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

From: Keith Miller <kbmill@ksu.edu>
Date: Sat Jun 09 2007 - 21:56:13 EDT

Phil wrote:

> Well, I'm going to stir the pot...
> While I think the IDM is not using a valid approach, I am not
> convinced by this type of argument. Without any doubt some
> evidence for intelligent activity can be self-interpreting so that
> no a priori knowledge of the designer is required. For example, as
> Pim indicated, if the ID people found a coded, verbal message
> hidden in the DNA, and this message identified the designer, his
> abilities, and his purposes, then that would be sufficient a
> posteriori knowledge to interpret design. That's an extreme, but
> many other mild examples could be cited. The problem isn't that
> the IDM can never in principle find such evidence, but that they
> haven't. It is a mistake to state it as a general principle that
> you must have a priori knowledge of the designer. It sounds sexy
> when you state it as a general principle, but it's still not
> correct even though it sounds too sexy to not be correct. The
> problem with the fingerprint analogy is that it fails because not
> everything in the world is a mere fingerprint. Analogies can
> illustrate but they don't define. IMO, the general principle that
> is actually the essence of the IDM mistake is that, because of the
> possibility of appealing to infinite universes and the WAP, you
> cannot **scientifically** prove design in anything that is not
> gratuitous to our existence; yet the origin of our existence is
> precisely where they are looking.

Your example of a hidden verbal message in DNA is NOT what ID
advocates are arguing will be found. That would essentially be an
artifact -- analogous to human artifacts. In fact, it would be
treating God as a human with superhuman powers. But God is not
superman, or a highly advanced ET. In fact, it would not at all
provide a demonstration of divine action. It would be much more like
an episode in Star Trek.

My point was that a divine agent unconstrained by natural limitations
can accomplish anything. Such an agent has no explanatory power
within science. An all-powerful agent is identical to current
ignorance.

Keith

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Received on Sat Jun 9 22:01:06 2007

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