The Applied Science of Intelligent Design-Part II

In Part I, I introduced the concepts that were set forth by Joey Campana on how a design orientation fosters applied science. William Dembski over at UD linked to a site that has a page titled: The 15 Coolest Cases of Biomimicry. I am much more an advocate of applied science over basic science. That’s not to say that basic science can never eventually be useful, because sometimes the findings of basic science eventually end up finding some applicability. But, the fact is that a choice must be made about what’s the most important. Money doesn’t grow on trees. The equation is simple in my mind. Let’s focus more on things that might actually improve people’s lives.

The site documents 15 of the Coolest things that are based on God’s designs [my words, not theirs]. My point of view is that ID researchers would have more of an orientation toward things that might actually be useful now rather than on processes that purportedly take millions of years to have any effect. Some of the things documented at the site include: velcro, passive cooling, gecko tape, whalepower wind turbines, and more.

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2 Responses

  1. “I am much more an advocate of applied science over basic science. That’s not to say that basic science can never eventually be useful, because sometimes the findings of basic science eventually end up finding some applicability.”

    So you would have bypassed quantum research, say, because its only practical applications were transistors, computers, flat-screen TVs, and Facebook. Or relativity theory, because who needs nuclear power? Or Newton’s laws, whose only practical applications unexpectedly turned out to be bridges,[1] airplanes, rockets, and so forth.

    Most of the practical applications of basic science were not the goals of the investigations. It always grinds me when people said, if we can go to the Moon, we can cure cancer. First of all, Newton’s gravitation was certainly not motivated by any such application. Second, it took 300 years between Newton and actually getting there. I hope we don’t have to wait that long for cancer…. Unfortunately, most of the money thrown at cancer research is wasted.[2] Instead of throwing money at this ‘practical’ goal, we should be doing more basic research. The answer will probably turn up in some completely unrelated effort.

    Add this to your collection of Einstein quotations: “If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research, would it?”

    (Now we return to the regularly scheduled program.)

    =================
    [1] Yeah, bridges. You have to know something about the history of mechanics to appreciate this: Ante Newton, scientists treated forces as inherent properties of bodies themselves. Can you imagine designing a bridge by analyzing the forces inherent in an I-beam as it lies on the ground?

    [2] Our new President wants to solve the electric-car poblem by throwing money at battery research. Long ago, I worked for a company that made batteries. But the laws of electrochemistry are quite unforgiving. Maybe we should try more basic research instead.

  2. Olorin,

    You didn’t even seem to read the portion you quoted.

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