I couldn't agree more. And to show that some bad ideas just never die,
here's a quote I came across the other day. It was written by Frederick A
Dixey (biologist, Oxford Univ.) in a book review for Nature in 1903
(Semi-darwinian speculations: Nature, v. 69, p. 98-99). Dixey was a devout
Anglican and a darwinian at the height of the 'eclipse of Darwinism' around
"Whenever he meets with a problem in evolution which appears to him
inexplicable on the lines of natural selection...he resorts at once to the
intervention, by a direct creative act, of a "Being possessing intelligence,
intention, and power". This is bad science, and we much doubt whether it is
good theology...To fly at once to the hypothesis of direct "intervention" by
a "higher intelligence" is as much as to say that a science of life is
impossible. It is not our province to enter into the theological aspects of
the matter; we would only remark that the author's language on this head
appears to us to be a curious instance of survival from a bygone epoch.
When, as in the eighteenth century, deistic conceptions of nature were rife,
the idea of "interference" or "intervention" rose easily enough in the minds
of devout persons. The only alternative seemed to be the complete banishment
of the Deity from his universe. But in so far as deism is discredited by
evolution, its correlative notion of "interference" must share in its
discredit; and it is, to say the least of it, somewhat surprising to find the
idea revived in the supposed interests of religion..."
Interventionism, whether Paley or circa-1900-style or OEC or ID, is
stroboscopic deism, and a bad idea.
Karl V. Evans
In a message dated 2/12/02 8:51:16 PM Mountain Daylight Time,
<< 1st, speaking of the "popularity" of methodological naturalism is an
understatement. The vast majority of working scientists use it in practice.
test that claim one may try to find scientists who are content to explain a
puzzling result of an experiment or theoretical inconsistency by saying "God
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