Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Star Press of Muncie, Indiana — the home town of Ball State University. The title is Intelligent design not a dangerous idea. The newspaper has a comments feature with almost 40 comments so far.
Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. He writes a lot of letters-to-the-editor — we posted about one last year: #416: Plausible Explanation — but he still doesn’t qualify for full-name treatment. His first name is Kevin. Excerpts from his new letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!
The notion that intelligent design is a dangerous idea is utterly ridiculous. Why would scientific research be jeopardized, or advances in medical science be curtailed, by postulating the past activity of an intelligent designer?
Kevin can postulate the past activity of the tooth fairy, the boogeyman, leprechauns, a guardian angel, or anything else that makes him happy. We won’t waste our time explaining why no one can do scientific research with any of that as a starting point. Then he says:
While it is not possible to subject God to scientific verification, it is certainly possible to detect the effects or results of conscious activity.
Yes, just as our ancestors detected the conscious activity of the gods as the cause of earthquakes, lighting, disease, etc. Let’s read on:
We know experientially that intelligence is necessary to produce highly complex or specified information, such as is used in computer technology.
Microsoft’s Bill Gates has said, “DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created.” Thus it is entirely logical to infer that intelligent agency was responsible for the genome in living systems.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Humans write computer programs, so it’s obvious that Yahweh designed your colon. Kevin continues:
To exclude the design hypothesis on the assumption that everything in the empirical realm must be given a materialistic explanation to to diminish the rationality of scientific inquiry.
Alas, Kevin fails to grasp that a scientific hypothesis isn’t a wild theological conjecture. It’s a tentative, educated, observation-based proposal about the natural world that can be either supported or refuted through experimentation or additional observation. The magic designer fails every element of that definition. Here’s more:
“While it would not be appropriate to invoke intelligent agency in every scientific context,” says philosopher of science Stephen Meyer, “design theory can explain certain facts in biology. The way that science is done would not in any way be affected by allowing the design hypothesis as the best explanation for some events in the history of the cosmos.”
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Stephen Meyer is Vice President and a Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute. It should not be forgotten that Meyer was a central figure in the infamous Sternberg peer review controversy. Here’s the last of it:
He [Meyer] further states that “all questions about how nature normally operates without the special assistance of divine agency remain unaffected by whatever view of origins one adopts.”
We agree too. Arbitrarily adding an unobserved dash of untestable Oogity Boogity to any aspect of science is consistent with everything, and provides no meaningful explanation of anything. That means it’s absolutely worthless. Great letter, Kevin!
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