Intelligent Design: Having It Both Ways

by Cato  9/25/14

Creationists invoke the “cause => effect” argument with evolutionists quite frequently.  The absolute demand is that every effect have a definitive, visible cause; every event a precedent.  Tracking back, creationists arrive at the first effect, the first event and ask what came before.

Asked what produced the first effect, the universe, cosmologists will for example answer “the Big Bang”, to which a creationist will ask “what came before and caused the Big Bang”?  No one knows, of course, and the only valid answer is “nothing came before it … the universe emerged out of nothing we can define; a singularity”.  Creationists, having in their minds won the debate, will then say with certainty that they know what came before that first effect: an intelligent designer.  Prime Mover.  God.

Pete Chadwell employed a carefully buried version of this argument in his essay “Contradiction: The Common Thread of ID Criticism”, the core element of which was the illogical conclusions of Darwinists specifically, and by extension scientists in general.

“When biologists uncover the kind of evidence that, had it been received through a radio telescope would have sent SETI fans into a palm-sweating ecstasy, we ought to be free to conclude, using precisely the same methodology and logic, that biological life had an intelligent cause.”

The trivial, surface irrationality here is equation of the structure of DNA with sculpted bushes and the Rosetta Stone.  This is the thin argument that anything that appears to have structure must have been designed.  Clouds appear to exhibit design and structure … battleships, lion’s heads … where there is obviously none.  But that’s just the trivial irrationality.  And no one is saying Pete isn’t free to believe what he wishes; that is just a subtle red herring in his prose construction, too.  Deeper and more important is the implied issue of cause and effect.

This is a blatant case of loading the logical dice.  Creationists will not accept any effect as valid that has no obvious cause.  Something emerging out of nothing, structure arising naturally through eons of trial and error, is scoffed at and waved off as nonsense.  Yet having driven evolutionists and cosmologists into this C=>E corner creationists immediately violate their own rule: they invoke as the cause of the first effect an “intelligence” that itself has no cause and no precedent.

If ID’ers and creationists are to remain true to the “logic” of their ideas they must accept the validity of the question “what caused God?”  They must realize that their willingness to accept God as an arbitrary end point to the C => E chain is granting themselves a response they deny evolutionists and cosmologists.  One can’t have it both ways.  The finality and conviction of the ID answer is, therefore, no more logical or rational than the science they wave off.  To my mind their convictions are based on nothing more than their emotional and religious commitment to a capitalized three-letter word.


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19 Responses to Intelligent Design: Having It Both Ways

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    No one knows, of course, and the only valid answer is “nothing came before it … the universe emerged out of nothing we can define; a singularity”.

    No, I would say the only acceptable answer to a materialist is “nothing came before.”

    We can at least acknowledge that when talking about first causes, or even necessary causes, that we’re talking about things beyond our direct experience. But we infer them because neither “something from nothing” nor an infinite regress seems to make much logical sense.

    The Big Bang strongly suggests something other than infinite regress. Einstein’s steady state universe (which materialists hoped for) didn’t materialize.

    But if something can come from nothing, then we’re basically stuck in an incoherent universe which behaves like something out of a Lewis Carroll story. And given the insanity that sometimes grips human beings, I don’t often wonder if this is the case. But, still, if “something can come from nothing” then there is no anchor for coherence. Anything can be anything according to rules that need not be one thing instead of another.

    The trivial, surface irrationality here is equation of the structure of DNA with sculpted bushes and the Rosetta Stone.  This is the thin argument that anything that appears to have structure must have been designed. 

    I think you’re totally misreading him. Pete was saying, in effect, its entirely logical to suppose design as a cause if something looks designed. And he noted the hypocrisy of those who would indeed be ready to explode in enthusiasm if SETI’s radio detectors pickup up a pattern such as is contained in DNA (assuming, of course, the code could be broken).

    Something emerging out of nothing, structure arising naturally through eons of trial and error, is scoffed at and waved off as nonsense.

    Some of what is contained in Neo-Darwinism may indeed be nonsense. Other things are not. We still have little to no idea how the complex structures in the cell arose or were built.

    If one assumes a naturalist paradigm, which I mostly do myself as a default position, then one would expect to be able to somehow “evolve” life from the so-called primordial ooze. If I was a scientist, this would be my pursuit. An intelligent designer may have intervened, but even so without so much as a pdf instruction book (remember when printed manuals came with software?), we are right to continue methodically to suppose a “natural” solution.

    But I think your argument is fundamentally flawed because you’re stuck on the “What caused God” question. Indeed, who knows? Unless we believe that the universe is self-caused, then we are left to imagine a hierarchy of being, a cause larger and different from the cause-and-effect we experience inside of time and space.

    It may be an uncomfortable notion for the religious to suppose that we are related to monkeys. But it seems it is just as uncomfortable to some to believe there is more to life and existence than materialism.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    As I noted in my own responses, there are natural phenomena (such as clouds, and some eroded mountains) that look like something, though this often just reflects the human tendency to look for patterns (similar to the Martian canals, which seem to have been an optical illusion). But there are also places such as Mount Rushmore where such similarities are deliberately created. In many cases we can be quite certain of the designed creation, partly from its complexity. It’s fair to ask if the biochemicals needed for even the simplest cell are in the designed category, at least until such time as the biochemists show how they were fashioned by natural means from basic organic molecules.

  3. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    No one knows, of course, and the only valid answer is “nothing came before it …

    If no one knows then, by definition, there is not only one “valid” answer. Rather there is no absolute valid answer. And the search for answers is not only reasonable, it is part of the human makeup to search for answers. Thus your statement is nonsense, even when taking your follow on bit

    the universe emerged out of nothing we can define; a singularity”.

    The fact that we cannot define what the universe emerged out of does not, in itself, mean that it emerged from nothing by itself. Throughout the ages there have been many things which men could not “define” yet that did not mean these things were any less real. Science has, over time, given us the ability to define and/or redefine many things which were incorrectly defined or beyond definition in the past. Perhaps the same will occur to some degree as to our origins.

    Furthermore, by your logic, the use of the word “singularity” means nothing because it is something which cannot be defined. So as one keen on definition, why use it?

    This is the thin argument that anything that appears to have structure must have been designed. Clouds appear to exhibit design and structure … battleships, lion’s heads … where there is obviously none.

    Particularly in the discussion of DNA, biology and ID, this is a thin analogy as clouds which “appear to exhibit design” are ephemeral and do not develop into any higher organism. Rather they quickly dissipate into less than they were. I would like to hear a better reasoned argument if you have the time to consider one.

    If ID’ers and creationists are to remain true to the “logic” of their ideas they must accept the validity of the question “what caused God?” They must realize that their willingness to accept God as an arbitrary end point to the C => E chain is granting themselves a response they deny evolutionists and cosmologists. One can’t have it both ways. The finality and conviction of the ID answer is, therefore, no more logical or rational than the science they wave off. To my mind their convictions are based on nothing more than their emotional and religious commitment to a capitalized three-letter word.

    I have always found this type of logic from materialists to be quite interesting. You are willing to deny cause and effect when it suits your book as in this case. But as regards everything else you wish to talk about cause and effect and come close to making it a religion, if I may be so bold as to use an analogy. The old scientific method you know.

    Therefore your assertion that there is an apparent contradiction in non-materialists’ reasoning, is a mistake in logic. It is the default position of physics and human experience that effect requires a cause. In this case you wish to deny this, and in trying to defend your position you jettison your belief in logic.

    What you claim as arbitrary is in fact covered by metaphysics. It may not be “provable” from your materialist point of view, but it is certainly equally logical, if not more so, than your Objectivist “everything from nothing special” point of view.

    Might I recommend a short piece which might speak to you?

    http://www.stubbornthings.org/atheistic-fundamentalists/

  4. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    See Brad’s latest posting under “God and Stephen Hawking: Whose Design is it Anyway?”

  5. LEE C G says:

    “nothing came before it … the universe emerged out of nothing we can define; a singularity”

    If that were literally the only valid answer, there’d be no reason for any further study into the matter. Talk about paralyzing scientific exploration.

    “Creationists, having in their minds won the debate, will then say with certainty that they know what came before that first effect: an intelligent designer. Prime Mover. God.”

    I’d say most who believe in an intelligent designer would be more apt to say that it is more probable that the universe was created by an intelligent designer, so much so that in any other issue where the probabilities are so skewed, they would claim certainty in their opinion.

    The truth is this. Our observances of the universe have shown that wherever we see design, and know the cause of it, the cause is always an intelligent agent. From what we observe and agree that we know of the natural universe, it is more probable that things that appear designed were designed by intelligence. To claim otherwise is to claim to believe in something that is far less probably true instead of in something that is far more probably true.

    “This is the thin argument that anything that appears to have structure must have been designed. Clouds appear to exhibit design and structure … battleships, lion’s heads … where there is obviously none.”

    This quote above shows that you know little of what Intelligent Design proponents believe. Pete never made any such implication, nor would any knowledgeable ID proponent. There is a world of difference between mere structure and structure with a purpose. I’d suggest you read Stephen C. Meyer’s Signature in the Cell where he discusses the difference between mere complexity and specified complexity.

    “Creationists will not accept any effect as valid that has no obvious cause. Something emerging out of nothing, structure arising naturally through eons of trial and error, is scoffed at and waved off as nonsense.”

    No one believes in the probability of something emerging out of nothing because it does not jive with our observances of the universe. We never see something new (or old) and do not ask where it came from or what caused it. To believe that something definitely came from nothing is to end all inquiry about the origin of that something.

    “They must realize that their willingness to accept God as an arbitrary end point…”

    God (or an intelligent designer) is in no way an arbitrary end point, definitely no more so than claiming the universe was caused by nothing or that there is an as yet to be determined natural singularity or that there is an infinitely regressive set of natural causes.

    That the universe exhibits such a high degree of design, and that our observances so far have shown us that wherever we see design, and know the cause of it, the cause is always an intelligent agent, should lead anyone who uses probabilities to inform their understanding (which should be all of us) to find it more probable that the universe requires an intelligent designer in order to exist.

    What is arbitrary, is to choose one of the less probable options simply because the most probable option is offensive or undesirable.

    Intelligent Design proponents are not trying to have it both ways. They are not holding themselves to a different standard than they hold others. They are weighing the options and choosing the most probable answer. They only ask why others do not do the same.

    • That’s good stuff, Lee. Imagine you and a friend are sitting at home and you hear a knock at the door. Imagine your friend says “Don’t get up… nothing caused that knock, there’s no one at the door.” The knock is an effect, and effects have causes. This is why we answer the door.

      Cato is essentially saying “Don’t get up, nothing caused that knock, there’s no one at the door.”

      Cato wrote: “The trivial, surface irrationality here is equation of the structure of DNA with sculpted bushes and the Rosetta Stone. This is the thin argument that anything that appears to have structure must have been designed.”

      What we have here, it would seem, is a denial of a very important distinction, the distinction between what might be called “Shannon” information (an improbable arrangement or sequence) and specified complexity. It’s very difficult, however, to deny such a distinction while typing an article by which you intend to convey information because by doing so, Cato is affirming the distinction.

      Consider these two sentences:

      Meet me tomorrow at Starbucks at noon and I’ll give you a million dollars.

      Eodq ke spoirlowe md Ikjsovcke ox anoi ema Y’sd osci oiw d oichkei doqmnr.

      What Cato must do is deny that there’s a difference between these two sentences. Both sentences contain an equivalent amount of Shannon information, and in that sense alone they are no different. Both sequences are equally improbable. But someone who reads the second sentence is not going to know where or when to show up in order to collect a million dollars. This is because while the two sentences contain the same amount of Shannon information, the first sentence carries something that the second sentence does not: Specified complexity. It is this specified complexity that triggers the recognition of intelligent design.

      Cato’s article is intelligible because it contains something more than mere Shannon information. It is an example of that which I suspect Cato would like to deny the importance of: Specified complexity.

      DNA is the same way… it’s not mere Shannon information. It contains complex specified information. Essentially, this information amounts to software. But don’t take it from me, take it from J. Craig Venter, who was deeply involved in the Human Genome Project. What does Venter say about this? (he’s not a Theist, by the way) He says that the cell is a “software driven machine” and that “the secret of life is writing software.”

      Hmmm. Do companies like Apple and Microsoft employ blind, purposeless natural processes to write software? Or do they employ intelligent software engineers?

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Shannon information,

        And I think it would help to mention that this Shannon information is, for purposes here, the capacity of something to carry information. Your example shows both aspects (and if your second example was a code, it would have as much specified information as your first example).

        But I think central to this subject is whether or not the information content of DNA, for example, was primarily hand-coded, if you will. At this point I think the best we can say is that some of the content stems from mutation/natural selection, and the great bulk of it is “Who knows?” And given the truly mind-boggling complexity of such things as the cilia (especially as further elucidated in Behe’s book The Edge of Evolution), it is not merely arguing from “incredulity” that causes one to suppose that Neo-Darwinism (gradualism) is highly problematic in terms of explaining these complex systems.

        I don’t think I’ve stated anything particular controversial or highly speculative. When the cell was thought to be just a mere smudge of protoplasm, then Grand Ideas that seemed to explain everything (such as evolution) made sense. But if we have learned anything at all since the Greeks, it is that we cannot sit inside our caves and discover, by pure reasoning powers alone, what reality is, how it works, what it’s for, where it came from, etc.

        Therefore any theory has to explain what we now see going on inside the cell. And admittedly we have just scratched the surface. But every scratch seems to reveal something even more complex and highly improbable. In the end, despite the common prejudices of the atheistic crowd (and I don’t necessarily mean Cato), one needn’t be a snake-handler to believe in the merits of intelligent design (or intelligent causation, if one wishes to use Lennox’s formulation).

        There are indeed plenty of snake handlers who want ID to be true, just as there many snake handlers on the Left (such as Dawkins) who so want it to not be true that they, in ways similar to the global warming hoax, will fudge the evidence to fit their theories. And that’s not science. That is the true domain of Kooksville.

        • Brad, are you familiar with the idea that DNA doesn’t actually contain any “body plan” information? This is something that is likely to have been raised in Darwin’s Doubt and other things… I’ve read Signature in the Cell but I’ve not read DD.

          Apparently the notion is not all that new… but if it’s actually true that body plan information is not present in DNA, then Darwinism is dead. I’m not sure it’s something we can shout from the rooftops just yet, but there are good reasons, it seems, to conclude that body plan information is not found in DNA. And yet Darwinism claims that natural selection acting on random mutations in the DNA accrue to produce changes in body plan, changing a critter with a single-cell body plan to a critter with an entirely different body plan involving trillions of cells. Or, changing (for example) a critter with the body plan of a dinosaur into a critter with the body plan of, say, a bird.

          Obviously, you can mutate DNA until you’re blue in the face, but if there’s no body plan information present in DNA, then the body plan of the organism will never change. That’s kind of a big deal!!

          In 2010 my wife and I attended the Discovery Institute’s “Insider’s Briefing on Intelligent Design” there in Seattle and I spoke with Jonathan Wells about this briefly. The way he put it was this: Mutating the genome of a fruit fly has thus far only produced one of three things: A healthy fruit fly, a sick fruit fly, or a dead fruit fly. But they’re all fruit flies, and that’s the point.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Brad, are you familiar with the idea that DNA doesn’t actually contain any “body plan” information? This is something that is likely to have been raised in Darwin’s Doubt and other things… I’ve read Signature in the Cell but I’ve not read DD.

            I don’t immediately recall that point being made in any of the books that I’ve read. Many of these books have huge appendices that I haven’t delved into yet. I understand that in DNA there is, at the very least, the coding for proteins and the coding for regulation of when to turn on or off the replication of these proteins (and other cell functions). As for body plans, my best guess would have been that such plans were somehow embedded in the complex web of interactions of the various layers of control proteins.

            I certainly do remember reading, now that I think of it, some interesting details about control proteins in Behe’s “The Edge of Evolution.” He strongly suggests that the reason it is relatively easy to, say, fiddle with a mutation and put legs on a fruit fly’s head — but never (as yet) to create a leg in the first place — is because there are networks and entire complex cascades of control proteins that do nothing but control the behavior of other proteins which do the actual building. Some mutations (think of sort of a modular system) could, perhaps, give extra segments to the centipede (my characterization, not Behe’s).

            But as for creating new body plans (or the base modules themselves) from random mutations working in a gradual, stepwise fashion, this idea seems pretty hopeless. As Behe and other biologists note, if you take out just one kind of protein in the chain of control proteins (which usually consist of six or more different control proteins, and that’s not even counting the entire complex cascade and network of proteins that do the actual construction), the whole thing stops working. Again, one doesn’t need to be a snake-handler to acknowledge this real physical problem — and one that Neo-Darwinism can’t seemingly account for. It is a logical assumption, at the moment, that one must “look forward” (aka “design”) in some way in order to build these complex interacting (perhaps “irreducibly complex”) systems. I don’t consider that proven, but I think the logic of the stepwise approach of Neo-Darwinism is doubtful.

            That must have been entirely cool to have attended that event in Seattle.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Well, a single knock on the door can have a natural cause, such as a branch blown against it. I sometimes hear occasional noises at home when I’m alone that have unknown causes. On the other hand, if there is a sequence of noises (such as repeated raps on the door), one assumes that someone caused it. (There was an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show in which Laura Petrie, alone for the night, hears the sort of creaking that one hears and notices that you never seem to hear that sort of thing when you’re NOT alone.)

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Lee, thanks for joining the conversation. I thought those were some intelligent and reasonable remarks.

  6. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    As an aside, and for what it’s worth, it might help this entire subject to take note of what John Lennox says about “creationism” in God’s Undertaker. It is an idea central to this topic:

    Such an announcement by a thinker of Flew’s caliber gave a new twist of interest to the vigorous, if sometimes heated, debate on “intelligent design”. At least some of the heat results from the fact that the term “intelligent design” appears to convey to many people a relatively recent, crypto-creationist, anti-scientific attitude that is chiefly focussed on attacking evolutionary biology. This means that the term “intelligent design” has subtly changed its meaning, bringing with it the danger that serious debate will be hijacked as a result.

    Now “intelligent design” strikes some as a curious expression, since usually we think of design as the result of intelligence — the adjective is therefore redundant. If we therefore simply replace the phrase with “design” or “intelligent causation” then we are speaking of a very respectable notion in the history of thought. For the notion that there is an intelligent cause behind the universe, far from being recent, is as ancient as philosophy and religion themselves. Secondly, before we address the question whether intelligent design is crypto-creationism we need to avoid another potential misunderstanding by considering the meaning of the term “creationism” itself. For its meaning has changed as well. “Creationism” used to denote simply the belief that there was a creator. However, it has now come to mean not only belief in a Creator but also a commitment to a whole additional raft of ideas by far the most dominant of which is a particular interpretation of Genesis which holds that the earth is only a few thousand years old. This mutation in the meaning of “creationism” or “creationist” has had three very unfortunate effects. First of all it polarizes the discussion and gives an apparently soft target to those who reject out of hand any notion of intelligent causation in the universe. Secondly, it fails to do justice to the fact that there is a wide divergence of opinion on the interpretation of the Genesis account even among those Christian thinkers who ascribe final authority to the biblical record. Finally, it obscures the (original) purpose of using the term “intelligent design”, which is to make a very important distinction between the recognition of design and the identification of the designer.

    These are different questions. The second of them is essentially theological and agreed by most to be outside the provenance of science. The point of making the distinction is to clear the way to asking whether there is any way in which science can help us with the answer to the first question. It is therefore unfortunate that this distinction between two radically different questions is constantly obscured by the accusation that “intelligent design” is shorthand for “crypto-creationism”.

    The oft repeated question whether intelligent design is science can be rather misleading, certainly if we understand the term “intelligent design” in its original sense. Suppose we were to ask the parallel questions: Is theism science? Is atheism science? Most people would give a negative answer. But if we were now to say that what we are really interested in is whether there is any scientific evidence for theism (or for atheism), then we are likely to be faced with the reply: Why, then, did you not say so?

    One way to make sense of the question whether (intelligent) design is science or not is to reinterpret it as: Is there any scientific evidence for design? If this is how the question should be understood, then it should be expressed accordingly in order to avoid the kind of misunderstanding exhibited by the statement made in the Dover trial “that ID is an interesting theological argument, but that it is not science.”

    • There’s a question that’s more important, I think, than the question of whether Intelligent Design is “science.” That question is simply this: “Is Intelligent Design TRUE?”

      If we say that it’s not science, but that it COULD be true, then what are we saying about science? Seems like we’re saying that science shouldn’t concern itself with what true.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        If we say that it’s not science, but that it COULD be true, then what are we saying about science? Seems like we’re saying that science shouldn’t concern itself with what true.

        We can safely say — to the discomfort of naturalists (not including the kind who romp in the buff on remote beaches) — that science itself is not a complete system for understanding existence. This is self-evident…but extreme fighting words to the Dawkins types who model themselves as the superior gatekeepers of all knowledge.

        In many ways, for these Dawkins-type atheists, this is much more of a turf battle than it is about what is real or true. And for many, layered on top of this is a cultural issue composed primarily of the conceit of higher intelligence. We mustn’t forget (and I’m sure you have not) that in large parts of our culture to be considered a believer is to announce that one is a knuckle-dragging Troglodyte. Indeed, various quotes from Lennox’s books cite exact examples of this attitude from leading atheists (who are, indeed, the active models for atheism itself and toward which all atheism gravitates). They believe that the religious actively are attracted to faith because of a gleeful desire to be disconnected from facts.

        To be an atheist, in my experience, is to be arrogant — and more than a little uninformed.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Yes, this was my immediate reaction. Science concerns itself with whatever can be explained by purely natural means. To some degree, the scientific method can be used to explore metaphysical questions, but it probably can’t resolve any of them. The problem is that some scientists are determined to believe that anything they can’t prove must be non-existent — even as they willingly accept “scientific” theories that are unproven or even unprovable.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Science concerns itself with whatever can be explained by purely natural means. To some degree, the scientific method can be used to explore metaphysical questions, but it probably can’t resolve any of them.

            I think one could rightly say that science concerns itself with anything it wants to. We might easily forget that what we call “science” today has become a very narrow subset of what used to be called “natural philosophy” which had a much larger breadth of concerns and interests.

            It’s more than okay for scientists to philosophize and roam into areas that many now have dismissed as “not scientific.” They are under no requirement to behave like Joe Friday where it’s “just the facts, ma’am.” There is no understanding our world without delving into philosophy as often prompted by human yearnings, including regarding subjects that do not fit what has become today’s narrow “scientific” paradigm.

            And there are many more facts and truths than can be measured under a microscope. And those sad, piddly-brained groupthink “scientists” who announce “Science is not interested in finding Truth, for there is no Truth” are just engaging in mental masturbation and prevarication.

            Of course we are motivated by various things. Money, prestige, or just the need to keep busy at something. But science doesn’t exist if there is no innate human desire to expand our knowledge, to find more truth, capital-t or otherwise. And those people who try to pretend otherwise are either lying or lying to themselves. They know exactly what kinds of truth they are looking for and trying to validate.

            I know that of lot of this common-sense stuff on the general subject has been lost because of the wild ideological strains that have been running through the field of science in the last 400 years or so (at least ever since a group of smug scientists decided to redefine the normal evolution of science and say that it began with “the Enlightenment,” a supposed successful revolt of secular types over the theocrats). But there’s no good reason that “science” has to concern itself only with materialistic issues. Our minds surely exist. And surely our minds in no way can be put under a microscope and measured. Shall we then, as junior-high-school-level philosophers such as Dan Dennett do, simply declare the mind all but some kind of toxic sludge riding on top of matter?

            What is called “science” today has artificially narrowed its bounds due to purely ideological reasons…the Religion of Atheism/Leftism/materialism being the main driving influences.

            • I listened recently to a panel discussion from an “Intelligent Design Under Fire” conference held at BIOLA several years ago, featuring some of the guys from the Discovery Institute including Stephen Meyer. On the other side of the stage were some scientists and some media people, and the topic of the moment was this underlying philosophy that artificially restricts which kinds of answers can be considered. One of the scientists on the panel of critics–I forget his name–commented about how science was “self-correcting.” But Meyer, in his usual professional and entirely respectful manner, absolutely destroyed the guy by asking a simple question. The question was this:

              “What happens to the self-correcting nature of science if you have a methodological rule that prevents you from considering a hypothesis that might be true? What if it IS true that life is designed by an intelligence? Could science ever be corrected when it also holds a rule that says that you can’t consider the possibility of design?”

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                commented about how science was “self-correcting

                I suppose everything is “self-correcting” given enough time, although they’re sure taking their time to uncover the global warming fraud.

                I’m in awe of Meyer’s ability to patiently handled these idiots. And I don’t think “idiots” is too harsh of a term. We really are talking about an ideology that is as inbred as the proverbial backwoods hillbillies.

                “Self-correcting” is a conceit and a dodge. The history of science is that scientists themselves typically have to be dragged kicking and screaming to acknowledge new evidence and theories. They are among the most provincial and blinkered people. Your average Joe out in the street has typically little invested in whether the neutrino has mass and things such as that.

                And it is a conceit because “self-correcting” is a dog-whistle code word meaning “We’re not dogmatic like those dyed-in-the-wool religious types.” Oh, if only.

                I admire people such as Feynman, Stephen Meyer, and others, who bring a bit of grace, humility, and good humor to the craft of science. But I’m not one of them. I guess I’ve just had it up to here with their nonsense and think it’s about time that we called a spandrel a spandrel.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                I like that concept of (intellectual) in-breeding. In essence, scientists (like so many intellectuals) are mired in groupthink because they associate only with those who think just like them.

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