Re: Is there evidence of design?

From: Cornelius Hunter <ghunter2099@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Mon Nov 14 2005 - 17:19:35 EST

Terry:

I think the difference is that TE mandates that no design may be detected in any sort of scientific manner, so all this design that's all around us must be characterized as purely the result of natural processes which cannot be differentiated from an unguided process. ID, on the other hand, allows for a variety of causes without mandating an answer, a priori. But beyond this, whereas evolution and creation are tied to their respective historical explanations (without the historical explanation there would be no experimental theories, in both cases) ID allows for experimental research programs that, while exploiting patterns and apparent designs, do not hinge historical claims. So there is a wide range of research and ideas that a design researcher can consider without making any ultimate truth claims. Here is a very simple example. Evolutionists tend to see species as classified according phylogenies. Design research can classify according to design, without having to use evolutionary trees.

  Cornelius,

  Then, what's the difference between ID and theistic evolution?

  You seem to be using ID much more broadly than most of us. Theistic evolution is more or less indistinguishable scientifically from naturalistic evolution. The chief difference comes in the meta-scientific claim about the ultimate basis for the properties and behavior of the universe. Is it created/sustained/governed by God? Or is it self-existent and self-governed, i.e. it's just there?

  TG

  On Nov 14, 2005, at 1:39 PM, Cornelius Hunter wrote:

    Terry:

    Sorry for the terse message, let me elaborate a bit. I wonder if you or others find evidence for design in creation, with whatever caveats you would attach.You have responded that (i) you do feel there is evidence for design (eg, the ETC exhibits function and IC), (ii) but such design could have evolved, (iii) and such a process of evolution was God-designed and God-guided, and (iv) you have doubts about whether the evidence from creation reveals any "superimposed purposefulness detectable from the outside."

    My point is that this position easily falls within the ID framework. Indeed, if God designed and guided the process it fits well. You asked:

    "Not sure what your last sentence means. If by that you mean that evolution is a God-designed, -guided process, and that irreducible complexity can arise by such means, then I readily concur. If you mean, the process and results evidence some kind of superimposed purposefulness detectable from the outside, then I have my doubts."

    Yes, I meant that ID does not rule out evolutionary processes.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Terry M. Gray
      To: asa@calvin.edu
      Sent: Monday, November 14, 2005 9:03 AM
      Subject: Re: Is there evidence of design?

      Cornelius,

      Evidence detectable scientifically?

      Not sure what your last sentence means. If by that you mean that evolution is a God-designed, -guided process, and that irreducible complexity can arise by such means, then I readily concur. If you mean, the process and results evidence some kind of superimposed purposefulness detectable from the outside, then I have my doubts.

      TG

      On Nov 14, 2005, at 7:17 AM, Cornelius Hunter wrote:

        Brief response for now: My question is simply do you find evidence of design in creation, in whatever form that evidence may take (IC is fine as an example).

        "I reject the claim that "irreducible complexity" is unevolvable "

        It is not a matter of design *or* evolution.

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Terry M. Gray
          To: asa@calvin.edu
          Sent: Sunday, November 13, 2005 3:50 PM
          Subject: Re: Is there evidence of design?

          Cornelius,

          Two responses here:

          First, you're changing the question. The context was Miller and Levine's discussion of "purposeful evolution", i.e. that something scientifically detectable is guiding the process.

          Second, I'm not sure what your question means. What does it mean that the ETS/ETC exhibits evidence for design? Does it have some function in the cell? Yes--even Dawkins will recognize design in that sense. Is that what you're talking about? Or are you talking about "irreducible complexity"? I.e. do all the parts depend on each other provide a working whole. Yes--ETS/ETC is complex in that sense and biologists have always talked about it (even if we haven't called it "irreducible complexity") in terms of structure/function relationships. I reject the claim that "irreducible complexity" is unevolvable by naturally occurring mechanisms simply on the basis of in principle exaptation arguments alone. Is that what you're talking about? If not those two things, then what is it that you mean?

          I'm very inclined to think of design, when it comes to the relationship between God and the creation (a different relationship than that between an artifact and an artificer), as being a theological concept rather than a scientific one. While this may come very close to defining the problem away, and perhaps it does, since I don't really see that there is much of a problem, it is a perspective that needs articulating from the outset. I believe in design because I believe in a designer, not because I see design in and of itself.

          TG

          On Nov 13, 2005, at 8:20 AM, Cornelius Hunter wrote:

            Well how about starting with this question. Do you think there is evidence for design in creation? For instance, does the electron transport chain exhibit evidence for design?

              From: Terry M. Gray
              If there is a "plan and purpose" that is detectable scientifically, then I'm all ears. Where is it? How is it imposed on organisms and ecosystems?
              TG

          ________________
          Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
          Computer Support Scientist
          Chemistry Department
          Colorado State University
          Fort Collins, CO 80523
          (o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801

      ________________
      Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
      Computer Support Scientist
      Chemistry Department
      Colorado State University
      Fort Collins, CO 80523
      (o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801

  ________________
  Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
  Computer Support Scientist
  Chemistry Department
  Colorado State University
  Fort Collins, CO 80523
  (o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801
Received on Mon Nov 14 17:20:10 2005

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