Re: The scientific vacuity of Intelligent Design

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Sat Nov 26 2005 - 13:40:33 EST

> Of course the BB was a triumph of one theory over others, that is obvious.
> The point is that the BB, unlike its competitors, did not flow from axioms
> that were held about the universe. Let's not play dumb about the
> metaphysical resistance the BB encountered.

Actually BB does follow from axioms about the universe - i.e., those that
lie behind GRT without lambda. It's unfortunate that Einstein didn't have
enough confidence in his axioms to stick to them. All physical theories
have axioms about the universe, though they may not be explicitly about "the
universe" in the sense of cosmological theories.

& I'm quite aware of the metaphysical assumptions behind SS theory - I was
there. (Though as a lowly grad student my influence was negligible.) & it
ought to be remembered that there were in fact empirical reasons behind SS
theory as well, at least at its formulation - i.e., the time scale
difficulty with what the Hubble parameter was then thought to be.

>> Theory is the bridge which enables us to use the results of what you call
>> "experimental science" to what you call "historical science," & therefore
>> blurs any fundamental distinction between the two. Cosmology, & in fact
>> all of astrophysics, is an excellent example.
> You are begging the question. Yes, there is no fundamental distinction
> between the historical and experimental sciences, and theory is the
> bridge, IF naturalism is true. If the Burnet-Leibniz-Kant. model of how
> God creates is true (or something like it is true), then yes, there is no
> fundamental distinction. But that is the question at hand. Is this model,
> or something like it, true?

The fact that astrophysics works is a pretty good argument for the validity
of methodological naturalism in the "historical sciences."

>> Todd - Nice to see you here. I taught in the physics dept at Luther,
>> most recently in 83.
>> What more can you say of any scientific theory than that "it is the most
>> consistent theory that explains the data we
>> see today"? ID, OTOH, doesn't explain any data except by saying "a
>> designer did it."
> Of course design theory explains data.

Yes - by saying "a designer" (aka God) did it."

> True, the typical focus of design theory is not in providing ultimate
> answers, and a historical theory of origins. It is more focused on the
> experimental sciences.

No, it does provide ultimate answers, for that is what "God did it" is. The
problem is that it doesn't provide penultimate or antepenultimate ones,
which is what science is about.
>> If IDers would indeed be content to say that there are some aspects of
>> biological development that evolutionary theories haven't explained, it
>> would be a different matter. But they aren't.
> It is the evolutionists, not the IDers, who are holding to a dogmatic
> position. One might think that if evolutionary theories haven't explained
> biology then alternatives would be allowed. But this is not the case for
> naturalists. As Kant explained, naturalism is not a theory or good idea --
> we must hold it to be a fact. Likewise today's evolutionists hold that
> evolution is not a theory, but a fact (it would be perverse to say it is a
> theory!). Of course these claims are based on a priori axioms
> (rationalism) as opposed to the empirical evidence.

Evolution is a theory. It's the best one we currently have for the relevant

Received on Sat Nov 26 13:43:18 2005

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