I guess they're not. Course, without misrepresenting ID an evolutionist (theistic or otherwise) wouldn't have an argument.
The argument is not about whether or not 'change' occurs, that is given and it is a misrepresentation to pretend otherwise. The argument is about whether the 'change' that is observed can create a man out of an amoeba or whether it is limited e.g. to generating dogs, wolves, coyotes, jackals, etc out of an original canine kind.
Was life created with an ability to adapt within and proceeding from separate biological groups or was the first cell created and everything proceeded from there? Naturalists would argue the second position while creationists would argue the first, from the same observed 'change'.
Clearly, what we observe is consistent with life that was created with an ability to adapt within and proceeding from separate biological groups and therefore consistent with ID.
Equally as clear is the fact that what is observed is not consistent with all life proceeding from a single life form. That is a 'fantastic postulate' as Mr. Towne notes and it is interesting that he seems to accept the 'fantastic postulate' where evolution is concerned, yet reject it where the universe is concerned.
"My answer to that is, we should explore as much as we can. We should think about everything, try to explore everything, and question things."
Just don't push the ID boundary forward so that it is consistent with Biblical teaching. That is unacceptable. /sarc
Try this :)
"..man is not descended from animals, but rather, vice versa. Put another way, the human being is not "animal plus X." Rather, various animals are "human prototype minus X," just as life is not "matter plus Y," but "life minus Y."
("If I recall correctly, this was an argument in Schumacher's Guide For the Perplexed." ).
Saturday, May 12, 2007: Drinking from God's Firehose
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Roget’s Theosaurus and the Tickwttted Illusion of Sweet Fanny Adams
By Robert W.Godwin [Gagdad Bob] , Ph.D is a clinical psychologist whose interdisciplinary work has focused on the relationship between contemporary psychoanalysis, chaos theory, and quantum physics. http://onecosmos.blogspot.com/
Perhaps it’s as simple as Zero and One. Either you have a metaphysics of the One or you embrace the nihilism of the zilch, the nada, the bupkis...
Hmm, here’s an interesting little factoid. I was just looking up synonyms for zero in my thesaurus, and I see that the very first two categories are Existence and Nonexistence, followed, appropriately enough, by Substantiality and Insubstantiality, then Intrinsicality and Extrinsicality. Thus, the first three pages of the thesaurus tell us pretty much all we need to know about theology, metaphysics, and ontology.
For, it is written, in the beginning was 1. EXISTENCE, or being, essence, presence, substantiality, reality, actuality, factuality, authenticity, not a dream, the truth of the matter, what’s what, the nitty gritty, absolute, self-evident, inescapable, and indisputable fact, brass tacks, self-existence, uncreated being, noncontingent existence, aseity, and others.
How true, which is to say, correct, valid, sound, accurate, well-grounded, logical, veridical, inerrant, self-consistent, cogent, authoritative, uninvented, unadulterated, square, dead right, bang-on, straight-up-and-down, and honest-to-God, for Being implies Truth.
Indeied, In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was EXISTENCE. Or, you might say that In the Beginning God created BEING and NONBEING, or, to be precise, pulled BEING out of his own ASEITY, or beyond being.
What about the alternative, which is to say, 2. NONEXISTENCE? Let’s see, we have nonbeing, nothingness, emptiness, vacuity, “the intense inane” (Shelley), unreality, negation, negativity, zero, absence, goose egg, not a whit, not a hint, not a blessed one, just Sweet Fanny Adams. In short. “ain’t nobody here but us leftists.”
What are the implications of this philosophy of zero, this metaphysics of nonbeing? According to Roget, it is to not exist, to be absent or lacking, to be annihilated, destroyed, eradicated and wiped out, to vanish, to be no more and leave no trace, to disappear, evaporate, melt away, die out, pass out of the picture, peter out, perish, circle the drain, go kaput, and just plain die.
This is indeed the fate of the leftist. In fact, he admits as much. Why then are they such chronic whiners? If their absence is intrinsic, why do they complain about it so much? I guess that’s why. As we said yesterday, leftism is the attempt to use horizontal politics to fill a vertical hole of their own creation. They are self-inflicted victims of their own nothingness. Envy takes care the rest.
All because you never allowed yourself to exist by aligning yourself with the Real, the Absolute, and the Intrinsic. Rather, you made yourself nonexistent, unreal, imaginary, fanciful, unsubstantial, illusory, and without being. Which is to say, you made yourself. But nobody made you. .....”
“... What is “nothing,” anyway, and why are there people who believe in it? Schuon writes of nothingness that it is, “on the one hand, an intellectual notion and, on the other hand, a cosmic tendency; this notion of nothingness is identical with that of impossibility; that is to say, nothingness is total impossibility, whereas there do exist relative impossibilities, namely those which represent situations modifiable in principle.”
So true nothingness cannot really exist except in the minds of nihilists. Therefore, they know of what they speak, since they themselves are the absurd “possibility of nothing,” which is just one of the diverse possibilities of Something. The nihilist is just a self-unmade man, or man unmade, to be exact.
“The notion of ‘nothing’ is essentially a reference — obviously negative — to something possible or existent, otherwise it would be meaningless and even inconceivable. Indeed, ‘nothing’ indicates by definition the absence of something: it excludes one or many objects, or all objects, according to context; to speak of an intrinsic ‘nothingness,’ of a nothing in itself, without reference to the things which it excludes, would be a contradiction in terms. When a receptacle is filled and then emptied, there is a difference; now this difference is a reality, otherwise no one would ever complain about being robbed. If this ‘nothing’ were in itself a ‘nothingness’ — if it had no ‘referential’ character — there would be no difference between presence and absence, plenitude and vacuity, existence and inexistence; and every thief could argue that the ‘nothing’ he produced in someones purse does not exist; the word ‘nothing’ would be devoid of meaning just as the nothingness is devoid of content.... an intrinsic nothingness cannot concretely be opposed to anything or be affected by anything in any way.”
So EXISTENCE and NONEXISTENCE aren’t actually opposites. Rather, the one is real, the other entirely fanciful, an absurdity, an impossibility, a... never mind.
Similarly, as Will was saying the other day about the “ether,” or the spiritual substance of reality, in the absence of such a metaphysical category, the cosmos makes no sense at all.
For, “space, if it were an absolute emptiness — if it did not in practice coincide with ether — could not comprise distance and separation, for a nothingness added to another nothingness — if this were conceivable without absurdity — could not produce a distance.”
Now, back to the ZERO and the ONE. Schuon notes that “the difference between 1 and 2 is relative, but the difference between 1 and 0 can be termed absolute...” Which is to say, “A thing cannot exist half-way, either it exists or it does not exist; consequently, since there is something absolute about existence in relation to inexistence,” this speaks to “the whole miracle of creation.”
Or, put it this way: “When one, two or three out of four candles are extinguished, the difference in luminosity is relative; but when the last one is extinguished, the difference is total, for it is that between light and darkness. This is what allows negative expressions such as ‘the Void’ (Shunya), ‘not this, not this’ (neti neti), and other terms of the kind to be applied to pure Being, and a fortiori to Beyond-Being. All apophatic theology stems from this principle of terminology.”
Ah ha! So NOTHING does exist. In fact, it is not the negation of BEING, but the ABSOLUTE EXISTENCE of the God-beyond-being, who must exist — and if so, must coincide with the sovereign good.
“The idea of ‘being’ positively implies reality, and restrictively manifestation; we say ‘restrictively’ because manifestation or existence represents a ‘less’ or a limitation in relation to the Principle which is pure Being. In signifying reality, the idea of ‘being’ evokes ipso facto the ‘good’ and also the ‘more,’ hence quality and quantity; but above all it evokes ‘presence.’ As for the opposite idea of ‘nothingness,’ it implies first of all the ‘absence’ of being, or impossibility, and more relatively the absence of determinate things; it also implies, by derivation and by analogy, the phenomenon of ‘less’ and, in another respect, that of ‘evil.’ But this idea can also be applied, quite paradoxically, to the transcendent or principial order: from the standpoint of the manifested world — hence from the standpoint of existence in the restricted sense of the term — all that transcends this world and consequently is free from existential limitations, is ‘nothingness.’
Which was the point of beginning — and ending — and beginning — the [book] with the word nothing. Not to signify negation, non-being, nothingness, ... or some other addle-pated hooey. Rather, this is the infinite gap between the first and last Word of existence, which is to say,
a formless void without mind or life,
a shadow spinning before the beginning over a silent static sea,
unlit altar of eternity, fathomless vortex of the Infinite Zero.
Darkest night, dreamless sleep:
Outside in. Spacetimematterenergy.
No beforeafter, nobodaddy, no mamafestation, nothing but neti.
One brahman deathless breathing breathless,
darkness visible the boundless all.
Unknown origin prior to time and space,
fount of all being, unborn thus undying,
beginning and end of all impossibility,
empty plenum and inexhaustible void.
Hi Gourmet Dan! I guess you could say we have an "observer problem" here: different articulations of the same evidence, both of which may actually be "true" from the respective points of view of the observers who have constructed their "experiments" differently. Personally, I regard science and philosophy (and theology is the "queen of metaphysics") not as "mutually-exclusive," but as complementary.
Indeed, as the great psychologist/philosopher Willam James -- who was keenly interested in evolution issues and quotes Darwin extensively in his magisterial classic of psychology -- wrote, "metaphysics means nothing but an unusually obstinate effort to think clearly." [The Principles of Psychology, originally published 1890]
Darwinists are fond of reminding us that evolution theory is not an origin of life theory. Granted, this is true. There's another problem it doesn't address: consciousness; and actually this is a problem that seems to be related to origin of life speculations. Although Darwinism isn't an origin of life theory, it may well be that the issue of the origin of consciousness is ineluctibly bound up with the same origin as life itself.
James treats of consciousness in this classical work, and lays out the problems as he sees them. In the chapter "The Mind-Stuff Theory," James said:
The point which as evolutionists we are bound to hold fast to is that all the new forms of being that make their appearance are really nothing more than results of the redistribution of the original and unchanging materials. The self-same atoms which, chaotically dispersed, made the nebula, now, jammed and temporarily caught in peculiar positions, form our brains; and the "evolution" of the brains, if understood, would be simply the account of how the atoms came to be caught and jammed. In this story no new natures, no factors not present at the beginning, are introduced at any later stage.In the case of consciousness, the "potency" upon which evolution "acts" is not there at the origin, whatever the origin may have been. So how to account for consciousness? How and when did it sneak in?
But with the dawn of consciousness an entirely new nature seems to slip in, something whereof the potency was not given in the mere atoms of the original chaos.
Some schools of evolutionary psychology have attempted to introduce a theory of consciousness based on discrete cell intelligence; thus consciousness is to be understood as the composite of a congeries of "smart" cells which comprise the physical brain. On this view, consciousness is an epiphenomenon of physical brain activity which has no independent causal power of its own.
The theory in question [i.e., Darwin's evolutionary theory], therefore, if radically carried out, must set up for its elementary and irreducible psycho-physic couple, not the cell and its consciousness, but the primordial and eternal atom and its consciousness.But why stop there? Just as cells are composites of atoms, so are atoms composites of nuclei and electrons. Electrons appear to be indivisible; but protons and neutrons which make up the nucleus are themselves composites of even smaller parts, the subatomic particles (the list of which seems still to be growing). So a "cell theory" of consciousness doesn't rest on ultimate grounds. Though it is certainly convenient for science to employ it; it "quantizes" consciousness, which helps make it tractible in scientific applications.
But James strongly argues that in the mind/brain relation, the entire consciousness is "indivisible" -- not "quantizeable" -- and coextensive with the entire current brain state, not just individual brains cells or any combination of them.
I dunno. To me it seems that saying consciousness is the ultimate product of primordial cells as it expresses via evolution is just to say we aren't going to deal with consciousness; because it, like the origin of life, is just too difficult a problem.
James wraps up this chapter with an observation: "...nature in her unfathomable designs has mixed us of clay and flame, of brain and mind, ... the two things hang indubitably together and determine each other's being, but how or why, no mortal may ever know."
It appears that Charles Townes would not be scandalized by such a view.
Anyhoot, I still say that Darwinist evolution theory is "incomplete." This drives my Darwinist friends a little nutz, 'cause they just don't see it that way. But to me, the theory has got to be incomplete if, as a life science, it knows nothing about the origin of life and consciousness....
Granted that is a misrepresentation of ID, namely in claiming that ID holds that everything was "made at once" with no further change. However you also misrepresent ID, at least to any extent that you imply this claim is rejected by or inconsistent with ID.
The truth is that any and all assertions or suppositions about when things were made are equally consistent with ID.
The accurate representation of ID is that is completely vacuous wrt to any claim about when creation or "design" events occur[ed]. Likewise as to whether or not they occur[ed] all at once or in some temporal sequence, to what extent if any they are supplemented by natural (non-design, evolutionary) change, how they occur, etc, etc.
Basically on absolutely every substantive, empirical claim ID is silent, vacuous and embraces self imposed and intentional ignorance and incuriousity, excepting exclusively the "inference" that certain features are the result of "intelligent design". But of course we don't know anything about what such "design" actually is, and even less what it means for something to be the "result" of it.
This state of affairs is an entirely intentional feature of Intelligent Design, which itself was designed not with a scientific mission but with a political/activist function: i.e. to serve as a kind of umbrella organization/ideology for antievolutionists. It's vacuousness is aimed at avoiding the fate of all previous such efforts at unifying antievolution activists: their tendency to fragment and schism over questions such as the age of the earth, progressive versus fiat creation, the origin of entropy, the global or local extent of the flood, the nature of the biblical "canopy" or "firmament," and other such questions invariably treated as matters of dogma rather than rational and potentially soluble scientific dispute.
The main activity of "Intelligent Design advocates" is to conduct and endless song and dance act aimed a making the casual observer think that it has something substantive to contribute.