Essay / Education

pandagon.net

pandagon.net: “A forensic scientist doesn’t go into a potential murder scene playing a fancified version of Pascal’s Wager mixed with Pascal’s Redundant Argument. I don’t have the energy to go through how awful the argument is right now, but it’s like reading a first-year philosophy student try to run circles around their professor armed with the inviolable knowledge that they have knowledge, which proves that, in any real discourse, they know what they’re talking about, you know?”Sadly, this is pretty much par for the course on anti-ID web sites. In case I was unclear, the point I was trying to make was this: design as a concept is not in and of itself non-scientific. Scientists know how to spot design. For some reason, certain people turn off this sensible approach when dealing with God.Suppose a scientist has good reasons, independent of science, to believe that a personal agent (God) might have been involved in creating life. God is a personal being who acts in space and time. That scientist should be allowed to look for evidence of this action (God’s fingerprints) using normal means for finding design. (It would appear that somehow the writer of this blog knows God does not exist or that His actions in space and time are improbable and he need not look for them. This is itself a religious theory. I think it false, but will not demand that he exclude it from his work.) Of course, finding design is difficult and the scientist may be wrong. For more information, please do turn to groups like this or this.The limits of blogs come at this point. Long arguments do not work well on blogs (I have pushed the limits of tolerable post lengths several times.) At some point, the best place to get detailed information is from books. Go read Pennock against design. (Reviewed here.) Then read Plantinga and others arguing for it. Decide for yourself and ask yourself this: which side consistently argues “everyone on the other side is an idiot?” Ask yourself if Al Plantinga is an idiot or JP Moreland. Not likely is it? Darwinism is an old and time honored idea. In its modern permutations it is easy to see why people believe it. However, like all ideas it should be subject to criticism. However, folk on the other side don’t like criticism. What does that say about their view?Finally, when ID people worry about their professional careers in the maintream academy are they being overly worried? Are they falling into a conspiracy theory? Check out the anti-ID web sites and read the mixture of scorn and, sadly, sometimes hatred there. Ask yourself if you were a first-year grad student if you would want to run away from any thought about ID to avoid this sort of rancor.

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