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Ken Miller Look Out: Brown University Colleague Endorses Empirical Detection of Design in Natural Objects

Today NPR covered an exciting archeological find. It appears to be the oldest writing known in the Americas. Although archeologists do not know the meaning of the symbols on this newly found stone block in Mexico, they are certain it is designed and not the product of, say, wind and erosion. How do they know this?

"When I saw the block, as did the rest of us, we knew we were in the presence of something very special.... It had completely unknown signs, but they were arranged in these long sequences we felt just had to be a new form of writing.... It's not just a set of symbols that might be placed together the way you might see on, let's say, a medieval French or English painting," Houston [an archaeologist from Brown University] says. "Rather, they are arranged in a sequence that is meant to reflect a language with grammatical elements and with a word order that makes sense."

So not only is it obvious to common sense that these glyphs are designed, but it is actually objective, empirically detectable factors like gramatical structure which cry out for a design inference--even if we do not know who, why, or exactly when the glyphs were made.

Once again, these sorts of examples serve to show that detection of design is an empirical matter, and all the hand waving about "who designed the designer?" and "science can't study the supernatural" do nothing to dismiss this point.