Dr. Jeffrey Shallit has answered my question about the analogy between S.E.T.I. research and the inference to intelligent design in biology. His reply was thoughtful, made some good points, and was free of personal insults. My question was: “If the scientific discovery of a ‘blueprint’ would justify the design inference, then why is it unreasonable to infer that the genetic code was designed?” Starting off, Dr. Shallit demurs:
Evolutionary ‘theory’ is immune to satire. Satire depends on exaggeration, and evolutionary theory is such far-fetched science– substituting preposterous generalizations, non-sequiturs and jargon for meaningful scientific inference– that it can’t be satirized. It can only be described, which is funny enough. Much of recent evolutionary self-satire involves the origin of the human brain. How did an organ of such staggering complexity and biological novelty arise? For evolutionary biologists, no speculation (except design) is too outlandish. Evidence: a paper in Nature Genetics offers a new theory to account for the human brain: spit.
On a very important question that goes to the heart of the debate about Darwinism and intelligent design, Dr. Jeffrey Shallit is exercising his right to remain silent. Dr. Shallit had recently used the example of S.E.T.I. research on a blog post in which he ridiculed author and editor Tom Bethell for defending intelligent design. Mr. Bethell pointed out that it’s perfectly appropriate for scientists use the inference to design under certain circumstances, and he believes that biology is one of them. Dr.Shallit ridiculed him, calling him a “blathering buffoon”, a ‘liar’, ‘gullible’, ‘dishonest’, and ”simply stupid’ and categorizing his views as “Idiocy”. I was taken back by Dr. Shallit’s incivility and lack of professionalism- he’s a professor responsible for Read More ›
Darwinist Dr. Jeffery Shallit posted an odd response to my comments on his ridicule of Tom Bethell. Mr. Bethell had reiterated the differences between intelligent design and creationism, and he pointed out that the inference to design was valid for some kinds of scientific research. Dr. Shallit, in his post entitled
Dr. Jeffrey Shallit, a professor of computer science at the University of Waterloo and a Darwinist, has a few unkind words for Tom Bethell on his blog Recursivity. Mr. Bethell’s sin, it seems, is that he pointed out the rather obvious differences between creationism and intelligent design. Creationism is the belief that the Book of Genesis is literally, scientifically true — that the earth was created in six days, etc. Intelligent design is the opinion that some aspects of biology, such as the genetic code and the molecular nanotechnology inside cells, are most reasonably explained as the product of intelligent agency. The difference between these viewpoints continues to elude Dr. Shallit. Consequently, Dr. Shallit calls Mr. Bethell a “blathering buffoon.”