Re: ASA and the History and Philosophy of Science (HPS)

From: <SteamDoc@aol.com>
Date: Sat Nov 05 2005 - 11:59:34 EST

George Murphy wrote:
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3) Anyone who holds some approximation to the traditional doctrine of
creation believes in intelligent design - i.e., that a rational God is the creator
of the world & has some purposes for it. Many Christians also believe that
this can be inferred from scientific investigation of the world. What is
distinctive - & IMO wrong - about the present ID movement is not either of those
views but the claim that some features of the world can't be understood without
the concept of intelligent design & that that concept should be made a part
of scientific theories.
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While I would not disagree with what George points out as a distinctive in
the present ID movement, I think their most distinctive feature is something
different.
 
To me, the most distinctive feature of the present ID movement is the
(sometimes implicit) claim that the design all Christians affirm MUST be
scientifically detectible, and that the existence of these "fingerprints" is necessary
in order for theism to be true. The flip side of that logic being the
assumption that creation via "natural" processes like evolution does not count as
God's work so that "gapless" natural explanations are seen as opposing
Christianity. While at its best (Dembski, Behe), the ID movement may not take such
a stance, 99% of its impact in the public and in the pews (Johnson, Colson,
Kansas) seems to have this "God-of-the-Gaps theology" at its core.
 
Getting back to the original question, there is probably a use for the
History and Philosophy of Science (in addition to sound Christian theology, which
is probably most important) in helping people understand that it is a
category mistake to view "evolution" and "creation" (or "evolution" and "design" for
that matter) as competing and incompatible concepts.
 
Allan
 
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Dr. Allan H. Harvey, Boulder, Colorado | SteamDoc@aol.com
"Any opinions expressed here are mine, and should not be
attributed to my employer, my wife, or my cat"
Received on Sat Nov 5 12:02:46 2005

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