Intelligently designed blind spot

Cornelius Hunter writes on the June 30, 2008 post that Science’s blind spot is still there. Although this post is largely self-promotion diatribe to get people to buy his book, Science’s Blind Spot, The Unseen Religion of Scientific Naturalism, it still deserves attention.  The funny thing about the book’s title is that the human eye having a blind spot is an example of unintelligent design. Why would the designer decide to put a blind spot that covers part of the eye? More on this later, but first lets focus on Hunter’s post.  I probably should say that I have not read it, but the overall theme that I gleam from this post is the old argument that science is ignoring the supernatural. Since science is ignoring the supernatural, then science can never really know anything. For example, Hunter writes:

The problem with science today is not that the naturalistic approach might occasionally be inadequate. The problem is that science would never know any better. This is science’s blind spot. When scientific problems arise, it is always assumed that the correct naturalistic explanation has not yet been found. Scientists may not be able to explain love very well, but they are sure there must be a way.

Is there really a need or reason not to believe in naturalism? In everyday life, doesn’t everyone take everything naturalistically? Do you depend on a mechanic to fix your car, or do you pray for your car to be fixed?  When someone is mean to you, do you think they are just a jerk or do you go and check the astrological signs to see why they acted that way?  In my view, scientists will try to apply the naturalistic position in places where it is applicable. If or when this position fails, then science will not be able to test it. Until then, scientists should stick to natural explanations. When naturalism fails, it will be out of scientists hands.

Back to Hunter and his view of evolution:

Evolution is supposed to be a blind, unguided process that has no particular end in view. It is an open-loop process that meanders through an astronomical design space influenced only by the unguided events of the moment. Given the enormous size of that design space, it is unlikely that evolution would arrive at a similar design in independent lineages, in different environments and starting from different initial conditions. But in the origin of the human and squid eye, and myriad other examples in biology, this is precisely what we must believe occurred.

Hunter shows his ignorance of evolutionary theory here. Evolution is not blind, it is guided by what works better at a given time and place (aka natural selection). Of course there is also genetic drift, but the main driving force for evolution is natural selection.  I am not sure where he gets the idea that the squid eye and the human eye evolved independently, he does not give any refrences.

He concludes that since scientists only deal with naturalism, they will be stuck with evolutionary explanations that don’t make since. “No matter how poorly evolution explains biology, the theory will always be promoted.” But the fact is that evolution is very good at explaining life on this planet.  Furthermore, there is a mountain of evidence supporting it that is rapidly growing.

In fact, it is the ID proponents who have the blind spot. They first start with the idea that there are supernatural events and try to find examples in nature. If there is a likely naturalistic explanation, they turn a blind eye to it. Which brings me back to that so-called intelligently designed eye. As I have stated before, 75% of americans need corrective lenses. Not the greatest success rate for a design, but the real problem with the eye is in its architecture. The retina is essentially designed backwards. When light enters the eye, it actually has to pass through layers of cells to reach the photosensitive cells. These cells then connect to the optic nerve which then blocks light from reaching some parts of they eye. This Is where our blind spot comes from. Now that is a brilliant design!

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One Response

  1. Thanks for the post

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