Posts tagged Premier Christian Radio
23 Nov 2010
Last night I called in at Westminster Chapel for Darwin or Design? An Evening with Michael Behe, hosted by Justin Brierley, presenter of Premier Christian Radio's Unbelievable? programme, with support from the new Centre for Intelligent Design.
I thought I'd use that as an excuse for a series of blog posts about "Intelligent Design" (ID), as Michael Behe is one of the biggest names in that movement. It's not something I know much about, but this is my blog, and what is the purpose of a blog if not to give me an outlet for my ignorant waffle? I'm just thinking aloud; don't take this too seriously.
So let's begin: what is ID?
Here's what Behe said:
Design is the purposeful arrangement of parts.
We infer design whenever parts appear arranged to accomplish a function.
The strength of the inference is quantitative.
I don't think this is any different to the "explanatory filter" of ID proponent William Dembski, which goes something like this. Can it be explained by physical laws and necessity? (No.) Can it be explained by a combination of law and chance processes? (No.) Then the reasonable inference is that an intelligent agent has been involved.
I've chewed over this a bit, and in an attempt to capture the thrust of ID, I offer the following as a summary:
The theory of evolution by random mutation and natural selection does a pretty bad job at explaining the complexity we see in living things. So, hey guys, maybe we should try thinking up some other ideas one of these days?
And since these "other ideas" would all involve the purposeful activity of an external agent, we can lump them together under the name "Intelligent Design".
In other words, it seems to me that ID is essentially anti-evolutionism with the addition of the (trivial) statement, that if, whenever we attempt to explain life (in all its complexity) without the intervention of an external intelligent agent, our attempts fail, then that suggests that an external intelligent agent might well have been involved.
That's not to say ID is not without value. But basically ID is anti-evolutionism.
22 Mar 2009
David Robertson, author of The Dawkins Letters, is due to visit Brighton in June/July. Yesterday he was on Premier Christian Radio's Unbelievable? programme, discussing the place of rationality, belief, progress and tolerance in a secular society, along with atheist blogger Adrian Hayter and Ariane Sherine, creator of the Atheist Bus Campaign. The fascinating conversation may he heard on the Unbelievable? page, on MP3, via the Podcast feed or on iTunes.
6 Nov 2008
Presenter of Premier Radio's Unbelievable? programme "Justin Brierley spoke to prominent atheist Richard Dawkins after his debate with Professor John Lennox at Oxford University in October 2008." Here's what was said 5:30 into the interview:
JB: But when you make a value judgement don't you immediately step yourself outside of this evolutionary process and say the reason this is good is because it's good, and you don't have any way to stand on that statement?
RD: But my value judgement itself could come from my evolutionary past.
JB: So therefore it's just as random in a sense as any product of evolution.
RD: Well, you could say that. But it doesn't in any case - nothing about it makes it more probable that there is anything supernatural.
JB: Okay, but ultimately, your belief that rape is wrong is as arbitrary as the fact that we've evolved five fingers rather than six.
RD: You could say that, yeah.
(HT: Tom Price)