Re: NTSE #11

Pim van Meurs (
Wed, 19 Mar 1997 17:40:22 -0400

>PM>True, which is why appeal to a supernatural force has little
>scientific value. Because any flaw can be explained as "we do not
>understand what the designer had in mind".

Steve: The point is that it cannot be claimed to be a "flaw". We may
*think* its a "flaw", but that may be due to our limited understanding:

Possibly but that is perhaps too easy an explanation ? Everything we
cannot explain or which appears contradictory can always be explained as
"we don't know god's will and intentions" ? That is not science since it
lacks the basics of science, predictability and refutability.

Steve: In any event, there is no reason why there cannot be a scientfic
theory of Intelligent Design, even if the design were freely admitted
(for the sake of argument) to be flawed, by an ideal engineering
standard. Design that is flawed is still design. Metaphysical
naturalists must show that there is *NO* design.

On the contrary, you are the one claiming not only 'design' but
intelligent design. Naturalists can show how this apparant design can be
the result of random change and natural selection. The idea that
complexity requires a designer and even more an intelligent designer
requires proof.

PM>Perhaps he/she was sadistic or just playfull in having eyes of
>the flaunder move all over the body or route the urinary tract
>through the prostate gland of men?

"These are good examples of the subjectivity of argument from
imperfection. Darwin actually though the first of these, the "eyes
of the flaunder" that "move all over the body" (actually one
eye moves a short distance around the head), were regarded by Darwin
as an advantageous adaptation which stops the lower eye being abraded
and helps the fish feed and avoid enemies:"

You don't understand what I am saying here. Why is the flaunder born with
eyes on both sides and then the eye moves to the top ? I do understand
that the flaunder presents an excellent example of evolution in action but
I also believe that it shows some poor design if an intelligent designer
were involved.

"As for "the urinary tract" going "through the prostate gland of men",
Darwinists presumably must think this must have a selective
advantage, otherwise it would not have remained such a dominant
feature in all mammals apart from the monotremes and the beaver."

This is not true. It could also be that no mutation has taken place to
allow for selection or that such change is beyond the realm ? That
something is a major feature in animals does not mean it is the best
solution, just the best of those
available. But for an intelligent designer there is the choice to reroute
problem area.

"An Intelligent Design theorist would just argue that this was part of
the mammalian body-plan and there were good reasons why it was
designed that way."

And the reason is ? Have you ever looked at the route the urinary tract
makes in males ? Looks like a plumber gone haywire.

Steve: It shows that the so-called "scientific approach" used by those who
use the argument from imperfection, is really a type of "religious
faith" itself. That is clear in the emotionalism, subjectivism and
just plain bad logic used by the imperfectionists.

I am glad that we agree that religious faith requires emotionalism,
subjectivism and bad logic. But I disagree that this applies to the
imperfectionists. The observed 'imperfections' are far more easily
explained by evolution than a poor designer.

Why would a designer design a whale with hind legs ? Why would a designer
design Or whale embryos growing teeth which then 'disappear' ? There are
plenty of examples.

Steve: "Let's face it, even if the Designer used designs that were less
perfect, it would not mean that there was no Intelligent Designer,
just that there was an Intelligent Designer who could have created
everything perfect but who chose instead, for His own good reasons,
not to do so. Some scientists might not like such a Designer, but
since when does scientists not liking something disqualify it as an
object of scientific study?"

I am confused that a supernatural, all powerful being could not design
properly ? Now your suggestion that he did this for his own reason is an
example of why such reasoning lacks scientific merrits. Whenever we don't
know, we claim that the designer had good reasons which we don't
I would say that religious people would not like such a designer.

Steve: BTW, the Bible nowhere says that God created everything "perfect",
just "good" (Gn, 4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31).

I am sure that the people who wrote the bible were aware that the perfect
design would not fly. But this does not explain why he would consider such
'poor' designs.