Re: Don't forget about me! (distal vs. proximate)

From: george murphy (
Date: Fri Apr 20 2001 - 09:32:44 EDT

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    Tim Ikeda wrote:

    > 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
    > science.
    > 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
    > scriptures.
    > 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?

            While this will be denied strenuously by ID partisans, it is
    fundamentally a religious enterprise.
    As practised by Johnson, Dembski, Wells, _et al_, philosophical and scientific
    arguments are used in support of theological positions. IMO there are at least
    two serious flaws with that procedure.
            1) They pretend that their program is purely (or at least primarily)
    philosophical and scientific, and refuse to discuss their theological views. As
    Johnson's recent statement of the "Wedge" strategy (recently posted here by Keith
    Miller) shows, this claim is simply untrue.
            2) To the extent that they can be discerned, their theologies (for they
    have some diversity) are seriously flawed.
            These defects are, of course, in addition to those in their scientific
            (Note that I do not include Behe in the above short list. My impression
    - though I do not know him personally - is that in _Darwin's Black Box_ he really
    was pursuing first of all scientific arguments, and only connected them with
    religious ones when he had convinced himself that some sort of design was
    necessary. But since then he seems to have been happy to be co-opted by Johnson
    _et al_.)



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Dialogue"

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