Re: [asa] Are TE and ID Really That Far Apart?

From: David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
Date: Mon Apr 28 2008 - 16:04:12 EDT

George C. -- I think we're ultimately basically agreeing here.

On Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 3:37 PM, George Cooper <georgecooper@sbcglobal.net>
wrote:

> Hi Dave,
>
>
>
> I appreciate your comments.
>
>
>
> [Dave said:]
>
> I think there's a problem with your hypo in that the robot can't really
> build with "complete independence" if you've programmed into it the
> capability to build a house, which would have to include lots of "front
> loaded" knowledge about house building, the "standards" you mention, and so
> on.
>
>
>
> [Me:] Agreed. Analogies are limited, but the point is still there,
> namely, that if God elected to use evolution as His process for development
> process, should we consider Him to be a lesser or greater God for it?
>
>
>
> As for imperfections, that is a subjective term. If there were two
> robots, when with imperfections that made all sorts of "good" and "bad"
> homes, by our standards, and another robot that was more radical with much
> of its time digging holes for small mammals, which robot has the most
> imperfections? Did I mention that a significant asteroid was soon to
> impact this planet? J
>
>
>
> Thinking on a larger scale, astronomers have just barely scratched the
> surface in finding exoplanets. Before the year is up, we will be over 300
> planets. One star seems to have 5 planets, while a significant percentage
> of stars will likely have none. Red dwarfs can have planets, too. I
> haven't seen any estimates for the no. of planets in our galaxy, but between
> 1 billion and 100 billion planets can be argued, I suspect. The Hubble
> Telescope has demonstrated a strong case for its ability to see to a range
> that would include a galaxy count of about 130 billion galaxies. So, the
> odd steps or behavior of our robot that we would superficially call
> imperfections may be absolutely necessary if this home-building process is
> to work in all of God's "back 40 acres".
>
>
>
> I also find that we learn much from humans with "imperfections". They can
> teach us great humility, if we are willing to learn.
>
>
>
> [Dave:]So, open theism-type models seem to help with some theodicy
> problems, but they do so (it seems to me) at the expense of an adequate
> conception of God.
>
>
>
> [Me:] Agreed, but analogies often can help. But is the question behind
> evolution its efficacy in our universe or its lack of concordance with
> Genesis? If the latter, then we need not spend too much time in robotic
> analogies, but rather spend more time in interpretations that add all of
> modern science to the context. This is what interests me more, especially
> in light of the recent astronomical discoveries of proplyds (protoplanetary
> disks) which show internal regions that can be described as "without form
> and void".
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
> *To:* George Cooper <georgecooper@sbcglobal.net>
> *Cc:* asa@calvin.edu
> *Sent:* Sunday, April 27, 2008 12:14 PM
> *Subject:* Re: [asa] Are TE and ID Really That Far Apart?
>
> George C. said: If I invite a robot that can go out and build to the
> highest standard a house with complete independence, am I the lesser for it
> because I didn't show up with nails in mouth? This doesn't mean I'm not
> watching from a distance, nor does it mean I might not visit on occasion.
>
> I respond: I think there's a problem with your hypo in that the robot
> can't really build with "complete independence" if you've programmed into it
> the capability to build a house, which would have to include lots of "front
> loaded" knowledge about house building, the "standards" you mention, and so
> on.
>
> If you in fact design into the robot all those capabilities, and the
> design necessarily includes some "imperfections," then I don't think you get
> "off the hook" for those imperfections just because the robot does the
> physical work. And it's easy to see how even a house built to "the highest
> standards" will have possible imperfections. Even the best-constructed
> house, for example, has to use building materials such as wood which can
> catch fire, degrade over time, include surfaces on which people can bang
> their heads, etc. The physical universe, practical cost and time
> constraints, and so on, mean the "best" design cannot be perfectly safe.
>
> Instead, let's assume you create a very basic robot with the capacity to
> learn, but you set no parameters as to what it will learn or how it will
> employ its knowledge. Let's say the robot then independently decides to
> build a house, learns the necessary skills, and finishes the construction.
> Perhaps then you can argue that you're "off the hook" for any dangers in the
> house design, though even here you're arguably culpable for releasing the
> free-thinking robot into the world in the first place. But I think this
> pushes the analogy too far into the territory of open theism. I'm not sure
> the person who releases a completely autonomous creating robot is really
> analogous to the sovereign creator God of the Hebrew and Christian
> scriptures.
>
> So, open theism-type models seem to help with some theodicy problems, but
> they do so (it seems to me) at the expense of an adequate conception of God.
>
> On Fri, Apr 25, 2008 at 2:50 PM, George Cooper <georgecooper@sbcglobal.net>
> wrote:
>
> > Hi Dave,
> >
> > [Dave: But then you have a God who isn't sovereign over His creation,
> > which trades a theodicy problem for an even bigger one.]
> > If I invite a robot that can go out and build to the highest standard a
> > house with complete independence, am I the lesser for it because I didn't
> > show up with nails in mouth? This doesn't mean I'm not watching from a
> > distance, nor does it mean I might not visit on occasion.
> >
> > [Dick: I'll stick with natural causation without divine interference,
> > thank you. That way I can swat them without feeling I'm squashing a
> > divinely "designed" creature.]
> > That's a dandy! :)
> >
> > George C
> >
> >
> >
> > >
> > > Dick Fischer, author, lecturer
> > >
> > > Historical Genesis from Adam to Abraham
> > >
> > > www.historicalgenesis.com
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu]
> > > On Behalf Of Nucacids
> > > Sent: Friday, April 25, 2008 12:13 AM
> > > To: asa@calvin.edu
> > > Subject: Re: [asa] Are TE and ID Really That Far Apart?
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > TE and ID are far apart when ID is proposed as a substitute for
> > > evolution.
> > >
> > > However, both ID and evolution can co-exist, where evolution has, in
> > > some
> > >
> > > way, been shaped by design.
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > -Mike
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > ----- Original Message -----
> > >
> > > From: "Rich Blinne" <rich.blinne@gmail.com>
> > >
> > > To: "David Opderbeck" <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
> > >
> > > Cc: "asa" <asa@calvin.edu>
> > >
> > > Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2008 10:18 PM
> > >
> > > Subject: [asa] Are TE and ID Really That Far Apart?
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > >
> > >
> > > > On Apr 23, 2008, at 5:52 PM, David Opderbeck wrote:
> > >
> > > >
> > >
> > > >> I really enjoy Stephen Barr's work and he's a very interesting guy.
> > >
> > >
> > > >> Query though: is cosmological design really not a form of "ID"? It
> > >
> > >
> > > >> seems to me that many people who find cosmological design arguments
> > >
> > >
> > > >> potentially helpful are put off of biological design arguments because
> > >
> > >
> > > >> of the overstatement, politicization, etc. of the "ID movement" --
> > >
> > >
> > > >> myself included. So making a distinction between cosmological and
> > >
> > >
> > > >> biological ID is almost more of a necessary difference in
> > > politics,
> > >
> > > >> style, and emphasis.
> > >
> > > >>
> > >
> > > >>
> > >
> > > >
> > >
> > > > Absolutely correct, David. I'll strengthen your point. Both are
> > > design
> > >
> > > > arguments. They have the same form and have the same substance. In
> > >
> > > > addition to that both have roughly the same concept of evolution. Dembski
> > >
> > >
> > > > saying TE could be OK at the Messiah 2005 debate. Behe holds to
> > > common
> > >
> > > > descent and natural selection. The one difference on so- called
> > > random
> > >
> > > > mutation could be lessened if ID understood what is meant by us by
> > > random
> > >
> > > > and by focusing on the non-randomness of the evolutionary process.
> > > By
> > >
> > > > this I mean that evolution is random in the same sense that our
> > > children
> > >
> > > > are male or female randomly or to use the Biblical example the
> > > random bow
> > >
> > > > shot that killed Ahab. I'll spare the rest of the rehash of
> > > concursus
> > >
> > > > divinitatis. BTW, I liked your discussion on analogia entis but
> > > that just
> > >
> > > > proves that I am Reformed and George is Lutheran. :-)
> > >
> > > >
> > >
> > > > It seems to me that ID's problem is its own little form of
> > > scientism.
> > >
> > > > Perhaps they cannot seem to identify the designer because of the issues
> > >
> > >
> > > > that you as a lawyer have brought out previously. The other reason
> > > that I
> > >
> > > > have heard specifically stated is they think it makes them sound
> > > more
> > >
> > > > reasonable when it does the exact opposite. I have absolutely no
> > > problem
> > >
> > > > that my kind of ID is not scientific and that my intent is to
> > > provide
> > >
> > > > evidence for the Christian God. Again, as you have noted earlier
> > > science
> > >
> > > > isn't more objective than other kinds of truth. It just uses a
> > > process
> > >
> > > > that deals with our inherent subjectivity by having the checks and
> > >
> > > > balances of peer review and testing hypotheses physically. Thanks
> > > for the
> > >
> > > > heads up today on their journal which hasn't published anything in
> > > years.
> > >
> > > > If the scientific elite truly were suppressing the truth or
> > > demarcating
> > >
> > > > it into oblivion then this journal provides a way to get their
> > > vaunted
> > >
> > > > research program out. But, there is no research program even though
> > >
> > >
> > > > Philip Johnson promised not to move on to getting ID into the
> > > schools
> > >
> > > > until they had real science to be taught. I believe -- correct me
> > > if I
> > >
> > > > am wrong -- that it should be able to be taught in a philosophy
> > > class or
> > >
> > > > the like in a survey style -- much like comparative religions. Now,
> > > they
> > >
> > > > seem to think that this is inferior or more likely they perceive
> > > that
> > >
> > > > *we* think it is inferior. At least for me, this is not true. Just
> > >
> > > > because I believe that ID is not science does not imply I believe
> > > ID is
> > >
> > > > not true (although some of the arguments are really, really bogus.)
> > >
> > >
> > > > Furthermore, ID is better classified as philosophy anyway. What
> > >
> > > > biological ID went through does serve as a cautionary tale for us
> > > when we
> > >
> > > > use a cosmological ID argument which in my opinion is the strongest
> > > arrow
> > >
> > > > in their quiver. Nevertheless, as George has noted the "many worlds"
> > >
> > >
> > > > hypothesis for quantum physics and multiverses in general still are
> > > out
> > >
> > > > there as legitimate possibilities. Any of these arguments should be
> > > more
> > >
> > > > confirmatory rather than as a freestanding "proof".
> > >
> > > >
> > >
> > > > I really don't understand why we cannot talk about philosophy and
> > >
> > > > theology. As your legal analysis has shown I see very little chance
> > > ID,
> > >
> > > > or "teaching the controversy", or whatever the strategy du jour is ever
> > >
> > >
> > > > getting in the schools. Given that, why not show our colors? But, this
> > >
> > >
> > > > cannot happen as shown when both of us got booted from Uncommon Descent.
> > >
> > >
> > > > Or, that theology was off the table at Messiah '05.
> > >
> > > >
> > >
> > > > I do have an idea for their research program. Show how the evolutionary
> > >
> > >
> > > > process is not random, not how it cannot happen. We can give them
> > > help
> > >
> > > > here. This could be like the '95 Behe/Miller debate in reverse
> > > where Behe
> > >
> > > > showed that Miller's textbook claimed purposeless evolution and
> > > Miller
> > >
> > > > knowing that evolution is not random in the popular sense fixed the
> > >
> > >
> > > > error. It came back to bite him in the Dover trial where the old
> > > version
> > >
> > > > was being used and Miller pointed to the new version. If the heart
> > > of the
> > >
> > > > problem ID has is a random, purposeless, evolution, then we are
> > > here to
> > >
> > > > help show how current, mainstream, evolutionary theory shows
> > > otherwise.
> > >
> > > > It would require them to risk getting "expelled" by their YEC
> > > allies,
> > >
> > > > though.
> > >
> > > >
> > >
> > > > Rich Blinne
> > >
> > > > Member ASA
> > >
> > > >
> > >
> > > > To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
> > >
> > > > "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
> > >
> > > >
> > >
> > > >
> > >
> > > >
> > >
> > > > --
> > >
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> > >
> > > > Date: 4/24/2008 7:24 AM
> > >
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
> > >
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> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > David W. Opderbeck
> > Associate Professor of Law
> > Seton Hall University Law School
> > Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
> >
> >
>
>
> --
> David W. Opderbeck
> Associate Professor of Law
> Seton Hall University Law School
> Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
>
>

-- 
David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
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Received on Mon Apr 28 16:05:04 2008

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