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Integrating The Sciences

I have been invited to be a contributing author at Uncommon Descent, so I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce myself, and to explain the reasons for my interest in, and passion for, intelligent design, both as an intellectual endeavor and what I view as potentially the most profound revolution in the history of science.

Why does ID represent such a revolution? It is becoming increasingly clear that efforts to cram the evidence into purely materialistic causational categories are failing catastrophically on many fronts.

These include:

1) The origin of the universe — By definition this phenomenon could not have had a materialistic cause, because material did not exist “prior” to the origin of the universe, at which “time” neither matter, energy, space nor time existed.

2) Cosmological fine-tuning to permit life — This requires extraordinarily entertaining speculations to explain away.

3) The origin of living systems from non-living matter — This area of scientific research is clearly in a state of complete paradigm meltdown.

4) The origin of species and increasingly complex life forms through the mechanism of random mutation and natural selection — This is clearly no longer a tenable hypothesis, based on what is now known about the nature of living systems. However, I feel that we should give credit to Charles Darwin for having proposed what could have been a reasonable hypothesis in his day, considering the extremely primitive state of biological and information-theoretic science at that time.

It seems to me that all of this points in the same direction: The universe and living systems were purposed, and are the result of intelligent activity.

I was raised in a small university town, the son of a professor of physical chemistry who worked on the Manhattan Project. As such I was groomed from my early years with a passion for science and mathematics, and that passion persists to this day. After graduate school I pursued classical piano playing (but decided that I wanted to eat more than be an artist), and was the editor of a sport-aviation publication for many years. (I still love expressing ideas through the written word.) In the late 1980s I took up computer programming and developed an interest in artificial intelligence, and I currently earn my living as a software engineer for an aerospace research and development company. My specialty is writing guidance, navigation and control software for precision-guided airdrop systems.

One might suppose that this eclectic background provides no formal qualification for commenting on intelligent design, but I have an observation. I believe that it is a relatively recent integration of the sciences by people with disparate backgrounds (in mathematics, information theory, computer programming, chemistry, molecular biology, physics, and more) that has led to the design revolution.

ID will win in the end for a very simple reason: The evidence is overwhelming.

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10 Responses to Integrating The Sciences

  1. Thanks for sharing this. –Bill

  2. “ID will win in the end for a very simple reason: The evidence is overwhelming.”

    Could you please explain some of this evidence, with regards to Biology? What experiments were done to obtain the evidence?

  3. Welcome Gil. Yet another engineer (design-oriented, applied scientist) joins Uncommon Descent!

    Salvador

  4. So God was an engineer. Who woulda thunk?

  5. Gil wrote:
    “One might suppose that this eclectic background provides no formal qualification….”

    My undergraduate study was history. My master’s is in business. I worked in many fields, programming (accounting–not rockets) for 15 years before I retired.

    From a historical perspective, if Darwinism is true, then we lose 6,000 years of development in art, literature, philosophy, economics, theology and government: for example, democratic government formed to secure inalienable rights is based on a false premise and therefore cannot survive. All must be rewritten and some are trying!

    But if the implication of ID is correct, then we have regained our historical wisdom and knowledge. ID is worth exploring.

    Welcome:

    Glenn J.
    Houston area

  6. Some quick observations/questions before dinner:

    “1) The origin of the universe — By definition this phenomenon could not have had a materialistic cause, because material did not exist “prior” to the origin of the universe, at which “time” neither matter, energy, space nor time existed.”

    I don’t believe that anyone knows (scientifically) or proposes to know the origin of the universe, or if “material did not exist “prior” to the origin of the universe…at which “time” neither matter, energy, space nor time existed.” If you’re refering to the Big Bang then we still don’t know what came before, but assume (scientifically) that it was natural. Do you have a scientific explaination for the origin of the universe?

    “2) Cosmological fine-tuning to permit life — This requires extraordinarily entertaining speculations to explain away.”

    Life adapts or dies. If you could hypothetically adjust one of the cosmological constants to destroy all life then there’s no guarantee that you wouldn’t have a new form of life evolve to eventually wonder: “How could [our]life survive under any different cosmological constants?”

    “3) The origin of living systems from non-living matter — This area of scientific research is clearly in a state of complete paradigm meltdown.”

    I disagree. Abiogenesis wouldn’t be receiving any funding if this were the case.

    “4) The origin of species and increasingly complex life forms through the mechanism of random mutation and natural selection — This is clearly no longer a tenable hypothesis, based on what is now known about the nature of living systems. However, I feel that we should give credit to Charles Darwin for having proposed what could have been a reasonable hypothesis in his day, considering the extremely primitive state of biological and information-theoretic science at that time.”

    Are you saying no RM & NS at all? What is the additional/replacement mechanism?

  7. Hello Gil,

    I look forward to reading more of what you have to say. So far so good!

    Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of people claim that a designer would need to have a designer. I was wondering if you’ve ever considered the question.

    The way I see it, intuitive-based design inference is common in science. What ID claims is that in order for the design inference to be legitimate it must have a scientific rather than intuitive basis. Once that basis is understood, it can be applied to whatever structures fit the mold.

    Of course, there is a good candidate for design inference basis. It involves the question of whether nature is able to select a team of parts for a function or whether it is left to chance. This does not profess to be the only possible basis for justifying the design inference, but it is the only workable one which has been proposed. Anyone is free to propose a better basis if they can think of one. A basis, however, ought to be determined one way or another.

    Because it is not complexity which serves as the basis for design inference, there is no reason to believe that a complex designer could not have been built up.

    Here’s an analogy: consider a spaceship invasion ala “Independence Day” or “War of the Worlds.” Without seeing the intelligent designers, we would infer that the ships had been designed. No one would argue that the designers had to have been designed, yet even you would invoke design inference relative to the spaceships, wouldn’t you?

  8. “Life adapts or dies. If you could hypothetically adjust one of the cosmological constants to destroy all life then there’s no guarantee that you wouldn’t have a new form of life evolve to eventually wonder: “How could [our]life survive under any different cosmological constants?””

    How can there be life if there are no molecules?

  9. Boesman

    Gee whiz, I thought I had offered a replacement for the Darwinian fairy tale with the Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis. I refer you to the sidebar where you will find it along with some other of my schlock.

  10. [...] There are at least two postings at Uncommon Descent (here and here), that argue that fine-tuning of cosmological constants is evidence of a Designer. Evidently the ID party line is that the Designer isn’t necessarily God, but is someone who can change the speed of light, the charge of the electron, and the fine structure constant throughout the universe. [...]

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