Mike Renzulli

More About: Religion: Non-Believers - Atheists

A New Strategy for Neo-Creationists

     Since proponents of un-intelligent design can't get their version of science adopted into schools, now they are trying a new strategy to implement their agenda.
 
     Rather than try to force schools to teach their pseudo-scientific findings along side evolution, I.D. proponents (like the Discovery Institute) are trying to get school boards and state legislatures to implement strengths and weaknesses policies that are geared to point out the so-called flaws in evolution.
 
     If this wasn't so unbelievable it would be laughable.
 
     As The New York Times points out, as a principle evolution is not disputed in the scientific mainstream and the term theory in the scientific sense is one based on observation and facts.
 
     Gaps in knowledge are not deemed by scientists as points of doubt but rather subjects for future reference and understanding.
 
     The truth is that none of the science of ID itself could withstand peer review of their findings and ID scientists have dared not submit research articles (if any) to scientific journals because they know their findings would easily be invalidated.
 
     Instead, ID proponents rely on stealth campaigns like this since they know that they have no documented proof or evidence to back up their claims. ID is speculation based on creationism dressed up to be science.
 
     What makes the science and the movement behind intelligent deception ... er ... design (ID) so evil is not only that proponents make it out to be legitimate science but the scientists that support it claim to be victims of the scientific establishment while insisting that their findings are not religiously based when, in fact, they are.
 
     For this reason alone, intelligent design in any of its forms should not be taught in schools.
 
     The ID movement itself is trying to appeal to the public in hopes that their sense of fairness would persuade legislators and school officials to teach their version of how life began along side evolution when, in fact, un-intelligent design itself is an inherently religious viewpoint that points to a supernatural designer which would be a breach of church/state seperation. A federal court already settled this issue in 2005. .
 
     Despite some states (like Texas) possibly implementing this latest attack on science itself, hopefully others will resist the temptation to do so or the courts will intervene.
 
     Intelligent design is a religious viewpoint in itself due to its appeal to a supernatural designer. To appeal to such an entity brings it in conflict with reality since the idea of the supernatural (i.e. something beyond nature and natural law) is a contradiction.
 
     In order to oppose the efforts of intelligent design religionists, one must reject their efforts to enjoin the supernatural with science.
 
     Despite ID supporters claims to the contrary, Darwin's theory is perfect since it relies on rational, objective standards backed up with provable scientific facts.
 
     Things intelligent design proponents are surely lacking.

6 Comments in Response to

Comment by Mike Renzulli
Entered on:
(1) Mr. Renzulli has failed to address most of my points on their merits.

REPLY: I have tried my best to in the limited time that I have on the internet.

(2) Mr. Renzulli continues to rely on a federal judge**Q**s opinion, itself not **QQ**peer-reviewed,**QQ** as though it were holy writ on matters of science.

REPLY: Which is based on the facts of the case surrounding the issue itself. If the gentleman would read the judge**Q**s decision he would see all of the facts he Judge sorted out pertaining to the deception of the ID movement and the lies of its proponents (like Michael Behe).

(Mr. Renzulli adverts to the missed possibility of an appeal. Note that an appellate review of a district court decision usually does not examine the accuracy of the evidentiary facts, but only reviews whether the law was properly applied. As a rule, an appellate court does not review the merits of scientific questions.)

REPLY: Based on the legal and scientific facts surrounding the issue.

(3) Mr. Renzulli wrote: **QQ**As far as his support of allowing strengths and weaknesses, schools are institutions of learning, not those for presenting alternate views.**QQ**

Reply: This statement seems as dogmatic as any **QQ**religious**QQ** school has ever been, with the added punch that he is talking about government funded schools paid by coerced taxes and which minors are required to attend (unless they pay extra for non-government schools). Government-coerced learning ... not open to alternative views ... these ideas don**Q**t sound very libertarian to me. (I**Q**ve been a classical liberal since 1972.)

MIKE REPLY: Consider it **QQ**dogmatic**QQ** as much as you want. You can**Q**t have your cake and eat it too. Furthermore, you also go to show how government schools are being used for social engineering and indoctrination like they always have been since created.

(4) Mr. Renzulli states in the second to last paragraph that he recognizes **QQ**reality as it is,**QQ** but also cites Dr. Stenger who (he says) has **QQ**handily**QQ** pointed out how science shows that **QQ**any phenomenon does not exist.**QQ**

Reply: Huh? If Dr. Stenger is right – any phenomenon does not exist – then to what **QQ**reality as it is**QQ** does Mr. Renzulli refer? The two ideas are contradictory. Mr. Renzulli advances them both.

REPLY: I forgot to include PARANORMAL phenomenon such as psychics. Otherwise, Dr. Stenger**Q**s book is a sound treatsie on rebutting claims of God**Q**s existence and the science of un-intelligent design.

The founder of Objectivism, Ayn Rand, wrote: **QQ**Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.**QQ** This naked contradiction indicates something in Mr. Renzulli**Q**s position has definitely gone awry.

MIKE REPLY: Ms. Rand also stated in a Ford Hall Forum speech:

**QQ**[Immanuel] Kant did not seek to subordinate science to religion: he merely sought to establish their epistemological equality. Wishing to save religion (particularly religious morality) from the onslaughts of science, he gave his followers the intellectual ammunition that enabled them to claim that the discoveries of science were no better, no more certain, no more valid than their mystic revelations. That is all he had to do. That is all the **Q**creationists**Q** demand: just equality. The equality of science and religion -- i.e., the equality of reason and faith.**QQ**

(5) Mr. Renzulli accuses me of being **QQ**mired in empiricism.**QQ**

Reply: According to the Merriam Webster online dictionary, the definition of **QQ**empiricism**QQ** that applies here is: **QQ**the practice of relying on observation and experiment especially in the natural sciences.**QQ**

MIKE REPLY: Dictionary.com also advises that empiricism is: **QQ**undue reliance upon experience, as in medicine (aka quackery).**QQ**

Of all the ad hominem attacks Mr. Renzulli could have leveled at me, calling me **QQ**mired**QQ** in the **QQ**practice of relying on observation and experiment in the natural sciences**QQ** is about the nicest insult I**Q**ve ever received.

MIKE REPLY: Actually no, it was a nice way of saying you are delving into quackery.

Leaving the last word to Mr. Renzulli, let me conclude: I don**Q**t care if Mr. Renzulli remains an atheist whose mind cannot be changed.

Its not that my mind cannot be changed, like I said in my previous response, I have read extensively on this issue and (as the quote from Ayn Rand indicates above) ID isn**Q**t just an attack on science it is also grounded in a Kantian defense of faith over reason.

I do care that absolute global generalizations and ad hominem attacks, acid-laced but lacking either supporting facts or coherent logic, are published by the Freedoms Phoenix as though they carry intellectual weight.

Ad hominem attacks? I am not the one arguing for proposing or supporting spoon feeding kids pseudo scientific theories based on non-factual claims.

I know b*llsh*t when I see it and am outspoken when I work to stop it.

I also oppose the misrepresentation of Intelligent Design as occurred in Mr. Renzulli**Q**s post. You don**Q**t have to like ID, but please don**Q**t just hurl insults and lie about it.

I haven**Q**t misrepresented anything related to ID and I would also note that you have not shown anything to prove me wrong just like ID scientists will not submit their findings to journals like Science or Nature.

Comment by
Entered on:
FINAL RESPONSE

I leave it to the reader to note:

(1) Mr. Renzulli has failed to address most of my points on their merits.

(2) Mr. Renzulli continues to rely on a federal judge**Q**s opinion, itself not **QQ**peer-reviewed,**QQ** as though it were holy writ on matters of science.

(Mr. Renzulli adverts to the missed possibility of an appeal. Note that an appellate review of a district court decision usually does not examine the accuracy of the evidentiary facts, but only reviews whether the law was properly applied. As a rule, an appellate court does not review the merits of scientific questions.)

(3) Mr. Renzulli wrote: **QQ**As far as his support of allowing strengths and weaknesses, schools are institutions of learning, not those for presenting alternate views.**QQ**

Reply: This statement seems as dogmatic as any **QQ**religious**QQ** school has ever been, with the added punch that he is talking about government funded schools paid by coerced taxes and which minors are required to attend (unless they pay extra for non-government schools). Government-coerced learning ... not open to alternative views ... these ideas don**Q**t sound very libertarian to me. (I**Q**ve been a classical liberal since 1972.)

(4) Mr. Renzulli states in the second to last paragraph that he recognizes **QQ**reality as it is,**QQ** but also cites Dr. Stenger who (he says) has **QQ**handily**QQ** pointed out how science shows that **QQ**any phenomenon does not exist.**QQ**

Reply: Huh? If Dr. Stenger is right – any phenomenon does not exist – then to what **QQ**reality as it is**QQ** does Mr. Renzulli refer? The two ideas are contradictory. Mr. Renzulli advances them both.

The founder of Objectivism, Ayn Rand, wrote: **QQ**Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.**QQ** This naked contradiction indicates something in Mr. Renzulli**Q**s position has definitely gone awry.

(5) Mr. Renzulli accuses me of being **QQ**mired in empiricism.**QQ**

Reply: According to the Merriam Webster online dictionary, the definition of **QQ**empiricism**QQ** that applies here is: **QQ**the practice of relying on observation and experiment especially in the natural sciences.**QQ**

Of all the ad hominem attacks Mr. Renzulli could have leveled at me, calling me **QQ**mired**QQ** in the **QQ**practice of relying on observation and experiment in the natural sciences**QQ** is about the nicest insult I**Q**ve ever received.

Leaving the last word to Mr. Renzulli, let me conclude: I don**Q**t care if Mr. Renzulli remains an atheist whose mind cannot be changed.

I do care that absolute global generalizations and ad hominem attacks, acid-laced but lacking either supporting facts or coherent logic, are published by the Freedoms Phoenix as though they carry intellectual weight.

I also oppose the misrepresentation of Intelligent Design as occurred in Mr. Renzulli**Q**s post. You don**Q**t have to like ID, but please don**Q**t just hurl insults and lie about it.

I appreciate the dialogue. Polite discussion of different sides of important issues is one of the many things that makes America great. I wish everyone well.

Comment by Mike Renzulli
Entered on:
I thank the gentleman for his concession that he was proven wrong since, like the Intelligent Deception ... er ... Design movement and the pseudoscience behind it, he has decided instead to misrepresent my arguments and still decides to imply (though not directly say) that (as per Immanuel Kant whos writings are grounded in Platonism) that no one can know anything about anything and that there is a supernatural element to the universe beyond our understanding.

Fortunately, Plato**Q**s student (Aristotle) came along and debunked his teacher. I alo hope that the gentleman is sure about his assertions because (accoridng to his logic) he can**Q**t really know anything about what he is talking about too.

I would also refer the gentleman to another part of Judge Jones**Q**s decision which ID proponents have seen it fit not to appeal and would subject Jones**Q**s appeal to a kind of peer review by an appellate court. In this quote, Jones points out the double standard of the ID movement and also what the gentleman is taking about in his posts:

**QQ**The theory or **Q**view**Q** of evolution, which has been discredited by the District in the student**Q**s eyes, is contrasted with an alternative **Q**explanation,**Q** as opposed to a **Q**theory,**Q** that can be offered without qualification or cautionary note. The alternative **Q**explanation**Q** thus receives markedly different treatment from evolutionary **Q**theory.**Q****QQ**

**QQ**In summary, the disclaimer singles out the theory of evolution for special treatment, misrepresents its status in the scientific community, causes students to doubt its validity without scientific justification, presents students with a religious alternative masquerading as a scientific theory, directs them to consult a creationist text as though it were a science resource, and instructs students to forego scientific inquiry in the public school classroom and instead to seek out religious instruction elsewhere.**QQ**

**QQ**After a searching review of the record and applicable caselaw, we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980**Q**s; and (3) ID**Q**s negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community.**QQ**

**QQ**It is notable that defense experts**Q** own mission, which mirrors that of the IDM itself, is to change the ground rules of science to allow supernatural causation of the natural world, which the Supreme Court in Edwards and the court in McLean correctly recognized as an inherently religious concept.**QQ**

**QQ**... lead defense expert Professor Behe admitted that his broadened definition of science, which encompasses ID, would also embrace astrology.**QQ**

**QQ**ID is at bottom premised upon a false dichotomy, namely, that to the extent evolutionary theory is discredited, ID is confirmed.**QQ**

**QQ**However, we believe that arguments against evolution are not arguments for design. Expert testimony revealed that just because scientists cannot explain today how biological systems evolved does not mean that they cannot, and will not, be able to explain them tomorrow. As Dr. Padian aptly noted, **Q**absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.**Q****QQ**

As far as his support of allowing strengths and weaknesses, schools are institutions of learning, not those for presenting alternate views. There are debate and philosophy classes people can take to discuss these issues. Not presenting pseudoscientific claims.

Furthermore, I would refer the gentleman to the book **QQ**God: The Failed Hypothesis**QQ** by Dr. Victor Stenger in which Dr. Stenger handily points out how science shows that God (or any other phenomenon) does not exist.

Unlike the gentleman trying to debate/rebutt the facts about this issue, my atheism and assertions about intelligent design is a recognition of reality as it is and he will never prove me wrong.

Until he does, he is mired in empiricism.

Comment by
Entered on:
Mr. Renzulli did not repair the defects in his original article, but rather he compounded them.

(1) He wrote: **QQ**Its obvious from this individual**Q**s comments that by making this comment about my statement know (sic) nothing about the scientific process itself.**QQ**

Reply: My post scarcely touched on **QQ**the scientific process itself.**QQ** Therefore, nothing about my knowledge is **QQ**obvious**QQ** and Mr. Renzulli has no basis to claim an absolute, i.e. that I **QQ**know nothing.**QQ**

(2) He wrote: **QQ**If he or she did, they (sic) would realize that each and every scientific theory is based on facts and evidence and subject to rigorous review by scientists themselves.**QQ**

Reply: Mr. Renzulli claims to know with certainty about **QQ**each and every scientific theory**QQ** and what each is based upon and what review is applied to it. More absolute claims with no evident basis to make them.

(3) He wrote: **QQ**The best way to see how evil and deceptive the ID movement is ...to read the decision of the federal judge in Pennsylvania who found ID to be unconstitutional.**QQ**

Reply: Mr. Renzulli relies upon the writings of a federal judge in a single case to decide the merits of matters of what constitutes science, and whether it is legitimate to question the theory of evolution (or presumably any other scientific theory).

Note first that Judge Jones**Q** lengthy opinion was extracted almost entirely from briefs written by the party opposed to Prof. Behe**Q**s position, and thus it was not a balanced scientific inquiry but rather a partisan argument.

Note second that Prof. Behe did not retreat from his irreducible complexity position -- just read his latest book, **QQ**The Edge of Evolution,**QQ** published after Judge Jones**Q**s non-**QQ**peer reviewed**QQ** opinion.

Note third that Judge Jones was not called upon to decide what was **QQ**evil,**QQ** yet Mr. Renzulli relies upon a snippet from Jones**Q** judicial opinion as support for Renzulli**Q**s universal moral condemnation of ID.

(4) He wrote: **QQ**As to ID supporters refusing to subject their findings to peer review, there is ample documentation of this at Wikipedia**Q**s articles on un-intelligent design.**QQ**

Reply: Mr. Renzulli supplies no reason to trust that Wikipedia articles have sources with total knowledge of all ID supporters**Q**s articles and whether they have been subject to peer review. In fact, it was widely reported last year how Wikipedia articles are the product of private individuals who harbor varying degrees of knowledge and malice. As Wikipedia is far from a **QQ**peer reviewed**QQ** journal of any sort, reliance upon Wikipedia for absolute omniscient statements about anything seems foolhardy.

(5) He wrote: **QQ**As to my absolute assertions, you better believe I will since what you seem to imply is a kind of Kantian or Platonic idea that people cannot know reality and can make it up as they go along. That no one can know anything about anything.**QQ**

Reply: My post never suggested people cannot know reality, etc. My post suggested Mr. Renzulli does not show any basis for his making the absolute omniscient statements that comprise the bulk of his polemic.

(6) He wrote: **QQ**Just like I know there is no God, I do not THINK ID is false I KNOW it is since evolution relies not only on history but also facts as obtained by scientists over time.**QQ**

Reply: Mr. Renzulli asserts more knowledge of absolutes without showing a basis for any of them. Proving the non-existence of a Creator (e.g. God), by the way, is a feat no human has yet achieved (to my knowledge).

As for relying upon the whole category dubbed **QQ**scientists**QQ** as the apparent priesthood he trusts, one needs only to recall the multitude of errors in **QQ**science,**QQ** not only on the subject of evolution (the Piltdown Man hoax being just one), but also on using mercury to cure the flu, bleeding to cure almost anything, using x-rays to cure acne, and formulating and prescribing Thalidomide (being just one of many worthless/dangerous drugs), and applying the prefrontal lobotomy with an **QQ**ice pick**QQ** tool as a psychiatric treatment, and believing in the **QQ**steady-state**QQ** model of the universe (as they did before the Big Bang theory arose).

As many libertarians know, the anti-gun lobby routinely uses **QQ**peer-reviewed scientific studies**QQ** as grounds for restricting or eliminating the private right to keep and bear arms. The anti-gun lobby trots out **QQ**scientists**QQ** and their **QQ**journal articles**QQ** as proof positive -- yes, like Mr. Renzulli they claim to KNOW -- that guns are too dangerous to civilians and should be banned. On Mr. Renzulli**Q**s faith in **QQ**scientists,**QQ** there should remain no further question: guns should be banned. Is that Mr. Renzulli**Q**s position? If not, then let**Q**s drop the bowing to the priesthood of **QQ**scientists**QQ** and instead open our minds to arguments on both sides of any question ... including the question of origins of life.

[For reference, I**Q**m male.]

Comment by Mike Renzulli
Entered on:
Its obvious from this individual**Q**s comments that by making this comment about my statement know nothing about the scientific process itself.

If he or she did, they would realize that each and every scientific theory is based on facts and evidence and subject to rigorous review by scientists themselves.

I have read about and studied this issue at length before coming to this conclusion and the best way to see how evil and deceptive the ID movement is with regards to its campaign to try to get their science included in schools is to read the decision of the federal judge in Pennsylvania who found ID to be unconstitutional.

For example, one part of Judge Jones decision states:

**QQ**We initially note that irreducible complexity as defined by Professor Behe in his book Darwin**Q**s Black Box and subsequently modified in his 2001 article entitled **Q**Reply to My Critics,**Q** appears as follows:

**Q**By irreducibly complex I mean a single system which is composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning. An irreducibly complex system cannot be produced directly by slight, successive modifications of a precursor system, because any precursor to an irreducibly complex system that is missing a part is by definition nonfunctional . . . Since natural selection can only choose systems that are already working, then if a biological system cannot be produced gradually it would have to arise as an integrated unit, in one fell swoop, for natural selection to have anything to act on.**Q**

**QQ**Professor Behe admitted in **Q**Reply to My Critics**Q** that there was a defect in his view of irreducible complexity because, while it purports to be a challenge to natural selection, it does not actually address **Q**the task facing natural selection.**Q** Professor Behe specifically explained that **Q**[t]he current definition puts the focus on removing a part from an already functioning system,**Q** but **Q**[t]he difficult task facing Darwinian evolution, however, would not be to remove parts from sophisticated pre-existing systems; it would be to bring together components to make a new system in the first place.**Q** In that article, Professor Behe wrote that he hoped to **Q**repair this defect in future work**Q**; however, he has failed to do so even four years after elucidating his defect.**QQ**

**QQ**Although Professor Behe is adamant in his definition of irreducible complexity when he says a precursor **Q**missing a part is by definition nonfunctional,**Q** what he obviously means is that it will not function in the same way the system functions when all the parts are present. For example in the case of the bacterial flagellum, removal of a part may prevent it from acting as a rotary motor. However, Professor Behe excludes, by definition, the possibility that a precursor to the bacterial flagellum functioned not as a rotary motor, but in some other way, for example as a secretory system.

**QQ**As expert testimony revealed, the qualification on what is meant by **Q**irreducible complexity**Q** renders it meaningless as a criticism of evolution. In fact, the theory of evolution proffers exaptation as a well-recognized, well-documented explanation for how systems with multiple parts could have evolved through natural means. Exaptation means that some precursor of the subject system had a different, selectable function before experiencing the change or addition that resulted in the subject system with its present function For instance, Dr. Padian identified the evolution of the mammalian middle ear bones from what had been jawbones as an example of this process. By defining irreducible complexity in the way that he has, Professor Behe attempts to exclude the phenomenon of exaptation by definitional fiat, ignoring as he does so abundant evidence which refutes his argument.**QQ**

It is clear by the Judge**Q**s decision that intelligent design supporters had hoped to decieve and manipulate students into thinking ID was legitimate. However, Michael Behe (who you mention as a source) was clearly wrong in his assertion that evolution cannot be explained through its 3 pet cases.

As to ID supporters refusing to subject their findings to peer review, there is ample documentation of this at Wikipedia**Q**s articles on un-intelligent design. I would also suggest reading **QQ**The Blind Watchmaker**QQ** by Richard Dawkins and **QQ**The Top 10 Myths About Evolution**QQ** published by Prometheus books. The latter book has an entire chapter dedicated to un-intelligent design itself.

I would also submit that it is up to you to prove that ID is legit science since ID is also nothing more than another name for creation science. If it is legit then ID findings would be submitted for and survive peer review.

As to my absolute assertions, you better believe I will since what you seem to imply is a kind of Kantian or Platonic idea that people cannot know reality and can make it up as they go along. That no one can know anything about anything.

All of which is absolute nonsense. Just like I know there is no God, I do not THINK ID is false I KNOW it is since evolution relies not only on history but also facts as obtained by scientists over time.

Reality is knowable as an objective absolute.

Your statements to the contrary are really an insult to the intelligence not only of people like me but also the readers of this site and the scientific community.

Comment by
Entered on:
Mr. Renzulli**Q**s column is headed **QQ**Objectively Speaking,**QQ** yet he is firmly against **QQ**strengths and weaknesses policies that are geared to point out the so-called flaws in evolution.**QQ**

Presumably an **QQ**objective**QQ** observer would embrace the idea of discussing the strengths and weaknesses of any idea, including evolution. Mr. Renzulli, however, states he opposes discussing strengths and weaknesses of evolution ideas in public schools. Opposing open discussion seems to contradict the notion of **QQ**objective.**QQ**

The tenor of Mr. Renzulli**Q**s column further reveals an approach that rather discredits the **QQ**objective**QQ** moniker. His calling a proposal **QQ**laughable**QQ** is merely to hurl an insult. Insults are not arguments but they tend to reveal the mental state of the writer.

Mr. Renzulli continues:

**QQ**ID proponents rely on stealth campaigns (like this) since they know that they have no documented proof or evidence to back up their claims.**QQ**

Mr. Renzulli offers no evidence to establish that ID proponents **QQ**know**QQ** they have no documented proof or evidence, yet he claims to know the proponents**Q** intentions. Bald assertions like his, lacking evidence or other logical support, are worthless except as polemic.

Polemic reigns in Mr. Renzulli**Q**s piece, as the rest of it reveals (set forth below).

Mr. Renzulli states: **QQ**The truth is that none of the science of ID itself could withstand peer review of their findings and ID scientists have dared not submit research articles (if any) to scientific journals because they know their findings would easily be invalidated.**QQ**

Mr. Renzulli offers no evidence to support his absolute global claim to knowing the **QQ**truth**QQ** that **QQ**none**QQ** of ID can withstand peer review. He has offered no evidence for his absolute, global and omniscient statement that **QQ**ID scientists have dared not submit research articles to scientific journals.**QQ** There is no reason to believe, from his article, that Mr. Renzulli has any basis for claiming global knowledge about all of the research articles submitted or not submitted.

Mr. Renzulli calls the ID science and movement **QQ**evil.**QQ** His article offers no rationale showing how he arrived at that moral conclusion, so his epithet is just another insult.

He states: **QQ**ID is based on nothing more than speculation and is nothing more than creationism dressed up to be science.**QQ** Once again, Renzulli offers more global absolute assertions and epithets without a stitch of evidence or argumentation to support them.

One needs only to read the works of William Dembski or Michael Behe, most recently Dr. Behe**Q**s recent book, **QQ**The Edge of Evolution,**QQ** to learn the non-religious, non-speculative bases of Intelligent Design theory. Mr. Renzulli fails even to mention these writers or their works, and certainly fails to address their arguments.

Most damaging to Mr. Renzulli**Q**s credibility is this sentence: **QQ**Darwin**Q**s theory is perfect since it relies on rational, objective standards backed up with provable scientific facts.**QQ**

First, Mr. Renzulli claims the status of **QQ**perfect**QQ** for Darwin**Q**s theory. Calling a scientific idea **QQ**perfect**QQ** is unusual to say the least. Usually, scientists say that science is a discipline that is continually self-correcting, that it is subject to self-criticism. To my knowledge, not even Einstein**Q**s Theory of Relativity (Special or General) is deemed **QQ**perfect.**QQ**

Second, Darwin**Q**s theory per se is not really the reigning theory. The current theory falls under the label of **QQ**neo-Darwinian**QQ** because subsequent ideas were engrafted onto, and modified substantially, what Darwin proposed. Darwin proposed **QQ**natural selection**QQ** primarily; 20th Century scientists added the insights into random mutation (and now, recombination), about which Darwin knew nothing. Perhaps Mr. Renzulli is unaware of these developments; certainly his article omits them.

Third, there is considerable controversy about how mutations occurred. The late Stephen Jay Gould, a prominent evolutionist, argued for large scale mutations called **QQ**saltations,**QQ** while other evolutionists hold to the theory of evolution by a long series of tiny mutations. With a fundamental premise of evolution embroiled in a massive controversy, it is hard to fathom calling it a **QQ**perfect**QQ** theory.

Fourth, the theory of evolution relies largely upon historical inferences, not upon experiments. There are no experiments possible to show how horses or kangaroos evolved from previous species, because those are historical events. If Mr. Renzulli**Q**s reference to **QQ**scientific facts**QQ** is encompassing things discovered using the scientific method, then he is quite wrong. The scientific method operates using experiments to test hypotheses. Experiments cannot prove historical events.

Fifth, Mr. Renzulli asserts **QQ**provable scientific facts**QQ** make Darwin**Q**s theory **QQ**perfect,**QQ** but he omits even one of these **QQ**provable facts.**QQ** So the article**Q**s triumphant conclusion is factually baseless.

Sixth, referring to the same sentence, Mr. Renzulli does not explain what **QQ**provable**QQ** means, but that concept is important. One cannot **QQ**prove**QQ** in the mathematical or logical sense the occurrence of an historical event. One can collect evidence and draw inferences, and perhaps render a final conclusion, but the conclusion will always lack absolute certainty. (Which is why the legal system operates on standards of proof that require a **QQ**preponderance of evidence,**QQ** or at most, a conclusion **QQ**beyond a reasonable doubt,**QQ** but never **QQ**certainty.**QQ**) It seems premature for Mr. Renzulli to claim **QQ**perfection**QQ** for a theory of historical events that cannot be established with certainty.

Mr. Renzulli**Q**s piece concludes with an ungrammatical, ambiguous, ad hominem attack: **QQ**Things intelligent design proponents are surely lacking.**QQ**

As shown (not just insulting stated) here, Mr. Renzulli**Q**s piece is **QQ**surely lacking**QQ** objectivity, and it lacks premises, foundational evidence, or logical inferences to support its sweeping claims.


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