What’s an IDist to do?

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IDist Stephen Meyer’s “Signature” ID book has lately inspired this, this, this and this. Now it is Ayala’s turn to play Whack-a-Meyer. Elsewhere Dembski of all people is criticized for not being wrong enough.

61 Comments

Civil Math

I’ve noticed half of a four way split going around. Something like 10 and 01, but missing 00 and 11. That is to say, one may also be rude and wrong or polite and right. Recall if you will that rude is already wrong just on account of rudeness, unless there is evidence that some worthy point will get across that way but not politely. This is a rare circumstance. Rude usually makes the recipient defensive and is offputting to bystanders as well.

Disco’s “some Designer did something somehow” story looks to be wearing thin. This does not mean no more creationists, it means the YEC’s take over unconstrained by their saner allies.

Although ID is in reality anti-science, they are not so anti-science as the YEC’s. ID may go down, and go down as the last “scientific” creationist movement. Begun the YEC war has.

Dembski writes:

so the effects of the Fall operate forwards and backwards in time (thus animal suffering is a result of the sin of Adam even though, temporally, it comes before).

So, basically, Dembski can write whatever pops into his head, like fiction. Need a Time Machine, no problema! Explanatory Filter? Here, take two! Specified Complexity? Simple!

Now, if only Dembski could create a Baylor Cafeteria meal card he’d be set for life …

Doc Bill said:

Dembski writes:

so the effects of the Fall operate forwards and backwards in time (thus animal suffering is a result of the sin of Adam even though, temporally, it comes before).

So, basically, Dembski can write whatever pops into his head, like fiction. Need a Time Machine, no problema! Explanatory Filter? Here, take two! Specified Complexity? Simple!

It does solve the problem of answering what happened when. Now, under this scheme, things can (and do!) happen whenever for reasons that may not even exist yet.

Elsewhere Dembski of all people is criticized for not being wrong enough.

Which clearly deserves its own thread. His following statement should make the headlines:

Within the Southern Baptist seminaries, both old-earth and young-earth creationism are accepted positions. True, young-earth creationism remains the majority view in the SBC, but it is not a litmus test for Christian orthodoxy within the SBC. I’m an old-earth creationist and the two SBC seminaries at which I’ve taught (Southern in Louisville and Southwestern in Ft. Worth) both were fully apprised of my views here in hiring me

Isn’t this the same cdesingpropentionist who stated that ID is not creationism

For the moment, may I accept the notion, argumento, that there is a God? IF (big if) there is a God, He stands apart from space and time. He must do: He created them. The one must follow from the other.

So God, says Dembski, is independent of time, and hence can allow evil to enter the world before the Fall, as the anticipatory result of it.

The answer is the very one that is used to accuse us of original sin: free will. Our will is part of our very selves - it must be, or we would not be personally guilty for its misuse. And we, unlike God, exist in time. Therefore our will, being part of ourselves, exists there also. If it exists in time, then it could not exist before the acquisition of the knowledge of good and evil, and hence the Fall.

Unlike time in the mind of God, that statement has real meaning. But God is said by Dembski to have allowed evil into the world for the sake of an event that is bound in time. Hence, God, who knows all things, is behaving towards His creation as if time didn’t matter to it.

That is, all things capable of suffering (and many animals are certainly capable of it) must suffer for the sake of a sin that they cannot commit that hasn’t happened yet.

And this God is said to be just. Hah! I spit on Dembski’s God.

“The debate between Darwin and design is coming to Tampa, Florida with a major one-night event featuring some of the leading voices challenging Darwinian evolution. evolution” so says the DISCO.

The leading voices (debaters) include Michael Medved, Stephen Meyer, David Berlinski, and Thomas Woodward, all ID/creationists, and poor Charles Darwin will be there in abstentia with noone to defend him in this one-sided “debate.”

Of course, they’re charging (milking) the public to attend this sordid affair.

And in addition, Dembski says:

I subscribe to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as well as the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy

So he’s finally given up all pretence, and admits what we all knew (or at least very, very strongly suspected) all along.

An interesting paper on the regarding the conditions ofr the origin of life:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/release[…]08101433.htm

so the effects of the Fall operate forwards and backwards in time (thus animal suffering is a result of the sin of Adam even though, temporally, it comes before).

If time means so little to the supernatural entities known as god(s), why couldn’t they just go back in time and fix everything that went wrong in the first place?

I suppose if you pile up enough ad hoc explanations, everything is explainable. But this isn’t science. What Dembski completely lacks is something known as data, proof.

raven said:

If time means so little to the supernatural entities known as god(s), why couldn’t they just go back in time and fix everything that went wrong in the first place?

Maybe that is what is happening. They keep going back to fix what they screwed up in the “beginning”, but then they keep screwing up their “fixes” as well.

The net result is evolution.

Sad for the cdesignproponenstists that they can’t do the same thing. Instead of Marty McFly time correction, all they can do is revisionist back-pedalling.

Pete Dunkelberg said:

Disco’s “some Designer did something somehow” story looks to be wearing thin. This does not mean no more creationists, it means the YEC’s take over unconstrained by their saner allies.

Although ID is in reality anti-science, they are not so anti-science as the YEC’s. ID may go down, and go down as the last “scientific” creationist movement. Begun the YEC war has.

Pardon if this was covered in another reply or in one or more links, but I must put in my usual 2c before reading it all. If anything ID is more anti-science than YEC. IDers may concede old life and sometimes common descent (and when they don’t they are more “uncertain” than strongly denying), but ID itself allows all possibilities under the big tent. In contrast, YEC takes at least the first steps of being scientific by clearly stating testable hypotheses of “what happened when.” IDers realize that such hypothesis (including old-earth and old-life variants that deny evolution) are easily falsifiable, so they are even more careful at avoiding what real scientists do.

Also, lets not forget “YEC” usually refers to that 20th century concoction that itself makes some concessions to mainstream science, particularly heliocentrism. To me it makes much more sense looking at the “evolution” of anti-evolution activism as an “evolution” of a strategy rather than of a belief system. At some point a bell goes off: “Oops, we’re starting to concede too much, and our internal disagreements are making us look like the hopelessly confused ones. The only option left is to say as little as possible about the alternate “theory” (most audiences infer their childhood fairy tale anyway) and focus on promoting doubt of evolution any way we can, up to and including obeying Godwin’s Law.”

Stephen P said:

And in addition, Dembski says:

I subscribe to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as well as the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy

So he’s finally given up all pretence, and admits what we all knew (or at least very, very strongly suspected) all along.

Does the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy say anything that a Theistic Evolutionist would explicitly disagree with?

Don’t get me wrong, Dembski made it clear that TEs are “enemy #1” and I’m sure that’s how he feels, if only because TEs are his harshest critics. But he also has an affinity for words and phrases with multiple meanings, and it would not surprise me if that’s how the statement reads.

sparc Wrote:

Isn’t this the same cdesingpropentionist who stated that ID is not creationism?

All of them say that. But they are deliberately playing a game. They want us to react with “ID is too creationism” so they can bait-and-switch 2 definitions of “creationism.” Namely the critics’ definition (any pseudoscience that promotes unreasonable doubt of evolution) and the general public’s definition (honest belief in one of the mutually contradictory “literal” interpretations of Genesis).

Note that IDers look the other way when a YEC or OEC who “hasn’t gotten the memo” equates ID with creationism, but jump on any critic who does the same thing?

Pete Dunkelberg Wrote:

Elsewhere Dembski of all people is criticized for not being wrong enough.

God may punish me for enjoying this so much, but I can’t resist this train wreck. You have Demsbski pandering to every type of creationist possible, even resisting being caught in a contradiction (as if that ever stopped him before) calling himself an old-earth creationist to a creationist audience. But even some of them want no part of his “big tent” nonsense. The author of this calls Dembski a “theistic evolutionist!” That must be more painful to Dembski than the sum total of all the scientific critiques of his writings.

Frank J said:

Does the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy say anything that a Theistic Evolutionist would explicitly disagree with?

Yes, assuming the version I found online is accurate.

In particular,

4. Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God’s acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God’s saving grace in individual lives.

and

Article XII.

WE AFFIRM that Scripture in its entirety is inerrant, being free from all falsehood, fraud, or deceit.

WE DENY that Biblical infallibility and inerrancy are limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes, exclusive of assertions in the fields of history and science. We further deny that scientific hypotheses about earth history may properly be used to overturn the teaching of Scripture on creation and the flood.

We further deny that scientific hypotheses about earth history may properly be used to overturn the teaching of Scripture on creation and the flood.

SWT:

I’m not sure how to interpret that sentence. Does it mean that they do not think that current scientific hypotheses about earth history falsify “creation” (whatever that means) and a global flood? Or does it mean that they will reject any scientific hypothesis (or theory) that does that? Or are they purposely being vague to please a wider audience?

Whichever they mean, everything I have read from Dembski suggests that he does not personally believe either interpretation, or at best the former if one stretches the definitions of “creation” and “flood” (note that it didn’t say “global”). As some TEs do.

It would be nice if someone asks Dembski to elaborate on exactly what parts of that he agrees with. Same for the “Baptist Faith and Message 2000.” If he’s truly a recent convert to Genesis literalist (OEC variety) he should have no problem clarifying it. But if he’s just trying to tell his followers what they want to hear, he’ll give an inconclusive answer.

But Dembski has said that he takes Genesis figuratively.

Alas, it comes down to your interpretation of language, and this is the fact that Biblical “literalists” cannot get. I just used scare quotes because not even raving “literalists” think everything in the Bible actually literally happened. They just think that they can look at the text and know with certainty whether it’s meant to be taken as a literal account of events or as a story with a moral purpose.

Which is to say, they regard themselves as infallible, or to put it another way, they have demanded of God that He miraculously provide them with perfect understanding, and believe that God has acceded to their demand.

Which is a blasphemy so vile, and so obviously rooted in overwheening hubris, as to actually shock even me, long-lapsed as I am.

The Chicago Declaration, that great sacrifice at the altar of blind, rigid ignorance, is probably meant to insist that the stories in Genesis of the creation and the flood are literal history. But it doesn’t say so specifically and in so many words, and if it doesn’t there is always wiggle room. Not much, though.

Possibly Dembski thinks he can wiggle a bit more than the Pharisees that wrote that wretched monument to their own arrogance would like. He’s probably right - it’s not in their interest to check him in public. So long as he doesn’t absolutely assert in their hearing that the Genesis story of creation and the flood is not literal history, they’ll let him get away with obfuscation, fudging and not quite saying.

Until, of course, they have no further use for him.

Frank J said:

We further deny that scientific hypotheses about earth history may properly be used to overturn the teaching of Scripture on creation and the flood.

SWT:

I’m not sure how to interpret that sentence. Does it mean that they do not think that current scientific hypotheses about earth history falsify “creation” (whatever that means) and a global flood? Or does it mean that they will reject any scientific hypothesis (or theory) that does that? Or are they purposely being vague to please a wider audience?

Whichever they mean, everything I have read from Dembski suggests that he does not personally believe either interpretation, or at best the former if one stretches the definitions of “creation” and “flood” (note that it didn’t say “global”). As some TEs do.

It would be nice if someone asks Dembski to elaborate on exactly what parts of that he agrees with. Same for the “Baptist Faith and Message 2000.” If he’s truly a recent convert to Genesis literalist (OEC variety) he should have no problem clarifying it. But if he’s just trying to tell his followers what they want to hear, he’ll give an inconclusive answer.

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics mandates a literal interpretation:

Article XIV

WE AFFIRM that the biblical record of events, discourses and sayings, though presented in a variety of appropriate literary forms, corresponds to historical fact.

WE DENY that any event, discourse or saying reported in Scripture was invented by the biblical writers or by the traditions they incorporated.

Article XV

WE AFFIRM the necessity of interpreting the Bible according to its literal, or normal, sense. The literal sense is the grammatical-historical sense, that is, the meaning which the writer expressed. Interpretation according to the literal sense will take account of all figures of speech and literary forms found in the text.

WE DENY the legitimacy of any approach to Scripture that attributes to it meaning which the literal sense does not support.

Article XXII

WE AFFIRM that Genesis 1-11 is factual, as is the rest of the book.

WE DENY that the teachings of Genesis 1-11 are mythical and that scientific hypotheses about earth history or the origin of humanity may be invoked to overthrow what Scripture teaches about creation.

It would be nice, as you suggest, to get a clear, unambiguous statement from the horse’s … mouth.

“And we say it’s a fact because… well because we say so!”

Can’t argue with that now, can ya.

I should have held my nose and waded through to Article XXII. The stink of arrogant and unrepentant hubris overwhelmed me.

I am reminded of the words of Oliver Cromwell, no liberal humanist he, to the Elders of the Church of Scotland: “I beseech you in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you might be mistaken.”

But they didn’t, so it was necessary to use the traditional methods to demonstrate to them that they were, in fact, mistaken.

Mr Matzke, if you’re going to allow Brian to godbot on the Seventh Day Adventist thread, could you allow my post refuting his nonsense about giant human fossils to go through?

Just thought it was worth pointing out that Steve Matheson, biologist at Calvin, is making a series of responses to Meyer’s book on his blog too; http://sfmatheson.blogspot.com/2010[…]-review.html http://sfmatheson.blogspot.com/2010[…]reviews.html http://sfmatheson.blogspot.com/2010[…]iminary.html

From the Chicago statement:

“WE DENY that any event, discourse or saying reported in Scripture was invented by the biblical writers or by the traditions they incorporated.”

Interesting, Gilgamesh deniers. Who would have thought. Well, might as well throw out all of history.

“WE DENY that the teachings of Genesis 1-11 are mythical and that scientific hypotheses about earth history or the origin of humanity may be invoked to overthrow what Scripture teaches about creation.”

Interesting, geology, astronomy and biology deniers. Well, might as well throw out all of science.

How about this instead:

WE (the scientific community) DENY any beliefs that are based on authority and not evidence. We CONDEMN those who attempt to force beliefs contrary to evidence on others as charlatans. We APPLAUD those who honestly strive to discover evidence and search for truth, where ever that search may lead.

Indeed, indeed, and so hath said thy “holy” masters Duane Gish and Henry Morris, the latter of “blessed memory”:

Pete Dunkelberg said:

Disco’s “some Designer did something somehow” story looks to be wearing thin. This does not mean no more creationists, it means the YEC’s take over unconstrained by their saner allies.

Although ID is in reality anti-science, they are not so anti-science as the YEC’s. ID may go down, and go down as the last “scientific” creationist movement. Begun the YEC war has.

Well two years ago I offered to Bill the possibility of getting my assistance if he opted to write, with Michael Behe, the definitive textbook on Klingon Cosmology. Maybe it’s time for him to accept my most generous offer:

Doc Bill said:

Dembski writes:

so the effects of the Fall operate forwards and backwards in time (thus animal suffering is a result of the sin of Adam even though, temporally, it comes before).

So, basically, Dembski can write whatever pops into his head, like fiction. Need a Time Machine, no problema! Explanatory Filter? Here, take two! Specified Complexity? Simple!

Now, if only Dembski could create a Baylor Cafeteria meal card he’d be set for life …

Didn’t he also say too that Intelligent Design is really the LOGOS of Saint John’s:

Karen S. said:

But Dembski has said that he takes Genesis figuratively.

Poor Bill. Now he’s really HOT N’ COLD (with apologies to Katy Perry):

John Kwok said:

Didn’t he also say too that Intelligent Design is really the LOGOS of Saint John’s:

Karen S. said:

But Dembski has said that he takes Genesis figuratively.

Thanks, Glenn. I just perused Matheson’s two entries. This promises to be a lot better than Darrel Falk’s “review” over at BioLogos:

Glenn said:

Just thought it was worth pointing out that Steve Matheson, biologist at Calvin, is making a series of responses to Meyer’s book on his blog too; http://sfmatheson.blogspot.com/2010[…]-review.html http://sfmatheson.blogspot.com/2010[…]reviews.html http://sfmatheson.blogspot.com/2010[…]iminary.html

I keep seeing Heddle talk out of his ass about scientific debate wrt the efficacy of animal testing.

…and yet I’m 100% sure Heddle actually knows nothing about how the tests are done, who does them, and why.

just as per his usual…

Heddle projects knowledge where he has none.

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