Darwinism Evolution Intelligent Design

Science Needs to Evolve

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The following story, based largely on my interview with the local reporter on the Dover case (Lauri Lebo), doesn’t get an A for coherence or nuance, but I’m glad she got this point right:

Dembski wrote, “In the words of Vladimir Lenin, What is to be done? Design theorists aren’t at all bashful about answering this question: The ground rules of science have to be changed.” Dembski said the remarks should be taken in historical context. “Science does not spring from Zeus’ head like Athena,” he said. He defends the movement to change the definition of science because the scientific method, which limits research to the natural world, has evolved in the past and will likely change in the future.

[For the full article, go here.]

10 Replies to “Science Needs to Evolve

  1. 1
    jaredl says:

    How is it that Miller can say that life is a product of a non-telic process and also claim that this is reconcilable with Catholicism? Is life a product of God’s will or not? Can Catholics really equivocate on that point?

  2. 2
    DonaldM says:

    Jared writes:

    How is it that Miller can say that life is a product of a non-telic process and also claim that this is reconcilable with Catholicism? Is life a product of God’s will or not? Can Catholics really equivocate on that point?

    Whenever I encounter this sort of argument, I have a simple question I like to ask: how do you know scientifically that the properties of the cosmos (or, if you prefer, living things) are such that the apparent design we observe in these systems can not be actual design, even in principle? There is no scientific answer to this question. It exposes the metaphysical presuppositions that are employed to deny scientific legitmacy to anything that challenges so-called methodological naturalism.
    When Dembski says science must change, one of the things that must go is MN.

  3. 3
    deanesmay says:

    The question that keeps coming most to my mind about ID is, what predictions does it make? The closest I’ve come to an answer on that seems to be “there is likely to be little or no junk DNA.”

    Seems thin.

  4. 4
    jaredl says:

    I’m asking a different question – from my perspective, it appears to me that Catholicism cannot be reconciled with Darwinism; Catholicism, to my knowledge, claims that life is a purposive act of creation by God, whereas Darwinism claims that life was not a purposive act at all. Shouldn’t Miller be sanctioned by his church?

  5. 5
    DaveScot says:

    Check this out:

    Many ID proponents believe the designer is God.

    Many evolution proponents believe evolution was guided by God.

    Miller is one of the latter who are called theistic evolutionists.

    Should evolution be banned from public school on 1st amendment grounds because of theistic evolutionists? Of course not. As long as the theistic aspect of evolution held by some, but not others, isn’t taught it’s okay to teach the rest.

    This *should* also apply to ID. There is nothing inherently theistic about design detection. Theism only comes in when postulating that the source of the design is a religious icon. As long as the theistic aspect of ID held by some, but not others, isn’t taught it’s okay to teach the rest.

    This seems exceedingly obvious to me and it is my hope and belief that Judge Jones will see it that way too. He may very well rule that “Of Pandas and People” is too religious, I have some reservations about it myself but my knowledge of the contents is exceedingly shallow, but that should be a ruling specific to one text and not automatically apply to any text at all discussing with ID. As with all public school texts each needs to be vetted for objectionable content on a case by case basis.

  6. 6
    Bombadill says:

    jared, I too have had trouble seeing how people like Miller reconcile the two. I conclude this: A key Catholic dogma is – the authority of the Church over and above scripture. They look to the Papacy for current doctrinal revelation and this papal authority supersedes doctrine established in scripture. So, if the Pope issues a decree that states that there’s no conflict between the religion and evolution… that’s the word and that’s how it is.

    Nevermind that it’s in direct conflict with the Genesis account of creation. It’s strange.

  7. 7
    deanesmay says:

    I am ceding the point that there is nothing inherently theistic about design inference.

    So again I ask: what are the specific predictions being made by the theory?

  8. 8
    scordova says:

    Dave Scott!

    That was brilliant.

    “Should evolution be banned from public school on 1st amendment grounds because of theistic evolutionists? Of course not.”

    Sal

  9. 9
    deanesmay says:

    My bet would be that the judge decides that he is agnostic on whether ID is religion or not, but rules that the religious motivations of the school board and parents who want it in the classroom disqualify it.

    Not because I say that’s what I want to happen per se. I’m just willing to bet that’s what happens.

  10. 10
    DaveScot says:

    Dean,

    I would think that he’d have to find every board member and every parent who wants ID in the classroom is motivated solely by religious desire. Otherwise a precedent is set to rule out anything at all in school curricula based on the religious motivation of a minority of supporters. For instance, what if a theistic evolutionist school board member claims “I want evolution taught because that is how God created life”. Then by the precedent set by Judge Jone’s ruling a case can be made to get rid of evolution in the curricula because of religious motivation by one member.

    I doubt the plaintiffs will be able to prove that religion is the sole motivation. If Jones were another Bill Clinton appointed judge like Clarence Cooper who decided against Cobb county school board in Georgia I’d be highly inclined to agree with you. However, Jones is a George W. Bush appointee and will likely follow the lead set by the president that appointed him. We all know what President Bush thinks should be done – teach both sides so people can understand what the widespread public debate is all about. There may not be much debate amongst scientists but there’s certainly a lot of public debate and most of the debate (both in academia and the public square) is egregiously uninformed when it comes to the ID position. Dasterdly lying sacks like the members of the NCSE would prefer to keep everyone uninformed about ID too. They want their lies that it’s thinly disguised biblical creationism and pseudoscience to continue to prevail in the court of public opinion.

    NSCE and its ilk know they will lose, quickly and big, if the truth gets out. The truth being that ID is simply one more mechanism tacked onto Darwinian theory to explain its failed predictions. ID doesn’t replace standard evolution, it supplements it. This I why I tried to get a very simple change into the wiki article on Dembski changing “ID is in opposition to evolution by natural selection” to “ID is in addition to evolution by natural selection”. That critical distinction makes all the difference in the world. Of course the liberal ideologists that run wiki wouldn’t allow this simple truth to stand.

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