Reasons why ID must be considered (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Monday, June 26, 2017, 14:55 (115 days ago)

An essay by a thinking prof who does not accept ID but says it must not be rejected:

https://www.academia.edu/33313918/Intelligent_Design_Maybe_True_Maybe_False_But_Not_Absurd

"Let me say from the outset that this is not an essay arguing for intelligent design. Rather, it is a protest against a certain attitude. Everywhere I turn today, I hear voices, with varying degrees of smugness and contempt, telling me that intelligent design -- the
position that there is some ordering intelligence behind the whole cosmic shooting match -- is straightforwardly ridiculous. "No intelligentperson believes such a thing." "how unscienti!c" "It's always a cover for a religiously based, evolution-denying creationism, trying to sneak in the back door in the guise of science."

***

"I do not want to argue today that intelligent design is true. I don't know if it#s true. I also do not wish to argue that it is a scientific position. I believe that it is not, but is instead an empirically undecidable, metaphysical one. I wish only to argue, contrary to the
current intellectual *eitgeist, that it is neither stupid nor ridiculous either to believe in it or to entertain it as a possibility.

"Let me begin with a simple observation: Many e1traordinarily intelligent and relevantly informed people believe and have believed in intelligent design. Famously, Isaac Newton, himself a heretic and hardly a slave to conventional religious belief, once stated that, "This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful 4eing." 0ore recently, Albert Einstein, a secular Jew who repeatedly affirmed his disbelief in a personal god, stated that, "The scientists religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the
harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant re8ection." Other great scientically informed minds from the past 'e.g., Galileo, Kepler,
and Maxwell( as well as the present time 'e.g., Francis Collins, Fred Hoyle, and Alan Sandage( have expressed essentially the same belief.

"While there is disagreement about its implications, there is little disagreement among physicists today that our universe is "fine tuned" both for existing in its present form and for bringing about life forms. Garious physical parameters, among them the value of the strong nuclear force, the charge of the electron, and the rate of e1pansion of the universe in the first second after the big bang, all have a wide range of theoretically possible values. However, only an extremely tiny fraction of these values, and these allowing for essentially Zero deviation, allow for such things as the existence of atoms, the formation of stars, the clumping together of matter to form planets and gala1ies, and ultimately the origination of life forms. This being the case, the scientific consensus is that our universe is an e1traordinarily unlikely one. The realization of each of these values, taken alone, is extraordinarily improbable.The fact that so many of them conjointly have precisely the necessary value represents such an incomprehensible unlikelihood that Stephen Hawking, himself an avowed atheist and opponent of intelligent design, refers to our
universe as "an apparent miracle."

"Other facts, such as the origination and evolution of heavier atomic elements, stars,
gala1ies, planets, and life-relevant entities such as proteins, DNA, and cell walls, have more to do with countless events and states of affairs taking place over vast expanses of time. Even here, however, there is wide scientific consensus that what has actually happened was highly improbable. Finally, with regard to the multiverse, the present scientific consensus is that its existence is, as a highly speculative, untested, and probably untestable hypothesis positing something that we may never be able to empirically confirm or
disconfirm. Thus, at this point in time, its postulation cannot be regarded as any kind of definitive, settled answer to the enigma of the staggering improbabilities involved in fine tuning.

***

"there remain very deep and unresolved Questions about the e1traordinary improbabilities in our cosmos.

"I do not claim to have a settled answer for myself. I just don't know. Intelligent design may or may not be the case -- I believe we will not, indeed cannot, ever know for sure -- but it is hard for me to dismiss as merely foolish Einstein's conjecture that there may exist "an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.'"

Comment: My point of view. The whole essay is excellent.


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