Sunday, December 31, 2006

Life: Evidence for a Guided Outcome

I recently encountered John A. Davison at Telic Thoughts after I observed this post of his.

I learned he has a website which I have since repeatedly visited. Much of what he writes is interesting stuff that strikes a chord with me. I'll start with some
comments he made in a section called 'Has Evolution been Guided?' which is linked here.

"Some of our greatest intellects have been physicists. In addition to Pascal, Galileo, Newton, Faraday and of course Einstein, among many others, all acknowledged God one way or another. More recently, Richard P. Feynman (1998) compared scientific discovery to a religious experience. L.C. Dunn (1965) pointed out that Mendel's data are so nearly ideal that his paper might be considered a demonstration rather than a test, of the laws that now bear his name. It is fair to say that we still have not identified the source of bright ideas, insights and creative acts of genius. Mendel, as the abbot of his Augustinian monastery, at least serves as an example that one need not be an atheist to conduct first class research!

In contrast with the great physicists I have mentioned, why so many biologists remain professed atheists or agnostics is a complete mystery to me. Every aspect of both the living and nonliving world is totally at odds with those positions. Nevertheless, the Darwinians continue to insist that all of evolution is the result of mere chance events."

The disproportionate number of atheist biologists is strange but perhaps the nature of the evolutionary paradigm attracted them in the first place. Nature does not support the position that life is the product of selected chance events but what actually happened is buried with history. Factually based accounts of what happened are supplanted by speculation which in turn is driven by philosophical concerns. On the other hand, perhaps the most noted aspect of life- an information storage and retrieval system- is a suitable core around which to build a case for intelligent design.


At 5:52 AM, Blogger Ed Darrell said...

My experience is that far more physicists are atheist than biologists. At the labs and universities I've worked at, the physicists and chemists poked fun at the biologists who were unavailable for Sunday morning pickup basketball games, etc. Davison offers no evidence to suggest that biologists are less prone to religion than any other group, nor do you. That conclusion is completely and wholly unwarranted. On the other hand, unwarranted leaps are what Davison appears to specialize in these days.

You both would do well to read Feynman. He struck upon some grand idea that would resolve forever the contest over evolution among the ill-informed, and he wrote about it. Finally he got a chance to sit down with a biologist -- a Nobel winner as I recall -- and the biologist pointed out that Feynman's brilliant insight had been discovered several decades earlier by biologists, and that Feynman really didn't know what he was talking about in evolution. Rather than blunder ahead, Feynman was grateful to have gotten the good information before he embarrassed himself.

If only John Davison would emulate Feynman . . .

At 10:45 AM, Blogger William Bradford said...

The comments about physicists and biologists were anecdotal. They were not presented as facts nor were public policy changes advocated based on them.

At 10:54 AM, Blogger William Bradford said...

My acquaintance with Davison's writings is brief. So far I have found him to be both rational and supportive of his arguments with sound data. If you know otherwise, specify exactly how this impression is wrong or better yet communicate this to Davison himself.

At 9:13 AM, Blogger Doug said...

My experience is that far more physicists are atheist than biologists.

I've consistently read the opposite sentiment. Guenter Lewy's "Why America Needs Religion", Schaeffer's "Science and Christianity: Conflict or Coherence". Freeman Dyson has noted this as has Davies.

At 9:15 AM, Blogger Doug said...

That conclusion is completely and wholly unwarranted.

And your's isn't? Consistency Ed, consistency.


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