Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

ID in the UK: Is there a British media competition to get it all wrong?

arroba Email

So many media outlets have voted themselves the guardians of the bottom-up theory of life and the opponents of the top-down theory of life. Consistent with their mission, they seem to compete for what they can get wrong about intelligent design or any other idea that insists that mind comes first. Evidence has nothing to do with it. The Post-Darwinist skewers the nonsense.

“There is the testimony of properly understood science, which points to cosmic and biological design, which comes from a mind.” “Regardless of the evidence for Darwinistic evolution, the evidence that matter can create mind is precisely nil.” I liked this response. I’d forgotten what it’s like to see someone mention the name Jesus in a positive, “I have faith” kind of way, rather than just using it to bash a strawman version of ID. You forgot to include quantum physics, which suggests that consciousness underlies reality. I can already guess what the response will be though. Probably some m-theoryish rhetoric jumbled together with a rebuttal to sufficient reasoning with a dash of “2nd law doesn’t apply here” garbage and capping it off with an ode to Darwin. I personally don’t think there is strong evidence for “God of the Bible” (although I’m on the God-side of Pascal’s wager, even if atheists consider their strawman of it to be easily knocked down) but an intelligence-separate-from-matter, top-down universe certainly looks good to me for the following reasons: 1. The universe, including all its laws and time itself, didn’t exist - then it did. 2. The so-called “fine tuning” of the universe is just ridiculously obvious, and astoundingly, almost incomprehensibly precise. 3. Information content and complexity of living things – a big one. 4. Existence of 2nd law. Without the input of intelligence/information, matter is a couch potato – it just sits there and decays. 5. Consciousness – a huge one for me. 6. Materialistic explanations look like an Olympics of hoop-jumping-through. C’mon now, memes and selfish-genes? For the love of… shaner74
steveh: "What’s the evidence for mind creating matter like?" First of all, it has been shown that matter isn’t eternal. In fact, matter that changes (because of space/time) can’t be eternal. Such is the nature of time. So, it has already been settled that matter/energy and space/time themselves were created (Big Bang). Then, the extreme fine tuning of ... 1. the cosmological constants and natural laws 2. the precise quantity and slight “offset” of matter/energy and space/time at the universe’s inception in order to ... 1. allow and cause our universe to exist longer than a planck second 2. allow and cause it to expand to its present size 3. allow and presumably ultimately cause life to be created and continue to exist up to conscious intelligence some billions of years later ...alludes to a supremely intelligent mind at its (matter’s) source. Furthermore, information has only ever been seen to be the result of a mind and has never been seen and actually makes no logical sense to be a result of any process (especially natural laws) other than that -- purposeful process -- produced by mind. Yet, we have literal information in the form of DNA and we have the possibility for information generating and other teleological processes within a mind with a program and thus information at its base. Therefore, information is a reality and minds which produce information is another reality. So, we have an information to mind to information loop, a classic “which came first, the chicken or the egg” problem, with no room for natural law, since the very definition of information runs contrary to the definition of natural laws, which is why critics must toss random chance occurrences into the mix. Here’s a question for you. Since science is the study of natural laws which describe the repeatable results that occur upon specific initial conditions, what are the specific initial conditions that produce repeatable information? Be careful how you answer. Everything you say will be used ... ... in a civil discussion with you. I’ve heard critics of ID + NS (Intelligent design + Natural selection) complain that this isn’t a scientific approach because they are not happy with the scientific filter for ID + NS being a combination of the mathematical approach of probability, the presence of Complex Specified Information (CSI), or the presence of an Irreducibly Complex (IC) system. Yet, they can not point to a natural law to account for these precise systems -- CSI or IC. Thus, they must make a chance of the gaps type of argument, which actually, upon further inspection is not scientific since you can never provide evidence that something immensely improbable isn’t just a freak random accidental occurrence. I quote Professor Hasofer: "The problem [of falsifiability of a probabilistic statement] has been dealt with in a recent book by G. Matheron, entitled Estimating and Choosing: An Essay on Probability in Practice (Springer-Verlag, 1989). He proposes that a probabilistic model be considered falsifiable if some of its consequences have zero (or in practice very low) probability. If one of these consequences is observed, the model is then rejected. ‘The fatal weakness of the monkey argument, which calculates probabilities of events "somewhere, sometime”, is that all events, no matter how unlikely they are, have probability one as long as they are logically possible, so that the suggested model can never be falsified. Accepting the validity of Huxley’s reasoning puts the whole probability theory outside the realm of verifiable science. In particular, it vitiates the whole of quantum theory and statistical mechanics, including thermodynamics, and therefore destroys the foundations of all modern science. For example, as Bertrand Russell once pointed out, if we put a kettle on a fire and the water in the kettle froze, we should argue, following Huxley, that a very unlikely event of statistical mechanics occurred, as it should “somewhere, sometime”, rather than trying to find out what went wrong with the experiment!’ Thus, in accordance with the previous statement, I pose the question, “what really went ‘wrong’ to cause life and evolution?” The account of RM + NS (random mutations + natural selection) is at the very least, not as scientifically rigorous as ID + NS. ID is the result of an inference to the best explanation, which is a scientific approach based on the fact that every time a highly improbable event appears which shows the presence of CSI or IC, we have always seen it to be the result of ID. At least ID does have a rigorous scientific filter. Now, I’d like to pose another question. What if we are to place the same strict rules on RM + NS that we place on ID + NS? What scientific filter is used to separate an occurrence that is the result of natural laws from one that is the result of random chance occurrences? If you can’t provide this, then RM becomes a science stopper, since it is equivalent to throwing your hands up in the air and saying “I don’t know how natural laws could have done it so it must be the result of a random chance occurrence (of course filtered by the scientifically verifiable fact that things that don’t work, just plain don’t work -- natural selection).” Thus, you stop searching for a natural law for the sole reason that you can’t find one yet. Furthermore, you stop searching for a natural law without a rigorous scientific filter to distinguish between a random, chance occurrence verses an occurrence that is the result of ID (since ID is a real part of nature which in reality creates these types of systems which we are attempting to explain) or at the very least natural laws (since science is defined as the discovery of these amazingly complex yet simple, consistent, repeatable laws). CJYman
"What's the evidence for mind creating matter like?" It's pretty darned good, SteveH. We have many converging lines of evidence. Philosophical evidence, like the Kalaam argument. The inconsistency of a worldview which insists that free will is an illusion and yet vociferously casts moral blame on people for their "unscientific" beliefs. The principle of sufficient reason, which says that there is nothing in the effects (consciousness, intelligence) that is not in the cause. The scientific fact that the Universe (and the matter in it) began to exist, requiring a cause for its beginning to exist. In addition to these, we have revelation that came from the mind that created the matter, most clearly in the coming of Jesus Christ, who claimed to be the incarnation of God The Son (aka The Logos), through whom all things were made. He attested to this by His character, His teachings, His miracles, His rising from the dead, and His founding of a Church, which has stood for two thousand years, bearing witness through its Scriptures of His coming. There is the testimony of history, which displays the flowering of Western Civilization as it took this Mind seriously, and its accelerating decline (the Third Reich, the Gulag, child sacrifice via abortion, Reality TV, the dumbing down of the populace, Dhimmitude) as it turned away from this Mind. There is the testimony of properly understood science, which points to cosmic and biological design, which comes from a mind. There is also the personal experience of the Saints and ordinary people who have a direct, immediate, ongoing, and undeniable relationship with this mind which created matter. People who have been morally transformed in miraculous ways through this relationship, and who regularly experience a profound joy from the contact. And who can see the utter weakness of a position that considers scientific evidence to be the only valid kind. That's what the evidence is like. Regardless of the evidence for Darwinistic evolution, the evidence that matter can create mind is precisely nil. Matter knows how to do its stuff just fine without the superfluous epiphenomenon of consciousness. Under the materialistic conception of reality, there is nothing that happens in the nervous system of a human being that is not completely caused by the underlying physics. Consciousness provides nothing extra, and as such, is not a separate cause of anything. Since it is not needed to explain the workings of the physical system, then it can hardly be maintained that the workings of the physical system somehow explain it. There is simply no materialistically explainable connection. If physics can handle the job, consciousness is superfluous and thereby unexplained. If physics can't handle the job, then consciousness is necessary, yet non-physical, and thereby unexplained via materialism. So, I submit that the overall evidence for mind creating matter is pretty darned good, while the evidence for matter creating mind is non-existent. Matteo
from the linked article:
Beyond that, all I really want to say nowadays is that the universe is either top down or bottom up. That is, either mind comes first and creates matter or matter comes first and creates mind. The evidence for bottom up is actually quite poor but Darwinism (from goo to zoo to you in a zillion easy steps) is the bottom-up creation story.
(My bolding) What's the evidence for mind creating matter like? steveh
Hi Denyse.I don't think that the D.I. opposes the teaching of ID in public schools. What I get from them is that they oppose the "mandating" of ID in schools. They defend, rather, that teachers should be free to present the scientific evidence in favor of ID (Correct me if I am wrong). As it is now, teachers are not free to question Darwin, let alone present scientific evidence in favor of ID. Mats

Leave a Reply