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Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Patrick Coulton

'The Austrailian' article is pure nonsense as anyone
beyond the third grade can tell.

The Cardinal clearly states that the purpose of Genisis is to
declare that God is creator. The writer of the article uses
this to declare that ID (which is a philisophical argument that
God is creator) is being dismissed while Darwinism (typically
used to declare that God is not necessary for explaining creation)
is being endorsed.

Ed Peters

Great post which I hope about a million people read. BTW: Unfortunately, this latest "Vatican-declares" media flap will doubtless push "the Vatican" into making even fewer statements than the too-few it offers presently, resulting (ironically) in still MORE attention being given to the occasional remarks of its officers (howver unremarkable those reamrks might be), making the Vatican still more nervous about saying ANY thing on ANY thing at least without attaching a half-dozen qualifiers to it. How I wish we could find a way to break this vicious cycle.

Another Steve

Actually the Father of modern evolutionary theory was Chevalier De Lamarck(1744-1829) who started off studying for the priesthood. Darwin and Wallace built on Lamarck's findings but adopted random Natural Selection or Survival of the Fittest as the vehicle for specie variation; whereas "Lamarck concluded that plants and animals change their forms to adapt to their environment and that these changes are passed on to their offspring" (World Book Encyclopedia).

When I mow the lawn I'm always puzzled why the dandelions in the lawn have anough nouse to keep their heads down when flowering while right next door in the flower bed they hold their flower heads high on 6 to 12 inch stems in bright light. Seems to me Lamarck might be more 'on to it' than either Darwin or Wallace.

And of course there is no possibility that the concepts of love, justice and mercy could have evolved according to Darwin's theory of random natural selection. Under Darwin's schema, all mercy etc would be eliminated as a weakness.

Going back to Darwin's theory it seems mighty hard to believe that one of his Galapagos finches could have randomly 'worked out' that by gripping with the beak a cactus spine it could be inserted into a bug hole to extract the bug for food. But that's just one of the many anomalies and holes (terrible pun I know) I see in random Natural Selection and I'm not a trained scientist. Maybe you have to be trained to believe these things??? Trained like the dandelion to keep your head down.

Organic Evolution I have no problem with except when it is used as a God.


Patrick: you are using "Intelligent Design" to mean something different than the primary advocates of that term do.

The position that Dembski, for example, is advancing in the book I am now reading is that intelligence in the pattern of creation can be proven in scientific terms, but he _very specifically excludes_ a conclusion regarding the nature of this intelligence (in particular that it is a creator God) from "Intelligent Design".

Mark Brumley

It seems correct to say that while some proponents of evolution affirm that we can infer "design" in the natural order, including the biological order, they mean by this something different from what proponents of what is commonly called Intelligent Design mean. The latter generally affirm that, as a matter of science, design can be detected in organisms and their systems. At most the former would hold that philsophy or theology can help us see design where "science", understood as natural science, can only describe a process based on natural laws and "random" events (i.e., events for which no purpose or intentionality can be discerned by science).

The debate between these positions, it would seem, comes down to whether design can be scientifically detected in organisms. Of course, resolving that debate requires agreement about what constitutes "scientific detection" and whether the evidence presented in favor of design fits the criteria of "scientific detection".

Patrick Coulton

Note that Behe does not claim that ID is pure science.
The real problem is that biologists claim that Neo-Darwinism
is pure science and it is not.

There is no question that science studies only from a rational
point of view - i.e., tries to make rational sense of the cosmos.

Since this is the case, the purpose of science is to find design
-it is inherent in the subject matter. The relevant question is:
to what degree does design imply the existence of a creator?

Some Scientists (so-called) deny that it does and use this to promote
an atmosphere of rigid compliance in the academy.

And so Behe tells young faculty members keep your head low


Intelligent Design is fascinating reading, I am reading the books of William Dembski, and my impression is that ID all points to a loving God creating each of us...Darwinism at its basic level does not, it simply uses conjecture and anecdotal 'evidence' to say we are all an accident, a by product of a few cells reacting in a primodial cesspool of slime....

Mark Brumley

It is difficult to see how it follows that human life is "an accident" if we start only with a statement about natural selection and its interaction with a series of events and circumstances the specific cause or causes of which is or are scientifically unknown and perhaps scientifically unknowable.

The issue of whether, ultimately, life is accidental or purposive would seem to be incapable of being rationally settled, if all we have to go on is natural selection and "chance" events and circumstances. We can't tell scientifically whether the "chance" events aren't really "providential events".

Scientists may elect to call those events and circumstances "chance" or "random" events and circumstances, meaning that the scientists cannot render a precise, scientific account of them or their specific causes. If so, they are "chance" or "random" only in a highly qualified sense. Whether such "chance" or "random" events and circumstances are ultimately "random" or "chance"--whether there is purpose in them beyond what the scientific method can determine or natural scientific laws can account for--would seem to be a different question.


The Monkey Shakespeare Simulator

"If you have enough monkeys
banging randomly on typewriters,
they will eventually type the works
of William Shakespeare." Thomas Huxley

Mark Brumley

"If you have enough monkeys
banging randomly on typewriters,
they will eventually type the works
of William Shakespeare." Thomas Huxley

But the fact that we have the works of Shakespeare doesn't mean they were produced by monkeys banging randomly on typewriters for some period of time.


That was not my point, my point is that chance and randomness cannot produce any works of Shakespeare, check out that link, it is a funny illustration of proving that Darwins Bulldog was smoking something funny.

Mark Brumley

O.K. I must have misunderstood the significance of your quote from Huxley.

Ed Peters

I've never thought Huxley's was good science: either the time it would take those moneys to type out Shakespeare exceeds by far the age of the universe, or it would simply never happen at all, the same way no computer-generated coin-toss has EVER succeeded in flipping the theoretically possble 1,000,000 heads in a row (an easier feat than randomly getting even MACBETH right) in any amount of time.

Mark Brumley

The idea behind Huxley's statement is that given an infinite amount of time, anything that can happen (i.e., isn't inherently impossible) will happen.

Luciano Miceli

It seems to me that with darwinism first
you have the philosophy of atheistic
materialism then you interpret the
findings based on that view instead of
letting the evidence speak for itself and
then draw some scientific and philosophical conclusions. An error in
the begenning is an error indeed.

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