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Author Topic:   Can't ID be tested AT ALL?
Member (Idle past 5377 days)
Posts: 766
From: Newcastle, Australia
Joined: 11-17-2002

Message 5 of 304 (242914)
09-13-2005 10:45 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Tusko
09-13-2005 10:07 AM

"Intelligent Design" covers a whole range of notions.
At one end of the spectrum, we have the orthodox Christian view, that everything is created by God. In this model, all things work together according to God's purpose, and hence no natural thing can be held up as a case where design does not have a role. This is a reasonable metaphysical perspective; but it is not a testable scientific model, precisely because there is no separation into things designed and things not designed.
At the other end of the spectrum, there is a view I consider to be basically animistic, although strangely there are many Christians who seem to like it these days. This is the view that God works a bit like a space alien, intervening to make some things, in contrast to other things formed naturally. Michael Behe, for example, advocates this stunted form of ID, and made the bizarre claim that God's activity was basically of the same kind as what you would get from an intelligent alien. According to Behe, it requires faith to identify the interventions as being from God rather than a space alien. See this extract:
Q. In your view, does embracing intelligent design require one to believe in God?
A. Although intelligent design fits comfortably with a belief in God, it doesn't require it, because the scientific theory doesn't tell you who the designer is. While most people -- including me -- will think the designer is God, some people might think that the designer was a space alien or something odd like that.
The conclusion that parts of life were intentionally designed can be supported with scientific evidence. The further deduction that the designer is God requires philosophical and theological arguments.
”Extracted from Behe Interview in Pittsburgh,
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 8, 2001, Thursday, Pg. C-1
Such an interventionist designer-of-the-gaps might be testable; but so far the only tests proposed have been merely silly. Behe, for example, proposes "irreducible complexity"; which shows nothing since IC can result from natural processes just fine. But the more serious problem is that if these clowns ever come up with an actual test, they risk showing that most of the natural world does not arise by design.
Cheers -- Sylas

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Tusko, posted 09-13-2005 10:07 AM Tusko has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by CK, posted 09-13-2005 2:56 PM Sylas has not replied

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