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1352Re: The ID movement

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  • Donald Nield
    Oct 7, 2001
      Dear Steve and Group:

      "Stephen E. Jones" wrote:

      > Group
      > On Fri, 20 Jul 2001 12:29:29 +1200, Donald Nield wrote:
      > As previously advised, I have decided that I will break my critique of
      > Don's `review' of Icons and start responding to his article "Intelligent
      > design theory: the way forward?", Stimulus, Vol. 9, Issue 2, May 2001,
      > pp. 8-13, posted in five parts in July:
      > The ID movement
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign/message/779
      > ID: Irreducible Complexity
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign/message/780
      > Design inference
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign/message/781
      > Applications of design theory
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign/message/782
      > An advance on ID?
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign/message/967
      > But I emphasise it will still take a *long* time before I get through
      > them all, and Don should not expect me to answer them according to
      > his timetable. It all depends on what else is being posted (including
      > any responses to my critiques of the above extracts), my study
      > commitments, and other `real-world' commitments I have.
      > I had already briefly responded to this first extract on 26 July. For the
      > sake of completeness, I will repeat some of my comments and/or expand
      > on them.
      > [...]
      > DN>Below is the first of a series of extracts from my article "Intelligent Design
      > >theory: the way forward?", Stimulus, volume 9, issue 2, May 2001, pp.8-13.
      > SJ: Don in his self-introduction had said that "Stimulus" was "The NZ
      > Journal of Christian Thought and Practice". This is significant in that
      > Don is writing as a Christian, in a Christian journal, attacking a
      > movement that advocates design and defending Darwinism, a
      > movement that denies design.
      > What I am interested in is Don's set of priorities. Don evidently saw his
      > highest priority in his four public articles was to attack YECs and ID.
      > Yet I would have thought that a higher priority for a Christian, would
      > be articles to attacking *atheistic* evolution, or at least arguing for
      > Don's own Theistic Evolution position.

      I find Steve's interest in the motivation of writers (rather in what they say)
      bordering on the obsessive, but since in this post he is not entirely speculating about
      my motives, but rather seeking information, I am happy to oblige.

      With regard to the articles on YEC the answer is very simple. I was just responding to
      articles/books by Sarfati (I have the spelling correct now, thanks to Steve!). In the
      case of Stimulus, it was an article by Sarfati that in turn was a response to an
      article by Neil Broom and Robert Mann. In essence, my article supported Broom & Mann in
      response to criticism by Sarfati. In the case of the NZST my article was in response to
      YEC literature distributed to NZ schools.

      With regard to the Wells book review -- well, that was just a book review supplemented
      by my suggestion of answers that could be made to students who asked the ten questions
      proposed by Wells.

      The remaining article, on ID in Stimulus, was another matter. I thought that I should
      follow up my article on YEC by an article in which I put forward some alternative to
      YEC. The two contenders for that were ID and TE positions. I read up on ID to see how
      it compared with TE. I concluded that ID was a weaker in comparison with TE. Since ID
      is a comparatively new position, I ended up concentrating on ID. In the final section
      of the article I did put forward my TE position, as an alternative to ID.

      > DN>I invite you to comment on whether or not I have been accurate and
      > >fair in this introduction to the ID movement.
      > SJ: Speaking as a member of "the ID movement" (and hence on the
      > receiving end) IMHO Don has *not* "been accurate and fair in this
      > introduction to it.
      > Don makes a number of ad hominems and errors in this opening part of
      > his article. Also, he chose to use two atheist/agnostic websites for his
      > sources of information about ID, apparently in order to use a stolen
      > draft ID document, rather than use *abundant* official ID sources.
      > And where Don could, as a Christian, writing in a Christian journal,
      > have expressed agreement with ID, he choses not to do so.
      > So I assume that Don was not even *trying* to be "accurate and fair in
      > this introduction to" the ID movement!

      I read extensively on the DI and ARN websites. I read the whole of "Mere Creation". I
      read recent books by Dembski and Johnson, as well as that by Behe.
      I lurked for some time on the ARN and KCFS forums -- it was there that I picked up
      posted material critical of ID.

      > [...]
      > DN>The modern Intelligent Design (ID) movement was to a large extent
      > >sparked off by the publication in 1985 of the book Evolution: A Theory in
      > >Crisis by the Australian medical geneticist Michael Denton, who
      > >now works at the University of Otago.
      > SJ: In my earlier brief response, I pointed out that while Denton's 1985
      > "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis" was very important, Thaxton et al.'s
      > "The Mystery of Life's Origin" (1984) is a better candidate for the
      > beginning of the modern Intelligent Design movement (IDM), because
      > "That book specifically mentioned non-supernatural intelligent agency".
      > Curiously, Don was apparently aware of this, but he said he "wanted to
      > highlight Denton" for other reasons:
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > On Mon, 30 Jul 2001 13:48:57 +1200, Donald Nield wrote: [...]
      > Yes, I agree with Steve about the Thaxton et al. book. In fact, I was aware
      > of its importance, but I wanted to highlight Denton because I came back to
      > him, in connection with his 1998 book, later in my article. [...]

      Yes. Why is it curious?

      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > DN>Today the leading lights are
      > >Phillip Johnson (lawyer), Michael Behe (biochemist) and William Dembski
      > >(mathematician).
      > SJ: Jonathan Wells is also one of the "leading lights" of the IDM, but Don had
      > a reason for omitting him here (see below).

      The reason was that I was going to mention him separately later in the same paragraph
      -- and that is not the reason that Steve is implying that I had. This is another
      instance of Steve's off-beam presumptions.

      > DN>Robert Pennock2 lists a couple of dozen other
      > >people who are also associated with the movement
      > SJ: Pennock's strawman strategy is to try to make out that the ID
      > movement is "Intelligent Design *Creationism*" (my emphasis),
      > presumably so it can be tarred with the same brush as YEC? But he
      > includes in his list "Michael Denton" who is not even a theist! And
      > there are AFAIK only two YECs in the list, "John Mark Reynolds" and
      > "Paul Nelson". Moreover, at least four in the list (Denton, Ratzsch,
      > Behe and van Inwagen) AFAIK accept universal common ancestry:
      > "There are a dozen or two names that appear most frequently in
      > association with the ideas of intelligent-design and theistic science,
      > but because this variation of creationism is still relatively new and
      > its advocates have not all published or explicitly identified
      > themselves under these labels it is not yet clear whom to list among
      > its leaders. Walter Bradley, Jon Buell, William Lane Craig, Percival
      > Davis, Michael Denton, Mark Hartwig, J. P. Moreland, Hugh Ross,
      > and Charles B. Thaxton are important figures. Another is John
      > Angus Campbell, a University of Memphis rhetorician, and he
      > mentions Nancy Pearcey, Del Ratzsch, Tom Woodward, John Mark
      > Reynolds, Walter ReMine, and Robert Koons (who is a colleague
      > of mine in the philosophy department at The University of Texas at
      > Austin), as being among the "key players" of "our movement."
      > Among the more well-known names to sign on to the crusade are
      > Michael Behe (Lehigh University) and Dean Kenyon (San Francisco
      > State University) on the scientific side, and Alvin Plantinga and
      > Peter van Inwagen (both of Notre Dame) on the philosophical side.
      > Perhaps more significant, however, are the younger members of the
      > group-William Dembski, Paul Nelson, Stephen C. Meyer, and
      > Jonathan Wells. These "four horsemen" have dedicated their lives
      > to the creationist cause and have been collecting multiple graduate
      > degrees (Dembski in mathematics, philosophy and theology; Meyer
      > and Nelson in philosophy; and Wells in religious studies and
      > molecular and cellular biology) so they will be fully armored and
      > ready to ride forth." (Pennock R.T., "Tower of Babel: The
      > Evidence Against the New Creationism," The MIT Press:
      > Cambridge MA, 1999, Fourth Printing, p.29).

      OK. Whether or not Pennock is justified in linking ID with YEC is another matter. All I
      was doing at this stage was saying something about the prominent members of the ID

      > DN>and it is noteworthy
      > >that virtually all are U.S. Americans (Hugh Ross, a Canadian, is an
      > >exception).
      > SJ: Why is it "noteworthy" that "virtually all" the couple of dozen other
      > people" listed by "Pennock ... who are also associated with the [ID]
      > movementare U.S. Americans"?

      It is noteworthy because the major conflict between Science and Religion has been a
      Yankee affair. The conflict model has been emphasized as a result of political
      consequences of the fact that science and religion cannot be taught together in US
      public schools.

      In a recent article in a Metanexus monthly newsletter ( I have recently given the link
      on another thread) Dembski has acknowledged the US emphasis on design.

      > SJ:Apart from anything else, Pennock himself is a "U.S. American"!

      I realized that. Why does Steve find that out of ordinary?
      I recognize that Pennock is himself involved in the US conflict.

      > SJ:I presume Don's subliminal message here is that the reason is that IDers
      > are all closet YECs? But this is simply false because not one of the
      > above "leading lights" of the IDM mentioned by Don: "Johnson",
      > "Behe" and "Dembski" was ever a YEC.

      Steve presumes wrongly. I wish that he would not keep on making such presumptions.

      > Leaving aside deeper principles of spiritual warfare (Eph 6:12), which I
      > presume as a Christian writing in a Christian journal, Don and his
      > readers would all accept, it is only to be expected that the ID
      > movement (like the creationist movement) is strongest in (though not
      > exclusive to) the USA, because it is there that the Darwinists have been
      > most insistent on excluding Christian theism from the public square and
      > using the power of the State to force children to be indoctrinated in
      > their naturalistic, anti-Christian philosophy.


      > This is seen by the fact that wherever Darwinism tries to export its
      > anti-theistic program to other countries (e.g. Britain, Australia and
      > New Zealand) there is "an equal and opposite reaction" from its
      > opponents.
      > Historically, creationism (and ID) is a *reaction* to prior Darwinist
      > agression:
      > "Third, in an argument paralleling the persuasive case made by
      > Robert Wuthnow in The Restructuring of American Religion,
      > Numbers suggests that the intrusion of the national government
      > into local educational concerns has politicized all the topics that
      > are seen to lie on the borders between science and religion.
      > After Sputnik, the United States poured unprecedented
      > amounts of money into a frenzied effort aimed at reinvigorating
      > the teaching of science in American schools. One of the
      > byproducts of this effort was the production of influential
      > biology textbooks that not only introduced major contemporary
      > findings, but also propounded grandly phrased metaphysical
      > claims about the evolutionary character of the cosmos. Such
      > hegemonic governmental intrusions have regularly produced
      > intense localist reactions. Creationism has been one of the most
      > intense. Fourth, Numbers notes that creationists embody some
      > of the widespread resentment toward America's self-appointed
      > knowledge elites. As such, they are part of a natural reaction to
      > the intellectual imperialism so regularly practiced by a number
      > of scholars at the nation's best-known universities." (Noll M.A.,
      > "Ignorant Armies." Review of Numbers R.L.,"The Creationists:
      > The Evolution of Scientific Creationism," Knopf, in First
      > Things, No. 32, April 1993, pp.45-48.
      > http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft9304/noll.html)


      > DN>Several of those named have contributed to a
      > >proceedings of a Mere Christianity conference3.
      > SJ: This is an interesting `Freudian slip' by Don! The conference was, as Don's
      > own footnote says, called "Mere *Creation*" (my emphasis). The attached
      > table of contents shows it was not specifically Christian, and in fact
      > "David Berlinski" is Jewish:
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > http://www.gospelcom.net/cgi-ivpress/book.pl/toc/code=1515
      > Table of Contents
      > Foreword/Henry F. Schaefer III
      > Introduction: Mere Creation/William A. Dembski
      > Part One: Unseating Naturalism
      > 1. Nature: Designed or Designoid/Walter L. Bradley
      > 2. Unseating Naturalism/Jonathan Wells
      > Part Two: Design Theory
      > 3. "You Guys Lost"/Nancy R. Pearcey
      > 4. Redesigning Science/William A. Dembski
      > 5. The Explanatory Power of Design/Steven C. Meyer
      > 6. Applying Design Within Biology/Paul A. Nelson
      > Part Three: Biological Design
      > 7. Intelligent Design Theory as a Tool for Analyzing Biochemical
      > Systems/Michael J. Behe
      > 8. Basic Types of Life/Siegfried Scherer
      > 9. Apes of Ancestors?/Sigrid Hartwig-Scherer
      > 10. Evolutionary Accounts of Altruism & the Problem of Goodness by
      > Design/Jeffrey P. Schloss
      > Part Four: Philosophy & Design
      > 11. The Explanatory Relevance of Libertarian Agency as a Model of Theistic
      > Design/J. P. Moreland
      > 12. Design, Chance & Theistic Evolution/Del Ratzsch
      > 13. God of the Gaps/John Mark Reynolds
      > 14. Design & the Cosmological Argument/William Lane Craig
      > Part Five: Design in the Universe
      > 15. Big Bang Model Refined by Fire/Hugh Ross
      > 16. Design in Physics & Biology/Robert Kaita
      > 17. G"del's Question/David Berlinski
      > 18. Artificial Life & Cellular Automata/Robert C. Newman
      > Afterword: How to Sink a Battleship/Phillip E. Johnson
      > Postscript: The Twenty-first Century Has Arrived/Bruce Chapman
      > Contributors
      > Index
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Thanks to Steve! Yes, it was a slip on my part, an unconscious one. I am not a fan of
      Freud, so I would not read to much into my slip. I am aware that the organizers of the
      "Mere Creation" conference that led to the "Mere Creation" book deliberately chose that
      title on analogy with the well known book "Mere Christianity" by C. S. Lewis, a book
      that I have owned for a very long time.

      > DN>Philosophers are
      > >represented in the movement by William Lane Craig, J. P. Moreland, Alvin
      > >Plantinga, Paul Nelson and Stephen C. Meyer.
      > SJ: I would not regard "Alvin Plantinga" as a member of the IDM. I presume
      > Don only says that he is on Pennock say-so? But Pennock lumps Plantinga
      > into his strawman category of "Intelligent-design creationist" only because
      > Plantinga also "oppos[es] evolution" and "reject[s] methodological
      > naturalism":
      > "Intelligent-design creationists unite in this attack and on their
      > insistence in the viability of theistic science. Johnson continues to
      > write as though methodological naturalism is essentially
      > synonymous with metaphysical naturalism, but others acknowledge
      > that methodological naturalism is a distinct view and attack it
      > directly. Notre Dame philosopher of religion Alvin Plantinga, for
      > example, joins the IDCs in opposing evolution and in rejecting
      > methodological naturalism." (Pennock R.T., "Tower of Babel: The
      > Evidence Against the New Creationism," The MIT Press:
      > Cambridge MA, 1999, Fourth Printing, p.203)

      Yes, I relied on Pennock. I thank Steve for his correction, which I have noted for the

      > DN>A person of
      > >particular interest is Jonathan Wells, of the Unification Church, who has
      > >publicly stated that he has dedicated his life to destroying Darwinism, and
      > >to that end has collected two PhD's, one in Theology
      > >from Yale and the other in Biology from U.C. Berkeley. In a recent
      > >book4 he attacks prominent arguments for evolution as presented in
      > >current textbooks.
      > SJ: Why is this "of particular interest" that "Jonathan Wells" is a member "of
      > the Unification Church" (i.e. the Moonies) and he "has publicly stated that
      > he has dedicated his life to destroying Darwinism"?
      > The IDM is not a Christian movement and so it is open to all-comers. Don
      > would not think it is "of particular interest" that UC Berkeley did not
      > discriminate against Wells because of his religion, so why should Don think
      > the IDM should have? If Don doesn't think that the IDM should have
      > discriminated against Wells because of his religion, then what was Don's
      > point?
      > And since Darwinism is implacably anti-design, what is so strange about a
      > person who has "dedicated his life to destroying Darwinism" joining the
      > IDM which advocates design?
      > Does Don think that the IDM should refuse membership to anyone who
      > has "dedicated his life to destroying Darwinism"? Otherwise, what exactly
      > was Don's point?
      > What is of "particular interest" is that Don, like other Darwinists, just can't
      > pass up this opportunity for a `shoot-the-messenger' ad hominem by
      > mentioning that Wells is a member of "the Unification Church" (i.e. a
      > Moonie) and that he is an avowed anti-Darwinist!
      > Maybe Don should have been as equally candid as Wells and disclosed to
      > his Stimulus readers that he has "dedicated his life to" *defending*
      > "Darwinism"?

      Steve reads far too much into my statement. I have already said repeatedly on other
      threads that I do not regard Wells' membership of the Unification church as significant
      (and members of the group will observe the way in which I interpolated this fact into
      my statement). I regard it as important that Wells has dedicated his life to destroying
      Darwinism. I have not dedicated my life to defending Darwinism, and again I say that I
      wish that Steve would not keep on making such presumptions. In fact, I think that
      Darwinism in the sense of RMNS has serious limitations. I am defending methodological
      naturalism because I think that is the appropriate way for science to progress.

      > DN>Together with Nelson and Meyer, Wells now works at the Seattle-based
      > >Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture,
      > >which was founded in 1996. According to its web site
      > >(www.crsc.org) the CRSC "strives to replace materialism and its
      > >destructive cultural legacies with a positive alternative.
      > This is false. Nowhere on the CRSC's web site does it say that it "strives to
      > replace materialism and its destructive cultural legacies with a positive
      > alternative." This is from a stolen draft document (see below) that has
      > never, AFAIK, actually appeared on any CRSC web site.
      > The use of this obscure web address "www.crsc.org" (which I didn't even
      > know existed-the usual CRSC address is http://www.discovery.org/crsc/) is
      > a dead giveaway that Don got this from the atheist/agnostic website
      > Freethought Web's article, which, according to Google, is the only place on
      > the web where the words "www.crsc.org" and "strives to replace materialism"
      > appear:
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > http://www.freethought-web.org/ctrl/archive/thomas_wedge.html
      > The Wedge: A Christian Plan to Overthrow Modern Science? Doubting
      > Thomas: Feature Story, No. 6, April/May 1999. by Keith Lankford [...]
      > The CRSC, according to its web site (www.crsc.org), "strives to replace
      > materialism and its destructive cultural legacies with a positive scientific
      > alternative. The Center seeks to develop a robust science for the twentyfirst
      > century, illumined by an empirically fruitful Theory of Intelligent Design
      > (ID). [...]

      OK. I made a mistake here in the precise quotation. Does Steve think that the misquoted
      aim of the CRSC is substantially different from the true aim of the CRSC?

      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > DN>The Center seeks to
      > >develop a robust science for the twenty-first century,
      > >illuminated by an empirically fruitful Theory of Intelligent Design
      > >[namely] a scientific research program that seeks to detect intelligent
      > >causes in natural systems, as well as apply the explanatory
      > >power of intelligent design to empirical problems in scientific research".
      > This comes from the same stolen draft document. It is correct as far as
      > it goes, but the official CRSC website says:
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > http://www.discovery.org/crsc/
      > Discovery Institute Center for the Renewal of Science & Culture [...]
      > Design Theory: A New Science for a New Century
      > Materialistic thinking dominated Western culture during the 20th century in
      > large part because of the authority of science. The Center for the Renewal
      > of Science and Culture seeks, therefore, to challenge materialism on
      > specifically scientific grounds. Yet Center Fellows do more than critique
      > theories that have materialistic implications. They have also pioneered
      > alternative scientific theories and research methods that recognize the
      > reality of design and the need for intelligent agency to explain it. This new
      > research program-called "design theory"-is based upon recent
      > developments in the information sciences and many new evidences of
      > design. Design theory promises to revitalize many long-stagnant disciplines
      > by recognizing mind, as well as matter, as a causal influence in the world. It
      > also promises, by implication, to promote a more holistic view of reality
      > and humanity, thus helping to reverse some of materialism's destructive
      > cultural consequences. [...]
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > DN>A CRSC document "The Wedge Strategy" started circulating on the
      > >internet in 1998.
      > SJ:As I pointed out in my brief response:
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > On Thu, 26 Jul 2001 22:59:36 +0800, Stephen E. Jones wrote: [...]
      > While there was nothing in the document that was not already in the public
      > domain, the document itself was an early draft which apparently some
      > Darwinist `fishing' on the CRSC web site, struck it lucky. One can imagine
      > the outraged indignation if a creationist or IDer did that to a Darwinist
      > website. But apparently the end justifies the means for Darwinists (since no
      > Darwinist, AFAIK has ever expressed even mild disapproval of the way
      > this document was obtained)? [...]
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > this document was a draft that some Darwinist apparently managed to find on
      > the CRSC's website by trying various plausible document names (it was called
      > "http://www.discovery.org/crsc1.html"), and struck it lucky. So it was stolen,
      > but that does not seem to trouble Darwinists, even Christian ones like Don.
      > I wrote:
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > On Thu, 26 Jul 2001 22:59:36 +0800, Stephen E. Jones wrote: [...]
      > One can imagine the outraged indignation if a creationist or IDer did that to a
      > Darwinist website. But apparently the end justifies the means for Darwinists
      > (since no Darwinist, AFAIK has ever expressed even mild disapproval of the
      > way this document was obtained)? [...]
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > To which Don replied:
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > On Mon, 30 Jul 2001 13:48:57 +1200, Donald Nield wrote: [...]
      > I understand that. Steve will appreciate that I came on the document second hand,
      > and it just helped to highlight the ID wedge agenda in my article. [...]
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > I would be interested in Don clarifying just *how* "he came on the document
      > second hand". Did he ask for it or was he given it unasked?
      > Either way, it does not explain why Don did not use mainstream, official
      > CRSC webbed documents and writings.
      > There is no question that Don would have know that from the source that
      > the document had been obtained by dubious means:
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > http://www.freethought-web.org/ctrl/archive/thomas_wedge.html
      > The Wedge: A Christian Plan to Overthrow Modern Science?
      > Doubting Thomas: Feature Story, No. 6, April/May 1999.
      > by Keith Lankford [...]
      > The Wedge Strategy" document began circulating the Internet early last
      > March. It was not long until Doubting Thomas acquired a copy and traced
      > the source of its circulation from someone who wishes to remain
      > anonymous. "Wedge" caused a great stir and soon the Internet Infidels
      > published an article on it in their online newsletter, ii. [...]
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > The link to the Internet Infidels site confirms this:
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > http://www.infidels.org/secular_web/feature/1999/wedge.html
      > Feature Discovery Institute's "Wedge Project" Circulates Online
      > by James Still [...]
      > On March 3, 1999, an anonymous person obtained an internal white paper
      > from the CRSC entitled "The Wedge Project," which detailed the Center's
      > ambitious long-term strategy to replace "materialistic science" with
      > intelligent design. The paper describes the CRSC's mission with a sense of
      > urgency: [...]
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > Quite frankly I regard this as disgraceful in a *Christian* journal to use a
      > stolen article, rather than mainstream published articles, of which there
      > were *many* in "May 2001", when Don's Stimulus article was published.
      > In fact, why even use an article dated "1998" in 2001? It seem to me that Don
      > was deliberately `scraping the bottom of the barrel' trying to `dig up dirt'
      > rather than trying to be "accurate and fair in this introduction to the
      > ID movement".

      Again, Steve is making an unjustified presumption. I am not aware that any statement in
      the 1998 article refers to any DI policy that has been revoked. Incidentally , there
      was a six month delay between the date that I submitted by article and its publication.

      > DN>This describes a 3-phase strategy to implement
      > >ID over the next 5 then 20 years.
      > SJ: If ID *really* has a "3-phase strategy to implement ID over the next 5 then
      > 20 years" I would be interested to know about it. One of my criticisms
      > within the ID movement is that it does not seem to have any formal "strategy"!

      Well, the DI "white paper" talked about an explicit strategy by the DI. I accept
      Steve's statement that no formal strategy has been adopted by the ID movement as a
      whole -- perhaps it would not be practical to cover the whole big tent by a formal

      > DN>Its goals are to "defeat scientific
      > >materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies" and
      > >"replace materialistic explanations with the theistic
      > >understanding that nature and human beings are created by God."
      > SJ: It is interesting that in a *Christian* journal Don does not signify any
      > agreement with this! Does Don not agree that it is a worthy goal to "defeat
      > scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political
      > legacies" and "replace materialistic explanations with the theistic
      > understanding that nature and human beings are created by God"?
      > If not, why not?

      It is the "replace materialistic explanations" that I do not support. To me, this
      implies an attack on methodological naturalism.

      > But if so, what are TE/DE's like Don doing about it? If nothing: a) why
      > not? and b) why criticise a movement which *is* trying to do something
      > about it?
      > DN>The
      > >document focuses on overthrowing evolution, not from within the scientific
      > >establishments, but through convincing the public that ID
      > >theory is the morally acceptable one.
      > SJ:Clearly if a major part of the problem is that "the scientific establishment" is
      > strongly anti-ID, then ID is not likely going to be allowed to criticise Darwinism
      > and advocate design within that "scientific establishment".
      > But Don puts it sounds like ID was not going to make a scientific case at all. But
      > one of Don's sources, infidels.org. quotes the Wedge paper as proposing that .
      > "Phase I" would be "Scientific Research, Writing, and Publicity" involving "the
      > Paleontology Research Program (led by Dr. Paul Chien), the Molecular Biology
      > Research Program (led by Dr. Douglas Axe):
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > http://www.infidels.org/secular_web/feature/1999/wedge.html [...]
      > The paper outlines a "wedge strategy" that has three phases. Phase I, "Scientific
      > Research, Writing, and Publicity" involves the Paleontology Research Program
      > (led by Dr. Paul Chien), the Molecular Biology Research Program (led by Dr.
      > Douglas Axe), [...]

      I have yet to see any positive scientific case in support of ID.

      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > DN>Jay Richards, Director of Program Development for CRSC, has admitted
      > What is the "admitted" bit? Don tries to makes it sound like there was something to
      > apologise for. The original Infidels.org report just has "Jay Richards said":
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > http://www.infidels.org/secular_web/feature/1999/wedge.html [...]
      > However, CRSC Senior Fellow and Director of Program Development Jay
      > Richards said that the mission statement and goals had been posted on the
      > CRSC's web site since 1996. [...]
      > --------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Steve reads too much into the word "admitted".


      > DN>that much of the content of the
      > >document can be found in Johnson's book Defeating Darwinism By
      > >Opening Minds (1995). Johnson has updated his arguments in a new
      > >book, The Wedge of Truth (2000).
      > Indeed, so if Don's intent was to "have been accurate and fair in this
      > introduction to the ID movement" why did he not use "Johnson['s] ...
      > updated ... arguments in" his "new book, The Wedge of Truth" dated
      > "2000"?

      At that time I had not read the book. I now have a copy.

      > DN>In May 2000 the Discovery Institute
      > sponsored a policy briefing for Members of Congress on Capitol Hill,
      > >Washington. The speakers (Behe, Meyer, Nancy Pearcey, Dembski,
      > Johnson) presented their version of the scientific debate between Darwinian
      > evolutionary theory and intelligent design theory, and also
      > >addressed the social, moral and political consequences of Darwinism.
      > It is again interesting that Don, writing in a Christian journal, does not say
      > anything himself about "the social, moral and political consequences of
      > Darwinism".
      > What is Don or his TE/DE colleagues doing about "the social, moral and
      > political consequences of Darwinism"?

      I am doing my best to point out the distinction between RMNS as science based on
      methodological naturalism (which is justified) , and any social, moral and political
      consequences that are based on metaphysical naturalism (which is not justified).

      > DN>Thus it is not surprising that the ID movement is seen by many people as
      > >the new face of Creationism, and that it has aroused opposition.
      > Don does not point out that the "many people" who see "the ID movement ... as
      > the new face of Creationism" are almost all *Darwinists* (including Christian
      > ones) who it is only to be expected would have their "aroused" their
      > "opposition" to anything that threatens their philosophy.

      Again, Steve is failing to distinguish between the "philosophy" of the Darwinists
      (based on metaphysical naturalism) and methodological naturalism. I agree that most of
      those that see ID as linked to YEC creationism would be Darwinists.


      > DN>This has been exemplified by the removal in October 2000 of
      > >Dembski from his job as Director of the Michael Polanyi Institute at
      > >Baylor University (in Waco, Texas) as a result of opposition from members
      > >of the Biology faculty. The Institute had been formed the
      > >previous year on the initiative of the President of the University, which is
      > >a Southern Baptist institution.
      > Even if the IDM *was* "the new face of Creationism" (which it isn't) does
      > Don think it is *right* that a "Southern Baptist" (i.e. supposedly
      > *Christian*) institution" should be "remov[ed] ... from his job as Director
      > of the Michael Polanyi Institute at Baylor University (in Waco, Texas) as a
      > result of opposition from members of the Biology faculty" because of it?
      > If so, why?
      > If not, why did Don not indicate in this "Journal of Christian Thought and
      > Practice" that this was and unacceptable "Christian ... Practice"?

      I think that because of the failure by Dembski to recognize that one CAN separate
      methodological naturalism from metaphysical naturalism, and his insistence that one
      implies the other, Dembski was attacking ethodological naturalism, and so the members
      of the Biology faculty were justified in their opposition to Dembski.

      > DN>2. Robert T. Pennock, Tower of Babel: The Evidence against the New
      > >Creationism (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1999)
      > >
      > >3. William A. Dembski (ed.), Mere Creation : Science, Faith & Intelligent
      > Design (InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, 1998)
      > >
      > >4. Jonathan Wells, Icons of Revolution: Science or Myth? (Regnery
      > Publishing., 2000)
      > SJ: In this supposedly "accurate and fair ... introduction to the ID movement"
      > Don actually quotes *only* from opponents of ID, like "Pennock" and
      > www.freethought-web.org and www.infidels.org (without acknowledging
      > the latter in his references BTW).
      > Don did not actually quote from "Dembski (ed.), Mere Creation" or
      > "Jonathan Wells, Icons of Revolution".
      > If Don thinks he has "been accurate and fair in this introduction to the ID
      > movement" then I would hate to see him trying to be inaccurate and unfair!
      > [...]

      We are just talking about the introduction of my article here. I gave "Mere Creation"
      as a general reference. There was no need for any quotation -- and I did not quote from
      any other book in my introduction. "Icons" had only just been published when I wrote
      my article, and I had not yet read the book-- in any case "Icons" would not have been
      directly relevant to the bulk of my article -- it just happens to be written by one of
      the most prominent members (not necessarily a typical one) of the DI.

      Steve has pointed out some inaccuracies (and consequent unfairness) in detail in my
      introduction. He has not demonstrated that it is inaccurate overall.

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