September 12, 2011 at 4:19 pm
Do you have a counter-prize, for showing the prize is un-winnable?
UD hereby offers a $1,000 prize to anyone who is able to demonstrate that the design of a living thing by an intelligent agent necessarily requires a supernatural act (i.e., the suspension of the laws of nature).
The easy answer to this is that Venter et al have given proof of concept that a molecular nanotech lab could design cell based, Carbon chemistry aqueous medium life forms. That is, we know that relevant molecules can be manipulated by sufficiently sophisticated engineering techniques within the known laws of the cosmos, to engineer living forms.
All, therefore, without recourse to miracles.
So, it stands as empirically well warranted, that an intelligent agent or agents, in such a facility that is several technological generations beyond Venter, could be a SUFFICIENT cause for the living cell. As opposed to a NECESSARY cause.
Indeed, from the days of Plato in The Laws, Bk X c. 360 BC, and more recently from Newton’s General Scholium c. 1680 AD, up to the remarks of the likes of a Sir Fred Hoyle and others, up to Robin Collins currently, even through a speculative multiverse, the area of design thought and theory that does seriously raise the direct question of a designer beyond the cosmos, is cosmological origins.
Of course, if one infers to such a designer as the best explanation for a cosmos that seems to have had a beginning some 13.7 BYA, and which seems to be fine tuned for C Chemistry cell based aqueous medium life, then such a designer is a very strong candidate to be designer of life as well, directly or indirectly.
But inference to best explanation — a good basis for accepting matters of claimed fact and explanations for facts — is not a proof of necessity. Warrant is not equal to proof beyond all rational doubt. Howbeit, warrant (if we are lucky, to moral certainty) is what we have for living, making decisions and acting responsibly in the real world.
Or, are we “really” brains in vats or dream-state captives in the pods of a Matrix world? (That is, empirical experience under-determines absolute reality, but is sufficient for us to practically and confidently dismiss Plato’s Cave type speculative worlds of mass deception absent serious evidence to point to such. We have no good reason to believe that we live in a world of utterly unimaginable mass delusion; agit-prop aplenty from various parties, yes, Matrix or brains in vats, no.)
Nor is any of this new.
Right from the beginning of modern design theory in the early 1980′s, design thinkers on life and its origin such as Thaxton et al, and latterly Dembski et al, have repeatedly, freely, publicly and plainly stated that inference to intelligent design is not capable of inference on this to designer as necessarily beyond the cosmos.
Why then the “creationism in a cheap tuxedo” talking point?
Simple, it is the other party which has strongly emphasised how the theories of evolution put God out of a job. And, this by making the strong appearance of design in life SEEM illusory. So, given their a priori commitments, regardless of evidence, they cannot allow a “Divine [designer's] Foot” in the door.
Hence, the intensity with which this particular persistently continued willful miserepresentation is promoted.
And, that is a very serious moral issue: slander.
GEM of TKI
To see a lot more insanity from gordo, go to his blogs: