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Rob Lockett's picture

Design and evolution...

Hi Mike, I agree that there is a need for a design paradigm to include natural selection. And I think that most people miss the fact that it does. Mostly because the evolutionary establishment unfairly characterizes the argument.

This is the beauty of design over it's competitor as a scientific explanation for the appearence of life.

Natural selection is a fact. It has not only been tested, but observed. The question is whether 'natural selection' is equivalent to 'evolution'. The answer is an emphatic 'no'!

Evolution has recently been redefined (because of the ID debate) to mean simple change (or mutation)without regard for direction. And that is a definition I can somewhat agree with. My only problem with it, is that the proper term is actually 'natural selection'.

As we all know, evolution is the idea that relatively simple non-living elements 'evolved' (by as yet unknown processes) into more and more complex living forms. But as we also know, our material universe is bound by the laws of physics. And as such, it is also a fact that without intelligent guidance, our universe will continue on it's present couse of entropy as per the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

I know there is a lot of confusion over the 2nd Law, and that some horrible arguments for crystal formation and such have been used against it's limitations on the evolution of complex systems. However, crystal formation (and the temperatures involved) is utterly irrelevant to the chemical processes of living machinery. If anything, some living organisms have been front loaded to endure the otherwise life extinguishing conditions that produce crystalization.

Putting that aside for now, what the ID argument has done, is to distinguish selection by natural forces in it's proper boundaries within physical laws, from the explanation for life's existence to begin with. Gravity can tell us the behavior of a body, but it cannot tell us how the body came to be. Nor can it tell us how gravity itself came to be.

The idea of 'Front Loading' in your book makes that point. The information in biological systems which can be emperically tested and observed to originate from intelligence (keeping in mind there is no alternative natural explanation to infer) is now in the process of being guided by natural forces, at least in part.

So with design, we do not have to throw 'natural selection' out the window.

I think Jonathan Wells makes the point as well as anyone:

“Before Darwinsim took over in the late nineteenth century, virtually every Western Biologist believed in intelligent design. The founders of all the modern biological disciplines; Mendel, who founded genetics, Leneaus, who founded Taxonomy where we name organisms; the early Embyologists, the early Paleontologists… All of these people believed in design, and they founded modern biology.

Darwinism came along and said, ‘no… design is an illusion’, but yet it kept all these disciplines… of course that’s what we now work in. And I see the current revolution as a return to our roots; our scientific roots, which were design roots. And so I see science once again returning to a design paradigm.

Now, the Darwinists claim that this will restrict scientific inquiry. I see it just the opposite… What I see now, is that the Darwinists cannot allow any hint of design in living things. They have to exclude every possible aspect of design. And this narrows the range of explanations tremendously. And it forces them to cram the data into these boxes that end up distorting the truth.

In a design paradigm however, the whole range of explanations is wide open! It doesn’t mean everything is designed… So some things can still be a product of random variations and natural selection as Darwin said they were. But it greatly expands the range of explanations that we have, and liberates science to follow the evidence wherever it leads.

So I see a tremendous invigoration… a reinvigoration of scientific research opening up areas that are now closed.”

Mike, though we may disagree on some things, I wanted to thank you for your honesty and critical analysis of the facts. Mainly that there is excellent and compelling evidence for design. And also, that we must find a way of bringing into a coherent picture, all of the facts that we know as of this date.

The fact is... that ID offers the middle ground that almost everyone claims to want.

I only wish more people were brutally honest with themselves about what it is they want to be true. I firmly believe that it is only when one's own motives are moved from the subconscious to the conscious mind, that they can begin to examine the evidence 'objectively'.

So let us ask ourselves, 'What do I want to believe'?

And let us remind ourselves that the answer to that question is totally irrelevant to 'science'. We should not be seeking to fulfill our wishes, but finding the truth. Or put another way, 'not my will be done, but yours'. Truth that is...

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