Re: MD On Faith - Improbability ?

From: Scott Roberts (
Date: Sun Oct 17 2004 - 03:25:33 BST

  • Next message: David Morey: "Re: MD A bit of reasoning"


    > > msh says:
    > > But isn't the fossil record loaded with examples of biological
    > false
    > > starts, goofy non-viable mutations, and dead ends? (I bet Jim can
    > > provide plenty of examples.) If this is so, then wouldn't this be
    > > evidence (retrodictive tests, to use Jim's phrase) supporting the
    > > idea of random mutation rather than design, which (design) is what
    > > I'm assuming you mean by "some other way."
    > [Scott:] It's not the only "other way", but that is beside the point.
    > The point is...
    > msh:
    > If an event isn't random then it must be planned, implying a planner,
    > no? What other "other way" is there? I mention this only to address
    > your last question about scientific "dogma." Jim has provided a more
    > complete look at GR, which you've probably read by now, so I'll wait
    > for your response to him on that issue.

    [Scott:] True, as far as we can tell, there is only chance and design. But
    there are many ways they can be combined. Is there one Designer or a lot of
    designers (and is there any distinction between design and designer at this
    non-human level). Is the design on the making-an-event side, or on the
    selection side (e.g., culling bad stuff). Is design perfect or imperfect,
    that is, does the designer/designers get it right the first time, or is
    trial and error involved. So there is plenty of room for "biological false
    starts, goofy non-viable mutations, and dead ends" without assuming only
    chance is involved.

    But also, chance and design are the only ways we know of. Who is to say
    there isn't something that is not properly either. For example, evolution
    by Quality (for those who deny that Quality and Intellect are two names for
    the same thing).

    On GR, it is being tested, so it is testable, no?

    > [Scott:] That's my point. There is no scientific way to tell. So why
    > call evolution "solely by chance and natural selection" scientific?
    > Why isn't it called dogma?
    > msh says:
    > Because the concept of randomness is mathematically and
    > scientifically sound, and nature is chock full of observable random
    > events, from galactic collisions to comet and lightning strikes to
    > the toss of dice to the dance of quarks. So, unless we're shackled
    > with a strict determinism (in which case any study of scientific
    > cause and effect becomes meaningless), randomness is scientifically
    > viable, and the idea of a non-human planner is not. I think.

    Yes, science can deal with randomness as long as there are patterns of it.
    But then you seem to be saying that science must assume evolution cannot
    happen through design because if it is, then science can't deal with it.
    That's to-a-hammer-everything-looks-like-a-nail thinking.

    - Scott

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