Re: [asa] The Myth of the Rejected ID Paper (science stoppers and OOL)

From: PvM <>
Date: Sun Jul 06 2008 - 14:33:10 EDT

Since ID is an argument from ignorance, the fact that some IDers have
attempted to claim that it isn't should not be seen as a rejection or
disproof of the simple fact.
The foundation of ID is based on an eliminative approach which is
unable to compete with 'we don't know'. ID may claim that it has
attempted to go beyond this position of ignorance but until they are
willing to constrain the designer, no progress will be made.

It should not come as too much of a surprise that even amongst IDers
there exists a certain level of disappointment with the lack of much

Paul Nelson admitted

"Easily the biggest challenge facing the ID community is to develop a
full-fledged theory of biological design. We don't have such a theory
right now, and that's a problem. Without a theory, it's very hard to
know where to direct your research focus. Right now, we've got a bag
of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions such as 'irreducible
complexity' and 'specified complexity'-but, as yet, no general theory
of biological design. "

Philip Johnson admitted

"I also don't think that there is really a theory of intelligent
design at the present time to propose as a comparable alternative to
the Darwinian theory, which is, whatever errors it might contain, a
fully worked out scheme. There is no intelligent design theory that's
comparable. Working out a positive theory is the job of the scientific
people that we have affiliated with the movement. Some of them are
quite convinced that it's doable, but that's for them to prove…No
product is ready for competition in the educational world. "

In other words, even though there may be some ID proponents who
believe that ID can be developed into a 'theory' or even a non vacuous
'hypothesis' does not mean that this makes ID less vacuous as a
science or less of an argument from ignorance. As to ID being a
science killer, ask yourself, what has ID contributed to our knowledge
about the bacterial flagellum. It were hard working scientists who
have started to unravel the origin and evolution of this once
'irreducibly complex' system.

Dembski's mathematical analysis of design is nothing more that a
carefully reworded argument from improbability where Dembski attempts
to circumvent the inherent problems of such an argument with the
concept of specification. Ask yourself, what has Dembski contributed
to actual scientific understanding? Have you read his 'analysis' of
protein formation and how he applies 'mathematics' to further his
'argument'? The problem with ID is that, like its cousin YEC, it has
to ignore scientific progress, downplay scientific understanding and
undermine science education. None of these can really be seen as
contributing to science, science education or scientific
Now, there always exists the possibility that ID could become a
scientifically relevant contributor to science but there appears to be
no attempts from most ID proponents to take ID down that path. After
all ID has served its purpose:

""Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get
the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of
God, before the academic world and into the schools."" Philip Johnson
(American Family Radio, Jan 10, 2003 broadcast, in which Johnson
"discusses his book The Right Questions, encouraging Christians to
actively debate issues of eternal value.")

ID is scientifically speaking bankrupt and I doubt it can successfully
file for chapter 11 and return in a scientifically more relevant
manner. That instead the ID movement is attempting to spread the
ignorance to australia via its DVDs shows that ID may be less
interested in science and faith than it is in pursuing its
religio-political asperations. Scary...

On Sat, Jul 5, 2008 at 4:31 PM, Murray Hogg <> wrote:
> Hi Rich,
> At the end of the day I personally think that an objection to ID as an
> argument from ignorance should be retired as manifestly false and positively
> harmful. False because ID theorists HAVE attempted to show that the issue
> ISN'T merely ignorance. Harmful, because it perpetuates the myth (?) of
> persecution. Instead I think that it should be argued that - just as Johnson
> and Nelson have acknowledged - even when taken on its own terms ID theory
> seems not to have successfully demonstrated its case.

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Received on Sun Jul 6 14:33:49 2008

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