Re: The scientific vacuity of Intelligent Design

From: Terry M. Gray <grayt@lamar.colostate.edu>
Date: Sat Nov 26 2005 - 15:23:05 EST

On Nov 26, 2005, at 11:01 AM, Cornelius Hunter wrote:

> Pim and George:
>
>
> Pim:
>
>
>>
>>> Fortunately people like Isaac Newton and John Ray didn't agree
>>> with you. Rationalism failed in theology and in teh experimental
>>> sciences, but it has continued in the historical sciences. Behe
>>> injected the Big Bang into the testimony for good reason. The
>>> lawyer didn't get it (or didn't want to get it), but the BB is an
>>> example where empiricism has broken through in the historical
>>> sciences, despite stiff resistance. It violated the axioms held
>>> by many cosmologists, but the evidence was too strong. I guess
>>> the lawyer should have just said it is vacuous.
>>
>> Again you are conflating various arguments. BB succeeded because
>> it presented another testable, positive explanation of the data.
>> ID does nothing of the kind, it merely relies on negative evidence
>> to conclcude that our ignorance is evidence of something called
>> 'design'. It was exactly the empirical evidence which led the BB
>> to become an accepted theory.
>> So again, BB was not scientifically vacuous as it was a real
>> hypothesis, not the null hypothesis.
>
> This history of science helps here because these attacks on ID are
> similar to the rationalist's attacks on the 17th century moderate
> empiricists. The BB doesn't tell us why this event occurred. It
> doesn't have a mechanism for the cause. This is what you complained
> ID lacked. Regarding testability, the BB is testable in the same
> sense that design theories are testable. Nor are design theories
> based on negative evidence (John Ray did not study botany using
> negative evidence). Here we are with the evidence screaming
> "design" and we're told this must not be science.

Cornelius,

Can you give us an example of this "new kind of science"? Please give
us an example of a design theory. You're a scientist...you think that
design is a useful way to do science. Tell us what you do. Pim's
issue is that it seems that ID folks are merely attempting to show
how evolutionary explanations fail. You seem to be suggesting that
design functions positively in scientific theorizing. Please show us.

TG
Received on Sat Nov 26 15:25:23 2005

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