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Thread: Double standards in peer-review

  1. #1 Double standards in peer-review 
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    Richard Sternberg was accused of having ID sympathizers review Stephen Meyer's paper. If a pro-ID paper is not allowed to be reviewed by anyone who supports ID, does this mean that a pro-theory of evolution paper is not allowed to be reviewed by anyone who supports the theory of evolution?


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    Would you think it is proper to let a paper on astrology be reviewed by a proponent of astrology and expect the review to have any scientific merit?

    Get it into your mind once and for all: ID IS NOT SCIENCE.


    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Would you think it is proper to let a paper on astrology be reviewed by a proponent of astrology and expect the review to have any scientific merit?
    They do it with Global Warming research all the time, then those who disagree are put down.
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Get it into your mind once and for all: ID IS NOT SCIENCE.
    Just because a hypothesis isn't developed enough to a testable theory, it shouldn't be called unscientific. There are those who want to apply science to it. It may happen sometime.

    Having a closed mind like you do, I would call unscientific!
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    The point is not the ideology of the people doing the reviewing, but their credentials and their ability to accurately represent reality. Anybody can review a paper, but that review needs to be consistent across ideologies (i.e. based on fact and merit, not based on personal preference).

    I am so tired of peoples indignance informed merely by their own ignorance when it comes to their bashing of science.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Cobra
    Having a closed mind like you do, I would call unscientific!
    remind me again what ID stands for rather what they are against, and maybe then it would be testable and become science
    as it is, it's an awful lot of smoke and mirrors + hand waving and then cry out "what else can it be but a designer?" - nice for a magic trick but not exactly science
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Would you think it is proper to let a paper on astrology be reviewed by a proponent of astrology and expect the review to have any scientific merit?

    Get it into your mind once and for all: ID IS NOT SCIENCE.
    If a pro-ID paper is not allowed to be reviewed by anyone who supports ID, does this mean that a pro-theory of evolution paper is not allowed to be reviewed by anyone who supports the theory of evolution?
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    Who said anything whatsoever about not allowing review, ufcarazy? Kalster simply posed a question, and you're now suddenly launching into an attack on something nobody has even said, and completely failing to answer the question posed to you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ufcarazy
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Would you think it is proper to let a paper on astrology be reviewed by a proponent of astrology and expect the review to have any scientific merit?

    Get it into your mind once and for all: ID IS NOT SCIENCE.
    If a pro-ID paper is not allowed to be reviewed by anyone who supports ID, does this mean that a pro-theory of evolution paper is not allowed to be reviewed by anyone who supports the theory of evolution?
    I can read and I did read your first post ufcarazy. Your question is silly and an infantile attempt at entrapment. If we say no, you immediately cry bias and double standards. The point is that an ID proponent can review anything he wants, but that review cannot be scientifically credible, because ID IS NOT SCIENCE. It is diametrically opposed to the principles of the scientific method. The review by, say, a physicist of a paper on biology would have very little credibility, but would still have much more than one from someone that does not even practice science or undertake scientific research.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I can read and I did read your first post ufcarazy. Your question is silly and an infantile attempt at entrapment. If we say no, you immediately cry bias and double standards. The point is that an ID proponent can review anything he wants, but that review cannot be scientifically credible, because ID IS NOT SCIENCE. It is diametrically opposed to the principles of the scientific method. The review by, say, a physicist of a paper on biology would have very little credibility, but would still have much more than one from someone that does not even practice science or undertake scientific research.
    Is your answer "yes" or "no"?
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    A pro-ID paper should never even be reviewed in the first place, because that means it's actually being considered for publication, and NON-SCIENCE IS NOT PUBLISHABLE IN SCIENTIFIC JOURNALS.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    ? Surely the correct answer is that anything can be reviewed by anyone (no matter what they believe) as long as it meets the standards of the publication or ideology of the publication.

    Even a proponent of ID can practice science.

    What is a proponent anyway ? Is anyone ever 100% sure ? (if so get the gun)

    Being as open as possible is the best. Any kind of closed mindedness (even if it is well intentioned - and it is always well intentioned) is to be avoided.

    No ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ufcarazy
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I can read and I did read your first post ufcarazy. Your question is silly and an infantile attempt at entrapment. If we say no, you immediately cry bias and double standards. The point is that an ID proponent can review anything he wants, but that review cannot be scientifically credible, because ID IS NOT SCIENCE. It is diametrically opposed to the principles of the scientific method. The review by, say, a physicist of a paper on biology would have very little credibility, but would still have much more than one from someone that does not even practice science or undertake scientific research.
    Is your answer "yes" or "no"?
    Did you not read my posts? The answer is NO. Did I not explain it clearly enough for you?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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  14. #13 Re: Double standards in peer-review 
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    Quote Originally Posted by ufcarazy
    Richard Sternberg was accused of having ID sympathizers review Stephen Meyer's paper. If a pro-ID paper is not allowed to be reviewed by anyone who supports ID, does this mean that a pro-theory of evolution paper is not allowed to be reviewed by anyone who supports the theory of evolution?
    Got any details on that? It strongly depends on what happened exactly, was the problem that the people supported ID, or just that they were bloody unqualified? (The two often go hand in hand, but not always)
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  15. #14 Re: Double standards in peer-review 
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNesbit
    Quote Originally Posted by ufcarazy
    Richard Sternberg was accused of having ID sympathizers review Stephen Meyer's paper. If a pro-ID paper is not allowed to be reviewed by anyone who supports ID, does this mean that a pro-theory of evolution paper is not allowed to be reviewed by anyone who supports the theory of evolution?
    Got any details on that? It strongly depends on what happened exactly, was the problem that the people supported ID, or just that they were bloody unqualified? (The two often go hand in hand, but not always)
    http://www.richardsternberg.org/smithsonian.php

    This link contains links to the statements by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel and the U.S. House Committee on Government Reform, who both evaluated Sternberg's claims of illegal discrimination.

    http://www.richardsternberg.org/biography.php

    At the bottom of this page Sternberg explains how his views on the development of life have changed over time, and on page 6 of that pdf he talks a little about the reviewers who read Meyer's paper.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Quote Originally Posted by ufcarazy
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Would you think it is proper to let a paper on astrology be reviewed by a proponent of astrology and expect the review to have any scientific merit?

    Get it into your mind once and for all: ID IS NOT SCIENCE.
    If a pro-ID paper is not allowed to be reviewed by anyone who supports ID, does this mean that a pro-theory of evolution paper is not allowed to be reviewed by anyone who supports the theory of evolution?
    I can read and I did read your first post ufcarazy. Your question is silly and an infantile attempt at entrapment. If we say no, you immediately cry bias and double standards. The point is that an ID proponent can review anything he wants, but that review cannot be scientifically credible, because ID IS NOT SCIENCE. It is diametrically opposed to the principles of the scientific method. The review by, say, a physicist of a paper on biology would have very little credibility, but would still have much more than one from someone that does not even practice science or undertake scientific research.
    This confuses me. Is science the pursuit of truth or not? If it is then in order for you to apriori reject one mode of explanation out of hand as you have just done, it by definition must be false. Has a creator or designer been ruled out with certainty? Or is science not the pursuit of truth?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Is science the pursuit of truth or not?
    No, science is a method of acquiring knowledge and putting that knowledge through tests... rejecting that which fails to accurately describe nature. Our models of nature are being continually refined. We have a higher degree of confidence in some models... models which have proven accurate with every test thrown at them... but they are never considered absolute, and are always subject to new information and replacement by new models which more accurately describe the universe.

    It's not about truth and non-truth. It's about accurate understanding and continued advancement through tests, falsification, and updates to previous knowledge.


    While a creator has not been ruled out, Cypress, it's existence is so exceedingly unlikely that we can treat it as if it has been... like unicorns, leprechauns, or a teapot orbiting the Sun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Is science the pursuit of truth or not?
    No, science is a method of acquiring knowledge and putting that knowledge through tests... rejecting that which fails to accurately describe nature. Our models of nature are being continually refined. We have a higher degree of confidence in some models... models which have proven accurate with every test thrown at them... but they are never considered absolute, and are always subject to new information and replacement by new models which more accurately describe the universe.

    It's not about truth and non-truth. It's about accurate understanding and continued advancement through tests, falsification, and updates to previous knowledge.
    That sounds like pursuit of truth and objective fact to me. Are you having to redefine truth to make your statement work? I don't understand how "accurate understanding" is different from objective fact.

    Surly you agree the pursuit of truth does not guarantee that one will obtain absolute truth. Surly the pursuit of truth is subject to new information

    Isn't the pursuit of truth the same journey you describe above?

    While a creator has not been ruled out, Cypress, it's existence is so exceedingly unlikely that we can treat it as if it has been... like unicorns, leprechauns, or a teapot orbiting Neptune.
    If we reject the unlikely (that which has not been ruled out), don't we give up the goal of being accurate? What objective scientific tests have been conducted, what models are being applied, tested and refined to measure this objective likelihood you speak of? If there is no scientific study being done to measure likelihood that allows you to declare it "so exceedingly unlikely" then your declaration is metaphysical. It is your opinion or your belief based on your prior commitment.

    Does science allow for conclusions based on prior commitment?
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Is science the pursuit of truth or not?
    No, science is a method of acquiring knowledge and putting that knowledge through tests... rejecting that which fails to accurately describe nature. Our models of nature are being continually refined. We have a higher degree of confidence in some models... models which have proven accurate with every test thrown at them... but they are never considered absolute, and are always subject to new information and replacement by new models which more accurately describe the universe.

    It's not about truth and non-truth. It's about accurate understanding and continued advancement through tests, falsification, and updates to previous knowledge.
    It matters to you whether people accept scientific claims as true. Take me for example, I don't accept certain aspects of the theory of evolution as true (although I used to for religious reasons). I don't accept as true that peer-review is held to the highest standards in science (although I used to due to naivety). I don't accept as true that any potential designer of life must be supernatural (although I used to due to religious reasons). My lack of acceptance of the truth value of these claims has upset several members of this site precisely because people believe that science tells us what is true and not true.
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    IINM, I think you've upset members of this site for being a creationist troll with an obvious agenda and a lack of integrity, but YMMV.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sequel
    Whose a creationist? cypress?

    Well my view is that its hard to tell the difference between something supported by evidence that is true and something supported by evidence that is not. I think people just assume that the evidence is always true...by that measure both you guys are right
    Thank-you Sequel. BTW I am not a creationist. So would you agree that any definition of science that arbitrarily excludes a particular mode of explanation inconsistent with the goal of scientific study? If so what reason other than bias would lead people to advocate such a thing?

    I can certainly agree that untestable predictions should be excluded, but don't see how one should exclude something just because a group of like minded individuals declare it to be unlikely. One would have to falsify it before it should be eliminated from consideration.
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    FYI, cypress... Username = "Sequel" was banned as he was just a sock puppet account for ufcarazy... same guy... who has just been banned for trolling. Perhaps you can learn from his lesson and adjust your own style?

    Hey... it can't hurt to ask. 8)
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    inow, I suppose it is too much to ask a troll to answer the questions posed to you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    IINM, I think you've upset members of this site for being a creationist troll with an obvious agenda and a lack of integrity, but YMMV.
    Whether ufcarazy is a troll or not I agree that you care about the truth value of science. I am sure you accept it as true that the Sun goes around the Earth and that life evolved. Is there any well-established claim in science that you do not accept as true? Is there any claim totally unsupported by science that you accept as true? If there is a strong positive correlation of "No" responses to these two questions, then it would seem that you associate scientific knowledge with truth.

    Edit: I also don't think we should assume that members (sequel and ufcarazy) create more than one account without good reason. Maybe you are really a site administrator and have this account so you can bash people without being reprimanded (since you are a site administrator). In a science forum we should as much as possible provide evidence for our claims.
    Intelligence is fundamental to science, and independent thought.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gattaca
    Whether ufcarazy is a troll or not I agree that you care about the truth value of science.
    Again, it's not about truth. It's about valid descriptions of nature which get updated and refined as we learn more. What you describe as "truth" I describe as "valid."


    Quote Originally Posted by gattaca
    Edit: I also don't think we should assume that members (sequel and ufcarazy) create more than one account without good reason. Maybe you are really a site administrator and have this account so you can bash people without being reprimanded (since you are a site administrator).
    Wow... Yeah. Okay. That's both untrue AND invalid.


    Quote Originally Posted by gattaca
    In a science forum we should as much as possible provide evidence for our claims.
    Well, since I'm not a site admin, I cannot compare the IP addys, and even if I were I would not be sharing them here in the open.

    In real-time, however, it was perfectly obvious this was the same guy. He was banned, and the new account created within minutes. FWIW, I suspect your IP might match his. 8)
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by gattaca
    Whether ufcarazy is a troll or not I agree that you care about the truth value of science.
    Again, it's not about truth. It's about valid descriptions of nature which get updated and refined as we learn more. What you describe as "truth" I describe as "valid."
    Then why do you go on in other threads about "fact" and "factual" and "truth" and "lies" and "reality" and "correct"? inow you are dabbling in your typical double standard world. You know as well as we do that science is the pursuit of objective truth. Your updates and refinements is the pursuit of truth.

    But even if it is as you say, even if science is only attempting to derived "valid descriptions of nature", how would that justify exclusions of modes of explanations that have not been shown to be invalid except by apriori elimination? Surely you would agree that it is invalid to dismiss a mode of explanation by prejudice.

    Yet this is exactly what you do. Above you admit that existence of a creator of the universe is not invalid it is just unlikely. but in other threads you claim posters are idiotic because "they deny the facts". Yet as you say here there are no facts to deny. Therefore you statement is prejudicial. You claim to make decisions based on science but clearly you don't unless science includes prior commitments.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Quote Originally Posted by ufcarazy
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Would you think it is proper to let a paper on astrology be reviewed by a proponent of astrology and expect the review to have any scientific merit?

    Get it into your mind once and for all: ID IS NOT SCIENCE.
    If a pro-ID paper is not allowed to be reviewed by anyone who supports ID, does this mean that a pro-theory of evolution paper is not allowed to be reviewed by anyone who supports the theory of evolution?
    I can read and I did read your first post ufcarazy. Your question is silly and an infantile attempt at entrapment. If we say no, you immediately cry bias and double standards. The point is that an ID proponent can review anything he wants, but that review cannot be scientifically credible, because ID IS NOT SCIENCE. It is diametrically opposed to the principles of the scientific method. The review by, say, a physicist of a paper on biology would have very little credibility, but would still have much more than one from someone that does not even practice science or undertake scientific research.
    I didn't get an answer to my previous question, let's try a new one. While I sit on the fence with regard to the origin of this universe and life and the diversity of life by material causes only, I don't understand the arbitrary distinction you make for determining what is and what is not science. I read some of the ID material and don't see how it is diametrically opposed to the scientific method. The paper in question was very well written and the conclusions were well supported. I saw no claims in the paper that fall outside the realm of science. I can see how it got reviewed and published. It was a good paper for what it argued.

    Some arguments are better than others but on the whole, the better arguments seem to follow the tenants of science. In many cases, they should be applauded for not extending the predictions further than the evidence allows, unlike materialists who often willfully admit their conclusions are based on a prior commitment to materialism making the argument metaphysical.

    The idea that something was designed is testable by reverse engineering. It is falsifiable by showing it had a materialist cause. It makes predictions of where one should find order and coherence and efficiency. I saw a debate the other day where the materialist agreed that things were designed and that the debate was about who or what did the designing. He felt that material processes accomplished the design. I find that much more honest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    I didn't get an answer to my previous question, let's try a new one. While I sit on the fence with regard to the origin of this universe and life and the diversity of life by material causes only, I don't understand the arbitrary distinction you make for determining what is and what is not science. I read some of the ID material and don't see how it is diametrically opposed to the scientific method. The paper in question was very well written and the conclusions were well supported. I saw no claims in the paper that fall outside the realm of science. I can see how it got reviewed and published. It was a good paper for what it argued.
    Individual ID papers might well follow the scientific method, but if the core hypothesis is not a hypothesis, it's not science. The ID hypothesis is not an hypothesis, firstly because it is mostly defined by what it is not (evolution by natural selection) and secondly because ID proponents refuse to define the designer(s) and the mechanism employed in the design. The first is problematic because a negative definition is pretty much impossible to test, since there are countless (mostly conflicting) implications of an explanation that is specifically not explanation X. The second is problematic because failing to define things like the nature and character of the designer and the mechanisms of design once again leaves us to guess how we would test this.

    For example, a naturalistic alien designer might have very different testable implications to a supernatural omnipotent designer. Or what if there are multiple designers versus just one? What about the designers aesthetic sense on both the organism level and the phylogeny level? There are so many very basic characteristics of designer and methods that completely change how we would test for their influence.

    Of course there's also the small matter that we've never found any evidence of a being or beings capable of such design, aside from the purported designs themselves. Humans are getting there, though we have a way to go yet. But the "designs" pre-date humans and, supporting my point above, the "designs" don't look anything like what you'd expect human designers to produce. Far too many really dumb mistakes, suboptimal features and rigid rules of classification that would get a human designer fired.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    I didn't get an answer to my previous question, let's try a new one. While I sit on the fence with regard to the origin of this universe and life and the diversity of life by material causes only, I don't understand the arbitrary distinction you make for determining what is and what is not science. I read some of the ID material and don't see how it is diametrically opposed to the scientific method. The paper in question was very well written and the conclusions were well supported. I saw no claims in the paper that fall outside the realm of science. I can see how it got reviewed and published. It was a good paper for what it argued.
    Individual ID papers might well follow the scientific method, but if the core hypothesis is not a hypothesis, it's not science. The ID hypothesis is not an hypothesis, firstly because it is mostly defined by what it is not (evolution by natural selection) and secondly because ID proponents refuse to define the designer(s) and the mechanism employed in the design. The first is problematic because a negative definition is pretty much impossible to test, since there are countless (mostly conflicting) implications of an explanation that is specifically not explanation X.
    I don't mind defending alternatives to materialistic processes since I don't have a prior commitment to materialism. I think it adds color to the conversation.

    I prefer to take the definition from the advocate of ID rather than the skeptic. Taken at face value, the hypothesis seems eminently testable even to many non-supporters (generally those who don't let their prejudice show through). The hypothesis, when framed by the advocate, says that many characteristics of nature that have the appearance of designed systems are designed, and these designs are identifiable by patterns that are uniquely and exclusively present in systems that are known to be designed.

    This framing is a completely positive definition and seems very testable by empirical methods. Furthermore, when framed this way, it is no different contextually than Darwin's framing of evolutionary theory that the diversity of life came about solely by natural selection acting on gradual changes. If I wanted to, I could frame that in a negative way and make the same false claim you have. As far as testing goes, one can go about identifying things that have characteristics of design and then reverse engineer them to confirm that design is a valid explanation.

    In addition, they can test the same object to see if processes other than design generates the characteristics and patterns they claim are markers of design. The theory also seems to make predictions that are testable. ID predicts that other aspects of nature that are preserved but don't have identified function, should actually have both purpose and function. With this prediction they can go off and attempt to discover function and purpose in these things or systems. If I continue this thought experiment, I am quite sure I can come of with dozens of examples of predictions and tests.

    The second is problematic because failing to define things like the nature and character of the designer and the mechanisms of design once again leaves us to guess how we would test this.
    This may be more problematic, but let's see.

    As far as mechanism, that seems easy enough. The advocate can set out, by reverse engineering, to determine how one would duplicate the presumed design. That would provide at least one, and likely several, possible design mechanisms.

    For example, a naturalistic alien designer might have very different testable implications to a supernatural omnipotent designer. Or what if there are multiple designers versus just one? What about the designers aesthetic sense on both the organism level and the phylogeny level? There are so many very basic characteristics of designer and methods that completely change how we would test for their influence.
    These questions you raise are not science questions, they are metaphysical. It seems to me that it makes no difference to the exploration of fact and truth what implications the outcome of the tests have. If science is the pursuit of truth, and tests results lead one way or the other, the implications remain metaphysical. The fact that you recognize different mechanisms discovered by different tests might lead to different implications, is confirmation that even through your prior commitment, you see mechanisms of design as a testable hypothesis. Now the character and nature of the designer also seems very much to be a metaphysical question as well, especially considering the nature of your objection. I notice with interest that the ID community does not take on the character of the designer, most likely because it is not a scientific question. The fact that they seem to refuse to bring in metaphysics should not diminish the scientific nature of the aspects they do explore. Meanwhile as far as the scientific method goes, it is sufficient that discovering possible design mechanisms is a testable endeavor without attempting to explore the nature of the presumed designer.

    Of course there's also the small matter that we've never found any evidence of a being or beings capable of such design, aside from the purported designs themselves. Humans are getting there, though we have a way to go yet.
    So far I fail to see the issue. This also seems outside the realm of science. Science should not be extended beyond its capability. Refusal to extend it should count for the scientist not against him or her.

    But the "designs" pre-date humans and, supporting my point above, the "designs" don't look anything like what you'd expect human designers to produce. Far too many really dumb mistakes, suboptimal features and rigid rules of classification that would get a human designer fired.
    Expectations of what a designer should create seems also to be a non-scientific question. You have rejected ID as being metaphysical and then you complain that it does not adequately address metaphysical questions. To me, that is confirmation that ID is scientific since the advocates refuse to address the metaphysical, but the skeptics use metaphysical arguments to attempt to diminish its scientific merits. I suppose skeptics do this because scientific arguments used to discredit ID fail, providing more confirmation that ID is scientific.

    On your point that a design requires a designer, that is obviously true. However I don't see that the scientific method requires that the designer first be identified before the hypothesis and predictions can be studied by scientific methods. In my mind this seems the only open question. Can you describe from a scientific standpoint (avoiding metaphysics this time) why we should insist that ID advocates first identify the designer before they postulate design?
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Individual ID papers might well follow the scientific method, but if the core hypothesis is not a hypothesis, it's not science. The ID hypothesis is not an hypothesis, firstly because it is mostly defined by what it is not (evolution by natural selection) and secondly because ID proponents refuse to define the designer(s) and the mechanism employed in the design. The first is problematic because a negative definition is pretty much impossible to test, since there are countless (mostly conflicting) implications of an explanation that is specifically not explanation X. The second is problematic because failing to define things like the nature and character of the designer and the mechanisms of design once again leaves us to guess how we would test this.
    If a paper follows the scientific method it is science, period. It might be uninteresting but that's a different story.

    Just because things are 'problematic' (for who, you ?) doesn't mean they aren't true or an area for research or science.

    If so many key questions are 'problematic' for science, what is the use of science ? Questions about existence / reality /consciousness / god for instance ... science dismisses the most important questions of our existence - it has nothing to say on these things.

    It seems to me that instead of a search for understanding, 'science' is just a way for a species of ape to massively limit their experience of a gigantic universe, so that they can model it in the tiny vessel of their brains. And then they can walk around saying 'Ug Ug ... Me Know !!' , whilst beating their chests.

    A great deal of repression came in with Christianity, I wonder if the upshot of all this repression is the kind of limited search that 'science' has become.
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    And with all of those words, red herrings, and hand waving sentiments above, neither of you have shown where ID has followed the scientific method, nor how said designer has been clearly defined in a falsifiable manner.

    Fancy that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    And with all of those words, red herrings, and hand waving sentiments above, neither of you have shown where ID has followed the scientific method, nor how said designer has been clearly defined in a falsifiable manner.Fancy that.
    Crikey inow you are a troll's troll.

    You never answer any questions. Never respond to any posts. You are like tha coberst guy (whatever his name was) ... no matter what is said, you respond with your deaf and blind mantra.

    i-now. You are not in the 'now'. You do not respond to the 'now'. You just regurgitate what you have been told in the 'past'.

    Your name is ipast, because all you know is in the past.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideforever
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    And with all of those words, red herrings, and hand waving sentiments above, neither of you have shown where ID has followed the scientific method, nor how said designer has been clearly defined in a falsifiable manner.Fancy that.
    Crikey inow you are a troll's troll.

    You never answer any questions. Never respond to any posts. You are like tha coberst guy (whatever his name was) ... no matter what is said, you respond with your deaf and blind mantra.

    i-now. You are not in the 'now'. You do not respond to the 'now'. You just regurgitate what you have been told in the 'past'.

    Your name is ipast, because all you know is in the past.
    That was a very solid effort there, rideforever, and I give you credit for the consistency with which you try to deflect attention away from your inability to support your position or offer evidence in its favor.

    Either way, we're all still waiting on those examples of where ID has followed the scientific method and not been demonstrated false when doing so, and also how said designer has been clearly defined in a falsifiable manner.


    Now, if I might offer a suggestion... If you wish to maintain your consistency, then in your next post you should again fail to address the question and instead call me a poopy-head or a booger-face. That would be well inline with your previous approach.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideforever
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    And with all of those words, red herrings, and hand waving sentiments above, neither of you have shown where ID has followed the scientific method, nor how said designer has been clearly defined in a falsifiable manner.Fancy that.
    Crikey inow you are a troll's troll.

    You never answer any questions. Never respond to any posts. You are like tha coberst guy (whatever his name was) ... no matter what is said, you respond with your deaf and blind mantra.

    i-now. You are not in the 'now'. You do not respond to the 'now'. You just regurgitate what you have been told in the 'past'.

    Your name is ipast, because all you know is in the past.
    rideforever, this is a science forum. It appears that your sole purpose here is to troll the board with anti-science nonsense or just to pick arguments.

    I'm suspending your account for a few days. When you return, please behave as if you are interested in participating in discussions rather than insulting members and moderators. If you return and do so, I'll simply terminate your account.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    And with all of those words, red herrings, and hand waving sentiments above, neither of you have shown where ID has followed the scientific method, nor how said designer has been clearly defined in a falsifiable manner.

    Fancy that.
    Wow, did you even read my post? I provided a definition that was a positive hypothesis. I provided several testable predictions, and demonstrated how they can be faslified. However, since the nature of the designer is not presently part of the ID program, it has nothing to offer for your second issue. Given that, how can you show the exclusion makes the premise unscientific? Surely you can see that the nature of a presumed designer is a metaphysical question that has no bearing on the scientific merits of the premise. Explain where this is wrong and support your explanation using the scientific method.
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    So your argument is that it is scientific to accept a designer up front, to not offer any descriptions about said designer, and to test outcomes which may or may not have any connection whatsoever to that designer?

    I'll give you a hint. What you are proposing is not science. You may as well be asserting that the farts of purple unicorns cause erections in leprechauns. The method you suggest for testing it matters not until a clear definition and population sample of unicorns and leprechauns is provided.
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  37. #36  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    I didn't get an answer to my previous question, let's try a new one. While I sit on the fence with regard to the origin of this universe and life and the diversity of life by material causes only, I don't understand the arbitrary distinction you make for determining what is and what is not science. I read some of the ID material and don't see how it is diametrically opposed to the scientific method. The paper in question was very well written and the conclusions were well supported. I saw no claims in the paper that fall outside the realm of science. I can see how it got reviewed and published. It was a good paper for what it argued.
    Individual ID papers might well follow the scientific method, but if the core hypothesis is not a hypothesis, it's not science. The ID hypothesis is not an hypothesis, firstly because it is mostly defined by what it is not (evolution by natural selection) and secondly because ID proponents refuse to define the designer(s) and the mechanism employed in the design. The first is problematic because a negative definition is pretty much impossible to test, since there are countless (mostly conflicting) implications of an explanation that is specifically not explanation X.
    I don't mind defending alternatives to materialistic processes since I don't have a prior commitment to materialism. I think it adds color to the conversation.

    I prefer to take the definition from the advocate of ID rather than the skeptic. Taken at face value, the hypothesis seems eminently testable even to many non-supporters (generally those who don't let their prejudice show through). The hypothesis, when framed by the advocate, says that many characteristics of nature that have the appearance of designed systems are designed, and these designs are identifiable by patterns that are uniquely and exclusively present in systems that are known to be designed.
    Not an hypothesis either. If Darwin had made his hypothesis something like "many characteristics of nature that have the appearance of designed systems are not designed" or the equivalent in a propositional form, I would also consider that to be an invalid hypothesis. It proposes no mechanisms or agents and thus leaves us with a practically infinite array of implications to test.

    The version provided by the Discovery Institute, the originators of the ID concept, is even worse:

    "The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection."

    They've chosen to define the idea in negative terms and without any specified mechanisms. All you've managed to do is switch the claim into positive terms.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    This framing is a completely positive definition and seems very testable by empirical methods. Furthermore, when framed this way, it is no different contextually than Darwin's framing of evolutionary theory that the diversity of life came about solely by natural selection acting on gradual changes. If I wanted to, I could frame that in a negative way and make the same false claim you have.
    You sort of did. But the hypothesis you stated, whilst being weaker than Darwin's actual hypothesis, is still far more valid than your version of the ID claim because it cites a mechanism- natural selection. All you've managed to do is highlight the critical difference between the two.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    As far as testing goes, one can go about identifying things that have characteristics of design and then reverse engineer them to confirm that design is a valid explanation.
    So if I take a chunk of basalt, carve it into a rough hexagonal column and use water and sand to weather the stone that would be evidence supporting the assertion that random cellular basaltic column formations are designed? Nonsense. It would show us that it is possible for humans to design these things, but it would tell us little more. Without defining the designer, we have no power to test the difference between design and nature.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    In addition, they can test the same object to see if processes other than design generates the characteristics and patterns they claim are markers of design. The theory also seems to make predictions that are testable. ID predicts that other aspects of nature that are preserved but don't have identified function, should actually have both purpose and function.
    It makes no such prediction, unless that prediction is arbitrarily inserted by the claimant. There is no particular reason, innate to the "hypothesis" why, if some things we observe are designed, that all should be. Nor any particular reason, innate to the pseudohypothesis, why all of the elements of the designs should be functional. That would be entirely down to the aesthetic, capabilities and indeed even the whim of the designer. Is our designer interested in some sort of decorative aesthetic that we might not even innately appreciate. Or perhaps the designer has limits which result in some wasted materials with no function. Perhaps there are many designers acting in concord or in competition. Perhaps the designer is skilled, or lazy, or artistic, or incompetent. Depending on how we define the designer, our predictions with regard to form and function, patterns and all manner of implications, can shift wildly. Your prediction is only true if we define the designer just so.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    With this prediction they can go off and attempt to discover function and purpose in these things or systems. If I continue this thought experiment, I am quite sure I can come of with dozens of examples of predictions and tests.
    Your first attempt has failed completely, so another prediction or testable implication would be very welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    The second is problematic because failing to define things like the nature and character of the designer and the mechanisms of design once again leaves us to guess how we would test this.
    This may be more problematic, but let's see.

    As far as mechanism, that seems easy enough. The advocate can set out, by reverse engineering, to determine how one would duplicate the presumed design. That would provide at least one, and likely several, possible design mechanisms.
    And if ID proponents were doing this, ie proposing a mechanism and then testing it, then I might be more inclined to consider them scientists (at least of a sort). But they're not doing this. They're not making the hypotheses and they're not testing anything either.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    For example, a naturalistic alien designer might have very different testable implications to a supernatural omnipotent designer. Or what if there are multiple designers versus just one? What about the designers aesthetic sense on both the organism level and the phylogeny level? There are so many very basic characteristics of designer and methods that completely change how we would test for their influence.
    These questions you raise are not science questions, they are metaphysical.
    You must have a really crazy definition of metaphysics. The definition of the designer is essential for the reasons I have already explained.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    It seems to me that it makes no difference to the exploration of fact and truth what implications the outcome of the tests have. If science is the pursuit of truth, and tests results lead one way or the other, the implications remain metaphysical.
    I'm taking about testable implications. Scientific and logical implications. The nature of any proposed designer of life has testable implications.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    The fact that you recognize different mechanisms discovered by different tests might lead to different implications, is confirmation that even through your prior commitment, you see mechanisms of design as a testable hypothesis. Now the character and nature of the designer also seems very much to be a metaphysical question as well, especially considering the nature of your objection. I notice with interest that the ID community does not take on the character of the designer, most likely because it is not a scientific question. The fact that they seem to refuse to bring in metaphysics should not diminish the scientific nature of the aspects they do explore.
    Never did I suggest that the idea that life could be designed is in itself unscientific. It would be a perfectly scientific hypothesis to make the claim that some known intelligent agent used mechanisms X and Y to create life. It would be dead wrong, but it would be scientific. It is possible to construct many hypotheses which derive from the idea that life is designed. My point is that the ID proponents have not done so. The nature of the designer is an essential element and without it we are left with no means to test the claim. Hence we see the likes of Dembski and Behe attempting to find ways to define "designed complexity" in some absolute sense which does not rely on identifying the designer.

    Their real motive for failing to make that identification is nothing at all to do with metaphysics and entirely to do with them wanting to repackage ID as secular. All they've done is make the claim even harder to test. At least the Judeo-Christian God has some defined characteristics.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Meanwhile as far as the scientific method goes, it is sufficient that discovering possible design mechanisms is a testable endeavor without attempting to explore the nature of the presumed designer.
    Total garbage. You can discover all the possible design mechanisms you like, but if you don't define your designer you can't figure out which ones, if any, were used, in what combinations and whether they were combined with naturalistic processes.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    Of course there's also the small matter that we've never found any evidence of a being or beings capable of such design, aside from the purported designs themselves. Humans are getting there, though we have a way to go yet.
    So far I fail to see the issue. This also seems outside the realm of science. Science should not be extended beyond its capability. Refusal to extend it should count for the scientist not against him or her.
    Science is a tool we use to answer questions. Drawing a line beyond which we do not ask is not science. You can label that line however you like, metaphysics, the supernatural or whatever. If you draw it at all, you just stopped being a scientist.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    But the "designs" pre-date humans and, supporting my point above, the "designs" don't look anything like what you'd expect human designers to produce. Far too many really dumb mistakes, suboptimal features and rigid rules of classification that would get a human designer fired.
    Expectations of what a designer should create seems also to be a non-scientific question. You have rejected ID as being metaphysical and then you complain that it does not adequately address metaphysical questions. To me, that is confirmation that ID is scientific since the advocates refuse to address the metaphysical, but the skeptics use metaphysical arguments to attempt to diminish its scientific merits. I suppose skeptics do this because scientific arguments used to discredit ID fail, providing more confirmation that ID is scientific.
    When have you ever seen a scientist in the mainstream community fail to investigate something on such grounds?

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    On your point that a design requires a designer, that is obviously true. However I don't see that the scientific method requires that the designer first be identified before the hypothesis and predictions can be studied by scientific methods.
    Which tells us only that you have no idea what science or the scientific method are.

    Quote Originally Posted by cypress
    In my mind this seems the only open question. Can you describe from a scientific standpoint (avoiding metaphysics this time) why we should insist that ID advocates first identify the designer before they postulate design?
    Because we have no criteria by which to identify the very vague trait of "designed-ness" as a characteristic independent of an understanding of the designer. All of our previous experience of that trait comes from objects designed by humans. We understand humans, their characteristics and capabilities, which is how we tend to identify designed-ness in objects.
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    I'm not going to respond to each point because most are just a restatement of before.

    Two positive hypotheses were provided the one I offered and the one you offered. Yours included a negative contrast that I see as providing a better explanation of what is meant by design. Your first claim is false.

    both versions are testable as described. Both suggest predictions that are also testable. Your second claim is false.

    A design hypothesis provides for discovery of method by reverse engineering. It took nearly 80 years before Darwin's "slight modification" included a method, let's be consistent. Your third claim is false.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    So if I take a chunk of basalt, carve it into a rough hexagonal column and use water and sand to weather the stone that would be evidence supporting the assertion that random cellular basaltic column formations are designed? Nonsense.
    I wouldn't accept that argument either.

    It would show us that it is possible for humans to design these things, but it would tell us little more. Without defining the designer, we have no power to test the difference between design and nature.
    This is also false. I can and do reverse engineer designs without knowledge of the designer and I am able to determine purpose, function and construction methods.


    It makes no such prediction, unless that prediction is arbitrarily inserted by the claimant. There is no particular reason, innate to the "hypothesis" why, if some things we observe are designed, that all should be. Nor any particular reason, innate to the pseudohypothesis, why all of the elements of the designs should be functional.
    I didn't use the word "all". However, designers seem generally to be efficient and don't intentionally add non-functionaly systems with no purpose. Our uniform experience about this allows for predictions like I offered.

    That would be entirely down to the aesthetic, capabilities and indeed even the whim of the designer. Is our designer interested in some sort of decorative aesthetic that we might not even innately appreciate. Or perhaps the designer has limits which result in some wasted materials with no function. Perhaps there are many designers acting in concord or in competition. Perhaps the designer is skilled, or lazy, or artistic, or incompetent. Depending on how we define the designer, our predictions with regard to form and function, patterns and all manner of implications, can shift wildly. Your prediction is only true if we define the designer just so.
    I can't imagine how these factors would mask identification of telltale markers of design. Seems lke a very weak argument.

    Your first attempt has failed completely, so another prediction or testable implication would be very welcome.
    The predictions are falsified? that's news to me.


    And if ID proponents were doing this, ie proposing a mechanism and then testing it, then I might be more inclined to consider them scientists (at least of a sort). But they're not doing this. They're not making the hypotheses and they're not testing anything either.
    I read three published and reviewed articles recently where this and similar research is being performed. Times are changing. I see funded research labs mentioned in them.

    You must have a really crazy definition of metaphysics. The definition of the designer is essential for the reasons I have already explained.
    I think you failed in that respect. A scientific research program with testable predictions, methods that are based on uniform present experience, and repeatable results don't go lacking because it doesn't explore every single aspect of the program. Can you imagine applying that critique to origins of life research? If you had your way, we would have no one in the field doing valid research.

    I'm taking about testable implications. Scientific and logical implications. The nature of any proposed designer of life has testable implications.
    I suppose don't doubt it, but the ID proponents don't sem to want to take this aspect on just yet.


    Their real motive for failing to make that identification is nothing at all to do with metaphysics and entirely to do with them wanting to repackage ID as secular. All they've done is make the claim even harder to test. At least the Judeo-Christian God has some defined characteristics.

    I don't see them denying their beliefs or hiding them. I take them at face value. they say they should first understand how the systems work and how they were constructed and then if successful, perhaps look for evidence of the nature of the presumed designer. I am willing to grant them that. After all we waited 100 years to discover how organisms store information required to reproduce.

    Total garbage. You can discover all the possible design mechanisms you like, but if you don't define your designer you can't figure out which ones, if any, were used, in what combinations and whether they were combined with naturalistic processes.
    That's nonsense. reverse engineering seems more than adequate to determine function and construction.

    Science is a tool we use to answer questions. Drawing a line beyond which we do not ask is not science. You can label that line however you like, metaphysics, the supernatural or whatever. If you draw it at all, you just stopped being a scientist.
    If one cannot currently devise a test or make any testable predictions about a particular aspect, one should not include that aspect in the study program. The nature of a supposed designer seems to fall in this category. It also seems unnecessary for investigating how the designed items might be contstructed and how they function.


    When have you ever seen a scientist in the mainstream community fail to investigate something on such grounds?
    I see it regularly.


    Which tells us only that you have no idea what science or the scientific method are.
    Wow that seems unlikely given my studies and occupation.

    Because we have no criteria by which to identify the very vague trait of "designed-ness" as a characteristic independent of an understanding of the designer. All of our previous experience of that trait comes from objects designed by humans. We understand humans, their characteristics and capabilities, which is how we tend to identify designed-ness in objects.
    The traits of designedness seem quite clear. Encoded information, highly specified systems, coherent systems with well fitted components, functional systems, etc. None of that is vague. We have experience with bird nests and beaver dams and they too are designed.

    I spent more time on this response than my interest would normally suggest. I likely will not say too much more about this. as a bystander, it is very clear what is driving the majority of those who object to ID as a scientific program.
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