P.falciparum – No Black Swan Observed
|November 6, 2007||Posted by Dave S. under Intelligent Design|
The tired old “ID is not scientific” has reared its ugly head again in another thread. This is simply not true.
Karl Popper famously stated that a hypothesis is scientific if it can be falsified. He used swans as an example. He stated a hypothesis:
All swans are white.
Popper said that it can never be proven that all swans are white because there is always the possibility that a black swan exists somewhere but has not yet been observed. He stated that the hypothesis is still scientific because it can be falsified – the observation of a single black swan will falsify it.
The biological ID hypothesis can be stated as:
All complex biological systems are generated by intelligent agents.
We already know, or may reasonably presume, that complex biological systems can be generated by intelligent agents. There’s a whole discipline called “Genetic Engineering” devoted to it. What we don’t know is whether any non-intelligent means can generate complex biological systems. A single observation of a complex biological system generated by a non-intelligent cause will falsify the biological ID hypothesis.
P.falciparum replicating billions of trillions of times in the past few decades represents the largest search to date for a “black swan”. This is orders of magnitude more replications than took place in the evolution of reptiles to mammals wherein there are many exceedingly complex biological systems that separate them. If P.falciparum had been seen generating any complex biological systems such as those that distinguish mammals from reptiles then it would have falsified the ID hypothesis. None were observed. This doesn’t prove ID but it certainly lends strong support to it. All perfectly scientific.
P.S. I understand that an actual black swan has been observed and Popper’s hypothetical example was indeed falsified. That is exactly how science is supposed to work. Now it’s up to the time & chance worshippers to falsify the ID hypothesis. Good luck.