Intelligent Design’s Failure to Launch

22 12 2006

A thought struck me as I looked over DaveScot’s latest asinine assertions on Uncommon Descent: Intelligent Design has a severe case of multiple personality disorder. There is little doubt in my mind that ID is creationism in disguise, the Christian leanings of its primary proponents and the aims of their “Wedge Strategy” well-known, but at the same time Intelligent Design seeks to replicate the methodological naturalism that they rail against. While metaphysical naturalism (the assertion that nature is all there is and the supernatural does not exist) and supernatural theologies do run into conflict, methodological naturalism (if it exists, we can study it) is the bedrock of scientific thought and has thus far revealed much to us. Some say that naturalism in nature rules out God or the supernatural, but this is not so. Rather, it simply says that if God exists and has acted within the world, we should be able to detect this and study it proving what did or did not happen without appealing to arguments such as “God is outside science.”

In any event, DaveScot prefaces the article about pathenogensis in Komodo Dragons with this statement:

“I blogged about the possibility of parthenogenesis in mammals a month or so ago. Here’s another newly discovered case of it in a higher animal.”

This seems inoffensive enough at first, but the entry DaveScot is referring to was a half-cocked scientific hypothesis as to how Christ could have been born to a virgin mother, essentially saying that since we observe pathenogenesis in a “higher” vertebrate like a Komodo Dragon it is not unreasonable to think it could not happen in mammals, or even humans. I just wonder how anyone can continue to take this joker seriously, or not realize that he has shot himself in the foot with his unfounded hypotheses about an event most hold to be supernatural. You see, what DaveScot has done in trying to prove that the virgin birth of Christ could happen via methodological naturalism is remove the necessity of God for the process, essentially arguing the historical accuracy rather than Divine Invervention. Even the writer himself recognizes that the supernatural (if he was correct, that is) would become natural via his explanation, but he doesn’t seem to go a step further and think about the implications of how to show that Jesus was indeed God if he was somehow born of an aberrant parthenogenic process.

At times like these, most IDers shrink away into the realm of “That’s outside science” or, essentially “God can do anything He wants.” Hardly scientific, don’t you think? They try so hard to take supernatural intervention and convince us it operates under the rules of methodological naturalism, but then when pressed for details they suddenly become silent or say such things are irrelevant. This is precisely why no scientific work has been done regarding intelligent design, instead existing as a philosophical and theological argument with no basis in empirical reality. You see, if we can prove something is in fact intelligently designed, then it follows that we can find out who the designer is or how they did it or when they did it or even come into contact with such a deity (although some, like Michael Behe, allow for time-travelling scientists or planet-seeding aliens to be the designer [at least in public forums that is]). I’ve brought this up many times with ID-believers, each time only to hear that such studies are immaterial and not relevant to discussion. Oh, how deluded they have become. Intelligent design succeeds because it makes grandiose claims it cannot prove, so instead of actually doing any work it puts the burden on evolutionary scientists and say “Prove me wrong.” Even beyond this, many bemoan the decline in their brand of conservative Christian morality, speaking openly about their religious convictions on blogs and in private but suddenly denying all ties to religion when called in front of a jury. It simply amazes me how people can be continued to be duped by such foolishness, especially when the bait-and-switch of occurs of an intelligent designer that acts in our world but is somehow outside of it at the same time.

As I’ve said many times before, I actually look forward to see what the Disco Institute or others may come up with that attempt to prove a designer acted in our world. If right, it would be an amazing discovery and we could perhaps finally find out the identity of the designer (I don’t find this scenario likely for theological, philosophical, and empirical reasons) and if wrong then it would allow the current state of pseudoscience ID resides in to be struck down. Although the Biologic Institute (funded by the Discovery Institute) claims to be hard at work on detecting ID, I’m not holding my breath for any studies as it seems that ID pundits spend more time, energy, and money on mud-slinging than actually doing any science. Funny how a group dedicated to moral values systematically lie and act immorally in order to brainwash the American people as people would just stop doing bad things if we all believed we were designed. In case any one is inclined to join up with such a group, consider this: In the Old Testament God was with His people as a Pillar of Smoke and a Pillar of Fire and (assuming historical accuracy, of course) had actual contact with His people but they still stole, murdered, raped, lied, etc. What makes anyone think that belief in God is the great prerequisite for morality?


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