Ed Brayton posted Entry 730 on January 11, 2005 02:37 PM.
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(1) If scientist X passes a remark about the universe sure being a mysterious place, he has not thereby placed himself in the ID camp. ID is a specific set of arguments about specific scientific topics. Of those arguments I have seen, none struck me as very convincing.
(2) None of the ID people I have encountered (in person or books) is an open-minded inquirer trying to uncover facts about the world. Every one I know of is a Christian looking to justify his faith. This naturally inclines me to think that they are grinding axes, not conducting dispassionate science. This is, in my opinion, not only a path to bad science, but also a path to bad theology.
And in another post on the same subject, he pointed out the "god of the gaps" nature of ID reasoning, as I often have:
Since the entire history of science displays innumerable instances of hitherto inexplicable phenomena yielding to natural explanations (and, in fact, innumerable instances of "intelligent design" notions to explain natural phenomena being scrapped when more obvious natural explanations were worked out), the whole ID outlook has very little appeal to well-informed scientists. A scientist who knows his history sees the region of understanfing as a gradually enlarging circle of light in a general darkness. If someone comes along and tells him: "This particular region of darkness HERE will never be illuminated by methods like yours," then he is naturally skeptical. "How can you possibly know that?" he will say, very reasonably...
By contrast with these meta-topics about which we know nothing -- the questions about which may not even have meaning -- we know a great deal about the actual mechanisms of natural selection, gene function, inheritance, matter-energy systems, and the early history of the universe; but there are many things we do not fully understand, and the ID-ers wish to plug those gaps by invoking the intervention of a higher intelligence. Working scientists in these fields are much, much more likely to say: "Well, let's wait and see what a couple more generations of scientific inquiry turn up before we leap to conclusions like that."
Interesting stuff from an unexpected source. William F. Buckley, the founder of National Review, was an enthusiastic supporter of ID who gave a huge boost to ID advocates a few years ago when he captained their team (which included Phillip Johnson, Michael Behe and the ever-irritating David Berlinski) in a Firing Line debate on television against a team consisting of Barry Lynn, Genie Scott, Michael Ruse and Ken Miller.
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