Monday, October 15, 2012

Design detection

For millennia, man has practiced selective breeding on wild plants (horticulture) and animals (husbandry). Suppose we didn’t know that these domesticated plants and animals were the result of selective breeding. Suppose all we had to go by were the plants and animals.

If an evolutionary biologist who espouses naturalistic evolution or methodological naturalism examined these organisms, he’d automatically assume that they were the result of a nondirective process, even though, as we actually know, it required intelligent intervention to produce them. Are Darwinians prepared to recognize the hand of God? Even if organisms were, in fact, the product of divine engineering, Darwinians preemptively exclude that explanation.


  1. It really depends on the disposition of the heart. Here's a version of an often repeated story that may or may not be true, but it rings so true to human nature that I suspect it is genuine.

    The Cricket

    A Native American and his friend were in downtown New York City, walking near Times Square in Manhattan. It was during the noon lunch hour and the streets were filled with people. Cars were honking their horns, taxicabs were squealing around corners, sirens were wailing, and the sounds of the city were almost deafening. Suddenly, the Native American said, "I hear a cricket."

    His friend said, "What? You must be crazy. You couldn't possibly hear a cricket in all of this noise!"

    "No, I'm sure of it," the Native American said, "I heard a cricket."

    "That's crazy," said the friend.

    The Native American listened carefully for a moment, and then walked across the street to a big cement planter where some shrubs were growing. He looked into the bushes, beneath the branches, and sure enough, he located a small cricket. His friend was utterly amazed.

    "That's incredible," said his friend. "You must have super-human ears!"

    "No," said the Native American. "My ears are no different from yours. It all depends on what you're listening for."

    "But that can't be!" said the friend. "I could never hear a cricket in this noise."

    "Yes, it's true," came the reply. "It depends on what is really important to you. Here, let me show you."

    He reached into his pocket, pulled out a few coins, and discreetly dropped them on the sidewalk. And then, with the noise of the crowded street still blaring in their ears, they noticed every head within twenty feet turn and look to see if the money that tinkled on the pavement was theirs.

    "See what I mean?" asked the Native American. "It all depends on what's important to you."

    Author Unknown


    Jesus said..."My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." (John 10:27)

  2. Jerry Coyne on dog breeds:

    "If somehow the recognized [dog] breeds existed only as fossils, paleontologists would consider them not one species but many— certainly more than the thirty-six species of wild dogs that live in nature today.29

    29. "[...]If they occurred only as fossils, their substantial differences would lead us to conclude that there is some genetic barrier preventing them from hybridizing, ergo they must represent different species."

    (Why Evolution Is True, p. 126, 239)

    I'm sure they would also come up with just-so stories about how the Great Dane evolved from the mouse-like common ancestor, with evidence being found in the chihuahua, which is clearly an intermediate from the mousey ancestor and the Great Dane.