From: Michael Roberts (
Date: Wed Sep 24 2003 - 17:48:53 EDT

  • Next message: Steve Petermann: "Re: RFEP & ID"

    Can anyone give me one example where ID has been fruitful in science? I
    cannot think of one example.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Steve Petermann" <>
    To: "Howard J. Van Till" <>; "ted davis"
    <>; <>; <>
    Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2003 6:36 PM
    Subject: 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
    > taken
    > > as an indication (not a proof, of course) that the universe actually has
    > the
    > > 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
    > causation in biology, don't just assume natural causation and stop. Look
    > further.
    > > Given his additional argumentation that science will never be
    > > able to do this because the joint effect of all natural causes (both
    > > 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
    > > 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
    > to be a very interesting decade as this unfolds.
    > Steve Petermann

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