Re: [asa] Where does TE differ from NOMA? (was: Re: Schools and NOMA)

From: Cameron Wybrow <>
Date: Fri Nov 06 2009 - 01:32:41 EST


Regarding your post below, I'm not sure that I disagree with the first paragraph, though it doesn't really get at the larger question I raised about the relation between the ancient and modern notions of reason, and the price that the adoption of the modern conception of reason exacts upon the science of nature. But let that pass.

I'm not on the ground, as you perhaps are, regarding the educational and political activities of various ID supporters across the USA. I'll take your word for it that there is some excessive activity going on. But I would make two points: (1) For at least the last few years, Discovery's official position has been that ID should *not* be mandated in the schools, and that science class should instead present an honest picture of evolutionary theory, mentioning its weak points (drawn from peer-reviewed scientific literature, not Discovery Institute literature) as well as its strong points. This is entirely reasonable, but Eugenie and her gang will hear none of it. They're at every one of these hearings, trying to block any changes in State education standards which would guarantee that impressionable 14-year-olds get at least a few minutes' exposure to criticisms of the reigning theory. So why are ID people the fanatical activists, and not the NCSE? (2) As I've mentioned many times, apparently to some deaf ears here, the scientific critique of Darwinism goes way back to Darwin's time and has never ceased, and it has come from worldly British Victorian naturalists and French Jewish philosophers and French Catholic biologist-mathematicians and agnostic MIT engineering professors and agnostic Australian physician-biochemists, and therefore is not a theocratic, fundamentalist, YEC plot hatched by the Discovery Institute in the early 1990s. The constant obsession with what some YEC parents are doing in Kansas or Oklahoma in the name of ID, when we still don't have a serious suggestion (as opposed to a bed-time story for the uncritical) regarding how evolution could have formed an eye or a cardio-vascular system, looks very much like classic misdirection.


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Keith Miller
  Sent: Thursday, November 05, 2009 8:46 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Where does TE differ from NOMA? (was: Re: Schools and NOMA)


  I will not respond to your post except to say that science gives us only a limited understanding of nature. We absolutely cannot have a complete understanding of nature without understanding it as creation. Science is a very powerful way of knowing, but the knowledge it provides is very narrow and constrained. It is not just that science cannot address questions of morality and ethics, but that it cannot fully grasp physical reality. That reality is much bigger than what is accessible to scientific inquiry because God is acting in and through it to accomplish God's purposes, and it depends absolutely on God's continuing sustaining work. The most powerful aspect of physical reality is that it is creation.

  BTW: The focus by the ID movement on science, and evolution in particular, was definitely a tactical decision. Phil Johnson who was the founder of the ID movement made that quite explicit. The activities at the local level are almost entirely political in nature -- there is a reason why both Phil Johnson and John Calvert (the founder of the IDnet) are lawyers not scientists. Nearly all local activity of the ID movement (supported by the Discovery Institute and the ID leadership) concerns elections, legislation, and legal action. If you really want to understand the practical reality of the ID movement you must become aware of this political and social dimension.

  All the best,


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Received on Fri Nov 6 01:33:10 2009

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