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Richard Dawkins — God’s Best Gift to ID

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Richard Dawkins and I have been corresponding now for several years (he, by the way, initiated the exchange in May 2000). They tend to be civil exchanges, though by no means friendly. In one of my emails to him, I remarked: “I know that you personally don’t believe in God, but I want to thank you for being such a wonderful foil for theism and for intelligent design more generally. In fact, I regularly tell my colleagues that you and your work are one of God’s greatest gifts to the intelligent design movement. So please, keep at it!” The most recent interview with Dawkins in Salon confirms this (go here).

While we're talking about Dawkins, has anyone seen a detailed, critical analysis of Dawkins computer model for cumulative selection found in Chapter 3 of the "Blind Watchmaker"? I would be very interested in any references. PaV
Dawkins first says this: "The distribution of fossils in space and in time are exactly what you would expect if evolution were a fact." And then goes on to clarify by adding: "British scientist J.B.S. Haldane, when asked what would constitute evidence against evolution, famously said, 'Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian.' They've never been found. Nothing like that has ever been found. Evolution could be disproved by such facts. But all the fossils that have been found are in the right place." This is an equivocal point: "evolution" as common descent is, indeed, supported by the fossil record; however, as I understand Darwin, he did not expect to find the Precambrian to be what, so far, it has turned out to be. In the "Origins", he referred to the "Silurian" (his Precambrian) and seems to suggest that the "record" for that geologic era would prove to be much like what followed in the Cambrian, with a richness in classes, orders, families, etc, with the exception that they would be 'slightly' less modifed; i.e., that evolution is slow and gradual. So the fact is is that the fossil record does not conform with Darwinian expectations. And, so, while it may be correct to say that the fossil record comports with "evolution" as a theory of common descent, it would be wrong to infer from this that Darwinian theory is validated. This equivocation serves the evolutionist's agenda, and I suspect they know exactly what they are doing in continuuing this confusion. PaV
I made a comment similar to Dawkin's on Panda's Thumb (before I was banned for making too good a case against the Darwinian narrative) and in emails to John Davison. Davison, as you may know, argues that phylogenesis may very well be finished - a completely executed program with a terminal point just like ontogenesis. I've rejoined that while biological evolution may indeed be finished, it's probably moot in any case. Moot because technological evolution has taken over. Biological evolution happens so slowly compared to genetic engineering that there is indeed a paradigm shift. One might argue about intelligent design in the past but there's no arguing about it in the present - it's here and it's a mechanism that works at light speed compared to evolution in the past. One interesting related observation is indeed made by Michael Finley, one I've made many times as well. Intelligent designers are a possibility proven by the existence of genetic engineers today. No argument can be made that these engineers are the first or only ones to ever exist. DaveScot
At the end of the interview, Dawkins answers: "It's an interesting thought that in some remote time in the future, people may look back on the 20th and 21st centuries as a watershed in evolution - the time when evolution stopped being an undirected force and became a design force. Already, for the past few centuries, maybe even millennia, agriculturalists have in a sense designed the evolution of domestic animals like pigs and cows and chickens. That's increasing and we're getting more technologically clever at that by manipulating not just the selection part of evolution but also the mutation part. That will be very different; one of the great features of biological evolution up to now is that there is no foresight. In general, evolution is a blind process. … It never governs what happens now on the basis on what will happen in the future in the way that human design undoubtedly does. But now it is possible to breed a new kind of pig, or chicken, which has such and such qualities. … That never happened in natural evolution; there was never a ‘let's temporarily get worse in order to get better, let's go down into the valley in order to get over to the other side and up onto the opposite mountain.’ So yes, I think it well may be that we're living in a time when evolution is suddenly starting to become intelligently designed." If evolution could be the product of design in the future, why not in the past? Michael Finley
Oh, To Be An Intellectual Intelligent Design has been debated for quite some time now. However, the exchanges between William Dembski, ID proponent, and Richard Dawkins, a leading proponent of evolution have been quite interesting. In fact, thanks to Freedom Of bringing it to m... The Narrow
Intelligently Selected Quotes of the Day William Dembski, a leading Intelligent Design proponent, has a blog, Uncommon Descent. He has a recent post entitled Richard Dawkins--God's Best Gift to ID. Richard Dawkins is a leading proponent of evolution and staunch adversary of religion. Dawkins... Freedom of...
When my pokemon and I evolve, we want to be like Dawkins. Daniel512
"In order to be useful, a computer has to be programmable, to obey whatever it’s told to do. That automatically makes it vulnerable to computer viruses, which are programs that say, “Spread me, copy me, pass me on.” Once a viral program gets started, there is nothing to stop it." Amazingly difficult to describe the machinery of life without comparing it to something of known intelligent design, ain't it? Even Dawkins can't avoid it. There's a lesson there. I really love his references to the overwhelming appearance and/or illusion of design. Gee, Richard (Dick???), if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. Let yourself be overwhelmed. It doesn't hurt, you'll just feel a small pinch as your mind opens. Resistance is futile in any event. DaveScot
"It is true that you can't disprove anything but you can put a probability value on it. There's an infinite number of things that you can't disprove: unicorns, werewolves, and teapots in orbit around Mars." This quote amuses me. It seems as though Dawkins is saying that one can "put a probability value" on something and if said value is improbable enough then that something is disproved. By this logic, Dawkins should believe that Dr. Dembski's "specified complexity" disproves undirected evolution. The_Intellectual_Ape
[...] @ 11:29 pm William Dembski has an interesting post on his correspondence with Richard Dawkins at his Uncommon Descent Blog. [...] SmartChristian Blog » RICHARD DAWKINS IS GOD’S BEST GIFT TO INTELLIGENT DESIGN

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