Stephen B writes that ‘Creationism is faith-based; Intelligent Design is empirically-based.’ Revealed Theology, Natural Theology, and the Darwinist Concoction of “ID/Creationism.” However, comments are closed [N.B. it is now working and open so you can post your comments at the above link if you wish] so I wanted to respond by posting a new thread if that is OK.
There is a difference between creationism and ID, I agree, but I don’t think it is along the lines of evidence vs presuppositions a priori vs a posteriori. Both must start with presuppositions; creationism starts from Scripture and natural evidence and is closer to the two book approach of Francis Bacon, ID tends to be a one book approach, but I would argue that ID must have some presuppositions.
So what are ID presuppositions? ID must start from a belief that design is real – and by logical necessity (deductive logic) it follows that there is a designer. Can one be an anti-realist, or hold that design is not real and be an ID proponent? Isn’t that what the Darwinists do – use the language of design in a non-realist manner?
ID starts from a belief in order, a belief in objective truth, and a belief in universal intelligibility – all grounded more firmly in theism, especially Christian theism I would argue. And there are good reasons from the philosophy of science that suggest that it is OK to start scientific research programs from dogmatic core positions (i.e. Lakatos), and this is part of good scientific methodology.
There is I believe an iterative process that goes on in the human mind between beliefs and evidence, where we constantly test our beliefs against evidence in terms of coherence to a pattern, but belief I would argue must come first. McGrath discusses some of this in his A Fine Tuned Universe book.