Re: Bill Buckingham testifies in Dover...

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Wed Nov 02 2005 - 13:32:31 EST

On Wed, 02 Nov 2005 08:58:00 -0500 "Ted Davis" <>
> 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.
> Ted
Your point holds if you do not differentiate between the occasion and the
basis. Any complexity can furnish the occasion. The mammalian eye was an
example. Now that we know that the same gene underlies the structure of
the arthropod compound eye, of both types of molluscan eye (one with the
sensors in the front of the retina), and of the vertebrate eye with the
sensors behind the nerve net, I don't find the mammalian eye used as an
example of divine design by IDers. Behe uses clotting and flagella
because they are complicated and at the time we didn't know much about
their development. The flagellum is pushed, even though it is similar to
cilia and now has been connected to the injecting organelle of /Yersinia
pestis/. It looks as though gaps in development are being filled. But
Behe's argument is that what we don't understand has to be produced
miraculously, inserted from without by higher intelligence. This demands
that we'll never fill the gaps, a requirement stronger than your "it
might be." As to this premiss of yours," you're right only because
anything that is not contradictory is possible. Even without Maxwell's
demon, the wall of my room may blow out. But I guarantee that molecular
unison is not an explanation that will be offered by the fire marshall
should the house explode. What's logically possible is realistically
Received on Wed Nov 2 13:37:21 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Nov 02 2005 - 13:37:21 EST