Re: Critique of ID & No Free Lunch

From: Josh Bembenek (
Date: Wed Sep 11 2002 - 12:04:21 EDT

  • Next message: Josh Bembenek: "Re: Critique of ID & No Free Lunch"


    I second Preston's reading and would add that to me this is why
    Dembski brings up quibbling, etc. I would like to ask some
    questions; if ID is a scientific pursuit as they claim, and if they
    are willing to fade away as soon as mechanistic details are ironed
    out as they claim, why all the sharp criticism at this point? It
    seems to me like the debate is an exercise in rhetoric without
    further evidence either way. We don't have enough data to answer
    IC once and for all, just hand-waving speculations which may or may
    not be right. Not having enough evidence shouldn't justify one
    position over another. Until the evidence arrives why not let them
    make their arguments and keep the door open (not that they'll stop
    anyway?) In other articles I have seen Dembski argue that the ID movement
    is fully compatible with a view that design was front-loaded into the first
    cause and all things played themselves out from that point. Do you not feel
    that this is the case, why or why not? The view of front-loaded design
    seems, if I am not mistaken, to be your main concept of creation, what if ID
    could lead to results that eventually provide support for your own view
    (i.e. for the same formational history that you see, without the adequacy of
    blind chance and strict maximal naturalistic processes)? If nothing else,
    it seems to me that ID will spur evolutionists on to make more rigorous
    arguments and flesh out real science from the assumptions that underlie it
    currently. Even if ID is wrong, I think they will ultimately provide
    science with a service of motivation and focus on a problem that previously
    not many would have considered very important. Finally, I recently attended
    the debate at the ID conference in Kansas. Listening to Behe's viewpoint,
    it seems a very thin line between his view of how creation arrived and your
    own. In both views the physical universe seems to have taken the exact same
    path from start to present, and in both views without God's direction life
    and existence would not be. The real fundamental issue, as I can tell,
    seems only as to whether or not natural selection and mutations can account
    mechanistically for biological life. But even if these mechamisms could
    account for life, your view still asserts that those processes didn't occur
    without God, so that each chance mutation was "directed", "known", "guided"
    by God. What is your ultimate goal in your criticism of their work, because
    it doesn't appear that you have offered a general solution but rather
    attempt to, as Dembski points out, stifle their inquiry?

    Josh Bembenek

    >>>From: Preston Garrison <>
    >>>Subject: Re: Critique of ID & No Free Lunch
    >>>Date: Mon, 09 Sep 2002 23:34:07 -0500
    >>>>For the record, here's the statement in No Free Lunch on which my
    >>>>attribution was based.
    >>>>"...we are now at a place where transforming a biological system that
    >>>>not exhibit an instance of specified complexity (say a bacterium without
    >>>>flagellum) into one that does (say a bacterium with a flagellum) cannot
    >>>>accomplished by purely natural means but also requires intelligence."
    >>>>Free Lunch, pp. 331-332.)
    >>>>Now, it may be technically true that Dembski did not argue explicitly
    >>>>the non-designed character of the bacterium-without-flagellum by giving
    >>>>complete and detailed causally specific account for its natural
    >>>>(that seems to be the only kind of scientific account that Dembski would
    >>>>accept), but his judgment that the bacterium-without-flagellum does not
    >>>>exhibit an instance of specified complexity seems quite clearly stated
    >>>>Dembski is free to retract it (after all, we are all free to revise our
    >>>>judgments on such matters), but denying that he ever said it seems out
    >>>>Howard Van Till
    >>>For what it's worth, when I read your quote of Dembski (above) in
    >>>your review (I haven't read his book), I thought that he almost
    >>>certainly meant "...transforming a biological system that does not
    >>>exhibit a_specific_instance of specified complexity [e.g. a
    >>>flagellum]... into one that does..." I couldn't believe, given his
    >>>general stance, that he would allow that the basic stripped down
    >>>economy model E. coli could be achieved without ID, and that ID only
    >>>came in if you wanted the options package.
    >>>Preston G.
    >>>Preston Garrison, Ph.D.
    >>>Biochem. Dept. MSC 7760 Insert the usual disclaimers here.
    >>>7703 Floyd Curl Dr.
    >>>San Antonio, TX 78229-3900
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