Friday, August 31, 2007

Blatant IDiocy

You may have seen this at Denialism and Skeptico already, but I'll chime in anyway. An IDiot says:
In any debate on Intelligent Design, there is a question I have long wished to see posed to ID opponents: "If we DID discover some biological feature that was irreducibly complex, to your satisfication and to the satisfaction of all reasonable observers, would that justify the design inference?" (Of course, I believe we have found thousands of such features, but never mind that.)

If the answer is yes, we just haven't found any such thing yet, then all the constantly-repeated philosophical arguments that "ID is not science" immediately fall. If the answer is no, then at least the lay observer will be able to understand what is going on here, that Darwinism is not grounded on empirical evidence but a philosophy.

So, tell me, why exactly would we infer design from an IC feature? That's a question the IDiots avoid with evasions like this. There's nothing linking "This feature is IC" to "This feature was designed." We've been pointing that out for a long time, now.

In response, they typically begin a new evasion: "Well, if it's IC, evolution couldn't do it!" This is an outright lie mixed in with another non-sequitur. First, there's nothing stopping evolution from creating IC features. Evolution has a lot of tricks up its sleeves. The lie comes in when the IDiots claim that evolution can't subtract parts that become unnecessary, only add. This, of course, is the opposite of another IDiot lie: That evolution can only subtract, not add. Second, even if evolution can't explain another feature, why would ID be a better answer? It's kind of like the people who concluded early on that wind couldn't cause crop circles, therefore super-advanced aliens from outer space must have done them using Arthur C. Clark technology. Of course, it turns out that humans made them with simple geometry and simpler technology. Just because one hypothesis gets ruled out doesn't mean we say "a magic man done it." There are always more possibilities than squishy human brains initially come up with. It's hubris to think that humans know all the possibilities and can just pick one from the process of elimination. Of course, since evolution still hasn't been eliminated by the amateurish efforts of Behe and the like, it's kind of moot.

So, to get to a key point that IDiots always run away from: Why would we make a design inference from X?

3 comments:

Joshua said...

There is more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your squishy human brain.

Joshua said...

Are. Not is. =/

Heathen Dan said...

Even Michael Behe admits, under oath, that IC is not evidence for design but a (bad) argument against evolution. The IDiot who made that comment is guilty of "contrived dualism" which is already found to be legally vacuous since McLean (and much earlier in Science and Philosophy where it's called the fallacy of the false dilemma).