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Playing Fast and Loose with the Facts: How Ken Miller Misrepresented Phil Johnson

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An old debate, featuring Dr. Kenneth Miller and Dr. Paul Nelson, has found its way onto YouTube. The debate took place at the time of the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial in Pennsylvania in 2005. Moderated by Sally Satel at the American Enterprise Institute, it focuses on the question of teaching evolutionary theory and intelligent design in science classrooms.

Ken Miller’s presentation is predictable: He talks about the type III secretion system and the fusion origin of chromosome 2; about how ID is allegedly nothing more than a negative argument against evolution and really a form of disguised creationism. His arguments have been so thoroughly responded to at ENV and elsewhere that further discussion is unnecessary.

I do, however, want to draw attention to a particular moment in the debate, which you can view for yourself by playing the above video from 39 minutes in. Miller quotes Phil Johnson as stating:

The objective [of the Wedge Strategy] is to convince people that Darwinism is inherently atheistic, thus shifting the debate from creationism vs. evolution to the existence of God vs. the non-existence of God. From there people are introduced to “the truth” of the Bible and then “the question of sin” and finally “introduced to Jesus.”

On his PowerPoint slide, Ken Miller even provides a citation to Church & State magazine, and it turns out that this very article is available online.

You will find that the quote from Miller’s PowerPoint presentation is not from the pen of Phil Johnson at all. Rather, it is a paraphrase or (more accurately) a caricature of Johnson by Rob Boston, a critic of ID! Here’s the passage from the original article:

A second speaker itching to get his religious perspective into public schools is Phillip Johnson, a University of California at Berkeley law professor who has written several books attacking evolution. Asserting that Darwinism is “based on awful science, just terrible,” Johnson said the theory has “divided the people of God” and that means “the way is open for the agnostics to say, ‘We need to put all of this aside.'”Johnson calls his movement “The Wedge.” The objective, he said, is to convince people that Darwinism is inherently atheistic, thus shifting the debate from creationism vs. evolution to the existence of God vs. the non-existence of God. From there people are introduced to “the truth” of the Bible and then “the question of sin” and finally “introduced to Jesus.”

Surprisingly, this quotation is attributed to Johnson on several webpages (e.g. herehere, and here), although Wikipedia does correctly attribute the statement.

Cross-posted from Evolution News & Views.

43 Replies to “Playing Fast and Loose with the Facts: How Ken Miller Misrepresented Phil Johnson

  1. 1
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    Miller quoted the article and provided the correct citation to Rob Boston’s article right there on his powerpoint slide.

    Rob Boston’s article has some paraphrase and some direct quotes, and Ken Miller correctly quoted this. What’s the problem again? Are you denying that Phillip Johnson said any of the thing Boston directly quoted him saying?

    Maybe your real problem is Phillip Johnson, “godfather of ID”, who nukes ID’s pretensions to being science rather than evangelical apologetics, there and so many other places.

  2. 2
    Robert Byers says:

    I have recently watching youtube stuff on these debates. I never saw till now Ken Miller etc.
    There must be a better equation about who is right on issues with such common foundations of principals.

    It surely comes down to who decides what is the truth about origins !
    The public, the press, the evolutionists, the creationists or the 1700’s AD!

    If its a subjet touching on truth in origins then surely censorship of certain positions is unique in education and surely means tghere is a public stance on the untruth of what is being censored!!
    Its not about science credentials!
    This only matters because if its NOT science it IS religion and so illegal conclusions in public institutions.

    No way around it logically!
    If a subject dedicated to teaching the truth has criticisms of censored then its a state opinion it is the final word on the truth.
    If the criticisms are said to be religious doctrines then the state is officially teaching certain religious doctrines ARE not true!
    This is illegal by the very law invoked to justify the censorship!

    By the way another angle is to question if evolutionary biology itself is the result of scientific investigation ! It ain’t!

    Censorship surely can’t have the moral edge in a free nation dedicated to teaching the truth to kids!

    Creationism just needs bigger, louder, law suits that capture important numbers of citizens attention!

  3. 3
    Jon Garvey says:

    Funnily enough, I read my first piece by Ken Miller, from roughly the same year, last evening, and came away thinking, “This guy is doing polemics, not reasoning.”

    Misrepresenting his opponent’s position seemed one of his characteristic habits, so I’m not at all surprised by this post. Mixing primary and secondary sources is easy to do if you’re firing from the hip on a blog – we have probably all done it.

    But it’s poor scholarship – what “melanogaster” on BioLogos would castigate as “hearsay” – if you’re writing a book or doing a public lecture.

  4. 4
    Gregory says:

    Jon, Please stop being so naive about American politics, over there in the U.K. Do you actually think P. Johnson is not himself “doing polemics”? You’ve heard of Johnson’s ‘Wedge,’ haven’t you?

    As the moderator in the video said, “It’s a form of intellectual surrender.”

    Please stop being so ‘design inference’ ideological as you decide whether or not to freefall into IDism. Blaming everything on BioLogos re: evangelicalism is a sad caricature. Your vision of ‘Design’ is theological, it is not ‘natural scientific’; it does not support IDM-ID.

    “Phillip Johnson, ‘godfather of ID’, who nukes ID’s pretensions to being science rather than evangelical apologetics.”

    Yes, P. Johnson was obviously doing evangelical apologetics.

    Jon seems to want to defend Nelson instead of Miller simply because he is an evangelical just as Nelson is, not because of ‘reasoning’ instead of ‘polemics’.

    Paul Nelson’s basic view is: in order to do biology, one must also inevitably do theology/worldview.

    As for P. Nelson, when I asked him, he actually seemed to not have thought about the parallels between ‘micro-‘ and ‘macro-evolution’ and ‘micro-‘ and ‘macro-economics.’ “That’s interesting,” he said to me. Go figure!

    It’s a typically narrow YEC position, though Nelson himself (as a person) is a decent and humourous guy. And he’s invited me for discussion over beer next time (if) we meet.

    “A design view, with some kind of transcendent action.” – Nelson (video)

    Oh, but wait (stop, hold your horses, folks), ID theory is supposed to officially have *nothing* to do with theology/worldview! Everyone not already committed to evangelical IDism can see through this thin disguise.

    “Easily the biggest challenge facing the ID community is to develop a full-fledged theory of biological design. We don’t have such a theory right now, and that’s a problem. Without a theory, it’s very hard to know where to direct your research focus. Right now, we’ve got a bag of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions such as ‘irreducible complexity’ and ‘specified complexity’ – but, as yet, no general theory of biological design.” – Paul Nelson

    He doesn’t “defend his theological [YEC] views as a matter of science” (54:24), but he wants his theological [ID] views to be called ‘science.’ That’s Paul Nelson’s personal dilemma.

    Btw, Paul Nelson’s long advertised book “On Common Descent,” which likely influenced the naming of this Blog, has *STILL* not been published.

    In 2011, 12 years after his manuscript was submitted, Paul Nelson wrote:

    “The monograph on common descent, mentioned in the older bio, is still under submission at the Evolutionary Monograph series, but the editor (and my friend) Leigh Van Valen, died last October. So publication is delayed.”

    Nelson is actually expecting us to believe that it is because his friend Leigh Van Valen died in 2010 that his 1999 submitted manuscript still hasn’t been published?! How long is your credulity, Big-ID folks?

  5. 5
    sagebrush gardener says:

    I am not sure to what degree Miller is misrepresenting Johnson, but he is clearly putting his own words in Johnson’s mouth. Boston paraphrases Johnson in the original article, but Miller quotes Boston’s paraphrase as if Johnson himself was speaking.

    Miller’s exact words in the video are:

    Phillip Johnson, the acknowledged leader of the intelligent design movement laid it on the line a couple of years ago when he said that the objective of his strategy isn’t to advance science — it’s to convince people that Darwinism is inherently atheistic. “That”, Johnson said, “is going to shift the debate from creation versus evolution to the existence of God versus the non-existence of God.” That’s the debate he thinks they can win. “From there we can introduce people to the truth of the Bible and the question of sin and finally introduced to Jesus.”

    I think we can agree that Miller is being sloppy with his citations, but is he misrepresenting Johnson?

  6. 6
    nullasalus says:

    Jon seems to want to defend Nelson instead of Miller simply because he is an evangelical just as Nelson is, not because of ‘reasoning’ instead of ‘polemics’.

    “Seems” as in “well, nothing he wrote here indicated that, but I, Gregory, shall construct this possibility out of the many delusions I draw upon when necessary.”

    Jon, Please stop being so naive about American politics, over there in the U.K. Do you actually think P. Johnson is not himself “doing polemics”? You’ve heard of Johnson’s ‘Wedge,’ haven’t you?

    Your opinion of Johnson and the ID movement means bupkus. Jon Garvey didn’t say the ID movement was without flaws, much less Johnson. He pointed out an observation he’s made about Miller.

    Don’t like it? Tough. Quit trying to change the topic when you don’t like the opinion.

    As for P. Nelson, when I asked him, he actually seemed to not have thought about the parallels between ‘micro-’ and ‘macro-evolution’ and ‘micro-’ and ‘macro-economics.’ “That’s interesting,” he said to me. Go figure!

    The only way an observation like this could seem at all important to someone is if they’ve spent a significant portion of their life living in a world quite detached from anything approaching a well-nourished intellectual environment. Soft science or liberal arts academia being a prime candidate.

    Oh, but wait (stop, hold your horses, folks), ID theory is supposed to officially have *nothing* to do with theology/worldview!

    “Theology” is not equivalent with “worldview”. A “transcendent action” is only divine in some contexts.

    How long is your credulity, Big-ID folks?

    “Not enough for Gregory, apparently.” It won’t be until we’re credulous enough to think a “social scientist” deserves some kind of leadership position in the ID movement that folks have reached the necessary credulity level.

    Gregory, does Biologos take you seriously? Or are you regarded over there as a kind of crazy well-meaning uncle?

    (I know, I know. Lowercase l in the Biologos. I’m sure that’s driving you absolutely bonkers.)

  7. 7
    Jon Garvey says:

    Nullasalus

    Gregory is actually banned from BioLogos for the personally offensive nature of his remarks there.

    I’ve grown used to expecting that if I were to comment on the spelling of “Archaeopteryx” I’d get a diatribe about living in a village, crossing the unwritten boundaries of Warfieldian Theistic Evolutionismism and being a closetist DI-ID-UD-DUMDIDIist, which is why I’ve stopped responding to him.

    That, and because after over two years of personal communication I still haven’t the faintest idea how human extension has any possible bearing on natural phenomena or creation. No point in conversing with someone who’s so far ahead of you you can’t catch up in that time.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    All semantics aside, atheistic neo-Darwinists insist, as if it is some type of religious creed, that for something to be considered ‘true science’ then it must have a ‘naturalistic/materialistic explanation. I don’t know exactly how the atheistic neo-Darwinists are able to know prior to investigation that these questions on origins will wind up with purely materialistic/naturalistic answers, but they are absolutely certain that this is the only true way to practice science in these questions of origins.

    “For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence. That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”
    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses.”
    Phillip Johnson – The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....rialism-26

    There are two definitions of Science in our Culture – Phillip E. Johnson – 2012- audio
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....Xo#t=1596s

    “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
    William Shakespeare – Hamlet

    The trouble with the statement/commitment ‘science can give only materialistic/naturalistic answers’ is that the statement/commitment itself is a metaphysical commitment that is not reducible to materialism/naturalism. It is a philosophical position that is freely chosen by a mind to be adhered to regardless of the fact that it is a self refuting position. Dr. Craig addresses the self-refuting absurdity here:

    At about the 1 hour mark of the video, which I have ‘current time’ linked here:

    Is Faith in God Reasonable? FULL DEBATE with William Lane Craig and Alex Rosenberg – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ge#t=3641s

    Dr Craig states that Dr. Rosenberg blurs together:

    Epistemological Naturalism: which holds that science is the only source of knowledge

    and,

    Metaphysical Naturalism: which holds that only physical things exist

    As to, Epistemological Naturalism, which holds that science is the only source of knowledge, Dr. Craig states it is a false theory of knowledge since,,,

    a). it is overly restrictive
    and
    b) it is self refuting

    Moreover Dr Craig states, epistemological naturalism does not imply metaphysical naturalism.,, In fact a Empistemological Naturalist can and should be a Theist, according to Dr. Craig, because Metaphysical Naturalism is reducto ad absurdum on (at least) these eight following points:

    1. The argument from the intentionality (aboutness) of mental states implies non-physical minds (dualism), which is incompatible with naturalism
    2. The existence of meaning in language is incompatible with naturalism, Rosenberg even says that all the sentences in his own book are meaningless
    3. The existence of truth is incompatible with naturalism
    4. The argument from moral praise and blame is incompatible with naturalism
    5. Libertarian freedom (free will) is incompatible with naturalism
    6. Purpose is incompatible with naturalism
    7. The enduring concept of self is incompatible with naturalism
    8. The experience of first-person subjectivity (“I”) is incompatible with naturalism

    I strongly suggest watching Dr. Craig’s presentation, that I have linked, to get a full feel for just how insane the metaphysical naturalist’s position actually is.

    Plantinga has shown how the person a-priorily committed to naturalism winds up in epistemological failure that undermines the ability to rationally practice science in the first place:

    Alvin Plantinga – Evolutionary Argument against Naturalism – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r34AIo-xBh8

    Scientific Peer Review is in Trouble: From Medical Science to Darwinism – Mike Keas – October 10, 2012
    Excerpt: Survival is all that matters on evolutionary naturalism. Our evolving brains are more likely to give us useful fictions that promote survival rather than the truth about reality. Thus evolutionary naturalism undermines all rationality (including confidence in science itself). Renown philosopher Alvin Plantinga has argued against naturalism in this way (summary of that argument is linked on the site:).
    Or, if your short on time and patience to grasp Plantinga’s nuanced argument, see if you can digest this thought from evolutionary cognitive psychologist Steve Pinker, who baldly states:
    “Our brains are shaped for fitness, not for truth; sometimes the truth is adaptive, sometimes it is not.”
    Steven Pinker, evolutionary cognitive psychologist, How the Mind Works (W.W. Norton, 1997), p. 305.
    http://blogs.christianpost.com.....ism-12421/

    The preceding arguments are nuances of ‘the argument from reason’:

    “If you do not assume the law of non-contradiction, you have nothing to argue about. If you do not assume the principles of sound reason, you have nothing to argue with. If you do not assume libertarian free will, you have no one to argue against. If you do not assume morality to be an objective commodity, you have no reason to argue in the first place.”
    – William J Murray

    Of note: Sometimes Atheists will go so far as to say quantum mechanics refutes the rules of right reason that are at the basis of science. The following site shows why that assertion is not only just plain silly (sawing the tree branch off that you are sitting on) but also completely false:

    The Law Of Non-Contradiction as it is related to the discovery of the laws of Quantum Mechanics in the early 20th century
    http://www.uncommondescent.com/faq/#LNC

    Also of note:

    Alan Turing and Kurt Godel – Incompleteness Theorem and Human Intuition – video (notes in video description)
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/8516356/

    Are Humans merely Turing Machines?
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cvQeiN7DqBC0Z3PG6wo5N5qbsGGI3YliVBKwf7yJ_RU/edit

  9. 9
    Jon Garvey says:

    Since provoked, I might add something about my supposed calamitous fall into ID.

    I read “Darwin’s Black Box” in 1998, heard Phillip Johnson speak over a decade ago (before Gregory had heard of ID, I suspect), have a friend of 30 years who is prominent in the British ID movement, and wrote a critique of BioLogos’ treatment of Stephen Meyer’s “Signature of the Cell” on my blog back in the middle of 2011. That was long before I spoke to Steve Fuller and Steve Meyer in Cambridge.

    So my supposed “freefall into IDism” puts Felix Baumgartner in the shade, especially as I’m still a theistic evolutionist.

    Don’t be fooled by Gregory’s idealism-ist accusation that I should have nothing to do with ID since my interest in design is theological rather than scientific – you can be sure if I post on my blog about the theological aspects of design he will reply trying to drag the discussion back to isms of one sort or another.

  10. 10
    Joe says:

    Nick,

    Miller blew it because:

    1- The debate is NOT creationism vs evolution

    2- ID has nothing to do with God

    3- ID has nothing to do with the Bible

    And evolutionists say that the “theory” of evolution is atheistic.

  11. 11
    Timaeus says:

    What I found interesting in the Nelson/Miller debate was the misfit between their approaches to the topic. Nelson was arguing for a kind of “methodological parity” between design and Darwinian biology, on the grounds that Darwin’s argument itself presupposes such a parity. Darwin treats the view of creation as the logical alternative to his view, and tries to use empirical evidence to refute the creation position. There is nothing “ideological” in Nelson’s presentation here; he is simply reporting the way that Darwin set up the argument.

    The implication is that, if school children are going to be taught that Darwin “disproved” the view of special creation, they won’t be able to understand the force of Darwin’s argument without understanding the view his book argues against; therefore, if Darwin is taught to the kids, intellectual clarity requires that the view of special creation (which need not be the specifically Biblical or Christian view of special creation, but could be just a “general” notion) be set forth, so that the students can understand how Darwin’s great scientific victory was won.

    Ken Miller’s presentation, however — aside from a few hurried remarks regarding Nelson’s presentation — was on “what’s wrong with intelligent design as science.” It wasn’t really focused on the question of philosophical parity. So to some extent the two were talking at cross-purposes.

    Of course, it is logical that each man would bring his strengths to the table. Miller is a biologist; Nelson a philosopher of biology. But this difference in focus meant that the debate was a sort of ragged affair. They discussed individual points here and there, but the debate would have been much better if both participants had been assigned the same question. The question might have been: Is there methodological parity between intelligent design and Darwinian theory, and if so, what are the implications of that for science education?

    Under that question, Miller might have argued: yes, there is a philosophical parity — it’s fair to compare them, and when we do, we find that ID is lousy science, so it should be kept out of schools. Or he might have argued, no, there is no parity, ID is not bad science, it’s simply not science at all, and therefore it must be kept out of the schools.

    I generally find that these debates go all over the map; I think more clarity would emerge if those sponsoring the debates would narrow the questions, and then find participants well-suited to debating the narrowed question.
    For some questions, a good matchup would be Behe/Miller; for others, Nelson/Dennett; for others, Johnson/Dawkins.

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Hopefully not too far off topic, but I would also like to draw attention to the fact that neo-Darwinism has no falsification criteria:

    Science and Pseudoscience – Imre Lakatos
    “nobody to date has yet found a demarcation criterion according to which Darwin can be described as scientific” – Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) a philosopher of mathematics and science, , quote as stated in 1973 LSE Scientific Method Lecture

    neo-Darwinian evolution simply has no rigorous mathematical foundation with which we can rigorously analyze it to see if it is true or false, much less does it have any formal structure we can analyze in any computer simulation.

    Accounting for Variations – Dr. David Berlinski: – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW2GkDkimkE

    As pointed out by Dr. Berlinski, this includes failing to have any realistically modeled ‘Evolutionary Algorithm’. i.e. what we have are computer programs that have been ‘intelligently designed’ by computer programmers with a lot of ad hoc constraints (explain that caveat to me!) to simulate Darwinian evolution::

    Refutation of Evolutionary Algorithms
    https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1h33EC4yg29Ve59XYJN_nJoipZLKIgupT6lBtsaVQsUs

    Whereas, in contrast to there being no identifiable falsification criteria for neo-Darwinism (at least no identifiable falsification criteria that neo-Darwinists will accept), ID, on the other hand, does provide a fairly rigid mathematical framework for falsification:

    Dembski’s original value for the universal probability bound is 1 in 10^150,
    10^80, the number of elementary particles in the observable universe.
    10^45, the maximum rate per second at which transitions in physical states can occur.
    10^25, a billion times longer than the typical estimated age of the universe in seconds.
    Thus, 10^150 = 10^80 × 10^45 × 10^25. Hence, this value corresponds to an upper limit on the number of physical events that could possibly have occurred since the big bang.
    How many bits would that be:
    Pu = 10-150, so, -log2 Pu = 498.29 bits
    Call it 500 bits (The 500 bits is further specified as a specific type of information. It is specified as Complex Specified Information by Dembski or as Functional Information by Abel to separate it from merely Ordered Sequence Complexity or Random Sequence Complexity; See Three subsets of sequence complexity)
    Three subsets of sequence complexity and their relevance to biopolymeric information – Abel, Trevors
    http://www.tbiomed.com/content/2/1/29

    This short sentence, “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” is calculated by Winston Ewert, in this following video at the 10 minute mark, to contain 1000 bits of algorithmic specified complexity, and thus to exceed the Universal Probability Bound (UPB) of 500 bits set by Dr. Dembski
    Proposed Information Metric: Conditional Kolmogorov Complexity – Winston Ewert – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fm3mm3ofAYU

    Dr. Behe lays out the simple empirical methodology for achieving falsification against ID here (gene knockout experiments):

    Michael Behe on Falsifying Intelligent Design – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8jXXJN4o_A

    The main reason why it is impossible to find a mathematical falsification criteria against neo-Darwinism is because of the insistence of the ‘random’ variable postulate at the base of the Darwinian theory:

    Murray Eden, as reported in “Heresy in the Halls of Biology: Mathematicians Question Darwinism,” Scientific Research, November 1967, p. 64.
    “It is our contention that if ‘random’ is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws—physical, physico-chemical, and biological.” Murray Eden, “Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory,” Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, editors Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan, June 1967, p. 109.

    Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist Wolfgang Pauli on the Empirical Problems with Neo-Darwinism – Casey Luskin – February 27, 2012
    Excerpt: “In discussions with biologists I met large difficulties when they apply the concept of ‘natural selection’ in a rather wide field, without being able to estimate the probability of the occurrence in a empirically given time of just those events, which have been important for the biological evolution. Treating the empirical time scale of the evolution theoretically as infinity they have then an easy game, apparently to avoid the concept of purposesiveness. While they pretend to stay in this way completely ‘scientific’ and ‘rational,’ they become actually very irrational, particularly because they use the word ‘chance’, not any longer combined with estimations of a mathematically defined probability, in its application to very rare single events more or less synonymous with the old word ‘miracle.'” Wolfgang Pauli (pp. 27-28) –

    “The dilemma is this: Surveying our surroundings, we find them to be far from a “fortuitous concourse of atoms”. The picture of the world, as drawn in existing physical theories shows arrangements of the individual elements for which the odds are multillions to 1 against an origin by chance. Some people would like to call this non-random feature of the world purpose or design; but I will call it non-committally anti-chance. We are unwilling in physics that anti-chance plays any part in the reactions between the systems of billions of atoms and quanta that we study;,,. Accordingly, we sweep anti-chance out of the laws of physics–out of the differential equations. Naturally, therefore, it reappears in the boundary conditions, for it must be got into the scheme somewhere. By sweeping it far enough away from the sphere of our current physical problems, we fancy we have got rid of it. It is only when some of us are so misguided as to try to get back billions of years into the past that we find the sweepings all piled up like a high wall and forming a boundary–a beginning of time–which we cannot climb over.
    A way out of the dilemma has been proposed which seems to have found favour with a number of scientific workers. I oppose it because I think it is untenable, not because of any desire to retain the present dilemma, I should like to find a genuine loophole. But that does not alter my conviction that the loophole that is at present being advocated is a blind alley.
    Eddington AS. 1931. The end of the world: from the standpoint of mathematical physics. Nature 127:447-453.

    And indeed as Eddinton saw, and as Boltzmann’s Brain so clearly illustrates, the ‘randomness’ postulate of materialists/naturalists comes back full force at the beginning of the universe to inflict epistemological failure on the materialist/naturalist:

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: What is worse, multiplying without limit the opportunities for any event to happen in the context of a multiverse – where it is alleged that anything can spontaneously jump into existence without cause – produces a situation in which no absurdity is beyond the pale. For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    But none of this should be surprising in the least, for it is absurd to think that ‘randomness’ can be the basis of math instead of just a interesting sub-area of ‘allowed’ variation within the entire field of math. Indeed, as Godel proved, only God can provide a coherent basis for math!:

    Taking God Out of the Equation – Biblical Worldview – by Ron Tagliapietra – January 1, 2012
    Excerpt: Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) proved that no logical systems (if they include the counting numbers) can have all three of the following properties.
    1. Validity . . . all conclusions are reached by valid reasoning.
    2. Consistency . . . no conclusions contradict any other conclusions.
    3. Completeness . . . all statements made in the system are either true or false.
    The details filled a book, but the basic concept was simple and elegant. He summed it up this way: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove.” For this reason, his proof is also called the Incompleteness Theorem.
    Kurt Gödel had dropped a bomb on the foundations of mathematics. Math could not play the role of God as infinite and autonomous. It was shocking, though, that logic could prove that mathematics could not be its own ultimate foundation.
    Christians should not have been surprised. The first two conditions are true about math: it is valid and consistent. But only God fulfills the third condition. Only He is complete and therefore self-dependent (autonomous). God alone is “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28), “the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13). God is the ultimate authority (Hebrews 6:13), and in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).
    http://www.answersingenesis.or...../equation#

    Supplemental notes:

    Mathematics and Physics – A Happy Coincidence? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/9826382

    The ‘Spirituality’ of Mathematics – article
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/13VBciybSK3D7uJoz6ltldPPSvhL4HJaJAmCmOMkmQxg/edit

    “Nothing in evolution can account for the soul of man. The difference between man and the other animals is unbridgeable. Mathematics is alone sufficient to prove in man the possession of a faculty unexistent in other creatures. Then you have music and the artistic faculty. No, the soul was a separate creation.”
    Alfred Russell Wallace, New Thoughts on Evolution, 1910

  13. 13
    Mung says:

    Fifth, I wish the lecturers to treat their subject as a strictly natural science, the greatest of all possible sciences, indeed, in one sense, the only science, that of Infinite Being, without reference to or reliance upon any supposed special exceptional or so-called miraculous revelation. I wish it considered just as astronomy or chemistry is. I have intentionally indicated, in describing the subject of the lectures, the general aspect which personally I would expect the lectures to bear, but the lecturers shall be under no restraint whatever in their treatment of their theme; for example, they may freely discuss (and it may be well to do so) all questions about man’s conceptions of God or the Infinite, their origin, nature, and truth, whether he can have any such conceptions, whether God is under any or what limitations, and so on, as I am persuaded that nothing but good can result from free discussion.

    http://www.giffordlectures.org/will.asp

    Poor Gregory.

  14. 14
    Mung says:

    Gregory:

    Oh, but wait (stop, hold your horses, folks), ID theory is supposed to officially have *nothing* to do with theology/worldview!

    Straw man.

  15. 15
    sterusjon says:

    Gregory,

    I have been looking on for sometime now and watching what has appeared to me to be ‘irrational ravings’ against the ‘sinister ulterior motivations’ of the principals in the intelligent design movement and the ‘shameful herding instincts’ of those who are in some way impressed with the truth value they see in the intelligent design movement’s claims. The preceding delimited phrases are my own characterizations of what you may be thinking that I have gleaned from many of your comments over many different threads that have covered many different topics.

    I beg your indulgence while I attempt to show you why you are wrong to spend so much energy in the way you have been doing. For my part, I am very much aware that my thoughts on what I see as actual, intelligent, design in the world around me are inextricably intertwined with my philosophical and theological beliefs about the world at large. I may be speaking out of turn, but I doubt that there is any intelligent design proponent so self-deluded that he believes differently about himself.

    You have excoriated intelligent design proponents for their refusal to address the questions of “who, where, how, when and why” with respect to their supposed intelligent designer. Well, I’ll expose myself for all to see.

    What?: I, Stephen R Jones, conclude that humankind is the result of the actions of an intelligent designing entity.
    Who?: I, personally, believe that the intelligent designing entity is the God of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures (Gen 1:26-27.)
    Where?: I, personally, believe that that intelligent designing entity implemented its design on earth near and probably west of the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:7-8.)
    How?: I, personally, believe that that intelligent designing entity implemented its design by rearranging the soil into the form and correct constituants of a human being and subsequently invigorated that non-living (static equilibrium) corpse into a organism in dynamic equilibrium that is characteristic of life (Gen 2:7.)
    When?: I, personally, believe that that intelligent designing entity implemented its design some 6,000 to 10,000 years ago (based on historical records beginning with Gen 5:1.)
    Why?: I, personally, believe that that intelligent designing entity implemented its design for the immediate purpose of bringing into existence an entity with characteristics that resembled many of its own (Gen 1:26) as well as for the ultimate purpose to become “all in all” (I Cor 15:22-28.)

    Can I prove all of the previous answers? No! Can I demonstrate that any one of them is true? Possibly the answer to “what?” No, to all the rest. Where then would I best pursue an argument, I wonder?

    There are my answers to all the questions that intelligent design proponents are accused of being unwilling to address. They do, I admit, lack some precision. Usher was more assured of the exact day the first man was formed than I am, for instance. Neither can I give you a lat-lon for the place where God scooped up the soil with which He formed the first man.

    Others have chosen not to explicitly deliniate their answers to the these questions. It is not that they have not considered the questions. I’m sure the vast majority, even if not every one, of those interested in origins have given the questions considerable thought and have at least tentative answers for some of them. For many the answer comes down to a great deal of speculation or a simple “I have no idea.” But, as you can see from my answers to the question, there is little hope of coming to anything like a consensus. I know that the overwhelming majority of intelligent design proponents here at UD consider my answers to be complete and utter, hopeless nonsense. Many have said as much and many more implied it. Other than the common point of the conclusion that empirical evidence strongly suggests that some of what we observe around us is the product of an intelligently designing entity, I have no other common ground with the vast majority of those that agree with me on this one point. It is eminently practical, I think, among those of who agree on this one point, to confine our discussion to its finer points by addressing the observations and techniques that may affirm or disaffirm our collective conclusion of the presence of products of an intelligently designing entity in the world in which we exist and avoid discussions were we disagree and are unlikely to ever come to consensus. That does not mean I am a sinister, two-faced, flip-flopping hypocrite when I do address the questions of “who, where, how, when and why” and thereby leave the domain of the “what” question. It is sometimes appropriate to do that. For example, although, it is highly unlikely I can have a fruitful discussion with very many of the others here because we are just too far apart- it is just too damn big a project- there is the potential for another YECist and I to sit down for a while and come to total agreement as to the “who, where, how, when and why” questions. How would it be wrong to engage in that discussion even in full view of those who largely disagree? Why is it duplicitous to engage in a focused discussion of only the “what”, which can be addressed on the common ground of empirical observation (scientifically), when there is no hope of dealing with the philosophically and theologically entangled “who, where, how, when and why” questions. As you have noticed, everyone has at one time or another displayed that additional depth to their thinking. It is just not always productive to bring it into the discussion. In some contexts, Yes. In most contexts, No.

    Does that mean that I must always be explicit about the inevitable affect all of my answers to the origins questions have on the bits and pieces of everyday life? I think not. The synergy of facts that I believe in- That I am an intelligently designing being designed and formed by my God in His image for a purpose beyond my mere present existence has ramifications in every aspect of my life. That synergy informs such things as my social views of the family, how it should be ideally structured and what its purpose is as well as where it originated. It impacts moral issues, why there is both good and evil as well as where they both came from and why I am ordained to experience them both and how evil’s presence will be ultimately rectified. That does not mean that that family and morals are inherently intelligent design issues. But it does not mean it is verboten to discuss them in light of my belief in intelligent design. Discussions about any and all of life’s many facets need not be partitioned off from intelligent design thought in all situations. It is just that it is not often very productive to broaden a particular discussion to include intelligent design when one of the parties is not even on the same page about it.

    I conclude that the intelligent design proponent’s insistence on focusing on the “what” question which is accessible on empirical ground (scientifically) to the exclusion of the “who, where, how, when and why” questions is entirely valid. Indeed, it is the only way for the intelligent design proponent to hope to make any progress in convincing the natural processes only advocate.

    Alas, the vast majority of our opponents are unreachable because they refuse to focus on the “what” question and, instead, want to drag in the “who, where, how, when and why” questions where each of them, also, has non-negotiable, albeit, indefinite answers. They, consciously or unconsciously I know not, seem to be oblivious to the fact that the “who, where, how, when and why” questions are inextricably entangled with philosophy and theology and that there is no hope of solving the conundrum, natural processes only vs some intelligently designed aspects, by discussion of those questions. The only place that intelligent design proponents agree is in the area of “what.” The only place that intelligent design proponents can, in unity, engage the natural process only advocate is in the “what” question. The “what” question is the area of the multifaceted issue where we have the common ground of empirical observation (science) with the natural processes only advocates. Unfortunately, it seems, that most of them would rather ignore the empirical venue in favor of the philosophical and theological “who, where, how, when and why” questions.

    Although, I now see you have some rational point underlying your id/ID crusade, I think, in the big picture, it is a meaningless expenditure of your energy and the internet’s bandwidth. But, if you insist on pursuing your agenda, I suggest you be a little more transparent with your own philosophical and religious perspective and let us all know why the abrahamic tradition is important to you and how it frames your perspective on the crusade you are waging. After all, you have often bashed intelligent design proponents for not being forthright about their true beliefs and motivations. It appears to me that even the brightest posters here are befuddled by what it is you hold to and what your motivation is. I think a little more clarity on what it is you are trying accomplish and why is in order. In short- Just where the heck are you coming from and where do you hope to get to?

    Oh, one more thing. A little grace in your presentation may serve you well.

    Stephen R Jones.

    PS. No CV will be found. I am just an un-Phd-ed dolt. Easily dismissed, if that what you wish do.

    PPS. My fellow YECist- I pray I have done justice to our cause as you see it from your perspective.

  16. 16
    Mung says:

    Gregory is so focused on Creationism as an ideology that he refuses to see the greater danger to Christian theology.

  17. 17
    Mung says:

    focused -> fixated

  18. 18
    Timaeus says:

    Stephen:

    Thanks for your gracious and common-sense-filled intervention.

    You have captured in words the frustration that many people here have felt.

    I agree with you that the “what” question is the central one for ID. And it is astounding how many, not merely atheists but theistic evolutionists, want to deflect attention from their failure to deal with the “what” question by constantly drawing attention to the other questions.

  19. 19
    Timaeus says:

    Mung:

    Re 16: I agree. Whatever defects “creationism” may have are defects only of Biblical hermeneutics; whereas the defects evident in the writings of a wide range of TEs are defects in fundamental Christian doctrine, especially the doctrines of creation, omnipotence, sovereignty, providence, etc.

  20. 20
    Mung says:

    Yet the very idea of natural theology designates a method, rather than a settled body of beliefs and assumptions. There is no single continuous narrative of natural theology within the Christian tradition which defines one approach as normative and others as heterodox or marginal.

    – McGrath, Alister E. A Fine-Tuned Universe: The Quest for God in Science and Theology

    Poor Gregory.

  21. 21
    Mung says:

    Jon:

    I read “Darwin’s Black Box” in 1998

    But that’s not the reason for your fall from grace. You should have first consulted the list of banned books, and it was your failure to do so that is responsible for your fall.

    There wasn’t just one apple on the tree, you know.

  22. 22
    Mung says:

    T,

    Having come from young earth creationism and dispensationalism myself, while I can see them as both as hindrances to the advance of the Gospel and putting into question the meaning of Christ’s sacrifice and the Church, I do at least see the underlying hermeneutic.

    Getting back to the OP, I have never understood Miller. I read Finding Darwin’s God and immediately labelled him a liar and a hypocrite. Whether right or wrong that’s been my general view of TE since.

    I don’t find myself in the YEC camp, and I don’t find myself in the TE camp, and for now ID seems to be a middle ground that I can be comfortable with, precisely because it limits itself.

    What Gregory sees as an evil I see as a good. lol

  23. 23

    Mung:

    . . . ID seems to be a middle ground that I can be comfortable with, precisely because it limits itself. [Emphasis added.]

    What Gregory sees as an evil I see as a good.

    Exactly.

  24. 24
    sterusjon says:

    Timaeus,

    Thanks for your kind acknowledgement of my effort. After I submitted it, I noticed a few typos. I hope they didn’t impede anyone’s comprehension too greatly.

    Stephen

  25. 25
    PeterJ says:

    Joe says ‘And evolutionists say that the “theory” of evolution is atheistic.’

    Would this be a good time to introduce ‘Big-Evolution’ as in ‘Evolution disproves God’, and ‘small-evolution’ as in the kind we observe in nature and can only account for minor variations? 😉 (Couldn’t resist it)

    Sterusjon,

    I really appreciated your post. Thank you.

  26. 26
    timothya says:

    Sterusjon posted this:

    What?: I, Stephen R Jones, conclude that humankind is the result of the actions of an intelligent designing entity.
    Who?: I, personally, believe that the intelligent designing entity is the God of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures (Gen 1:26-27.)
    Where?: I, personally, believe that that intelligent designing entity implemented its design on earth near and probably west of the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:7-8.)
    How?: I, personally, believe that that intelligent designing entity implemented its design by rearranging the soil into the form and correct constituants of a human being and subsequently invigorated that non-living (static equilibrium) corpse into a organism in dynamic equilibrium that is characteristic of life (Gen 2:7.)
    When?: I, personally, believe that that intelligent designing entity implemented its design some 6,000 to 10,000 years ago (based on historical records beginning with Gen 5:1.)
    Why?: I, personally, believe that that intelligent designing entity implemented its design for the immediate purpose of bringing into existence an entity with characteristics that resembled many of its own (Gen 1:26) as well as for the ultimate purpose to become “all in all” (I Cor 15:22-28.)

    Very good. Now you have a chance to explain the difference between your mode of thinking and how a scientist thinks.

    Every one of your what, who, when etc statements begin with “I, personally, believe . . .” Here is a clue: personal beliefs are irrelevant in science.

    Isaac Newton personally believed that alchemy worked. So what? The facts denied his beliefs. You believe that your god scooped up the northwestern corner of the Garden of Eden and poofed it into a human. So what? Do you have any single piece of verifiable evidence that this event ever actually happened?

    Your beliefs are (perhaps) interesting, but it is up to you to produce evidence that your version of what who when etc actually happened. Otherwise your beliefs belong in the same category as “UFOs stole my baby”.

  27. 27
    sterusjon says:

    Timothya,

    To all the statements of what I believe, which you block quoted, you may now add this one: I, personally, believe you missed my point entirely.

    I was not attempting to scientifically answer anyone of the questions. I was trying to point out, for Gregory’s benefit, that within the community of intelligent design proponents there is only one of the questions, “what?”, where we can come to anything resembling consensus. Since all the others are inextricably entangled with our individual point of view, that it is a fool’s errand for him to so intent in his campaign against what he perceives as Big ID. Does that help?

    You say:

    Now you have a chance to explain the difference between your mode of thinking and how a scientist thinks.

    Although, I not even trying to make any scientific statements (everyone one of my answers was a personal philosophical/theological statement by intention) I will rise to your bait.

    Since you challenged me, allow me to state the corresponding answers to the first two questions. I trust that will suffice to make my point. I am reasonably sure I could frame the remainder is a very similar flavor. It would be, I think, colossal waste of effort, however.

    What?: I, Dr. Natural-processes-only Scientist, believe that humankind can be completely explained in terms of random chance events and natural law, without any need to invoke the actions of an intelligently designing entity. (Cite:Timothya’s Philosophy of Science 101, page 1.)
    Who?: I,personally, believe that Nobody did it. (Cite: None available (Trust me, I just know there is Nobody, at least Nobody that really matters.))

    Pray tell, how is the “scientific” form of the equivalent answers to these questions any different than mine. They are just as inextricably entangled with philosophy and theology as mine. It is obvious that they, in fact, are not scientific statements at all.

    You did not block quote me on another point I tried to make about the natural processes only vs some intelligently designed aspects points of view. So here is what I had to say:

    Alas, the vast majority of our opponents are unreachable because they refuse to focus on the “what” question and, instead, want to drag in the “who, where, how, when and why” questions where each of them, also, has non-negotiable, albeit, indefinite answers. They, consciously or unconsciously I know not, seem to be oblivious to the fact that the “who, where, how, when and why” questions are inextricably entangled with philosophy and theology and that there is no hope of solving the conundrum, natural processes only vs some intelligently designed aspects, by discussion of those questions. The only place that intelligent design proponents agree is in the area of “what.” The only place that intelligent design proponents can, in unity, engage the natural process only advocate is in the “what” question. The “what” question is the area of the multifaceted issue where we have the common ground of empirical observation (science) with the natural processes only advocates. Unfortunately, it seems, that most of them would rather ignore the empirical venue in favor of the philosophical and theological “who, where, how, when and why” questions.

    It seems you missed that point, too. From our differing perspectives there is no hope of meaningful dialog around the “who, where, how, when and why” questions. But, in your response to me that is directly where you headed. Why, am I not surprised?

    But, irony of irony, you proceeded to prove my very point by invoking Isaac Newton and his belief, as you put it, regarding alchemy. In this discussion, his beliefs, in this regard constitute the answer to the “what” question. Now, I suspect that you are convinced that his answer to the “who” question would be defective, in your view, and somehow make some appeal to his Christian belief in God. That being the case, if he where alive today, how would you proceed to convince him that his confidence in alchemy was ill-founded? Would you sit him down and explicate from philosophical and theological and atheistic works to somehow convince him that his answer to the “who” question is wrong and try to convince him that your particular answer is correct? Somehow, I doubt it. Rather, I think, you would appeal, rightly so, to observable data and repeatable experimentation as that you can bring to bear on the “what” of the first question.

    If you were to choose to engage him with the philosophical and theological aspects of his answer to “who”, you quickly get bogged down in he said, she said nonsense. If you proceed by addressing the “what” by means of what can be presented for his personal observation, I think he would readily abandon his false conceptions in the issue and return to repose, satisfied that he had yet more knowledge of the marvels his Creator’ handiwork. 🙂

    Get my point, now?

    Stephen

    PS. Alchemy has an element of truth. It is possible to transform common materials into gold and silver. Nucleosynthesis, you know. Just sayin’.

  28. 28
    sterusjon says:

    Timothya:

    I see that, in my preceeding post, my tongue got stuck in my cheek a couple of time. I hope you do not mind.

    Stephen

  29. 29
    Mung says:

    timothya:

    Here is a clue: personal beliefs are irrelevant in science.

    LOL!

  30. 30
    Gregory says:

    “NM and G[regory] are conspicuously absent from a thread in which natural theology and its links to design[/Design] are explicitly on the table.” – KF

    Not speaking for NM, but you are forgetting, KF, that I was ‘excused’ from participation on vjtorley’s threads because he felt I was challenging his belief that one can faithfully be both a thinking Catholic Christian and an IDist at the same time. So the typical accusation is empty.

    In my view, Ed Feser (who is a thinking Catholic Christian that rejects Big-ID) has thoroughly debunked Torley’s Big-IDist position. The Thomist rejection of Big-ID has been supported in other recent threads.

    Torley has said he doesn’t know a single IDist in Japan, after living there for several years. While I’ve already been in contact with one (he was previously a DI Fellow) and have never even visited Japan! Obviously Torley’s not looking very hard in his activistic IDism.

    And coming from a guy who repeatedly claims FSCO/I is a universalistic measure and thus a victory for Big-ID theory, KF, your physicalist theoretical appeal to natural theology is disingenuous. If you want to talk natural theology at UD or on your website, be welcome. Just don’t call ‘IDM-ID’ a theory of ‘natural theology’ unless you want to openly admit that ‘ID’ is not *only* a natural scientific theory. You can’t have it both ways, though many IDists like to try.

    (cont’d)

  31. 31
    Gregory says:

    “Supporters of Intelligent Design accept more of evolutionary science [than YECs], but argue that some features of life are best explained by direct intervention by an intelligent agent rather than by God’s regular way of working through natural processes.” – BioLogos

    That’s a pretty good update of their definition of Big-ID since the site launched a few years ago. Of course ‘intelligent agent’ is ambiguous, but that doesn’t seem to matter much to Big-IDists. It is for this kind of ambiguous and implicationist language that people don’t take the IDM seriously. Which ‘intelligent agent(s)’ – is it/are they natural, supernatural, human, alien, or…? Answer: “Not allowed to talk about it; not part of the natural scientific theory of ID.”

    “Like all Christians, BioLogos believes in an intelligent Creator, but unlike those in the ID movement, we are skeptical that the tools of [natural] science can be used to detect specific instances of His activity. God works through natural processes, so all things observable through science are His handiwork. Science and Scripture are not in competition, and we do not believe that science should be the sole arbiter of truth in ‘proving’ God’s existence. A diversity of viewpoints regarding the age of the earth, common ancestry, and the identity of the “Intelligent Designer” exist within the movement.” – BioLogos

    The only thing perhaps objectionable to some IDists at UD might be the “detect specific instances of His activity.” Big-ID theory doesn’t say anything (except when speaking passionately in churches) about who the Creator/Designer is, even though most non-IDists know exactly what they mean. Thus, using the term ‘His’ is presumptuous, but expected. The ‘diversity of viewpoints’ appeal is also well-known, though I can’t count how many times people at UD have sought to remind and educate me about it as if I and others don’t already understand the notion.

    “the forced relocation of God by doubtless well-intentioned Christian apologists into the hidden recesses of the universe, beyond evaluation or investigation. Now that’s a real concern. For this strategy is still used by the intelligent design movement—a movement, based primarily in North America, that argues for an ’intelligent Designer based on gaps in scientific explanation, such as the ‘irreducible complexity’ of the world. It is not an approach which I accept, either on scientific or theological grounds. In my view, those who adopt this approach make Christianity deeply—and needlessly—vulnerable to scientific progress.” – Rev. Dr. Alistair McGrath (The Dawkins Delusion)

    Like Francis Collins’ rejection of Big-ID theory, this faithful rejection of Big-ID theory comes from a major player in the international landscape of science and religion discourse. IDists can, of course, scoff at it as they are wont to do. But it is only done to their sheltered ideological dismay.

    It is thus perfectly justified and scholarly (in so far as very few scholars take ID seriously as a natural-science-only claim) to continue highlighting the differences between small-id and Big-ID, which aims to clearly distinguish theological design arguments from the naturalistic ‘Intelligent Design’ theory, a distinction that both Alistair McGrath and BioLogos also make, in addition to Owen Gingerich, Stephen Barr, James M. Tour, and many others. The fact is that most people already realise this distinction and why it is valid and have simply accepted it, and, after too much over-hyped rhetoric and chest-puffing from neo-creationist IDists, stopped talking about Big-ID theoiry.

    “Since I assume a Designer behind everything in nature, I see no need or benefit in ‘scientifically’ proving design.” – Hornspiel (at BioLogos)

    Doesn’t that seem ‘reasonable’ and ‘logical’ and ‘intuitive’ for evangelical Christians to conclude? It is really only marginal, anti-mainstream, wanna-be ‘revolutionaries’ who beg and plead to differ. These are the kinds of folks who advocate for ‘Intelligent Design’ as a natural-science-only theory of origins.

    Of course, this doesn’t for a second mean that anti-IDist Christians, Muslims and Jews must stop either talking about or believing in the(ir) Creator. It just means that the concept duo ‘intelligent’ + ‘design’ has been irreparably tainted *for them* by its association with the politically-oriented Discovery Institute and the IDM’s ‘teach the controversy’ IDism in America.

    And we have a right to reject the folly of the IDM’s-ID theory as a crass attempt to re-insert ‘creationism’ into public schools.

    Theology against IDism

    (cont’d)

  32. 32
    Gregory says:

    (cont’d)

    The theological creation/small-id views held by Jon Garvey, sterusjon, vjtorley, Mung, StephenB, nullasalus, Timaeus or anyone else, including myself, should not be seen as threatened or challenged by marking this helpful ID/id distinction. It simply encourages us to recognise the proper realms of the discussion, indeed, to recognise the conversation about creation, evolution, ID, BioLogos is one that necessarily involves science, philosophy and theology (or worldview). There should be no reason for people to hide from this reality, just as sterusjon has clearly stated his views affirming this openly and unabashedly in this thread.

    To say that ID theory operates in a worldview and personality *vacuum* and that it is a natural-science-only neutral theory is so disingenuous that one can only listen to it so many times, after which there’s really no point in listening anymore. Personally, I’ve reached that limit here at UD.

    Stephen says:

    “it is the only way for the intelligent design proponent to hope to make any progress in convincing the natural processes only advocate.”

    Trying so hard to convince ‘natural processes only advocates,’ iow, to seek legitimacy from natural scientists in itself defeats the purpose of P. Johnson’s Wedge, which was partly aimed at ‘naturalism.’ If they turned their attention to the ‘who, when, where, why and how’ involved in ‘designing processes,’ then IDists would perhaps gain some legitimacy by actually producing results; unfortunately for them, they would also in the process cease being IDists. So, as of now, their theory is practically useless qua ‘science,’ other than as a pseudo-naturalistic apologetic that tries to attract former or current YECs with a theological ‘design argument’ disguised as cutting-edge biology, cosmology, physical-informatics or other natural sciences.

    Mung suggested in this thread that I am “so focused on Creationism as an ideology that he refuses [I refuse] to see the greater danger to Christian theology.” This is upside-down and inside-out; as usual for Mung who embraces playing the devils’ advocate. Theology, whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish or otherwise, can benefit significantly from designating creationism (and neo-creationism) as ideology. Much idolatry is present among YECists, e.g. bibliolatry (which, thankfully, BioLogos is working hard to help expose and to heal the USA’s literalistic Protestantism). IDists seem so ‘social movement’ happy to have parasitic, undereducated YECs joining them in their ideological hymn to ‘Intelligent Designism’ that they are willing to over-look certain blatantly obvious ignorance in their ‘creation science’ approach to natural science. Some IDists would rather ‘attack’ one of the biggest figures in science/faith dialogue, Francis Collins (either just because he rejects Big-IDism or because of his personal theology), than take a stand against Young Earth Creationism!

    Again, Mung, just read ‘ideology’ in this case (there is also a positive definition) as the over-extension of a concept into a field where it doesn’t belong. So, teleologism is the seeing of purpose, plan, goal in everything, even when it does not possess those things. The same can be said of ‘designism,’ which is an appropriate ideological label for those who think that “everything is designed,” which is what many hardcore/evangelical IDists believe. The –isms themselves may be clumsy or even unaesthetic words, but their functional purpose in the conversation is quite clear; they warn people against exaggeration and over-reaching. They speak logically, reasonably and carefully about the dangers of ideology involved in IDism.

    I’ve written here numerous times that the proper (rightful) fields to study ‘design’ and ‘intelligence’ are human-social and applied sciences, not natural-physical sciences where ID leaders seek to ‘find signs of Intelligence,’ i.e. ‘in nature.’ Thus, ID theory is to me a kind of ‘designism’ that tries to scientifize ‘design in nature,’ just in a theist-friendly/worldview-invested way instead of an atheistic way like Adrian Bejan, whom the IDM is quite understandably ignoring. vjtorley, however, thinks UD should pay more attention to Bejan’s version of ‘design in nature,’ so perhaps some IDist will finally act.

    “The field of the sciences of human action is the orbit of purpose and of conscious aiming at ends; it is teleological.” – Ludwig von Mises

    The proper fields of ‘teleological’ thought are clearly the human-social sciences, which Timaeus reluctantly (flip-flopping as usual) admits is not the ‘real’ domain of IDM-ID theory (he says ‘it could be’). Indeed, and quite surprisingly, IDM-ID theory actually takes the teleology *out* of ‘design’ by refusing to speak about ‘designing processes’ and ‘designers,’ i.e. who have goals, plans, purposes, etc. in their minds. Only by appealing in disguise to univocal predication (i.e. between humans and God) do IDists seek to overcome this very real gap. Yet by not openly admitting that theology is in any way involved, the IDM’s tongues are tied in contradiction. By stating they think, as some people at UD have said, that Big-ID theory *could* study human-made things (e.g. the ‘anything with FSCO/I’ approach, which was already predicted in the Wedge, and by Behe in 1999), but just doesn’t waste time on that because it is after ‘bigger fish’ is a colossal joke that can only be sold and bought because cosmologists and biologists keep thinking and portraying themselves as kings of the imbalanced Academy.

    Indeed, only if one wants to openly and honestly call ID theory as ‘natural theology’ does it actually qualify as a ‘teleological’ field. But then, if so, it categorically *cannot* be a natural science-only as Big-ID theory currently requires.

    As one of UD’s most respected writes:

    “I hold that science can and should leave room for the supernatural, and that God-talk has a legitimate place in science.” – vjtorley

    That’s either natural theology or scientific theology, but it is surely not ‘natural science’ as actual ‘scientists’ understand the term. And thus, some/many IDists want to create an altogether new definition of ‘science’! It is a ‘Christian science’ or ‘theism-friendly science,’ just like ‘creation science’ is a theologically-driven agenda promoted evangelistically by mainly Protestant fundamentalists. That is why you folks constantly lose in the courts of public opinion.

    (cont’d)

  33. 33
    Mung says:

    cont’d? really? i can’t wait.

  34. 34
    Timaeus says:

    “Some IDists would rather ‘attack’ one of the biggest figures in science/faith dialogue, Francis Collins (either just because he rejects Big-IDism or because of his personal theology), than take a stand against Young Earth Creationism!”

    Define “one of the biggest figures.” Collins is “one of the biggest figures” if one goes by the sales of his popular (and intellectually lightweight) book. He is “one of the biggest figures” if one goes by his accomplishments in science. He isn’t “one of the biggest figures” if one goes by “depth of thought about science/theology questions.” Indeed, his thought on the subject of “science and theology” is less than sophomoric — warmed-over Ken Miller, and not even as intellectually interesting as Ken Miller.

    And yes, regarding theological depth, it is more appropriate to attack some of Collins’s ideas than to attack Young Earth Creationism. I may think that YEC misreads Genesis, but if it does, that’s an intellectual or hermeneutical error, not an error of attitude. The trivializing of much of the Old Testament that you see in Collins and his ilk, on the other hand, embodies an error of attitude. They want the Jesus who saves, but they don’t really like the idea of a sovereign God who is actively in charge of the universe. Many TEs have strayed a long, long way from the original evangelical Christianity of the Reformation. I thus find myself in the odd position of sometimes agreeing with TEs on the non-literalness of this or that part of Genesis, while being repelled by their attitude and motivations. They want to get rid of the clash between the Bible and modernity by surrendering whole territories to modernity without a fight; at least the YECs’ reverence for the text never lets them forget for an instant the great difference between a Biblical and an Enlightenment way of looking at the world.

    Collins is a great scientist with a theology fit for a child. I was going to say that the same applied to his former BioLogos columnists, Falk and Giberson — but of them that statement would be only half-true. I leave it others to discern which half.

  35. 35
    Gregory says:

    Because ‘Timaeus’ is such an awkward hermit-like IDist, he arrogantly imagines that IDists understand *everything*. Indeed, Timaeus himself uses superlatives and absolutes so often in his writing that people might be mistakenly led to believe that he is a tenured professor, that he is an important scholar in demand, that people pay attention to him in the academic world. Unfortunately for him, he isn’t and they don’t.

    He apparently pissed off enough people at the university where he previously worked with his self-righteousness religious studies ‘teachings’ (read: IDist radicalism) that telling about it to IDists would only give ‘ID’ a bad name. Perhaps that’s why he hides his real name behind the Greek ‘Timaeus’ and says sugary things to everyone pro-IDist. Like ‘the teacher’ in Dan Brown’s story, only a bad ending will come from following Timaeusean IDism.

    Yes, I realise I am speaking to/about my elder, whom normally I would honour. In this case, my elder has been so disgustingly antagonistic and chock-full of false testimony that he gave away his pathway to tenure and credibility. And he has been so uncharitable here at UD in his crusade to defend IDism that dealing ‘fairly’ with him is a tall order.

    Look, I can’t be held responsible for what Timaeus wrote. I just quoted directly from him and drew the ‘implications’ from it.

    Timaeus wrote: “Fuller, unlike the ID folks, understands the clash between univocity and analogy.”

    It’s similar to how Timaeus at first supported the distinction between upper case Big-ID and lower case small-id, but then later flip-flopped thus contradicting himself. Who is guilty for these words and self-contradictions but Timaeus himself? Why does he seek to blame me that he has demonstrated himself as a flip-flopper?

    Yet again we are supposed to be patient witnesses to Timaeus’ chicanery. In one breath he claims that theology has *nothing* to do with Intelligent Design theory because IDM-ID, if one reads the leaders, is a ‘natural-science-only’ theory. However, then he spouts off and contradicts himself with the following:

    “this Franciscan way of speaking about God provides a theological basis for ID.”

    Is there a ‘theological basis for ID’ or not? It seemed Timaeus was denying that in the past. Maybe this is yet another flip-flop possibility for him.

    Timaeus then accusing me of being an intellectual coward is quite cute – like nice big cheeks and a double chin. 😉 He has now ducked my challenge to him for a recorded public debate in neutral E-space. And he has not ever submitted a paper to an academic journal about ID theory, as if he had confidence that what he blurts out here at UD has any resemblance to truth. He doesn’t even write at UD behind his own name. What does that say for IDism, that one of UD’s ‘best and brightest’ can’t even summon the courage to promote his own non-IDM-ID ideas in public without a mask? “Blame the others,” has been the typical IDist answer, which we are to expect again.

    Keep dreaming of a ‘Revolution-baby’! No nearer to reality or the rehabilitation of Timaeus’ tenure possibility will happen than that.

  36. 36
    Gregory says:

    (cont’d)

    Stephen (sterusjon) asked why I’ve been ‘doing this’ at UD.
    Much of the IDM is simply a reaction to Richard Dawkins’ “The Blind Watchmaker” (1986). But what IDists should imo have responded to is “The Extended Phenotype” (1982), to Dawkins’ scientific contribution and left the work of apologists to apologists, like Alistair McGrath and John Lennox (who in “God’s Undertaker” also expresses his thoughtful reservations about the concept duo ‘Intelligent Design’). Instead, IDists chose to become scientistic apologists against an ideological ‘naturalism’ that their under-developed philosophy of science, American-style (MN, Christian ethicist P. de Vries) didn’t enable them to overcome.

    When he’s not speaking like an apologist for atheism and/or agnosticism, Dawkins actual writes interesting natural science, e.g. the ‘pipedream’ at the end of Extended Phenotype, But Not Too Extended is quite provocative.

    Yet what he calls ‘memes’ are an over-extension of Dawkins’ gene-centric view.

    “I still haven’t the faintest idea how human extension has any possible bearing on natural phenomena or creation.” – Jon

    My work on ‘human extension’ offers one of the most direct challenges to ‘memes’ currently available. It rejects ‘naturalism’ as a pseudo-social-scientific theory of ‘change-over-time’ and likewise overcomes ‘evolutionism’ by inquiring about ‘things that don’t evolve.’ If you are against ‘universal evolutionism,’ you should be for ‘human extension.’ It just so happens that at the same time, over the years, I have come to reject Big-ID theory, in part for the very reason that it needs to be named ‘Big-ID’ – it is just as ‘scientistic’ as the naturalism that it seeks to overturn.

    Human Extension is not a ‘naturalistic’ theory; it studies ‘human character’ and decision-making, including innovation, invention and development. It studies the ‘effects of intelligence’ (as Demsbki likes to say) in a much more coherent and fruitful way than Big-ID theory. If Jon doesn’t think that counts as ‘creation,’ then that’s his prerogative. As far as what bearing it can and perhaps will eventually have on ‘Intelligent Design’ theory, it’s a game-changer waiting to happen.

    Extension is an inherently teleological term (unlike ‘design’) that can apply not only to human beings, but also to non-human ‘creation/Creation’. What did the universe ‘extend’ from and what is it extending to? What does information or do patterns of information extend from/to? Simply stating ‘intelligence/Intelligence’ exists (voilà-tout) is only a minimally meaningful answer, based too much on the implications. What next? Let’s go further than what Big-ID theory disallows by fiat – let’s look at who, when, where, why and how too. The explanatory power of human extension vastly outperforms that of ‘ID theory.’

    If you would like to learn more about human extension, just click on my name and follow the links. It is an on-going project for the long-term. I predict it will outlast Big-ID theory and make a much more productive global contribution to scholarship. ‘Design theory’ as commonly understood has already and will continue to likewise contribute much more than Big-ID ideology to human knowledge.

    When talking about ‘design,’ we don’t just need to look speculatively into the distant past, at the origins of life, information or human beings. Instead, we are or can be involved proactively in ‘designing’ for today and the future. That is a massively important feature of human extension about which Big-ID theory has demonstrated almost total lack of foresight. In short, Steve Fuller’s sociological vision of ‘ID’ is forward-looking compared to Big-ID’s backward-looking cosmologism. Human extension likewise acknowledges this important backward/forward distinction.

    Axiomatically, then, from a scientific perspective it makes sense to say: human-made things are (usually) ‘designed’ and non-human-made things are ‘not designed.’ This allows space for people like KF to contend that beavers and other animals are also ‘designers,’ just non-human ones. But going that track requires KF to face Dawkins, Tinbergen, Lorenz, Trivers and other ethologists regarding the possibilities and limits of (human and non-human) consciousness and ‘creaturely’ creativity. When Fuller suggests ‘nature as divine technology,’ he is already letting a theological foot in the scientific door, which goes beyond and is much more insightful than ID leaders’ views, and much more forthcoming in admitting “Of course the ‘Designer’ [that ID leaders dance around talking about] is God.” In either case, contending “everything [in nature and/or creation] is designed” is not only an audacious hypothesis outside of natural theology; it is also beyond feasibility according to the ‘rules’ and limitations of natural science to discover.

    I agree with Stephen (sterusjon); right now as it is framed ID theory “is just too damn big a project.”

    Jon claimed he is “still a theistic evolutionist.” But he is a TE who is using IDM terminology more and more regularly and railing against BioLogos for their theology. But no one should discount that Big-L in ‘Logos,’ which enables them to write: “BioLogos is a community of evangelical Christians committed to exploring and celebrating the compatibility of evolutionary creation and biblical faith, guided by the truth that ‘all things hold together in Christ.’ [Colossians 1:17]” Its fine for Jon to challenge BioLogos’ theology, if that’s his calling; but it has little to do with their science why he rails against them.

    My calling involves providing a way of moving beyond both of these ‘paradigms’ (i.e. ID and BioLogos) and also beyond evolutionism as an ideology that dehumanises people. In so far as both the IDM and BioLogos are working to go beyond evolutionism, I can work together with them also. Unfortunately, ID theory seems to be stuck particularly on (neo-)Darwinian evolutionary biology and otherwise allows ‘evolutionism’ free reign on topics like ‘technological evolution’ (Dembski) and ‘social movement evolution’ (Johnson). This was clearly demonstrated at the DI’s Summer Program; I reject definition 1 of ‘evolution’ as (holding a monopoly over) ‘change-over-time’, and they reject definition 3 of ‘evolution’ as the adequacy of RM+NS in natural history. So, it doesn’t seem like there is much common ground for cooperation. Definition 2 of ‘evolution’ is ‘common descent’ and one needn’t even bother asking for consensus here at ‘Uncommon Descent’ blog! 😉

    Stephen asked about my motivations and goals, and I have written about this here in the past, if not altogether openly (again Stephen, remember this is an IDist website and I reject IDism). My goals are to work hard in research and teaching, for student development, to discern truth and falsehoods, to do good scholarship, to talk straight and sure even when it stings or mends to listeners, to dance and sing when a topic permits it, to ask tough questions, to live, laugh, learn, grow and most importantly to follow my calling, wherever it leads. Now it has led me to face the difficult post-Soviet landscape in Eastern Europe and there are many ways to belong and contribute. And it has led me to reject Big-ID theory as an unnecessary ideology that even Protestant evangelicals in the United States should oppose.

    For any perceived insults to persons I’ve made at UD, I now apologise. Sometimes e-messages can go too far or strike too close and one rarely knows the sensitivities of one’s dialogue partner. My intention has never been to insult, but rather to educate and as someone who knows about ID theory and the IDM better than many IDists themselves, I’m not in a terrible position to be a teacher to the IDM. My intention has never been to make friends with IDists at the cost of truth. Students at the DI’s Summer Program know this first hand and we got along just fine (they will remember the skit at the end in the Indigenous restaurant). For the anti-IDism and post-Big-ID arguments I’ve provided here, I offer no apology and stand behind them as one of the most well-informed and IDM-connected ‘detectives’ of the DI and IDism on the planet.

    Have I been on a ‘fool’s errand’? Have I been making a “meaningless expenditure of my energy” at UD? Yes, perhaps. But then again, maybe it is only as wrong as was Ivan Durak.

    And with that I think it is time for me to go. If I do come back occasionally, please don’t call me “ignorant, stupid, or insane,” as several IDists have repeatedly done here at UD. You folks sound more like a reactionary, dystopian, emotionally perfect match with new atheists than ‘revolutionary’ intellectual giants when you do. And no one need seek legitimacy or dignity from such a gang of IDist partisans as you have demonstrated yourselves to be here at UD.

    “[I]t is accidental to us, not to God.” – John Henry Newman

    “The point of the Narcissus myth is not that people are prone to fall in love with their own images but that people fall in love with extensions of themselves which they are convinced are not extensions of themselves.” – Marshall McLuhan

    ‘Intelligent Design’ theory is an extension of the creationism of 20th century American philosophy of science, which IDists have fallen in love with, ignoring all the other ‘design theory’ that currently exists in order to promote their ideological crumbs.

    “The best way to predict the future is to design it.” – Buckminster Fuller

  37. 37
    Timaeus says:

    Re: Gregory at 35

    Gregory was shown exactly where he willfully took my words out of context to misrepresent my position, and his excuse is that I did in fact write the words that he quoted. Pathetic. Academically dishonest to the end.

    He writes:

    “Yes, I realise I am speaking to/about my elder, whom normally I would honour.”

    Hypocrisy. Gregory has spoken many, many times with extreme disrespect to and about people who are older than he is, here, on BioLogos, on the old ASA list, etc. George Murphy, Ted Davis, Dick Fischer, Elizabeth Liddle, Darrel Falk, Jon Garvey, John West — the list goes on and on. Gregory respects neither age, nor sex, nor religion, nor anything else; if someone persists in disagreeing with him, he starts unloading the abuse. And then he wonders why people are so unreasonable as to dislike him.

    Finally, I note that Gregory declines to answer my question about Fuller and Feser yet again. And since a clear answer to that question is absolutely essential to justify the theological case (based on univocity) that he makes against ID, his refusal to answer means that he loses the argument by default. Do I need to prove that he fails to answer due to cowardice? No. All I need to prove is that he fails to answer. Because he fails to answer, my interpretation of Fuller (based on numerous explicit statements, and contradicted by no passages from Fuller adduced by Gregory), stands. So that’s a wrap.

  38. 38
    Timaeus says:

    Well, group, I think that we may finally have received Gregory’s goodbye message, with #36 above.

    The *first* thing we note is that Gregory leaves us without telling us what the great competition was that he said he had won, and how it was supposed to make him an authority beyond all of us here on ID matters, and leave him too busy to bother any further with us rubes. I guess whatever it was, it fell through, or we would be hearing the announcement on the loudspeaker.

    The *second* thing we note is this:

    “For any perceived insults to persons I’ve made at UD, I now apologise. Sometimes e-messages can go too far or strike too close and one rarely knows the sensitivities of one’s dialogue partner. My intention has never been to insult, but rather to educate”

    This is either greatest block of lying, or the greatest example of self-induced delusion, ever published on the internet. Gregory truly thinks that he has uttered only “perceived” insults here? So they were all in our minds? He didn’t call us academically incompetent, dishonest, crafty, hypocritical, politically motivated, cowardly, duplicitous, deceptive, intellectually and socially outdated, undeserving of having an academic job, etc.? And he didn’t *know* “the sensitivities of his dialogue partners”? When they *repeatedly told* him that he was being insulting, ad hominem, condescending, rude, bullying, boastful, etc.? He didn’t *know* he was being offensive? It was all an honest mistake?

    How can any human being utter such blatant untruths, in front of the very audience which has the evidence that they are untruths, with a straight face? Does he actually think that anyone, in any context, would ever count such a self-justifying statement as a sincere *apology* for wrong done? A statement that lacks even an iota of remorse or repentance? Is this how he wants to go out?

    Finally, Gregory ends in intellectual delusion:

    “as someone who knows about ID theory and the IDM better than many IDists themselves”

    An assertion calculated to drop the firmest of jaws, coming from a man who has had to be corrected hundreds of times for his erroneous statements about almost every aspect of ID theory. And the only evidence he could provide that could possibly override the impression of abysmal ignorance he has created here — *testimony from his teachers at the Discovery summer school that he really knows his ID theory* — he is unwilling to provide. I wonder why.

    After all, if he could get notes from Behe, Dembski, Wells, Meyer, West, etc., saying: “We disagree with Gregory, but we have to admit that he is one of the best summer students we ever had. He showed up punctually for all the classes, and always had all the readings done, as he demonstrated by his careful referencing of arguments from the texts in all the sessions. He showed an understanding of all the key scientific concepts used in ID argumentation. His theoretical grasp of ID makes him fit to define ID and to teach it in a wide variety of contexts.”

    — in that case, we would all have to defer to Gregory’s certified expertise. But oddly enough, both his report card and his academic transcript seem to have gone missing.

    Thus, regarding Gregory’s knowledge of ID, if I may borrow a leaf from Gregory’s book, and quote his words incompletely:

    “I’m not in a … position to be a teacher to the IDM.”

    I certainly agree with that statement. (And if Gregory makes some unreasonable protest about my manner of quoting, let me say that every single word I’ve reproduced comes from his own post, and the words are even in the original order. So it’s a totally academically honest rendering of your intentions — right, Gregory?)

    Finally, I think it’s very appropriate that Gregory closes with a quotation about Narcissus. After the experience of the past few years, I feel I’ve known Narcissus personally.

  39. 39
    Kantian Naturalist says:

    I know it’s not my place to say this, but here goes anyway: I believe that Gregory should be shunned by the interlocutors at Uncommon Descent.

    I find Gregory’s ideas quite interesting, from what I can make of them, and I enjoy reading his posts. But his constant swipes and personal attacks on Timaeus are simply intolerable. I can only imagine what Gregory might say about me if he knew who I was in “real life.”

    Since the topics here do not seem to be heavily managed, UD is basically a self-governing community. And since no one here has administrative tools, the main tool we have is the power to shame and to shun.

    I therefore suggest that, in light of Gregory’s ad hominem and really quite nasty swipes at Timaeus, that the Uncommon Descent community strongly consider ignoring all of Gregory’s posts until such time as he completely and permanently desists from all insinuations about the lives and careers of other blog participants.

  40. 40
    Axel says:

    Now! Now! Timaeus… Don’t be ordering him to answer questions however relevant, even crucial.

    He would normally love to answer the questions put to him by ID-believing polemicists, but he’s darned if he’s going to be ORDERED!!!!! to do so. And I have every sympathy with him. There’s far too much bullying on the Net. So, there!

    PS: It’s taken y’all a long time to realise that arguing with a post of Greg’s just makes two fools. He makes that Elizabeth seem a ‘straight arrow’.

  41. 41
    Axel says:

    I shouldn’t have called Greg a fool. Let me put it this way: when a potentially cerebral person persistently indicates that reasoned arguments are opaque to him, surely his attitude is more than a little questionable, and you are wasting your time and effort responding to his ambagious, dialectical shenanigans.

  42. 42
    Mung says:

    Gregory:

    This is upside-down and inside-out; as usual for Mung who embraces playing the devils’ advocate.

    There is no devil. It follows that I cannot be his advocate.

    Theology, whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish or otherwise, can benefit significantly from designating creationism (and neo-creationism) as ideology.

    There is zero chance that Islam will denounce itself as an ideology. Can we deal with reaLity here, Gregory?

    otoh, Christianity has never wedded itself to literalism.

    Gregory’s problem is that he cannot get past his own ideology of “human eXtenstion” to join those of us who are decades beyond that ideology.

    Again, Mung, just read ‘ideology’ in this case (there is also a positive definition) as the over-extension of a concept into a field where it doesn’t belong.

    Do you mean over-eXtension? Where does it eXtend from?

    Gregory’s problem is that he is too obsessed with the creation/evolution/ID debate. He can’t see the danger of literalism beyond those self-imposed boundaries.

    It’s never occurred to him that literalism could impact the Gospel.

    My own awareness of literalism came from a different source entirely. It came from considering the writings of not Morris, but Lindsey.

    Which idea is more dangerous I ask you? That the world was created 6000 years ago, or that the world will end between September 3 2013 and September 7 2013?

    Yes, my own vision includes that of Gregory but goes beyond it. Will he join me, or is he too attached to his pet project against ID?

  43. 43
    Timaeus says:

    KN:

    Thanks for your remarks in 39 above. It looks as if Gregory has taken himself out of the game, so your advice may have come too late for this round, but if Gregory returns — as I expect he will, since he is obsessed with attacking ID, and seems to be planning to base his entire academic career on that activity — I hope you will repeat that advice. I will try to follow it.

    I had originally suggested that we not reply to Gregory whenever he mentioned “Big-ID versus small-id,” in hopes of getting him off that kick. But people gave in to temptation and kept responding to posts in which he appealed to that distinction, with the predictable result of more obscure posts containing endless wrangling about vocabulary that only Gregory seemed to understand. Given that a specific boycott of posts on ID versus id (posts which everyone here agreed were irritating and confusing) was not achievable, I’m not sanguine that people here would be able to carry out a general boycott of Gregory’s posts (until such time as he changed his behavior). But we can hope that everyone will rise to the occasion. The only way to stop attention-seeking behavior is to cease to reward it: one must withhold the attention that the attention-seeking person is craving.

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