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  1. #61
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    Re: ID ain't Science!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Then you have answered your own question "Do we really want to say that Newtonian physics isn't a scientific theory?"

    Apparently you'd say "yes" to your question.
    ...what? You're the one who claimed that disproof means that a theory isn't scientific. You're (mis)attributing your view to me.

    I think that Newton's theory is a scientific theory--in particular, it's a physical theory (as opposed to say a biological or chemical theory)--but merely one that has been falsified.

    As whether Newtonian physics is or is not a scientific theory is not really pertinent to my point regarding ID, I see no reason to challenge this particular assertion. So I have no further response to this particular point.
    Your criteria for what are and aren't scientific theories is relevant to your determination that ID is not a scientific theory. A defect in these criteria is therefore relevant to your determination that ID is not a scientific theory. If Newtonian physics is a scientific theory, but by your criteria Newtonian physics isn't a scientific theory, then your criteria fail to accurately delineate scientific theories from non-scientific theories.

    "Unlike a true scientific theory, the existence of an “intelligent” agent can not be tested, nor is it falsifiable."

    http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_int...is_not_Science

    What's the argument, here? Why should I, or anyone else, think that the existence of an intelligent agent can't be tested and isn't falsifiable?
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  3. #62
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    Re: ID ain't Science!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    ...what? You're the one who claimed that disproof means that a theory isn't scientific. You're (mis)attributing your view to me.
    No, you are misstating my views.



    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Your criteria for what are and aren't scientific theories is relevant to your determination that ID is not a scientific theory.
    And I've stated the criteria. A theory must be testable and falsifiable.




    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Why should I, or anyone else, think that the existence of an intelligent agent can't be tested and isn't falsifiable?
    Because I provided support to that effect.

    Even if you don't want to accept my support, it has been given.

  4. #63
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    Re: ID ain't Science!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    No, you are misstating my views.
    First, you said this:

    [I]f the evidence does not support something as a theory, one cannot say that it is a scientific theory.

    That is, if evidence doesn't point to X, then X isn't a scientific theory. This is the position you've taken.

    The evidence doesn't point to Newtonian mechanics (see e.g. experimental data inconsistent with Newtonian mechanics). So, according to you, Newtonian mechanics isn't a scientific theory.

    Second, even if I had misstated your view, you still have no basis to attribute to me the view that Newtonian mechanics is not a scientific theory, which you did here:

    Then you have answered your own question "Do we really want to say that Newtonian physics isn't a scientific theory?"

    Apparently you'd say "yes" to your question.

    And I've stated the criteria. A theory must be testable and falsifiable.
    Okay, what reasons are there to think that ID is not testable or not falsifiable?

    Because I provided support to that effect.

    Even if you don't want to accept my support, it has been given.
    What support? If you're referring to this link, it merely states the claim without giving any argument or support. It doesn't seem that you've given any reasons, or any sources that give reasons, to think that ID is not testable or not falsifiable.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  5. #64
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    Re: ID ain't Science!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    First, you said this:

    [I]f the evidence does not support something as a theory, one cannot say that it is a scientific theory.

    That is, if evidence doesn't point to X, then X isn't a scientific theory. This is the position you've taken.
    Right. I'm saying that if one cannot provide evidence for their theory, then they have failed to create a theory.

    And when the theory of Newtonian physics was created, evidence for it was presented.

    Therefore it was a valid scientific theory.

    Whether it's been invalidated later does not change that. So no, my argument does not forward that it's not a theory.


    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    What support? If you're referring to this link, it merely states the claim without giving any argument or support. It doesn't seem that you've given any reasons, or any sources that give reasons, to think that ID is not testable or not falsifiable.
    If you consider the Union of Concerned Scientists a credible source for scientific fact, then their stated position does give you reason to believe that the theory of ID is not testable nor verifiable.

    Regardless, it's a quote from a credible source which counts as support at ODN. I have supported my position.

    If you personally aren't impressed, so be it.
    Last edited by mican333; November 7th, 2015 at 08:25 AM.

  6. #65
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    Re: ID ain't Science!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Right. I'm saying that is one cannot provide evidence for their theory, then they have failed to create a theory.

    And when the theory of Newtonian physics was created, evidence for it was prevented.

    Therefore it was as valid scientific theory.

    Whether it's been invalidated later does not change that. So no, my argument does not forward that it's not a theory.
    This seems untenable. How soon does the nominal-theory need to have evidence before it's an actual theory? What if someone had theorized the laws of general and special relativity right after Newton wrote his Principia? The evidence for GR and SR wouldn't come until much later, much less the evidence for quantum field theory. So GR and SR, if posited close enough to Newton, wouldn't be scientific theories. Do they suddenly become theories after their experimental confirmation?

    So in this hypothetical world, Newton's theory, which we know to be false, is a scientific theory, but GR and SR, which have been confirmed by experimental data, aren't. When the confirming or disconfirming data comes in seems to be an odd measure of whether a theory is a scientific theory or not.

    So why have these criteria? Doesn't it make more sense to think of Newtonian mechanics and relativistic mechanics as being competing theories for which the experimental outcomes determine the winner? The relevant fact seems to be that both constructs make physical predictions and are concerned with physical interactions. Isn't that enough to say that they're physics theories? And aren't physics theories a subset of scientific theories?

    If you consider the Union of Concerned Scientists a credible source for scientific fact, then their stated position does give you reason to believe that the theory of ID is not testable nor verifiable.

    Regardless, it's a quote from a credible source which counts as support at ODN. I have supported my position.

    If you personally aren't impressed, so be it.
    It's not a matter of being "personally impressed". That's your language, not mine.

    The question is whether there are good arguments that ID isn't testable or isn't falsifiable. Are you able to provide such an argument? Or are you unable to do so?

    We trust experts when it comes to areas in which we do not have expertise. So if the argument that ID isn't testable or isn't falsifiable relies on scientific expertise that we don't have, then we'll have to trust what the scientists have to say on the scientific matter. Is this the case? Do the best available arguments simply go beyond our scientific fluency? Or are the arguments able to be understood by laypeople without acquiring a PhD in a scientific field?

    If it isn't the case, and we laypeople can understand the best arguments, then we should consider the argument ourselves. Our position on whether ID is testable and falsifiable should be based on our evaluation of the best arguments for and against the idea. As with our position on any matter.

    If there's simply no good arguments either way, then we should remain agnostic on the matter. So we have one of three mutually-exclusive cases:

    (1) There are good arguments about ID being testable and falsifiable, but we can't understand any of them properly without possessing scientific expertise.

    (2) There are good arguments about ID being testable and falsifiable, and we can understand some of them properly without possessing scientific expertise.

    (3) There aren't any good arguments about ID being testable and falsifiable.

    If (1), then we're stuck relying on experts evaluating the arguments for us. If (2), then we can evaluate some of the arguments on our own. If (3), then we either investigate the possibility of a new, good argument about ID being testable and falsifiable (perhaps an argument for, perhaps an argument against) or we simply remain agnostic on the issue.

    The goal here is to get at the truth about ID being testable and falsifiable. Can you further this pursuit by furnishing reasons one way or the other? Or are you going to merely rest on your laurels, having found a source on the internet that, without providing any reasoning, supported the conclusion you liked? Are you engaging in erisitic discourse, or dialectic discourse?
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  8. #66
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    Re: ID ain't Science!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    This seems untenable. How soon does the nominal-theory need to have evidence before it's an actual theory? What if someone had theorized the laws of general and special relativity right after Newton wrote his Principia? The evidence for GR and SR wouldn't come until much later, much less the evidence for quantum field theory. So GR and SR, if posited close enough to Newton, wouldn't be scientific theories. Do they suddenly become theories after their experimental confirmation?
    I'm sorry but I do not see a rebuttal to my point. Let me state it again:

    If one cannot provide evidence for their theory, then they have failed to create a theory.

    A counter-argument would have to show how this statement is wrong, as in argue that a theory can be created without evidence for it.

    I believe you response was not in regards to my main point (as stated above) but a side-comment. To help focus things, I retract any and all side-comments.



    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    It's not a matter of being "personally impressed". That's your language, not mine.
    I beg to differ about it not being about you being "personally impressed".

    And what I mean by that is that you have artificially raised the bar from "ODN-level support" to "When Clive thinks it's very good support".

    And I agree that an argument that fully explains why ID is not testable/falsifiable is better support than quoting experts. But I've adequately met the burden of support and therefore am not required to be "better" by the rules of ODN.

    And since you have not bothered to even do the amount of work that I have done (you have not even bothered to "do the minimum" and find a quote from an expert supporting the opposite position), I feel no actual moral burden to give you a better answer than the one that I have given.

    So there really is not good reason for me to improve upon the support I've given. And as I'm not inclined to do more work for no good reason, I choose to not give any more support than I've currently given.


    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    The question is whether there are good arguments that ID isn't testable or isn't falsifiable. Are you able to provide such an argument? Or are you unable to do so?
    It's not a matter of "able". It's a matter of "Willing" to. I'm not willing to provide any more support than I have at this time. I just have no reason to do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    We trust experts when it comes to areas in which we do not have expertise. So if the argument that ID isn't testable or isn't falsifiable relies on scientific expertise that we don't have, then we'll have to trust what the scientists have to say on the scientific matter. Is this the case? Do the best available arguments simply go beyond our scientific fluency? Or are the arguments able to be understood by laypeople without acquiring a PhD in a scientific field?

    If it isn't the case, and we laypeople can understand the best arguments, then we should consider the argument ourselves. Our position on whether ID is testable and falsifiable should be based on our evaluation of the best arguments for and against the idea.
    Quite simply, that is raising the bar.


    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    The goal here is to get at the truth about ID being testable and falsifiable.
    No, MY goal is to support that it is testable and falsifiable. I did that.

    And if your goal is to get to the truth of my argument, then why don't you work to achieve your own goal? I believe you have greater scientific knowledge than I do and equal, if not better, access to information. So go find the truth and if you want to share it, feel free to post it in your next post.

    And if your goal is to challenge my argument, then please make a valid rebuttal. Asking me to give even more support than I've already given does not qualify as a rebuttal to my support.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Can you further this pursuit by furnishing reasons one way or the other? Or are you going to merely rest on your laurels, having found a source on the internet that, without providing any reasoning, supported the conclusion you liked?
    I see no reason why I should not rest on my laurels.

    I have supported my argument. And asking me for even better support instead of attempting to do your own work in countering my arguments appears to be asking me to work harder instead of doing your own work. I see no reason to grant this request.


    I think a good analogy to what is going on here would be taking a "credit/no credit" class as opposed to one where one is graded. I admit that my support is not A+ but then the class is "credit/no credit" and I've achieved "credit". So while you can say "A+ work is better than just passing and I think you should do A+ work", it doesn't change the fact that I'm passing the class. And here is another point regarding the analogy - you are not the "teacher" but another "student". So you don't even have the authority, legally or morally, to tell me that "just passing" is not good enough. So why should I care if you'd like to see better work from me, especially when I haven't presented any school work of your own?
    Last edited by mican333; November 7th, 2015 at 11:36 AM.

  9. #67
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    Re: ID ain't Science!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I'm sorry but I do not see a rebuttal to my point. Let me state it again:

    If one cannot provide evidence for their theory, then they have failed to create a theory.

    A counter-argument would have to show how this statement is wrong, as in argue that a theory can be created without evidence for it.

    I believe you response was not in regards to my main point (as stated above) but a side-comment. To help focus things, I retract any and all side-comments.
    You could posit relativistic modifications to Newtonian physics without evidence that our universe actually behaves that way. You could posit Newtonian mechanics without any evidence that our universe actually behaves that way.

    I take these statements to be obviously true. You don't have to construct your theory after you perform an experiment and get data; frequently, you'll construct the theory beforehand and then design the experiment to get the kind of data that will be useful in confirming or disconfirming the theory--e.g., the Higgs Boson.

    I beg to differ about it not being about you being "personally impressed".
    Whether or not I'm impressed is irrelevant. The question is whether we've been furnished with good reasons to think that your claim is true.

    And what I mean by that is that you have artificially raised the bar from "ODN-level support" to "When Clive thinks it's very good support".
    There's no artifical raising of anything. These are the standards of dialectical discourse. In order to believe something is true, you should have good reasons.

    If you're comfortable providing no reasoning or argumentation whatsoever that your statements are true, and are comfortable merely linking to a site that repeats your claim sans argument sans reasoning, that's fine.

    You've certainly provided enough support to meet ODN's requirements, and you'd meet any formal Challenge! in that regard.

    But you haven't given me any reason to think that your claim is true, rather than false. As someone who is interested in getting to the truth of the matter with regard to ID, you've done very little to shed light on the matter.

    And I agree that an argument that fully explains why ID is not testable/falsifiable is better support than quoting experts. But I've adequately met the burden of support and therefore am not required to be "better" by the rules of ODN.
    To my knowledge, nobody has said that you are required to be "better" by the rules of ODN. ODN's rules don't stop you from making a bad argument.

    And since you have not bothered to even do the amount of work that I have done (you have not even bothered to "do the minimum" and find a quote from an expert supporting the opposite position), I feel no actual moral burden to give you a better answer than the one that I have given.
    There are science PhDs who are young Earth creationists (e.g. Answers in Genesis). Finding experts who disagree with your claim isn't tough.

    So there really is not good reason for me to improve upon the support I've given. And as I'm not inclined to do more work for no good reason, I choose to not give any more support than I've currently given.
    I'm not particularly interested in motivating you to make a good argument, or to be interested in getting at the truth of things. Certainly not without being paid to do so.

    It's not a matter of "able". It's a matter of "Willing" to. I'm not willing to provide any more support than I have at this time. I just have no reason to do so.
    Yes, I'm sure that's the case. I'm sure you have plenty of great arguments and reasoning to support your claim, and you could totally spell it all out in a devastatingly convincing fashion, but you're just not willing to. Yeah.

    Quite simply, that is raising the bar.
    To expect good, rather than merely not-rulebreakingly-bad, arguments? Yes, your argument is too poor to be convincing to a reasonable interlocutor. Your argument clears the bar to be submitted to ODN, though, so you've got that going for you.

    No, MY goal is to support that it is testable and falsifiable. I did that.
    And considering the ease with which similar support can be mustered for the opposing argument, it seems that a reasonable inquiry is left stymied.

    And if your goal is to get to the truth of my argument, then why don't you work to achieve your own goal? I believe you have greater scientific knowledge than I do and equal, if not better, access to information. So go find the truth and if you want to share it, feel free to post it in your next post.
    I'm not an expert on ID. You're the one who feels confident enough about the issue to deploy arguments on the internet, but it seems your interest does not go so far as to discover whether or not there's truth to the claim you've made.

    And if your goal is to challenge my argument, then please make a valid rebuttal. Asking me to give even more support than I've already given does not qualify as a rebuttal to my support.
    Your argument is, "These people think ID isn't a testable, falsifiable theory." Well, that much is true. It doesn't furnish me with much in the way of convincing evidence, given that there are other people who think ID is a testable, falsifiable theory. And given your complete unwillingness to inquire into the matter further, it doesn't seem like you're going to be a very useful interlocutor.

    I see no reason why I should not rest on my laurels.

    I have supported my argument. And asking me for even better support instead of attempting to do your own work in countering my arguments appears to be asking me to work harder instead of doing your own work. I see no reason to grant this request.


    I think a good analogy to what is going on here would be taking a "credit/no credit" class as opposed to one where one is graded. I admit that my support is not A+ but then the class is "credit/no credit" and I've achieved "credit". So while you can say "A+ work is better than just passing and I think you should do A+ work", it doesn't change the fact that I'm passing the class. And here is another point regarding the analogy - you are not the "teacher" but another "student". So you don't even have the authority, legally or morally, to tell me that "just passing" is not good enough. So why should I care if you'd like to see better work from me, especially when I haven't presented any school work of your own?
    You simply haven't shed much light on the issue. Your argument is a dim bulb--yes, you're giving off a little bit of light, but we're mostly just left in the dark.

    If all you want is the satisfaction that you've provided some argument, however weak, then be satisfied. But this is a poor way to go about discourse. I'd recommend reading the wikipedia articles I linked to earlier.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  10. #68
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    Re: ID ain't Science!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    It would be scientific, but if the evidence does not support something as a theory, one cannot say that it is a scientific theory.



    Of course it is. But then is someone doing that?
    I think it's a common practice; regardless the outcome, that some hypotheses are cut off at the knees, based on the assumption that they are invalid, and the proponents are often disparaged.

    There's no need for such a biased attitude; there's nothing to lose from giving a fair hearing an unorthodox idea. If it is indeed an invalid idea, leave it to science to invalidate it. There's no need for damaging careers by discrediting scientists who choose to pursue such things. It's pre-bias, unbefitting of science itself.

  11. #69
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    Re: ID ain't Science!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    You could posit relativistic modifications to Newtonian physics without evidence that our universe actually behaves that way. You could posit Newtonian mechanics without any evidence that our universe actually behaves that way.

    I take these statements to be obviously true. You don't have to construct your theory after you perform an experiment and get data; frequently, you'll construct the theory beforehand and then design the experiment to get the kind of data that will be useful in confirming or disconfirming the theory--e.g., the Higgs Boson.
    No, you'll construct a hypothesis and then use data and/or experiments to turn it into a theory. In support:

    "According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a hypothesis is an idea that hasn't been proven yet. If enough evidence accumulates to support a hypothesis, it moves to the next step — known as a theory — in the scientific method and becomes accepted as a valid explanation of a phenomenon."

    http://www.livescience.com/21491-wha...of-theory.html



    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    There's no artifical raising of anything. These are the standards of dialectical discourse. In order to believe something is true, you should have good reasons.
    And credible experts saying something is a scientific fact IS a good reason to accept something as a scientific fact.

    We trust experts all of the time. You trust your mechanic's opinion on your car's problem. You trust your doctor on diagnosing your health.

    "Appeal to expertise" is a valid basis for belief.

    Obviously there are methods that are superior to that. It's certainly better to become a car expert and diagnose your car's problems yourself instead of just trusting the mechanic on the matter. But regardless, assuming you aren't a car expert, it's generally considered pretty rational to trust the mechanic's beliefs on the matter.

    So you have provided no real reason to hold that "appeal to expertise" is "bad". Just because there's "better" ways to do it doesn't mean that one's method is "bad". So I reject your notion that my argument is "bad". I consider that statement to be entirely subjective on your part and will treat it is purely subjective until I'm given reason to think it's something other than your mere opinion.


    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    To my knowledge, nobody has said that you are required to be "better" by the rules of ODN. ODN's rules don't stop you from making a bad argument.
    By any relevant objective standard that I'm aware of, my argument is not bad.

    It's only by your own subjective standard that my argument is "bad". As I do not consider your subjective standard to be relevant to this debate, I reject the position that my argument in regards to this debate is bad.


    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    There are science PhDs who are young Earth creationists (e.g. Answers in Genesis). Finding experts who disagree with your claim isn't tough.
    So you can find non-biased science experts who will forward that ID IS testable and falsifiable?

    And even if you actually can, the point is so far you haven't.

    This is a primary reason why I don't care if you aren't impressed with my response. It's still better than anything you've provided to the contrary. I see no reason to do more than the minimum it takes to hold up my end of the debate. A great opponent deserves great arguments. A non-existent opponent (one who had not made any arguments counter my position) doesn't deserve anything more than what it takes to hold up my position. And your opposition has been non-existent so you deserve no more that what I've given you.

    If you are personally unsatisfied, so be it.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    To expect good, rather than merely not-rulebreakingly-bad, arguments? Yes, your argument is too poor to be convincing to a reasonable interlocutor. Your argument clears the bar to be submitted to ODN, though, so you've got that going for you.
    Which is more than what I can say for you (in regards to the issue of testing and falsifying).

    So however weak you think my argument is, please be aware that it's still better than your arguments regarding the matter (because you haven't made any arguments).



    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I'm not an expert on ID. You're the one who feels confident enough about the issue to deploy arguments on the internet, but it seems your interest does not go so far as to discover whether or not there's truth to the claim you've made.
    Well, it seems like that to you because you've only read what I posted in support. You don't know how much additional research and reading I've done on the issue nor my prior knowledge base. And for the record, it's not zero. I actually have read an article the provides further support but have chosen to not share it.

    So your statements about my personal level of interest is based on a lack of data on your part and can be ignored based on that.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Your argument is, "These people think ID isn't a testable, falsifiable theory." Well, that much is true. It doesn't furnish me with much in the way of convincing evidence, given that there are other people who think ID is a testable, falsifiable theory.
    No, my argument is that "These SCIENTIFIC EXPERTS think ID isn't a testable, falsifiable theory" and that is a valid basis for support. Whether you THINK that there are equally credible sources for the opposing conclusion is not relevant to the debate. If you want to forward that as a debate position, then you need to support it in at least the same manner that I supported my position.

    However weak you think my argument is, it's still better than any opposing arguments. So it's the best argument on this thread regarding this particular issue.


    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    You simply haven't shed much light on the issue. Your argument is a dim bulb--yes, you're giving off a little bit of light, but we're mostly just left in the dark.

    If all you want is the satisfaction that you've provided some argument, however weak, then be satisfied. But this is a poor way to go about discourse.
    What discourse?

    In a debate, one side forwards and supports his position and then the opponent either does the same or show that the support is invalid. THAT is "discourse" and you have completely avoided doing that. And IF you were to actually challenge my position, then I probably would have to give more detail and we'd likely have a more in-depth discussion on these issues, which is apparently what you want.

    Until you hold up your end of the debate instead of complaining about how you are personally unsatisfied at the level of support I've provided so far, you have no credibility in complaining about the quality of discourse.

    ---------- Post added at 12:53 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:22 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Landrew View Post
    I think it's a common practice; regardless the outcome, that some hypotheses are cut off at the knees, based on the assumption that they are invalid, and the proponents are often disparaged.

    There's no need for such a biased attitude; there's nothing to lose from giving a fair hearing an unorthodox idea. If it is indeed an invalid idea, leave it to science to invalidate it. There's no need for damaging careers by discrediting scientists who choose to pursue such things. It's pre-bias, unbefitting of science itself.
    I don't see any real support that this actually happens. I'm not saying I know for a fact that it does not but can you give a specific example of this?

    But let me say that there is a significant difference between "looking into" ID and asserting that it is a valid scientific theory. Stating that is a valid scientific theory is to make an incorrect statement and that would justifiably harm one's credibility just as supporting any invalid scientific theory would harm one's credibility.

    P.S. EEK! A Gorn!
    Last edited by mican333; November 9th, 2015 at 10:31 AM.

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