ID and Common Descent @ UcD

I thought this was an interesting post from UcD.

Many, many people seem to misunderstand the relationship between Intelligent Design and Common Descent. Some view ID as being equivalent to Progressive Creationism (sometimes called Old-Earth Creationism), others seeing it as being equivalent to Young-Earth Creationism. I have argued before that the core of ID is not about a specific theory of origins. In fact, many ID’ers hold a variety of views including Progressive Creationism and Young-Earth Creationism.

But another category that is often overlooked are those who hold to both ID and Common Descent, where the descent was purely naturalistic. This view is often considered inconsistent. My goal is to show how this is a consistent proposition…

I see no reason that the descent has to be purely naturalistic. It seems to me that most EC/TEs accept that God is in control of the development of life.

A couple of interesting comments from UcD

I don’t see a large philosophical or theological gap between theistic evolution and common descent ID. What does common descent ID demand theologically that theistic evolution will not allow?
In its most basic form, all ID says is that some things are designed. Of course that is not incompatible with common descent. That is not incompatible with
anything. That’s why people say it’s not scientific.
As Dr. Behe stated:

Scott refers to me as an intelligent design creationist, even though I clearly write in my book Darwin’s Black Box (which Scott cites) that I am not a creationist and have no reason to doubt common descent. In fact, my own views fit quite comfortably with the 40% of scientists that Scott acknowledges think evolution occurred, but was guided by God. Where I and others run afoul of Scott and the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is simply in arguing that intelligent design in biology is not invisible, it is empirically detectable. The biological literature is replete with statements like David DeRosier’s in the journal Cell: More so than other motors, the flagellum resembles a machine designed by a human (1). Exactly why is it a thought-crime to make the case that such observations may be on to something objectively correct?

3 comments to ID and Common Descent @ UcD

  • Wayne Dawson

    Maybe the main issue is the “ID” attached. If ID is attached to YEC, OEC, PC, CD and TE …. then the only thing that everyone firmly agrees on (as a group) is that God fits somewhere into the picture of the universe, life, truth and everything.

    It also seems like there are different flavors of TE that range a broad spectrum on how exactly to describe God’s involvement with the creation. Nevertheless, you may have a point. If a person really does believe there is a God, and if he really believes that Christ somehow rose from the dead, then at least at that juncture, that person does not believe _everything_ is “purely natural”.

    In addition, maybe TEs are more inclined not to id with ID (ID as a movement that is). To be a Christian at least, one would have to believe that the universe is some sort of work of an intelligence, but how exactly is a very sensitive issue. When these type of catch phrases become part of a popular culture, they quickly become bankrupt.

    Finally, I think there is a reluctance to mix science and faith too freely. Speaking for myself, when I’m on the beat (so as to speak), I have a duty to carry out the responsibilities of a good scientist. Yet I also spend my life accepting that I cannot explain the resurrection, the afterlife, many of the miracles, and other conflicting issues, yet I must remain on call 24/7 to both ends. Although I can realize that some ID folk take their work just as seriously as I do, the _popular_ ID is one where everyone appears certain they know the truth. Since I hardly understand much about the world so deeply and far less the things unseen, I cannot think I share much in common with the popular ID movement. I have enough problems just coping with the common problems a serious scientist can encounter inside the church, why add even more?

    So maybe the subtle difference you are pondering has little to do with particular individuals. It seems to me it has more to do with identifying with a particular movement or not. It seems TEs probably don’t fit in. We’re something like the “none of the above” category.

    by Grace we proceed,

  • David Wallace

    First I thought this post was a refreshing change from the attitude taken by Denyse O’Leary who IMO comes close to lumping ECs with the new atheists. If you remember the response that occurred when a few people from the old email list posted on UcD and how quickly most of them were unceremoniously kicked out, this seems rather more conciliatory. Denyse who is strongly supported by Dembski seems reluctant to acknowledge ECs as fellow Christians.

    Second acknowledging that Behe holds Common Descent and yet is a bona fide ID supporter is important.

    Overall it seems to me that their is a chance to tone down the rhetoric between ID and ECs and that is important. After all Jesus said in essence that the world can and will measure his church depending upon how we love one another. Where better to examine us than in an area of strong disagreement.

    To my mind the main issues between ID and ECs are:

    1. As you put it “ID” is attached to YEC, OEC, PC and even none theists ….

    2. ID’s insistence that design can be scientifically detected

    I have no problem using the tools of science in an attempt to demonstrate a designer, not that I think that ID has demonstrated their case. Maybe we should call such an attempt “natural philosophy” to reuse an old term.

    Sorry I took so long to respond but I have been sick since October and have been going through all sorts of “fun” medical tests with more to come. Right now it is by grace we get out of bed some mornings.


  • David Wallace

    I thought Falk’s answer to our friend Gregory is quite good and bears on this topic.

    search for Darrel Falk – #3735

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