racist, sexist, or doubtful about work. - Discrediting the man discredits his work (Ad hominem)
  • 20. Recap 3) Intelligent design is a form of Creationism. - The Designer is the Judeo-Christian god. - The ID objection to evolution is on religious grounds. - It undermines the belief in supernatural creation. - Creationism rebranded as ID to circumvent federal law. - Creation biology book stripped of all mentions of “creationism.” - ID strategy to replace science with religion.
  • 21. Why a Creationist POV is dangerous - 60% of Republicans believe that the earth was created less than 10,000 years ago. [13] - Newt Gingrich (R-GA) dismantled congress’ science advisory board in 1995. - Replaced with a type of mock court to decide “real science.” - Hearings from both credentialed and fringe scientists. - Congressmen with no scientific training choose which side they agree with more, often the latter. [14] - Paul Broun (R-GA) said the following: - “All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell.” [15] - Member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
  • 22. Notes [1] "CSC - Top Questions," Center for Science and Culture, http://www.discovery.org/csc/topQuestions.php#questionsAboutI ntelligentDesign (accessed February 4, 2014). [2] Michael J. Behe, Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution (New York: Free Press, 1996), 39. [3] Barbara Forrest and Paul R. Gross, Creationism's Trojan Horse The Wedge of Intelligent Design, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 38. [4] Ibid, 43-44. [5] Ibid, 153. [6] Ibid, 45-46.
  • 23. [7] Behe, Darwin’s Black Box, 39. [8] Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (Edison, N.J.: Chartwell Books, 2008), 119. [9] Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (400 F. Supp. 2d 707, Docket no. 4cv2688) (2005) , 31 http://web.archive.org/web/20051221144316/http://www.pamd.u scourts.gov/kitzmiller/kitzmiller_342.pdf (accessed Feb. 6, 2014). [10] Ibid, 1-2. [11] ""Cdesign Proponentsists" ," NCSE, http://ncse.com/creationism/legal/cdesign-proponentsists (accessed February 7, 2014). [12] The Wedge Document (The Discovery Institute, 1999), 1.
  • 24. [13] "Republicans, Democrats Differ on Creationism." Gallup. http://www.gallup.com/poll/108226/republicans-democrats- differ-creationism.aspx (accessed February 10, 2014). [14] Chris Mooney, The Republican War on Science (New York: BasicBooks, 2006). [15] Horowitz, Alana. "Paul Broun: Evolution, Big Bang 'Lies Straight From The Pit Of Hell'." The Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/06/paul-broun- evolution-big-bang_n_1944808.html (accessed February 10, 2014).