Re: [asa] Re: On the Barr-West exchange and ID/TE

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Tue Nov 17 2009 - 13:57:48 EST


I am about to go on the road for several days, and so I can't reply to all of this for awhile. And, no, my failure to do so does not mean that I have no response (as you are inferring from Rich's silence on another matter). I respond now only to this part:

>>> Gregory Arago <> 11/17/2009 12:56 PM >>>
Ted wrote:

"Yes, I do think that the "big tent" should shrink, and I realize that if ID expressly endorsed an ancient earth & universe and common descent that it would shrink to perhaps 10% of its present size (perhaps even less)."

O.k. Ted, since Rich is not answering me because doing so would be putting the lie to his assertation about ID and YEC being so closely connected, the same can be asked of you: make a Top Ten List of ID theorists, your List, Ted Davis' List, and count for me how many of those individual persons don't accept 'ancient earth' or 'common descent.' Doing so will settle this ambiguity and stop annoying me because almost everyone on this list is speaking nonsense right now about things they cannot possibly know - sheer speculation!

Otherwise, I'll just continue to think you're badly mistaken as I've met probaby just as many of the 'ID leaders' as you have Ted, and they don't present themselves as 'young earthers'!


Gregory, for a few years I was in regular conversation with a very large group of ID people. Among many other things we discussed, I tried as hard as I could to get specific responses to specific questions about these very matters. Indeed, I went on record with a statement giving my own interpretation/analysis of the views of several Fellows of TDI and some other people. I said, basically, this type of thing:

Person 1 is probably an OEC
Person 2 is probably an OEC
Person 3 is probably a YEC
Person 4 is definitely at TE
Person 5 is definitely an OEC

You get the drift.

In connection with this, I pointed out specifically that, without explicit statements from each person, the best I could do was to offer a highly educated guess--based on what each person had written publicly, coupled with private knowledge of some other opinions. I invited, begged, and challenged anyone in the range of my statements to correct any inaccurate conclusions I had drawn.

A few people responded, and one of them corrected a conclusion, by telling me that he or she is actually agnostic about the earth's age, whereas I had that person pegged as a YEC. The others confirmed them. Most said nothing at all. One important person then called me out in precisely the manner in which you have, above: that I was only speculating, that I had no basis for these conclusions.

Well, Gregory, I did have a basis for those conclusions: I can read literature on science/religion, including ID, with more experience than most others (I've been reading it for nearly 40 years). I am very alert to what is said, and what is not said, about various issues. I can read between the lines. AND, keep this in mind, I invited anyone to correct anything I had said. Silence, as they say, gives consent. Since then, some of the people I had mentioned have come out with books or articles in which their views are very clearly identified, in terms of the traditional YEC/OEC/TE spectrum, and in every case I am aware of my stated conclusion has turned out to be correct. For example, Bill Dembski is an OEC; if you don't think that's fair and accurate, go read "The End of Christianity," his latest book.

I have at least twice published in an article the statement that ID is mainly a covert kind of OEC, and I believe that to be very accurate. Behe is an exception; Paul Nelson (openly a YEC) is an exception; but, overall, it's accurate.

Of the most well-known current advocates of ID (I leave out some like Denton or Robin Collins who no longer wish to be identified with ID), I am aware of only one who clearly accepts common descent; that's Behe. Possibly, one or two others (one of whom is in genetics) might also accept common descent, but I am not sure about that. I am aware of many who do not, and I'm certain about that.

Do you want to draw up a list of leading ID people, Gregory, and have me tell you what I think each person thinks, relative to the earth's age and common descent? Or, do you want me to pick a list and start talking? The problem is, I am not going to reveal things told to me in confidence, and you won't believe my conclusions without more specifics that I can provide publicly. But, public statements are enough for lots of ID proponents. I imagine that you will use your TDI connections to claim that I don't know what I'm talking about, but forgive me if I end up showing scepticism toward your scepticism.

I have to step away from the list now for awhile, Gregory, but I'll try to come back to this later.


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Received on Tue Nov 17 13:58:46 2009

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