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The Intelligent Designer

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The Intelligent Designer

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Fri Nov 23, 2007 4:33 pm

I just e-mailed this to the editors, but I have no idea if they'll print it (or if they even consider printing responses to other people's letters) so I'll reproduce here, as I feel it's important.

---------

I feel compelled to respond to Roney Sorensen's letter to the editor from the November 23 issue of Isthmus as it is full of claims often made which are nevertheless not true.

Roney claims that "Evolution... is not directly proven" and that it, like Creationism, is "faith based." Unfortunately for that argument, evolution is based on a vast amount of observable evidence. No "faith" is necessary to observe that all life shares characteristics which imply a common origin, that many organisms retain vestigial characteristics which belie their evolutionary past (like sightless eyes or flightless wings), or that a species' evolutionary history is often "relived" in their early development (such as the hind legs of whales which are re-absorbed before birth), etc. No one of these (or countless other) examples proves evolution, but when taken together, they all point towards a conclusion which is not consistent with Intelligent Design. The evidence for these facts is ample and consistent, pointing unambiguously towards the central tenets of evolution: Common descent, change and adaptation over time and the importance of natural selection. There are no similar tenets of Creationism which are evident in nature.

Sorensen next whips out the common "evolution is just a theory" canard, but in the context of science, the word theory does not imply uncertainty. Quite the opposite, in fact, and if "only a theory" were a real objection to scientific knowledge, why don't creationists uniformly decry the theory of gravity, the germ theory of disease or atomic theory? If evolution and Creationism are truly on equal footing how does one explain that evolutionary theory has countless practical applications - epidemiology, pest control, drug development, etc. - while Creationism has none.

Sorensen concludes that "the complexity of the universe and life in general points to a very intelligent designer." Not so! Complexity does not equal design. Just ask any engineer -- good design aims for simplicity! The complexity of life suggests a haphazard ordering of available parts, not a master plan built from scratch. Why would a designer give us an appendix? Why would an engineer build a bird incapable of flight? Why would a planner be so wasteful that most organisms never reproduce and most developing zygotes are never even born? And has anyone ever heard of an engineer designing a bridge and then also inventing the means of its destruction by chance? Because that's what is implied if one accepts that God designed both life and disease.

Evolution has proven its value time and time again, both in its explanatory power and in practical application. Creationism is useless --­ it gives us no information and provides no benefits. Saying they are equal is an unsupportable claim.
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Postby harrissimo » Sun Nov 25, 2007 8:36 am

But how does evolution explain Santa's Elves?
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Postby pulsewidth modulation » Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:14 am

My god's penis is bigger than your god's penis. Na, Ni, Na, Naa, Na!
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Postby bluethedog » Sun Nov 25, 2007 10:24 am

My God has multiple penises.

How many you ask? Your God's + 1.

I win.
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Postby lordofthecockrings » Mon Nov 26, 2007 3:15 pm

The existence of Creationists is all the proof I need that there is no God.

How's that for faith, you sanctimonious, illiterate fucks?
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Postby Madsci » Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:52 pm

I have no god and I have no penis.
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Postby blunt » Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:08 pm

Creationists are the ones who killed God.
Creation is an act that is finished.
God is no longer needed.
A watch creatd by a watchmaker is a dead static thing.
The creation is over.
Life is not a creation. Life is not finished.
Life is a neverending blossoming.
Evolution is un infinite unfolding and becoming.
Creation is not, can not.
Creation disproves God.
Evolving life is full of hope, has a future: it is the nature of being.
We cannot be true free beings unless we evolve.
If God created the earth in six days, while on the seventh, He rested: He's done. Finished.
No longer needed.
Everything is predestined. That isn't life.
That is prison.
The free will Christians talk of is a lie.
It's like when Henry Ford used to advertise that you could have the Model T in any color you wished, as long as it was black.
If we are God's creation, we are just things.
We have no hope, no dignity.
No being.
I am filled with awe and respect and wonder at the inexpressable mystery of existence, much more so knowing we are alive and evolving.
Creation doesn't continue. It is static and finished.
Creation means, ipso facto, that we are boring, meaningless dead things.
Not believing, but realizing there is no God fills me with glory and happiness and peace and meaning.
Creationism kills God and stamps out hope.
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Postby Shipley » Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:30 pm

I like this thread's thoughtful pontification as well as screwball toilet humor.
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Postby Igor » Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:47 am

blunt wrote:Creationists are the ones who killed God.
Creation is an act that is finished.
God is no longer needed.
A watch creatd by a watchmaker is a dead static thing.
The creation is over.
Life is not a creation. Life is not finished.
Life is a neverending blossoming.
Evolution is un infinite unfolding and becoming.
Creation is not, can not.
Creation disproves God.
Evolving life is full of hope, has a future: it is the nature of being.
We cannot be true free beings unless we evolve.
If God created the earth in six days, while on the seventh, He rested: He's done. Finished.
No longer needed.
Everything is predestined. That isn't life.
That is prison.
The free will Christians talk of is a lie.
It's like when Henry Ford used to advertise that you could have the Model T in any color you wished, as long as it was black.
If we are God's creation, we are just things.
We have no hope, no dignity.
No being.
I am filled with awe and respect and wonder at the inexpressable mystery of existence, much more so knowing we are alive and evolving.
Creation doesn't continue. It is static and finished.
Creation means, ipso facto, that we are boring, meaningless dead things.
Not believing, but realizing there is no God fills me with glory and happiness and peace and meaning.
Creationism kills God and stamps out hope.


Certainly you are entitled to your opinion. But the idea that the existence of a God eliminates the possibility of continued creation, free will, or a meaningful life is just as narrow-minded as the idea that not having a God precludes a person from acting ethically.

Of course, the entire argument is silly - proving there is no God is just as impossible as proving there is one. Since one would have to disprove all possible interpretations of all possible religions, I'm thinking that a solution isn't going to show itself any time soon.
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Postby fennel » Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:20 am

Igor wrote: ... proving there is no God is just as impossible as proving there is one. Since one would have to disprove all possible interpretations of all possible religions...

Yes, just as it would be impossible to disprove we are guided by excessively mucilaginous anal slugs who guide our impulses via Rasputin's Raelian rerpesentative in the White House. If there are gods, they don't need proving or disproving, any more than they need iridescent cell phone décolletage slyly embedded in web ads. if it's belief you're into, please take a breath and look about you.
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Postby lordofthecockrings » Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:53 am

Igor wrote: ... proving there is no God is just as impossible as proving there is one.

Clearly you've never been to Newark.
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Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Nov 27, 2007 11:12 am

Igor wrote: ...proving there is no God is just as impossible as proving there is one.

Although it is true that one cannot disprove the existence of God, it is also true that one can prove the existence of evolution.

I know you were responding to Blunt's philosophical points rather than my scientific ones, but a better example of the difference between science and religion would be hard to come by. On the one hand you have a falsifiable theory based on a preponderance of the observable evidence which also has the power to make predictions and explain phenomena, while on the other you have a non-falsifiable supposition based on assumptions unsupported by any available evidence which lacks any explanatory power whatsoever beyond its initial presuppositions. How these two very different world-views can in any way be considered to be on equal footing still escapes me. This has nothing to do with being entitled to opinions - I suppose everyone's entitled to be ignorant, but ignorance will never be much of a substitute for facts when it comes to actually explaining nature or getting things done.
Last edited by Prof. Wagstaff on Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby blunt » Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:14 pm

The "solution" also seems to be sneaking slowly up on us.
It comes right down to what the definition of "God" is.
If God is what we call the mysterious beginning or creation of life, He's the Big Bang. (interesting that many cultures describe creation as God jerking off or copulating with himself, Big Bang indeed...)
Then science and religion are merely arguing over the best way to describe and name the concept.
As science gets close to the source and sees math as the clearest language for describing it, that ineffeable mystery is the same thing mystics realize in poetic language....what's behind the numbers and the words?
That is God or nirvana or potential nothingness or infinite possibility.
But there is no bearded God or Jesus rising from the dead
He CANNOT be an individual personality that created us and needs us to praise him and sends us to eternal torment if we don't.
That concept is an ugly bastardization of understanding and realization for getting the knack for life.
Just like the Christ myth is a misunderstanding for inner growth.
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Postby OpEd » Thu Nov 29, 2007 4:57 pm

Prof. Wagstaff, i thought the exact same thing when i read that letter and also wanted to write a response. you are much more eloquent than i ever could have been.

blunt, just out of curiosity, why is the Jesus myth a misunderstanding for inner growth? i am by no means christian, and i even doubt that Jesus ever existed. still, i wonder what you mean by your statement.
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Postby medbh » Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:01 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote: On the one hand you have a falsifiable theory based on a preponderance of the observable evidence which also has the power to make predictions and explain phenomena, while on the other you have a non-falsifiable supposition based on assumptions unsupported by any available evidence which lacks any explanatory power whatsoever beyond its initial presuppositions.



How would you prove evolution false? I think the evidence for evolution is overwhelming and Creationism is a crock, but I'm fuzzy on how you'd come up with a falsifible theory regarding evolution.
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