To: All Msg #17, Mar2693 04:26AM Subject: Re: the 747 from a junkyard argument In article

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From: scharle To: All Msg #17, Mar-26-93 04:26AM Subject: Re: the 747 from a junkyard argument Organization: Univ. of Notre Dame From: (scharle) Message-ID: <> Reply-To: (scharle) Newsgroups: In article <1993Mar24.174155.275@ucsu.Colorado.EDU>, apodaca@spot.Colorado.EDU ( mu'tafikah) writes: |> I have heard the argument from a creationist that the beginning |> of life as stated by the theory of evolution is equivalent to the |> spontaneous formation of an airplane from the randomly scattered |> parts in a junk yard. I've thought about it and for the life of me |> can't figure out what this analogy has to do with the theory of |> evolution. |> |> Could someone please explain this to me and give me an effective |> argument to refute the assertion if I encounter it again? |> |> thanks. |> -- |> : tomas |> : apodaca@spot.Colorado.EDU First of all, one has to identify "evolution" with "origin of life", or, for that matter, "origin of the universe". A mistake, of course, but a simple matter of lack of appropriate information. The second point is that creationists have a propensity for arguing in analogies (rather than using something abstract, like logic), so that it becomes the obligation of the other party to (1) guess what the real argument is behind the analogy (2) prove to the creationist that that is what the real argument is and then (3) show that the real argument has a flaw. Furthermore, the argument may be several analogies rolled into one, as I think it is in this case. And it's probably a _very_ difficult job to get a creationist to untangle the mess. (I don't know why we have to do their work for them, but that's the way it goes.) Others will probably point out the pseudo-second-law-of- thermodynamics analogy. I don't disagree with that analysis, but I think there is another one here, too. My analysis of the 747 argument: I believe that 747 argument is an analogy for the "argument from design", modified from a proof for the existence of God into an argument against "evolution" (as mis-described above). In this case, it is presenting a case in which a 747 is the designed thing, and the junkyard is the raw materials. Everyone can see that the 747 is the solution to a certain problem. Therefore there was a designer of the 747. (I think that the junkyard is excess verbiage for the argument in this form.) Then transfer this to the case of a living thing. Everyone can see that there is a problem for which the living thing is a solution. Therefore there is a designer of ... a) the problem b) the solution The creationist says (b), while stricter parallelism says (a). That is, the non-creationist says that we have framed the problem after having seen the solution. That _we_ are the only designer which we can prove to exist. There is a (to be honest, fairly subtle) shift in the wording which makes the creationist's analogy break down. -- Tom Scharle |scharle@irishmvs


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