fruitfulness of a research paradigm

Pattle Pun (
Fri, 27 Mar 1998 12:47:13 -0600 (CST)

In the current discussion of MN, I wonder whether one aspect of the
research program may have been left out: its fruitfulness in explaining
obervations and predict outcomes. In the past, Newton and others have been
successful in explaining the observations he made by using the ID
paradigm.(as quoted by Paul Nelson below). Evolution replaced it during
Darwin's time and led to a paradigmatic shift. But ID and Evolution are
basically two alternative paradigms. When enough anamolies have
accumulated in one paradigm, it may be about time for another paradigmatic
shift. I submit that the hurdles faced by the evolutionists in explaining
the origin of life and evolution of the regulatory units (such as the
"irreducible complexities") have reached such a proportion to warrant a
paradigmatic shift. The current ID movement, IMHO, is an attempt to look
for an alterntive program which can be as fruitful if not more fruitful in
the scientific adventure. What remains to be done is to define this
research program and to show its fruitfulness. Even some non-Christian
scientists, i.e. James Shapiro, U.Chicago, are open to let the ID movement
test the water. I wish more Christians of the theistic evolutionist'
persuasion are willing to give this movement a chance.

> > This most beautiful system of the sun,planets,and comets,
> could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an
> intelligent and powerful Being. And if the fixed stars are the
> centres of other like systems, these, being formed by the
> like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of
> One; especially since the light of the fixed stars is of the
> same nature with the light of the sun, and from every system
> light passes into all other systems: and lest the systems of
> the fixed stars should, by their gravity, fall on each other, he
> hath placed those systems at immense distances from each
> other. (General Scholium)
> Newton's argument here has the following form:
> 1. Our local solar system could only have been intelligently
> designed.
> 2. If there are other such systems, then [by Rule II -- to the
> same effects assign the same causes], they, too, are
> designed.
> 3. This is confirmed by the unitary nature of the light of the
> fixed stars when compared with the light of the sun.
> Thus Newton's own application of Rule II leads him to infer
> intelligent design elsewhere in the universe.
> Newton consistently assigned the *origin* of the solar system to
> intelligent design and stressed this to his contemporaries. Roger
> Cotes, for instance, in his Preface to the second edition of the
> _Principia_, commented:
> Without all doubt this world, so diversified with that
> variety of forms and motions we find in it, could arise
> from nothing but the perfectly free will of God directing
> and presiding over all....All sound and true philosophy
> is founded on the appearances of things; and if these
> phenomena draw us, against our wills, to such principles
> as most clearly manifest to us the most excellent
> counsel and supreme dominion of the All-wise and
> Almighty Being, they are not therefore to be laid aside
> because some men may perhaps dislike them. These
> men may call them miracles or occult qualities, but names
> maliciously given ought not to be a disadvantage to the
> things themselves, unless these men will say at last
> that all philosophy ought to be founded in atheism.

Dr. Pattle Pun
Professor of Biology
Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL 60187
Phone: (630)752-5303
FAX: (630)752-5996