Re: Dembski

From: John W Burgeson (
Date: Thu Jan 10 2002 - 18:29:53 EST

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    David Campbell wisely (i.e. I agree with him) wrote: "The claim that the
    Darwinian establishment holds such a view of TE, rather than merely
    claiming that some individuals hold this view, is dubious. If Darwinian
    is defined as someone who holds that the scientific evidence supports
    evolution and that this implies atheism, then Darwinians are a noisy but
    very small minority of those who study evolution. If Darwinian is
    defined with regard to acceptance of evolution as scientifically valid,
    then many Darwinians overtly reject that view. At the Paleontological
    Society short course on creation and evolution (1999), the lack of
    fundamental conflict between evolution and theistic views was strongly
    emphasized. Steve Gould and Eugenie Scott are among the most prominent
    unbelievers who nonetheless clearly reject such derogatory views of
    theistic evolution."

    It is clear that your first definition above, "someone who holds that the
    scientific evidence supports evolution and that this implies atheism," is
    close, if not synonymous with the definition of Darwinism favored by
    Johnson and Dembski. The question of whether such persons, which clearly
    includes Dawkins, Provine, Puglicci, and Schafersman, is "a noisy but
    very small minority" is one which is not so clear -- at least not to me.
    Note that I don't hold such a view particularly -- neither do I reject
    it. It is simply an open question, and I really don't know how to address
    it. It is clear that the four individuals mentioned above, particularly
    Dawkins, taken together get a fair amount of press, argue well, etc.

    One attack on the problem might be to measure book sales, using, say,
    Davis Young, Van Till, Polkinghorne and Ted Davis (picking pretty much at
    random here) vs the writings of these guys. I almost included Gould -- I
    have high respect for his stuff; of course he is not a theist.

    Another way would be to measure space each of these persons get in the
    newspapers, particularly in publications such as the NY Times and
    Washington Post who, presumably, reach more "decision makers."

    Perhaps the ID people have already done such work -- if so it would be
    interesting to see it, since they are the ones advancing the claim.

    John Burgeson (Burgy)
           (science/theology, quantum mechanics, baseball, ethics,
            humor, cars, God's intervention into natural causation, etc.)

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