Re:Does ID not equal Christian Apologetics?
Mon, 12 Apr 1999 16:58:33 -0500

Now that the major parties are once again
at an impasse. We might again put on the shoes
of the philosophical naturalist and ask, which
is the greatest danger (to philosophical naturalism)
ID or a 'robust formational economy principle' (RFEP)?

ID, as a research program, looks at complex systems
that are either irreducible or apparently impossible
to achieve from the perspective of the dynamics of
lower order subsystems. While IDer's want us to see that
these particular systems must involve an intelligent
designer, the philosophical naturalist can
retort that we simply do not know nature well enough.

However, ID, I think is a danger to p.n. ID
undermines the credibility of philosophical
naturalism through ridicule. It questions the
integrity of philosophical naturalism.

RFEP, on the other hand, may be dismissed out of
hand by philosophical naturalists. It is simply not
necessary to evoke RFEP for scientific descriptions.

However, RFEP, I think, will prove to be a greater
threat than ID. RFEP allows Christians to postulate that
humans evolved through the formational economy -
that is through 'natural' evolution. This is what
philosophical naturalists already say. The difference
is that Christians can examine aspects of the
evolutionary trajectory - especially in
regards to human evolution - that philosophical
naturalists are not disposed to
examine. For example, is the religious impulse a
species specific trait - like language? If so, what
does that imply?

Already, philosophical naturalists see humans as
constructing their world through language. What about
through religion? Does religion provide ways of
knowing that language cannot? Already, philosophical
naturalists see language (for example classical
psychoanalysis) as a medium of therapy - of
discovering truth and meaning. Is religion

To me, the danger RFEP poses to philosophical
naturalism is that RFEP supports research programs that
point out the 'naturalness' of our awareness of
the divine, among other things. In this, philosophical
naturalism is challenged on its own turf.