Sunday, May 23, 2010

What is the relationship of ID to Science? Is it Science?


Image from here


In his sixth chapter of “Signature in the Cell” Meyer presents the view that the scientific enterprise is much wider than “doing experiments.”
Kekule famously “discovered” the structure of benzene while having a daydream about snakes seizing their own tails.

I turned my chair to the fire [after having worked on the problem for some time] and dozed. Again the atoms were gamboling before my eyes. This time the smaller groups kept modestly to the background. My mental eye, rendered more acute by repeated vision of this kind, could not distinguish larger structures, of manifold conformation; long rows, sometimes more closely fitted together; all twining and twisting in snakelike motion. But look! What was that? One of the snakes had seized hold of its own tail, and the form whirled mockingly before my eyes. As if by a flash of lighting I awoke... Let us learn to dream, gentlemen.

Meyer uses the example of Watson and Crick who relied on other people’s experimental results and their own model building to present the structure of DNA. Once they had the idea…it was obviously right!
Copernicus, Newton and Einstein are among the most famous scientists but none of them were outstanding in terms of their laboratory experiments.
Darwin is not a famous scientist because of his experimental results on seed dispersal or worms or movement in plants.
Meyer reminds us that for the early days of science intelligent design was not a controversial or career breaking interest. A. N. Whitehead is quoted:
“There can be no living science unless there is a widespread conviction in the existence of an Order of Things, in particular, of an Order of Nature.”
This Whitehead argues was provided by the Christian belief in the rationality of God.
Steve Fuller has amplified Whitehead’s observation. Science began because theists believed that an intelligent God made the universe to be intelligible to human beings made in his image.
Why has intelligent design which was so important in the origin of science become so completely rejected from modern science?

2 Comments:

Blogger Psiloiordinary said...

Hi Andrew,

Well teh answer is very simple - all the other examples you state can and were and in many cases still are being tested by experiment and observation.

They are all capabale of being falsified i.e. an experiment can be done that shows that the hypothesis or theory isn't true.

This is the case for evolution in many many ways - the poster boy is usually the discovery of a fossil rabbit in the pre-cambrian.

How can ID be tested?

What conceivable evidence might there be that an all powerful supernatural being could not have created for their own mysterious reasons?

That is why ID isn't science.

8:23 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What conceivable evidence ...an all powerful supernatural being could not have created...?"

....This is a PHILOSOPHICAL question & there's a simple philosophical answer.

It's this: EXISTENCE. Remember, non-existence is conceivable & we have the opposite of it. 'Hope that's not too confusing.

9:04 pm  

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