Re: What does ID mean?

Allan Harvey (
Thu, 16 Apr 1998 08:42:18 -0600

In response to my comments as to whether the ID movement considered
evolutionary science to be a negation of Christianity, Paul A. Nelson
wrote (among other things):

>Allan, I guess I'd need to know from you why E.O. Wilson should not
>try to explain the origin of morality, and indeed religious behavior
>itself, by natural selection. Because, right now, that is what he and
>thousands of other scientists are doing. And they see no difference
>between such investigations and determining the gene frequencies of
>fruit flies.

Wilson can do whatever he wants, but caveat emptor on conclusions about
morality, etc. I would say that his work does come closer to opposing
basic Christian doctrine than, for instance, Darwin's.

However, I don't think it is evolutionary science that is at the root of
Wilson's conflict with Christianity. While he uses evolution as a tool,
the problem is more his view of what humanity *is* rather than where we
came from. He sees humans as "nothing but" a bag of chemicals with no
spiritual capacity or free will. But saying that we are intelligently
designed/made does not eliminate the need to invoke something "extra" to
explain our spiritual capacity. It is the reductionist view that we are
nothing but hunks of meat that is the challenge to Christianity, and that
is a problem whether we are evolved hunks of meat or specially created
hunks of meat.

| Dr. Allan H. Harvey | |
| Physical and Chemical Properties Division | "Don't blame the |
| National Institute of Standards & Technology | government for what I |
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