Scordova at UD asks a question that I find interesting.
By way of contrast, intelligent agencies, particularly those intelligent agencies which we presume have free will, cannot be counted upon to behave in predictable manners in certain domains. Even presuming some intelligent agencies (say machine “intelligence”) are deterministic, they can be an unpredictable black box to outside observers. This makes it difficult to make direct experimental confirmation of certain ID inferences.
It has long been my contention that the defining behavior of science is the search for regularity.
Some regularities can be refined into mathematical equations, which we generally call laws of nature.
Other processes are complex or chaotic, making long range predictions impossible. But chaotic systems can be seen, at small scale, to be following regular rules. Weather develops. It doesn’t simply appear. We can find regularities in its past.
Evolution is a bit like weather. we cannot predict where change is going, but we can find regularities in its past. And these regularities are what distinguishes evolution from intelligent design. They are what allows us to look in a certain place for Tiktaalik. Or hominid fossils. Or predict that genomes will form a nested hierarchy.
So I would answer Scordova that science never looks for capriciousness and always looks for regularity. That is the definition of science.
The reasons are partly historical and partly practical.
Historically, it has been a successful approach. And in practical terms, the search for capriciousness cannot fail. It is the default finding.
There are so many chaotic phenomena in our midst that the world seems to be governed by mysterious forces. The notion that one could find and potentially control these forces is a very new idea. It has little support in art and fiction, and is actively opposed by most religions. So when science started being successful and began to produce practical results, it also found itself in opposition to much of human culture. I do not find it surprising that animosity has developed.
Over to you guys…