Belinda wrote:I could accuse you of not reading the books that I have read, but ad hominem is no use to man or beast.
It is not ad hominem to point out that you are maligning and smearing the reputations and character of ID theorists based on nothing more than hearsay. It is not ad hominem to point out that your characterizations of the ID argument are not based on any significant reading of ID materials written by ID proponents, but rather simply on hearsay - especially when you insist on your negative and false characterizations even after your errors about ID have been pointed out and corrected, and even after you have been directed to sources and provided with quotes in the attempt to clear up your misconceptions.
My "not reading the books you have read" is entirely irrelevent to the point; I have criticized Darwin, but then I have read Darwin's books. I have not made wide, sweeping dismissals and smears of evolutionary biologists; I have not mischaracterized any argument of biology or mainstream evolutionary theory to my knowledge.
In fact, I've had to correct you as you have misrepresented the current state of evolutionary theory by erroneously claiming that "natural selection" is a complete explanation for the origin of all species; no evolutionary biologist that I know of makes that claim. Natural selection does not create new genetic information; it therefore cannot be a complete explanation of the origin of any species.
It is my habit, and I hope the habit of most who would engage in a debate about any particular subject, to only debate to the degree that I have qualified myself to debate by my own investigation.
If I am going to argue about Darwin, or what Darwin says, or what he did, then it is incumbent upon me to read Darwin's works and not rely on the hearsay of third parties. To argue from hearsay is just bad debate form.
If I am going to argue about intelligent design, then I cannot reasonably do so unless I read intelligent design materials from intelligent design proponents.
Otherwise, my argument will be based on nothing more than hearsay and assumptions; such arguments would likely be little more than straw man, motive-mongering, and red herring because I would not have a meaningful grasp on the actual subject material itself.
Why argue about something that you refuse to educate yourself about? Why continue insisting upon mischaracterizations even after someone who is familiar with the material has pointed out your errors? Why smear the reputations and character of a whole group of people that you refuse to even give a fair reading?
I hope that you will now continue with the argument proper and accept that while my knowledge is not encyclopaedic, my point of view is not only valid, but also repeats the learned opinions of most scientists and educationists.
Your "argument" is about as improper, insubstantial, and willfully (by your own admission) ignorant of the subject matter as arguments get. If I had as little knowledge of a subject as you admit have of ID, I certainly wouldn't run around making erroneous and unsupported claims against and about it, and smearing the reputations and character of the proponents of that subject.
This wouldn't be an issue if, when corrected and offered quotes and sources to demonstrate your erroneous, hearsay-based characterization of ID, you'd accept the correction and amend your argument - but you do not. You keep insisting that the ID argument is something other than what it is - that is a continuation of a straw man fallacy. That would be like me insisting that evolutionary theory claims that humans evolve from apes and reiterating that claim even after it has been pointed out, sourced, and quoted that it is not the case; that would be willful ignorance on my part.
ID theory does not postulate or necessarily imply that there is a god of any sort, or that "all things" were intelligently designed. Some ID theorists speculate on such matters, but make the distinction that such speculation is not a formal part of ID theory itself. ID theory only claims that some
artifacts or phenomena are currently best explained, through empirical evidence and abductive reasoning, as the product of intelligent design.
We know this to be a factual claim in the universe in some cases, as with a computer and a battleship, because they cannot be explained without reference to human intelligent design. ID theorists argue that some biological features are best explained as the product of intelligent design; this is also a factual claim in that many current biological features are the product of human intelligent design - the purebred Pekingese, for example, or genetically enhanced crop strains.
The theoretical portion of ID research is that it is possible that discernible product of ID can be found even if it is not apparently
designed by humans, and that some biological features not known to have been genetically engineered or bred by humans are best explained as the product of some form of intelligent design.
The scientific theory of ID doesn't postulate any supernatural commodity whatsoever, nor does it necessarily imply any; it is squarely derived from known, empirical facts - the capacity of humans to intelligent design things that nature otherwise could not generate; it utilizes a mathematical, predictive formula which can falsify any particular candidate phenomena as being best explained by ID; and it only makes the modest claim that some phenomena can be found as being best explained by ID until such time as some non-ID sufficient explanation is found,
Science itself cannot be conducted without the application of human intelligent design; to call ID "non-scientific" is a ridiculous claim based on nothing more than negative hearsay and a lack of understanding even the most basic arguments of ID, which can be acquired in 15 minutes by reading the ID faq I've linked to several times. To deliberately not educate oneself about a subject by investing 15 minutes of one's time to learn the fundamental positions one is arguing about, and continue smearing, and mischaracterizing the subject one is arguing against is, IMO, reprehensibly irresponsible.
To continue claiming that ID theory postulates some god, or claims that "everything" was intelligently designed, is the same kind of willfully ignorant mischaracterization as when people assert that it is part of evolutionary theory that humans are descended from apes (and errroneously ask, "so why are there still apes around?"), and refuse to be corrected or educated on the subject because sources they trust and believe to be educated sources of opinion have told them otherwise.
IOW, if one cannot take a few minutes
of one's time to read up on a subject they are arguing about, after they have been repeatedly corrected via legitimate quote and source, but rather insist that one's uninformed repetition of hearsay is a more valid description of ID theory, position and claims than the quoted and sourced statements of all of the main ID theorists themselves,
then one is not engaged in reasonable debate at all.
At that point, all one is doing is parroting hearsay and rhetoric, and appealing to some false authority they cannot even be bothered to provide a source for.