Re: [asa] STATEMENT ON INTELLIGENT DESIGN BY IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY FACULTY

From: David Clounch <david.clounch@gmail.com>
Date: Thu May 24 2007 - 19:58:44 EDT

Sorry if this is a duplicate...I intended to send back to the list but
apparently only sent to PVM by mistake.

Someone else made a statement about ontology and I therefore think my
response is germane to that...ergo its worth sending to the list after all.

Thanks,
Dave

On 5/23/07, David Clounch <david.clounch@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Well, when the folks who planned my house put together the parts list they
> sat down on a computer and did a design. It didn't just happen. There was a
> plan. Ahead of time.
>
> Maybe thats not science per se, but it is as natural as natural can be and
> methodological naturalism applies 100% to every technique used to plan out
> the house, right down to the design of the nails and the screws in the
> lumber.
>
> And this sort of thing is what Paul Davies is referring to when he raises
> the issue of a super-civilization mathematically planning out the features
> of the universe before they constructed it. The difference between these two
> cases is we have observational evidence of the civil engineers who planned
> my house, whereas the evidence for what Davies is talking about is, well, a
> wee bit more obscure.
>
> [an aside...does this mean Davies books must be banned from schools?]
>
> Does this answer your question about design theory? I suspect it does
> not. I suspect you don't really mean design, but something else that you
> are using the label design to refer to.
>
> How do we know my house was designed? How do we know my house didn't just
> blow in with the wind?
>
> Because there could be an infinite number of hurricanes, and not once will
> we see the wind slice up trees into dimensioned lumber and nail them
> together to make a house. Natural processes just don't construct houses.
> But how do we know this scientifically as opposed to just knowing by common
> sense? The answer is by using mathematical tools to measure whats designed
> versus whats not designed. If you have such a tool you can use it to
> determine design is just apparent, not real. But if you don't have such a
> tool, declaring there to be no design is just a seat of the pants type
> judgement. Let me give an example. The applied math depart at the University
> of Minnesota worked on a project where they used math to tell the difference
> between real art and a fake painting. They can tell if the original artist
> painted a picture versus if it was painted by a natural process versus if it
> was painted by a forger.
>
> In the absence of such a tool its really difficult to say some paintings
> were designed and not just formed by natural phenomena. And its equally
> difficult to say scientifically they *were* *not* *designed*. The
> assertion there is no design (or that design is just apparent) is not a
> scientific assertion in the absence of an accurate tool or technique. Its
> therefore something else, such as a religious or philosophical
> assertion. I don't see where any other conclusion is possible about this.
>
> As for Intelligent Design, that combination of terms has a number of
> different meanings. You are asking a complicated question in a way that
> suggests its actually a simple question. That seems a bit unfair.
>
> But my personal suggestion is the terms don't really go together. My
> position is that intelligence should be separated from design as a topic. I
> mean, the study of intelligence, in my way of thinking, is separate from
> the study of something intelligence produces (except in forensics, of
> course, but you were going to point that out, right?).
>
> I would think it extremely odd if someone were to complain that science
> cannot study intelligence. (My psychology professor would be rather upset at
> such an assertion). But I think if we cant even measure design accurately,
> (and may not be able to do so for decades), then we stand zero chance of
> making accurate analysis of the intelligence behind any given design.
> (BTW, isn't this what archaeology purports to do? It looks at an artifact
> and trys to determine something about the makers and users of the artifact.
> Is that not science?)
> So I differ from the ID people because they, like the naturalists, seem to
> be obsessed over intelligence, and have very little interest in design
> theory. I think the way to make progress is to set aside all the useless
> jawboning about the intelligence, and get down to figuring out how to
> measure real design versus mere appearance of design. Until we do that,
> aren't statements pro or con are just religious statements?
>
> I hope that helps clarify my views on design theory.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On 5/22/07, PvM <pvm.pandas@gmail.com > wrote:
> >
> > Can you explain how design is 'science'? Is intelligent design
> > science? Is it scientifically fruitful? I'd love to hear how such a
> > conclusion is reached?
> >
> > On 5/22/07, David Clounch <david.clounch@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > I'd like to offer a quote from Paul Davies:
> > >
> > >
> > > "The other main problem with Intelligent Design is that the identity
> > of he
> > > designer need bear no relation at all to the God of traditional
> > monotheism.
> > > The "designing agency" can be a committee of gods., for example. The
> > > designer can also be a natural being or beings, such as an evolved
> > supermind
> > > or supercivilization existing in a previous universe, or in another
> > region
> > > of our universe, which made our universe using supertechnology. the
> > designer
> > > can also be some sort of supercomputer simulating this universe. So
> > > invoking a superintellect as the levitating super-turtle is fraught
> > with
> > > problems."
> > >
> > > Paul Davies, The Cosmic Jackpot, p 265.
> > >
> > > Whatever we may think of the various options offered by Paul Davies,
> > the
> > > most interesting part of his description (of where the design comes
> > from) is
> > > the option for the designer to be "natural". Not only natural, but a
> > part
> > > of our cosmos. Not a "supernatural" option as claimed by the crowd at
> > Iowa
> > > State. One might be tempted to ask whether the signers at Iowa
> > realize
> > > that their first task, in order to maintain credibility, is to show
> > where
> > > Davies is wrong. I don't see where they deal with the issue.
> > >
> > > -David Clounch
> > >
> > > PS, I am sitting here right now with a sophomore from Iowa State.
> > Believe
> > > me, he is affected by this nonsense in the name of science. As is my
> > son,
> > > who is a junior in physics at University of Wisconsin. Both of them
> > believe
> > > design is religion, not science, because ignorant people say so.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > From: David Campbell < pleuronaia@gmail.com>
> > > Date: Thu May 17 2007 - 11:20:39 EDT
> > >
> > >
> > > Another problem is that a lot of Intelligent Design claims are
> > > scientific, but wrong. (Even Paul Nelson has made this point.) Thus
> > > it's not true to say it's necessarily not science. Some of ID is not
> > > science, but not all of it.
> > > --
> > > Dr. David Campbell
> > > 425 Scientific Collections
> > > University of Alabama
> > > "I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
> > > To unsubscribe, send a message to
> > > majordomo@calvin.edu with
> > > "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
>
>

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Received on Thu May 24 19:59:35 2007

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