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Thursday, January 26, 2006

He Loves Me / He Loves Me Not

Praise from "the people's economist." Less-than-praise from the people's biologist (I guess).

4 comments:

  1. I just posted this at the "people's biologist" site:
    "Economics and finance are nothing if not unemotional, sometimes at bad times (Paul Volcker complains that, had he known the war against inflation would require 21.5% interest rates, he would have hidden in a hole). And economics and finance have voted 100% against ID. If you go to the stock listings for the New York Stock Exchange, and you wish to invest in a company that relies on applied evolution theory applied to make money, you have several good choices: Genentech (which also encourages evolution be taught well in high schools, formerly with more gusto, but still), any number of other pharmaceutical companies, Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM), Cargill, and pesticide companies like Monsanto (both insect and herbal pests), and probably other industries, too. In sharp contrast, there is not a commercial application available under ID hypotheses..."

    This argument seems silly to me. Even if IDers are totally correct (which I doubt), it is highly unlikely that anyone could create a business around guessing God's next innovation!

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  2. My second post to the site:

    "ID requires the intervention of a supernatural, transcendant being. ID advocates have admitted this many times, as when Dembski wrote that "it is a transcendent design, not reducible to the physical world. Indeed, no intelligent agent who is strictly physical could have presided over the origin of the universe or the origin of life." ID advocates are often dishonest when they claim that the designer could just as easily be an alien or a time-traveling biochemist because this clearly contradicts their prior statements on the matter and because neither of those possibilities is in any way consistent with their arguments for ID."

    This ignores the possible view that the alien or biochemist might not be "strictly physical."

    Indeed, I would suggest that IDers are wrong to entertain the notion of an intelligent agent who is strictly physical, because the "strictly physical" is best conceived as "that which lacks any intelligence."

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  3. If you go to the stock listings for the New York Stock Exchange, and you wish to invest in a company that relies on applied evolution theory applied to make money, you have several good choices: Genentech...any number of other pharmaceutical companies, Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM), Cargill, and pesticide companies like Monsanto (both insect and herbal pests), and probably other industries, too. In sharp contrast, there is not a commercial application available under ID hypotheses...

    Gene's response was good, but I think it's missing the big problem with this guy's post (which is taken from the Science blog linked to in my original post here at Crash Landing).

    Big picture, what is the difference between evolution and ID? Evolution says organisms aren't designed and that their changes are random; there is no goal in evolution. In contrast, ID says there IS design in biology, and that the changes in organisms over time is the fulfillment of a conscious agent's desires.

    Now, we have human beings who are working to consciously alter organisms in order to better satisfy human plans. The blogger quoted above says this fits under evolutionary applications but not ID.

    (Note, I'm not denying that this research fits in the evolution paradigm. My point is, it also fits into ID. But if for some reason you were forced to choose, then you'd have to say these applications were ID but not evolution.)

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