Home » Intelligent Design » Jason Rosenhouse’s Love/Hate Relationship with Ken Miller

Jason Rosenhouse’s Love/Hate Relationship with Ken Miller

This is funny stuff. Jason Rosenhouse, an incurable chance worshipper, fawns over Ken Miller’s gratuitous ID bashing, then goes all negative when Miller starts mouthing telic code-phrases like “the universe was waiting for us” and that “a human-like intelligence was the inevitable result of evolution”. Go to Rosenhouse’s blog at the link above for the rest of the laugh riot.

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14 Responses to Jason Rosenhouse’s Love/Hate Relationship with Ken Miller

  1. QUOTE: “Miller gives nice descriptions of how evolution can increase information (thereby refuting William Dembski’s silliness)”.

    Does anyone know what descriptions these were? I am aware of the “the cell phagocytized it” and “viral recombination” arguments, but they don’t explain how the information of the phagocytized cell/organelle/whatever became existent in the first place, nor the information in the virus. And it has never been demonstrated that such changes do anything but degrade/alter DNA, not increase the information written. Correct me if presumptive though.

    ===

    -Another thing that strikes me is the irreconcilability of Darwinistic Theism, seemingly ignored by Miller but brought to attention by Jason Rosenhouse.

    Miller argues that an intelligent life form like humans was bound to result from darwinistic evolution. Darwinists maintain that if we “rewound the tape of evolution” then the results would be incredibly different.

    But, aside from the other objections raised by Thomas Cudworth’s excellent post “Theistic Evolutionists, Your Position Is Incoherent — But We Can Help You!”, what is to happen to the Genesis passage, where it declares:
    “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27).

    If we are Christian, we believe that the Bible is inspired and God’s Word inerrant. We also believe that “I am the Lord, and I do not change”, and “I am who I am” (forgotten where they’re from, perhaps Isaiah). So, in order to maintain a Christian perspective, for humans, created in God’s image, there can only be one possibility.

    But Darwinism maintains that human life is by chance and selection, not design. If we ‘rewind the tape of evolution’, human beings would not be the same, if at all. For a system of evolution said to be based purely on chance and natural selection, is it allowable that humans are a ‘given’ result every time? That sounds to me that the system has been designed, because if the system is truely random and filled with chance, then there must exist the possibility that human life does not evolve in it’s exact present form. And that’s not Christian.

    And the claim that “intelligence like ours was bound to evolve” is fine for Darwinists to say (in that it coincides with their philosophical position), but it clashes against one of the earliest, foremost tennets of Christianity: God made us in His image, which doesn’t change. There is only one possibility: us.

    Again, perhaps a ‘qualifier’ is ‘oh, it doesn’t mean that physically and genetically, merely a mind, an intelligence like us’. But then, if we keep rewinding the tape of evolution and check out history, do we believe that Christ comes down to earth each time as a different species? Christ is God, and likewise He doesn’t change. So, if it is possible for Him to come down as a different species each time in history, perhaps it’s not the unchangeable Christian God one believes in.

    And still if an ‘intelligence like ours’ was supposed to evolve, wouldn’t it have to be the exact same intelligence each time?

    :( When Christians repeatedly try to reinterpret the Bible and find leeway within it’s passages, without altering the believe in Darwinism, we can see which belief is greater.

    (…yes, that was too long).

  2. I met Rosenhouse at the DC Discovery Institute CSPAN presentation of Berlinski’s Devil Delusion book tour kick off. I don’t really know where he stands. He was fine as far as his behavior. I don’t understand the chance thing- how can chance do anything? It is not a mechanism – chance is merely a description of human limitation and the minds ability to predict things based on past data- i.e. flipping a quarter is a 50/50 chance event- but chance cannot explain why it landed heads one time and tails another- it merely gives you dialectics. Chance cant explain why there is a universe- where matter came from- why this universe arose as opposed to an infinite amount of others. Basically chance cant so anything except give us an estimate of how likely an event is GOING TO BE not how likely all things are. After all the chance of the universe existing is 1/1 as far as we know. Chance is meaningless when you apply to concepts such as existence because we cant conceptualize the gamut on which such things arose.

    Chance is a “predictive” explanation of phenomena based events “within time”— it is not an explanation OF phenomena and certainly not of time itself. I should also add that it is within probability theory that Idists argue against randomness and necessity as adequate interpretations of life’s history and arrival. This is why Miller and the like attack Behe’s book EOE so fiercely. EOE challenges the last philosophical argument against design left-

    Chance even coupled with necessity are not nearly enough to explain the complexity and specificity of life‘s appearent design.

    Within life, the world remains a stubborn mystery. Or as Heisenberg use to say

    “This world is not just stranger than we think; it’s stranger than we CAN think.”

  3. You know chance alone is just simply not enough. IN this world you have at least both chance and necessity. Necessity being that which pertains to physical laws and symmetries. No one really considers the chance event of a quarter flipping to be the same kind of event as say an object falling. One event is constantly with a certain flux while the other never changes. Thus this world has laws and structure and where can we look to purchase this symmetry and structure?

    Those of the multiverse philosophy say there is a possible infinite amount of universes and this just happens to be the one that it is. Well in the imagination there exists such a gamut of possibilities but how do we know that there really was a base or equal chance of this one happening? How do we know that chance alone is responsible? How can we apply the human concept of “chance” to a situation in which humans dont exist?

    What if chance is merely an illusion and this is the only universe that ever could or will exist? Then what explains a circumstance such as this?

    What is the chance of their existing a universe that did not and could not happen by chance???

    In other words how can chance be an explanation when chance relies on the chance of their even being chance to begin with? If everything happens by chance then by the very virtue of that philosophy, in order that it remains consistent and distinguish itself from the a priori metaphysical commitments of religion, it must apply its own standards to itself. Therefore what is the chance that chance is the correct mechanism for all of the world’s character and events?

    Multiverse is just a really lousy religion masquerading as science as far as I am concerned.

  4. Let’s take a quick tour through the mind of Ken Miller:

    In Finding Darwin’s God:

    Mankind is “not the inevitable result of evolution”…”is an afterthought”…”a minor detail, a happenstance in a history that might as well have left us out.”

    In Only A Theory:

    “Man is the inevitable result of Darwinian evolution.”

  5. 5

    In Only A Theory:

    “Man is the inevitable result of Darwinian evolution.”

    I see, Stephen, that you found a new supply of straw to stuff into the suit you are beating up. That is not what Miller was suggesting in Only a Theory. He did not suggest that man was inevitable, he suggested that a human-like intelligence was. There is a big difference.

    I’d suggest again that you actually read what you are arguing against, but I know it will fall onto deaf ears.

  6. Let’s take a quick tour through the mind of Ken Miller:

    In Finding Darwin’s God:

    Mankind is “not the inevitable result of evolution”…”is an afterthought”…”a minor detail, a happenstance in a history that might as well have left us out.”

    In Only A Theory:

    “Man is the inevitable result of Darwinian evolution.”

    As Senator Barack Obama recently found out, you can get quite far maintaining two opposite identities, but it gets awkward when someone decides to expose your double life. I hope Dr. Ken Miller gets the exposure he deserves.

  7. @5 “That is not what Miller was suggesting in Only a Theory. He did not suggest that man was inevitable, he suggested that a human-like intelligence was. There is a big difference.”

    And this obviously conflicts with being Christian. See response #1.

  8. —–soplo: “I’d suggest again that you actually read what you are arguing against, but I know it will fall onto deaf ears.”

    Are you kidding? I was giving him the benefit of the doubt based on summaries that I read. So, the amendment that you and Avonwatches have provided, which I happily accept, is even more of an indictment of his duplicity and doublemindedness. If you are hoping for a gotcha, wait for a correction that shoots down my argument rather than one that strengthens it. I don’t run away from facts, I embrace them and make adjustments for them. It is the TE that shrugs off evidence and continues on as sleek as ever.

  9. —–Avonwatches: And this obviously conflicts with being Christian. See response #1.

    That’s right. My earlier comment stands corrected and Miller stands even more severely indicted.

  10. Soplo: This is Miller’s paragraph that I extracted from the internet:

    “Turning our attention to the special case of our own species, we can be fairly confident, just as Gould tells us, that our peculiar natural history would not repeat, and that self-awareness would not emerge from the primates. Indeed, we would have no reason to suppose that primates, mammals, or even vertebrates would emerge in a second running of the tape. But as life reexplored adaptive space, could we be certain that our niche would not be occupied? I would argue that we could be almost certain that it would be — that eventually evolution would produce an intelligent, self-aware, reflective creature endowed with a nervous system large enough to solve the very same questions that we have, and capable of discovering the very process that produced it, the process of evolution. To argue otherwise would be to maintain, against all evidence, that our appearance on this planet was not the product of repeatable natural events. It would be to maintain, for no particular reason, that this corner of adaptive space was found once by the evolutionary process but could never be found again. Everything we know about evolution suggests that it would, sooner or later, get to that niche. (pp. 152-153).”

    So, I didn’t just guess without reading, as you so recklessly suggest.

    Read the entire paragraph and you will see that he is equivocating all over the place. In fact, he is changing his story. He did the same thing in his textbooks, claiming at first that, evolution is an “unplanned, unguided, process” and then expunging it later editions after realizing that it could be used against him.

  11. —-Avonwatches: “And this obviously conflicts with being Christian. See response #1.”

    Yes. The Christian view is that God had each individual in mind prior to creation. That means that God was not going to leave the identity of even one individual to chance or gamble on many possible outcomes when only one outcome would suffice. On other words, it is not enough to have any old finished product in the form of human intelligence. The finished product must match the intent of the creator in the exact form of the person he had in mind. Obviously, Miller does not believe that. He finally grants that “the process” was likely to produce human intelligence, but that still allows for many possible outcomes. That alone would militate against the Christianity he claims to believe in.

    In any case, his new attachment to the “inevitable result” of Darwinian evolution is a radical and obvious change from his earlier writings. Intellectual honesty would require that he acknowledge that a change has been made rather than to try to cover the change and integrate the two ideas into one incomprehensible paragraph.

  12. I have a question:

    Rosenhouse complains about Miller repeating the same argument against the flagellum, found it wanting, and links Matzke.

    So, my question is: Does Miller repeats the same thing on the TTSS preceding the flagellum because, as a real biologist (and not a geographer…), maybe he thinks this is the most solid argument around?

  13. 13

    Hey Dave, you censored my comment, dammit. Why was that? Because I called Judge Jones a “jackass”? He is, isn’t he? That’s what Bill Buckingham called him on the PBS NOVA TV program about the Kitzmiller case.

    You are too strait-laced.

    It wasn’t me who censored it. -ds

  14. If Rosenhouse really believes that “In particular, his refutation of Behe’s arguments regarding irreducible complexity remains one of the best I have seen,” then how can I conclude anything other than that Behe stands completely unrefuted? I’d already concluded this years ago after reading Miller, but it is interesting to see Miller cited at this late date as still the decisive knockdown of Behe. If that is really the best they’ve got, then Darwinists are a thoroughly pitiable lot.

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