Re: "Body's defense mechanism worsens asthma symptoms" - a challenge for ID?

From: David F Siemens <>
Date: Thu Aug 11 2005 - 15:41:48 EDT

On Thu, 11 Aug 2005 19:16:44 +0100 Iain Strachan <>
> On 8/11/05, Ted Davis <> wrote:
> > Jack writes:
> >
> > The article below (assuming the science holds up) offers a current
> > challenge for ID proponents. What say you?
> > Jack
> >
> >
> > Ted replies:
> > In his subtle treatise on the doctrine of creation, Robert Boyle
> noted that
> > the design of the human body had to be set up to help the body in
> the
> > majority of situations, and that in some situations this would be
> > detrimental to the body: the same mechanism would harm a person in
> those
> > situations.
> I would say that any form of design (be it via an evolutionary
> process
> or by an intervention) would always end up making a compromise, or
> trade off between conflicting requirements. For example, a fault
> detection system has to make a trade off between two types of
> mistake
> a "False alarm" ( fault diagnosis where none exists) and a failure
> to
> detect a real fault. If you eliminate the second type of error,
> then
> you may well get far too many false alarms, to the detriment of the
> usefulness of the device. By contrast, you relax the false alarm
> threshold, and you inevitably miss some real faults. This sort of
> thing could well go on in biological organisms - detection of danger
> leads to an increase in cortisol levels and the ability to flee or
> fight. But if there are too many false danger detections (e.g. a
> person may get over-sensitive about germs and obsessively was
> themselves), then the resultant anxiety leads to permanently raised
> cortisol levels which leads to anxiety, depression, and all kinds of
> bad physical effects.
> So I don't see that this prevents a threat to "Intelligent Design" -
> the universe is probabilistic, and you can't get round the maths.
> It
> neither proves nor disproves intelligent design.
> Iain.
Are you saying that an omiscient and omnipotent Creator could not have
figured out how to overcome these design problems? I understand that
finite engineers find themselves making trade offs. But is the Creator
similarly restricted?
Received on Thu Aug 11 15:44:49 2005

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