Re: criticising scientific naturalism (fwd)...interesting symmetry

From: Joel Cannon (
Date: Tue Dec 11 2001 - 15:40:36 EST

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    Bob Dehaaan wrote:

    > Maybe I didn't make myself clear. I meant to ask why TEs (for want of a
    > better term) do not criticize evolutionary biologists as vociferously as they
    > criticized IDers and
    > YECs. I'm not including scientific naturalists.

    Bob's comments point out an interesting symmetry here between non-ID
    Christians and ID Christians. Both, in a very real sense feel that
    the other gives "comfort to the opponents of Christianity," We will
    probably continue to talk past each other because these differing ways
    of looking at the discussiong are founded on fundamentally different
    views of the intellectual landscape. But possibly understanding the
    source of the differences may make communication more constructive.

    There are two parts to the "evolution implies atheism argument" of
    people such as Richard Dawkins.

    1. Does evolution (if true) imply Christianity is false?
    2. Do the facts support evolution.

    Bob, and others associated with ID take their stand on proposition 2,
    and consequently feel that we non-IDers give comfort to the
    naturalists because we do not attack metaphysical naturalist's claims
    that the facts support evolution (notice that he stated that we do not
    criticize evolutionary biologists). He is apparently not comforted by
    nuanced critiques that distinguish naturlalist's
    philosophical/religious commitments from their science.

    I and others, feel that the real issue is proposition 2. If prop. 1 is
    false, the answer to 2 is irrelevant. We therefore we see that Phillip
    Johnson, William Dembski and others give unwarranted support to
    naturalists when they implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) affirm
    proposition 1. I Among other things, depite occasional statements to
    the contrary, I find that Johnson and Dembski's writings accept the
    naturalistic assumptions 1) that the only reliable means to determine
    what is true is through science, 2) that scientific discovery leaves
    less room for God, as well as the big one--- 3) that Jesus is
    irrelevant to determining Christianity's truth. In short Johson and
    Dembski agree with virtually everything Richard Dawkins writes except
    for how to interpret DNA, fossils, and genetics.

    In fact, our objections to ID writings are often precisely the same
    objections we have to evolutionary biologists who are asserting that
    evolution implies atheism. Similarly, ID proponents often have the
    same objection to us that they have to evolutionary biologists because
    we either agree that the facts support evolution, and/or feel that the
    question is irrelevant.

    Joel W. Cannon | (724)223-6146
    Physics Department |
    Washington and Jefferson College |
    Washington, PA 15301 |

    Joel W. Cannon | (724)223-6146
    Physics Department |
    Washington and Jefferson College |
    Washington, PA 15301 |

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