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Intelligent Design is Stupid: Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson describes the absurdity of “intelligent design”. Sorry folks, the universe was not designed for us. Accept it, we’re nothing special.




COMMENTS
I had a thought while watching this. Maybe much of the apparent irrationality of our condition can be explained by considering something like a civilization of imperfect designers (maybe they were even mortal at some point) that are influenced not only by wisdom but by fad, fashion and historical president as well. I could see us getting some designs out of that situation that seem less than optimal since designers may be motivated more by their preferences than by what we would consider objective ideas about perfection.

Yes, this still may mean that the designer civilization somehow emerged undesigned, but, that doesn't mean that other creatures, such as ourselves, did not come into being through a series of interventions that merit the name "design". So I guess we could say that there may be a designer(s), but, he/she/it/they do not qualify as "intelligent" by our standards. I think that kind of dodges the point, which is - are we designed or not?

That being said, I think the arguments put forth by the Intelligent Design people should be rejected when they're illogical or at odds with observed phenomena. True, the universe may not be here for us, but, a large part of what we experience certainly may be. Saying that the entire universe is not here for the sake of a dog does not mean that the dog house it lives in wasn't created for it. I say we use good logic and extreme honesty in our opposition to the ID people. These are the things I wish to save.
Intelligent design has been debunked sooooooooo many times it almost nauseates me when it’s brought up …… To say that it’s stupid is putting it nicely ….. !!!!!
Jason, first...designers are not 'motivated more by their preferences'. real designers look for natural laws. Curves, Lines, Balance, and most important, Function.

The point about "not made for us" is not pulled of the air. Intelligent Design starts with the postulate that we are the creator's intention. The prevailing thought in ID discussion is based in trying to merge Genesis with an attempt at opening to science. Thus, "not made for us" is a great starting point.

Why so?
With clear areas of balance, one could get caught up in whether there is symmetry or balance in the cosmos and mistake this for 'design'.

Closer to home, our biped experience that is bound with all sorts of structure and symmetry is where we derived our own sense of design. Try balancing a Rock on a Pencil and when it doesn't work, I'll be able to teach you about design.

The problem with the idea that there is a 'designer' is all the areas that clearly defy that mindful state. The Designer seems to have designed malignancies...and other conditions that don't fit in the 'intelligent' category.

It is all fun thought though. I'm as old as dirt, seen this thousands of times, and it never grows old.
Tyson is a perfect speciman to speak to all things stupid. The guy is obviously clueless about design principles. I hope those giggling in the background are not trying to pass themselves off as scientists or engineers. For Tyson's information, design involves the purposeful organization of chaotic forces, similar to all those that he points out, to an orderly state to offset potentially unmanaged forces. Designs don't guarantee or totally mitigate risk that anomalous forces may upset or even destroy designed systems. His sophmoric banterings are pathetic.
Neil has always been kind of silly, and that is why he is just some mundane narrator , ... not an experimental physicist.

As a Molecular biologist, i can tell that a majority of people reject evolution as dogma.

What you thought that in 6 billion years, a bunch of particles randomly assembled , to produce something more intricate than the universe as a whole --Humans?

That is like saying if you take a bunch of letters and numbers , and throw them in a c++ compiler ;... will eventually make a program to write all of Shakespeare plays... Sorry not going to happen in 10^10000000! years (that's a factorial symbol '!' )
@Jason

The problem with your dog analogy is that we have evidence that the house was in fact created specifically for the dog. On the other hand, we have absolutely no evidence at all that anything in the universe was created for us, except those things we created ourselves.

To claim that other things which aid our species may have been created for us would imply that everything that aids any species was created for it as well, unless, of course, you can produce evidence that we are indeed special to the creator(s). That would logically imply that we were then created for the bacteria and viruses that consume us, as well as for all the domestic animals and plants that depend upon us.

Of course the other problem is that we actually know the history of ID, which is that it was a late 20th-Century lie created to try to get around the Supreme Court ruling that religion could not be taught as science in public schools. It was never based on any scientific ideas at all, but was just a bunch of BS that a group of creationists pulled out of their posteriors in order to subvert our constitutional guarantee that the rest of us be free from indoctrination into their fairy tales.
The problem is that Tyson doesn't ask the scientific question because he is pre-dispositioned to disprove creationists. The scientific question wouldn't be; "Is the universe created for us?", rather, are we created for it. A scientist would wonder if there is some good physical reason why we might be physically necessary to the universe in some way that would not willfully ignore that the "ecobalanced" conditions that are necessary to carbon based life are also common to the flat and balanced structure of the universe, and this is where the implication for a bio-oriented cosmological principle that requires carbon based life is most apparent.

So it isn't dodging the point when necessity is the mother of invention.

Tyson, like most scientists is guilty of the religious practice known begrudgingly to physicists as... "Copernicanism".
This is quite a rant, but is unlikely to change any one's mind who believes in "intelligent Design." Perhaps the presenter should consider drinking less coffee and focus on "why" individuals deny reason and logic and embrace fantasy in order to support their own beliefs. No one takes ID seriously in the science community and understanding the reason why individuals cocoon themselves in self denial may help us understand their plight. It is obvious too difficult for these individuals to accept reality and embrace reason. I understand the belief in religion and the serenity that it can provide, but ID is only an attempt to provide some scientific basis for their own religious beliefs. However, this has been going on since the dawn of civilization and it has only been in the last 150 years or so that we can decide the difficult questions ourselves without relying on the fantasy of religion for guidance. ID is annoying and provides fodder for the culture wars, but it is benign and should be ignored.
I have never heard a more inane rationalization, unless it is just being done for laughs. This man forgets that we are not in Heaven yet, instead he seems to expect it right here on Earth. And the beauty of my wife and of my children and of the Music and the Arts is the great, great manner in which everything has been revealed to us.

I'll add this ~

Perhaps it is a good thing to remind ourselves every now and then, of our inherent erratic nature, and that we are neither gods nor demigods. But, so would it be a good thing to also remind ourselves that, indeed we are, by far, the jewels of Creation. The title of demigods may not be that inaccurate or pretentious after all; it may be largely true, and particularly with those fewer humans that fulfill their personal potential.

Those people who mindlessly philosophize – in front of the great spectacles of nature, whether these be large mountains or starry skies – at the smallness, the insignificance of mankind – are pathetically blind and lacking in the understanding of the obvious truth of mankind’s greatness, since they seem to forget that those large mountains and stars, are unconscious, spiritless objects incapable of thought, emotions, or even the meagerest of joys!

Mountains, by and large, are enormous heaps of common rocks and dirt, and the awesome stars are, mostly, nothing but huge compilations of noxious gases. And the so-called infinite space is mostly nothing; nothing at all; just a container, like a bowl is to soup.
Neil appears anxiety ridden here. I would gather this is due to his love of millipedes over humans. And although their realm might be more intelligent than our own, I definitely feel that they would not laugh at his comedy routines with as much gusto. At the end of the day, the good doctor knows as much as anyone else about what this is all about...
Just take the Sun as an example ~

Of course, everyone knows what the Sun is. And we know it because we see it almost every day. And we have come to learn that it is the gravitational center of our solar/planetary system, which thus provides a hub for the elliptical gyration of the planets in the system, and that it provides - in practically inexhaustible measures - heat, light, and an assortment of sun-rays, x-rays, ultraviolet-rays, etc., which are essential to life on this Earth, to humans, animals and plants. One could here make, at least, a philosophical point that the Sun is, in a great sense, our Creator - which gives some credit to the Egyptians and Ra, their sun god. Or, at a minimum, we can say that the Sun was a partial catalyst to our Creation; and also, a fundamental support for the continuation of life’s existence.

For, in view of all this, we must say that life, as we know it, would not be possible without these essentials that only the Sun provides for us. And we would be very logical in postulating that our Sun came into existence for the specific and perhaps sole purpose of making our life possible - along with the enormous earthly accruements of continents and oceans, mountains and valleys, intelligent beings, civilizations, historical events, scientific advancements, developments in art and music, and the eventual exploration of the solar system and beyond.

But, in the end, we can also see that the Sun, of itself, does not in the least provide for the waters, minerals and other elements that are just as essential to the existence of the Earth as we know it, and to our own existence. Therefore, the Sun is not the creator at all, and neither are the air, water nor the minerals and other elements in it.

And yet, the Earth IS; although its waters, minerals, plants, and other elements are only raw materials. Therefore, there must also be a gardener out there, who is also a chemist, a physicist, a biologist, an engineer, a naturalist, and an artist and musician of the first rank.

And we all know Him and we all know His name.
Perhaps Shakespeare said it best ~ "All the World is a Stage".

Or in other words, the back drop that is the physical Universe - which is what Science explores ~ that is neither the question nor the play. It is us, human beings ~ but more importantly, our souls within our bodies ~ who are engaged in this great, great drama of Good and Evil. And let's not forget; science is the study of God's works. Science is a slave. God is the Master.
TinBoat, nobody has "debunked" Intelligent Design. You can't disprove the existence of God. The argument that scientists make, and that I agree with, is that ID is not science and therefore should not be part of a science curriculum, as it offers no testable hypotheses. It should instead be offered under theology or philosophy. But to say it has been "debunked" is just plain wrong.
"And let's not forget; science is the study of God's works. Science is a slave. God is the Master"

In actuality, YOU are the slave. A slave to a doctrine created thousands of years ago as a means to control the populace.

Science does not ask to be worshipped. Science will not punish you or send you to eternal hellfire for not believing in it. Science merely IS.

And here is something else: scientists never profess to have all the answers. They are constantly searching for new discoveries to further our species, increasing our net knowledge and working towards improving our quality of life. It is the religious institutions that seek the exact opposite. Being rigid about their dogma (even in the face of all evidence to the contrary) and continuously strive to hinder our progress, using fear as their primary tool.



Reply to TNT. Just as the hardware of a computer is its "body" so is the software its "brain" (or soul) - but, it is a programmer who develops the software - while residing, in every respect, OUTSIDE of that computer - unless one believes, of course, that the software created itself. In similar manner, the Universe had to be created from "outside" and, in this case, in the metaphysical world where God resides. Which, of course, is outside the bounds of Science.
Calling Intelligent Design stupid is stupid.
The conflict of religion and science could be summed up thusly: science continues to ask questions, while religion, when faced with an unanswered question, will answer with the equivalent answer of "it is magic". What has ID research brought us? Questions or refutations of evolutionary models? Maybe, but saying the alternative answer is "magic" without a way to test the "magic" hypothesis with observable experiments is not science. It is though ID "scientists" look at something like the Grand Canyon, take the litany of research that points toward erosion and tectonics as the cause, say "well, I don't see it happening now, and how could erosion pick such a beautiful and specific display, oh, and erosion and tectonics isn't specifically mentioned in the Bible. So, I posit that God made it that way, probably with Noah's Flood; prove me wrong"

You can't use an example like at the utility and design of a computer; it is a tool, not a biological system. Organisms change over generations. Look at dogs specifically: that would be an example of intelligent design, but unfortunately for ID folks, it is also an example of generational evolution via human-induced selective breeding. Within 800 years, you can get the difference between a Corgi and a Great Dane; imagine with 8 million. You would end up with entirely different species. The difference is that changes in environment, feeding, and predation over time is what is the inducer, not Intelligence. If you need a non-human induced example, look at the mutability of antibiotic resistant bacteria and species-jumping viruses.
BarnabyJones said:
"The conflict of religion and science could be summed up thusly: science continues to ask questions, while religion, when faced with an unanswered question, will answer with the equivalent answer of "it is magic". What has ID research brought us?"


Creationists are the only group who carry the torch for purpose in nature, which is a perfectly scientific question in context with theories that include a "final cause". Science has long abandoned this plausibility via a combination of assumptions that have been made about our world that they feel justified in making thanks to successes in semi-complete theories, like Quantum theory, and their unsupported willingness to willfully ignore deny and downplay the significance of any and all evidence that supports the other world-view.

The conflict between religion and science could be summed up like this:

Copernicanism vs Creationism

Both are equally religious, and both are just as detrimental to science in of themselves, except that scientists are supposed to uphold the ideals of the scientific method instead of inserting their own belief system into their interpretations of evidence.

As this applies to Tyson's talk, I would quote Brandon Carter speaking in Krakow Poland on the 500th birthday of Nikolaus Copernicus when he formalized the anthropic principle as a necessary constraint on scientists:

"...a reaction against conscious and subconscious - anticentrist dogma"

"Unfortunately, there has been a strong and not always subconscious tendency to extend this to a most questionable dogma to the effect that our situation cannot be privileged in any sense."
-Brandon Carter

Scientists learned nothing from this hard truth.

So creationism serves as a necessary counterbalancing political resistance to an equally bad religion that would just as quickly kill us all if left winged activist scientists were able to have things all their own way.

But they never get it...
There is the “Anthropic” Principle by the physicist Brandon Carter, who in 1974 proposed that:

“The entire universe…. is permeated with the same structural parameters that are necessary for the existence of human life… that the Universe can be said to “cater” to the needs of humanity”.

I'll add that even the fact that we have gone to the moon and some day travel beyond to other galaxies, is due ~ and only due ~ to the fact that we have all the materials, here on Earth, to accomplish that.

Further, if the Earth had been without trees and therefore without wood, we would still be in the Stone Age and there would never, ever, ever, have been an Industrial Age or anything like it.
For the most part scientists engage in discovery, attempting to explain why things are the way they are. As such, the scientific method is fundamental to this. Experiments and studies are DESIGNED to prove or disprove theory and hypothesis. As knowledge is gained through discovery, mankind advances technologically and socially. And how are these advances realized? Technologically, DESIGN is again a foundational process by which knowledge is applied in a systematic, logical, and efficient manner....typically by those in the field of engineering. So we have the discovery specialist(scientists) and the application specialists(engineers). Throughout the whole process of discovery and application DESIGN if fundamental. So how is it that those who depend so much on DESIGN to achieve their ends are generally the same who steadfastly refuse to accept the premise that an entity they are unable to prove would use the same logical process of DESIGN to achieve an end?

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26-27)

Perhaps the likeness referenced above is manifested in our approach to discovery and application of knowledge.

Those who dismiss the notion to consider such to magic or fantasy should remove their blinders.


Well, if you ID Creationist folks can enlighten us as to exactly how proceeding from the assumption that the universe was designed and built for the inhabitants of this one planet is in some way beneficial to scientific research, please do so.

It should be easy enough: you just have to tell us of all the amazing discoveries made by ID Creationists that were missed by atheist scientists, all due to having started out from the anthropomorphic model.

We're waiting.
GalapagosPete,

Discovery is something that transcends religion. The creator wants us to figure out how it was done, and then, as any good teacher aspires to, watch the student amaze the teacher...we are getting there, but are still developing...I think good/evil was tossed in as a wild card!

griff
The problem I see with ID is very similar to what Neil puts through in this speach. I think he is being humourous due to the rediculousness of what ID is putting forth. I see stupid design every day in that my beautiful bride of 40 years has been afflicted with Rheumatoid Arthritis for 35 if our 40 years, and I have stuck by her side because I can't see myself without her. If there were a god, first of all there would be NO diseases like what she has that would cause so much misery. Secondly, I don't think a god that wants so much adoration would plant so much misery so those of you out there who happen to have a perfect life would worship it!!!! My spouse's life was saved July 26, 2011 by NOT a god, as if I believed in a god, I would blame him for causing all her misery, but her life was saved by the skills of the ambulance crew and the hospital who knew what to do to keep her alive. She now is not only afflicted with RA, she also has a permanent tracheostomy to help her breath, as her neck is so screwed up if it wasn't for the trach, she would not be able to breath. So please don't think a super being designed us as there are so many reasons that it's design is severely flawed!!!! I say it as first of all I do NOT believe there is anything but what science has proven, and those who invoke religion, or ID, eventually will be proven wrong like so many in the past have. My gorgeous spouse by the way now requires 24/7 oxygen and care, as she can't take care of herself thanks to the RA, so please don't even talk to me about your diety as fairy tales belong in childhood, NOT adulthood, and remember this, the people who taught you about the mythological creature Santa Claus, also are the ones who brought you up to believe in the other myth called god, Jesus, and the holy spirit, and there is NO proof of any of these mythological creatures. Any rebuttel can be sent to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and I will answer ones that seem a modicum of intelligence.
First of all, Bill, sorry for your bride's affliction. But to answer your comments, one could say ~ If a person gets hit hard by a Mack truck, should that person simply dust himself off and continue as if nothing happened? And, if a baby is dropped from a tenth floor onto the pavement, should that baby just bounce, smile and say ga-ga?

Bill, we are on Earth ~ not in Heaven ~ at least, not yet.
Intelligent design is all fun thought though........
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