Waiting for Cornelius to come around

From: Gregory Arago <gregoryarago@yahoo.ca>
Date: Thu Oct 27 2005 - 09:13:57 EDT

Hello Dr. Hunter,


Please excuse me returning to this thread slightly in delay, but in the hope of still resolving some unresolved issues. I feel a bit like you’ve avoided the questions I asked, though the issues I raised that were more convenient to answer were dealt with fairly and squarely. You did address three things in my message. However, it seems there are some things about intelligent design and evolution that don’t fit into the common paradigms or perspectives that deserve your honest and open address.


First, do you not see a difference between the epistemological and the ontological claims that ‘intelligent design’ theory is making? When something ‘is’ designed, there is no questioning that ‘design’ is the word/concept that is preferably applied, whether biologically, in physics, botany, or anthropology. Is this agreed and what is meant in your view? This is a purely linguistic question, but that should not lower its ultimate importance.


Second, is it not curious that the stance of ‘intelligent design’ is AGNOStic on theological questions related to origins, meaning, human purpose and teleology? How can it say, ‘that’s not us,’ unless a crisis in identity is inevitably manifest in the movement qua theory of intelligent design as it is shown and displayed by various independent persons? The philosophy is often back-seated to the science, while there are certainly philosophers in the IDM – this is an unusual situation too.


Third, which varieties of evolution have been falsified? If no one ‘in’ the IDM will declare it, then observers of ‘the controversy’ are bound by conscience to continue asking. It would be helpful to know which varieties of evolution have been falsified since the evolutionary paradigm is one of the most diverse in the contemporary academy. Biologists constitute only one group or faction that demonstrates evolution as an active, relevant idea. Please speak about which varieties of evolution have been falsified and which haven’t (and/or likely won’t be anytime soon).


These three issues are ahead in priority to those you answered me with in another thread.


If you’ll excuse the remark, I see nothing wrong with Dr. Murphy’s approach to evolution(ary theory) as long as he and we recognize which spheres it (evolution) is limited to and which it doesn’t refer to at all. What things don’t evolve (into being or having become)? Surely you can see a problem when a person, group or organization argues against one version of evolution and points their finger(s) at an individual and his or her ideas, but when they don’t ultimately reject the claim that person is contending to make. I find G. Murphy’s as well as T. Davis’ approach to evolution and creation much more flexible and adaptable to scientific ‘progress’ than the non-theological dogmatics being applied by the IDM, in the persons of P. Johnson, W. Dembski, M. Behe, S. Meyer, P. Nelson and others.


There doesn’t seem much room for doubt about this; the facts are speaking. Only one of the IDM-group listed has a theological education, two and a half in philosophy, while ‘philosophers of science’ and biology certainly don’t count for the same insight as scientists and biologists, botanists or geologists, etc. who test, experiment and research. Legal science has rarely been used as insight for scientific progress historically, but has become the crow(n)ing discipline involved in this purely American confrontation. Tennessee, Dover, Seattle.


Apparently it is still not clear whether the ID big tent (Wash, Colorado, Wash D.C., Texas, New Jersey, Ohio, Kansas, Kentucky, W. Virginia) will find its home in TE territory, as Cornelius seems to suggest is possible, or vice versa. Could those who accept biological evolution ever accept biological intelligent design? My hunch is that those who embrace the ‘sciences’ of ‘evolution’ and ‘design’ will find their homes in altogether different places and thus be able to appropriately prepare themselves for a coming alternative concept or percept that doesn’t require such polemical competition and games over what evolution does and doesn’t speak for. The worldview of evolution is the major issue here, not the natural or non-natural science.


A jury in a small state in America can choose what it will; the facts and values, the subjectives and the objectives, the evidences and the rhetorics will simply make their mark in the history of jurisprudence in the name of education. Fairness and equality and justice will be heard by those in the future that care to listen about it and the rest of the world may or may not choose to be concerned. Do people there realize that the universalization of science and/or any one concept as being the cornerstone of what counts as socially and personally relevant knowledge (e.g. relativity) has already been struck a mortal blow?


The conclusion of the Court will not in the end make children ‘use science’ to prove the existence of their Father or their Mother, whose grace is in the garden where all loves end (T.S. Eliot). Nobody is using science to prove that, why should we? Let us hope that Eminem doesn’t get to them first.


Kind regards,



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Received on Thu Oct 27 09:14:20 2005

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