July 7, 2005

In their own words - (Is "intelligent design" a religious concept?)

[This resource will be updated as necessary. Suggestions for additions are welcome (please include references).]

Is "intelligent design" fundamentally commited to religious ideas, or does it simply have theistic implications? You be the judge.

Michael Behe
"To a person who does not feel obliged to restrict his search to unintelligent causes, the straightforward conclusion is that many biochemical systems were designed. They were designed not by the laws of nature, not by chance and necessity; rather, they were planned..." - Darwin's Black Box, 1998

"By “intelligent design” I mean to imply design beyond the laws of nature. That is, taking the laws of nature as given, are their other reasons for concluding that life and its component systems have been intentionally arranged? In my book, and in this essay, whenever I refer to intelligent design (ID) I mean this stronger sense of design-beyond-laws.” - Philosophical Objections to Intelligent Design, 2002

"I’m still not against Darwinian evolution on theological grounds. I’m against it on scientific grounds. I think God could have made life using apparently random mutation and natural selection. But my reading of the scientific evidence is that he did not do it that way, that there was a more active guiding. I think that we are all descended from some single cell in the distant past but that that cell and later parts of life were intentionally produced as the result of intelligent activity. As a Christian, I say that intelligence is very likely to be God." - Can You Believe in God and Evolution?, Time, 2005

Percival W. Davis (Co-author of Of Pandas and People)
“Of course my motives were religious. There’s no question about it.” - Darwinian Struggle: Instead of Evolution, A Textbook Proposes “Intelligent Design”—Who Did the Designing It Doesn’t Say; Critics See Disguised Creationism. Wall St. J. 1994

William Dembski
"The fine-tuning of the universe, about which cosmologists make such a to-do, is both complex and specified and readily yields design. So too, Michael Behe's irreducibly complex biochemical systems readily yield design. The complexity-specification criterion demonstrates that design pervades cosmology and biology. Moreover, it is a transcendent design, not reducible to the physical world. Indeed, no intelligent agent who is strictly physical could have presided over the origin of the universe or the origin of life." - The Act of Creation: Bridging Transcendence and Immanence, 1998

"If we take seriously the word-flesh Christology of Chalcedon (i.e. the doctrine that Christ is fully human and fully divine) and view Christ as the telos toward which God is drawing the whole of creation, then any view of the sciences that leaves Christ out of the picture must be seen as fundamentally deficient." - Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology, Downers Grove, InterVarsity Press, 1999.

ID is three things:
1. A scientific research program that investigates the effects of intelligent causes
2. An intellectual movement that challenges Darwinism and its naturalistic legacy
3. A way of understanding divine action. - (Ibid.)

"The job of apologetics is to clear the ground, to clear obstacles that prevent people from coming to the knowledge of Christ," Dembski said. "And if there's anything that I think has blocked the growth of Christ [and] the free reign of the Spirit and people accepting the Scripture and Jesus Christ, it is the Darwinian naturalistic view.... It's important that we understand the world. God has created it; Jesus is incarnate in the world." – National Religious Broadcasters, 2000

"Intelligent Design opens the whole possibility of us being created in the image of a benevolent God." - Science Test, Church & State Magazine, July/August 2000.

“The design in nature is actual. More often than we would like, that design has gotten perverted. But the perversion of design—dysteleology—is not explained by denying design, but by accepting it and meeting the problem of evil head on. The problem of evil is a theological problem. To force a resolution of the problem by reducing all design to apparent design is an evasion. It avoids both the scientific challenge posed by specified complexity, and it avoids the hard work of faith, whose job is to discern God’s hand in creation despite the occlusions of evil.” - Intelligent Design is not Optimal Design, February 2000

“The world is a mirror representing the divine life,” William Dembski writes. “The mechanical philosophy was ever blind to this fact. Intelligent design, on the other hand, readily embraces the sacramental nature of physical reality. Indeed, intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John’s Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory.” - with A., Kushiner, James M., (editors), Signs of Intelligence: Understanding Intelligent Design, Brazos Press, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2001.

“Christ is indispensable to any scientific theory, even if its practitioners do not have a clue about him.” - Intelligent Design, p. 210

"My thesis is that all disciplines find their completion in Christ and cannot be properly understood apart from Christ.” - Intelligent Design, p 206.

“From our vantage, materialism is not a neutral, value-free, minimalist position from which to pursue inquiry. Rather, it is itself an ideology with an agenda. What’s more, it requires an evolutionary creation story to keep it afloat. On scientific grounds, we regard that creation story to be false. What’s more, we regard the ideological agenda that has flowed from it to be destructive to rational discourse. Our concerns are therefore entirely parallel to the evolutionists’. Indeed, all the evolutionists’ worst fears about what the world would be like if we succeed have, in our view, already been realized through the success of materialism and evolution. Hence, as a strategy for unseating materialism and evolution, the term “Wedge” has come to denote an intellectual and cultural movement that many find congenial.” – Dealing with the backlash against intelligent design, 2004

"I think the opportunity to deal with students and getting them properly oriented on science and theology and the relation between those is going to be important because science has been such an instrument used by the materialists to undermine the Christian faith and religious belief generally." "This is really an opportunity," Dembski added, "to mobilize a new generation of scholars and pastors not just to equip the saints but also to engage the culture and reclaim it for Christ. That's really what is driving me." – Dembski to head seminary's new science & theology center, 2004

"But there are deeper motivations. I think at a fundamental level, in terms of what drives me in this is that I think God's glory is being robbed by these naturalistic approaches to biological evolution, creation, the origin of the world, the origin of biological complexity and diversity. When you are attributing the wonders of nature to these mindless material mechanisms, God's glory is getting robbed...And so there is a cultural war here. Ultimately I want to see God get the credit for what he's done - and he's not getting it." - address given at Fellowship Baptist Church, Waco, Texas, March 7, 2004

"And another thing I think we need to be aware of is that not every instance of design we see in nature needs to be directly attributed to God. Certainly as Christians we believe there is an angelic hierarchy - it's not just that there's this physical material world and there's God. There can be various hierarchies of intelligent beings operating, God can work through what can be called derived intelligences - processes which carry out the Divine will, but maybe not perfectly because of the fall." - (Ibid.)

“Thus, in its relation to Christianity, intelligent design should be viewed as a ground-clearing operation that gets rid of the intellectual rubbish that for generations has kept Christianity from receiving serious consideration." - Intelligent Design's Contribution To The Debate Over Evolution: A Reply To Henry Morris, 2005

"Even many Christians who have been raised and indoctrinated in a secular mindset ... will say, 'Look, we're just going to have to accept the science of the day and try to make our peace with it theologically,'" Dembski said. "And there is no peace theologically ... ultimately with this view [Darwinian evolution]. But they accept it. And so, this idea of intelligent design becomes very threatening." - Intelligent design offers alternative to Darwinism, 2005

“The mountains of evidence are already there. The problem is that evidence is itself inherently hermeneutical, influenced by cognitive predispositions to interpret certain types of data as supporting/confirming certain types of conclusions. If one wears materialistic blinders, there can be no evidence for ID hence the constant refrain by people like Barbara Forrest and Eugenie Scott that there is no evidence for ID. There is none for them because they have shut their eyes to it.” - Timetable for the mainstreaming of ID (Comments), 2005

"Accordingly, intelligent design should be understood as the evidence that God has placed in nature to show that the physical world is the product of intelligence and not simply the result of mindless material forces. This evidence is available to all apart from the special revelation of God in salvation history as recounted in Scripture." - Why President Bush Got It Right about Intelligent Design, 2005

"Even so, there is an immediate payoff to intelligent design: it destroys the atheistic legacy of Darwinian evolution. Intelligent design makes it impossible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist." - Why President Bush Got It Right about Intelligent Design, 2005

(Regarding the Dover decision) “...this galvanizes the Christian community. People I’m talking to say we’re going to be raising a whole lot more funds now.” - Science and Theology, Pennock's Dover Response

Phillip Johnson
"This isn't really, and never has been, a debate about science, it's about religion and philosophy." - World Magazine, November 30, 1996

“Admitting that the entire purpose of the Wedge strategy is religious: "If we understand our own times, we will know that we should affirm the reality of God by challenging the domination of materialism and naturalism in the world of the mind. With the assistance of many friends I have developed a strategy for doing this....We call our strategy the "wedge." - Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds, 1997, pp. 91-92

"The Intelligent Design movement starts with the recognition that "In the beginning was the Word," and "In the beginning God created." Establishing that point isn't enough, but it is absolutely essential to the rest of the gospel message." - Forward to Creation, Evolution, & Modern Science, 2000

"We are removing the most important cultural roadblock to accepting the role of God as creator." - LA Times, March 25, 2001

"This is a way of phrasing the issue that ought to bring together Protestants of different views young-earth believers and the scriptures, old-earthers who interpret Genesis differently, even the people who take the whole thing allegorically. Again, they should have a common interest in the issue. In the beginning was the word. In the beginning God created. True or false." Kansas conference, June, 2001

"So the question is: "How to win?" That’s when I began to develop what you now see full-fledged in the "wedge" strategy: "Stick with the most important thing"—the mechanism and the building up of information. Get the Bible and the Book of Genesis out of the debate because you do not want to raise the so-called Bible-science dichotomy. Phrase the argument in such a way that you can get it heard in the secular academy and in a way that tends to unify the religious dissenters. That means concentrating on, "Do you need a Creator to do the creating, or can nature do it on its own?" and refusing to get sidetracked onto other issues, which people are always trying to do." - Touchstone Magazine interview, June 2002

"Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit so that we can get the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools." - American Family Radio, January 10, 2003

"The subject is not just the theory of evolution, the subject is the reality of God." - Hank Hanegraaf's "Bible Answer Man" radio program, 12/19/2004

"We're not trying to prove the character of God through science. That's a bad idea. What I'm trying to do is clear away the misunderstandings, the debris that prevent people from accepting that God who wants to accept them." - (Ibid.)

Casey Luskin
"Obviously, the question comes up, 'Who is the designer?' Well, the leadership [of the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) clubs] will promote the viewpoint that the God of the Bible is the designer." - Evolution critics meet to create strategy, The Plain Dealer, 07/29/02

Stephen Meyer
"I think the intelligent designer is God." - Nightline, 8/10/05

Nancy Pearcey
"By uncovering evidence that natural phenomena are best accounted for by Intelligence, Mind, and Purpose, the theory of Intelligent Design reconnects religion to the realm of public knowledge. It takes Christianity out of the sphere of noncognitive value and restores it to the realm of objective fact, so that it can once more take a place at the table of public discourse. Only when we are willing to restore Christianity to the status of genuine knowledge will we be able to effectively engage the “cognitive war” that is at the root of today’s culture war." - Uncommon dissent : intellectuals who find Darwinism unconvincing, 2004, p. 73

"If the broader impact of Darwinism was to remove Christianity from the sphere of objective truth, then the broader significance of the Intelligent Design movement will be to bring it back. By providing evidence of God's work in nature, it restores Christianity to the status of a genuine knowledge claim, giving us the means to reclaim a place at the table of public debate. Christians will then be in a position to challenge the fact/value dichotomy that has marginalized religion and morality by reducing them to irrational, subjective experience." - Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity, 2004

“[D]esign theory demonstrates that Christians can sit in the supernaturalist’s ‘chair’ even in their professional lives, seeing the cosmos through the lens of a comprehensive biblical worldview.” - (Ibid)

Jonathan Wells
“Father’s words, my studies, and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism.” - Darwinism: Why I Went for a Second Ph.D.

Discovery Institute

The proposition that human beings are created in the image of God is one of the bedrock principles on which western civilization was built. - The Wedge Strategy, Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture

Debunking the traditional conceptions of both God and man, thinkers such as Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Sigmund Freud portrayed humans not as moral and spiritual beings, but as animals or machines who inhabited a universe ruled by purely impersonal forces and whose behavior and very thoughts were dictated by the unbending forces of biology, chemistry, and environment. - (Ibid.)

“Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture seeks nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies. Bringing together leading scholars from the natural sciences and those from the humanities and social sciences, the Center explores how new developments in biology, physics and cognitive science raise serious doubts about scientific materialism and have re-opened the case for a broadly theistic understanding of nature. [Note: The original version of the Wedge document phrased this last part as "have reopened the case for the supernatural."]” – (Ibid.)

"Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialistic's worldview and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions." - (Ibid.)

"The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." - Staff, Top Questions

Of Pandas and People - (ID textbook)
"Darwinists object to the view of intelligent design because it does not give a natural explanation of how the various forms of life started in the first place." - pp. 99-100


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of your above-quoted quotes from ID proponents may be out-of context with respect to whether or not intelligent design is just a fundamentally religious concept. You have also used a dangerous way of identifying religious concepts.

Science is a way of knowing which makes its claims using the scientific method (i.e. observation, hypothesis, experiment, conclusion). Religion is another way of knowing, which uses religious methods to make its claims (i.e. faith, experience, divine revelation).

Many scientific ideas can have religious implications. For example, sometimes science and religion can make overlapping claims. When determining if something is religion or science, one must analyze the methods by which those claims are being made, not the actual claims themselves, to determine if you are dealing with science or religion.

For example, many scientists have argued that the big bang theory has strong theistic implications as it implies some form of a creation ex nihilo event. Yet, the big bang theory is based upon scientific methods of interpreting astronomical data. It is thus science because of the methods used to make its claims. Its status as science is not based upon whether or not its science-based claism also happen to overlap with the claims of some religions.

If your logic is applied fairly, we would call both the big bang theory and evolutionary theory fundamentally religious concepts as well. After all, slews of quotes could be provided with from evolutionists claiming that evolution has specifically anti-theistic religious implications.

Here are 3 quick ones:

"[B]iology took away our status as paragons created in the image of God … Before Darwin, we thought that a benevolent God had created us." (Gould, S. J., "Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History," p.147, 267 (W.W. Norton, 1977).

"Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent." (Provine, W. B., "Evolution: Free will and punishment and meaning in life," http://fp.bio.utk.edu/darwin/1998/provine_abstract.html)

"...although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist." (Dawkins, R., The Blind Watchmaker, p.6 (1986).)

I credit these arguments to the IDEA Center at "http://www.ideacenter.org/about/mission_affiliations.php" where the IDEA Center explains that while they do believe the identity of the designer is the God of the Bible, that belief does not come from from intelligent design theory. As the article writes:

"In determining if something is science or religion, what matters is not the claim you are making, but how and on what basis you are making the claim. What you 'know,' or what your claims are about, do not determine whether those claims are religious or scientific. Rather, it is the 'way,' or means by which one makes those claims that makes them religious or scientific. Intelligent design theory is a purely scientific way of arriving at the conclusion that life was designed, even if that conclusion may also be reached via religious means."

See also http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1341 where there is an extensive dicussion regarding whether or not intelligent design theory is an argument for the existence of God. Here they provide a large number of quotes from ID proponents which demonstrate that ID theory cannot identify the designer, and that when ID proponents talk about their personal beliefs that God is the designer, they make that claim apart from ID theory itself:

"If science is based upon experience, then science tells us the message encoded in DNA must have originated from an intelligent cause. But what kind of intelligent agent was it? On its own, science cannot answer this question; it must leave it to religion and philosophy. But that should not prevent science from acknowledging evidences for an intelligent cause origin wherever they may exist. This is no different, really, than if we discovered life did result from natural causes. We still would not know, from science, if the natural cause was all that was involved, or if the ultimate explanation was beyond nature, and using the natural cause." (Of Pandas and People (2nd ed, 1993), pg. 7, emphasis added)

"Surely the intelligent design explanation has unanswered questions of its own. But unanswered questions, which exist on both sides, are an essential part of healthy science; they define the areas of needed research. Questions often expose hidden errors that have impeded the progress of science. For example, the place of intelligent design in science has been troubling for more than a century. That is because on the whole, scientists from within Western culture failed to distinguish between intelligence, which can be recognized by uniform sensory experience, and the supernatural, which cannot. Today we recognize that appeals to intelligent design may be considered in science, as illustrated by current NASA search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). Archaeology has pioneered the development of methods for distinguishing the effects of natural and intelligent causes. We should recognize, however, that if we go further, and conclude that the intelligence responsible for biological origins is outside the universe (supernatural) or within it, we do so without the help of science." (Of Pandas and People (2nd ed, 1993), pg. 126-127, emphasis added)

"The idea that life had an intelligent source is hardly unique to Christian fundamentalism. Advocates of design have included not only Christians and other religious theists, but pantheists, Greek and Enlightenment philosophers and now include many modern scientists who describe themselves as religiously agnostic. Moreover, the concept of design implies absolutely nothing about beliefs and normally associated with Christian fundamentalism, such as a young earth, a global flood, or even the existence of the Christian God. All it implies is that life had an intelligent source." (Of Pandas and People (2nd ed, 1993), pg. 161, emphasis added)

"The most important difference [between modern intelligent design theory and Paley's arguments] is that [intelligent design] is limited to design itself; I strongly emphasize that it is not an argument for the existence of a benevolent God, as Paley's was. I hasten to add that I myself do believe in a benevolent God, and I recognize that philosophy and theology may be able to extend the argument. But a scientific argument for design in biology does not reach that far. This while I argue for design, the question of the identity of the designer is left open. Possible candidates for the role of designer include: the God of Christianity; an angel--fallen or not; Plato's demi-urge; some mystical new age force; space aliens from Alpha Centauri; time travelers; or some utterly unknown intelligent being. Of course, some of these possibilities may seem more plausible than others based on information from fields other than science. Nonetheless, as regards the identity of the designer, modern ID theory happily echoes Isaac Newton's phrase hypothesis non fingo. (Michael Behe, "The Modern Intelligent Design Hypothesis," Philosophia Christi, Series 2, Vol. 3, No. 1 (2001), pg. 165, emphasis added)

"Although intelligent design fits comfortably with a belief in God, it doesn't require it, because the scientific theory doesn't tell you who the designer is. While most people - including myself - will think the designer is God, some people might think that the designer was a space alien or something odd like that." (Michael Behe, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 02/08/01).

"One of the worries about intelligent design is that it will jettison much of what is accepted in science, and that an “ID-based curriculum” will look very different from current science curricula. Although intelligent design has radical implications for science, I submit that it does not have nearly as radical implications for science education. First off, intelligent design is not a form of anti-evolutionism. Intelligent design does not claim that living things came together suddenly in their present form through the efforts of a supernatural creator. Intelligent design is not and never will be a doctrine of creation." (William Dembski, No Free Lunch, pg. 314, emphasis added)

"The conclusion that something was designed can be made quite independently of knowledge of the designer. As a matter of procedure, the design must first be apprehended before there can be any further question about the designer. The inference to design can be held with all the firmness that is possible in this world, without knowing anything about the designer." (Michael Behe, Darwin's Black Box, pg. 197)

"Intelligent design is modest in what it attributes to the designing intelligence responsible for the specified complexity in nature. For instance, design theorists recognize that the nature, moral character and purposes of this intelligence lie beyond the competence of science and must be left to religion and philosophy." (William Dembski, The Design Revolution, pg. 42)

"The most obvious difference is that scientific creationism has prior religious commitments whereas intelligent design does not. ... Intelligent design ... has no prior religious commitments and interprets the data of science on generally accepted scientific principles. In particular, intelligent design does not depend on the biblical account of creation." (William Dembski, The Design Revolution, pg. 40)

"Intelligent design begins with data that scientists observe in the laboratory and nature, identifies in them patterns known to signal intelligent causes and thereby ascertains whether a phenomenon was designed. For design theorists, the conclusion of design constitutes an inference from data, not a deduction from religious authority." (William Dembski, The Design Revolution, pg. 42-43)

"Natural causes are too stupid to keep pace with intelligent causes. Intelligent design theory provides a rigorous scientific demonstration of this long-standing intuition. Let me stress, the complexity-specification criterion is not a principle that comes to us demanding our unexamined acceptance--it is not an article of faith. Rather it is the outcome of a careful and sustained argument about the precise interrelationships between necessity, chance and design." (William Dembski, No Free Lunch, pg. 223)

"ID is not an interventionist theory. Its only commitment is that the design in the world be empirically detectable. All the design could therefore have emerged through a cosmic evolutionary process that started with the Big Bang. What's more, the designer need not be a deity. It could be an extraterrestrial or a telic process inherent in the universe. ID has no doctrine of creation. Scott and Branch at best could argue that many of the ID proponents are religious believers in a deity, but that has no bearing on the content of the theory. As for being “vague” about what happened and when, that is utterly misleading. ID claims that many naturalistic evolutionary scenarios (like the origin of life) are unsupported by evidence and that we simply do not know the answer at this time to what happened. This is not a matter of being vague but rather of not pretending to knowledge that we don't have."(William Dembski, Commentary on Eugenie Scott and Glenn Branch's "Guest Viewpoint: 'Intelligent design' Not Accepted by Most Scientists, emphasis added)

See http://www.ideacenter.org/about/mission_affiliations.php for a more detailed discussion. You should check the context of your quotes to determine if they really are showing that ID proponents really are putting forth fundamentally religious concepts. Check the context of each quote, otherwise they are useless as rhetorical sound-bytes.

If we treat ID fairly, it can be seen that it uses the scientific method to make its claims. Not religious methods. If its claims happen to overlap with those of some religions, so be it. If we analyze ID fairly, it is seen to be no more "religious" than the big bang theory or evolutionary theory.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Ginger Yellow said...

"If its claims happen to overlap with those of some religions, so be it. If we analyze ID fairly, it is seen to be no more "religious" than the big bang theory or evolutionary theory."

Two questions, Mr Anonymous (how brave!):

1. If ID is not inherently religious, how does ID account for the existence of the designer? If life's complexity is evidence for its design, then a designer, surely more complex than the designed object, must also be designed. Since ID refutes the idea of complexity from chaos by natural means, at some point one of these designers must be supernatural, or you have an infinite regression, designers all the way down.

2) This is the Discovery Institute's definition of ID, as found in the Top Questions section of its website : "The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection."

Please explain how a "feature of the universe" could have an intelligent cause that is not supernatural.

2:11 PM  
Blogger Apesnake said...

"If we treat ID fairly, it can be seen that it uses the scientific method to make its claims."

Such as? (other than "evolution sucks") Can you provide us with an example where they used the scientific method to test their hypotheses

"For example, many scientists have argued that the big bang theory has strong theistic implications as it implies some form of a creation ex nihilo event."

Theistic implications for them. No scientist has ever presumed to demonstrate that you can not believe in cosmic expansion and be an atheist.

Your quote by Gould does not argue against theism but only the type of theism which claims that humans are not the products of nature. Saying that evolution claims there is no God simply because he did not create humans and other life forms is not a logical train of reasoning.

I was unable to find anything on W. B. Provine. He is entitled to his opinion but if this quote is accurate he is wrong about evolution No human free will? No God worth having? How was the worth of various potential Gods quantified? As an atheist/agnostic I would love it if evolution supported that there was no God - I would be shouting it from the roof tops. Unfortunately I care about ethics and honesty; resources which the spawn of the Discovery Institute are in short supply of.

The Dawkins quote merely states that evolution allows atheistic views to be compatible with reason not that it supports or implies atheism directly.

If your point is that quotes can be taken out of context then you have provided some good examples of how ID creationists do this. It does not follow that these quotes of IDCers are taken out of context.

IDC proponents claim that their "work" has nothing to do with religion but is science. They then make statements directly implying that no one can fully understand anything, from E=MC^2 to the ideal gas law PV=nRT, without being Christian.

I am too exasperated to continue this criticism. I give up I am going to put a wet cloth on my head and forget about the ID phenomenon.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The point of the three science quotes is that the implications of science leave little room for any gods and no obvious need for any. It follows as a rational conclusion. Theists start with a conclusion and try to work backwards.

The point I gathered from the originally posted IDist's quotes (especially when contrasted with some you provided) is that the ID advocates are lying SOBs. They have an agenda that they bring to the party and an absence of science , i.e. ID is intellectually vacuous and doesn't make scientific claims - pick anyplace you want to start ...


3:16 PM  
Blogger RLC said...

Let me just add that I included very little context for the reason stated in the OP, I wish to let readers draw their own conclusions. This was done specifically to avoid the inference that "ID advocates are lying SOBs."

Although I do think, and have argued elsewhere, that ID is, by methodology as well as motivation, a fundamentally theistic "theory," I would not argue that all of these quotes support that observation.

Thanks to all for your interesting comments.

12:21 PM  
Blogger JM O'Donnell said...

"it can be seen that it uses the scientific method to make its claims."

Like what?

2:46 AM  
Blogger Mark Nutter said...

The thing is, it's not that "intelligent design" per se is an inherently religious concept. The question is, is the concept of intelligent design being used as a tool to advance a religiously motivated agenda? If I have a stick, and I use it exclusively to whack people who disagree with my religious views, it won't be long before people begin to associate my stick and my religion. But my stick is not itself religious.

ID is like my stick. Some people want to use it to "whack" other people who disagree with their religious views. The fact that it is not necessarily religious in and of itself is both a strength and a weakness: on the one hand, they can sometimes argue (justifiably) that their case is being misrepresented; on the other hand, in such cases, it typically fails to "whack" their opponents the way they'd really like.

Some ID arguments are inherently creationistic, e.g. the argument that the material universe itself was designed with "fine-tuned" constants needed to support life. You can't be the product of Nature and be the designer of Nature both; hence such arguments are inherently an appeal to the idea of a supernatural creator/designer. Other ID arguments, however, are not necessarily creationistic--and by being less than arguments for a supernatural creator, are consequently less than satisfactory as proofs for the religious beliefs of whoever is making the argument. But as the above quotes show, they are definitely trying to make the argument anyway.

7:11 AM  
Anonymous LeighUK said...

"You should check the context of your quotes to determine if they really are showing that ID proponents really are putting forth fundamentally religious concepts." Anon..

Contexts checked - guilty as charged.

11:27 AM  

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