Darwinism Evolution Intelligent Design

Reed Cartwright vs. Arthur Shapiro

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Reed Cartwright at PT offers the following assessment of the Biologic Institute as described by Celeste Biever in her recent NEW SCIENTIST article (go here for Biever, here for Cartwright).

Clearly, the Discovery Institute has established the Biologic Institute a few decades too late. The Institute for Creation Research and the Creation Research Society have been doing research to challenge naturalism for a long time. They are so prestigious in the field that they have even created their own research journals for publishing their papers. This does not bode well for the Discovery and Biologic Institutes because they will have a hard time breaking the stranglehold that those two research centers have on the industry. For decades now, the ICR and CRS have been telling us that their research is going to revolutionize science in five years time. How can the Biologic and Discovery Institutes compete with such success? We here at the Thumb wish the Biologic and Discovery Institutes all the luck in turning the ID public relations campaign into a working scientific program. They’ll need it.

It’s interesting to contrast Cartwright’s sneering remarks to those of UCDavis biologist Arthur Shapiro a decade ago**:

“The Creation Hypothesis (InterVarsity Press, 1994) … received a remarkably respectful review in Creation/Evolution, a strongly anticreationist journal. Reviewer Arthur Shapiro, professor of zoology at the Davis campus of the University of California, concluded with this paragraph: `I can see Science in the year 2000 running a major feature article on the spread of theistic science as a parallel scientific culture. I can see interviews with the leading figures in history and philosophy of science about how and why this happened. For the moment, the authors of The Creation Hypothesis are realistically defensive. They know their way of looking at the world will not be generally accepted and that they will be restricted for a while to their own journals. … If they are successful, the day will come when the editorial board of Science will convene in emergency session to decide what to do about a paper which is of the highest quality and utterly unexceptionable, of great and broad interest, and which proceeds from the prior assumption of intelligent design. For a preview of that crisis, you should read this book. Of course, if you are smug enough to think `theistic science’ is an oxymoron, you won’t.'” (Shapiro A.N., Review of Moreland J.P., ed., “The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent Designer,” InterVarsity Press, 1994, Creation/Evolution, Vol. 14, No. 2, 1994, pp.36-37, in Johnson P.E., “Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law, and Education,” InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1995, p.239)

2000 was a bit optimistic, but 2009, the bicentennial of Darwin’s birth and the sesquicentennial of Darwin’s ORIGIN seems now entirely realistic.

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**Note that Shapiro and Johnson offered their remarks in relation to “theistic science.” This term was proposed in the mid-90s. As ID broadened to include non-theists and narrowed to focus on design in biology, “theistic science” fell by the wayside.

2 Replies to “Reed Cartwright vs. Arthur Shapiro

  1. 1
    scordova says:

    Cartwright:

    Clearly, the Discovery Institute has established the Biologic Institute a few decades too late. The Institute for Creation Research and the Creation Research Society…

    That is not true. Some of the best research against naturalism has been through Loma Linda/GeoSciences Research Institute (a real honest to goodness school with respectable medical and research facilities) and by indepnedents like Barry Setterfield, Walter Brown, and their friends at secular universities. Coupled with that has been the 10 years of research funded by the Discovery Institute to researchers throughout the country. Then the work by individuals and groups of individuals like Michael Denton, John Sanford, Walter ReMine, Charles Thaxton, Walter Bradley, and Roger Olsen, etc.. Not to mention the work the Baraminology Study Group and the scientists they have attracted from credentialed backgrounds (Kurt Wise, Richard Sternberg, Stephen Meyer, Marcus Ross, Todd Wood, Paul Nelson, Gordon Wilson). Then there is the group of individuals associated with Reasons to Believe (Rana, Ross, Deem and even Weber who was part of Biologic).

    I do not consider the work by the ICR quite at the level of the work done by Loma Linda/GRI.

    Cartwright wrote:

    They[ICR] are so prestigious in the field that they have even created their own research journals for publishing their papers. This does not bode well for the Discovery and Biologic Institutes because they will have a hard time breaking the stranglehold that those two research centers have on the industry.

    Cartwright is just making noise. In light of the facts just listed, ICR does not have any stranglehold whatsoever. I’m of the opinion (personally) ICR will diminish in influence as an institution. It’s time for new organizations to form with the quality and demeanor of Biologic, Discovery, CFCS (Walter Brown), Baragminology Study Group, Loma Linda/GRI, etc.

    Arthur Shapiro is right on. There will be a parallel scientific culture, and it already exists. The university presidents and CEO’s of scientific firms will continue to favor neutrality over the issue of school admission and hiring decisions for companies. It is under these conditions the parallel scientific culture can propser and then eventually overtake the old guard. Darwinism will implode on it’s own demerits.

    Shapiro wrote:

    I can see Science in the year 2000 running a major feature article on the spread of theistic science as a parallel scientific culture.

    Shapiro was actually 5 years off, and the article was in Nature April 28, 2005, not Science. 🙂

  2. 2
    StephenA says:

    This is completely off topic, but I found an interesting article.
    http://www.physorg.com/news85310822.html

    Apparently there’s a new theory of gravity on the rise. Rebember that next time you are told the theory of evolution is as well established as the theory of gravity.

    Also interesting was how they said “skeptics are still allowed”. As if scepticism was somehow undesirable in science, but they hadn’t quite managed to eradicate it yet.

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