Thursday, August 28, 2014

The biggest problem with Intelligent Design...

..Is their internet presence.

Seriously, how is it that there's such a big gap between Michael Behe and the sort of people who approvingly quote Michael Behe? I don't see this sort of shit with William Lane Craig, and Craig's arguments are actually subtler.

8 comments:

Vand83 said...

I've wondered about this myself. Honestly, there's a part of me that is sympathetic to IDers. I tend to want to correct those who misunderstand the points they make. Then, "IDers" show up. Then it becomes a struggle not to dismiss the whole movement.

James said...

Where did they appear this time, Crude ?

The Deuce said...

Heh, are you reading Ed's latest discussion with the increasingly-unhinged Vincent Torley, or did something else bring this on?

Crude said...

James,

A variety of things went into this, but some of the VJ Torley stuff on Ed's blog.

Deuce,

Torley's part of it, but really, it's just 'in general'. Torley in particular depresses me, because 'his' take on ID is "It's all about God, ID gives arguments for God, because ID would be pointless if it didn't do that." I remember watching him show up on McGrath's blog saying this and of course McGrath is 'thanking him for being honest about ID' and that usually ID proponents aren't honest, so VJ's sitting there apparently thinking 'Wow, they're being so nice to me, what a nice conversation' without realizing he's being used as a proxy to attack ID with.

I think the big problem is that ID, in it's strongest form - the form advocated by Behe and Dembski - not a theistic argument, but a truly general inference. But the same problem that comes up with WLC comes up with ID: Christ is what motivates them, not 'God' or 'Intelligence'. So they themselves actually do a lot, consciously and not, to make their argument specific and religious when it actually isn't.

James said...

While I am also sympathetic to the ID movement when they are repeatedly straw-manned, I am also astounded by many of the everyday followers that you find on forums, blogs, etc.

Just the other day, I saw someone thinking that after some bacteria or even an animal had evolved some new trait, the argument of "It was 'x' before evolving the new trait, and it's still 'x' afterward" was a slam-dunk refutation. I think that strawman irks me the most, though I certainly am not fully persuaded by the BioLogos crowd, either.

Crude said...

James,

I'd want to know the context of that, namely what they were 'refuting' by pointing that out. I've heard some people argue that the most meager, even degenerative 'mutation' in this or that species proves that evolution is wholly true and unguided, so...

Mr. Green said...

Isn't it because Craig is subtler? The more sophisticated the argument, the more likely supporters are to be people who bother to think things through. Similarly with Feser's camp — the emphasis on serious thought is not so conducive to folks jumping on the bandwagon just for the sake of it. On the other hand, there are still lots of people who can't wait to throw the Five Ways at you, even though they don't really have a good grasp of the metaphysics… so maybe some of it is just bad luck of ID happening to be in a certain place and time. I think there definitely is somewhat of a vicious circle — the more dodgy supporters you have, the more you're going to attract.

Like James, I'm flabbergasted at the number of (supposed) proponents of ID who think it somehow disproves special evolution. Clearly a lot of people didn't like being called "anti-science" for rejecting evolution and decided that ID was the way to have their Science!™ and eat it too.

Crude said...

Green,

I think it's actually more subtle with ID, at least if I take your meaning right. Dembski's writing is, quite frankly, dense when it comes to ID specific stuff - and I mean dense as in 'You need to have a good grasp of mathematics and theory to even really understand it.' I do not have that grasp. Nor do, I surmise, most people.

Behe's easier to get, but it's still subtle, and he is extremely tentative with his conclusions and inferences.