Re: [asa] Four myths about I.D.; four myths about T.E.

From: PvM <>
Date: Thu Jul 03 2008 - 15:02:15 EDT

So if we have sufficient familiarity with intelligent designers
(lowercase) then science should be able to apply methodologies to
detect such design, and in fact, science has done so in a variety of
areas. But the Supernatural is not constrained by the same constraints
we apply to human or other forms of intelligent design and thus, as
pointed out by Wilkins and Elsberry in "Advantages of theft over
toil: the design inference and arguing from ignorance" , it is helpful
for us to differentiate between common design and rarefied design (See

And that's the problem with Intelligent Design, the lack of constraints.

On Thu, Jul 3, 2008 at 10:27 AM, Randy Isaac <> wrote:
> Mike, thanks for giving me the chance to clarify. Yes, I was specifically
> referring to the ID movement that is focused on anti-evolution and cellular
> biochemistry and the origin of life as the design argument. I should have
> clarified that. There are parallels to design arguments from other fields
> but there are key differences as well.
> I do not know what you mean by "One problem with your definition is that we
> have extensive experience with intelligent agents, both objective and
> subjective - ourselves. This allows us to extrapolate from the basis of
> this experience when it comes to the notion of design. Our only experience
> with a supernatural agent would be God and that gets into the full spiritual
> and existential essence of the experience. Extrapolation from that
> experience is therefore spiritual and existential, rather than the
> problem-solving experience we have from being intelligent designers." How is
> that a problem? We can extrapolate to other potential for human design. We
> don't have a clear basis for extrapolating to how God would exercise his
> design in our physical space-time universe. The best, if not only, evidence
> we have is the existence of the entire universe itself and its
> comprehensibility and coherence.
> Mike wrote:
>> If we are talking about beings that simply seeded the planet 3.5 billion
>> years ago with designed cells, such that the design would then subsequently
>> influence and shape evolution, I see no reason to think such agents must be
>> supernatural. After all, if we ourselves accomplish this over the next 1000
>> years, will that make us supernatural?
> I don't really follow. No, if we accomplish this next year or any subsequent
> time we are working within the confines of natural forces. Why would that be
> supernatural? The point about 3.5 billion years ago is that the existence of
> any natural agent at that time with such capability would have left some
> trace other than the cell itself. Are you suggesting there is some
> independent indication of sentient beings back then with such capability? Or
> are you suggesting it is reasonable to suppose that sentient beings at that
> time managed to erase all traces of their existence? It seems more plausible
> to infer that such an agent must have capabilities outside the normal
> physical forces.
> Randy
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Received on Thu Jul 3 15:03:10 2008

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