RE: [asa] Expelled and ID (virus fights)

From: Dehler, Bernie <bernie.dehler@intel.com>
Date: Tue Apr 22 2008 - 12:47:48 EDT

Jon said:
"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."

 

Specifically, when you said within that quote:
". On the detriment side are cases where the organism itself adapts to
increase its own survivability..."

 

I heard that is not technically true. The organism doesn't "change."
It is just that the susceptible ones die, and the odd (mutant) ones
(those with non-lethal copy defects) don't die, which gives rise to the
mutants. It is not like the organism reconfigures itself.

 

________________________________

From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
Behalf Of Jon Tandy
Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2008 7:26 AM
To: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: RE: [asa] Expelled and ID (can ID be proven???)

 

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 12:49:21 2008

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