From: Howard J. Van Till (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Dec 16 2002 - 09:00:04 EST
> 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.
1) It is indeed possible, I believe, to to examine and critique, as
science, some of the particular claims that the ID movement makes as
scientific claims. The second half of my essay review of Dembski's No Free
Lunch falls mostly in that territory (you will find this essay -- "E. coli
at the No Free Lunchroom" -- both at the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics
and Religion website and the Counterbalance website).
2) If, however, one wishes to examine and critique the ID movement as a
cultural phenomenon, then the question of what motivates advocates of that
movement is extremely relevant to that examination and critique. Some of the
first part of my "E. coli" essay falls into this category.
I take it that you are interested in exploring 1) without simultaneously
getting entangled in 2), right? Fair enough.
Two factors, however, sometimes make this difficult.
1. The ID literature often entangles these two questions -- religious
motivation and scientific merit -- both in its criticism of evolutionary
naturalism and it its rhetoric favoring the idea of non-natural,
form-conferring action by an unembodied, choice-making agent (a.k.a.
2. A person may find it difficult to treat any claim (whether made by
Dembski or Dawkins) as if it were a purely scientific claim proceeding from
purely scientific motivations when there are strong reasons for suspecting
that the claim is in fact strongly motivated by religious (or
Howard Van Till
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