Re: Meaning of ID #2

Date: Sat Dec 01 2001 - 07:22:35 EST

  • Next message: "Re: Meaning of ID #2"

    In a message dated 11/29/01 7:50:48 PM, writes:

    << Your statement is hard to maintain in the face of all the statements by ID
    proponents that imply that "natural" processes don't "count" as acts of the
    designer. By your statement, Howard's "functional integrity" view, where the
    Designer gave his creation the capabilities to carry out his design without
    non-natural interventions, would count as ID. Somehow, I don't think Dembski
    and Johnson would see it that way. >>


    First let me make a correction to what I wrote in my first post: "ID is
    set over against _unintelligent design_." It should read: "ID is set over
    against _ non-intelligent design_."

    With regard to you statement above, I have never heard or read Howard use the
    word "design" or "Designer". I doubt if he would use those words since I
    think he would not want to be identified in any way with ID. If you have
    some direct quotes, I am willing to be corrected, and by Howard himself, if
    he wishes to do so.

    Moreover, I and probably other IDers would say that you and others who raise
    the question or assert that ID implies a non-natural designer, are raising a
    theological question not a scientific one. Whether the intelligent designer
    operates within or outside the universe is not a question which science can
    answer. So to determine if the designer is non-natural we would need to
    shift to a different realm of discourse, i.e., theological.

    You wrote: <<Maybe we should return to the old questions which, as far as I
    know, the
    major ID proponents have continued to dodge. Are carbon atoms "intelligently
    designed?" >>

    I don't know that they are required to answer your question. Perhaps with
    the methodology that Dembski provides (the explanatory filter) they might
    expect you to answer your own question. In the explanatory filter, the first
    move is to rule out regularity, the second move is to rule out chance,
    leaving only conclusion that the event is designed.

    So let's run the carbon atom through the filter: First, can its formation be
    covered, or accounted for as a regular event? If so, it is caught by that
    filter and the conclusion is that it is not designed. If not, then it passes
    through that filter and goes on to the next filter.

    Can it be accounted for by chance. Again, ask the same questions. Can it be
    accounted for by chance. If the answer is yes, it is caught by that filter
    then it would not be considered intelligently designed. If the answer is no,
    it passes through that filter.

    So having passed two filters, what remains is intelligent design. The quick
    answer would be that the carbon atom is designed. I think Fred Hoyle said as
    much when describing, the formation of carbon, he said words to the effect
    that it seems like someone has fiddled with the laws of physics.

    You asked, <<"Is the Sun "intelligently designed?">> Run it through the
    filter and it would probably be caught at the first node, and the decision
    would be that it is not considered to be designed.

    You asked, <<Is "Intelligent Design" about design (no matter how the design
    is carried out), or is it about mechanisms? ("Mind" or "Hand" in the
    terminology of the question Howard often asks and the ID proponents never

    What I have given above has been shot from the hip. To do it more accurately
    would take more time and review of Dembski than I or you have given it.

    Speaking as scientists, IDers are interested in design, no matter how it is
    carried out. That is, design, used as a noun, an object to be studied. The
    question of mechanism is more complex. But one approach that has been
    suggested is that reverse engineering of complex biological systems might
    offer a method for studying mechanisms. I suggest that if this process were
    carried out we might discover how such systems were assembled, what parts
    were necessary, and even how the parts originate. If points or nodes were
    identified where experimenter intervention is required to move the process
    forward, one might provisionally conclude that right there is where
    intelligence was operative. Again, I am not sure how wide an acceptance this
    approach is accepted in the ID community.

    Please do not press me for more details. Unless you are willing to take the
    time to read Dembski together so that we can discuss things he has said, and
    can approach him with questions about what he has written, I don't want to
    pursue this further. I am not equipped to give a long explanation or seminar
    on the explanatory filter, or specified complexity, or irreducible complexity.

    Fair enough?



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