Re: [asa] ID/Miracles/Design

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Thu Apr 23 2009 - 12:20:32 EDT

As for this part, Gregory, we could not disagree more -- though it was you
who brought Steve Meyer's name into this, and I have no quarrel here with
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.'


Gregory, IMO it is absolutely not a "shoddy philosophical assumption" that
MN does not collapse into metaphysical naturalism. If anything here is
shoddy, Gregory, it would be the opposite assumption. Science as actually
practiced is about the natural world; if it's really about more than that,
Gregory, then it follows that what Dawkins and Dennett claim about the
meaning of science is a viable candidate for inclusion among the established
conclusions of science. If you believe all that, of course, then the best
response to Dawkins is to deny his *science,* not the unwarranted extensions
of his science into a religious credo. An alternative strategy is to accept
MN in the here and now, for how nature works in our laboratories, but to
assume that the fossils and the galaxies and the solar system itself are
exceptions, since they can't be put into our laboratories and studied in the
same was as we can study hydrogen molecules or DNA. That's the strategy
that the YECs use to keep Galileo (with his principle that the Bible is not
an authority on science) out of the garden of Eden: stress the enormous
difference (as they see it) between "operations science" and "origins
science." Cameron Wybrow apparently likes this distinction as well, and I
found implicit endorsements of it over at UD when I spent some time there.
If that distinction is as crucial to ID, as I suspect it may be, then that
would be yet one more reason why ID will never become an alternative theory
to evolution. When mainstream science embraces the historical sciences and
provides a convincing, testable narrative of the history of the universe and
life, and when ID will not provide an alternative version *of the same
thing*, including what came before what, then IMO there is no chance for ID
to be seen as more convincing. At least the YECs do provide an alternative
narrative of the history of the universe and life--it's wrong, but it
recognizes implicitly that you can't just ignore that part of science.

I'm past my four posts now and I will say no more today.


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Received on Thu Apr 23 12:21:01 2009

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