Some comments on the current status of the ID versus Darwinism culture war

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This supposedly obscure cultural conflict seems to be much more widespread than I had thought. A popular quasi-news blog is currently bringing this relatively minor controversy very much to light. The reason for this isn't apparent, except to conclude that maybe it is a cultural pot finally coming to a boil amidst the rise of an apparent considerable interest in it. 

The Quora blog has caught my attention in this ongoing social war over Intelligent Design versus neo-Darwinian undirected RM & NS. This blog, which though mainly devoted to questions and news items on warlike topics like the current tides of battle in the Ukraine/Russia conflict, old WW2 battles, current fighter aircraft design characteristics, and whatnot, seems strangely to continually also contain a multitude of questions (of which many are ignorant) and contributed answers, having to do with of all subjects - Intelligent Design.

The printed contributed answers are almost always against ID, mostly consisting of ignorant and closed minded spouting of the conventional evolutionary biological Darwinist mantra while ignoring and not engaging with any of the strong arguments for ID and against Darwinism. Many answer responses even argue by nothing but assertion that ID is simply wrong, end of conversation. Another characteristic of typical questions and "answers" is the erroneous conflation of Intelligent Design with Creationism, clearly claiming that ID is a Christian religious movement and therefore inherently unscientific.   

To get the flavor of this ongoing phenomenon it is necessary to get a little lengthy. The following are some sample questions, including one of the many typically unintelligent and ignorant unreasoned attacks on ID offered as an "answer", and two of the "intelligent" answers in the current Quora blog, at https://www.quora.com/:

Q: Can you explain the differences between creationism, intelligent design, and Neo-Darwinism?

Q: Atheists, (suppose) you find that every piece of scientific literature has been changed to include Christian doctrine. You read a biology textbook that says that evolution is a hoax and that God created everything. What will you do?

Q: How would you respond to the argument that intelligent design should be taught in science classes instead of evolution due to the lack of scientific evidence for both theories?

Q: Do believers of intelligent design also believe in a god? What are some arguments for this belief?

Q: What evidence of creation would be accepted? It is often claimed there is no evidence for creation, only evolution.

Q: What evidence supports the theory of intelligent design? Why do some people prefer Darwin's theory of evolution over intelligent design?

Q: How would you respond to a scientist who does not believe in the creation but rather believes in evolution?

Q: What is the theory of abiogenesis and how does it differ from the concept of intelligent design in explaining the origin of life on Earth?

Q: What are your thoughts on creationism and intelligent design? Should they be taught in schools along with evolution? Why or why not? (The details are at https://www.quora.com/What-are-your-thou...or-why-not)

Answer:

About the same way I feel about "flat earth geography" being taught alongside real geography, or astrology with astronomy or the "stork theory" alongside of human reproduction. It's simply stupid.

Another answer:

No. Creationism is religion, not science. Our Constitution guarantees religious freedom for all, and in order to protect this right, the government must be strictly impartial - it cannot endorse or favor any religion, and it must keep religion separate from government. Our public schools are part of our government, and it is illegal and a violation of freedom of religion and the Constitution to include any religious aspects in their curriculum.

Q: With our knowledge of the Universe, is it not possible to sensibly believe that life on Earth has some intelligent design and that more homogenous conditions of abiogenesis are required to create the first intelligent life?

Answer:

What a strange question!
Without knowledge of the universe - you could believe any old load of nonsense.
But fortunately, we have a hell of a lot of knowledge about the universe - and that knowledge clearly points to the complete lack of an intelligent designer.
Worse still, if you do decide that there was an intelligent designer, it doesn’t help you in your quest for knowledge because now you have to ask “What Created The Designer?”…so you’re no closer to understanding how life started.
As for “intelligent life” - we can CLEARLY see all of the stages of evolution from bacteria to humans - we know each twist and turn of the story.. (more)....

Q: Which is more unlikely: Intelligent design or abiogenesis?

Answer:

First of all, abiogenesis is only “unlikely” if you are talking about the creationist straw man argument that it consists of a rock one day just magically turning into a complex living organism instead of a long process that involved numerous precursors including amino acids, lipids and other components that eventually came together to form the first extremely rudimentary forms of what could loosely be considered “life.”

Second of all, even if abiogenesis were somehow extremely unlikely the way poorly educated creationists claim it is, before you can claim that “intelligent design” is somehow “more likely” you need to provide some indication of just how likely an intelligent designer is in the first place.. (more).....
(This post was last modified: 2024-05-26, 05:50 PM by nbtruthman. Edited 2 times in total.)
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I think Quora, like Reddit and other spaces, are going to cover a wide range of topics.

It's possible the company itself leans against ID, or just the people who've been willing to jump out and answer questions feel that way.

My guess is it is a microcosmic reflection on the ID debate, without necessarily being a new front?
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


I think Quora accepts a wide range of questions. Personally, I subscribe to topics as diverse as life after death, nutrition, battery depletion in electric vehicles, and quantum mechanics. They regulary email me with links to threads within these topics they think fits my interests.

One needs to be very sceptical about the information provided though.
(This post was last modified: 2024-05-26, 08:31 PM by sbu. Edited 2 times in total.)
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(2024-05-26, 07:40 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: I think Quora, like Reddit and other spaces, are going to cover a wide range of topics.

It's possible the company itself leans against ID, or just the people who've been willing to jump out and answer questions feel that way.

My guess is it is a microcosmic reflection on the ID debate, without necessarily being a new front?

Why this particular rather obscure debate subject and not some of the much more popular and of concern hot-trigger controversies like the vaccines/Covid and vaccines (general) issues, or the reality or not of NDEs as indications of an afterlife, or even the reality or not of an afterlife at all? I still think it is surprising that the considerable traffic on this subject in Quora indicates that either the management of Quora is concerned about and interested in the really very obscure ID vs. Darwinism debate (and therefore encourages a lopsided "debate" on the subject)  - my choice explanation, or it really isn't obscure any more and a lot more people are interested in it than previously. I know that in the microcosm of my own life virtually none of my friends and acquaintances were even aware of its existence, much less interested in it, before I described it to them. They were still uninterested in the subject afterward.
(This post was last modified: 2024-05-27, 03:05 PM by nbtruthman. Edited 4 times in total.)
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(2024-05-27, 02:38 PM)nbtruthman Wrote: Why this particular rather obscure debate subject and not some of the much more popular and of concern hot-trigger controversies like the vaccines/Covid and vaccines (general) issues, or the reality or not of NDEs as indications of an afterlife, or even the reality or not of an afterlife at all? I still think it is surprising that the considerable traffic on this subject in Quora indicates that either the management of Quora is concerned about and interested in the really very obscure ID vs. Darwinism debate (and therefore encourages a lopsided "debate" on the subject)  - my choice explanation, or it really isn't obscure any more and a lot more people are interested in it than previously. I know that in the microcosm of my own life virtually none of my friends and acquaintances were even aware of its existence, much less interested in it, before I described it to them. They were still uninterested in the subject afterward.

I have to comment that this Quora blog's concentration on the supposedly obscure topic of the ID vs. Darwinism controversy may reflect some sort of realization that it is actually very important in the overall culture war between materialist scientism and a realization that humans are really spirits temporarily inhabiting human bodies, and that the correct mind-body philosophy is either interactive dualism or some form of Idealism. This is the real most basic issue, and the ID vs, Darwinism issue is crucial to it.

It is crucial to it because Neo-Darwinism is actually the essence of materialist scientism, since it claims that human beings (and all other life forms) arose by the very slow totally undirected basically mechanical semi-random walk process of Darwinist random genetic variation, plus natural selection for survivability and reproductive fitness. This process has absolutely no meaning or purpose.

This process if true means all notions of a basic human spiritual nature, an afterlife, the reality of transcendental NDEs, the reality of many classes of paranormal phenomena, etc. must necessarily be fallaceous and ultimately based on superstition.

So the stakes are pretty high here for what at first glance looks like an obscure debate.
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(2024-05-28, 05:28 PM)nbtruthman Wrote: I have to comment that this Quora blog's concentration on the supposedly obscure topic of the ID vs. Darwinism controversy may reflect some sort of realization that it is actually very important in the overall culture war between materialist scientism and a realization that humans are really spirits temporarily inhabiting human bodies, and that the correct mind-body philosophy is either interactive dualism or some form of Idealism. This is the real most basic issue, and the ID vs, Darwinism issue is crucial to it.

It is crucial to it because Neo-Darwinism is actually the essence of materialist scientism, since it claims that human beings (and all other life forms) arose by the very slow totally undirected basically mechanical semi-random walk process of Darwinist random genetic variation, plus natural selection for survivability and reproductive fitness. This process has absolutely no meaning or purpose.

This process if true means all notions of a basic human spiritual nature, an afterlife, the reality of transcendental NDEs, the reality of many classes of paranormal phenomena, etc. must necessarily be fallaceous and ultimately based on superstition.

So the stakes are pretty high here for what at first glance looks like an obscure debate.

Almost all ID research is research aimed at proving that life on earth did not begin or evolve by RM+NS. It is an area where conventional scientific arguments can be applied very effectively - something that doesn't come out in the examples you quoted. One simple way to see this, is to realise that nature cannot select between two DNA strings on the basis that one is closer to something useful than another. I.e. there is no way that RM+NS can guide changes in DNA to produce something new - all it can do is tweak something that is already very close to the final gene.

David
(This post was last modified: 2024-05-31, 10:16 PM by David001. Edited 1 time in total.)
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