Use of Copyright to Fight Intelligent Design

Bad idea. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has backed decisions by the National Acadamies’ National Research Council and the National Science Teachers Association to prevent Intelligent Design proponents in Kansas to use parts of their standards text on copyrights grounds. I think this is a mistake.

One of the lines of argument that the ID proponents use is being open to new ideas and new ways of looking at phenomena and having debate about such issues. By using copyright to limit the use of text on school science stanards such a move could be portrayed as stifling debate. In fact, this is one of my complaints about copyrights for scientific writings. It makes copying and sharing information problematic in general. In short, this move could be spun by the ID proponents to their advantage and in the end really wont help win the debate.

Via Debunkers.

FILED UNDER: Education, Religion, Science & Technology, US Politics
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.

Comments

  1. RA says:

    Actually this is great news. Its time we get the NRC propaganda out of our schools.

    Evolutionists only hope is to censor all science that shows evolution to be untenable. There is a pleathora of science that says evolution is impossible. They cannot win with hypothesies that are sevearly contradicted by scientific observation of today.

    For your homework, I give you the periodic table, please show me how to create life from inert chemicals. LOL

  2. Barry says:

    Steve, you’re linking to Mr. Junk Science himself, Milloy?

  3. Steve Verdon says:

    Milloy has nothing to do with Debunker Barry, try better fact checking.

  4. Boyd says:

    RA and thunderbird, you represent a rather large group of people who don’t let the facts get in the way of their opinions. Which you’re entirely free to do, of course, but everyone else is free to shake their heads in wonder at the self-created bubble you live in.

    Oh, and thunderbird, ad hominem venom directed at your opponents may satisfy those who already agree with you, but if you ever happened to have something worthwhile to say, many folks would never know it because you had already undermined yourself with this approach.

  5. Boyd says:

    Oh, and back to Steve’s original post, this fear of debate with opponents who appear to occupy some alternate universe is understandable, but unwise. They need to stand their ground and debate the issues without descending into pettiness.

  6. Grisha says:

    There is no scientific debate here… Science is the study of natural phenomena, while intelligent design is the study of supernatural phenomena. One is science and one is religion. Of course you can find a few tenured faculty on board (after all there is one faculty member at MIT who believes in alien abduction), but there are so few educated “intelligent design” advocates that it is a joke. Intelligent design is joke for scientists who are Christian as well as scientists who are atheists. Did you ever stop to think that maybe, just maybe, these PhDs might have learned a little bit more than your average man on the street?

  7. Converse02 says:

    Two fossils were fakes, but there are thousands of others that are legit. Two bad apples doesn’t mean the entire batch is bad. Visit the anthropology department at the local university or a museum sometime.

    Science, especially biology and geology, has gotten man pretty far. Both support evolution. Perhaps people should learn about evolution first and see why every major science organization/university on the planet defends evolution, instead of trying to destroy what they don’t understand.

  8. Wayne says:

    It’s pretty hypocritical for creationists to accuse scientists of censorship now when not too long ago creationists had outlawed the teaching of evolution altogether. Scientists don’t care if you teach creation in your church or even in classes devoted to teaching religions. But it is dishonest and harmful to call it science and try to sneak it into science classrooms.

  9. There is no scientific debate here… Science is the study of natural phenomena, while intelligent design is the study of supernatural phenomena.

    Yes science is the study of natural phenomena, and by your own definition evolution (cells to humans) is not science. ID proponents and evolutionists agree that through natural selection and other natural mechanisms there is change and speciation. But the evidence for cells-to-humans evolution is not empirical science but is extrapolation. Imagination and extrapolation is not science but it is the core of evolution.

    Concerning Intelligent Design, scientists who hold this view use hypotheses, microscopes, scales and scientific equipment to measure and assess results from experiments just like any other scientist.

  10. It’s pretty hypocritical for creationists to accuse scientists of censorship now when not too long ago creationists had outlawed the teaching of evolution altogether.

    It is true that people are afraid of the opposition and in how they might bring doubt and confusion to the followers. But as we know today in our open society it is better to challenge one another with ideas so we can all better be confronted with the truth whatever it may be; even if it conflicts with our cherished beliefs.

    So do two wrongs make a right? Is it right to dismiss Intelligent Design as religion while claiming the metaphysical premises of evolution to be fact? How absurd! Let’s get honest about this debate and call a spade a spade. What evidence can you claim that all matter and energy came from nothing? That is insane yet it is the underlying foundation to evolution. Matter, energy, and life coming directly from an Intelligent Designer (God) is not contrary to logic. And it offers an alternative to the naturalistic view.

  11. You say that cells-to-human evolution is not true, but what about cells-to-monkey?

  12. Gwen says:

    >What evidence can you claim that all matter and energy came from nothing? That is insane yet it is the underlying foundation to evolution. Matter, energy, and life coming directly from an Intelligent Designer (God) is not contrary to logic.

    Where does the theory of evolution by natural selection say that all matter and energy came from nothing? I don’t remember anything about that in Origin of the Species.
    Where did the intelligent designer come from? I mean, assuming that the intelligent designer also has an intelligent design, he/she couldn’t have just come from nothing, right? There must have been an intelligent designer for the intelligent designer, right?
    I prefer turtles all the way up to gods all the way down.

  13. Polly says:

    I think that’s an ignorant statement about the periodic table and life. Life is made up of only the elements found in the periodic table. On another note, evolution isn’t about the origin of life, it explains the diversity of life around us.
    I wonder if using copyright to take away teaching materials is even legal. From my understanding of fair use, you can make copies for educational, non-profit use. I think the 1973 case, Williams and Wilkins Co. v. United States sets forth the rules of fair use. Maybe someone with some legal experience can provide a comment on that thought.

  14. Where does the theory of evolution by natural selection say that all matter and energy came from nothing? I don’t remember anything about that in Origin of the Species.

    It is true that teachers don’t promote the weaknesses of evolution. And strictly speaking evolution does not include the origins issues. But why doesn’t it? Answer: Origins issues have no empirical science to back up the ideas. But if evolution can supposedly explain our common origin by natural means then it is natural to ask how did life begin and where did matter and energy come from. By the way, do you know the first law of thermodynamics? Think about that when trying to explain the origin of the universe.

    Where did the intelligent designer come from?

    You will not like my answer but it is better than your answer for the origin of the universe. Both options are metaphysical so lets not have evolutionists proclaim the higher ground of science when it is not science.

    So where did God come from? God created matter, energy, life in “kinds” and He created time. God is completely outside of His creation. God is eternal, He has no beginning or end. Before God created time there was no time.

    These ideas should compete with the naturalistic or deterministic perspective for the origin of life and the universe.

  15. On another note, evolution isn’t about the origin of life, it explains the diversity of life around us.

    It explains neither. As I partly stated earlier evolution is a massive extrapolation based on evidence that better supports the biblical view of creation than it does cells-to-humans evolution.

    Do you know why evolutionists do not include origin of life with evolution? It is because natural selection, mutations and the other mechanisms require multiple copies of living cells. Before life there were no copies and therefore no natural selection or mutations. So life, by natural means, would have to make that astronomical hurdle from atoms to life without the benefit of natural selection or mutations to help things along.

    So technically evolutionists can say that origins is not part of evolution because it does not include natural selection, mutations and genetic drift. But since natural origins is so obviously without scientific merit it is separated from evolution.

    Just as an aside: Have you ever thought about the main material of the prebiotic soup where life was suppose to begin? The main material is water, nature’s natural solvent. I think the prebiotic soup better predicts death than life!

    For evidence in favor of creation go to: CreationEvidence Blog.

  16. Steve Verdon says:

    It is true that teachers don’t promote the weaknesses of evolution. And strictly speaking evolution does not include the origins issues. But why doesn’t it? Answer: Origins issues have no empirical science to back up the ideas.

    Actually this isn’t entirely true. There are the Miller-Urey experiments. While certaintly not definitive and there is still lots of research to be done, to claim there is no evidence is inaccurate.

    But if evolution can supposedly explain our common origin by natural means then it is natural to ask how did life begin and where did matter and energy come from.

    Sure, but that isn’t part of evolutionary theory. So this really isn’t a valid objection.

    By the way, do you know the first law of thermodynamics? Think about that when trying to explain the origin of the universe.

    I think you are barking up the wrong tree here.

    You will not like my answer but it is better than your answer for the origin of the universe. Both options are metaphysical so lets not have evolutionists proclaim the higher ground of science when it is not science.

    Evolutionary theory has absolutely nothing to do with the origins of the universe. You are over-reaching to such and extent that it is bordering on the dishonest.

    So where did God come from? God created matter, energy, life in “kinds” and He created time. God is completely outside of His creation. God is eternal, He has no beginning or end. Before God created time there was no time.

    These ideas should compete with the naturalistic or deterministic perspective for the origin of life and the universe.

    To be perfectly clear on this, this is a belief in the supernatural, which I have no problem with. I myself don’t believe it, but that is just me. Further, it in no way should compete with naturalism in regards to science because it can explain everything and hence nothing. It is the very same reason that other supernatural explanations such as magic, fairies, and so forth are not considered.

    It explains neither. As I partly stated earlier evolution is a massive extrapolation based on evidence that better supports the biblical view of creation than it does cells-to-humans evolution.

    This is not the case. There are instances of speciation, there is the fossil record, and there is the tree of life which fits well with data not only from the fossil record, but also with research coming from biochemistry. Feel free to believe it if you want, but the evidence does not support the quoted viewpoint.

    Do you know why evolutionists do not include origin of life with evolution? It is because natural selection, mutations and the other mechanisms require multiple copies of living cells.

    This is misleading. This treats organisms even back during the very earliest stages as being similar to what we see nowadays. Jim is committing the same error he claims biologists and scientists make in regards to forming speculations based on no data.

    So technically evolutionists can say that origins is not part of evolution because it does not include natural selection, mutations and genetic drift.

    Again false. Evolutionary theory does not include abiogensis since the two questions being answered are different.

    Just as an aside: Have you ever thought about the main material of the prebiotic soup where life was suppose to begin? The main material is water, nature’s natural solvent. I think the prebiotic soup better predicts death than life!

    Really? You mean water kills you? I guess you never drink any then.

  17. In an effort to keep my response to Steve Verdon on the shorter side I give an abbreviated quote to help designate the material I am referring to.

    “Actually this…” : While the Miller-Urey experiments are reproducible they provide better evidence against a natural cause than for a natural cause. The idea of “life in a test tube” is not helped by the fact that chemical reactions between acids and bases get scrambled into deadly combinations. The only way these experiments favor a natural cause is to eliminate any other possible cause (a supernatural cause).

    “Sure, but…” : Suppose a cad, George, tries to get a share of the inheritance of a wealthy family. George claims to be a descendent of Cynthia, a mysterious member of the family. However, through much investigation it is discovered that Cynthia was not a member of the family either but was herself a charlatan trying to gain a portion of the family inheritance. And so it is that evolution the cad, is the descendent of origins the charlatan. If Cynthia was not a member of the family then neither is George. Therefore a discussion of origins as the basis to evolution is a valid objection.

    “I think…” : The First Law of Thermodynamics according to answers.com states “A principle stating that the total energy of an isolated system remains constant regardless of changes within the system.” In other words, energy cannot be created or destroyed. Therefore, the universe, as long as it has existed, has always had the same amount of energy. How, scientifically, was it created?

    “Evolutionary theory…” : Then why is the most popular evolutionist web site called talkorigins.org and why did Charles Darwin name his book On the Origin of Species? Why is the Miller-Urey experiment discussed in almost every pro evolutionary textbook? As I stated in section 2, origins is foundational to evolution.

    “To be perfectly clear…” : Determinism also explains everything and yet nothing. A supernatural cause is no less scientific and should be considered a viable option.

    “This is…” : Speciation, the fossil record, biochemistry experiments and other evidence better support the biblical view of creation. It is only when intelligent design is eliminated as a possibility that the evidence can point no where else but to evolution. This gratuitous bias in favor of evolution needs to be confronted and made public.

    “This is misleading…” : Steve seems to be invoking imagination of a pre-life environment with different rules–as science. Did chemistry work differently prior to the so-called first life form?

    “Again false…” : It seems to me the topics of origins and evolution ask the same questions — where did we come from and how did we get here?

    “Really?…” : Water is essential to life but it is a natural solvent. It breaks things down including nonliving molecules. The supposed prebiotic soup molecules would not last long in the solvent of water.