"...I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me..." [Deuteronomy 5:8-10]

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

7 Questions Intelligent Design Can't Answer

A few days back, I wrote about the 7 Evidences For CDesign Proponentsism I just couldn't seem to refute. So why, you ask, haven't I become a True Believer[tm] and signed my blog over to Denyse O'Leary? Well, you know I just might... If only someone could help with these seven questions that "Intelligent Design" just can't seem to answer...

  1. Why the censorship?

    For all their bluster about not being invited to all the best science parties, IDers are themselves staggeringly intolerant of debate. Sure, they squabble amongst themselves like a bunch of schoolgirls at the mall... But try asking them simple questions on their home ground, and you'll be shown the door faster than if you'd made a drunken pass at their mother.

    Here's one of my questions which Uncommon Descent thought too dangerous to print...
    "[Is] the “designer”... responsible for nature itself (in which case why should we be surprised that the universe works in wondrous ways) or is the designer only responsible for things which do not work in nature?"
    Ask yourself... Why would that question be controversial?

  2. Why the deliberate ignorance?

    In the same thread at Uncommon Descent, "Unlettered and Ordinary" wrote:
    "Why do you think very skeptical atheists after studying the universes physics become theists? The same goes for some who study the OOL inquiry. No one twists their arm, they come to the conclution after studying the evidence that these things were designed."
    Here's my reply which was blocked:
    "Physicists are substantially less likely to believe in God than the general population. Biologists are even less likely."
    It seems that True Believer[tm]s don't like to be bothered with little things like "facts".

  3. What do engineers know?

    Why on earth do IDers think engineers should know more about biology than biologists? CBEB picked up on this whacko comment at UD:
    "...how much does this guy know about biology? I would suspect that any “brilliant” electrical engineer would line up with us software developers to voice his incredulity."
    You have to wonder how these IDers would they like it if biologists came and told them how to fix cash registers and comment their Java code...

  4. If it's not about religion, why the Bible stuff?

    Throw a rock at UD, and hit a Bible quote. One user, Lutepisc, quoted Isiah and Psalms in one post, and scolded me for asking him if "the God of Abraham" was the "Intelligent Designer" in the next:
    "Why not seek an answer to your question at a church, synagogue, or mosque? Why ask it on an ID blog? (Unless, of course, you’re basically here trolling…)"
    Remember - he had quoted the Bible to me...

  5. What else has "materialistic ideology" subverted?

    Every page at Uncommon Descent trumpets:
    "Materialistic ideology has subverted the study of biological and cosmological origins so that the actual content of these sciences has become corrupted."
    WTF? Do these guys use non-materialistic ideologies when building bridges or making computer chips? Do they sacrifice goats to keep struts from falling, or have to bat invisible dancing pixies away from subroutines? Do they cast runes to find out legal precedents? If not, why on Earth do they think biologists should be troubled by such concerns?

  6. Who designed the designer?

    Here's another question you can't ask at Uncommon Descent. Literally. Even ID supporters are not allowed to ask it. Why? Because the obvious answer ("It's Intelligent Designers all the way down") shows the whole ID-as-science enterprise to be completely, utterly, and irredeemably vacuous.

  7. Where's the science?

    The Wedge Document was written in 1998. And yet ten years later, despite the delusional aspirations and beliefs of ID's supporters, even William Demski and Michael Behe admit that ID hasn't "yet" produced any science. One day soon Howard Ahmanson, Jr. is going to want to know what's happened to all his money. At least Dembski has one comfort... No-one thinks he's being spending it on clothes...

So there you have it. If any IDers would like to take a stab at answering any of these questions, please, you can comment here.



Anonymous said...

Hi there. I found something you may find interesting about the question of "who designed the designer." The whole article itself isn't about your point, but there is a section of the article that addresses this (about 6 paragraphs in). It didn't make sense to post just that section without the rest (I firmly believe in context!). So I hope you find this interesting or possibly even helpful: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5493

PTET said...

Hi Anonymous

Thanks for stopping by - and thanks for the link.

I've read Craig's arguments before. He's an interesting chap - but to my mind it's special pleading to exempt "God" from having to come from somewhere. And the notion of a Universe expanding being "requiring" we beleive in him is, as I say in my article, ludicrous.

Best wishes...

Anonymous said...

"but to my mind it's special pleading to exempt "God" from having to come from somewhere."


-CMW (same as anonymous above)

PTET said...

This is from Conservapedia:

"Special pleading is a fallacy of informal logic whereby a party to a controversy exempts himself (or one whom he has a special interest in protecting) from a criticism that he applies to others."

Lane says everything has a cause so the Universe has a cause; and the cause is God. But he exempts "God" from that "everything".

If Lane argues "God does not require a cause", why should the Universe, or some unknown aspect of the Universe, require a cause?

This is not a definitive argument... But just as logic can never (to my mind) "prove" their is no God, so logic cannot "prove" there *is* a God either.

In any case, my point is more that if there is a God, the concept that it would be so insecure as to "require" us to believe in it, and punish us if we don't, is nonsensical.

Anonymous said...

All I think Craig was trying to do in that section was say that one need not have to explain the Designer in order to say that there is a design. Though he may make arguments for the existence of God in other places, he doesn't do so in that article.

It's just the same (in his argument) as someone who finds something, looks at it, and says "I don't know who made this, but I think someone/something did." I'm not sure what the problem with that statement is.


PTET said...

Saying "I do not know what caused this" is fine."

Saying "A designer caused this" has no scientific base if you are not able to examine or investigate this alleged designer scientifically.

ID Theory says it cannot tell scientifically what the designer is or what caused the desgner (and indeed you supposedly can't even ask these questions in ID Theory)

It is this (among other things) which stops ID Theory being science.

ID Theory is a religious or perhaps philosophical proposition... And a lot religious people think it's bad philosophy and theology, remember, because they feel it limits or trivialises what "God" is.

Unknown said...


I read UD pretty regularly. Every objection in your article has been answered numerous times over there. They block things that lack substance, or that have been dealt with ad nauseum, but not without warning that such comments will be blocked.

They are a little block happy, but never block a legitimate question, point or argument

Anonymous said...

The "7 Questions..." thing, especially the "Who created the creator" question, is profoundly shallow. All it adds to the argument is a typically American misuse/lack of understanding of philosophy.

God wasn't ultimately a problem for the likes of Kant, Hegel, or Pascal -- maybe it's time to give the vitriol a rest.

PTET said...

Hi Dennis

I'm totally with you on question 6. That has been thoroughly answered at Uncommon Descent. The answer is "don't ask the question". That's cool.

But where have they answered the other questions?? If you or anyone can post links to where these questions have been answered, I'll be delighted to post them prominently on my blog.

Thanks for dropping by!

PTET said...

Hi anonymous

And ID Theory is not "profoundly shallow" how exactly?

It has been rejected by most Christian scientists.

Thanks for dropping by.

Please have a look around the blog and see if there's anything you do like :)

Anonymous said...

Dennis said:

"They are a little block happy, but never block a legitimate question, point or argument"

Are you kidding me? They block anything that is even slightly critical of ID, and in fact don't allow anything even remotely resembling free discussion there. I have tried to post about 30 serious questions and not one has made it through.

Drew Tatusko said...

"God wasn't ultimately a problem for the likes of Kant"

Except that the first Critique makes a rather good case for agnosticism. God was a big problem for Kant. Why else write the second critique? His conclusion flies in the face of ID - we cannot know the creator through reason whose object is time and space, but through moral law. SO we cannot even argue for any creator in terms of ID since that has to do with a noumenal reality which is unknowable.

You clearly have not read enough Hegel to get a sense that God was a big problem for him and his conclusion came out very strange even if monumentally influential.

Pascal is a little more direct but to say that God is not a problem misses the issue with the wager. God is a matter of the heart and not of reason. Again, ID is a matter of faith and clearly not reason and logic from Pascal's view!

Try reading this stuff a bit before you talk about it. Besides even if God was not a problem for them does not mean it cannot be a problem now.

Doppelganger said...

Regarding the engineer creationists - I've encountered many and written of some:


including bfast



and here.

It is really something to behold - they just cannot seem to allow for even the possibility that their engineering backgrounds may not be directly applicable to all areas of biology.

It is atrue psychosis, I think.