RE: The Washington Post "Dissing Darwian"

From: Alexanian, Moorad <>
Date: Fri Jun 03 2005 - 13:37:08 EDT

The positive effect of the books by Phil Johnson was to expose the philosophical assumptions being made by the Neo-Darwinists that went beyond the minimalist approach that leads to unadulterated science. Of course, there is an effort in the Intelligence Design movement that may go beyond that.

If one uses probability theory as logic, then Bayes' theorem can be used to make probabilistic inferences from the physical data, viz.

P (H|DX) =P(H|X) P(D|HX) /P(D|X),

where P(A|E) stands for probability that A is true conditional on the evidence E and

X= prior information,

H = some hypothesis to be tested,

D= the (physical) data.

Suppose the physical evidence D considered by different people is the same, then the real question is, what prior information X do different people consider? In the study of the physical universe, must the prior information X be purely physical? Of course, if one is doing logic the consciousness and rationality of the scientist comes into play. That clearly appears in how the data D is collected and what sort of hypothesis H one can make. However, how does human rationality and consciousness show up, if at all, in the very hypothesis H that one establishes?



From: on behalf of Ted Davis
Sent: Fri 6/3/2005 12:26 PM
Subject: Re: The Washington Post "Dissing Darwian"

>>> Rich Blinne <> 6/3/2005 12:07:41 PM >>>writes:
I think you can get some Darwinists to admit this point. If the goal with
respect to the public schools was true neutrality with respect to all
metaphysical conclusions you might get a consensus. Change your wedge and
split the Gouldians from the Saganites. Right now the current strategy gets

the two camps to ally with each other against a common anti-Darwinist
Most of the current educational proposals, however, have a much more
Gouldian flavor and the Gouldians are asking for religious allies. Even if

we cannot stomach such an alliance at the very least we should encourage
that from the outside.

Ted replies:
The "wedge" strategy is not of my making, and I don't endorse it. I accept
the general validity of MN, and I agree that public schools should aim for
true neutrality, though I do not believe that we can really achieve that
without allowing parents to pick their own educational philosophies,
including various religious ones.

As for Gould, which Gould are we referring to? His NOMA partly contradicts
some of his more famous utterances about religion; and the NOMA concept
itself is insulting to many religious people, since Gould's NOMA is just AD
White's warfare thesis: religion has ethical value, but no ability to make
statements about actual reality. Thus religion must be shorn of theology in
order to be acceptable to modern minds. That's White all over again, and
Gould knew it.

Received on Fri Jun 3 13:38:57 2005

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