About Rationally Speaking
Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.
Friday, August 12, 2005
Four types of design, intelligent or not
1- Non intelligent, natural: this is the result of natural selection and other natural mechanisms that produced the biological world on earth as we know it;
2- Intelligent, natural: such as artifacts produced by human beings, or by possible extra-terrestrial civilizations;
3- Intelligent, supernatural, sloppy: such as could be the result of the action of a "minor" god (like Plato's famous Demiurge, who did the best he could for the universe with the materials available);
4- Intelligent, supernatural, perfect: as in what Christian and similar mythologies tell us the universe is.
My point in the lecture was that we have evidence only of the first two kinds, which are readily explainable. The third kind couldn't be distinguished from type 2 (as pointed out years ago by Arthur C. Clarke, the author of 2001: A Space Odyssey -- the products of a sufficiently advanced civilization cannot be distinguished from magic). As for n. 4, I don't see any evidence of "perfection" in the world, whatever that means...