A New Deal for Intelligent Design?

Well it’s certainly true that the people who post at peaceful science aren’t interested. I waited to see what would happen. But really Josh this isn’t the way to proceed— it never had any chance of success. If it was meant to test the waters it was doomed to failure before you started. Have fun tomorrow. Hopefully I will be on an airplane.

1 Like


The quote above was not from you… but raises the same question i have.

What is the technical term for the current evolutionary if it os not Neo-Darwinism?

And what is so different about the new paradigm that it doesnt fit under the already “big umbrella” Neo-Darwinism?


Dr. Behe said, during a video interview, that nobody would find a novel structure in the natural word showing showing intelligent design. What, then, was he proposing?

To avoid having to type everything he said, i will paraphrase my understanding of what he meant: …setting aside the especially miraculous, neither Christian nor scientist would or could see a difference in origins (assuming there was a way to see the origins) for the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. His hypothetical model applies nothing but natural outcomes from natural laws.

Dr Behe, then is not dealing in episodes of design… but in one long, interlocking sequence, an extended plan of natural events if you will, consciously fit together by Supreme Being of the universe, and set in motion at the moment of creation.

So then, what is different in Behe’s view that sets ICD apart from everything else?

It comes down to the issue of probabilities, and pretty much ONLY probabilities!

He would say, i believe, that the anatomies of certain kinds of eyeballs are impossible to appear in the absence of God… but he might say the probabilities - - for the same conditions and time trame - - vary greatly depending on the design: varying from extremely likely to virtually impossible.

Extending these parameters to the notorious case of the flagellum… Dr. Behe would not argue that the emergence of a flagellum in a godless universe is not impossible; he would argue that it is virtually impossible!

For a more obscure example, he might argue that the appearance of the factor that allows cellular life to exist in high-oxygen marine environments (hypothesized for the start of the Cambrian Explosion) is a naturally possible event that might have been delayed, in a godless universe, by another billion years (or two!).

However, in a God-guided universe, it was able to happen when God NEEDED it to happen.

This distinction, then, is at the heart of how Dr Behe differentiates between ICD vs. the rest!

If God exists and God accesses all things and places… how do I.D. proponents think they can compare the probabilities of “Event A” happening WITH GOD … vs. “Event A”! In a cosmos WITHOUT god?

How do we set up a field or lab study where we can know we have a dataset obtained WITH GOD vs. a dataset obtained WITHOUT GOD?!?!

This is a metaphysical conundrum of the highest order… not a scientific one.

1 Like

24 posts were split to a new topic: Introducing Sharon

3 posts were split to a new topic: Context is the Enemy of Totalitarianism

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Darwinism Falsified in Science Long Ago?

It is just “the modern theory of evolution”, or “the theory of evolution”. No theory in science is static, nor is one view of the theory accepted by 100% of scientists. Also, science has mostly moved away from the Victorian tradition of naming theories after people. The Ship of Theseus is probably a good analogy for what the theory of evolution is:

If we go back to the first use of the term “neo-Darwinian” and compared the theory at that time with the modern theory they would be different. So why call it “neo-Darwinian”?


Here are some ideas:

  1. Drop “ID is science” and focus more on supporting efforts in any type of school setting to teach philosophy to younger students where the implications of scientific discoveries are discussed.

  2. Drop the “this is too complex to have been produced by natural processes” line.

  3. Adopt “ID according to Michael Denton and Richard Sternberg.” http://www.richardsternberg.com/pdf/sternintellbio08.pdf, but be clear which parts are metaphysics and which parts are science.

  4. Stop arguing against common descent. Stop pitting design against evolution. You can have both.

  5. Adopt positive language rather than "Darwin’s _____ (blunder, black box, devolves, theory in crisis, etc.).

  6. Join effort with Simon Conway Morris, Denis Lamoureux and others in favor of a more teleological vision of evolution.


He might say that, but I doubt he could actually calculate the probabilities in any meaningful way. Scientists would want to see the calculations, and the model they were built on. As part of the New Deal, ID supporters need to move away from preaching to doing the science. Claiming that something is improbable without any calculations is preaching.


@mark this is really constructive and helpful. I’d add that mainstream science should be more clear that it is silent on God’s design and has not blanket ruled it out, though it might have ruled out specific models of creation.

1 Like

2 posts were split to a new topic: Miller, Ayala, and Theisitic Evolution

@John_Harshman, this is one place I think mainstream scienc should give ground. I’m sure @T_aquaticus agrees. Do you?

1 Like

I’d say that it’s necessary to be silent on God’s design until we have some kind of model of what God’s design would look like and how it would be different from God’s non-design. As you say, there are some models that can be tested, but those models have been ruled out. Science might most profitably continue to ignore the notion of God.

1 Like

I completely agree.

What I sometimes wonder about is if we lost out on a lot of great scientists because of the views found on the extreme ends of the spectrum (YEC vs. strong atheism). How many Christians have been scared away from a rewarding career as a scientist because they feel like they have to be an atheist in order to be a scientist? For this reason alone, I think it very worthwhile to talk about the limits of the scientific method and it’s philosophical borders.


I always find it annoying when those are equated. Just FYI. But it does bring to mind the famous XKCD cartoon.

Your are not on the extreme end of atheism. Not sure why you would think that equation applies to you.

1 Like

That’s a fair criticism, so perhaps I should clarify a bit. If a Christian is taking a Bio 101 class their freshman year and they hear the professor state that there is no God because of what science shows us, what would go through that Christian’s mind? On the flip side, a Christian raised within the YEC community is continually told that the science strongly opposes Christian beliefs. On both ends of this spectrum you have the same conclusion: if the science is true then God does not exist.

1 Like

Never said it did. And I’m not sure why you think I’m not on the extreme end of atheism either. I’d put myself around 9.9 on that 10-point scale. I just generally try not to be an asshole about it.

That the professor is abusing his office? When has this ever happened?

1 Like

I certainly observed this more than once during my education.