Re: [asa] ID/Miracles/Design

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Thu Apr 23 2009 - 11:59:08 EDT

Hi Ted,
In the following quotation you've left out 'humanity' - why?
"This isn't what the genuine pursuit of truth about God and nature should be about, IMO."

Why not truth about humanity too? Is humanity left out so that a certain philosophical assumption about 'science' can be defended and a comfortable status quo (based on the 1986 paper of a Calvin College philosopher) maintained? That way one doesn't have to deal with all of the complicated things that involve the human beings who are doing the science itself. One can avoid all of the messiness of how science is done through human action and not without it.
This move (and I suspect it is unintentional and for the most part not even recognized by those who commit it) to dehumanise the academy is more divisive than anything the IDM has yet offered!
If we aren't doing science to better humanity, then what are we doing it for - science just for science's sake, like a fetish? How does this glorify the Creator, by turning our backs on the Holy Spirit?
Johnson's approach is in some ways muddy and in some ways it is crystal clear. He is and was right to challenge 'naturalism' as a "cause of so much moral and cultural depravity." Naturalism is not the only cause, there are surely others, but it is 'a' cause indeed and is oftentimes opposed to theism. Not according to theistic naturalists, of course, but then, isn't a 'theistic naturalist' a contradiction in terms and isn't their definition of 'naturalism' thus entirely unsatisfactory and unconvincing?
The MN-squad opposes Johnson's views about naturalism with its own unsaid 'wedge' strategy, that is, with the argument that "methodological naturalism does not equate with metaphysical naturalism". MN does not = MN. This is a shoddy philosophical assumption, much more naive than what Stephen Meyer is offering about how many great historical scientists thought and worked 'doing science' consistently with the idea of 'intelligent design'. And MN causes great damage (which MNists don't like to admit, but which doesn't make it untrue) to the potential unity of the Academy by conveniently forgetting all of humanity 'in the process.'
May we be on the lookout for bridges (and philosophies) we might not yet know exist,

--- On Thu, 4/23/09, Ted Davis <> wrote:

From: Ted Davis <>
Subject: Re: [asa] ID/Miracles/Design
To: "David Clounch" <>, "Cameron Wybrow" <>
Received: Thursday, April 23, 2009, 6:40 PM

If the waters have been muddied, David, in your words "so badly that
almost everybody thinks thats TD is ID and ID is TD. Everyone seems so
concerned that some transcendental agent is at work," then IMO it is
mainly if not entirely b/c leading ID advocates themselves have turned the
ground under them into mud.

I mean especially Phil Johnson, none other than the "father" of the
ID movement, with his campaign to use ID as the "entering wedge" to
topple naturalism, which he in turn sees as the cause of so much moral and
cultural depravity. And, I mean Bill Demsbki, who (in the preface to the
Festschrift for Johnson that he edited) wrote, following the Dover trial, that
"school boards and state legislators may tread more cautiously, but tread
on evolution they will — the culture war demands it!”

When 2 of the 3 top guns in the movement (the other one is Mike Behe) say such
things, it's somewhere between extremely difficult and impossible to
separate the ideas from the culture wars and thus from the religious component.
Ditto for the refusal publicly on the part of ID to pronounce a view on the
history of nature (i.e., the big bang, the old earth, the historicity of the
fossil record), which allows YECs to make up a good part of the camp following.
Ditto for the attack dog mode of UD and Denyse O'Leary, which apes what it
abhors (namely, the attack dog mode of Dawkins and company) and plays to the
culture of talk radio and sound bites. This isn't what the genuine pursuit
of truth about God and nature should be about, IMO. But, if you somehow rid ID
of all of those associations, you might end up with half a dozen nerds sitting
around a table talking serious stuff, not a movement large enough to effect
change in how science is taught in public schools. And that, f!
 or Johnson and many of his friends and followers, is the bottom line.

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Received on Thu Apr 23 11:59:30 2009

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