Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Sale!: Douglas Axe’s book, Undeniable, available on Kindle for $1.99



We checked; it’s Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed (Harper One, 2016). But these sales don’t last.

This recent paper explains evolution in easy to understand terms: “The ecology, evolution, and genetics of plant reproductive systems“ https://nph.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/nph.16222 Professor James Tour might want to read this too. PavelU
@Aarceng : KIndle version is $1.99 For those interested there is a Facebook group called "Free and Discounted Kindle/E-Books for Christians and Bible Scholars" that lists these kind of deals everyday. BartM
Certainly not $1.99 when I checked. I have the hardback anyway. aarceng
Amazon hasn’t heard yet. When I checked it was $16.99 (Au) Belfast
As to the subtitle, "How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed
in·tu·i·tion the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.
For humans to intuitively know something is designed just by looking at it is a very powerful piece of evidence that we are made in the image of God. i.e. Seeing design and/or purpose, (teleology), is not something we have to learn but is something innate that we are born with. I believe that Dr. Axe references the following study in his book to prove that the design inference is intuitive for us:
Out of the mouths of babes - Do children believe (in God) because they're told to by adults? The evidence suggests otherwise - Justin Barrett - 2008 Excerpt: • Children tend to see natural objects as designed or purposeful in ways that go beyond what their parents teach, as Deborah Kelemen has demonstrated. Rivers exist so that we can go fishing on them, and birds are here to look pretty. • Children doubt that impersonal processes can create order or purpose. Studies with children show that they expect that someone not something is behind natural order. No wonder that Margaret Evans found that children younger than 10 favoured creationist accounts of the origins of animals over evolutionary accounts even when their parents and teachers endorsed evolution. Authorities' testimony didn't carry enough weight to over-ride a natural tendency. • Children know humans are not behind the order so the idea of a creating god (or gods) makes sense to them. Children just need adults to specify which one. • Experimental evidence, including cross-cultural studies, suggests that three-year-olds attribute super, god-like qualities to lots of different beings. Super-power, super-knowledge and super-perception seem to be default assumptions. Children then have to learn that mother is fallible, and dad is not all powerful, and that people will die. So children may be particularly receptive to the idea of a super creator-god. It fits their predilections. • Recent research by Paul Bloom, Jesse Bering, and Emma Cohen suggests that children may also be predisposed to believe in a soul that persists beyond death. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2008/nov/25/religion-children-god-belief
Moreover, this innate design inference is not so easily dismissed. Although atheists may publicly deny that they see design in nature, these following studies prove otherwise,
Richard Dawkins take heed: Even atheists instinctively believe in a creator says study - Mary Papenfuss - June 12, 2015 Excerpt: Three studies at Boston University found that even among atheists, the "knee jerk" reaction to natural phenomenon is the belief that they're purposefully designed by some intelligence, according to a report on the research in Cognition entitled the "Divided Mind of a disbeliever." The findings "suggest that there is a deeply rooted natural tendency to view nature as designed," writes a research team led by Elisa Järnefelt of Newman University. They also provide evidence that, in the researchers' words, "religious non-belief is cognitively effortful." Researchers attempted to plug into the automatic or "default" human brain by showing subjects images of natural landscapes and things made by human beings, then requiring lightning-fast responses to the question on whether "any being purposefully made the thing in the picture," notes Pacific-Standard. "Religious participants' baseline tendency to endorse nature as purposefully created was higher" than that of atheists, the study found. But non-religious participants "increasingly defaulted to understanding natural phenomena as purposefully made" when "they did not have time to censor their thinking," wrote the researchers. The results suggest that "the tendency to construe both living and non-living nature as intentionally made derives from automatic cognitive processes, not just practised explicit beliefs," the report concluded. The results were similar even among subjects from Finland, where atheism is not a controversial issue as it can be in the US. "Design-based intuitions run deep," the researchers conclude, "persisting even in those with no explicit religious commitment and, indeed, even among those with an active aversion to them." http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/richard-dawkins-take-heed-even-atheists-instinctively-believe-creator-says-study-1505712 Is Atheism a Delusion? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ii-bsrHB0o Design Thinking Is Hardwired in the Human Brain. How Come? - October 17, 2012 Excerpt: "Even Professional Scientists Are Compelled to See Purpose in Nature, Psychologists Find." The article describes a test by Boston University's psychology department, in which researchers found that "despite years of scientific training, even professional chemists, geologists, and physicists from major universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale cannot escape a deep-seated belief that natural phenomena exist for a purpose" ,,, Most interesting, though, are the questions begged by this research. One is whether it is even possible to purge teleology from explanation. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/10/design_thinking065381.html
It is not that Atheists do not see purpose and/or Design in nature and biology, it is that Atheists, for whatever severely misguided reason, live in denial of the purpose and/or Design that they themselves see in nature. Perhaps the two most famous quotes of atheists suppressing their innate ‘design inference’ are the following two quotes:
"Biology is the study of complicated things that have the appearance of having been designed with a purpose." Richard Dawkins – “The Blind Watchmaker” – 1986 – page 1 “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.” Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit
Moreover, (besides the fact that the atheist's very own 'knee jerk' reaction to see life and nature as designed puts the lie to their claim that they do not see design in nature), the very words that biologists themselves are forced to use when they are doing their research also puts the lie to their claim that life is not designed. In fact, Darwinian language itself is found to be superfluous, even an impediment, to biological research papers,
No Harm, No Foul — What If Darwinism Were Excised from Biology? – December 4, 2019 If Darwinism is as essential to biology as Richard Dawkins or Jerry Coyne argues, then removing evolutionary words and concepts, (“Darwin-ectomy”), should make research incomprehensible. If, on the other hand, Darwinism is more of a “narrative gloss” applied to the conclusions after the scientific work is done, as the late Philip Skell observed, then biology would survive the operation just fine. It might even be healthier, slimmed down after disposing of unnecessary philosophical baggage.,,, So, here are three papers in America’s premier science journal that appear at first glance to need Darwinism, use Darwinism, support Darwinism, and thereby impart useful scientific knowledge. After subjecting them to Darwin-ectomies, though, the science not only survived, but proved healthier and more useful. https://evolutionnews.org/2019/12/no-harm-no-foul-what-if-darwinism-were-excised-from-biology/ Rewriting Biology Without Spin By Ann Gauger - Jan. 12, 2014 Excerpt: It’s a funny thing—scientific papers often have evolutionary language layered on top of the data like icing on a cake. In most papers, the icing (evolutionary language) sits atop and separate from the cake (the actual experimental data). Even in papers where the evolutionary language is mixed in with the data like chocolate and vanilla in a marble cake, I can still tell one from the other. I have noticed that this dichotomy creates a kind of double vision. I know what the data underlying evolutionary arguments are. By setting aside the premise that evolution is true, I can read what’s on the page and at the same time see how that paper would read if neutral, fact-based language were substituted for evolutionary language. Let me give you an example.,,, - per biologicinstitute
While being able to remove Darwinian language is certainly bad enough for Darwin’s theory, what is completely devastating for Darwin’s theory is what type of language, i.e. teleological language, that CANNOT possibly be removed from these scientific papers that purport to support Darwinian evolution without severely compromising the integrity of the papers,, J. B. S. Haldane stated that,
"Teleology is like a mistress to the biologist; he dare not be seen with her in public but cannot live without her.” tel·e·ol·o·gy noun PHILOSOPHY the explanation of phenomena in terms of the purpose they serve rather than of the cause by which they arise. THEOLOGY the doctrine of design and purpose in the material world.
And indeed teleology in biology, even according to wikipedia, (hardly an ID friendly source), is considered 'problematic'
(The irresolved problem of) Teleology in biology Teleology in biology is the use of the language of goal-directedness in accounts of evolutionary adaptation, which some biologists and philosophers of science find problematic. ,,, Nevertheless, biologists still often write about evolution as if organisms had goals, and some philosophers of biology such as Francisco Ayala and biologists such as J. B. S. Haldane consider that teleological language is unavoidable in evolutionary biology.,,, Teleology Main article: Teleology Teleology, from Greek, telos “end, purpose”[3] and , logia, “a branch of learning”, was coined by the philosopher Christian von Wolff in 1728.[4] The concept derives from the ancient Greek philosophy of Aristotle, where the final cause (the purpose) of a thing is its function.[5] However, Aristotle’s biology does not envisage evolution by natural selection.[6] Phrases used by biologists like “a function of … is to …” or “is designed for” are teleological at least in language. The presence of real or apparent teleology in explanations of natural selection is a controversial aspect of the philosophy of biology, not least for its echoes of natural theology.[1][7] - per wikipedia
Teleological, (i.e. purpose, goal directed), explanations of any sort are simply self defeating to any Darwinian explanation that seeks to explain biological life as being purely the result of completely blind and purposeless processes (as Darwinists are supposedly ‘purposely intent’ on doing). Yet teleological language is rampant within Darwinian explanations. In the following article, Stephen Talbott points out that it is impossible to describe the complexities of biological life without illegitimately using language that avoids all implication of agency, cognition, and purposiveness (i.e. teleology). He even challenges readers to “take up a challenge: pose a single topic for biological research, doing so in language that avoids all implication of agency, cognition, and purposiveness.”
The ‘Mental Cell’: Let’s Loosen Up Biological Thinking! – Stephen L. Talbott – September 9, 2014 Excerpt: Many biologists are content to dismiss the problem with hand-waving: “When we wield the language of agency, we are speaking metaphorically, and we could just as well, if less conveniently, abandon the metaphors”. Yet no scientist or philosopher has shown how this shift of language could be effected. And the fact of the matter is just obvious: the biologist who is not investigating how the organism achieves something in a well-directed way is not yet doing biology, as opposed to physics or chemistry. Is this in turn just hand-waving? Let the reader inclined to think so take up a challenge: pose a single topic for biological research, doing so in language that avoids all implication of agency, cognition, and purposiveness 1. One reason this cannot be done is clear enough: molecular biology — the discipline that was finally going to reduce life unreservedly to mindless mechanism — is now posing its own severe challenges. In this era of Big Data, the message from every side concerns previously unimagined complexity, incessant cross-talk and intertwining pathways, wildly unexpected genomic performances, dynamic conformational changes involving proteins and their cooperative or antagonistic binding partners, pervasive multifunctionality, intricately directed behavior somehow arising from the interaction of countless players in interpenetrating networks, and opposite effects by the same molecules in slightly different contexts. The picture at the molecular level begins to look as lively and organic — and thoughtful — as life itself. http://natureinstitute.org/txt/st/org/comm/ar/2014/mental_cell_23.htm
Denis Noble also notes that “it is virtually impossible to speak of living beings for any length of time without using teleological and normative language”.
“the most striking thing about living things, in comparison with non-living systems, is their teleological organization—meaning the way in which all of the local physical and chemical interactions cohere in such a way as to maintain the overall system in existence. Moreover, it is virtually impossible to speak of living beings for any length of time without using teleological and normative language—words like “goal,” “purpose,” “meaning,” “correct/incorrect,” “success/failure,” etc.” – Denis Noble – Emeritus Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics of the Medical Sciences Division of the University of Oxford. http://www.thebestschools.org/dialogues/evolution-denis-noble-interview/
This working biologist agrees with Talbott and Noble’s assessment and states, “in our work, we biologists use words that imply intentionality, functionality, strategy, and design in biology–we simply cannot avoid them.”
Life, Purpose, Mind: Where the Machine Metaphor Fails – Ann Gauger – June 2011 Excerpt: I’m a working biologist, on bacterial regulation (transcription and translation and protein stability) through signalling molecules, ,,, I can confirm the following points as realities: we lack adequate conceptual categories for what we are seeing in the biological world; with many additional genomes sequenced annually, we have much more data than we know what to do with (and making sense of it has become the current challenge); cells are staggeringly chock full of sophisticated technologies, which are exquisitely integrated; life is not dominated by a single technology, but rather a composite of many; and yet life is more than the sum of its parts; in our work, we biologists use words that imply intentionality, functionality, strategy, and design in biology–we simply cannot avoid them. Furthermore, I suggest that to maintain that all of biology is solely a product of selection and genetic decay and time requires a metaphysical conviction that isn’t troubled by the evidence. Alternatively, it could be the view of someone who is unfamiliar with the evidence, for one reason or another. But for those who will consider the evidence that is so obvious throughout biology, I suggest it’s high time we moved on. – Matthew http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/06/life_purpose_mind_where_the_ma046991.html#comment-8858161
Thus, we can apparently remove all the words that refer to Darwinian evolution in scientific papers and, not only have the papers remain unscathed, but have the papers turn out to be “healthier and more useful”. Yet what we cannot do is remove all the words that directly imply intentionality, functionality, strategy, and design in biology, (i.e. imply teleology), from the scientific papers without severely compromising the integrity of the papers. As Talbott stated, “Let the reader inclined to think so take up a challenge: pose a single topic for biological research, doing so in language that avoids all implication of agency, cognition, and purposiveness.” Bottom line, besides the atheist's very own 'knee jerk reaction' to see purpose and design in nature betrays the atheist, the very words that Biologists themselves are forced to use when they are doing their biological research, and writing their papers, also falsifies Darwinian evolution and validates Intelligent Design. Verse:
Matthew 12:37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
That words themselves would betray Darwinists in their desire to see life as not design should not be all that surprising, As C.S. Lewis noted,
“If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.” - C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
In other words, for us to even be able to assign meaning to sounds and alphabetic letters in the first place, in order to create language, necessarily presupposes that meaning exists for the universe. i.e. To presuppose that meaning of any sort can arise from a completely meaninglessness universe is absurd, One final note, Michael Egnor has a very insightful article explaining exactly why Darwinists are so “purposely intent” on trying to deny teleology in the first place, “It is purpose that must be denied in order to deny design in nature. So the mind, as well as teleology, must be denied. Eliminative materialism is just Darwinian metaphysics carried to its logical end and applied to man. If there is no teleology, there is no intentionality, and there is no purpose in nature nor in man’s thoughts.”
Teleology and the Mind – Michael Egnor – August 16, 2016 Excerpt: From the hylemorphic perspective, there is an intimate link between the mind and teleology. The 19th-century philosopher Franz Brentano pointed out that the hallmark of the mind is that it is directed to something other than itself. That is, the mind has intentionality, which is the ability of a mental process to be about something, rather than to just be itself. Physical processes alone (understood without teleology) are not inherently about things. The mind is always about things. Stated another way, physical processes (understood without teleology) have no purpose. Mental processes always have purpose. In fact, purpose (aboutness-intentionality-teleology) is what defines the mind. And we see the same purpose (aboutness-intentionality-teleology) in nature. Intentionality is a form of teleology. Both intentionality and teleology are goal-directedness — intentionality is directedness in thought, and teleology is directedness in nature. Mind and teleology are both manifestations of purpose in nature. The mind is, within nature, the same kind of process that directs nature. In this sense, eliminative materialism is necessary if a materialist is to maintain a non-teleological Darwinian metaphysical perspective. It is purpose that must be denied in order to deny design in nature. So the mind, as well as teleology, must be denied. Eliminative materialism is just Darwinian metaphysics carried to its logical end and applied to man. If there is no teleology, there is no intentionality, and there is no purpose in nature nor in man’s thoughts. The link between intentionality and teleology, and the undeniability of teleology, is even more clear if we consider our inescapable belief that other people have minds. The inference that other people have minds based on their purposeful (intentional-teleological) behavior, which is obviously correct and is essential to living a sane life, can be applied to our understanding of nature as well. Just as we know that other people have purposes (intentionality), we know just as certainly that nature has purposes (teleology). In a sense, intelligent design is the recognition of the same purpose-teleology-intentionality in nature that we recognize in ourselves and others. Teleology and intentionality are certainly the inferences to be drawn from the obvious purposeful arrangement of parts in nature, but I (as a loyal Thomist!) believe that teleology and intentionality are manifest in an even more fundamental way in nature. Any goal-directed natural change is teleological, even if purpose and arrangement of parts is not clearly manifest. The behavior of a single electron orbiting a proton is teleological, because the motion of the electron hews to specific ends (according to quantum mechanics). A pencil falling to the floor behaves teleologically (it does not fall up, or burst into flame, etc.). Purposeful arrangement of parts is teleology on an even more sophisticated scale, but teleology exists in even the most basic processes in nature. Physics is no less teleological than biology. https://evolutionnews.org/2016/08/teleology_and_t/
Romans 1:19 For what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

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