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Friday, February 23, 2007

What's wrong with intelligent Design?

A report out today in Science Daily on ID. Here's the most interesting aspect of this report. The author of the article referenced in this news release offers the following problem with Intelligent Design:

When scientific theories compete with each other, the usual pattern is that independently attested auxiliary propositions allow the theories to make predictions that disagree with each other," Sober writes. "No such auxiliary propositions allow ... ID to do this." In developing this idea, Sober makes use of ideas that the French philosopher Pierre Duhem developed in connection with physical theories -- theories usually do not, all by themselves, make testable predictions. Rather, they do so only when supplemented with auxiliary information. For example, the laws of optics do not, by themselves, predict when eclipses will occur; they do so when independently justified claims about the positions of the earth, moon, and sun are taken into account.

Similarly, ID claims make predictions when they are supplemented by auxiliary claims. The problem is that these auxiliary assumptions about the putative designer's goals and abilities are not independently justified. Surprisingly, this is a point that several ID proponents concede.


On a "How do people come up with this stuff"? This particular blog host asks for personal information when filling out the profile. Apparently, it takes your birthdate and assigns you your astrological sign. Several people (only some of them whom I would refer to as idiots) have asked me about my 'belief in astrology'. One of these wackos went so far as to say:

Your blog link is a conduit for astrology, as your personal details section shows. Your opposition to ID is of dubious pedigree.

Others have asked "Do you really believe in astrology". The answer is a definite yes. Astrology does exist. One need only pick up the daily newspaper to find an astrological forecast. The only problem of course is that astrology, like ID/creationism, is pure bullscat. So, despite the fact that the blog profile lists my astrological sign, I do not now, nor have I ever, endorsed astrology as anything more than pure idiocy. I also wonder if some of these people believe my age as listed in the profile?


Joe Meert


At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The essay is on-line at

I think it's open-access.

Jim Hofmann

At 1:42 AM, Blogger hipparchia said...

i always lie in those profiles.

At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are the best astrology sites?


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