Re: [asa] Doug Groothuis v. William Dembski

From: Schwarzwald <>
Date: Fri Jan 02 2009 - 13:28:21 EST

Heya David,

Some comments below.

On Fri, Jan 2, 2009 at 1:06 PM, David Opderbeck <>wrote:

> I don't think this holds up, Mike. If you're drawing an analogy between
> human artifacts and biological features, you're suggesting that the
> biological feature was designed by an entity that possesses some human-like
> attributes with respect to its capacity to create designed things (e.g.,
> orderliness, patterns, logic, etc.). If the "designer" is the Christian
> God, then you must employ some version of the analogia entis to get from
> human-like design to the creator God. If the "designer" is not the
> Christian God, then from a Christian perspective, the argument from design
> being offered is heretical (in no Christian creed is any entity other than
> "God" the "maker of heaven and earth").
I'm just about certain that essentially all Christian advocates of ID intend
> that any indication of a "designer" ultimately must point to an orthodox
> version of the Christian God. Therefore, I think Christian advocates of ID,
> when they deny that the "designer" must be the Christian God, are either
> hiding the ball for political reasons or have not thought through their
> position carefully in theological terms. I'm aware that there are
> non-Christian ID advocates, but honestly I'm not convinced their arguments
> can be useful, since I start from a position of belief in the Christian
> creator-God.

Would you consider Thomas Aquinas, among many other Christian
philosophers/thinkers, to be heretical? They often employed arguments and
proofs that pointed in the direction of God in a broad sense, but typically
argued that additional factors needed to enter into play in order to get to
the God of Christianity.

I'd see ID as taking a similar route. Their tact is typically that the study
of nature points to design by an agent, or that such a conclusion is the
most natural one given what we see. They would also typically argue that
this is as far as that specific mode of inquiry is able to take them - to a
creator, perhaps (if you include cosmological ID) a big-c Creator. They
certainly would not end the inquiry there, but the investigation would then
switch to another, more clearly non-scientific field. They aren't denying
that the 'designer' must be the Christian God - they're denying that that
designation is within the scope of their chosen method of inquiry
(scientific observation/investigation.) I doubt they would deny that there
are other modes of inquiry that could work in tandem with said method, or
even independently.

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Received on Fri Jan 2 13:28:51 2009

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