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

From: David Campbell <>
Date: Mon Jun 01 2009 - 17:34:26 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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