John Silber on ID
|November 4, 2005||Posted by William Dembski under Education, Evolution, Intelligent Design, Religion, Science|
From “Science Versus Scientism” by John Silber (appeared in the Nov05 issue of The New Criterion):
The critical question posed for evolutionists is not about the survival of the fittest but about their arrival. Biologists arguing for evolution have been challenged by critics for more than a hundred years for their failure to offer any scientific explanation for the arrival of the fittest. Supporters of evolution have no explanation beyond their dogmatic assertion that all advances are explained by random mutations and environmental influences over millions of years.
This view was challenged a century ago by Henri Bergson when he asked for an explanation of the extraordinary eye of the giant squid. Once the eye is fully developed, one need not question its survival value. But its development required hundreds of thousands if not millions of years. Why was every random mutation so neatly and marvelously contributory to the development of this complex structure? No scientific explanation has been offered; the view is only a working but unproven hypothesis. The empirical scientist becomes a fanatical dogmatist by insisting that random mutation sans any formative principle explains it all. (One need not appeal to an intelligent designer in order to wonder if there is an organizing force in the universe offsetting entropy.) A magician who shows you his empty top hat at time t1 and then at time t2 produces a rabbit from the hat has never had the gall to offer the mere presence of the rabbit as an explanation of how it got there. He claims it is magic. The evolutionists can do no better.
More recently, even some scientists and mathematicians have begun to question the adequacy of the emergent aspect of evolution largely for its failure to explain what Michael Behe, professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University and author of DarwinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Black Box, calls the Ã¢â‚¬Å“irreducible complexityÃ¢â‚¬Â of organisms. Random mutation cannot explain scientifically their complexity and the addition of so many complex elements before any survival value is established; hence, the black box or the rabbit in the hat. In Abyss: The Deep Sea and the Creatures that Live in It, C. P. Idyll considers once again BergsonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s preoccupation with the eye of the squid. Idyll notes, Ã¢â‚¬Å“What the scientist finds hardest to understand in considering the squid and the human eye is that two entirely independent lines of evolution should have converged at the same point.Ã¢â‚¬Â Why should evolution have produced eyes in two vastly different species through totally independent lines of evolution such that each has the eyeball with its lens, its cornea, its iris, its retina, its vitreous humor, and its optic nerve? How did random mutation produce such extraordinarily similar structures in the absence of any teleological or formative principles? And how many hundreds of thousands of years passed before each additional element significantly contributed the final capacity of sight that would ensure survival?
[For the full article, go here: http://newcriterion.com/archives/24/11/science-vs-scientism.]