Intelligent Design

Evolution’s Kobayashi Maru Scenario

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By mandating methodological naturalism evolutionists place themselves into a no-win scenario. Like Star Trek’s Captain Kirk who reprogrammed the computer in order to defeat the Kobayashi Maru scenario training exercise, evolutionists can only cheat their way out of their methodological naturalism mandate. If they give a straight answer they undermine their own claims about evolution. The problem here is not methodological naturalism itself, which is a perfectly reasonable way to do science. The problem is that, in the hands of evolutionists, it becomes dogma rather than guidance. And the problem is not merely a philosophical fine point–in mandating methodological naturalism evolutionists reveal the absurdity of their ideas and simultaneously do substantial harm to science.  Read more

10 Replies to “Evolution’s Kobayashi Maru Scenario

  1. 1
    andyjones says:

    This is a comment about “Can anything happen in any open system?”. Comments have been turned off, but I hoped that someone might relay this to Granville Sewell.

    If you want people to not get confused between thermal entropy and functional entropy, then you MUST stop calling it the “2nd Law of Thermodynamics”. Thermodynamics means Heat/Energy-Flow, and so it automatically means thermal entropy to most people.

    All you need to do is call it something else that reflects its more fundamental nature. Call it something like, the Fundamental Law of Entropy, of which the 2nd Law one example.

    Otherwise, the video is great. I like the idea of exporting computer-entropy by importing computers! 😀

  2. 2
    REC says:

    Great article, but one ambiguity:

    “If you attempt to dismiss ID as not in accord with methodological naturalism, then you also dismiss SETI. On the other hand, if you say SETI passes the methodological naturalism test, then you also give ID a pass.”

    Which is it? Are SETI and ID methodologically naturalistic?

    What would an example of a non-naturalistic hypothesis/research plan be?

  3. 3
    Nakashima says:

    Mr Andyjones,

    I also am disappointed that comments are off for Dr Sewell’s post. His video presentation seems to end just where it should be beginning. No one thinks that weathering mountains allows us to forge steel, so most of the time spent on the compensation argument is knocking down a strawman. On the other hand, do radiation inputs from the sun drive the continuation of life? Clearly yes. Does it explain the origin of life? Under investigation.

  4. 4
    Cornelius Hunter says:

    REC 2:

    “Which is it? Are SETI and ID methodologically naturalistic?”

    Well it depends on how you define MN, which is what this and my previous post are about. Evolutionists are not clear on what they mean when they mandate MN. My point about SETI is merely that it shares with ID the same relationship with MN.

    “What would an example of a non-naturalistic hypothesis/research plan be?”

    Well Newton’s theory of gravity was considered non-naturalistic by the rationalists of his day.

    The Big Bang, or observers influencing outcomes do not appeal to known natural laws.

  5. 5
    R0b says:

    andyjones @ 1, you make a good point. I would be interested in what a Fundamental Law of Entropy would look like.

    Dr. Sewell’s equations are certainly not fundamental in the sense of being generally applicable. He starts his argument by bringing up the four known forces (really interactions) of physics, but then ignores those interactions for the rest of the video. His equations and logic all assume that nuclear interactions, gravity, and electromagnetics, with the complex chemistry that they entail, do not exist. Dr. Sewell is correct in concluding that complexity cannot evolve in a universe that’s characterized by nothing but random diffusion, but that’s not the universe we live in.

    Dr. Sewell’s equations show that stars, heavy elements, and molecules cannot form. Is that the position of the ID movement?

  6. 6
    DonaldM says:

    Dr. Hunter makes an excellent case. I’ve maintained for a long time that methodological naturalism (MN) = philosophical naturalism (PN), and there’s no way around it. MN only works if we know a priori that PN is true. But that is precisely what we do not know.

    All you have to do is ask how do we know scientifically (and here I mean scientifically in just the usual way most scientists think of it) that Nature is a completely closed system of natural cause and effect? I’ve been asking this question for years and have received all sorts of philosophical/theological/metaphysical speculations, but not one single scientific answer. Anyone who tries to defend MN by claiming that science has demonstrated that naturalism is true is clearly misinformed.

  7. 7
    REC says:

    Donald,

    I guess it is all about definitions. This thread reminds me of Karl Popper’s critique of naturalism. He prefers falsifiability as a superior criterion.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability

    Although Newton lacked a cause for gravity, he certainly did not stray into the supernatural. His “Hypotheses non fingo” assured that. Perhaps this marks a departure from natural philosophy, but I wouldn’t call it a break from methodological naturalism.

  8. 8
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  9. 9
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  10. 10
    REC says:

    Clean-up on isle one: spam at 8 and 9 above……

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