Re: Tit for Tat?

From: Keith Miller (
Date: Thu Sep 11 2003 - 23:37:43 EDT

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    > I'm not sure all would agree with your assessment of ID, but I think
    > what we
    > find in the ID situation is something of a new challenge for science.
    > Standard science has not had to deal with the possibility an outside
    > causal
    > agency making itself felt in this reality. Also since this supposed
    > causal
    > agency would be intelligent and not some predictable regularity, that
    > even
    > compounds that problem. Science as science does not entail exclusion
    > of
    > such an agent but how is science to deal with it? Clearly the standard
    > scientific method will not suffice. If scientists, however, take
    > seriously
    > not only the religious ideas of intelligent design in evolution but
    > also
    > those on divine agency(i.e. providence), how are scientists to
    > approach this
    > issue? From what I have seen recently in the ID literature, many ID
    > proponents are taking seriously these challenges. Whatever emerges of
    > this
    > new "scientific method" it will certainly lack some of the certainty
    > it now
    > enjoys. However, since doing science entails some metaphysical
    > presumptions
    > anyway, perhaps doing science that is a little less certain with a
    > little
    > more faith is not that bad thing after all.

    But what you describe is simply not science. I see no way that divine
    action can be a part of scientific description. Divine agency is
    almost by definition a black box - a divine agent can theoretically
    explain everything and thus nothing. Science is a method by which we
    attempt to discover processes and mechanisms at work in nature. It is
    a limited endeaver. To try to make "science" into some overarching all
    encompassing search for truth is to undermine the very methods by which
    we evaluate the validity of scientific explanations. I have yet to see
    a description of what the ID scientific method is - other than simply
    to allow metaphysical speculation as part of scientific description
    (which is not a methodology at all).


    Keith B. Miller
    Research Assistant Professor
    Dept of Geology, Kansas State University
    Manhattan, KS 66506-3201

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