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Religion & Culture / Creation vs. Evolution


Subject:  Re: Skeptic Mag on Global Warming Date:  5/21/2008  1:02 PM
Author:  centromere Number:  14746 of 27171

I have no issue with "evolution" writ large, and neither do the major ID proponents.

Well let's examine that for a bit. The critical aspects of any scientific theory of evolution are:

1. Common descent. Living things on earth arose from a common ancestor.

2. Differences between species arose via natural processes.

#1 is what evolution necessarily predicts. #2 is a requirement for evolutionary theory to be scientific. Behe believes #1 but not #2, so he advocates a religious theory of evolution, similar to theistic evolution. Where Behe goes wrong is his claim that he has proved #2 to be false. Dembski and others do not believe in #2 and I doubt they accept #1.

So when you say you have no “issue with "evolution" writ large”, what exactly do you mean by that?

I've read a detailed description of the biochemical reactions that take place when a photon hits the retina. I've read so-called detailed descriptions of the evolution of the flagellum. There is absolutely no comparison in level of detail or testability of steps.

We know more about the evolution of flagellum than we do about the cause of autism. Does this make the latter more likely to be due to non-natural causes than the former? I don’t see why. There are lots of things we don’t have a detailed molecular mechanism for, but most of us don’t use that as an excuse to reject natural causation.

So why aren’t you intellectually consistent with your argument? If the lack of a sufficiently detailed molecular description justifies in your mind serious consideration of intelligent design to explain life’s origins, then you should be making the same intelligent design argument for psychosis, autism, hurricanes, earthquakes, changes in stock price, timing of influenza outbreaks, many cancers, male-pattern baldness, etc. Less is known about these things than the evolution of species. So why aren’t you advocating that science take seriously the possibility that Katrina was intelligently designed to destroy New Orleans?

How about the fact that DNA has a level of complexity AND specification that is only known to originate in an intelligent source?

How do you know this? Why can't I use DNA as an example that specified complexity of the sort you allude to can arise naturally? Afterall, DNA is found in nature, was here before humankind, and there is no evidence that a biotechnology company existed a billion years ago.

Why does the fact that humans can manipulate DNA suggest that DNA must have had an intelligent origin? Only humans are known to pile rocks really high. Does that mean that the Himalayas were designed by intelligence? Only humans are known to be able to play with nuclear fusion. Is that evidence that stars are intelligently designed?
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