RE: [asa] Expelled and ID (can ID be proven???)

From: Jon Tandy <tandyland@earthlink.net>
Date: Tue Apr 22 2008 - 10:25:53 EDT

Bernie wrote:
"Interesting thought- what if a space-craft probe (with germ life-forms)
from another planet hit our earth eons ago, and the "people" who sent it
died-out long ago?"
 
Then, we would still be left with trying to explain how life spontaneously
arose on some other planet instead of on earth, which as you noted "makes
evolution even harder to figure out, because now we have to learn how life
started on a different planet (and environment) if it was simply "planted"
here." But several things on this: One, if life spontaneously arose on a
different planet, it's no different from the question of whether it arose
spontaneously here -- is this a case of the universe being designed to bring
forth life, or is it a case that it just "happens" in nature without a
divine presence required.
 
The increased difficulty in determining the conditions on a different,
unknown planet doesn't prove its unlikelihood or likelihood; if anything, I
would say it demonstrates a desperate attempt by non-theist scientists to
push the scientific detectibility of origins of life outside the realm where
we could ever disprove it, thus they feel "intellectually fulfilled" for
having what they consider a reasonable explanation for how life could come
to Earth, without ever having to answer the ultimate origins question.
 
You also wrote:
"The big picture: It seems to me that if evolution were true, we could
simulate it in the lab and speed it up with intelligence. It is frustrating
that it isn't happening. "
 
Have you read Kenneth Miller's "Finding Darwin's God"? He gives several
examples of how evolution is actually being used in laboratory experiments,
not only to simply demonstrate the principles of adaptation and natural
selection, but also how such things are used to create things of benefit (or
sometimes detriment) to human health. On the detriment side are cases where
the organism itself adapts to increase its own survivability, but which
isn't a benefit to humans (organisms adapting to become
antibiotic-resistant, etc.) Some of Ken's examples may not be new
"species", but they do provide laboratory examples of beneficial mutation
and natural selection.
 
 
Jon Tandy
(ASA Member)
 

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of Dehler, Bernie
Sent: Monday, April 21, 2008 4:53 PM
To: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: RE: [asa] Expelled and ID (can ID be proven???)

Hi James-

 

You said:

"In fact Bernie's statement, "They think by disproving known naturalistic
methods, God is then the default answer-but it isn't." just is not true.
The spokesman are VERY careful to say they can NOT prove the God of the
Bible.""

 

Let's look at one major example. Behe. His main contribution is
"irreducible complexity." The scientific method starts with a hypothesis.

 

Hypothesis: An intelligent being created life, because it is impossible by
natural processes (irreducible complexity).

How can we test that? How can we falsify it?

 

If you say "irreducible complexity" is true, therefore there is an
intelligent designer, have you proven all other options are closed? Is it
possible there's a way to get from A to B that Behe hasn't thought of (and
his critics haven't thought of it either?)? From my cursory understanding
of his witnessing on the stand in the Dover PA trial case he didn't seem to
be all that familiar with his critics. He didn't come across as one who
knew what all his critics had to say and had answers for them. And I don't
think that is asking too much of him.

 

Dembski and math is the same thing. He is proving, mathematically that
nature can't do evolution, and if he can prove that, the only remaining
answer is "God did it." Is that really the only remaining answer?

 

Also, I think a centerpiece of the ID design argument is the complexity on
the molecular level. Incredible micro machines. This stuff is all so
mind-blowing complex and small, God had to have done it. But is that true?
There are a lot of natural things that also blow the mind, in "big world"
(the cosmos) and "small world" (at the atom level and below).

 

I think the best the ID'ers can do is falsify evolution,,, but don't
conflate that with proving intelligent design. it could just mean that the
right mechanisms for evolution aren't known yet. Yes, God could have done
it, but the job of science is to try to explain the natural laws behind
everything. Miracles simply can't be used in equations-they don't behave or
act on cue like natural laws do. ;-)

 

The interesting thing about Dawkins comment, about a signature if ID if
true, is that it only shows ID, and not God. Who made the designer? Dawkins
would then think that the designer should be sought out- likely some alien
who evolved somewhere else. That makes evolution even harder to figure out,
because now we have to learn how life started on a different planet (and
environment) if it was simply "planted" here. Of course, all the life-forms
wouldn't have been planted here (apes and dolphins), so still life must have
evolved on earth from a simple life-form and branched out from there.
Because no kind of spaceship, like a Noah's Ark, would deliver apes, whales,
zebras, snakes, insects, plants, etc. I heard that our far flung spacecraft
could also be sending out life-forms (bacteria, etc, from earth, as
stow-aways). Interesting thought- what if a space-craft probe (with germ
life-forms) from another planet hit our earth eons ago, and the "people" who
sent it died-out long ago?

 

.Bernie

 

-----Original Message-----
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of James Mahaffy
Sent: Monday, April 21, 2008 1:13 PM
To: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: RE: [asa] Expelled and ID

 

Folks

 

>>> On 4/19/2008 at 5:39 PM, in message

<20080419224008.9F95071145D@gray.dordt.edu>, "Dehler, Bernie"

<bernie.dehler@intel.com> wrote:

> ID is saying it is "science" so it can be more serious. To make it

> science, you have to bear on scientific things, such as math

> (statistics) and biology. So they are appealing to the hard sciences to

> bring it into the scientific realm.

>

>

>

> However, they have no scientific hypothesis. "God made it" is not a

> hypothesis, since it can't be tested. By definition, the scientific

> method requires a hypothesis that can be tested. You also can't test

> evolution per "origin of life," but there are other parts of evolution

> which are testable... ID has nothing testable. They think by disproving

> known naturalistic methods, God is then the default answer-but it isn't.

>

 

Please don't pick on strawman. ID has gained notice in the scientific world
in

part because some of the heavy players do good science. Behe is his latest
book

"The edge of evolution makes a scientific case for what can and can not be
caused

by random mutation. The examples he draws on are from his own published area
of

hemoglobin research.

 

Dembski makes mathematical arguments that is possible to detect design
mathematically.

 

Gonzalez does a good job of showing that earth is uniquely fit to support
life. I believe a lot of his

well cited publications dealt with defining what conditions where needed to
have a planet that could support life.

 

 

I would agree that there a bunch of second tier ID folks that don't do much
research but

it surely is NOT true of these three. I am not suggesting that the science
of these three is

always right but it clearly is science. I see weakness in ID trying to only
make a scientific

argument (I have too much of C. Van til's presuppositionalism in me). In
fact Bernie's statement,

"They think by disproving known naturalistic methods, God is then the
default answer-but it isn't." just is not true.

The spokesman are VERY careful to say they can NOT prove the God of the
Bible.

 

It is possible that over time ID could replace YEC's but then ID would
become something quite different.

 

bcc to a colleague (as a bcc his e-mail is not out on the web in our ASA
archives.

 

James Mahaffy (ASA member).

 

 

 

 

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Received on Tue Apr 22 10:27:52 2008

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