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  Topic: Uncommonly Dense Thread 2, general discussion of Dembski's site< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Reciprocating Bill

Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 02 2009,11:04   

Fuller continues to sow unclarity:
Maybe my fears are ungrounded, but I have been always struck that when the media put out a boilerplate account of a key ID concept like ‘irreducible complexity’, they tend to interpret the ‘irreducibility’ as something like ‘unfathomability’. But in fact, the spirit of the concept is to show how things had to be put together in a certain way to serve a certain function, such that even minor changes would render the thing dysfunctional. This strikes me as the very opposite of ‘unfathomability’. If anything, it [IR] speaks to the hyper-rationalism, or at least hyper-mechanism, of ID thinking.

Again, Fuller blurs rather than clarifies.

First, irreducible complexity has been refuted by numerous quite specific demonstrations of possible stepwise pathways to the attainment of mechanisms that cease functioning upon the removal of a single component (e.g. scaffolding, exaptation, etc.). Whether or not popular accounts of ID critique IR on the basis of unfathomability (and I've never seen one that does) is irrelevant to the force of these quite specific arguments.

Second, the ID account does not embrace either "hyper-mechanism" or "hyper-rationality." The complexity, irreducible or otherwise, of biological systems and their origins is the explanandum, not the explanation. The question that calls for "mechanism," mechanism ID fails to supply, is the question of the origination and elaboration of that complexity. A parasitical recapitulation (parasitical in the sense that ID researchers do no actual research) of the complexities of observed in biological systems does not amount to an explanation of the origins of these systems. Nor does a denial that other proposed mechanisms (those of evolutionary biology) can account for that complexity, however well argued, represent an alternative mechanism.

ID has, as strategic choice, chosen to remain silent about any and all specifics regarding the "mechanism" of design, including the identity, number, capabilities, purposes, limitations, means, times, places, motivations and purposes of the designing "agent's" actions. What we are left with is unfathomability regarding ID's proposed mechanism with respect to these and other specifics. In that sense the charge of unfathomability is dead on. Fuller blurs these distinctions for rhetorical purposes.
Nevertheless, even on this blog – and over the last couple of days – one can find the following statement, which appears to draw a mystifying conclusion from a rather de-mystifying premise.

Are Gil Dodg'em's ornate tics relevant to anything?
The ‘science of God’ that I shall developing in the next few posts presupposes that we get closer to understanding the ‘intelligence’ behind ID, the more our own mental and physical creations turn out to model what actually happens in nature.

Good luck with that Steve. Particularly with concocting a formulation subject to empirical investigation. And thanks for the entertainment likely to ensue as an agnostic explains God to believers.
In this respect, the recognisably mechanical rendering of the bacterial flagellum that graces the banner of this website truly epitomises what ID is about – and what the 17th Scientific Revolution was about.

See above.

Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

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