To What Extent Does Motivated Reasoning Explain ID?

Good grief. That a conscious mind is behind the creation of all life is the CENTRAL claim of ID.

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This is the result of methodological naturalism which is the agreed upon current method of science. The issue that is vague in my opinion is what standard constitutes a valid “scientific” explanation. In the case of general relativity we have a model and repeatable tests of that model.

In the case of evolution we have population genetics models which starts with functional populations. When we get into the discussion to new organisms this is when a standard like the one followed for general relativity breaks down. What we get is generally a catalog of ancestral proteins that are claimed to be evidence of that transition. The problem is the “how” of the transition is explained by a process that mostly replicates ancestral organisms. The overall observation is, however that we have a tremendous diversity of life with lots of biological innovation.

A minority of the US population believes that this process along with other natural processes can explain the diversity we are observing.

False. What we have is a phylogenetic signal for both morphology and genetics. That’s what evidences the evolution of these genes.

Mutations, as you have been told millions of times.

Then show us a single DNA difference between the human and chimp genomes that you claim couldn’t be created by the observed and known natural processes that create mutations in living populations.


The US population is not the relevant population for judging a scientific theory. What are the views of the US population on general relativity?

It does, though, go to the question in the OP: levels of religiosity in the US are higher than in most other Western developed countries, and levels of belief in creationism/ID are correspondingly higher.

It seems plausible, at least, that that correlation is not a coincidence.


I keep thinking of putting this book on my reading list:

It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1964, so it’s not like this is a new thing in America.

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In general theories like general relativity that have modeled and tested mechanisms that explain the “how” are generally accepted by the public. It should not be overlooked that the public ultimately holds the purse strings either by corporate ownership or the power of the vote.

Please show me the results of polling on the public acceptance of general relativity.

Let me know when you invest in an ID pharma company. Oh, and NIH budgets generally haven’t been affected much (NSF budgets have) by which party is in control, so creationists have yet to see through Republican pandering to their disbelief in evolution.

You seem to be looking at this as if population genetic were the study of a collection of inert objects. And sure, looked at that way it doesn’t make sense.

But they are not inert objects. They are biological organisms, each capable of engaging in its own struggle to survive. They do not behave randomly. They each behave in ways that are likely to enhance their chances of reproducing. And they each have some ability to modify their behavior when faced with changes in their environment.

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Population genetics models allele frequency change over time. It starts from an existing set of genes that are part of living populations. It does not inform us about the origin of those populations.

I do not have public polling data but it is accepted by historians that after the eclipse experiment in 1919 by Eddington the theory became generally accepted in both the scientific community and the public. I personally don’t know anyone who questions the usefulness of this model.

I assume your being sarcastic :slight_smile:

An overwhelming majority of the US population would listen to an explanation of the Fourier transform and say GET OUT, NO WAY!

But MRIs still work. Go figure.


Your earlier issues were about the appearance of new organisms and about biological diversity. That the populations are of living organisms, and not of inert objects, is important for those issues.


Why aren’t there any?


You are disputing the evolution of species from that original living population, so I don’t see how the origin of that population has any bearing on our conversation.

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27 posts were split to a new topic: Eddie on ID

Anthony Flew was momentarily converted from atheism to theism via ID arguments. Later, after further conversations with scientists on topics with which he was unfamiliar, he retracted his endorsement of the arguments.

A related question with respect to the OP is the value of goal-directed reasoning. Robert Nozick discusses this in “Philosophical Explanations”. He concludes that teleological reasoning (reasoning driven toward a desired conclusion) isn’t necessarily bad.


No. He only momentarily converted to Deism.

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Can you tell me how I knew before posting that, that someone would make it a point to insist on that semantic quibble? I even thought to edit and decided nah it’s not even worth it. Deism is treated both as a separate notion and as a subset of theism depending on different articles. This is because you still have an all-knowing all-powerful Creator, it’s just he doesn’t give a damn about human beings. So some people treat it as a totally separate notion, while others put it in as a subset of theism. The terms when originally conceived were synonymous:

“In English the words “deist” and “theist” were originally synonymous, but by the 17th century the terms started to diverge in meaning.”

Here on Quora they treat it as a subset:

Is deism a type of theism? - Quora.

The actual point of significance is that yes, there have been some with no previous motivation to believe who came to believe upon the basis of argument, even if in this case it was merely temporary.

No. Both answers in that thread answer the question of “Is deism a type of theism?” in the negative.

If modeled and tested mechanisms could persuade the public, there would be no meaningful opposition to evolution. The reason that general relativity is accepted is because in the public mind it does not pose a threat to their faith.

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