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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Uncommon Descent Contest 19: Spot the mistakes in the following baffflegab explanation of intelligent design theory

In a review in First Things by David B. Hart, of Richard Dawkins’s The Greatest Show on Earth, we are informed - on the mag’s cover - that Dawkins “gets a gold star” for his book of that name (January 2010 Number 199).

Indeed, he does get the gold star from reviewer Hart. Hart is full of praise for Dawkins, though daintily demurs at his hardline atheism. But he is a total, unwavering convert to the greatest scam ever conceived in the history of biology, that Darwinism - a conservative aspect of wild nature that trims out life forms unsuited to an ecology - actually has vast creative powers.

I can’t yet seem to find the review on line, but that was not for lack of trying.

Now the contest: Here’s what Hart has to say about design in nature:
The best argument against ID theory, when all is said and done, is that it rests on a premise - irreducible complexity” - that may seem compelling at the purely intuitive level but that can never logically be demonstrated. At the end of the day, it is - as Francis Collins rightly remarks - an argument from personal incredulity. While it is true that very suggestive metaphysical arguments can be drawn from the reality of form, the intelligibility of the universe, consciousness, the laws of physics, or (most importantly) ontological contingency, the mere biological complexity of this or that organism can never amount to an irrefutable proof of anything other than the incalculable complexity of that organism’s phylogenic antecedents.
For a free copy of Expelled, can you spot the mistakes in the quoted passage above? I mean, actual mistakes, as opposed to “He isn’t making any sense.” There is enough of the former, but you will find plenty of the latter too, I am afraid.

Here are the contest rules. Most important: No more than 400 words.

Also: If you won a previous contest quite recently and your prize is late, it is most likely because our post office here has four days off at this time of year, and I can’t do a thing about that. If you won a long time ago and never got your prize, write me at

Go here to enter. You must register to comment, but it is painless WordPress stuff.

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