Who’s Operating “The Misinformation Train”?

| 80 Comments

Casey Luskin writes in the Discovery Institute’s Evolution News and Views blog concerning the widespread perception that “intelligent design” invokes supernatural explanation. Luskin says that critics of ID have misled the public on this issue, and that all becomes clear when one examines what ID advocates have to say on the matter. Luskin goes on at length concerning his conjectures of the structure of misinformation about ID; it’s a relatively amusing read. But don’t expect much in the way of empirical support for the claims.

(Countinue reading… on Antievolution.org)

80 Comments

This is ridiculous – ID may not OVERTLY “invoke supernatural explanations”, but they would be hard pressed to produce a member of their group who didn’t first object to evolution on relgious grounds. The whole movement is ancillary to the primary desire to compel belief in the Judeo-Christian god (yes, lowercase). ID has as one of its principle founders Phillip Johnson. This is a man who not only questions evolution, but natural epistemology as a whole. And why? Because he believes it is inferior to the Christian version of epistemology, primarily because of the “Noetic Effects of the Fall” as taught by my Presbyterian college professors. ID is a corollary of that fundamental belief. Trust me, I was educated in these institutions. And while I’m not willing to force the conclusion of a strictly materialistic universe, let’s at least be genuine about the primary motivation here. It’s just a wordy version of the argument for God as prime mover.

Jeez.

“Supernatural” is too explicit?? How vague can one get?

all becomes clear when one examines what ID advocates have to say on the matter.

Yes, I have read the Wedge Document and everything is now clear to me.

INTRODUCTION

The proposition that human beings are created in the image of God is one of the bedrock principles on which Western civilization was built…

Here’s John G. West pushing the same load of carp in the Dallas Morning News on 2005-09-04.

The first misunderstanding is the belief that intelligent design is based on religion rather than science.

“This (the intelligent design movement) isn’t really, and never has been, a debate about science, it’s about religion and philosophy.” - Phillip Johnson (widely recognized as the father of the Intelligent Design movement), World Magazine, 30 November 1996

Could we please not use the term “Judeo-Christian.” It implies that somehow Jewish beliefs are even remotely similar to these nutcases. I’m not saying that we don’t have nutcases too, just that our nutcases tend not to be so much involved in intelligent design.

Actually, a fair number of Christians would have trouble with the IDC-ers’ reducing the Christian God to a mere wielder of molecular tweezers, with or without the accompanying puff of smoke.

IDC’s scientific [sic] claims rest on the God of the Gaps fallacy:

1. The causes of some biological phenomena are unknown to human knowledge. 2. God is by definition unknown to human knowledge. 3. Therefore God is the cause of biological phenomena.

This is bad science and worse religion. Probably because it’s all politics.

Timothy Chase wrote:

“This (the intelligent design movement) isn’t really, and never has been, a debate about science, it’s about religion and philosophy

I bolded the part which Timothy inserted. He’s putting words in Johnson’s mouth. Good example of Type I Darwinist misrepresentation.

Johnson was criticizing the naturalistic Darwinist philosophy of the atheists and the theology of Theistic Evolutionists who believe God’s actions are undetectable. Johnson was not describing the intelligent design movement.

http://www.leaderu.com/pjohnson/world2.html

ID invokes only the scientific fact that we can occasionally detect designs by un-named designers. That has been empirically established.

If a scientific fact leads one to conclude in a supernatural agency, that is that person’s choice. Many, like myself and other IDists have made that choice, and have personal beliefs about the identity of the designer, and some have even made public professions of our personal beliefs.

Some IDists rather choose to personally equate all of nature and the grand intelligence, and thus they do not appeal to the supernatural in the traditional sense. Some leave it as an open question…

However, those personal beliefs are separate from the basic science of forensically detecting design.

I think it is completely constitutional to say when we compare biology with man-made designs, reasonable people, including a minority of scientists and the majority of the American population have concluded that the biology is consistent with some sort of intelligent design rather than the product of random undirected forces. Further it is fully constitutional to say that wide varieties of design by un-named designers can be occasionally detected.

Jerry Coyne considers the ID leadership as honest, sincere, and intelligent. There are reasonable, honest, sincere people who believe in intelligent design.

PS Good job Casey, our IDEA president!

“ID invokes only the scientific fact that we can occasionally detect designs by un-named designers. That has been empirically established”

*cough cough cough* by who? Can I see the workings and ASSUMPTIONS; I’m mathematically savvy enough to help you debunk whatever you put.

”…rather than the product of random undirected forces”

That’s only a reasonable conclusion if you are operating under the misconception that evolution is a random undirected process.

Evolution is a heavily biased process in which the source of the bias is primarily natural selection. Other biases exist as well, some of which are (recursively) subject to evolution (e.g. patterns of development, genetic architecture, etc.). Evolution is not random and is not undirected.

Unless by “directed” you mean “controlled by some supernatural force.”

Sal -

You claim that:

“we can occasionally detect designs by un-named designers. That has been empirically established”

What are your criteria for evaluating whether an observed structure has been “intelligently” designed or “naturally” designed? Please give specific examples or literature citations.

Please explain how these principals would be applied in determining the degree of design present in a structure.

Also please give examples of how this criteria has provided a better explanation than “evolution”, or provides an explanation where “evolution” cannot.

And please, don’t regurgitate any of Dembski’s or Behe’s, er, “theories”. They don’t work.

Salvador T. Cordova Wrote:

ID invokes only the scientific fact that we can occasionally detect designs by un-named designers. That has been empirically established.

If a scientific fact leads one to conclude in a supernatural agency, that is that person’s choice. Many, like myself and other IDists have made that choice, and have personal beliefs about the identity of the designer, and some have even made public professions of our personal beliefs.

Really.…What “scientific fact” has ever been “empirically established” that supports ID?

Coming to a conclusion based on empirical evidence is not done on the basis of choice; it is done on the basis of compelling evidence that leaves no other reasonable alternative that is often flies in the face of previously held conclusions.

It appears that your personal beliefs about the nature of the designer are what is actually compelling you to conclude that you see design in nature. It does not have much to do with the actual evidence that has been found, since clearly.…no compelling evidence of ID has ever been found.

Hey, Sal?

Regarding your claim of “empirically established”? I think Lenny has a couple of questions for you…

Please, everyone, think of your kids’ backs. You know how they’re carrying around 30, 40, sometimes 50 lbs worth of books all day at school? That’s terrible for their backs. If you really cared about your kids, you’d let us win. We’d throw away those heavy textbooks and replace them with a simple, light postcard from Ken Ham’s Dinosaur Aventure World, which will tell them all they should know.

Mr. Cordova, I think your accusation of error is wrong. You take Mr. Chase to task for inserting a clarifying clause into a quote.

Was Mr. Johnson speaking about intelligent design?

Here is the piece to which you linked, on that point:

A conference on “Mere Creation” at Biola University in suburban Los Angeles brought together an unprecedented cross-disciplinary gathering of 200 men and women–mostly academics and mostly Christians–interested in building a credible origins model based on “theistic design.”

“This isn’t really, and never has been, a debate about science,” says the conference’s prime mover, law professor Phillip Johnson of the University of California at Berkeley. “It’s about religion and philosophy.” Mr. Johnson also insists the real issue in the century-old debate isn’t even about the early chapters of Genesis. “I turn instead to John 1,” says the astute Presbyterian layman, “where we’re told that ‘In the beginning was the word.’”

In full context, Mr. Chase’s insertion is not only brief, but exactly to the point.

Were you both students in my journalism class, I’d give Mr. Chase credit for holding to Joseph Pulitzer’s twin philosophical pillars: “Accuracy! Accuracy! Accuracy!” and “Brevity! Brevity! Brevity!”

You I would send back to the ethics section of the style guide.

You aren’t Humpty Dumpty, nor is anyone else. Words don’t mean exactly what you want them to mean and nothing else. It’s not just a question of word/author, who is to be master: It’s a question of integrity.

Contrary to what Sal says, the fallible heuristic of linking designs to designers requires at least some knowledge of the possible designers.

My saying we don’t need any knowledge of the designers, he makes the same kind of error David Heddle makes. He says we don’t need any side information, but when you ask him for an example, he always gives you one where you know side info, just as David Heddle, when pressed, would make analogies to poker.

Oh look! Salvador T. Cordova makes a rare appearance. He’s one doubleplusgood duckspeaker.

I’m not sure how I said “My saying we don’t need any knowledge of the designers…” but that should be “In saying we don’t need any knowledge of the designers,…”

Perhaps I have a cerebral infarction from PZ’s brazillian and bikini.

steve:

probably you meant to write “BY saying…”

One important argument was missed here - the Discovery Institute’s own definition of “intelligent design”:

1. What is the theory of intelligent design?

The scientific 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.

By examining their own material on cosmological ID, it is clear that by “certain features of the universe” they mean the nature of the physical laws themselves. A designer of the universe itself must be outside of the universe, outside of the space-time continuum, and hence, by definition, supernatural. By combining cosmological and biological ID into one definition for “intelligent design”, they are admitting that the designer must be supernatural, i.e. a god of some sort. Game, set, match.

I bolded the part which Timothy inserted. He’s putting words in Johnson’s mouth. Good example of Type I Darwinist misrepresentation.

Johnson was criticizing the naturalistic Darwinist philosophy of the atheists and the theology of Theistic Evolutionists who believe God’s actions are undetectable. Johnson was not describing the intelligent design movement.

From your link:

… But during three days of meetings two weeks ago, thoughtful folks might well have looked a bit farther up the coast for options on how to bring down the biggest bogeyman biblical Christianity may ever have faced. A conference on “Mere Creation” at Biola University in suburban Los Angeles brought together an unprecedented cross-disciplinary gathering of 200 men and women–mostly academics and mostly Christians–interested in building a credible origins model based on “theistic design.”

“This isn’t really, and never has been, a debate about science,” says the conference’s prime mover, law professor Phillip Johnson of the University of California at Berkeley. “It’s about religion and philosophy.” Mr. Johnson also insists the real issue in the century-old debate isn’t even about the early chapters of Genesis. “I turn instead to John 1,” says the astute Presbyterian layman, “where we’re told that ‘In the beginning was the word.’” …

It’s a good thing you’re not a Christian, because they have a commandment against bearing false witness.

Salvador T. Cordova wrote:

Timothy Chase wrote:

“This (the intelligent design movement) isn’t really, and never has been, a debate about science, it’s about religion and philosophy

Johnson was criticizing the naturalistic Darwinist philosophy of the atheists and the theology of Theistic Evolutionists who believe God’s actions are undetectable. Johnson was not describing the intelligent design movement.

Wow! There really was some misrepresentation here! Looking at the whole paragraph, …

“This isn’t really, and never has been, a debate about science,” says the conference’s prime mover, law professor Phillip Johnson of the University of California at Berkeley. “It’s about religion and philosophy.” Mr. Johnson also insists the real issue in the century-old debate isn’t even about the early chapters of Genesis. “I turn instead to John 1,” says the astute Presbyterian layman, “where we’re told that ‘In the beginning was the word.’”

Johnson is clearly describing his own view – which he sees as being grounded in John 1, “In the beginning was the word.” Nothing overtly religious about that! I take it this scientist “John” he is referring to is a geneticist? Or is his degree in molecular biology? Can you point me to some of his technical papers?

Salvador:

From the Wedge Document:

Governing Goals

1. To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies. 2. To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God.

Doesn’t then ID, by defintiion from the Discovery Institute, mean by God’s design? And by the goals, whether the science/data is there or not, is to convince the public that it was all God’s design?

Cart before the horse??? This is your science?

Sal says:

If a scientific fact leads one to conclude in a supernatural agency, that is that person’s choice.

What if a scientific fact leads one to conclude it’s little greeen men?

That’s a person’s choice, but it doesn’t make it scientific.

So, is a fact still a fact, is a person choices to ignore it?

Now I am one who believes in a supernatural creation and no one can kid me that ID does the same, except that his God is rather a lazy God who only springs into action when Behe or Dembski tell him to. I don’t seem to have that type of influence on God -just as well for all of us!

Sal,

Let’s cut to the chase:

If life on Earth is too complicated to have evolved, then it was either designed by:

a) Supernatural beings

or

b) Space Aliens.

Correct?

If life on Earth was designed by space aliens, where did they come from? How could space aliens clever enough to design life on earth evolve somewhere else?

Well?

Buried on Luskin’s page

Yet, Type I Critics then purposefully misrepresent ID to the public (and particularly to scientists) as an untestable and unscientific appeal to the supernatural.

I think the “Type I critics” represent ID to the public and other scientists as an unscientific and untestable appeal to people who want to believe in the supernatural. I saw nothing on his page that makes ID scientific or testable, so that representation still seems accurate.

I bolded the part which Timothy inserted. He’s putting words in Johnson’s mouth. Good example of Type I Darwinist misrepresentation.

Really, I was taught that is widely accepted editorial device taught in such non-controversial subjects as Freshman Composition when a quote is removed from its main body and is refering to something indirect. It must have been all those Darwinist English professors… Darn those Darwinist English professors.

Johnson was criticizing the naturalistic Darwinist philosophy of the atheists and the theology of Theistic Evolutionists who believe God’s actions are undetectable. Johnson was not describing the intelligent design movement.

http://www.leaderu.com/pjohnson/world2.html

:sigh: Sure, and the speech he gave, and his great body of speeches, books, etc. have no bearing on the matter and we are not to judge his obvious intent because you say so… “Gee your Honor, I didn’t mean to shoot him 17 times. I was targent shooting and he just got in the way of the bullets.”

ID invokes only the scientific fact that we can occasionally detect designs by un-named designers. That has been empirically established.

You use the word “empirical.” Which, in its common usage, means an observation or experiment based upon experience that is capable of being verified or disproved. Could you point me to the journal{s} in which you published a(any) paper{s} that present positive proof of this designer which has been found? I’d love to go right ahead and repeat this(these) experiment(s). Right after I finish up my cold fusion reactor… :)

If a scientific fact leads one to conclude in a supernatural agency, that is that person’s choice. Many, like myself and other IDists have made that choice, and have personal beliefs about the identity of the designer, and some have even made public professions of our personal beliefs.

Mathmatical proofs and cultivated ignorance, no matter how tortured and mis-applied, are not scientific facts. And your calling them such doesn’t make them so. Now, give us the papers and the experimental protocols or admit you have NOTHING.

However, those personal beliefs are separate from the basic science of forensically detecting design.

Forensics require evidence. You can’t say “We don’t know, therefore so-and-so did it.” You can only say “we don’t know.”

I think it is completely constitutional to say when we compare biology with man-made designs, reasonable people, including a minority of scientists and the majority of the American population have concluded that the biology is consistent with some sort of intelligent design rather than the product of random undirected forces. Further it is fully constitutional to say that wide varieties of design by un-named designers can be occasionally detected.

And it’s perfectly Constitutional to point out you’re a lying appologist. And that it’s not unreasonable to call a liar, a liar. And that your use of “minority” of scientists a) stretches the definition of “scientist” to ludicrouse heights and b) still vastly over-states the paltry few scientists (even in your excessively broad definition) that believe in ID.

As for what the majority of the American people conclude about science this is not relevent. Science isn’t subject to a vote which means “the majority” of American people can’t vote in time travel, faster than light, magical flying ponies or any other sort of intellectual rubbish and make it science.

There are no “Type I Darwinists” as defined by Luskin. No one recognizes that ID respects the limits of science. If that were true the DI wouldn’t be trying to redefine science through local school boards and Bill Dembski wouldn’t be trying to redefine nature in his papers.

“Indeed, design theorists argue that intelligent causation is perfectly natural provided that nature is understood aright.” (Dembski, W. A. 2005. In Defense of Intelligent Design)

How interesting that Salvador completely misrepresented Johnson’s remark, when a brief look at the article makes it clear that Johnson was talking about “theistic design” (a good phrase, by the way) and invoking John 1:1.

This is not really a surprise, as I have seen Salvador do this on numerous occasions about numerous subjects, but it still amazes me how he (and others) can look at just what they want to see and nothing else.

Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle is an example of quantities not accessible to natural science, but quantities which many believe exist.

Can you elaborate? What are these quantities? The uncertainty principle deals with position and momentum. It says that you cannot definitively calculate both at the same time, but can do so probabilistically. Why does this exclude natural science?

To my earlier points:

God or space aliens, Sal? If the latter, where did the come from?

and:

What is the evidence for a young earth?

Natural law is not explained by natural law. Naturalism is therefore philosophically inconsistent, and it has no place in science to argue everything MUST be explained by natural law and everything is purposeless.

Then show us how to use NON-natural law in the scientific method, Sal.

What seems to be the problem with your just doing that for us, Sal?

I don’t even know why anyone bothers to respond to his posts.

Because it provokes Sal to talk even more. That helps us.

As I’ve always said, if you jsut let the IDers talk long enough, they shoot themselves in the head, every time. They are their own worst enemies.

No lurker out there with an IQ above room temperature can read any of Sal’s BS and *not* conclude that ID is nothing but religious apologetics, and IDers are flat-out lying to us when they claim otherwise.

Game over.

Sal is still going thru his course work for a doctrate from the Oxford of IT advised by the Isaac Newton of IT (aka Master of All Subjects). In partial fulfilment of credits he is required to troll around on PT and scurry back to his dear leaders and report on progress toward the imminent demise of “materialism”.

Now here’s what strikes me as a real paradox. Can anyone help me here?

The IDer’s claim basically that we can know that this, that or the other thing was “intelligently designed”, because we know the ways we design stuff, and can recognize the hallmarks of those ways.

The IDEA clubs (or at least their mandatorily Christian leaders) contend that the scientific inquiry into the detection of those hallmarks is the whole mission of their clubs. (And that they believe that the designer in question happens to be the “God of the Bible”. (Not, of course, that that has any influence at all on their objectivity with respect to the “science” of ID!))

But this “God of the Bible” is supposed to have said:

”…my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” Isaiah 55:9

oops. make that Isaiah 55:8

Russell, when you’re good, you’re good. But of course, what Yahweh meant there was, “While you guys do your design work with AutoCAD 2006 on an Apple G5, I’m using AutoCAD A Million, on an Apple G81. “

By the way, AutoCAD version A Million is a really powerful program. Very powerful macros. You want to insert a flagellum? F3. The necessary ion pumps? Please. That’s AutoCompleted. There’s a wizard for building whole immune systems just by clicking ‘next’ a few times.

Quoting the the Jewish Bible to make points for or against ID is actually an amazing procedure. Imagine how long it would take to explain William Paley’s ideas, let alone contemporary cell biology to the guy who wrote Isaiah 55:8. How would you even start?

If you really let yourself go and allow any system of exegesis whatsoever, you can use any text whatsoever as your holy writ and find any message you like lurking in it. The approach does have advantages. For example, it allows people to drastically change their opinions while maintaining a decent if rather notional respect for tradition. The theologians invented the dodge, but other folks have adopted it–Marxists and Freudians, for example, typically claim that their latest wrinkles are already to be found in the words of the master if only you interpret them correctly.

More than this, quantum mechanics is actually teleological, though physicists don’t use this loaded word (we call it “unitarity” instead of “teleology”). That is, quantum mechanics says that it is completely correct to say that the universe’s evolution is determined not by how it started in the Big Bang, but by the final state of the universe.

Frank Tipler

Tipler also says that we’re all going to live infinite lives as computer simulations. In any case, unitarity has nothing to do with teleology, and less than nothing to do with intelligent design. But perhaps Sal is too dense to be able to distinguish between an intelligent designer and “the final state of the universe”.

Paul Davies and John Gribben both respected physicists

Which has no bearing on the validity of their metaphysical musings. Sal can’t get it through his think head that quotes may be evidence of the state of mind of the person who said or wrote it, but not of the quoted claim itself.

Sal is using the famous Appeal to Other Cranks strategy.

Syntax Error: not well-formed (invalid token) at line 1, column 124, byte 124 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

Sal -

when are you going to stop spewing hot air and come up with some concrete examples of how ID outperforms “naturtalistic” evolution?

No one gives a damn about how you THINK the universe should work - where’s your evidence?

Or is the concept of “evidence” too materialistic for you???

steve Wrote:

By the way, AutoCAD version A Million is a really powerful program. Very powerful macros. You want to insert a flagellum? F3. The necessary ion pumps? Please. That’s AutoCompleted. There’s a wizard for building whole immune systems just by clicking ‘next’ a few times.

That’s all well and good, but wouldn’t AutoCAD A Million only be a tool to draft the plans? The designs would still need to be implemented in some way. Perhaps there’s an export feature to load the completed information dirctly into an armada of quantum-nano-bots for immediate and seamless integration into the universe.

Also, who reviews the plans? Yaweh himself? Sounds like a recipe for disaster. No wonder the world is so messed up.

Ctrl-S lets you export to PDF–Prokaryote DNA Format.

That’s how crappy Intelligent Design (No Actual) Theory is, Ved. They are trying to prove just that something, at sometime, thought some of biology up. There’s no Intelligent Manufacturing Theory.

Salvador,

Thank you for your response. I’d like to address the first part of the first definition you quoted in some detail:

“Naturalism […] reject[s] the validity of explanations or theories making use of entities inaccessible to natural science, that is, supernatural phenomena: phenomena beyond the natural world that we measure using the scientific method.”

That sounds like a pretty reasonable definition to me. But it also sounds like a pretty reasonable position to take up, as well. In fact, I’m finding it hard to see how one could reject ‘naturalism’, so defined, and yet continue to call oneself a scientist. Let me explain.

Let’s take the (uncontroversial, I hope) view that the goal of science is to explain observed phenomena. In general, the explanations we come up with are incomplete; even if our present best theory successfully describes the behaviour of the system in question, and successfully predicts future observations, there’s still something left to be explained. So, for example, the atomic theory of chemistry explained why certain chemical reactions worked while others were not possible - but it left unexplained just what the atoms themselves were. Such questions were then studied by other scientists, leading to the discoveries of atomic and subatomic physics.

Note that, as in the above example, the outstanding questions left by any scientific theory are themselves (in principle at least) addressable by further scientific inquiry. It may be that the tools to pursue that inquiry are not available at the time, but eventually scientific practice catches up with scientific curiosity. But if someone puts forward an explanation whose open questions are outside the scope of science, then that explanation cannot be called scientific.

That’s just what naturalism is saying. Or, to put it another way, scientific theories cannot be built on top of non-scientific ones.

This means that we can’t finish our explanations with “…because God wanted it that way”, or with “…because destiny decreed it must be so”. (Of course, that’s entirely different from positively asserting that “God had nothing to do with it” or “God doesn’t exist”. But you know that, I trust, and wouldn’t make such a mistake.) Similarly, until and unless “innate purpose” can be brought within the scope of scientific inquiry, teleological explanations must also be ruled out.

Phew, that was a longer discussion than I’d expected!

So, before we get onto the various other points you raised (and the scientists you quoted), I’d like to know: are you happy with the above sketch of what naturalism is? And do you see why I find it difficult to imagine what a ‘non-naturalistic science’ would be like?

Also, who reviews the plans? Yaweh himself?

For big projects he has to get approval from Mr. Li, his boss.

Sal wrote:

Timothy misquoted:

This (the intelligent design movement) isn’t really, and never has been, a debate about science, it’s about religion and philosophy.

Sal, it is entirely appropriate to insert the subject when it is missing from the statement but more or less established by the context. However, I will admit that the subject could be the either “the intelligent design movement” or the conflict between the “intelligent design movement” and “evolution.” Of course, at the time that Johnson made the statement, he wasn’t where there were both evolutionists and members of the intelligent design movement gathered together having a debate: he was at a convention devoted to creationism. So it would make sense within this context to understand his “this” as refering to the intelligent design movement. But it could be interpretted as referring to the conflict which the intelligent design movement is one of two sides in. (I simply hadn’t considered this possibility given the fact that Johnson was at a creationist convention – which seemed to establish the natural context for interpretting the word “this.”)

No doubt that is how Johnson today would prefer to have his statement interpretted. However, Johnson cannot speak for evolutionary science. But as the individual who is widely-recognized as the father of the Intelligent Design movement, presumably he can speak for it. So I will provide you with another quote:

Johnson calls his movement “The Wedge.” The objective, he said, is to convince people that Darwinism is inherently atheistic, thus shifting the debate from creationism vs. evolution to the existence of God vs. the non-existence of God. From there people are introduced to “the truth” of the Bible and then “the question of sin” and finally “introduced to Jesus.”

Missionary Man TV Preacher D. James Kennedy And His Allies Are Targeting Public School Children For Evangelism By Rob Boston Church & State April 1999

http://web.archive.org/web/20021218[…]e/cs4995.htm

Indeed, judging from the above statement, it would appear that, whether Johnson intended it or not, when I quoted Johnson as saying:

This (the intelligent design movement) isn’t really, and never has been, a debate about science, it’s about religion and philosophy.

… the statement does in fact apply to the intelligent design movement, and Johnson realizes as much even if he would be unwilling to admit it in public. To argue otherwise is at roughly the same level is a bit like trying avoid the natural implications of your statements by debating what the meaning of the word “is” is.

Sal, it is entirely appropriate to insert the subject when it is missing from the statement but more or less established by the context.

It isn’t really, not the way you did it; you should have written “[The debate between theistic design and evolution] isn’t really, and never has been, a debate about science, it’s about religion and philosophy.” Text in [] is understood to be absent from the original.

ts (not Tim) wrote:

It isn’t really, not the way you did it; you should have written “[The debate between theistic design and evolution] isn’t really, and never has been, a debate about science, it’s about religion and philosophy.” Text in [] is understood to be absent from the original.

Yes, ts, yes. I realized as much and once I hit the “Post” button the very first time. I thought to myself, “Gee, I should have used the square brackets, not the parentheses.” But thank you so very much for clarifying this issue.

Just to be clear here: you made an honest mistake; Sal’s accusations and misrepresentations are anything but.

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This page contains a single entry by Wesley R. Elsberry published on September 8, 2005 11:00 AM.

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