Re: The scientific vacuity of Intelligent Design

From: Cornelius Hunter <>
Date: Fri Nov 25 2005 - 23:36:04 EST

This is the age-old rationalist complaint against empricism. You can't
supply me with a competing rationalistic scheme, so you don't qualify.
Imagine, a theory for studying biology that does not include the mechanism
for how life came about? Unacceptable. Meanwhile the elephant is still in
the room.

> False positives are incredible fatal to the ID argument but the ID
> argument is vacuous for various other reasons. Since ID is basically the
> set theoretic complement of regularity and chance, it does not present ANY
> mechanisms, methods, explanations for a particular 'designed' system. In
> other words, ID explains nothing. When ID attempts to explain observed
> data, it has to start making assumptions about the designer(s), but there
> are no foundational principles that describe the interest, motivation,
> capabilities of said designer(s).
> One can at most draw the 'circular' conclusion that the designer could
> design system X because he designed it or that the designer wanted to
> design system X because he designed it.
> Let's look at Behe's testimony in the Kitzmiller trial in Dover
> Q: It does not identify who the designer is, correct?
> A That s correct. Let me just clarify that. I m talking about the
> scientific argument for intelligent design based on physical data and
> logic, yes.
> Q You believe it s God, but it s not part of your scientific argument?
> A That s correct.
> Q It does not describe how the design occurred.
> A I m sorry?
> Q Intelligent design does not describe how the design occurred.
> A That s correct, just like the Big Bang theory does not describe what
> caused the Big Bang.
> Q Does not identify when the design occurred.
> A That is correct.
> Q In fact, intelligent design takes no position on the age of the earth or
> when biological life began.
> A That s correct.
> Q But think it was — the earth as billions of years old or 10,000 years
> old.
> A That s correct.
> Q It says nothing about what the designer’s abilities are.
> *A Other than saying that the designer had the ability to make the design
> that is under consideration, that’s correct.
> Q It sounds pretty tautological, Professor Behe.*
> and
> A Well, as I think I said in response to the question, we know the
> designer had the ability to make the design. So, but beyond that, we would
> be extrapolating beyond the evidence, so we can t say more than that.
> Q And we know nothing about the designer s limitations.
> A Well, we have to infer what we have from the data, and the data tell us
> that a designer can make a certain object. It does not say what the
> designer might not do. our everyday world somebody who makes some simple
> object might be able to make a more complex one or so on.
> Q Intelligent design says nothing about the intelligent designer s
> motivations?
> *A The only statement it makes about that is that the designer had the
> motivation to make the structure that is designed.*
> Q How can intelligent design possibly make that statement, Professor Behe?
> A I don t understand your question.
> Q How can it possibly say anything about the intelligent designer s
> motives without knowing anything about who the intelligent designer is?
> And so on. The designer designed because he was motivated to design it, he
> had the ability to design it because he designed it, but we don’t really
> know much of anything….
Received on Fri Nov 25 23:37:09 2005

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