Re: Is there evidence of design?

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Mon Nov 14 2005 - 17:35:49 EST

"If ID were so compatible with evolutionary science, why then is ID so involved in arguing that evolutionary processes in some cases where our ignorance does not allow us to establish exact pathways or mechanisms, could not have happened and 'thus require an intelligent designer'?" - Pim van Meurs

It seems that Pim has loaded the question a bit by using 'evolutionary' and 'science' together. Certainly there are uses of evolution which are plainly not scientific, i.e. that involve worldviews and ideologies rather than scientific methods rigourously applied in natural or social sciences. Can this be agreed upon? Thus, it would not be far-fetched or illegitimate to ask for further clarification in some places where 'evolution' is invoked as an explanatory variable, if not in biology itself.
The IDists I've dialogued with will accept just about any form of evolution other than biological evolution. Materialism, naturalism and secularism are the real targets; hopefully ID biological science will catch up! Technological evolution, no problem. Evolutionary sociology or evolutionary anthropology, by all means. Evolutionary philosophy (and history) is deemed somewhat inferior to evolutionary science and most don't bother with it, rather accepting it as harmless. Evolutionary theology, well...ID doesn't deal with theology for the most part. But is (i+d) theology 'intelligently designed' - well that's another story!
There are some IDists, that are in fact nearly universalistic evolutionists, except for in the small places they wish to carve away from evolution using the concept duo of 'intelligent' (plus derivatives) and 'design' (plus derivatives). This is supposed to present an unlikely 'scientific revolution' in place of biological evolutionary science, that is, unless IDists are not listening to Johnson, Dembski, Meyer and Nelson.
This situation makes the Big Tent of ID more than a bit farcical, since it won't clearly define which forms of evolution it accepts and which it rejects. The IDM apparently wants to unite incompatible (i.e. contradictory) diversity. It seems content to put forth evolutionary swirl, saying that all theists (scientists or not) should welcome ID. E.g. witness Cornelius' attempts at saying, 'your TE views fit within the ID framework.' For some in the IDM, there seems to be no evidence for which the conclusion 'design' cannot be tacked on.
Yes, there indeed seems to be a fixation on 'design' by IDists. Even those who try to reason with IDists, agreeing to calmly discuss the limitations for the concept of 'design' scientifically, philosophically and theologically, are considered to be buying into the ID rhetoric, which controls the discourse.
"I think that one needs to start with 'design' and try to educate the public about the distinctions between the term as it is used in theology and as it is used in ID argumentation." - Bob Schneider
Starting with 'design' is exactly the response IDists are looking for; whether it may lead to fruitful dialogue (as opposed to propogandist argumentation) remains to be seen.
Is there evidence of design? Well, I 'designed,' 'wrote,' 'composed' or 'typed' this message. Does that count as evidence? (I'm thinking of Michael's frustration and cycling while asking this.) Does it have anything to do with science or theology?
To Cornelius:
Why not choose any of these words [listed earlier in this thread] instead of narrowing the scope of your science, philosophy or theology to 'design'? Is there evidence of construction or composition?
Clearly, there *is* a heroic ontological claim being made in linguistically selecting 'design' rather than another concept suitable for a so-insisted 'scientific revolution.'

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Received on Mon Nov 14 17:37:03 2005

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