Re: Directed evolution: evidence for teleology?

From: Cornelius Hunter <>
Date: Sun Oct 16 2005 - 18:39:22 EDT


> OK, we seem to be getting onto the same page. FWIW I don't own a copy of
> _Darwin's Black Box_ & the library no longer has the copy of it that I
> read when it 1st came out. Maybe they think it's no longer of current
> interest! Thus I don't have the exact language that he uses. But anyway,
> to summarize, -
> If the inference (which you emphasize) of an intelligent designer takes
> the form "natural selection & any other evolutionary theory that doesn't
> appeal to a designer can't explain certain features so there must be a
> designer" then the implication (whether made explicitly or not) is that
> appeal to a designer is needed in order to explain those features.

Couple of points probably worth making:

1. The ID claim is that the evidence points to a designer, not necessarily
to God. This is (I think it is safe to say) a consensus within ID. But what
does this mean exactly? Much to say here, but what I think everyone can
agree on is the obvious: if there is a valid design inference, then there
will be some who reject it, and others who accept it. In this sense, from
the perspective of the human evaluators, the evidence is not sufficient to
point to God. Crick, for instance, suggested ETs as the designer in his
panspermia idea. So something more is needed to conclude for creation, and
the design inference in ID just that, nothing more. ID doesn't force Crick
to go beyond what he has concluded. An analogy is the discovery of the black
monolith buried on the moon in 2001 (the movie that is, not the year). They
didn't need to know who the designer was to make a design inference.

2. Regarding the design inference, I wouldn't put it as you state it above.
It is more like how Paley described it. We know what things designed look
like, so when we see something like that we make the design inference. How
to make this objective? This is one facet of ID.

3. Another facet of design theory is that it makes way for new types of
scientific research. For example, in biology we can compare species
according to many criteria (such as design) rather than restricting to an
evolutionary tree. We can look for patterns that evolutionists do not look
for, since they restricted to common descent and fitness as the drivers (not
that ID rejects common descent--it doesn't, though some IDs do).

4. Or, other facets of design theory are more general. For instance, to look
at the design of natural laws. Or to look at the designs of objects in
nature (from quasars to sub atomic particles). Kant talked about this sort
of thing, and it seems obvious that there is an overlap with TE here.

Received on Sun Oct 16 18:45:53 2005

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