From: David Clounch <>
Date: Fri May 25 2007 - 16:09:32 EDT

I don't understand that.

Mountains are there because of atoms and gravity. One could ask where do
the atoms come from?
And where do the laws of nature come from that govern how atoms form

You are right. Thats an entirely different question than asking how lumber
gets created and nailed into my house. The latter is closer to the
question Dembski is asking.

Closer to your concern - I was thinking this morning of asking ASA members
if they believe the Higgs field exists. I mean, mass exists because of the
Higgs field. The atoms are there because of the Higgs field. Yet the field,
as far as I know, is inferred rather than observed. As a theory it has that
characteristic in common with Dembski's ID theory. One wonders if the Higgs
field needs to be banned as a subject taught in schools, just in case its
there because of a supernatural force.

You ask "why". Is the "why" really a non-scientific question? Isn't "why"
the primary question in science? Symmetry, which leads to broken
symmetry, which leads to the laws of physics, seems a legitimate field of
study to me. What we can learn from this (ref: Stephen Barr) is that the
random chaos that atheists and naturalists say is the natural state of
affairs in the universe is itself only possible because of a higher order
symmetry; an higher order "order". I think we can ask questions about that
symmetry that without having to tackle the ontological questions. That
doesn't mean there aren't ontological questions, of course. It just means
what ontology studies overlaps with what science studies. I don't see that
its an either-or proposition. Trying to compartmentalize it, just to dismiss
a group of religious people, seems a mistake. What I think is a potential
danger, in the way of a possible injustice, is the naturalists telling us
that because there are ontological questions then the study of the higher
order symmetry lies in the realm of the supernatural. And that science by
definition then cannot deal with it. And therefore it doesnt really exist -
its just something religious people want to believe. That is the claim I am
hearing with respect to design theory - only religious people believe in

I think history shows us the naturalists do this is *only* because of
language a Supreme Court case.
Its the same reason Discovery Institute puts an emphasis on "teach the
controversy". That language is in

On 5/24/07, Alexanian, Moorad <> wrote:
> 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 []
> Sent: Thu 5/24/2007 8:38 PM
> To: Alexanian, Moorad
> Cc:
> 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 <> 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: on behalf of David Clounch
> Sent: Wed 5/23/2007 12:46 AM
> To:
> 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 < <mailto:
> >
> 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 Fri May 25 16:16:58 2007

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