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Karl Giberson’s Dangerous Defense of Scientific Orthodoxy

Karl GibersonLast month, I noted with pleasure that Dr. Karl Giberson appeared to have extended an olive branch to ID people, and I wrote a reply here in a similar spirit.  It seemed to me then that Dr. Giberson was showing a breadth of mind and a listening attitude that was unusual among theistic evolutionists, and I genuinely wanted to encourage it, and to encourage ID supporters to respond graciously to his overture.

I am disappointed to report that this month, Dr. Giberson has taken two steps backward for his previous step forward, and has displayed a narrowness of mind of exactly the sort that has provoked ID/TE frictions in the past.

I am referring to his Biologos column, published on May 10, 2010, entitled “Would You Like Fries With That Theory?”  The condescension toward the common man implied in the title is matched only by the condescension toward the common man (and others) frankly expressed in this article.

In the article, Dr. Giberson sternly rebukes those critics of “scientific orthodoxy”, whether that orthodoxy be neo-Darwinian evolution, anthropogenic global warming theory, or something else.  He accuses critics of orthodoxy of attempting to short-circuit the scientific process, by putting the data carefully gathered by scientists into the hands of vulgar laymen who are totally unqualified to interpret it.

Dr. Giberson, being a TE writing on Biologos, focuses on evolutionary theory.  He apparently finds the reigning neo-Darwinian theory sound, and he apparently thinks it is totally reasonable that the layman, and even the specialist in other scientific disciplines, should simply accept it, on the grounds that only the specialists in evolutionary biology are qualified to judge.

It is important to note here that Dr. Giberson, being a physicist and not a biologist, is not pushing neo-Darwinism on his own authority; rather, he is deferring to the authority of his biological colleagues.  Of course, he has every right to defer if he wishes; but he thinks everyone else should defer to them, too.  And not because their theory seems reasonable and supported by the evidence – on Dr. Giberson’s argument, no one outside of evolutionary biology is qualified to judge that.  No, everyone should defer to the majority of evolutionary biologists simply because they are the certified experts.  He is of the view that science cannot progress unless this procedure is adopted.  Every specialist must respect every other specialist’s “territory”, and no external criticism, even by other Ph.D.s, let alone laymen, is appropriate or even reasonable.  That is the gist of Dr. Giberson’s argument.

As an example of lay incompetence to evaluate scientific data, Dr. Giberson mentions fossils.  How can a layman, even a very intelligent layman, be qualified to examine or interpret fossils?, he asks.  I can answer that question, with an example.

Defenders of neo-Darwinian evolution have laid out a series of fossils which, in their view, indicate an evolutionary progression between an ancient land mammal, probably an ancestor of the hippopotamus, and modern whales.  In this progression, one can notice more finlike appendages versus more leglike appendages, more streamlined bodies versus chunkier bodies, etc.  If we apply Dr. Giberson’s way of thinking, neo-Darwinians have the right to say:  “We have proved that whales evolved from this ancient land mammal via the processes of random mutation and natural selection.”  And if any lay person says:  “I’m not convinced”, Dr. Giberson would presumably dismiss this person as biologically untrained and not entitled to an opinion.

Not so fast, Dr. Giberson.  It may be true that an intelligent lay person will not know as much about comparative anatomy as an evolutionary biologist.  But one does not need to be an expert on comparative anatomy to venture this criticism:

“You biologists have shown us a fossil sequence.  You have given prima facie reasons for an evolutionary narrative, based on what could be interpreted as a gradation of forms.  But what this sequence of forms does not show is the mechanism.  In other words, even if this sequence represents a true genealogical sequence (which is far from certain, with only five or six fossil forms), it does not demonstrate that neo-Darwinian processes (random mutation and natural selection) were the driving power which turned one form into another.  It cannot rule out other, non-Darwinian, naturalistic explanations; further, it cannot rule out even interventionist explanations in which God steered or guided the transitions from one form to another. Thus, it does not establish the hypothesis that a primitive hippopotamus, by means of neo-Darwinian mechanisms, evolved into modern cetaceans.”

This objection is entirely sound; it is logical, rational, and from a philosophical point of view, dead-on and irrefutable.  And one does not need even a freshman biology course to raise it.  One simply has to be aware of the claims of neo-Darwinian theory, and to be intelligent enough to notice the discrepancy between what the theory claims and what it has actually established.  Thus, we find that Dr. David Berlinski, a philosopher and historian of science, has raised this very question about whale evolution.  What would Dr. Giberson say to Dr. Berlinski?  That, despite his formidable intellect and undoubted grasp of modern scientific thought, he is not qualified to speak, because he lacks the union card of a doctorate in biology?

Very well, Dr. Giberson, since you apparently bow before degrees and certifications, would someone with two Ph.D.s in biology, one of them specifically in evolutionary biology, count as “qualified” in your books?  How about Dr. Richard Sternberg, who has made exactly the same points about whale evolution as Berlinski?  Are you prepared to dismiss him as an unqualified quack, as one of the rubes who demands “fries” with his theories?  Since you, by your own argument, are utterly unqualified to discuss evolution, should you not be deferring to Dr. Sternberg’s conclusions?  Maybe, in relation to Dr. Sternberg, you are the rube who likes fries with his neo-Darwinism.

And what about the Wistar Symposium?  Have you ever heard of the Wistar Symposium, Dr. Giberson?  In 1966 the Wistar Institute held a major conference in which a number of brilliant engineers, computer scientists, nuclear physicists, etc. presented mathematical challenges to the neo-Darwinian account of evolution.  They laid these challenges before the greatest evolutionary biologists of the day, including the sainted Mayr.  Now as a physicist, Dr. Giberson, you know full well that when it come to mathematics and mathematical modelling, physicists, engineers, etc. generally are far better trained than biologists, and this was even more the case in 1966.  So were these scientists unqualified to criticize the neo-Darwinians, because their degrees were not in biology, even though they in most cases possessed far more mathematical knowledge?  Were they just lay bumpkins who were not entitled to an opinion?

And what about Dr. Behe, with his expertise in biochemistry, Dr. Dembski, with his expertise in probability theory, and Dr. Denton, with his expertise in medical genetics?  Are they unqualified to criticize neo-Darwinian mechanisms?  Are they all backwoods fundamentalists, fifth-grade dropouts with contempt for higher scientific education, waving their Bibles and spouting pious slogans?  Have they no idea how scientific reasoning works?  Are they unaware of the criteria of valid evidence for a theory? 

Dr. Giberson’s article is condescending in the highest degree.  It basically says:  “The experts believe that mutations and natural selection can explain everything from bacterium to man, and anyone who isn’t a biologist should just accept that and shut up.  And anyone who won’t accede to this demand is an obscurantist who threatens the practice of good science.” 

Not only is this demand based on a false premise, since some of the critics of neo-Darwinian evolution are very good scientists, and more qualified to talk about some aspects of evolution than many TEs are (for example, Sternberg knows more about evolutionary theory than Ken Miller does, or for that matter more than Francis Collins does), it is also dangerous to the idea of the university as a place of the free exchange of ideas, where high-level criticism from any and all quarters should be welcome.  It is also dangerous to the fabric of a democratic and open society, because it transfers power to a hieratic caste of experts whose view it is sacrilege to question.

It is also the most horrible model of teaching imaginable.  Does Dr. Giberson, when teaching his undergraduate classes, deal with student questions and criticisms by saying:  “You’re not advanced enough to make that criticism” or “I can’t successfully refute your arguments, but I know they are wrong because expert opinion rejects them”?  How can any teacher hope to encourage students to develop critical intellects, if the student are cowed into accepting that the main outlines of the truth have already been fixed in stone by the experts and no dissent or even honest questioning is permitted?  This sets learning back to the days of ancient China, where the examination of the mandarins was basically a test of memory-work.  It is an unfit model of pedagogy for a society which traces its roots back to the ever-questioning, ever-debating Socrates.

I of course cannot speak for UD, or for “intelligent design” but only for myself, but I shall speak for myself.  I reject Dr. Giberson’s closed-shop notion of scientific knowledge.  I think that it is a recipe for specialist smugness and self-congratulation, which insulates scientific specialties from all healthy external criticism and therefore licenses ideologically driven science, or even just plain wrong science, to outlive its usefulness by years or even decades.  I think that prostration before a self-selecting clique of experts is repugnant to good science, to good philosophy, to the ideal of the university, and to the ideal of an open, free and democratic society.  And I think it shows, once again, how brittle neo-Darwinism is, that, in order to shut out reasonable criticism from very intelligent people, it has to play the professional privilege card.  Perhaps if the neo-Darwinians spent more time developing detailed biochemical/genetic mechanisms for the production of new body plans, and less time beating their breasts about their qualifications, they would have more success in convincing both their intelligent critics and the “ignorant” public which Dr. Giberson so haughtily dismisses.

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21 Responses to Karl Giberson’s Dangerous Defense of Scientific Orthodoxy

  1. By his own argument, he is not qualified even to express, much less hold, *any* opinion with respect to “evolution.” For (by his argument), as he is not an “evolutionary expert,” he is wholly unqualified to criticize the opinions and pronouncements of the “evolutionary experts”– he is (by his own admission) unqualified either to reject the opinions and pronouncements of the “evolutionary experts” … or to embrace them.

  2. Isn’t it odd how evolutionism, and attempted defense of same, *always* destroys the very foundations of human knowledge?

  3. 3

    Right on the article and posts here.
    Probably he sees a major problem in the land of successful and growing criticism of evolution by the people.
    Amen. More to come.
    In fact since he is saying only experts in fields should talk about then there’s reason to talk to the public. They can’t understand. Yet it seems to me its a agenda of the establishment to argue the merits of evolution and company with public monies.
    He really seems to be saying don’t think on your own but just trust the “experts” here.
    As Winston Churchill once, reported, said upon being told what a group of experts thought he said Well just bring in a new lot of experts.
    Biblical creationists and I.D folks are becoming the actual new experts on the merits of these origin issues.
    Once again mankind asks that everyone just make your case and mankind will judge and be as right or wrong as any one else.
    America and courts is founded on the ability of people to weigh the evidence correctly.
    Researchers job is to gather data and everyone can take it from there.

  4. On Biologos lots of people like bilbo, Rich and myself objected strongly to Giberson’s argument but unfortunately he choose not to reply, at least to date. One wonders if he is able to respond to the arguments put forward. Very sad and disappointing.
    Dave W

  5. Ironically, the problem seems to have become that those in the “scientific orthodoxy” have forgotten their fairy tales.
    If they sit back and recall Chicken Little, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and the Emperor’s New Clothes, those in the “scientific orthodoxy” might understand why they are losing status and credibility, and that maybe they really aren’t as smart as they think they are with regard to the common man.

  6. BTW, Cudworth, that is one of the best responses I’ve ever seen to the claim “shut up, you’re not a biologist”.

    Dogmatic scientific priesthoods are bad for the advancement of knowledge.

  7. Actually, I’d like a well-supported scientific theory, and not merely an ill-supported speculative hypothesis, with my fries. In any case, scientific expertise is not all it’s cracked up to be. As pointed out in THE DESIGN OF LIFE (http://www.thedesignoflife.com):

    Evolution, as taught in 1925, was eminently deserving of critical scrutiny and cross-examination. Back then, Darrow denounced opponents of Darwinian evolution as “bigots and ignoramuses” trying to “control the education of the United States.” Stereotypes like this, however, cut both ways. According to Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, those in 1925 who advocated for evolution included “racists, militarists, and nationalists” who used evolution “to push some pretty horrible programs” including the forced “sterilization of ‘unfit’ and ‘inferior’” people; “the anti-immigration movement” that wanted to bar immigration of people of “inferior racial stock”; and “Jim Crow” laws that evolutionists “rationalized on grounds of the racial inferiority of blacks.”

    Dershowitz goes on to note that the very textbook Scopes taught to high school students, Hunter’s Civic Biology, divided humanity into five races and ranked them in terms of superiority, concluding with “the highest type of all, the Caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America.” Civic Biology also advocated that crime and immorality were inherited and ran in families, and that “these families have become parasitic on society…. If such people were lower animals, we would probably kill them off…. [W]e do have the remedy of separating the sexes in asylums or other places and in various ways preventing intermarriage and the possibilities of perpetuating such a low and degenerate race.” The lab book for Hunter’s text, at Problem 160, asks students to use inheritance charts “[t]o determine some means of bettering, physically and mentally, the human race.” What’s more, a “note to teachers” says that “[t]he child is at the receptive age and is emotionally open to the serious lessons here involved.”

    Of course, the scientific community today denounces all such biological racism. Nonetheless, some prominent contemporary Darwinists, like Daniel Dennett, are so assured of the truth of Darwinism that they now embrace a cultural elitism in which anyone who dissents from Darwinian orthodoxy is regarded as culturally substandard and in need of being segregated from the culturally acceptable people who embrace Darwinism. Dennett, for instance, advocates that children be forced to learn that they are “the product of evolution by natural selection” because “our future well-being depends on the education of our descendants.” Moreover, he advises that parents who stand in the way of such enforced education be quarantined: “Those whose visions dictate that they cannot peacefully coexist with the rest of us we will have to quarantine.”

    But consider, the very textbook from which Scopes taught—the very book that today’s scientific community insists Scopes had the absolute right to teach public school students—includes material that today’s scientific community passionately rejects. Imagine a hypothetical 1925 state law—a law that permitted the teaching of eugenics as the scientific community of the time demanded, but also required that challenges to that theory be taught. Would not everyone today applaud the foresight of any state that had enacted such a law? Hear, hear! Let the science of the day have its say, but then teach its weaknesses, criticisms, and alternatives.

    This hypothetical example of a state law that mandates the critical examination of the “science” of eugenics demonstrates that it is appropriate for those who oversee our school science curricula not to be slavishly bound to whatever the scientific community espouses at the moment. The population at large—who are free from the institutional incentives and professional biases that often impair the scientific community—are entirely in their rights to question a scientific theory regardless of how confidently the scientific community espouses it.

    Indeed, if the history of science is any indicator, every scientific theory has faults and is eventually abandoned in favor of a better, more accurate theory. Why should we expect any different from evolutionary theory? A scientist’s confidence in a theory is no guarantee that it is true. As Nobel prize winning biologist Peter Medawar put it, “I cannot give any scientist of any age better advice than this: the intensity of the conviction that a hypothesis is true has no bearing on whether it is true or not. The importance of the strength of our conviction is only to provide a proportionally strong incentive to find out if the hypothesis will stand up to critical examination.”

    To discredit those who opposed the teaching of Hunter’s Civic Biology in 1925, mainstream scientists and media figures insisted that religious convictions were the only motive for opposing that textbook. Dershowitz notes that even the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with the evolution-inspired eugenics program, upholding a mandatory sterilization law on the view that “three generations of imbeciles are enough.” But fortunately for civil rights in America, intelligent, inquiring people of good will (not “religious fanatics” or “opponents of science”) questioned the reprehensible teachings of Hunter’s Civic Biology. And fortunately, too, enough people were willing to consider both the official position of science and—to borrow a phrase from another and more recent Hollywood film—the “minority report.”

    So too, in our own day, intelligent, inquiring people of good will (not opponents of science and not Daniel Dennett’s cultural inferiors) can question the teaching of Darwinian and other materialistic forms of evolution. It is entirely legitimate, both intellectually and scientifically, to question whether evolution operates exclusively by means of unintelligent, purely mechanistic processes like natural selection. Far from repeating the onesidedness of the Scopes Monkey Trial, the approach embodied in this book remedies it. It does so by providing the kind of cross-examination that the Scopes science experts and lawyers should have had to face, but conveniently avoided.

  8. Dr. D – great info at #7. I never realized that what Scopes wanted to teach was so horribly racist.

  9. I don’t mind IDists and TEs (or ECs) arguing with each other over the scientific merits of their positions. In fact, I think it’s very healthy to do so.

    I mind the theological attacks made by each side. I wish there was a way to get them to accept each other as truly being Christian.

  10. 10

    This from the same Darrow who defended two murdering boys on the grounds that they just couldn’t help themselves, they were the product of nature and heredity. I guess the jury that found them guilty of murder just couldn’t help themselves either.

  11. Great commentary and refutation of Giberson’s column! I read that column and concluded that Giberson is just promoting “groupthink”.

    As an educated person I can say that education does not imply wisdom. If that were the case we would not be experiencing the devastating effects of the financial crisis caused by some of the most educated people in the world. The wise were ringing the alarm bells about the impending financial disaster while the “consensus” that Giberson talks about was telling us that everything was fine and that things would get even better. The wise were silenced, ridiculed and mocked, but in the end they were right and the consensus was wrong.

  12. Dr Dembski @ 7

    It does so by providing the kind of cross-examination that the Scopes science experts and lawyers should have had to face, but conveniently avoided.

    The scientific establishment was not exactly covering itself with glory at the time, however. Although he did not appear at the trial, the principal spokesman for evolution during the 1920s was Henry Fairfield Osborn, Director of the American Museum of Natural History. Osborn relied heavily upon the notorious Piltdown Man fossil, now known to be a fraud, and he was delighted to confirm the discovery of a supposedly pre-human fossil tooth by the paleontologist Harold Cooke in Bryan’s home state of Nebraska. Thereafter Osborn prominently featured “Nebraska Man” (scientific designation: Hesperopithecus harloldcookii) in his antifundamentalist newspaper articles and radio broadcasts, until the tooth was discovered to be from a peccary, a kind of pig. If Osborn had been cross-examined by a lawyer as clever as Clarence Darrow, and satirized by a columnist as ruthless as H. L. Mencken, he would have looked as silly as Bryan. ~ Phillip Johnson

  13. Bilboe:… I mind the theological attacks made by each side. I wish there was a way to get them to accept each other as truly being Christian.

    It has always been about theology (a-theology, to be more precise), so naturally, it still is.

    Persons who seek to turn God into a Pocket Monster are not Christians. Persons who seek to turn God into a minor distraction of no particular importance are not Christians.

  14. 14

    Excuse me, but a Christian is someone who believes in Jesus Christ. Period.

  15. 15
    Thomas Cudworth

    Re Comments 13 and 14 above:

    These comments seem to be wandering from the subject at hand. “What is a Christian?” can be discussed in a million places on the internet, and this thread is not the best place for such a discussion.

    I’d like to keep the comments on this thread focused on Dr. Giberson’s thesis that it is never appropriate for non-biologists to question the judgment of biologists, and more generally that it is never appropriate for non-specialists to question the judgment of specialists. I maintain that this is not only a transparent ploy on Dr. Giberson’s part to justify dismissing serious crticism of Darwinian thought, but a very dangerous social and political teaching.

    Dr. Giberson just dropped this bombshell on Biologos, and, when challenged by intelligent critics there, deigned not to reply. I think we should hold his feet to the fire here. Maybe he will take notice when he sees his name up in lights here, and drop in on us for a visit, and offer the defense he should have offered on Biologos.

  16. “You biologists have shown us a fossil sequence. You have given prima facie reasons for an evolutionary narrative, based on what could be interpreted as a gradation of forms. But what this sequence of forms does not show is the mechanism. In other words, even if this sequence represents a true genealogical sequence (which is far from certain, with only five or six fossil forms), it does not demonstrate that neo-Darwinian processes (random mutation and natural selection) were the driving power which turned one form into another.”

    It’s entirely possible that whale evolution occurred by means whose mechanisms we do not currently know (or never will know). I fail to see how this is different from any other event one can name.

    No matter how much evidence is brought to bear, we can never rule out the possibility that the moon landings occurred by means of Hollywood special effects, that the eruption of Vesuvius was a mass hallucination, or that certain disorders are caused by demonic possession (a subject discussed with much seriousness on the linked BioLogos comments, interestingly).

    Such as our evidence is, it seems extremely reasonable to suppose that the distant reproductive ancestors of cetaceans were landwalkers.

    Maybe the descent was “guided”, maybe miracles were involved, but what the fossils and morphology and DNA are telling us is that one way or another, the descent happened.

    I apologize for being so close-minded that I accept the mainstream account of whale evolution with as little reservation as the equally absurd-sounding assertion that the continents have moved — moved! — by thousands of miles over Earth’s history. I find both scientific inferences incomprehensible, in the sense that I cannot personally imagine them any more than I can visualize five dimensions. Nonetheless, in my armchair research, I have found the evidence persuasive. I’ve been bought and paid for by the colluding geologic orthodoxy, smiling all the way.

    The evidence for cetacean and other instances of descent with modification is so solid that so far as I can tell, even most IDists accept it, albeit with asterisks. Asterisks like:

    “It cannot rule out other, non-Darwinian, naturalistic explanations; further, it cannot rule out even interventionist explanations in which God steered or guided the transitions from one form to another. Thus, it does not establish the hypothesis that a primitive hippopotamus, by means of neo-Darwinian mechanisms, evolved into modern cetaceans.”

    This “even” part is what really gets me. I don’t know if I can articulate why I find it so absurd, but I’ll do my best. Basically, this is written as though divine intervention is the obvious and reasonable default explanation for any puzzle, and the job of scientists is to “rule it out”.

    “This scientist’s account of hurricane formation cannot rule out even interventionist explanations in which God steered or guided the transitions from one form to another.”

    The reality about divine intervention is that it can never, ever, ever, ever be ruled out, or even rendered unlikely. Every single event we can consider could have been caused by divine intervention. That’s why science generally “rules out” such intervention. Saying “whale evolution happened by divine/non-naturalistic intervention” is explanatorily equivalent to saying “whale evolution happened by happening.”

    The same is simply not the case with the proposed biological mechanisms — we could have discovered that their genetic heredity involved something completely different from DNA, for example. We could have found fossils suggesting forms directly transitional to fish, or to — why the heck not? — redwood trees. Such as it is, we’ve got, in keeping with the DNA, transitionals to ungulates. Ungulates! How cool is that? :D

  17. Lenoxus; Just making up facts as you go along again?

    you state:

    “The evidence for cetacean (whales) and other instances of descent with modification is so solid that so far as I can tell, even most IDists accept it,”

    It ain’t Berlinski

    What Does It take To Change A Cow Into A Whale – David Berlinski – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRqdvhL3pgM

    It ain’t Sternberg or Meyers

    Whale Evolution Vs. Population Genetics – Richard Sternberg PhD. in Evolutionary Biology – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4165203

    It ain’t Luskin:

    “Whales have a long generation time, and they don’t have huge populations. They’re like the worst-case scenario for trying to evolve structures rapidly,” “To fix all the mutations needed to convert a little land mammal into a fully functional whale [in ten million years]–mathematically that’s totally not possible.” Casey Luskin
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2......html#more

    Whale Evolution? – Exposing The Deception – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4032568

    Whale Tale Two
    Excerpt: We think that the most logical interpretation of the Pakicetus fossils are that they represent land-dwelling mammals that didn’t even have teeth or ears in common with modern whales. This actually pulls the whale evolution tree out by the roots. Evolutionists are back to the point of not having any clue as to how land mammals could possibly have evolved into whales.
    http://www.ridgecrest.ca.us/~d...../v6i2f.htm

  18. as to the rest of your post Lenoxus: Genetic Entropy!

  19. Well put Lenoxus, or to Zolar Czakl’s words on another thread, divine intervention (or design intervention) cannot function as an “explanatory entity” because it produces no necessary empirical consequences. It is therefore a completely useless explanation from a science point of view.

  20. 21
    john_a_designer

    Over at Telic Thoughts we have been involved in something of a parallel debate about the relationship between ID and theistic evolution (or TE). Some of us have been arguing that ID is accepting of some forms of TE and have quoted William Dembski to support that position.

    One of our critics, olegt, has come back and argued that Dr. D. contradicts himself on this point.
    http://telicthoughts.com/blast.....ent-258248

    I replied that I don’t think that is accurate and offered the following response:

    (The quotes are from, Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology)

    I wonder olegt have you read the whole context? Do you understand the whole context? Do you understand that Dembski is responding to theistic evolutionists, like Howard Van Til, (see footnotes on p.288) who have framed their theology in such a way that it must reject ID? They are the ones who have made their theology incompatible with ID not vice-versa.

    You provided this quote from page 110.

    “Theistic evolution places theism and evolution in an odd tension. If God purposefully created life through Darwinian means, then God’s purpose was ostensibly to conceal his purpose in creation. Within theistic evolution, God is a master of stealth who constantly eludes our best efforts to detect him empirically.”

    But the rest part of the paragraph is also important.

    “Yes, the theistic evolutionist believes that the universe is designed. Yet insofar as there is design in the universe it is design we recognize strictly through the eyes of faith. Accordingly the physical world in itself provides no evidence that life is designed. For all we can tell, our appearance on planet earth is an accident.”

    Then on page 111 he writes this:

    “Intelligent design and theistic evolution therefore differ fundamentally about whether the design of the universe is accessible to our native intellect. Design theorists say yes; theistic evolutionists say no… To be sure there is a scientific disagreement: Design theorists think the scientific evidence favors design, whereas theistic evolutionists think it favors Darwin and his successors. Nonetheless in discounting intelligent design, theistic evolutionists tend also to appeal to philosophical and theological considerations…”

    “If theistic evolution finds no solace from intelligent design, neither does it find solace form the Darwinian establishment. For the Darwinian establishment the “theism” in theistic evolution is superfluous.”

    I don’t think that Dembski is claiming that all self-described TE’s are opposed to ID. However, I would agree with him that a majority probably are.
    *****

    I was just curious if Dr. Dembski agrees with my rebuttal. Let me know if you have the opportunity.

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