Reviewed in the United States on January 18, 2019
This video is riddled with serious errors from start to finish. I will focus on just two of its major categories of errors.
First, the presenters featured in BIGH frequently didn’t seem to have even the faintest idea of what they were talking about.
Interestingly, several of those presenters resorted to arguments from personal incredulity, as if their own incredulity somehow constituted meaningful evidence. But arguments from personal incredulity are generally pretty weak, and they are especially weak when the incredulity comes from people who apparently don’t know what the heck they’re talking about.
For example, irreducible complexity was a major factor in several arguments, but in every single case — every single case! — the allegedly irreducibly complex organism or system was not irreducibly complex at all. Couldn’t any of BIGH’s presenters get it right even once???
And as if that weren’t bad enough, all those presenters also apparently thought that irreducibly complex systems could not possibly evolve gradually, step by step; and that’s another obvious blunder. Evos have described at least three gradual, step-by-step processes that can produce IC systems; and even some of today’s most prominent design-propagandists, including Michael Behe and William Dembski, have acknowledged that gradual processes can indeed produce IC systems step by evolutionary step; so BIGH’s presenters are without excuse here.
At least three presenters also cited the “optimal design” found in nature, but all living things that I know of are eventually going to die, frequently in horrible pain. What’s “optimal” about that?
Furthermore, some very prominent ID-proponents, including Michael Behe and William Dembski, explicitly *deny* that ID implies such optimality. So BIGH’s presenters appeared to have no clue whatsoever, not only about what constitutes “optimal design,” but also about important ID positions.
Incredibly, some of BIGH’s presenters even indicated that evolution denies the existence of God, even though the vast majority of evos are probably believers! That error is so egregious, it is arguably a deliberate falsehood.
Moving on, a second major category of BIGH’s errors involves the blind refusal of its presenters to think scientifically.
Paul Nelson, for example, said that science is a tool to help understand God’s creation. That’s just about the most useless description of “science” imaginable. A more helpful description of science might at least mention that science includes logical analysis of empirical observations to construct meaningful, testable hypotheses. Sadly, there’s very little logical analysis in BIGH and virtually no meaningful hypothesis-testing.
For example, one presenter claimed that abundant diversity was an indicator of intelligent design (ID), but then claimed barely a minute later that lack of diversity was also an indicator of ID. Huh??? That “heads I win, tails I still win” inanity makes diversity pretty much worthless as a test of ID, and so that presenter’s claims are basically just scientifically meaningless.
That same presenter also claimed that evolution has limits, but he failed to provide a meaningful description of where the alleged limits were, how they came into being, or how the mechanism for preventing violations worked. Such naked assertions are hardly persuasive.
Also, regarding the issue of optimality of design, optimality can probably be evaluated (i.e., tested) only if one knows what the designer had in mind. Creationists assume that God is the designer, which is highly problematic, because it may be blasphemous for mere mortals to presume to know the mind of God, much less to subject God to critical evaluation. In any event, for whatever reason, scrupulously avoiding such hypothesis-testing may be one of ID’s most noteworthy features.
Evolution, however, is highly testable. For example, some creationists estimate that about 200 million fossils have already been found, and so far not a single one has been found to be out of the order predicted by evolution. Evolution’s record of success in that regard is pretty remarkable, and that’s just in paleontology. Evolution has an impressive record of successful confirmations in several other relevant disciplines too.
Meanwhile, ID-propagandists never — never! — cite successfully confirmed ID-hypotheses. Instead they make ridiculous claims like, “The First Law of Thermodynamics is ‘compatible’ with Genesis.” What nonsense! If an archer shoots an arrow and then paints a bull’s-eye around the arrow after it lands, that’s “compatible” with him being an excellent archer, but it would be ridiculous to accept mere “compatibility” as the appropriate standard.
Another example of BIGH’s presenters refusing to think scientifically was their strange obsession with analogies. “Machines and animals are both complex, and machines don’t evolve step by step, therefore animals couldn’t have evolved step by step either.” What a nonsensical argument! And yet such arguments appeared repeatedly in BIGH in one obsessively detailed form after another. Despite all the tiresome elaborations, however, the analogies are still scientifically worthless, because they don’t logically lead to any meaningful, testable hypotheses.
ID-propagandists also use vague terms like “explanatory power” that sound deliciously scientific, but which actually mislead audiences by diverting attention away from the “predictive power” that conventional science strives for. Without “predictive power,” “explanatory power” is pretty much useless in science.
If ID-propagandists want to succeed in science, they should start developing logical, meaningful hypotheses that have real predictive power, like evolution’s hypotheses. But that will probably never happen. ID-propagandists have been around for over 2,000 years now but still haven’t proposed even a single meaningful ID-hypothesis — not even one! — much less an extensive, coherent set of hypotheses that have already been confirmed as accurate about 200 million times. (And that’s just in paleontology!)
In short, the simple truth, which BIGH blindly refuses to admit, is that science strives for predictive power, which evolution has in abundance, and ID doesn’t have at all.