Re: Dembski and Nelson at MIT and Tufts

Kevin O'Brien (
Sat, 3 Apr 1999 17:29:06 -0700

>I think we can know something for what it is or for what it is not. The
>term "intelligent design" means that the universe did not come into being
>without the aid of some preexisting being who has the ability to reason.

I would agree with that in principle. Now the question becomes, did this
Being simply create the physical forces and the raw materials, then let them
shape themselves according to It's design (which would in fact allow for
random elements to appear and influence the final outcome), or did It create
the physical forces and used them to shape the raw materials to It's design
(in which case imperfections in the raw materials or the physical forces or
both could still influence the final result), or did It use non-physical
forces to stamp the raw materials to It's design (in which case the final
result matches the original conceptualization perfectly, with no random or
imperfect affects to alter the design)?

>Therefore, in truth there is no such thing as truly random, everything is

That depends upon how this Intelligent Being actually created It's
conceptualization. Just as a gardener cannot control the way the flowers he
planted grow, the Being may not be able to control a creation designed to
form itself. Just as a sculptor must work within the limitations and
imperfections of his tools and material, the Being may have had to work
within similar limitations as well. Just as a tool and dye manufacturer can
use special equipment to create exact and virtually perfect copies of any
template, the Being could have used special forces to create a perfect copy
of Its conceptualization.

>We are like fish in the water who are not aware of the existence
>of the water and want to prove it. An impossible task!

Interesting metaphor, because there was a time when no one realized that air
existed either, yet we eventually discovered that air was not nothing, but a
combination of gases, two of which were needed for life (oxygen and carbon
dioxide). So the task may not be as impossible as you believe.

Kevin L. O'Brien