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Derbyshire Should Be More Skeptical

What can one say about the article by John Derbyshire except that it is all disdain with no argument?Given Derbyshire’s professed belief that Intelligent Design is so silly as not to deserve a response, this is fine. What is the basis for this belief? He shows no evidence of reading ID books.His argument seems to depend on a “conservative” view of knowledge. On this view, ideas held by most people that are professionals are likely true. In fact, by the time he is done they are so likely to true that it is hard to imagine a reasonable person arguing with them.The problem Derbyshire faces is knowing if the establishment is right. I am willing to accept that it usually is. However, it is also part of being a conservative to be skeptical about Power. Just when all the smart people decide something is true, a conservative gets uncomfortable. Reagan Republicans know that the experts lie or are blinded by bias.Derbyshire’s own article gives me reason to wonder if the establishment in this case has built in blinders. He limits science to methodological naturalism. Of course, the history of science shows cases where this limit was not observed to good effect. Where does this limit come from? Why must we observe it? Derbyshire does not say. He simply defines science and in doing so defines any personal agent out, if that agent cannot be reduced to a “natural” cause. Of course, he is not just getting rid of God as a cause in science, but also the human soul. Since it really seems to me that the soul is a needed thing in explaining human action and that it cannot be reduced (in any way) to matter or energy, I am skeptical about his limitation.It was just this sort of piece, by Isaac Asimov, that made me a young earth creationist.

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