Atheists who defend Intelligent Design

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Jeffery Jay Lowder, an atheist philosopher refutes God of the gaps accusations against ID.

https://evolutionnews.org/2024/02/atheis...-argument/

Quote:Lowder proposes that the following formulation of the argument (where E is the existence of human consciousness, T is theism, and N is naturalism) evades this charge:

    (1) E is known to be true, i.e. Pr(E) is close to 1.

    (2) N is not intrinsically much more probable than T, i.e., Pr(|N|) is not much greater than Pr(|T|).

    (3) Pr(E | T & B)  > Pr(E | N & B).

    (4) Other evidence held equal, N is probably false, i.e., Pr(N | B & E) < 1/2.

Put into straightforward English, the argument is as follows:

    (1) The existence of human consciousness is known to be true.

    (2) Naturalism is not intrinsically much more probable than theism.

    (3) The probability of the existence of human consciousness given theism and the background information is greater than the probability of the existence of human consciousness given naturalism and the background information.

    (4) Other evidence held equal, naturalism is probably false (i.e., the probability of naturalism given the background and the evidence is less than 50 percent).

Lowder concludes that “Whatever problems may exist within that argument, being a God-of-the-gaps argument clearly isn’t one of them.”
(This post was last modified: 2024-05-13, 01:44 PM by Brian. Edited 1 time in total.)
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Good stuff, though I doubt the probability calculus is correct given there are other minds besides that of God which could influence evolution.

I do however agree that ID isn't exactly a God of the Gaps argument...but again I am not sure on the probabilities. There have been phenomena attributing to spirits/gods/God in the past that are somewhat explicable now in terms of known scientific facts. ("Somewhat" because Science doesn't have good explanations of Causality or Consciousness).

So if we add in the history of science and its ability to explain away, in some sense, what was once thought to be the actions of immaterial entities...doesn't it seem less likely that ID at the biological level is due to spirits/God and more likely that it is due to naturalistic explanations?

To be clear this only applies to biological level ID, not to Cosmic Fine Tuning. So maybe if we have to accept that the Universe is designed the probability that biological life had interventions goes up?

I also don't think there is anything a priori wrong with biological ID, as I do think there are discarnate entities and that Cosmic Fine Tuning points to a higher level discarnate entity (God?).

I just don't know how to evaluate the argument from the basic level of considering it possible.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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I thought I would extend this thread to cover atheists who defend ID in general.

https://blog.drwile.com/seeking-god-in-s...nt-design/

Quote:However, as Dr. Monton points out, there is no reason for this subject to be polarizing. It is all about science, and science is supposed to be about data and what reasonable conclusions can be drawn from the data. If intelligent design advocates can produce data and reasonable conclusions from those data, then it is only rational to accept it as a legitimate scientific pursuit. As the first quote I gave from Dr. Monton clearly indicates, he thinks that some data have been produced and some rational inferences have been drawn from those data. They are not enough to convince him of the truth of intelligent design, but they are enough to convince him that intelligent design is, indeed, science.
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(2024-05-13, 01:42 PM)Brian Wrote: I thought I would extend this thread to cover atheists who defend ID in general.

https://blog.drwile.com/seeking-god-in-s...nt-design/

Great article - in fact I'm now moving to second part because it was such a great defense of ID as a scientific practice even if I'm not 100% convinced by the arguments yet.

Nagel has said something similar, that it's unscientific to rule out ID just because one doesn't [like] the claim. For me that's especially true when mainstream science has been more than willing to allow the MWI interpretation despite the claim of universes we cannot detect being generated.

I should also note that there are a lot of "Proofs of God" that are not probability based and not "God-of-the Gaps" arguments.

For example I don't think Aquinas' Five Ways, however one feels about them, are really God of the Gap arguments:

Quote:1. The First Way: Motion.
2. The Second Way: Efficient Cause.
3. The Third Way: Possibility and Necessity.
4. The Fourth Way: Gradation.
5. The Fifth Way: Design.

Even the Fifth is really about Causality and not ID. So as Feser would say it's a "metaphysical demonstration", not a "God of the Gaps" argument because the argument simply looks at cause-effect relations and makes the case that you need a Conscious Ground of Being ("God") for such relations to hold.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2024-05-13, 09:34 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel. Edited 3 times in total.)
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(2024-05-13, 07:01 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Nagel has said something similar, that it's unscientific to rule out ID just because one doesn't the claim. For me that's especially true when mainstream science has been more than willing to allow the MWI interpretation despite the claim of universes we cannot detect being generated.

I saw a video recently where Stephen Meyer was talking to Piers Morgan about the MWI interpretation and fine tuning and he said that  because the other universes don't have a causal effect on our universe the problem of fine tuning in our universe still exists.

(This post was last modified: 2024-05-13, 09:17 PM by Brian. Edited 1 time in total.)
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I'm not sure I understood his point about the lack of causal efficacy of other universes on ours, but, assuming he's right about the proposed multiverse-generators requiring fine-tuning themselves, then that seems like a solid point.
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