Re: ORIGINS: ACriticalQuestion

David Campbell (
Mon, 2 Dec 1996 17:03:27 -0500

>If neither law-like regularities nor chance explain an event, however, we
>pass to the last node on the filter: small probability. Yet small
>probability alone does not deliver design as a cause. Extremely improbable
>events, after all, happen by chance all the time.SPECIFIED events of small
>probability, however, cannot be explained by natural law or chance.
>Rather,they can only be expalined by design- that is intelligent design."

These events need specified a priori, e.g., "Go throw a line into the Sea
of Galilee and you'll catch a fish carrying exact change". Although it's
extremely unlikely that a specific electron, out of all those in the
universe, would be involved in transmitting this message to you, the
probability that an electron known to have participated in the transmission
was involved is 100%, as is the probability that it actually happened.
Thus, evidence for design based on the way things are can always be
countered by "that's just the way it happened; slightly different chance
events and we wouldn't exist and be able to wonder why conditions allow
this to happen" (though this may not be a very good arguement).

Department of Geology
CB 3315 Mitchell Hall
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill NC 27599-3315

"He had discovered an unknown bivalve, forming a new genus"-E. A. Poe, The
Gold Bug