The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Monday, August 28, 2006

Logic and Intelligent Design

The Guardian is reporting a story that Pope Benedict and a group of "philosophers, scientists and other intellectuals" will be meeting to discuss a possible shift in Vatican policy regarding Intelligent Design. There are many items that jump out at me but since I am not Catholic, I will not criticize their faith in this forum. Instead I will take a logical approach to kick around the strangeness of the vitriolic criticism of Intelligent Design that seems to permeate society.

Many feel very hostile toward the concept of Intelligent Design (ID) and are very comfortable in criticizing it. For those that are atheist, I can accept that as being very consistent. However, a cursory look will uncover that in the US two of three confidently believe there is a God. As I said, I would expect the 1/3 to be against ID. What has me scratching my head is an environment where many of the 2/3 reject ID or are hostile toward it. Many tend to run to the mantra that ID is a cloak for creationism. I am sure that many who support ID are creationist. The simple definition of ID is that the elements of the universe are so complex that there must have been an Intelligent Designer behind it. There might be many offshoots of this that will vary on the Who and How, but the simple definition is accepted.

What has me scratching my head is the notion of those 2/3 who believe in God, yet think He would take no part in the direction or composition of the universe. The notion that He just sat "up there" watching everything just happen is amazing to comprehend. That is what one must believe in order to both believe in God and yet reject ID. After all, ANY guiding by God in how the universe or any component came about immediately qualifies as ID.

Since belief in God and ID logically go hand in hand, I would claim that any attack against ID is actually a covert attempt at ridiculing belief in God. In reality criticism of ID would undermine all major religions of the world that believe in a Deity. So the summary is twofold: why would a believer in God reject ID and why don't critics attack belief in God instead of ID?


  • At 1:01 AM, Blogger Mark said…

    I'm of the aforementioned 1/3. I do believe that Intelligent Design is a repackaged way to give creationism validity. The problem is that the idea of creationism in schools belongs in a religion elective. I'm all for that, but to say creation is the best possible explanation is not scientific when there are better explanations based on the scientific method. ID'ers call them "irreducible complexities." I'm going to link to a youtube video of a talk given by Ken Miller, a biologist, at Case Western. It's really long, an hour and a half or so, but he really explains what ID is all about and gives answers for the complexities like the protein with parts that are useless by themselves, and therefore had to be created that way. I'd recommend all to give it a watch. Skip the nightly news and Leno tonight. You won't miss much.

    Check it out here

  • At 1:07 AM, Blogger Mark said…

    good post by the way - it's full of argument starters...hopefully reasonable and quietly conducted arguments...

  • At 5:46 AM, Blogger FKAB said…

    Some possible explanations:

    1. People don't tend to think logically when it comes to matters of religion

    2. People don't care enough to think about it

    3. People believe in a 'god' of some description, just not the one that Christians believe in.

    4. People are happy to accept that their faith is not science, and shouldn't belong in the science classroom.

    5. People despise Christian fundies and their silly agendas

    6. People believe in their god out of convenience alone.

    7. People are stupid.

    Any more that someone would like to proffer for discussion sake?

  • At 8:19 AM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…


    Thanks for the comments. Just to be clear on what I was saying, I was not making a proposal in this post about ID being taught in the schools.

    My post was about an honest approach to the subject. There are twe sets of people that are being dishonest with themselves or others about what they think or say about ID.

    1) One who believes in God and claims not to believe in ID in any form whatsoever, has this idea that God did nothing to shape the universe. To me that is bizarre.

    2) One who does not believe in God or ID chooses to attack the ID rather than God. I see that as a cloaked attack on belief in God because of the tight connection between the two.

    I am not trying to pursuade an atheist to believe in God here. I can go over to FKAB's site and try that.

    To clarify, I am not even talking about formal ID. The "Fundies" as FKAB likes to call them have their version of ID that does indeed embrace creationism (without apology). There are others that try to blend ID and evolution. There are more than 2 categories when it comes to ID. Even if one is not a Fundie type, they should not feel steamrolled by religious bigots into suppressing their belief in ID of the form of their choosing.

    Thanks for the link Mark. I will try to see it, but that is a long time commitment at this time.

    By the way, you nailed me on the "argument starters". I was in a punchy mood last night and when I saw the Pope story I decided it would be fun to dive in. Tallyho!

  • At 8:40 AM, Blogger SkyePuppy said…

    Not knowing what the official Vatican position currently is on ID, I'm not sure where the possible "shift" will go.

    I'm going to be traveling to Poland in a few weeks to visit the town where Copernicus lived when he was developing his then-heretical theories. At the time he was in the employ (tax collector) of the Catholic Bishops, who were also the civil authorities of that region.

    It makes me wonder if the Catholic Church has become overeager to embrace science, out of their shame for the way they handled Copernicus for all those centuries.

  • At 10:09 AM, Blogger Mark said…

    okay, so what your post was about:

    1)People who believe in God but not ID

    2)People who do not believe in God but wet themselves fighting ID.

    Well, there are many ways of belief. It's not cut and dried. I'd say a large group of people say they believe in God but have not thought twice about it...then see ID being lambasted (as it should be) by some liberal somewhere and get up in arms about not believing in it too.

    The second group of people are either those who are fighting ID acceptance in schools, or are prickish jerks spoiling for shouting matches about religion. I believe ID and God do have a very tight connection. People generally attack ID because it's the new rage, the new validity to something that is a private affair which requires no validity in someones own heart. Believe or not...proof is not the point to God...or Intelligent Design.

  • At 11:07 AM, Blogger Return to Westernesse said…

    What's at the heart of the matter is the fact that so many scientists are beginning to rethink the question of origins. They're doing this because they realize that Darwinian Evolution, as taught in most schools throughout the nation, is no more scientific than many of the fantastic and incredible theories that came out of the nineteenth century. The fossil record doesn't support it, the scientific method doesn't verify it, and many modern discoveries contradict it.

    So what is happening is that many people (both scientists and laymen) are beginning to say, "Hey, this intricately complex universe looks as though it would make more sense to think that a being with intelligence designed it rather than the preposterous notion that it all just happened randomly and by natural selection." And it's turning out that those who come to this conclusion are being ridiculed as religious fanatics and uneducated imbeciles.

    But it's alright - Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, and anyone who went against the popular thinking of his time, were also scorned as anti-science know-nothings and fools. Truth, as always, prevails in the end.

  • At 5:06 PM, Blogger Mark said…

    A theory of evolution backed with modern science is much more rational and scientific than a fantastic and incredible theory that it happened out of nothing by a god that gives no evidence of his reality. Who knows about origins, but science trumps fantasy in the world of reason. I'm not making an attack here, religion has its place in individual and community lives.

    Return to Westernesse said-So what is happening is that many people (both scientists and laymen) are beginning to say, "Hey, this intricately complex universe looks as though it would make more sense to think that a being with intelligence designed it rather than the preposterous notion that it all just happened randomly and by natural selection." And it's turning out that those who come to this conclusion are being ridiculed as religious fanatics and uneducated imbeciles.

    I would say it's more preposterous to discard real evidence (and I know that neither of us have the time to get that far into it here) and embrace an explanation that involves much less science and ends up starting with a deiety.

    Look, I've got no problem with religion and those who believe as long as they keep it within their own lives (suicide plane bombers and abortion clinic bombers need not apply). I choose not to believe for lack of evidence. It makes more rational sense to explain the world in scientific terms not spiritual/religious ones. That's why people are up in arms over ID. Real science makes more sense.

    These scientists you mention were innovators. Great men who advanced science proving themselves all the way. If one were able to prove unfailingly that a god created all this, then yes, future generations will call them great. And I'll be wrong...and then god will make himself known or something. But this has to be verified as truth based on scientific evidence.

    R2W said - Truth, as always, prevails in the end. This unfortunate last sentence is why I generally get embarrassed and angry around christians, or anyone who claims to own the truth. You can't prove it, don't dare to call it TRUTH.

  • At 10:43 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    You can't prove it, don't dare to call it TRUTH.

    Mark, I understand your sentiment here. I feel the same way about when evolutionary theory is presented as evolutionary fact. Evolution has not been proven. Observations have been interpreted and a theory has been believed; but it has not been proven.

    You are right that probably none of us have time for a lengthy debate on this. I will simply state that while ID gets a bad rap for being more faith than science, it has been my observation that many areas of evolution when you boil it down are accepted by just as much faith as ID.

  • At 12:01 AM, Blogger Mark said…

    I hear you, but our current theories of evolution are the the best that have yet come that rely on the physical world. Intelligent Design/Creationism (and they do boil down to the same thing) rely at their base on some sort of god - not of this physical world.

    Anyway...let's do some more in this vein AICS. Mix it up! Let's do some theology...some calvinism vs. - none of that. But more fun than Israel/Lebanon or Liberal v Conservative.

  • At 6:58 AM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    Glad you were joking about the Calvinism. I was going to have to blow some dust off some commentaries.

    Anyway, you are right that the usual gets a little old sometimes and that is precisely why I added this post. I'll see what I can do to keep you coming back!

    I won't be interesting anybody today. It is Chip's first day of school so no blogging time except responses until tonight.


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