Comments on Murray and Churchill

This is simply false, as multiple scientific fields routinely study design directly and as a matter of course. Here’s an example:

You appear to be making excuses for your failure to advance and/or test a design hypothesis.


I mean MN as (for example) our host Joshua Swamidass defines it, to exclude categorically inferences to a transcendent (divine) intelligence:

Design by mundane intelligences – i.e., any intelligence other than God – lies of course at the heart of several sciences and scholarly disciplines, as I explain in this talk:

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So what? Your claim:

…is still false and you still seem to be making excuses.

For the last few decades, there’s been absolutely nothing (other than you) preventing you from advancing or testing a divine design hypothesis, either.

It seems to me that the ethical course would be for you to retract your false claim.

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I’d be fine with the statement if he just qualified that as “divine design”. In context he is clear.

@pnelson looking forward to reading your paper.

Science rules out God, but not as a consequence of MN. It’s because divine explanations are not well formed hypotheses and can’t be tested. When the supposed cause is omnipotent, there are no expectations of what we will or will not find. This doesn’t mean that a divine hypothesis is untrue, but it does mean that there is no way for science to include one. (I would argue further that there is no way outside science to test such a hypothesis either.)


So string theory, dark matter, multiple universe etc all can be tested for …
I think science is whatever scientists accept as science.

Dark matter can certainly be tested, and has been well confirmed. Some forms of string theory can be tested, and some imply multiple universes. And some people think string theory isn’t science. None of that seems relevant to the point.

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Of course it’s relevant. The important part is not the testability. It’s whether enough people think it’s science. Which is why untestable theories are also accepted as scientific.

But they are not consistently accepted as scientific. The untestability of most string theory is why many physicists don’t think it’s science.

Doesn’t matter… it gets published. If enough scientists think it’s scientific, it’s accepted. People get tenured positions in university for work on string theory.
Others remain respected scientists even as they speculate on whether my chair has consciousness (don’t know if this kinda logic has been published yet)
How do you decide what meets the acceptance criteria for “science”?
Being published in respected journals and holding prestigious positions in universities are real things as opposed to unorganized resistance from “many scientists” who think string theory is not science.

No, MN does not rule out design at all. In fact it doesn’t even rule out the testing of hypotheses involving design by a supernatural being.

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Whatever are you talking about?

He is talking about IIT.

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What is IIT?

It’s “integrated information theory”… linking to a review article-

Link to the Wikipedia page:

I disagree.

I don’t see why I can’t test a hypothesis of divine design 6000 years ago, or last Tuesday for that matter. If the ID folks truly believe that they can detect design, they certainly can test hypotheses pertaining to when said design was designed and/or implemented.

The fact that they choose to pretend that someone is somehow preventing them from doing so using the shackles of MN just shows that they don’t truly believe.


Given that you and Ashwin are both Indians, I would presume that you were referring to a particular Indian Institute of Technology campus. :grinning:

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That is indeed the point. It demonstrates the chasm between what is claimed for ID, and what IDers actually do.

  1. Claim ID is science and is testable.
  2. Make endless excuses for not presenting a hypothesis and testing it.

It would be a lot easier for them if they characterized ID as theology rather than science, but that doesn’t match the rhetorical narrative.

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Because an omnipotent cause can make anything look like anything else. There is no way to test Last Tuesdayism. Divine causation can be tested only if we place a limit on what God would do, for example if we assume he wouldn’t fake data.

According to that article, IIT has been subject to experimental testing. And I don’t see anything in there about a chair being conscious. What is Ashwin talking about?