Re: Bill Buckingham testifies in Dover...

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Wed Nov 02 2005 - 08:58:00 EST

David Seimens writes a lot I agree with, but I don't agree with this:

The current blarney from the ID crowd
is totally dependent on what we don't yet know, not on anything we do.


The title of Behe's book, "Darwin's black box," hits this one well. It's
b/c of what we now do know about cells (as opposed to the enormous ignorance
of Darwin's day concerning the details of living things), about how
extraordinarily complex they are, how they are all almost literally machines
(that word is widely used in the scientific literature to describe parts of
the cell and the cell as a whole), that the idea of "irreducible complexity"
arose. It arose from considering (a) what is know about the cell and its
various parts and (b) what is know about what NS can do. If you don't throw
in the assumption (made by Darwinian evolution) that there cannot be any
"intelligent" causes (here use "intelligent" in contrast to "natural," but
NOT as a simple synonym for "supernatural" since we do know a lot about
intelligent agency that does not involve God) operative in evolution, then
you are free to invoke intelligence as part of the causal mix. Even someone
as naturalistic (in the non-miraculous sense) as Simon Conway Morris does
this in his paleontology, and he might be the top paleontologist in the
world. (We tried to get him as a speaker for the Pepperdine meeting,
incidentally, but there were scheduling conflicts.)

When the whole argument is about whether or not the a priori restriction
against intelligence is appropriate, then it isn't an answer just to say
that intelligence isn't the answer--but that's the answer a lot of
scientists will give.

At the same time, I agree with the point (very, very often made) that ID is
banking on future ignorance of mechanistic causes. I have enough faith in
the rationality of the universe and the creator, and in the limited
knowledge of creatures, to believe that there will *always* be opportunities
for creatures to learn more about the creation, while at the same time I
believe that there will *always* be some things that we will just never
know, b/c God did them in ways that utterly transcend our ability to know.
If the creation of complexity in biological systems is one of those things
(as it might be), then ID is the right answer. If not, then it isn't. I
doubt we'll ever know.

Received on Wed Nov 2 09:00:47 2005

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