Re: Fwd: Identity of the ID designer

From: George Murphy (
Date: Mon Dec 16 2002 - 14:51:34 EST

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    John Burgeson wrote:
    > George wrote: "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. ...>"
    > Which I observed was not at all a response to my question.
    > "> 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."
    > I wish I could think of some way to ask you the question so that you would
    > address it and not talk about other things. I have tried three times. I have
    > asked "what about Y" and you have replied "Z is much more interesting to
    > discuss."

            There have been plenty of discussions of the claims of ID
    _qua_ science. I am
    willing to grant that they have pointed out some things that current
    theories have not
    explained - the development of information and complex structures in
    some biological
            That is all they have done as far as science is concerned.
    They have proposed
    no positive explanations of those phenomena in terms of natural
    processes. Their basic
    ID hypothesis results in no testable predictions of "novel facts."
    (To those who
    disagree with this statement I would say mere "Name one.")
            To go more deeply into that would require us to talk about
    things you don't want
    to talk about - the IDers understanding of how science works and the
    pre-suppositions of their arguments.
            1st - & this gets us back to the subject line of this whole
    thread - the ID
    argument accomplishes nothing if the Intelligent Designer is not God.
    The introduction
    of any natural designer (e.g., with directed panspermia) immediately
    raises the same
    questions about that designer that were originally asked about
    terrestrial life.
            2d - it's clear from numerous statements of ID proponents
    that they understand
    the Intelligent Designer in fact to be God.
            Now you want to rule out all these references to God because
    you want to talk
    only about the science and not the theology of ID. But that simply
    won't work. If ID
    is to be science then one has to be able to ask about ways of testing
    its claims. &
    investigating God by scientific means is something quite different
    from investigating
    some proposed natural process as an explanation for some phenomenon.
    The nature of the
    Designer is crucial to any scientific evaluation of the ID claim.
            Matters would be different if the IDers proposed natural
    processes by which
    design is supposed to be accomplished. Then their procedure would be
    in line with the
    idea that God acts in the world through natural processes. But they
    make no such
    proposals. (& again, if anyone disagrees, "Name one." & in fact
    this defect of ID is
    just another face of its inability to predict novel facts.)

            Having said that, I find your unwillingness to consider the
    ID movement as it
    actually exists very strange. In discussing abortion or
    homosexuality, e.g., you refuse
    to deal with these issues as theological or ethical abstractions, but
    want to bring the
    experience of women who have had abortions, homosexuals &c into the
    discussion. But in
    talking about ID you take exactly the opposite approach. You want to
    discuss it as an
    abstract scientific theory & refuse to consider what the ID movement
    made up of real
    people, carrying out real actions to influence state boards of
    education, churches,
    legislators &c, is. That seems very odd.


    George L. Murphy

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