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

From: Randy Isaac <randyisaac@comcast.net>
Date: Wed May 27 2009 - 07:05:16 EDT

Mike, do you really find the alien approach more modest? Maybe organic
molecules hitched a ride from Mars on an asteroid but the asteroid didn't
need rocket technology to leave this earth again without a trace.

Maybe we should invent a new name and concept. "Poof! the magic agent, lived
by the sea...." Thanks to Poof! we know how we got from point A to point B,
from non-life to life, from basic organic molecules to irreducibly complex
molecules. No trace of Poof! can be found except in the results of Poof!'s
actions. But at least in contrast to that totally inadequate theory of
evolution, we now have a detailed path to depend on. I wonder why those
obstinate scientists don't believe in Poof! They must be biased and just
don't want it to be true. The evidence is there for all to see.

Randy

----- Original Message -----
From: "Nucacids" <nucacids@wowway.com>
To: "Randy Isaac" <randyisaac@comcast.net>; <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 11:03 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] ID/Miracles/Design (Behe vs. Behe)

> Hi Randy,
>
> "If there were a natural intelligence directing the origin and
> development of life, then such a natural being must have existed at least
> 4
> billion years ago and continued to exist until rather recently if not
> today.
> They must have had the ability to do nanotechnology manipulation at the
> biochemical level. Yet, not a trace of such natural beings with such
> intelligence has ever been found. I would suggest that it is a rather
> reasonable conclusion that if such beings ever existed, they would have
> left
> a trace of their existence."
>
> This critcism only works if we assume a natural intelligence directing the
> origin *and
> development* of life. If we adopted a more modest position, one where a
> natural intelligence
> seeds the planet with the first cells, there is no reason to think we
> should be able to find independent
> evidence of such designers.
>
> -Mike
>
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Randy Isaac" <randyisaac@comcast.net>
> To: <asa@calvin.edu>
> Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 10:30 PM
> Subject: Re: [asa] ID/Miracles/Design (Behe vs. Behe)
>
>
>> Cameron wrote:
>>> b. On what grounds can one say, regarding the formation of the first
>>> cell, that
>>> "from a scientific perspective, it's pretty clear that no natural
>>> intelligence was involved"? Do you mean: "Science has *proved* that no
>>> natural intelligence was involved?" Or "Science *assumes* that no
>>> natural
>>> intelligence is involved"? If the former, please give me the titles of
>>> books or articles where this proof can be found. If the latter, what
>>> justifies science in making that assumption?
>>
>> Neither. The term "proved" is too strong and "assumes" is too weak. It's
>> just simple
>> logic. If there were a natural intelligence directing the origin and
>> development of life, then such a natural being must have existed at least
>> 4
>> billion years ago and continued to exist until rather recently if not
>> today.
>> They must have had the ability to do nanotechnology manipulation at the
>> biochemical level. Yet, not a trace of such natural beings with such
>> intelligence has ever been found. I would suggest that it is a rather
>> reasonable conclusion that if such beings ever existed, they would have
>> left
>> a trace of their existence. I will be the first to recant if you can
>> provide
>> any indication that such intelligent beings existed at any time in the
>> past
>> 4 billion years.
>>
>>>You won't find books in the library like this, Randy. And the question
>>>is,
>>>why not?
>>
>> I do find books on geocentrism and young earth and astrology and all
>> sorts
>> of things. Anyone can publish. The fields that people think have
>> metaphysical implications are the ones with the largest number of
>> "alternative" books. There is no conclusion to be drawn about the
>> validity
>> or lack thereof from the scientific perspective.
>>
>>> Speaking as a scholar who has read a more than an average amount of the
>>> history of science, including original sources by people such as
>>> Galileo,
>>> Gilbert, and Darwin, I have some idea of what scientific methodology
>>> requires, and I know that
>>> people who advocate a theory are expected to provide evidence for it.
>>> They can't simply make grand speculative claims and then sit back and
>>> defy
>>> the world to disprove them. It is not enough for Darwinians to say that
>>> no one can *disprove* the possibility of the unguided evolution of the
>>> flagellum, and that a Darwinian explanation for it may be found "some
>>> day".
>>
>> Perhaps a scholar of reading history of science and a physicist with
>> decades
>> of experience doing and managing world-class research can cooperate in
>> coming to a better understanding of what scientific methodology entails.
>>
>> An overarching theory gains acceptance when it provides an explanation
>> for a
>> vast array of observations that were not understood from alternative
>> perspectives. (The pertinent set of authorities is the group of
>> researchers
>> actively publishing in the relevant peer-reviewed journals. Some
>> contributors to this list do not like that system but that's the way
>> science
>> works today). In essence, the theory needs to:
>> --explain a wide spectrum of observations better than any other theory
>> --make successful predictions of new observations
>> --be falsifiable but not be falsified
>> --be useful in providing a framework for fruitful further research
>>
>> Once a theory is predominantly accepted and is a fruitful paradigm for
>> further research, it becomes more and more difficult to mount a challenge
>> to
>> the theory as a whole. Any specific area in which the theory has not been
>> worked out in detail is a great thesis project for an aspiring grad
>> student,
>> and not a failure of the theory itself. In other words, the theory needs
>> to
>> be applied and worked out in detail but the primary concepts are
>> essentially
>> settled. Seemingly intractable problems are typically held in abeyance
>> for
>> further research.
>>
>> Well known examples are the theory of gravity, electro-magnetic theory,
>> theories of special and general relativity, theory of superconductivity,
>> and
>> on and on. Each of these has areas that are still unresolved. For
>> example,
>> the theory of gravity has lots of unexplained areas, including the
>> "action
>> at a distance" and the quantization issues. The formation of galaxies is
>> an
>> interesting unresolved case. Instead of throwing out the theory of
>> gravity,
>> one postulates non-baryonic dark matter instead.
>>
>> The theory of evolution meets the above criteria in a most incredible
>> way.
>> The range of observations explained, the remarkable predictions that have
>> come true, the lack of falsification despite the most stringent efforts,
>> and
>> the robust productivity of research, all over 150 years of close
>> attention
>> are truly amazing. It's no wonder that the theory is considered by
>> practicing scientists to be a "fact" for all practical purposes. No
>> alternative theory has come even close.
>>
>> But, you say, it hasn't explained the path from Point A to Point B. That
>> path might be going from a pre-flagellum molecule to the flagellum
>> molecule,
>> or pre-malaria resistance to that resistance, or whatever. These are
>> possible areas of future research, at most. Furthermore, you state,
>> following Dembski's lead, that the burden of proof lies with the
>> advocates
>> of the theory and not with the challengers. And the publicity mavens of
>> DI
>> proclaim the imminent demise of the theory of evolution if such a
>> detailed
>> path is not provided. No, that's not consistent with scientific
>> methodology.
>> So many observations have been explained by evolution that any example
>> not
>> yet explained will most likely be explained in the future. It is not
>> rational to hold a gun to the head of the evolutionist and demand that
>> all
>> of these areas have a detailed explanation or else the theory must come
>> crashing down.
>>
>> No, despite Dembski's insistence, the burden of proof is rightly on those
>> who would claim that the theory itself is flawed if there is a lack of
>> explanation from point A to point B. Unfortunately, many publicists at DI
>> confuse the status of "...have not explained..." with "...cannot
>> explain..."
>> The first is controversial enough but the second is what an ID advocate
>> needs to show. Over the last 15 years or so, a typical exchange on
>> irreducibly complexity could be summarized as follows:
>>
>> ID: Molecule A is irreducibly complex and could not have evolved by known
>> incremental evolutionary processes
>> Critic: Here is a possible path for an evolutionary process with known
>> mechanisms (e.g. scaffolding approaches) which could explain the
>> evolution
>> of molecule A.
>> ID: No, you have only shown a possible path, a "just-so" story, but have
>> not
>> demonstrated that this is what actually happened.
>>
>> Note that this exchange has moved from a claim to "cannot explain" to
>> "have
>> not explained." But even a possible "just-so" story is enough to dispel
>> the
>> claim of "cannot explain" even if the actual path turns out to be
>> different.
>>
>> The point is that a robust, successful theory like evolution, gravity,
>> superconductivity, and the like, is relatively impervious to charges that
>> details have not yet been explained. The track record of success is such
>> that there is confidence that future research will be successful. The
>> onus
>> properly lies with the critic to show that no such explanation is
>> possible.
>> Futhermore, the theory would and should be relatively immune (i.e.
>> continue
>> to be used) until the time that an alternative theory comes along to
>> explain
>> both the new data and all the old data. In other words, you don't throw
>> out
>> all the successes of a theory because some details can't be figured out.
>> Odds are that new information will tweak the theory a bit or help us
>> understand the flaw in the analysis.
>>
>>> Why do none of the scientists on this list raise any of these critical
>>> questions about Darwinism? Why does it have to be a religion
>>> scholar/historian of ideas such as myself, or a sociologist like Gregory
>>> Arago? Where are the vaunted critical faculties of scientists in
>>> evidence
>>> here? Where is the celebrated scientific skepticism about grand
>>> speculative claims? Where is the demand for details, for
>>> quantification,
>>> for precise mechanisms, all of which are hallmarks of good science? Why
>>> does Darwinism get away with so little questioning, when its detailed
>>> explanatory power is so very limited?
>>
>> Very simple. Because the scientists are doing science the way it should
>> be
>> done.
>>
>> Randy
>>
>>
>> To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
>> "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
>
>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>
>
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
> Version: 8.5.339 / Virus Database: 270.12.39/2134 - Release Date: 05/25/09
> 18:14:00
>

To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@calvin.edu with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Wed May 27 07:05:55 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed May 27 2009 - 07:05:55 EDT