Peer Review Process (was Evolution Stuff (was What is Religion, exactly?))

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AuthorTopic: Peer Review Process (was Evolution Stuff (was What is Religion, exactly?))
Infiltrator
Member # 5410
Profile #101
quote:
I guess you don't understand religion.
Hmm, perhaps it is YOU who doesn't understand religion.

Did some brief snooping and found these definitions:

Webster's New World Dictionary (Third College Edition):
"any specific system of belief and worship, often involving a code of ethics and a philosophy."

and

Qumran Bet, "A Community Striving to Come to the Pure Essence of the Worship of YHWH," cites definitions from an unknown dictionary: "religion (ri-lij'[uh]n) n.
The beliefs, attitudes, emotions, behavior, etc., constituting man's relationship with the powers and principles of the universe, especially with a deity or deities; also, any particular system of such beliefs, attitudes, etc.
An essential part or a practical test of the spiritual life.
An object of conscientious devotion or scrupulous care: e.g. His work is a religion to him.
Obs. Religious practice or belief."

Seems there are other scholars who view religion in a similar fashion as myself.

That being said, also found this perplexity:

Barns & Noble (Cambridge) Encyclopedia (1990):
"...no single definition will suffice to encompass the varied sets of traditions, practices, and ideas which constitute different religions."

Seems even scholars are having trouble with the precise nature of this topic.

I think Major, you should tone down your position a little.

[ Thursday, June 01, 2006 10:42: Message edited by: Germany Wins ]

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"Dikiyoba ... is demon ... drives people mad and ... do all sorts of strange things."

"You Spiderwebbians are mad, mad, mad as March hares."
Posts: 687 | Registered: Wednesday, January 19 2005 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by GremlinJoe:

Does anyone still have a problem with what I said about Christianity making no sense at all because the wisdom of God is different than the wisdom of man?

Because I can post what it says in the New Testament to show where I got this notion from. 1Cor 1:18-25.

Gremlin, doubtlessly the New Testament proves the New Testament.

What I want to know is why you believe in something that you admitted makes no sense.

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But I don't want to ride the elevator.
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? Man, ? Amazing
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quote:
Originally written by Little Billy Sue:

What I want to know is why you believe in something that you admitted makes no sense.
Faith - The belief in something, absent proof.

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
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After reading posts about thermodynamics, religion and proof of existence I somehow remembered this good old story where students were told to prove whether hell is a isobaric or isochoric system. Only one student got the highest point for his "proof". He wrote:
"Since there is more than one religion, that means that all who dies goes to hell. While the size of it is considered to be constant and density is growing that means that pressure grows as well. The temperature af hell is also considered to be constant. That means that hell is isochoric system. But taking as axiom that my girlfriend once told me that hell will freeze before she sleeps with me plus taking as a fact the events of last night, I can tell that most probably hell has already frozen, so it is more like an isobaric system. Anyway, if it is frozen, it is no more functional so everybody will come to God. That was proved by my girlfriend last night, when she repeated many times 'Oh, God!'. Conclusion: 1. At first hell was isochoric, then it became isobaric. 2. Hell exists no more. 3. We all go to heaven."

P.S. I hope I didn't break the CoC here. :)

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Posts: 203 | Registered: Tuesday, March 14 2006 08:00
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What are you saying? I've been tyring to esablish that it only makes sense from an atypical point of view.

I believe in it because I know its true and it does make sense to me. Much better than most people would think. I'm just no good at explaining things in terms people can understand.

I say it doesn't make sense because I'm trying to show it to non- believers from their point of view. The one in which it is all either foolishness or an enigma.

Edit: I don't have belief without proof on anything about God except that he will always remain the way he says he will. That I just believe and have a great deal of faith on. His existance and the laws he's made are not something I ever have any questions or doubts of, nor his rightousness in making those laws.

[ Thursday, June 01, 2006 11:06: Message edited by: GremlinJoe ]

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The great light bulb converses its thoughts in a fashion most particular to its complicated nature.

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Gremlin,

read that passage from the bible and it appears you've misinterpreted it.

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"Dikiyoba ... is demon ... drives people mad and ... do all sorts of strange things."

"You Spiderwebbians are mad, mad, mad as March hares."
Posts: 687 | Registered: Wednesday, January 19 2005 08:00
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How so?

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The great light bulb converses its thoughts in a fashion most particular to its complicated nature.

Neither twenty-one nor forsaken any longer, I now stand in freedom through Jesus Christ.
Posts: 215 | Registered: Friday, August 30 2002 07:00
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If you
quote:
Originally written by GremlinJoe:

don't have belief without proof
then please show me some proof of the existence of God (besides the Bible).

EDIT: If there is something you simply "believe", with no proof, can you acknowledge why I think that is irrational?

[ Thursday, June 01, 2006 11:12: Message edited by: Little Billy Sue ]

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But I don't want to ride the elevator.
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To some extent I'm a professional entropist, meaning that I'm doing research on it. It would be funny stuff, if it were stuff. A lot of confusion has been created by interpretations for lay people that call entropy a measure of disorder, remark about how bedrooms accumulate clutter spontaneously, and leave it at that. Entropy is indeed a measure of disorder, but disorder doesn't have a unique definition any more than order does, and there are many possible measures of it. Thus entropy is not just anything that strikes our common sense as disorder.

Entropy is also something that can be quite unambiguously measured, in a way that has nothing to do with deciding how to define disorder. Or at least, changes in entropy can be measured, which are all that matter. Monitor something's temperature while it changes from one state to another; at the same time measure its heat output (counting intake as negative output). "Changing state" here could mean melting, or burning, or dissolving, or cooling down, or crumbling, or whatever. The time integral of the rate of heat output divided by temperature is the change in entropy. Entropies of formation for zillions of chemical compounds have been established empirically in this way, for example. We know pretty well how much entropy is created when you eat a hamburger.

This definition of entropy is not obviously related to disorder or information, is it? The theory that the information-and-disorder entropy is the same as the heat-and-temperature entropy is part of the branch of physics called statistical mechanics. It was invented by Ludwig Boltzmann in the late 19th century. Thermodynamics really refers to the heat-and-temperature entropy, but it isn't very intuitive, so books for lay people tend to mention the disorder concept as if it were the only definition of entropy. This is unfortunate, because although it is absolutely clear that Boltzmann was onto something, and calculations based on his assumptions generally work, the role of information theory in physics is still uncertain as a matter of fundamental principle; while thermodynamics, a purely empirical subject, is in no doubt. Rightly emphasizing the solidity of thermodynamics can thus give a false impression of how clear everything is about information in physics.

Intelligent Design advocates seem to be invoking information these days, with varying degrees of expertise in so doing. Some of them are definitely just confused enough to think that thermodynamics is a heavy club with which to clobber evolution. While I naturally applaud their assumption that physics trumps biology, this is quite wrong. Others do seem to be asking good questions about information and nature; unfortunately, as far as I can tell, even these have a sad tendency to believe they have answered those questions, when in fact they have at best done no more than raise them. I am interested in the physics of information, for reasons having nothing to do with evolution, so I would be delighted to learn some new perspectives on information. So far I haven't seen them in Intelligent Design.

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Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
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quote:
Originally written by GremlinJoe:

Does anyone still have a problem with what I said about Christianity making no sense at all because the wisdom of God is different than the wisdom of man?

Because I can post what it says in the New Testament to show where I got this notion from. 1Cor 1:18-25.

I'm just wondering, how many people here actually know that the other dimension mentioned in this topic exists or has any insight into how it works?

Your question should be whether they believe the other dimesion exists, because no one can "know." If people could, there'd be no point in using "believe" when it comes to religion, and everyone would be a Christian.

If Christianity doesn't make sense, then why should we pay attention to it? If it is inherently nonsensical, then how can anyone rationally believe or follow what its authorities promulgate? You can't follow God's wisdom if you can't understand it, and to take it on the word of another is essentially to be blind while being led by the blind.

Furthermore, recourse to the Bible won't get you anywhere here, friend. The Bible makes assertions based on the authority of God. If you haven't established the authority exists (what's in contention here), you can't then resort to its assertions as proof of its existence. Also, your Bible didn't just come into existence - it was printed by a very man-made printing press, transcribed over thousands of years by very mortal men, translated by very mortal men, and assembled by a very politically-minded body of men of one particular religious denomination. In other words, it suffers from the same authoritative problems that a preacher has - its a mortal interpretation of the "nonsensical" realm you refer to.

In short, why should I believe what a book or a man says about God, if it is impossible for anyone to understand God. Because it "feels" true? Sorry, that's not going to cut it, especially when those books/men are also saying that marriage is only between a man and a woman, or that I should have to pray in school, or that I shouldn't have sex before marriage, or that my wife shouldn't have right to birth control, or any other patently mortal concern.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
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The only proof of God's existance I could ever show you could be just as easily ignored as the universe itself when it was offered as evidence.

And unless one's willing or open minded enough to believe, It will be ignored. The only evidence I carry with me is the enigmatic series of supernatural events known as my life itself. If you'd ever met me in person you might be more inclined to believe that God has in fact done all the things for me that I could claim he has, but seeing as how you will never trust me on that without seeing it firsthand, I won't even try to talk on that.

And as all evidence of something is, you can either see it or refuse to anyway. You don't need anything more to see that God exists than eyes and the ability to think open mindedly.

Edit: You don't have to believe if you don't want to. And people who don't understand something about how God works can always ask him to show them and he will.

You said rational. I though I made it clear that one must be willing to see the rationality hidden in a purposly irrational looking system. And look deeply.

[ Thursday, June 01, 2006 11:26: Message edited by: GremlinJoe ]

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The great light bulb converses its thoughts in a fashion most particular to its complicated nature.

Neither twenty-one nor forsaken any longer, I now stand in freedom through Jesus Christ.
Posts: 215 | Registered: Friday, August 30 2002 07:00
? Man, ? Amazing
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This conversation has firmly reinforced my decision to pray only to Posideon. Quite frankly the rest of the faiths are a bit of a conceptual stretch, and with accrued benefits only payable at the time of death, and the current rate of inflation surpassing the rate of accrual, it is in my best interests now, and in the future, to demand benefits in a more timely manner.

Thank you.

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
The Establishment
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quote:
The only evidence I carry with me is the enigmatic series of supernatural events known as my life itself.
Typical response. I've never seen anything but. Of course, such things are subjective interpretations that are historically prone to false positives.

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Posts: 3726 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
By Committee
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quote:
Originally written by GremlinJoe:

I don't have belief without proof on anything about God except that he will always remain the way he says he will. That I just believe and have a great deal of faith on. His existance and the laws he's made are not something I ever have any questions or doubts of, nor his rightousness in making those laws.
How/where did God "say" anything to you? Do you literally have his voice in your head ringing like Joan of Arc's bells? Where do you get his laws from?

The thing is, at one point in my life I was very "willing and open-minded," and thought that I knew God. Got the warm fuzzy feeling and everything. But something wasn't right. If God was so wonderful and right, why was it the case that so much of what my fellow believers said God wanted seemed so self-serving, or even hateful? Why wasn't there room for doubt about the Bible, a thoroughly amalgamated and not at all consistent text? Why were so many other people "wrong" when they chose to follow Judaism or Islam? Why should what Christians have to say necessarily be true at all? For that matter, why can't Christians even agree? Why are there so many different sects claiming truth? Why do American Baptists not condemn homosexuality, but Southern Baptists do? Who's got it right?

The only answer to be found to these questions essentially amounted to whatever I felt in my gut, and these folks saying "because that's what the Bible says," or "that's what God wants." A little dodgy. My gut at some point became very skeptical, and the words of others in truth are only so much hearsay. Given that so many people have done vile, vile things in the name of God, why should anything that anyone says in the name of God be taken seriously?

For what it's worth, I haven't counted out God's existence - atheists have no proof either. But I think that we're only so many sheep, bleating at each other, otherwise without a clue.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
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quote:
Originally written by *i:

quote:
The only evidence I carry with me is the enigmatic series of supernatural events known as my life itself.
Typical response. I've never seen anything but. Of course, such things are subjective interpretations that are historically prone to false positives.

Hear, hear. And altogether too often those false positives have negative externalities.

[ Thursday, June 01, 2006 11:56: Message edited by: Drew ]
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Nice to see you around, Steve. :)

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Posts: 1861 | Registered: Friday, February 11 2005 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

Intelligent Design advocates seem to be invoking information these days, with varying degrees of expertise in so doing. Some of them are definitely just confused enough to think that thermodynamics is a heavy club with which to clobber evolution. While I naturally applaud their assumption that physics trumps biology, this is quite wrong. Others do seem to be asking good questions about information and nature; unfortunately, as far as I can tell, even these have a sad tendency to believe they have answered those questions, when in fact they have at best done no more than raise them. I am interested in the physics of information, for reasons having nothing to do with evolution, so I would be delighted to learn some new perspectives on information. So far I haven't seen them in Intelligent Design.
1. ID was always about information. It's the public profile people who both don't do their research and make us look like idiots.
The problem is, because of said idiot, few people actually have the data.

2. Physics does trump biology in the mind of a Mathemetician or doctor of Physics, the two fields which oddly enough comprise the majority of the intellectual leaders of the ID movement.

3. You may want to check out this group on the physics of information in the ID movement. It's been a while since I've checked the site itself (I had a falling out with one of the board members, and am no longer affiliated with them), but their links and resources tend to be solid sources of information.

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The Silent Assassin is beating my arm with a Bible.
Because he felt like beating my arm, and the Bible in question was the first thing within his reach.
Blasphemer.

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Two small points:

I know nothing about information theory, and I'm fuzzy on what "genetic information" might be, but genetic code I understand. Genetic code can increase. Genes duplicate in chromosomes regularly. In fact, chromosomes duplicate often as well, and that's on of the major causes of plant speciation. Even if the only mechanisms are genetic duplication and loss or substitution of base pairs, all it takes is one long gene and you can eventually get every possible shorter gene.

If we're looking at the origin of the universe, we can start with the assumption that it was a singularity that exploded in a Big Bang. I'm not an expert in singularities, but I could see how it can be considered a state with zero degrees of freedom. That would make it highly "ordered" so that the Big Bang increases entropy. (How does that agree with the Big Crunch?) We can argue about Creationism vs. the Big Bang, but we aren't. We're arguing about the origin of life, which certainly didn't start out in pure chaos. Prebiotic Earth had plenty of "order," whatever that means.

—Alorael, who thinks Pythology, Kibology, and His Noodly Appendage count as two religions and one count of divine inappropriate touching, respectively.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Lenar Research Facilites:

2. Physics does trump biology in the mind of a Mathemetician or doctor of Physics, the two fields which oddly enough comprise the majority of the intellectual leaders of the ID movement.
The Imperial Wizard of the ID movement is in fact a lawyer, not a scientist, namely Phillip E. Johnson. Physics doesn't trump biology in the mind of any real scientist: evidence trumps lack of evidence.

My problem with ID as a scientific theory is that it isn't one. First, the actual science going on (information theory stuff, which appears to be only vaguely legitimate) is only a critique of evolutionary theory. Even if such a critique were completely successful, demonstrating that evolution is wrong doesn't prove that ID is right.

Second, ID doesn't actually make any useful predictions that can be tested against evidence. All it actually predicts is a lack of evidence for evolution, which isn't evidence in favor of anything. Quantum mechanics, for example, was one of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of the twentieth century because it made testable predications that people verified (repeatedly, because they were odd). ID can't do that.

I'm fine with people believing in things in spite of all the evidence. Most of us do this at one time or another. There's nothing terribly wrong with it. There is something terrible wrong, though, with pretending that the evidence supports you when it doesn't.

EDIT: Systems do randomly become more complex, and we can see it happen in linguistic evolution. Most of the changes that I can think of are shifts from one complex system to another (cases to prepositions, for example), but the addition of articles is one that is a straightforward increase in complexity. Latin didn't have articles, and it pretty much lacked any grammatical way of specifying the definiteness or indefiniteness of a noun. Spanish, which descends from it, does have articles (they come from the Latin demonstrative ille and the number one unus).

This is an increase in complexity that took place randomly — no one person just decided one day that Spanish was going to start having articles — without any directly corresponding decrease in complexity elsewhere in the language.

[ Thursday, June 01, 2006 14:31: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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IDers will point out that language is a product of intelligence. Well, arguably intelligence is just as much a product of language. But either way, they're too close for comfort.

Yeah, I did read Johnson's stuff on information, and as I recall it was pretty bad. I've also read part of some ID book where the author pointed out happily, and at painstaking length, that much of the evidence cited in favor of evolution is also consistent with special creation. The dude seemed to have forgotten, really, that absolutely anything whatever would be consistent with special creation. Which is just another way of saying that special creation theory makes no predictions at all.

The winsomedia.org site in Lenar's link offers links to books on Amazon, but no articles I could find.

[ Thursday, June 01, 2006 14:53: Message edited by: Student of Trinity ]

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The wonderful thing evolution is that you can predict it and then watch and see it happen. I've yet to sit back and see Intelligent Design happen. If there truly was divine guidance in the construction of all known (past and present and future), I will be so bold as to suggest that Intelligent gives far more credit than is due. And that is a big If.

:D

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
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Okay, I get the feeling that to properly explain Werner Gitt's (not Spetner's) information theory I would end up more or less posting most of the book here. I don't have time for that, so I will leave it to those of you that are actually interested to get the book and read it yourselves.

quote:
I remain puzzled by the role information plays in his argument. If his point is only that macro-evolution has not been observed in nature, I don't see why he should bring up enzymes and information. He can surely just observe that nobody has seen a giraffe evolve. It seems to be the same point, if all he's saying is the observations haven't been made; the whole deal about information would be an irrelevant digression. And if he's saying more than that, if he's trying to find an information theoretic theorem against macro-evolution, then I don't see how his case can be sound, because whatever has actually been observed, there is no known natural law against the spontaneous appearance of new enzymes having abitrarily high Spetner information. Certainly the Second Law of Thermodynamics is not about that.
The information is not irrelevant, because it is the increase in information that EvolutionA needs and that has not been observed. (If you ask 'what is EvolutionA' then I will know that you are criticizing an article you haven't read properly) Spetner is not the same as Gitt, who is the one postulating "an information theoretic theorem against macro-evolution". You seem to have gotten the two arguments mixed up. The second law of thermodynamics has nothing to do with this particular argument. That would be Thermodynamics Vs. Evolutionism, which is by Timothy Wallace.

quote:
This quote sums up your argument. Too bad it's wrong. The answer is that it depends on the chemistry and the atomic properties of what the photons interact with. Plenty of examples of where entropy increases, but never mind things like photosynthesis which causes a local decrease in entropy.

But photosynthesis requires a complex mechanism (clorophyl {sp?} and a cell capable of utilizing it) which was my argument. Please give an example of organised (not ordered) complexity arising without a mechanism that was was designed or whose origin is under dispute (i.e. life).

quote:
If there is something you simply "believe", with no proof, can you acknowledge why I think that is irrational?

I belive my senses are reliable. Is this irrational?

quote:
absolutely anything whatever would be consistent with special creation. Which is just another way of saying that special creation theory makes no predictions at all.

Many would say the same of evolution.

There other points here which I would have like to have adressed, but again, time prevents me.

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quote:
Originally written by The Creator:

I belive my senses are reliable. Is this irrational?
No. If you look at at a leaf and see green, then call another person over, have them see green too, then do a scientific study determining that the leaf is green, I would consider that proof.

As Student of Trinity said, after a certain number of times that an experiment is replicated, it establishes a law of nature. This law would be that our senses are generally reliable.

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Originally by The Creator:

quote:
But photosynthesis requires a complex mechanism (clorophyl {sp?} and a cell capable of utilizing it) which was my argument.
Chlorophyll.

Dikiyoba.
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quote:
Originally written by The Creator[b:

quote]Originally written by Kel:
absolutely anything whatever would be consistent with special creation. Which is just another way of saying that special creation theory makes no predictions at all.
Many would say the same of evolution.[/b][/quote]That particular criticism of evolution is new to me. IDers make a big deal of ID not being evolution, and the theory of evolution very obviously makes predictions, some of which have been verified and some of which are a little more difficult on a limited timescale but that haven't ever been contradicted.

—Alorael, who is splitting hairs a bit with the last statement. ID denies evolution, but it doesn't actually provide evidence of evolution not happening. It simply provides evidence (using the term loosely) of evolution not being feasible.
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