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

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Sat Nov 05 2005 - 19:31:34 EST

I agree that the features you describe are what characterize ID in the popular mind. They are primarily theological (& bad theology) claims. What I was focussing on was what distinguishes ID as a putative scientific research program.

  ----- Original Message -----
  Sent: Saturday, November 05, 2005 11:59 AM
  Subject: Re: ASA and the History and Philosophy of Science (HPS)

  George Murphy wrote:
  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.

  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.


  Dr. Allan H. Harvey, Boulder, Colorado |
  "Any opinions expressed here are mine, and should not be
  attributed to my employer, my wife, or my cat"
Received on Sat Nov 5 19:35:22 2005

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