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UPDATE: The End of Christianity

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THE END OF CHRISTIANITYYesterday I met with the literary publicist hired by Broadman & Holman to promote The End of Christianity when it is released November 1st (for the Amazon.com listing, go here). This book will do much to create further conceptual room for ID. It is also being positioned to go face-to-face with the neo-atheist literature.

The initial print-run and expectations for The End of Christianity far exceed anything for my previous books (even for my best-selling book to date, Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology, which has sold about 80,000 copies). I learned yesterday that Costco and Wal-Mart have placed orders for over 10,000 copies. An immediate Spanish translation will have an initial print-run of 15,000. Paternoster will be handling printing and distribution in the UK. Preorders at Amazon.com have been doing great.

The official launch begins soon and the literary publicist has some exciting ideas for promoting the book online (stay tuned!). For an overview of the book, along with the introductory material and first chapter, go to www.designinference.com. Below are the endorsements:

Endorsements for THE END OF CHRISTIANITY

When Bill Dembski employs his characteristic brilliance and boldness to illuminate one of theology’s thorniest problems, as he does in The End of Christianity, the result is a book that deserves a wide readership and serious attention from the experts.

–Phillip E. Johnson, author of Darwin on Trial.

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As groundbreaking as his work on Intelligent Design, this new book from Dr. Bill Dembski provides us with a timely epiphany that could resolve the young-earth old-earth debate (I wish I had thought of it!), and it offers enlightening insights into God’s purposes for allowing evil. Keep in mind that The End of Christianity is not a book about Christianity’s demise. Quite the contrary—It’s about Christianity’s ultimate victory. Dr. Dembski helps us better understand God’s game plan and what we can do to help achieve that victory. Outstanding book!

–Frank Turek, co-author of I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist

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In The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World, William Dembski demonstrates his ever persistent willingness to follow evidence wherever it leads. On one hand, he follows scientific evidence pointing to a universe billions of years old. On the other, he follows Scriptural evidence demonstrating natural disasters and animal death to be consequences of the Fall. Through an astonishingly accessible exploration of science, philosophy, and theology, he harmonizes the paradigms while bringing healing to the process. Dembski’s insights may well prove to be a Copernican breakthrough.

–Hank Hanegraaff, host of the Bible Answer Man broadcast and author of The Complete Bible Answer Book: Collector’s Edition.

——————-

In The End of Christianity, William Dembski, one of the most gifted Christian thinkers addressing Christianity and science today, tackles one of the most vexed issues facing the Christian worldview: the problem of evil. The result is a clear, challenging, and profound treatise that is equally at home in the Bible, science, theology, and philosophy. Dembski’s ingenious approach to explaining natural evil (particularly animal pain and death before the fall) will not convince everyone, but all who read it will benefit from a mind crackling with intelligence, insight, and expertise.

–Douglas Groothuis is the author of On Pascal and Professor of Philosophy, Denver Seminary

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[Shorter endorsement] In The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World, William Dembski defends what he takes to be the classic view of Christian theodicy, namely that all evil in the world ultimately traces back to human sin at the Fall. His kairological reading of the early chapters of Genesis in support of this doctrine merits serious attention by those who think it can no longer be rationally defended in light of scientific knowledge regarding the age of the earth and the development of life.

[Longer endorsement] In The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World, William Dembski defends and develops the claim that all evil in the world ultimately traces back to human sin at the Fall. His exposition of this view is an intellectual tour de force fully cognizant of, and responsive to, the latest developments in scientific, philosophical and theological thought. His kairological reading of the early chapters of Genesis, and his carefully constructed argument that the effects of the Fall are retroactive, merits careful consideration. His work in this book presents a serious challenge to those who maintain that the view that human sin is the proximate cause of all evil in the world is outdated and can no longer be rationally defended in light of scientific knowledge regarding the age of the earth and the development of life.

–Robert Larmer, Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy, University of New Brunswick

——————-

The problem of evil is the toughest challenge to the Christian view that God is all-good and all-powerful. In this very insightful treatment of the subject, leading Christian thinker Bill Dembski wrestles with the relevant philosophical and theological issues that call for a coherent theodicy and presents a solution that is both careful and fair. This book is a “must read” for those interested in the problem of evil in general and how it relates to biblical creation in particular.

–Michael Licona, Ph.D., Apologetics Coordinator, North American Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention

——————-

For many years, Bill Dembski has been the pacesetter in philosophical discussions of Intelligent Design. In this volume, he applies his talents once again, suggesting an exceptionally creative, honest, and thought-provoking theodicy that analyzes the presence of evil prior to the Fall. Whatever your position, this work will stretch and challenge you to think carefully through a variety of crucial issues in an attempt to avoid the perennial problems that confront each major interpretation of the biblical data.

–Gary R. Habermas, Distinguished Research Professor, Liberty University

——————-

With characteristic breadth of scholarship, William A. Dembski lays out a fresh new model of creation, fall and redemption. Readers cannot fail to be enriched by this intellectually provocative and insightful book, which demonstrates than an information-theoretic theology has come of age.

–Peter S. Williams, author of A Sceptic’s Guide to Atheism (Paternoster, 2009)

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Inevitably, it is the pernicious problem of pain and evil that the atheists and agnostics refer to as an excuse for not believing in God. Bill Dembski clears away this stumbling block and offers readers an original way of dealing with the problem which fits with an orthodox view of God’s good creation and fits with scientific facts.

–Chuck Colson, Founder, Prison Fellowship

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The End of Christianity is innovative without being contrived, clear without being obvious, and, even at its most speculative, deeply committed to remaining biblically sound. Dembski has given us an important and exciting contribution to the discussion of the problem of evil.

–Doug Powell, apologist (selflessdefense.com), author of the Holman QuickSource Guide to Christian Apologetics

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William Dembski seeks to uphold the traditional view that natural evil is the result of human sin, in the face of the massive scientific evidence that suffering and death were prevalent in nature long before the advent of humankind. His answer to the problem is embedded in far-reaching theological and philosophical speculations. In spite of his sometimes harsh dismissal of opposing views, Dembski’s proposals are ingenious and thought-provoking, and deserving of careful consideration.

–William Hasker, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Huntington University

[[No editing of this endorsment is allowed.]]

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This is a thought-provoking and well-worth reading book by a brilliant evangelical thinker on the perennial and puzzling problem of how to explain physical evil in the world before the Fall. I could not put it down. It has so much intellectually stimulating material in it.
–Norman Geisler, Distinguished Professor of Theology and Apologetics, Veritas Evangelical Seminary, author of many books on Christian apologetics

——————-

The most telling argument presented by non-Christians against the existence of the God of the Bible is the claim that the evils in our world are incompatible with the existence of a good, all-powerful, and loving God. This “argument from evil” turns up again and again, for example, in the writings of English atheist John Mortimer, author of the Rumpole stories. Believers have badly needed the kind of compelling case for biblical theodicy provided in Dr Dembski’s new book—grounded, as it is, not in traditional philosophical arguments (often not merely obtuse but irrelevant in today’s scientific climate), but in intelligent design, of which Dr Dembski is the world’s foremost academic proponent.

–John Warwick Montgomery, author of many books, Distinguished Research Professor of Apologetics and Christian Thought, Patrick Henry College, and Director of the International Academy of Apologetics, Evangelism & Human Rights in Strasbourg, France

——————

By brilliantly wrestling with a range of scientific, theological, and philosophical challenges to the conservative Christian world view, William Dembski is establishing himself as the C. S. Lewis of this generation. Dembski blazes a new trail of thought through the morass of the Problem of Evil, and leads us to a powerful and inspiring view of God, His Creation, and of our purpose in God’s Kingdom. This is a must-read book for everyone who has wondered how a good God fits with an evil world, be they conservative, liberal, or atheist.

–John A. Bloom, Ph.D., Ph.D., M.Div., Professor of Physics, Academic Director of the Science and Religion Program, Biola University

—————-

It is striking how frequently “scientific” arguments about the origin of life are motivated by moral issues. Bill Dembski masterfully dissects the convoluted logic surrounding modern thought about the problem of evil, and crafts a compelling resolution which honors the historic Christian faith and scientific reasoning. This book will infuse purpose into our understanding of the world.

–Paul Ashby, Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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Once again, Bill Dembski has broken new ground. The End of Christianity is a novel, fascinating, and profound reflection on the problem of evil in a world created by a beneficent God. Dembski has an uncanny ability to combine deep reflections with clear and persuasive prose. We have come to expect deeply thoughtful and path breaking work by him. In The End of Christianity he does not disappoint. This tour de force weaves together science, philosophy, and theology to generate profound insights on an old problem. No one thinks more deeply about the implications of science for philosophy and theology than Dembski. In The End of Christianity he makes yet another profound contribution to the reconciliation of modern science and the deepest truths of Christianity. In The End of Christianity, Dembski again displays the fiercely independent spirit of inquiry that made his earlier works so important and influential.

–Joseph M. Bessette, the Alice Tweed Tuohy Professor of Government and Ethics at Claremont-McKenna College

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For much too long, theodicy has been little more than a boutique topic in theology, a justification for the world’s misery that lets God off the hook. William Dembski’s new book goes a long way to restoring theodicy’s original claim to be a master science of intelligent design. It is arguably the most worthy successor to Leibniz’s own Theodicy, which artfully showed how a rational theology, properly understood, could retain its role of queen of the sciences in the modern world. No doubt the book will stir controversy among both the religious and the secular, as Dembski intertwines quite specific interpretations of Scriptures with equally specific interpretations of an array of physical and biological sciences, all in clear prose and with a deft philosophical touch. However, Dembski is no dogmatist, and all along he suggests alternative lines of thought that readers might pursue. Here we finally see in open view the full potential of intelligent design theory to put an end to the intellectual segregationism that has limited science-religion relations for much too long.

–Steve Fuller, Professor of Sociology, University of Warwick, UK. Author of Dissent over Descent: Intelligent Design’s Challenge to Darwinism.

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As his books prove with monotonous regularity, Bill Dembski’s brain runs circles around my own (and just about everyone’s, I naturally like to believe), but like all the others, The End of Christianity is also intellectually honest, generous, and respectful—and not, I’m convinced, as merely a gambit. Christian readers will find Dembski’s theodicy devotionally worthwhile, all of us intellectually so. Nice combination, not easily achieved.

–Mike Bryan is the author of, among other books, Chapter & Verse: A Skeptic Revisits Christianity, and The Afterword, a novel about a new deity

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The End of Christianity is very different from William Dembski’s previous books, most notable of which were the academic classic The Design Inference and the popular best seller Intelligent Design. The present book deals with perhaps the most profound question to challenge humankind, the problem of evil. Like everything else Dr. Dembski has written, this book will be controversial. However, the readers of The End of Christianity will be greatly rewarded with a rich intellectual/philosophical/theological feast.

–Henry F. Schaefer III, Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry, University of Georgia

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I am deeply grateful for Dr. Dembski and his work. Theologians have long known that the problem of evil is one of the biggest threats to traditional Christianity. Here Dembski boldly tackles the problem and offers a thoughtful and clearly written approach to it. His overall argument, that all evil can be traced to the fall of man (even in a trans-temporal way), deserves serious consideration. Even if you might find particular points on which to differ with his judgments, you will do well to incorporate his insights into your own thinking. And the final two chapters, on thankfulness and purpose, show that this book supports a vigorous love for God in daily life. Thank you, Dr. Dembski, for using your talents so well!

–C. John (“Jack”) Collins, Professor of Old Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary

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William Dembski is a first-rate scholar who has focused his attention on the perennial challenge to Christianity: Why does God allow such evil and cruelty in the world? While staying well within the bounds of Christian orthodoxy, Dembski offers fresh insights that can truly be described as ground-breaking. Whether you end up embracing his solution or not, The End of Christianity is a book all Christians—and even non-Christians—need to wrestle with. We enthusiastically recommend it.
–Josh and Sean McDowell, co-authors of Evidence for the Resurrection and More Than A Carpenter

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William Dembski’s profound interdisciplinary expertise in writing about the most contested terrain at the intersection of science, philosophy, and religion is enormously impressive and valuable and puts him in the exalted company of contemporary authorities such as Stanley L. Jaki and Alister McGrath. He knows, and shows, that “the only way to avoid metaphysics is to say nothing,” and his work is a noble, tightly-argued protest against both reductive scientism and premature fideism in the interest of reason, truth, and ethics.

–M. D. Aeschliman, Ph.D. (Columbia), author of The Restitution of Man: C. S. Lewis and the Case Against Scientism, Professor of Education at Boston University, Professor of English at University of Italian Switzerland

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This book is an example of philosophical theology at its best. It contains fascinating and even exciting new perspectives on the problem of evil. While I am not convinced of every point that the author makes, The End of Christianity should be read by anyone who is interested in a Christian approach to natural and moral evil.

–Stephen T. Davis, Russell K. Pitzer Professor of Philosophy at Claremont McKenna College

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William Dembski’s latest book, The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World, shows how the traditional Christian doctrine that sin entered the world through humans is not refuted by the evidence that natural evils (earthquakes, storms, disease, death, etc.) are chronologically much older than humans within the universe. Because time within the created universe need not follow the same order as the logical process of God’s creation of the universe, human sin could have caused earlier evil. There are many aspects of the problem of evil left mysterious by this book (and indeed by all other attempts to solve the problem), but I strongly recommend The End of Christianity as a refreshing approach that maintains the traditional theistic doctrines of God’s omniscience and omnipotence.
–Don Page, Professor of Physics, University of Alberta, Canada

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Addressing the problem of a perfect God in an imperfect world, this book offers the most coherent answer to this question I’ve ever read. William A. Dembski has given us a bold and uncompromising theodicy that both confirms Christian orthodoxy and makes peace among our family of believers. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We will not build a peaceful world by following a negative path.” This book eschews the “negative path” by launching a peace offensive offering a positive solution that meets the demands of natural and revealed theology. Reconciling the many points of an issue that has confounded generations, this is the most important contribution to the question of God and evil since Leibniz defined it nearly 300 years ago.

– Michael A. Flannery, Professor and Associate Director for Historical Collections, University of Alabama, Birmingham

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Happily, there are many good books being written today. But it is rare, indeed, to find a book that towers over the others in profundity and quality. William Dembski’s The End of Christianity is such a book. It is so interesting and well-written that I could not put it down. But more importantly, I have read very few books with its depth of insight, breadth of scholarly interaction, and significance. From now on, no one who is working on a Christian treatment of the problem of evil can afford to neglect this book. It is vintage Dembski and I highly recommend it.

– J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Biola University and author of The God Question

35 Replies to “UPDATE: The End of Christianity

  1. 1
    Charlie says:

    I’m looking forward to this. It sounds like it will appeal to the YEC/OEC in me. If it helps flesh out my own reconciliation I will be thrilled.

  2. 2
    Upright BiPed says:

    Good luck Dr D

  3. 3
    bFast says:

    Dr. Dembski, you have taken on an interesting challenge. Many of us have found that ID obligates that we abandon our traditional approach to Biblical interpretation, leaving us feeling a little insecure about our faith.

    On the flip side, I fear that your text will offer support to the ID = Biblical Christianity argument.

    I await the arrival of your new book, and the arrival of time enough to read it.

  4. 4
    herb says:

    This book is going to be a big success. I’m glad to hear it doesn’t take sides on the YEC/OEC question. But I’m most intrigued by Dembski’s notion of “retroactive effects of the Fall”, which some have referenced in reviews. I have never entertained such an idea, but then again, I’m not a theologian! I’ll look forward to reading more about this issue when the book comes out.

  5. 5
    GilDodgen says:

    J.P. Moreland’s endorsement is a total clincher for me. I’ve read several of his books and have attended a number of his lectures and presentations over the years. He is certainly not easy to impress to this degree.

  6. 6
    Barb says:

    As an outsider to academia, I have a question: what is the difference between a professor, a distinguished professor, and a professor emeritus?

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Congratulations Dr. Dembski,
    I always enjoyed reading your writings and look forward to reading your new book.

  8. 8
    Atom says:

    Congratulations Bill. Not that my endorsement would add anything to the impressive list above, but I found the books stimulating and thorough in the content it covers. I think it provides a lot of food for thought and that you add some original, creative ideas to the discussion (such as your take on retroactive effects, kairos vs. chronos, etc.)

    I, too, was pleased that you seemed to provide a fair and neutral overview of the major views on Creation (YEC/OEC/etc.) I think it added credibility to your approach, since it was obvious that you didn’t have an axe to grind, but just wanted to discover the truth on the matter.

    Any success for the book is well-deserved.

    Atom

  9. 9
  10. 10
    Khan says:

    Atom,
    perhaps you could re-write your endorsement in rap form? e.g.

    Dr. D’s the baddest IDer this side of the Mississippi/
    all the evolution suckas, they try to diss D/
    but you know that kairos and chronos is scientific-y/
    but the chances they’ll accept that are less than 1 in 10^150

  11. 11
    Clive Hayden says:

    Khan,

    Perhaps you could rewrite your comment in common decency and not mockery form? e.g.

    Whatever Atom does in his life is none of your business.

  12. 12
    Doomsday Smith says:

    Clive @ 11:

    Whatever Atom does in his life is none of your business.

    Not according to the ID Arts Blog: Meet Atom tha Immortal and ID Hip-Hop

  13. 13
    Khan says:

    CLive,
    If you click on Atom’s name in his comments, it takes you to his ID hip-hop website. He has made himself into a public figure, and is hence fair game for satire.

  14. 14
    Atom says:

    Hey Khan, Clive,

    Clive, don’t worry about it. Let them alone if they want to make me “fair game for satire.” I won’t talk bad about Khan or cause him any trouble, but he can do so if he wants, it’s within his power.

    Khan, although you say it jokingly, it is possible I’ll devote an entire album to ID. The thought has crossed my mind before.

    Doomsday Smith, thanks for the link. I do have some tracks that mention ID, though my stuff so far has been of political and Christian/Philosophical nature. (Not to mention just plain old Hip-Hop bragging…something I’m trying not to carry into my future work.) The folks at the ID Arts blog were kind enough to do a feature giving exposure to one of my songs. As a virtual unknown, it was nice of them to introduce my music to others.

    To all, you can access my latest album, Son of Slaves and Lords, at my website. I have decided to make the album available for free download, with the caveat that you should donate to charity if you’re blessed by it. (I have a few listed, including donating to bandwidth costs, but would be blessed if you help the struggling in Gulu, Uganda or a child in need through Compassion International.)

    Anyway, if you are blessed by the music, I’m glad. If you hate it, it happens. My music isn’t for everyone, but hopefully it is good for some.

    Atom

  15. 15
    Cabal says:

    atom,

    you didn’t have an axe to grind, but just wanted to discover the truth on the matter.

    Has it never occurred to ID’ers and other creationists that the same applies to scientists and proponents evolution as well?

    There are lots of reasons to believe that ToE is true, the reasons for believing ID doesn’t seem as solid yet – I don’t know about the future.

    I don’t find probability calculations, comparison with computer software and more or less religiously founded arguments convincing.

    As I’ve said before, facts would be most welcome.

    Going back to square one, It ought not be all that hard to realize that what we are up against is the scientific approach and Ockhams razor, the simplest explanation usually is the best.

    Maybe it just is the way that it is, natural forces, chemistry, physics at work over billions of years?

    That, as far as I can see, may be the way that it is if we judge the evidence alone and stick to the time-tested scientific paradigm: WE have no means of detecting supernatural forces.

    If it is detectable, it isn’t supernatural.

    I find it most unlikely that a supernatural force should have been at work in the past but for the time being is inactive.

    It would take just one observation of a supernatural event to change that, therefore further research should be encouraged.

  16. 16
    CannuckianYankee says:

    “He has made himself into a public figure, and is hence fair game for satire.”

    So who made up the rule that public figures are fair game for satire?

  17. 17
    Upright BiPed says:

    Cabal,

    I don’t find probability calculations, comparison with computer software and more or less religiously founded arguments convincing.

    As I’ve said before, facts would be most welcome.

    So how do you react to the empirical evidence that there are no physical bonds along the linear axis of DNA that cause any one nucleotide to be preceded or followed by any other nucleotide in the sequence (where the information exists that makes life possible to begin with)?

    And please, in your answer, will you explain the religious foundation of that observation?

  18. 18
    CannuckianYankee says:

    Cabal,

    “If it is detectable, it isn’t supernatural.”

    Depends on what you mean by “supernatural,” since nobody is really defining the term adequately enough for science to have a legitimate contention with it.

    If you mean “things beyond nature,” then you have a problem in that we don’t really know if at all there is anything beyond nature, so to assume there is not, is an attempt to prove a negative. Also, with the big bang, we have an inference that there is perhaps something beyond nature, so you canpt rule that out arbitrarily like you seem to have done.

    If you mean “things that are not possible in nature,” then you have another problem in that we don’t currently know exhaustively what is possible in nature.

    To arbitrarily state that science cannot delve into issues of the supernatural, then, is to limit science. It is also to make a metaphysical assertion.

  19. 19
    Upright BiPed says:

    Cabal,

    Also, when you say that we cannot detect any “supernatural” event, I agree. (Fortunately, none of us are trying to detect one, or suggesting that one has been detected).

    But then to say that it will take the detection of a “supernatural” event for you to (obstensibly) accept ID, then you have created quite a hole for yourself. The hole seems to be the product of a mistaken understanding.

    Yet, after reading several of your posts, and the corrections given to you, I can only conclude that the hole is perhaps wilfully dug.

    Actually, I wonder why (in an age of being able to see inside the inner workings of the cell) when someone tells you that life began in a puddle of puss hit by lightening – that you don’t show show the slightest bit of skepticism.

    Where is the “show me”?

  20. 20
    CannuckianYankee says:

    In # 18 I stated: “…that science cannot delve into issues of the supernatural, then, is to limit science. It is also to make a metaphysical assertion.”

    I should have expanded this to say “It is also to make a metaphysical assertion based on undefined/inadequately defined terms.”

  21. 21
    Dave Wisker says:

    Hi Atom,

    “Sons of Slaves and Lords”

    Very nice title.

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    DW:

    The Caribbean’s history in a nutshell.

    (Atom and I are both Afro-Caribbeans.)

    GEM of TKI

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    Cabal:

    Kindly refer to Weak Argument Correctives 16 – 20, esp. 17.

    Focus on the distinction between distinguishing natural/artificial and distinguishing natural/supernatural. (Observe that he latter is imposed on design thought by objectors, it is not native to it — spell it:

    S-T-R-A-W-M-A-N

    (One laced with a demonising ad hominem and set ablaze to cloud, confuse, poison and polarise the atmosphere.)

    Note, after seeing that, that the ART-ificial is produced by intelligence, and cf. the basic definition that ID is the science that studies [empirical] signs of intelligence.

    Then, as a test case cf. Schutzenberger’s remarks here, on his issues with the NDT synthesis ever since the time of the Wistar institute in 1966; as encapsulated in the concept functional complexity.

    Try to find a known case of FSCI produced by chance and or undirected mechanical necessity.

    Compare the commonplace fact that such FSCI is routinely produced by intelligent agents, e.g. contextually responsive ASCII text strings of at least 143 characters, e.g. posts in this thread, functional source code.

    GEM of TKI

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Cabal, Let’s look at a case study on “detecting” the supernatural:

    ______________

    1 –> Sunday, a rising and controversial leader arrives in the capital of Judaea at the head of a cheering crowd of his fellow Galileans, and soon discomfits those who have turned His Father’s House into a den of thieves.

    2 –> Power brokers spend several days trying to verbally trap and discredit him, spectacularly failing to do so.

    3 –> He is betrayed and by Friday is on Roman orders nailed up on a cross by the North — main — city gate, in the midst of two brigands. Six hours later, from the fact that he is no longer rising painfully on nailed feet to breathe, it is evident that he is dead, having cried out and given up the ghost.

    4 –> His mother, aunt (her sister) and friends, and one disciple, lifelong friend and cousin [who in his last act he commended his mother to], are watching.

    5 –> At the intervention of two sympathetic officials, he is taken down — a spear thrust into the vitals making certainty doubly sure [water and blood seeping out make it plain that blood had separated, consistent with a literally broken heart] — buried in a nearby Garden in a new tomb. [Which had been built by one of them for himself.)

    6 –> A Guard, and a seal are set on the tomb.

    7 –> The following Sunday, the tomb is open and empty, and the former occupant, over the following forty days, appears to, eats and converses with his friends, family and followers, including making breakfast and having a fairly public meeting with over 500.

    8 –> These 500 become the core of a culture-transforming movement that was unstoppable by even fire and sword.

    ______________

    Now, I do not ask you to believe the chain of events is factual. I simply ask you: are the men and women involved using other than the usual senses of eyes, ears, hands, etc? Are they using other than the usual common good sense that allows us to tell the difference between a live and a dead man? And to tell which of a sequence of events is 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc?

    If so, then is it not fair to say that the detection of miracle here consists in the logical implication of a sequence of pretty ordinary sense ansd social experiences amidst a circle of people who KNOW the individual in question. (And, eyewitiness identification of a known party is far more reliable than tat of a stranger.)

    So, now, is it not fair comment to observe that empirical evidence and basic common-sensical reasoning would in this case be quite adequate to ground detection of the supernatural?

    If not, kindly explain to us just why — without begging worldview level questions.

  25. 25
    Dave Wisker says:

    kf:

    The Caribbean’s history in a nutshell.

    Indeed.

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    DW:

    But then Atom is the poet, not me.

    GEM of TKI

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    Khan:

    A bit of lateral thinking is in order.

    1] Why is it that the walled cities of old had gates, and why also were such portals so heavily and elaborately fortified? (Same, for today’s prisons and other high security environments.)

    2] What does this teach us about design trade-offs?

    3] About the problem of sub-optimisation?

    GEM of TKI

    PS: Apply the principles you learn to the “problem” you pose.

  28. 28
    Atom says:

    DW, thank you.

    KF, yes we are. 🙂 I am privileged to be able to draw from the richness of that cultural history.

    I’m going to remove myself from further discussion from this thread, so as to not draw away from the original intention of the post.

    Thank you all for your comments.

    Cabal, I leave you in the capable hands of the other UD commenters.

    Atom

  29. 29
    Joseph says:

    I have been out of Christianity for a few decades but I was taught that evil traces back to the Fall of Man back in the 1960s.

    What happened did people forget? 🙂

  30. 30
    Joseph says:

    That didn’t come out right. The fall of man wasn’t in the 1960s, or maybe it was. 🙂

    The point is I was taught in the 1960s that evil traces back to the Fall of Man.

  31. 31
    Cabal says:

    So much feedback, I’ll see if I can find time to go through it and make a proper response. Am afraid it will require quite some research – I wish i had all the answers on my cuffs.

  32. 32
    Cabal says:

    Fate came to my rescue; I just stumbled across

    “The important thing about Intelligent Design is that it is not a
    theory – which is something I think they need to make more clear. Nor
    is Intelligent Design an explanation. Intelligent Design is a
    challenge. It’s a challenge to evolution. It does not replace
    evolution with something else”.

    (Michael Medved of Discovery Institute.)

    (http://www.jpost.com/servlet/S.....%2FPrinter)

    Guess I’ll have to wait for the ultimate answer.

  33. 33
    Joseph says:

    Cabal,

    The argument isn’t “natural vs supernatural” the argument is “undirected vs directed”.

    When agencies interact with nature they can and do leave behind traces of their involvement.

    IDists have claimed to have found such traces.

    Now to refute that claim all you have to do is to actually support your position by demonstrating thtat nature, operating freely can account for the same thing.

  34. 34
    Frost122585 says:

    Joseph,

    That is exactly right. The opposition wants to make the debate about “super-naturalism” so as to taint ID as unscientific. But when you look at physics in general especially original causation with the big bang model- you get a profound sense of the supernatural. And one can argue without invoking ID that if we are to believe that all of the specified complexity of this world originated by chance – then that claim in itself is one depicted a “supernatural” history.

    So no matter what our biases- this universe as huge, mystifying and complex as it is requires a super natural explanation- and with the discovery of the code in DNA, life too is beginning to beg for a supernatural consideration.

    Irregardless my point is that super-naturalism is a form of “naturalism” and hence is therefor not in violation of natural causation. Steve Meyer is quick to point out ID is not about what we don’t know but about what we do know. I think therefore I am- we know of out own intelligence and its prowess on the material world- hence we can invoke intelligence as a primary causative mechanism to explain incidences of SC. Intelligence and design are natural phenomena.

    I would also like to say that i cant wait for Bills book to come out. I very much look forward to reading as his other books have not failed to enrich my understanding and perspective on life- and of course increase my faith as well.

  35. 35

    Dr. Dembski since you enlightened me with Intelligent Design I would like to share with you the innovative information that birthed off of your famous THEORY OF INFORMATION argument with the use of typing a single sentence on the computer. This showed me that it takes intelligence to put information in order and then my journey started.

    I would like to share with you the following information that could possible make you a Deist Intelligent Design Scientific Researcher like I am.

    We start with the Infinity variable that must be lined up with truth which is GOD.

    GOD = INFINITY

    Me and you both know that you cannot put an absolute value on the number of INFINITY like 0 or 1 because it would be a contradictory thus canceling any absolute number on it out.

    Now we have the mother of all sciences that Intelligent Designer(s) is rooted in called MATH.

    I’ve been debating with a lot of people who tell me math is not part of reality or science and this is not good.

    Blood pressure results = NUMBERS displaced that can show you if your life is in good or bad health.

    Heart Rate = NUMBER of heart beats per minute is critical for life and the list goes on with math as part of reality and science.

    Now…pulling back in to make my point about DOCUMENTED (Christianity) religions in general should be questioned. I start with how can one human being put an ABSOLUTE number on GOD = INFINITY and claim GOD as ONE?

    It’s like me saying I have the 1 INFINITY so follow me. If we trust GOD we must know to trust the math that was put in place by GOD.

    My point is you as a mathematician who have enlightened me and pushed my understanding about life so far it has shook the heavens and I know for a fact without faith that GOD exist. I stop here Dr. Dembski with the question, do you want to stand on the Infinity variable and journey to what you know as the seventh heaven and what I call a direct link (investigating telepathic communication from GOD through nature) with GOD.

    I have a lot of discoveries I have learned off of you freeing my mind from worldly thinking and I would like to share them with you, if not then I still respect you as a human being and encourage you to continue teaching I.D. because you may free more minds like you and the other pro-advocates that I mention in my bibliography has done for me.

    GOD SPEED!

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