Are carbon atom's designed? (was: Functional proteins from a random library)

From: Jonathan Clarke (
Date: Mon Apr 09 2001 - 17:37:53 EDT

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    Come on Paul, have a go at answering Loren's question, it is simple
    enough, It doesn't need private discussion to clarify the issue. Are
    carbon atoms intelligently designed or not?


    > Paul Nelson wrote:
    > Loren Haarsma wrote:
    > >According to scripture, God designed and created
    > >everything in the universe. That includes carbon
    > >atoms. Carbon atoms are, of course, necessary for
    > >life.
    > >
    > >Science provides a great deal of evidence that the
    > >carbon atoms in this universe self-assembled from
    > >component pieces -- according to natural laws and
    > >without the need for miraculous intervention -- in
    > >stellar cores and were dispersed throughout the
    > >universe by stellar winds and novas.
    > >
    > >I see absolutely no conflict between those previous
    > >two paragraphs. I expect that very few theologians
    > >see a conflict.
    > >
    > >But if I use the definition of "intelligent design"
    > >which you, Dembski, and your fellows insist upon using,
    > >then there is a huge conflict between those two
    > >paragraphs.
    > >
    > >So please tell me:
    > >
    > >Are carbon atoms intelligently designed?
    > >
    > >If they are, then would it _also_ be true that modern
    > >living organisms are intelligently designed EVEN IF
    > >they self-assembled from component pieces according
    > >to natural laws and without the need for miraculous
    > >intervention?
    > I'll be at Calvin College between May 21 and May 27,
    > attending two conferences on design and science.
    > Why don't we talk about this then? [I have lectures
    > to give very soon at Wheaton College and Chicago
    > State Univ., and need to prep for them.]
    > In the interim, my quick reply to your question
    > is that you're using at least two senses of "design"
    > -- one which you would affirm irrespective of the
    > findings of science, and another which you would
    > not (i.e., which has risky empirical content). From
    > past discussions, I know that you -- unlike Howard
    > Van Till -- allow that science *could* discover
    > that organisms (for instance) did *not* "self-assemble
    > from component pieces according to natural laws."
    > The only sense of "design" that Howard recognizes
    > is the first.
    > So before I can answer your question, I need to
    > know which sense of "design" is at play. But
    > let's save this discussion for next month.
    > Paul
    > P.S. Just read Tim Ikeda's post on "proximate"
    > and "distal" ID. Please see my article in _Zygon_
    > 34 (December 1999):677-682, "Is 'Intelligent
    > Design' Unavoidable -- Even By Howard Van
    > Till?" where I argued that Van Till's position was
    > indeed "distal ID." I made a case in the
    > article that's Howard's "functional integrity"
    > hypothesis had empirical content, vis-a-vis the
    > views (for instance) of Martin Rees. Rees
    > argues that our universe is the lucky winner is
    > a meta-cosmic lottery: this universe was drawn
    > by the blind hand of chance "from an infinite urn
    > of other universes which would not sustain life"
    > (p. 680).
    > Turns out I was wrong, however. Howard later
    > told me that his position is *not* what Tim
    > calls "distal ID," because that would ascribe
    > empirical content to Howard's view, when in
    > fact it is a faith commitment.
    > That's it for me in this discussion (on the ASA
    > listserve, I mean ;-)

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