Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


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In his excellent paper, Jeffrey Koperski argues very well that ID has been unjustifiably excluded from rational scientific consideration. He says that motives imputed to ID proponents should not color consideration of the validity of the theory, and that excluding a theory on definitional grounds is not historically or logically valid. He argues not so well that ID goes further than the data demands. He says there are other competing theories that require less radical movement by consensus science, and evolutionary theology. What do you think?

“ID arguments about the limited explanatory power of mutation and natural selection fit comfortably within Conway Morris’s picture. Both agree that new kinds of explanations are needed that would lead to a more general theory of biology. William Dembski himself sometimes equates ID with a “telic process” and acknowledges that some forms of naturalism are compatible with it, namely those that include irreducible teleology.

Yet instead of joining hands against Dawkins-style reductionism, he criticizes non-ID proponents of teleology, mainly on theological grounds. Although ID purports to have a “big tent” approach, the tent apparently is not big enough for theistic evolutionists. Mere teleology is too abstract for William Dembski. If design is not empirically detectable, he believes, there is no ID.

In my view, the leading proponents of ID often have been too quick to spot enemies and too slow at finding common ground with others. Similarly, to ID critics there can be no honest skeptics of Darwinism, only Creationists who have gone to extremes to appear dressed and in their right minds.”

An earlier version of this paper is available free here.

When ID is compared to other non- or quasi-Darwinian proposals, it appears to be a more radical solution than is needed in the face of the anomalies. Here's a question that I think is not asked enough: "Why would one think DNA is not designed?" Try and answer it and you might see a perspective shift. tribune7
As tentative as I am to criticize Jeffrey, who is open-minded and thoughtful, there is the aspect of 'compromise' within the paper that I'm not so keen on. For instance, I think it's argument #3, which is #1 against ID, that says "there are less-radical theories that we could shift to, rather than ID". I don't think science is a matter of compromise with respects to 'truth' - what is, is; what ain't, ain't. We shouldn't select theories on how 'nice' they sound, nor in that they appease the majority of people. Or is political correctness about to manifest in science too? But perhaps that's a minor quibble about a man is earnestly trying to think and analyze things. Avonwatches
Koperski seems to be saying that IDers are excluding TEs from the Big Tent. I think it is rather that TEs want to exclude themselves from the open ID tent because they seem to insist that intelligent creative activity must never be detectable. idnet.com.au

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