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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

One from William Dembski

I came across a wonderful article written by Intelligent Design theorist William Dembski entitled Getting over our love for Darwin. A short excerpt tells us the following....

"Intelligent Design supporters like me view Darwin's theory as untrue and even as laughable: The theory purports to give a materialistic account of life's development once life is already here, but it has a gaping hole at the start since matter gives no evidence of being able to organize itself from non-life into life. The fossil record, especially the sudden emergence of most animal body plans in the Cambrian explosion, sharply violates Darwinian expectations about the historical pattern of evolutionary change. The nano-engineering found in the DNA, RNA, and proteins of the cell far exceeds human engineering and remains completely unexplained in Darwinian terms."

Dembski goes on to mention that some Christians are in fact Darwinists, however he mentions this in his closing paragraph....

"Little did I realize how infatuated many Christians are with Darwin. Having convinced themselves that design is an outdated religious dogma, they embraced Darwinism as a form of enlightenment. And having accommodated their faith to Darwin, they became loathe to reexamine whether Darwinism is true at all."

Above is the link to the entire article. I think he raises a valid point re: intellectual laziness on the part of Christians who have already accepted a position and are comfortable with their currently held viewpoints. I do not think that such reluctance to consider new evidences is limited to Christians though.

11 comments:

GCT said...

Why am I not surprised that you're anti-science too? What makes the article "wonderful?" Is it the ignorance on display or the horrible logic?

"Intelligent Design supporters like me view Darwin's theory as untrue and even as laughable: The theory purports to give a materialistic account of life's development once life is already here, but it has a gaping hole at the start since matter gives no evidence of being able to organize itself from non-life into life."

Evolution doesn't deal with abiogenesis, which according to Dembski here invalidates what evolution does deal with? That's like saying that germ theory doesn't deal with the big bang, so therefore it's wrong. I mean, where did all the germs come from? The fact of the matter (and it is a fact) is that evolution occurs, has occurred, and seems to be continuing to occur. Common descent is a fact (as near to as we can possible get - on par with the Earth orbiting the sun). However the first replicating organisms got here, whether through sheer dumb luck, panspermia, or god's hand (or any of the infinite possibilities) - once it arrived, evolution took over and created the diversity we see today.

"The fossil record, especially the sudden emergence of most animal body plans in the Cambrian explosion, sharply violates Darwinian expectations about the historical pattern of evolutionary change."

No, it doesn't. Dembski is ignoring things like the Ediacaran fossils and over-blowing the claims of the Cambrian explosion, much like Wells continues to do, even though both have been corrected on this point. They are charlatans and you've been swindled. The fossil record does support evolution, we've found more fossils than Darwin ever thought we would, and even if we didn't have the fossil record, evolution would still be supported through homology, DNA tests, etc.

"The nano-engineering found in the DNA, RNA, and proteins of the cell far exceeds human engineering and remains completely unexplained in Darwinian terms."

Um, no it doesn't. It does exceed what humans have done, but nature does that all the time. We can't create a sun, for instance, so I guess god had to do it? The physical laws of nature are such that these things happen. Random variation is selected upon and we get organisms that adapt and change. Look at how we use genetic algorithms for circuit design for just one example. Using the dumb algorithm of RM + NS we've been able to design circuits (that meet the criteria of IC no less) that completely stumped experts working on solutions. IOW, it's been shown that the evolutionary algorithm can exceed human design.

GCT said...

"Little did I realize how infatuated many Christians are with Darwin."

No one is infatuated with Darwin. People simply accept reality as it is and as the evidence has shown it to be.

"Having convinced themselves that design is an outdated religious dogma, they embraced Darwinism as a form of enlightenment."

It is. Evolution replaced design because it fit better with the data. Trying to dredge up old Paley's bones isn't a new argument, and trotting out old YEC canards doesn't help either. The Cdesign Proponentsists are the missing link in the evolution from YEC to ID - how ironic.

"And having accommodated their faith to Darwin, they became loathe to reexamine whether Darwinism is true at all."

How much does one have to "reexamine whether Darwinism is true at all" in order to meet Dembski's desires? I'm assuming that it's until one agrees with him that it's false, evidence and data be damned. Problem is that evolution has all the data and evidence. In order to subscribe to creationism, one must first believe in it and then throw out all contrary data. It's not intellectual laziness to agree with the majority of scientists who actually produce evidence daily for evolution. It's intellectual laziness to read some book written by bronze age shepherds and claim that it has all the answers and shut your ears and eyes to the actual evidence and data.

Besides, what new evidence is there for ID or creationism? Last I saw, the Bible was still the only evidence available.

JD Curtis said...

Aboigenesis? Did you ever research what the odds are that such a fairy-tale occured naturally? If you wish to believe such non-sense go right ahead. Me personally, I'm not inclined to such "magical thinking" though.

SmartLX said...

What odds do you have on abiogenesis, JD?

GCT said...

JD,
Nice dodge, but the simple fact is that abiogenesis is irrelevant to evolution. Like I said, even if god planted the first life, evolution took over from there. The persistent refusal to address this fact is nothing short of intellectually dishonesty from your heroes at the DI.

And, I would like to echo SmartLX's question. What do you think the odds are and how did you come up with them? My guess is that you are going to trot out the creationist "odds" of a fully formed modern cell coming together all at once, which are made up and attack a straw man.

JD Curtis said...

Like I said, even if god planted the first life, evolution took over from there.

Might you be able to provide me with a useful link re: confirmed examples of macro-evolution?

JD Curtis said...

you are going to trot out the creationist "odds" of a fully formed modern cell coming together all at once

A cursory google search indicates that evolutionists point out that there were innumerable "trials" occuring simultaneously. Still, this doesnt stretch credulity for any of you? Really?

SmartLX said...

Not really, JD. It's obvious that a given abiogenesis event is unlikely, because it may only ever have happened once. Those innumerable trials are what balance out the odds and bestow a measure of plausibility.

For a modern analogy, the odds of a particular person winning a literal lottery are downright negligible, but so many people play that someone in the world wins every other week.

GCT said...

Or the odds that a person will get a specific hand of poker on any deal, yet people get specific hands that are just as unlikely as any other hand all the time during games! It's amazing!

"Might you be able to provide me with a useful link re: confirmed examples of macro-evolution?"

A quick perusal of some of your other anti-science threads shows me that someone's already beaten me to the punch and provided you with this. Why should I believe that you'll actually look at anything I post when you've so far neglected to look at that post? There's whales, horses, Tiktallik, Nylonase, GAs, the human chromosomal fusion event that we've pinpointed in the genome, recent studies (that were conducted for years) showing multiple mutations and genetic drift in bacteria colonies, etc. etc. etc. If you have your head buried in the sand and refuse to look at the abundant evidence that is continually being published on a daily basis - evidence that is literally voluminous - then why would I expect that you'll actually look at any of this? You've already decided to be anti-science and count your beliefs as more important and more accurate than actual empirical data. If you can't see the problem with that, then I suggest you try to see if you can believe that you no longer need food or need to breathe and see how long that lasts.

JD Curtis said...

I checked it out. It wasnt what I was hoping for. I wanted something more straight forward like this. Researchers at Oregon State University have made a fundamental new discovery about how birds breathe and have a lung capacity that allows for flight – and the finding means it's unlikely that birds descended from any known theropod dinosaurs.
Eat your hearts out guys. And thanks for your comments.

GCT said...

What's your point? This doesn't challenge the idea of common descent.

And, I'm glad you can simply hand-wave away a voluminous report like what was linked without actually dealing with the wealth of information and evidence contained within it. But hey, it's your choice to remain anti-science and ignorant. You can continue to deny reality or you can accept it and realize that reality does not conform to your beliefs. For instance, we know that humans have 1 less chromosomal pair than apes, and this was a problem. It was predicted that we would find a fusion in our chromosomes, which is exactly what we found. I suggest you read Ken Miller's testimony from the Dover trial (starting at page 22 which is page 82 of the transcript).

Also, see this for a list of speciations.