Re: Fwd: Identity of the ID designer

From: George Murphy (
Date: Sun Dec 15 2002 - 16:42:02 EST

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    John Burgeson wrote:
    > Some time ago (I've been on an extended vacation), in response to a post by
    > George, I wrote:
    > >What I want to do is remove the debate (about ID) entirely away from
    > >discussions of the
    > >IDers themselves, what motivates them -- and just talk about the ideas.
    > >
    > >To limit the discussion only to OOLOE (Origin of Life on Earth) is to
    > >simply confine it to that part
    > >of the material world we know most about.
    > >
    > >An archaelogist finds a non-living item "X" and declares that it appears to
    > >have been created by an intelligence, and generally that claim is taken
    > >seriously for many items "X1, X2, ... " Sometimes, however, item X15 (for
    > >instance) is subsequently judged to have been created through inanimate
    > >natural causation. And reasonable scientists then debate that.
    > >
    > >A biologist finds a living item "Y" and declares that it appears to have
    > >been created by an intelligence. Generally that claim is NOT taken
    > >seriously
    > >for items "Y1, Y2, ..." even by IDers. But sometimes an IDer will take it
    > >seriously for item Y15 (for instance).
    > >
    > >So the division point seems to be between non-living items (or items that
    > >appear to be non-living) and living items, presumably on the basis that to
    > >create a living item of any sort is something beyond the ken of modern
    > >science and therefore ruled out a priori.
    > >
    > >I don't like a priori rules ( as you know) and so I cannot be comfortable
    > >with the division, at least as I have stated it.
    > George responded by continuing to discuss the IDers motivations and
    > incorrect (in his opinion) theology.
    > Once again I ask if we can talk about the science, and not about either the
    > theology or the motivations of Dembski, Johnson, et. al. I am sure that to
    > many those subjects are interesting; they are not interesting to me.
    > My question above was not, as I can detect, addressed since I posted it a
    > month ago. I think it is a lot more interesting than questions of IDers
    > theological beliefs or motivations. But perhaps, of course, only to me.

             What I did in that earlier post was to explain why it is
    important to deal with
    the real ID movement and not merely its scientific claims or
    problems. To focus only on
    the latter is like thinking that Strom Thurmond's States Rights
    presidential campaign of
    1948 (now in the news because of Trent Lott's remarks) could be dealt
    with adequately by
    learned discussions of the 10th Amendment, but without mentioning the
    motives of that campaign.

            (I hope no one will accuse me of portraying IDers as
    segregationists. That isn't
    the point of the analogy.)

             Let me add that I have not talked about the "motives" of
    IDers in the sense of
    trying to get their heads guessing why they say what they do. It is
    rather a question
    of looking at what they actually write and say.


    George L. Murphy

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