Re: [asa] Four myths about I.D.; four myths about T.E.

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Thu Jul 03 2008 - 09:03:27 EDT

On Jul 3, 2008, at 12:06 AM, Gregory Arago wrote:

> Is ID a science stopper? Of course not! Think of the many young
> Americans who have been spurred on to study 'science' more in-depth
> because 'the controversy' over ID vs. Darwinian evolution has
> inspired them.

Name them. I ran into this offline on the issue of climate change.
There are these people who don't believe in AGW, but they are never,
ever named. How convenient. I'll run your names through Google scholar
and see if that is true. This holds for the social sciences too as
Google Scholar also indexes the social science journals. Note,
however, that there is an even lower theism rate in the social
sciences than in the physical ones.

> Perhaps a problem is that you are thinking, George, of material and
> efficient causality, rather than about formal and final causality.
> It seems the definition of 'doing science' has been held captive by
> a certain type of philosophical approach, which may indeed one day
> be liberated from the sociologically-controlled meaning of
> 'science'. Once one hegemony falls, perhaps another will take its
> place...but it seems to me there are many scholars ready to
> acknowledge that the spiritual and the material, the social-
> humanitarian and the natural science may not be as far apart as the
> late-modern ideology of what 'science' is and isn't (can and can't
> be) commonly dictated.

It is you whose definition of 'doing science' that is being held
captive by a certain type of philosophical approach. Again, name these
young scholars and show me they are being productive. While the
definition of science can be slippery, the definition of a science
stopper is not. Science stopping is not doing any productive work as
published in scientific journals. Google Scholar will show if that is
truly happening.

I am not denying that the ID controversy doesn't generate interest but
once the young people actually see the facts and find out the
"controversy" is a faux one then either their faith or their science
does not survive. Dembski's latest book, Understanding ID, cites the
case of Michael Schermer as somehow the reason we should support ID
and oppose "naturalism". Dembski and McDowell put it this way:

> According to Michael Shermer, a columnist for Scientifi c American
> and founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, I had found the One True
> Religion, and it was my duty—indeed it was my pleasure—to tell
> others about it, including my parents, brothers and sisters,
> friends, and even total strangers. In other words, I “witnessed”
> to people—a polite term for trying to convert them (one wag called
> it Amway with Bibles). Of course, I read the Bible, as well as books
> about the Bible. I regularly attended youth church groups, one in
> particular at a place called “The Barn,” a large red house in La
> Crescenta, California, at which Christians gathered a couple of
> times a week to sing, pray, and worship. I got so involved that I
> eventually began to put on Bible study courses myself.
> But as Shermer continues the story elsewhere, By the end of my first
> year in a graduate program in experimental psychology at California
> State University, Fullerton, I had abandoned Christianity and
> stripped off my silver ichthus, replacing what was for me the
> stultifying dogma of a 2,000-year-old religion with the worldview of
> an always changing, always fresh science. The passionate nature of
> this perspective was espoused most emphatically by my evolutionary
> biology professor.

Note they didn't explain how this happened other than he heard
naturalist "propaganda".

> Christians of all ages hear [naturalist] propaganda. Moreover, they
> face enormous cultural pressure to refrain from questioning it.
> Consequently, over time, many come to believe that blind material
> forces are sufficient to account for all the design, order, and
> complexity of the world. Something like that probably happened to
> those two young men in Chicago. It has happened to many others,
> including prominent advocates of atheism and Darwinism, such as
> Michael Shermer and E.O. Wilson.

How did Schermer describe his "deconversion"? He was a YEC, went to
Pepperdine, and then decided to go into the sciences. In grad school
he found out the facts and then became a hard-core skeptic and
atheist. In Schermer's review of Expelled he put it this way:

> In 1974 I matriculated at Pepperdine University as a born-again
> Christian who rejected Darwinism and evolutionary theory—not
> because I knew anything about it (I didn't) but because I thought
> that in order to believe in God and accept the Bible as true, you
> had to be a creationist. What I knew about evolution came primarily
> from creationist literature, so when I finally took a course in
> evolutionary theory in graduate school I realized that I had been
> hoodwinked. What I discovered is a massive amount of evidence from
> multiple sciences—geology, paleontology, biogeography, zoology,
> botany, comparative anatomy, molecular biology, genetics and
> embryology—demonstrating that evolution happened.

What about now? How does he explain the large numbers of Christians at
Pepperdine who are studying science?

> The biology professors at Pepperdine assure me that their mostly
> Christian students fully accept the theory of evolution.

I don't see very many ID and YEC proponents staying ID and YEC
proponents and becoming productive scientists. So, please clue me in
as to who these people are. Take the Google Scholar challenge. Put up
your ID-proponent scholars and we'll see if they are being truly
productive or not. The elite amongst the ID community certainly are not.

Rich Blinne
Member ASA

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Received on Thu Jul 3 09:03:50 2008

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