What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

Incl. intelligent design, belief in divine creation

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What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#1  Postby Shrunk » Dec 04, 2015 9:41 pm

Larry Moran puts it succinctly:

Michael Behe's acceptance of common descent is not significantly different from that of Ken Miller and Francis Collins. All three believe that the gods used evolution to produce the diversity of life we see today but they tweaked it from time to time to nudge it in certain directions. Michael Behe thinks that the gods left direct evidence of their intervention. Francis Collins thinks the evidence is indirect and Ken Miller thinks that the gods hid all evidence of their involvement so that the whole process looks perfectly natural.


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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#2  Postby Arnold Layne » Dec 04, 2015 9:48 pm

I think "the gods" have done very well in hiding their involvement in everything.
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#3  Postby scott1328 » Dec 04, 2015 10:25 pm

The difference is that, Intelligent Design is compatible with every observation anyone could ever conceivably make; it is irrefutable in principle.

Theistic Evolutuion, in as much as it defers to the science, is refutable with respect to that science.
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#4  Postby Shrunk » Dec 05, 2015 1:49 pm

scott1328 wrote:Theistic Evolutuion, in as much as it defers to the science, is refutable with respect to that science.


If the description of Miller's position is accurate, then I don't see how that applies. That is, unless his position is refuted by finding evidence that God did in fact intervene in the evolutionary process. Otherwise, it seems impossible to falsify the claim that God intervenes in ways that cannot be detected.
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#5  Postby Animavore » Dec 05, 2015 2:10 pm

Miller's view sounds similar to Lemaître's in quoting Isaiah as God being a hidden God.

Isaiah 45:14-16
14Thus says the LORD, "The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush And the Sabeans, men of stature, Will come over to you and will be yours; They will walk behind you, they will come over in chains And will bow down to you; They will make supplication to you: 'Surely, God is with you, and there is none else, No other God.'" 15Truly, You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, Savior! 16They will be put to shame and even humiliated, all of them; The manufacturers of idols will go away together in humiliation.…


I think the belief is you're not going to find God under a microscope or through a telescope, but rather in your heart.

So we should be able to track him using a cardiogram.
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#6  Postby Ravenloonatikk » Dec 05, 2015 10:52 pm

I've had three Echocardiograms, but all they saw was valves and blood and stuff.
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#7  Postby Darwinsbulldog » Dec 06, 2015 12:35 am

Theistic evolution fails when it comes to the concept of immortal or transferable souls, independent of body. Miller, Collins, Ayala, Conway-Morris [all excellent life-scientists] don't think evolution is competent enough to produce what they call soul. And they are right. But if you take the concept of a mortal soul-one tied to a physical body, then biological evolution, cultural evolution and life experiences will produce individuals with identity, personality etc compatible with the idea of a non-magical soul.
In other words, these scientists are still vitalists. They concede the power of evolution to produce the mundane- the "meat". But god, deus ex machina, is behind the scenes, still pulling the strings for the "important" stuff.
More subtle than the Behe type of creationist, they are still creationists. As their main delusion is concerning the supernatural [and non-existent] aspect of the soul, they are still good technicians and do useful work. Nevertheless, Conway_Morris makes a lot more out of convergence than is healthy in a scientist, stopping not far away in his "oh-ahs" from declaring his love for his deity. So far he has managed to keep his trap shut on such matters when writing scientific papers. But all four scientists give their "imaginations" freer reign in their pop science books.
Behe of course, is an utter twat and liar, about as useful as tits on a bull.
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#8  Postby Greyman » Dec 06, 2015 6:21 am

scott1328 wrote:The difference is that, Intelligent Design is compatible with every observation anyone could ever conceivably make; it is irrefutable in principle.

Theistic Evolutuion, in as much as it defers to the science, is refutable with respect to that science.

Which is ironic as they were intended to be the other way around.

The Theistic Evolution stance is that the science matches observation quite well, but we must still take it on faith that events had been undetectably nudged anyway.

The I.D. stance is that design is detectable and one day their researchers will refute the false science of evilnotion. One day, soon, ... soon, ... (years and still waiting) ... you'll see ... any day now ... ....
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#9  Postby Blackadder » Dec 06, 2015 8:54 am

The differences may be arcane (or they may not). The similarity between them is screamingly obvious.
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#10  Postby THWOTH » Dec 06, 2015 12:27 pm

scott1328 wrote:The difference is that, Intelligent Design is compatible with every observation anyone could ever conceivably make; it is irrefutable in principle.

Theistic Evolutuion, in as much as it defers to the science, is refutable with respect to that science.

Can ID not be refuted on the basis that it is unfalsifiable perhaps?
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#11  Postby crank » Dec 06, 2015 1:07 pm

I have thought for a while, and used as an argument, that, at the cosmological level, any significant dicking around with the laws of nature would be evident, if not at our current level of understanding and observational capabilities, at some level well short of god-like. Obviously, this is yanked out of my rear end, but seems reasonable. I don't have a clue how this would apply to our evolutionary history, but I would guess it's likely. Anyone think the first is reasonable? Or any thoughts on the latter?

To 'guide' evolution from the beginning with us as the end result seems absurd. All that guiding, did it include the KT impact? Or the other mass extinctions? I would call that god going, oops, let me start over. Is he nudging molecules, physical law, or tigers? Any of the above? Why did it take so efing long, were all the near-us hominids trial runs?
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#12  Postby Animavore » Dec 06, 2015 1:16 pm

I guess if God really does have a plan then God could guide evolution, and everything else, by setting up everything in a way in which the outcome was predicted and then tipping that first 'domino' and watching it play out.
Of course if this is the case then the universe is deterministic and there is no such thing as free will, only people deterministically programmed to believe there is. There's also not much use in praying, though at the same time no use in trying not to. Nor do you have any choice over what you believe. You're just another domino falling into place.
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Re: What is the difference between ID and

#13  Postby scott1328 » Dec 06, 2015 3:52 pm

THWOTH wrote:
scott1328 wrote:The difference is that, Intelligent Design is compatible with every observation anyone could ever conceivably make; it is irrefutable in principle.

Theistic Evolutuion, in as much as it defers to the science, is refutable with respect to that science.

Can ID not be refuted on the basis that it is unfalsifiable perhaps?

No. But it can be ignored on the basis that it is irrefutable.
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#14  Postby Calilasseia » Dec 06, 2015 5:08 pm

crank wrote:I have thought for a while, and used as an argument, that, at the cosmological level, any significant dicking around with the laws of nature would be evident, if not at our current level of understanding and observational capabilities, at some level well short of god-like. Obviously, this is yanked out of my rear end, but seems reasonable.


Actually, one of the principal arguments I've been deploying against supernaturalists for some time, is that any magic entity they care to dream up, that intervenes in the physical universe in the way that they assert, necessarily has observational consequences. And as a corollary, it is perfectly legitimate to look to observational data to see if those consequences are realised. No, you didn't pull this out of your rear end, it shows rather that you have a better understanding of the issues than the typical pedlar of apologetics.

crank wrote: I don't have a clue how this would apply to our evolutionary history, but I would guess it's likely. Anyone think the first is reasonable? Or any thoughts on the latter?


The idea that any meaningful intervention in the physical universe would have observable physical consequences, is entirely reasonable. And destroys at a stroke the pretence on the part of supernaturalists, that their magic entities can meddle with the universe and its contents unhindered, whilst simultaneously remaining "ineffable". But rigour never was a part of supernaturalist assertions and apologetics to begin with.

This would apply regardless of the physical system under consideration, and since evolution is a physical system, it would apply thereto. Any genuine interventions would leave behind them persistent physical evidence.

crank wrote:To 'guide' evolution from the beginning with us as the end result seems absurd. All that guiding, did it include the KT impact? Or the other mass extinctions? I would call that god going, oops, let me start over.


Except that if you dispense with merely asserted magic entities full stop, this all simply becomes historical contingency. If a process multiplies certain genes in the biosphere, it's more likely that those genes will become the substrate for the emergence of novelty. On the other hand, if that same process deletes genes from the biosphere, then those genes, by definition, aren't going to be a substrate for anything.

crank wrote:Is he nudging molecules, physical law, or tigers? Any of the above? Why did it take so efing long, were all the near-us hominids trial runs?


The amount of micro-managing that would be needed to result specifically in us humans, starting from prebiotic molecules, would be so enormous that it's difficult to see how any entity engaged in this process would have any time to interfere elsewhere in the universe. Unless of course it cloned several sextillion copies of itself to ease the labour. But then you would need all of those several sextillion copies to be working to the same plan, which would introduce some interesting communication overheads.

If on the other hand, you simply accept the evidence that we're here because the laws of physics permitted our emergence, and the relevant physically permitted historical events took place, without any direction, you can sweep away all superfluous asserted magic entities, and be happily content with the fact that testable natural processes are sufficient for the task.
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#15  Postby crank » Dec 06, 2015 10:01 pm

This reminds me of something I heard in a cosmology lecture off youtube, I can't remember which one, but found this image here, showing how Steven Hawking's initials were actually written into the cosmological background radiation. Hawking is god, or some cosmologists spend a little too much time staring at these images.

Image
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#16  Postby Calilasseia » Dec 07, 2015 8:39 am

Ah, the joy of pareidolia. Which is going to manifest itself whenever one spends long periods of time examining apparently patternless vistas. It's as if the human brain has a need to encounter familiar entities, and homes in on patterns with ever more tenuous resemblance to those familiar entities, as the subconscious longing becomes more desperate.
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Re: What is the difference between ID and

#17  Postby THWOTH » Dec 07, 2015 12:22 pm

scott1328 wrote:
THWOTH wrote:
scott1328 wrote:The difference is that, Intelligent Design is compatible with every observation anyone could ever conceivably make; it is irrefutable in principle.

Theistic Evolutuion, in as much as it defers to the science, is refutable with respect to that science.

Can ID not be refuted on the basis that it is unfalsifiable perhaps?

No. But it can be ignored on the basis that it is irrefutable.

While ID might account for what we observe, to some degree, can it not be refuted on the basis that it is a less parsimonious reading of those observations? Are we not rationally obliged to put aside the least good explanations of the evidence and adopt the best, until or unless new info becomes available? Does this most simple of logical principles not serve to refute the argument of the ID proponent?

When ID proponents suggest that it only looks as if evolution is a natural, unguided phenomenon while this or that datapoint could equally be explained by a wilful agent so powerful that we wouldn't necessary be able to conclude their existence from its handiwork, they are applying an unnecessary condition to their argument and falling to the fallacy of composition. I think we do ourselves a rational disservice sometimes by taking IDers entirely at their word as self-declared dispassionate enquirers, for if one says to them, "OK, so if ID is true what difference does it make to our understanding of the natural realm?" they invariably thank you for holding the door open for God and push him through. We have to remember that Creationism in all its forms starts with its conclusion, and the fallacy in that means Creationism refutes its own arguments from the off.
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Re: What is the difference between ID and

#18  Postby Blackadder » Dec 07, 2015 12:58 pm

THWOTH wrote:
When ID proponents suggest that it only looks as if evolution is a natural, unguided phenomenon while this or that datapoint could equally be explained by a wilful agent so powerful that we wouldn't necessary be able to conclude their existence from its handiwork, they are applying an unnecessary condition to their argument and falling to the fallacy of composition. I think we do ourselves a rational disservice sometimes by taking IDers entirely at their word as self-declared dispassionate enquirers, for if one says to them, "OK, so if ID is true what difference does it make to our understanding of the natural realm?" they invariably thank you for holding the door open for God and push him through. We have to remember that Creationism in all its forms starts with its conclusion, and the fallacy in that means Creationism refutes its own arguments from the off.



Exactly. Which is what I meant when I said that the similarities between all the various versions of ID/theistic evolution are obvious. All of them start with gawd and they need to find a way to insinuate him into their explanations of the universe. They are far from dispassionate enquirers; in fact this whole approach to intellectual enquiry is manifestly dishonest. There are numerous instances of scientists, in the absence of sufficient evidence, favouring one hypothesis over another, perhaps because it appeals at an intuitive or emotional level. However, once there is sufficient evidence, any reasonable scientist will ditch a hypothesis that fails to fit the evidence. Not so for our ID friends. That is why it should never, ever be taught in science class. It's not science - it's dogma dressed as science, no matter what fancy label it carries.
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#19  Postby Calilasseia » Dec 07, 2015 1:54 pm

In short, ID is nothing but religious creationism wearing a stolen lab coat, a characterisation I've used frequently in the past. As for theistic evolution, that's merely the continued clinging to a purported need for magic, despite zero evidence that magic is needed to explain the biosphere and its contents.
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Re: What is the difference between ID and "theistic evolution"?

#20  Postby Animavore » Dec 07, 2015 2:04 pm

Calilasseia wrote:Ah, the joy of pareidolia. Which is going to manifest itself whenever one spends long periods of time examining apparently patternless vistas. It's as if the human brain has a need to encounter familiar entities, and homes in on patterns with ever more tenuous resemblance to those familiar entities, as the subconscious longing becomes more desperate.

Psychologists have done tests with this. Tell someone there's a UFO in the white noise and they will eventually find it.
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