Re: Guilt by association

From: George Murphy (
Date: Sun May 11 2003 - 06:17:27 EDT

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    Iain Strachan wrote:
    > James Mahaffy:
    > > Roberts wrote:
    > > >
    > > > IDers are ambivalent on the age of the earth and many like
    > > > Johnson,Pearcy try to say that it is
    > > > not an important issue. By doing that they in fact swing the argument in
    > > > favour of YEC. After all
    > > > if all life is approx only 10,000years old then evolution by any means
    > > > (bar the miraculouis ) is
    > >
    > > Folks,
    > >
    > > As someone who is not ID but respects some of the IDer a bit more, let
    > > me differ with good vicar. I do NOT like adhominens and I do not like
    > > guilt by association. Both Behe and Johnson (but not some of the others
    > > in the ID camp) are not YEC but are old earthers. Behe in fact sees no
    > > problems with most of life originating by evolution.
    > >
    > I couldn't agree more. It was perfectly clear to me on reading Behe's book
    > that he supports descent from a common ancestor, and that he believes the
    > earth is billions of years old. All the people in the ID camp I've
    > corresponded with whom I've asked are also in the Old Earth camp.
    > To say that you're going to ignore perfectly sound mathematical arguments
    > just because some ID'ers are YEC doesn't make any sense at all.
    > Michael, what were you thinking of? Are you to say that Newton's laws of
    > motion aren't worth considering because Newton was a crazy alchemist who
    > believed you could turn lesser elements into gold? Or that Faraday's laws
    > should be ignored because Faraday was a Young Earther (I think I read that
    > somewhere)?

            OTOH, it's true that IDers aren't all YECs, & that the arguments of Behe &
    Dembski have to be debated on their merits. OTOH it should be recognized that ID is
    part of a larger movement, Johnson's attack on "naturalism." It is well to remember
    that that attack began several years before the writings of Behe & Dembski came on the
    scene. (Johnson's _Darwin on Trial_ was published in 1991.) IDers are happy to make
    common cause with YECers & other opponents of evolution, & make no public complaint when
    their ideas are used by fundamentalists in ways that go beyond the technical claims
    which they make.
            The specific scientific ideas of IDers have to be dealt with on scientific
    grounds. Similarly for theology - a point too often ignored. But it is naive to
    imagine that these can be treated apart from the larger cultural agenda of IDers.


    George L. Murphy

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