Re: What my tiny little brain was thinking... [was Re: [asa] Two Amino Acid Difference in Gene May Explain Human Speech]

From: Rich Blinne <>
Date: Fri Nov 13 2009 - 18:48:44 EST

On Fri, Nov 13, 2009 at 4:09 PM, Schwarzwald <> wrote:

> 2) Whether the presentation of "modern biology" is, in fact, wholly
> scientific. John West of the DI made this point in his exchange with Stephen
> Barr. Barr insisted that evolution was true, but that words like 'random'
> don't mean "unguided" or "unplanned" in the relevant sense (ie, 'truly
> random', which is in the realm of philosophy, metaphysics, theology, etc) -
> that they are qualified terms for the sake of models, etc, and that he
> (Barr) believes that God has planned out every event from eternity. John
> West replied that if Barr really believes that, then he is in essence on the
> side of ID - but that biologists themselves often don't make this
> qualification, and that some of them explicitly associate Darwinism with
> "true randomness", and metaphysical commitments to unguidedness, etc. And
> again, I think it's hard to deny that what West claims has a lot of truth to
> it.

What do you mean it's hard to deny? What Barr is saying is the standard
scientific understanding of what random means, Dawkins' protestations
notwithstanding. People like myself have affirmed this explictly over and
over and over again but it's not good enough. I've said if that's what it
means to be ID then I'm ID but when I am asked whether I believe that
evolution is true and I say yes then I am barred from the community.

> 3) I think there's an a different major split between ID proponents and
> TEs: TEs too often seem vastly more interested in countering YECs than
> atheists, and ID proponents (even the ones who believe in evolution, in
> common descent, etc) have next to no interest in countering YECs as opposed
> to atheists. I do agree that some ID proponents make "unnecessary high
> stakes" of their claims (Francis Beckwith explicitly cited this as a major
> bone of contention between him/thomists, and ID). And I should stress here,
> I don't think 'anti-evolution' types take this route entirely, or even
> mostly, because of theological convictions. I think they've bought into what
> amounts to well-poisoning by popular atheists - where Darwin's
> extra-scientific and exaggerated narrative (which even Lynn Margulis
> rejects), the recent history of eugenics, etc.

I would add that another reason is with Edwards v. Agulliard the only key to
the classroom is a key marked "science". ID allows scientific creationism
which got banned from the classroom in this decision to become "cdesign
propopentists" and say we're science too. Given the extreme similarities
between ID and TE without this political club ID proponents would
undoubtably be just as shunned as TEs find ourselves.

> 4) On the other hand, I also think that some TEs seem far too interested in
> arguing "science is compatible with..." rather than "from science we can
> infer..." And mind you, I say this as someone who thinks evolution,
> certainly evolution as we know it, provides a vastly better argument for
> theism than atheism. I think 'compatibility' is too modest, vastly too
> modest, of a stance to take with regards to evolution. TE's should take the
> next step - what we know of evolution and the development/biology of life
> and species is a better fit with theism than with atheism. And that's one
> reason I repeatedly cite Denton and Conway Morris with enthusiasm - they're
> the ones coming closest to making this claim, and they aren't shy about it.

It's also important to say what science cannot infer. Within a particular
narrow realm science does very very well. Outside that realm it does poorly.
But everybody wants the respectibility that science accords. The other
reason why I got banned from Uncommon Descent was because I openly admitted
the reason I believed in intelligent design was extra-scientific,
specifically the order and beauty of the Universe. But we're not supposed to
admit that even though everybody else knows the ruse anyway.

Rich Blinne
Member ASA

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Received on Fri Nov 13 18:49:21 2009

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