RE: [asa] ID/Miracles/Design (Behe vs. Behe)

From: Alexanian, Moorad <>
Date: Mon Apr 27 2009 - 10:28:08 EDT

Dear Dick,

What is the metaphysics that is implied by the "data and evidence" that you associate with science? For instance, Isaac Newton, the first theoretical physicist, supposed that the planets would slow down and so invoked angels to readjust the trajectories to accord with the existing data. Therefore, Newton's metaphysics that underlies his description of the solar system encompassed theology. We now know that the mathematical model that Newton developed to describe the motion of planets, viz., gravitational attraction, does not bring in the supernatural. However, Newton was not dealing with how the planets came about, that is, Newton was not interested in the question of origins. However, evolutionary theory may be involved with the question of origins and that is why the issue of what metaphysics is presupposed by the science you are considering is important.

From: [] On Behalf Of Dick Fischer
Sent: Sunday, April 26, 2009 9:08 PM
To: 'Cameron Wybrow'
Subject: RE: [asa] ID/Miracles/Design (Behe vs. Behe)

Dear Cameron:

Typical creationist reaction. When your argument holds no water you demonize your opponent. I raise counter arguments, you insult my character. I've see it all before. You're no different than your predecessors, Morris, Whitcomb, Gish, Humphreys, Gentry, Ham, etc.

Let's see, of your list I've read Bacon, Aquinas, Augustine, Darwin, and Gould. Interesting you'd include atheists Sagan, Dawkins and Russell. Strange list of notables. I can readily see you've read Behe, Dembski and Wells. That is apparent from your arguments. What happened to Johnson? Didn't read him or are you ashamed to admit it? My reading list runs more to archaeologists, Genesis commentary and a few others I'm sure you have read: Francis Collins, Miller (both Ken and Keith), J. P. Moreland, Richard Leakey, Donald Johanson, John Haught, Alister McGrath, Richard Colling, Ron Numbers, Holmes Rolston III, Davis Young, Bernard Ramm and Jon Entine. But my reading list or your reading list is not the issue here.

Let's stick to the issue, shall we? Does God (let's just name the Creator and not hide behind ID propaganda to include aliens and spaghetti monsters) leave telltale signs of divine activity in the various life forms we have available for study? To date no one has found any. So the answer is we have no evidence that God manipulates DNA. A scientific theory requires data and evidence. ID has none. Will it come up with some? Maybe. If it does put it on the table. Until then keep ID arguments confined to philosophical discussions and out of science classrooms.

Do we have evidence that God does not manipulate DNA? Well, we humans have over 3,000 genetic diseases caused by genetic defects. If God was active in some way at the introduction of the flagellum, for example, what was he doing when Huntington's Disease entered the world, or Down's Syndrome, or any of the other thousands of genetic diseases we have plaguing mankind today? What you want to do is credit the great Designer for the successes while ignoring the failures. You want to tout the "camera eye" as evidence of design yet totally ignore that the human eye is wired backwards, that over 40 different "designs" are used in various creatures, and fish have been found in caves that have lost their eyes altogether.

Simply put, ID like all other creationist arguments is dishonest. Another hallmark of all creationist arguments.

Now, I don't doubt the sincerity of any of your kind. If you can prove the Creator exists maybe you can persuade some non-believers into accepting the faith and after they die and get to heaven if they then see the flaws in your arguments - who cares? You did him a service.

On the other hand, Jesus said he was the "truth, the way and the light." So let's stick to that and speak the truth, don't act like you don't know it.

For my publications, there is PSCF, Teachers of Vision, Cosmic Pursuit and The Washington Post. As for books, start with this one.

Dick Fischer, author, lecturer
Historical Genesis from Adam to Abraham<>

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Cameron Wybrow
Sent: Sunday, April 26, 2009 4:35 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] ID/Miracles/Design (Behe vs. Behe)


You do not understand the meaning of "chance". I chalk this up to your
apparent unfamiliarity with the history of philosophical discussions about
nature. The "false dichotomy" I've set up between design and chance is
agreed upon by Lucretius, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Hobbes, Bacon, Aquinas,
Augustine, Darwin, Bergson, Lecomte du Nouy, Bertrand Russell, Carl Sagan,
Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould, etc. How many of these authors have you
read, Dick?

Your bulbous nose example is ridiculous. The contested part of Darwinism is
not about bulbous noses. The contested part of Darwinism -- and by the way,
I've read Darwin's *Origin of Species* from cover to cover (have you?) -- is
about whole new body plans arising gradualistically, with each intermediate
stage being functional. Clearly you have not read the scientific literature
which challenges the likelihood of this. I think you ought to, before you
speak glibly about the alleged powers of mutation and natural selection. If
I may recommend six books by people with Ph.D.s in relevant areas of
science, I suggest Behe's two books, Denton's two books, Dembski's *No Free
Lunch*, and Dembski and Wells's *The Design of Life*. I have read all of
these from cover to cover, in some cases taking extensive notes as I read.
I would also recommend the articles of David Berlinski on evolution,
published in the journal *Commentary*, and his books touching on the

As for your implied charge of stubbornness on my part, let me say that I am
willing to learn from anyone here who can teach me anything at all about
theology or science. I've learned from Ted Davis about the theology of
Boyle, for example, and I hope to learn something from Mike Gene about
design theory in biology and from Gregory Arago about the philosophical
foundations of social science and from George Murphy about Lutheran theology
and from other people about things in their areas of expertise. I also hope
to learn something about the mechanisms of evolution. For starters, I would
like you to teach me the detailed genetic pathways by which the camera eye,
the cardiovascular system, the fin-to-foot transition, winged flight in
birds, the human brain, the nostril-to-blowhole transition, the gill-to-lung
transition, etc. were achieved, or even could have been achieved. I would
also like to know how the first living cell arose from non-living matter
without intelligent intervention. When I have learned any of these things
from you, or from anyone else here, I will gladly admit the awesome creative
powers of chance combinations of atoms, random mutations, and natural

Since you have been "engaged in these discussions for quite some time now",
perhaps you have some scientific publications in this area which you could
direct me to. Perhaps you have written a book providing the details of the
evolution of the camera eye? Or perhaps one of your scientific colleagues
on this list has done so?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Dick Fischer" <<>>
To: "'Cameron Wybrow'" <<>>
Cc: "ASA" <<>>
Sent: Sunday, April 26, 2009 2:58 PM
Subject: RE: [asa] ID/Miracles/Design (Behe vs. Behe)


Please drop the "chance" rhetoric. Evolution comes about through random
genetic mutations and natural selection which is not chance at all.

A nucleotide substitution might result in a person with a large and bulbous
nose, for example. A person sporting such a protrusion might find it
difficult to attract a help mate. That person might remain single and pass
from life's scene leaving no bulbous-nosed progeny - natural selection at
work. But those prospective mates made rational choices based on upon a
physical appearance they found objectionable. The same holds true for other
physical characteristics that may be appealing or unappealing.

So if we wish to make progress in these discussions, show some ability to
learn from those of us who have been engaged in these discussions for quite
some time now. You are trying to set up a false dichotomy and win debating
points. Most of us, on the other hand, may be knowledgeable in this area,
but still earnestly seek better, more refined answers.

Dick Fischer, author, lecturer
Historical Genesis from Adam to Abraham<>

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Received on Mon Apr 27 10:28:28 2009

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