Friday, April 25, 2003

Intelligent Design

Now the debate on Darwinian evolution is heating up again. The opposition chooses to use the euphemism "Intelligent Design" instead of "creationism," and is trying to state its case without using a direct reference to God. This is the same dodge used by the pro abortion folks who proclaim a right to "choice" while avoiding any reference to exactly what they wish to choose. If the design is "intelligent," who, exactly, is being intelligent?

The debate focuses upon the idea that the odds of such a complicated system as life coming into existence by random chance are impossibly long. This reminds me of a quote from one of the best books ever written, Innumeracy, by John Allen Paulos, that reads:
[r]arity by itself shouldn't necessarily be evidence of anything. When one is dealt a bridge hand of thirteen cards, the probability of being dealt that particular hand is less than one in 600 billion. Still, it would be absurd for someone to be dealt a hand, examine it carefully, calculate that the probability of getting it is less than one in 600 billion, and then conclude that he must not have been dealt that very hand because it is so very improbable.
While that is a cute bit of mathematical rhetoric, it doesn't add anything to the debate, This matter can, however, be dealt with very quickly.

Zero Base Thinking is a way to simplify many of the great questions of the day, and usually amounts to a realization that the Emperor has no clothes. That is what we have here. For, if the lifeforms in the Universe must have had a sentient designer, doesn't that just beg the question? I mean, who designed the designer? At some point, intelligence had to arise from nothing, somehow. Even God had to spring into existence at some point, didn't he? I avoid theological debate, because there is nothing logical in theological. It's all about blind faith. Those who would like to make this into a logical debate are attempting to play with a deck that is significantly short of the requisite 52 cards. Bringing the creation debate down to a debate on the complexity of DNA is a sham. Once there was nothing. Then there was something. Ergo, a means existed to create something from nothing. God herself had to be created. Darwin showed a way for pure dumb luck to improve a very complicated system. We don't know how the first bit of organization sprang forth, so it could be improved upon. That's what we know. Until something better comes along, the debate stops right here.