Thanks for your note Bob,
>In a message dated 4/16/01 7:39:20 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
>> On a different approach, what is it about ID theory that leads
>> some to believe that irruptive interventions are not likely to
>> be observed today? I can see no reason to suppose that an active
>> designer would stop at just the time when our abilities to record
>> and document intervention are the greatest they've ever been.
>Tim. I am sorry your post got away from me, so I am late in responding,
>although I am not sure you meant to have me do so.
>My thinking on this matter is that historically, design came first followed
>by other naturalistic processes that elaborate and build on the design.
>a simple and probably over-simple idea. It comes to me, in part, from
>reading in Genesis that "God said..." (design) and the skies, seas, and
>"brought forth..." (natural processes, e.g., phyletic and individual
>In short, there was a time for design, and a time for naturalistic events to
>occur. The time for design is past, the time for development and evolution
>followed, and is upon us now. According to this view, one would no longer
>expect design to occur, at least not on any grand scale.
Note: The following criticisms are directed at the Discovery Institure
fellows and the public statements they've made, rather than Bob's
personal vision of ID.
I thought ID was a scientific, and not a theological theory.
ID may have theological implications but according to all the
bulletins issued by the Discovery Institute and all its star
writers, its first and foremost driver is observation and
Given that the proposed extra-natural assembler has not yet been
demonstrated to exist, let alone identified, and that its mode
and tempo of interaction is completely undefined at this time,
it seems a tad presumptuous to expect the designer to behave the
way the sub-groups of a couple religions happen to interpret their
Unless, of course, ID isn't really what its public proponents
describe it to be. This is exactly one of the points ID critics
have known all along while Johnson et al speak out both sides of
their mouths. When I put the same question to Paul Nelson
several years ago, his response was that he *couldn't* expect the
designer to remain continuously active or to leave other clues
(such as buried obelisks ala "2001") because of his religious
convictions. So the question is, which mode of science is
really the most limiting in terms of hypotheses which can be
considered: methodological naturalism or theistic science as
*actually practiced* by Discovery Institute fellows?
For example, Hoyle's theories of panspermia say nothing about
whether the designer remains active today. Indeed, it is
generally thought that the activities of the "panspermic" designer
should be visible today. Others, who propose sporatic
interactions by designers -- ?possibly by extraterrestrial
terraformers? -- similarly have no expectation that disruptive
events should have ceased or that a designer could not be
observed in the act of creation. I have yet to hear an DI fellow
suggest that it might be nice to also find auxillary,
physical evidence for presence of a designer at the time
of the proposed design events, or to acknowledge that such
evidence might provide an independent confirmation of
a design agent's existence. What I hear instead is: "God doesn't/
or God didn't work that way". And that is odd, because it appears
that ID'ers are rejecting mechanisms that are easily accessible to
methodological naturalism -- a logical impossibility as theistic
science is supposed to represent a more flexible, super-set of
standard science. Therefore I conclude that something other than
logic is involved in the decision.
Basically, if we approach ID as the scientific endeavor it is
claimed to be, there is *no* a priori reason to assume that
acts of design have ended or that auxillary evidence is not available
(outside of personal revelation, which is non-public) for a designer
being around at the time of the events.
This is not to say that a designer *must* be active still, or that
it didn't erase its tracks (or liftoff sites, or clouds of flu viruses),
only that there is no reason to assume the opposite. If the DI and
theorists generally associated with ID seem to ignore this point in
practice, then perhaps their new mode of "science" really isn't the
flexible or theistically-neutral enterprise they claim it to be.
Note: Bob, I don't assume that you speak for the Discovery Institure
or that you hold to the claims that have made by DI representatives.
I understand that your ideas about how ID works are your own. Thanks
for presenting you position on the matter.
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