Sunday, March 12, 2006

Richard Lewontin, "Billions and Billions of Demons," The New York Review, January 1997, p. 31.

"We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen."


Rick said...
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Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

Mr. Stockwell simply asserts--without arguing--we cannot know things about (in a strange turn of phrase)"the divine anatomy." The ID argument is an inference to a designer as opposed to merely chance and necessity. That is how it employs empirical evidence. It is not concerned to specify very much about the designer. However, philosophical arguments can fill out the nature of the designer through natural theology. See my recent book, "In Defense of Natural Theology," which I co-edited.

Yes, we know that Mt. Rushmore was made by human manufacture. This can be verified by a history book. However, it could be verified without one! If we found something like Mt. Rushmore on Mars--a mountain with the heads of John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Sonny Rollins--carved into it, the most logical inference would be intelligent design, not mere chance and necessity. This is because it satisfies the complexity and specification criteria of Dembski. Call it Mt. Jazzmore.

Now DNA is far more complex than either Mt. Rushmore of Mt. Jazzmore, and it also satisfies the Dembski's two criteria. The fact that no human saw the manufacture of DNA is irrelevant. It is designed.

Keepitreal said...

John Stockwell said;
" So, unless we have physical evidence, independent of biology and DNA showing how the first DNA may have been manufactured, we have no reason to draw the conclusion that DNA is manufactured."

reworded as;

So, unless we have physical "OBSERVED" evidence, showing how the first DNA may have evolved (via natural selection and mutations), we have no reason to draw the conclusion that DNA has evolved.

The NDE camp says "common descent" from NON-OBSERVED, inferred, indirect evidence, and the ID camp says "Common Design" from OBSERVED direct evidence.

Using the scientific method which side would you take?

Also a person in UD blog had a good comment on Dawkins now famous quote
" it only appears designed" comment
that is this...

He said
"Dawkins is quoted as saying that design in living things is an illusion. Does this not imply that he

-) there is a rigorous definition for design
-) there is a way to detect design

if not, how can he know it’s an illusion, if yes, where is his definition and method
if neither, what’s he talking about?"

THIS IS WHAT the ID movement is trying to quantify via the scientific method. The conclusions about who the designer is irrelevant.

How would you detect design if you did not know who the designer is?

The evidence in the last 20 years proports that DNA only degrades over time and mutations are not the "creative element" that can produce any significant body structures. There seems to be a pre-designed limit on how far any one specific body plan can take.

Nuff said