A New Deal for Intelligent Design?



Also, I AM basically saying ID should just become what I consider to be the best position in regard to creation/evolution. Haha.

(John Harshman) #89

It’s not something I have ever encountered, and I’ve taken classes from Jerry Coyne. You should bring this to Patrick’s attention so he can get the FFRF on the case.



found it. A Bad Analogy Run Amok - Christian Research Institute

(Guy Coe) #91

I was told that if any in the class was a Christian, the professor would extend the normal deadline to drop the freshman genetics class, without academic penalty, in exchange for not speaking up or raising objections in the classrom. I immediately asked him why he would offer such an inducement, and he said he would not discuss it in class. I can tell you firsthand of such official discouragements I had to overcome at my university.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #92

It was a long time ago. I know better now, and I have no interest in revisiting these complaints from decades ago, and subject to memory lapses and so forth. What I can tell you is that it does occasionally happen, and students do not know that most scientists (such as yourself) would totally oppose this.

(John Harshman) #93

You were told by whom, in what class?



You are essentially arguing against the entirety of Michael Denton’s “Nature’s Destiny” in this review. Denton also sees evolution as process similar to the way a fetus develops in the womb. In fact, Lamoureaux might be BORROWING the analogy FROM Denton. Are you are aware that you think your colleague at the DI believes in “an undirected process, grounded in chance events, which happened to produce Homo sapiens?”

Of course, he doesn’t. Neither does Lamoureaeux. If you go to our detailed discussions of the meaning of “random” on this site, I think it is perfectly obvious that no scientist believes that evolution is “an undirected process, grounded in chance events” except maybe Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne, though they would argue that natural selection modifies the “change” a little. No one is a Neo-Darwinist anymore.

(John Harshman) #95

One can certainly agree that if Paul is accurately summarizing Lamoreaux’s argument, it’s fatally flawed. Which leads us to another point, as Paul raises. For those here who do believe in theistic evolution, what does that adjective mean?

(John Harshman) #96

Depends on what “grounded” means. If we think it means that the raw material of evolution is random mutation, then just about everyone agrees. I suppose it also depends on what “undirected” means; I take it to mean that nobody is directing it, and the environment counts as nobody. What do you think most scientists would object to?



“From this point of view, evolution is a planned natural process that heads toward a final goal — the creation of the universe and life with men and women. If this is the case, the Creator made the world through ‘teleological evolution’” (52).

That’s Lamoureaux’s position. To see an argument as to what empirical reasons there are to believe this, I would crack open Denton’s “Nature’s Destiny.”


Your chart on your review is essentially neo-Darwinian. Do any origin of life scientists REALLY think life arose naturally through chance events? I doubt it. They believe it arose naturally, but not through a “fluke.” Suppose we figured out the origin of life. And then we can reproduce it. We can do it again, and again and again and again. Every time X and Y are present in condition Z, life is produced. This is not “chance.” This would be more akin to a natural law, like gravity.

(John Harshman) #98

I agree with Paul that this contains no real meaning. How can we distinguish teleological evolution from non-teleological evolution? What could be a mechanism by which this plan unfolds, and how would we test it? I could present objections that the history of life and the universe don’t look like a plan, and the response would just be that God moves in mysterious ways. I could object that the quantum events at the bottom of evolution make detailed advance planning impossible, and the response would probably be that God can predict quantum events and set things up so those particular events happen. Or am I wrong about all that?


You could only distinguish ateleological from teleological in a philosophical discussion, not scientifically. Scientifically, evolution is evolution. Christian scientists X works with atheist scientist Y on the same project. No conflict whatsoever. However, we can discuss for example, why evolution, or the universe operates in such a way where the same animals were produced through the evolutionary process in South America and Australia. Is that a teleological pattern or non-teleological one? It’s a philosophical/metaphysical discussion, not a scientific one.



You are completely right. It can only be a philosophical inference, and this inference could be debated for years, or thousands of years.

(Guy Coe) #101

By my genetics professor at the time, at a U. C. University. Why do you ask?

(John Harshman) #102

Trying to establish the facts of the case. Which U.C., and what was his name? How long ago?


I’m not entirely sure about that. For example, if you exposed a clonal population of bacteria to antibiotics and they all produced the exact same mutation in a single generation so that the entire population was resistant that would seem like guidance of some kind. Perhaps I am getting my concepts mixed up, but that seems like something science could tackle.

(Guy Coe) #104

Who was your freshman genetics professor? Do you think that people like Joshua and I are making this up? Why would we do so? If you want to know what U.C. I attended, look at my public profile on my Facebook page.

(Dan Eastwood) #105

@John_Harshman, @Guy_Coe

This line of discussion would be better in a separate thread, or possibly a private message. - Thanks

(Guy Coe) #106

I didn’t make it personal, in the way you might be thinking, @Dan_Eastwood. Thanks for your feedback.

(John Harshman) #107

I don’t do [shudder] Facebook.