From: Randy Isaac <>
Date: Sun Jun 03 2007 - 22:18:41 EDT

Pim wrote:

> Neil DeGrasse Tyson stated is as follows
> <quote>...snip...
> Science is a philosophy of discovery. Intelligent design is a
> philosophy of ignorance. You cannot build a program of discovery on
> the assumption that nobody is smart enough to figure out the answer to
> a problem. Once upon a time, people identified the god Neptune as the
> source of storms at sea. Today we call these storms hurricanes. We
> know when and where they start. We know what drives them. We know what
> mitigates their destructive power. And anyone who has studied global
> warming can tell you what makes them worse. The only people who still
> call hurricanes "acts of God" are the people who write insurance
> forms.
> </quote>
> I think that very well summarizes ID.

There is no single authoritative body that governs ID and determines what it
is and what it isn't. As a result, there seems to be a myriad of definitions
and interpretations from all sides claiming what ID is and what it isn't.
Neil's quote that Pim cites is a popular description of ID by many ID
proponents. It is particularly stressed by opponents of ID since it's so
easy and fun to dismiss. But we should be clear that this doesn't represent
all, and certainly not the best, thinkers in ID land.

For these folks, ID is not at all a philosophy of ignorance nor based on
what we don't understand. Rather it is a positive identification of patterns
in nature that are indicative of design. As was noted in this list a few
weeks ago, Bill Dembski has said on more than one occasion that ID is not
contraindicated even if evolution/common descent were true. This is at least
in part due to this dual nature of ID. On one hand, some stress the
incompleteness of evolution as an explanatory theory, and on the other some
stress the telltale patterns that indicate design, whether evolution is a
comprehensive theory or not.

For us on this list, we should be much clearer about what ID is and what it
isn't, or more accurately, what version of ID we're talking about.


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Received on Sun Jun 3 22:18:52 2007

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