From: Steve Petermann (
Date: Wed Sep 24 2003 - 13:36:24 EDT

  • Next message: Howard J. Van Till: "Re: RFEP & ID"

    Howard wrote:
    > I would argue that its remarkable fruitfulness as the working
    > assumption for the historical sciences for a century or more should be
    > as an indication (not a proof, of course) that the universe actually has
    > nature described by the RFEP.

    I would suggest that the <fruitfulness as a working assumption> is exactly
    why science should take an interest in ID. Seems to me that what the RFEP
    assumption did was not contribute directly to specific advances in science
    but instead promoted the continued search for natural causes to phenomenon
    instead of attributing some anomalous data to the supernatural. What RFEP
    did in affect is continually drive science to challenge itself and
    investigate further. At this point in time this is also what ID concepts
    are doing. What ID says to scientists is, when confronted with problems of
    causation in biology, don't just assume natural causation and stop. Look

    > Given his additional argumentation that science will never be
    > able to do this because the joint effect of all natural causes (both known
    > and unknown) is incapable of actualizing a bacterial flagellum, Dembski
    > counts this as evidence that RFEP is false.

    Dembski's opinions and speculations don't count as evidence.

    > I suspect that biologists will never be able to construct a causally
    > specific account that would satisfy advocates of ID. Some critical detail
    > would always be declared missing; plausibility arguments, no matter how
    > reasonable, could always be declared to be less than convincing. I will,
    > however, defer to biologists for more commentary on your question

    For those IDists who are primarily motivated by political or religious
    reasons, you are probably right, they will never acquiesce(just like the
    YEC's ). However, I have run across some researchers who seem to be
    objectively tackling the plausibility of ID in good scientific faith(Mike
    Gene for one).

    However, if Darwinian biologists are *not* able to reasonably line out in
    detail *some* complex biological designs it will prove ID. Obviously if
    very intelligent human designers cannot figure out how to make a flagellum
    using a Darwinian model with all they know, how in the world could
    unintelligent natural forces do it, even over millions of years. It's going
    to be a very interesting decade as this unfolds.

    Steve Petermann

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