Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gandalf on Mars: What Bleeping Codes Say About Intelligent Design

365 Days: Day 5    Image by jasondondi. via Flickr
As yet more evidence of my meagre knowledge of all things important, I discovered a new magazine today, and I'm still on my first coffee. It's called Salvo.

In it, you'll find an excellent article, written by Richard W. Stevens (a new name to me) articulating the intelligent design argument. Here's the heart of it:
Dressed as neo-Darwinism, secular humanism, or resurgent atheism, the "scientific" contender in the worldview wars is materialism (aka naturalism). Materialism declares that the entire universe operates by physical laws of energy and matter alone. If intelligence exists at all, it has resulted from a combination of purely impersonal, undirected, purposeless material forces.
Consider the implications of this. If a Thoughtless Thing is impersonal, undirected, and purposeless, then the Thing does not know or even care about future events. Therefore, that Thoughtless Thing cannot and does not plan for future conditions. It does not foresee its own future nor the future or even the existence of any other thing.
Such a Thoughtless Thing cannot and will not create a code, let alone an encoder–decoder device. Why not? Because to encode a message now presumes the belief that the message might be decoded later—in the future. Similarly, to build a decoder device today presumes the belief that a coded message will arrive in the future. Yet a Thoughtless Thing cannot and does not imagine any future event.
No Thoughtless Thing—no impersonal, undirected, purposeless material force—can create a Gandalf system. Neo-Darwinism's mechanisms, undirected mutation and natural selection, are Thoughtless Things. Therefore, neo-Darwinism's mechanisms cannot create a Gandalf system.
So, had you guys already heard of Salvo, or are we on this learning-curve together? While you ponder that, I'm off for my second coffee.

[name and link corrected]

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Anonymous said...

Interesting argument indeed. Thank you for posting it!

Anonymous said...

Rkball - the author's name is spelled "Stevens" -- and the hyperlink is incorrect, i.e. it points to a different person altogether.

RkBall said...

Thanks. Fixed.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"