Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design and The Return of the God Hypothesis

I have long been an advocate of intelligent design theory because it has always seemed to me that the “God hypothesis” is rational.

It is rational because:

  • It has been around for a very long time, surviving many criticisms.
  • It is probably falsifiable, meaning it can be tested in a meaningful way.
  • The anti-God hypothesis is irrational because it can’t be tested (it is technically impossible to prove a negative).

In the video, Stephen Meyer doesn’t attempt to show that the God hypothesis has been proved, only that it has become viable again at this moment in history due to the current state of knowledge in the hard sciences.

19 thoughts on “Stephen Meyer on Intelligent Design and The Return of the God Hypothesis

  1. There is probably more anti-religion than anti-God in the conversations about the existence of deities.

    The existence of higher powers is not necessarily defined by how we believe or congregate. After all our history is but a speck of time compared to the age of the earth (4.5 billion years) or the universe (13 billion).

    To me religion provides a meditative resource to help us reconcile concepts of past, present and future. It many ways it is a social adhesive that has evolved over time. In order to give authority to issues of moral behavior, a higher power is hard to beat.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. With all due respect, this God Hypothesis not rational. Not at all.

    If someone wants to believe in a being beyond nature and order their life around what various people claim this being wants them to do, fine. It is their life. If they need the comfort of a belief in some sort of personal existence after death then fine, cling to it.

    But to pretend that somehow such belief is “rational” is a dog that will not hunt. Rational beliefs can only be supported with evidence. Seeing intricate patterns in biology that are fully explained by science as proof of a supernatural Designer is obviously not evidence.

    You seem to understand the role of evidence when you claim of the “God Hypothesis” that . . . “It is probably falsifiable, meaning it can be tested in a meaningful way.” What test would you propose? What test can you even imagine? If the existence of God is verifiable by a scientific test, then He is NOT God.

    Existence cries out to human minds for an explanation. Why is there something, rather than nothing? It is a mystery which cannot be solved. Both science and religion are stuck in the same dilemma. If God created our Universe, Who created God? If our Universe is a randomly ideal bubble in the Multiverse, where did the Multiverse come from? The only answer that either has is . . . “It is turtles all the way down.”

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    1. RE: “If the existence of God is verifiable by a scientific test, then He is NOT God.”

      The statement assumes too much. In fact it begs the question.

      I believe that a meaningful test of the God hypothesis is probably feasible simply because there is no good reason to think that it isn’t.

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      1. Okay, what meaningful test can you imagine?

        No answer? No worries. It is a trick question. If there were such a test it would mean that God is part of nature and NOT God at all.

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      2. RE: “It is a trick question.”

        Not a very good one. My personal incapacities are irrelevant to the subject. In fact, I found the video worth sharing because Meyer is doing the foundation work that is necessary before a formal God hypothesis can be defined.

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      3. You are selling yourself short. It is not a question of your capacity. No one can even imagine a test that would prove His existence. If they could it would mean that He is part of Nature and that alone would disprove that He is Supernatural. Sort of a Catch-22.

        There is no need for a new formulation of the God Hypothesis. We already know what it is. It has not changed since forever. In a nutshell it is that “The Universe and everything in it was created by God.” It is a metaphysical hypothesis which – by definition cannot be proven to be true or proven to be false. You just have to believe it based on faith. Which is okay, but not rational.

        In the “marketplace of ideas” Science has won. Religion has lost. At least for rational thinkers who put weight on evidence. Science does not pretend to have the final answers. Religion claims that it has them. Rational people prefer the former.

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      4. RE: “No one can even imagine a test that would prove His existence. If they could it would mean that He is part of Nature and that alone would disprove that He is Supernatural.”

        You should pay attention to your own assumptions. Here are three of them in the statement above.

        • God is a person.
        • God is male.
        • God is supernatural.

        None of these are necessary, and all distort the discussion.

        RE: “In the ‘marketplace of ideas’ Science has won. Religion has lost.”

        I don’t see how that’s possible, since science keeps butting up against first principles it cannot explain.

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        1. As for your first two of my bad assumptions I am merely following the conventions in English for referring to Him, Her, or It.

          As for the third, if God is NOT supernatural then how could He, She or It have created the natural world? Unless you are sidestepping the “Turtles all the way down” problem and simply saying the Universe IS God? In which case, you are saying nothing except that the Universe exists.

          Or, if God is not supernatural then what is He? Merely a technologically advanced space alien Whom we had better worship lest He smite us with his Jewish space laser?

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        2. RE: “Or, if God is not supernatural then what is He?”

          Your assumptions keep leading you in useless directions. Meyer is trying to define the criteria from which a useful God hypothesis can be formulated. He is trying — as a scientist would — to imagine the nature of God.

          One must define the problem before one can solve it. Meyer cites three major scientific discoveries that suggest the natural world reflects intelligent design. He makes the point, as I interpret it, that a properly formed God hypothesis would account for all three.

          The three discoveries are:

          • The “fine tuning” of the universe.
          • The information content of DNA.
          • The existence of human consciousness.

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          1. These are the same old Intelligent Design “arguments” warmed over. There is absolutely nothing new in any of them.

            Science cannot study God. Period. It is a contradiction in terms.

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          2. RE: “Science cannot study God. Period.”

            So you say, but science can address intelligent design theory.

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          3. “So you say, but science can address intelligent design theory.”

            No, it cannot. That amounts to nothing more than playing with words. There is not a better example of pseudo-science than these Believers couching their a priori beliefs in a posterior terms. There is no scientific test that you can imagine that will prove the existence of a Designer any more than there is a test to prove the existence of God.

            This is one of the bedrock flaws of modern “conservative” thought. Truth is not based on what people believe or really, really want to believe. It is based on empirical observation, evidence and experiment.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. RE: “There is no scientific test that you can imagine that will prove the existence of a Designer any more than there is a test to prove the existence of God.”

            What an arrogant statement! You claim to know the answers before the questions are asked.

            As matters currently stand, Intelligent Design Theory doesn’t claim any proof of anything, only observations that deserve scientific inquiry.

            I take it you don’t believe in science.

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  3. I knew that Darwin was right the day that, standing next to the highway, I saw one of the cigarette butts at my feet suddely move. It was a moth. I wish that I had only had the good sense to catch it.

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    1. RE: “The problem with ID is it cannot be tested, nor observations made to support it.”

      Is that a fact? The first step of science is observation. Testing comes later. The argument at hand is that observation has suggested the possibility of ID. Proving ID is a different matter.

      The challenge for you is to show why the effort (at proof) isn’t worthwhile. I don’t think you can.

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      1. “What an arrogant statement! ”

        Uh, no. My statement is not arrogant in the least. If it was “arrogant” and not factual then please share. Describe a scientific test that you can imagine that would prove or disprove the existence of an All Powerful Designer as the Prime Mover of the Universe.

        I understand the issues raised by ID, the role of science and the nature of God and you obviously do not. I have repeatedly tried to educate you a little bit but have obviously failed. I will remain polite in spite of your inability to do so and simply say, Have a nice day.

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      2. One could spend 10 lifetimes disproving your absurdities to no avail. Believe, or believe not, there are no proofs,… nor observations, nor theories.

        The difference is that Darwin’s supposition is supported by many observations.

        Liked by 3 people

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