Comment on Intelligent Design – Science or Religion? by Sean Pitman.
Dr. Pitman’s arguments are trivial. Real science is nontrivial. Therefore, Dr. Pitman’s lecture really wasn’t about science. Dr. Pitman might have discovered that his lecture actually misrepresented science if he had presented a thorough review of the meaning of science.
Please do present the “real” definition of science and its meaning for us so that I can move beyond my own trivial understanding of it.
After all, as far as I’m aware, the basis of science is in fact very simple and intuitive. As one of my university professors put it, “Science is a very basic BS detector.”
While the implications of scientific methodologies may be quite important and non-trivial, there’s really nothing fancy about science itself – about the basic scientific method and forms of scientific reasoning. It seems to me that even children use a form of scientific reasoning during the process of learning new and useful information about the world in which they find themselves.
So, for you to suggest that the very basis of science is this mystical complex enterprise is just a bit surprising to me – given that you are actually an emeritus professor in some field of science yourself as your moniker suggests.
I would therefore be very interested in your own non-trivial definition of science and what it “means” – contrary to what I presented in my lecture. Specifically, please do explain to me how science is in fact unable to detect the need to invoke intelligent design to explain various features of our universe in which we live?… how this is all just “philosophy”?
Sean Pitman Also Commented
As a Seventh-day Adventist believer first and as a physics teacher second, I interpret Dr. Pitman’s presentation to mean that Intelligent Design belongs to the realm of philosophy, not science.
I’m not sure how anyone who actually watched my presentation could come to this conclusion? I’m not sure how I could have been any more clear in suggesting that the human ability to detect the need to invoke intelligent design to explain various features of our universe can be done in a very scientific manner?… as is the case for anthropology, forensics, and even SETI?
The same arguments used to support the hypothesis for design in these mainstream sciences can also be used to support the design argument for living machines as well.
Providing only two nonstandard definitions is being unreasonably selective and that makes me wonder why you are ignoring the definition of science as understood by all the notable discoverers of the laws of nature.
Now it all comes clear. You’re Eugene Shubert – the one who thinks that HIV isn’t the cause of AIDS (Link). The one who talks directly with God, has prophetic understanding, and is the fulfilment of William Miller’s dream.
On your website you wrote:
By faith and prophetic understanding, I believe that I have been appointed to bring about the fulfillment of William Miller’s dream… The second half of the dream foretells an experience fulfilled largely by me. ( Link )
I’m sorry, but you’re hardly in line with mainstream science, philosophy… or even the religious views of the Adventist Church.
Recent Comments by Sean Pitman
Science and Methodological Naturalism
Very interesting passage. After all, if scientists are honest with themselves, scientific methodologies are well-able to detect the existence of intelligent design behind various artifacts found in nature. It’s just the personal philosophy of scientists that makes them put living things and the origin of the fine-tuned universe “out of bounds” when it comes to the detection of intelligent design. This conclusion simply isn’t dictated by science itself, but by a philosophical position, a type of religion actually, that strives to block the Divine Foot from getting into the door…
Why is it that creationists are afraid to acknowledge the validity of Darwinism in these settings? I don’t see that these threaten a belief in God in any way whatsoever.
The threat is when you see no limitations to natural mindless mechanisms – where you attribute everything to the creative power of nature instead of to the God of nature.
God has created natural laws that can do some pretty amazing things. However, these natural laws are not infinite in creative potential. Their abilities are finite while only God is truly infinite.
The detection of these limitations allows us to recognize the need for the input of higher-level intelligence and creative power that goes well beyond what nature alone can achieve. It is here that the Signature of God is detectable.
For those who only hold a naturalistic view of the universe, everything is attributed to the mindless laws of nature… so that the Signature of God is obscured. Nothing is left that tells them, “Only God or some God-like intelligent mind could have done this.”
That’s the problem when you do not recognize any specific limitations to the tools that God has created – when you do not recognize the limits of nature and what natural laws can achieve all by themselves.
Since the fall of Adam, Sean, all babies are born in sin and they are sinners. God created them. Even if it was by way of cooperation of natural law as human beings also participated in the creation process.
God did not create the broken condition of any human baby – neither the physical or moral brokenness of any human being. God is responsible for every good thing, to include the spark or breath of life within each one of us. However, He did not and does not create those things within us that are broken or bad.
“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?'” Matthew 13:27-28
Of course, all humans are indeed born broken and are in a natural state of rebellion against God. However, God is not the one who created this condition nor is God responsible for any baby being born with any kind of defect in character, personality, moral tendency, or physical or genetic abnormality. God did not create anyone with such brokenness. Such were the natural result of rebellion against God and heading the temptations of the “enemy”… the natural result of a separation from God with the inevitable decay in physical, mental, and moral strength.
Of course, the ones who are born broken are not responsible for their broken condition either. However, all of us are morally responsible for choosing to reject the gift of Divine Grace once it is appreciated… and for choosing to go against what we all have been given to know, internally, of moral truth. In other words, we are responsible for rebelling against the Royal Law written on the hearts of all mankind.
This is because God has maintained in us the power to be truly free moral agents in that we maintain the Power to choose, as a gift of God (Genesis 3:15). We can choose to accept or reject the call of the Royal Law, as the Holy Spirit speaks to all of our hearts…
Remember the statement by Mrs. White that God is in no wise responsible for sin in anyone at any time. God is working to fix our broken condition. He did not and does not create our broken condition. Just as He does not cause Babies to be born with painful and lethal genetic defects, such as those that result in childhood leukemia, He does not cause Babies to be born with defects of moral character either. God is only directly responsible for the good, never the evil, of this life.
Again, your all-or-nothing approach to the claims of scientists isn’t very scientific. Even the best and most famous of scientists has had numerous hair-brained ideas that were completely off base. This fact does not undermine the good discoveries and inventions that were produced.
Scientific credibility isn’t based on the person making the argument, but upon the merits of the argument itself – the ability of the hypothesis to gain predictive value when tested. That’s it.
Gary Gilbert, Spectrum, and Pseudogenes
Don’t be so obtuse here. We’re not talking about publishing just anything in mainstream journals. I’ve published several articles myself. We’re talking about publishing the conclusion that intelligent design was clearly involved with the origin of various artifactual features of living things on this planet. Try getting a paper that mentions such a conclusion published…