Re: [asa] ID question?

From: Gregory Arago <>
Date: Thu Oct 15 2009 - 15:31:15 EDT

Hi David C., I agree with much of what you say here. Having been more than once in the den of ID headquarters (unlike a mere ID attacker such as Rich Blinne or John Walley, the latter who speaks about ID finances without accurate knowledge), there certainly are unclear and unresolved issues within the 'big tent.' It may seem to 'outsiders' that they (the DI/IDM) should make themselves clearer, but to 'insiders' that they should remain vague and bet on future successes 'in science.' I am re-assured that neither Mike Gene nor Cameron Wybrow are 'ID-big tent' people, yet they sympathise with the broader project of 'design' or 'made by mind' (MbM) and probably see the issue more clearly than most 'in' the IDM! The same can be said, however, of the 'muddle' that is known as 'theistic evolution' (TE). Both positions - ID and TE - do *not* make a clear distinction about where, when and how they limit the 'idea/concept/grammar/paradigm' of 'evolution.' If you contend that TE does make clear the limitations of 'evolutionary theories,' David, I would be particularly interested to hear about it from you. There are far too many amateur philosophers of science speaking as if 'evolution' is almost a GUT! For example, when asked for examples of 'things that don't evolve (into being or having become),' most TEs/ECs have a tough time answering. Pretty much the only thing they can come up with is 'supernatural' and even then I recall the view that 'God changes' given here as an example of 'evolution.' So, to be fair to the failure of ID advocates, such as Behe or Wells, to distinguish amongst *themselves*, there is equally, if not more of a failure amongst TEs and/or ECs to distinguish amongst *yourselves.* Too many of the accommodationist TEs haven't a clue about Teilhard or Dobzhansky or Whitehead or 'process philosophy' to make TE a clearly delineated position. (Of course, for those who would be offended by this, yes, undoubtedly some have read these three authors, but certainly don't speak about them very often at all, here on ASA list) As an outsider to the national-science implications, the court cases, local educational issues in America, it doesn't seem to me like either *side* within the greater national Christian or Abrahamic-religious community in America has a clearly defined position. You are all in a muddle!!! : ) Of course, these issues almost always have higher levels of discussion that can be invoked, so simply asking Behe to 'emphasize differences' with Wells or Johnson seems rather unimportant on the larger scale. Gregory ________________________________ From: David Campbell <> To: asa <> Sent: Thu, October 15, 2009 11:07:13 PM Subject: Re: [asa] ID question? > Your remarks about Behe are incorrect.  They are not only unsupported by any > references to his works; they show an almost complete misunderstanding of > his position.  It is not Behe who is in a "muddle". I would say that Behe is in a muddle, but not one of his own making- ID is a muddle and Behe is in ID. Having a big tent is not the problem; the problem is failing to accurately divulge just where the stakes are. Behe accepts what conventional biology would regard as macroevolution, and what most people who claim to reject macroevolution would regard as macroevolution.  But the anti-evolutionary definition of "macroevolution" is "whatever evolution I reject", not a fixed standard.  Behe does not accept all of evolution and he's associated with ID and regularly invoked by YEC and ID folks.  Therefore, he is classified as "on my side of the dichotomy" by fans of various versions of YEC, ID, etc. and "on the other side of the dichotomy" by fans of atheism, etc. who don't appreciate the various nuances of different positions. If Behe were to put more emphasis on the differences between his position and that of, e.g., Wells or Johnson, it would help make it more obvious that ID really is a big tent.  Unfortunately, despite the big-tent self-identification, ID generally is presented as monolithic (e.g., Behe asserting at Dover that ID is fine with common descent when many in ID reject it.)  Behe and others like him putting more emphasis on the differences between his position and the deny all evolution position of certain others might also encourage the latter to aim for greater accuracy. -- Dr. David Campbell 425 Scientific Collections University of Alabama "I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams" To unsubscribe, send a message to with "unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message. __________________________________________________________________ Make your browsing faster, safer, and easier with the new Internet Explorer® 8. Optimized for Yahoo! Get it Now for Free! at

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Received on Thu Oct 15 15:31:28 2009

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