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Francisco Ayala — But does he really believe what he’s saying?

Francisco AyalaHere’s an excerpt (translation follows) from a remarkable interview with Francisco Ayala by one of the most prominent media outlets in Spain. One wonders how a Catholic priest, even a former Catholic priest, can actually believe all this. In his book Darwin’s Gift to Science and Religion he calls me (a mathematician by training) a “sociologist.” Given his remarks below, apparently anyone who is not the right sort of scientist is, in Ayala’s view, a sociologist. Great to see the Templeton Foundation supporting him.

Source:  http://www.abc.es/20100506/ciencia-/barbaridad-culpar-dios-disenado-20100506.html

Entrevista realizada al biólogo Francisco J. Ayala
Diario ABC, Madrid, 6 de Mayo de 2010
Entrevista: A. Grau, Nueva York

 -Usted ha recibido muchos premios y reconocimientos en EEUU por su lucha sin cuartel contra el llamado creacionismo. ¿De donde saca su fuerza este movimiento?

 -En realidad de poca gente. De los cinco o siete científicos a sueldo del Discovery Institute, sólo uno es bioquímico profesional, el resto vienen de las ciencias sociales. Ni siquiera es una cuestión de convicciones. Me consta que ellos no creen lo que dicen.

 -Pero otra gente sí.

 -Sí, hay gente que lo cree de buena fe, del mismo modo que toman la Biblia en un sentido literal, ingenuamente. El creacionismo es la mayor aberración que se puede concebir no ya para la ciencia sino para la fe. Es una barbaridad que trata de resolver el reto de la teodicea, es decir, de cómo conciliar la existencia del mal en el mundo con la de Dios, echándole a Dios la culpa de todo lo que va mal. Que no otra cosa es el diseño inteligente.

 -Porque el mundo está mal diseñado.

 -No puedo concebir nada más desastroso para la religión que el diseño inteligente. Según sus promotores Dios sería el responsable de los tsunamis, del terremoto de Haití, de las erupciones del Vesubio. Los defectos genéticos serían un castigo de Dios, así como la crueldad de la Naturaleza y de todo el mundo viviente. ¿Sabía usted que el 20 por ciento de los embarazos se malogran antes del tercer mes porque el canal de natalidad humano es muy imperfecto? ¿Y le parece a usted serio considerar que 20 millones de abortos al año pueden ser culpa de Dios?

……………………

 TRANSLATION:
 Interview with biologist Francisco J. Ayala
ABC Journal, Madrid, May 6, 2010
Interview: A. Grau, New York

 -You have received many awards and recognitions in the United States for your relentless fight against the so-called creationism. Where does this movement draw its strength from?

 -In reality, from very few people.  From the five or seven scientists in the Discovery Institute’s salary, only one is a professional biochemist, the rest are from the social sciences.  It is not even a matter of conviction. I am certain that they do not believe what they say.

 - But other people do.

 -Yes, there are people who believe in good faith, in the same way that they take the Bible in a literal sense, naively. Creationism is the biggest aberration which can be conceived—not to science—but to faith. It is an atrocity that it attempts to solve the challenge of theodicy; that is to say, on how to reconcile the existence of evil in the world with that of God, pouring on God the blame for everything that goes wrong. What no other thing is intelligent design.

 -Because the world is poorly designed.

 -I cannot conceive anything more disastrous to religion than intelligent design. According to its promoters, God would be responsible for tsunamis, the earthquake in Haiti, the eruption of Vesuvius. Genetic defects would be a punishment from God, as well as the cruelty of nature and the living world. Did you know that 20 per cent of pregnancies are hindered before the third month because the human birth canal is very imperfect? And do you think it seriously to consider that 20 million abortions a year may be God’s fault?

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80 Responses to Francisco Ayala — But does he really believe what he’s saying?

  1. It seems from this tirade and the recent ones in PNAS and Nature, that the shift of the science establisment’s attack on ID has moved from the science front, where they have clearly lost the battle, to lies and slurs against the God who they would not like as much if He did not use only Darwin to create.

  2. It’s easy to believe that the world is poorly designed when you look at just a few limited examples.

  3. 3
    Granville Sewell

    What great scientific reasoning, let’s apply this thinking process to automobiles. When we look at automobiles we might be tempted to think they look like they have intelligent designers. But what if we discover that millions of people have been killed and injured by cars? The obvious conclusion then is that cars must be the result of natural processes. It just isn’t good theology to blame human automakers for all that carnage.

  4. Whether in Ingles or Spanish I wish this site would leave theology out and stick to science. I’m not Catholic, Protestant, Jewish or Hindu. I find no apparent contradiction with my religion and ID but I still don’t mix the two because that is not science. Let’s just honestly follow the evidence wherever it leads and let the chips fall where they may.

  5. 5
    Granville Sewell

    I am curious as to whether this “priest” gives God any credit for the big bang, or the fine-tuning of the constants of the universe. If so, isn’t all this really still God’s fault? And if not, why in the world does he believe God exists, if He hasn’t done ANYTHING?

  6. smordecai-

    I think that’s the main complaint on this site actually. If you would notice that so many of the criticisms of ID are essentially theological, even coming from atheists.

  7. Dr. Sewell-

    I honestly don’t think that people like Ayala want to believe God “actually” is, but just use their supposed belief for convenience or something else.

  8. Ayala:
    “I cannot conceive anything more disastrous to religion than intelligent design.”

    Bornagain77:
    “I cannot conceive anything more disastrous to science than Darwinian evolution.”

  9. It was pretty fun watching William Lane Craig demolish this guy late last year. Debate audio is here.

  10. Anyone who believes in God in the Judaeo-Christian tradition should begin any discussion of this type by reading the book in the Bible called Job.

    The part to which I would call attention is not the relatively boring argument between Job and his friends about whether he had committed a sin, but the part where God speaks to Job, I think starting at Chapter 38.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/pa.....ersion=NIV

    God says, basically, that he takes responsibility for the things people think are imperfect. He is not asking anyone to bail him out. So the people who are bailing God out are wasting their time doing something God never asked them to do.

    It may be profitable in certain settings, but apparently not in that one.

  11. Ayala doesn’t seem to realize that if it wasn’t for earth’s recent history of having a delicately tuned balance between forces of volcanism, earthquakes, erosion and the just-right number and degree of hurricanes and floods (all quite destructive)…then earth wouldn’t be such a finely suited environment for Ayala to spew fallacious objections, unscientific opinions and fear-mongering statements about ideas that differ from his own.
    In fact, if it wasn’t for at one time or another, some human femaile having an unsuccessful pregnancy, again, Ayala wouldn’t be here to make emotional appeals about it.

  12. 12

    Again, I fail to understand how a man who actually believes what Ayala is saying can remain a Christian. “The wages of sin is death.” God uses death itself as a punishment for sin. How could it possibly be any worse from Ayala’s perspective? Perhaps he doesn’t actually believe what he is saying?

  13. I wish this site would leave theology out and stick to science

    To smordecai & Phaedros: I couldnt agree more. For a blog that is discussing an allegedly scientific subject, this blog seems to spend an inordinate ammount of time on theology.

  14. 14

    I keep noting that people who support ID get upset when charged with being the same as creationists.

    My observation is that creationists cite God, whilst ID advocates cite a ‘designer’. Who would this ‘designer’ be?

    Can someone please give me a clear and concise differentiation between these theories? I’ve seen innumerable contradicting examples within various topics of discussion.

  15. Mrs O’Leary,

    I agree, that part of Job makes it clear that God doesn’t have to answer to our preconceptions of benevolence. Theodicy is a worthless exercise. But it is also impossible to equate God’s design with human design, therefore.

  16. Has Ayala read any substantive ID literature? I suspect not, and I suspect that even if he did, he would not have the hard-science and basic mathematical background to even comprehend, on the most trivial level, what an inference to design is all about.

    Arguing with people like Ayala about a design inference in biology is like arguing with a second-grader about basic differential calculus.

    The fact that tenth-rate intellects like Ayala are funded at public expense in public institutions is nothing short of a travesty.

  17. Ayala says:

    Did you know that 20 per cent of pregnancies are hindered before the third month because the human birth canal is very imperfect?

    Ayala obviously loves this example which he maybe believes he was the first who has invented it. Here it is in different clothes (more emotive) on Biologos where Ayala has taught about “bad desing” as well.:

    But humans are chock-full of design defects…The birth canal is too narrow for the head of the newborn to pass easily through it, so that millions of innocent babies—and their mothers—have died in childbirth throughout human history.”

    (I would like to know what “innocent” means in darwinian parlance btw. Does it mean without sin? Can any darwinist here explain?)

    Actually the very same argument of “narrow birth canals” was used by Swiss zoologist Adolf Portmann but – against natural selection itself.

    According Portmann there is no reason why canals could not have been wider.

    Consequently women with wider canals should have had more offspring, survival advantage, blablabla, you know all those darwinian mantras…

    This “natural selection” is quite bizarre force. On the one hand is should have been responsible for perfect aerodynamics of some birds’ feathers or “perfect mimicry” and on the other hand it has missed such triviality like “narrow” women birth canals.

    http://cadra.wordpress.com

  18. The people who carry on about human over-population are almost always Darwinists.

    And they show what I consider to be the usual illogic.

    The human birth mechanism is badly designed, yet there are far too many people in the world?

    Of course. Makes complete sense. Once I get around to ordering a universal swivel joint for my head.

    I may be the only person in this discussion who has actually given birth (twice), and I did not even need painkillers. That was quite usual among my social circle.

    I do have a friend whose baby died in utero (placenta abrupta). But anyone who supposed that the universe does not show evidence of design just because that kind of thing sometimes happens is right up there at the genius level with the guy who thinks Toyota did not design his car because it broke down at one point.

    The reality is that most maternal deaths are easily preventable when competent medical care is available. And most of the reasons it is not available are cultural, not informational.

    Lots of people know how to fix these problems, but they are not there when needed. The important question is how to get them there.

    I recommend Jean Chamberlain Froese’s “Where have all the mothers gone?” for some useful perspective on this, though there are doubtless other useful books as well.

  19. Here is the video of Dr. Craig addressing Ayala on this very topic of “Bad Design” in a debate he lost badly;

    Refuting The Myth Of “Bad Design” vs. Intelligent Design – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIzdieauxZg

    Is Your Bod Flawed by God? – Feb. 2010
    Excerpt: Theodicy (the discipline in Theism of reconciling natural evil with a good God) might be a problem for 19th-century deism and simplistic natural theology, but not for Biblical theology. It was not a problem for Jesus Christ, who was certainly not oblivious to the blind, the deaf, the lepers and the lame around him. It was not a problem for Paul, who spoke of the whole creation groaning and travailing in pain till the coming redemption of all things (Romans 8).,,,Do they really think a modestly equipped seminary student would be tongue-tied with a theodicy question?
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100214a

    ————-

    Happy Mother’s Day O’Leary;

    Fearfully and Wonderfully Made – Glimpses At Human Development In The Womb – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4249713

  20. From the Wikipedia entry on spontaneous abortion.

    Between 10% and 50% of pregnancies end in clinically apparent miscarriage, depending upon the age and health of the pregnant woman.[4] Most miscarriages occur very early in pregnancy, in most cases, they occur so early in the pregnancy that the woman is not even aware that she was pregnant. One study testing hormones for ovulation and pregnancy found that 61.9% of conceptuses were lost prior to 12 weeks, and 91.7% of these losses occurred subclinically, without the knowledge of the once pregnant woman.[5]

    Human designers are neither all-knowing nor all-powerful so it is reasonable to expect that their products, whether cars or anything else, will be imperfect. The Christian God, on the other hand, is presumed to have both of the attributes mentioned above so it is reasonable to expect His work to be of a higher standard. And while Intelligent Design itself makes no claim about the nature or identity of the designer, it is quite clear that most of its leading proponents believe it to be God.

  21. Seversky states:

    “And while Intelligent Design itself makes no claim about the nature or identity of the designer, it is quite clear that most of its leading proponents believe it to be God.”

    So Seversky do you now admit the obviousness of the fact that design is found throughout reality by science, and you want to argue a theological argument against the God of the Bible? Or has this particular theological objection of yours, “Theodicy”, been your main objection to the scientific evidence for design all along? i.e. Have you always had a “distaste” for the “Christian” God since it makes you deal with personal issues you would rather not deal with? Clearly Seversky you have left the realm of science and entered squarely into the realm of Theology. Please see the Dr. Craig video listed earlier.

  22. Of course seversky if you do decide to address the scientific evidence you can falsify Dr. Behe’s “Edge Of Evolution”

    “The likelihood of developing two binding sites in a protein complex would be the square of of the probability of developing one: a double CCC (chloroquine complexity cluster), 10^20 times 10^20, which is 10^40. There have likely been fewer than 10^40 cells in the entire world in the past 4 billion years, so the odds are against a single event of this variety (just 2 binding sites being generated by accident) in the history of life. It is biologically unreasonable.” Michael J. Behe PhD. (from page 146 of his book “Edge of Evolution”)

    Nature Paper,, Finds Darwinian Processes Lacking – Michael Behe – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: Now, thanks to the work of Bridgham et al (2009), even such apparently minor switches in structure and function (of a protein to its supposed ancestral form) are shown to be quite problematic. It seems Darwinian processes cant manage to do even as much as I had thought. (which was 1 in 10^40 for just 2 binding sites) http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....ches_t.htm l

    The Sheer Lack Of Evidence For Macro Evolution – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4023134

    and/or falsify Abel’s null hypothesis for functional information generation by purely material processes:

    The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity: David L. Abel – Null Hypothesis For Information Generation – 2009
    To focus the scientific community”s attention on its own tendencies toward overzealous metaphysical imagination bordering on wish-fulfillment, we propose the following readily falsifiable null hypothesis, and invite rigorous experimental attempts to falsify it: “Physicodynamics cannot spontaneously traverse The Cybernetic Cut: physicodynamics alone cannot organize itself into formally functional systems requiring algorithmic optimization, computational halting, and circuit integration.” A single exception of non trivial, unaided spontaneous optimization of formal function by truly natural process would falsify this null hypothesis.
    http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/pdf
    http://mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/ag

    and/or pass the “fitness test” by 140 functional bits formally, though I would be entertained if you could produce any gain in functional information past 3 coordinated point mutations of a single “beneficial” adaptation:

    Is Antibiotic Resistance evidence for evolution? – “The Fitness Test” – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BwWpRSYgOE

    Testing the Biological Fitness of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria – 2008
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....-drugstore

    List Of Degraded Molecular Abilities Of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria:
    http://www.trueorigin.org/bacteria01.asp

  23. According to its promoters, God would be responsible for tsunamis, the earthquake in Haiti, the eruption of Vesuvius.

    If Ayala believes in God does he reject the existence of tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanoes? If not, how exactly does he resolve the existence of a loving God with that of tsunamis etc.

    Western civilization is based on the axioms that God exists; He is good — which is established by the 10 Commandments and the sacrifice on Calvary; and that death and suffering are realities.

    How to make the axioms balance is of course open to debate. The existence of the axioms is not.

    With regard to those concerned about bringing theology into the ID debate, the ID opponents are the ones doing so.

    All ID says is that objective markers for design are inherent in biology. And yes, this can be falsified.

  24. Tom Sawyer — My observation is that creationists cite God, whilst ID advocates cite a ‘designer’. Who would this ‘designer’ be?

    Tom, a creationist would cite the Bible as authority as to why life is designed.

    An IDist would cite observations of nature.

    One can be either/or or both.

    Taking the creationist view is a matter of faith – and there is nothing wrong with it albeit it obviously can’t be falsified.

    Taking the IDist view is science and it can be falsified.

  25. tribune7:

    Tom, a creationist would cite the Bible as authority as to why life is designed.

    An IDist would cite observations of nature.

    One can be either/or or both.

    However, you’ve failed to actually answer Tom’s question – who is the designer?

    I’ve noticed a greater willingness lately for ID proponents to say the designer is the Christian God – can we expect an official pronouncement on this? Then perhaps we can relax and get back to the evidence (or lack of it).

  26. mikev6: You wrote:

    “I’ve noticed a greater willingness lately for ID proponents to say the designer is the Christian God – can we expect an official pronouncement on this? Then perhaps we can relax and get back to the evidence (or lack of it)”

    Where and how did you notice that?

    ID is a commmunity of people who sense that there is a design to life. We are not all Christians, and some of us are not even theists. Some are not even deists.

    There is no organized body that could make an official pronouncement. So it would not matter if some group makes an official pronouncement.

    We are the pajamaheddin of your nightmares. You have tax funding. We have knowledge. You are free to choose what matters.

  27. While I am here anyway: Re what I said earlier at 18, “placenta abrupta” means that the infant’s placenta is detached from the maternal system. Not at all common, but could be fatal for both. Far more likely for the infant.

    In a modern obstetric facility, the problem could be quickly resolved by emergency anaesthetic and a scalpel. One interesting design feature – which doubtless contributes to population fanatics freaking out about population – is that, close to birth, the uterus hangs very low, close to the skin.

    So, if anyone, with knowledge of anatomy, just inserts a very clean, sharp knife in the right place, and then stitches the wound and sees that it is kept clean … . That happened to a number of my now aged female relatives, who helped to disastrously populate the world, if you listen to population cranks.

    On the other hand if you want a pension plan …

    And people knew this in ancient times. That is WHY it is called a Caesarian section. It is at least 2 millennia old. Maybe older. I suspect so.

    Just some thoughts for Mother’s Day, and thanks for all good wishes.

  28. Bornagain77:
    “I cannot conceive anything more disastrous to science than Darwinian evolution.”

    Good one!

  29. mikev6, another big difference between creationism and ID is that ID does not identify the designer. It merely states the object was designed.

    Do you think the methodology is useless if it can’t identify the designer, or do agree that there is importance and utility in simply knowing something to be designed?

  30. Happy Mother’s Day, O’Leary

  31. O’Leary @ 10 said:

    Anyone who believes in God in the Judaeo-Christian tradition should begin any discussion of this type by reading the book in the Bible called Job.

    The part to which I would call attention is not the relatively boring argument between Job and his friends about whether he had committed a sin, but the part where God speaks to Job, I think starting at Chapter 38.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/pa…..ersion=NIV

    God says, basically, that he takes responsibility for the things people think are imperfect. He is not asking anyone to bail him out. So the people who are bailing God out are wasting their time doing something God never asked them to do.

    I couldn’t agree more.

  32. “According to its promoters, God would be responsible for tsunamis, the earthquake in Haiti, the eruption of Vesuvius. Genetic defects would be a punishment from God, as well as the cruelty of nature and the living world. Did you know that 20 per cent of pregnancies are hindered before the third month because the human birth canal is very imperfect? And do you think it seriously to consider that 20 million abortions a year may be God’s fault?”

    If Ayala is truly a former Catholic priest, I would humnbly suggest that he open and Bible and actually read it. God does not cause tsunamis or earthquakes. God does not cause birth defects. And God most assuredly does not cause abortions; those are performed by doctors operating on people who willfully ignore the guidelines God gives for living.

    Most Christians will point to Romans 5:12 when explaining why things are so bad today. They might also point out Jesus’ words at Matthew 24:3-14, and Paul’s words at 1 Timothy 3:1-5.

  33. Citing Job 38:

    __________________

    >> Job 38
    The LORD Speaks
    1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said:

    2 “Who is this that darkens my counsel
    with words without knowledge?

    3 Brace yourself like a man;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.

    4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
    Tell me, if you understand.

    5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
    Who stretched a measuring line across it?

    6 On what were its footings set,
    or who laid its cornerstone-

    7 while the morning stars sang together
    and all the angels [a] shouted for joy?

    8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors
    when it burst forth from the womb,

    9 when I made the clouds its garment
    and wrapped it in thick darkness,

    10 when I fixed limits for it
    and set its doors and bars in place,

    11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
    here is where your proud waves halt’?

    12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,
    or shown the dawn its place,

    13 that it might take the earth by the edges
    and shake the wicked out of it?

    14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
    its features stand out like those of a garment.

    15 The wicked are denied their light,
    and their upraised arm is broken.

    16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
    or walked in the recesses of the deep?

    17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
    Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death [b] ?

    18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
    Tell me, if you know all this.

    19 “What is the way to the abode of light?
    And where does darkness reside?

    20 Can you take them to their places?
    Do you know the paths to their dwellings?

    21 Surely you know, for you were already born!
    You have lived so many years! . . . >>
    _____________________

    So, it seems we should be humble enough to know our limits!

    GEM of TKI

  34. It has been noted by several people and Phaedros in particular that there is a general tendency for some to play the bad design card. This was evident as well in the Craig vs hitchens debate, where hitchens rambled on and on aimlessly in his endless sea of ignorance.

    Few things annoy me, but this is one of them. What I want to know is, if the world we inhabit is so terrible how would *you* have made it otherwise?

    This argument is akin to “playing god” and I have little patience for it.

  35. Speaking of Job 38,,,,

    Excerpt:,,,As well as the universe having a transcendent beginning, thus confirming the Theistic postulation in Genesis 1:1, the following evidence for the “Dark Age” for the early universe uncannily matches up with the Bible passage in Job 38:4-11 :

    For the first 400,000 years of our universe’s expansion, the universe was a seething maelstrom of energy and sub-atomic particles. This maelstrom was so hot, that sub-atomic particles trying to form into atoms would have been blasted apart instantly, and so dense, light could not travel more than a short distance before being absorbed. If you could somehow live long enough to look around in such conditions, you would see nothing but brilliant white light in all directions. When the cosmos was about 400,000 years old, it had cooled to about the temperature of the surface of the sun. The last light from the “Big Bang” shone forth at that time. This “light” is still detectable today as the Cosmic Background Radiation.
    This 400,000 year old “baby” universe entered into a period of darkness. When the dark age of the universe began, the cosmos was a formless sea of particles. By the time the dark age ended, a couple of hundred million years later, the universe lit up again by the light of some of the galaxies and stars that had been formed during this dark era. It was during the dark age of the universe that the heavier chemical elements necessary for life, carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and most of the rest, were first forged, by nuclear fusion inside the stars, out of the universe’s primordial hydrogen and helium.
    It was also during this dark period of the universe the great structures of the modern universe were first forged. Super-clusters, of thousands of galaxies stretching across millions of light years, had their foundations laid in the dark age of the universe. During this time the infamous “missing dark matter”, was exerting more gravity in some areas than in other areas; drawing in hydrogen and helium gas, causing the formation of mega-stars. These mega-stars were massive, weighing in at 20 to more than 100 times the mass of the sun. The crushing pressure at their cores made them burn through their fuel in only a million years. It was here, in these short lived mega-stars under these crushing pressures, the chemical elements necessary for life were first forged out of the hydrogen and helium. The reason astronomers can’t see the light from these first mega-stars, during this dark era of the universe’s early history, is because the mega-stars were shrouded in thick clouds of hydrogen and helium gas. These thick clouds prevented the mega-stars from spreading their light through the cosmos as they forged the elements necessary for future life to exist on earth. After about 200 million years, the end of the dark age came to the cosmos. The universe was finally expansive enough to allow the dispersion of the thick hydrogen and helium “clouds”. With the continued expansion of the universe, the light, of normal stars and dwarf galaxies, was finally able to shine through the thick clouds of hydrogen and helium gas, bringing the dark age to a close.

    Job 38:4-11
    “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched a line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut in the sea with doors, when it burst forth and issued from the womb; When I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band; When I fixed my limit for it, and set bars and doors; When I said, ‘This far you may come but no farther, and here your proud waves must stop!”

    History of The Universe Timeline- Graph Image
    http://www.astronomynotes.com/.....meline.jpg

    As a sidelight to this, every class of elements that exists on the periodic table of elements is necessary for complex carbon-based life to exist on earth. The three most abundant elements in the human body, Oxygen, Carbon, Hydrogen, “just so happen” to be the most abundant elements in the universe, save for helium which is inert. A truly amazing coincidence that strongly implies “the universe had us in mind all along”. Even uranium the last naturally occurring element on the period table of elements is necessary for life. The heat generated by the decay of uranium is necessary to keep a molten core in the earth for an extended period of time, which is necessary for the magnetic field surrounding the earth, which in turn protects organic life from the harmful charged particles of the sun. As well, uranium decay provides the heat for tectonic activity and the turnover of the earth’s crustal rocks, which is necessary to keep a proper mixture of minerals and nutrients available on the surface of the earth, which is necessary for long term life on earth. (Denton; Nature’s Destiny).

    The Elements: Forged in Stars – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4003861

    Michael Denton – We Are Stardust – Uncanny Balance Of The Elements – Fred Hoyle Atheist to Deist/Theist – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4003877

    The Role of Elements in Life Processes
    http://www.mii.org/periodic/LifeElement.php

    Periodic Table – Interactive web page for each element
    http://www.mii.org/periodic/MIIperiodicChart.html

  36. Barb #32: God does not cause birth defects.

    If pressed, I suppose Barb would say that birth defects are a result of the Fall. Perhaps this is so. Jesus was given the opportunity to clear up any confusion about the cause of a man’s blindness when questioned in John 9:2. His answer in the following verse is challenging, to say the least.

  37. riddick does “true sight” reside within the spirit or within the body?

    Blind Woman Can See During Near Death Experience – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994599

    coast to coast – Blind since birth – Vicki’s NDE
    http://www.youtube.com/view_pl.....6E08E54010

    Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper (1997) conducted a study of 31 blind people, many of who reported being able to see during their NDEs. 21 of these people had had an NDE while the remaining 10 had had an out-of-body experience (OBE), but no NDE. It was found that in the NDE sample, about half had been blind from birth. In all, 15 of the 21 NDEers and 9 of the 10 OBEers could see during their experience while the remaining participants either claimed that they did not see or were not sure whether or not they had seen. (This “anomaly” applies to the deaf as well).

    If fact riddick, the entire space-time of general relativity (the entire “material” universe) can be linked to death and decay (thus blindness) by the second law:

    Roger Penrose discusses initial entropy of the universe. – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhGdVMBk6Zo

    The Physics of the Small and Large: What is the Bridge Between Them? Roger Penrose
    Excerpt: “The time-asymmetry is fundamentally connected to with the Second Law of Thermodynamics: indeed, the extraordinarily special nature (to a greater precision than about 1 in 10^10^123, in terms of phase-space volume) can be identified as the “source” of the Second Law (Entropy).” http://www.pul.it/irafs/CD%20I.....enrose.pdf

    The Future of the Universe
    Excerpt: After all the black holes have evaporated, (and after all the ordinary matter made of protons has disintegrated, if protons are unstable), the universe will be nearly empty. Photons, neutrinos, electrons and positrons will fly from place to place, hardly ever encountering each other. It will be cold, and dark, and there is no known process which will ever change things. — Not a happy ending.
    http://spiff.rit.edu/classes/p.....uture.html

    Psalm 102:25-27
    Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will have no end.

    Romans 8:18-21
    I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

    Yet quantum mechanics reveals the “miraculous”:

    Dr. Quantum – Double Slit Experiment & Entanglement – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4096579

    What blows most people away, when they first encounter quantum mechanics, is the quantum foundation of our “material reality” blatantly defies our concepts of time and space. Most people consider defying time and space to be a “miraculous & supernatural” event. I know I certainly do! This “miraculous & supernatural” foundation for our physical reality can easily be illuminated by the famous “double slit” experiment. (It should be noted the double slit experiment was originally devised, in 1801, by a Christian named Thomas Young).

    I find it extremely interesting that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its “uncertain” 3-D state is centered on each individual observer in the universe(double slit-delayed erasure), whereas, 4-D space-time cosmology tells us each 3-D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that I exist?

    Psalm 33:13-15
    The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men.
    From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth;
    He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

    This is obviously a very interesting congruence in science between the very large (relativity) and the very small (quantum mechanics). A congruence they seem to be having a extremely difficult time “unifying” mathematically (Einstein, Penrose).

    The Physics Of The Large And Small: What Is the Bridge Between Them? Roger Penrose
    Excerpt: This, (the unification of General Relativity and the laws of Quantum Mechanics), would also have practical advantages in the application of quantum ideas to subjects like biology – in which one does not have the clean distinction between a quantum system and its classical measuring apparatus that our present formalism requires. In my opinion, moreover, this revolution is needed if we are ever to make significant headway towards a genuine scientific understanding of the mysterious but very fundamental phenomena of conscious mentality.
    http://www.pul.it/irafs/CD%20I.....enrose.pdf

    Yet, this “unification” between what is in essence the “infinite world of Quantum Mechanics” and the “finite world of the space-time of General Relativity” seems to be directly related to what Jesus apparently joined together with His resurrection, i.e. related to the unification of infinite God with finite man:

    The Center Of The Universe Is Life – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics and The Shroud Of Turin – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3993426/

    The End Of Christianity – Finding a Good God in an Evil World – Pg.31 – William Dembski
    Excerpt: “In mathematics there are two ways to go to infinity. One is to grow large without measure. The other is to form a fraction in which the denominator goes to zero. The Cross is a path of humility in which the infinite God becomes finite and then contracts to zero, only to resurrect and thereby unite a finite humanity within a newfound infinity.”

    Philippians 2: 5-11
    Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    “Miracles do not happen in contradiction to nature, but only in contradiction to that which is known to us of nature.”
    St. Augustine

  38. riddick-

    I think, John 3:3- Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
    3:4- Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
    3:5- Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

    might help shed some light on John 9:3- Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

  39. Tom Sawyer -

    There are several differences between ID and creationism. I am both, so I’m in a pretty good place to make distinctions.

    1) ID is more about the nature of nature and less about origins (though it impacts ideas on origins) – see Thinking About ID as a Theory of Causation

    2) ID is more about the design and less about mechanism it came about – see ID and Common Descent (there was another post by Dembski on this but I am having trouble finding it)

    3) Many people hold ID positions but don’t realize it because they focus on the caricature if ID not its reality. See Are Falk and Ayala ID Supporters? for one amusing and relevant example.

    So creationism focuses more on natural history, while ID focuses on the nature of nature and design,

  40. In further note to post 37,,,
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-354133

    ,,, I would like to point out that there are a couple of interesting equations that Dr. Granville Sewell points out that relate to the space time of general relativity:

    General Relativity (Einstein’s Equation)
    http://www.leaderu.com/images/.....stein7.jpg

    one of the “transcendent” equations relates to the “randomness” of the second law of thermodynamics, and I believe the equation can truthfully be said to operate solely within the parameters of the space time of general relativity,,,

    Statistical Mechanics (Boltzmann’s Equations)
    http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9403/boltzmann.jpg

    Can Anything Happen In A Open System – Granville Sewell PhD. Math – video
    http://www.math.utep.edu/Facul.....thermo.htm

    Casey Luskin interviews Granville Sewell – audio
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....7_00-08_00

    Can “ANYTHING” Happen in an Open System? – Granville Sewell PhD. Math
    Excerpt: If we found evidence that DNA, auto parts, computer chips, and books entered through the Earth’s atmosphere at some time in the past, then perhaps the appearance of humans, cars, computers, and encyclopedias on a previously barren planet could be explained without postulating a violation of the second law here (it would have been violated somewhere else!).
    http://www.math.utep.edu/Facul.....endixd.pdf

    Whereas the second equation relates to how quantum mechanics relates to the “material” universe of the space-time of General Relativity, in that this transcendent equation allows “interesting” chemical reactions to occur within our space time:

    Quantum Mechanics (Schrödinger’s Equations)
    http://www.leaderu.com/images/...../Schr6.jpg

    Finely Tuned Big Bang, Elvis In The Multiverse, and the Schroedinger Equation – Granville Sewell – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4233012

    Thus it seems readily apparent the materialist has a huge problem on his hands in trying to explain exactly where in the material world does the information for these transcendent, universal, equations come from that dictate exactly how the 3-D material reality, of the space-time of general relativity, will behave. Only theism is rational in its explanation for where the information comes/came from.

  41. Bornagain, thank you for posting the links to the Craig / Ayala debate (if one could call it that). I noticed Ayala never really engaged Craig in actual debate, but merely conducted a rather unconvincing lecture. Anyhooooo…..

    Upon further reflection on Ayala’s comments, I think it’s noteworthy that Ayala is not denying design. He just believes that design cannot (or should not) be scientifically determined. Why would a person of his character….and personal religious beliefs, believe that?

    Because ID threatens his own personal, religious views. After all, if ID is true, then science can determine that Ayala’s god (the one who doesn’t design stuff) is not true.

    Atheists don’t want a universe with God. Ayala doesn’t want a universe with any other god than his own. Both are not as interested in the truth as they are in clinging to their beliefs.

  42. re, post 40:

    a little more background:

    The Five Foundational Equations of the Universe and brief descriptions:
    http://docs.google.com/Doc?doc.....#038;hl=en

  43. O’Leary:God says [in Job], basically, that he takes responsibility for the things people think are imperfect. He is not asking anyone to bail him out. …

    It’s odd, isn’t it?

    God is not afraid to take the ultimate blame for the fact of suffering in the world … and these silly “theistic evolutionists” are always out there trying to tell him that he cannot. What? Is God a minor? Is God senile, that he must be protected from himself?

    It is in the very nature of the world — it is in the logic of reality — that there will be at least the potential for natural evil in the world. The world, the Creation, is not the Creator … therefore, it *cannot” be perfect. If the world were perfect — complete/finished/whole/unchanging — there neither would, nor could, be any living entities in it.

  44. To those whinging about theological discussions —

    All knowledge, including ‘science,’ *starts* with theology: The First Question

  45. Thank you to those of you who responded to my questions.

    I find it pretty clear that creationism is purely based on the bible.

    There seems to be less clarity in regard to Intelligent Design. It looks like there are differing viewpoints on this.

    Most people seem to be saying that it means that there is a design element, indicating an intelligence? If this is the case, does anyone define who this intelligence may be or is it just accepted without any need to identify something or someone?

  46. Ilion: your discussion is well worth the read, Food for thought indeed in light of Prov 1:7. G

  47. Tom Sawyer;

    The design inference is straight forward in that we know for 100% certainty that Intelligence can generate functional information,,,,

    Stephen C. Meyer – The Scientific Basis For Intelligent Design – video

    Mathematically Defining Functional Information In Molecular Biology – Kirk Durston – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3995236

    ,,,whereas we know of ZERO instances where material processes have ever created functional information:

    The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity: David L. Abel – Null Hypothesis For Information Generation – 2009
    To focus the scientific community’s attention on its own tendencies toward overzealous metaphysical imagination bordering on “wish-fulfillment,” we propose the following readily falsifiable null hypothesis, and invite rigorous experimental attempts to falsify it: “Physicodynamics cannot spontaneously traverse The Cybernetic Cut: physicodynamics alone cannot organize itself into formally functional systems requiring algorithmic optimization, computational halting, and circuit integration.” A single exception of non trivial, unaided spontaneous optimization of formal function by truly natural process would falsify this null hypothesis.
    http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/10/1/247/pdf

    It is very interesting to note that many evolutionists are very, very, evasive if questioned by someone to precisely define functional information:

    The Evolution-Lobby’s Useless Definition of Biological Information – Feb. 2010
    Excerpt: By wrongly implying that Shannon information is the only “sense used by information theorists,” the NCSE avoids answering more difficult questions like how the information in biological systems becomes functional, or in its own words, “useful.”,,,Since biology is based upon functional information, Darwin-skeptics are interested in the far more important question of, Does neo-Darwinism explain how new functional biological information arises?
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....ss_de.html

    Tom Sawyer you also asked:

    “does anyone define who this intelligence may be or is it just accepted without any need to identify something or someone?”

    I think a strong inference can be made for the Christian God, Jesus Christ, being the designer in that John 1:1 correctly postulates information i.e. “The Word”, being “in the beginning.

    John 1:1
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    The “surprising” thing about the material universe is that all material in this universe is ultimately reducible to transcendent information, even the foundational building block of the universe itself,,Energy:

    Explaining Information Transfer in Quantum Teleportation: Armond Duwell †‡ University of Pittsburgh
    Excerpt: In contrast to a classical bit, the description of a qubit requires an infinite amount of information. The amount of information is infinite because two real numbers are required in the expansion of the state vector of a two state quantum system (Jozsa 1997, 1) — Concept 2. is used by Bennett, et al. Recall that they infer that since an infinite amount of information is required to specify a qubit, an infinite amount of information must be transferred to teleport.
    http://www.cas.umt.edu/phil/fa.....lPSA2K.pdf

    As a side light to this, leading quantum physicist Anton Zeilinger has followed in John Archibald Wheeler’s footsteps (1911-2008) by insisting reality, at its most foundational level, is “information”.

    “It from bit symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom – at a very deep bottom, in most instances – an immaterial source and explanation; that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that things physical are information-theoretic in origin.” John Archibald Wheeler

    Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
    Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.” Anton Zeilinger – a leading expert in quantum teleportation:
    http://www.metanexus.net/Magaz.....fault.aspx

    Also of related interest is Dr. Werner Gitt’s lecture on information:

    In The Beginning Was Information – Werner Gitt – video
    http://video.google.com/videop.....6003871702

    Also of note Tom Sawyer is this:

    the “unification” between what is in essence the “infinite world of Quantum Mechanics” and the “finite world of the space-time of General Relativity” seems to be directly related to what Jesus apparently joined together with His resurrection, i.e. related to the unification of infinite God with finite man:

    The Center Of The Universe Is Life – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics and The Shroud Of Turin – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3993426/

    The End Of Christianity – Finding a Good God in an Evil World – Pg.31 – William Dembski
    Excerpt: “In mathematics there are two ways to go to infinity. One is to grow large without measure. The other is to form a fraction in which the denominator goes to zero. The Cross is a path of humility in which the infinite God becomes finite and then contracts to zero, only to resurrect and thereby unite a finite humanity within a newfound infinity.”

    Further reading can be done here:

    Let There Be Light
    http://lettherebelight-77.blogspot.com/

  48. Tom Sawyer:

    I like this challenge to evolutionists:

    The DNA Code – Solid Scientific Proof Of Intelligent Design – Perry Marshall – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4060532

  49. Tom -

    I think most people in ID would agree with the following statements:

    * Design can be detected without knowledge of the designers (think about stonehenge)
    * In the case of *biological* design, most *think* that the designer is God
    * However, no one in ID has come up with a possible way to show this conclusively using science. Our tools that we have developed are limited to detecting design. I think most would heartily welcome a scientific tool that named the designer, but none has been forthcoing.

    Also, just to point out, I’ve been working on applications of ID that have *nothing at all* to do with origins. See, for instance:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....gineering/

    Part 3 of that series is in my head, but I haven’t had the time to write it.

  50. —”Tom Sawyer: Most people seem to be saying that it means that there is a design element, indicating an intelligence? If this is the case, does anyone define who this intelligence may be or is it just accepted without any need to identify something or someone?”

    One can use the technique of design detection to conclude that a ransacked house was caused by an intelligent agent [burglar] and not by natural causes [tornado]. At the same time, this approach cannot identify the burglar; it can only rule out the tornado and detect the presence of a burglar.

    Similarly, one can use the technique of design detection to conclude that the origin of life was likely caused by an intelligent agent [designer] and not by natural causes [random variation and natural selection]. As in the case of the burglar, the process cannot detect the identity of the agent.

    The ID paradigm can also detect intelligence as a cause of a sand castle, but it cannot track down the identity of the person who crafted it. Also, it can detect intelligence as a cause of an ancient hunter’s spear, but it cannot discern the identity of the hunter.

    Creationism, as a belief system, begins with faith and moves forward; ID, as a SCIENCE, begins with observation and moves backwards. With reference to the latter, it makes no sense to ask, “if the process can detect the presence of a burglar, why can it not identify him?” Similarly, it makes no sense to ask, “who designed the sand castle or who constructed the spear?”

    On the other hand, ID as a traditional PHILOSOPHY, [St. Thomas Aquinas], can indeed, identify the designer as God. Note the famous five proofs for God’s existence. Suffice it to say that ID paradigms are not philosophical formulations.

  51. “Barb #32: God does not cause birth defects.

    If pressed, I suppose Barb would say that birth defects are a result of the Fall. Perhaps this is so.”

    For theists, it makes the most sense.

    “Jesus was given the opportunity to clear up any confusion about the cause of a man’s blindness when questioned in John 9:2. His answer in the following verse is challenging, to say the least.”

    John chapter 9 was Jesus speaking to Nicodemus about being ‘born again’ which has nothing at all to do with birth defects. Jesus is referring to a spirital rebirth.

    Jesus also healed a man born blind, and the Bible refers to a future time when there would be no more birth defects at all.

  52. Graham1 writes, “To smordecai & Phaedros: I couldnt agree more. For a blog that is discussing an allegedly scientific subject, this blog seems to spend an inordinate ammount of time on theology.”

    And you’ll notice that most of the time, the posters bringing God into the discussion are atheists. I wonder why?

  53. Thanks again, the answers you have provided are quite clear.
    They do raise another question in my mind though.
    Why plumb for there being a designer?
    What causes you to believe in the presence of a designer rather than just nature or evolution?
    Barb, from what I’ve read all across this blog, those atheists bring God into the discussion in a derisory manner. As in claiming that ID supporters are driven by a belief in God. Further to this they seem to be saying that there is no God. If they are promoting evolution, surely they will mention God in this vein?

  54. —Tom Sawyer: “Why plumb for there being a designer?”

    Many people have an interest in origins science. According to the Darwinist power structure, the following points are to be accepted as fact:

    [a] unguided naturalistic forces drive the evolutionary process from a single cell to you and me,

    [b] no program, plan, design, or designer is deemed necessary or even reasonable (design is an “illusion”) and

    [c] anyone who disagrees with this dubious proposition is either “ignorant, stupid, wicked, or insane.” [Richard Dawkins]

    Since the evidence points the other way, and since the current power structure has done everything possible to suppress that evidence, resorting even to institutional tyranny and character assassination, it would seem that providing an alternative point of view would constitute a valuable public service.

    —”What causes you to believe in the presence of a designer rather than just nature or evolution?”

    The presence of a designer does not rule out evolution or the power of nature to unfold. Some ID advocates accept universal common descent, many others do not. What we all question, though, is the unwarranted assumption that naturalistic forces alone can drive such a process.

  55. —Graham1: “For a blog that is discussing an allegedly scientific subject, this blog seems to spend an inordinate ammount of time on theology.”

    The only logical way to counter Darwinists’ non-scientific, theological/philosophical claims is to answer with theological/theological refutations. One cannot refute a theolgical objection with a scientific answer.

    Hence, when Darwinists build their entire scientific case on the illogical proposition that something can come from nothing, scientific evidence, which can only be reasonably interpreted from the perspective that something CANNOT come from nothing, becomes useless and meaningless. The only way to answer such a non-argument is to point out that it is not an argument at all but rather a religious presupposition.

  56. To StephenB: The point I was getting at is that this blog is remarkably free of progress reports in the field of ID. OK, you can go on flogging evolution, but eventually you have to start saying something about ID. So far, I havent seen anything that could be described as a pro-ID result (as distinct from an anti-evolution result).

    When can we expect to see some results from ID ‘research’ ?

  57. StephenB:… [c] anyone who disagrees with this dubious proposition is either “ignorant, stupid, wicked, or insane.” [Richard Dawkins]

    To more fully quote the amusing Pope of Atheism, his risible assertion was “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).

    Notice the intellectual dishonesty in just the parenthetical — first, the whole point of it is precisely to “consider” what he says he’d rather not; then, it is a moral assertion, made by a man who vociferously asserts that moral assertions may not validly be made, and that human moral responsibility is an illusion.

  58. OK, if I’m understanding correctly:
    Some people believe in a God based creation theory.
    Some people beieve there is a designer that they attribute some properties or others to.
    And some say they give no attention to who a designer may be but believe there is design because of the faults in evolutionary theory.
    So why do people choose to believe in a designer and try to prove that theory rather than try really hard to remedy the faults in evolutionary theory? There must be a reason for this?

  59. 59

    Tom Sawyer,

    To be frank with you, it’s a little difficult to understand what you are trying to get at with your questions. You ask “why do people choose to believe in a designer and try to prove that theory rather than try really hard to remedy the faults in evolutionary theory?” It’s not immediately clear how that question ranks on the real-o-meter.

    Most observers are tax accountants, real estate brokers, and librarians. They are not trying to “remedy” any scientific theory.

    Perhaps the largest group of observers are those who where raised in some sort of Western religious tradition, most probably mildly practiced, who have a big question mark about what they believe. In direct opposition to their upbringing they are constantly told that Life is the result of accident and chance. It is the inescapable mantra of modern scientism.

    When they come to UD or are exposed to actual ID arguments otherwise, they find that there is virtually intractable evidence which contradicts the materialist’ mantra. Those that are paying attention will notice that some pieces of evidence are so striking and so devastating, that the materialists don’t even try to answer it.

    In place of answering this scientific evidence, they see a constant attack on the Western religious tradition instead. It is (without question) the number one feature on UD, and is virtually the only feature of websites oppossed to ID.

    A very interesting reaction is then set to occur. It is something that all people can relate to in some manner of human experience. We all have an almost innate familiarity with the person who refuses to answer the question, or the one who is always trying to change the subject.

    It is very enlightening to find out that person often turns out to be the educated academic.

    - – - – -

    Good Luck with whatever it is you are trying to understand.

  60. Upright Biped, I hear what you are saying.
    What I still don’t understand is why people would say there is design just because scientists haven’t yet been able to answer all the questions.

  61. 61

    Tom,

    1) It’s because that is what the evidence is telling us by our universal experience with semiotics, algorithms, encoded information, abstractions of reality, and the properties of matter.

    2) Your question betrays you. It assumes that scientist have simply not yet figured out what must be true.

  62. 62

    Tom,

    You might also want to remember; finding design in nature is not an issue and never has been.

  63. 63

    And Tom,

    If you care to know, here would be a good place to start:

    Micheal Polanyi, Life’s Irreducible Structure (The journal Science, New Series, 160)

    http://www.compilerpress.ca/Co.....201968.htm

    I would also suggest:
    Meyer “Signature in the Cell
    Behe “Edge of Evolution”
    Behe “Darwin’s Black Box”
    Dembski and Witt “ID Uncensored”
    Gene “The Design Matrix”
    Denton “Evolution: Theory in Crisis”
    Berlinski “The Devil’s Delusion”

    cheers…

  64. Tom -

    “What causes you to believe in the presence of a designer rather than just nature or evolution?”

    For me, it’s several streams converging.

    First, as a Christian, I believe there is a God, and have no prior reason for excluding Him from the act of creation. I have later become to be an active Creationist, but was not always so. But the idea that there was a God who is active meant that His being involved some way in Creation was not out-of-bounds and fit quite naturally.

    Second, I come from a whole family of engineers, and my dad taught me to program computers right after I learned to read (it was on a TI-99/4a) – at about 7 years old. Anyway, my experience in doing so helped me to understand the nature of machines and programs. A personal reflection on some of this can be found here.

    It is interesting to note that evolutionists have derided ID’ers and Creationists by means of the “Salem Hypothesis” – that most PhDs against evolutionary theory are actually PhD engineers not scientists. I think of this as a feature, not a bug :) Engineers, as a matter of course, have to think of the effects of how design itself works. The physics, while important, is actually often a secondary consideration from straight-out design issues (modularization, user-interface, documentation, explainability, etc).

    Design is not something that any equation of physics or chemistry teaches us to expect, yet it is precisely what is found in biology. In mechanics, we have machines that are consistent with physics and chemistry, but are not made from them, but by a designer. Therefore, when such things are also found in cells, the analogy works easily. Combine that with 150 years of solid research into Darwinism which has utterly failed to provide a reasonable counter-explanation, and it makes a whole lot of sense.

    So, I think that the theological ideas provide for the space required to move, and then the engineering ideas reinforce that by providing a strong (and heretofore uncontroverted) analogy as to how this takes place.

    There was once a saying (I forgot who said it), which goes, “to find a thing, you must believe it exists”. There are a few people who have been dragged into ID kicking and screaming against their preconceptions about God (Anthony Flew would be one), but I think that believing God exists in the first place allows the space in one’s thinking to allow for the evidence for ID to have meaning.

  65. 65

    Slightly related to challenge laid down by Hitchens, another thing a believer can do which an unbeliever is unable to do is, Pray for wisdom. James 1:5. This is not the wisdom of the world that tells us things like, hot things burn, but the wisdom which originates in the mind of God. Godly wisdom does not come through the pursuit of worldly wisdom. God, in His wisdom, made it that way. I Corinthians 1:20-21. Without humility before God, we can’t get there from here.

  66. It seems that some of those who post here to ask, “Is the designer God?” are afraid of the possible answer. On the other hand, some post here as if to say, “Why mention God? If you mention God then you are breaking some (obviously unwritten) rule. As human beings, we can discuss theology and science at the same time, or at least walk and chew gum at the same time.

  67. To AlexM8: The rule isnt unwritten, its very explicitly written: whenever a critic suggests the designer is God, the ID defenders protest (far to much) about how ID is scientific, is not creationism, makes no assumptions about the designer, etc etc etc.

    To retain scientific credibility, the ID community must distance itself from God, but this is constantly watered down by the obvious fondness of most of the contributers here for the God thing. I wouldnt mind the obsession with theology one bit, if the ID supporters would just honestly admit that they believe the designer is God.

  68. Graham -

    “I wouldnt mind the obsession with theology one bit, if the ID supporters would just honestly admit that they believe the designer is God.”

    I don’t know anyone who *doesn’t* admit this. Can you name someone? Just to name the ones I remember being explicitly clear on this, I know that Casey Luskin, Bill Dembski, and Steven Meyer have made the explicit connection.

    The point is, however, is that ID *itself* doesn’t have the intellectual capacity on its own to do the job scientifically. The *science* merely says that there is a designer.

    Graham –

    I’ve always wondered what about this is hard to understand. could you help me see which part of this is difficult? It would help me know where I need to either (a) be more clear, or (b) rethink my reasoning.

  69. To johnnyb: So the ID crowd get all hyper-sensitive when you suggest the designer is God, yet they all believe it. Yeah, that makes sense.

  70. 70

    Graham,

    David Berlinski and Bradley Monton are agnostics, to name a few who do not believe that the designer is God, yet support ID.

  71. 71

    Clive: please, do continue. Why stop at naming just a few?

  72. 72

    Doomsday,

    I name the prolific ones, there could be countless others (who are not prolific) of whose existence I would never (or could never) be aware of in the general populace. The point is that just a few defeat Grahams arguments that all ID advocates believe in God. I need not show anything more to defeat it.

  73. All we can say with certainty is that all design proponents believe in ID. Even Erich von Däniken. Faith in ID is a matter of choice regardless of evidence.

    What really matters is that the world is waiting to see evidence instead of convoluted arguments for ID.

  74. Clive, I once provided an ID critic with the names of five noted atheist/agnostics who advocate ID only to be met with a demand for twenty more. [Seriously] Suffice it to say that my response followed the claim that ID logically requires a theistic orientation. The fact that I totally refuted the argument had suddenly become old news. The pattern continues. You have completely refuted Graham’s arguments, but that doesn’t matter. Doomsday has moved the goal posts. If you cite more examples, he will, no doubt, move them again.

  75. Cabal:

    There is and has long been abundant evidence.

    Not only supportive of the design of cell based life and body plans, but of the fine tuned cosmos that supports c-chemistry based life.

    And, of the reason why all too many evolutionary materialists are not open to that evidence.

    Namely, a priori materialism and going so far as to try to redefine science under that imposition. As in the pattern among scientific elites described by Harvard’s Agassiz professor, R Lewontin in his well known NYRB 1997 article:

    To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists, it is self-evident that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [which to such physicalists, exhausts reality] . . . .

    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 counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [after all, atheists will be, well, atheists]

    So, maybe what is needed is to take a more consciously philosophical approach: lay on the table the alternative major worldviews with some track record of contributing to the rise of modern science. Then, assess on factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power.

    Then see why people come out where they do.

    GEM of TKI

  76. 76

    StephenB @74:

    “Doomsday has moved the goal posts. If you cite more examples, he will, no doubt, move them again.”

    No. Clive specifically said “to name a few”. He only named two, so obviously, he must know of more. I simply wanted to know who. I’ve never made “the claim that ID logically requires a theistic orientation.” I have no intention to ever make that claim, as that’s clearly not the case. I.e., you’ve “scored” that specific goal, for whatever it’s worth.

    It’s quite difficult to deny, however, that the vast majority of those who publicly advocate it are theists, and specifically Christian theists. A Berlinski or two doesn’t change that.

    But thank you for attempting to tell me what I would or would not do.

  77. 77

    Doomsday,

    There are those who trust in ID that are Christian, Jewish, Deists, Islamic, believe in aliens, pantheists, agnostics, and atheists.

  78. —Doomsday Smith: “It’s quite difficult to deny, however, that the vast majority of those who publicly advocate it are theists, and specifically Christian theists. A Berlinski or two doesn’t change that.”

    So? Finish your sentence and make your point. ID is heavily populated by Christians, therefore—–.

    You were expecting atheists to develop design paradigms? What does that have to do with the legitimacy of ID’s scientific methods? How do you explain Clive’s point that there are partisans from every world view that accept intelligent design?

  79. cabal @ 73
    “What really matters is that the world is waiting to see evidence instead of convoluted arguments for ID.”

    Ah yes, those old convoluted arguments for “design.” I did a survey and I found that 100% of the respondents could answer these questions correctly.

    Situation 1. I see a dictionary in a book store and I think:
    a. Wow. A battalion of monkeys banging on typewriters MUST have done this.
    b. An intelligent, purposeful team of human beings collaborated to produce this book.

    Situation 2. I am traveling through the badlands of South Dakota and I observe Mount Rushmore. I think:
    a. Wow. That must have been a heck of a tornado that whipped through here. And look! It left behind the likenesses of four Presidents!
    b. An intelligent, purposeful team of human beings collaborated to produce this monument.

    Situation 3. I walk outside after lunch and look up in the sky. I see “SURRENDER DOROTHY” written in black smoke. I think:
    a. What an odd cloud formation.
    b. OMG. The wicked witch of the west is real!!!

    Situation 4. (The Fred Hoyle homage) I go to the airport and see a 747 sitting on the runway. I think:
    a. An intelligent, purposeful team of human beings collaborated to produce this airplane.
    b. A tornado blew through a junk yard and magically created an airplane.

    You’ll never believe this but everyone picked “b” for each situation!!! I have the vaguest sort of idea about how science works but I think it’s by making observations and making inferences to the best explanation for those observations. So I wonder, how would a scientist evaluate these data points? Even children get the right answer to these questions. EVERYONE gets the right answer to these questions. So how is it, then, that the idea of “design” requires some sort of convoluted argument?

    Situation 5. I see a bird flying through the air. I think:
    a. Wow. Look at that accident of nature. In fact, everywhere I look I see accidents of nature. In fact, everything I see in nature is an accident.
    b. OMG. Look at the living technology embodied in that bird that puts our best efforts to shame. I wonder Who designed that?

  80. oops!! I mixed up a and b for the Fred Hoyle situation. But the good news is that everyone immediately KNEW that. :-)

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