Friday, May 27, 2005


afarensis discusses Dawkins and Dembski:
IDthe Future has a response [to Dawkins]. The Interesting bit:

"And William Dembski takes on Dawkins' argument-from-ignorance objection here."

So I followed the link and this is what we get: "He claims that ID is an argument from ignorance. But is the problem ignorance of the material causes needed to bring about biological complexity or an inherent inability of such causes to do so? Dawkins can’t seem to get his mind around this latter possibility."

At first I thought Dembski had just missed the point Dawkins was making. That it is the desire to demystify the mysterious and explore the unknown that drives the scientific enterprise. I especially thought this because Witt, the author of the ID the Future post, mischaracterises Dawkins argument as "an argument from ignorance" - birds of a feather and all. Then I realized that Dembski was just being perverse and really believes ignorance is proof of Intelligent Design. Biblical literalism has a way of doing that to people!
Someone asked me once:

[D]oes Dembski's point boil down to:

Dembski: Evolution can't explain the flagellum.
Me: But isn't that just an argument from ignorance?
Dembski: No. Evolution really, really, really can't explain the flagellum.
And I replied:
You're too generous. If evolution really, really, really, couldn't explain it, that might start to be interesting.

It's more like this:

De: I don't know how evolution can explain the flagellum.
Me: But isn't that an argument from ignorance?
De: No. I really, really, really, don't know how evolution could explain the flagellum.