Friday, December 24, 2010

Blind Alleys

I was interested in a statement on this post on UD claiming that evolution is “mathematically impossible”. I eagerly followed the link supplied to find what it was all about. Alas, I drew another blank: The assumption was that the underlying process driving evolution is reproduction and natural selection. This article doesn’t engage the question of the more general and abstract object needed to drive evolution, namely the arrangement of stable structures in configuration space.

Another rather notable post on UD is this one by Cornelius Hunter. He tries to make a distinction between “origins and operation”, a duality which to my mind is rather dubious as it smacks of the subliminal deism in the anti-evolutionist community. I shall be looking at that post in more detail in due course.

Stop Press 29/12/2010
Continuing with my recent theme of mechanism, interventionism and subliminal deism here is post on UD that contains a fairly clear expression of a paradigm at work which dichotomizes physical mechanism and interventionism. It also expresses a strong (and unsupported) assertion of the raison-d’être of the anti-evolution community; namely, the belief that mechanism can’t generate life. (In the article read “frontloading” as “mechanism”). This underlying philosophy of anti-mechanism is a reaction to the perceived threat of deism and the subliminal belief that mechanisms serve a redundancy notice on the "interventionist" God. For that reason anti-evolutionism will have a very strong hold on the minds of many religious people. Since "frontloading" (sic) requires Intelligent Agency it is revealed that UD's position is not primarily one of Intelligent Design, but has more to do with an existential need to see God "re-employed" by giving Him an overt role in the processes of the physical world and re-establish confidence in the "intervening" God.

Stop Press 31/12/2010
This looks interesting and possibly mold breaking: A new poster on UD claiming to be a theistic evolutionist (“of sorts”). The poster shows signs of walking a tight-rope: He is a Theistic Evolutionist, but has come to realize that “Darwinism” is different from “Evolution” and he has little patience for the former (I’d be interested to know how he makes this distinction). He’s got over his hostility to YECs and divine interventions and yet is comfortable with the concept that perhaps no direct interventions took place, if that is indeed the case, because for him the overriding issue concerns design detection; the means of creation are less important to him than the fact that things were designed and created.

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