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

From: George L. Murphygmurphy@raex.com <Murphygmurphy@raex.com>
Date: Sat Oct 20 2007 - 15:30:39 EDT

This is inept.  Neither the discovery that the earth was round, nor the germ theory of disease, nor the inability of alchemists to turn lead into gold, "stopped"research in those areas.  If it had then we wouldn't know that the geoid isn't a perfect sphere (&understood why), nor found out what particular germs cause what diseases, nor that with radioactivity & accelerators we can turn one nucleus into another.  The cited discoveries in fact opened up new areas of research because they provided a certain degree of explanation in terms of natural processes.  ID OTOH, by giving God as an explanation, stop further research for all who don't think it appropriate to do scientific research on God.

& of course MN doesn't "rule out" design but - for Christians at least - says that we should look for the natural processes which - as Aquinas would have put it - were the secondary causes through which God as First cause worked.

Shalom,

George

> > > 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 __________________________________________________Do You Yahoo!?Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around http://mail.yahoo.com


George L. Murphy
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