Books of interest Intelligent Design

New ID book: From Darwin to Eden

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The subtitle of the book, by William B. Collier, is “A Tour of Science and Religion based on the Philosophy of Michael Polanyi and the Intelligent Design Movement”:

Who am I? Where did I come from? Where did life come from? How you answer these questions will profoundly impact how you live your life. Professor Collier has compiled into one engaging volume the scientific case for God and theism encased in the philosophy of one of the most brilliant and unusual scientist/philosophers of our age: Michael Polanyi. Few people have the time to survey the full spectrum of the modern intelligent design movement and how it grew out of and interacts with the writings of Michael Polanyi. With this book you can step back and survey the whole scene, and know exactly who you need to read next if necessary. Collier has condensed the critical details of Polanyi and the Intelligent Design movement into a single volume that informs without being overly simplistic, but is also engaging and fun.

At Amazon we learn about the author: “William B. Collier is a Fulbright Scholar, former research scientist at the National Institute for Petroleum and Energy Research, AWU-DOE fellow, TUBITAK fellow, and is currently professor of chemistry at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He teaches chemistry and the interaction of science and faith, in addition to his spectroscopic research and studies on the origin of life.”

More on Michael Polanyi:

Michael Polanyi (1891–1976) was born to a Viennese family living in Hungary. After obtaining a medical degree, he served in the Austro-Hungarian army in World War I, then chose Austrian citizenship in the aftermath of the war. While on sick leave, he wrote an article on the adsorption of gases that became the foundation for his doctoral research in physical chemistry at Karlsruhe in Germany. In his later work at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin and the University of Manchester in England, Polanyi also worked on crystallography and reaction kinetics. After fleeing to England from Nazi Germany, Polanyi gradually turned away from physical chemistry to studies in economics, social and political analysis, philosophy, theology, and aesthetics. The biography traces the development of Polanyi’s theory of tacit, personal knowledge and shows how his scientific career shaped his philosophy of science and his view of religion in general and Christianity and Judaism in particular. (From an online book at Oxford Scholarship)

Ddesign theorist William Dembski was very much influenced by Polanyi’s thinking.

17 Replies to “New ID book: From Darwin to Eden

  1. 1
    Bob O'H says:

    From the blurb:

    Professor Collier has compiled into one engaging volume the scientific case for God and theism encased in the philosophy of one of the most brilliant and unusual scientist/philosophers of our age: Michael Polanyi.

    And this is an ID book?

  2. 2
    ET says:

    Again, for the willfully ignorant: ID is a big tent, with Creation being a subset of ID. If Creation is true then ID is true. However ID can be true and Creation be false.

  3. 3
    chuckdarwin says:

    ID is a big tent like the Republican Party is a big tent. Just a cursory look at the Board of Directors and list of “Fellows” at the Discovery Institute illustrates just how “big” that tent is…

  4. 4
    ET says:

    Whatever chuck. When ID is compared to what you have it is clear that ID has the science and you have the nonsense and lies.

  5. 5
    Retired Physicist says:

    ET evolutionary biologists publish approximately 400,000 papers a year. How many are you guys publishing? Five? Four? That’s the same amount as the morgellons people. And for the same reason. You’re both just crazy wackadoodles.

  6. 6
    Retired Physicist says:

    There will probably be some complete idiot yelling argument from authority. I’m expecting that.

  7. 7
    ET says:

    LoL! @ RP the cowardly equivocator. Evolutionary biologists do not publish anything that supports blind watchmaker evolution. So perhaps you should learn what ID argues against.

  8. 8
    ET says:

    A challenge for RP, or any other evo: find and link to the scientific theory of unguided evolution. Failure to do so will be very telling

  9. 9
    jerry says:

    There will probably be some complete idiot yelling argument from authority. I’m expecting that.

    It’s an example of the non-sequitur fallacy. You should read more about Aristotle and logic.

    Why don’t you try to define evolution? It might be a good start to a logical argument.

    Any evolutionary biologist who believes in God, essentially believes in ID. So my guess is that a subset of those papers are consistent with ID. My guess nearly all of them. Maybe you could point to one that doesn’t and we could discuss it.

  10. 10
    johnnyb says:

    I’m currently reading this. I’m about 20 pages in – it’s a really good book so far! It does a really good job of mixing academics, questions people normally have, and real life. The book builds an ongoing (love?) story that, I believe, serves to demonstrate the different sides of the epistemological questions, but it is pretty subtle.

    I would wonder what someone who isn’t familiar with these questions at all would think about it. It has explanations for everything, but they are pretty short. I’m enjoying it for that reason (I don’t have to have every term explained for paragraphs), but I can see someone who is totally new to these questions getting very lost.

    For those who are aghast that Bill is mentioning God along with Intelligent Design, I’m curious. Does the number of atheists who point to evolution as part of the demonstration of atheism mean that evolution is atheistic and should be treated as a religious idea? Just curious.

  11. 11
    ET says:

    JohnnyB- IDists have never, as far as I know, denied the Intelligent Designer could be the God of the Bible. What IDists say is the evidence, as we currently understand it, does not point to any specific Intelligent Designer. It does point to specific capabilities, but that is about it. For now.

    Mainstream evolution should not be treated as science. Is it a religion? They do seem to have their own trinity- Father Time, Mother Nature and Unknown Processes. It is based on faith. They seem to pray to promissory notes. Yes, that case could be easily made.

  12. 12
    asauber says:

    Atheists have programmed themselves with with an erroneous concept of “religion”. (Surprise!)

    According to them, if you don’t declare belief in a particular deity, your beliefs are by definition not religious, even if the beliefs just swap the deity with another all-powerful creative something, like evolution.

    If some Atheist out there finds this to be incorrect, I’m open to reading your corrected explanation.

    Andrew

  13. 13
    jerry says:

    Does the number of atheists who point to evolution as part of the demonstration of atheism mean that evolution is atheistic and should be treated as a religious idea?

    I don’t believe that some form of natural evolution is essential for all atheists. It wasn’t for Richard Dawkins who subscribed to intelligent design as the best explanation of life as long as the designer was not “The God.” This was in his interview with Ben Stein.

    Then there is the issue that many theists adhere to natural evolution as the way their God did it. That would certainly argue against natural evolution as atheistic or religious. Otherwise every other natural process, for example, the four physical forces, would also be religious.

    For most atheists, natural evolution seems essential because they cannot point to how we got here otherwise. In other words they have to beg the question (there cannot be a creator) and this essentially becomes their proof that there must be a natural answer. Darwin and the modern synthesis seemed the most plausible solution even though it is extremely flawed.

    Atheism is not by definition a religious statement. They are certainly not religious and a lot of them are vocally anti-religion. Deists who believe in a creator but do not hold there is any relationship with this creator would also not be called religious. Depending on the normal use of the word religion.

  14. 14
    asauber says:

    “Atheism is not by definition a religious statement.”

    Jerry,

    Of course it is. You can’t make claims concerning God, or have an attitude about God, or have your worldview revolve around denying God, and not be religious.

    Andrew

  15. 15
    jerry says:

    Of course it is

    Well, I disagree.

    Atheist just do not believe in a creator. They are certainly not religious because how could they be since they do not believe in a god. There are lots of others who are not atheists who are also not religious.

    As I said, Deists are not religious either. Certainly agnostics are not religious. And there are zillions of people who say they believe in a god or even the Judeo Christian God, and are not religious. I know a lot of them. For a lot of people, what they say they believe is cultural or even just part of family beliefs.

    I once knew an atheist who could not justify his beliefs and whose wife was a practicing Catholic which he had no problem. He was just raised from birth as an atheist by his parents and he idolized his parents.

    Just because one does not believe in or adhere to something, does not make the person somehow against what they do not believe in or do not adhere to. They maybe could care less but probably not at all.

  16. 16
    asauber says:

    Jerry,

    They are all religious. The ultimate questions are always there. If your response is to them is this flavor or that, you haven’t done anything to make them go away.

    Andrew

  17. 17
    Querius says:

    ET writes . . .

    They do seem to have their own trinity- Father Time, Mother Nature and Unknown Processes. It is based on faith.

    LOL . . . so true!

    My perspective on ID is that it’s a paradigm, an unassigned assumption of design behind biological structures and processes. This approach is far more successful than the assumption of random, undirected change.

    Excellent examples include the long, but continually shrinking, list of “vestigial organs,” and Susumo Ono’s 1972 article, So Much ‘Junk DNA’ in our Genome (brilliant at its time) that launched the assumption of junk DNA.

    The vestigial/junk paradigm resulted in slowing scientific progress in each example. Pragmatically, the ID paradigm would have resulted in accelerating scientific progress in ductless glands and non-coding DNA.

    -Q

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