Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Steven Fuller about "Intelligent Design"

The Cafe Scientifique is a series of talks given by people who are experts in their field. This Tuesday the guest speaker was Steven Fuller who talked about the concept of "Intelligent Design". He pointed out that most scientists in the 17th and 18thy century came from the approach of "Intelligent Design" (ID).

The talk was very interesting but caused a lot of controversy afterwards, when the audience could ask questions. Many members in the audience did not agree with the viewpoint of Steven, who implied that ID has still a lot of validity in the current scientific efforts, as it would give a meaning to the goal of scientific pursuits. This was heavily contested by the audience who expressed the viewpoint that the patterns occuring in nature, which are to be uncovered by science, would not have to be based on any intelligence behind it. The most prevalent argument was the one of evolution: there are many "dumb" paths of evolution which counter the idea of having a smart design behind it. This is the reason why evolution and intelligent design are so much in competition with each other, especially in the US: it is more a fundamental discurs about ideology and belief rather than on scientific evidence.

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