The gods must be crazy if they call this intelligence [Review of "Unintelligent Design: Why God isn't as smart as she thinks she is," by Robyn Williams, Allen & Unwin: Sydney, 2006], Sydney Morning Herald, August 5, 2006, Deborah Smith. Continued from part #3.
He pulls no punches. Intelligent design is a politically sinister movement, a form of terrorism focused on public education, It is simply absurd to call ID "sinister" and "a form of terrorism". This sort of hysterical overreaction against ID by the Darwinists will in, the long run backfire on them, as people increasingly learn for themselves what ID actually is.
ID is merely the scientific theory that there is empirically detectable evidence of design in nature:
"What then is Intelligent Design? Intelligent Design begins with the observation that intelligent causes can do things which undirected natural causes cannot. Undirected natural causes can place scrabble pieces on a board, but cannot arrange the pieces as meaningful words or sentences. To obtain a meaningful arrangement requires an intelligent cause. This intuition, that there is a fundamental distinction between undirected natural causes on the one hand and intelligent causes on the other, has underlain the design arguments of past centuries. ... What has emerged is a new program for scientific research known as Intelligent Design. Within biology, Intelligent Design is a theory of biological origins and development. Its fundamental claim is that intelligent causes are necessary to explain the complex, information-rich structures of biology, and that these causes are empirically detectable. To say intelligent causes are empirically detectable is to say there exist well-defined methods that, on the basis of observational features of the world, are capable of reliably distinguishing intelligent causes from undirected natural causes. Many special sciences have already developed such methods for drawing this distinction- notably forensic science, cryptography, archeology, and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (as in the movie Contact)." (Dembski, W.A., "The Intelligent Design Movement." Reprinted from Cosmic Pursuit, Spring 1998. Access Research Network, November 15, 1998. Emphasis original)
If it is scientific to claim that there is no design in nature, as Darwinism does (note the subtitle below of leading Darwinist Richard Dawkins' book, "Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design":
"Paley's argument is made with passionate sincerity and is informed by the best biological scholarship of his day, but it is wrong, gloriously and utterly wrong. The analogy between telescope and eye, between watch and living organism, is false. All appearances to the contrary, the only watchmaker in nature is the blind forces of physics, albeit deployed in a very special way. A true watchmaker has foresight: he designs his cogs and springs, and plans their interconnections, with a future purpose in his mind's eye. Natural selection, the blind, unconscious, automatic process which Darwin discovered, and which we now know is the explanation for the existence and apparently purposeful form of all life, has no purpose in mind. It has no mind and no mind's eye. It does not plan for the future. It has no vision, no foresight, no sight at all. If it can be said to play the role of watchmaker in nature, it is the blind watchmaker." (Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design," W.W Norton & Co: New York NY, 1986, p.5. Emphasis original)
then it is equally scientific to counter-claim that there is design in nature!
As Dawkins himself stated, "the complexity of life ... cries out for a special kind of explanation" and there are only three possible: 1) "blind chance"; 2) "an intelligent Designer" and 3) the theory of "Charles Darwin" that "blind physical forces ... operating as a cumulative filter of chance variations," i.e. the natural selection of random micromutations:
"Biology is the study of the complex things in the Universe. Physics is the study of the simple ones. It is the complexity of life, coupled with the precision of its adaptation, that cries out for a special kind of explanation, and the hunger for such explanation has frequently driven people to believe in a supernatural Creator. Complexity means statistical improbability. The more statistically improbable a thing is, the less can we believe that it just happened by blind chance. Superficially the obvious alternative to chance is an intelligent Designer. But Charles Darwin showed how it is possible for blind physical forces to mimic the effects of conscious design, and, by operating as a cumulative filter of chance variations, to lead eventually to organised and adaptive complexity, to mosquitoes and mammoths, to humans and therefore, indirectly, to books and computers." (Dawkins, R., "The Necessity of Darwinism," New Scientist, Vol. 94, 15 April 1982, pp.130-132, p.130)
Everyone accepts that 1) "blind chance" is an inadequate explanation of "the complexity of life" which leaves only: 3) the Darwinian theory of the natural selection of random micromutations; or 2) "an intelligent Designer."
Darwinists like Williams seek to protect their theory from challenge by ruling out in advance (including by ad hominem attacks like "sinister movement" and "a form of terrorism" ) their main competitor, intelligent design, so that Darwinism is left by default as the only remaining explanation.
But this is nothing new in this. As leading ecologist E.G. Leigh noted, "The primary problem with the" Neo-Darwinian modern "synthesis is that its makers established natural selection ... by eliminating competing explanations, not by providing evidence that natural selection among 'random' mutations could, or did, account for observed adaptation" (my emphasis):
"The primary problem with the synthesis is that its makers established natural selection as the director of adaptive evolution by eliminating competing explanations, not by providing evidence that natural selection among 'random' mutations could, or did, account for observed adaptation .... Mayr remarked, 'As these non- Darwinian explanations were refuted during the synthesis ... natural selection automatically became the universal explanation of evolutionary change (together with chance factors).' Depriving the synthesis of plausible alternatives, which seemed such a triumph, in fact sowed the seeds of its faults." (Leigh, E.G., Jr, "The modern synthesis, Ronald Fisher and creationism," Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 14, No. 12, pp.495-498, December 1999, p.495)
he argues in a new book, Unintelligent Design - Why God Isn't as Smart as She Thinks She Is. I have not yet bought William's book, although I intend to. As I said in part #1, I browsed through it in a bookstore and its arguments against ID seemed particularly weak, being mainly a straw man caricature of ID (hence the graphic above), attacking things that ID has never claimed, and I had better things to do with my time. However, since William's book will no doubt be read by many in Australia and presumably eventually in other countries, I had second thoughts and decided to first critique this webbed review of it.
"The means are devious, the arguments deceitful and the consequences profound." It is interesting how Darwinist attacks on their ID opponents often read like a case of psychological projection, i.e. "attributing unconsciously to other people, usually as a defence against unpleasant feelings in ourselves, such as a feeling of guilt, or inferiority feeling, of thoughts, feelings, and acts towards us, by means of which we justify ourselves in our own eyes"!:
"Projection Historically, in the older psychology, the objective reference of sensations, that is, their reference to an object, as the origin or source of the stimuli, or their localization within or with out the body; more recently the interpretation of situations and events, by reading into them our own experiences and feelings (see projection tests); also recently, by the psychoanalysts, the attributing unconsciously to other people, usually as a defence against unpleasant feelings in ourselves, such as a feeling of guilt, or inferiority feeling, of thoughts, feelings, and acts towards us, by means of which we justify ourselves in our own eyes." (Drever, J., "The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology," , Penguin: Harmondsworth UK, Revised edition, 1981, reprint, p.225)
Continued in part #5.
Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).
Genesis 2:1-4a. 1Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. 4This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.