Jun 20, 2013

Darwin's Doubt





Of Interest

Coast to Coast Interview Summary
Pointing out a hitch in Darwin's theory of evolution, Cambridge trained philosopher of science, Stephen C. Meyer, presented an argument for intelligent design. Darwin believed the appearance of purposeful design in living organisms was a kind of illusion, and explained it as a byproduct of an undirected process such as natural selection. However, Darwin recognized that the abrupt or sudden appearance of the first animals in the fossil record around 530 million years ago (in a period called the Cambrian Explosion) posed a challenge to his theory, which predicted a slow, gradual evolution of life. Darwin thought that future fossil discoveries would fill in the missing gaps, but what's happened is just the opposite-- a wider variety of Cambrian animals with intricate forms have been found, Meyer noted.
In unraveling the mystery of the Cambrian Explosion, Meyer viewed the period as a kind of "information revolution," the first since the origin of life itself. "But I realized there was a cause of which we know from our ordinary experience, our uniform and repeated experience (which Darwin taught was the basis of all scientific reasoning) that is capable of generating information. And that cause is intelligence, it's mind, it's conscious or rational activity," he declared. That led him to develop a rigorous, and scientific argument for intelligent design, using the same reasoning methods that Darwin employed.
One biologist said that 'natural selection does a good job of explaining the survival of the fittest, but not the arrival of the fittest,' Meyer commented. He differentiated his theory from Creationism, noting that the method of reasoning is different. "The theory of intelligent design is not attempting to interpret scripture, it's rather an inference from biological evidence," he said. Meyer further theorized that no agent from within the cosmos was responsible for the fine tuning of life, and the design of the very fabric of the universe. He thinks we're looking at an intelligence which originates beyond the universe itself.

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