RE: [asa] Behe on Darwin, design and teleology

From: Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu>
Date: Fri May 22 2009 - 12:36:26 EDT

It seems that we all go around in the happy Merry-Go-Round since we have not taken the trouble to define what science is and what it is not. An excellent, starting definition of science is the study of the physical aspect of Nature. It is better to start with a well-defined concept and improve on it, if necessary, than to dwell in constant confusion. Surely, the data collected by purely physical device, the subject matter of science, cannot detect design nor they can detect, for that matter, the theories that human minds create to make sense of the workings of Nature. It is inferences from the data that one is really dealing with. Therefore, what prior information one uses to infer from the physical data? If the prior information is based on the purely physical, then together with the data they give rise to purely physical theories. Of course, if one wants to include more in the data, say, living organisms, then one has to suppose what is the nature of living organism. Is it!
  purely physical or is there something than defies purely physical description? Physicists have no problems since we deal with “dead” matter. However, in experimental biology, and more so in historical biology, then the issues can very quickly get murky. These issues may sound too philosophical or even metaphysical. However, if they are not addressed, then we will keep riding a perpetual motion machine taking us around and around adding neither knowledge nor understanding.
Moorad
________________________________
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of Schwarzwald [schwarzwald@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, May 22, 2009 8:42 AM
To: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: [asa] Behe on Darwin, design and teleology

Randy,

  The response from the scientific community is simply that design, in that abstract sense where there is no known agent or known detailed design mechanism, is not detectable by science. Furthermore, the mainstream (as opposed to the vociferous anti-theistic elements) evolutionists do not see the lack of a detailed causal mechanism as fundamental but aspects which can increasingly be understood. Furthermore, they argue there is no characteristic that requires "intelligence" in the sense implied.

So design is not detectable by science, but we know design is not required?

If this is the response from the scientific community, then someone needs to set the scientific community straight. If questions of design are outside the scope of science, then whether "intelligence in the sense implied" is required cannot be ruled on either.

One of these days, said "community" is going to have to decide which horn of the dilemma to impale themselves on. Arguing that design is not detectable by science - and also that science has shown design is not necessary - demonstrates either passive ignorance or active deception.

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Received on Fri May 22 12:37:21 2009

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