Sunday, April 9, 2017

Why Won't ID Proponents Identify Their Designer?

In a recent post on the Discovery Institute's Evolution 'news' and Views site, Walter Myers III said "In Refusing to Identify a “Designer,” ID Proponents Aren’t Being Coy".  The question to me is what has driven them to not identify their designer?   Reading the original Wedge Strategy document, you see it loaded with references to Christianity and the Christian God, for example

"Design theory promises to reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and the replace it with a science constant with Christian and theistic convictions" (Wikipedia: Wedge Strategy)
How can you write things like that, in your guiding strategy document, and then deny the identity of the designer . . . well 'officially deny' that identity.  Often ID proponents have identified their designer as the Christian God, but they rarely do it officially, one exception to that is the head of their own pet lab, Douglas Axe, whose latest religious missive included this description on Amazon:
"Axe argues that the key to understanding our origin is the “design intuition”—the innate belief held by all humans that tasks we would need knowledge to accomplish can only be accomplished by someone who has that knowledge. For the ingenious task of inventing life, this knower can only be God." (Amazon: Undeniable)
I am curious where did that description came from?  It was also repeated at the HarperOne website (the religious imprint of Harper-Collins). which makes me think it's part of the press release for the book.  Pretty clear-cut who the designer is, isn't it?

A different point comes from Robert Pennock, writing about Intelligent Design:
"When lobbying for ID in the public schools, wedge members sometimes deny that ID makes any claims about the identity of the designer. It is ironic that their political strategy leads them to deny God in the public square more often than Peter did."(Stephen Meyer and the Return of the God Hypothesis)
So ID proponents refuse to official designer as a deity comes across a just another tactic.  As soon as they make the designer a deity, they get lumped in with the other religious nut jobs who keep trying to push their belief set onto everyone else . . . you know folks like little kennie ham and Mike Pence.  If Pence doesn't ring a bell, he's the hamster-haired misogynist's vice-president and his efforts to push his religious beliefs on everyone was well documented when he was Governor of Indiana.

OK, so I guess I have to see what Walt says about the subject.  believe me, my expectations are pretty low.  His sums up his argument with this:
"In not specifying a designer, ID leaves science open to pursue plausible explanations of biological complexity without getting tangled up in extraneous theological or philosophical discussions. The everyday practice of the current scientific establishment already curtails and constrains what science is able to discover. ID resists this trend, and instead seeks to democratize scientific investigation."
Really?  They offer absolutely no scientific support for ID, and Walt thinks not naming the designer is an example of opening the door for plausible explanations?  Anyone buy into that?  No, not you current ID proponent, you'll believe anything Walt says.  But anyone else who isn't a current drinker of DI kool-aid? 

Let's break this down a little bit.  Walt admits that science has limits.  The limits Walt is talking about is that science and it's framework of methodological naturalism.  Walt says:

"ID proponents would certainly not be adherents of metaphysical naturalism, but they do accept methodological naturalism as an ostensibly normative principle for doing science, while believing it unnecessarily constrains science from entertaining empirical proof of intelligent agency."
Here is where Walt is trying to build a strawman, on the one hand claiming to accept scientific methodology and yet at the same time wanting to bring in the supernatural.  Since methodological naturalism references natural causes and events -- not supernatural ones, Walt says that is what limits science from taking ID seriously . . . and yet in the same sentence he claims ID proponents would not be 'adherents to metaphysical naturalism . . . which rejects the supernatural concepts and explanations that are part of many religions.  So that means ID proponents are interested in supernatural causation . . . so why won't they identify officially their designer?  Isn't that pretty much what Walt just admitted too?

So all Walt is trying to sell to people that ID isn't religious . . . and yet, once again, everything about ID is religious, from their guiding document to their core audience.  So back to the original question, why do ID proponents hesitate to identify the designer?  So, Walt himself is the one being coy here,  his article is nothing more than another tactic to try and divorce the DI from their religion -- and another failing one at that.

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