In a message dated 12/3/01 5:42:26 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob: << >Is not the criticism deserved by the evolutionist Richard Dawkins,
and the philosopher, Daniel Dennett, than whom more outspoken atheistic
defenders of evolution and bashers of Christianity and religion in general
would be hard to find.<
Dave: <<Yes, this criticism applies equally to them, but that does not
legitimize young earth or ID advocates making the same unbiblical claims.
My question is: Why have not TEs (to use a convenient shorthand) joined with
YECs and IDers in criticizing the Dawkins and Dennetts and Simpsons of the
evolutionary community, if "this criticism applies equally to them"? Why do
you immediately shift into criticizing YECs and IDers with a mere slap on
the wrist for D, D and S?
I'm not sure what you mean by, "that does not legitimize young earth or ID
advocates making the same unbiblical claims." What unbiblical claims to you
Dave: <<The criteria for design proposed by Dembski and others seek to
identify situations in which known natural processes are inadequate to
explain them. Thus, natural processes and design appear to be mutually
contradictory explanations for a given feature.>>
I think you have it wrong, Dave. Dembski et. al., are trying to _bring
intelligence into nature_. (1) Identifying and characterizing design in
biology, for instance, is a legitimate scientific activity. (2) Trying to
locate the intelligence or intelligent processes that produced the design
within nature is also a legitimate scientific enterprise. (3) In so far as
they or anyone else identifies the designer outside of nature, he or she has
departed the scientific enterprise and taken on a theological and
philosophical one. One can do (1) and (2) without committing oneself to (3).
Indeed, it seems to me that it is the opponents of ID who keep on bringing up
<<The goal of ID is to infer the activity of a designer, modeled on the
search for artificial intelligence, archaeological artifacts, etc. Things
are classified as designed if they purportedly require some intelligent
action (human, alien, or supernatural) above and beyond the course of natural
events. This sounds like non-natural intervention to me.>>
This is not the goal of ID. SETI and archeology are cited as _examples_ of
science searching for design and imputing it to intelligence _within nature_.
Why cannot the same be done for biological design? The ID research program,
as I understand it is as I have described it above.
<<Additionally, the steadfast opposition to evolution, instead of recognizing
it as a possible means of design, betrays a search for non-natural means of
I think Behe's position is that irreducible complexity requires that all the
elements of a biological system must be assembled simultaneously, that they
cannot be evolved by small steps, i.e., by natural selection, because the
system cannot function until and unless all the elements are present.
Do you hold that if it's not evolution, it has to be non-natural? Is it not
possible that biological systems are first basically designed, and later
Thanks for your clarifications. I hope my questions are helpful
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