Re: [asa] Expelled and ID (ID detection?)

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Mon Apr 21 2008 - 12:56:04 EDT

#2a is where, IMHO, ID shoots itself in the foot by denying that the
designer must be God. One could make a theological argument that if the
creation reflects God's character, and if humans are made in the image of
God, then we *do* have at least some information about what God as designer
would or would not do. This is the analogia entis, the analogy of being,
which is a kind of natural theology (but not the strong kind of argument
from design advanced by Paley). Bonaventure offered a medieval
understanding of the analogia entis as follows:

"All created things of the sensible world lead the mind of the contemplator
and wise man to eternal God... They are the shades, the resonances, the
pictures of that efficient, exemplifying, and ordering art; they are the
tracks, simulacra, and spectacles; they are divinely given signs set before
us for the purpose of seeing God. They are exemplifications set before our
still unrefined and sense-oriented minds, so that by the sensible things
which they see they might be transferred to the intelligible which they
cannot see, as if by signs to the signified" (*Itinerarium mentis ad Deum*,
2.11, as quoted p.

Good discussion of the analogia entis, the protestant-Lutheran-Barthian
response to it, and a balanced perspective, here:

 On Mon, Apr 21, 2008 at 11:45 AM, David Campbell <>

Design could be detected scientifically if:
> 1) it is clearly defined as to what is or is not designed
> and
> 2a) either we have information about what a designer would or would not do
> or
> 2b) we have a large sample of known examples of designed and
> non-designed objects from which we can characterize patterns.
> Both multiverse and pro-ID fine-tuning arguments run afoul of
> criterion 2. We need to know either who the designer is and what
> actions he/she/it/they would take (both ID and atheism advocates
> profess ignorance about who yet certainty about what actions are
> expected, an implausible position) or else need something like the
> answer to the old spoof exam question "Describe the universe and give
> three examples", except that only three examples won't give you enough
> statistical confidence.
> In the case of human activity, we have fairly good ideas about both 2a
> and 2b. If "design" is defined as intentional human action, we can
> compare things made by non-human natural agents with things made by
> people and thus have a good idea as to whether, e.g., a crudely flaked
> flint pebble was deliberately shaped by an early hominid or trampled
> by a herd of antelope.
> --
> Dr. David Campbell
> 425 Scientific Collections
> University of Alabama
> "I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
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Received on Mon Apr 21 12:57:43 2008

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