Re: Natural Theology, Unguided Processes and Apologetics

Don N Page (don@Phys.UAlberta.CA)
Mon, 15 Sep 97 10:18:32 -0600

George L. Murphy wrote Sept. 12, "But when ID people conclude that
something is the result of capitalized Intelligent Design, we're supposed to
believe that scientifically understandable processes could not have produced it
and stop our investigation at that point."

I would like to take a more charitable attitude and hope that ID makes
actual scientific predictions differing from those of the present scientific
paradigms. Ideally it should also give some guidelines for better explanations
of these different phenomena predicted. Hence my Sept. 3 challenge "to present
a testable difference" between ID and natural law.

Unfortunately, the reply I received privately from Phillip Johnson was,
"Before tossing around challenges, it might be a good idea to learn something
about the position you are challenging." It is true that I have only read his
_Darwin on Trial_ and not his more popular recent book, but I suspect that this
is a larger fraction of his work than the fraction of the evolutionary
literature that any of us have individually read.

I could say that my challenge is similar to the challenge I give to
people who call me up on the telephone and present nonstandard ideas in
physics. I don't have the time to study in detail all these ideas, so I try to
find out whether there is any evidence that the ideas are any better than
standard ideas in making testable predictions that give results in their favor
rather than supporting the standard ideas.

I would hope that ID could meet this challenge and make its ideas
scientifically testable. But if it cannot, I wouldn't think that it would have
much chance of being accepted by the scientific community, no matter how well
it might be received by those who are not experienced in how science works.

Don Page