Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Uncommon Fun

This past week I made a few comments at Uncommon Descent, the blog of William Dembski. I have followed it for several years and never tried contributing. The threads can go on for hundreds of entries. All kinds of people are there, some very credentialed and some not-so. I'm a little inhibited about making comments elsewhere on the web, although I invite them here. One of the great features of the Uncommon Descent blog is that they seem to moderate around the clock. That is not true here! I know they don't take all comments, so I was delighted when mine appeared. Here are the posts (you can click the number if you want to link to the comment within the thread):


8:37 am
Going back to the original title of this post, “that uncomfortable subject, religion,” I agree it is uncomfortable but needs to be addressed in terms of the Intelligent Design movement. I think an important aspect that has been missed (as far as I know) is that there is a difference between the believer and non-believer, even among Intelligent Design advocates. Using Christianity as an example, the believer is bound to the Creeds of the Christian Church. We believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth. We hold our faith as foundational, whereas others may consider science foundational. We can’t go to Church in the morning declaring we believe God made us (included in our doctrine) and to an Intelligent Design conference in the afternoon saying the Designer could be anyone. (It seems that between the comments in the Bible about God creating and all things being created through Christ, [creation] can cover design.)

6:36 am
I think a problem in using the term “design” in the Intelligent Design movement is that for believers, all things are designed (I am taking for granted that design is part of creation). Del Ratzsch describes a hundred-meter, perfect titanium cube on Mars (Nature, Design and Science, p12). He says we would not think it was “natural,” using that as an example of an obvious artifact, implying design. However, what he misses is that the planet Mars is also designed: it is designed as a planet. The discovery of fine-tuned physical constants which make the universe the way it is has given us the idea of the Anthropic Principle. The laws of the universe are designed. Even random movements of molecules are a necessary part of the design of the world, very useful in things like the atmosphere and diffusion.

The opposite of design, like the opposite of Creation, is not randomness but nothingness. I believe God gives us the innate ability to sense design, and also the revelation in the Bible that He made all things.

The ID movement is important in showing the discrepancy between chemical and physical laws acting on molecules and the facts of biological laws. Though some may be confused by the differences, they do exist. Molecules are subject to chemical and physical laws, not biological laws like neo-Darwinian selection. You will not (or should not) find “survival of the fittest” in any index of a chemistry book. The probabilities of [biologically] usable combinations of atoms are sources of information for ID Theory.

I added some editing here [included in brackets].

I hope to do a little more commenting on other blogs as time goes along. It is a way to be a part of the world, to communicate and contribute what one can.

Note: Our Sunday Visitor had a very good cover section this week (April 19, 2009) on evolution, describing Creationism, Evolution and Intelligent Design Theories by author and teacher Benjamin Wiker. To my heart's delight, this sentence was enlarged as a highlight: "These intelligent design types of arguments have considerable merit, more than Catholics have been inclined to grant."

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