Ken Miller — Ever the Valiant Defender of Science
|July 16, 2005||Posted by William Dembski under Evolution, Intelligent Design|
With Cardinal SchÃƒÂ¶nbornÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s NYTimes op-ed last week debunking evolution, dutiful Catholic Darwinists need to do the requisite damage control. Enter the indefatigable Ken Miller: “Knowing how the good Cardinal’s words will be misused by the enemies of science in our country, it is important to set the record straight.” Here is Paul Nelson’s take on Miller’s latest:
The paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson was
famously contemptuous of Christianity: he wrote
derisively of Ã¢â‚¬Å“the higher superstitions celebrated
weekly in every hamlet in the United States.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Which is why, of course, Simpson is such a reliable
authority on the relationship of science and religion,
as freshly illuminated by Ken Miller:
Miller tells Cardinal SchÃƒÂ¶nborn that the latter Ã¢â‚¬Å“erred
dramaticallyÃ¢â‚¬Â in his recent NYT op/ed. Simpson
himself, says Miller, taught us that science cannot say
whether there was a plan or purpose to life. Here Ã¢â‚¬Å“faithÃ¢â‚¬Â
enters, which apparently means for Miller that one
asserts propositions Ã‚Â– e.g., God designed human beings -Ã‚Â-
with absolutely no empirical content. In principle.
NOMA at work. Science gets the whole of observable
reality; religion takes whatever is left.
One is allowed under NOMA, and Ken MillerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s
epistemology, to say that purpose underlies human
existence, as long as Ã¢â‚¬Å“purposeÃ¢â‚¬Â is understood to
be void of detectable meaning: a word without
Simpson himself couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have been happier!
P.S. Miller writes: “The neo-creationists of intelligent design, unlike Popes Benedict and John Paul, argue against evolution on every level, claiming that a ‘designer’ has repeatedly intervened to directly produce the complex forms of living things.” It is convenient to keep charging ID with being an interventionist theory. The fact is, however, that it is not an interventionist theory — a point I’ve made clear in many of my writings and, specifically, in a response to Miller: http://www.designinference.com/documents/2003.02.Miller_Response.htm. My impression is that Miller long ago stopped reading the ID literature and now merely criticizes the “enemy of science” that he has concocted in his own mind.