A plethora of thoughts on Intelligent Design

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Feel free to ask him yourself, but in my reading, Tour is using the word “proof” in a colloquial sense, as scientists sometimes do. I prefer the word “demonstrate” in contexts like this. At the same time, he is a great writer, and seems to be echoing Pascal’s language about “proofs for God,” which is certainly an activity that many people then and now engage in. James, Pascal and I all seem to agree that our best “proof for God” is Jesus.

Of course, feel free to ask him yourself. I’m just quoting him here. And he is not an EC (or an evolutionist of any stripe). I’ll point out too that he does not think ID qualifies as science. He is very emphatic about that.

Well I agree that Pascal has not destroyed anything. Why is it so horrible for me to honestly explain my personal beliefs?

@eddie, we’ve gone over this before. I get that you hold a different position. I’m fine with that; we disagree. It is not a personal attack on all things you hold dear to explain my position to others when they ask me what I think. I am certainly not using Pascal as a bat. I’m just explaining that James Tour and I both agree with him here.


It’s worth noting that this illustrious chemist has made the following very blunt statement.

Assuming that I have something significant to contribute to the evolution vs. creation debate, many ask me to speak and write concerning my thoughts on the topic. However, I do not have anything substantive to say about it. I am a layman on the subject. Although I have read about a half dozen books on the debate, maybe a dozen, and though I can speak authoritatively on complex chemical synthesis, I am not qualified to enter the public discussion on evolution vs. creation. So please don’t ask me to be the speaker or debater at your event, and think carefully about asking me for an interview because I will probably not give you the profound quotations that you seek. You are of course free to quote me from what is written here, but do me the kindness of placing my statements in a fair context.

Emphasis mine.


This is the classy and honest modesty I love about Tour. We have some friendly scientific disagreements, but I have deepest respect for him in this. Obviously, I am a theistic evolutionist (evolutionary creationist), and he is not, but we find so much common ground in our faith.

I’ll take him any day over the legions of philosophers that think they are magical experts on biology.


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Walter is the guy who wrote this blog post:

Please go explain to StephenB (in the comments) that evolution is compatible with Christianity our belief in God’s providence @eddie? He has been following me around for months with circular arguments about this. I think he is more likely be reasonable with you, because you are an ID proponent too.

Don’t forget Martin Luther too =). Well I am glad you realize that I am not saying that I myself am not overselling his position. I am not. I’m just explaining them examples of thinkers I draw upon. You have your axe to grind with EC and BioLogos, but I’m not sure if that is really germane to this specific conversation. They were asking for my position, so I gave it.

And soon you will hear on tape where I stand on this too. Stay tuned for March, when Tour and I do an event together. (did I just let that slip out :slight_smile:).

I would add to that that I regularly talk about Jesus. They almost never do. So yes, in the pragmatics, there are some wide gaps here. I just find Jesus greater than every design argument I have ever encountered. Nothing in science compares with Him. So yes, my focus on Jesus is a pretty big theological difference.


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@Eddie Don’t you think you have reached the limit for off-topic rants about your frustrations with the nebulous 'EC community" and their failures to address your pet theological concerns? At least for this thread? It is not a dialogue promoting habit you have of using whatever topic is at hand to tediously lecture people who are not even part of the conversation. It works a lot better if you talk to the people here about what people are saying here.

The topic is cancer and evolutionary theory, not Eddie’s long history of not hearing what he wants to hear from the “TE/EC leadership” when it comes to theology. If you simply must type more essays outlining your personal peeves about what the “EC community” has not handled to your liking, start your own thread.


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Is this really the terminology you want to use as a Christian scholar, @Eddie?


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My point was simply that the determinations of scientific political bodies and courts do not constitute “science”. “Pseudoscience” is not a scientific category.

But you’re avoiding the point. The determination of whether or not something is pseudoscience, is made on scientific grounds.

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Then the references to the research that demonstrates the specific conclusion “Intelligent Design is pseudoscience” will be available in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, subject to to the constraints of methodological naturalism.

If not, then the odd situation arises whereby “what is considered settled science” can be merely the collective subjective opinions of an unspecified majority of scientists, expressed in blogs and courtrooms. It is hard to understand any definition of Intelligent Design that could be refuted scientifically in toto.

But if Joshua actually merely meant to list what generalisations scientists as private individuals make about evolution, and label “settled science”, then the original context of his remark - about what scientifically solid ground we can build on regarding evolution - is replaced by some kind of pseudoscientific opinion poll.

I probably would not pursue this at all if Joshua himself had not been so firm about the stark limitations of science’s purview, as distinct from philosophy, theology and (as here) sociology. If you’re going to make distinctions, you should stick with them.

[quote=“Jon_Garvey, post:72, topic:5673”]

Are you saying you’re actually unaware of that literature?

Hi Jon

What do you regard those scientific grounds to be with respect to current post-Dover ID?
Also, if ID is ‘pseudoscience’ then we could predict that no scientific papers would be specifically directled against it and ts claims right?


Hi Eddie -

The fact that a practice is common in our culture does not necessarily recommend it to us. Nor do we necessarily recommend ourselves to others by doing what is common in our culture. My $.02.

Have a blessed day, my brother,
Chris Falter

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[quote=“Eddie, post:71, topic:5673”]
Judgments of “pseudo” can be wildly wrong.[/quote]
Indeed, but only empiricism can show that. No one in the ID movement is doing that, and clearly there is no intent to do so in the future.

[quote]A hundred years from now, the rejection of intelligence as a vera causa of natural systems and arrangements may seem as short-sighted as Galileo’s judgment of four centuries ago.
[/quote]Only if someone does the ID empirical work. I can guarantee that no one is going to point to the rhetoric of a blog post as the game changer.

I suggest you read Evolution News and Discovery Institute material.

The same grounds as they were pre-Dover ID. The grounds of determining what is science and what is pseudoscience didn’t change with Dover. What was really crazy about Dover was that ID defenders themselves happily placed ID in the same basket as pseudoscience like astrology. Talk about a foot shot.

No. There are plenty of scientific papers refuting various forms of pseudoscience (such as denial of anthropological global warming, homeopathy, and anti-vaccination hysteria), so it’s no surprise that there are also scientific papers refuting the pseudoscience of ID.

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