An open letter to Creationists and IDiots

To Whom it May Concern:

One of the primary arguments from design is that random processes cannot result in the creation of an orderly object. Often this argument appeals to a version of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (claiming that “random processes only produce chaotic/entropic results”) or to the “you haven’t seen it, therefore it doesn’t exist” fallacy (“you’ve never seen something viable evolve through random processes”).

Now, I’ll lay aside most of the conventional counterarguments against this (such as the fact that Natural Selection is decidedly un-random). I’ll address the basic fact that random mutations play a major role in the evolutionary process. The only limitations on these mutations are that they must occur within the boundaries of physical and chemical laws (a gene won’t mutate into antimatter, for instance. Or gold). Keeping that in mind, consider this:It's beginning to look a lot like Darwin!Ladies and gentlemen, the snowflake. Each one is produced randomly, in a process dictated only by the basic laws of chemistry and physics, yet each one is remarkably well-ordered.

So, next time you think about saying that nothing orderly can come from random processes, please be ready to explain how and why God/the Designer spends each Winter crafting each and every snowflake by hand.

Thank you.

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4 Responses to An open letter to Creationists and IDiots

  1. Anonymous says:

    Mightn’t an intelligent designer/creator set up the laws of physics and chemistry (and evolution), so that random processes could lead to order, complexity, and beauty?-CJV

  2. Doubting Tom says:

    Well, certainly. And that’s the sort of argument you might see from theistic evolutionists and scientifically-minded theologians. I’m not certain who wrote it, but I read a theological article a couple of years back which laid out that argument better than I ever could. The jist of it was that the doctrine of the ‘eternal tinkerer,’ the designer/creator/god who’s always fiddling with and fine-tuning the processes of the material world, comes out looking less competent and less majestic than the god who sets up a grand mechanism, then sets it off and lets it work on its own toward the desired ends. And I don’t think there’s any scientist or theologian worth his or her salt who would have a problem with this idea. It synthesizes the omnipotent creator-god with the randomness of the universe and free will, without compromising either, and without developing a god of the gaps. Sadly, this sort of thinking tends to be beyond the grasp of the typical Creationist/ID proponent, who believe anything from the ‘literal’ Biblical account in Genesis, to the special creation of all life forms by a Creator/Designer at some point in the past, to the evolution of all life but specially-created/designed humans, to the seeding of the planet by super-advanced alien life forms. The idea of a God who works through materialistic processes, rather than one who routinely interferes with them, is either foreign or anathematical to them. And so they persist with a supernatural designer who is “proven” by subjective conceptions of design, or with a god who exists to explain the shrinking number of things which cannot be explained materialistically. I’ve said that the various gods of Creationism and Intelligent Design are equally insulting to religion and science, but Lewis Black said it best: “when you try too hard to apply science to religion, both come off looking ridiculous.”

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why can Creationists &/or Intelligent Design (ID) advocates solve Sudoku Number Puzzles so quickly? THEY JUST PUT A “G” IN ALL THE EMPTY SQUARES.It’s just a matter of faith! It’s the same method creationists and now ID specialists resort to in trying to prove their unsustainable “intelligent design theory”. Creationists can just stop searching for reality by just assuming all gaps in current understanding and/or knowledge of evolution must be filled with a (G=god) solution. As Prof Richard Dawkins explains in chapter four of The GOD Delusion; “If an apparent gap is found, it is assumed that God, by default must fill it.” Saves them having to think and question I suppose. Much like the progress one makes by eliminating the possible numbers in each square as a Sudoku puzzle is solved, “gaps shrink as science advances and God is threatened with eventually having nothing to do and nowhere to hide.” This of course “worries thoughtful theologians” however the greater worry for scientists (and the rest of us) is that groups through politics or fear will walk away from the “essential part of the scientific enterprise [that is] to admit ignorance.”Nothing is more dangerous than a, ‘I have all the answers’ arrogant preacher followed by a bunch of non-thinking ‘god-botherers’ driven by blind faith who absolve themselves from their societal responsibilities with the comfort of unquestioning feeble-minds!Although some see Dawkins as a bit of a raver and less scientific in his arguments than he could (should) be, if you read Pascal Boyer’s “Gods, Spirits and the Mental Instincts that Create Them”, Dawkins’ ’emotional’ approach to battling the “ID” lobby is also needed.caliibre

  4. Doubting Tom says:

    There are few things more demeaning both to science and to religion than the God of the Gaps. It purports to limit scientific exploration by giving “god” as a be-all, end-all explanation for the unknown, while it places god in these little pigeon-holes that eventually get filled up, as though god’s domain is ever-shrinking and his power ever-weakening.

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