Mindless Automaton Redux

Jim Lindgren with a familiar Catallarchy theme:

One thing that strikes me about Intelligent Design is that it must have been much more intuitively appealing before the failure of socialism. Socialism in the 1920s--1940s was in part based on the idea that the world had become so complex that central planning was necessary to deal with this complexity. Yet Von Mises was arguing just the opposite, that as the world became more elaborate, no one could plan it. ID seems to be based on an assumption that most conservatives reject in the economic sphere--that as the economy gets more elaborate, to work well it must be the product of the intelligent design of a master planner.

The same inconsistency occurs not only among religious conservatives, of course, but also among leftists, and surprisingly, among some libertarians as well. Apart from the libertarian foreign policy creationists, I've also noticed that some Objectivists are uncomfortable with the evolutionary way of thinking, both in biology and economics. These Objectivists are hostile to the economic way of thinking because they see the mechanistic aspects of economics as secondary and subservient to the higher, more important ethical implications of their philosophy. And they are hostile to evolutionary biology because it destroys any objective notion of a human function or purpose and thus destroys Ayn Rand's attempt to derive an Ought from an Is.

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Evbio does rather demolish

Evbio does rather demolish Rand's sweeping and utterly unsupported statements about the Nature Of Man Is To Think and the purpose of man is to reason and blah, blah...

Karl Popper & Intelligent

Karl Popper & Intelligent Design.--
Rand Simberg has a good post on Intellige...

Applying von Mises argument

Applying von Mises argument to Intelligent Design seems a bit of a strawman. It would be a valid point, if the ID crowd were claiming that the universe was controlled by a human, but the "to complex to understand" argument doesn't seem applicable to the ID'ers putativetly omniscent, omnipresent, and omnipotent central planner.

Good point; ID/creationists

Good point; ID/creationists trump the knowledge problem by assuming perfect knowledge explicitly in the form of the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful Creator.

I don't see the tension between evolution and belief, though, being both a believer and a former Molecular Biologist, so to me ID is kind of Intellectually Dishonest in that it tries to explicitly tie faith to a scientific proposition- rather, they start there and try to explicitly bend science to that conclusion.

If one truly believed in Intelligent Design, you don't need Intelligent Design to express/support that belief. See also The Catholic Church's position on evolution (evo = true; it is a process engineered and overseen by God from the beginning in accordance with His plan). Bing! No problem, no need to rework science.

Stormy, I agree with your


I agree with your point but what von Mises demonstrates is that it is possible for something of incredible complexity (the market) to form without any top down planning.