Re: "Bashing, choice & lamarkism" was "conservation..."

Tim Ikeda (
Thu, 26 Aug 1999 22:16:12 -0400

Thank you Stephen, for confirming everything I wrote...
either directly or indirectly...
>TI>As far as I can tell, the only form of evolution Johnson
>>accepts is "microevolution". That no one has a clue what
>>else Philip accepts is absolutely deliberate.

>Agreed. Darwinists are past masters at what Macbeth calls "best-in-
>field fallacy", namely counter-attacking an opposing theory rather
>than defending one's own:
>So Johnson refuses to allow the Darwinists to divert attention
>from the weaknesses of their theory by advancing his own.

Clever man that Johnson! Thanks for supporting my claims.

>TI>And no, it
>>is not just Darwinism that he challenges, it's science in
>>general. He believes that science can identify God; not
>>only that but that science _must_ identify God in order
>>for Christianity to be true
>This is completely false and I challenge Tim to post a quote from
>Johnson's writings to substantiate his claim.

So Johnson's past bashing of TE is no reflection about how he
views the importance of demonstrating that a creator had a
positive active role in the history of life?

Why does he say:
"Evolutionary biology is a field whose cultural importance
far outstrips its modest intellectual and scientific
content. Its sacred trust is to preserve the central,
indispensable part of the modern creation story, which
is the explanation of how things such as life, complex
organ systems and human minds could exist without a
Creator to design and make them. We might say that the
point of Darwinism is to refute the otherwise compelling
teaching of Romans 1:20, which is that God's eternal
power and deity have always been evident from the things
that were created" pg 113 _Defeating Darwinism by
Closing Minds_ (or something like that). I've got the book.
Johnson really lets it hang out there...

or from _Reason in the balance_ p.~189

"One might think that Provine and I would be bitterly
opposed, since I am a Christian who emphatically affirms
that the world is a product of a purposeful Creator, not
a blind material mechanism. But in fact I think Provine
has done a lot to clarify the issue, and I agree with
him about how to define the question"

Note that Provine maintains that the fact of evolution makes
the inclusion of an creator in the scheme superfluous.

> Johnson is not against "science in general". He is against
> *pseudo*-"science in general" and *Darwinism* in particular.

Yah, which is why he couldn't see through Denton's earlier
claims about the evolutionary patterns evident in genetic
sequences or why he jumped on the "HIV doesn't cause AIDS"
bandwagon about 5 years after the tires went flat on that car.


>TI>Further, Johnson et al. have made the claims that a new,
>>improved method of science would be here soon to replace
>>methodological naturalism in science.
> Johnson is indeed aiming "to replace methodological naturalism
> in science", but he has not said it would be "soon". He
> believes it will take the best part of the next century.

On what basis? As you've agreed, he deliberately refuses
to specify anything that we might expect. Elsewhere he points
to IC and CSI as up and coming advances.

> Personally I believe that if the scientific establishment refuses
> to compromise on "methodological naturalism" and keeps trying to
> shut out Intelligent Design, then science will split into two,
> with "methodological naturalism" and Intelligent Design being
> competing paradigms. Since the majority of science funding comes
> directly or indirectly from the general public and since the
> majority of the general public are favourable to Intelligent
> Design, a large part of the funding going to materialistic-
> naturalistic science will be apportioned to Intelligent Design.
> If materialistic-naturalistic science wants to avoid this *disaster*
> it had better learn quickly to not keep shutting out ID.

Kevin addressed this earlier. I add: Steve, you've just said that
Johnson expects ID to not make many advances for some years.
So what is it that "science" is shutting out? ID had better start
producing first... Oh wait, below you agree that there's no
positive ID position yet. So what _are_ we shutting out?
You keep telling me that someone is knocking at the door,
but when we open it, nobody is there. What gives?

>TI>Others have made
>>claims that IC/ID can be a testable hypothesis. Yet,
>>despite the hype, we've seen nothing of the details.
>The ID position is that they will indeed need to make ID "a testable
>hypothesis" but they point out that the modern ID movement is relatively
>young and comparatively under-resourced, and therefore this will take
> They point to the fact that Darwinism has been going for 140 years
> and as a general theory it is still not "a testable hypothesis":

So Johnson's not wanting to reveal anything specific about
non-naturalistic science is not only deliberate but also
necessary because there isn't one. Yes?

[love these quotes... deleted]


>TI>...But I
>>would agree that an ignorant populace should try to educate
>>itself rather than repeatedly "rebutting evolution" with many
>>of the same tired arguments that the ICR publishes.
> This "ignorant populace" remark is the same elitism that the
> evolution side revealed in this CNN debate at

[more quotes deleted...]
> The scientific elite are going to have to learn the hard way
> that the "populace" is not as "ignorant" as they smugly think!

You're right. That's why the human-next-to-dinosaur tracks
and the "how come there are still monkeys" arguments are never
seen in YEC and OEC web sites anymore. Moon dust anyone?


>TI>I don't and I'm sympathetic to neo-Darwinism. There are many
>>Darwinists who are Christian as well, so I don't think we
>>can reasonably dispute the validity of Darwinism on the
>>grounds that is requires or implies philosophical naturalism
>>(which is the core of Johnson's agenda).
>That there are a *tiny minority* of "Christians" who are "Darwinists" is
>fully recognised by "Johnson's agenda". Johnson claims that they are
>heavily influenced by "philosophical naturalism" but are not metaphysical
>naturalists. Johnson calls Christian theists who espouse a form of
>"philosophical naturalism" (ie. methodological naturalism), "theistic

Yeah, and he fights with them for the reason specified below...

>"Whether such extraordinary events as the origin of life, the origin
>of the plant and animal phyla, or the origin of human consciousness
>can be satisfactorily explained in terms of unintelligent natural
>causes should be an open question for theists. A person who assumes
>a priori that such creation events must have scientifically
>ascertainable material causes is a metaphysical naturalist. If he
>believes in God he is a theistic naturalist, who limits God's freedom
>by the dictates of naturalistic philosophy. (Johnson
>P.E., "God and Evolution: An Exchange: Howard J. Van Till - Phillip E.
>Johnson", First Things, June 1993.

...Which Van Till has emphatically denied. Do you read his posts?


>>BV>I've yet to meet a Darwin-defender who would admit the possible
>>>existence or teleology.
>TI>You haven't been reading Howard Van Till's, Bill Hamilton's,
>>Terry Gray', Loren Haarsma's, or Brian Harper's posts then
>>(here or in the ASA list). All scientists and unabashed
>This highlights yet another problem with TE/EC. The atheist/agnostics
>points to them as confirmation of their atheism/agnosticism. TE/EC has
>confirmed more atheist/agnostics in their atheism/agnosticism than it has
>ever won atheist/agnostic to Christianity.
>This alone should be a good enough reason for those "unabashed
>Christians" to distance themselves clearly from naturalistic evolution,
>by at least adopting a position that does not have "evolution" in its

Ah, and now Stephen blames the TE/EC's for turning people away from
the true faith. Way to go, Howard, Bill, Terry, Loren and Steve Clark!
Again, we see the Johnsonian tactic of associating anything
evolutionary with philosophical naturalism.


>TI>Nobody has passed such a law. Others have already proposed mechanisms
>>which are potentially testable and if found, will be mixed with
>>neo-Darwinism to form an appended theory of evolutionary mechanisms.
>>For example, neutral theory was absorbed fairly readily.
>That is not surprising for a theory which Gould has described as "the
>of movie fame," in that "it could be manipulated to account for all data in
>its path":

[Ho and Saunders quote removed...]
Ah, yes; those two are rabid anti-evolutionists aren't they? Oh no,
wait, they do support evolution, so what does it make them? If their
ideas about a more active genome are correct, wouldn't that simply
represent another mechanism for evolution?

To borrow from Stephen...
..So Johnson (like Stephen) refuses to allow the Darwinists to
..divert attention to the weaknesses of his theory by criticizing
..evolutionary ones...

BTW - What's wrong with modifying a theory (in this case mechanisms
behind common descent) in light of new evidence? I call that

Tim Ikeda (despam address before use)