Re: [asa] Are TE and ID Really That Far Apart?

From: George Cooper <>
Date: Fri Apr 25 2008 - 14:50:57 EDT

Hi Dave,

[Dave: But then you have a God who isn't sovereign over His creation, which trades a theodicy problem for an even bigger one.]

If I invite a robot that can go out and build to the highest standard a house with complete independence, am I the lesser for it because I didn't show up with nails in mouth? This doesn't mean I'm not watching from a distance, nor does it mean I might not visit on occasion.

[Dick: I'll stick with natural causation without divine interference, thank you. That way I can swat them without feeling I'm squashing a divinely "designed" creature.]
That's a dandy! :)

George C

    Dick Fischer, author, lecturer

    Historical Genesis from Adam to Abraham

    -----Original Message-----
    From: [] On Behalf Of Nucacids
    Sent: Friday, April 25, 2008 12:13 AM
    Subject: Re: [asa] Are TE and ID Really That Far Apart?

    TE and ID are far apart when ID is proposed as a substitute for evolution.

    However, both ID and evolution can co-exist, where evolution has, in some

    way, been shaped by design.


    ----- Original Message -----

    From: "Rich Blinne" <>

    To: "David Opderbeck" <>

    Cc: "asa" <>

    Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2008 10:18 PM

    Subject: [asa] Are TE and ID Really That Far Apart?


> On Apr 23, 2008, at 5:52 PM, David Opderbeck wrote:


>> I really enjoy Stephen Barr's work and he's a very interesting guy.

>> Query though: is cosmological design really not a form of "ID"? It

>> seems to me that many people who find cosmological design arguments

>> potentially helpful are put off of biological design arguments because

>> of the overstatement, politicization, etc. of the "ID movement" --

>> myself included. So making a distinction between cosmological and

>> biological ID is almost more of a necessary difference in politics,

>> style, and emphasis.




> Absolutely correct, David. I'll strengthen your point. Both are design

> arguments. They have the same form and have the same substance. In

> addition to that both have roughly the same concept of evolution. Dembski

> saying TE could be OK at the Messiah 2005 debate. Behe holds to common

> descent and natural selection. The one difference on so- called random

> mutation could be lessened if ID understood what is meant by us by random

> and by focusing on the non-randomness of the evolutionary process. By

> this I mean that evolution is random in the same sense that our children

> are male or female randomly or to use the Biblical example the random bow

> shot that killed Ahab. I'll spare the rest of the rehash of concursus

> divinitatis. BTW, I liked your discussion on analogia entis but that just

> proves that I am Reformed and George is Lutheran. :-)


> It seems to me that ID's problem is its own little form of scientism.

> Perhaps they cannot seem to identify the designer because of the issues

> that you as a lawyer have brought out previously. The other reason that I

> have heard specifically stated is they think it makes them sound more

> reasonable when it does the exact opposite. I have absolutely no problem

> that my kind of ID is not scientific and that my intent is to provide

> evidence for the Christian God. Again, as you have noted earlier science

> isn't more objective than other kinds of truth. It just uses a process

> that deals with our inherent subjectivity by having the checks and

> balances of peer review and testing hypotheses physically. Thanks for the

> heads up today on their journal which hasn't published anything in years.

> If the scientific elite truly were suppressing the truth or demarcating

> it into oblivion then this journal provides a way to get their vaunted

> research program out. But, there is no research program even though

> Philip Johnson promised not to move on to getting ID into the schools

> until they had real science to be taught. I believe -- correct me if I

> am wrong -- that it should be able to be taught in a philosophy class or

> the like in a survey style -- much like comparative religions. Now, they

> seem to think that this is inferior or more likely they perceive that

> *we* think it is inferior. At least for me, this is not true. Just

> because I believe that ID is not science does not imply I believe ID is

> not true (although some of the arguments are really, really bogus.)

> Furthermore, ID is better classified as philosophy anyway. What

> biological ID went through does serve as a cautionary tale for us when we

> use a cosmological ID argument which in my opinion is the strongest arrow

> in their quiver. Nevertheless, as George has noted the "many worlds"

> hypothesis for quantum physics and multiverses in general still are out

> there as legitimate possibilities. Any of these arguments should be more

> confirmatory rather than as a freestanding "proof".


> I really don't understand why we cannot talk about philosophy and

> theology. As your legal analysis has shown I see very little chance ID,

> or "teaching the controversy", or whatever the strategy du jour is ever

> getting in the schools. Given that, why not show our colors? But, this

> cannot happen as shown when both of us got booted from Uncommon Descent.

> Or, that theology was off the table at Messiah '05.


> I do have an idea for their research program. Show how the evolutionary

> process is not random, not how it cannot happen. We can give them help

> here. This could be like the '95 Behe/Miller debate in reverse where Behe

> showed that Miller's textbook claimed purposeless evolution and Miller

> knowing that evolution is not random in the popular sense fixed the

> error. It came back to bite him in the Dover trial where the old version

> was being used and Miller pointed to the new version. If the heart of the

> problem ID has is a random, purposeless, evolution, then we are here to

> help show how current, mainstream, evolutionary theory shows otherwise.

> It would require them to risk getting "expelled" by their YEC allies,

> though.


> Rich Blinne

> Member ASA


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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 Fri Apr 25 14:51:44 2008

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