Order and Design in the Universe

I am far more a creationist than I am an ID man, but I will give Intelligent Design this: they don’t look at the massive level of organization in the natural world, and then claim that it is all due to random chance.

From the TSZ thread at Uncommon Descent:

n chalking up ID to a massive attack of confused cognition, you overlook the substantive reasons why many (including a number of PhD scientists) consider ID to be a cogent explanation of many features of our universe (especially the bioshpere):

-Functionally-specified complex information [FSCI] present in cells in prodigdious quantities
-Sophisticated mechanical systems at both the micro and macro level in organisms (many of which exhibit IC)
-Fine-tuning of fundamental constants
-Patterns of stasis followed by abrupt appearance (geologically speaking) in the fossil record

In my opinion the presence of FSCI/O and complex biological machinery are very powerful indicators of intelligent agency, judging from our uniform and repeated experience. Also note that none of the above reasons employ theological presuppositions. They flow naturally, inexorably from the data. And, yes, we are all familiar with the objection that organisms are distinct from artificial objects, the implication being that our knowledge from the domain of man-made objects doesn’t carry over to biology. I think this is fallacious. Everyone acknowledges that matter inhabiting this universe is made up of atoms, which in turn are composed of still other particles. This is true of all matter, not just “natural” things, not just “artificial” things – everything. If such is the case, then must not the same laws apply to all matter with equal force? From whence comes the false dichotomy that between “natural” and “artificial”? If design can be discerned in one case, why not in the other?

To this point we have not even addressed the shortcomings of the modern synthetic theory (excepting only its metaphysical moorings). They are manifold, however – evidential shortcomings (e.g. lack of empirical support), unjustified extrapolations, question-begging assumptions, ad hoc rationalizations, tolerance of “just so” stories, narratives imposed on data instead of gleaned from data, conflict with empirical data from generations of human experience with breeding, etc. If at the end of the day you truly believe that all ID has going for it is a culture war mentality, then may I politely suggest that you haven’t been paying attention.

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