Joined: May 2007
Here is something I saved from ARN a long time ago:
(The ARN link is long time dead)
|It seems to me that Behe still is harping on the same sterile theme: Things are so complex they must have been designed. He also insists that ID is a science that should be taught.|
From a transcript made at the DDD3 conference in 2002:
Question from the audience: I’d be interested in hearing you tell us a little bit about what your theory of intelligent design is, as opposed to what evolution isn’t.
Behe replies: Well, that’s a great question, and I know folks on the other side who are sceptical of intelligent design often get frustrated, but I try to be as conservative as I can and I don’t go out beyond what the data can support because I think overreaching is the bane of theories of design. You say that flagellum looks designed so everything is designed, or that everything that looks complex was designed, or something like that.
I think the short answer to your question is, for all of those things, I don’t know.
There not enough data. For the elephant, we have primelephus, the ancestral elephant of the Asian and African elephant, and mammoth. Well, could that happened by random mutation and natural selection? My instinctive answer is sure - it sure looks like it. It doesn’t look like any big deal.
The more careful answer, the actual answer, is I don’t know - cause I don’t know what’s involved in making one versus the other. I don’t know what molecular changes are necessary to make the small anatomical differences in those different species.
Suppose one believed that those things could have happened by natural selection, but maybe the origination of mammals needed some extra information - how would that have happened - how would the designer have done that? Would it have been, say, information embedded into nature at the big bang, or whenever nature started, or might it have been manipulations along the way, or some sort of input along the way?
The short answer is “I don’t know.”
It seems to me that teaching intelligent design is like teaching ‘We don’t know’ Ought we not also to add: At present, the theory of evolution is the only theory that in a consistent and satisfactory manner account for the facts and the evidence that we have. We have no reason to believe that forces outside of nature have been intervening in the natural unfolding of events on this planet.
Taking this a little further, I wonder about how Behe propose that the design process has been performed. Since Behe likes to use banal metaphors like clockwork and mousetraps, things we know are designed and built by man, let us follow that path.
Design as we know it, is performed in a number of steps.
1. Intent and purpose.
2. Drawing board design, laboratory experiments.
3. “2” is repeated as many times as required to reach a viable design.
4. Production, implementation.
It seems to me that Behe has made no attempt whatsoever at detecting any of these activities. Why?
The way I see it, the most serious flaw in his argument is that he refers to ‘design’ almost as if was some magical abracadabra that inserts whatever feature he fancies into a live being.
While the nature of things is, that it is hardly reasonable to think that any designer would insert, say, a flagellum into a bacterium.
What would have to be don is of course, to manipulate the actual genes, to perform whatever processes required on the DNA of the creature in question. Which of course requires intent and purpose. And an incredible amount of knowledge and sophisticated laboratory facilities beyond anything we know would be required!
It demands to much of my imagination, to think that space travellers would have come here, and would have bothered with manipulating DNA.
To me, that seems like thinking that life is evolving, but within limits. There are certain limitations, borders that cannot be crossed, and therefore require intervention by white coated people. Since this seems rather unthinkable, we are left with magic of the kind for which gods are known to be very skilled at.
And not only that – it boggles my mind when I try to think of the amount of work required to create all species, known and unknown, past and present. Millions upon millions of insects, each requiring directed design.
Is it possible to believe that designers have been travelling all over the planet, visiting not only all the continents, but also a vast number of islands to create all the endemic species there? No matter what Behe or the DI says, it simply is not possible that the designer(s) can be anything but omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent.
Intelligent Design requires a god, it is dishonest to pretend that the ‘designer’ could be anything else.
So is that it? Goddidit?
Not only does life not need special intervention by a Creator God, it is a natural, emergent expression of the routine creativity of the universe.
Stuart A. Kauffman