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Bill Dembski on the future of intelligent design in science

Continuing with James Barham’s The Best Schools interview with design theorist Bill Dembski – who founded this blog, we look at what he thinks will happen for the intelligent design community:

WD:  The bottom line is that ID remains without the sort of institutional support that could accelerate its research and acceptance. I give the Darwinists credit here for their implacable opposition to ID. The Polanyi Center was the first and remains the last ID center at any college or university. It’s a sad commentary, not just on higher education, but on Christian higher education specifically.

One of the main lessons I’ve drawn from this is that most of the academic world, Christian included, is not so much concerned with truth as with fitting in and looking good. Perhaps I should have known that from the start. After the Polanyi Center closed, so too did much of the sympathy toward and curiosity about ID. In many people’s minds, ID was no longer a winner, and people like to be associated with a winner. We saw the same phenomenon a few years later with the Dover trial.

But history teaches that truth has little to do with winning and losing. Christ—the one who calls himself “the way, the truth, and the light”— is hardly a picture of victory on the Cross. So, I never lose heart.

For me personally, the Baylor episode has been better in the aftermath than in its unfolding at the time. Lots of people rallied to me. And I gained many valuable conversation partners. I had enough visibility and support so that I could land on my feet. But it could easily have turned out worse.

As for the ramifications of this incident for our culture as a whole, I don’t want to read too much into this. I don’t think it should be read as a decisive battle that changes the course of a war. Rather, I would see it as emblematic of the corruption that had existed in the academy already. This incident merely underscored the degree to which secular ideology was and remains entrenched in the academy.

Next: UD News interviews Bill Dembski on the future of ID (and no puffball “What’s the matter with the people who don’t adore you” questions). If we can’t stand to read it, we won’t write it.

See also:

Why Bill Dembski took aim against the Darwin frauds and their enablers #1

Why Bill Dembski took aim against the Darwin frauds and their enablers Part 2

Bill Dembski: The big religious conspiracy revealed #3

Bill Dembski: Evolution “played no role whatever” in his conversion to Christianity #4

So how DID Bill Dembski get interested in intelligent design? #5b – bad influences, it seems

So how DID Bill Dembski get interested in intelligent design? #5a

So how DID Bill Dembski get interested in intelligent design? #5b – bad influences, it seems

Bill Dembski: Trouble happens when they find out you mean business

What is Bill Dembski planning to do now?

What difference did Ben Stein’s Expelled film make? Dembski’s surprisingly mixed review

Comment on Dembski interview here if you wish.

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5 Responses to Bill Dembski on the future of intelligent design in science

  1. There is another theory of intelligent design out there which is not related to the ID of johnson,meyer,dembski,behe, and which claims to be a lot more powerful. Its called General intelligent design and contrasts itself with what it calls the “restricted” ID of dembski and company. Its a mathematical model developed by Dr. Robert A. Herrmann and claims to show how all natural processes in the universe,not just biological phenomenon, show signs of intelligent deliberate design.

    Here is a link : http://www.raherrmann.com

  2. That’s curious, kuartus. Herrmann claims to have come up with GID in 1979. Is it written anywhere or has it been clarified by anyone ‘in the IDM’ that they did *not* draw on or were *not* familiar with Herrmann’s work when they coined the specific concept duo ‘intelligent + design’ in the 1980s and 90s?

    http://www.raherrmann.com/compare.htm

    What it makes me wonder is whether a neo-GID, rather than a neo-RID is the logical next step?

    Probably this theme has been raised before at UD; if so, apologies for the repeat…

  3. Hello Gregory, I’m not sure if this answers your question but according to Herrmann, the discovery institute and its affiliates have never made anu comment concerning his general intelligent design model, and he also says that as far as he knows, the ID movement is completely unaware of his work. Which is part of the reason I bring it up here. I brought it up a couple of times about a year ago here at UD on a post by bill dembski. I was hoping for his thoughts on it but didnt get a response. I even sent him and the discovery institute an email more than once but to no avail.

  4. Well, it sounds like a story, in any case. Difficult to assess ‘scientific fancy’ from rigour outside of the conceptual core. Mathematicians often expect a familiarity with numbers, formulas and ideas that other fields don’t recognise. Must admit that I find Herrmann’s (grand unified) language a challenge to digest, but that needn’t be a barrier.

    Could it be that the ‘original intelligent design’ (GID) was formulated before the IDM was gathered? Herrmann was in contact with the IDM’s ARN. ASA Journal was on the radar of ID’s leaders before they came up with ‘ID’ as their central idea.

    Not clear to me if GID vs. RID was framed after ID was already ‘popular’ or if ID used GID to become popular as RID.

    Have you been in contact with the author, kaurtus?

    Here is my contact, welcome to you: [email protected]

  5. Hi Gregory. I have emailed Dr. Herrmann a few times, in an attempt to gauge his theory in relation to physical theories. I have to say that I am having a really hard time understanding his theory since it has quite a lot to do with higher mathematics like non standard analysis as well as quite a lot of mathematical logic. I tried to contact Dr. Bruce L. Gordon, a fellow of the discovery institute who is quite the expert in physics, twice to see what he thought of Herrmann’s unfied theory of everything. I got no response. I dont know Gregory. Maybe there IS something fishy going on here. The ID movement seems strangely silent on this. Its a shame though, since Dr. Hermmann’s ideas seem very interesting and no one seems to be paying attention. Not even on this thread!

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