RE: design and the nature of science (was: Re: [asa] Re: Gingerich on TE and ID)

From: Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu>
Date: Wed Jun 10 2009 - 22:28:12 EDT

Karl,
I have no qualms with what is overwhelming accepted in modern biology. Surely, descent-with-modification is a working assumption that is used to fit historical data. Nothing wrong with that. I think you should give your own definitions of science, historical science, and metaphysics as they apply especially to evolutionary theory. If you read my post carefully, you will see that I was not defending ID but was trying to be sure that evolutionary theory was not assuming something that went beyond science.
Moorad
________________________________
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of cmekve@aol.com [cmekve@aol.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 5:47 PM
To: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: design and the nature of science (was: Re: [asa] Re: Gingerich on TE and ID)

Moorad,
I wasn't trying to be subtle. I simply meant the overwhelmingly accepted descent-with-modification of modern biology. I don't buy your artificial distinctions between science, historical science, and metaphysics. All are at least partly interrelated and not completely separable. But that really doesn't matter. The point was that ID needs to produce some results before they can claim that there is a controversy and that they should be part of it.

Karl
*********************
Karl V. Evans
cmekve@aol.com<mailto:cmekve@aol.com>

-----Original Message-----
From: Alexanian, Moorad <alexanian@uncw.edu>
To: cmekve@aol.com <cmekve@aol.com>; asa@calvin.edu <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Wed, 10 Jun 2009 9:06 am
Subject: RE: design and the nature of science (was: Re: [asa] Re: Gingerich on TE and ID)

Karl,
Would you kindly define what “standard biology” is? Is it experimental biology?
If in evolutionary theory metaphysical assumptions are made that go beyond
science, then evolutionary theory is not science and such assumptions have to be
clearly stated. What are the metaphysical assumptions being made in evolutionary
theory? Evolutionary theory is a historical science and one must discern very
carefully the aspect of evolutionary theory th
at relies on experimental biology
and those other aspects that may not.
Moorad
________________________________
From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On Behalf Of
cmekve@aol.com [cmekve@aol.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 10:35 AM
To: asa@calvin.edu
Subject: Re: design and the nature of science (was: Re: [asa] Re: Gingerich on
TE and ID)

David makes a good point that I'd like to second. If ID can find folks to fund
them (and they can), I doubt that anyone here would say "stop that".
Personally, I think that there are very good scientific and theological reasons
for thinking that they will never produce results of any substance. But clearly
others can differ with me on this. What is most objectionable is that virtually
from ID's birth some two decades ago, they have insisted that they are an
alternative to standard biology. And all this without ever having produced any
results -- as Behe essentially admitted under oath at Dover.

ID can do all the "research" they want, but let's have some results before
shouting about 'teaching the controversy'.

Karl
*********************
Karl V. Evans
cmekve@
aol.com<mailto:cmekve@aol.com>

-----Original Message-----
From: David Campbell <pleuronaia@gmail.com>
To: asa@calvin.edu
Sent: Tue, 9 Jun 2009 5:23 pm
Subject: Re: design and the nature of science (was: Re: [asa] Re: Gingerich on
TE and ID)

> So the question arises why, if we can infer an intangible, invisible,
> massless thing like "gravity", without violating "methodological
> naturalism", why can't we infer something intangible, invisible and massless
> like "final cause" in nature? I am not arguing that we *should* make the
> inference that final causes operate in nature; I am only asking why such an
> inference is shut out of science *in principle*.

I can't think of a good reason that final cause would be, in
principle, excluded from science. However, I do not think it is
likely that final cause will be amenable to scientific investigation,
nor do I think that the methods for detecting such advocated by
Dembski, Behe, etc. actually work.

In other words, I would respond to the theoretical end of ID "go ahead
and try to find scientific evidence of design if you like, but I'm not
optimistic that you'll get anywhere."

--
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 Wed Jun 10 22:29:24 2009

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