Ryan Nichols, Are ID and Theology Inseperable (sic) ?

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At Darwin or Design Jason Rennie talks to Dr Ryan Nichols. Dr Nichols wrote an interesting paper called Scientific content, testability, and the vacuity of Intelligent Design.

There are Hours of additional content

I appreciate Rennie’s link to Scientific content, testability, and the vacuity of Intelligent Design where I discuss Nichols’ paper and the vacuity of ID.

The actual paper by Nichols does not seem to be available online: Ryan Nichols, Scientific content, testability, and the vacuity of Intelligent Design theory The American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, 2003 ,vol. 77 ,no 4 ,pp. 591 - 611.

Direct link to podcast

25 Comments

I’m confused. The link that allegedly goes to Nichols’s paper, both here and at Darwin or Design, goes to your Talk Reason post entitled, The Scientific Vacuity of ID: Design Inference Versus “Design Inference.” It looks like someone goofed.

Inseperable ==> Inseparable

Just following up an old thread relating to faith-based science:

http://www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archi[…]/000986.html

We now have this report …

http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2007/[…]st-bird.html

…The recordings convinced co-authors Richard Prum of Yale University and Robbins that at least two ivorybills were living in the Big Woods. They withdrew the paper on 1 August, saying they didn’t want to undermine conservation efforts. (In retrospect, now that it’s clear the recordings are not solid evidence, they regret the move. “I blinked,” Prum says.) … After another round of rebuttals commenced, Fitzpatrick confronted Jackson during an August 2006 meeting in South Carolina and asked him not to publish. Jackson recalls Fitzpatrick heatedly telling him, “You are going to be independently responsible for the extinction of the ivory-billed woodpecker because you are preventing me from raising money for conservation.” Shortly thereafter, Fitzpatrick contacted Jackson again and offered co-authorship on a future paper if Jackson would pull his letter. “That’s not how I operate,” Jackson told him.

According to Jason Rennie it is inseperable :-)

Abstract of the paper reads

Proponents of intelligent design theory seek to ground a scientific research program that appeals to teleology within the context of biological explanation. As such, intelligent design theory must contain principles to guide researchers. I argue for a disjunction: either Dembski’s ID theory lacks content, or it succumbs to the methodological problems associated with creation science-problems that Dembski explicitly attempts to avoid. The only concept of a designer permitted by Dembski’s explanatory filter is too weak to give the sorts of explanations which we are entitled to expect from those sciences, such as archeology, that use effect-to-cause reasoning. The new spin put upon ID theory-that it is best construed as a metascientific hypothesis-fails for roughly the same reason.

It basically argues that for ID to have content it needs to make assumptions about the designer. An example is ID’s claim that it ‘predicted’ that some junk DNA has function since the designer would not design useless junk. By attempting to distance itself from theology, ID loses its ‘content’ and becomes scientifically vacuous.

Pim, what I meant in the first comment in this thread is that it appears that Rennie linked to your Talk Reason post accidentally when attempting a link to the Nichols paper. Otherwise, why would he have used the title of the Nichols paper in the link?

What is this atheist agenda, and how come I’m not in on it? I’d love to be part of a conspiracy.

What is this atheist agenda, and how come I’m not in on it? I’d love to be part of a conspiracy.

Something too do with the claim that we’re all just animals, but there wrong and others is write! Eye is not no chimpanzee gorilla orangutan gibbon macaca tarsier lemur rabbit armadillo opossum platypus parrot frog trout lamprey starfish earthworm jellyfish sponge mushroom amoeba or bacterium !!!!!

Oops, I forgot to capitalize all the letters in every other word, sorry about that.

Henry, Henry, Henry . …

Also, you used only ONE color, and didn’t offer to pray for us. … .

Thomas Aquinas already disproved ID… so what’s all the ruckus?

Henry J-

Ha! You’re obviously an evilutionist plant! No TRUE creationist would know the difference between an amoeba and a bacterium! (Or, as they would say, a ameba and a bacteria.)

Oh, and Henry, don’t forget that most of the really ignorant creos can’t figure out KwickXML formatting. So, your use of blockquote at the beginning of your comment gives you away.

I really don’t think ID should be dignified with the term “theology”, nor should most YEC stuff.

Although I’m not an atheist per se, by my own lights, I have at least as little interest in formal western theology as anyone here.

Having said that, I think that to qualify as a work of “theology”, a scholarly work ought to be, at a minimum, free of gross internal logical inconsistencies, relative to the underlying assumptions.

The presence of gross illogic where speakers are educated enough to know better is evidence of dishonesty, or at least, a level of denial that renders meaningful scholarly dispute impossible. Works aimed at the general public, that contain this kind of gross internal error, should not be dignified with inclusion in any scholarly field, whether “theology”, “philosophy”, or any other.

ID is grounded in such illogic - Paley’s watch, “irreducible complexity”, the “filter”, and so on.

To put it another way, I may have no interest in theology and little interest in philosophy, but that does not mean that I should disdainfully regard these terms as garbage can categories for even the most obvious frauds.

Mainstream theology almost certainly has some standards, and therefore, does not deserve to be burdened with ID.

I thought for sure RealPedanticClown would weigh in on this one.

Harold Wrote:

The presence of gross illogic where speakers are educated enough to know better is evidence of dishonesty, or at least, a level of denial that renders meaningful scholarly dispute impossible. Works aimed at the general public, that contain this kind of gross internal error, should not be dignified with inclusion in any scholarly field, whether “theology”, “philosophy”, or any other.

ID is grounded in such illogic - Paley’s watch, “irreducible complexity”, the “filter”, and so on.

To put it another way, I may have no interest in theology and little interest in philosophy, but that does not mean that I should disdainfully regard these terms as garbage can categories for even the most obvious frauds.

Mainstream theology almost certainly has some standards, and therefore, does not deserve to be burdened with ID.

Harold: good point, well made; can I quote you on this?* It seems to me that this is an important point that I had not realized for myself.

* I guess I just did, actually…

Listen also to another interview with Salvador spouting his usual nonsense about junk DNA and darwinian theory.

What a joke…

Does he even care to understand the real issues?

Funny how Sal is also trying to defend the ‘Wedge’ document.

I applaud the excellent work Sal is doing in exposing the intellectual vacuity of design.

Note to Sal: Intelligent Design could never have predicted that some Junk DNA would have function.

See some of Sal’s more recent ‘ground breaking’ work on YECism

http://youngcosmos.com/

What a crock indeed but it is helpful to see how special creation and intelligent design seem to be considered quite similar by our dear friend. Probably a slip of the tongue :-)

Nigel D -

You can certainly quote anything I post in public.

So “YEC” Sal will debate “OECs” Behe, Dembski and Meyer on their radical differences, right? And Behe will debate those who deny common descent, right? And Johnson will debate those who “know the relevant science better” than he does (yes that’s a refenrece to Behe’s pathetic double standard), but are “biased” by their specialty, right?

Oh wait, they don’t have to actually back up their empty claim that ID is really about the science as long as their target audience doesn’t know or care. Never mind.

But I guess it’s a little consolation to know that, deep down inside, they must know that they are just covering up the scientific failures of several mutually contradictory pseudosciences with their vacuous, but trendy “new age” approach.

zzzzzzzzz.…

Did anybody actually listen to the “additional content”? With the exceptions of the first speakers (PZ Meyers, Sean Carroll, and good ol’ Nick M., who wowed us with stuff that most listeners won’t grok), the basic tenor of the speakers was very ID positive, or at best neutral, in the “contribution” that ID makes to science! While I commend the overall civility of the discussion (something woefully lacking, even sometimes in this forum), the preponderance of speakers were, at the least, very ID sympathetic (or even negative, because ID doesn’t go far enough to mention God as the ultimate IDer), and it seems, deliberately so, based on the moderator’s opening remarks. I found myself either turning it off, or arguing to the world (my dogs thought me crazy or upset with them!) with many of the statements that were made by many of the guests on this program.

“the preponderance of speakers were, at the least, very ID sympathetic (or even negative, because ID doesn’t go far enough to mention God as the ultimate IDer)”

Elliot Sober and Massimo Pigliucci were not ID Sympathetic.

But leaving that aside, the exact makeup of the people interviewed was dependent on who said yes to doing an interview.

All of the panda’s thumb people were invited through Nick but many did not want to participate because John Davison was interviewed.

Others declined because they whined that such discussion gave undue credence to the ID side suggesting that it was on a level playing field etc.

If people are stupid enough to turn down a free opportunity to make their case in a civil public forum then that is unfortunate, but the selection was not done to be ID Friendly but stemmed more from who I thought would be interesting to talk too and who said yes after I asked them.

Thanks Jason, too bad indeed that no more PT people responded. I was not aware of the opportunity but then again, I may not have much to say anyway.

Oh I should add that some pro-ID types said no as well, including Bill Dembski. So it isn’t just anti-ID folks that I think were foolish for passing up an opportunity.

So it does go both ways. Ironically enough, I can’t remember if I included it or not, but John Davison used a much stronger word than foolish for people shying away from a level playing field discussion.

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on August 16, 2007 9:38 PM.

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