Alister McGrath makes some interesting comments on the need for prediction in science, noting that a natural theology may be possible on the basis of accommodation within an ‘inference to the best explanation.’ He writes;
‘…some theories concern entities or situations in which predictions may seem inappropriate or simply impossible. If natural theology rests primarily upon accommodation [and not prediction], it is in good scientific company.’ McGrath, (2009) A Fine Tuned Universe, Louisville: Westminster John Knox, p.60
McGrath is still a keen Darwinist and not really a friend of ID, but it does imply that ID can be justified on the basis of accommodation and need not necessarily seek justification on the basis of explanatory power.
5 Replies to “ID – Predicton or accommodation?”
I was given this book as a Christmas gift and can’t wait to crack it open. I’ll be looking for that discussion because this is something that has been on my mind for years. I’ve never understood the argument that if you can’t make a prediction, it’s not science. Using the principles of ID, I can scientifically determine that, say, my bike was intelligently designed. I cannot predict what the engineers will do next to modify the bike, but that means nothing with regards to inferring the best explanation of the system at hand, namely a bike that is intelligently designed. This, likewise, applies to biological machinery, which makes my bike look like a child’s pile of building blocks.
ID predicts that we wil see signs of agency involvement, ie that some things are not reducible o matter, energy, chance and necessity.
Both IC and CSI qualify as such signs.
With arcaeology is thee aren’t ay signs of manufacture we do not infer what we are looking at is an artifact.
With forensic science there has to be signs of criminal activity.
The predictions in all 3- when agencies act they (usually) leave traces of their involvement behind.
This is definitely something materialism did not predict:
I really like how this traveling at the speed of light video shows how the 3-Dimensional world will fold flat as we go to the higher dimension of the speed of light in what I believe is the 4-Dimensional (or higher?) scaling of the timeless, ‘eternal’, dimension that light resides in.
Traveling At The Speed Of Light – Optical Effects
Here are a few more notes ‘conclusively’ showing that there is a higher dimensional component to life that is inexplicable to the neo-Darwinian (materialistic) framework:
The predominance of quarter-power (4-D) scaling in biology
Excerpt: Many fundamental characteristics of organisms scale with body size as power laws of the form:
Y = Yo M^b,
where Y is some characteristic such as metabolic rate, stride length or life span, Yo is a normalization constant, M is body mass and b is the allometric scaling exponent.
A longstanding puzzle in biology is why the exponent b is usually some simple multiple of 1/4 (4-Dimensional scaling) rather than a multiple of 1/3, as would be expected from Euclidean (3-Dimensional) scaling.
“Although living things occupy a three-dimensional space, their internal physiology and anatomy operate as if they were four-dimensional. Quarter-power scaling laws are perhaps as universal and as uniquely biological as the biochemical pathways of metabolism, the structure and function of the genetic code and the process of natural selection.,,, The conclusion here is inescapable, that the driving force for these invariant scaling laws cannot have been natural selection.” Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, What Darwin Got Wrong (London: Profile Books, 2010), p. 78-79
Though Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini rightly find it inexplicable for ‘random’ Natural Selection to be the rational explanation for the scaling of the physiology, and anatomy, of living things to four-dimensional parameters, they do not seem to fully realize the implications this ‘four dimensional scaling’ of living things presents. This 4-D scaling is something we should rightly expect from a Intelligent Design perspective. This is because Intelligent Design holds that ‘higher dimensional transcendent information’ is more foundational to life, and even to the universe itself, than either matter or energy are. This higher dimensional ‘expectation’ for life, from a Intelligent Design perspective, is directly opposed to the expectation of the Darwinian framework, which holds that information, and indeed even the essence of life itself, is merely an ’emergent’ property of the 3-D material realm.
Information and entropy – top-down or bottom-up development in living systems? A.C. McINTOSH
Excerpt: It is proposed in conclusion that it is the non-material information (transcendent to the matter and energy) that is actually itself constraining the local thermodynamics to be in ordered disequilibrium and with specified raised free energy levels necessary for the molecular and cellular machinery to operate.
Of interest to the 3-D realm folding flat at the speed of light:
Dr. Quantum Explains The Unseen Spiritual Dimension – Flatland – video
Traveling At The Speed Of Light – Optical Effects
,,,has certainly added depth to these scriptures:
The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
All the stars of the heavens will be dissolved and the sky rolled up like a scroll; all the starry host will fall… like withered leaves from the vine, like shriveled figs from the fig tree.