Sunday, December 10, 2006

 

Professor of Biology speaks for Intelligent Design

One of the nation's leading proponents of intelligent design* told a Kansas University audience Thursday that Darwinism or evolution can explain how, in the absence of predators, a bird might lose its ability to fly and begin to walk on the ground.

But it can't explain how complex living systems are built - the designs are too complex to have been randomly generated, said Michael Behe** (homepage), author of "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution."

Behe's lecture, titled "The Argument for Intelligent Design in Biology," was part of the "Difficult Dialogues" lecture series sponsored by KU's Hall Center for the Humanities and KU's Biodiversity Institute. About 100 people attended.

A professor of biology at Lehigh University, Behe's main argument was that evolution has become so ingrained and accepted that it becomes difficult to raise any questions about it in the scientific community.

"When I start to point out problems, often people don’t have time to listen," he said.

He said intelligent design was not a philosophy, but a scientific conclusion that uses inductive reasoning.

Continued at "Biologist speaks for Intelligent Design"
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A video archive of the "Difficlut Dialogues" lecture series is available via this link and currently contains the following:

Kenneth Miller
"God, Darwin, and Design: Creationism’s Second Coming"
September 7, 2006, Kansas Union Ballroom

Judge John E. Jones, III
"Judicial Independence and Kitzmiller v. Dover et al"
September 26, 2006, Woodruff Auditorium, Kansas Union

Os Guinness
"A World Safe for Diversity: Living with our Deepest Differences in an Age of Exploding Pluralism"
October 3, 2006, Woodruff Auditorium, Kansas Union

Richard Dawkins
"The God Delusion"
Octiber 16, 2006, Lied Center

Eugenie Scott
"Faith, Reason, and Assumption in Understanding the Natural World"
November 16, 2006, Woodruff Auditorium, Kansas Union
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* See "Intelligent Design":

Intelligent design (ID) is an anti-evolution belief that asserts that naturalistic explanations of some biological entities are not possible and such entities can only be explained by intelligent causes.* Advocates of ID maintain that their belief is scientific and provides empirical proof for the existence of God or superintelligent aliens. They claim that intelligent design should be taught in the science classroom as an alternative to the science of evolution. ID is essentially a hoax, however, since evolution is consistent with a belief in an intelligent designer of the universe. The two are not contradictory and they are not necessarily competitors. ID is proposed mainly by Christian apologists at the Discovery Institute and their allies, who feel science threatens their Biblical-based view of reality.

In December 2005, federal Judge John E. Jones III ruled that ID must meet the same fate that creationism met in 1987 when the Supreme Court ruled religious doctrines can't be promoted in secular institutions under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
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** Info on Michael behe:

...Behe once fully accepted the scientific theory of evolution. After reading Evolution: A Theory In Crisis, by Michael Denton, he came to question evolution.[12] Later, Behe came to believe that there was evidence, at a biochemical level, that there were systems that were "irreducibly complex". These were systems that he thought could not, even in principle, have evolved by natural selection, and thus must have been created by an "intelligent designer," which he believed to be the only possible alternative explanation for such complex structures.

After the 1987 Edwards v. Aguillard decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court barred the teaching of Scientific Creationism from public schools, many former critics of evolution as well as a new generation felt that new strategies and language was necessary. The books of lawyer Phillip E. Johnson on intelligent design, which strayed away from direct claims about a Young Earth and stuck to criticisms of evolutionary theory and purported biased "materialist" science, provided such a model. New organizations devoted to the study of what they called intelligent design sprung up, among them the Discovery Institute. In 1996 Behe became a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture (later renamed the Center for Science and Culture) the then newly-formed institution to promote intelligent design.

By this time, Behe had published his ideas on irreducible complexity in a book called Darwin's Black Box, which was a public and critical success. Scientists however responded by arguing that Behe's arguments and examples were based only a refined form of "argument from ignorance", rather than any demonstration of the actual impossibility of explanation by natural processes. Furthermore, they asserted that he deliberately aimed the publication of this book at the general public in order to gain maximum publicity while avoiding any peer-reviews from fellow scientists or performing new research to support his claims...
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