This is a continuation of a discussion of Teleology and ID in physics, ID-inspired least action principles
Teleologically-inspired Least Action Principles have become very foundational in modern physics. Tipler argues, “teleology is alive and well in physics.” One of my favorite critics, Bob OH, demanded more proof ID inspired a major area of scientific research.
On April 15, 1744, the pioneer of the Principle of Least Action, Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis presented:
Derivation of the laws of motion and equilibrium from a metaphysical principle
Newton states that the uniform motion of the planets reveals an Intelligent Designer…
However, the probability is not zero and, hence, the uniformity of planetary motion is not a necessary proof of an Intelligent Designer.
There is another consideration. The two alternatives, Intelligent Design versus pure chance, are based on our inability to find a physical cause for the uniformity of planetary motion within Newton’s system. However, other philosophers have hypothesized a fluid that transports the planets or at least regulates their motion; if true, that might explain the uniformity of planetary motion (rather than an Intelligent Designer or pure chance) and would be no more proof of God’s existence than any other motion imposed on matter.
Truly our perspective is limited to where we are; we cannot see far enough to appreciate the order and interconnectedness of things. If we could, we would undoubtedly find the marks of God’s wisdom as well as His intelligence in its execution. But, given our limitations, let us not confuse the two attributes. For although an infinite intelligence necessarily brings with it wisdom, a finite intelligence may yet lack wisdom; and there is as much evidence showing that the universe is a soulless machine, as showing it to be the work of an Intelligent Designer.
II. Need to Identify Proofs of God’s Existence in the General Laws of Nature; In particular, the Laws Governing Motion’s Conservation, Distribution and Destruction are Based on the Attributes of a Supreme Intelligence
We should not seek the supreme Being in little details, in the parts of the universe of whose relationships we know too little; rather, we should seek Him in universal phenomena that allow no exception and whose simplicity is entirely exposed to our view.
After so many great men have worked on this subject, I almost do not dare to say that I have discovered the universal principle upon which all these laws are based, a principle that covers both elastic and inelastic collisions and describes the motion and equilibrium of all material bodies.
This is the principle of least action, a principle so wise and so worthy of the supreme Being, and intrinsic to all natural phenomena; one observes it at work not only in every change, but also in every constancy that Nature exhibits. In the collision of bodies, motion is distributed such that the quantity of action is as small as possible, given that the collision occurs. At equilibrium, the bodies are arranged such that, if they were to undergo a small movement, the quantity of action would be smallest.
The laws of motion and equilibrium derived from this principle are exactly those observed in Nature. We may admire the applications of this principle in all phenomena: the movement of animals, the growth of plants, the revolutions of the planets, all are consequences of this principle. The spectacle of the universe seems all the more grand and beautiful and worthy of its Author, when one considers that it is all derived from a small number of laws laid down most wisely. Only thus can we gain a fitting idea of the power and wisdom of the supreme Being, not from some small part of creation for which we know neither the construction, usage nor its relationship to other parts. What satisfaction for the human spirit in contemplating these laws of motion and equilibrium for all bodies in the universe, and in finding within them proof of the existence of Him who governs the universe!
But Barbara Forrest and Judge Jones proved ID was an invention by creationists to get creationism taught in public schools. ID couldn’t not possibly have existed before 1980, much less 1744? YEAH RIGHT.
Creationists did indeed contribute to notions of ID, to solve important problems in science and provide arguments for the greatest scientific question of all, the existence of God.
1. I welcome feedback on this article. If it is a hoax, since it does seem too good to be true, I will mark it as such.
Here is the original French version Les loix du mouvement et du repos dÃƒÂ©duites d’un principe metaphysique
2. Dawkins said: “that the presence of a creative deity in the universe is clearly a scientific hypothesis. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a more momentous hypothesis in all of science.”
3. the french word “dessein” appears 4 times, and 3 times associated with the word “intelligence”. The phrase “un choix” was translated intelligent design in some cases, however, given we saw phrases like “marques d’Intelligence & de Dessein” elsewhere in the paper, and that the discussion was whether it was “choice vs. chance” I don’t think the translation unreasonable translation. Perhaps our resident French expert, Gil can weigh in.