Re: [asa] Expelled and ID

From: Iain Strachan <igd.strachan@gmail.com>
Date: Fri Apr 25 2008 - 16:01:51 EDT

On Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 1:41 PM, Donald F Calbreath
<dcalbreath@whitworth.edu> wrote:
> But isn't this what the ID folks have been saying all along? They are looking for ways to identify design. From what has been said, you imply that design is a testable hypothesis. Yes, it is. But mainstream scientists attack ID as being non-scientific. They can't have it both ways.

Donald,

I wonder if you could explain to me exactly how you see ID being a
testable hypothesis.

I used to be sympathetic to ID, but have now come to the conclusion
that it isn't scientific. My reason for saying this is that invoking
a Designer to explain something that has yet to find a scientific
explanation doesn't seem scientific. The reason it doesn't seem
scientific is that we can invoke a Designer to explain _anything_ at
all. For an explanation of something to be regarded as scientific, it
has to have _limited_ explanatory power. For instance to say that two
points may be joined by a straight line explains nothing because any
two points can be joined by a straight line as there are two degrees
of freedom. If you said three points lay in a straight line (like the
stars in Orion's belt), then you've said something interesting and
distinctive, because not all sets of three stars lie in a straight
line. An explanation with two degrees of freedom fits a system that
would normally require three. In postulating a Designer, you are
proposing a solution with an infinite number of degrees of freedom,
and hence it doesn't seem scientific to me.

It seems to me that the best you can hope for is to show that the
existing theories are inadequate to explain certain structures that
appear in nature. But that doesn't prove the existence of a designer;
it only shows that our current theories are incomplete.

What have I missed here?

Iain

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Received on Fri Apr 25 16:03:15 2008

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