Wednesday, November 02, 2005


'Think' about Intelligent Design - but not too much

The latest edition of Think: philosophy for everyone, the Royal Institute of Philosophy's periodical of philosophy (issue eleven, autumn 2005) turns its intellectual spot-light onto intelligent design theory.

There are a couple of pro-ID articles from Phillip E. Johnson (a new article, which deals robustly with the censorship tactics of the Darwinist establishment) and Michael J. Behe (a reprint of his 1996 paper 'Evidence for Intelligent Design from Biochemistry', cf.

There is an article from the periodical's editor, Stephen Law, which neatly deals with the objection that the fine tuning argument commits the 'gambler's fallacy'.

Antony Flew contributes a rather confusing new article, entitled "My 'conversion'", which sets out to set the record straight over his reported intellectual conversion to some form of theism (I'm one of the people who reported this conversion, cf. 'A Change of Mind for Antony Flew' @ on account of new forms of the design argument. Unfortunately, the article seems to muddy the waters. I am now not clear as to whether Flew has become a philosophical theist with similarities to Aristotle, or a deist, or even some sort of pantheist. Flew seems to mention ID arguments as arguments which legitimately carry weight with anyone who already has some reason for believing in a Creator and which non-believers need to take seriously, but he does not clearly nail his own colours to the mast.

Weighed in the balance against these generally pro-ID pieces are new pieces from Michael Ruse, Hugh Mellor (whom I think implies that the universe is necessary), Sharon Kaye and Robert Prisco (an amusing attack upon Aquinas' fith way) and Dene Bebbington (a simplistic critique of William Dembski's work on specified complexity), together with a re-print of H. Allen Orr's 1996 review of Darwin's Black Box from the Boston Review ( to which Behe long ago responded (cf. &

While I find it encouraging, as an ID proponent, to see discussion of ID in a British philosophical periodical, I find it particularly disapointing that Think should present papers critical of William Dembski's work on specified complexity in a volume that contains nothing on that subject from a pro ID position (whether from the horse's mouth, or even from one of his compatriots).

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