Kairosfocus discusses this comment of mine at UD:
Elizabeth: That’s not what “undermines the case for design” William.What undermines the “case for design” chiefly, is that there isn’t a case for a designer.
If current models are inadequate (and actually all models are), and indeed we do not yet have good OoL models, that does not in itself make a case for design.It merely makes a case for “our current models are inadequate”.
Even if it could be shown that some oberved feature has no possible evolutionary pathway, that wouldn’t make the case for design.What might would be some evidence of a design process, or fabrication process, or some observable force that moved, say, strands of DNA into novel positions contrary to known laws of physics and chemistry.
And it would be interesting.
I’m not going to discuss things at UD until Barry makes it clear that he will not retrospectively delete, wholesale, posts by posters he subsequently decides to ban. It makes discussion pointless. In any case, comments are closed on that thread.
But I will respond to one thing in Kairosfocus’ post here:
KF, knowing I am indeed prone to missing out words when I type, posits an amendment to my post:
If current models are inadequate (and actually all [the?] models are), and indeed we do not yet have good OoL models, that does not in itself make a case for design.
No, KF, in this case I meant exactly what I said, and it’s a crucial point, and one that many people who are skeptical of modern science miss:
All MODELS ARE INADEQUATE.
Not just our current models of OoL, not just our current evolutionary models, not just our cosmological models. All of them. And they always will be.
THAT is one of the assymmetries in the ID debate. ID proponents often think that they are trying to puncture the claim that science shows that there was no designer.
Science shows no such thing. And any attempt to show that science is adequate to explain the world, and therefore leave no room for divine intervention is fundamentally flawed.
As Isaac Asimov so eloquently wrote in his essay, The Relativity of Wrong .
The basic trouble, you see, is that people think that “right” and “wrong” are absolute; that everything that isn’t perfectly and completely right is totally and equally wrong.
All science can do is produce models that are incrementally less wrong than previous models. Or, as Asimov puts it:
Theories are not so much wrong as incomplete.
Science is, in fact, not about truth versus falsehood at all. All our models are false in the sense that they are all approximations. They are our maps, not the territory we are mapping. What matters is their usefulness. Moreoever, some simpler, but cruder, approximations turn out to be more useful than more complex, but more accurate, approximations. The most useful theories often only hold more or less true over a limited range of data. My favorite example is Hooke’s Law, which allows us to consider a whole range of fascinating “non-Hookeian” materials that don’t obey it.
And the reason we exclude the Divine Foot from science is not that do we not like the possiblity; it’s that Divine Feet cannot possibly form part of any predictive model. It’s their raison d’etre. If we were to discover a Divine Foot law, we’d have to drop the word “Divine”, because Feet would then become a generalisable causal factor, constrained by a Law. And isn’t the whole point of Divine Intervention that a deity (it’s the very nature of deities) need not be bound by Her own laws?
And that is the flaw I see at the heart of the whole ID argument, and the point of what I was trying to express in my post to William. We cannot infer the Divine from the inadequacy of our models to explain the world. There are no scientific tests for the supernatural, by definition. That does NOT mean that we can infer that supernatural events do not occur, NOR does it mean that that we can infer that they can. Absent a good predictive model, for a phenomenon the only claim we can make, empirically, is that we do yet understand it.
The existence of God cannot be inferred by use of empirical scientific methods.