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  Topic: ID *is* "God of the Gaps" after all, A clear admission from an IDist< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 319
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 20 2002,21:02   

Over at the ID network's response to the AAAS resolution:

[url= 6 text]Here if the internal spaces don't muck it up[/url] is written:


6. The AAAS claim that a design inference is not testable is simply disingenuous. An inference of design is testable. Many scientific disciplines test for design every day, including routine testing of radio and light waves for alien intelligence by the SETI program.

   If ID is not testable and thus "non-scientific," then neither are several other disciplines currently held to be scientific. For example, in the SETI program, researchers are testing patterns in light and radio waves from outer space for non-human alien intelligence. ID and SETI both use the same design detection methodology. How could the SETI enterprise be considered scientific if its design detection methods are not scientifically valid? If design cannot be falsified, how can the AAAS consider it to be false? The AAAS claim that a design inference is not testable is refuted every day by countless design detection experts whose livelihood depends on design detection (e.g., forensic scientists, arson and crime investigators, cryptologists, archaeologists and SETI researchers).

   How does one "test" a design inference? A pattern or system that yields an inference of design must satisfy all of three criteria. If it cannot, then a design inference is not warranted (i.e., design is rejected as an explanation).

  • First, the pattern must exhibit apparent design - something that appears to be "specified." A specification is a pattern that has been configured for a purpose or that conveys some meaning or message that is independent of the significance of the individual events that make up the pattern. For example, the pattern "DESIGN" appears designed because it reflects meaning that is independent of the significance of each of the six letters that comprise it. DNA has the same characteristic.

  • Second, there must be no adequate natural explanation for the pattern. It cannot be a pattern that is required to appear by the operation of natural law. For example, a salt crystal and a river channel are regular patterns that can be explained by natural law (electromagnetism, gravity, erosion, moving water, the natural terrain). However, the precise sequence of the genetic symbols in "message bearing" DNA are not dictated by any known law.

  • Third, the pattern must be sufficiently complex that its arrangement by chance and law alone is statistically improbable. As mentioned above, the chance formation of the necessary DNA sequence for the first cell would appear to be statistically impossible.

       These general criteria are used in the analysis of patterns in all design detection sciences - archaeology, forensic sciences, cryptanalysis and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. They are deemed adequate to test for design in those sciences. Why not in evolutionary biology? No scientific rational has been provided for accepting design detection methodologies in these other historical sciences and rejecting them in evolutionary biology.

    [italics original]

  • Point #2 looks like GOTG to me...

    There are lots of other problems here but this was particularly clear IMO.


    Posts: 2324
    Joined: May 2002

    (Permalink) Posted: Jan. 09 2003,11:09   

    There is a recent article that you may have seen that actually present a case that god-of-the-gaps are acceptable.  

    Larmer R. (2002) "Is there anything wrong with 'God of the Gaps' reasoning?", International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, 52:129-142

    True to the breed, Larmer apes Dembski claiming that forensic and archaeological sciences use this type of argument.

    "Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."



    Posts: 3
    Joined: Jan. 2003

    (Permalink) Posted: Jan. 10 2003,11:45   

    Yes, and note this one:

    "Second, there must be no adequate natural explanation for the pattern."  

    It's true, but it is useless if you try to change this to:

    Second, there must be no known adequate natural explanation for the pattern.

    Hence, lightning was, by Dembski's method, "designed", before we knew how it worked.  

    When knowledge filled in that gap, suddenly it wasn't "designed" anymore.

    This is the way ID works.   It's truely a "God of the gaps" argument.

      2 replies since Dec. 20 2002,21:02 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  


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