Sunday, January 07, 2007

It Comes Down to Intuition?

Uncommon Descent features a post on the emerald cockroach wasp which provoked some opinionated responses from commentators. The emerald cockroach wasp administers a double sting to a roach which modifies its behavoir allowing the wasp to drive it to its den. There wasp larva are able to use it as a source of nourishment. The evolution of the capacities enabling the wasp to accomplish this are termed an imaginary story and many comments follow.

Many of the comments fall into one of two categories. Those which debunk evolution of this creature as fanciful and those which debunk God as fanciful. It is a commonly observed pattern in ID vs. evolution exchanges. URLs to some sample comments:

Note the exchanges of statements of incredulity. Both sides unable to find the other side credible. My favorites are the last two; the second to last a standard evolutionist and the last an IDer. There is some unusual candor on display. Dispensed with is the fiction that it's all about objective analysis of data. Substituted explanations include the mention of intuition.

Interestingly, some anti-IDers seem to acknowledge the plausibility of a design inference on the one hand while focusing their personal incredulity on the possibility of God. It is saying, in effect, that ID is not an option because inferences based on it are unbelievable.

Professor Kenneth Miller popularized the term "argument from personal incredulity." It is generally invoked by critics of ID at junctures where theoretical constructs are weak (origins) or particular models have problems. It alleges that disbelievers are basing their disbeliefs on their personal subjective assessments rather than the data. If the people involved in this particular debate, or the larger one that encompasses it, are grouped according to their metaphysical perferences, you will find that those believing in God might be mainstreamers, modified mainstreamers or opposed to existing explanations. There is variety among them.

On the other hand those whose metaphysics excludes divine possibilites almost always opt for standard explanations up and down the line including abiogenesis. There is little variation among them. So then, which side expresses views dictated by their personal subjective assessments?


At 1:51 PM, Blogger DaveScot said...

Great analysis!

At 3:22 PM, Blogger William Bradford said...

Thanks Dave. I enjoyed your UD post.


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