Philosopher Nicholas Everitt of the University of East Anglia offers one, a friend says. He is hostile, but does not misrepresent it in “Review of Mary Midgley: Intelligent Design Theory and Other Ideological Problems.” He is as good as Bradley Monton at U Colorado, for representing it accurately without agreeing with it. (Most critics are principally interested in recasting it to be something it isn’t, that is easier to critique.) For example, he says,
Under the general label ‘creationism’, Midgley groups together two camps which need to be sharply distinguished. There are first the so-called young-earth creationists, who believe what they take to be a literal account in the Bible of the origin of the universe and of mankind. They believe that the universe is about 6000 years old, and that the species were separately created by God, as described in the book of Genesis. The second group are the proponents of so-called Intelligent Design, whose position carries no Biblical commitments at all, who are not committed to any particular age for the universe, nor to the separate creation of the species. Supporters of Intelligent Design in turn divide into two groups: those such as Michael Behe (1996) who believe that certain facts in biology support intelligent design specifically in biology, and those such as Stannard (1999) and Dembski (1998) who believe that the so-called ‘fine tuning’ argument in cosmology points to an intelligent designer.
Everitt must feel intellectually secure about what he himself thinks if he can afford to make correct distinctions.
Note: One minor vice is the drip-drip-dripping use of “so-called,” as in “so-called young-earth creationists,” “so-called Intelligent Design,” and “so-called ‘fine tuning’” – that last item is even fenced in with scare quotes.
What, exactly, is so-called Nicholas Everitt’s point in doing this? The terminology he uses is conventional and widely accepted.
If he is afraid of Darwin’s followers, he ain’t alone. But finally, one must stop sacrificing so much clarity to appeasing them. – So-called ‘O’Leary for News’
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