Re: [asa] Conversation with Timaeus, part one

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Mon Sep 22 2008 - 16:09:34 EDT

Thanks, Timaeus, for doing this. I heartily support this kind of

You said this: *Thus ID has no reason for being dogmatically opposed to
evolution as the "historical" means by which design found its way into
living things.*

I respond: I have read much of the high level ID literature, and I agree
that you accurately summarize the views of *some* ID proponents. My
experience, however, is that this is not how ID arguments are used "on the
ground." It seems to me that there is an enormous disconnect between what
Behe / Denton / Dembski say and what the average pastor, layperson or
Christian apologist hears. Most of the ID *audience* seems to hear: "we've
disproven evolution." And most of the ID audience, at least the Christian
ID audience, *does* dogmatically oppose evolution even as a historical
carrier of design, because they perceive evolution to conflict with what
they believe the Bible says about the timing and mechanisms of creation.
Thus, Hugh Ross, Lee Stroebel, Focus on the Family's 'Truth Project,' and so
on, tour the country and incorrectly claim that ID arguments support a
particular view of special creation.

It further seems to me that the leaders of the ID movement foster the belief
that ID is opposed to and can in fact disprove evolution even in the merely
historical sense. There can be no doubt, I think, that Phillip Johnson's
writings, which are enormously popular in the churches, intend exactly
this. I think there also can be no doubt that the UD blog caters to this
belief as well.

If the ID movement were crystal clear that ID is entirely compatible with
common descent as a historical fact, and that a significant number of ID
leaders accept common descent, and if people in evangelical churches really
understood this, I highly doubt that ID would have the traction in the
Christian community that it now has. This is one significant reason my
early enthusiam for ID cooled significantly -- it didn't really do all that
much work apologetically, and the constant sparring over it therefore didn't
seem worth the candle.

David Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology

On Mon, Sep 22, 2008 at 3:35 PM, Ted Davis <> wrote:

> In this very lengthy post, Timaeus identifies his or her own location on
> the conceptual landscape of ID and TE, expresses frustration about false
> stereotypes on both ends (with which I think many in the ASA will resonate),
> and then moves right into conversing with several people from the ASA list
> and others who have made specific points about ID vs TE.

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Received on Mon Sep 22 16:11:01 2008

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