Joined: Jan. 2007
|Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Jan. 09 2007,20:44)|
In 1999, I said this in my review of "The Design Inference":
The apparent, but unstated, logic behind the move from design to agency can be given as follows:
1. There exists an attribute in common of some subset of objects known to be designed by an intelligent agent.
2. This attribute is never found in objects known not to be designed by an intelligent agent.
3. The attribute encapsulates the property of directed contingency or choice.
4. For all objects, if this attribute is found in an object, then we may conclude that the object was designed by an intelligent agent.
This is an inductive argument. Notice that by the second step, one must eliminate from consideration precisely those biological phenomena which Dembski wishes to categorize. In order to conclude intelligent agency for biological examples, the possibility that intelligent agency is not operative is excluded a priori. One large problem is that directed contingency or choice is not solely an attribute of events due to the intervention of an intelligent agent. The "actualization-exclusion-specification" triad mentioned above also fits natural selection rather precisely. One might thus conclude that Dembski's argument establishes that natural selection can be recognized as an intelligent agent.
That last sentence bugged Dembski enough to include it in the preface to one of his later books in order to dismiss it.
Yes, RBH on IIDB pointed out to me that you had made the same point.
Do you have a source for the preface in which Dembski dismissed it? What was his counter-argument?
BTW I very much enjoyed your review.