Re: [asa] ID/Miracles/Design

From: Dave Wallace <>
Date: Thu Apr 23 2009 - 19:28:00 EDT

Cameron Wybrow wrote:
> Dick, Michael Denton is a strict naturalist. I can point out passages
> in *Nature's Destiny* if you don't believe me. Denton sees some sort
> of intelligence at work in nature. Yet he agrees that "natural
> evolution is totally natural" (a tautological and therefore
> meaningless expression when you think about it, Dick). But you don't
> understand what I mean by "some sort of intelligence at work in
> nature". You apparently interpret it as some ghostly supernatural
> intervention. But that wasn't my language. My language was
> deliberately general and non-committal, because the relationship
> between intelligence and nature is not clear. One possibility for
> expressing that relationship is Denton's, which is the front-loading
> possibility. In that case the intelligence was injected into nature
> at the beginning, in the initial parameters. Another possibility is
> some sort of immanent intelligence. Neither requires miracles of the
> sort you are objecting to.
It seems to me that immanent intelligence injected at the beginning
would need something equivalent to the brain/computer to support it.
I'm not sure how this is possible?

> I would suggest that your statement begs the important metaphysical
> question. "Natural evolution is totally natural" -- obviously. But
> what is included in "natural"? Merely blind pushes and pulls? And
> who decided that? Your apparent view of "nature" (if your example of
> water eroding the Grand Canyon is any guide) is fundamentally
> materialistic and mechanistic, and I would remind you that
> materialism-mechanism is a philosophical view, not a scientific one.
> Science's job is to explain nature, not to explain nature exclusively
> within the narrow confines of any particular philosophical view.
> Nature may be much richer and subtler than the
> mechanistic-materialistic philosophy supposes. This is why
> "methodological naturalism" is such a sneaky little phrase. People
> like Eugenie Scott and Ken Miller invoke it as a "neutral" term to
> protect science from invasion by "the supernatural"; yet, as they use
> it, it cuts out much more than "the supernatural"; it cuts out any
> possible immanent teleology in nature; it means mechanism-materialism,
> plain and simple.
To me MN simply stands for "Attribute nothing to the gods". I can only
assume that to you it carries other baggage. If so what? Gregory Arago
also seems to think something similar but I have never understood what.

I don't understand what you are getting at with regard to: "immanent
teleology". I know what the words mean but don't really understand what
you are talking about. The closest I can come to is fine tuning and the
anthropic principle.

Dave W

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Received on Thu Apr 23 19:28:41 2009

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