Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Natural Designers: They Just Won't Go Away

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published: mardi 16 janvier 2007 5:05:28

The common objection to invoking a natural designer to account for life on Earth is that the explanation leaves the origin of the natural designer unexplained. While I can appreciate the appeal of this argument, I continually fail to see how it works to rule out a natural designer.

Human beings are intrinsically mythical. I am not using the term ‘myth’ to imply that humans gravitate toward false or supernatural explanations. I use the term much as social scientists use it, where a ‘myth’ is some narrative humans use to assign meaning to our lives. We assign such meaning by looking for ways to give our lives Context. Religion is, of course, the primary vehicle for the expression of this unique human characteristic. But even those who are not religious nevertheless think in mythical terms. And I submit the displeasure that many ID proponents and critics experience when contemplating a natural designer is largely psychological. That is, as Homo mythicans, we are not pleased with an attempt to explain the origin of life on this planet unless that explanation can also be neatly fitted into an Uber-Explanation, an explanation that seeks to Explain it All. Unless our little explanations can be viewed as promissory notes working ultimately toward an Uber-Explanation, we prefer to look elsewhere.

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