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Francis Beckwith and the plod of the philosophers

In “Francis Beckwith finally disowns ID” Bill Dembski and a number of others have offered a variety of comments about this piece, “The Truth about Me and Intelligent Design.”

Honestly, Beckwith disowning ID reminds me of a guy divorcing his wife ten years after she’s run off with the plumber. The question isn’t “Why, Frankie, why?” but “Why, frankly, why?”.

Last I heard from Beckwith, he was defending John Lilley’s scorched earth campaign against the academic deans at Baylor (deans 1, scorched earth 0, as I recall – even at dysfunctional Baylor, there is some stuff you just can’t do).

My take is that some philosophy types will always hate ID because it asserts the priority of evidence over theory.

Let’s look at a typical Darwinist theory: The peacock’s tale (cue pompous science doc intro music)

The peacock’s tail evolved, we are told, because peahens somehow realized that a peacock who can carry a big tail is more fit than one who can’t. To me, that’s sort of like arguing that a guy with one leg is more fit than a guy with two legs, because he copes okay with his handicap.

But I am not a Darwinist, right?

In my view, the only way to confront such nonsense is with evidence, not theory. The evidence shows that the peahen doesn’t pay much attention to her mate’s fantail, but she loves his demented screams. No accounting for tastes, I guess.

Now, I suppose a philosopher might be looking for an overarching theory that explains that. I, by contrast, only want to know what the evidence shows. If the evidence showed that the peahen is smart enough to think things out the way the Darwinist theory requires, I would want to know just how she does it, given that she is one stupid bird – and so is her mate.

If the evidence does not show that she does anything of the kind, then that particular Darwinist theory is disconfirmed and I want that on the record. I don’t want the theory taught to students because “We must stick with Darwinism until we find something better.” It’s just plain wrong, and shouldn’t be taught, period.

Similarly, the fine tuning of the universe is best explained by a mind behind the universe. A person is not forced to believe it, but it is the most likely explanation. But again, that’s evidence, not theory. Faced with different evidence, I might be forced to revise my opinion.

I don’t think intelligent design will ever be acceptable to many philosophers because it is rooted in evidence, not theory. My advice is, every time you hear the words “Aquinas taught …” grab your toolbox and run. Aquinas was a smart 13th century dude but he did not have access to the evidence available today and we don’t know what he would say if he had. We are all rooted in time. We must live by what we know.

The tail:

The screams:

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12 Responses to Francis Beckwith and the plod of the philosophers

  1. Mr. Beckwith’s reasons for dismissing ID, as they are posted on his website “What’s Wrong with the World” are either incomplete, unintelligible, or plain ridiculous. After a little googling I found this criticism, which seems to indicate that Mr. Beckwith may have other axes to grind.

    “Instead of offering an olive branch and conciliatory tone at the moment of victory, Dembski angered many faculty members and embarrassed his benefactors and supporters at Baylor. Nevertheless, the administration gave Dembski a chance to extricate himself from his imprudent epistle. He was asked to offer a public apology. He refused. It was at that point that the university dismissed Dembski as MPC director. In short, Dembski snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory. ”

    http://homepage.mac.com/franci.....onists.pdf

    Anyway, it seems that Beckwith is a devoted fan of G. K. Chesterton. (As his website name and his book Return to Rome indicate.) So here is Chesterton’s reply from What’s Wrong with the World to Mr. Beckwith’s muddling of the issue of ID:

    “There is a popular philosophical joke intended to typify the endless and useless arguments of philosophers; I mean the joke about which came first, the chicken or the egg? I am not sure that properly understood, it is so futile an inquiry after all. I am not concerned here to enter on those deep metaphysical and theological differences of which the chicken and egg debate is a frivolous, but a very felicitous, type. The evolutionary materialists are appropriately enough represented in the vision of all things coming from an egg, a dim and monstrous oval germ that had laid itself by accident. That other supernatural school of thought (to which I personally adhere) would be not unworthily typified in the fancy that this round world of ours is but an egg brooded upon by a sacred unbegotten bird; the mystic dove of the prophets. But it is to much humbler functions that I here call the awful power of such a distinction. Whether or no the living bird is at the beginning of our mental chain, it is absolutely necessary that it should be at the end of our mental chain. The bird is the thing to be aimed at–not with a gun, but a life-bestowing wand. What is essential to our right thinking is this: that the egg and the bird must not be thought of as equal cosmic occurrences recurring alternatively forever. They must not become a mere egg and bird pattern, like the egg and dart pattern. One is a means and the other an end; they are in different mental worlds.”

    (Ch. II, WANTED, AN UNPRACTICAL MAN)

  2. As a philosopher, I take issue with your assertion that “I don’t think intelligent design will ever be acceptable to many philosophers because it is rooted in evidence, not theory” for a couple of reasons:

    First, many of the people that ID is becoming increasingly acceptable to are in fact philosophers, not scientists. Atheist philosopher Bradly Monton is a good example. His friendliness to ID is not so much based on evidence as it is on the definition of science. He thinks ID is science. His reasons are philosophical, not empirical.

    Secondly, much of the opposition ID has faced is because its epistemological approach conflicts with the current accepted (and wrong) definition of science (i.e. science as naturalism). The question: “What is science?” is not a scientific question. It is a philosophical one. Philosophy is logically prior to science. Therefore, ID needs good philosophers – people who can think in terms of theory.

    Also, your example of the fine-tuning of the universe being best explained as the product of a mind is more of a philosophical argument than it is an empirical one.

  3. Beautiful bird!!

    Of course the “beautiful” concept (being mere a pack of neurons) is yet another inexplicable ‘survival’-trait/illusion under Darwinism.
    Peacock reminds me of poppycock which reminds me of Darwinism. ;-)

  4. —–Denise: “My advice is, every time you hear the words “Aquinas taught …” grab your toolbox and run. Aquinas was a smart 13th century dude but he did not have access to the evidence available today and we don’t know what he would say if he had. We are all rooted in time. We must live by what we know.”

    Denise, if Aquinas was alive today, he would say the same thing he said then——design is real. His theory of causality was just as consistent with todays ID as it was with his own ID.

    ID advocates should not be conned by uninformed scientists or philosophers who try to put words in Aquinas’ mouth. If Ken Miller or Stephen Barr, two of the worst offenderes, ever care to visit this site, I will be happy to back it.

    Meanwhile, here is what Benedict XVI said about it last week:

    Thomas Aquinas taught that the notion of creation must transcend the horizontal origin of the unfolding of events, which is history, and consequently all our purely naturalistic ways of thinking and speaking about the evolution of the world. Thomas observed that creation is neither a movement nor a mutation. It is instead the foundational and continuing relationship that links the creature to the Creator, for he is the cause of every being and all becoming (cf. Summa Theologiae, I, q.45, a. 3).”

    Case closed against Christian Darwinists.

  5. 5

    Perhaps IDers are the ones who have disowned philosophy… or at least project that impression, accurate or not. Philosophy concerns itself with search for truth and ways of knowledge to the same degree that science does. It’s tiresome to hear the old enlightenment science-worship line about how philosophy is useless bunk and so on from people who should know better.

    In fact, I bet that the philosophical aspects of the ID debate are the ones that attract the most interest. The comments and points made on this blog, for example, which concern peripheral philosophical issues not strictly concerning what is so-called science, are often the most interesting and the most convincing.

    Despite that, we are told that philosophy is highbrow bunk, “science” is here to save the day. It doesn’t really make sense. It’s not even possible to “do” or even speak about science without metaphysical and hence philosphical presuppositions.

  6. Vladimir Krondan:

    You are certainly right in your last statement that:

    “It’s not even possible to “do” or even speak about science without metaphysical and hence philosophical presuppositions.”

    I agree, as would do any serious person interested in philosophy of science.

    But why do you affirm that:

    “Perhaps IDers are the ones who have disowned philosophy… or at least project that impression, accurate or not.”

    Maybe someone can have personal prejudices against philosophy, but I would not say that is a characteristic of the theory, and not even of the “movement”.

    Dembski is a philosopher, together with a mathematician. Isn’t that a strong indication? He has often been criticized for his theologic activity, which I find a very unfair behaviour, given that he has always kept a very correct separation between the two things.

    Please, check my direct answer to you in the thread “Frank Beckwith finally disowns ID”, (#7), and you will see that there is no desire on my part to deny the importance of philosophy, and of philosophy of science in particualr. That is equally true of StephenB’s post (#12). Both of us have complete respect for philosophy and its role, and we have complete respect for science and its role. We don’t even see the two as really separate, but rather as similar but different, and certainly interacting.

    But I, like probably Stephen and others, am not at all satisfied with Beckwith’s position (and partially with yours), which seems to introduce some specious antagonism between philosophy and science, and in particular between philosophy and ID. That’s not correct. ID remains a scientific theory, and not a philosophy. As I have already written, design philosophies are philosophies, but they are not ID, even if they can certainly get some benefits from the scientific experience of ID (and, obviously, vice versa).

    In the same way, I don’t agree with your statement that:

    “In fact, I bet that the philosophical aspects of the ID debate are the ones that attract the most interest. The comments and points made on this blog, for example, which concern peripheral philosophical issues not strictly concerning what is so-called science, are often the most interesting and the most convincing.”

    Obviously, what one finds more interesting is completely subjective, and you are entitled to your own choice. But I think you would lose your main bet. I think that, while philosophical (and religious, and moral, and political) discussions here are certainly very interesting, and can easily raise much passion, the true backbone of UD are the proper discussions about ID scientific theory, its arguments, its strength, its manifold aspects. Only the scientific arguments of ID can really expose the very bad science which is all around us. And they will certainly help inspire a lot of good philosophy, of which we all feel the need.

    But disavowing ID, or just not understanding its crucial importance today, is not a good idea. It’s only a way of favoring confusion, and of helping those who defend the wrong scientific attitude, and who happen to own, at present, almost all the power, the resources, the official authority. Not a good idea at all, however you put it.

  7. 7

    gpuccio “Beckwith’s position (and partially with yours), which seems to introduce some specious antagonism between philosophy and science, and in particular between philosophy and ID.”

    The antagonism is between philosophy and scientism or rationalism, or whatever one wishes to call the attitude.

    “ID remains a scientific theory, and not a philosophy”

    Philosophy is a search for truth just like science. Science used to be called “natural philosophy”. But this has grown unfashionable. If you believe in objective truth, then truth discovered by philosophy is just as true as truth discovered by technology or science. Just as there is objective truth, there is objective error… and philosophical errors are just as false as scientific errors. I don’t really see how one is more ‘scientific’ than the other. Are ‘scientific’ truths on some kind of higher plane or something? I doubt it.

    I think it’s an error, a magnificent error of the same sort committed by Paley and his generation, to cut one’s self off from philosophical heritage and the prior art of Design, just because it isn’t couched in the appropriate technological language. You may not be doing this, but Beckwith may have had the misfortune of running into IDers who do.

    Philosophical Design arguments are (in my opinion) far more convincing and far-reaching than the ones we would call ‘scientific’ Design arguments. Unfortunately the modern ID movement classifies those arguments, and that whole intellectual heritage (which has been around far longer than modern ID) as “not science”. What to make of that? I don’t know, but it’s the same error committed by Payley’s 19th century followers. Their pandering to the impressive “science” label is the very thing that led to their downfall.

    Why repeat history?

  8. Vladimir Krondan:

    I don’t understand. Don’t you recognize any specificity to science? I think science has more limits than philosophy, but also greater power in specific contexts. It’s not a problem of truth being different or higher or what else. Scientific theories are never truth. That’s a very important epistemological point for me, one that darwinists often love to deny.
    Scientific theories are, at best, best explanations. But that’s also their “local” power because, being much more limited than philosophical constructions, limited by methods and contexts, and especially by their quantitative aspects, they are in some way more easily “sharable”.

    It is difficult to deny that the scientific approach has given very poerful results in many fields, both copgnitive and practical. Philosophy has often to deal with problems which at present cannot be treated in a quantitative way, and perhaps never will. That’s not a limit of philosophy: in a sense, it’s rather a limit of science.

    But exactly because of its specificities, science has to be carried on together with philosophy, but not exactly in the same way.

    Just to make an example, philosophy has always had a lot to say about the wonders of human language and creativity. That’s a fact. But I believe that Dembski’s arguments about CSI have made us realize in a new way, certainly mathemathical and abstract, but at the same time very tangible, how much of a miracle a single phrase of, say, 100 characters which bears sense is, because of its huge search space and of the utter impossibility to obtain it by random search. Dembski’s arguments are quantitative: limited, if we want, but very very strong and universal.

    Penrose’s argument about the non algoritmic nature of human knowledge, based on Godel’s theorem, is another good example. Although controversial, it in IMO a very strong argument in favor of the fundamental role of consciousness in mathemathical cognition, a subject which certainly has deep consequences in philosophy.

    Finally, the recognition of the informational complexity in human beings, for instance at the genome level, and a correct analysis of that complexity, is something that no philosopher can ignore, just as no modern philosopher can ignore quantum mechanics, or relativity, or cosmological theories.

    Philosophers do their work, but scientists have a different work to do. Science requires a very technical approach and technical (mathemathical, physical, biological) knowledge, together with a correct epistemological and philosophical attitude. We cannot require that all philosophers know the details of mathematics or of biology. The fight between ID and darwinism is certainly a fight of general scenarios of scientific knowledge, but you cannot fight it unless you correctly go into the least details of the problems.

    If your intention is to criticize the dogmatic adoration for science that is all around us, I am with you 100%. There is nothing more stupid and offensive than this divinization of science. It is offensive for science first of all. Indeed, the science which is divinized is almost always bad science.

    But that’s not a reason not to appreciate good science, and its values, powers, and specificity.

    You say:

    “Philosophical Design arguments are (in my opinion) far more convincing and far-reaching than the ones we would call ’scientific’ Design arguments.”

    For some people, maybe. Not for others. Anyway, they are different agruments. Why should we use only part of the good arguments we own?

    You say:

    “You may not be doing this, but Beckwith may have had the misfortune of running into IDers who do.”

    And so? Does the philosophical approach to a theory consist in evaluating the personal attitude of one or two followers, without sticking to the theory? Have I to judge Cristianity from the behaviour of a couple of neighbours? Is that a correct cognitive attitude?

    The scientific theory of ID is there, for all to know. Read Dembski, read Behe. And others. And judge their work, and not the individual expressions of somebody in a blog.

    I have nothing against Beckwith, but he has to be considered responsible of his affirmations, like anybody else.

  9. 9

    [gpuccio] “Scientific theories are never truth. ”

    I’m afraid this is the same line that Popperites and Darwinians give me about science, so we must part ideological ways. Science can discover truths, the Earth really does revolve around the Sun, and a simple scientific experiment can determine if there is a carrot in my refrigerator or not.

    If you say that the results of science are never true then why should I listen to any ID argument that purports to be science? It isn’t true. Why bother.

    “Dembski’s arguments are quantitative: limited, if we want, but very very strong and universal.”

    What does the explanatory filter conclude about atoms and natural forces? Are they designed or not designed?

    “Why should we use only part of the good arguments we own?”

    I have been asking this question.

    “Penrose’s argument about the non algoritmic nature of human knowledge, based on Godel’s theorem, is another good example.”

    No, that’s a bad example. Godel-abuse may sound scientific but that’s about all. As an antidote to this I recommend the book on Godel’s theorem by (the late great) Torkel Franzen. And also his 10,000+ usenet posts combatting Godel-abuse.

    “Does the philosophical approach to a theory consist in evaluating the personal attitude of one or two followers, without sticking to the theory?”

    Well, I don’t know how much Beckwith did or did not evaluate.
    But on the one hand we have IDers saying that the designer could be an alien, while on the other hand we have IDers delving into cosmological fine tuning. This inconsistency is not lost on the crowd, I’m sure. Maxwell, and I think, both Herschel and Sir George Stokes believed that atoms and natural laws are designed — with the expressed view of humans in mind. How to reconcile this with the modern view of ID which says that we may have been designed by an alien? And that atoms are not designed? This is what I mean by cutting off the past heritage of thought on Design. Under these terms, Maxwell &co would probably also be forced to disavow ID.

  10. Where do people get this idea that ID is anti-classic theism? Beckwith’s charge against ID is precisely the same charge as was leveled by Edward Oakes, which is why I recently tried to get some of my colleagues here interested in the subject matter. These people are not Darwinists; they are classical theists. If I understand them correctly, they believe that ID does not fully recognize the reality of universals, meaning that IDers are supposed to be “nominalists.” (Those who hold that universals are nothing but mental constructs as opposed to Aristotelians or Thomists, who accept the reality of universals)

    Further, they hold that ID posits a “mechanistic” way of looking at the world, which compromises the classic view of “nature.” In other words, ID, in their judgment, grants its enemies too much ground by agreeing to the materialist Darwinist rules of limitation, that is, by reducing biological organisms to formulaic patterns, while ignoring their other nobler part (their essence).

    If I thought that was what ID was all about, I would probably bow out myself, because I, too, am an unrepentant Aristotelian/Thomist. But I don’t think that is what is happening here. ID, it seems to me, is simply trying to refute materialists on their own terms. In my judgment, it doesn’t deny essences, it simply puts them aside so that it can systematically analyze the patterns, because only the patterns can be measured. You can’t measure universals, or essences, or natures, you can only measure their material manifestations.

    It seems that we IDers can’t win. On the one hand, if we acknowledge that there is more to the analysis than the patterns, that there is, philosophically speaking, a non-material component, we are religious fundamentalists who allow their religion to leak into their science. On the other hand, if we temporarily bracket out the non-material component for the sake of scientific precision, we are enablers of materialist Darwinists who, themselves, permanently rule out non-material realities for the sake of ideology.

    On one side we have Darwinists, who demand that we deny the reality of essences and acknowledge a mechanistic universe and, on the other side, we have Beckwith and Oakes, who demand that we include essences in our scientific investigation to prove that we are not mechanists. But ID doesn’t posit a mechanistic universe; it isolates its mechanistic components to see what else is there. One cannot do science without isolating things, but to isolate [A] in order to measure [B] is not to deny [A]’s existence. God save us from philosophers who know nothing of science; God save us from scientists who know nothing of philosophy.

  11. Vladimir Krondan:

    we can certainly part ideological ways in absolute serenity. Still, I feel that a few clarifications are still due. So I will abuse your patience a little more.

    1)Science, truth and best explanation. I understand this is the biggest problem. Just let me mention that I was speaking of scientific theories, not of any kind of scientific knowledge. If there is a carrot in your refrigerator is an observable fact, not a theory. We can be able to observe it or not. The movement of the earth is rather more tricky, and I will not discuss it here.
    In general, I find very useful to distinguish between facts (observable) and theories. Theories are logico mathematical structures, are intended to explain known facts in terms of causal relationships, and are based on inference.

    In common language, the word true often applies to observable facts, and regards essentially if the described fact has been really and correctly observed (with the usually acceptable inference that if it was correctly observed, it really happened). I do believe in facts, although one must always be careful that there are not errors in the process of observation.

    If you want to call a good and generally accepted scientific theory, whose inferences are well supported by repetitive facts, a truth, I have no objections, but I would not join you. I believe in good theories, but would never give them an absolute state. Being inferences, they can be moodified by better inferences. For me, the value of scientific theories is in their usefulness, both cognitive (in the further development of theories) and practical.

    The important distinction must be done with the meaning of true and truth in mathematics and logics, which are a mainly deductive sciences, and where true and false are qualities of a judgement.

    Finally, there are probably absolute truth(s), but they are addressed by philosophy or religion, and I think that the question about the nature of absolute truth cannot always find an answer.

    I don’t know if my views make a Popperite of me (I hope not a darwinist!), I am only trying to stay practical.

    2) Your next statement is easier to address. You say:

    “What does the explanatory filter conclude about atoms and natural forces? Are they designed or not designed?”

    I think here you share a general misunderstanding of the filter. And yet it is simple: the filter is a way to prove, with almost no possible false positive, that some kind of information is CSI, and therefore designed.

    On the other side, the filter absolutely cannot say that something is not designed.

    In other words, things are designed if they are made by a designer. I can trace a line on a sheet of paper: that line is designed, because I (a conscious, intelligent being) have purposefully done it. But, unless you have observed my act of design, you cannoy say that the line is designed from its intrinsic properties. Here, darwinists, would be right: we cannot know if the line is designed, unless we know of the designer.

    But let’s presume that, on the same sheet of paper, I write a full page in english, which makes sense, let’s say this post (you could object that my post does not make sense, but let’s presume it does…). In that case, the filter can recognize, given the right context (english language, human reasoning) that that piece of information is CSI, and therefore designed, even if there is no evidence of who the designer is.

    Still in other words:

    a) Many things are designed, but only a subset of them is CSI.

    b) Things exhibiting CSI are designed.

    c) Conclusion: we can use CSI to affirm design, but we cannot use its absence to deny it.

    Is that clear? Let’s go to atoms and similar. The 3 requisites to define CSI are complexity, specification and absence of a mechanism of necessity which can give what we observe.

    Now, without discussing the first two issues for atoms (which could not be easy), I will mention that the third poses a serious difficulty to defining them as forms of CSI. Indeed, if we accept that the physical properties of matter derive wholly from known physical laws and parameters (I am not necessarily accepting that, but it is a vastly shared assumption in modern science. Let’s say I accept it methodologically), then atoms are the product of necessity, given those laws and parameters. So, the problem of CSI in atoms becomes the problem of CSI in original laws and conditions of the universe, in other words the problem of fine tuning (more on that later).

    But the natural application of CSI is in the field of digital information, where specific measures of the search space, of the probabilities, and of Shannon’s entropy can easily be made, and where functional specification is easily ascertained.

    That’s why the natural field of ID is biologic information, and not fine tuning. Biologic information has in fact very special properties (for simplicity, let’s limit the following discussion to genomic information for proteins):

    a) It came into existence during time, in the course of the natural history of our planet, and always in time and in the couse of history it has continued to grow, and to be modified.

    b) It is digital, based on a 4 letter alphabet and on a 3 letter words redundant code.

    c) Its information is completely symbolic, is not determined by biochemical laws of necessity, andis intended to specify an aminoacidic sequence in proteins according to the above code.

    d) Its functional specification can be verified according to the functional properties (folding, active site, context) of the corresponding protein.

    These properties make easy enough the recognition of CSI, and therefore design, in protein genes. It is true that problems are still there, the biggest of them being, IMO, a quantitative evaluation of the functional subsets of the general search space in specific contexts. But that can be done, in time, and the demonstrtion of design in biological information is already a big reality: we have only to convince darwinists of that :-)

    3) About Penrose and Godel, I will not insist, and I will be happy to look at your references. I know the argument is controversial, but still I am a big fan of it. But just a curiosity: why are you so much against Penrose’s argument? Do you believe that human cognition is wholly algoritmic? Just to know…

    4) About the supposed contradictions of IDists. I can see none in the things you cite:

    “on the one hand we have IDers saying that the designer could be an alien”

    And so? That is true. Given the nature of ID arguments (recognition of design form intrinsic properties of the information), the designer could certainly be an alien. That does not mean that the designer “is” an alien. Just that the kind of argument we have given cannot say it is not. Obviously, general design models, both scientific and philosophical, can well address the nature of the designer. But that is, at present, beyond the scope of ID proper.
    Not beyond the scope of design philosophies, anyway. Dembski has always stated that, in his general model, the designer is the christian God. Everybody can share the restricted arguments of scientific ID, and then elaborate his own design model or philosophy. What is wrong in that?

    “while on the other hand we have IDers delving into cosmological fine tuning”

    And so? Cosmological fine tuning is a scientific and philosophical problem with deep design implications at both levels. As I mentioned above, however, that problem does not share all the properties of the biological information problem, and therefore the attitude in reasoning has to be much different. But there is no doubt that it is a valid field of enquiry for a scientific evaluation of design in the universe, and that some of the premises are similar. It is therefore perfectly natural that IDists, while concentrating their efforts on biologcial information, can well be interested in the developments of the fine tuning issue.

    “Maxwell, and I think, both Herschel and Sir George Stokes believed that atoms and natural laws are designed”

    I am sure most IDists believe that too. I, for sure, do.

    “How to reconcile this with the modern view of ID which says that we may have been designed by an alien?”

    There is nothing to reconcile. Let’s put it this way: ID says that atoms and laws are probably designed, but that one has to show that at a more general, philosophical level. At the same time, biological information is designed in a differently specific way, which allows us an easy demonstration of design based on the intrinsic properties of that kind of information, but in itself (out of a broader model) gives us no information about the designer. Therefore, “for what we can say with that specific argument”, the designer could as well be an alien, a human being, or a god… or someone else.

    There is no contradiction. You are confounding a precise logical statement, rigorous and honest, with a general affirmation about reality.

    “And that atoms are not designed?”

    As discussed above, nobody has ever said that atoms are not designed. Only, you cannot show that by the explanatory filter.

    That’s all. Excuse the length of my post, but I wanted to be as clear as possible. Maybe I have not convinced you, but I can always hope that I would have convinced Maxwell &co… :-)

  12. In “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be An Atheist” there is a section that states that science is a slave to philosophy. They say, for instance, to believe that science works you must believe that the universe is intelligible. You cannot prove this using science, just as you can’t use reason to prove that reason is reasonable. You must assume philosophically that the universe is intelligible and thus science works.

    I think this is true. However I think certain things should be tested. Obviously certain Darwinian concepts make intellectual sense, but when tested prove to be null and void. (Such as the peacock feathers.)

    Kind of a tricky business if you ask me… lol

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