Friday, June 09, 2006

Is ID Scientific? Is Abiogenesis?

Part of an article published in the 'Star Tribune' and authored by Bruce Simat and Walter Remine appears in this post. The article was once online but is no longer generally accessible at the publisher's website. From the article with my commentary identified:

'Intelligent design is scientific, and evidence favors a designer'

'Intelligent design does offer testable theories.'

'Our View Bruce Simat Walter Remine'

"We were disappointed with the many misunderstandings given in Chris Zerby's article against intelligent design (Jan.4 Star Tribune North). Zerby felt the interview with Bruce Simat (Dec. 21 Star Tribune North) was insubstantial.

However, it was a 90-minute interview, and the brief published excerpts represented the reporter's tastes. Zerby's issues can be answered directly.

The astonishing complexities of the simplest known life-forms strongly suggest a designer, just as something vastly simpler (your car engine) demands a designer. That conclusion is eminently reasonable and moved by the evidence. Just as important, the ID theory -- that an intelligent designer is required for the origin-of-life from nonlife -- is risky and testable. That makes it a scientific theory (under the same criteria used by evolutionists in all their court cases). In fact, it is among the most rigorously tested theories in biology."

[Bradford]: If life is the product of a series of unguided chemical reactions then in an environment in which this occurs life should become an inevitable outcome. Substances and the reactions involving them would be specifiable. There would be a determined aspect to causality enabling its repetition. The presence or absence of this very quality is also the means by which intelligence is either ruled out or identified as a causal agent.

"On the other hand, evolutionists have no scientific theory for the origin-of-life. The simplest known life-forms are vastly too complex to have originated (directly from nonlife) through known processes plus time and chance. That much is acknowledged by evolutionary specialists and would seem to falsify the evolutionary view. To evade such outright falsification, evolutionists splintered into various
contradictory speculations, which claim the first life-form was: 1)only amino acids, or 2) only nucleic acids, or 3) only crystalline clay, or 4) "came from space."

These speculations are not driven by any evidence in their favor. Instead, they attempt to avoid outright falsification of the evolutionary view. Just as importantly, they are not risky or testable. They are convenient stories, with no risk or testability. Thus, concerning the origin-of-life, the evolutionary view is either false or unfalsifiable -- and either way, it is not scientific. Intelligent
design is scientific, and evolution is not -- and this is backward from the usual stereotype."

[Bradford]: In other words the hypothesis that intelligence is a necessary causal component to generating life is falsifiable by an experimental outcome showing that a series of chemical reactions leads to a cell. Proponents of abiogenesis have protected their belief from falsification standards through vagueness that allows faith in unspecified pathways to substitute for tests of the hypothesis itself.


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