No, but why spoil a good thought stopper well suited to airheads on tax subsidy TV?
Possibly as a consequence of Stephen Meyer’s book, Darwin’s Doubt, being taken seriously as a discussion of the Cambrian problem, some have found it necessary to refine their hostility to evidence for design in nature.
This includes attempting to rescue the term “creationist.” It’s no wonder.
Multiverse skeptic Peter Woit and anti-design activist PZ Myers have both been tarred recently as “creationists.” And it appears that revivers of Darwinian race theories took the tack of attacking as “new creationists” or (“liberal creationists”) any who oppose them. Needless to say, Mike Behe, Michael Denton, and David Berlinski, none of whom believe that there have been special acts of creation, are routinely described as “creationists.” One outcome is that some of Darwin’s followers can market racism and still be hard to confront directly.
Obviously, if we are all creationists now, nobody is. Time for some terminology first aid.
One person who attempts to clarify it is Chris Mulherin, writing at Real Clear Science. Here is what he has to say about ID:
Intelligent design (ID) is a newcomer to the scene and while it accepts an old Earth and most science, it also claims that “certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection”.
While science accepts only two explanations, namely necessity (natural law) and chance (variation), ID tries to add a third called “design” which takes it out of the world of science. In other words, ID says that scientific explanations don’t go far enough in explaining the apparent design in nature.
With respect to evolution, ID does not accept that totally unguided processes (roughly, genetic mutation and natural selection) could have resulted in life as we know it. So ID postulates an interventionist designer as the most explanatory hypothesis.
Critics of ID, including Theistic Evolutionists (below), would say that this is a “god-of-the-gaps” argument and that, as science develops, the gaps in knowledge shrink and squeeze out the need for a designer.
This is sort of like a dog dancing. It’s not good but at least he is dancing, and not frothing at the mouth..
Typically, Real Clear Science didn’t ask an ID theorist to explain what ID is.
ID is not in fact a form of creationism because its focus is design inference, not acts of creation. There can be design without creation, as a moment’s thought will show.
Mulherin is also capable of statements like
So while there are various views around, and while the so-called conflict between science and religion is grist for the media mill, the mainstream view among thoughtful religious people was summed up long ago by Galileo who said the Bible “teaches how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go”.
Surely, as a university lecturer, he has to know that the whole point of naturalism in science is that there is no mind, no heaven, no free will, and no soul. See, for example, Darwin’s “Horrid Doubt”: The Mind.
Presumably, he expects that his readers are either sniggering naturalist atheists or nice, fatuous Christians who hear that and go away, happily supporting the naturalist atheists via the embrace of “theistic evolution.” By the way, does Biologos have a principled, evidence-based stand against naturalism with respect to the mind? Readers?
Oh, and here’s Darwin’s Doubt is currently (9:45 EST):
- #3 in Books > Science & Math > Biological Sciences > Paleontology
- #7 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Theology > Creationism
- #9 in Books > Science & Math > Evolution > Organic
Now, significantly, even Christians for Darwin have decided to read the book before getting together to slam it. By the way, are they the only people who haven’t been called “creationists”? Readers?
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