Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Unless You Can Explain Who Designed God, We Can't Conclude That Mount Rushmore Has A Designer

Last week, Michael Medved interviewed Stephen Meyer, an advocate of intelligent design with the Discovery Institute. That interview is now available online.

The interview addresses many of the relevant issues, and a few callers opposed to intelligent design were allowed to speak with Meyer. They repeatedly misrepresented intelligent design and had to be corrected and instructed on basic issues. One of the callers raised the common objection that intelligent design doesn't explain who designed the designer. It would be like saying that, in archeology, a statue of a man with several sentences inscribed on it can't be attributed to an intelligent agent, namely a human, unless we explain who designed that intelligent agent. We would eventually have to explain who designed the first human, and that would take us to God, and these opponents of intelligent design tell us that we can't explain who designed God. Therefore, archeology is an invalid field of research. Since we can't explain who designed the designer of humans, we therefore can't conclude that any archeological artifact is an object of intelligent design.

I hope that more people will do interviews like this one Michael Medved did, and I hope they'll move the anti-intelligent-design callers to the front of the line, as Medved did. Their arguments and questions are so ridiculous as to help make the case for intelligent design.

Another item on intelligent design appeared today at the American Spectator web site. It's by Granville Sewell, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Texas El Paso and visiting professor at Texas A&M University. He's writing primarily on evolution and the second law of thermodynamics, but he also comments on some other elements of the theory:

"It seems that until the trigger hair, the door, and the vacuum chamber were all in place, and the ability to digest insects, and to reset the trap to be able to catch more than one insect, had been developed, none of the individual components of this carnivorous trap would have been of any use. What is the selective advantage of an incomplete vacuum chamber? To the casual observer, it might seem that none of the components of this trap would have been of any use whatever until the trap was almost perfect, but of course a good Darwinist will imagine two or three far-fetched intermediate useful stages (and maybe even find one in Nature!), and consider the problem solved. I believe you would need to find thousands of intermediate stages before this example of irreducible complexity has been reduced to steps small enough to be bridged by single random mutations -- a lot of things have to happen behind the scenes and at the microscopic level before this trap could catch and digest insects....A National Geographic article from November 2004 proclaims that the evidence is 'overwhelming' that Darwin was right about evolution. Since there is no proof that natural selection has ever done anything more spectacular than cause bacteria to develop drug-resistant strains, where is the overwhelming evidence that justifies assigning to it an ability we do not attribute to any other natural force in the universe: the ability to create order out of disorder?...In fact, the fossil record does not even support the idea that new organs and new systems of organs arose gradually: new orders, classes and phyla consistently appear suddenly."