Tag Intelligent Design

The ‘Why I am a Christian’ series – Randal Rauser

As mentioned in my last post, I was graciously asked by Randal Rauser on his blog recently to provide a synopsis of a few paragraphs to run in his series “Why I am an atheist” (or not a Christian. The series has been interesting and has elicited testimonies from Justin Schieber, Counter Apologist, Jeff Lowder, Ed Babinski and others. I have since asked Randal to return the favour and he has gladly accepted, furnishing me with a much more lengthy expression of the reasons for his Christian belief.

Quote of the Day: Daydreamer1

So on the second post involving the infamous $10,000 bet about nested hierarchies in evolution, regular erudite commenter Daydreamer1 brought up some really good points about design, but not from a biological standpoint. With intelligent design theories, we often fail to look at them in contexts outside of biology, say, in the earth sciences. I think the criticisms of ID can really be pushed home in these contests, as DD1 shows:

Intelligent Design is Creationism, just not Biblical (or Young Earth) Creationism

In their FAQ, the Discovery Institute write in response to the question “Is intelligent design theory the same as creationism?”:

“No. Intelligent design theory is simply an effort to empirically detect whether the “apparent design” in nature acknowledged by virtually all biologists is genuine design (the product of an intelligent cause) or is simply the product of an undirected process such as natural selection acting on random variations. Creationism is focused on defending a literal reading of the Genesis account, usually including the creation of the earth by the Biblical God a few thousand years ago. Unlike creationism, the scientific theory of intelligent design is agnostic regarding the source of design and has no commitment to defending Genesis, the Bible or any other sacred text. Honest critics of intelligent design acknowledge the difference between intelligent design and creationism.”

Well, I am an “honest critic” and I will acknowledge the difference between ID and the restrictive definition of Creationism that they choose to use but I will not acknowledge the difference between ID and Creationism in general. Creationism is the belief that some being outside nature (as we know it) created everything, as opposed to everything arising naturally without any causal agent or intervention. This totally encompasses ID.

The Predictive Power of Evolution

I have been reading the first chapter of Neil Shubin’s Your Inner Fish recently and it really struck me again how strong, persuasive nay indomitable, the predictive powers of evolution are. The simple idea that a paleontologist can think that the first fish fossils were found at time A and the first limbed land animal fossils were found at time C, and so to find the transitional fossils for animals in between fish and limbed land animals should be found at time B (in this case, the late Devonian period). But this is already dependent upon the prediction that the fish should transform over time to limbed land animals.