Preliminary note. This post focuses on william spearshake again, and readers could be excused for wondering whether I am singling him out. Fair question. The fact is that william is a veritable fount of materialist shibboleths, which he spews with apparently gleeful abandon. In short, he has provided me with a rich vein of materialist error to mine, for which I thank him.
In a prior post two materialists had this exchange:
If I may be so bold as to speak for WS, maybe he thinks that ID relies on the assumption that there is a designer (a god in just about all cases), which by default makes it a religious doctrine.
AVS, exactly. Until they can propose the nature of a designer who isn’t a god, what else can I think?
I find this exchange fascinating, because it illustrates with such clarity a violation of the principle of charity (which I was discussing in the very post where this exchange occurred) and the ability of materialists to hold simultaneously utterly contradictory ideas. I will elucidate.
By definition materialists do not believe in miracles or the supernatural. Certainly they don’t believe any supernatural act was necessary for life to arise and evolve to its present state. Indeed, they don’t believe that intelligence or any guiding principle (by which I mean an agent or force that works to achieve a distant goal) was necessary for life to begin and evolve.
What do they believe? Materialists are supremely confident that blind unguided natural forces are fully sufficient to account for the beginning of life and its evolution from that time to the present. In short, it is all just chemistry and physics, super-sophisticated chemistry and physics which we only partially understand, to be sure, but at bottom its nothing but chemistry and physics.
This idea is demonstrated by the exchange between AVS and william I quoted above. ID is a religious doctrine because, “until they can propose the nature of a designer who isn’t a god, what else can I think?” The obvious assumption underlying this statement is that william believes any currently plausible candidate for the designer must be a supernatural being.
Wait a minute here. Isn’t it you reductionist materialists who insist that life is nothing but chemistry and physics. It follows from that premise that you believe that in principle no miracle is necessary for life to begin and then to evolve. So tell me, if a designer with access to super-sophisticated technology did design life, what principle of chemistry and/or physics did he violate when he did so? And if he didn’t violate any law of chemistry or physics, why is it necessary for him to be a supernatural being?
If blind unguided natural forces could do it without a miracle, why couldn’t someone with access to super-sophisticated biological technology do it without a miracle? Indeed, while the technology to create synthetic life from scratch is probably decades away, we have people like Craig Venter who are already working on the problem.
Are you going to call Venter up and say “Give it up Craig; while blind natural forces can create life without a miracle, if a designer like you tries to do it he has to have supernatural powers. Sorry.” Of course you aren’t.
In summary, materialists like william hold two contradictory beliefs:
1. Blind unguided natural forces are completely sufficient to account for life.
2. Any designer who tried to create life must be supernatural.
Collisions between matter and antimatter lead to the annihilation of both. Up until now I suspect william did not know he was holding simultaneously two irreconcilable ideas. When he reads this post and those two ideas touch I hope his head does not explode. If it does would I be guilty of manslaughter? A question for another post.