Saturday, May 05, 2007

A Response to Thought Provoker

A commenter at Telic Thoughts, who goes by the moniker Thought Provoker, asked me the following question:

"One of the reasons I pick on you so much with the "what is your proposal?" question is that you obviously know a lot about the subject. And rather than argue with you point by point, I am truly interested in understanding how you are making the logical connection needed for your holistic view. In other words, how does your Big Picture work even if all of your base assumptions are correct?"

My ID belief is that the universe and life on earth are a consequence of a cause having a purposeful and intelligent component. My base assumption is that intelligence and its associated purpose are detectable. Being a believer in the divinity of Christ, Christ would also be the designer in my view. However, that could not be established by fine tuning arguments or evidence that an initial genome was the product of an intelligently directed cause.

One of the purposes of this blog is to flesh out evidence for design as well as arguments for and against that view. I'm strongly sympathetic to the proposition that a minimally functional genome could not have arisen through a series of undirected steps. Such steps would need to generate incremental changes in nucleic acids in the direction of ever increasing information. Nothing we know about the chemical nature of nucleic acids or enzymatic proteins would lead us to believe a random series of chemical reactions would generate genomic information and an encoding convention through which the information would be expressed. To the contrary, functional cellular genomes come replete with intricate DNA repair mechanisms; indicating that the repair function is essential to maintaining genomic integrity. My position is that efficient repair would have been required at the outset. Consequently readers will observe a great deal of attention devoted to DNA repair at this blog.

It is also my view that a key component of evolutionary dynamics- natural selection- would not have been operational on a prebiotic earth. Natural selection is critical to countering design arguments. Darwin recognized this. It has been the single greatest weapon arrayed against Paley and all subsequent design positions.

Intelligent design has some interesting possibilities to elucidate ecological dynamics. Sub-optimal design, a counter-argument to intelligent design, often can be understood as a strategy to maintain a balance of nature. This paradigm appeals to the bigger picture and explains how too much efficiency or inefficiency, associated with individual species, can disrupt existing balances. I acknowledge, though, the need to devote more time to this aspect of ID.

I hope this answers some of your questions TP. TP has become a prolific commenter at Telic Thoughts.

Incidentally, we have added a new member to the team- Tim Lambert. I suspect some interesting blogs will be authored by him in the near future.


At 9:05 AM, Blogger Thought Provoker said...

Hi Bradford,

First of all, I am impressed with your blog. You have put a lot of work into it. It looks good.

You wrote...
"I hope this answers some of your questions TP."

Unfortunately, I was disappointed with your post. I thank you for your efforts and please don't take this as a dismissive insult (a new term I learned from TT's Eric).

Over a TT we have been discussing the concept of a single, OMA truth that we could find mutually acceptable (or at least mutually tolerable).

"OMA" being Overlapping Magisteria ala Gould's NOMA.

I know it is asking a lot, but I am trying to get people to paint their big picture view of everything so we can try to reconcile our differences. Here is my version.

I don't offer this in an attempt to get people to come to my pathetic blog. In fact, Bradford, I would welcome the idea of you copying and pasting it to your blog. You and your visitors could comment on it without fear of offending me. I wish to provoke thought.

Thought Provoker

At 10:18 AM, Blogger William Bradford said...

Hi TP. I had turned off the comment feature. It had been inactive for quite a few months but I reactivated it so you could respond here. Although I am familiar with NOMA I have not been following the TT thread on this. It is not that the topic is uninteresting but that I have had a lot on the fire and when that happens something has to give.

I read your blog post and an immediate reaction came to mind which I initially intended to include with this comment. However I think I'll post an entry at IS linking to your post and quoting from it for the purpose of adding my commentary.

Thanks for visiting. I'd offer you a drink but have not yet figured out how to send it through this medium.

At 10:48 AM, Blogger Thought Provoker said...

Thanks for the offer of a drink.

I look forward to the new post.


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