Thursday, May 3, 2012

Because Cells Are Like Accumulated Driftwood On a Shore

Therefore, No God.

If you might wonder how piles of driftwood  accumulating randomly on a shore and the organization of living, functioning, reproducing cells are supposed to be alike, count yourself among those who aren't privileged to share such Bright insights with P.Z. Myers, atheist blog celebrity.  

I'm not making this up, you know.

P. Z. Myers, I'm no creationist and intelligent design as science is as absurdly asserted as atheist ideology as science is, but  I've got enough respect for coherent, logical argument, not to mention the duty of someone who agrees to give a quasi-academic lecture to ACTUALLY PREPARE A COHERENT, LOGICAL ARGUMENT  instead of throwing a bunch of crap into a Power Point program,  to not say you've presented something less of both than the failed arguments of creationists.

What next?   How a pile of junk lying inert in your office, give or take something getting put on it or falling on the floor, is like really slow metabolism and reproduction?

I'm looking around for the condemnation of other biologists for this and am finding not too much.   In this you can see the danger of substituting atheist ideology for a rigorous separation of ideology and science.   If scientists don't see the danger of this kind of thing becoming the public face of science they are either cowards or ideological dupes.

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of Arthur Clarke's short story "Dial 'F' for Frankenstein." In the pre-internet age, he posited artificial intelligence could come about due to a sufficient number of telephone interconnections. Complexity, in other words, would create intelligence at a point of some kind of critical mass (so we combine the insights of biology and nuclear physics; somehow).

    It's a story, of course, not a hypothesis, but so much that passes for reasoning in public discourse depends on this kind of fuzziness and assumption that "somehow" it all works out.

    In one sense, it does; otherwise, I have to agree with Rev. Paley that creation is a watch, and there must be a watchmaker. On the other hand, as Myers almost admits, there is a "wall" at the shoreline simply because he calls it one. Is it really a "wall", though? Isn't a wall by definition a product of design? Isn't that pile of driftwood simply a pile of driftwood which happens to function as a barrier according to at least one species (humans), and as a shelter for other species?

    And this proves: what? That intelligent design is not intelligent? That all that lives can be a product of happenstance? Seems to me that's back to the argument that if I put the components of a watch in a box and shake it long enough, I get a functioning watch.

    The question is not: how were the parts assembled, but: where did the parts come from? How did they become parts in the first place? Which, again, doesn't require the recourse to intelligent design to figure out (and if Myers really wants to argue form always follows function and human design is always towards the simplest possible recourse, can he please explain why almost every computer OS has far more abilities than the average user every employs? I mean, seriously? That's his argument against intelligent design? That intelligent design is elegant and simple? That's stupider than what he's trying to reject. But I digress....)

    The fundamental issue here is that science cannot define "life" except as animation. A living body is "alive," a dead body is inanimate. The most important distinction between a corpse and a sleeping body is that one will get up again, the other never will. But where did that animation come from, and why does it go? If the heart can no longer beat, why can't we always start it again? What is the force that through the green fuse drives the flower? What is the force that caused those cells to not only assemble, but replicate and so re-assemble and even self-assemble?

    God? Maybe. Maybe not. But it's a more interesting question than trying to say driftwood on the beach equals a wall equals irrefutable proof that intelligent design is nonsense.