Sunday, March 15, 2009

Politics at Uncommon Descent

DaveScot, Intelligent Design guru, is no longer posting at Uncommon Descent. (see here) There seems to have been some kind of infighting at UD. Larry Moran picks up the story and suggests it may be because DaveScot challenged the UD policy of linking Darwin to racism. (A policy I believe to be a faux pas) The comments in this link record DavesScot’s insulting attacks on another UD contributor: perhaps that has something to do with it as well. I mention this matter because it puts into perspective my own recent comments and queries about DaveScot in relation to his openly espoused views favouring the notion of common descent on a blog that calls itself “Uncommon Descent”. Did these views also contribute to his demise? This gossipy affair only serves to bring the same questions back to the surface: what is UD asking me to believe or rather disbelieve: evolution as a history, evolution as a mechanism or both?

Interesting in this connection are GilDodgen views defending UD’s science of negation in this post on UD where he tells us that evidence against “Darwinism” (="chance&necessity") is evidence for Design; this, presumably, is an example of Dembski’s explanatory filter at work. Ahh! Perhaps I get it now: By a process of elimination I am supposed to believe that life was Designed!* But alas, it still leaves open questions about the more detailed means by which the design was implemented, whether by a history or by a mechanism, or neither, ….which only takes me back to square one.

PS: On the whole I regret that UD have lost DaveScot - I think they needed his particular emphasis in order to show the breadth of interpretation that can come under the heading of ID.

* Footnote 18/3/2009
As I have asked before why should "chance&necessity" (as the ID community puts it) be so sharply distinguished from design? Are "chance&necessity" any more logically self sufficient and in less need of design than the structures that occupy configuration space between the ends of the order-disorder spectrum? Dembski's explanatory filter works in a fuzzy heuristic sort of way within this world, but can that heuristic be lifted from this world and extrapolated to a super-cosmic perspective?
From the christian theist's perspective everything cosmic is designed (or rather selected for reification from the platonic world of the possible). Therefore, is it really natural to contrive such a sharp category distinction between "chance&necessity" and design?

No comments: