Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Comments from 'Red Reader', with a response

I received an e-mail today from an ID.Plus blog reader who likes to be known as 'Red Reader' on-line, asking about posting comments. While I don't want to turn on the 'leave comments' function for this blog, for a number of reasons (basically I don't want to spend my time policing a de facto discussion forum), I also really enjoyed Red Reader's e-mail and thought I would post the comment he sent in so that others could enjoy it too. Over to 'Red Reader':

'Thank you for your critique of Mark Henderson's article in The Times. Mr. Henderson's article is not about good science: it is about reinforcing one particular religious world view instead of another. Henry Morris recently reviewed a book by a "leading modern evolutionist", Michael Ruse. Ruse's book is titled, "The Evolution-Creation Struggle".
(see: http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=2604)
Dr. Morris quotes Ruse from the book's prologue: "In particular, I argue that in both evolution and creation we have rival religious responses to a crisis of faith-rival stories of origins, rival judgments about the meaning of human life, rival sets of moral dictates...." Dr. Morris says that writers like Ruse (and Henderson) portray the rival views as a "struggle is between evolutionary science and creationist religion." That's why Henderson must re-cast ID as "creationism": it fits the template he's comfortable with. You are absolutely right that ID is science based on observation and infers logical conclusions based on all that is known in many fields including physics and mathematics. A guy like Henderson doesn't know how to deal with the science, but he's smart enough to know that dealing with ID as science is a real loser for his religious view.'

Back to me for some reflection inspired by Red Reader:

Scientific questions about origins, and philosophical questions about how we should approach the study of origns, are inevitably tied up with a host of wider philosophical, theological and even political issues. The interplay between these aspects of the debate is not a simple one-way street. ID is a far more 'minimalistic' approach to the question of origins than either 'Darwinism' or 'Creationism'. Darwinism begins from the a priori naturalistic assumption that nature must do all of its own creation (once one is given the existence of the basic structire of physics). 'Creationism' begins with the a priori theological assumption that the biblical God not only created that basic structure (a point accepted by 'theistic evolution'), nor merely guided the development of that structure in an empirically undetectable manner (as accepted by some theistic evolutionists), but that he created through discreet primary actions within that basic structure in a very specific manner (as derrived from a certain interpretation of scriptural texts). As for Intelligent Design Theory, the existence of intelligent design in nature is neither assumed nor excluded a priori, but is infered a posteriori on the basis of scientific criteria of design detection married to empirical evidence. However, the metaphysical nature of the source of design is necessarily left underdetermined by this scientifc evidence. Neither is the activity of the designer/s laid down independently of the scientific evidence, as is the case with creationism (it seems to me that some but not all of the scientifc evidence matches up with the creationist model, which is why I support ID but not creationism). Ultimately I agree that the results of ID are difficult to square with a belief in metaphysical naturalism, once one has been through the necessary philosophical examination of all the available explanations of design in nature; but even to accept that the best philsoophical interpretation of ID points in the direction of a theistic worldview is to fall short of endorsing any particular theistic religion (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, etc.), let alone to settle questions of biblical interpretation!

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?