Friday, March 17, 2006


The Translucent Purpose of Order

Reuters: "Cosmic nebulae usually look like blobs in space, but astronomers using the Spitzer Space Telescope reported on Wednesday they have found a nebula twisted like the double helix of DNA."

"Nobody has ever seen anything like that before in the cosmic realm," said Mark Morris of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Most nebulae are "formless, amorphous conglomerations of dust and gas," Morris said in a statement, adding that this one "indicates a high degree of order."

Intelligent design guru William Dembski has already posted a link to the photo on his Uncommon Descent blog and one credulous commenter there has observed, "I love the translucent purpose of order. A smart bioengineer will take these matters to heart. ID has its place."

And why not? Intelligent design tells us that Earth is providentially located in the cosmos. In the words of Privileged Planet authors Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards it was designed for discovery. Perhaps, the high degree of order exhibited by the double helix nebulae is meant, like the DNA in our cells, to convey information to those of us who observe it from planet earth.

As he so often does, Dembski links without commenting, thus providing future deniability. Would it be unreasonable to assume that he sees not only contingency but specified complexity -- aka, the hand of God -- in that newly discovered mass of interstellar dust and gas?

If you see it too, send $1 and two boxtops from your favorite cereal to the Discovery Institute in Seattle and get the amazing Design Detection Kit. In no time at all, you'll be able to discover the telltale features best explained by a designing intelligence in living systems, the universe, weeping statues, tortillas, and grilled cheese sandwiches. Allow six weeks for delivery.

Thanks again, RH.


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