Kauffman and Dembsky

ermadog at freenet.edmonton.ab.ca ermadog at freenet.edmonton.ab.ca
Thu Dec 13 22:09:00 MST 2001

Hi John:

> Bringing in Phil Johnson is not exactly a crowd pleaser, but,
needless to say, I would point out that Creationists against Darwin
have distracted everyone <

First you say the Creationists have a point, now you say they're a
distraction: do you have a point? If so, please make it.

> But to claim that Darwin's argument by natural selection refutes this
design argument is not science either.<

I haven't claimed this and you know it; I'm not qualified to. We both
agree on the fact of evolution and that is sufficient grounds for me to
raise my arguments about human nature, based on Engels and the apposable
thumb. I see no reason to delve into the arcana of the mechanics of
evolution; and, if you want me to chase after your little wild goose,
you're going to have to give me a substantive argument.

> Anyway, if you want to see beyond this 'design' argument, it is worth
considering Heraclitus. It is a classic 'feeling about the universe', a
sense of its harmony that gripped him, giving birth to one early version
of this later 'design' argument, <

I'm really not all that interested in Heraclitus's feelings, or anyone
else's for that matter, since I base my understanding of human nature on
the material reality of man as he is. This is what puts the science into
scientific socialism. If you want to get transcendant without theology,
I suggest you check out the field of neurotheology. It has been known
for decades that the "God-feeling" can be artificially stimulated in the
lab setting.

The "harmony in nature" argument predates Heraclitus by several
millenia. We can see one example in the Canaanite liturgy pertaining to
their origin myths. The depictions of the early struggle between Chaos
and Order find their reflection in the Old Testament, particularly the
psalms; and the renewal of cosmic order is the whole point of the Week
of Atonement festival in which heavenly grace is channeled through the
king. It is an idea that expresses the human need for social order and
always has political implications.

> Dembski and Kauffman Square Off in New Mexico

The Intelligent Design argument has also been discussed on Farrell
Till's biblical errancy list, and probably in other freethought forums
as well. My impression is that it emanates out of philosophy
departments, and not science departments, and that the philosophers are
out of their league. I don't see that the self-organizing principle in
organisms has much to do with cosmic order at all. The organism is a
subset of whatever cosmic order there might be; and there is no
demonstrable correlation between the micro and the macro in this regard,
just as there is no reason to believe that quantum effects extend beyond
the orbits of the atom, Shirley MacLane notwithstanding.

All in all, I see that ID has little relevance to Marxists, unless
you're going to use it specifically to raise the question of the
supernatural, or to propose some theory of biologic determinance in
human nature.

So, as far as I am concerned, this discussion is over.

Joan Cameron

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