Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Time to retire superstition in science


Says Donald Devine at the Library of Law and Liberty site, who sees materialism (naturalism) as a superstition, “the superstition of a naturalist science fully explaining human action”:

The number of books today rediscovering this truth [that materialism doesn’t cut it] is becoming a torrent. The Discovery Institute’s Stephen Meyer hit number seven on the New York Times bestseller list with his stunning new book, Darwin’s Doubt. The title reflects the fact that even Charles Darwin had one great doubt about his materialistic theory of human evolution, that natural selection by random mutation is the sole explanation of life on earth. Specifically, he questioned whether what was called the Cambrian Explosion of 500 million years ago could have occurred that recently (out of an estimate of only 3 billion total years of life on earth). How could higher life arise over such a short period of time, and where were the fossils demonstrating such a progression of forms?

Much of Meyer’s detailed book systematically analyzes attempts to fill in the fossil record and to explain the short time period. In sum, he demonstrates conclusively that modern science is no closer to explaining the missing data than it was 150 years ago when Darwin predicted it would soon show up. The odds that these links will appear after all this time is remote. More important, to mutate into new body parts we now know would require new genetic/DNA and epi-genetic/non-DNA biological information be placed into already enormously complex information sequences that would often be lethal to them–while to transition to new life requires being viable at every stage. The odds against this are very great and the evidence we do have is against it.

We know so much more than did Darwin. His contemporary and supporter Ernst Haeckel believed (as Darwin presumably did) that a cell was a mere lump of matter. Now we understand (something) more about real cells. They are not lumps but incredibly complex with DNA and cell structure both playing a role in its integrity. We have just begun to understand how the two percent of DNA thought to be functional (rather than “junk”) might work. But we have even more recently discovered that some epigenetic information may be just as important as DNA in the cell although we do not know quite how. Then comes the prestigious journal Nature to report that the ENCODE project now estimates that at least 80 percent of DNA actually serves some biochemical purpose. Seventy-eight percent we thought was cell junk now must be taken seriously. This is really getting complicated! More. [He talks about Thomas Nagel too.]

See also:

Why methodological naturalism is bad for science

How not to understand the problem with methodological naturalism (MN)

OT: Veritas forum has loaded a few more videos: Bible: Fact or Fiction? Peter Williams at UNC - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTtdBpMMAFM Christianity in the Public Square for the Public Good Nabeel Qureshi and Ravi Zacharias at Dartmouth - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWoxkPMOkowbornagain77
November 4, 2013
01:28 PM

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