Re: Creationists Running for School Board

From: Keith Miller (
Date: Tue Sep 23 2003 - 13:30:24 EDT

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    > (3) Generally, yes. IMO, some ID arguments are
    > powerful and have not been refuted, they have only been shouted down. An
    > example is Dembski's point that science *does* accept the validity of making
    > inferences to intelligence--something like that must underlie the SETI
    > project, archaeology, anthropology, etc. But scientists simply won't allow
    > the intelligence to be "supernatural."

    I don't have time to make an extended response here. I will just make a few
    brief points. The kind of "intelligent" action that science can deal with
    is that of known natural agents. We are natural agents that we know a fair
    amount about as far as our capabilities. We can attribute artifacts to
    human or hominid agents because those agents are part of the physical world
    that we know and can study. To extend this idea, I can infer the action of
    past organisms from trace fossils. These traces of past activities can be
    distinguished from those of non-organic processes because all are part of
    the natural world open to our observation. Humans and horseshoe crabs are
    natural agents.

    With regard to ETs, we can only presume to be able to detect their action to
    the extent that we assume that they share some aspects of the other rational
    organisms that we know about -- Us.

    We cannot infer the action of a divine agent through scientific
    investigation because a divine agent can theoretically do anything. An
    agent that has no limitations is equivalent to a black box. Appealing to
    divine agency in science is simply an appeal to ignorance.

    Finally, science CAN deal with issues of fine tuning. And these arguments
    are already seriously discussed within the scientific community. ID as
    presently promoted contributes nothing new to this line of thinking.



    Dr. Keith B. Miller Department of Geology Thompson Hall 108 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS 66506-3201 ph: (785) 532-2250 webpage:

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