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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Thursday, September 23, 2004


Response To Meyer's ID Paper

The Scientist has published three reader responses to Dr. Stephen Meyer's paper arguing against evolutionary theory and for Intelligent Design. My previous thoughts are as follows Rounds 1, 2, 3, 4, Evidence? Here are some good points:

The story "Intelligent design study appears" on September 3 dealt with a major unresolved scientific question concerning evolution. I suspect that many scientists, Dr. Meyer included, may not fully realize that biological organisms are not designed the way that humans design mechanisms. Engineers, who deal with complex human-designed systems on a daily basis, have long recognized that the best designs are those that completely separate the functions of subsystems. Thus, the spark plugs of an automobile have an entirely separate function from the tires.
Mr. Robinson goes on to point out that Life is not designed this way. Rather, Life seems almost to be the antithesis of what a human engineer would design. The counter argument would be, I suppose, We can't know the mind of God (Creator, etc.) but it must have made sense. Of course, I dispensed with that sort of nonsense in Round 4. The third letter also does a good job of addressing this particular point:

In contrast, the theory of intelligent design makes the claim that the existence of complex systems and phenomena, lacking any justification for their existence that is known to us, implies that such systems exist as the purposeful result of the activity of a powerful, conscious being that designed the visible complexity into them. This is not a scientific explanation, as it posits the existence of something that cannot be tested or demonstrated by experiment, but must be taken on faith.
The ID side of the argument might respond that the same could be said for currently-accepted scientific explanations of the origin of life and its subsequent development. As I have pointed out previously (again, in Round 4), this is incorrect because Evolution can in principle be tested whereas the Mind of God cannot.

The letter in support of Dr. Meyer's argument is ultimately unsatisfying:

So why all the fuss? The answer isn't complicated: a large part of the scientific community is determined to make science a field of endeavor that can simultaneously explain away all theistic ideas, while never allowing the possibility of support or even allowing much room for theism in human thought. They're happy to trot out scientists who somehow cling to belief in a God who never did anything in our universe, but they dare not allow one paper to point out the incredible design in living things that doesn't at least toss a bone to the gods of evolutionism: time, chance, and survival (natural selection). Having censored anything that doesn't toe the party line, they then turn around and use this shutout as support for their argument that ID isn't scientific. This gives them all the more motivation for keeping the blinders of censorship in place.
I suppose where one sees censorship another might see perfectly rational exclusion of non-scientific theories from scientific publications.

Since this topic fascinates me to no end (for which I apologize to those of you who think I'm nuts =)) I was reading some of the material on the Discovery Institute's website (which is headed by Dr. Meyer). The next article I plan to read is by Michael Behe, whose book Darwin's Black Box I read back in high school. I'm looking forward to revisiting what I remember as a very skilled author. Stay tuned.


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