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

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <dfsiemensjr@juno.com>
Date: Sat Oct 20 2007 - 23:59:08 EDT

This, as George noted, is a stupid (grossly stupid) argument. Every
theist, and even deists, holds that all things in the universe are
directly or indirectly designed. This is a theological and philosophical
claim that cannot be addressed by science. The acts of the deity are not
empirically testable. If an incredibly unusual event happens (Glenn's
encounter with Turks, for example), how do I demonstrate that the
circumstances were directly controlled by God? or that events were
designed from antiquity so that the meeting was inevitable? I express my
trust in the Almighty, but not on a scientific basis.
Dave

On Sat, 20 Oct 2007 09:57:45 -0700 (PDT) "(Matthew) Yew Hock Tan"
<tanyewhock@yahoo.com> writes:
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 20:59:08 -0700

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