Re: [asa] The argument against the argument against design

From: David Campbell <pleuronaia@gmail.com>
Date: Mon Jun 01 2009 - 17:35:01 EDT

> Consider the argument against design as going something like
> this:
> 1) Necessarily if a world W is designed, W will have property P.
> 2) Property P does not obtain in this world.
> 3) Therefore, This world is not designed.

As popularly marketed, ID and Dawkins-type atheism assert that
"lacking full biological evolution" (definition ranging from denying
new species to rare instances of evolution needing help in making
complex structures) is such a property P and argue about whether 2
holds. This does not appear to the position of the more ID-favorable
folks on the list, and going through the claims of prominent ID
advocates one can usually find statements both ways (i.e., that
evolution is compatible or incompatible with design); likewise there
are atheists who recognize that science doesn't provide proof of
atheism, so these are not universal failings. Nevertheless, both
popular ID and evolution-invoking atheism run afoul of the fact that P
is not a valid anti-design criterion. Until the ID movement stops
selling itself as the Christian alternative to evolution, there's
likely to be little progress on popular understanding of this.

-- 
Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections
University of Alabama
"I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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Received on Mon Jun 1 17:35:29 2009

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