Monday, August 29, 2005

Oh. My. God.

From Eschaton, we see this column. Go read it.


Problem #1: The argument is that successful athletes are successful because of design. Um...isn't this another way of saying natural selection? Only those who are designed to be successful in sports are the ones who get to be professional athletes. You see very few small, underweight professional football players, or tiny and weak basketball players, or race car drivers with bad eyes and bad reflexes. Those that can, did. Those that can't, didn't. Which is pretty much natural selection.

Problem #2: The argument also ignores the vast effect training had to have on athletes. It looks at professional ones, ones who have been around for a while doing their sport and have had much training in it. For example, when Jeffrey Schwartz claims he can't see how Tony Stewart's success is "is a result of nothing more than random processes coming together in a machine-like way", he completely ignores the fact that Mr. Stewart had to learn to drive, had to learn to drive in races, and has been practicing this act for many years. It's not random if you've been trained to do it! Same with football players and the like - if you're trained to build up reflexes/strength/speed and play a specific sport, that can hardly be called random processes. If they found someone who had never heard of a car that could instantly win races like Tony Stewart, THEN they may have an argument.

Problem #2a: If the argument is that the people HAD the raw talent to be developed by practice, and that is the design claim, my question is this: Why is it that athletics is the end goal of the raw talent? Couldn't all of this raw talent be placed in use in other fields? And if so, could that mean the design is being used wrongly or for the wrong purpose, which would seem to be an argument AGAINST intelligent design. Or is it that these people found an area where their natural talents could help them be the best they could be...which is natural selection.

Problem #3: How in all the worlds ever imagined can "making a connection with something deep within nature itself, which lends itself to deepening our intelligence" be ever scientifically provable? Which is also a key structure of ID - it can't be proven by any means.

Problem #4: How is it that the "strict Darwinist" would raise an argument that pretty much fails to address the claims in the article? Seems like a false argument to me.

Problem #5: "Schwarz finds little or nothing in natural selection to explain the ability of athletes to reinterpret physical events from moment to moment, the super-awareness that they seem to possess. He has a term for it, the ability to be an "impartial spectator" to your own actions." about the idea that those w/o this ability won't be professional athletes? Again, a form of natural selection.

Problem #6: "The idea, so contentious in other contexts, actually rings a loud bell in sports. Athletes often talk of feeling an absolute fulfillment of purpose, of something powerful moving through them or in them that is not just the result of training." If this is actually meant as an argument for ID, I can only sigh. I was once able to change out the shower ball bearing in our guest bathroom. I felt a sense of absolute fulfillment of purpose that couldn't have been the result of training. However, if I ever opened a plumbing business, I would turn my area of town into a place Aquaman could summer at. THIS is evidence?

Observation #1: At least in Jose Canseco's case, he has admitted he used steroids. So...still design?

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