Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Luskin: He Coulda Been a Contender

One thing you have to love about the Discovery Institute's Program Officer for Public Policy & Legal Affairs -- the man is everywhere -- Casey Luskin. Like a punch drunk fighter who's been hit too many times he never seems to have a clue where the next punch is coming from.

You would think a person such as Luskin who believes evolution to be a mathematical impossibility would have some sense, some inkling, some itty bitty glimmer that this statement cuts two ways:

Perhaps we need to appreciate that there are many things that seem improbable--but improbability does not, and never has, entailed nonexistence. We may be highly improbable--yet we are here.

But you would be wrong.

It all "sounds like solid reasoning" to our boy Luskin. Well, not quite all. The reason Luskin walks so guilelessly into this particular sucker punch -- just as our wannabe contender has so many times in the past -- is because the authors of the The Dawkins Delusion: Atheist Fundamentalism and the Denial of the Divine, Alister and Joanna McGrath, object to Richard Dawkins' assertion about the improbability of the existence of an intelligent designer when he asks, "Who designed the designer?"

Naturally, the disinterested scientist in Luskin laps up the abuse the McGrath's pile on Dawkins' case against God. He's less enthusiastic about their rejection of ID theory as a "God-of-the-gaps" argument.

As the McGrath's quite accurately point out, improbability isn't the same as impossibility. However, when Dawkins points out the improbability of the existence of God -- aka the intelligent designer -- we don't think he does it, as the McGraths seem to argue here, to prove there is no God. We think he does it, quite reasonably, to point up the erroneous logic of the creationists.

Those who find evolution too improbable to believe -- and assert they do so on the basis of reason and evidence -- are then obliged to show why God, or a some celestial Ty Pennington, is more probable.

This they never do, perhaps because the punches (sometimes referred to as evidence) come a little too fast and furious for the Luskins of the world to see coming at them.


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