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Science cannot in principle explain how an intelligent designer can create

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Laszlo Bencze
From Laszlo Bencze:

First off, I maintain there can be no science telling us how an intelligent designer creates. That process is not only mysterious when applied to a supernatural agent; it is mysterious when applied to us. We have only the dimmest of comprehension about our own creativity. Can writers trace the source of every word that pops into mind as they write? Can chemists fully explain why they choose one approach to analysis over another? Can engineers completely justify all materials choices? Can photographers explain precisely why they chose to frame an instant in time as they did? Of course if you pressure these people they will come up with what seem to be cogent answers related to education, an influential book, the memory of a poem, habits instilled by a strict professor, a crucial experiment, or a great work of art studied years ago. These answers are interesting and insightful, but they are hardly comprehensive. Nor can any “science” be derived from such ambiguous, incompletion.

As far as I can tell, the work of the most rigorous ID proponents like Bill Dembski and David Berlinski is mathematical. They labor hard to explain why complicated things are statistically impossible. Such statistical exploration is indeed useful. But telling us why something cannot be does not tell us why it is. It’s fairly easy to understand why a gang of children fooling around in a junk yard circa 1885 will not create a functional motor car. Their actions are playful, random, inexperienced, and unguided by a goal. But it’s impossible to explain precisely how Otto Benz actually developed the concept of and built the first car. What choices was he rejecting? How many did he try out mentally without so much as doodling a scribble on a napkin? Was there a pivotal point or was it merely a succession of little ideas? We have no way of knowing. And even if he were alive and could be quizzed on the topic, I doubt he could offer the comprehensive logical progression of thought we’d like to have.

Thus it appears that ID is restricted in its power to explaining only why certain things don’t, can’t, won’t, or never did happen.

But then neither can Darwinism explain how things come to be for instead of an intelligent designer (which intuitively makes sense) it offers random mistakes filtered by natural selection which is just another layer of randomness (which makes no sense at all). The details of why random mistakes would show up in a useful progression such that tremendously complicated structures get built up are never provided, nor explained, nor quantified in any way that science demands. Nor is it at all clear how each mistake could provide instant benefits even though a fully functional transformation remains in the distant future.

But wait— it gets worse. Darwinism (unlike ID) doesn’t even exclude anything. It allows for convergent evolution (statistically impossible), stagnant evolution (you mean to tell me that for 500 million years there could be no improvement to the horseshoe crab?), punctuated evolution (everything stays the same for a real long time and then evolution kicks into high gear and it all happens so fast there’s no record of it having happened at all), neutral evolution (the blueprints for marvelously useful structures get created in unexpressed DNA by random shuffling, until one day voila, the gene is turned on and the structure appears fully formed). In evolution anything goes and contradictions live in happy harmony with one another. This is science? It’s not even a sound religion.

Well, if Karl Giberson is any example, Darwinism is an unsound religion

9 Replies to “Science cannot in principle explain how an intelligent designer can create

  1. 1
    Jerad says:

    First off, I maintain there can be no science telling us how an intelligent designer creates.

    Can ID be science then?

    hus it appears that ID is restricted in its power to explaining only why certain things don’t, can’t, won’t, or never did happen.

    But there’s supposed to be a positive case for ID . . .

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    There is an interesting ‘coincidental’ pattern to inventions and discoveries, ‘coincidental scientific discoveries’ are far more prevalent than what would be expected from a random materialistic perspective,:

    In the Air – Who says big ideas are rare? by Malcolm Gladwell
    Excerpt: This phenomenon of simultaneous discovery—what science historians call “multiples”—turns out to be extremely common. One of the first comprehensive lists of multiples was put together by William Ogburn and Dorothy Thomas, in 1922, and they found a hundred and forty-eight major scientific discoveries that fit the multiple pattern. Newton and Leibniz both discovered calculus. Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace both discovered evolution. Three mathematicians “invented” decimal fractions. Oxygen was discovered by Joseph Priestley, in Wiltshire, in 1774, and by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, in Uppsala, a year earlier. Color photography was invented at the same time by Charles Cros and by Louis Ducos du Hauron, in France. Logarithms were invented by John Napier and Henry Briggs in Britain, and by Joost Bürgi in Switzerland. ,,, For Ogburn and Thomas, the sheer number of multiples could mean only one thing: scientific discoveries must, in some sense, be inevitable.
    http://www.newyorker.com/repor.....ntPage=all

    List of multiple discoveries
    Excerpt: Historians and sociologists have remarked on the occurrence, in science, of “multiple independent discovery”. Robert K. Merton defined such “multiples” as instances in which similar discoveries are made by scientists working independently of each other.,,, Multiple independent discovery, however, is not limited to only a few historic instances involving giants of scientific research. Merton believed that it is multiple discoveries, rather than unique ones, that represent the common pattern in science.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.....iscoveries

    Also of interest, even the co-discover of Natural Selection held that, because of math and art, man had a ‘soul’:

    “Nothing in evolution can account for the soul of man. The difference between man and the other animals is unbridgeable. Mathematics is alone sufficient to prove in man the possession of a faculty unexistent in other creatures. Then you have music and the artistic faculty. No, the soul was a separate creation.”
    Alfred Russel Wallace – An interview by Harold Begbie printed on page four of The Daily Chronicle (London) issues of 3 November and 4 November 1910.

    Professor Wallace has some pretty strong clout backing up his ‘intuition’:

    “Either mathematics is too big for the human mind or the human mind is more than a machine”
    – Kurt Gödel

    Kurt Gödel – Incompleteness Theorem – video
    https://vimeo.com/96082228

    Alan Turing & Kurt Godel – Incompleteness Theorem and Human Intuition – video (with Gregory Chaitin)
    https://vimeo.com/92387854

    It is interesting to note that even though, as was shown in the Godel-Turing video, Alan Turing believed humans were merely machines, much like the computers he had envisioned, Turing failed to realize that his entire idea for computers came to him suddenly, ‘in a vision’ as he put it, thus confirming Godel’s contention that humans had access to the ‘divine spark of intuition’. A divine spark which enables humans to transcend the limits he, and Godel, had found in the incompleteness theorem for computers, mathematics, and even for all of material reality in general (Jaki).

    Moreover, this mathematical ability is at a very deep intuitive level:

    Geometric Principles Appear Universal in Our Minds – May 2011
    Excerpt: Villagers belonging to an Amazonian group called the Mundurucú intuitively grasp abstract geometric principles despite having no formal math education,,, Mundurucú adults and 7- to 13-year-olds demonstrate as firm an understanding of the properties of points, lines and surfaces as adults and school-age children in the United States and France,,,
    http://www.wired.com/wiredscie.....-geometry/

    Even autistic children have demonstrated a deep mathematical intuitiveness:

    Is Integer Arithmetic Fundamental to Mental Processing?: The mind’s secret arithmetic
    Excerpt: Because normal children struggle to learn multiplication and division, it is surprising that some savants perform integer arithmetic calculations mentally at “lightning” speeds (Treffert 1989, Myers 1903, Hill 1978, Smith 1983, Sacks 1985, Hermelin and O’Connor 1990, Welling 1994, Sullivan 1992). They do so unconsciously, without any apparent training, typically without being able to report on their methods, and often at an age when the normal child is struggling with elementary arithmetic concepts (O’Connor 1989). Examples include multiplying, factoring, dividing and identifying primes of six (and more) digits in a matter of seconds as well as specifying the number of objects (more than one hundred) at a glance. For example, one savant (Hill 1978) could give the cube root of a six figure number in 5 seconds and he could double 8,388,628 twenty four times to obtain 140,737,488,355,328 in several seconds. Joseph (Sullivan 1992), the inspiration for the film “Rain Man” about an autistic savant, could spontaneously answer “what number times what number gives 1234567890” by stating “9 times 137,174,210”. Sacks (1985) observed autistic twins who could exchange prime numbers in excess of eight figures, possibly even 20 figures, and who could “see” the number of many objects at a glance. When a box of 111 matches fell to the floor the twins cried out 111 and 37, 37, 37.
    http://www.centreforthemind.co.....hmetic.cfm

    I think Berlinski, as only Berlinski can, sums this mathematical mystery up in excellent fashion:

    An Interview with David Berlinski – Jonathan Witt
    Berlinski: There is no argument against religion that is not also an argument against mathematics. Mathematicians are capable of grasping a world of objects that lies beyond space and time ….
    Interviewer:… Come again(?) …
    Berlinski: No need to come again: I got to where I was going the first time. The number four, after all, did not come into existence at a particular time, and it is not going to go out of existence at another time. It is neither here nor there. Nonetheless we are in some sense able to grasp the number by a faculty of our minds. Mathematical intuition is utterly mysterious. So for that matter is the fact that mathematical objects such as a Lie Group or a differentiable manifold have the power to interact with elementary particles or accelerating forces. But these are precisely the claims that theologians have always made as well – that human beings are capable by an exercise of their devotional abilities to come to some understanding of the deity; and the deity, although beyond space and time, is capable of interacting with material objects.
    http://tofspot.blogspot.com/20.....-here.html

    Of related note:

    Mathematics and Physics – A Happy Coincidence? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/9826382

    1. If God did not exist the applicability of mathematics would be a happy coincidence.
    2. The applicability of mathematics is not a happy coincidence.
    3. Therefore, God exists.

    “Geometry is unique and eternal, a reflection from the mind of God. That mankind shares in it is because man is an image of God.”
    – Johannes Kepler

    Verse:

    John1:1
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

    of note: ‘the Word’ in John1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos is also the root word from which we derive our modern word logic

  3. 3
    ppolish says:

    Such an interesting OP, and BA77 your replies are always educational & inspirational – many times startlingly so. Thanks:)

    This old quote from Pope B. relates to the Logos:
    “The Christian idea of the world is that it  originated in a very complicated process of evolution but that it nevertheless still   comes in it’s depths from the Logos. It thus bears reason in itself.”
    -Joseph Ratzinger

  4. 4
    jerry says:

    Where does this material come from? It does not seem to be on his site.

  5. 5
    Laszlo says:

    Jerry, the “material” comes from my mind. My website is devoted to my photography business and bears no relation to my interest in Intelligent Design.

  6. 6
    jerry says:

    Laszio,

    I understand about your website. But how does Denyse get a hold of your mind? She links to your website.

    Anyway, interesting thoughts.

  7. 7
    jstanley01 says:

    Well, I maintain there can be no science telling us how gravity attracts.

    Can relativity be science then?

    Uh…

    The problem with ID has exactly zero to do with science. The problem with it is how it forces the boundaries of the scientifically-explicable into conformations that divest the priests of scientism of their authority.

    Which is exactly what all the hysterical caterwauling is all about, and nothing else.

  8. 8
    Bruce David says:

    To Laszlo and Jerad (#1):

    I think you both misapprehend just what it is that the science of ID claims. It is not that ID allows us to understand the mysterious process of creativity. Rather, it is that there exist objective criteria which allow us to conclude from scientific evidence when the best explanation for the existence of a given structure or phenomenon is that it is or was the product of a designing intelligence.

    The science of ID can tell us neither who the designer was, what his, her, or their motive was, the processes by which the design was executed, nor the process by which the design was created.

    It doesn’t sound like much, but really to draw a firm conclusion that something was designed rather than having arisen from natural processes has enormous consequences. Witness the tenacity and passion with which materialists fight the idea.

  9. 9
    Joe says:

    Reality dictates that in the absence of designer input or direct observation the only possible way to make any determination as to the who, how, why, etc., is by studying the design and all relevant evidence. That is how it is done in archaeology and forensic science. And if SETI ever receives their sought after signal, that is how they would also proceed.

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