RE: [asa] Meyer on C-SPAN2

From: Ryan Rasmussen, P.E. <>
Date: Tue Sep 08 2009 - 16:42:22 EDT

Bernie said:

"He says there is real evidence FOR ID. But I still don't think I've ever heard this so-called evidence..."

I thought Meyer was rather articulate in laying out his argument and I don't believe it was anything that difficult to grasp. The man used infant toys for a visual aid for Pete's sake.

At any rate, his point (unless I got it wrong) was that there is a design pattern (strategy/logic) evident within a cell in which information is processed within a multitude of hierarchical elements. Meyer draws on the experience of coding for computer languages and draws the connection on a variety of levels. "Each one of these design patterns is a feature for which there is only one cause in the known universe; and that cause is intelligent design." - S.M.

Meyer specifically addresses the 'Argument from Ignorance' which you appear to have missed (at about 44:00 min of the clip). The point being that:

"[The Falacious Argument For Design] constitutes nothing more than our ignorance of what natural processes can do. He's [Shermer] saying - or arguing - natural processes cannot produce the effect in question. Therefore, since we cannot think of anything else, we invoke the mysterious notion of Intelligent Design.

But in fact, the notion of intelligent design is not mysterious. It is something we know about from our own repeated experience. And the argument is not an arguement from ignorance. It is an argument from what we know, both about the features of the cell and the genome, but also about the cause and effect structure of the world.

So the Argument for Intelligent Design actually goes like this:

None of the natural processes that we've examined; not chance, necessity, or the combination of the two, have demonstrated the power to produce the effect in question - the specified information that runs the show in biology. But we do know of a cause - a type of cause, which is known to produce that effect, that cause is intelligence. Therefore, intelligent design constitutes the best explanation based on what we know from biology and our knowledge of the cause and effect structure of the world.

That's the form of argument that Darwin used. If this is an unscientific or falacious argument, then so was his. But instead, what I have done is acutally turned tables and show that by using Darwin's method and applying it to information - to evidence he did not yet know about - we can now show that the central legacy of Darwin is not that there is no evidence of design but rather that we can use Darwin's very method to reaffirm the case for design based on these very exciting discoveries of modern biology..." - S.M.

From: [] On Behalf Of Dehler, Bernie
Sent: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 3:07 PM
Subject: RE: [asa] Meyer on C-SPAN2

I also saw most of it- missed some of the start. It looked like it was a Discovery Institute show- sponsored by them and had a pro-ID 'moderator' who suggested Discovery books and membership. I wonder how packed the audience was of "friendly's."

One person asked him to explain why Dawkins said evolution was driven by random mutation and natural selection, yet evolution wasn't random? Meyers didn't explain Dawkin's view, and just agreed that it was nonsense- evolution was random. What they both missed is that 'natural selection' mechanism is not random at all. Just because there's a random component to evolution (gene mutation) doesn't mean the ENTIRE thing is random!

Also- they asked about Collins' rejection of ID. Meyers said Collins himself uses ID when appealing to the anthropologic argument for the universe... fine-tuning. I think Collins would respond this way: the anthropologic argument shows that there is design behind the processes of evolution. That is, evolution is not godless. However, Meyers uses ID to combat undirected evolution, which he thinks is atheism.

Meyers said he has no objection to "Behe's mousetrap" evolving, as long as you don't say it was done by random forces, because random forces can't do it.

Meyers objects to defining ID as "Nature can't do it, therefore God did it." He says there is real evidence FOR ID. But I still don't think I've ever heard this so-called evidence, unless it is statistics showing how something is impossible to evolve randomly, which is back to "it can't happen, so God did it."


From: [] On Behalf Of Randy Isaac
Sent: Saturday, September 05, 2009 7:41 PM
Subject: [asa] Meyer on C-SPAN2

I just finished watching Steve Meyer discussing his book "Signature in the Cell" on BookTV on C-SPAN2. It was recorded at the Seattle Art Museum on July 21. I highly recommend that any of you interested in this topic watch it. It will be aired 3 more times this weekend. The schedule is:

* Saturday, September 5th at 7pm (ET)
* Sunday, September 6th at 7am (ET)
* Monday, September 7th at 12pm (ET)
* Tuesday, September 8th at 12am (ET)

Meyer is an excellent speaker and he did a great job summarizing his book. If you don't have the time and inclination to buy and read the book, at least see this summary. The last slide nets out the key ID argument, from his perspective.

In particular, note the Q&A. The second question concerns the connection with Francis Collins and the answer is worth watching the show. Other questions relate to Dawkin's view of randomness. And there's a question about ID being a god of the gaps argument. Record it if you can.

Perhaps segments will be posted on YouTube soon, if they haven't already. But do watch this if you get a chance. It's an important backdrop to any discussion of the topic of DNA information, whether you agree or disagree.


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Received on Tue Sep 8 16:43:24 2009

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