Home » Darwinism » Thanks to Phillip Johnson (or, Darwinism in its Death Throes)

Thanks to Phillip Johnson (or, Darwinism in its Death Throes)

On a private listserve which shall remain unnamed, I posted the following to Phillip Johnson. Phil deserves a tremendous amount of gratitude for his insight and courage.

Dear Phillip,

Neither you nor I have any notion of the magnitude of the ripple effects that have emanated from Darwin On Trial, but I can tell you this: That book cut through all the Darwinian story-telling presented as science like a razor. Darwin On Trial, combined with Michael Denton’s first book, made me slap myself on the forehead and proclaim, “Holy mackerel, I’ve been conned!”

Darwinism is in its evidential, mathematical, intellectual, philosophical, and ethical death throes — thus all the hysteria on the part of its adamant proponents, whose meaning in life (or lack thereof) is inextricably linked to it.

Thanks for your contribution in helping to reveal and clarify the essential issues, which have been, and continue to be, veiled in a pedantic smokescreen by Dawinists.

Gil

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138 Responses to Thanks to Phillip Johnson (or, Darwinism in its Death Throes)

  1. I have to admit that “Darwin on Trial” impacted me like a ton of bricks, I like you Gil was utterly shocked that I had been lied to for all those years by the science I dearly loved.
    No telling how many people you have impacted Mr. Johnson. If you read this Mr. Johnson thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  2. I second the thought. That book and Darwin’s Black Box opened up this hardware/software engineer’s mind to recognizing the subterfuge that is Darwinism, and even more importantly, filling me with even more awe for the Creation and its Architect. I also had the pleasure of hearing Johnson speak in Palo Alto back in ’97, I think. One heck of a nice guy.

  3. I have to appreciate with Phillip Johnson’s efforts have led to in a larger sense. Instead of regarding the natural sciences as offering little insight into God (The TE line), or as being evidence against God (Many atheists’ line, and possibly some would call this a YEC line), the ID movement has at least promoted looking at science, nature, cosmology, and evolution with an eye for design. Considering the effort Johnson put into promoting a new way to regard science, I think we’ve only just seen the bare beginning of the great things this means for science and theists in general.

  4. Darwinism is in its evidential, mathematical, intellectual, philosophical, and ethical death throes

    While I admire your enthusiasm, to say that evolution is in its death throes is a wee bit of a flight of fancy (well, ok, more than a wee bit).

    Outside the friendly confines of the ID community, and the cut and thrust of the ID vs evolution debate, there is very little sign of any impending demise of evolution, not even here in the US which is probably by far the most ID-friendly nation on the planet.

    We, who are actively interested in ID, can get a distorted view of what’s actually happening. There are still virtually no cracks in the edifice of evolution within the biological sciences community where ID is still very much of fringe interest if that. And the wonderful polling numbers ID can get from the American general public are no different from (and possibly worse than) the polling numbers creationism got twenty years ago. That’s because it’s the same people supporting ID that supported creationism (many of whom still do) for purely religious reasons. Most of them don’t know the first thing about ID or evolution.

    Don’t kid yourself. The theory of evolution isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Not in ten years, and probably not in twenty. The odds are is that this is a generational struggle, one which will take decades, if it succeed at all.

    Unless there is some breakthrough in ID research (that is, after some significant ID research programs have actually been fully staffed and funded by some friendly billionaires… hint, hint), then perhaps there will be room for optimism but I see few signs of that happening any time soon.

    Sorry to be a buzzkill, but if you keep predicting the imminent demise of evolution on such flimsy evidence, then people will stop listening altogether.

  5. Oh, I’m happy just to know that Darwinism is dead, dead, dead, from an intellectual point of view. Whether or not it is sociologically dead is a whole ‘nother question. Sure it’ll take at least another generation. But I’ll probably be alive for two more generations. If the crumbling of a corrupt and intellectually discredited worldview takes a while, well it’s a small price to pay for decades of topflight entertainment. In the meantime, if the death of Darwinism is to remain a secret, I’m quite happy to be in on it, instead of being one of the “squares”.

  6. I don’t think Darwinism is going anywhere anytime soon. But I do think that ID has provided a way to approach and view science – perhaps primarily in a philosophical sense – in a way that allows theists to appreciate, rather than remove, God in the process.

    In that sense, ID either already has won, or is close to it. The concept of an unguided, random, or purposeless evolution is no longer the only way to approach evolution, even the specific mechanisms. I truly believe that the idea of theists (and Christians in particular) studying science and having their faith bolstered by the amazing processes at work in life, nature, and the universe is what infuriates many people.

    Remember: Even Dawkins has been on record as seeing evolution as an evangelism tool for atheists. If that status is changed, regardless of whether it’s due to a realization that the specific claims of the modern synthesis are incorrect, or simply perception, a valuable tool has been lost to the New Atheists.

  7. Hear him, hear him! DoT was earth shattering for me.

  8. He really has done an amazing service to humanity, hasn’t he? While much of the the secular world may be indifferent or openly hostile to his message of truth (for the time-being, at least!), there is no doubt that the seeds he planted will grow to fruition in the fullness of time. And, of course, we at least all know that Dr. Johnson (he is a doctor, right?) will one day be given is much-deserved reward!

  9. the wonderful polling numbers ID can get from the American general public are no different from (and possibly worse than) the polling numbers creationism got twenty years ago.

    Evolution: A Theory in Crisis was first published in the UK in 1985 – 22 years ago. Darwin on Trial was first published in the US in 1991 – 16 years ago. How many critiques of evolution have been published since? I have no real idea. If things were going on as they always had been then, at one book every 6 years or so it should be 2 – 3, but I do believe there have been a few more than that – and that’s just considering book-length volumes published in the dead-tree format. For about the last ten years there has been the internet and we can access all sorts of interesting and informative articles by people such as fellows of the Discovery Institute. (BTW – thank you for making those available.)

    Twenty-eight years ago, when I discovered I had been conned, it was by one of those “accidents” that God arranges from time to time. No-one, but no-one, in this country was questioning evolution at all and certainly not in any way that caught the notice of anyone in any branch of the news media or academia. If any of them had thought it worthwhile to randomly sample the populace to find out what they thought about creationism I believe they would have discovered that no-one in the sample had even heard of it. I certainly hadn’t known there was any problem with evolution until my lucky “accident”. But now, as I wrote a little while ago, things are very different.

    Now tour guides in very remote locations are inserting caveats in their spiels that recognise that not everyone will agree with their evolutionary interpretations of everything. Now creationists are regularly vilified in the press and IDers tend to get splattered with tar from the the same brush.

    The splattering doesn’t matter. What’s important is that here, at last, the argument is not only out in the open but is well known and well publicised. Even the Weekend Australian magazine had an article on Ken Ham and the AiG Creation Museum a week or so ago. Haven’t read it yet but, as someone once said in some form or other, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

    One way or another I’m looking forward to seeing what the state of things will be at the end of the next decade. My guess (hope?) is that ID will have been recognised more and more as scientific rather than religious, that science will be redefined as the search for truth rather than as the search for materialist explanations for everything (especially including explanations for everything that happened in the past) and that people like Richard Dawkins will be recognised more and more not as “all-knowing scientists” but as ideologues who are doing nothing more than pushing their own religious/political/moral agenda.

    Of course, knowing human beings, they’ll probably take a wrong turn with all their recognising and redefining. Maybe that will be the beginning of the end. It has to happen sometime.

    Darwinism IS dead. All we have to do now is encourage the corpse to stop twitching.

  10. Michael Denton’s book is a masterpiece, and it should be read by everyone interested in learning that the Darwinian religion is a myth.

    I still have to read Phil’s “Darwin on Trial” book. Maybe in December I will grab it, God willing.

  11. I dont consider it very fair to just picture darwinists as incompetent morons. In all fairness, you should maybe describe them as coming to different conclusions from the data.
    Also the claim that darwinism is dead is not very well supported by reality. If ID is to succeed, ID supporters have to get busy producing results that ACTUALLY contradict dawinists. I am sceptic towards both sides.
    I am sceptic about ID mostly because all I get is rethoric but no atual data.
    Darwinism is not dead, Janice.

  12. I don’t know why Phillip Johnson doesn’t run for president of this great land. He seems to really have his pulse on the thumb of what the american voter seems to deem important. By pointing out how Darwinism leads to materialism and thus always to atheism and nihilism, he has identified at a single stroke the majority of the underlying plagues holding America at siege today. If we are just monkeys and not beholdon to a creator then why can’t we have abortions, it’s just like having a pound. Covet your neighbor’s wife? Just take her, and steal his TV and guns while you are at it, when you are dead you are dead so manifest your own destiny. Even some Christians like Oprah and Sylvia Browne are infecting people with this poison that substitutes the word of God for the word of man.

    Darwinism is DEAD DEAD DEAD!!! I for one say that we should burn the corpse on an altar and beg mercy from God for allowing it to blaspheme this long!!!

    Grace and Peace

  13. Darwinism is in its evidential, mathematical, intellectual, philosophical, and ethical death throes

    While I admire your enthusiasm, to say that evolution is in its death throes is a wee bit of a flight of fancy (well, ok, more than a wee bit).

    If you’ll look at that list of adjectives you’ll notice that I made no mention of people or how aggressively they will defend the theory or their worldview based upon it, or for how long they will do so.

    The blind-watchmaker thesis and Darwinian gradualism have been falsified by the evidence.

    Also note that I made no mention of evolution.

  14. Mats,

    I’m currently rereading Denton’s second book, “Nature’s Destiny”. It’s astonishingly good. It takes the whole idea of anthropic coincidences to the next level: biology itself. Absolutely fascinating.

  15. I always hear from pro-evolution folks, including my TE friends, that both Denton’s and Johnson’s books are full of errors and that many of their arguments have been superseded by advances in evolutionary biology. Some of my TE friends who seem knowledgeable and credible to me are downright derisive of both Denton and Johnson.

    Have either of these books been produced in updated editions to counter those rebuttals, or are there other sources or websites that specifically discuss the “state of the art” and how it is or isn’t addressed by Denton’s / Johnson’s books?

    Not being a biologist, it’s very difficult to know who’s on target and who’s blowing smoke.

  16. Solon’s post #10 reminded me of a poll I conducted on a different forum a while back. It asked “What is the largest number of beers you have consumed just prior to posting on this thread?”. I don’t recall the exact results, but I do remember being surprised at the influence that alcohol sometimes has on Internet disussions.

  17. Russ I am sure that alcohol is an influence. I do not drink for my bible says that strong drink is a rager and mocker of men. I wonder if there isn’t a direct link between between Darwinism or other kinds of atheism and alcoholism. It sure seems that substituting God for wine would follow if you deny that God exists, as do the materialists!!! Does anyone know of any research in this area? It would seem to fit the Theistic Interpretation of ID as formulated by BA.

  18. You missed my point, Gil. Whether you call it Darwinism or evolution, the hysteria you mention isn’t in evidence once you get away from the heat of the ID/evolution debate.

    What material changes have been made in the biological sciences community in the past 10 years that ID could claim to have influenced? Perhaps a class or two has been added discussing the controversy in terms of the politics of science, that’s about it.

    What you are calling death throes are but mere pin pricks. Yes, ID has succeeded in getting the attention of the scientists, and they are annoyed, even angered by the attacks (being stabbed by a pin is painful!) but there is still a long, long, long way to go before there’s a chance of inflicting a serious flesh wound.

    Let me make a prediction. Ten years from now, in 2018, the way things are going, things will be just about the same as they are today. There will still be no ID research programs in the universities (not even in privately funded Christian colleges, it seems), and there will still be no changes to the definition of science or to any mainstream scientific text books that are the result of any research involving ID.

    Simply declaring Darwinism dead doesn’t make it so. Nor does the publication of any number of books and articles in the popular press. I’m sure that the production of ID books is outnumbered many times over by all kinds books on pseudoscience, so measuring success based on the size of the royalty checks a subject can generate is useless.

    I admire your enthusiasm, and respect for Philip Johnson. All I am trying to do is inject a little reality and sense of proportion into the debate. It may be fun to predict the imminent demise of Darwinism, but one can only do so for so long before looking profoundly out of touch with reality.

  19. I am inclined to agree with Gil and Solon on this one, Tyke.

    Yes, the science has not progressed as far as we would like; but the fault lies primarily with the science community being exclusionary.

    Beyond the science community we are making great strides. The doubt surrounding the Darwinist agenda is now widespread in the public at large (surveys show this clearly).

    The materialists are caught in bit of a pincer movement and are horribly stuck. It’s glorious to listen to them squeal!

  20. Yes I agree with tyke that we must inflict more damage upon our enemies with less strokes. As much as I love to listen to the materialists whimpering in pain we must respond with much fury and righteous indignation at their attempts to subvert our children. Children are our greatest resource and we are sending too many of them off to the educational concentration camps with the hopes that they may pass through unscathed.

    I believe that the best chance for ID in the public marketsquare of ideas is to ensure that children have the best opportunity to be truly educated, and that means teaching them at home with the bible and using biblical principles.

    that is difficult in today’s secular society that looks down on the biblical role of mothers in our culture and the economic necessity of having two incomes to keep our bloated ways of life afloat. I heartily recommend to fellow christian families that they consider the biblical truths behind the notion that men should be breadwinners and free up the role of women in the home to be good teachers to our children.

    If we teach our children right (i.e. by the Word), we will overcome this entrenched sociological hurdle of the materialist establishment controlling the terms of the debate and preventing the Proven Science of ID from it’s proper (ie only) place at the table. the Apostle Paul spoke of the rise of pseudoscience in the last days and we should be ever vigilant.

  21. Tyke,

    You missed my point. I’m not making any predictions as to how long the science establishment will hold on to Darwinian orthodoxy. The vast majority of those alive today will probably go to their graves believing it’s all true.

    Once Lavoisier discovered the true chemical nature of oxygen and combustion, the phlogiston theory was dead. The fact that the vast majority of scientists held on to phlogiston theory for a long time after that made no difference concerning its truth status – whether as a theory it was alive or dead.

    I’m making the same claim about the status of Darwinian orthodoxy, in light of discoveries in a variety of contemporary scientific domains.

  22. Jwarner wrote: “Beyond the science community we are making great strides. The doubt surrounding the Darwinist agenda is now widespread in the public at large (surveys show this clearly).”

    I guess that’s good, but is ID going to measure it’s success by public surveys and PR, or by doing actual, bona fide science?

    I think Tyke is being very reasonable actually, and is interjecting a dose of reality into this discussion.

    I’m open-minded to ID, and have been trying to learn about it, but as non-science lay person, my reaction to ID has been so far – is this it, is this all there is to ID? Furthermore, as a non-religious person, ID naturally brings up all kinds of questions as to the nature of the inteligent agent, yet we are told time and time again, they these questions are outside the domain of ID. Perhaps that is acceptable to faith-based person, but for most non-reglious people, this seems highly disingenous, and furthermore smells highly of small furry animals that live in sewers…

    In the end, for ID to truly succeed, it must not be treated as a PR camcampaign, but must be accepted as good science. In the end IDers cannot have it both ways – they want ID to be an alternative to Darwin, but rather than ‘win’ based on ideas, sound science, and empirical evidence, want to change the very nature of the game itself.

    I don’t think materialists do think they are in a bit of pincer or feel stuck – quite the contrary. Whatever the merits of ID may be, we have learned through the Dover affair, that ID’s arguments are sadly easily refuted. If there is squealing going on it may be for very different reasons…

  23. —–”In the end, for ID to truly succeed, it must not be treated as a PR camcampaign, but must be accepted as good science. In the end IDers cannot have it both ways -they want ID to be an alternative to Darwin, but rather than ‘win’ based on ideas, sound science, and empirical evidence, want to change the very nature of the game.

    Did you say, “public relations campaign?” Maybe we can just say that the best way to counter lies is to make a public declaration of the truth.

    Did you say, “nature of the game?” It may be worth pointing out that science is about searching for truth, not holding fast to convention.

    Did you say, “win based on ideas?” Would it be improdent to point out that Darwininan evolution has not contributed one thing to science in 150 years.

  24. Although evolutionary biology has been the almost exclusive target of we who oppose dogmatic scientist materialism (and rightfully so, since its implications are so monstrous), there is a much larger problem that doesn’t seem to get addressed: today’s physics and chemistry are saturated with materialistic presuppositions.

    Put yourself in a seminar room at any of our so-called prestigious institutions of “higher” learning. A biologist presents evidence for intelligent design. Can you imagine the hootings from the chemistry and physics wahoos?

    To say nothing of their sway in the promotion and tenure committees.

    I’m concerned that if the broader issue of materialism’s choke-hold on all of science isn’t addressed, it will remain the governing paradigm.

  25. Good grief, I must slow down. Obviously, I meant “imprudent.”

  26. In the end, for ID to truly succeed, it must not be treated as a PR camcampaign, but must be accepted as good science.

    More likely it must be good science that is also supported with rhetoric and so on. After all, that is and was the case with the Darwinian creation myth. For example, the notion of Progress is woven through it time and again and rhetoric is structured around such a point until it sometimes seems that proponents are arguing: “Well, we may believe some stupid things but we’ll have to go back to the Dark Ages if we don’t and all progress will come to an end!” or “We have to pursue explanations that seem natural to us even if they aren’t actually true because they’ll lead to progress.”

    And so on and so forth, it’s common to weave myths of progress into pretty much every other argument. If a book is ten years old then obviously scientia/knowledge has progressed passed it. Given how blind those who cite their own imaginations as evidence with respect to progress become it’s often not even necessary for them to cite specified texts, logic and facts which prove their point. By the mentally incompetent standards typical to Darwinian reasoning if a proponent can imagine progress then that’s the equivalent of empirical facts.

    In the end IDers cannot have it both ways – they want ID to be an alternative to Darwin, but rather than ‘win’ based on ideas, sound science, and empirical evidence, want to change the very nature of the game itself.

    Darwin himself changed the very “nature” of the game by supporting philosphic naturalism with theological arguments while also forbidding positive forms of theology in science while imagining that whatever he could imagine about the past was the equivalent of reason and empirical evidence, naturally.

    Whatever the merits of ID may be, we have learned through the Dover affair…

    Given that federal judges are perfectly capable of pulling decisions out of their own penumbras these days it is political to say that more has or can be been learned from the Dover affair than from empirical evidence.

    …that ID’s arguments are sadly easily refuted.

    If that is what you learned from the Dover affair then specify an ID argument and refute it.

    As far as that case goes the Founders would be quite surprised to find ID being treated as if it is “unconstitutional.” In no way does the text specify that because there is no way that they meant, intended or designed it that way.

  27. Philip Jonson should get medel of honor. A hundred years from now it will be realised that he has saved millions of lives. Fewer darwinists from propaganda in schools means fewer abortions = saved lives. I wish he was born hundred years earlier. Scientists should be smartest people, but why do they not believe in truth?

  28. The discussion between Tyke and Gil remind me of “A Weekend at Bernies”. So long as Bernie had two supporters, with motives of their own, constantly propping him up, the bulk of the party goers bought into his continued viability.

    It did not change the fact however, that Bernie was dead, dead, dead.

  29. Tyke,

    I wonder what further research into ENCODE will do for ID, since the Theistic prediction for ID will predict virtually 100% functionality of the genome with severe poly-functionality (interwoven complexity) being proven throughout the entire genome. This revelation will prove the genome to be severely poly-constrained to any type of random mutations whatsoever. Can Darwinism deal with no junk DNA whatsoever? I would think that development should shake things up quite a bit, wouldn’t you? Or do you really think Darwinism can weasel their way out of such a crushing development once again? I sure don’t see a way for them to. BUT HEY I would not put it past them to at least try.

    http://www.genome.gov/25521554

    BETHESDA, Md., Wed., June 13, 2007 – An international research consortium today published a set of papers that promise to reshape our understanding of how the human genome functions. The findings challenge the traditional view of our genetic blueprint as a tidy collection of independent genes, pointing instead to a complex network in which genes, along with regulatory elements and other types of DNA sequences that do not code for proteins, interact in overlapping ways not yet fully understood.

    http://www.boston.com/news/glo.....unraveled/

    The science of life is undergoing changes so jolting that even its top researchers are feeling something akin to shell-shock. Just four years after scientists finished mapping the human genome – the full sequence of 3 billion DNA “letters” folded within every cell – they find themselves confronted by a biological jungle deeper, denser, and more difficult to penetrate than anyone imagined.

  30. 30

    Ironically, the Kitzmiller v. Dover lawsuit backfired by arousing my and others’ interest in the controversy. I wanted to see what the fuss was about. Following release of the decision, bashing Judge Jones became sort of a hobby with me.

    As always, I am opposed to the “contrived dualism” that treats Darwinism and ID as the only issues.

  31. Darwin on Trial was not Johnson’s best book, however. I think that “Reason in the Balance” has long been overlooked by all audiences. It presents the best case for:

    a) Why the question exists
    b) What the issue is really about
    c) What the consequences of each set of ideas is

  32. From the stuff Solon has written it seems he/she is a troll, a lame joke from our friends the brites.
    Solon if you are not a troll I am terribly sorry but IMHO the Christian apologetics and parenting advice should be left to other forums.

  33. I think that “Reason in the Balance” has long been overlooked by all audiences.

    It wasn’t overlooked by me.

  34. I think we should all remember that the design question is treated a lot differently in physics than it is in biology. I find this rather surprising given both are looking at complex systems, probably more so in biology.

    I guess physicists are just smarter, but I could be biased :-)

  35. Folks:

    First, let us prick a balloon: the core scientific issue on inference to design is not primarily a matter of further cutting-edge empirical research.

    Instead, it is a question of how one looks at and seeks to explain the empirical data.

    Once one imposes evolutionary materialism as a criterion of science — and so-called methodological naturalism boils down to only accepting explanations/ models/ theories compatible with a cascade of such claimed chance + mechanical necessity only “unfoldings” from hydrogen to humans — then, one has pre-judged the question individually or institutionally long before evidence is ever given a voice. (Indeed, if you have looked at it, the heart of Judge Jones’ ruling was precisely the imposition of such a rule, then he simply ignored contrary evidence and copied the ACLU’s post-trial submission for the relevant parts, 90+% verbatim — crude errors of fact, misrepresentations and all. And notice that this plainly just does not come out in the NOVA show — no prizes for guessing why.)

    There is a name for that sort of thing: begging the question. A basic fallacy — and one very conducive to the sort of closed-mindedness or even the rude, abusive and arrogant triumphalism that we see far too often in too many ardently Darwinist circles.

    If it is in fact true that agency — the third causal pattern in the triad, chance, mechanical natural regularity, agency — had something to do with origin of life, body-plan level biodiversity, irreducibly complex biosystems etc, or the observed intensely fine-tuned cosmos, then “science” as the materialists who dominate key science, education and philosophy institutions CANNOT find out the truth. In short, sadly, science has been betrayed and corrupted by the materialists.

    So, we have to first of all clearly and consistently address this question-begging distortion of the nature of science. Cf a good intro level discussion on this here.

    To do that, as Dan Peterson outlines quite well in the just linked, we need to tell the true history of science and expose the question-begging, then insist that we get back to the more reasonable sort of approach embedded in definitions of science and method that we can still find in say fairly recent high quality dictionaries:

    science: a branch of knowledge ["true, justified belief"] conducted on objective principles involving the systematized observation of and experiment with phenomena, esp. concerned with the material and functions of the physical universe. [Concise Oxford, 1990 -- and yes, they used the "z" Virginia!]

    scientific method: principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge [”the body of truth, information and principles acquired by mankind”] involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses. [Webster's 7th Collegiate, 1965]

    In particular, we can show that once we observe that sufficiently complex and functionally specified entities — in all cases where we directly observe their causal pattern — are the products of agency, and we see that in the cases listed above, just such FSCI [I prefer to highlight this subset of CSI]is at work, we are inductively well justified in inferring to agency as the best explanation of the observed complexity and fine-tuned functionality. (NB: on very good probabilistic reasons articulated by Dembski et al, 500 – 1,000 bits of information storage capacity takes us beyond that threshold of sufficient complexity.)

    Nor does this really require novel discoveries and high-end theories. (Though, such cutting edge research is desirable, has been and is being done [though it is half-starved for funds], and — despite the sort of persecution that has emerged in cases such as Meyer and Sternberg, Gonzalez and Dembski and Marks — has now appeared sufficiently in the peer-reviewed literature that the denial of this fact simply exposes Judge Jones’ unjust agenda.)

    As my always linked discusses, the well-established and by and large uncontroversial base-principles, methods and techniques of information theory, probability and statistics, and statistical mechanics are more than adequate to see this.

    But if the best explanation has already been ruled out before the fact, such evidence simply will not be listened to.

    So, let us face some unpleasant facts about what has happened to Science as a key institution of Western Civilisation, and then see if we can fix the breakdown.

    For, indeed, Prof Johnson is right: Darwin is on Trial, and Reason is in the Balance.

    GEM of TKI

  36. IrrDan @ 11

    I dont consider it very fair to just picture darwinists as incompetent morons.

    I have no idea where you got that from.

    becke @ 15

    Some of my TE friends who seem knowledgeable and credible to me are downright derisive of both Denton and Johnson.

    Here’s a suggestion; why don’t you ask one of them to give an example of an error in Denton’s book, ask them to explain why it is an error and then either search the matter out for yourself or maybe even write to Denton and ask him to respond. As for Johnson, you don’t need to be a biologist to understand Darwin on Trial. That book is about the logic of arguments.

    tdean @ 22

    is this all there is to ID?

    I can understand that. When I first heard of ID I wondered how anyone could construct a research program based on it. But now I think it’s a matter of how you approach your subject. Differences in approach can cause differences in outcomes.

    If you assume everything is the result of chance then on investigating, say, the architecture of the human eye, the outcome may be (has been) a decision that the architecture could be improved. We got unlucky with one or more throws of the dice. End of story. Science stopper.

    But if you assume design (i.e., that there are reasons for things being the way they are) then features that seem puzzling, given current knowledge, become the next things to investigate. In what way, if any, do these features serve to optimise the organ’s function? All sorts of interesting things await discovery.

    ID naturally brings up all kinds of questions as to the nature of the inteligent agent, yet we are told time and time again, they these questions are outside the domain of ID. Perhaps that is acceptable to faith-based person, but for most non-reglious people, this seems highly disingenous

    There’s nothing disingenuous about it at all. I’d guess that whatever is worrying you is more to do with the implications of ID, i.e., that there is a designer, than the plain and simple fact that ID as a theory has no power to identify and describe the designer. In an interview published here Dr Behe was asked, “Can a non-theist accept the concept of intelligent design?” He replied, “Yes, I think so. But admittedly it would be psychologically difficult for them.”

  37. Janice I am not so sure that what we need is more science, but probably less of it. Think of the literally billions of dollars that is wasted on a bankrupt religion masquerading as a science! When we can re-take control of our government and when we get back on the path to God as a society then we can save trillions of dollars!

    Once the materialsts and atheists are forced to accept that the world is a manifestation of an intelligent designer then there will simply be no need to waste time constructing imaginary blasphemous trees of life and studies investigating how we are just slime mold that one day grabbed a suitcase and went to work in a tall building.

    That is the beauty of intelligent design theory as I see it because it points out these aren’t even reasonable questions to ask because your evolutionary religion can’t answer them. And our children are better taught at home. We can stop wasting so much of the taxpayer money by reclaiming our covenant with God.

  38. 38

    People keep calling ID a “science stopper.” But can anyone really say that the debate over ID has not contributed greatly to our scientific knowledge? Even if evolution is true, don’t the questions raised by ID proponents help in the study and understanding of evolution? If nothing else, the debate over ID has made large numbers of people aware of the amazing complexity and sophistication of such things as the bacterial flagellum, the blood-clotting cascade, and the DNA code.

  39. [...] Descent Publisher braces for controversy as definitive book on intelligent design hits marketThanks to Phillip Johnson (or, Darwinism in its Death Throes)Dr. Markus Raze Investigates One of Today’s Most Compelling Open Problem in Random [...]

  40. Larry this proves my point. Instead of all those details about the ‘material’ ways that our bodies are constructed, we know from the bible that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. What does all this information and big words really mean? Nothing if you aren’t saved. That should be our first objective. I fear that Behe is trying to match points in the Darwinists court and that will cause a lot of good people to turn away from ID and God because they see that it’s just a debate that has already been stolen by the mateiralists who are determining the arena of the debate. You don’t need to know about bacterial flagellums or DNA to live right with the Creator. The one true goal of ID should be to exterminate the Darwinian religion and not just be satisfied with being scientifically equal because that game is rigged. Once we have taken over, we can eliminate the scientific materialist threat to our children.

  41. “Yes, the science has not progressed as far as we would like; but the fault lies primarily with the science community being exclusionary.”

    As a working scientist, I strongly disagree with the above statement.

    May I make a suggestion: Rather than complaining about a non-existent conspiracy, produce some solid research. That is the currency of science. The main proponents of ID have made some challenging assertions regarding the mechanisms of biological change and complexity. Great. But that’s only one small part of doing science. So far they have not been taken seriously in the scientific community because they have not produced experimental data that support those assertions.

    ID is a big idea, and it will require extraordinarily strong evidence to convince scientists that it is even worth a look, let alone to achieve broad acceptance. That means formulating clear, testable hypotheses that embody ID concepts, designing experiments, collecting data, and showing that the entire process is rigorously scientific.

    Those of us with an interest in ID and a science background do wonder: What’s holding back the ID research program?

  42. Solon–

    Just wondering. You aren’t religionprof in a new incarnation, are you?

  43. Solon: “You don’t need to know about bacterial flagellums or DNA to live right with the Creator.”

    You might need to know some biology in order to live right with other biological organisms on the planet (such as HIV, p. falciparum, tapeworms, rabid dogs, etc).

    It also helps if you would like to understand why anyone could be convinced that evolution theory is solid science, and why ID is struggling to gain traction.

  44. Janice said (of Denton’s book): Here’s a suggestion; why don’t you ask one of them to give an example of an error in Denton’s book, ask them to explain why it is an error and then either search the matter out for yourself or maybe even write to Denton and ask him to respond.

    The main comments are that both Denton and Johnson misrepresent the fossil record (there are many transitional forms, they say); and that advances in genetics haver further confirmed evolutionary theory.

    I have to imagine that Johnson, Denton, or others have responded somewhere in writing to such criticisms. I’m not trying to parrot the criticisms here; I’m genuinely asking for any helpful sources, so I don’t have to re-invent the wheel.

  45. The one true goal of ID should be to exterminate the Darwinian religion and not just be satisfied with being scientifically equal because that game is rigged. Once we have taken over, we can eliminate the scientific materialist threat to our children.

    I’m glad to see that at least someone here has the guts to come right out and say it.

  46. {44) Probably it would be better to say that there’s a dispute over the criteria whereby one would recognize a “transitional” species.

    Obviously there are species with a mix of features that we today would classify as “reptilian” and “avian,” or “reptilian” and “mammalian.”

    But just as obviously, such species were successful – as well adapted for their environment — as any other species. Archeopteryx did not become extinct for failing to be sufficiently bird-like.

    And on top of that, there is no way to show that any extinct species was the ancestor of any other species (extinct or extant). (Unless there is genetic evidence, which is extremely rare.) The best one can do is conjecture and test those conjectures as best one can.

    But this is true of all historical sciences. We can’t be sure of the exact pattern of evolution, but we also can’t be sure of the origins of agriculture or the causes of the collapse of the Roman Empire. That’s how it goes when it comes to knowledge of the past. If you want more certainty than that, try physics — or mathematics.

  47. becke no i am not a religion professor. i do teach a sunday school class and sometimes i work with the youth group. i work in the lawn industry sector but i have a background in mechanics and engineering mostly small engine repair.

    MacT we know that evolution is not solid science BEFORE WE EVEN CONSIDER IT because it is contrary to the Word Of God. Look at the results of America’s unholy dalliance with Darwinism: abortion, euthanasia, removing God from the public square, flag burning, gay rights, MTV and rap music, global ‘warming’ paranoia, human microchips (the mark of the Beast?) and the UN.

    It is all in the Bible and attempting to argue about the pathetic trivial points raised by darwinists just plays into their hands. We need to get this debate back into the True Science that is Scriptural and not jump at the carrots the materialists wave in our faces.

    atheist materialists and liberals and other darwinists find a nihilistic solace in peering into the abyss of the universe and convincing themselves that there is no God. They have to because God said that he had stamped his presence on every heart, and a fool sayeth in his heart there is no god.

    If Intelligent Design Theory turns it’s back on the bible it will just be like any other human contrivance, an abomination before the Lord and just another artifact of the Fall. Let’s not let this happen.

  48. Paula wrote:

    “Solon–

    Just wondering. You aren’t religionprof in a new incarnation, are you?”

    Solon, your posts read like a farce. That’s what Paula meant.

    They come across as a badly developed contrivance, a ruse. You appear to be, not a real person, but a person badly written.

  49. Apollos I am not here to spread the spirit of divisiveness but to implore my fellow believers that ID is only a worthwhile effort if it brings more souls to Christ. We should never bog ourselves down in the mire that is scientific naturalism. I have never proclaimed to be anything but a sinner and I fully grant the expertise that the great scientists of this generation claim as is their due. As i have said I am just an interested christian who is fully behind the desire to stamp out liberal athiest materialism that is behind darwinism and to reclaim our country from these forces of evil. But I fear the ID movement will follow in the same trap of trying to ‘explain’ things in the same way the darwinists do, at the end of the day it’s not a ‘Design Inference’ that is important but salvation through Jesus Christ. I apologize if I have been unclear or rude.

  50. Solon,

    Once again, you appear to be a caricature — developed on whim, without much thought given to consistency of position or vocabulary.

    You also vaguely sound like some others who visit from time to time, from a certain scientific affiliation.

    You are either trying to bait people here into engaging your religious arguments, or merely trying to tint the pages of this blog with your deception.

  51. Appolos

    Apparently I have said something that disagreed with you. I make no apologies for standing for Christ first and I am sure that if I am in the wrong I will apologize. I am a fallen human after all. It seems to me that you are attacking me for not having a vocabulary full of big words. I told you I am not a scientist and I can hardly follow some of the arguments on this blog. I am a Christian though and that means we have a command to go forth and spread the Good Word. If ID is not The Good Word please let me know and I will find other people to fellowship with.

  52. Those of us with an interest in ID and a science background do wonder: What’s holding back the ID research program?

    Resources- as in money and people.

    Scientists need to get paid and they need money to buy the necessary tools, as well as a place to conduct their lab experiments.

    But before that ID needs more scientists. And before that will happen ID needs to allowed an open discussiuon in academia.

    Evolutionary biologists have had university and gov’t funding for decades and not one of them can account for the physiological and anatomical differences observed between chimps and humans.

    IOW what is holding evolutionary scientists back?

    I know what that is- the answer they are looking for only exists in their imagination.

  53. My only attack on you is this: you are a bad actor. You also don’t understand the character you’re trying to portray, so he comes across as insincere and disingenuous. Bottom line: your disrespect for your character comes through in your portrayal. You don’t understand his motivations, nor share in his beliefs in any meaningful way. You’ve reduced him to a stereotype — made satire of him.

  54. If Intelligent Design Theory turns it’s back on the bible it will just be like any other human contrivance, an abomination before the Lord and just another artifact of the Fall. Let’s not let this happen.

    The leaves on my lawn are an artifact of (the) Fall. :)

    Let’s leave the Bible out of Intelligent Design. We should make sure that happens.

    Intelligent Design is an a-religious PoV. I aim to make sure it stays that way.

  55. Appolos I guess I don’t understand what you are saying. I respect character, it is part of the Way. Walking the walk and talking the talk as we are commanded. If you think I am leading people away from Christ that is a serious charge and I will have to re-evaluate my actions. But I am playing no games, I assure you. That shows poor character in my book, the Teacher said Let your yay be yay and your nay be nay and I try to hold to this. I am very sincere and ingenuous.

  56. Joseph I don’t understand why you would say these things. The Word is the only true account of origins that we can ever have, and to rest our apologetics on material things is to attempt to justify the means by the end desired. The means are what must go: materialism and atheism pollute knowledge. To speak of design and pretending that we don’t know that the designer is the One True God is as Apollos says dishonest and disingenuous. We know who the Designer is, and we would know that no matter what just so stories that the Darwinists tell. The details about blood clots and bacteriums are irrelevant and in my view a distraction from the Great Commission. I believe that Phillip Johnson believes this also, and Dr Professor Dembski has said similar things in the past. if this turns out to not be true I am afraid that you will turn away many people who are interested in reclaiming our country and our educational system from the liberals and atheists.

    i guess I would say, if ID is not biblical, tell me now and I will withdraw my support for it and find something that is.

  57. Instead, it is a question of how one looks at and seeks to explain the empirical data.

    Which is precisely what young-Earth creationists have been saying for years. I have heard it out of the mouths of those from Answers In Genesis themselves. “We don’t need to do our own research, it’s all a matter of correctly interpreting the existing empirical data.”

    If we want ID to be taken more seriously by the scientific community than a bunch of young-earthers, then this will not fly. It smacks of being a lame excuse used by a bunch of armchair critics.

    Sorry to be so harsh, but I’ve seen enough of this drivel from creationists over the years to know that it simply doesn’t work.

    It seems to me from this thread that the current state of ID is good enough to make firm believers of those who are already inclined towards non-materialist answers to how life arose.

    That’s great, but the amount of triumphalist rhetotic about how that means suddenly, somehow Darwinism is DEAD, DEAD, DEAD is simply ridiculous. I am sure that the likes of Richard Hoagland is utterly convinced that naturalistic explanations for the Face on Mar are DEAD DEAD DEAD too, but who in NASA even bothers to give his theories the time of day? Simply saying it, or believing it youself doesn’t make it true.

    If Darwinism is wrong, then it was wrong yesterday and it will be wrong tomorrow, but that doesn’t change the fact that outside of ID-friendly confines, barely anything has changed at all.

    Why is the fuss over ID any different than the fuss over creationism twenty years ago? Creationists have been declaring the demise of Darwin ever since the first copy of his book hit the stores, and they have been wrong every time.

    Please forgive me for saying that I am highly skeptical of people declaring victory for ID already. The battle has barely even begun. It’s sort of like Churchill declaring victory over the Germans in 1939. As it stands today, ID is of little threat to the prevailing theory of life. It may be an interesting hypothesis (with a number of true believers, certainly) but there has to be some of its own empirical research for things to move forward. Hijacking other people’s research and slapping on your own interpretation is what creationists do, not serious scientists.

    Declaring triumphant victory will only delay any progress that ID makes. It smacks of overconfidence and the belief that we only have to sit around and wait for the scientists to come to their senses. And that is DEAD DEAD DEAD wrong.

  58. Solon,

    If (somehow) the Bible were shown to be a work of fiction, Intelligent Design would not be fazed.

    If (somehow) Jesus was shown to be a fictitious character, Intelligent Design would not be fazed.

    On the other hand if (somehow) the Bible were proven to be the “Word of ‘God’”, IDists would say, “That explains why we observe what we do.”

    And personally I don’t think that any one religion has it right. But if the Bible gives you comfort I will not try to take that away from you.

    I will fight for your right to practice the religion of your choice. But if you try to interject your religion into Intelligent Design, I will fight that also.

  59. Joseph thank you for your comments. We don’t have to worry about our religion being shown to be fiction, for we possess the One Truth. You are right that religions are man made so fallible. But

    But Intelligent Design has been called is the logos of the Gospel, and we know this is true. To try to separate ID from the Bible is foolish because the bible is the instruction book for life. Intelligent Design is not my religion, I follow Jesus. If Intelligent Design is going to divorce itself from God then it won’t get very far in what I see is the main goal: to eliminate and put to death the materialist mythology in our culture. We must reclaim our children and this demands that they have a sound biblical basis for understanding the supposed facts of the world. Americans don’t need more scientific mumbo jumbo, they need to know that the bible is true and provides a route to salvation, not any trivial nonsense about bacteria and things you can’t even see! Those things don’t even matter and it is a waste of time to study them! We should be focusing on getting darwinism out of the public schools and not on trying to replace it with some other godless ‘theory’.

  60. Solon,

    It is obvious from your posts that you have little understanding of Intelligent Design science. It is also obvious that you have little understanding of the essential teachings of Jesus. And it is mostly obvious that you have little understanding of the fundamental nature of truth or the qualities of mind necessary to recognize it.

    Give up this ruse of yours; it is far too transparent to be believable.

  61. Solon,

    It is obvious from your posts that you have little understanding of Intelligent Design science. It is also obvious that you have little understanding of the essential teachings of Jesus. And it is mostly obvious that you have little understanding of the fundamental nature of truth or the qualities of mind necessary to recognize it.

    Obvious? What seems obvious to me is that someone is being intolerant and rude. And vague…

  62. Solon,

    My guess is that you are a parody. Either way you are not accurately representing ID.

  63. I’m fascinated by the assertion that Solon is a parody or caricature.

  64. “Americans don’t need more scientific mumbo jumbo, they need to know that the bible is true and provides a route to salvation, not any trivial nonsense about bacteria and things you can’t even see! Those things don’t even matter and it is a waste of time to study them!

    LOL!…Good grief, I can’t take this anymore. Nobody actually says things like this in real life do they???! Can we be done with the sock puppet?

  65. I don’t know this Solon person but if Solon is a sock puppet is Phillip E Johnson one also?

    This is the frustrating part of the Intelligent Design movement. The tent is big until you proclaim your love for Jesus and believe (know) the “intelligent designer” is God Almighty.

    When expressing what you believe to be the Truth is a form of sock puppetry we’re in deep trouble.

    And I too am not one to sit around and quibble over science talk, I’m admittedly no scientist and have a hard time following all the cell, DNA, RNA, etc discussions. But I know in my heart who the “intelligent designer” is and I don’t need a science book to validate that Truth.

    Atheism and Darwinism are the enemy, not honest Christians.

    Does that make me a sock puppet too?

    Watching Christians try and crucify another Christian is unsettling to say the least.

    What am I missing here, what has Solon said that is so objectionable?

    Tim

  66. I think this Phillip E Johnson quote is highly appropriate:

    “This isn’t really, and never has been a debate about science. It’s about religion and philosophy”
    http://www.leaderu.com/pjohnson/world2.html

    “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.”

    http://web.archive.org/web/200.....cs4995.htm

    Again, why the persecution of Solon?

    And Joseph, do you plan on fighting Mr Johnson too?

    Tim

  67. Oh, come on…I’m a Christian who has no problem proclaiming my belief in Christ and Truth, but this dude made the statement that we don’t need to waste our time studying…

    “bacteria and things you can’t even see! Those things don’t even matter and it is a waste of time to study them!”

    That is utterly ridiculous, and someone is obviously having a grand time with this little skit.

    If not, then I’m truly sorry, but this just reeks of sock puppetry.

  68. Daniel King,

    Intolerant and rude? How intolerant and rude is it to pretend to be an imaginary caricature for the purpose of insulting an entire group of people whose only crime is to seek the genuine truth of their origin? I have little interest in religious dogma, but I have considerable interest in understanding how life developed and what fair minded scientists have to say on it.

    I’m no scientist, but I do understand the distinction between truth and belief. As a layman I depend on open and honest presentation of facts and information relating to these essential questions of life. Intentionally muddying the water with stereo-typical religious bigotry only distorts the honest discussions that are necessary for genuine understanding.

  69. Well personally I don’t have the time (or the interest) to study bacteria and things I cannot see. That doesn’t mean others should not.

    And Joseph’s comment “But if you try to interject your religion into Intelligent Design, I will fight that also.” suggests he’s going to fight Phillip E Johnson and many other ID advocates.

    There are often very well intentioned but hypocritical and contradictory statements made on this blog and it’s very frustrating.

    And it appeared that Solon is being ganged up on for expressing his faith. It’s almost like as long as you are a BIG time ID advocate and have written a few books you can claim and talk about your faith, but if you are a simple ID supporter you’re supposed to stay in the closet and never mention God or Jesus. I’ve seen admins here delete comments about God and Jesus yet you never see them delete or criticize comments like that coming from Dr Dembski.

    That bothers me.

    Tim

  70. Yeah, well anyway, I’m guessing that UD is dealing with more than one sock puppet at the moment.

    nuf said

  71. Well I read Solon’s comments again to see if I am overlooking something. The only idea of his I find wrong or objectionable is the notion that Darwinism is dead. It is clearly not dead but that’s no reason to vote him off the island. Other than that I think he makes some very relevant points, at least from a Christian perspective. And if understanding or even caring about the structure of a cell is required to support ID I’m afraid I should be voted off the island too. Not everyone wants to be a scientist or have a micro-biologists understanding of cells and chemicals.

    Ok, I’m done on this subject. Sorry if I seemed to get carried away.

    Tim

  72. It appears that the people here believe that Intelligent Design is not a theory compatible with christianity. I find that deeply troubling, especially since most of the ID folks I have heard about claim to be christians in public. I simply state my beliefs that Intelligent Design is a testimony to the Biblical Creation and is predicted by the Bible given to us by the Creator and I am attacked by people here as an impostor or some kind of troll or teen ager making trouble. I will hold my tongue and not answer you in kind but I and my church will be praying for you.

    And I see this problem everywhere. We don’t need ‘scientific’ arguments in this full frontal assault on darkness. Scientific arguments play right into the hands of the darwinists who have defined what is evidence and what is not. Since our thesis is that nothing you can measure or see means anything, since Creation is ultimately the merciful whim of a loving and just God, it is ridiculous to assume the same tack as the darwinists and struggle to discern meaning in the pathetic details of human understanding.

    The bible is real and true and I understand that this fact makes some people upset, but I never considered that those people would be here at a site that purports to be about Intelligent Design and thus the bible and Christianity. I have read many articles about Christianity here before I gained the confidence to comment in this tight-knit community. it appears that the post-modern influenza has even infiltrated here, a place where one would suppose that fellow believers could fellowship together without the divisiveness that comes from confronting human knowledge with human facts, facts that are always up for debate and ephemeral.

    If Intelligent Design denies the bible, then Intelligent Design is dead, just as dead as darwinism and atheism and nihilistic materialism. The goal cannot be reached with out acknowledging our debt to the Creator of the bible, and all this postmodern mumbling about we don’t know who the designer is IS LYING. IF YOU SAY THE DESIGNER COULD BE ALIENS YOU ARE LYING. WE KNOW WHO THE DESIGNER IS: JESUS CHRIST.

    And that will be the same no matter what kind of irrelevant motors are in some invisible blob of a cell or how many times AIDS multiplies itself in a drug user or homosexual. If you say that these material things actually constitute evidence, YOU ARE LYING. THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD AND THAT IS ALL THE EVIDENCE THAT WE NEED. ALL ELSE IS SHIFTING SAND.

  73. Solon: “The bible is real and true and I understand that this fact makes some people upset, but I never considered that those people would be here at a site that purports to be about Intelligent Design and thus the bible and Christianity.”

    Solon: “WE KNOW WHO THE DESIGNER IS: JESUS CHRIST.”

    This aptly summarizes your point of view. This is expressed as fact and your revealed truth when it is in reality your opinion. My impression is that UD is not a narrow sectarian fundamentalist Christian blog, and members should try mostly to stick to scientific and sociological issues. The discourse here in this blog necessarily is based on reason, logic and science, not theology and holy books.
    Of course I am open to correction on this.

    An even cursory reading of the major ID literature will show that your statements are not those of the major ID advocates, who clearly show that ID is primarily science not fundamentalist Christian religion. ID is true because of evidence and science, whatever the nature of the intelligence. This has been repeatedly pointed out here and in the literature.

  74. magnan what is narrow and sectarian about pointing out that Dembski Johnson Wells Behe et al are all christians and have made statements on the record that agree with my assertions COMPLETELY. Do they deny my words? Do you? Or do you just think they shouldn’t be said out loud?

    Peter denied Christ. 3 times. How many times will you? I’m trying to tell you people who are saying Ixnay on the EsusJay that you will never convince Americans to get behind something that claims to oppose mateiralism and atheism but is just another version of wishywashy materialism that uses the same kinds of things to measure and the same ways of thinking that the darwinists do. BEcause we KNOW they are wrong: not because of any stupid measurements of ‘facts’ given by some sweatered professor in some book, but because the WORD OF GOD says so. The Bible is all the fact we need, and if it is not in there it is decidedly not a fact.

    ‘Science’ is ultimately a losing proposition. There is nothing that can be known from science that is worth knowing: all that matters is whether or not you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and the rest is irrelevant. Science can tell you nothing about this because the materialists have stacked the deck. Why bother? It’s like trying to join a fraternity that you know is stupid and will haze you and maybe sodomize you but you feel like you have to join before you can tell them how dumb they are.

    Sorry. My God gave us another way out. I am wondering what the relationship between ID as is formulated here and ID as is formulated by Dembski and Johnson is. Clearly no one here that I have interacted with yet is on the same page as we are.

  75. Solon, you are a phony. Trying to classify ID as religion is a Darwinist tactic, used by materialists and many TEs alike. Your caricature of a fundamentalist is just plain bad. Your marriage of the two is atrocious! Your feign offense is reminiscent of other rude visitors to the site, most of which have been booted.

    I for one am not fooled. Trying to address your arguments is pointless. You’re merely throwing garbage against the wall here to see what sticks.

    You were confronted several times with being a fake on this thread. You chose to pretend you didn’t understand. It was almost comical. Only when a couple of others defended you did you choose to act offended. I could almost see you pressing the back of your hand to your forehead.

  76. Appolos I am sorry I have offended you. I am a phony, only because I am redeemed through the blood of Jesus Christ am I even worth a jot and tittle. I would never attempt to classify ID as religion. In the broadest sense, it is not, it is the explicit formulation of the book of Genesis and the gospel of Jesus Christ. What I am afraid that it is, in this narrow sense that we see here, just another vareity of materialist science that is attempting to glean information about the Divine through a fallen creation. No need to go through that tortuous exercise, we have the bible.

    No amount of ‘evidence’ or measurements of material things can ever get you past the material and to the transcendent Reality. Only the Bible can do that. If ID is just going to play materialist straight man then I hope they do not fool the christian community. You want ID to be non-christian, so be it. I still think that you are the minority, since the spokesmen of ID so far have been clear on the record about where their sympathies lie.

    But by letting this snake in the henhouse, this reliance upon man made knowledge and reason, these people are setting themselves up for a fall. And the tragedy with that is all of the souls that will be lost to the cause of Christ because of that, just because some egotistical self-important men let their self righteousness get in the way of serving God. Don’t let ID be Mammon, Apolos.

    I don’t expect you to address my arguments, for they shouldn’t be addressed to me in a public forum but to God in your prayer closet. As much as we all want materialism and atheism and darwinism and liberalism to be dead and gone, we can’t let that get in the way of serving Christ by example. and I submit that the example being given here on this board of ‘show them with science’ is exactly the wrong example. We need to show them the bible.

    Appolos, are you a christian? do you believe the bible is inerrant and true and Gods Word?

  77. This is becoming a very interesting epistemological problem!

    Solon insists that he(?) is sincere in what he says here.

    Several other posters — including Paula, Webwanderer, Apollos, and Forthekids — have expresses skepticism about Solon’s sincerity. It has been suggested by several posters that Solon is a “sock-puppet.” (link for those unfamiliar with the term.)

    I wonder, now: Solon, do you understand what exactly you’re being accused of here? The rest of you: what test or criterion would you be willing to propose in order to resolve the question? For that matter, is this an empirical question at all?

    Where’s GEM and his “fallacy of selective hyper-skepticism” when we need him?

    [For the record: I am, for now, agnostic as to whether Solon is sincere or a sock-puppet. It does not seem incredible to me, as it does to many here, that he is sincere. Then again, I might be credulous; others here may be picking up on something that I'm not tuned into. But I can't think of a test that would allow me to tell one way or the other.]

  78. As far as I can tell it seems that I am being accused of being insincere and disingenuous, and that i am trying to be someone that I am not. I don’t know what sort of test or criterion would resolve such a question. We are all here on our own free will, which is a gift from God. I have gathered that this must be a common problem on this weblog, and I have seen it on others (the liberals and darwinists nearly destroyed World Magazine before they got control of it and kicked most of them off).

    The Bible says that we shall know them by their fruits. I submit to you that this is the only measure of a man, and it is still just a man made measurement and doesn’t have anything to do with reality. Just like the rest of what I am trying to say.

    The samaritan took the man at his word in the road, all I can say is that this is the model god has given us and attempting to steal or discredit the glory of god by saying ‘We Don’t Know Who The Designer Is’ is not something that most christians I know would want to get involved in. And that is true no matter how many bacteria you have mounted on slides or how many E coli bacteria it takes to fill up a commnion cup. I just don’t understand the perverse reliance on facts-falsely-so-called here when the point of ID as I understand it is ‘WE CAN NEVER KNOW’ and that it is ungodly to keep trying, when we have a way out and that is to submit to the will of God.

  79. Well, sock puppet or no, he/she/it is sure taking up a load of you peoples’ time on this thread…

  80. In any case, how many born-again Christians do you know who would go by the name of a pagan lawgiver and reformer?

  81. I am extremely disappointed. My hope was that my post would inspire those in the ID community to express their appreciation to Phillip Johnson for his wisdom, insight, and courage, but this thread has completely degenerated.

    I am not a moderator at UD, just a contributor. If I were a moderator, I would delete Solon’s first comment and all that has ensued as a result of it.

  82. Gil,

    I understand you’re disappointed at what’s happened with the letter. But it may have been a tactical error to post what was, in effect, a gushing fan note to a widely read blog. The outcome is bound to be unpredictable. Who could have imagined that your letter, which says that “Darwinism is in its evidential, mathematical, intellectual, philosophical, and ethical death throes,” would be followed by a post including a quote from Dr. Dembski that ID critics “have been announcing intelligent design’s demise every year since 1990″?

  83. Gil

    I don’t understand what is the problem. I love Phillip Johnson like you apparently do and I think he would make a much better President of these United States than any of the impostors or charaltans that either party has produced so far. And nothing I said after that is contrarian or against the bible but is sound Christian reasoning. And if we cannot use good Christian reason to address intelligent Design then maybe it is not friendly to christians or not friendly to reason.

    However I believe that you are wrong, that ID is good christian reason. but when you try to take the Christian God out of Intelligent Design you are constructing a false idol that does not exist. And there are repercussion for this. Remember, the key point of resisting materialisms and athiesm is to win souls for Christ. And if that is not important to you I wonder why you are interested in Intelligent Design?

  84. For my part Gil, I apologize. To any with administrator privileges, please delete my comments on this thread.

  85. 85

    I’m appalled by comments from Solon such as:

    I would never attempt to classify ID as religion. In the broadest sense, it is not, it is the explicit formulation of the book of Genesis and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    and

    The goal cannot be reached with out acknowledging our debt to the Creator of the bible, and all this postmodern mumbling about we don’t know who the designer is IS LYING. IF YOU SAY THE DESIGNER COULD BE ALIENS YOU ARE LYING. WE KNOW WHO THE DESIGNER IS: JESUS CHRIST.

    I certainly want to see ID taught in schools, as much as anyone here. But as a follower of classical pagan Neoplatonism, I certainly don’t want my children indoctrinated with any nonsense about a Galilean carpenter being a god! I teach my children, at home, about the Olympic gods and their place in the henadic realm; schools have no business contradicting the religious instruction they receive at home.

    I should also add that I want ID to be teaching only the faults in Darwinism. Critics here sometimes complain that ID needs to provide causal explanations, set time limits to the action of the designer etc. But this is nonsense. I suspect that my idea of creation (via emanation from the henads through to natural logoi) will be very different from that of a Christian. Specifying anything beyond the fact of design would be to commit to a religious viewpoint. And ID, I sincerely believe, is religiously neutral.

  86. Gil, I, for one, wholeheartedy understand your frustration with this thread. As an appreciation to Philip Johnson, well, it started out very well, but died at about post #16.

    That said, I think that this is a very useful thread. It portrays the clear separation of church and science that is at the heart of the ID community. There is a refreshing universal rejection of Solon’s “God said it, I believe it, that settles it” philosophy. If ever there was a thread that proves that ID is not fundimentally a “Christian” or “Religous” perspective, this is it.

    It is quite intriguing that many of the ID community find ourselves in church on Sunday, and in prayer every day, yet we agree that the exploration of scientific truth needs to be unfettered by an a-priori committment to the holy writ. ID is a search for truth, all truth will prove to be God’s truth without us forcing it to fit the mold.

  87. Now I’ve heard it all. ‘Athiests’ proclaiming the Bible is true, and the so-called Christians calling him a phony, because ‘we’re not practicing Christianity here’. Careful you don’t denounce Christ 3 times…

    Why don’t you just give the guy a break.

  88. (85) Now that’s excellent!

    The “big tent” just got a whole lot bigger!

  89. Hmmm… I didn’t read this PlatosPlaything fellow when i last posted.

    Perhaps this is a college stunt.

  90. bFast,

    “It is quite intriguing that many of the ID community find ourselves in church on Sunday, and in prayer every day, yet we agree that the exploration of scientific truth needs to be unfettered by an a-priori committment to the holy writ.”

    I think anyone looking at this site in particular would be happily surprised. The amount of sectarianism is minimal – from catholics to baptists to anglicans to mormons to shintoists to buddhists to agnostics (and who knows, maybe even atheists), ID’s a subject exclusive to no one side or faith.

    Actually, a long time ago, I remember some materialists in here crowing about how Jonathan Wells was affiliated with Sun Myung Moon, and railing how this should infuriate christians. What a laugh.

  91. Let’s see, the pseudonym is Solon. I assume the reference is to Solon the law giver, who came to prominence in Athens early in the 6th century B.C.E. during a war with Megara for possession of Salamis, and was elected eponymous archon in the year 594, as recounted in Plutarch’s Lives around 100 C.E.

    Now, unless our Solon is an accomplished polymathic autodidact, it’s extremely unlikely that this moniker would have been chosen by someone who only claims to repair small engines, teach Sunday school, and shepherd a youth group, especially when the diction in all of Solon’s posts alternates between the correct use of a Latinate vocabulary and very simple, clear, but ungrammatical English. It’s as if Shakespeare had put bits and pieces of Hamlet’s soliloquies in Falstaff’s mouth. Give me a break.

  92. I apologize if I have offended anyone. All I was trying to do was inject a bit of reality into the discussion.

    I just think it’s counterproductive to claim victory so boldly when really the first skirmishes have barely begun. I was being serious about likening the current state of ID to pin pricks. That’s all they are so far. Does anyone think ID will win the day if we simply sit on our backsides and wait for the scientists to suddenly “get it”? It ain’t gonna happen. There’s a lot more to winning the hearts and minds of scientists than publishing a few books critiquing their theories.

    I think getawitness is correct in saying that it was probably unwise to publish a letter containing such hyperbole in a public forum. While the sentiment may be well intended, it really does lay you open to criticism. If you think I was harsh, what do you thing the Darwinists reading this forum are saying right about now?

  93. I tried to submit 2 comments in the past, only to be told I type too quickly?????

  94. I am sympathetic to ID, but victory is far from close.

    Major reason why scientists don’t entertain ID ideas seriously is because past had taught us that claims of “magic” are eventually debunked, and they don’t want to look like fools.

    Also, some religious people like Solon seriously scare people away from anything with religious implications.

    If only the more fervent IDists insisted less that they and God are BFF’s and stopped insisting that people believe their bizarro stories and dogmatic ideas of right and wrong, then scientists might become more open to ID, especially since there doesn’t seem to be any reason to believe that complex chemical systems can self-organize for no apparent reason, or that mind can “emerge” from nerve cells.

  95. H’mm:

    I see Carl is asking where I am when needed.

    Unfortunately, I am battling a return of the Akismet bugs that have relegated me to all sorts of difficulties at UD several times now. That, on top of local IP headaches that lead to intermittent inability to access even commonly proxy-stored pages like Yahoo.

    But, enough of my web headaches. On key points:

    1] Selective hyperskepticism?

    Nope, the issue is not that several commenters have used double-standards, but that there is credible reason to doubt the coherence of Solon as a real — as opposed to artificially set-up — personality.

    In short, there is a legitimate question on the sorts of evidential issues summarised here. Notice especially principles 7, 9, 10, 11. Excerpting:

    7] Credit due to testimony: The credit due to the testimony of witnesses depends upon, firstly, their honesty; secondly, their ability; thirdly, their number and the consistency of their testimony; fourthly, the conformity of their testimony with experience; and fifthly, the coincidence of their testimony with collateral circumstances. [p.31.]

    9] Internal coherence and external corroboration: Every event which actually transpires has its appropriate relation and place in the vast complication of circumstances, of which the affairs of men consist; it owes its origin to the events which have preceded it, it is intimately connected with all others which occur at the same time and place, and often with those of remote regions, and in its turn gives birth to numberless others which succeed. In all this almost inconceivable contexture, and seeming discord, there is perfect harmony; and while the fact, which really happened, tallies exactly with every other contemporaneous incident, related to it in the remotest degree, it is not possible for the wit of man to invent a story, which, if closely compared with the actual occurrences of the same time and place, may not be shown to be false. [p. 39.]

    “Solon,” it seems — and pardon this if it comes across as condescending, S if you are as you present yourself — may simply be of low ability [being unfortunately unacquainted with say a sophisticated reading of the natural theology of Rom 1 - 2 and related texts [e.g. start with Locke in section 5 of his intro to his Essay on Human Understanding . . . .], much less the wider issues of the philosophy of inference to best explanation on matters of causation and origins, long before we actually get to the issues of origins/ “historical” science addressed by ID thinkers]. But equally, someone above has IMHCO tellingly pointed out an inconsistency in the level of language — and the resulting consistency with the competing explanation of a less than perfectly executed Sokal-style parody.

    And, given the context of the wider controversy, prudence is a sufficient issue to warrant the caution that “Solon” — absent a change of approach consistent with the Spirit of Christ [diversity of approach, disagreement or even error are not lying! Cf here 2 Tim 2:23 - 26, 1 Pet 3:15 - 16] — may well be an inept, intended Sokal-style parody.

    So, on balance of evidence, caution is required here. Not yet proof to moral certainty, but we need to be cautious given the extremely hostile environment.

    Solon, if you are real and serious, follow up my always linked to the contact me in my reference web site, and then let us discuss, maybe in my own blog. If I have reason to conclude that you are a parody or find that you are abusive, I will label you a spammer in my email account and will report back here on my findings. (I am giving you the benefit of the doubt accorded to the real-world Apollos by A & P in Ac 18 – 19.)

    Oddly, this is a case of inference to characterisation of agents and motivations of agents — extensions to the issues currently addressed in Design Theory. Once we are confident there is an agent, then we can try to figure out who or what it is, and why it is acting.

    Such further issues are familiar in the courtroom or the History Department, but AFAIK, no-one has come up with a successful scientific framework for such investigations [discounting, for good reason, e.g. Marxist theories]. Of course, if someone has, it may well be under deep wraps as that would be of great interest to several intelligence agencies. ( [TFIC] H’mm, where is DI getting all of that money from to run its “infamous” Wedge . . . ?[/TFIC] [TFIC -- Tongue firmly in cheek . . . ;-) ]

    Now, referring to my always linked: why is it that no-one has entertained the notion that Solon is “lucky noise” that just happened to in this sub-cosmos of the multiverse, emerged from the net’s inevitable noise?

    What does that tell us about the relevance of the Dembski-style explanatory filter?

    2] Tyke,57: [(1) Warning: selectively citing GEM of TKI, 35] Instead, it is a question of how one looks at and seeks to explain the empirical data. [(2) responding . . .] Which is precisely what young-Earth creationists have been saying for years . . .

    Now, isn’t it interesting to see what the excerpt looks like if Tyke were to go on to the very next words I posted in 35 [thanks Patrick . . .]:

    Once one imposes evolutionary materialism as a criterion of science — and so-called methodological naturalism boils down to only accepting explanations/ models/ theories compatible with a cascade of such claimed chance + mechanical necessity only “unfoldings” from hydrogen to humans — then, one has pre-judged the question individually or institutionally long before evidence is ever given a voice [snip off remarks on Judge Jones, ACLU and NOVA] . . . . There is a name for that sort of thing: begging the question. . . . .

    If it is in fact true that agency — the third causal pattern in the triad, chance, mechanical natural regularity, agency — had something to do with origin of life, body-plan level biodiversity, irreducibly complex biosystems etc, or the observed intensely fine-tuned cosmos, then “science” as the materialists who dominate key science, education and philosophy institutions CANNOT find out the truth. In short, sadly, science has been betrayed and corrupted by the materialists.

    So, we have to first of all clearly and consistently address this question-begging distortion of the nature of science.

    I then linked a discussion on the issue.

    In short, by selectively citing out of context, Tyke here plainly set up and knocked over a strawman.

    What I in fact was addressing is a much more basic question, namely that there seems to be a focus on the need for new research. The root problem, though, is not that new research is nice or needed [which I actually agree with], but that there has been a subversion of science by ideologues in service to an agenda that IMHCO actually blocks — and even in certain well-known current cases persecutes — scientific progress; namely evolutionary materialism.

    For, as anyone who looks at my always linked will see, I point out there, with reasons, why I hold that the evolutionary materialist research programme [i.e the philosophy in its scientific guise] is seriously challenged so soon as it has to face the unfettered implications of basic, well-established information theory and statistical thermodynamics. [Cf 35 for more details and follow up the always linked through my handle for my main argument.]

    GEM of TKI

  96. PS: Thanks yet again Patrick and Mark et al over at Akismet — to my surprise that went straight through! (And yes — sigh! — I am now on a first name basis with Akismet’s trouble-shooters.)

    –> I also add that the evo mat research programme is in serious trouble with the facts on the ground, with several credible reseaerch programmes that impinge on it, and with the methodology of science.

    –> So, if not dead, it may well be mortally wounded. However, a mortally wounded animal at bay can be very, very dangerous indeed. [And, mortally wounded is I think more accurate than either "dead," or "not in trouble at all."]

  97. tyke

    I just think it’s counterproductive to claim victory so boldly when really the first skirmishes have barely begun.

    Once again, my point has been missed. I didn’t claim “victory,” and I am perfectly realistic about the length of time it will take for a paradigm shift (just read “The Priority of the Paradigm” chapter in Denton’s Evolution: A Theory in Crisis).

    I said that Darwinism (RM/RV + NS and step-by-tiny-step incrementalism — the core bio-generative mechanism and claim) is in its evidential death throes. I said nothing about the imminent rejection of the theory within the science community or the imminent triumph and acceptance of ID.

    When a theory is true, accumulating evidence will point ever more forcefully to its truth, but the exact opposite is happening for Darwinism, as pointed out in Behe’s Edge. The unwillingness of some to accept the evidence is irrelevant concerning the truth status of a theory.

  98. “Also, some religious people like Solon seriously scare people away from anything with religious implications”

    So are you suggesting Intelligent Design is a materialistic science? If so then it is no different from Darwinism.

    If people are scared of the Truth let them burry their heads in the sand. Gosh if we’re afraid to speak openly why speak at all?

    Tim

  99. 99

    #90:

    I think anyone looking at this site in particular would be happily surprised. The amount of sectarianism is minimal – from catholics to baptists to anglicans to mormons to shintoists to buddhists to agnostics (and who knows, maybe even atheists), ID’s a subject exclusive to no one side or faith.

    Thank you, nullasalus, for a much-needed injection of moderation and sanity. I don’t like the implication of another writer that my presence here is just a college stunt. Some people need to remember that we platonists, we pagans, were the very first design proponents. Perhaps some time spent with Proclus’s commentary on the Timaeus would do everyone some good, and provide some apparently much needed historical perspective. Christians are still using our best arguments without acknowledgment!

    What attracted me to ID in the first place was something I read about multiple designers hypothesis, and idea which seemed to be suggested by some of the field-work of ID scientists. This seemed to me to be a remarkable piece of pagan natural theology (although I hasten to repeat that I see ID as, in itself, religiously neutral. That is just my interpretation of the hypothesis).

    Thanks also to Carl for welcoming me in to the “big tent”! Rather than accusing pagans of bad faith, other ID supporters could reach out to the Wiccan, Asatru and classical pagan communities. There is an untapped vein of support there.

    Peace and blessings,
    Zoe.

    Alexandria, 415. We shall never forget

  100. Some people need to remember that we platonists, we pagans, were the very first design proponents.

    That’s false. It seems that someone like you should never forget the Jews.

    …provide some apparently much needed historical perspective.

    Indeed.

    Christians are still using our best arguments without acknowledgment!

    It is perfectly possible to come to ID type conclusions as a noble pagan searching for the truth who is willing to let Nature speak of its own limitations, yet clearly impossible as the sort of pagan who adheres to a Nature based religion of one form or another. The latter sort of pagan has always blurred forms together in unnatural ways based on their own imagination instead of letting the evidence of form throughout Nature speak to its origins in the way that it is naturally designed to do so.

    Rather than accusing pagans of bad faith, other ID supporters could reach out to the Wiccan…

    Being a Wiccan has more to do with believing the pontifications of some unemployed fellow in a bathrobe saying “Do what you will.” than with good or bad faith. Make of that what you will.

  101. If you say that these material things actually constitute evidence, YOU ARE LYING. THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD….

    Etc.etc. Would you limit the Word to the Bible? Were the brain events and hands which wrote the biblical texts material or immaterial to its creation?

    A note from a satirist, “From a torch something drops occasionally. A little lump of pitch.” –Karl Kraus

    I thought I’d mention it, randomly.

  102. but that there has been a subversion of science by ideologues in service to an agenda that IMHCO actually blocks — and even in certain well-known current cases persecutes — scientific progress; namely evolutionary materialism.

    Then why not do an end-around?

    There are enough billionaires and wealthy institutions sympathetic to the cause of ID to set up several fully staffed, fully funded research programs, and I am sure that there are dozens of private Christian colleges who would be more than willing to host them. When NASA abandoned SETI funding, private donors like Microsoft’s Paul Allen stepped into the breach and there is now a vibrant, if small, set of SETI research programs around the country. All that in the face of skepticism from mainstream astronomers.

    If they can do it in the faint hope that one day they can detect intelligent alien life, why isn’t anyone willing to step up to the plate in the cause of intelligent design research?

    I keep hearing that such a revolution would change everything, that our outlook on the world would never be the same again. Yet I see nothing. Not even the slightest effort to get serious funding. And the only journal set up for publishing ID papers hasn’t even had a new edition for several years.

    That’s what’s so frustrating about the appointment of Michael Medved to the DI fellowship. While he may be an able speaker, it’s just more money and time spent on PR.

    Bankrolling a half dozen authors to keep churning out popular science books on ID once per year isn’t going to cut it. The DI, or some other organization, needs to get serious about doing the research.

    Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts, Jerry Falwell, have all created, from scratch, institutes of higher education focusing on theology, education, and the legal profession, completely circumventing the traditional powers that held sway in those fields, and they have been very successful — especially Robertson’s Reagent University.

    So it can be done, and can be done successfully. And given the importance attributed to ID within those same communities, there is no reason I can see why it cannot be done for ID too, and soon.

  103. I’m with tyke. Let’s cure cancer.

    That’ll turn some heads.

  104. There is something very abnormal about this discussion, and I am not sure that I can detect the abnormality. For one thing, normal people make statements, get responses, and then make new statements based on the feedback received from former statements. If the feedback is negative, they will normally ask increasingly subtle questions that direct the discussion in a slightly different direction.

    As one thinker put it, “Education is a series of questions, the answers to which cause confusion and frustration and a whole new series of questions at a higher and more important level.” This discussion does not even come close to meeting that standard, which is one reason why my interest in it has been limited. My guess is that some folks around here are probing for a sore spot, presumably in hopes of generating a mindless response or a thoughtless quote that might entertain the gallery at other websites.

    I think Gil is right about one thing. This could have been a tribute to a great man. Philip Johnson was a big thinker, a trailblazer, and a man of great courage. There are at least a hundered different ways of saying that, and that is what this thread should have been about. Having said that, I appreciate kairosfocus’ heroic attempt to draw inferences about the kinds of mental states that drive this kind of abnormal communication. Perhaps he can do the impossible and make sense out of all this foolishness. Meanwhile, I will go with my instincts, which tell me that the probings do not constitute good faith diologue.

  105. Who exactly are you talking about, Stephen? If you mean me, I would take exception to your characterization.

  106. tyke,

    “If they can do it in the faint hope that one day they can detect intelligent alien life, why isn’t anyone willing to step up to the plate in the cause of intelligent design research?”

    Actually, if you take a look at a lot of the posts on this site, I think you’ll find the response of: They already are. (There’s quite a number of posts about recent scientific developments, where the OP mentions how ID research is carrying on whether or not people choose to call it that.)

    There’s a diversity of views in support of ID. Mine is that the main benefit ID brings to the table is philosophical and related perspective. Looking at the same data from a different vantage point, with a different appreciation and attitude.

    I’m just one lone person, but I’m more concerned that people with ID inclinations are not ostracized or punished. Sure, ID projects like what was supposed to go on at Baylor would be nice, and certainly shouldn’t be stomped down on, but the moment proponents aren’t subject to institutional pressure, I’ll be quite happy.

  107. 107

    #100:

    Some people need to remember that we platonists, we pagans, were the very first design proponents.

    That’s false. It seems that someone like you should never forget the Jews.
    If you mean those naive, anthropomorphised creation stories of Genesis, then I think you are wrong to characterize them as philosophically rigorous arguments for design (which is what we’re talking about, right?) Any philosophical content, any “design theory” in Judaism came from Platonism and Stoicism, via hellenized Jews like Philo of Alexandria.

    It is perfectly possible to come to ID type conclusions as a noble pagan searching for the truth who is willing to let Nature speak of its own limitations, yet clearly impossible as the sort of pagan who adheres to a Nature based religion of one form or another. The latter sort of pagan has always blurred forms together in unnatural ways based on their own imagination instead of letting the evidence of form throughout Nature speak to its origins in the way that it is naturally designed to do so.

    Oh yeah? Says you! I’m not sure I understand at all the last sentence. And I don’t think that you can characterize either Plato or Plotinus as “let it all hang out” nature worshippers. Paganism was perfectly capable of recognizing the limits of design in nature – better, I would say, than someone wedded to the idea of a single, omnipotent god. At the same time, they did not entirely remove God from nature, as Christianity has done so destructively. Through progression and reversion, the hypostases separate from each other only by containing and imitating their superior. The human soul, and the rocks of the earth contain not only the marks of their own hypostasis (Psyche, or the formative logoi of nature) but also traces of Nous, even of the henads – and the possibility of return and assimilation to those hypostases.

    Being a Wiccan has more to do with believing the pontifications of some unemployed fellow in a bathrobe saying “Do what you will.” than with good or bad faith. Make of that what you will.

    What I make of that is that you sound like a religious bigot! I used to be a Gardnerian witch; yours is a grotesque caricature of a beautiful Craft (one I left only because of my discovery of the path of Proclus and the Olympic henads).

    Love, life and light,
    Zoe.

    Alexandria, 415. We shall never forget

  108. tyke: “Who exactly are you talking about, Stephen? If you mean me, I would take exception to your characterization.”

    I did not have you in mind. My references apply to those who make extravagant claims about religion’s so-called hold on ID. Also, I am not too pleased about all those mindless comments, implying that ID logic is subsumed into “Christian logic.”

  109. If you mean those naive, anthropomorphised creation stories of Genesis…

    How is it that they anthropomorphized things when they were forbidden by their God from making graven images/forms and the like?

    Oh yeah? Says you!

    Along with anyone else throughout history with eyes to see and ears to hear, as it is the natural for people to recognize form and to know the reason behind its formation and ultimate origins. Even for pagans who believe that created beings are gods and so on the conclusion of an ultimate Source is logical, which is something worth keeping in mind. In contrast, saying that Nature contains its reason for being has long been a failure of Nature based paganism. I didn’t say that Plato fell into that error because your original claim is false, many Christians have given noble pagans credit for engaging in basic forms of logic and reason. Given the pattern of your claims it seems that you want to be a victim and work towards the end of claiming that you or your tradition is victimized by Christians.

    What I make of that is that you sound like a religious bigot! I used to be a Gardnerian witch…

    That’s a popular philosophy for teenagers with a victimization complex… and it seems that you haven’t grown out it entirely.

    …yours is a grotesque caricature of a beautiful Craft…

    What is beautiful is Wisdom, its perversion is ugly. Note how even someone as wise as Solomon struggled with its perversion in occult traditions similar Wicca. If you are wise in your own eyes and make what you will of things then that which is ugly will seem beautiful to you. All you will do is craft an illusion that cannot last because you can try to make of things what you will while reality still sits there unchanged.

  110. …IF YOU SAY THE DESIGNER COULD BE ALIENS YOU ARE LYING. WE KNOW WHO THE DESIGNER IS: JESUS CHRIST.

    Unless, that is, Jesus is in some sense like an alien or angel from another dimension capable of “transfiguration” as a “person of the light” that might even be mistaken for a UFO in the right light. It’s clear that often different words are being used to describe similar patterns, believe it or not.

  111. “Darwin on Trial” is an inspiration to millions. It represents a watershed event because materialists suddenly found themselves compelled to take design seriously. It may not be the best or most convincing book of its type—try “The Transformist Illusion” (1958) for a formidable fusion of science erudition and modern rhetoric—but it is certainly the book that brought the scientific deficiencies of materialism to public notice.

    The responses to this post present an interesting challenge to leading ID advocates, however. Is their tent large enough to accommodate sincere (if unsophisticated) Christians who are not embarrassed to say the things out loud that many readers of this site are wondering? And if so, is there also room for self-described rationalists, Deists, and—let it be duly noted, cultural historians—“Neoplatonists”?

    Fools for Christ, but also fools for Plato? Science with its magnificent demonstrations of power or the oft-expressed promise of a deeper wisdom? Caesar or the cross?

  112. This thread has become at the same time interesting, amusing and aggravating. It is amazing to me that an apparent fundamentalist Christian zealot (or a troll or sockpuppet pretending to be one) would be allowed to spout such intolerant stuff on UD when the equivalent rantings of a Darwinist zealot would probably be instantly banned. A couple of possible reasons come to mind.

    This may be because this is felt to raise some important issues, such as whether ID really isn’t science, just as Darwinists claim. Instead it may be, as Solon claims, religion in a phony scientific disguise, in reality the word of God proclaimed through the Bible. Of course, then, bringing in all the other attendant beliefs that go along with this. Like the belief in the Triune nature of God, Jesus as the Son of God and that any not accepting Him (even if they have not been given the opportunity to choose) are destined to Hell for eternity. If the moderator considers these topics to be worthy subjects of debate in UD, so be it, though to entertain such a debate would be playing right into the Darwinist’s hands, so to speak. See – the IDiots are actually debating whether ID is really creationism in disguise – that means they are at least considering it! The blog could also degenerate into endless sectarian religious conflicts. Nothing is more futile and pointless than theological disputes.

    Perhaps a more likely reason for this poster remaining unbanned is political. It appears that some of the major supporters of ID are Christian fundamentalists. Correct me if I am wrong here. It might be feared that to ban this poster would offend some of these important supporters. Such an action could be seen as politically incorrect and bad for business.

    Do we really want to get into debates over whether the Intelligence behind the world and nature is the Triune God of Christianity, Jesus, Jahweh, Allah, Krishna, or whatever? Do we really want to get into debates over whether the Bible is the literal Word of God, and on the interpretation of passages in the New Testament?

    Allowing this kind of fundamentalist ranting on UD is probably a bad idea and counterproductive. It is a tradeoff at best. Avoid offending some important ID supporters and engage in a couple of interesting issues, at the cost of offending, even driving off, a lot of other ID advocates, and aiding the Darwinist side of the cultural battle.

  113. 113

    #109:

    I didn’t say that Plato fell into that error because your original claim is false, many Christians have given noble pagans credit for engaging in basic forms of logic and reason.

    Gee thanks. (BTW, we invented logic. Every heard of a guy called Aristotle?)

    That’s a popular philosophy for teenagers with a victimization complex… and it seems that you haven’t grown out it entirely.

    Don’t even get me started on the Christian sense of victimization. Oh, and I’ve known I was a pagan since I was a little girl. And I’ve had this kind of treatment from guys like you (you’re a guy, right?) pretty much since then. And no, I don’t think of myself as a victim.

    What is beautiful is Wisdom, its perversion is ugly. Note how even someone as wise as Solomon struggled with its perversion in occult traditions similar Wicca. If you are wise in your own eyes and make what you will of things then that which is ugly will seem beautiful to you.

    So I guess we can’t play nicely together? Even if we both are just interested in ID?

    Man, there’s a lot of anger here.

    Peace and joy, dipstick.

    Zoe

    Alexandria, 415. We shall never forget

    PS: I’m sorry if I’ve offended anyone. If I’m acting like the lesbian witch at the revival meeting — maybe that’s because that is what I am.

  114. Most ID advocates who embrace Christianity believe that God revealed himself in scripture and, in a less explicit way, in nature. So any discussion about their faith and their science poses no threat to either. They feel no need to defend one at the expense of the other, because they understand that religious truth and scientific truth are two pieces of the same rational puzzle.

    Thus, they know that if any scientific truth appears to contradict their interpretation of scripture, either their interpretation of Scripture is wrong, or their interpretation of that scientific truth is wrong. When they comment on this blog, they feel free to express their religious beliefs, and they generally use good judgment when relating their religious beliefs to the discipline of ID science. Seldom, if ever, do they go over the line into proselytizing or advancing one sectarian philosophy over another.

    The more complicated problem rests with a small minority of radically rigid Christians. This group does not understand the difference between a literal interpretation of scripture (the way the author meant it) and a literalist interpretation of scripture (whatever the words say no matter what the context). In this respect, they don’t know how to distinguish a real attack on their religion from one which is imagined. Being naïve in the ways of sound scriptural exegesis, they end up overplaying their hand as sincere and dedicated Christians.

    It is not only the rigid Christian that ends up overplaying his hand, however. Atheists can come on pretty strong too. Quite often, they use science to discredit and undermine Christianity. Whether Philip Johnson’s wedge strategy of a few years ago is appropriate today is questionable, but the problem he was addressing at the time was very real. There are few things more radical than a radical atheist. It was they who institutionalized the “no concession policy,” and who now persecute anyone who dissents from their entrenched orthodoxy. One thing sure, they will never be up front about their wedge strategy, and they do indeed have one—it’s called “higher education.”
    Here is my advice, then, to both atheists who are suspicious of religion and rigid Christians who are suspicious of science: Read St. Thomas Aquinas and learn about the unity of truth. Solon, for example, would benefit greatly to learn that truth cannot be fractured or distorted as one makes the journey from one discipline to the next. Conversely, the atheists among us would benefit from knowing that their skepticism and subjectivism is unwarranted. It is faith in the rationality of the universe and the God who created it that will liberate both the atheist and the rigid fundamentalist from their mistaken perception that good religion and good science can ever be enemies.

  115. Wake up, Horace; your house is on fire. The question is not whether fundamentalist rants should be considered “scientific”; the question is whether they are permitted under the big tent. Rants of all types are welcomed here with solemn magnanimity, even such exotic, atiquated birds as Deism, which are easily deconstructed. Why then is the fundamentalist singled out for such fusillage? Is it embarrassment on the part of some? Could it be arrogance on the part of others? Just how refined, dear Id’ers, would you like your tent to be? And have you consulted Phillip Johnson?

  116. Is intelligent design a big enough tent to accommodate sincere Christians, rationalists, Deists. Etc?

    The search for truth is not an exclusive club. It is inclusive of anyone who genuinely seeks to understand how life and the universe came to be. But in order to see truth clearly one must be ever ready to sacrifice ones beliefs, no matter how strong the emotional attachment.

    In fact, integrity is the first trait to die when one places any belief over truth, even philosophically. We may not always be clear on what the truth is, but as a preference it must always hold a superior position over belief, whether that belief be religious or otherwise.

    There is a similar problem for both religious Darwinists and religious IDists. Both, it seems, attempt to defend their faith first, and seek truth only to the degree it supports their belief. But such defense is not a search for truth, it is a search for corroborating evidence.

    Painting Intelligent Design with Christian fundamentalism demonstrates how frightened religious Atheists/Darwinists are of having their sacred cow exposed. Honest descent would do everything possible to expose the science of ID for what it is…whatever that may be.

  117. Perhaps a more likely reason for this poster remaining unbanned is political.

    For me, the most likely reason is pragmatic – the admins who would normally administer a banning have been off doing something more interesting.

    How dare they have real lives!

    Bob

  118. All:

    First, overnight, re Solon: no sign of a response.

    That strongly tends to confirm the “sock-puppet” explanation over the “real person” explanation. (Again, SOLON, if you are a real person, the invitation at 95 still stands.)

    Now on a few points that caught my eye:

    1] PP, 130: (BTW, we [i.e. pagans] invented logic. Every heard of a guy called Aristotle?)

    Sorry, logic is not an invention but a discoverable (though immaterial!) reality written into how or minds and languages work, and indeed into how the observable world works. [Think about your reaction when you stand by a Zebra crossing and see a car racing up to it.]

    Aristotle worked to systematise a certain view of logic, through the syllogisms and of course related enthymemes.

    But in fact, logic is built in to the foundation of creation. And indeed, that is exactly what the Judaeo-Christian tradition recognised and taught long before Aristotle — or, indeed, Greek culture as we know it — was born.

    Cf. the Wisdom literature in the Bible, e.g. here is the personification of Wisdom, C10 BC:

    PR 8:22 “The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old;

    PR 8:23 I was appointed from eternity,from the beginning, before the world began . . . .

    PR 8:27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,

    when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep . . .

    This is of course strongly and deliberately echoed in the opening words of John, on the LOGOS:

    JN 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.

    JN 1:3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men . . .

    At the same time, Wisdom is far broader than the simple dynamics of the syllogism, as it addresses soundness, prudence and the ethics that are also built into the foundation of the cosmos:

    PR 3:21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment,
    do not let them out of your sight . . .

    PR 3:23 Then you will go on your way in safety,and your foot will not stumble . . . .

    Of course, properly, philosophy — including logic as well as ethics among other things — is the love of wisdom.

    2] Tyke, 102: why not do an end-around?

    Tyke, please note first that, — as has been pointed out and LINKED (cf. 35 above) — there is ID research, some of which has been published under that name in the professional literature; even in the teeth of the fiercest opposition by too many of the power-holders and enforcers in the various institutions. So, kindly drop the inference that there is no such ID research, some explicitly under the name ID, and also some under other names, often with a sop or two to the thought police.

    However, note too that science is not just research, it is also in significant part a body of credible, tested, reliable — but of course provisional — knowledge based on the cumulative learning of the ages of investigations. Knowledge that is provisional but to be treated with respect — we don’t just ignore it when it is inconvenient.

    If there is something to be corrected, make the case. (Sounds rather like what evo mat advocates say, nuh? But, I am speaking TO evo mat advocates on the implications of their case for information theory and statistical thermodynamics, both of which point to something being very wrong with what the evo mat advocates are saying!)

    To wit, the proposed mechanisms of Body-plan innovation level Macro-evolution run into serious trouble with well-proved principles of well-proved fields in science so soon as the philosophical, question-begging blinkers of methodological naturalism are removed. The explanatory gap on the origin of life is even stronger. [Cf my always linked for details.]

    So, there is a serious case to be answered to by the adherents of the research programme known as evolutionary materialism.

    One that, sadly, instead of answering to the evident anomaly, we see far too often evasions, misrepresentations, strawman arguments and even outright persecution of what are in effect whistle-blowers. (That is, there is in fact a well-known context for explaining the observed sociology of evolutionary materialist science, but not exactly a flattering one.)

    3] Magnan, 112: It might be feared that to ban this poster [Solon] would offend some of these important supporters.

    I cannot speak as a representative of the UD leadership team, but I think there are a few factors you may be overlooking. Besides, I have seen YEC posters here banned if they step over the line.

    Observations:

    –> First, the issue is in the first instance still up in the air: we do not know yet if Solon is for real, and whether if so, he is open to true dialogue and correction.

    –> Next, we have seen far too many evo mat advocacy talking-points spouting interventions [and can fairly rapidly identify "more of same"]; Solon is a relatively rare bird (in this sort of situation) if he is what he claims to be. So, he is of rarity- and “what- makes- him- tick”- interest.

    –> Third, in my observation, several evo mat advocates had very long runs so long as they did not become abusive, only being cut off when they clearly insistently ran over a line [cf RP]

    –> Fourth, the exercise of interacting with Solon is one in issues tied to design theory: identification of agents, and onward exploratory step [unless there is stuff over at Langley that is classified].

    4] Stephen B 104: I think Gil is right about one thing. This could have been a tribute to a great man. Philip Johnson was a big thinker, a trailblazer, and a man of great courage . . . that is what this thread should have been about.

    There is an uncomfortably apt point in this comment; which should make us take pause and look at how we are treating one another on the various sides of the issue.

    Having noted that, it is in a backhanded sense, a compliment to Dr Johnson, that the issues he raised nearly 20 years ago are very much live and kicking today.

    He is indeed a pioneer — something we need to re-learn to respect.

    GEM of TKI

  119. 119

    #118:

    1] PP, 130: (BTW, we [i.e. pagans] invented logic. Every heard of a guy called Aristotle?)

    Sorry, logic is not an invention but a discoverable (though immaterial!) reality written into how or minds and languages work, and indeed into how the observable world works. [Think about your reaction when you stand by a Zebra crossing and see a car racing up to it.]

    Aristotle worked to systematise a certain view of logic, through the syllogisms and of course related enthymemes.

    But in fact, logic is built in to the foundation of creation. And indeed, that is exactly what the Judaeo-Christian tradition recognised and taught long before Aristotle — or, indeed, Greek culture as we know it — was born.

    I think it was clear that I was being a little facetious in saying Aristotle invented logic. Of course it was discovered. But it wasn’t discovered, as you say, in creation. Even if one was to accept the myth of Genesis, and imagine that some solitary, human-like intelligence made the world, It could not have made it in such a way that, say, modus ponens did not hold (see, I studied philosophy at college!).

  120. In his course with the Teaching Company titled “Great Scientific Ideas That Changed the World” Stephen Goldman’s first two ideas were

    Writing and

    Reasoning

    These were both developed by the Greeks and while not all of it emanated directly from Athens, a lot of it did and Solon is considered the architect of Athenian democracy. So most of intellectual history follows a path that leads back to 5th century BC Athens.

    Sure there were brilliant people before the Greeks and there was writing but before the Greeks little was done with it till they used it to describe the world and pose questions about it. Writing led to the formalization of reason which eventually led to Western Civilization. A lot of Christian thinking piggybacked on Greek thinking.

  121. 121

    Thank you Jerry! Of course there’s a place for religious thinking in the world — I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think so. But it’s getting a little crazy if you think you have to accept Jesus as your personal savior before you can be logical! (Quite the opposite, I think!).

    Peace, Joy, oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!

    Zoe

    Alexandria, 415. We shall never forget

  122. StephenB: “…..if any scientific truth appears to contradict their (most ID advocates who embrace Christianity) interpretation of scripture, either their interpretation of Scripture is wrong, or their interpretation of that scientific truth is wrong. When they comment on this blog, they feel free to express their religious beliefs, and they generally use good judgment when relating their religious beliefs to the discipline of ID science.”

    This seems to me to be accurate. But from the “outside” as a nonChristian ID advocate, an important psychological aspect has been left out. This is that such an approach of course presupposes the underlying truth of the worldview in which interpretations of Scripture are actually relevant to science. This worldview is assumed a priori. Of course other worldviews are assumed a priori by other ID advocates, with the common ground being rejection of Darwinism and acceptance of the overwhelming evidence that there is some great Intelligence behind life and the universe.

    All of the prominent published ID advocates appear to be Christians. As such it appears that they must entertain various forms of cognitive dissonance. To be fair, this is also the case with most non Christian but still Deist ID advocates, including myself.

    Webwanderer (#116) expressed it too well for me to try to better it: “In fact, integrity is the first trait to die when one places any belief over truth, even philosophically. We may not always be clear on what the truth is, but as a preference it must always hold a superior position over belief, whether that belief be religious or otherwise……There is a similar problem for both religious Darwinists and religious IDists.”

    Hence the careful maintenance of internal cognitive dissonances and the necessary tiptoeing around these issues in order to engage in meaningful discourse.

  123. Gee thanks. (BTW, we invented logic. Every heard of a guy called Aristotle?)

    The Jewish and Christian view is that all of humanity sits on one family tree ultimately created in some way by and through Logos… and shouldn’t you be stressing unity over separation anyway? After all, I’m sure we can all come together and looove each other.

    Don’t even get me started on the Christian sense of victimization.

    Victimization is a universal language of mankind and can be found everywhere, yet it seems to lie at the root of almost all neopagan logic.

    Oh, and I’ve known I was a pagan since I was a little girl. And I’ve had this kind of treatment from guys like you (you’re a guy, right?) pretty much since then.

    Yes, it does seem that your psychological dynamics are clear. So, what happened when you were a little girl which made your mind up about things for the rest of your life?

    And no, I don’t think of myself as a victim.

    Then perhaps you should try to craft some arguments which do not rely on victimization for whatever moral force they have.

    Man, there’s a lot of anger here.

    Is it here? How do you feel it?

    If you’re not lost in your own feelings then note how psychotic a victimization complex can become:

    After the last beating, she said to me: ‘Look at you. Everyone’s going to think you’re the victim’.(The Guardian (London)
    October 19, 1998
    The Guardian Features Page; Pg. 8
    Silent partners, byline: Mel Steel)

    Why do you suppose that she was so concerned with maintaining an immanent Victim status and was so ignorant of transcendent things? Why do you suppose that rates of domestic violence are so much higher among lesbians?

    At any rate, did you know that the gnostic symbolism shows Solomon slaying a female demon, why do you suppose they represented his wisdom overcoming a malevolent feminine form? For example:

    …here as there we have the astonishing combination of familiar representations from the gospels (Annunciation, Nativity, Baptism, Crucifixion, Resurrection on the bracelets) with figures like the Egyptian solar Chnoubis-serpent, so frequent on ‘Gnostic’ intaglios, the ‘Seal of Solomon’ and King Solomon himself on horse back, treading down and transfixing with his lance the female evil demon.

    (Three Elusive Amulets by A. A. Barb
    Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld
    Institutes, Vol. 27. (1964) :1-22)

    It’s interesting to note that they also represented the symbolic Serpent slithering through the Tree of Life while eating its own tale. Here Zoe, how about a little zoological tale for anyone who feel that they have a tender lil’ heart just because they like animals and their likeness:
    Once upon a time there was a man named Cain. He tilled the soil and he was a vegetarian. Because of this he thought to himself, “See how pure I am!” He looked at his brother one day and saw that he killed animals as if that could be sacred. So he thought to himself, “His hands are bloody! But look at mine, they are clean.” He began to think, “Why does he kill the animals. It’s just not nice.” Then he began to feel, “It’s just not nice! But I, well, I am nice…” He began to see his brother a little differently, losing eyes to see his brother as human, instead he saw him as some sort of animal. So he came to think, “Why…he is just a vermin! But I am nice. I am the nice one here. Why doesn’t the One like me! See how they victimize me!” So he took a rock and crept up behind his brother and killed him because he was just an animal.

    The end.

    The curious thing about it is that if pagans who have a misanthropic attitude with respect to the Tree of Life are for “animal rights” then in accordance with the logic of their own zoologic one would think that they’d be for the rights of the people that they portray as animals and so on. Is that not a logical conclusion, Zoe? If so, then why do you suppose that so many pagans fail to make it?

  124. Is it embarrassment on the part of some? Could it be arrogance on the part of others? Just how refined, dear Id’ers, would you like your tent to be?

    This blog has always been defined by the decisions of moderates and not by a philosophy represented by the big tent metaphor. It’s not as if the policies of this blog represent the ID movement in general. But the comments here may be representative, it seems to me that all it takes to understand most of them is an understanding that ID is a necessary but not sufficient component of Christianity, therefore it’s not the equivalent of defined or “fundamentalist” forms of Christianity. For a current example of this distinction see the case of Antony Flew, as he notes he is now more open to Christianity than he used to be but currently he isn’t a Christian.

    Ironically ID is similar to the “publick religion” which Benjamin Franklin argued was necessary for a Republic to stand, yet this is the very sort of distinction that federal judges are apparently now too incompetent to make. The Supreme Court once tried to admit to a distinction so obvious that even an ignorant schoolboy is capable of knowledge of it by specifying it as “ceremonial deism” but it’s a little more than that. Anyway, the fact that ID is not necessarily the equivalent of Christianity is not really that difficult to understand.

  125. —–PlatosPlaything: “I think it was clear that I was being a little facetious in saying Aristotle invented logic. Of course it was discovered. But it wasn’t discovered, as you say, in creation. Even if one was to accept the myth of Genesis, and imagine that some solitary, human-like intelligence made the world, It could not have made it in such a way that, say, modus ponens did not hold (see, I studied philosophy at college!).”

    —–Magnam: “This seems to me to be accurate. But from the “outside” as a nonChristian ID advocate, an important psychological aspect has been left out. This is that such an approach of course presupposes the underlying truth of the worldview in which interpretations of Scripture are actually relevant to science. This worldview is assumed a priori. Of course other worldviews are assumed a priori by other ID advocates, with the common ground being rejection of Darwinism and acceptance of the overwhelming evidence that there is some great Intelligence behind life and the universe.”

    Let’s look at both objections from the vantage point of philosophical “realism.”

    First, let’s expand on an agreed upon fact (courtesy of kairosfocus #118) that logic was indeed discovered by asking the relevant question: Why was logic discovered? It was discovered because it was set up by the Creator as one of the many clues to be found in his creation. To be more precise, logic was fashioned as a mental tool by which we can apprehend rational truths outside of the mind. That means logic relates to, or to put it more technically, is in correspondence with, reality. Thus, we have a big picture that looks like this: God created 1) a rational universe, 2) a rational mind to comprehend the rational universe, and 3) an ontological connection between the two. Take away any one of these three components, and no one could investigate anything in any context.

    This also happens to be the Judeo/Christian world view—a Biblical vision of reality. That is why scripture emphasis a Creator God who “designed” the world in such a way that the design is “evident. Indeed, St. Paul” goes so far that those who deny this self-evident nature about design inference “are without excuse.” To put it bluntly, Scripture is pro ID and anti-skepticism, both philosophically and theologically. (That means we should abandone the radical epistemologies of non-correspondence such as “pre-established harmony,” and “parallelism.”) According to the Christian vision, we live in a real world and we can apprehend that real world, even though we must learn about it in bits and pieces. To be logical and rational, we ought to reject the entire agenda of modern philosophy, which holds that we first know our own thoughts, not real things existing outside our mind. It is the reverse that is true.

    From an epistemological perspective, we are investigators in search of knowable truth, though, for far too long, we have allowed the investigator to intrude on the investigation. The Bible promotes a “realistic” epistemology and realistic metaphysics. We do not get this vision from any other belief system, either from atheism or Islam. Only the Judeo/Christian world view in harmony with Aristotle and Aquinas can provide it. Inasmuch as agnostics or Moslems can sign on to ID, it is to that extent that they agree with Christians that we live in a rational universe, the design of which has been made manifest. What they may disagree with Christians about is that the ultimate meaning of that design. Christians believe that the universe was designed for “soul making,” and that it provides the stage on which we all work out our eternal destinies.

    The notion that the creation “did not hold” does not reflect on the quality of the creation, unless one expects the “garden of Eden” to be impervious to the mischief (sin) of its inhabitants. According to the book of Genesis, that is exactly what happened. An engineer can create a perfect automobile, but if a reckless driver damages it, it is not the engineer who should be held accountable. There is only way to guarantee that the debacle will not occur — remove all risk by taking away the driver’s freedom.

  126. 126

    #123 Mynym: I have very little say to you, except this:

    1: You know almost nothing about me.

    2: If I had said I had been a Christian since I was little, would you have gotten so angry?

    3: If I said I had been Hindu, or had converted to Hinduism, would you have gotten so angry?

    4: Are your statements about pagans based on actual experience, or Chick tracts.

    Zoe.

    (not a vegetarian, but a lesbian who has never been domestically abused).

  127. Zoe (& Stephen B):

    A few remarks are plainly still in order.

    1] “Facetious’?

    First Zoe, not so fast; your rhetorical tactics reveal a deeper problem.

    For instance, “facetious” does not constitute a good enough response to my observations on your statement in 113: “BTW, we [pagans] invented logic. Every heard of a guy called Aristotle?”

    Let’s replay a bit of the tape from 118:

    Sorry, logic is not an invention but a discoverable (though immaterial!) reality written into how or minds and languages work, and indeed into how the observable world works. [Think about your reaction when you stand by a Zebra crossing and see a car racing up to it.]

    Aristotle worked to systematise a certain view of logic, through the syllogisms and of course related enthymemes.

    But in fact, logic is built in to the foundation of creation. And indeed, that is exactly what the Judaeo-Christian tradition recognised and taught long before Aristotle — or, indeed, Greek culture as we know it — was born.

    Now, of course, Christian and Jewish thinkers, in their critical synthesis of the inheritance we share form classical culture used Aristotle’s systematisation of logic, and for that matter the broader approach of Isocrates and co to rhetoric and education. And indeed, Greek and Hellenistic culture [broader than just Greek (hint: why do we count time in sexagesimal units, and why do we use a phonetic alphabet), without having to take on board all that is in Bernal, Diop et al] is a major part of trhe intellectual foundations of Western and world culture. No serious Christain or Jewish thinker disputes that.

    But, equally, we do have reason to note and object that there is a current tendency to run up long litanies of the real or imagined sins of Christendom while simultaneously refusing to acknowledge — or even insistently dismissing or denigrating — the role and value of specifically Judaeo-Christian contributions and critical syntheses [starting with a certain Tent-making Rabbi from that Asian city, Tarsus, but including especially men like Augustine and Aquinas etc, not to mention the likes of a Faraday or a Maxwell or a Lord Kelvin or even a Wilberforce or a Buxton or a George Liele]; contributions that have ALSO played critical roles in the late classical, medieval and modern development of Western Civilisation.

    It is this attitude and the de-Christianising, Anti-Christian hostility that it represents, that are — in light of the all too telling recent history of the latest major attempt to revert to paganism in Germany several decades ago — ever so sadly telling and portentous.

    2] The specifically Hebraic contribution

    Going yet deeper, there is also a tendency to dismiss the force of the point that the C15 – C10 BC Hebraic critical synthesis of ANE cultural elements under Yahwehistic, monotheistic influence through Moshe and his successors also antedates and anticipates and even balances certain elemetns in the more celebrated Greek classical synthesis.

    As I noted in 118, therefore, I now again excerpt:

    Cf. the Wisdom literature in the Bible, e.g. here is the personification of Wisdom, C10 BC:

    PR 8:22 “The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old;

    PR 8:23 I was appointed from eternity,from the beginning, before the world began . . . .

    PR 8:27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,

    when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep . . .

    Without debating the detailed interpretation of Genesis [which, with due allowance for genre etc, has far more credibility and force than the pagan myths [as opposed to, say, Deist philosophy] you evidently would substitute!], this is a clear statement that wisdom – the object of philosophy was built into the cosmic order from eternity past, including not only logical, metaphysical and epistemic elements but also spiritual and moral ones. And, shutting one’s eyes to such evidence from creation without and our hearts and minds within lands us in the deepest folly and bondage to the worst of sins, not only the obvious ones but also that most terrible and most foolish of all sins: arrogant, wise in one’s own eyes pride.

    This brings us right back to the crucial issue of:

    3] A discoverable reality

    On this StephenB is tellingly on target:

    . . . let’s expand on an agreed upon fact . . . that logic was indeed discovered by asking the relevant question: Why was logic discovered? It was discovered because it was set up by the Creator as one of the many clues to be found in his creation. To be more precise, logic was fashioned as a mental tool by which we can apprehend rational truths outside of the mind. That means logic relates to, or to put it more technically, is in correspondence with, reality. Thus, we have a big picture that looks like this: God created 1) a rational universe, 2) a rational mind to comprehend the rational universe, and 3) an ontological connection between the two. Take away any one of these three components, and no one could investigate anything in any context.

    This also happens to be the Judeo/Christian world view—a Biblical vision of reality.

    He is therefore very right to echo that scarred old tentmaker form Tarsus, and it is well worth reading on in Rom 1 from v 20 which he cites, especially:

    RO 1:28 Furthermore, since [men in rebellion against what God has written into the face of creation without and on the tablets of our hearts and minds within] did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless . . .

    Resemblance to the current situation, ideas and decadent-destructive trends in Western civilisation is NOT coincidental.

    4] Zoe, 121: it’s getting a little crazy if you think you have to accept Jesus as your personal savior before you can be logical! (Quite the opposite, I think!).

    Pardon, your hostility is showing, and — given your highly selective engagement above — it is warping your ability to address the issue.

    FYI, here is a somewhat updated version of my introductory lecture on phil method for a class I once taught in one of those Evangelical Seminaries you are — given the plain import and tone of your dismissive “Quite the opposite” — plainly wont to dismiss as being inherently and inescapably irrational.

    You will therefore understand the following:

    I challenge you to find what is in the linked an inescapably irrational and indefensible approach — as opposed to a critical Judaeo-Christian synthesis in the spirit of say Ac 17.

    Failing that, you owe us a bigtime apology, madam.

    GEM of TKI

  128. StephenB: “To put it bluntly, Scripture is pro ID and anti-skepticism, both philosophically and theologically.”

    I agree, but that in itself does not establish that the Bible is the one and only truthful Divine teaching. This line of argument seems to be going in the direction of claiming that one must be a Christian to be an ID adherent.

    That the Bible appears to promote a “realistic” epistemology and metaphysics in accordance with ID theory is apparent, and is obviously why many ID advocates are Christians. But the primary message of the New Testament is the message of Jesus. This is interpreted as the teaching of Jesus as the one and only Son of God, of the Triune God, and that any who do not accept Him are destined to eternity in Hell. Other claims often made include that Scripture is the direct Word of God to be interpreted literally. These revelatory and exclusionary claims are not established as the truth just because the general epistemology and metaphysics of the Bible appear to be in accordance with ID theory.

    To use an unpleasant example, Darwin’s On the Origin of Species describes many examples of apparent descent with modification in nature that are either breeding for modified allele frequencies within strict species limits, or microvolution (i.e. finches’ beaks in the Galapagos). These are clearly actual mechanisms of limited descent with modification and correspond with scientific truth. But the overarching claims of the book are that these mechanisms are the underlying truth of evolution of all life. This large claim of the work is a claim not scientific truth and not established by the previous observations of nature.

    “The Bible promotes a “realistic” epistemology and realistic metaphysics….We do not get this vision from any other belief system, either from atheism or Islam…..Only the Judeo/Christian world view in harmony with Aristotle and Aquinas can provide it.”

    This is quite a claim and you would need to establish this. Please include the Bahai faith, Buddhism, Vedanta and Theosophy. Even if it were true, a non-Christian relationship with God is not precluded.

  129. ——magnam: “but that in itself (my statement that to be Christian is to be ID) does not establish that the Bible is the one and only truthful Divine teaching. This line of argument seems to be going in the direction of claiming that one must be a Christian to be an ID adherent.”

    (1) To say that the Bible is pro-ID is not to say that ID is to be Judeo/Christian. It is not a “bi-conditional proposition–that is if A/then B does not translate into If B/than A. You seem to be jumping the gun a little bit here.

    (2) Truth comes to us in a hierarchy. Religious truth illuminates philosophical truth, which, in turn, illuminates scientific truth. Also, religious truth itself comes in hierarchies. All religions contain “some” truth; each contains varying degrees of truth. The religions themselves array themselves in a “truth” hierarchy.

    (a) To what extent does a religion acknowledge a monotheistic God?

    (b) To what extent does a religion recognize the inherent dignity of the human person?

    (c) To what extent does a religion facilitate moral growth?

    (d) To what extent can a religion provide the philosophical underpinning for
    a well-ordered society?

    (e) To what extent does a religion reflect the human condition?

    (f) To what extent does a religion faithfully reflect the necessary conditions for salvation?

    The list could contain at least fifty more questions. On another post, I actually placed them in a hierarchy, but I will leave that judgment to you for now. Suffice it to say, that “the one and only truthful Divine teaching” is much too simplistic a formulation.

    —–“That the Bible appears to promote a “realistic” epistemology and metaphysics in accordance with ID theory is apparent, and is obviously why many ID advocates are Christians. But the primary message of the New Testament is the message of Jesus. This is interpreted as the teaching of Jesus as the one and only Son of God, of the Triune God, and that any who do not accept Him are destined to eternity in Hell. Other claims often made include that Scripture is the direct Word of God to be interpreted literally. These revelatory and exclusionary claims are not established as the truth just because the general epistemology and metaphysics of the Bible appear to be in accordance with ID theory.”

    That’s true. Once again, you seem to be jumping the gun. Those extrapolations are yours, not mine.

    —-To my statement—“The Bible promotes a “realistic” epistemology and realistic metaphysics….We do not get this vision from any other belief system, either from atheism or Islam…..Only the Judeo/Christian world view in harmony with Aristotle and Aquinas can provide it.” ——————-You responded, “This is quite a claim and you would need to establish this. Please include the Bahai faith, Buddhism, Vedanta and Theosophy. Even if it were true, a non-Christian relationship with God is not precluded.”

    (1) The Bible is very clear in saying that (a) God is creator, and (b) that the design in nature is manifest to the point of being self evident, so much so, that anyone who would deny it is “without excuse.” Do you know of any other belief system that teaches anything like (b)? In this sense, the Judeo/Christian vision is exclusive, is it not?

    (2) I have no idea why you introduce that subject of establishing a “relationship with God,” since I did not discuss it in any way.

  130. StephanB: (129) “(2) Truth comes to us in a hierarchy. Religious truth illuminates philosophical truth, which, in turn, illuminates scientific truth. Also, religious truth itself comes in hierarchies.”

    I won’t bother to debate your hierarchy except to point out that it omits the most important truth of all…Fundamental truth. Your hierarchy, which leads with religious truth, must be secondary to what is fundamental in life. At least philosophical truth and scientific truth seeks out fundamental truth. It is only religious truth that suffers the restrictions of exclusivity to existing scripture, and therein lies its weakness. The presumption of scriptures written by the hand of God or by “his” emissaries, as being inviolate is more of a barrier to discovery than it is a guide.

    Nothing is beyond question in an honest search for truth, especially our religious tenets, if for no other reason than the intensity in which we guide our lives by our religious faith. If our religious beliefs are true, then our search for truth is no threat to them and can only reinforce them. If, on the other hand, our religious beliefs are faulty, do we not want them exposed as soon as possible? Would we not want to be free of our misperception and ignorance? To feel otherwise is disingenuous and has no place in science of any kind.

  131. mynym: If you want to debate history and the root of modern reasoning that is fine. But your comments largely consisted of personal attacks on PlatosPlaything. That’s unacceptable. First warning.

    PlatosPlaything: Try not to respond in kind.

    Solon: I’ll be watching you closely.

  132. —–StephanB: (129) “(2) Truth comes to us in a hierarchy. Religious truth illuminates philosophical truth, which, in turn, illuminates scientific truth. Also, religious truth itself comes in hierarchies.”

    —–Webwanderer responds, “I won’t bother to debate your hierarchy except to point out that it omits the most important truth of all…Fundamental truth. Your hierarchy, which leads with religious truth, must be secondary to what is fundamental in life. At least philosophical truth and scientific truth seeks out fundamental truth. It is only religious truth that suffers the restrictions of exclusivity to existing scripture, and therein lies its weakness. The presumption of scriptures written by the hand of God or by “his” emissaries, as being inviolate is more of a barrier to discovery than it is a guide.”

    (1) It was the religious notion that God created a rational universe that gave science the confidence to probe in earnest for regularity and order. While the Greeks introduced a special approach to science, it was left for Christianity to confirm that God is not frivolous, meaning that he does not surprise his creatures by changing the laws of nature on a whim. Scientists came believe that God created a rational universe and that they could “think God’s thoughts after him.” This confidence propelled science to new heights, and is the real foundation for all modern science. The new kid on the block, methodological naturalism, has turned out to be a juvenile delinquent.

    (2) Revealed truth is indeed risky business. That is why we should put every religion and every religious leader to the test of reason prior to giving our assent of faith: (a) Was the religious leader foretold or pre-announced? We don’t want to be caught off guard by a false prophet. (b) Did the leader perform miracles and “attribute those miracles to his Divinity? Anyone can claim to have been sent by God. (c) Did the leader ever say or do anything contrary to right reason. What sense does it make to turn one’s life over to a charlatan? I personally would not submit to any religious tradition or leader that cannot pass that minimal test.

    —–Your hierarchy, which leads with religious truth, must be secondary to what is fundamental in life.

    Ah, yes, but how do we know what “fundamental” is? If we live beyond the grave, the definition of what matters most is far different that if we don’t. If we are “fallen angels,” (Christianity), that is one thing, if we are risen beasts (Darwinism), that is something entirely different. If we have inherent dignity (Christianity), that is a radically different than being abject slaves (Islam). Everything turns on our definition of what it means to be human. Besides knowing “what” we are, we also need to know “why” we are here and “where” we are going—or if we are going nowhere. If we can’t answer those questions, then we can hardly know “what is fundamental in life.” Only religion can answer that question, and individual religions can only answer them to the extent that they are legitimate representations of the will and mind of God. Legitimate authority is a wonderful thing; illegitimate authority is a terrible thing.

    —–“Nothing is beyond question in an honest search for truth, especially our religious tenets, if for no other reason than the intensity in which we guide our lives by our religious faith. If our religious beliefs are true, then our search for truth is no threat to them and can only reinforce them. If, on the other hand, our religious beliefs are faulty, do we not want them exposed as soon as possible? Would we not want to be free of our misperception and ignorance? To feel otherwise is disingenuous and has no place in science of any kind.”

    Exactly right. If a religion shows itself to be untrue, it must be rejected. Obviously, that also applies to the religion of materialism. Only the mad man has no doubts. Isn’t it interesting that neither radical Islamists nor militant atheists ever have any doubts at all? That is why, in the name of their religion, one group murders infidels while the other murders babies. Nor does either group hesitate to enslave all in their path on the grounds that the “true” religion must be enforced. I’m with you all the way on this one. Give me the man who asks questions and spare me the self-assured ideologue.
    On the other hand, we should not fall into the error of believing that there is no such thing as truth. Radical skepticism is not the antidote to intolerant dogmatism. As G. K. Chesterton put it, “the purpose of opening the mind is to close it on something solid,” namely truth. To pursue truth passionately and defend if faithfully—- without being an insufferable ideologue—that is the challenge.

  133. –Webwander: “Your hierarchy, which leads with religious truth, must be secondary to what is fundamental in life.”
    –StephenB“Ah, yes, but how do we know what “fundamental” is? If we live beyond the grave, the definition of what matters most is far different that if we don’t. If we are “fallen angels,” (Christianity), that is one thing, if we are risen beasts (Darwinism), that is something entirely different.”
    Fair enough, but this gives but two options based on religious vs. materialistic concepts. Neither has been conclusively demonstrated as true. There are certainly other possibilities offered by other religions and philosophies. While I would agree that one must live from their clearest present understanding, there must also be an ever present willingness to let go of current beliefs and move on to greater understanding when evidence and insight warrant.

    –StephenB “Everything turns on our definition of what it means to be human. Besides knowing “what” we are, we also need to know “why” we are here and “where” we are going—or if we are going nowhere. If we can’t answer those questions, then we can hardly know ‘what is fundamental in life.’ Only religion can answer that question,”

    We may not know precisely what is fundamental to life, but we can conclude that something is. Knowing clearly “what” we are may well go a long way toward answering why we are here and where we are going. One problem is that we are so full of “concepts” of what we are that the essence of our being is severely obscured. It may be better to begin at least, to understand what we are not. If we subtract enough misperceptions about being, what remains may become clearer.
    It may be a stretch to say “only”. Religion may well be helpful in pointing to possibilities that may, or may not, be accurately represented and understood, but non-religious philosophies may go where specific religions cannot.

    –StephenB “If a religion shows itself to be untrue, it must be rejected.”

    I don’t consider religious teachings to be an all or nothing engagement. Many religious faithful have told me that if I don’t accept all, I must reject all. It’s just not that way. In a genuine search for truth one must gain insight where ever it is found. There is no requirement in life to reject an entire religion or philosophy simply because one disagrees with parts of it. There well yet be some grains of wheat among the chaff.

    In any case, it is each individual who is responsible to his/her own experience for what is accepted as true. Good luck on your choices.

  134. Re. StephenB (#129),

    To me it didn’t seem to be “jumping the gun” to attribute a certain agenda to statements describing how ID theory is in accordance with some tenets of Christian theology. It may not be the case on your part, but usually such argumentation is used directly to support the overall truth of a religion. If part of the body of teachings is in accordance with what appears to be a truth of Nature, then the entire body of teachings must be correct, or so it is argued. In the case of Christianity the various revelatory tenets such as the nature and importance of Jesus appear to be inextricable from the overall theology, so a claim of the validity of another aspect of the theology (correspondence to ID theory) implies the truth of the rest of the theology. That seems to be the thinking here.

    If not, then why the effort to show correspondences between the Judeo-Christian world view and ID theory?

  135. Magnan: Good question. In my judgment, one benefit of showing that ID and Judeo Chrisitanity are compatible is to show that Judeo Chrisitanity and Darwinism are not. Darwinism insists that there is no design in nature, contradicting a core teaching in the Bible, which holds that design in nature is manifest, indeed that it is self evident.
    Many Darwinists claim to be devout Chrisitans even though their Darwinism (no design) and their Chrisitanity (design) cannot be reconciled, at least on that basis. They recruit other Christians by telling them that there is no contradiction between these two world views. That is a lie and I think that they should be called on it. Part of their “wedge” strategy is to keep silent about the difference.

  136. StephenB, I think we have come to a meeting of minds at least on this particular issue.

  137. 1: You know almost nothing about me.

    I can only know what you write, i.e. text that is presumably an artifact of your mind. If that is nothing about you then why are you taking what I write so personally?

    2: If I had said I had been a Christian since I was little, would you have gotten so angry?

    You’re trying to tell me what my feelings are again and simply assuming that I will accept your own projections. Discussing the history of paganism and making judgments about some forms of paganism, even harsh judgments, is no evidence that anyone is angry about anything. For that matter, it’s possible to treat a pattern of thought with contempt and disdain without being angry about it.

    3: If I said I had been Hindu, or had converted to Hinduism, would you have gotten so angry?

    If you could try to deal with things without trying to tell others what their personal feeling are then you probably wouldn’t take things so personally. I said that Wicca has more to do with what some fellow in a bathrobe pontificated than sound philosophy and logic and ever since you’ve been saying that I’m an angry fellow. I’m not angry about it. I typically don’t get angry so perhaps I’m not as angry as I should be about such charlatanism.

    4: Are your statements about pagans based on actual experience, or Chick tracts.

    I’m not sure that Chick is big on some of the Gnostic heresies symbolized in what I referred to above and the like. If you’re going to mention a pattern based on texts that you read then you need to be able to cite it. I’ve never read a Chick tract but if you want to cite one for comparison then I’m interested in seeing it. Perhaps what you mean by experience may reduce to have I given a pagan a lil’ hug to prove that I’m a nice fellow. Why yes, yes I have, yet I can still make some sharply negative judgments about some forms of paganism based on logic and history. That’s because whether or not I’m an angry fellow and so on has no bearing on the history of Nature based paganism and the illogical forms of thought typical to it such as those symbolized by ancient critics.

  138. But your comments largely consisted of personal attacks on PlatosPlaything. That’s unacceptable. First warning.

    Her arguments are often purely personal so there’s nothing left to deal with, for instance she says she knew she was a pagan as a little girl. It seems reasonable to ask what happened when she was a little girl that made up her mind and created the pattern of thought that governs the rest of her life. It’s ashame what happens to cloud the mind sometimes.

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