If only ...

John W. Burgeson (johnburgeson@juno.com)
Thu, 25 Nov 1999 12:38:46 -0700

George Murphy wrote recently as follows:

"...nor did I want to deny that the ASA could play a useful role in doing
so (if so many of its members weren't infatuated with "intelligent
design"... ."

I'd like to pick up on this, if I may.

I'm been among those who have a problem with the ID concept myself,
primarily as I've perceived it being implemented. But always I'm ready to

change my stance, if persuaded, on the concept in general. What I insist
on (for myself, of course; I can speak for nobody else) is that the
practice of science must follow the foundational presupposition of
methodological naturalism. I think the ID concept CAN follow this
presupposition; perhaps it does sometimes and not other times. When
it does, I suspect I have no problem.

Over and over, however, I've come across phrases in books purportedly
scientific topics that state, almost as a throw-away line, something like

"Since humanity did not evolve with xxx, then yyy ... ."

where "xxx" is, perhaps, an ability in esoteric mathematics, or the need
to be
able to sing the Messiah tunefully, or the taste for Coca-Cola, or (you
name it)
and "yyy" is a statement about the consequences of this "fact."

These bother me, and the ID concept, at least to this PC, offers one way
of answering such claims. Perhaps not the best way; I don't really know.

Perhaps we can usefully separate the ID concept itself from the uses
apparently made of it by those who wish to identify a supernatural
agent (as opposed to just an "intelligent agent") as the "D" in "ID."
I seem to have read somewhere that Isaac Newton made use of the
intelligent agent concept at times; I don't know how often.

I can understand my TE friends disdaining the ID concept (although I
think Glenn may have some sympathy for it). For a PC such as me,
it has some insidious (I use the term carefully) appeal.

Happy Thanksgiving friends...


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