What if its True?
|August 6, 2010||Posted by Barry Arrington under Intelligent Design|
Warning: This post is intended for those who have an open mind regarding the design hypothesis. If your mind is clamped so tightly shut that you are unable to even consider alternatives to your received dogma, it is probably better for you to just move along to the echo chamber of your choice.
Today, for the sake of argument only, let us make two assumptions:
1. First, let us assume that the design hypothesis is correct, i.e., that living things appear to be designed for a purpose because they were in fact designed for a purpose.
2. Second, let us assume that the design hypothesis is not a scientific hypothesis, which means that ID proponents are not engaged in a scientific endeavor, or, as our opponents so often say, “ID is not science.”
From these assumptions, the following conclusion follows: If the design hypothesis is correct and at the same time the design hypothesis may not be advanced as a valid scientific hypothesis, then the structure of science prohibits it from discovering the truth about the origin of living things, and no matter how long and hard researchers operating within the confines of the scientific method work, they will forever fail to find the truth about the matter.
Now let us set all assumptions aside. Where does this leave us? No one can know with absolute certainty that the design hypothesis is false. It follows from the absence of absolute knowledge, that each person should be willing to accept at least the possibility that the design hypothesis is correct, however remote that possibility might seem to him. Once a person makes that concession, as every honest person must, the game is up. The question is no longer whether ID is science or non-science. The question is whether the search for the truth of the matter about the natural world should be structurally biased against a possibly true hypothesis. When the question is put this way, most people correctly conclude that we should not place ideological blinkers on when we set out to search for truth. Therefore, even if it is true that ID is not science (and I am not saying that it is), it follows that this is a problem not with ID, but with science. And if the problem is with science, this means that the way we conceive of the scientific enterprise should be changed. In other words, if our search for truth excludes a possibly true answer, then we should re-conceive our search for truth.