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

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Mon Apr 21 2008 - 16:08:16 EDT

The analogia entis is purely speculative - there is no reason to think that the creation has to resemble the creator. To put it in terms of the two books metaphor, the "book of nature" tells us about nature, not the author of nature. Ezra Pound's quip is relevant: "You can spot the the bad critic when he starts by discussing the poet and not the poem."

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: David Opderbeck
  To: David Campbell
  Sent: Monday, April 21, 2008 12:56 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Expelled and ID (ID detection?)

  #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. 165).

  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 <> wrote:

    Design could be detected scientifically if:
    1) it is clearly defined as to what is or is not designed


    2a) either we have information about what a designer would or would not do


    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 16:30:51 2008

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