Re: [asa] ID is scientifically vacuous

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Wed Jun 20 2007 - 18:04:28 EDT

Let me step back from one request of the previous
message; probably it is better not to request of Pim
to point to his papers or publications. That is not my
business and frankly doesn't matter to the argument
that is being made. So please either forget that
request or take it off the table for discussion.

Thank you,

--- Gregory Arago <> wrote:

> There will be no further comments by me on this
> thread
> in dialogue with Pim after this message. Already
> someone has stated they will trash any messages from
> him without readiing them. I am inching toward the
> same conclusion. My reason for doing this: it is not
> the place at ASA for someone to simply mock and
> tarnish IDT's as if they them-self were a more
> righteous scientist than others (especially when one
> doesn't want to quote scientifically-minded
> Christians
> instead of anti-theists on topics such as
> 'altruism').
> Though IDT's may not be making significant
> contributions to science 'at this point,' first, it
> is
> wrong to suggest that they cannot EVER make
> contributions (which was Burgy's first point), and
> second, I doubt that Pim himself has made any
> contribution to science that rivals what the IDM has
> tried to do/is trying to do. Many books, for
> example,
> have been published about ID, IDT's, the IDM,
> science
> and religion and arguments to and from design over
> the
> past 5 or so years.
> Let me repeat then, what I have asked Pim already:
> Pim, could you point us to papers, articles or
> publications that you have contributed to what
> counts
> as scientific knowledge? This will help us to
> evaluate
> the authority of your supposed scientific knowledge.
> A few responses to the previous post (which no one
> seems to want to comment on...I wonder why?):
> "ID has failed to contribute in ANY of the areas in
> which ID proponents have hypothesized and speculated
> that it could contribute." - Pim
> If one considers the fact that ID has raised
> peoples'
> interests in the dialogue between science and
> religion, then yes, here it has contributed. More
> people are interested than before ID and the IDM.
> As for "religiously inspired, design-based
> assumptions," these have been plentiful throughout
> the
> history of sciences. Some of the most well-known
> scientists in history have operated with religiously
> inspired, design-based assumptions. This does not
> mean
> they used a Johnson-Behe-Dembski-DI-type of
> Intelligent Design (or intelligent design) theory.
> But
> it is ridiculous to ignore that what is behind (and
> really, within, e.g. I. Newton's case) science can
> affect science too.
> "historically speaking they [philosophers] have
> failed
> many times already" - Pim
> Let's not paint all philosophers and all
> philosophies
> as 'failures' so quickly! What a hoot for a
> non-philosopher to tarnish philosophy, the love of
> wisdom, so condescendingly. As if, for Pim, natural
> science (e.g. physics and oceanography) held a trump
> card over what counts as socially important
> knowledge.
> Philosophers, be gone...until we desperately need
> them
> once again (and then, will they come?).
> The fact that Pim calls Fuller and Woodward 'poor
> souls' is really a bit over the edge judgmentally -
> imo, ASA is simply not the place for this kind of
> language. Yes, I'm a junior here, but such talk
> seems
> to belong elsewhere.
> "I am willing to defend the position that ID's
> approach is inherently unreliable and fails to be
> able
> to compete with the null hypothesis of 'we don't
> know'." - Pim
> So really, what is argued here is that 'nothing is
> better than nothing,' which is apparently exactly
> what
> Pim is peddling (though admittedly, I have gained
> from
> some of the clips and articles he's gathered from
> others). How can ID FAIL to compete with 'we don't
> know'? It HAS offered a variety of positive
> conclusions, in a variety of disciplinary fields.
> Many
> of these fields neither Pim nor I are trained in and
> therefore it is presumptuous to offer such certain
> rejections of the proposed positive contributions ID
> can/could or even sometimes does make to knowledge.
> For me, I am somewhat glad for the IDM in the sense
> of
> raising public awareness about science and religion
> discourse, that it is willing to call into question
> an
> accepted paradigm, a 'normal science', especially
> one
> that for many people has snugly comforted their
> atheistic or anti-theistic worldview, i.e. the abuse
> of Darwinian evolution as an instrument for erasing
> the possibility that our universe and the human
> hearts
> that live in it are designed, created, inbreathed,
> made in the image of a Creator, our Creator.
> That Pim appears not to see this connection between
> science and religion discourse and in some cases the
> positive value of IDT's and the IDM shows that he
> prefers rather to speak to 'just the science' (with
> a
> bit of Augustine sprinkled in sometimes), as if HIS
> SCIENCE were the only science that really counts. In
> such a position, the statement that "ID is
> scientifically vacuous" is really itself almost a
> vacuous statement, rather attached to the
> personality
> proclaiming it than to a neutral and objective
> survey
> of the actual state of affairs.
> Perhaps the playground rule should be reminded to
> Pim:
> "If you can't say anything nice, then don't..."
> Gregory A.
> "I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the
> seashore, and diverting myself in now and then
> finding
> a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary,
> whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered
> before me." - Isaac Newton
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Received on Wed Jun 20 18:05:22 2007

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