Re: gaps from Re: Bill Buckingham testifies in Dover...

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Fri Nov 04 2005 - 13:59:07 EST

On Thu, 3 Nov 2005 18:14:28 -0600 "Dr. David Campbell"
<> writes:
> > > I agree, David, that the scientist should always try to advance
> > > the paradigm along the lines you point out. I suspect Mike Behe
> > > would not object to this either. The historian that I am,
> however,
> > > thinks it is fair for a scientist to say to his/her
> > > colleagues, "We've had a theory now for a long time and we still
> > > have 'large gaps' in this area of the theory.
> > > Isn't it legitimate for me now to propose that we've taken NS
> too
> > > far, farther than its explanatory efficacy actually warrants?
> > > Shouldn't I be free to propose in scientific journals that the
> > > discarded idea of 'design'might have been discarded too hastily?
> > > Might it not perhaps be possible to spell out criteria that
> justify
> > > an inference to design?"
> I agree with ID advocates in the assertion that ruling out design a
> priori is an unwarrented philosophical premise that is potentially a
> science stopper. However, to propose something in scientific
> journals
> generally requires supporting scientific evidence, rather than just
> an
> idea about how things are going. Not that the idea should not be
> proposed, just that scientific journals might not be the right place
> to
> try. As ID advocates point out, there are accepted attempts at
> developing criteria to identify human design in archaeology.
> However,
> I have not encountered any ID-based criteria for design that look to
> me
> like criteria to identify design. Rather, they look like criteria
> to
> describe complex biochemical systems. They don't do a good job of
> identifying human-designed things nor of rejecting complex
> structures
> that everyone would concede as not requiring ID-type intervention
> (e.g., a fairly complex mineral structure).
> Theologically, trying to identify how God would or would not have
> done
> in a scientifically detectable way is highly problematic.
Let me spin a yarn. Super Pork Producers, Inc., has built a secret lab in
which they have modified. the gene in /Sus/ that produces the musculature
of Charolais cattle and the German infant in the news a while back. The
lab has also tinkered with other genes that increase growth rate and the
efficient use of food. They now are producing porkers that blow away the
competition. SPP claims that their line of pigs was derived from natural
mutations which they spotted and exploited. Nobody but a few of the top
brass know about the lab, and they're not talking. There would be trouble
if it were shown that their special breed was GM. How would you prove
scientifically that the super porkers were produced by designed
manipulations rather than by exploiting randomly occurring natural

I grant that the probability of the required mutations occurring
simultaneously in one herd is suspicious, but it is not adequate proof.
The precise meshing of the physical constants to produce a universe in
which we can live is indicative of divine planning, but it is not proof
of God's existence. Flew may have been convinced, but there are many
still unconvinced. One might also, opposing Ted, cite the ever increasing
evidence for organic evolution. Of course, there is the misrepresentation
by YEC and, for that matter, OEC. But, on a strict appraisal, short of
finding the secret lab or getting a confession from one of its workers,
how does one differentiate between a random mutation and a planned one?
Note that I have not proposed the introduction of a "foreign": gene,
which would be readily detectable.
Received on Fri Nov 4 14:03:34 2005

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