Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Prof Denied Funds Over Evolution Evidence 953

radarsat1 writes "The Montreal Gazette today reported that a professor at Montreal's McGill University was refused a $40,000 grant, allegedly because 'he'd failed to provide the panel with ample evidence that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is correct.' Ironically, the grant was for a study into the detrimental effects of intelligent design on Canadian academics and leaders." From the article: "Jennifer Robinson, McGill's associate vice-principal for communications, said the university has asked the SSHRC to review its decision to reject Alters's request for money to study how the rising popularity in the United States of 'intelligent design' - a controversial creationist theory of life - is eroding acceptance of evolutionary science in Canada."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Prof Denied Funds Over Evolution Evidence

Comments Filter:
  • by TommyBlack ( 899306 ) <<moc.ekalbmoht> <ta> <retsambew>> on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:20PM (#15079365) Homepage
    In other news, a professor was denied a grant to research the potential effect of a meteor striking earth, because he had failed to provide sufficient evidence that the theory of gravity was correct.

    Still, this should be easy to rectify, right? All you have to do is send them several books full of the evidence for evolution as it is currently understood- thus proving the point that ID should be banned from Canada.

    But that's the problem with the whole debate, isn't it? ID can take the complexity of life and the structure of the universe itself and explain it in terms anybody who has ever been to church can understand. Biology can't. Which is sad.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:25PM (#15079405)
    Things like this happen because the unwashed masses keep electing idiots that barely went to college (went to college = 4 year vacation), and then those same idiots get to push around people that have a clue.
    Stupid people hate smart people.
  • Yay! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jim_v2000 ( 818799 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:27PM (#15079422)
    " how the rising popularity in the United States of 'intelligent design' - a controversial creationist theory of life - is eroding acceptance of evolutionary science in Canada."

    $40,000 was saved from being wasted on a useless study. Too bad that doesn't happen more often.
  • by kietscia ( 149772 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:27PM (#15079423)
    This researcher was on CBC radio this morning and one of the fun things that came out was that by denying his application the funding board simultaneously saved $40,000 and actually proved the central hypothesis of his research; obviously ID is having a detrimental effect.
  • ID can take the complexity of life and the structure of the universe itself and explain it in terms anybody who has ever been to church can understand. Biology can't. Which is sad.

    No, what's sad is the plethora of churchgoers who apparently can't be bothered with an explanation more complex than "Humans are humans and dogs are dogs because jebus said so."

    Religion has always been the solution to questions science couldn't answer (see Greek mythology). Such as it is today, the problem is we have the answers, but a large number of people choose to remain ignorant because to them, what they think they known and what they believe is far more important than the truth.
  • Rising popularity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Have Blue ( 616 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:29PM (#15079440) Homepage
    The popularity of intelligent design is not rising in the US. The volume and rate at which its supporters, a group which remains fairly static, are speaking are rising.
  • What controvercy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amightywind ( 691887 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:30PM (#15079451) Journal

    So it looks like a someone fullfilled their fudiciary duty and decided not to write a $40,000 check to a McGill professor to lavishly sponsor a pointless study. And the controvercy is?

  • I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Luscious868 ( 679143 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:30PM (#15079455)
    I'll never understand the intelligent design versus evolution debate. The two seem to me to have nothing to do with one another. Evolution is a valid scientific theory based on physical evidence and intelligent design is more of a philosophy that really can't be proven one way or another. Further, they aren't mutually exclusive. If there is a God, why couldn't he/she/it have used evolution as the means to design life? Clearly, if there is a God that's exactly how he/she/it went about it.
  • And the majority of people on the planet have IQs less than 110 (See the definition of the Intelligence Quotient if you don't believe me) so what else is new? That's the danger of democracy for you.
  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <`dadinportland' `at' `'> on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:34PM (#15079494) Homepage Journal
    Belief in God is not a theory, it's not even a hypothesis.
    Where as Evolution was a hypothesis, moved onto theory, where it is tested and predictions are made.
    Point in fact, the debate is around theory of evolution through natural selection. Evolution is accepted.

    So if you want to believe in God, then fin but it is NOT a theory. If it was a theory, thenfaith would no longer be required and independent will comes into question.

    Of course if you believe in God, then you must beklieve in ID.
    Or does your god just hang around and not effect ther universe in any way?
  • by Oligonicella ( 659917 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:36PM (#15079518)
    Untrue on several counts.

    1) ID does not explain a damn thing. They only take the stance that evolution be explained, not their claims. Ask away; all you'll get from them are evasions, fabrications, and references to long-rebuked psuedo-science.
    2) Not even people who do go to church and still have a semi-scientific literate brain can decipher and support the vague claims of ID'rs.
    3) Biology can explain the complexity of life and does it every day. Turn on any science channel and actually watch the biology at work.

    Those who believe ID are nothing more than a group of self-ignorant fools.
  • The earth is flat! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by miffo.swe ( 547642 ) <daniel.hedblom@g m a> on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:36PM (#15079519) Homepage Journal
    Its things like Intelligent Design that makes me understand why some cultures have vaned and dissapeared troughout history. By denying straight thinking and bending things backwards you can really stop progress and then another culture comes in and takes over. I find myself seeing this alot today with idiotic things like Intelligent Design, patent laws and IP ownage. The list is long but current denial of scientific theories like evolution and global warming takes first price.

    China has it really laid out for them in the future thats for sure.
  • Re:Correction (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tim Doran ( 910 ) <timmydoran@ro g e r s .com> on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:37PM (#15079537)
    You're absolutely right, the opinion was a beautiful piece of work and a huge relief to those of us who think ignorance is NOT a desirable state for society.

    Unfortunately, the mainstream media feels compelled to provide a "balanced" story including both sides of an issue, even when a little basic research would prove one side utterly wrong. This means ID has been given far more respectful treatment in the press than it has deserved, and gained credibility as a result (not unlike the Swift Boat liars in the last presidential election).

    I do think the press has given its head a shake on the topic of ID though - the NYT ran a front-page article [] on the "missing link" fossil discovery announced today. I suspect 6 months ago they'd have buried the story on page A24 to avoid angering the creationists.

  • Facts don't exist. What is fact and what is fiction changes depending upon whom you are talking to. Thus, in a world where most human beings have IQs below 110- evidence is just somebody telling you something when you trust that somebody, and lies are just somebody telling you something when you don't trust that somebody.
  • "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried."
    -- Winston Churchill
  • What theory? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hard_Code ( 49548 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:39PM (#15079558)
    Since when is Intelligent Design/Creationism a "theory"? It doesn't even deserve the reputation as theory. Theories are rational, testable and predictive. ID/Creationism is fantasy. Evolution can offer predictions about the natural world. What can ID/Creationism "predict"?
  • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:40PM (#15079570) Homepage
    Whether Darwinists want to admit it or not, there are gaping holes in the theory of evolution you could drive a truck through. Even Darwin himself admitted this. He freely admitted that evolution could not explain complex organs like the eye.

    Fortunately evolutionary science didn't stop with Darwin.
  • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:44PM (#15079608) Journal matter whose altar you worship at.

    It's just as easy to turn scientific theory into dogma as it is to accept the words of clergy, no? Either way, it runs counter to science when any scientist refuses to question his own store of theories and facts from time to time.


  • alternately... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:46PM (#15079627)
    Perhaps he did a lousy study, it wasn't worth $40K, and it was rejected because it was incomplete and not because of any opinions about ID.

    Thus proving nothing about his central hypothesis.

    Has anyone actually read the study to try to make this decisions for themself?
  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:47PM (#15079637) Homepage Journal

    Of course if you believe in God, then you must beklieve in ID. Or does your god just hang around and not effect ther universe in any way?

    An omnipotent, omniscient God is capable of utilizing laws of physics (which he, of course, would have put into place) in order to create a starting condition that will use evolution to create precisely what he wants.

    Kind of like playing the game of Life. Gliders are for chumps, though, at this scale :D

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:47PM (#15079643)
    To all of the flamers out there who are bashing the committee without knowing anything about the Canadian grant system...

    This has absolutely nothing to do with a person's religious or scientific views. It has everything to do with the fact that someone applied for a grant that has no justification. He submitted an unprepared request for a grant. period.

    In the same way, if I submitted a request for a grant to study "the effect that the knowledge of the theory of gravity in Canada had on the leadership of the United States" it would also be denied. Without having both proof and possible linkage, it's not a valid request.

    Bottom line, is that this is nothing more than an otherwise insignificant person trying to get some press. Same as the guy who tried to patent the wheel in australia... Just trying to get some attention, and by the previous comments, it looks like it may have worked.
  • Why so? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:51PM (#15079689) Homepage Journal
    I don't suppose it's any more useless than the rest of the studies done in the sociology department. (And that may be enough to stop right there.)

    I consider it kind of an interesting question: is the US Intelligent Design movement having any effect on Canadians? I imagine that Canadians, at least, would like to know if they have to worry about encroaching creationism. And if there is, to begin to have a direction in which to fight it.

    The professor considers the board's refusal evidence of what he was trying to demonstrate: that anti-evolutionism isn't restricted to the US.

    I haven't looked at the study design; many sociology studies are badly designed and statistically biased. So maybe the study is a bad one. The title "Detrimental effects of popularizing anti-evolution's intelligent design..." certainly suggests that he's starting with a biased point of view. And you may not be able to do a good one for a mere $40,000. But I consider the question that it proposes to answer interesting.
  • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:51PM (#15079691)
    Stupid people hate smart people.

    Taking my cue from Vonnegut, it gets worse than that.

    Really stupid people are too stupid to know there's such a thing as smart, and thus think smart people are insane for "believing" in facts.

    Or, alternatively:

    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is a paranoid schizophrenic.

  • by B. Pascal ( 952378 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:52PM (#15079693)
    Hello all:

    I like to point out that the MAIN issue in the article has been lost due to the North American cultural war between Evolution and Intelligent Design. Sparked by this event, there will be many posts made to debate whether evolution is correct or not. Yet, at the end, these posts will all be irrelevant to the main issue. Here is the summary of the article I read:

    "A funding request for an academic study has been denied by a review board, due to, and I quote, 'he(the professor of the study)'d failed to provide the panel with ample evidence that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is correct.'"

    Reading the article, it seems that the author has tried to put the issue into the context of an ongoing debate between evolution and intelligent design. That debate is absolutely irrelevant here. What is this article about? It is about the professor of a study not providing enough support in his proposal for funding. The board may very well acknowledge that evolution IS correct, but for the purpose of due academic diligence, the review board decided that NOT ENOUGH evidence has been provided to support "a theory acknowledged to be correct".

    Reading this article more in details, the research study in question has little to do with the science of evolution itself. The title of the study is "how the rising popularity in the United States of intelligent design" - a controversial creationist theory of life - is eroding acceptance of evolutionary science in Canada". This is a cultural study: it's about how a controversial theory and the effect it has on the Canadian scientific community. In short, this is a study about people, not about evolution...

    Finally, I like to point out that the rejection message was read in front of a public lecture... As a graduate student, I applied for funding and got rejected all the time. Yet, I have never heard of a rejection letter being read in public before... It sounds as if the focus has been shifted, the public roused, and attention redirected to a direction that is, ultimately, irrelevant to the main issue. (picture of many people, flaming torches, and pitch forks in mind...)


    B. Pascal.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:58PM (#15079761)
    Look, you stupid fucking dumbass. Science isn't kindergarten sports where everyone gets a cake and a medal no matter where they finish. Sience isn't about being fair to all viewpoints, it's about being correct. Creationism isn't even a coherent theory, it's wild guesses based on a 2000 year old book written by middle-eastern tribesmen. It is not science, and thusly, real universities don't bother with it.
  • Re:I don't get it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:59PM (#15079776)
    You and your like minded friends are wrong about Christianity. Christians do not have to take everything in the Bible literally. Fundamentalist Christians do, but then they end up having to interpret too in order to explain the apparent contradictions in the Bible. They also ignore how the Bible was written and passed down over the centuries. Read "Misquoting Jesus".

    Anyway, Time is a dimension of the Universe - the creation. So God, the Creator exists outside Time. Mix in some Chaos theory and deny randomness. Therefore the Creator is omniscient because since nothing is random and time does not exist, everything is known at the point of creation. So, evolution is how we temporal beings experience intelligent design.

    Unfortunately, it's hard to reason with fundamentalists or atheists. They both operate on emotions.
  • by curunir ( 98273 ) * on Thursday April 06, 2006 @05:05PM (#15079861) Homepage Journal
    Why can't more people think like you do? And by think, I mean actually think about it as opposed to just blindly following what they're told by their religion.

    What I've never understood about ID is why they believe that God wouldn't be smart enough to use evolution. Compare evolution to what's described in the Bible and evolution is much more "intelligent". It's a system that's capable of adapting to almost any challenge thrown at it without any intervention on the part of God.

    Which brings me to what I've always wondered about Christians/Catholics...why do they have such an insistance on believing in a literal interpretation of the Bible? To me, the Bible seems to be more of a historical political document aimed at unifying the Roman empire, rather than an exact historical accounting. As such, the events/stories/wisdom contained within it are delivered in a fashion that facilitates internalizing its messages, lessons, etc. Yet to suggest this to people who are deeply religious usually results in a response equivalent to if you had told them that God does not exist. I've rarely seen anyone capable of separating the bible from their faith in God and Christ.

    Can anyone explain why the two are so inexorably linked in most people's minds? Why are most people incapable of believing that there is a God, who created all of us by an ingenious method (evolution) and sent his son to Earth to impart the teachings necessary for us to live together peacefully and with a common morality. That is really the core philosophy of Catholocism/Christianity, not the literal events of the Bible.

    (thus endeth the rantings of someone who was raised Christian but could never fully express his faith until he was able to look past the inconsistancies of the bible and recognize that the bible was written by men with agendas and that true faith in God comes from within, not without).
  • by mjm1231 ( 751545 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @05:09PM (#15079905)
    Um, that isn't a fact. It is a highly dubious opinion. Check about halfway down this page [] for the facts. We very much do have the technology to create such 3d images, and can replicate the level of 3d detail in the shroud easily using techniques which were common in the 12th century.
  • Re:I don't get it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @05:12PM (#15079932) Homepage Journal
    What you are missing is that ID is USING this artificial fight against Evolution to gain followers.
  • There have been thousands, possibly millions of documented miracles.

    Care to name a few that have no possible scientific explanation whatsoever, however unlikely?
  • by jscharla ( 144705 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @05:16PM (#15079966)
    There have been thousands, possibly millions of documented miracles. If a miracle were broadcast from Time Square on New Year's Eve with irrefutable scientific proof that it could not possibly have occurred without a supernatural explanation, people would still refuse to believe in it. Now, you were saying something about "blind faith?"

    There is no such thing as "irrefutable proof" in science, hence no such thing as 'blind faith'. Science is always about trying to break the current understanding of things. If there was a 'miracle' that occured in such a way that the observations made were irrefutable then science would most definately sit up and take notice. Scientists would attempt to understand the data, reproduce it, make predictions based on it because that is what science is all about. There is nothing 'blind' about it.

  • by hazem ( 472289 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @05:19PM (#15079988) Journal
    If a miracle were broadcast from Time Square on New Year's Eve with irrefutable scientific proof that it could not possibly have occurred without a supernatural explanation, people would still refuse to believe in it.

    What you're describing is impossible by definition. A miracle is by definition something that cannot be proved scientifically - and therefore needs a supernatural explanation. Once you have irrefutable scientific proof, it is no longer a miracle but simply a phenomenon.

    Saying "irrefutable scientific proof of a miracle" is like asking, "Can an omnipotent god create an unmoveable object?" If he's omnipotent, then he can't create an object that he can't move - otherwise, he wouldn't be omnipotent, by definition.
  • by canter ( 43098 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @05:24PM (#15080025)
    Of course faith is a matter of the heart. Which makes it completely useless in the realm of science, or anything else having to do with reality for that matter.

    I'm glad you caught the inherent dichotomy. Intelligent design CANNOT be either proved or disproved, as it depends on invisible sky fairies for its basis. Hardly in the same league as science on ANY level.
  • Re:I find it funny (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AlterTick ( 665659 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @05:25PM (#15080044)
    No matter. If I'm wrong, nobody loses anything. If I'm right, you lose for eternity. I can't wait to see the stupid look on your faces then. Maybe you can ask a professor to forgive you or something. Or maybe you can sit at the edge of Darwin's grave and ask him.

    Ah, the smug self-satisfaction of someone who thinks they've got it all figured out. I can't wait to see the look on your face when you realize that all the evolutionists, atheists, "baby murderers", and godless commies ended up in the same place you did after death, because [god/life/the universe] isn't some petty game of punishment and reward, but rather something much more complicated and beautiful than a fairy tale concoted by mortal theocracies to scare children.

  • by oh_my_080980980 ( 773867 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @05:30PM (#15080085)
    "Which brings me to what I've always wondered about Christians/Catholics...why do they have such an insistance on believing in a literal interpretation of the Bible? To me, the Bible seems to be more of a historical political document aimed at unifying the Roman empire, rather than an exact historical accounting. As such, the events/stories/wisdom contained within it are delivered in a fashion that facilitates internalizing its messages, lessons, etc. Yet to suggest this to people who are deeply religious usually results in a response equivalent to if you had told them that God does not exist. I've rarely seen anyone capable of separating the bible from their faith in God and Christ."

    Woah, woah woah. Don't be blaming the Catholics on this one. It's those damn born agains and fundamentalist baptists that spread this stuff.

    Leave the Catholics to their Virgin birth story!

    FYI Catholics don't follow a literal interpretation of the bible. Hell alot of them don't follow what the pope says.

    Go figure. :)

  • Re:I don't get it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by barawn ( 25691 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @05:33PM (#15080105) Homepage
    but Christianity and evolution are.

    Somebody better tell that to this guy []: he seems to think [] that there's no incompatibility there.

    Only a small minority of Christian religions believe there's any incompatibility between the two, and they tend to be a little bit loony overprotective about the literal wording of the Bible (why, I have no idea: it's not like the words have a unique, unambiguous meaning - and it's not like the people at the time even had the words to write down some of the concepts).

    One being the idea that man is created in God's image

    You think the idea of 'man being created in God's image' had anything to do with our physical bodies? You think our physical bodies mean diddly squat to God?

    Did you ever think that maybe, just maybe, it might have to do with that whole soul thing?
  • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Thursday April 06, 2006 @05:34PM (#15080112) Homepage Journal
    There's a big difference here. The law is decided by people (and not just lawyers and politicians, at least ideally -- you know, that whole "we the people" thing?) and it says, and means, whatever people decide it says and means. If enough people decide that they don't like the law as it is, it changes. Ultimately, law is nothing but codified opinion.

    OTOH, evolution just is. Your belief in it, or lack thereof, makes no difference whatsoever to its reality. And one of the most incredibly frustrating aspects of the evolution vs. creationism argument (and in general, the never-ending struggle between science and pseudoscience) which often makes scientifically-minded sorts come across as arrogant and short-tempered, is that we get really, really tired of dealing with people who just can't seem to get their heads around this distinction.
  • by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @05:39PM (#15080164)
    You seem to misunderstand the debate between Darwinists and Creationists. The Darwinists are not saying that Creationists are wrong, or that Intelligent Design did not happen. They are simply saying there's no scientific evidence to support those ideas. Without scientific evidence, Creationism and Intelligent Design are not science and should not be taught in a science classroom.

    Likewise, scientists should not insist on Darwinism being taught in churches, and bibles should not have labels about evolution, because those concepts are not religion and should not be taught in a church.

  • Re:What theory? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by barawn ( 25691 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @05:39PM (#15080166) Homepage
    What can ID/Creationism "predict"?

    Actually, what's often overlooked is that the intelligent design arguments are providing testable and predictable theories.

    They're saying it's impossible for certain systems to have arisen by chance. They usually give examples of various complicated biological systems, etc.

    That's a falsifiable statement.

    Unsurprisingly, the examples given are usually falsified.
  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @05:50PM (#15080250)

    "The religious right" is a very nebulous term. The official stance of the Catholic church, the Anglican Church, and most other major protestant churches is that evolution does happen and that the bible cannot be interpreted literally. The fact that a significant number of people who belong to these organized religions disagrees with their church or is presented as so doing is very interesting. My personal opinion is that there are a significant number of people in the US who reject evolution on religious grounds and subscribe instead to a pseudo-christian belief system made up of "common wisdom" beliefs that they associate with christianity. I like to call these people "Jesus was an American dammit!" believers. There are of course a few organized religions that formally promote ID, mostly televangelists and cultists like the Moonies. I suspect they do so as more of a control mechanism than anything else.

  • by DesertWolf0132 ( 718296 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @05:57PM (#15080301) Homepage
    For the record, I never stated that Creationism or ID had any place in schools and specifically avoided that in my initial post. You are correct, until someone comes up with a testable concept that can then either be proven or disproven they don't even qualify as hypothesis. I merely pointed out that ID and Creationism are two entirely seperate concepts and that people are too hasty to lump them together and say, "They are out to get our theory" as you have done here just now. As for the truth of evolution, I am not saying it should not be taught. I am not even saying that it should not be taught exclusively. I am merely stating that the supporters of evolution would do well to represent the concepts of their opponents accurately instead of lumping them into one group. By being intellectual snobs you give them reason to doubt your intelligence merely by not representing their own beliefs correctly. It is only by addressing the actual arguments of the other side that you can hope to stop them. It would be gross ignorance to believe that name calling counts as an argument.
  • by idsofmarch ( 646389 ) <> on Thursday April 06, 2006 @06:04PM (#15080359)
    Now you're just moving the goal posts and twisting the argument to make both sides appear unresonable, while you can stand in the middle taking the slings and arrows of both sides as you attempt to instill reason and compromise.

    All heroic posturing aside, the Intelligent Design adherents want to break the back of evolution's credibility by calling it a 'theory' knowing that this will make evolution appear less valid than other scientific theories. This helps to instill a confusion between theory and law, between scientific certainty and mere possibility. Some people really believe in Intelligent Design, but act as if this is a new idea, when it's merely a rip-off of Aristotle's Prime Mover, but others are using it was a weapon to disprove something they find scary. It's dangerous because it attempt to subvert any idea that dares to scrape against the faith, when science has always been doing this and should always be doing this.

  • Re:I find it funny (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vidarh ( 309115 ) <> on Thursday April 06, 2006 @06:07PM (#15080381) Homepage Journal
    No matter. If I'm wrong, nobody loses anything. If I'm right, you lose for eternity. I can't wait to see the stupid look on your faces then. Maybe you can ask a professor to forgive you or something. Or maybe you can sit at the edge of Darwin's grave and ask him.

    This is called Pascals wager, and it's flawed for a long list of reasons:

    • You assume that you believe in the right God. What if the muslims are right? The Jews? The Mormons? Latter day saints? Hindus? Or perhaps you should have believe in the Norse gods, or the gods of some alien race we don't even know about.
    • You assume that if there is a God that this God has is true to its word, and isn't a sadist bastard kid who decided to to have some fun with that cool new "make your own universe" kit he bought at the corner.
    • You assume that whichever deity you end up in front of will treat you better than someone who doesn't believe (whether or not it's the "right" deity). For what you know being an atheist might be safer - you have no way of correctly estimating the odds of pissing off a deity based on belief in the wrong deity vs. pissing it off based on not believing.
    • You assume that whatever "paradise" you assume you might end up in will actually be _your_ idea of something that is better that whatever the alternative might be.

    In other words, you're trying to rationalise your belief based on assumptions that you have no basis at all for making.

    Personally I take the view that if I'm wrong (I'm an atheist) and I find myself in front of some deity after I die and that deity is unable to accept me for what I am, then that deity is a fascist bastard and certainly isn't worthy of being worshipped - there's no way I am going to be bribed into behaving a certain way to appease some hypothetical oppressive sadist being. I live my life the way I do because I believe it is the right way to live, not looking for rewards.

  • by SimHacker ( 180785 ) * on Thursday April 06, 2006 @06:10PM (#15080408) Homepage Journal

    Evolution isn't inconsistent with the existence of God, but it certainly IS inconsistence with the particular set of fairy tales that evangelical Christian religions want to teach in schools.

    Intelligent design is not about teaching God in schools, it's about teaching Christian Fairy Tales in school. Anybody who tells you that ID has nothing to do with Adam and Eve is a liar or an idiot. When the Discovery Institute talks to evangelical Christian audiences, they certainly do link the two. It's just when they speak in public that they try to maintain that there is no connection.

    Then there are the charlitans who want you to believe "Intelligent Design" has nothing to do with religion or even evolution, and try to divert the conversation by pretending it's about PEOPLE designing things intelligently, so they try to imply the anti-ID people are actually for PEOPLE designing things UNINTELLIGENTLY. That's an intellectually dishonest straw-man argument, and the people who make it know that. They're just afraid to address the real issues because they know they're wrong, but want to defend the ID agenda for their own religious reasons they're afraid to admit in public, because they know they'll lose that argument.


  • by RockModeNick ( 617483 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @06:12PM (#15080425)
    The debate isn't about if ID is a possible explanation, it's about if it's science or not. Science isn't about if a theory is "viable" or not, it's about if it's predictively useful. ID is _never_ predictive. Therefore, it is NEVER science. Therefore, it's validity in a philosphical sense isn't relevent in deciding if it belongs in a science class or not. Nobody in science would care if ID was some kind of cultural religious movement - it's the IDer's who want it recognized as science that are sirring up the kettle.
  • by ch-chuck ( 9622 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @06:18PM (#15080460) Homepage
    Amen (ahem) - Ideally people would realize the two different areas of science/physics and religion/metaphysics, but they're easily confused for reasons including the fact that you can't make a metaphysical point without using a physical analogy. We often say, "they're buying their head in the sand" like an Ostridge, where in fact Ostridges don't *REALLY* do that, but YOU GET MY POINT. Even Jesus used parables, and told people he was using a parable so DONT TAKE IT LITERALLY but we have these literal churchgoers and schoolboard members burying their heads in the sand, so to speak.

    Likewise, science can't prove everything, such as why there is anything at all, what is the meaning of life, love, etc which leaves plenty of room for metaphysical beliefs.

  • by jbr439 ( 214107 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @06:29PM (#15080521)
    ID claims that humans, the Earth, the universe, etc are much too complex to be the result of one or more accidents. Such complexity could only be the result of the intervention of a master architect or intelligent designer, if you will.

    The problem with this is that it only pretends to solve the question by introducing an extra level of indirection. The logical followup question is never asked: how did a being as complex as the one that designed the universe come into existence?

    If life, the universe, and everything are too complex to have come into existence by accident, then almost by definition, the designer, which is at least as complex and most likely even more complex than his/her/its creation, could not have come into existence by accident. And so by applying the principle of ID (complexity above a certain level requires an intelligent designer), we unavoidably come up with the notion that our designer has a designer of his/her/its own. Applying ID again, we see that our designer's designer has a designer of her/his/its own. And on and on we go ad nauseam, resulting in an infinite number of intelligent designers.

    Ain't ID fun?

  • by kindbud ( 90044 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @06:33PM (#15080542) Homepage
    Obviously, he got his answer to the question "Are American ID fanboys affecting the conduct of science in Canada." It's a resounding YES. And he didn't spend any government grant money to find out.

  • by quantax ( 12175 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @06:40PM (#15080594) Homepage
    The only claim I can see of the IDers that is vaugely testible is that God exists and Chaos doesn't. Aside from that basic, they seem to accept every bit of evidence evolution does.

    I would actually argue this is exactly where ID shows itself to no longer to be a real theory. Part of the definition of a scientific theory is that it can be proved wrong in some manner, and once such is fulfilled, that theory could be discounted. So I ask these ID proponents, show me how one could go about disproving the existence of God, and the answer is, you can't. Therefore, ID as an actual scientific theory is simply not possible since as soon as you introduce the variable $God, you've got a theory you cannot test and thats not a theory, its basically just your opinion/latest philosophical idea.

    I personally have no problem with ideas like this being taught in schools, however not in a science class since its simply not science. If someone wants to teach various concepts of ID in a philosophy or religious studies class, I'm all for it, but don't say this is something it isn't as you merely are doing a diservice to the kids you are supposedly trying to help. However, I personally find many of the ID proponents to be highly intellectually dishonest in the explaination of their intentions, so even then I would be suspicious.

    Lastly but not least, the USA has some major problems with its schools, that this is being taken up as some type of torch is very sad for all of us as its effort much wasted that could be spent constructively elsewhere instead of these so-called 'culture wars' (what a crap phrase).
  • by jheath314 ( 916607 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @07:02PM (#15080748)
    The line was misinterpretted, plain and simple.

    What the line was interpreted to mean:
    "We don't think evolution is adequately justified, and don't see what's wrong with intelligent design"

    What the line actually means:
    "The Professor didn't do a good enough job of backing up *why* evolution is scientific and intelligent design is pseudo-science; as it is his paper really just makes this a tacit assumption. Since this question goes to the heart of the issue investigated by the grant, it is not unreasonable to insist that the difference be explained clearly by the applicant."

    IMHO, the Professor is hyping the misinterpretation of the committee's rejection in the hopes of generating an instinctive backlash in secular-minded Canada.
  • by xant ( 99438 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @07:04PM (#15080762) Homepage
    'intelligent design' - a controversial creationist theory of life

    Look, dumbshits. It's not a theory. And it's not controversial, it's just wrong. How about this, more accurate description:

    'intelligent design' - a wrongheaded piece of creationist propaganda
  • Re:I find it funny (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 06, 2006 @07:26PM (#15080896)
    So your argument is the same, "we'll just see who's right when we're dead!". You have done nothing to further your point but agree with him. And due to Slashbot group think you've been modded high (so you *must* be right).

    nana nana boo boo.
  • More precisely (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Beryllium Sphere(tm) ( 193358 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @07:29PM (#15080913) Homepage Journal
    It's not just the existence of God that people are arguing for. Christian fundamentalists would be horrified to be told that God exists but doesn't intervene in human affairs, for example.

    What's at stake, according to the fears of the ID/creationist crowd, is the specific idea of a God who deliberately created humans as they are and who issued a set of documentation with them which constitutes morality. In other words, it's about the nature of humanity, which they see as distinguished from other animals by a spark of divinity. Chimpanzees, they might say, are amoral -- without resourt to the supernatural, how can we logically require animals 98% similar to chimps in their DNA to obey a code of morals?

    Before you can use reason you have to address fears. You could try pointing out that humans were decorating graves and writing theCode of Hammurabi long before the Bible was written and won't suddenly revert to animalism if they abandon the 20th-centruy movement to take the entire Bible literally.
  • by aichpvee ( 631243 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @07:48PM (#15081013) Journal
    Wait a second there, buddy. How is it "fanatics" who are the ones trying to use evolution as proof that there is no god. What proof has there EVER been that there is one? Seems to me that "no god" is the moderate, sensible position and only a fanatic would claim otherwise without extensive proof.
  • I'm a Creationist, and I think ID is crap. ID has nothing to do with science, it's a philosophy that says life is too complicated to have happened by chance and therefore there must have been supernatural intervention (God, FSM, etc.). I don't really have a problem with someone believing that, but it's not science, and should not be taught in a scientific context in schools.

    And yet I do believe that God created the universe and everything in it less than 10,000 years ago. Furthermore, I believe that the search for evidence supporting this hypothesis is scientific, and this is a topic that is appropriate for public education. Learning how to interpret scientific evidence within different presupposed frameworks (i.e. the old-earth/uniformitarian/evolution view vs. the young-earth/catastrophism/Creation view), seeing how the same facts can be made to fit in both models even if you believe one of the models is wrong, is a good exercise, because it can help you recognize bias.

    Again, "Intelligent Design" as it is currently being promoted is a load of nonsense.
  • by Mastema262003 ( 872472 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @08:18PM (#15081176)
    This is an interesting but almost completely incorrect point. While evolution itself does not preclude the possibility of the existence of a higher power (read: god, advanced aliens, pantheon, superintelligent AI, etc. . .), science DOES in fact have a great deal to say about the folly of the worship of such an untestable entity. From the small, but non-zero possibility that such an ungrounded belief will cause people to fly airplanes into buildings, strap bombs to themselves, or engage in the mental and physical abuse of gays, to the negative correlation between religion and intelligence, to the positive correlation between religion and the breakdown of society, science has much evidence pointing to religion being a rather horrible proposition to undertake based on no evidence at all. The very notion of science itself is incompatible with religion. Science takes as it's central premise that nothing should escape testing or questioning. Religion immediately places several key, defining aspects out of reach of testing or questioning and does so arbitrarily. For no better reason than that over time, man has become able to account for many of the claims which were once only attributable to god and so slowly god has been removed (by religion) into a thing which was once mighty and powerful, but is now impotent and hidden. When was the last time we had a good miracle in full view of the public? So, while it is true that nothing in science specifically disproves the god hypothesis (primarily because it makes no predictions which can be tested) it does show us a universe which has no need of such an idea for it's existence. Evolution further shows that WE have no need for such a ridiculous construct either. If you choose to believe that the flying spaghetti monster created all things in a spasm of saucy inspiration then that is of course your perogative, deranged though it may be, but the minute you claim that said entity still has ANY effect on the physical world it becomes a proposition which is testable by science and further, it becomes falsifiable by science and to my knowledge, not one single miracle has withstood scientific testing in the past 50 years. So either your god stuck around long enough for us to get our hands on science and then left, or possibly he was a construct of man the entire time. I leave it for you to decide.
  • by masdog ( 794316 ) <> on Thursday April 06, 2006 @08:28PM (#15081234)
    Evolution is only inconsistent if you take the Bible literally, but then the Bible becomes inconsistent as well.
  • by Nazo-San ( 926029 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @08:42PM (#15081324)
    Well, first of all, I'll go ahead and state for the record that I'm athiest. I believe that evolution is essentially proven and must be considered to be true until significant proof is brought to show that all the data we've seen over so many years is somehow wrong in a way that doesn't really look possible.

    Nonetheless, I respect people's right's to beliefs and look at it from a more objective point of view when I can. In argument for the sake of religion, my mother who is not athiest has actually made a good point. The Bible isn't actually that specific about many things when you look at it. For example, she says that though the Bible says God took those seven days to create the Earth (well, 6 excluding the rest) it does not actually say that those were sequential days, and, as my addition to her little thought on this subject, it also does not say that time as perceived by this God could not perhaps differ compared to that of ourselves. After all, to a deity who has been around at least since the beginning of the uni/multiverse if not longer (and I sometimes wonder, if there is a God, how and where did God begin) couldn't it be a few million or even billion years between each so called day? Maybe (S)He/It/Null dedicated each of these severely long (by our standards) days to the careful development of the specific parts of the process? I've sort of followed the same logical reasoning behind her rather decent point and, if you think about it, rather a lot of religion could indeed still accept much of the science. Let's say evolution is true AND there is a God for just a moment. God is supposed to be omniscient (well, if you are omnipotent with no limitations, omniscience is easy stuff.) If you know everything, is it not rather easy to set in motion a chain of events that will independantly handle themselves in a way that ultimately reaches a goal you desired? I admit I don't read the Bible, but, does it say anywhere that God personally hand guided the whole process from the beginning to the end rather than just simply the beginning? If you think about it, if you know everything, then you can know the exact right moment to perhaps shift say a single atom just a little to set what you wish to happen into motion however long that may take.

    IMO, if you ever want a theological versus scientific discussion, you must take the high road and be as objective as is possible. You can't prove that there is no ultimate being capable of having set things in motion from the very beginning in a way which could cause a desired goal to be reached in some future. I'm not saying this is true, only that science would have us accept that this is one of the possibilities, albiet one which seems scientifically unlikely. Rather than simply saying "nope, there is no God, you're wrong" just say "well, you have a good point, but, right now we can find no definitive proof in favor of God, however, we do find consistant proof that things such as evolution exist whether by intelligent design or no." I personally may not believe in God, but, I know we must accept that people do.

    That said, back to the original post for a moment. This is not a theological or scientific discussion. As someone said earlier, it is a sociological discussion. The study of the effects of a particular belief on a part of society does not require the proof that the belief itself is true or false, or that the opposing belief (if it truly even is opposing necessarily) be prove or disprove either.
  • Re:Please tell me (Score:3, Insightful)

    by windowpain ( 211052 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @09:42PM (#15081611) Journal
    You are simply wrong. To imply that the universe we are in is some kind of "testable result" of intelligent design is misinformed at best, pathetic and dishonest at worst.

    And you are wrong about theories. A theory absolutely must make testable predictions. A theory that does not make a testable prediction is unfalsifiable. By definitition a scientific theory must be falsifiable.

    What you need to understand is not some concise definition of theory but a comprehensive definition of falsifiable. This snippet from Wikipedia's definition of falsifiability [] will start you on the right path:

    Falsifiability, or defeasibility, is an important concept in the philosophy of science. It is the principle that a proposition or theory cannot be considered scientific if it does not admit the possibility of being shown false.

    Thanks for playing. We do have some lovely parting gifts for you.
  • by slashdot_commentator ( 444053 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @09:42PM (#15081615) Journal
    How is it that Evolution "proves" there is no God? At "best", it can show there is a set of physical laws which can explain the genesis of the universe without requiring the direct interventions of a Supreme Being. But evolution cannot "prove" there was no God involved with "starting" the mess, or those set of physical laws could have come about without him/her/it.

    You cannot really "prove" there is a God. But you cannot "prove" there is no God. In fact, Atheism is a form of belief system. It starts with the presumption there is no God. But how can you scientifically conclude there is no God if you cannot prove there isn't a God?

    ID fanatics are retards, but you atheists are no different. You're all about making people believe what you believe. A GOOD scientist only cares about what they can prove. And if they're competent, they should also be amenable to the probability that the analysis of the empirical data is flawed. What the professional body of professionals believe to be "truth" has changed from time to time, from ulcers, to Michaelson-Morley, to human flight.

    ID fanatics are theocratic politicians. Its important to them to use the education system to indoctrinate children to believe in a scientific basis for the existence of God. The problem is that they undermine the logically derived basis which gives science its value. The other problem is that the general public is too stupid to understand how ID does that. Flawed education produces flawed practitioners, and that "wishful" reasoning for the voter that gives us "global warming" and the "Iraq invasion". Its the same kind of threat Chinese Emperors farsaw whenever they saw technological innovation which could threaten their political power. A couple of centuries later, they ended up the "dogs" of the European devils. The Divinity of the Emperor, their enlightened and "superior" culture couldn't stand against the products of the "Age of Reason".

    On the other hand, atheists are no better than the Jesus freaks. Science doesn't prove there is no God, anymore than ID proves there is one. When they state otherwise, they are merely espousing lies and claim science gives it credence. How is it different from the ID zealot that uses science to claim there is a God? Atheists only show themselves to be anti-Jesus freaks, and just as stupid.
  • by Enigma2175 ( 179646 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @11:19PM (#15082011) Homepage Journal
    What's sad is that DesertWolf offers a reasonable response and the Slashdot community mods him down as 'Troll'. Instead of hiding behind your mod points, stand up and offer a rebuttal!

    I agree. That is totally uncalled for and I hope it gets reversed in metamod. I am an athiest that thinks all religion is fantasy but to mod a post as a troll just because you don't agree with the poster's beliefs is close-minded and childish.

  • by SimHacker ( 180785 ) * on Friday April 07, 2006 @01:09AM (#15082226) Homepage Journal

    Certainly I'll provide a pointer. Just look at Moulton's earlier replies to my postings. That's what I was talking about.

    In general, the ID people try to exploit the inherent ambiguity of the term "Intelligent Design", because it could be interpreted as meaning many positive things. But the fact of the matter is that they have defined the term to mean one thing in front of Evangelical Christian audiences (Creationism), and another thing in public (Science). It's that flip-flopping meaning of the term that we're discussing. Or at least trying to discuss, but Moulton keeps trying to change the subject of Intelligent Design to non-stupid industrial design, and the subject of Creationism to creativity, or whatever he can come up with to avoid directly answering the questions I'm asking.

    This technique is a page out of the Discovery Institute's [] playbook. It's no accident that they chose the terms they did, nor is it any accident that Moulton is pretending to be so confused. It's called the "Wedge Strategy []".

    The Discovery Institute and its Center for Science and Culture [] are notorious for their intellectually dishonest practices in support of Intelligent Design. They are the organization that sponsored the Anti Evolution [] that Rosalind Picard [] signed her name to, along with the name of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    I'm a huge fan of MIT, the AI Lab an the Media Lab, and I owe them a lot. I find it reprehensible that Picard would drag their good name into the wrong side of the Intelligent Design debate.


  • Re:What theory? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TimboJones ( 192691 ) <timbojones AT timbojones DOT net> on Friday April 07, 2006 @01:34AM (#15082320) Homepage
    Notice that anyone who questions the absolute truth according to science is modded down?

    Science does not deal in absolute truth. Anyone who implies it does, especially when arguing against science in favor of an unscientific principle, indeed ought to be modded down. Science deals in best-fit approximations and falsifiable theories. Please look up the meaning of the scientific method.

    Granted, some scientists may cling to outmoded and falsified theories. Even if you come up with a problem that a prevailing theory cannot explain sufficiently, the most that can be said is that the theory is incomplete. There must be verifiable data that unequivocably proves the theory wrong, and ideally a new theory that encompasses both old and new data.

    At this current moment, evolution is not an outmoded and falsified theory being clung to by beligerent scientists. There aren't nearly as many problems with evolution as ID advocates proclaim. Most arguments I've seen a) apply to fields other than evolutionary biology, or b) have already been thoroughly debunked; ID advocates are either unaware of, uncomprehending of, or actively ignoring these explanations.

    ID is not a scientific theory. It may be a nice approximation, and comfortable. But it is not falsifiable. Not falsifiable. Not falsifiable. Even if it were, you and I would not want it to be -- what kind of defeatist would want to falsify God? ID proponents do offer falsifiable arguments against evolution (which are, as I said, sufficiently falsified) but the concept of an intelligent designer is not falsifiable. At least, not when you push the theory to the limit of a designer beyond human comprehension, which is necessary when you ask "Who designed the designer?"

    Finally on a personal note, I see no reason in the case of the universe to separate the designer from the design. I believe God is the matter and energy comprising the entire universe. The world we experience is the n-dimensional fractal edge between is and is-not, 1 and 0, life and death, existence and nothingness, God and not-God.
  • Re:Please tell me (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jjohnson ( 62583 ) on Friday April 07, 2006 @02:43AM (#15082518) Homepage
    Thank you for the apology.

    To say that evolution requires an insane amount of chance to occur is to misunderstand the mechanism by which evolution is currently thought to occur. I understand why you would say this, since superficially it appears that evolution says that 100 dice were rolled, and they all came up sixes. To carry the analogy out, natural selection is like rolling 100 dice, setting aside all the ones that came up sixes, and rerolling the remaining dice, continually removing the sixes and rerolling until no dice are left. Thus, over enough rolls, they all end up sixes, with no more than normal chances for any dice to come up six.

    Okay, it's not a great analogy, but it's a fair illustration of the idea.

    ID gets ridiculed by science because it acts like science without being truly scientific. It fails the basic test of falsifiability that the empirical method requires. Positing an intelligent designer is like adding a wild card: To answer the question "why is that like that?" one ultimately ends up saying "because the designer made it so." All the examples of irreducible complexity (like eyes or the bombardier beetle) get plausibly explained or demonstrated in intermediate forms, contrary to the claims of those scientists pushing ID. The IDers point to the lack of an explanation for a particular form as evidence of a "the designer made it so" explanation. Logically, though, absence of evidence for a contrary explanation is not evidence for a particular explanation.
  • by pudge ( 3605 ) * <slashdot@pudg[ ]et ['e.n' in gap]> on Friday April 07, 2006 @03:24AM (#15082597) Homepage Journal
    >> Well, the problem is, you're wrong. :-)

    Not at all.

    Well, no, you actually are wrong. You said ID is something, as opposed to something else, and you were wrong, as I showed by quoting an authoritative source on ID.

    It's one thing to say that ID != creationism. But to say that ID excludes creationism -- or at least, is so dissimilar from it that it excludes a literal interpretation of the Gensis account -- is, simply, false.

    When you say "creationism is not ID" you are clearly talking about your own definition of ID. But most people, including most proponents of ID, do not use your definition.

    I divide ID into hard ID and soft ID.

    And then there are those who believe in the literal Genesis account and in ID, which fall into neither camp. Many ID proponents believe in a 7-day creation. Putting your fingers in your ears and closing your eyes won't make the Discovery Institute go away.

    And beating up anti-ID people for taking the Discovery Institute at its word is also fruitless.

    Hard ID stipulates most of evolution, but claims that the so-called "ball rolling uphill" mutations are not adequately explainable with evolution, and proposes an outside agency which messed around with evolution to bring about the world as we know it. If phrased correctly, this is a testable hypothesis, and so can be falsified and worth at least a study given the large number of people believing in it.

    Well, no, it is neither testable nor falsifiable. (Not that I care about those things, as they are rather stupid ways to go about solving the demarcation problem.)

    Well, OK, it is testable in theory, but not in practice. We'd need an oracle or some other relevatory device. And it is not falsifiable at all, any more than the existence of God is falsifiable.
  • Evolution (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Olftep ( 945322 ) on Friday April 07, 2006 @08:33AM (#15083314)
    WRONG. Your suggestions to send some textbooks to Canada for the purpose of proving your idea would only compound your problem if intellegent and informed people reveiw them. The theory or eveloution as it now stands (Phylogeny) contradicts BASIC Mendel genetics. I.E. -Individual variation remains constant- In other words genetic information varies only within the existing information in a gene pool--new information cannot be added. Information can only be sorted and rearanged within the population. There has never been any example of new information being added. Now, unless you've got some proof that Mendel is wrong, you'd better reconsider sending your textbooks.
  • wait a minute (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 07, 2006 @05:38PM (#15088063)
    What is science if it can not critique itself. When a scientific theory gets to the point where it can no longer be challenged, it ceases to be science and becomes a religion of its own. I think this is the university's fault for setting unreasonable guidelines for the experiment. Scientific fact can only be reached through observation and experimentation. That is the core of the scientific method. For the university to ask the professor to provide "proof" is unreasonable because, while the percieved "results" of Darwin's theories can be observed, we can not experiment and observe it happening. Even if you could prove natural selection, you can't prove it is responsible for the origin of species.
  • by idsofmarch ( 646389 ) <> on Sunday April 09, 2006 @03:22AM (#15094020)
    I like that your post is about how people who have differing points of view and insult each other and then you write this: "to sum up for those who didn't feel like reading through the big words with more than one syllable..." So, with this little nugget we get to see how easy it is to fall into that trap I guess.

    My point was, ID and Creationism are the same thing that are made to appear diferent. ID then tries to subvert Evolution by playing on people's ignorance about the subject and their faith. ID is faith dressed in a lab coat and once we recognize that we can have a real conversation about the limits of faith, the necessity of science unhindered by faith-based prejudices, and have a real dicussion about the metaphysics in god and the universe. We can have a real conversation, but not when we have to pretend that ID is science and Evolution a religion.

    Lastly, I agree that name calling is a bad way to express a point-of-view, but yet no matter how badly presented the truth is still the truth and everything is bullshit. Adherents, including the two of us, don't matter much either way so let us stop worrying about zealots and mod-bombers (your posts are not trolls) and let's talk, without resorting to easy digs.

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.