The history of science is – of course – full of theories that have been proposed by people with deep religious or philosophical convictions (including materialism). These great minds and others around and after them have often opined about the social, philosophical and religious implications of their scientific discoveries or the discoveries and theories of others. Certain scientific discoveries and theories are often extrapolated into social perspectives and even used to support political agendas. Eugenics, for example, was advocated for and embraced by various Darwinism proponents.
Religion has been brought up several times here at UD and there is no home thread for it to be discussed or debated. I thought I’d provide one for those that wish to engage in such a discussion. Some here seem to be arguing under the assumption that only those who adhere to some form of Abrahamic faith are IDists; I’m not of any organized religion. I’ve never even read the Bible or Koran. I was raised very loosely as a Methodist but at 17 turned to Eastern philosophies, later became a hard-core materialist atheist and maybe 15 or so years ago became something of combination classical and “new age” theist – but those tags can be very misleading due to the nature of my idiosyncratic views.
I was initially drawn to the ID debate not because it was necessary or favorable to my views, but rather because those who made anti-ID arguments were making such laughably bad arguments, and ID proponents made some very reasonable arguments that were met with an openly dismissive hostility that intrigued me. I’ve actually developed my theistic views in about the same time frame that I’ve been involved in the ID debate, as those on the ID side employed and directed others to more classical arguments about god, existence and the use of logic. My spiritual views do not require that evolution be guided, so I’m not in this argument to support any worldview a prioris.
Others here have argued that because leading ID advocates have religious views and because they may use ID to pursue a social/political agenda, that in itself disqualifies ID as a legitimate scientific theory. If I have to tell you how bad this logic is, there’s probably no hope for you. If a Darwinist uses Darwinism as a basis (legitimate or not) for pursuing a Eugenics program where “inferior” people are sterilized, that doesn’t say anything about the theory itself. The theory of ID, like the theory of Darwinistic evolution, must be argued on its scientific merits alone and not on the matter of the motivations, religious beliefs, or character of those advocating ID theory or using it for various non-scientific promotions.
Even if (hypothetically) young-earth Christian fundamentalists do plan to use ID via the “Wedge Document” to form a theocratic government and force students to study the Bible, that would have no bearing on whether or not ID itself is a good scientific theory. Even if all ID advocates are lying hypocrites with dastardly plans to use ID in some horrific social fashion, that is still not a valid argument that ID theory is not scientific.