14 Replies to “Jonathan Wells’s New World Encyclopedia article on ID

  1. 1
    mike1962 says:

    Under the “Anti-ID Sites” he should put a link to the Wikipedia page.

  2. 2
    tribune7 says:

    Under the “Anti-ID Sites” he should put a link to the Wikipedia page.

    LOL. good one.

  3. 3
    Gerry Rzeppa says:

    From the article:

    “Intelligent design is not the same as creationism, since ID relies on scientific evidence rather than on Scripture or religious doctrines. ID makes no claims about biblical chronology, and a person does not have to believe in God to infer intelligent design in nature. ID does not tell anyone the identity or nature of the designer, so it is not the same as natural theology, which reasons from nature to the existence and attributes of God.”

    Seems like Dr. Wells is working pretty hard to keep God out of the picture.

  4. 4
    Apollos says:

    “Seems like Dr. Wells is working pretty hard to keep God out of the picture.”

    Actually what he’s doing is providing a distinction between Intelligent Design and Biblical Creationism. He’s correctly assessing that ID theories make no implicit identification of the nature of the designer by attempting to defining his attributes. He’s also allowing room for the correct assessment that not all design inferences have theological implications.

    The net result is that Wells makes clear that nobody needs accept the notion that Intelligent Design theory is somehow religiously shackled, no matter how much its opponents insist on doing so…over and over again…on nearly every thread.

  5. 5
    larrynormanfan says:

    Um, I’m not sure that the best way to counter the bias of Wikipedia is through an encyclopedia from the Unification Church. Not saying anything agains the article — just, you know, uncomfortable with that.

  6. 6
    Gerry Rzeppa says:

    Apollos says, “…religiously shackled…”

    Reminds me of that old 60’s song:

    Chains / My Maker’s got me locked up in chains / And they ain’t the kind / That you can see / Whoa, oh these chains of love / Got a hold on me / Yeah

    Chains / Well I can’t break away from these chains / Can’t run around / ‘Cause I’m not free / Whoa, oh, these chains of love / Won’t let me be / Yeah

  7. 7
    Frost122585 says:

    Excellent article. If God is what you seek then write an article on creationism or theology. Its perfectly fine to be live in creationism and ID but its also fine and scientifically reasonable to believe in ID and NOT in a benevolent God– at least it is an option.

    But I must say that I do not like this line right here

    “ID consists only of the minimal assertion that it is possible to infer from empirical evidence that some features of the natural world are best explained by an intelligent agent.”

    I think that this line is kind of misleading. As I will explain in a minute it is fine to limit the scope of description of ID in a setting like an encyclopedia article but I think that this line goes to far in its conservative nature. While ID is at it’s base “just a theory about origins,” that is not the limit of its philosophical scope and or it’s scientific reach. ID is a mode of investigative thought, a hypothesis and theory, can could lead to different forms of experimentation and scientific modes of inquiry and reasoning. Therefore the theory of ID is not limited to a “minimal assertion” but is in fact a differing (though currently minority) “movement” within the philosophy of science and scientific research. In a similar way, for example, ID’s relationship to modern “naturalistic/materialistic” modes of scientific inquiry and theory can be compared to alchemy and how it relates to modern natural science. Clearly there are far reaching difference and implications in both theories and in both cases there is a conflict between the popular paradigm of science and it’s competitor. So, therefore I think the article should have watched that one line not because it was “simply too conservative” but because it was PERHAPTS misleading. To put it a little more subtly, I would have taken that line out.

    Yet, this article starts out perfectly laying out the point of ID which is that science and philosophy and most importantly “the philosophy of science” is not only perfectly secularly compatible with ID but that further more ID is seen by many to be a necessary conclusion based on certain aspects of the universe and reasoning regarding the ORIGINS of various empirical phenomena. I think it is very wise to keep ID within its strong holds. That is to say that ID should be explained publicly or under a limited setting such as an encyclopedia article, as a theory that is very strongly supported by -blank,- blank and blank… If we know that our interpretation is correct then we should keep it respectful of other people’s legitimate objections and try to be as user friendly as possible. This of course is not a strategy to mislead people but simply to engage people with a debate that the current cultural landscape is trying to cover up.

    Overall great article. Good description and proper use of philosophical demarcation and the like. I say “mad props to Wells!”

  8. 8
    Bob O'H says:

    I assume Dr. Wells didn’t choose the picture accompanying the article:

    Creation of Light, by en:Gustave Doré (1832–1883) . The engraving depicts a literal representation of Genesis 1:1 (“Let there be light”).

    Someone send them a flagellum picture instead!

  9. 9
    russ says:

    Um, I’m not sure that the best way to counter the bias of Wikipedia is through an encyclopedia from the Unification Church. Not saying anything agains the article — just, you know, uncomfortable with that.

    Wells has also published books, articles, been interviewed, been debated, and soon will appear in a movie, all in the secular realm. Why do theists of all stripes have to go into the closet to support ID, but NDEers get to be whomever they are while supporting their theory?

  10. 10
    larrynormanfan says:

    russ, I don’t want Dr. Wells deny his worldview. I just think that this article might be an exception, and I don’t trust an encyclopedia with a purpose described like this:

    This project transcends the metaphysical assumptions of both the Enlightenment and Modern Encyclopedias.

    The originator of this project is Sun Myung Moon. The philosophical and axiological foundations for the project derive from his life and teachings, especially as they are systematized in Unification Thought and other publicly available texts.

    Maybe I’m prejudiced against followers of Moon (I’m trying not to use the other, derogatory term). But it’s the project as a whole that creeps me out — not Wells’ article, which presents a pretty good description of ID from a pro-ID perspective.

  11. 11
    StephenB says:

    —–larrynormanfan: “Maybe I’m prejudiced against followers of Moon (I’m trying not to use the other, derogatory term). But it’s the project as a whole that creeps me out — not Wells’ article, which presents a pretty good description of ID from a pro-ID perspective.”

    Think of it this way. Everyone has an ax to grind. It’s a real service to good faith dialogue when advocates disclose their biases and prejudices up front so, if need be, you can judge the context. In fact, it’s those who let you know where they are coming from who are most to be trusted.

    The really creepy ones are the ones who hide their biases and claim objectivity. Barbara Forrest, proud board member of the Secular Humanist Association and an atheist activist was invited testify as an “expert witness” at the Dover trial. Apparently, she is interested only in facts that harmonize with that paradigm and, on occasion, even makes up her own facts. Eugenie Scott, self-professed atheist, has encouraged Darwinists to hold back their true beliefs. That way they can snag a few unsuspecting Christians. They, and many others, push a radical agenda while posing as disinterested scientists.

    Even on this blog, the most credible writers are the ones who are up with their world view. Dave Scot, for example, acknowledges his agnosticism. The least credible writers are those who are always telling us what they are not. Religious prof, for example, was always saying, “I am not an atheist.” No one knows what he is, except, perhaps a nominal Christian, who, nevertheless, doubts many Christian tenets. Full disclose leads to trust.

  12. 12
    Rude says:

    StephenB in 11. Well put! And besides Jonathan Wells is always a pleasure to read—it’s a good, concise article. And ID deserves a hearing in all venues.

  13. 13
    PannenbergOmega says:

    Good article, answered alot of questions I had on various things.

    I believe that living organsisms are the result of intelligent design.

  14. 14
    PannenbergOmega says:

    ” Arguing that the origin of major animal body plans in the Cambrian explosion required an enormous increase in complex specified information”

    Meyer wrote

    “Analysis of the problem of the origin of biological information… exposes a deficiency in the causal powers of natural selection that corresponds precisely to powers that agents are uniquely known to possess.”

    Is it just me, or does this eseentially prove Intelligent Design? Meyer’s “Cambrian Information Explosion”?

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