Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The birth of Modern Intelligent Design Theory

"From 1953 onward, Willy Fowler and I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 Mev energy level in the nucleus of 12C to the 7.12 Mev level in 16O. If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. Another put-up job? Following the above argument, I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature." (Hoyle, F., "The Universe: Past and Present Reflections," Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Vol. 20, 1982, pp.1-35, p.16).

"Oxygen and carbon atoms are about equally common in living material, just as they are in the Universe at large. While it is possible to imagine life in a Universe with a moderate imbalance between oxygen and carbon, a really large imbalance would seem to forbid its existence. A great excess of carbon would prevent the formation of many materials on which life is vitally dependent, rock and soil for example, while a great oxygen excess would simply burn up any carbon bearing biochemicals that happened to be around. The necessary balance between oxygen and carbon depends on the details of the origin of the chemical elements by nuclear reactions inside stars, a subject which has been intensively studied over the past three decades, and one which we have already touched on in this book. The details are concerned with how neutrons and protons group together to form the nuclei of atoms. Oxygen and carbon are like two radio receivers, each tuned to a particular wavelength. Unless the tunings are right, with the two dials set at the appropriate wavelengths far more oxygen is produced than carbon. But, as it happens, the tunings are indeed correct, so that oxygen and carbon atoms are produced in the Universe in appropriately balanced amounts. The problem is to decide whether these apparently coincidental tunings are really accidents or not, and therefore whether or not life is accidental. No scientist likes to ask such a question, but it has to be asked for all that. Could it be that the tunings are intelligently deliberate?" (Hoyle, F., "The Intelligent Universe," Michael Joseph: London, 1983, pp.218-219).


tylowellharris said...

Hi- I found your comments on my evolution versus intelligent design essay in my spam folder for some reason. They are posted now. You dont know what a relief it is to hear some calm, rational ideas put forth. The debate started out fairly civil, but has gotten nasty in the last 24 hours. Why do the atheists have to be so hateful? You wouldnt even believe the last comment I got from one of these people. I mean, from their viewpoint, if we are all just a collection of random, souless particles, what difference does it all make anyways, and why is it so important to them that everybody MUST adopt their worldview? I have browsed most of your ID posts, and will return to peruse them at greater length when I am less exhausted. Youve got some really good stuff here. Like you, I am a realist, and an objectivist, which is probably what led us both to ID theory. I noticed you quote CS Lewis- have you ever read "PERELANDRA", that was probably my favorite work of his. Thanks for checking-in.

Olorin said...

The carbon/oxhgen tunind could have been deliberate. Or accidental.

If the carbon/oxygen levels had been different, then other energy levels could have been different as well. In that case, a bunch of intelligent silicon/flourine-based life forms might claim that the proximity of the silicon and fluorine energy levels must have been deliberate, not accidental.

Ho hum.

CJYman said...

Hello Olorin.

Maybe and maybe not. This is acutally not my argument. I posted these quotes from Sir Fredrick Hoyle to show when modern ID began and the questions and thought that inspired it; showing it is NOT a "counter-reaction" to evolution and is not an evolved species of creationism. Hoyle's question that set it all off: "Is there anything within reality that shows signs of some type of purposeful set up?" And, I don't see it as a ho hum expedition. It is amazingly exciting to scientifically search reality to see if we are the result of purpose or accident and to see if reality itself is blind or purposeful in nature. Don't you think this is an exciting venture? ID theory has become exceedingly more refined, defined, and expanded since -- much like the difference between Darwinian Evolution and Modern Evolutionary Theory.

Furthermore, I DO AGREE with Hoyle that there are no blind laws worth speaking about.

The appearance of information itself, is the evidence of intelligent design.

Please peruse through "my view of ID theory" in the upper corner of the left margin. IT ALL HAS TO DO WITH INFORMATION PROCESSORS.

I AM A DENIER OF PURPOSELESS ACCIDENT! Maybe I should be added to Or maybe they are just deniers of reality.

CJYman said...


If reality and thus the universe and thus life and conscious humanity are ALL just purposeless accidents, why do the atheists (as random bags of chemicals as are the rest of us) care what anyone's worldview is?

I've already posted on this Here