Facts, not Fantasy

Friday, November 05, 2010

Why ID is NOT Science

As of late, I have put up a lot of information about vaccines (it's that time of year when folks should be getting their flu vaccines, hence my focus on that).  However, this page also talks a lot about evolution.  Now, if you read the evolution page, and the sub menu tabs, you'll see that pretty much every argument they have made up has been addressed.  In the past 150 years, there hasn't really been much new at the root of their arguments.

As an aside, one must wonder, how is it that when the initial idea of descent from common ancestors (i.e. evolution) was proposed, and there were many fields that we had no idea about like genetics, cellular biology, microbiology, taxonomy, etc.  If a 19th century scientist was going to make up something, or try to intentionally deceive the scientific community, how could he possibly have pulled it off?  EVERY SINGLE DISCOVERY in biology and genetics supports evolution.  Read that again.  Every single one!  Even Newton's theory on gravity didn't stand up that well to time and subsequent discoveries.

Anyway, a fellow by the name of Wowbagger, over at the JREF forums, made this post that I really enjoyed, and wanted to share with you all:

There are a few ways to tell who is really doing the science, and who is not.

Progression vs. Reaction
Intelligent Design seems to be almost entirely reactionary. They never seem to be the ones making new, innovative discoveries; nor are they capable of predicting what might be found in a particular study: At least not in any detail.

What often happens is that evolutionary biologists will make a new discovery, of some sort: Perhaps a new fossil or a new way in which genes can vary, or a new way in which genes are expressed. And, all I.D. can do is react: "Yeah, but this can also be explained in this way..." And, that "way" would be very creative and convincing to a great many people. Except: They were not the ones who could ever come up with that discovery. It would be an entirely post-hoc analysis.

For example: As evolutionary development scientists (evo/devo) discover more facts about epigenetics, ID can react by calling them all examples of "front loading". ID is not capable of making the discoveries, nor are they capable of predicting what would be "frontloaded" or not, using their own hypothesis.

Another example is in the Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve (RLN). One would not expect a nerve to take a path like that, if it were designed. But, since we discovered it, all ID can say is "yeah, there is a reason for it". Of course, this is not even an argument against evolution: The nerve could still be the result of evolutionary heritage, and not contradict claims of how it is used. But, at least evolutionary biologists can still map how the nerve got to be that way, over time. ID cannot present evidence of a Creator's desires.

A third example, in the finding of fossils: The careful study of evolution can help us predict where new fossils can be found, such as the Tiktaalik. ID could make all the claims it wants about it "not being a transitional fossil". But, they did not predict its discovery. All they can do is react.

Utility as a Framework
The end result of all this is that Evolution continues to make headway as a framework for solving problems in the field of biology. Its findings, though not perfect nor complete, yet, are still far more reliable than anything Creationists have come up with.

Examples aplenty can be found here:   http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/search/topicbrowse2.php?topic_id=47

ID seems to be entirely superfluous: It does not add anything that a scientist, charged with the responsibility of solving a problem in biology, would ever want to incorporate.

Quality of Evidence at the Core
Every claim made by evolutionary biologists (but, not necessarily the strawman claims that creationists claim evolutionists make) is backed by empirical evidence: We can isolate and measure each property at the core of our claims, and then some.
The same cannot be said for ID: There is no testable hypothesis that can isolate and measure the properties of the Designer. Not even in principle, it seems.

ID proponents are content with having the core of their claims be unknowable. But, the nature of the empirical beast that is science demands that claims should strive to be otherwise.

If evolution were all a hoax, then why does it continue to be productive in the fields of biological sciences? If ID was a superior science, then how come it is almost entirely reactionary?

Ask yourself: Who is really conducting science in biology?

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