Re: [asa] STATEMENT ON INTELLIGENT DESIGN BY IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY FACULTY

From: <philtill@aol.com>
Date: Thu May 31 2007 - 23:37:09 EDT

> However, it seems to me that one could easily take the view that
> "natural phenomena" covers all events in space-time that are not caused
> by something outside the continuum eg super natural. In such a view the
> resurrection while occurring in space-time is not a "natural phenomena".

But clearly they didn't mean to allow this kind of interpretation, because if they did then it exposes the scientific process to the counter claim that certain events in history were not "natural phenomena," including the appearance of bacterial flagella or priveleged planets, because an intelligent designer may have caused these things from outside the continuum.  That is exactly the sort of claim that they were intending to deny by their statement.

Also, this interpretation reduces their statement to the tautological claim that "all things that are not supernatural are natural."  That kind of tautology is not at all helpful in defining the "method" of methodological naturalism.  So clearly they didn't mean this.

> You could well be right in your conclusion of duplicity, but I'd like to see
> some other evidence that philosophical naturalism was what was meant
> before coming to that conclusion. 
 
Like Rich, I think they were just sloppy and not purposely deceptive.  But I think that kind of sloppiness is inexcusable in a statement that was intended to protect the purity of science against metaphysical intrusions.  In effect, they were insisting that theists must hold to the purity of science while they were overlooking their own injection of non-theistic metaphysics into science.  I think this statement is very telling in the same sense that a Freudian slip is very telling.

Phil

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Received on Thu May 31 23:37:38 2007

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