Re: Directed evolution: evidence for teleology?

From: Pim van Meurs <>
Date: Sat Oct 15 2005 - 21:27:33 EDT

--- Cornelius Hunter <>

> George and Pim:

> Pim:
> >> 1. The design inference doesn't do a very good
> job.
> >> 2. There are theological or philosophical
> problems with the design
> >> inference being posssible (POE, Leibniz' "God
> wouldn't intervene against
> >> his creation" argument, etc).
> >
> >
> > ID as it is formulated right now is scientifically
> vacuous.
> Why is that?

Because it adds nothing scientifically relevant to our
knowledge, is based on an eliminative argument based
on our ignorance rather than our knowledge?
Your own responses to details about the ID argument
document much of the vacuity of ID. See also at the
end of this posting for some excellent papers on this

> > And ID lacks any scientific explanation. They
> claim that they can detect
> > God's hand in areas which science not yet
> understands.
> So would you object to SETI?

Not at all, SETI is based on the detection of
narrowband transmissions which are believed to be
reliable indicators of intelligence. Attempting to
recognize human-like intelligence is quite a bit
different from attempting to do the same with an
transcendent intelligence as proposed by ID.

ID's conflation of rarefied and ordinary design has
been well documented in Wilkins and Elsberry's the
advantage of theft over toil found
> > Why one would look for the bacterial flagellum as
> somehow designed is
> > beyond me. While it is based on mostly our
> ignorance, and ignores viable
> > scientific hypotheses,
> OK, this is type #1 from above.

I notice you are not answering my question really. ID
basically says, we do not understand X, thus X must
have been designed.

> > ID also leaves many relevant questions unanswered
> such as how, why,
> > when... Why would God be intimately involved in
> the design of the
> > flagellum, which seem to have found a use as TTSS
> (tupe III secretory
> > system) in such friendly creatures as Yersenia
> (causes the bubonic
> > plague). Was the bubonic plague which is seen as
> the cause of death of
> > more than half the european population in the
> middle ages somehow
> > intelligently designed? Or was it an unexpected
> side effect of the
> > 'creative act' ? Why would God be so interested in
> the bacterial flagellum
> > I wonder?
> OK, this is type #2 from above.

Still no answer. Do you really need more evidence that
ID is scientifically vacuous I wonder?

If so, check out Ryan Nichols excellent paper

Ryan Nichols is the author of Scientific content,
testability, and the vacuity of Intelligent Design
theory The American Catholic philosophical quarterly ,
2003 , vol. 77 , no 4 , pp. 591 – 611,

    In my argument against Intelligent Design Theory I
will not contend that it is not falsifiable or that it
implies contradictions. I’ll argue that Intelligent
Design Theory doesn’t imply anything at all, i.e. it
has no content. By ‘content’ I refer to a body of
determinate principles and propositions entailed by
those principles. By ‘principle’ I refer to a
proposition of central importance to the theory at
issue. By ‘determinate principle’ I refer to a
proposition of central importance to the theory at
issue in which the extensions of its terms are clearly
    I’ll evaluate the work of William Dembski because
he specifies his methodology in detail, thinks
Intelligent Design Theory is contentful and thinks
Intelligent Design Theory (hereafter ‘IDT’) grounds an
empirical research program. Later in the paper I
assess a recent trend in which IDT is allegedly found
a better home as a metascientific hypothesis, which
serves as a paradigm that catalyzes research. I’ll
conclude that, whether IDT is construed as a
scientific or metascientific hypothesis, IDT lacks

Or Patrick Frank

Patrick Frank author of “On the Assumption of Design”,
Theology and Science, Volume 2, Number 1 / April 2004,
pp. 109 - 130.

    Abstract: The assumption of design of the universe
is examined from a scientific perspective. The claims
of William Dembski and of Michael Behe are
unscientific because they are a-theoretic. The
argument from order or from utility are shown to be
indeterminate, circular, to rest on psychological as
opposed to factual certainty, or to be insupportable
as regards humans but possibly not bacteria,
respectively. The argument from the special
intelligibility of the universe specifically to human
science does not survive comparison with the
capacities of other organisms. Finally, the argument
from the unlikelihood of physical constants is
vitiated by modern cosmogonic theory and recrudesces
the God-of-the-gaps.
Received on Sat Oct 15 21:29:34 2005

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