Breeched Wales Bloviating in the Hot Sun

Location: Long Island, New York, United States

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Is Intelligent Design a Scientific Theory

In the comments section of an article he wrote David Friedman makes the claim that ID is a scientific theory:

As I argued in a different post on this blog, I think ID does make testable predictions--some of which turn out to be false, such as the prediction that humans don't have an appendix.

ID is not a scientific theory because it specifically does not make predictions. It is only a criticism, and a bad religious one at that.

That one can deduce certain things from a position and then falsify those things does not mean that position is scientific. The Koran states that the sun sets in a muddy pool, and that the Quran is literally true. We know that this is easily disproved empirically. One can also disprove many Christian beliefs both empirically and/or logically. One cannot have an omnescient and omnipotent being due to the inherent contradictions, so any religions theory that holds this as true is disprovable and therefore falsifiable. This doesn't mean Islam or certain brands of Christianity are scientific. A scientific theory cannot be ad-hoc the way these religions are.

By ad-hoc I mean one cannot shift ones position once something is shown to be false. It used to be the ID position that the eye was too complex to have evolved. This has been shown to be false. You'd think the argument (not theory) would be dropped at that point, but no they shift to some other organ or organelle. Now it's the flagella that they claim to be to complex to have evolved, or microcellular processes.

Well that is no theory, it's the same old, if I don't understand it then "God did it". I don't see how ID is any different then saying those words. First we have to show that Zeus doesn't throw lighting, then we have to prove the earth is not flat, then that the sun does not revolve around the earth, each time with assurances that the claimants knew the truth because there was a God and they knew what God had to say on the subjects.

Screw that whole argument. That we do not know exactly how a flagella evolved speaks to our ignorance about that one fact, and not to the existence of a designer.

We have overwhelming evidence that in fact the mechanism called natural selection can operate in ways that produce things that appear to be designed. In fact we can build computer simulations that apply all the relevant aspects of natural selection and the products will indeed look designed. Furthermore, we actually use such programs to automatic design. Designing is not something that only intellegent beings can do, totally unconcious and simple processes can do design and do so in novel ways. Ways the stump the most intellegent humans for generations.

So where does the "I" in "ID" come from. Religion that's where. They wish not to accept the fact that non-intellegent design can and provably does outperform humans in many cases. Here we have an area, biology, where over and over again designs beyond any know intellegent capacity were done so by non-intellegent processes. One would think that at this point it would be non-intellegent design processes that would be held in awe and not the baser intellegent kind. After all the only truly intellegent designers we have any experience with are men, and frankly we have yet to match nature.

So no, as a matter of fact, ID is not a scientific theory. It is merely a religious criticism, and a fatally flawed one at that.