Thursday, 17 January 2013

Is our world based on chance?

Let nothing lead you to disbelief. Do not say: this or that happened by chance or for no reason. In everything that exists, there is nothing disorderly, uncertain, purposeless or random. Do not say: misfortune or evil hour, for only unreasonable people say so. "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? Аnd one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father" (Matt. 10:29)? How many hairs are there on one head? And not a single one is neglected. So can you see God's supervision, from which not a thing, even a tiniest one, can escape.
St Basil the Great, Homilies on the Book of Psalms, Psalm 32. 
Translation from Russian is mine — E.S.

I would like to discuss my recent debate on the Internet with an incognito Creationist. Despite the fact that we share the same philosophical views, my colleague disagreed vehemently with some things that I say here in my blog. His concerns can be summarised as two questions:
  • Is our world based on chance?
  • What is chance?
According to my opponent, the Holy Fathers of the Church did not accept chance contingency or randomness as a scientific category. This does not seem right to me. Yes, they argued against chance but metaphysically. Let us discuss this apparent contradiction in a bit more detail.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Professor Larry Moran is Wrong

I recently encountered another discussion between proponents and opponents of ID (Dr Douglas Axe vs Dr Larry Moran). And guess what, this discussion was again around  protein functionalty and the plausibility of Darwinian paths in the configuration space from one functional protein to another. 

Dr Moran's argument as laid out in his blog Sandwalk is, basically, this. We, stupid IDers, do not understand how it all works. Dr Moran asserts that we cannot say that protein evolution is statistically implausible based on two existing functional proteins A and B whose functions are extremely far apart in the configuration space (in fact, so far apart that a Darwinian path is implausible on the gamut of the whole universe). By the way, there are no provably demonstrable Darwinian paths between any pair in a majority of existing proteins.