Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Choice Quotes from Steve Fuller

A selection of choice quotes from the 'Rebuttal of Dover Expert Reports' by Steve William Fuller, who is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick, and who has both an MPhil and PhD in the history & philosophy of science:

'anyone familiar with how this principle [common descent] is treated within the relevant branches of biology knows that 'common descent' names more an article of faith than an established fact... there is considerable dispute in the science of organic taxonomy, or cladistics, about how exactly to establish common descent - with some mainstream (at least when compared to ID's proponents) biologists openly suggesting that the principle of common descent may need to be rejected if it cannot be supported in a consitently empirical fashion. At the moment, Neo-Darwinism relies on a rather liberal standard of evidence for establishing common descent...'

'There is no evidence that belief in a supernatural deity inhibits one's ability to study the natural world systematically. If anything, history provides evidence for the contrary thesis - that there is a synergy between the two. Of course, this is not to say that science and religion are identical. They are simply not mutually exclusive...'

'ID proponents argue primarily by appeal to empirical evidence gathered in the laboritory and the field, employing methods of reasoning, both qualitative and quantitative - familiar from other branches of science. the only difference here from Neo-Darwinists is that ID proponents tend to draw different conclusions.'

'naturalism remains a controversial position within academic philosophy. In fact, it is probably still a minority position in philosophy as a whole...'

'I conclude that ID is a legitimate scientific inquiry that does not constitute "religion" in a sense that undermines the pursuit of science more generally, or, for that matter, undermines the separation of State and Church in the US Constitution...'

(cf. www.arn.org/docs/dovertrial/fullerexpertwitness.pdf)

It is salient to note that Fuller describes himself as a naturalist.

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