Vacuity of ID: Dembski: Vast Ignorance and Trifling Understanding

Dembski in a blog posting called Evolution: Vast Ignorance and Trifling Understanding shows once again why ID is scientifically vacuous and nothing more than a gap theory.

Dembski wrote:

’[ID theorists] are very good at raising questions in areas of ignorance: ‘You can’t explain this, therefore it’s intelligent design.’ You can’t just put God into our gaps in knowledge.’ What I find remarkable about this standing refrain by evolutionists is the presumption that their theory deserves the benefit of the doubt.

It doesn’t of course. What these ID critics correctly point out is that ID is an argument from ignorance also known as a gap theory, based on an eliminative filter which following Dembski’s ‘logic’ is useless.

The implicit image we are expected to buy is of a vast countryside entirely mapped out by Darwinian theory and only a few pockets of resistance yet to be explored. But the opposite is true. If, for instance, the vast countryside is complex molecular machines (which are required for life to exist at all), then this countryside is completely unexplained by Darwinian and materialistic evolutionary theories (read James Shapiro, read Franklin Harold, read Michael Behe, …).

Nice strawman… The vacuity of ID and the adherence to ignorance hardly means that science should know all the answers. Molecular machines remain fully unexplained by ID other than by ‘poof’. Of course, this ignorance is quickly grabbed by ID proponents to infer design.

What is the ID argument? Science is ignorant as to how X happened, thus X is complex and specified (specification is a trivial issue in biology) and thus we should accept that X was designed. Ignoring for the moment the somewhat esoteric meaning of ‘design’ and the major flaws in using an eliminative approach, it should be self evident that Dembski is promoting through his explanatory filter, an argument from ignorance. While at the same time adding nothing to scientific knowledge…

Thanks Bill for once again making the argument better than any ID critic could do. I do admire your chutzpah. I guess the following may help understand better.

In my case my cards have been on the table, my career is ruined so (laughter) it doesn’t matter at this point but eh I say just what I want in this regard but it’s a real problem.

Dembski in a series of lectures at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2003.