RE: The young age of Earth

Brian D Harper (
Wed, 17 Mar 1999 08:41:12 -0800

At 07:54 AM 3/17/99 -0800, Art wrote:
>At 10:46 PM 3/16/99 -0800, Pim wrote:
>>It does not matter whether it be Darwinian evolution or not. IC systems
>can arise in gradual steps.
>>So perhaps it is time that the IC people support their ideas that such
>systems cannot arise naturally.
>What is your scientific basis for this statement? Perhaps it is time that
>the evolution people support their ideas that such systems can arise
>naturally, after all they are the ones who make such an assertion. Where
>is the evidence?

Hello Art. Good point.

It seems to me that there are individuals on both sides that over
play their hand, so to speak. For example, a creationist might

C1: "It's impossible for IC systems to arise naturally."

to which an evolutionist may reasonably respond

R1: "Please provide support for this claim."

Likewise, an evolutionist might claim:

C2: "IC systems can arise naturally"

with identical response (R1).

I would tend to agree that if this claim cannot be supported
then it is a statement of faith.

OK, my first question is to suppose that neither claim can be
supported at present (yes, there's always hope for the future:).
What conclusion should one draw?

Before attempting to answer this I think its important to
observe that C1 and C2 are not really reciprocal claims.
Reciprocals would be:

R_C1: "It's impossible for IC systems to be intelligently designed."

R_C2: "IC systems can arise by intelligent design."

OK, I don't know many evolutionists who would make the R_C1
claim. The interesting thing is that R_C2 seems to be taken
axiomatically. If an evolutionist is required to support
C2 then why wouldn't an IC'er be required to support R_C2?

Another point to bear in mind is that "arise naturally" and
"intelligently designed" are not automatically mutually
exclusive and so the definition of ID used in support of
R_C2 needs to be such that it *is* mutually exclusive.

OK, now back to my question. Suppose that none of the
claims C1, C2, R_C1, R_C2 can, at present, be supported.
What to conclude?

Brian Harper
Associate Professor
Applied Mechanics
The Ohio State University