After Getting Waxed In Debate After Debate Shermer Still Doesn't Get It
Michael Shermer has now written about the debate he had with Stephen Meyer and Richard Sternberg earlier this week. He's far classier than his debate partner, Donald Prothero, but alas not all that much smarter. His comment here is basically just the same as his rebuttal was at the debate. It didn't fly then, and it doesn't fly now. You'd think that with all the discussion going on since the debate that he would have tried to come up with something a little stronger.
Please, listen to the debate here. Shermer trotted out the same tired arguments, and Meyer corrected him. He continues to misrepresent the argument made by intelligent design proponents.
every ID argument goes like this:
1. X looks designed 2. I can't think of how X was designed naturally 3. Therefore X was designed supernaturallyNot true. Intelligent design scientists like Meyer argue in favor of design theory based on the recognition of things like the digital information in DNA and the complex molecular machines found in cells. As Meyer patiently explained to Shermer in the debate, they do so because invariably we know from experience that complex systems possessing such features always arise from intelligent causes. For instance, the DNA molecule is embedded with an immense amount of information. In our uniform and repeated experience, information only comes from minds (read: intelligence). So why should we attribute the information in DNA to a mindless process like natural selection? Meyer doesnt' think we should. Obviously, ID is an inference from the evidence, not from religious scriptures or practices.
This doesn't mean, as Shermer implies, that we should throw up our hands and stop doing science. He writes:
The problem here is that before you say something is out of this world, first make sure it is not in this world. That is, before Intelligent Design theorists turn to supernatural forces operating outside of this world, they must first demonstrate that the known forces operating in this world cannot account for the complexity and diversity of life.First, if you listen to the debate, you will hear Dr. Meyer explain that he's not saying that the theory of intelligent design requires a supernatural force. Meyer openly stated he personally is a theist, but added that the scientific theory of intelligent design only appeals to an intelligent causes, and that ID respects the limits of science and does not attempt to identify the designer.
Second, it is clear that Darwinists are unable to demonstrate that the mechanism they champion, natural selection acting on random mutation (the subject of the debate), is capable of accounting for the complexity and diversity of life. On the contrary, it is clear that it is incapable, a point made repeatedly during the debate by Sternberg and Meyer.
Shermer needs to update his arguments defending neo-Darwinism, instead of just sticking his fingers in his ears when ID advocates talk and then repeating the same failed attempts at rebuttal.