I always find it a bit amusing when someone who is exceptionally good at identifying (and mercilessly mocking) stupidity in certain circumstances turns out to be totally oblivious to his own stupidity. That’s exactly the case when it comes to Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame). He’s gone off the deep end when it comes to evolution before, and now he’s at it again. I’m not going to try to identify all of the problems with his latest attempt. Instead, I’ll just pick a couple of the more spectacularly stupid remarks.
Consider the simple act of picking up a pencil. It requires your brain and your muscles, but it also requires you to exist in the first place. And that means that your mother and father are part of the process, as well as their parents, etc. Once you existed, and within your body, there was a vast sequence of cause and effect between your brain and your muscles to make it all happen. You might say that “you” picked up the pencil, but I look at the big picture and say the Big Bang picked up that pencil – with or without the existence of free will – because without the Big Bang, none of it would happen.
If you reject the Big Bang as being intelligent – after acknowledging that it created so many books and other works of art, it leaves you with no test for intelligence.
I take the practical approach – that something is intelligent if it unambiguously performs tasks that require intelligence. Writing Moby Dick required intelligence. The Big Bang wrote Moby Dick. Therefore, the Big Bang is intelligent, and you and I are created by that same intelligence. Therefore, we are created by an intelligent entity.
The logic (for lack of a better word) that runs through Adams’ argument is funny enough, but here’s something that makes it funnier – the following paragraph appeared right before the bit that I just quoted:
I suppose some of you will argue that the Big Bang started a natural series of events that led to a chance development of intelligent life. And then the life did all of the intelligent stuff. But what is the logic behind arbitrarily picking a tiny slice of time and acting as if it’s the only important part of a process that requires many steps?
I hate to break it to you, Scott, but the only one who is “arbitrarily picking a tiny slice of time and acting as if it’s the only important part of a process that requires many steps” is you.