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

From: Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu>
Date: Thu May 24 2007 - 20:52:53 EDT

You are concerned with information, say, in a sign. I am questioning the very sign itself. I am indicating that existence; say a forest, a mountain, etc., is a sign also that has a source that goes beyond Nature. What keeps something existing? Why forests? Why mountains? Why man? Why is there something? I do not say why there is something rather than nothing. Since humans cannot conceive of nothingness!

 
Moorad

________________________________

From: David Clounch [mailto:david.clounch@gmail.com]
Sent: Thu 5/24/2007 8:38 PM
To: Alexanian, Moorad
Cc: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: [asa] STATEMENT ON INTELLIGENT DESIGN BY IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY FACULTY

1)
I had a least 4 separate trains of thought that came out of your posting. And reached the conclusion that I dont understand what you are saying.

Let me try to restate it to see if I got it right:

"the goings on in Nature and so what Nature truly is"

via "a higher form of inference" have a "consequence" of "leads to design".

In other words, design is an inference? Is that correct?

2)
Dembski wrote that ID isn't about how material came to be, but how it is re-arranged. (which seems to be your other point).

That would seem to be one of the various types of ID. It isn't clear where anything supernatural or religious even comes into play there. I just really don't get it. What is the natural explanation for the words in the hedge in the harbor at Victoria, BC? The plants spell out "Welcome to Victoria". There's nothing in nature that explains how plants are arranged to spell out a phrase in english that is context sensitive and specific to a geographical location. Its not a natural phenomena. But neither is it supernatural.

Here's something fun: Go to google earth and zoom in on South Bend Indiana. Pan west along highway (10?) about ten miles. You will see the word "Studebaker" spelled out by the forest. You can see this from orbit. Does this have a natural explanation? Nope. Does it have a supernatural explanation? Nope. There are other categories. But we (the country) are ignoring this, and are instead arguing about a black and white fallacy. Why? Francis Beckwith has written the reason is in order to exclude certain domains of knowledge from the status of being rationally permissible (by labeling them as supernatural or religious). It seems to me everybody has a stake in making sure that sort of exclusion doesn't become a national institution.

On 5/23/07, Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu> wrote:

        Design invariably leads to ontological questions that have nothing whatsoever to do with science. Scientists are like children playing in sandboxes. You can play with sand and describe how it behaves and so forth. However, how the sand, the sandboxes, and you yourself came to be and who designed it all is not a scientific question. It is a consequence of a higher form of inference, viz., from the goings on in Nature and so what Nature truly is, that leads to design.
        
        
        Moorad
        
        ________________________________
        
        From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu on behalf of David Clounch
        Sent: Wed 5/23/2007 12:46 AM
        To: asa@calvin.edu
        Subject: Re: [asa] STATEMENT ON INTELLIGENT DESIGN BY IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY FACULTY
        
        
        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 <mailto:pleuronaia@gmail.com?Subject=Re:%20%5Basa%5D%20STATEMENT%20ON%20INTELLIGENT%20DESIGN%20BY%20IOWA%20STATE%20UNIVERSITY%20FACULTY> >
        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"
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Received on Thu May 24 20:54:37 2007

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