Saturday, December 17, 2005

More Discussions With the Humanists

The Humanist News blog is still attacking Intelligent Design. They continue to bow to the god of Logic, but their latest argument didn't seem very logical to me:

A large part of IDer's energy is spent trying to show the inadequacy of Darwinian evolution in explaining the complexities of life. It is only fair then, that the theory of ID be held to just as rigorous a scientific and philosophical standard as Darwin is. With that in mind, look at ID's central argument, as I understand it:

1) Some parts of living organisms, such as the bacterial flagellum, are very complex.

2) The complexity of the flagellum and other such biological systems stands in need of explanation.

3) Darwinian evolution is an inadequate explanation of the flagellum's etc… complexity.

4) The flagellum and many other complex biological systems exhibit the features of being intentionally designed.

5) The presence of an intelligent, intentional designer is the best way to explain 1 and 4, above.

6) So, the flagellum and other more complex biological systems were created by an intelligent and intentional designer.

Is this a reasonable argument?
Well, positing a designer as an explanation for complexity, as 6) does, still leaves us with the problem of explaining complexity. After all, the designer must be complex enough to have the intelligence and intention to create complex biological systems. How are we to explain the designer's complexity?

One way to wiggle out of this is to say that the designer is less complex than the flagellum. But then it becomes hard, if not impossible, to see how the designer could be intelligent and intentional. Further, the process of a simple thing giving rise to a more complex thing sounds a lot like the beginnings of an evolutionary theory, and as such would contradict premise 3 in the ID argument.
I am curious as to how ID can respond. Ramsay

There was a comment already given for this post:

Logic By : Jamie @ Time : 09 Dec 2005 02:09:26 am :

ID is a thinly veiled attempt of the Christian Right to convince people to disregard scientific inquiry in favor of a theory that could not stand on its own no matter how much they prop it up. Logic is the ultimate enemy of religious dogma which is why they are trying to control what we learn to be logical in school. When we can no longer recognize what is logical and what is not, then they have won. Intelligent design is an oxymoron because anyone that is truly intelligent would not accept it.

Neither the original post nor this comment seemed 'logical' to me, so I commented:

This is NOT Logical By : Rob (Hurts) @ Time : 17 Dec 2005 03:40:05 am :

Can you please show documentation where an IDer has said that the designer is less complex than the flagellum? Is this not a straw man argument? As to Jamie's comment that "intelligent design is an oxymoron because anyone that is truly intelligent would not accept it" that logical or just name calling? Do your credentials match those of some of the PhD's who argue for intelligent design? It is one thing to disagree with someone or to disprove their arguments, but it sounds more like the dogma you despise than the logic you espouse to say anybody who disagrees with you is not truly intelligent.

It is difficult for me to comment of some of what is posted on the Humanist News blog because, as I said earlier, their god is Logic. Although I believe Christianity is the most logical faith in the world, it still boils down to just Those who come to God must BELIEVE that he is and that he rewards those who diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6). I think their god let them down here. I'll let you know what I hear back from this discussion.

- Rob

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