Re: [asa] Conversation with Timaeus, part one

From: Nucacids <nucacids@wowway.com>
Date: Mon Sep 22 2008 - 23:20:12 EDT

Hi Ted,

“Now, this was some time before Mike Behe's most recent book was published,
and also (I think) before Francis Collins' book. Both Behe and Collins
believe that the evidence for CD is very strong. From where you sit,
Timaeus, would I be likely to find a similar amount of scepticism about CD
among ID proponents today? Is CD still a very hard sell? It certainly
seems that way on UcD, but that is Bill Dembski's blog, and he has always
been known for opposing CD. I do think that ID is widely seen as being a
type of progressive creationism, despite its official stance of avoiding
claims about both the Bible and CD, and I think the evidence for this is
conclusion is more than just anecdotal.”

It depends on the sample. Head over to my old stomping ground, Telic
Thoughts (the second most popular ID blog) and see if you can find many ID
proponents who deny human evolution.

What I bring to this table is extensive cyber-experience. During the years
2000-2005, the most popular ID forum was the ARN forum (and ISCID’s
Brainstorms). I was in the middle of it. And as I an ID proponent who
accepted CD, I found many like-minded people. In fact, the diversity among
the ID crowd (at least in cyberspace) is impressive (but that’s another
story). Then the ID and anti-ID side left the forums and went into the
blogosphere (TT was founded by several of us who met and befriended at ARN).
As the most prolific member of Telic Thoughts from 2005 until just a few
months ago, my ID evolution views were very well-received by most of the ID
folks. I’m pretty sure that all contributors to TT accepted CD and most
pro-ID commenters accepted CD. ID draws neo-vitalists, proponents of
panspermy, people with unconventional views about evolution, quantum fans,
people agnostic on origins, and people who are searching (including those
transitioning from creationism).

In terms of the general population who'd say they "accept ID" on some
survey, I suspect denial of CD is the majority position. But in terms of
the population who regualarly think, read, and write/post about ID, my guess
is that acceptance of CD is the majority position (or near majority).

You need to distinguish between the ID Movement (which draws from elements
of the Creationist Movement and gets all the attention) and the concept of
ID which, thanks to the internet, draws a grassroots network of iconoclasts,
oddballs, and rabbit lovers. :)

- Mike

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ted Davis" <TDavis@messiah.edu>
To: <asa@lists.calvin.edu>; "Ted Davis" <TDavis@messiah.edu>
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2008 4:01 PM
Subject: Re: [asa] Conversation with Timaeus, part one

> Timaeus will be replying to comments and questions periodically and in
> bunches, not individually as they come up. Let me open the discussion
> myself, by replying to one of Timaeus' statements, as follows:
>
> "I want to make it clear from the outset that ID is not opposed to
> evolution as such. It is in fact, in pure form, neutral on the question
> whether species are created by the direct action of an intelligent maker,
> or through a process of evolution. The science of ID, insofar as it can
> be accepted as science, can establish only the fact of design, not the
> causal history by which design was instantiated in nature. Thus ID has no
> reason for being dogmatically opposed to evolution as the “historical”
> means by which design found its way into living things."
>
> Ted replies:
>
> For several years, Timaeus, I was involved in a private conversation with
> perhaps 2000 supporters of or sympathizers with ID. I had gone into that
> conversation with the sense that ID is in fact neutral on the question of
> common descent--that ID simply opposes unjustified claims of the
> omnipotence of RM + NS to produce all of the diversity of living things.
> (NOTE: I will use RM = random mutations and NS = natural selection
> henceforth in this thread.)
>
> However, several things I heard from many others in that conversation led
> me to wonder about the accuracy of this perception. At some point, I
> bluntly asked whether ID was as described above, and I also asked the
> related question of whether the common descent (CD) of humans and other
> organisms was considered to be good science by ID proponents. The
> resulting exchange was very interesting. Nearly everyone who spoke
> up--and many did not--expressed considerable doubt about common descent.
> My overall impression was that I seemed to be sitting (as it were) in the
> middle of Phillip Johnson's book, "Darwin on Trial." Someone who knows a
> lot of the science that supports CD tried to make the case for it, but
> mostly this seemed only to produce denials, and the lone defender of CD
> shortly dropped out of sight.
>
> Now, this was some time before Mike Behe's most recent book was published,
> and also (I think) before Francis Collins' book. Both Behe and Collins
> believe that the evidence for CD is very strong. From where you sit,
> Timaeus, would I be likely to find a similar amount of scepticism about CD
> among ID proponents today? Is CD still a very hard sell? It certainly
> seems that way on UcD, but that is Bill Dembski's blog, and he has always
> been known for opposing CD. I do think that ID is widely seen as being a
> type of progressive creationism, despite its official stance of avoiding
> claims about both the Bible and CD, and I think the evidence for this is
> conclusion is more than just anecdotal.
>
> If the level of opposition to CD is still quite high, then what
> specifically do ID proponents say to Mike Behe about this? How do they
> respond to the evidence that he and Collins accept, concerning the
> evidence for CD from genetics?
>
> If on the other hand there has been a sea change, then can we expect more
> ID books like Behe's, in which CD is strongly supported?
>
> Ted
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
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Received on Mon Sep 22 23:21:05 2008

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