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  1. #1
    Senior Member darlets's Avatar
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    Default Ken Miller on Intelligent Design

    Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District
    "# Kenneth R. Miller, a biology professor from Brown University and noted author and commentator opposed to the intelligent design and creationist movements, was the first witness. He testified as an expert witness that "Intelligent design is not a testable theory and as such is not generally accepted by the scientific community." And that while the idea of intelligent design is not subject to falsification, many claims made by intelligent-design advocates have been falsified. Asked what the harm is in reading the statement, Miller gave a two-fold response. 1) "[I]t falsely undermines the scientific status of evolutionary theory and gives students a false understanding of what theory actually means." And 2) "as a person of faith who was blessed with two daughters, who raised both of my daughters in the church, and had they been given an education in which they were explicitly or implicitly forced to choose between God and science, I would have been furious, because I want my children to keep their religious faith.""

    link
    This is an 1 hour lecture/talk he gave afterward the trial and about 50 minutes of question time. (goes for nearly 2 hours)

    Has anyone else seen this?
    What did people think of the case?
    "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
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  2. #2
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I didn't watch the video yet, but Ken Miller sounds interesting.

    Dover's within an hour south of me, so perhaps that gives you an idea of the sort of area I live in and the sort of social and religious pressures that can occur here. And Michael Behe (one of the first major proponents of ID) is/was a prof over at Lehigh University, about 90 minutes to my east.

    Despite the general conservatism of the area, many people hate it when things get too polarized; and I believe the moderate public opinion was expressed by the fact that 6 out of the 7 Dover school boards members were running for reelection, and after this case, none of them were reelected. Many people, even religious ones, were annoyed by how far the whole religious angle had been pushed; they hated all the negative attention being focused on this area nationally.

    Still, the general populace in this area doesn't really understand the scientific basis for evolution, nor really understands much about why ID can't be called "science." Most are not that well-educated on these topics, and this area of PA usually goes strong Republican (I think Bush won in this county by 10% points originally, even if PA went to the Dems ultimately because of Philly and Pittsb.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #3
    Senior Member darlets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I didn't watch the video yet, but Ken Miller sounds interesting.

    Dover's within an hour south of me, so perhaps that gives you an idea of the sort of area I live in and the sort of social and religious pressures that can occur here. And Michael Behe (one of the first major proponents of ID) is/was a prof over at Lehigh University, about 90 minutes to my east.

    Despite the general conservatism of the area, many people hate it when things get too polarized; and I believe the moderate public opinion was expressed by the fact that 6 out of the 7 Dover school boards members were running for reelection, and after this case, none of them were reelected. Many people, even religious ones, were annoyed by how far the whole religious angle had been pushed; they hated all the negative attention being focused on this area nationally.

    Still, the general populace in this area doesn't really understand the scientific basis for evolution, nor really understands much about why ID can't be called "science." Most are not that well-educated on these topics, and this area of PA usually goes strong Republican (I think Bush won in this county by 10% points originally, even if PA went to the Dems ultimately because of Philly and Pittsb.)
    That does sound close to home. Miller discusses what the community did about it and has some very positive things to say about their response.

    Miller is quite a gifted, humourous speaker. Whilst it's 2 hours in length, he definitely holds your attention.

    His lecture talks alot about the case, not just the science behind it.

    A question raised by an audience member is how did this lack of understanding come to be. Miller says scientist do a sucky job of bringing it into the public sphere.

    A group of scientist got together and made another series of lectures on it.

    I'm currently watching them (I'm off work sick, soooooo, yeah, spare time, yippie)

    link
    I haven't finished watching these so don't blame me if they turn out to be crap.
    "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
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    http://rayofsolar.blogspot.com/
    http://zeropointseven.blogspot.com/

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I have just "touched the surface" of this sort of conversation with AMDG, in regards to "why don't people know these things." He's in Europe, and apparently the dialogue there and the sorts of information that make it into the public sphere are much different than what I hear through the general media here in the United States.

    If I understand AMDG correctly and he is accurate, people are not being accurately informed here of where science is, what is fairly certain versus uncertain, and the like. One such topic is evolution and what exactly is known and WHY and what evidence exists; over here, at least in my subculture, evolution is treated more as a personal belief system that is just speculatory, rather than based on any sort of evidential basis. There is no real sense that the science is as "tangible" or seemingly developed as, let's say, biology or perhaps a field of medicine where the results and the science is very tangible and observable.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #5
    Senior Member darlets's Avatar
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    Sorry, I'll post more later.
    These are three short clips from his lecture where he points out some of the more recent advances. In the complete video he touches on why this lack of information makes it into the public sphere
    great ape V human Genome

    Ken Miller on Whale Evolution and Intelligent Design

    bacterial flagellum

    I'm halfway through the other video series I posted and they provide a very good introduction and background on the debate.

    One of the videos goes into the different ways education is set in american and europe. Doesn't really discuss the pros and cons of each.
    "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."
    Bertrand Russell

    http://rayofsolar.blogspot.com/
    http://zeropointseven.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    Senior Member Veneti's Avatar
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    I don't believe in the bible God. But I am open to the potential that earth is/was "seeded" by with life. Given that earth is some 5 billion years old... and we have other stars etc that are some 14 billion years old, then there's a good chance there's life way more advanced than us.

    That life might not need a physical presence; they could just be like a computer program fired around the universe to recreate at destination (If recreation is even needed).

    So, I'm open to the fact that science actually only tells us what currently exists, in effect they unpick the order of the sequence of events, and confirm whether they are replicable and therefore likely to happen again. But that’s about it. This is better than living in the dark though.

    If god existed he was probably an alien, although I'd say he was made up to control the masses or fill the spiritual void. My belief in the bible was trashed when as a child I recognised that sea shells in the mountains were not from a great flood (Noah's Ark) but from plate tectonics.

  7. #7

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    Ken Miller sounds great. It's about time we had an intelligent scientist who sees no conflict with his faith. On another aspect of this, I'll never understand until the day I die why the grand and flexible notion of the existence of God is so inextricably tied in some people's minds to the veracity of the fundamentalist Christian interpretation of the Bible.

    And completely off topic, Jennifer, it sounds like you live nearly exactly where I grew up!

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