Re: Methodological Naturalism

Christopher Morbey (
Wed, 25 Mar 1998 09:57:43 -0800

Phillip E. Johnson wrote:

(4) the reality of irreducible complexity and the nature of genetic
information points to the necessity for attributing biological creation
to an intelligent cause.

It seems to be a very natural and common extrapolation to go from
irreducible complexity to the necessity of ID. I understand the notion
myself because I do it all the time. In fact, it is part of the
motivation that drives me to design optical systems that reach to the
"edges" of our universe where nobody (as far as we know) has been
before. But natural theology (including reason or logic) and the notion
that truth derives from an understanding of the consilience of all
things indicates that there may be more to putative ID than earthlings
would sometimes care to admit.

Recently, it has been suggested (rather convincingly?) that the same
mathematics used to describe the 6-D manifold of quarks can also be used
to describe precisely the well-known dances of honey bees. The
connection is possibly the ability of honey bees to detect the quantum
field of the earth's magnetism (see Discovery, Nov. 1997). Then take the
concept of "information" itself and the "new" ideas of it being a
"fundamental substance". This, and notions of "quantum teleportation"
are summarised in New Scientist (14 March 1998).

Even though these new discoveries could be offering hints at what
Christians have (sort of) taken for granted, it is difficult to see how
such may be detached from the same kind of _a posteriori_ thinking
underlying the Anthropic Principle.

Cosmologists have postulated the "many universes" hypothesis to be an
alternative to the intelligent God notion (described in "Universes" by
John Leslie (1989)). I have my own (very fuzzy) ideas on decoupling ID
from _a posteriori_ thinking but my question to you is, How do *you*
reconcile the fact that ID is merely thinking backwards? That is, we
observe only that which has allowed us to observe or caused us to be. A
rather compelling selection effect to say the least.

Christopher Morbey