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Tags trial , evolution , intelligent design , dover id trial

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Old 21st October 2005, 03:58 AM   #81
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The first session of Behe's cross-examination is now available (see Transcript Day 11 PM)!

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Old 21st October 2005, 07:13 AM   #82
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Quote:
BY MR. ROTHSCHILD:
Q Professor Behe, right before the break you said
that the findings accumulated over 140 years that support
the contention that Darwinian processes could explain
complex molecular systems total a number of zero, correct?
His heart must have sunk when Rothschild came back to this.

Quote:
A I ll -- I think I did, yes.

Q Okay. And that s a proposition you stand by.

A Well, again, you have to look at the papers. And what I meant by that is ones which fully explain how random mutation and natural selection could build a complex system; yes, there are no such explanations.

Q Zero papers.

A I don t think I said zero papers, perhaps I did, but there are zero explanations.

Q And zero is the same number of articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals that argue for the intelligent design of complex molecular systems?

A The number of peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals which show that life is composed of molecular machinery that exhibits the purposeful arrangement of parts in detail on term, you know, many many many thousands. There are -- I think there are just one or two that mention intelligent design by name.

Q That argue for the intelligent design of complex molecular systems in peer-reviewed scientific journals?

A No, I don t think -- now that you mention it, I think that I was thinking of something else.
Oops! Credibility failure!
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Old 21st October 2005, 07:26 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by richardm View Post
His heart must have sunk when Rothschild came back to this.



Oops! Credibility failure!
Mr. Scott! Backpedal now--full warp speed!
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Old 21st October 2005, 08:00 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
The first session of Behe's cross-examination is now available (see Transcript Day 11 PM)!
End of page 34 to the beginning of Page 37 has Behe up against a wall doing everything he can to not have to admit that ID isn't a scientific theory as defined by the National Acadamy of Sciences. I almost feel sorry for the guy. Almost.

Eta: Oh, found a better sound byte: Page 39 lines 6-9
Quote:
6 Q But you are clear, under your definition, the
7 definition that sweeps in intelligent design, astrology is
8 also a scientific theory, correct?
9 A Yes, that s correct.
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Old 21st October 2005, 08:24 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
End of page 34 to the beginning of Page 37 has Behe up against a wall doing everything he can to not have to admit that ID isn't a scientific theory as defined by the National Acadamy of Sciences. I almost feel sorry for the guy. Almost.
I rather liked the bits about the loose definitions of "author" in pages 28-32.

"The way I read that is that he is seeing into the future and seeing when this actually will be published and anticipating that I will participate in the publication of thee book at that point.

Seeing into the future is one of the powers of the intelligent design movement?"
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Old 21st October 2005, 08:30 AM   #86
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All good clean fun!
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Old 21st October 2005, 08:40 AM   #87
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And when is a cause not a cause? When it's an intelligently designed cause (pages 23-24)
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Old 21st October 2005, 08:43 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
All good clean fun!
No it isn't! I've got work to do and I'm still reading this stupid thing! Please Ed, I need to get some work done, but I can't hit the X button!
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Old 21st October 2005, 09:08 AM   #89
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Sorry, Upchurch.

Mike Argento again: Of Behe and mammary glands.
Quote:
... Dr. Michael Behe, a Lehigh University biochemist who is one of the top intelligent design jihadists.
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Old 21st October 2005, 05:09 PM   #90
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To all ID people
Never believe in your own propaganda. Never go to court to get your own way. High risk of embarrassing failure.
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Old 21st October 2005, 05:58 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
To all ID people
Never believe in your own propaganda. Never go to court to get your own way. High risk of embarrassing failure.
Wait for the judgment before declaring victory. Until then, we don't know how much of the argument the judge accepts (or even understands, as I doubt that he or she has any sort of science qualificatiion).
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Old 21st October 2005, 06:23 PM   #92
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I am sure he will understand it. He should have had in previous cases forensic and other evidence. That should have taught him the difference between rubbish and science. The trial would make the judge the world''s leading expert on the validity of ID and evolution. He will be quoted for years to come.
But as you say I am speaking too early. Somebody else may slip up badly.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 01:17 AM   #93
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I have been impressed with the quality of the cross-examinations. But then good lawyers are very good at arguing! Truth of course is a different matter...
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Old 22nd October 2005, 02:21 AM   #94
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It's nice to see someone being a bit tougher with Behe than in this recent interview in the Grauniad.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 02:31 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
It's nice to see someone being a bit tougher with Behe than in this recent interview in the Grauniad.

Interesting comment here:

Quote:
JS: How is irreducible complexity different from plain old complexity?

MB: Well, think of it this way. If you take away a rock from a pile of rocks you haven't changed much. It's still a heap of rocks - just a rock or two smaller. Take away a component from the mousetrap and it isn't a mousetrap any more.
The analogy he choose actually shows the weakness in his argument!

Consider taking a rock from the bottom of the heap of rocks, the rock heap will collapse, therefore the original rock heap is in fact an example of something that displays Behe's "irreducible complexity".

In fact the original rock heap shows that something very complex that depends on every component being in the right place for it to exist can occur just by chance. To go a step further using the reasoning he says is behind the idea of "ID" we end up with the conclusion that a rock heap must have been designed to be a rock heap.

This probably doesn't worry Behe since he believes the designer is God and presumably he believes god *has* designed everything.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 02:41 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
This probably doesn't;t worry Behe since he belies the designer is God and presumably he believes god *has* designed everything.
No, not "presumably". Behe has stated very clearly that he does think God is the designer:

Quote:
And because of religious reasons unrelated to intelligent design theory, IDEA Center Leadership believes that the identity of the designer is the God of the Bible.
Source: Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center
Quote:
The leadership of the IDEA Center are Christians, who believe that the identity of the designer is the God of the Bible.
Source: Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center
Guess who those leaders are?

Quote:
In the summer of 2001, the new IDEA Center sought out leadership an established an Administration Staff and a Board of Directors. Additionally, the Center formed a distinguished Advisory Board consisting of key members of the intelligent design movement including, John Baumgardner, Michael Behe, William Dembski, Mark Hartwig, Phillip Johnson, Jay Wesley Richards, Dennis Wagner, and Jonathan Wells.
Source: Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center
It doesn't get clearer than that.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 04:03 AM   #97
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TalkOrigins have the transcripts in html format.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 04:27 AM   #98
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KingMerv00 strikes the first blow in round 2

It must be annoying, being the judge and knowing that the case will be appealed and a bunch of other judges will retry the case.

Couldn't they just go straight to the appeal court and start there?

I don't see why he bothers getting up in the morning.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 04:33 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Consider taking a rock from the bottom of the heap of rocks, the rock heap will collapse, therefore the original rock heap is in fact an example of something that displays Behe's "irreducible complexity".

In fact the original rock heap shows that something very complex that depends on every component being in the right place for it to exist can occur just by chance. To go a step further using the reasoning he says is behind the idea of "ID" we end up with the conclusion that a rock heap must have been designed to be a rock heap.

This probably doesn't worry Behe since he believes the designer is God and presumably he believes god *has* designed everything.
In his testimony he's been careful to say that while it is his personal belief that the designer is God, it's not part of the "scientific theory" of ID:
Quote:
Q Now, before we go in detail into your argument from irreducible complexity, I want to confirm some other aspects of how you understand intelligent design.

It does not identify who the designer is, correct?

A That's correct. Let me just clarify that. I'm talking about the scientific argument for intelligent design based on physical data and logic, yes.

Q You believe it's God, but it's not part of your scientific argument?

A That's correct.
So while this sort of thing may not worry Behe personally, it's certainly a problem for ID as a coherent theory.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 04:41 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
In his testimony he's been careful to say that while it is his personal belief that the designer is God, it's not part of the "scientific theory" of ID: So while this sort of thing may not worry Behe personally, it's certainly a problem for ID as a coherent theory.
Yep and the cross-examiner did touch on this very matter. He brought up the fact that by saying something was designed for a certain purpose you are in fact making assumptions about the nature of the designer(s), but Behe tried to deny this.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 05:11 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by CFLarsen View Post
No, not "presumably". Behe has stated very clearly that he does think God is the designer:

...snip...
Not quite my point, I know (because he's said so under oath ) that he believes the intelligent designer is "God". And because he is also Catholic then I can assume he regards everything in the universe to have been designed by God so as far as he would be concerned there is a designer behind the (only apparent) random arrangement of a rock heap.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 06:11 AM   #102
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Quote:
Q It says there, "Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly." That's the opposite -- that is directly contrasting the claim of gradualism made by Ernst Mayr, correct?

A The -- how shall I phrase this? The sentence there I read as saying that intelligent design can be consistent with; that the fact that the fossil records seems to have forms of life appearing abruptly, while it might cause problems for Darwinism, it does not cause problems for intelligent design, because intelligent design does not speak to how fast or how slow such things happen.

And so I see that as saying essentially an intelligent design proponent can take this data at face value and does not necessarily have to have secondary hypotheses to try to explain it.

Q That s how you read the -- something that starts, "intelligent design means."

A Well, again, as I said in my direct testimony, I don t think this was written very well, but I think the sense of that sentence is not hard to discern.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 06:28 AM   #103
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Quote:
Q So this is back to the claim that you say intelligent design makes, "Intelligent design theory focuses exclusively on the proposed mechanism of how complex biological structures arose."

Please describe the mechanism that intelligent design proposes for how complex biological structures arose.

...

Q Back to my original question. What is the mechanism that intelligent design proposes?

A And I wonder, could -- am I permitted to know what I replied to your question the first time?

Q I don t think I got a reply, so I m asking you, you ve made this claim here, "Intelligent design theory focuses exclusively on the proposed mechanism of how complex biological structures arose." And I want to know what is the mechanism that intelligent design proposes for how complex biological structures arose?

A Again, it does not propose a mechanism in the sense of a step-by-step description of how those structures arose. But it can infer that in the mechanism, in the process by which these structures arose, an intelligent cause was involved.

Q But it does not propose an actual mechanism?

A Again, the word "mechanism" -- the word "mechanism" can be used broadly, but no, I would not say that there was a mechanism. I would say we have an aspect of the history of the structure.

Q So when you wrote in your report that "Intelligent design theory focuses exclusively on the proposed mechanism," you actually meant to say intelligent design says nothing about the mechanism of how complex biological structures arose.

A No, I certainly didn t mean to say that. I meant to say what I said in response to that last question, that while we don t know a step-by-step description of how something arose, nonetheless we can infer some very important facts about what was involved in the process, namely, that intelligence was involved in the process....

So additionally, I might say, that it also focuses on other proposed mechanisms that purport to explain the purposeful arrangement of parts. And so I think it is quite accurate to say that that s exactly where intelligent design focuses.

Q So it actually -- it focuses on other proposed mechanisms, by that you mean natural selection, don t you?

A No, just a natural selection, complexity theory and so on. But certainly the most widely accepted, and then the one that you would have to convince most people -- or explain to most people is not well supported is the one which is the currently accepted explanation of natural selection.

Q Okay. And so in terms of mechanism, it s just a criticism of Darwinian evolution s mechanism and not a positive description of the mechanism?

A No, I disagree. I say that while, again, while it does not give you a step-by-step description of how such things occurred, it does tell you something very important about the cause or the way in which these structures arose, and that was through the actions of an intelligent cause.

Q So, Professor Behe, why don t we go to your deposition and see how you answered the questions then, okay?

A Okay.

Q Could you look at page 179 of your deposition.

A Yes.

Q I asked you, "What is the proposed mechanism of how complex biological structures arose according to intelligent design theory?"

A Yes.

Q And you answered, "Intelligent design does not propose a mechanism, it simply tries to support the conclusion that intelligent activity was involved in producing the structures."

A Yes. And that language, I think, is completely consistent with what I was trying to say here today, that it does not tell you step by step how something was proposed -- or how something was produced, but nonetheless it says something very very important about the origin of the structure, and that is that intelligent activity was involved in producing it.

Q And then further down the page at line 24 I asked you, "In terms of the mechanism, it s just a criticism of Darwinian evolution s mechanism and not a positive description of a mechanism." And what did you answer, Professor Behe?

A I said "that s correct." But again, I think this is completely consistent with what I just said.
Now there's a lawyer who deserves his salary.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 06:30 AM   #104
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You know, maybe we should take ID'ers to court, instead of the other way around. It actually seems to be working quite well....
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Old 22nd October 2005, 07:00 AM   #105
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Don't know about that. It seems to me that this guy could have been filleted but hasn't. I, personally, would have explored whether or not he feels that it is permissible to lie to advance one's religion. Dunno, it just appeared to me that he could have been humiliated.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 07:08 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by Ed View Post
Don't know about that. It seems to me that this guy could have been filleted but hasn't. I, personally, would have explored whether or not he feels that it is permissible to lie to advance one's religion.
Have you considered the possibility that he might say "no"?
Quote:
Dunno, it just appeared to me that he could have been humiliated.
I think the judge can probably tell a snide personal attack from a hole in the ground.

The object is not to humiliate Behe, amusing though it is, but to get the right answers out of him. I think the lawyer's doing a good job.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 08:08 AM   #107
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And isn't he being cross-examined as an "expert witness"? If so I would have thought the rules of the court would make it difficult to ask him questions outside his remit as an expert witness.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 08:56 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by Darat
In fact the original rock heap shows that something very complex that depends on every component being in the right place for it to exist can occur just by chance. To go a step further using the reasoning he says is behind the idea of "ID" we end up with the conclusion that a rock heap must have been designed to be a rock heap.
Ah, but when you remove a rock at the bottom of the pile, you still end up with a pile of rocks. The definition of irreducibly complex has squirmed around over the years to deal with this. They used to say that the reduced structure couldn't perform any function. Now that say it can't perform its original function.

Duh. Who disagrees with that?

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Old 22nd October 2005, 09:02 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
They used to say that the reduced structure couldn't perform any function. Now that say it can't perform its original function.
Can you find some references? It would be nice to document how they change their claims...
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Old 22nd October 2005, 09:11 AM   #110
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Boy, smack me upside the head. I read the news every day, talk with typically well informed adults and am involved in the Politics and Current events forum and I have NO idea what the hell this is all about. How does this happen? Damn!!!

Ok, I've seen headlines with Dover and ID in them and I guess I didn't bother. So it's my fault. So sue me. I thought Dover was across the pond. Guess I thought wrong.

What's that? Yeah, I have a point, besides the fact that I'm completely clueless. I've checked out the links and so far I can only find current events. Is there anywhere to go for some background on this particular case?
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Old 22nd October 2005, 10:17 AM   #111
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Claus, you can find some of the history of the definition of irreducible complexity here:

http://www.talkorigins.org/design/faqs/nfl/#irred

See section 4.2.

Also, in this paper, Dembski seems to have killed the idea of IC:

http://www.iscid.org/papers/Dembski_...ted_011404.pdf

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To determine whether a system is irreducibly complex therefore employs two approaches: (1) An empirical analysis of the system that by removing parts (individually and in groups) and then by rearranging and adapting remaining parts determines whether the basic function can be recovered among those remaining parts. (2) A conceptual analysis of the system, and specifically of those parts whose removal renders the basic function unrecoverable, to demonstrate that no system with (substantially) fewer parts exhibits the basic function.
Not sure how we're going to demonstrate that no simpler system can perform the basic function. Ka-pow!

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Old 22nd October 2005, 10:52 AM   #112
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Thanks.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 11:00 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
Not sure how we're going to demonstrate that no simpler system can perform the basic function. Ka-pow!
Actually, Chaitin's "algorithmic information theory" tells us that this is impossible. The question of "What is the smallest representation of an algorithm which computes a given function?" is undecidable in general. If we think of a biological function as some kind of algorithm and DNA (or other organic molecules) as the code for this algorithm, we can't decide if there is a simpler (in the information theory sense of the word) system that performs the same function.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 11:21 AM   #114
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Ka-blam! Ka-pow! Ah, my foot, my foot!

~~ Paul
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Old 22nd October 2005, 12:27 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
Ah, but when you remove a rock at the bottom of the pile, you still end up with a pile of rocks. The definition of irreducibly complex has squirmed around over the years to deal with this. They used to say that the reduced structure couldn't perform any function. Now that say it can't perform its original function.

Duh. Who disagrees with that?

~~ Paul
But consider if the heap of rocks was "supporting" a bank of earth, according to ID because we see the bank being supported by the heap it is reasonable to assume that the heap of rocks was designed to support the bank of earth. Yet when I remove the one rock the heap collapses and the earth bank is no longer supported. Therefore, according to ID theory the heap of rocks was irreducibly complex. Apparently only one particular combination of the rocks in a heap could act as if they were designed to support the bank of earth.

Crazy reasoning but hey I didn't invent creationism ID.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 12:32 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
Is there anywhere to go for some background on this particular case?
RandFan,

Try Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District at Wikipedia.
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Old 22nd October 2005, 01:09 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by Darat
But consider if the heap of rocks was "supporting" a bank of earth, according to ID because we see the bank being supported by the heap it is reasonable to assume that the heap of rocks was designed to support the bank of earth. Yet when I remove the one rock the heap collapses and the earth bank is no longer supported. Therefore, according to ID theory the heap of rocks was irreducibly complex. Apparently only one particular combination of the rocks in a heap could act as if they were designed to support the bank of earth.
I think they would say that the combination of the bank and heap of rocks was IC. But your example points out the precise stupidity here. The heap of rocks could evolve, then perform as scaffolding for the evolution of the bank of earth, the combination all the while acting as a better and better dam.

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Old 22nd October 2005, 08:37 PM   #118
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Good; I'd hate to think you necessarily thought that.

And now for something completely different:
Quote:
Despite the addition of intelligent design to the curriculum, Dr. Nilsen denied repeatedly that reading the statement the board approved constituted teaching. However, when asked "Are students learning when they hear that statement?", he responded, "Yes."
Sweet, merciful Buddha on a pogo stick, that man doesn't seem to have full change for a dollar.
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Old 23rd October 2005, 01:26 AM   #119
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Day 12 --- morning

The Behe cross-examination continues.
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Old 23rd October 2005, 02:06 AM   #120
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Good heavens, we're back on-topic.
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