From: Ted Davis (
Date: Thu Sep 25 2003 - 13:30:46 EDT

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    1. who says making a flagellum is the definitive test of the darwinian

    2. why are natural forces "unintelligent?"

    I'll answer the second question.

    Natural forces are "unintelligent" within the mechanical philosophy, the
    paradigm that has been adopted in most sciences since the mid-17th century.
    (The name "mechanical philosophy" was coined by Robert Boyle, incidentally,
    although it was applied to a set of ideas that had been widely circulated
    for a century and had been partly dredged up from antiquity.)

    On this view, matter is "stupid" or "brute" (these terms were in use at the
    time in just this way), meaning that pieces of matter do not have the
    ability to think in any way. "Mind" was, if a substance, a substance of a
    different nature that had to be "added" to matter by supernatural agency.
    God, angels and humans had minds, perhaps (I say perhaps, this was contested
    and many people like Boyle were uncertain about it) some animals also had

    So, the mechanisms themselves can't think, but thoughts can be used by
    outside agents (see above) to control them or put them to use. Order on
    this view *must* be a product of external intelligence.

    This is IMO central to the conversation about ID. No one has yet, AFAIK,
    solved the "mind/body" problem well enough to convince lots of folks that it
    has been solved. And until it is, IMO the ID controversy will remain--and
    remain interesting.

    For further thoughts on this, see parts of my essay here:


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