Argument from Design

Byron Jennings of TRIUMF has a blog at Quantum Diaries where his latest post challenges the Intelligent Design crowd to actually make some kind of testable prediction.

An alternative to making predictions, though, is just to declare the opposition in default for failure of postdiction and that is what  actually seems to be the preferred strategy of creationists. As Jennings says, “Being able to describe past observations is just the price to play the game, and with sufficient ingenuity, can usually be done.” Yes, and I am pretty sure that natural selection from random variations can in fact do the job. But given the effectively infinite variety of life, the task of explaining all past observations will never be done. When we have explained the eye that sees, then there’s the eye on the peacock’s tail, and after that the I of conscious experience, and then who knows what. If we don’t want to appeal to magic then the price of this game will never have been paid in full.  Of course finding the price of admission then becomes a game in itself, and we should thank those of little ingenuity whenever they come up with interesting puzzles for us to solve. (Yes, we have usually thought of whatever they suggest long ago, but we should still thank them out of politeness – and then ask them to go out and find us more challenging problems to solve.)

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