The Reasonable Suspicion

Last weekend, I discussed the role of metaphors and I would like to extend one of the points from that essay.

I wrote:

Using this example, the “metaphors” are not in any way intended as documentation “with photographic evidence.” No, they function instead as “a few things” that might cause us to suspect design. It is something that flows naturally from a hypothesis of design and arouses and/or deepens suspicion in some of us.

What do I mean when saying it is “something that flows naturally from a hypothesis of design and arouses and/or deepens suspicion in some of us?”

Consider again the manner in which mainstream molecular biology describes the process of protein synthesis.

To make a protein, a molecular machine, known as the ribosome, translates a messenger RNA molecule using the genetic code.

The thing to keep in mind is that this is not Mike Gene’s “spin” on molecular biology. In fact, this is not a description that was superimposed on molecular biology from any teleologist. This is a description that mainstream scientists, from a non-teleological approach, came up with. As datcg recently commented:

I contend the language is not a choice. That the engineering language or mechanical language is forced upon the researcher(s).

At this point, I maintain that a suspicion of design, based upon biology’s reliance on these telic “metaphors,” is both reasonable and rational. To see this, consider two positions.

1. Because molecular biology relies so extensively on design language and concepts, this leads me to suspect that life was designed.

2. Because molecular biology relies so extensively on design language and concepts, this leads me to doubt that life was designed.

Position 1 is reasonable. Position 2 is not. In fact, in all the years I have engaged this topic, I have never encountered a skeptic whose skepticism was rooted in the fact that molecular biology speaks of life as something that was designed. That would be a nonsensical reason to doubt.

Of course, one could doubt or deny the hypothesis of life’s design for other reasons, thus the reliance on design language and concepts might be insufficient to spark a suspicion of design in that person. As such, their lack of suspicion should not be equated with an irrational position.

The skeptic would only become irrational when demanding that all others abandon their suspicion without giving powerful reason to do so. Attempts to intimidate, ridicule, and reliance on straw man arguments, all to dislodge the suspicion in others, are also signs of irrational behavior on the part of skeptics. And complaining that the suspicion is only a suspicion does not qualify as a good reason.

To sum up, the suspicion of design is indeed reasonable. This does not mean those who lack the suspicion of design are being unreasonable, for doubt and denial are also reasonable. But just because a skeptic lacks the suspicion of design does not mean the suspicion of design is unreasonable.

The suspicion of design is reasonable. It is unreasonable to deny this.

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