David Hume and Intelligent Design

David Hume, the famous Scottish philosopher and author who is often quoted in debates on whether or not miracles exist, atheism vs theism etc. had much to say on the issue of whether there was evidence of an Intelligent Designer behind the existence of the universe.

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Atheism, Darwinism and denial of reality

Richard Dawkins wrote in his book “The Blind Watchmaker”,

“Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

The argument needs to be restated more honestly like, “It looks designed, but my metaphysics says it can’t be ’cause there’s no designer. Therefore, chance and necessity, evolution, must have done it”. Evolution of the gaps.

This kind of argumentation is everywhere to be found in the atheistic Darwinian literature.

So what do they do to sound “scientific” while actually promoting mere foolishness? Easy. They invent another just-so story style argument.  They accuse the IDists or creationists  of “arguing from ignorance” or arguing from incredulity.  But, accusing an opponent of a logical fallacy is not an argument in itself. So that gives no advance to them at all in supporting the stories with evidence.

This tactic usually sounds something like this, “We don’t really have a clue how this could possibly happen and certainly no god is needed therefore here’s a story… perhaps this and perhaps that and um, if you don’t swallow the story I just made up well you’re just being ignorant and incredulous” – intellectual, psychological extortion.  Then they will cite some evolutionary study that shows some minor piece of adaptation and claim its a major proof.

So is the IDist really arguing from ignorance or incredulity? Of course not. Whether he realizes it or not he is in fact arguing from physics and more precisely from a form of statistical mechanics.  See my short article here.

Back to Dawkins’ statement, a quick and simple analysis:

  • How does Dawkins know this? A: He doesn’t. It’s fantasy passing as science.
  • It’s pure metaphysical presumption. Dawkins assumes there is no designer and then, without any thought of actually proving it, makes a bold but empty declaration, a bare unfounded assertion.
  • If anything object or system with a function looks like it was designed for a purpose, why should one assume it was not? That isn’t science, that is metaphysics [religion] and in Dawkins’ case, wishful thinking. And it’s bad science at that.
  • Why is something that has a function that accomplishes a distinct AND useful result not to be assumed to have a purpose and therefore a design? There is no valid reason.  Indeed, neither do we ever see any offered.

Thus we see that Dawkins, while a master story teller, is a very poor logician or thinker. So what does he, and his many disciples, do when confronted with the facts of this? Well they all begin the “shake a rubber chicken” dance, while blindfolded, chanting, “I see no proof of God!”.

It gets worse believe it or not. From no less than DNA discovery Nobel laureate Francis Crick:

“Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.” – Francis Crick

Gee, I wonder why biologists must keep this in mind. Isn’t it obvious that he would never have said this if the design was not so conspicuous that it intrinsically contradicts the biologist’s Darwinian indoctrination?  If anything is clear then that much is clear.

This is exactly the same “do not go where the evidence leads if it doesn’t support materialism” mentality of Dawkins’ “designoids”.

Indeed, why on earth invent “designoids” if the appearance of design is not so overwhelming?  The implications of his needing to invent designoids are obvious. Yet overwhelming as it may be, it cannot be real design because the metaphysics of these men requires it!  Their religion requires denial of it, else they must convert to something other than materialism; and heaven forbid the poor souls from having to man up and do that! My goodness, it would ruin their entire false sense of security in atheism. It would also ruin their careers as professional atheist evangelists.

That’s the real vain religion for ya. That’s blind faith. The great atheist god Nothing, is supreme in their minds.

Hume was not an atheist

David Hume,  the 18th century Scottish philosopher, historian etc., is often thought of and quoted from as though he were an atheist, whereas he was in fact a proponent of Intelligent Design and a deist.

Here are some quotes from his writings that demonstrate this:

“Wherever I see Order, I infer from Experience that there, there hath been Design and Contrivance. And the same Principle which leads me into this Inference, when I contemplate a Building, regular and beautiful in its whole Frame and Structure; the same Principle obliges me to infer an infinitely perfect Architect, from the infinite Art and Contrivance which is display’d in the whole Fabrick of the Universe.” (Hume, A Letter From a Gentleman to His Friend in Edinburgh).

“The whole frame of nature bespeaks an intelligent Author; and no rational enquirer can, after serious reflection, suspend his belief a moment with regard to the primary principles of genuine Theism and Religion.” (Hume 1956, 21).

“Were men led into the apprehension of invisible, intelligent Power by a contemplation of the works of nature, they could never possibly entertain any conception but of one single Being, who bestowed existence and order on this vast machine, and adjusted all its parts, according to one regular plan or connected system. …All things in the universe are evidently of a piece. Every thing is adjusted to every thing. One design prevails throughout the whole. And this uniformity leads the mind to acknowledge one Author.” (Hume, The Natural History of Religion (1757)

“The order of the universe proves an omnipotent Mind.” (Hume 1978; Treatise, 633n).

I rest my case.

Recommended reading

Here’s a short list of books I highly recommend for those seeking clarification and knowledge on the Design vs Darwinism and on the atheism vs theism subjects.  These are books that favor theism and Design inferences.

Genetic Entropy – John Sanford

The Edge of Evolution – Michael Behe

Signature in the Cell – Stephen Myer

Billions of Missing Links – Geoffery Simmons

The Probability of God – Stephen Unwin

Slaughter of the Dissidents – Jerry Bergman

From Darwin to Hitler – Richard Wiekart

Intelligent Design or Evolution – Stuart Pullen

God’s Undertaker – John Lennox

There is a no God – Anthony Flew

Mere Christianity – C.S. Lewis

The Abolition of Man – C.S. Lewis

The Problem of Pain – C.S. Lewis

God in the D ock – C.S. Lewis

Evolution, a Theory in Crisis – Michael Denton

Nature’s Destiny – Michael Denton

… more to come …

Is Intelligent design based on religion?

In the debate over whether intelligent design is science or not we often hear  the complaint – rather an accusation – that ID is religion not science. Then typically, a whole host of accusations that science and religion are incompatible or that science does not allow any supernatural explanations, follows.

So is ID religion or based on religion?

Well, the real question is not just is ID religion but also is Darwinism religion? Curiously enough Darwinism under analysis turns out to be far more religious and religion based than ID! Darwin was a materialist seeking to rid science of God [see “The Darwin Myth”]. His Origin is full of speculations based on religious arguments, as is the greater part of the Darwinian literature. How so? Well, when you read any statement of the kind “God wouldn’t have done it like that” or “an intelligent being would never have made it like that”, that is religion not science.

But what is ID really? Science or religion. If one makes the ubiquitous Darwinian error of equivocating ID with creationism then of course one will necessarily think it is religion.  But once one removes the fuzzy, foggy errors of Darwinian attempts at confounding ID with creationism, the fog begins to clear. The fallacy of equivocation is removed and one can see more clearly.

Intelligent Design is based on empirical evidence garnered from observation coupled with common sense (good reasoning) and the laws of logic and evidence.

Simple comparison of the basic elements of ID theory with creationism reveals the facts:

  • Creationism is based on a holy book – either the bible or the Qu’ran generally speaking
    ID does use any reference to any holy book at all
  • Creationism claims a specific God is the designer
    ID does not claim any god or gods as the designer(s)
  • Creationism seeks to coincide the holy book with science
    ID seeks to coincide the data with logical inferences based on abductive reasoning

Those differences alone create a significant disjunction between creationism and ID.

Furthermore, whether most, some or all IDists were also creationists is completely irrelevant. They may be Christians or Muslims or whatever, yet that in itself has no bearing on the evidence, the data and the logic involved.  No more so than a Darwinian scientists views ought to be confounded with atheism because the scientist happens to be such.

In other words, the particular state of the observers’ personal beliefs has nothing to do with whether his scientific claims are justified or not! This lesson Darwinists refuse to learn and for the sole reason that it allows them continue in their perpetual attempts to confound the public mind in order to save their materialism from disaster, thus upending their whole world view and deeply disturbing their sense of security.

Now, Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence believed in ID. In fact he insisted that it was based on the plain evidence of nature, not religion.  In his letter to John Adams on April 11, 1823, he declared:

I hold (without appeal to revelation) that when we take a view of the Universe, in its parts general or particular, it is impossible for the human mind not to perceive and feel a conviction of design, consummate skill, and indefinite power in every atom of its composition. (my bold )

Jefferson’s design inference was clearly based anything but religion. What was his basis then?

The movements of the heavenly bodies, so exactly held in their course by the balance of centrifugal and centripetal forces, the structure of our earth itself, with its distribution of lands, waters and atmosphere, animal and vegetable bodies, examined in all their minutest particles, insects mere atoms of life, yet as perfectly organised as man or mammoth, the mineral substances, their generation and uses, it is impossible, I say, for the human mind not to believe that there is, in all this, design, cause and effect, up to an ultimate cause, a fabricator of all things from matter and motion, their preserver and regulator while permitted to exist in their present forms, and their regenerator into new and other forms. (my bold)

Empirical data from nature itself thus provided the design  inference that Jefferson accepted.

Jefferson, as a man who was rather hostile toward traditional Christianity can hardly be accused of promoting fundamentalism of any kind nor of pleading for some religious basis for the design inference.

Today, many, following Jefferson’s method of logical inference, have come to the same or similar conclusions about “life the universe and everything” requiring an ultimate designer.
However in the Darwinian fundamentalist community no such suite is allowed, for as professor Lewontin stated without even blushing,

“We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.  It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated.  Moreover the materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”
——–
And even worse:
“Scientists, like others, sometimes tell deliberate lies, because they believe that small lies can serve big truths.”
-Lewontin, R.C., The Inferiority Complex, New York Review of Books, 22 October 1981, p. 13.”

Obviously we have here a salient declaration of religion. The religion of the materialist, the atheist.

So whose “science” is really religion? ID or Darwinism?

All scientific observations and conclusions may have metaphysical and thus religious implications. Implications are not the science itself. Darwinism has many metaphysical, religious implications.  So does ID. So does the Big Bang theory.

It amazes me to see how so many of the general public have been suckered into believing that scientists are somehow the real “saints” leading humanity to utopia, when in fact we have a confession of glaring dishonesty on the part on one world renown geneticist admitting that scientists lie!

This begs the question: So why should I trust a materialist scientists on anything at all? And the answer is of course, I shouldn’t. Not before examining the complete evidence as far as possible, seeking signs of motives and following the money trail. “Fortune and glory”, said Indiana Jones.

In all human history the great majority of mankind have logically made the design inference.

However, since the post-modern era of generalized claims that there is no God, no real good or evil, no absolute truth, many of the badly highly educated have deemed themselves in a position to simply deny reality, as atheists always do, and boldly claim that since there is no God Darwinism MUST be true.

Thankfully, once again, those who possess at least some degree of lucidity see that that itself is a religious argument not a scientific one!

Besides the fact that claiming, “there is no God”, is a logically unsupportable religious affirmation, the consequential Darwinian dogma that follows is also just another religious statement.

Darwinism is thus far more religious than any ID theory out there.

The spider and the wasp

The wasp known as hymenoepimecis argyraphaga is a parasitoid that uses the spider Plesiometa argyra as a host for its egg and larva.  This wasp somehow modifies the spider’s web building pattern to make a web specifically to support the wasp’s cocoon without breaking under rain and wind conditions.

As with other predator/host symbiotic or parasitic relationships in nature, the adult female wasp of this species paralyzes the spider and lays an egg on its abdomen.  The egg hatches into a larva which sucks the spider’s blood through small holes, while the spider goes on, apparently unconscious of its condition or the presence of an intruder.  The spider goes through its usual life building webs and catching insects for the next one to two weeks.

When the larva is ready to pupate, it injects a chemical into the spider.  This chemical somehow causes the spider to build a completely different web pattern.  Once constructed the spider  then sits motionless in the middle of this web.  The wasp larva then molts,  it kills the spider with a poison and then sucks its body empty. It then discards the carcass and builds a cocoon that hangs from the middle of the web the spider has just built.  After a while the larva pupates inside the cocoon and then emerges as a wasp to mate and begin this somewhat gruesome (to humans anyway) behavior cycle over again.

Thus the larva appears to be able to induce very specific behavioral responses in the spider.

This apparent “mind-control” is probably achieved with a chemical secreted by the larvae. What that chemical is or how it works is not yet known. It has also been shown that if larvae are removed on the last day,  just before the spider is killed, the spider will often recover after a few days of spinning the abnormal web.

Now the obvious question for Darwinists is, “How did this evolve in a step by step process of random mutations and selection?”

The answer? There is no answer. And there’s no answer because it is simply not possible.  There are far too many simultaneous and beneficial mutation/selection events necessary.

Here is just a very short sample of things that need consideration:
Both wasp and spider (or their ancestors) have to co-exist simultaneously
For the wasp to reproduce it must already possess the mechanisms related to its manipulation of the spider
The behavior of the wasp implies algorithmic information stored in its brain
The wasp has to evolve an injection system (secretory sys.)
The wasp larva has to evolve a literal behavioral program by which it is going to feed off the spider without killing it right off
The larva has to evolve the ability to manufacture the correct web spinning modifier chemical
The larva has to evolve a system capable of passing that chemical to its prey in the correct quantity
The larva has to have the most amazing bit of luck in the universe for that chemical to be able to modify the spiders genetic web construction program

There are so many intermediate steps required just for the above short list that it is mind bogglingly foolish to pretend that all this just came about as a mere unguided accident.

Indeed, the very facts that this wasp “knows” exactly what to do, that its larvae “know” when to feed or not, when and how to inject the web modifier, wait until the new web is built, then produce the correct venom to kill the host at the correct time etc etc. is uncanny in itself and inexplicable in Darwinian terms.

So how does Darwinism explain such creatures?  There are thousands of such symbiotic relationships among living things! So how do they explain such wonders of obvious design and intent?

The same way it explains everything else – with a just-so story!  But such stories only reveal the vivid imaginations Darwinists discover in themselves when they can’t really explain something under their own dogma.  Such stories are always incredibly naive, far too short (as to the number of steps required to evolve such mechanisms) and worst of all these stories are not founded on any clear empirical evidence at all – just pure invention. Sometimes they present a vague comparison to some other similar instance that itself is not explained either!

When reading through some of the just-so stories published in supposedly “serious” scientific journals, one is lead to wonder how such trash can pass peer review. However we already know how; the peers are also staunch Darwinists with either -like a fool- have very poor ability to reason logically or are just as duped by story telling as the author is.

I could just as easily present the case of  the emerald cockroach wasp, ampulex compressa, and its cockroach brain stinging that allows it to control the movement of the host. The female penetrates the exact point in a cockroach’s brain to disable its escape reflex!  The evolution of such by the Darwinian mechanism once again implies too many remarkable coincidences for it to be unplanned.

So how do Darwinists respond to this kind of evidence against their theory when trying to avoid another just-so story? They will say that this is an argument from incredulity. A very common response these days since there is more and more such evidence being weighed against Darwinism. Unfortunately for them this is not an incredulity argument. This is in fact an argument from statistical mechanics. The mechanics involved demonstrate such a high level of integration and are so improbable – based on mathematics not incredulity- that the probability of such relations and mechanisms arising by the dual gods of Darwinism “chance” and “necessity”, is near zero.

There are far too many examples of mutually dependent relations in nature to list them or demonstrate why such are such robust refuters of the Darwinian illusion. I suggest those interested look up the many available articles on the web.

Is true science Methodological Naturalism?

The following is a typical comment one hears from materialists when defining science:

If we think they originated as s supernatural event, outside the purview of science, then we cannot study the phenomenon. However, if we think they originated as the result of natural events,: chemistry, physics, and contingency, then we can study the matter and learn things in the process, even if we are wrong in our basic assumption.

This is bad reasoning based on either ignorance, mere incredulity or both.  It also precludes all  phenomena deemed as supra-natural from the “purview of science” a priori.

The 1st phrase implies that Newton, Pascal, Maxwell, and several 100s of other historically acclaimed scientists, that founded so-called “modern” science, could not have founded modern science! This is of course pure prejudice at work.
They were nevertheless virtually ALL staunch creationists who clearly believed the “originated as a supernatural event” view of life and the universe.

Bishop Robert Grosseteste, a reform-minded cleric of the 13th century, is the first man known to have explicitly spelled out the scientific method. His methodology was made world-famous by his pupil, the friar Roger Bacon. Both predicted that application of their methods would result in the systematic acquisition of knowledge–a result which followed.  Bacon especially enumerated the results, which included submarines and flying machines.

So the greatest scientists in past history, all creationists of some sort, did not believe the materialist definition of science!
How then can the atheists claim, as they ubiquitously do, that creationism or even mere intelligent design (which leaves the question of God and holy books out of the issues) will lead to the ruin of science when in fact all the great scientists that led us to where we are today were themselves creationists?! Utterly ridiculous.

I smell a rotten egg in the materialist mindset.

All across the world today we see fanatical Darwinian fundamentalist running around screaming that creationism would kill “real” science. Yet they never stop to explain how that would be possible given that the majority of historical scientists, including the inventors of the scientific method, were all creationists. Worse, the populations subjected to such fanaticism seem to be too dull to see through such an inane and perfectly illogical claim!

Therefore, how utterly ridiculous is any statement that implies they were in fact unscientific! Yet atheists do this all the time and the worst is that they often succeed in convincing others through the use of sophistry and a slight-of-hand conflating and equivocating of terms and definitions, as they do, to confuse those who do not want to think for themselves.

This is just another distortion promulgated in the new atheist propaganda, ubiquitous in the halls of academia these days and now forced as an a  priori qualification of all science!! So who gave them the right to define science anyway? No one.

The truth is that the origin of any phenomenon can be conceived of and therefore examined in some way -no matter what the perceived nature of that origin.
To say it cannot be is simply to claim that we do not have the right tools -yet, or worse, that we’re already assuming no such tools will ever exist.

Thus the materialist view assumes both too much and too little:
Too much of whatever “super-nature” really means.
Too little of how such could eventually be studied.
It lacks both imagination and realism, not to mention humility.

“Outside the purview of science”?
By this the atheist means outside of Methodological Naturalism. That much is clear, yet that much is also mere bias based on metaphysical assumptions about the universe and not on any factual necessity and that, to continue, is mere religion.

One can only laugh or cry that “science” has been defined in such a way as to deliberately interdict anything we don’t really understand yet! But that in itself is anti-science!

What is the purview of science, really?

Within this context let’s test the matter with the following question:

Suppose life really was designed by a or many intelligent being(s)?
Q: Could you, under your definition of  science, detect this?
A: If it cannot (as you claim) then it is lame, inefficient, insufficient and can never lead to the facts!

If “life, the  universe and everything” really was planned, designed and created, and your definition of science prohibits all but matter and energy then your science can never discover the truth that it was in fact designed!
In such a case your science is indefensibly and indeed irrationally exclusionary.

If your idea of science thus, a priori, excludes all possibility of any extra-, hyper- or supra- “natural” (as we understand natural) existences, then you’re applying a irrational limitation to your ability to understand origins – i.e. you’ve already shot yourself in the head and can never discover the fact.

In most cases materialists, that use this biased and indeed twisted version of science,  think they’ve shot their opponents in the head. In fact, they’ve merely debilitated their own prejudiced view of  science irrationally.  In not limiting the abilities of research to nothing but matter and energy, the true scientist, open to teleology,  has also left all possibilities open to discovery rather than forcing all discovery into a small box of materialist metaphysical dogma. The latter which purely religious and not scientific at all.

This methodological naturalism is a crippled  and prejudiced view of the “purview of science” as all the founders of modern science and indeed the scientific method (1st elaborated by creationists)

Here I cite Thaxton on the scientific method:

Method of Abductive Inference

Reasoning from experience and linking cause to effect developed over several centuries and became a recognized scientific method of causal inference. It has been a part of science since the Scientific Revolution, which culminated in the great synthesis of Isaac Newton in the seventeenth century. Over the course of the development of modern experimental science, Western culture learned to rely on sensory experience to gain knowledge about natural phenomena. By following experience scientists learned to infer causes from effects, i.e., to work backward from the character of the effects to the cause.

A cause is that necessary and sufficient condition that alone can give rise to the occurrence of a given event. And it does not matter if the cause is natural or intelligent. In the words of David Hume, who gave a formal analysis of this approach, “From causes which appear similar we expect similar effects.” (Emphasis his.) Later in the same book he added, “the same rule holds, whether the cause assigned be brute unconscious matter, or a rational intelligent being.”

The inferential methods we usually learn in school are deductive, i.e., inference from the general to the particular, and inductive, i.e., inference from the particular to the general. There has always been a third method of inference, though not clearly described and formally analyzed until the 1870s, this being abductive, i.e., inference from experience. The method of abductive inference is particularly important in the historical sciences, reasoning backward from phenomena to the cause.

This description of the scientific method is just and open and using such will allow scientists to discover and reason without the straitjacket restraints with which the materialist masters would enslave all scientific research.

It is in fact the abductive method that allows science to discover intelligent causes in any domain and not merely the domains of forensics.

I conclude with a quote from Werner Von Braun,

“While the admission of a design for the universe ultimately raises the question of a Designer (a subject outside of science), the scientific method does not allow us to exclude data which lead to the conclusion that the universe, life and man are based on design. To be forced to believe only one conclusion–that everything in the universe happened by chance –would violate the very objectivity of science itself.”
“The inconceivability of some ultimate issue (which will always lie outside scientific resolution) should not be allowed to rule out any theory that explains the interrelationship of observed data and is useful for prediction.” “It is in that same sense of scientific honesty that I endorse the presentation of alternative theories for the origin of the universe, life and man in the science classroom.” -Werner Von Braun, Ph.D., the father of the NASA space Program, in an open letter to the California State Board of Education on September 14, 1972.