Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Skeptical View of Intelligent Design Video

I watched this a few times. I noticed initially how they barraged you with a bunch of different people with very scientific titles under their names. So I decided to list them as they came up throughout the video and find out more about the folks that were representing this psudoscience and claiming it to be a viable theory.

It started off with Phillip Johnson.(science author) I have heard of him, and never been very impressed by the person. Yeah I give it to him for being a reasonably smart guy, but totally manipulative and delusional in his agenda to create junk science. He basically is the creator of the whole Intelligent Design movement, and went as far as putting a ton of disinformation out there by tweaking science evidence in his books to fill his agenda. Also that whole Wedge Document he conspired up to try to get people to disregard real science and eventually come around to the bible was a joke.

Paul Nelson (philosopher of biology)&(creationist)In 1998, Nelson gained a PhD in philosophy from the University of Chicago. The Discovery Institute's Wedge Document,amongst other sources, claimed that Nelson was publishing a work derived from his thesis, "Common Descent, Generative Entrenchment, and the Epistemology in Evolutionary Inference", criticizing the principle of common descent, as part of the Evolutionary Monographs series.

Nelson is a fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture and of the International Society for Complexity, Information and Design.

Michael Behe (microbiologist)is an American biochemist and intelligent design advocate. He currently serves as professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and as a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. Behe is best known for his argument for irreducible complexity, a concept that asserts that some structures are too complex at the biochemical level to be adequately explained as a result of evolutionary mechanisms and thus are the result of intelligent design.

Behe's claims about the irreducible complexity of essential cellular structures are roundly rejected by the scientific community. The Department of Biological Sciences at Lehigh University has published an official position statement which says "It is our collective position that intelligent design has no basis in science, has not been tested experimentally, and should not be regarded as scientific." Behe's ideas about intelligent design have been rejected by the scientific community and characterized as pseudoscience.

Behe's testimony in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District is extensively cited by the judge in his ruling that intelligent design is not science but essentially religious in nature.

Dean Kenyon (biochemist) Kenyon received a BSc in physics from the University of Chicago in 1961 and a Ph.D. in biophysics from Stanford University in 1965. In 1965-1966 he was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemical Biodynamics at the University of California, Berkeley, a Research Associate at Ames Research Center. In 1966, he became Assistant Professor of Biology at San Francisco State University. He has been Emeritus at San Francisco State University since 2000.

In 1980, the San Francisco State University Department of Biology had a dispute over Kenyon's presentation of creationism, then called "scientific creationism" in Biology module 337 Evolution. At that time, Kenyon challenged anyone on the faculty to a debate on the merits of evolutionary theory versus "scientific creationism." According to SFSU biology professor John Hafernik, "There was much discussion in faculty meetings as well. Eventually the faculty voted (none opposed, seven abstentions) not to alter the description of Biology 337 to include creationism. The precedent set, in the context of the 1980 discussions, was that the Department did not support teaching creationism.

Stephen Meyer (philosopher of science)is an American think tank executive officer and co-founder, along with Phillip E. Johnson and others, of the intelligent design movement. Meyer, along with Bruce Chapman and George Gilder, is a founder of the Discovery Institute (DI) and its Center for Science and Culture (CSC), which is the driving force behind the controversial concept of intelligent design. Formerly an academic philosopher of science, Meyer is currently vice president and senior fellow at CSC, and a director of Access Research Network.

Meyer has been described as "the person who brought ID (intelligent design) to DI (Discovery Institute)" by historian Edward Larson, who was a fellow at the Discovery Institute prior to it becoming the center of the intelligent design movement. In 2004, the DI helped introduce ID to the Dover Area School District, which resulted in the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District where ID was ruled to be religion.

Jonathan Wells (molecular biologist) is an American author and a prominent advocate of intelligent design. A member of the Unification Church, Wells wrote that the teachings of church founder Sun Myung Moon, his own studies at the Unification Theological Seminary and his prayers convinced him to devote his life to "destroying Darwinism"

Wells said that "destroying Darwinism" was his motive for studying Christian theology at Yale and going on to seek his second Ph.D. at Berkeley, studying biology and in particular embryology

Wells's statement and others like it are viewed by the scientific community as evidence that Wells lacks proper scientific objectivity and mischaracterizes evolution by ignoring and misrepresenting the evidence supporting it while pursuing an agenda promoting notions supporting his religious beliefs in its stead.

Scott Minich (molecular biology) is an associate professor of microbiology at the University of Idaho, and a fellow at the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture. Minnich's research interests are temperature regulation of Yestis enterocolitca gene expression and coordinate reciprocal expression of flagellar and virulence genes.

In 2004 Minnich and Stephen C. Meyer presented a paper to an engineering conference, the Second International Conference on Design & Nature, entitled "Genetic Analysis of Coordinate Flagellar and Type III Regulatory Circuits". The Discovery Institute lists this as one of its "Peer-Reviewed & Peer-Edited Scientific Publications Supporting the Theory of Intelligent Design". However, in his testimony for Kitzmiller v. Dover, Minnich admitted that the paper was minimally peer reviewed.

Q: And the paper that you published was only minimally peer reviewed, isn't that true?
A. For any conference proceeding, yeah. You don't go through the same rigor. I mentioned that yesterday. But it was reviewed by people in the Wessex Institute, and I don't know who they were.

Jay Richards (philosopher)is Director of Acton Media and a Research Fellow at the Acton Institute, and Program Director of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture (CSC), which has as its primary role the advocacy of intelligent design. Richards is also a member of the Apologetics Faculty of Biola University.

Richards became the earliest fellow at the Discovery Institute to confirm the genuineness of the Wedge document. Secular and science organizations then took attention of the DI after the document was published online, but Richards wrote "that the mission statement and goals had been posted on the CRSC's website since 1996."

Richards has also expressed skepticism of global warming.

Robin Collins (philosopher of science)is an American philosopher. He currently serves as Professor of Philosophy at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania. His main interests include issues in science and religion and theories of atonement.

Collins has received fellowships for his work from the Pew Foundation, the University of Notre Dame, and the Templeton Foundation. He has also received past support from the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture for his work on the argument from design from physics and cosmology. He is no longer affiliated with the Discovery Institute, however, due to conflicting visions.

Intelligent Design
Collins is a prominent advocate in philosophy of the fine-tuning argument (see teleological argument) for the existence of God, according to which the fact that the laws and constants of physics are fine-tuned for life points to the existence of an intelligent cause behind the universe. Regarding evolution, he holds a position which he calls theistically guided evolution, a position which accepts the claim that all life on earth came about by a process of evolution (descent with modification) from the first cell, but holds that God guided this process at various points. He is skeptical of the claim that all the complex biological structures we find in living things can be fully explained by blind, unguided chance plus natural selection, and thus thinks that the issue of whether Darwinian evolution can adequately account for the structure of life should be vigorously explored. Collins, however, thinks that intelligent design is best thought of as a metascientific hypothesis rather than a scientific hypothesis.

Guillermo Gonzalez (astronomer) I didnt find anything on him yet...

Lee Strobel (Journalist) is a writer, Creationist and Christian apologist and a former journalist and megachurch pastor. He is the author of several books, including an Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) Christian Book of the Year and a series which addresses challenges to a Biblically inerrant view of Christianity. Strobel also hosted a television program called Faith Under Fire on PAX TV.

Strobel received a journalism degree from University of Missouri and a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale Law School.

He was a journalist for fourteen years, at The Chicago Tribune and other newspapers. He has stated he was an atheist, before he converted to Christianity. Strobel was a teaching pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, from 1987 to 2000, and of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California from 2000 to 2002, before shifting his focus to his writing and producing his TV show. He continues to speak periodically at both churches and has been a board member of the Willow Creek Association. In 2007, Strobel was awarded an honorary doctoral degree by Southern Evangelical Seminary in recognition of his contributions to the field of Christian apologetics.


Ok so I saw all the people in the video and learned more about them. With all those fancy titles, they give this arrogant tone of certainty, and conviction. Having a title under your name, or throwing out a dozen of them does not make your case for intelligent design any more believeable. Between the real scientists out there and the courts, has disproven or discredited these particular people, yet they ramble aimlessly along with a conviction of unquestionable authority. It is sad to see grown smart men like this grasping for their god like a child who must finally retire their favorite blanket that is to worn to keep them warm anymore.

They ask in this video "Where does the evidence lead?"

It leads me to look past their junk science, and appreciate real science even more. The evidence I've seen from the people in this video lead me to believe these folks are disregarding real evidence for the sake of religion.
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