[asa] Stupid/Dumb Science and Intelligent/Intelligence Science

From: Matthew) Yew Hock Tan <tanyewhock@yahoo.com>
Date: Sat Oct 20 2007 - 12:57:45 EDT

From the THE NATIONAL CATHOLIC BIOETHICS QUARTERLY --

[my title] Stupid/Dumb Science and Intelligent/Intelligence Science
 
 I chanced upon this very excellent article on intelligent design which I want to recommend to all who are open to intelligence design. Among other things, it explains why intelligent design is science, and that it makes predictions, and is falsifiable, and that the Darwinist theory of NO DESIGN needs to be tested against the competing intelligent design theory of REAL DESIGN, and that was what Darwin himself was doing. [But present-day Darwinists are obviously afraid to deal with intelligent design theory.]
 
 Let me quote just the following response to intelligent design being a "science stopper". I think this reply is most excellent and should put a stop to all "science stopper" allegations. Same for God-of-the-Gaps.
 
 http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork.org/NCBQ3_3HarrisCalvert.pdf
 
 [pages 556-7]
 
 Is ID a “Science Stopper” or a “God of the Gaps” Theory?
 
 Its critics have so complained.61 Did the discovery that the earth was round
 “stop science?” How about the germ theory of disease, or the fact that gold cannot
 be created from lead? Did these discoveries halt scientific progress? These were
 discoveries of the truth, and therefore they did, in a sense, “stop” scientific inquiry.
 They stopped it for the same reason that you stop looking for your car keys when
 you find them. There is no need for further investigation. Why are we not still
 funding research on how to prevent polio or how to make a horseless carriage?
 Because we know the answers. If ID theory is true and life and its diversity did
 arise by the action of an unknown intelligent agent, then the only “intelligent” response
 is to take it as a given (like gravity), stop trying to prove the counter argument,
 and intensify research efforts into the discovery of how life works, not where
 it came from. In the area of genetics, for example, let us try to determine just how
 “plastic” the genome is. What are the natural limits of variability, and how far can
 those limits be extended by intelligent manipulation of genes? Can we turn a squirrel
 into a chipmunk by gene insertion/deletion? Can we cure genetic diseases? It is
 questions like these that will lead to fruitful discoveries and thus deserve our full
 attention. It is a shame, in our view, to continue to lavish precious resources (money
 and careers) on the quest to determine how “evolution created us” when the underlying
 assumption (i.e., that it did) may be false.
 Limiting science to a predetermined set of acceptable explanations naturally
 begs the question, “What if there is no natural explanation?” What if, in fact, an
 intelligent agent was responsible for DNA, etc.? Science would forever miss it and
 would continue to squander intellectual and financial capital on finding naturalistic
 answers that do not exist. Scientific progress depends heavily upon discovering
 blind alleys and rejecting failed theories. This is simply the way that science works,
 and thus, ID theory should be seen as invigorating, not stifling, scientific investigation.
 For example, the recent publication of a computer simulation purportedly explaining
 how life could have evolved without intelligent input was stimulated by the
 scientific challenge of an opposing theory, ID.62
 Is ID a “god of the gaps” theory? The charge has been made that ID proposes
 design for whatever cannot be explained by law and chance. Hence all gaps in our knowledge are filled by design—by God. That is simply not the case. A design
 inference can be falsified simply by showing a lack of any apparent design or meaning
 in the pattern, or by demonstrating (not imagining) that unguided natural processes
 can produce the pattern or object in question. Every day the SETI researchers
 evaluate radio waves for hidden messages (designs) and have yet to find a
 single case. On the other hand, without design as a competing hypothesis, a naturalistic
 explanation is effectively a “chance of the gaps” or “environment of the gaps”
 explanation. Anything we cannot explain by law and chance today will be explained
 by law and chance tomorrow, when we find such a law or some way to inflate our
 probabilistic resources (like positing infinite parallel universes). There must be such
 a law and chance explanation because that is the only one allowed.
 Is ID a science stopper? No. The real science stopper is methodological naturalism
 which rules out design as a matter of philosophy.63
 
 
 
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Received on Sat, 20 Oct 2007 09:57:45 -0700 (PDT)

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