The Design Inference from Specified Complexity:
Defended by Scholars outside the Intelligent Design Movement - 2
Peter S. Williams (MA, MPhil)
Assistant Professor in Communication and Worldviews, Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication, NLA University College, Norway.
Part 2 - Three Atheists outside the ID Movement:
Massimo Pigliucci, Richard Dawkins and Carl Sagan
Note: This series of articles by Peter Williams was originally published as a single paper. It appears here, for reasons of accessibility, in 3 parts.
This article first appeared in Philosophia Christi Vol.9, No.2, 2007 and appears here by permission of the Evangelical Philosophical Society. Philosophia Christi (www.epsociety.org/philchristi/default.asp) is the journal of the Evangelical Philosophical Society (www.epsociety.org/about/). It publishes scholarly articles discussing philosophy and philosophical issues in the fields of apologetics, ethics, theology, and religion.
To join the society, subscribe to Philosophia Christi and to take advantage of the first-time subscriber discount, visit their membership page (www.epsociety.org/about/membership.asp).
Massimo Pigliucci: Cosmic Fine-Tuning and Irreducible Complexity
Massimo Pigliucci is an associate professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he teaches ecology and evolutionary biology. Pigliucci has a PhD in botany from the University of Connecticut and a PhD in philosophy from the University of Tennessee. A self-styled ‘sceptic,’ Pigliucci's articles have appeared in such publications as The Sceptic and Free Inquiry. According to Pigliucci,
Should we conclusively determine that the probability of existence of our universe is infinitesimally small, and should we fail to explain why physical constants have assumed the quantities that we observe, the possibility of a designed universe would have to be considered seriously.
In discussing the fine-tuning of the cosmos, Pigliucci lays down a pre-theoretic version of Dembski's CSI criterion, which infers design, on the basis of experience, whenever an independent specification (for example, the set of physical constants required by a life sustaining universe) is exhibited at sufficiently low probability. Pigliucci and design theorists differ on whether we can infer that our universe is indeed the product of design, but there would appear to be at least an implicit agreement on the criteria for making such a judgement.
Pigliucci explicitly affirms that ‘[Michael] Behe . . . does have a point concerning irreducible complexity. . . . irreducible complexity is indeed a hallmark of intelligent design.’ Behe's most notable presentation of irreducible complexity (IC) is Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, where he defined his terms as follows:
By irreducibly complex I mean a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning. An irreducibly complex system cannot be produced directly . . . by slight, successive modifications of a precursor system, because any precursor to an irreducibly complex system that is missing a part is by definition non-functional.
Dembski points out that IC systems are a concrete example of specified complexity:
The irreducibly complex systems Behe considers require numerous components specifically adapted to each other and each necessary for function. On any formal complexity-theoretic analysis, they are complex in the sense required by the complexity-specification criterion. Moreover, in virtue of their function, these systems embody patterns independent of the actual living systems. Hence these systems are also specified in the sense required by the complexity-specification criterion.
Charles Darwin argued that the existence of a single IC system would falsify his evolutionary hypothesis: ‘If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.’ Darwin made the universal negative bet that no such system would be discovered and his contemporary followers, like Pigliucci, make the same bet. By definition, any system that is IC cannot have evolved directly by a series of incremental evolutionary improvements. Ruling out direct, incremental evolution does not exclude what Darwin called ‘a sudden leap,’ but as Richard Dawkins notes, ‘The larger the leap through genetic space, the lower the probability that the resulting change will be viable, let alone an improvement.’ Behe observes that
Even if a system is irreducibly complex (and thus cannot have been produced directly) . . . one cannot definitely rule out the possibility of an indirect, circuitous route. As the complexity of an interacting system increases, though, the likelihood of such an indirect route drops precipitously. . . .
Behe argues that at the biomolecular level of life (an unknown ‘black box’ in Darwin's day) there are several IC systems that are highly unlikely to have been formed by numerous, successive (unguided) indirect modifications, ‘including aspects of protein transport, blood clotting, closed circular DNA, electron transport, the bacterial flagellum, telomeres, photosynthesis, transcription regulation, and much more.’ Given that IC systems are resistant to evolutionary explanation, and given our everyday experience that intelligent agents regularly produce IC systems (and other systems exhibiting CSI), Behe argues that the best explanation of such molecular machines is intelligent design:
the onus of proof is on the one who denies the plain evidence of the eyes. For example, a person who conjectured that the statues on Easter Island or the images on Mount Rushmore were actually the result of unintelligent forces would bear the substantial burden of proof the claim demanded. In those examples, the positive evidence for design would be there for all to see in the purposeful arrangements of parts to produce the images. Any putative evidence for the claim that the images were actually the result of unintelligent processes (perhaps erosion by some vague, hypothesized chaotic forces) would have to clearly show that the postulated unintelligent process could indeed do the job. In the absence of such a clear demonstration, any person would be rationally justified to prefer the design explanation.
If there is irreducible complexity in living organisms, then Pigliucci would agree with Behe and Dembski that it is evidence of intelligent design: ‘irreducible complexity is indeed a valid criterion to distinguish between intelligent and non-intelligent design.’However, Pigliucci thinks that ‘there is no evidence so far of irreducible complexity in living organisms.’
Presidents and Safe-Cracking
Zoologist Richard Dawkins is Oxford University's Professor for the Public Understanding of Science. Dawkins is well-known as a vocal atheist through his popular books and media appearances. He is also an outspoken critic of intelligent design theory.
In Climbing Mount Improbable, Dawkins draws a distinction between objects that are clearly designed and objects that are not clearly designed but superficially look like they are-which he calls ‘designoid’ Dawkins illustrates the concept of being designoid with a hillside that suggests a human profile: ‘Once you have been told, you can just see a slight resemblance to either John or Robert Kennedy. But some don't see it and it is certainly easy to believe that the resemblance is accidental.’ Dawkins contrasts this Kennedy-esque hillside with the four president's heads carved into Mt. Rushmore in America, which ‘are obviously not accidental: they have design written all over them.’ Hence Dawkins admits intelligence is capable of outperforming the design-producing resources of nature in such a way as to leave empirical indicators of its activity.
Dawkins argues that, while ‘a rock can weather into the shape of a nose seen from a certain vantage point,’ such a rock (for example, the Kennedy-esque hillside) is designoid. Mt. Rushmore, on the other hand, is clearly not designoid: ‘Its four heads are clearly designed’. The fact that Rushmore is designed is, according to Dawkins, empirically detectable: ‘The sheer number of details [that is, the amount of complexity] in which the Mount Rushmore faces resemble the real things [that is, the complexity fits four specifications] is too great to have come about by chance.’ In terms of mere possibility, says Dawkins: ‘The weather could have done the same job. . . . But of all the possible ways of weathering a mountain, only a tiny minority [complexity] would be speaking likenesses of four particular human beings [specification].’ Hence, ‘Even if we didn't know the history of Mount Rushmore, we'd estimate the odds against its four heads [specification] being carved by accidental weathering as astronomically high . . . [complexity].’
Again, Dawkins argues that ‘Of all the unique and, with hindsight equally improbable, positions of the combination lock [complexity], only one opens the lock [specification]. . . . The uniqueness of the arrangement . . . that opens the safe, [has] nothing to do with hindsight. It is specified in advance.’ According to Dawkins, the best explanation of an open safe is not that someone got lucky, but that someone knew the specific and complex combination required to open it.
Directed Panspermia and ‘God-Like Beings’.
Crop circles are obviously the product of design because they exhibit CSI. Some people suggest that the source of crop-circle design is extra-terrestrial. No matter how sceptical we are about extra-terrestrials, it would be irrational to argue that because extra-terrestrials do not exist, crop circles are not the product of design (since aliens are a sufficient but not a necessary condition for crop circles). Likewise, however sceptical someone is about the existence of God, it would be irrational to argue that since God does not exist, nothing in nature is the product of design (since God is a sufficient but not a necessary condition of intelligent design in nature). The scientific inference to design, whether in the case of crop circles or not, is prior to the inference to a particular designer, and it stands or falls on its own merits. Dawkins admits as much in an article that appeared in the secular humanist magazine Free Inquiry. In this editorial opinion piece, Dawkins explicitly acknowledged that CSI is a valid criterion of design detection:
‘specified complexity’ takes care of the sensible point that any particular rubbish heap is improbable, with hindsight, in the unique disposition of its parts. A pile of detached watch parts tossed in a box is, with hindsight, as improbable as a fully functioning, genuinely complicated watch. What is specified about a watch is that it is improbable in the specific direction of telling the time. . . .
Dawkins is clearly saying that it is the specified complexity of a watch that warrants a design inference (mere complexity is not the issue). Dawkins admits that ‘Behe and Dembski correctly pose the problem of specified complexity as something that needs explaining,’ and he even allows that ‘Design is the temporarily correct explanation for some particular manifestations of specified complexity such as a car or a washing machine.’ Here we begin to see Dawkins's philosophical commitment to naturalism affecting his conclusions: ‘sooner or later, in order to explain the illusion of design, we are going to have to terminate the regress [of explanations] with something more explanatory than design itself,’ says Dawkins, for ‘Design can never be an ultimate explanation.’ Dawkins is happy to concede that intelligent design is a legitimate and evidentially supported explanation for CSI, but his naturalistic philosophy dictates that explaining anything in terms of intelligent design is only ever a ‘temporarily correct’ placeholder for a non-teleological explanation. This philosophical deduction from naturalism applies just as much to watches and washing machines as to cosmic fine-tuning or bacterial flagella.
Of course, even in the case of design detected within the texture of nature itself there are numerous explanatory options. Inferring intelligent design does not automatically equate with inferring any particular designer(s). As Dawkins writes: ‘It could conceivably turn out, as Francis Crick and Leslie Orgel . . . suggested, that evolution was seeded by deliberate design, in the form of bacteria sent from a distant planet in the nose cone of a spaceship.’
Nobel laureate Francis Crick (credited as co-discoverer of the double helix structure of DNA) and origin-of-life researcher Leslie Orgel first proposed the theory of ‘directed panspermia’ as a hypothesis worth considering in an article published in Icarus. Crick expanded upon the hypothesis in his book Life Itself suggesting that an advanced alien species sent one or more spacecraft to earth with the intent of peppering it with the necessary life forms (or components of life) to generate a zoo of diverse species. The theory continues to attract a small number of supporters amongst origin-of-life researchers. Dawkins' philosophy dictates that such an explanation must ultimately track back to a non-teleological explanation. Given the assumption that minds can be explained naturalistically (an assumption Dawkins makes), metaphysical naturalism is logically compatible with inferring intelligent design from nature. Perhaps, as members of the naturalistic, ID-endorsing Raelian UFO religion believe, aliens are responsible for life on earth. Perhaps the big bang was fine-tuned to produce a life-sustaining universe by aliens in a parallel universe. For Dawkins, the ultimate explanation of any and all CSI must be naturalistic:
It is easy to believe that the universe houses creatures so far superior to us as to seem like gods. I believe it. But those godlike beings must themselves have been lifted into existence by natural selection or some equivalent. . . .
As Dawkins says in response to the question ‘What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?’
. . . I believe that all intelligence, all creativity, and all design anywhere in the universe is the direct or indirect product of Darwinian natural selection. It follows that design comes late in the universe, after a period of Darwinian evolution. Design cannot precede evolution and therefore cannot underlie the universe.
Since Dawkins explicitly accepts CSI as a reliable criterion of design detection, and since he already believes in the existence of ‘godlike’ extra-terrestrial beings, one would predict that were he to concede the existence of empirical evidence within the natural world that triggers a design inference, he would likely affirm that the intelligence in question was extra-terrestrial, thereby retaining his philosophical assumption that design inferences can only be temporarily correct explanations that must be susceptible to a reductive, naturalistic explanation in the final analysis. This thought experiment demonstrates that design theorists are right when they point out that arguing for intelligent design does not necessarily equate with arguing for supernatural, let alone divine design. As Michael J. Behe explains:
my argument is limited to design itself; I strongly emphasize that it is not an argument for the existence of a benevolent God, as Paley's was. I hasten to add that I myself do believe in a benevolent God, and I recognize that philosophy and theology may be able to extend the argument. But a scientific argument for design in biology does not reach that far. Thus while I argue for design, the question of the identity of the designer is left open . . . as regards the identity of the designer, modern ID theory happily echoes Isaac Newton's phrase, hypothesis non fingo.
Potential philosophical and theological disputes about the nature of the designer(s) aside, Richard Dawkins explicitly endorses the first premise of the argument for intelligent design.
Carl Sagan: Presidential Eggplants and the ‘Face’ on Mars
Carl Sagan was an American astronomer, astrobiologist, and science populariser. Sagan was a pioneer in exobiology, promoting the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI). A famous author of popular science books, Sagan also wrote the novel Contact, upon which the 1997 film of the same name was based. Considering that the scientists in Contact infer the existence of extra-terrestrials when they detect a radio signal exhibiting specified complexity, it is unsurprising that Sagan implicitly endorses CSI as a design detection criterion in his other writings.
In The Demon Haunted World, Sagan debunks a number of claims about purported instances of design. For example:
There was a celebrated eggplant that closely resembled Richard M. Nixon. What shall we deduce from this fact? Divine or extra-terrestrial intervention? Republican meddling in eggplant genetics? No. We recognize that there are large numbers of eggplants in the world and that, given enough of them, sooner or later we'll come upon one that looks like a human face, even a very particular human face.
Notice that the suggestion of design here is based upon the fact that the eggplant in question exhibits a specification. In this case, the specification is looking like a human face, and more than that, looking like a particular human face (although it is hard to believe that the resemblance can have been all that tight). Sagan implicitly accepts that the eggplant exhibits a specification. So why does Sagan reject the idea that the correspondence between the eggplant and the Nixon specification is the result of design? Because the example lacks complexity. Given the number of human faces and eggplants that have existed, Sagan argues that it is not all that unlikely that we would come across an eggplant that bore a resemblance to Nixon. Hence we do not have to deduce divine, or extra-terrestrial, or Republican design from the eggplant.
Sagan's argument for rejecting a design inference from the eggplant implicitly accepts that if the eggplant exhibited a specification at a sufficient level of complexity, then a design inference would be justified. In other words, Sagan recognized that a design inference is warranted when faced with an example of ‘specified complexity.’ This is why, in order to debunk a proposed instance of design which he admits exhibits specification, Sagan argues that the proposed example lacks sufficient complexity.
Sagan implicitly endorses the point that while specified complexity warrants an inference to ‘intelligent design,’ it does not in and of itself warrant an inference to any particular designer: ‘Divine or extra-terrestrial intervention? Republican meddling in eggplant genetics?’ All three explanations would be possible candidates if a design inference in this case were justified.
Sagan goes on to discuss the infamous so-called face on Mars,first photographed by one of the Viking orbiters in 1976. Sagan argues against a design inference in this instance by arguing that the ‘face’ is neither very complex nor tightly specified. (Pointing out that something does not exhibit CSI can only justify the conclusion that it was not designed in concert with an application of Ockham's razor, since objects can be intelligently designed without exhibiting CSI. ‘Specified complexity’ is only a positive test for design. Arguing against a design inference is not the same as arguing against design per se.) Sagan first examines the complexity of the ‘face’:
Mars has a surface area of almost 150 million square kilometres. Is it so astonishing that one (comparatively) postage-stamp-sized patch in 150 million should look artificial-especially given our penchant, since infancy, for finding faces?
In other words, it is not all that unlikely that a small area of Mars should look sufficiently like a face under certain conditions to make it appear face-like to casual observation. Then Sagan goes after specification:
If we study the original image more carefully, we find that a strategically placed ‘nostril’-one that adds much to the impression of a face-is in fact a black dot corresponding to lost data in the radio transmission from Mars to Earth. The best picture of the Face shows one side lit by the Sun, the other in deep shadow. Using the original digital data, we can severely enhance the contrast in the shadows. When we do, we find something rather unface-like there. The Face is at best half a face. . . . the Martian sphinx looks natural-not artificial, not a dead ringer for a human face.
While at first glance the ‘face’ seems to exhibit a specification, a closer look shows that it does not. In Richard Dawkins' terminology, the supposed face on Mars is ‘designoid’; it gives a superficial impression of design at first glance, but the more we investigate its salient features, the less designed it looks. Hence Sagan concludes, ‘It was probably sculpted by slow geological processes over millions of years.’ The important point here is that in order to justify this conclusion Sagan seeks to undermine precisely those twin features that Dembski argues are as jointly sufficient conditions for justifying a design inference, namely, complexity and specification. If Sagan is right to argue that the ‘face’ does not justify a design inference because it fails to exhibit specified complexity (indeed, because it is neither sufficiently complex nor tightly specified) then design theorists must be right to argue that anything which does exhibit specified complexity should be attributed to intelligent design. For example, Sagan would not argue that slow geological processes sculpted the presidential faces on Mount Rushmore, because unlike the ‘face’ on Mars, Mount Rushmore does exhibit specified complexity.
Although he does not use the terminology of ‘specified complexity,’ Sagan clearly endorses specified complexity as an adequate criterion of design detection, because he argues that design inferences cannot be supported if the putative designed object lacks sufficient complexity, fails to exhibit a specification, or both. This negative argument implies the positive argument that when a putative designed object does exhibit CSI, a design inference is thereby warranted.
. Massimo Pigliucci, ‘The Provine-Scott Discussion at the RET: Methodological vs. Philosophical Naturalism,’ http://www.rationalists.org/rc/1998_spring/provine-scott.htm
; cf. Peter S. Williams, ‘Reviewing the Reviewers: Pigliucci et al. on ‘Darwin's Rotweiller and the Public Understanding of Science,'‘ http://www.arn.org/docs/williams/pw_pigliucci_reviewingreviewers.htm
. Massimo Pigliucci, ‘Design Yes, Intelligent No,’ Darwinism, Design, And Public Education, 467.
. Behe, Darwin's Black Box, 39.
. William A. Dembski, Intelligent Design: The Bridge between Science and Theology (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1999), 149.
. Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 6th ed. (1872; New York: New York University Press, 1988), 154.
. Richard Dawkins places the same bet when he acknowledges that Darwin's remark about systems that cannot be built gradually ‘is valid and very wise . . . his theory is indeed falsifiable . . . and he puts his finger on one way in which it might be falsified’ (‘Universal Darwinism,’ in The Philosophy of Biology, ed. David Hull and Michael Ruse [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998], 29.) However, he asserts that ‘not a single case is known to me of a complex organ that could not have been formed by numerous slight [unguided] modifications. I do not believe that such a case will ever be found’ (The Blind Watchmaker [London: Penguin, 2006], 91.) Nevertheless, he concedes, ‘If it is-it'll have to be a really complex organ, and . . . you have to be sophisticated about what you mean by ‘slight'-I shall cease to believe in Darwinism’ (The Blind Watchmaker, 91). In The God Delusion (London: Bantam, 2006) Dawkins writes, ‘Maybe there is something out there in nature that really does preclude, by its genuinely irreducible complexity, the smooth gradient of Mount Improbable . . . if genuinely irreducible complexity could be properly demonstrated, it would wreck Darwin's theory. Darwin himself said as much . . . genuine irreducible complexity would wreck Darwin's theory if it were ever found . . .’ (125). Dawkins has a lot riding on the universal negative bet that nothing in nature is irreducibly complex.
. Richard Dawkins, ‘Darwin Triumphant,’ in A Devil's Chaplain
(London: Phoenix, 2004), 86.
. Behe, Darwin's Black Box
. Michael J. Behe, ‘Molecular Machines: Experimental Support for the Design Inference,’ http://www.arn.org/docs/behe/mb_mm92496.htm
. Behe, Darwin's Black Box
, 265-6. This point is also made by Robert C. Koons, ‘The Check Is in the Mail: Why Darwinism Fails to Inspire Confidence,’ in Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing
, ed. William A. Dembski (Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2004), 3-22.
. Pigliucci, ‘Design Yes, Intelligent No,’ 471.
. Ibid., 467.
. For a critique of Dawkins' views, see:
Antony Latham, The Naked Emperor: Darwinism Exposed
(London: Janus, 2005);
Alister E. McGrath, Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes and the Meaning of Life
(Oxford: Blackwell, 2004);
Alister E. McGrath, The Dawkins Delusion
(London: SPCK, 2007);
Keith Ward, God, Chance and Necessity
(Oxford: OneWorld, 1996);
Keith Ward, Is Religion Dangerous
? (Oxford: Lion, 2006);
Peter S. Williams, I Wish I Could Believe in Meaning: A Response to Nihilism
(Southampton: Damaris, 2004);
Andrew Wilson, Deluded by Dawkins? A Christian Response to ‘The God Delusion’
(Eastbourne: Kingsway, 2007);
William Lane Craig, ‘Richard Dawkins' Argument for Atheism in The God Delusion
Thomas Nagel, ‘The Fear of Religion,’ The New Republic Online
Alvin Plantinga, ‘The Dawkins Confusion’, Books and Culture
, March/April 2007, http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/2007/002/1.21.html
Richard Swinburne, ‘Response to Richard Dawkins's Criticisms in The God Delusion
Peter S. Williams, ‘Darwin's Rottweiler and the Public Understanding of Scientism’, http://www.arn.org/docs/williams/pw_dawkinsfallacies.htm
Peter S. Williams, ‘The Faith Based Dawkins’, www.bethinking.org/resource.php?ID=166
Peter S. Williams, ‘The God Delusion
Deconstructed at Southampton University’, http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~pjb304/SUCU_talks/eternity/2007-02-15-PeteWilliams-TheGodDelusionDeconstructed.mp3
Peter S. Williams, ‘The Big Bad Wolf, Theism and the Foundations of Intelligent Design: A Review of Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion
Peter S. Williams, ‘Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Dawkins' Failed Rebuttal of Natural Theology’, http://www.arn.org/docs/williams/pw_goddelusionreview2.htm
. See Peter S. Williams, ‘The War on Science: How Horizon Got Intelligent Design Wrong’, http://www.arn.org/docs/williams/pw_horizonreview.htm
. Richard Dawkins, Climbing Mount Improbable
(London: Viking, 1996), 4.
. Ibid., 3.
. Dawkins, The Blind Watchmake
. Richard Dawkins, ‘Who Owns the Argument from Improbability?’ Free Inquiry
, October/November 2004, 11-12.
. Ibid. Discussing SETI in The God Delusion
, Dawkins notes: ‘It is a non-trivial question . . . what kind of signal would convince us of its intelligent origin . . . Metronomic rhythms can be generated by many non-intelligent phenomena. . . . Nothing simply rhythmic . . . would announce our intelligent presence to the waiting universe’ (71). The regular, specified but uncomplicated pattern of a pulsar does not require an explanation in terms of design. Neither, of course, does the irregular, unspecified complexity of static. So what sort of signal would do the job? Dawkins notes: ‘Prime numbers are often mentioned as the recipe of choice, since it is difficult to think of a purely physical process that could generate them’ (The God Delusion
, 43). Hence Dawkins affirms that there is a type of pattern, in principle discoverable by empirical, scientific investigation, for which it is difficult to account in purely physical terms and which would rightly trigger a design inference; and this is clearly a pattern exhibiting CSI.
. Dawkins, ‘Who Owns the Argument from Improbability?’ 11-12.
. Francis Crick and Leslie Orgel, ‘Directed Panspermia,’ Icarus 19 (1973): 341-6.
. Francis Crick, Life Itself
(New York: Simon and Schuster, 1981).
. I do not share this assumption. See William Lane Craig and J. P. Moreland, eds., Naturalism: A Critical Analysis
(London: Routledge, 2001); William Hasker, The Emergent Self
(Cornell University Press, 1999); Angus J. Menuge, Agents Under Fire: Materialism and the Rationality of Science
(Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield, 2004); J. P. Moreland, Scaling the Secular City
(Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1987); Alvin Plantinga, Warrant and Proper Function
(Oxford University Press, 1993); Victor Reppert, C. S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea
(Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2003); Peter S. Williams, The Case for Angels
(Carlisle: Paternoster, 2002); Peter S. Williams, I Wish I Could Believe in Meaning
. See Peter S. Williams, ‘Raelians Successfully Clone Naturalism
. Dawkins, ‘Who Owns the Argument from Improbability?’ 11-12.
. Cf. Edge: The World Question Centre
, ‘What Do You Believe Is True Even Though You Cannot Prove It?’ http://www.edge.org/q2005/q05_easyprint.html
. Richard Dawkins, interview by Fi Glover, Broadcasting House
, BBC Radio 4, January 9, 2005. Cf. Peter S. Williams, ‘The Faith Based Dawkins.’
Dawkins on this point, see Alvin Plantinga, ‘The Dawkins Confusion’; Peter S. Williams, ‘The Big Bad Wolf, Theism and the Foundations of Intelligent Design.’
. Behe, ‘The Modern Intelligent Design Hypothesis,’ 165.
. Cf. William A. Dembski, ‘Science and Design’ First Things
, October 1998, http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft9810/dembski.html
; Dembski, ‘SETI and Intelligent Design,’ December 2, 2005, http://www.uncommondescent.com/index.php/archives/541
. Carl Sagan, The Demon Haunted World
(London: Headline, 1996), 47.
. See David John Owen, ‘The Face on Mars,’ http://www.dave.co.nz/space/mars/face.html
. Sagan, The Demon Haunted World
. Ibid., emphasis added.
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