In an effort to draw laughs for himself and for ideas he considers wrong, this comic manages to condense years of debate and scientific study into a 5 minute stand-up routine. Humorous as it is, it does nothing to explain what Thomas Nagel calls the “fiendishly difficult problem” of the origin of life.
Re: ‘Humorous as it is, it does nothing to explain what Thomas Nagel calls the “fiendishly difficult problem” of the origin of life.’
Of course not — it’s a stand up routine! Ince’s point is this: The origin of life is an area of active scientific research in biochemistry and astrophysics. What is *not* an area of active scientific research / study is so-called intelligent design theory. But it is interesting, is it not, that you — at least, I suspect that you do — place credence in the hypothesis that a ‘magic man done it!’
Aaron, even atheist frontman Richard Dawkins is open to intelligent design…as long as it’s not the God of the Bible. There are still many people like you who refuse to accept the scientific premise of intelligent design. It is the implications of the theory you fear, because if we are more than random materialistic forces, then that would change things considerably, now wouldn’t it?
The reason I chose to comment on this video is because this can be more than a stand-up routine for some people. They might actually buy into the closed-minded views of the comic and it could influence their attitudes to science.
1) The premise of irreducible complexity is false and consequently, everything that follows from it. The biological literature will confirm this.
2) I don’t think that I need to explain what I mean by ‘better’, simply reviewing the literature on evolutionary theory may reveal that it is a much more robust scientific research program then Intelligent Design Theory. I would recommend reading The Britannica Guide to Genetics, as it devotes a significant amount of time to evolution. Also, any philosophy of biology text may provide insights into the conceptual issues surrounding evolutionary science.
3) There are many religious minded evolutionists who are outspokenly critical of ID; Francis Collins, Kenneth Miller, and Father George Coyne are to only mention a few.
First, I ‘refuse’ to accept intelligent design con brio because it is unacceptable as a scientific hypothesis. Scientific practice is a matter of framing hypotheses which imply past observations and which imply future observations under specifiable conditions, which in turn would then serve to confirm or disconfirm hypotheses: so-called ID theory implies no observations — past or present — under no specifiable conditions.
Instead it persists in the intoxicating illusion that “I don’t see how this complex biological process / or how this organelle could have developed —— therefore, some unidentified force did it in a way we know not” constitutes a real contribution to our understanding of the biological sciences
To help you understand how ID can foster scientific research and inquiry, here’s a few words by molecular and cell biologist Jonathan Wells:
“Intelligent Design theory (ID) can contribute to science on at least two levels. On one level, ID is concerned with inferring from the evidence whether a given feature of the world is designed. This is the level on which William Dembski’s explanatory filter and Michael Behe’s concept of irreducible complexity operate. It is also the level that has received the most attention in recent years, largely because the existence of even one intelligently designed feature in living things (at least prior to human beings) would overturn the Darwinian theory of evolution that currently dominates Western biology.
On another level, ID could function as a “metatheory,” providing a conceptual framework for scientific research. By suggesting testable hypotheses about features of the world that have been systematically neglected by older metatheories (such as Darwin’s), and by leading to the discovery of new features, ID could indirectly demonstrate its scientific fruitfulness.”
Second, I do not ‘fear’ the potentiality that we are not the result of impersonal (not random) materialistic forces at all. I simply see no profit in postulating that we are: it simply does not assist in economizing our scientific models and framing successful predictive hypotheses.
Aaron, you see “no profit in postulating that we are” products of intelligent design? Wouldn’t you want to know if you and your loved ones were intelligently or unintelligently made? And before you say it makes no difference, think again. It makes all the difference in the world. Unintelligently made, we are answerable to no one, accountable to no one. Life would be relative since there would be no intelligence to establish objective truth. If intelligently made, we can then pursue purpose, truth, and true equality because we’d have a standard by which to measure.
How would knowing if we are intelligently or unintelligently made assist in our scientific pursuits? It would establish a mindset, a worldview, a true north by which we’d evaluate the results of our experiments. For what is science but a tool to help us find meaning in our lives and in our world?
It seems like you have a different issue that is of importance to you, that of the ‘meaning of life’ or some kind of existential issue. I think that is a matter best left to your pastor rather than to science.
Edgar, there is meaning behind the science. We cannot help but explore the ramifications of our scientific pursuits. Darwin himself did as he postulated his theory. We’ve come a long way since Darwin’s day and we now see the holes and problems with his theory.
Of course there is meaning behind science, but it ought to be scientific meaning, not an excuse to smuggle in your religious beliefs. Darwin’s views may indeed have some difficulties, but every scientific theory does. That said, it remains the consensus view and for good reason.
Aaron, for future reference, the phrase “could care less” is misused. To say you could care less about something implies that you already have a degree of care about it. The correct phrase would be “couldn’t care less” which says you don’t care at all about something and couldn’t care any less about it.
You might not care about Richard Dawkins, but you should at least note and be aware of his work, as he is one of the noisiest of the athiests out there trying to denounce God in the name of science.