Home » Intelligent Design » Your Karma ran over my Dogma

Your Karma ran over my Dogma

From the AP story regarding new discoveries debunking the Homo habilis evolved into Homo erectus theory (see Sal’s post below):

“Susan Anton, a New York University anthropologist and co-author of the Leakey work, said she expects anti-evolution proponents to seize on the new research, but said it would be a mistake to try to use the new work to show flaws in evolution theory.  ‘This is not questioning the idea at all of evolution; it is refining some of the specific points,’ Anton said.  ‘This is a great example of what science does and religion doesn’t do.  It’s a continuous self-testing process.’”

Interesting statement.  One suspects that what Anton really means is that, for her, science is a continuous self-testing process within the limits allowed by her overarching metaphysical commitment to philosophical naturalism.  And any “test” that would tend to show that the irreducible complexity and complex specified information found in all living things was caused by an intelligent agent rather than by chance and necessity is strictly off limits.  

Anton is a dogmatist when it comes to naturalism.  Will our evolutionist friends tell me they don’t see any irony when she belittles other dogmatists simply for being dogmatists?

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24 Responses to Your Karma ran over my Dogma

  1. Isn’t it normal for scientists to argue against competing theories. Evolutionists have had a free ride for far too long. Anton should get used to the criticism if she intends to be a scientist. I supposed it would be too much to expect her to be objective.

    Even if ID only defines a limit of scientific knowledge, and does not answer a single question such as what was the origin of man, that is better science than believing in the evolution fairy tale.

  2. Of course this new evidence doesn’t count against Darwinism. No evidence could possibly count against Darwinism. It’s unassailable.

  3. I read this story yesterday, and as soon as I read the first few sentences, I said to myself, “Alright, let’s see where they put the homage to Charlie and assurance that Darwinism is safe.” I was thrilled to see the typical conflation of “evolution” with Darwinism, and a mention of the “anti-evolution” evildoers in this unbiased (lol) article. They really outdid themselves. I just hope we get our theocracy in my lifetime.

  4. Peter asks: “Isn’t it normal for scientists to argue against competing theories?”

    Yes, of course it is. But this is not what proponents of NDE are doing. They are not arguing against a theory. They are saying the theory is invalid and should not even be proposed not on scientific grounds but on philisophical grounds.

  5. The “this is an example of what science does and what religion doesn’t do” line is a laugh. Not to mention the crude caricature of religion implied there – likely delivered with arms crossed and a pouty expression.

    Is it possible that scientists are too quick to rush to declare ‘facts’ about human ancestry? It almost seems as if this is about a lot more than “science” for some o them.

  6. I find the following statement by Anton ludicrious:

    “This is a great example of what science does and religion doesn’t do. It’s a continuous self-testing process.”

    To compare religion and science in this way is rediculous. Both (ideally) seek the truth, but religion has never claimed to be “self-testing” in the scientific, imperical sense. Its like she’s trying to pick a fight.

  7. To Barry: How do you know that Susan Anton has an “overarching metaphysical commitment to philosophical naturalism?” I don’t see that her statement differentiating what science does and what religion does implies that she doesn’t have any religious beliefs.

  8. 8
    sagebrush gardener

    What a wonderful thing an unfalsifiable theory is. Its success is confirmed every time they discover that they are wrong!

  9. Jack Krebs asks: “How do you know that Susan Anton has an ‘overarching metaphysical commitment to philosophical naturalism?’ I don’t see that her statement differentiating what science does and what religion does implies that she doesn’t have any religious beliefs.”

    I’ll answer Jack’s question with DrDan’s comment: “To compare religion and science in this way is ridiculous . . . Its like she’s trying to pick a fight.”

    I said nothing about Anton’s religious beliefs unless one counts naturalism as a religious belief, which is by no means unreasonable, because a commitment to metaphysical naturalism shares many characteristics with religious belief. Indeed, the faith commitment necessary to believe in metaphysical naturalism is far greater than that required of many religious believers.

    Yes, I surmised that Anton has an overarching commitment to naturalism. Why? Well, there are several clues, including the context in which she makes her statement; her profession; and her gratuitous sneer at religion. If she is not, I would be very surprised.

  10. Let me make it clear that I do not believe that ID must necessarily rejects methodological naturalism. ID seeks to answer the question: “What caused this effect?” It posits that the best inference from all of the available data, including millennia of human experience, is that certain very complex effects were caused by the acts of an intelligent agent. That conclusion is perfectly consistent with a naturalistic worldview, because ID says nothing about the nature or purpose of the intelligent agent.

    Indeed, conclusions of this sort are made every day. Every time a coroner examines evidence and concludes “homicide” as opposed to “natural causes,” he is concluding that the most reasonable inference based upon the data is that an intelligent agent (i.e., the killer) acted for a purpose. The coroner does not have to believe the killer is supernatural in order to conclude that the evidence supports a design inference. Similarly, an ID proponent need not conclude the designer was the Christian God (or any other supernatural being) in order to detect design. For all we know, beings from a super advanced civilization could have designed life on earth. Before you sneer too loudly, keep in mind that some very smart non-religious people (Crick leaps to mind) have believed this very thing.

    People like Anton rule ID out of bounds not because it is not scientific and not because it cannot be performed under the assumptions of methodological naturalism, but because they dislike (or are afraid of) its implications.

  11. Her argument doesn’t make any sense. Both religion and science adjust to new data. Otherwise most people would still be 6-day creationists. Is she trying to say that religions don’t adjust to new data? That’s ridiculous. Every worldview will attempt to fit new data in.

  12. 1. Her theory can be falsified? How?

    2. Why would God’s word need revising like science given the presuppositions held by Christians? The whole point is that divine revelations is right — it does not NEED adjusting.

  13. Is it even correct to say that religion doesn’t entail a “self-testing process”?

    Doesn’t the fruit of a particular belief system (atheism, vodoo, Christianity) constitute a kind of test of its divine vs. human origin?

  14. “This is a great example of what science does and religion doesn’t do.”

    This is simple. You just don’t say something like that unless you’re trying to start trouble. This was an article about evolution, not religion, so why even mention it unless you’re scared to death you’re losing a scientific argument and you don’t want anyone to notice? “Religion” has no conflict with science. A conflict with the notion of blind watchmaker evolution, yes – but it’s not religion vs. science…how silly and really, really uncalled for.

  15. “Similarly, an ID proponent need not conclude the designer was the Christian God (or any other supernatural being) in order to detect design. For all we know, beings from a super advanced civilization could have designed life on earth. Before you sneer too loudly, keep in mind that some very smart non-religious people (Crick leaps to mind) have believed this very thing.”

    Isn’t this pretty much what the author of Chariots of the gods was saying? I have not read the book, but the author seems to have proposed his own theory of intelligent design, and it’s not based on religion. (As a matter of fact, for this guy, it seems to be the other way around– the intelligent designer aliens influenced various religions on earth.)

    Is this guy still alive? Have you every thought about bringing him on board?

  16. Karen,

    You don’t really want Eric Von Daniken on board. Most people consider him a crackpot and by association…

  17. Well, I’m certainly not an ID sympathizer, and I’m NOT trying to masquerade as one. (And I don’t believe in Von Daniken’s claims at all) It’s just that when BarryA said “For all we know, beings from a super advanced civilization could have designed life on earth,” it brought to mind Von Daniken’s theory.

  18. I actually think “alien design” is more probable that God-design for the simple fact that much of what we’ve discovered seems to be something we might design ourselves. Little machines and what not. The ATP synthesis mechanism(proton driven motor) comes to mind. It’s an ingenious design, but it reminds me of something humans would design if our technology permitted it. It is certainly recognizable by us as something that’s designed – well, at least the ones who haven’t smashed their minds into tiny pieces with the Darwin-hammer can recognize it. Just seems like whoever did the designing thinks a lot like little ole’ mortal time/space bound us.

  19. Karen, thank you for your idea. If it’s all the same to you, I think I would rather cite to Nobel prize winners like Crick instead of goofball cranks like Von Daniken.

  20. Karen

    You misstated Von Daniken’s hypothesis rather badly. His hypothesis is that aliens influenced early human civilization. It does not speak to the origin of life. You don’t need to read Chariots of the Gods to know this. It’s in the first paragraph of the wikipedia entry for Von Daniken. If you can’t be bothered to do a small bit of due diligence before posting comments here why should we bother to publish your comments?

  21. BarryA said ““For all we know, beings from a super advanced civilization could have designed life on earth”

    The Wikipedia article, speaking of Von Daniken, said, “He also supports the hypothesis that human evolution may have been manipulated through means of genetic engineering by extraterrestrial beings”

    SO there is some similarity here– the idea that intelligent extraterrestrials in the past have influenced life on earth.

  22. “He also supports the hypothesis that human evolution may have been manipulated through means of genetic engineering by extraterrestrial beings”

    Yeah sure. I support the theory of general relativity. That doesn’t mean it’s my theory. Do your homework next time.

  23. In defense of Susan Anton, she was one of the more talented actresses and signers in the Baywatch series. See: Susan Anton (wiki entry).

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