Friday, November 6, 2009

Craig v Ayala and My Thoughts on the "Evidence" for Darwinism

Last night I watched a debate between William Lane Craig and Francisco J. Ayala over the viability of Intelligent Design as a scientific theory (you can find the audio here). I am constantly struck by the logical fallacies and leaps in logic employed by the Darwinist. Ayala presented the normal candidates for his defense of evolution in attacking the viability of Intelligent Design; the peppered moths and the finches. Evolutionists take this observed natural selection, these adaptations and changes within these animals and their offspring, and then leap to common descent without any empirical support. The support put forward, like last night (archaeopteryx), is sparse and unconvincing. The logical leap from this evidence is unwarranted. The Theses of Common Descent and Random Mutation and Natural Selection as the means of evolutionary development stem from enormous extrapolations from very limited evidence. There is an inherent presupposition that underlies the extrapolation. It is, simply stated, a leap of faith. Yet when the ID-er observes high improbability conjoined with an independently given pattern, which in any other case would imply design, we are chastised unmercilessly for believing in a magic fairy or something. Sorry, if I see evidence of design I am justified in following that evidence.

Ayala's main contention came down to theology (he is Roman Catholic). He simply didn't think God would be so cruel to create creatures with imperfections. We have imperfect jaws and imperfect eyes (although the question "why would God create us with a blind spot in our vision?" was answered), and he just doesn't think God would be so shoddy, so therefore God left it up to natural causes. But it doesn't follow that just because something is imperfect, doesn't mean it isn't designed. And, if we follow the Biblical account, it is because of sin that God cursed the creation. He created everything good, but because of our sin everything is not what it was originally.

I do not see enough evidence for the Theses of Common Descent and Random Mutation and Natural Selection as the means of evolutionary development. In fact, the evidence points to a time when there was an explosion of a huge amount of new and different animal kinds which defies the theses of common descent.

9 comments:

intellectual said...

Ayala's main contention came down to theology (he is Roman Catholic).

So his arguments against ID were based on Catholic teachings?

bossmanham said...

No. The Catholic church doesn't have any official teachings on evolution other than they aren't in conflict. They were purely his own contentions .

He began by arguing from the "evidence" of evolution. But Craig showed how shallow the evidence is. Listen to the debate for more info.

BathTub said...

I'm quite curious what the reason given was for god blessing fish. reptiles, birds, mammals (& us) with backwards/blindspot vision. But not blessing cephelopods with the same backwards/blindspot vision?

bossmanham said...

Tub,

You could listen to the debate :)

The reason we have said blind spot is because the optic nerve passes through the retina.

Craig said, if I remember correctly, this set up allows our eyes to get the oxygen they need. There are also other reasons why human eyes are like this, namely because the wiring of the human retina protects the retina from UV radiation in air that would blind an octopus if it were in air. In the water an octopus’ retina is not exposed to the amount of UV light our eyes are. Also Humans have binocular vision, so the left eye sees the tiny bit the right eye misses (0.25% of the visual field), and vice versa. Thus, the blind spot is a non-issue.

BathTub said...

I've never heard the UV protection line before.

So why give fish the same backwards eye? They don't need the UV protection. I guess the same goes for marine mammals like whales.

They also don't have binocular vision. Just like many Mammals, birds, reptiles etc don't have.

The simplest point is a blind spot is not a requirement for vision.

But here the implication is that God couldn't make binocular vision with UV protection without a blind spot?

I guess the answer to all the above 'God moves in mysterious ways'.

bossmanham said...

I don't have the answer to all of it. Typically, marine mammals live closer to the surface of the water since they have to come up for air. This design of the eye could benefit them as well. In fact, most vertebrates in general live closer to the surface they too need more protection. The fish that dwell in deeper waters, being vertebrates, are also subject to the similar design as their vertebrate cousins, but obviously make up for it in different ways.

Furthermore, there are some animals, like birds, whose visual acuity is better than ours. But so what!? Variations in performance are related to the demands of the individual creature’s way of life. We see better than some animals while some see better than us. We see color when many animals do not. Perhaps the designer wanted the creatures created in His image to appreciate the beauty of the animals that can not appreciate it?

You are also presupposing that the vertebrate's inverted retina is inefficient in the first place. You have not show that this is a bad design, you simply assert it. You ignore the many good reasons for it. Darwinists have never shown that cephalopods actually see better than vertebrates. In fact, their eyes only "approach some of the lower vertebrate eyes in efficiency" (Mollusks, Encyclopædia Britannica 24:296-322, 15th ed., 1992; quote on p. 321.) and they are probably color blind (Hanlon, R.T., and Messenger, J.B., Cephalopod Behaviour, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York, p. 19, 1996.) Also, the construction of the cephalopod's eye makes camouflage hardly effective, meaning there would be many animals who depend on camouflage susceptible to predators if all animals had verted retinas.

Of course if the eye evolved by totally natural processes, one could wonder why deep water fish developed such different eyes as compared to the cephelopods. Why, when living in the exact same environment, would the eye develop so differently?

Anyway, just a little reading shows that this claim is far from conclusive on the Darwinist end. Much evidence shows that there are advantages to the inverted retinal design. AKA, you commit the hasty generalization fallacy.

bossmanham said...

BTW I noticed the link was to the wrong page. I fixed it.

BathTub said...

Hardly, we know the reasons why we expected to find veterbrates sharing the same eye design, they inherited it!

Taxonomy, Genetics et al are hardly "Hasty Generalization".

Yeah I know that (like many people & animals in general), cephalopods can be colour-blind, but we also know that it appears some can see the polarization of light too.

From two different starting positions you might expect convergence, but not something exactly the same but you wouldn't expect them to end up exactly the same. Like cheetahs and greyhounds, selection for speed has made the 2 animals look quite similar but you would never expect them to look exactly the same.

bossmanham said...

Hardly, we know the reasons why we expected to find veterbrates sharing the same eye design, they inherited it!

Begging the question. And don't you believe vertebrates and invertebrates inherited the same design from a common ancestor?

Taxonomy, Genetics et al are hardly "Hasty Generalization".

The conclusions extrapolated from the limited evidence provided by them are.

Taxonomy is extremely subjective and no two biologists agree on it; and it's irrelevant here.

From two different starting positions you might expect convergence, but not something exactly the same but you wouldn't expect them to end up exactly the same

Never said that.

Like cheetahs and greyhounds, selection for speed has made the 2 animals look quite similar but you would never expect them to look exactly the same.

A designer could design them similarly for speed.