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The Biologos Foundation and “Darwin’s Pious Idea”, Part 3

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January 28, 2011 Tags: Christianity & Science - Then and Now

Today's entry was written by John Wesley Wright. Please note the views expressed here are those of the author, not necessarily of The BioLogos Foundation. You can read more about what we believe here.

The Biologos Foundation and “Darwin’s Pious Idea”, Part 3

This is the third part in a series reviewing Conor Cunningham's new book Darwin's Pious Idea. The first part can be found here and the second part here.

The mesa characterizes the landscape of the southwestern United States. A level plain rapidly ascends to meet a broad table top where various activities can take place. If chapters 1-3 rapidly ascend from the neo-Darwinian synthesis with a review of evidence for form, constraints, and convergence within evolution, Darwin’s Pious Idea reaches the top of the mesa in chapter 4. Cunningham enters the chapter with the difficult question, “Does Darwinism involve a notion of progress?” The underlying question of the chapter, however, is, “What is humanity that You are mindful of them?”

Cunningham argues that we need the “biology of being” within which to place the “biology of becoming” of the neo-Darwinian synthesis. Cunningham importantly does not reject the neo-Darwinian synthesis. He does, however, demand a larger theoretical framework that can account for deeper levels of the stability and cooperation and remote causes that we observe when we look at biological phenomena synchronically: “Such a gestalt switch in perspective – from the atomistic to the systemic, the discrete to the emergent –involves new levels of life and new modes of causality as we move from a wholly linear approach to a nonlinear one. Emergent systems (from cells to organisms) exhibit modes of behavior that demand new ways of thinking” (p. 157). Unless neo-Darwinism can account for such data (and in its ultra-Darwinian form, it cannot, Cunningham argues), in the words of Imre Lakatos, it will become a degenerating research program in light of the need for a wider synthesis, just as Newton’s research program became degenerating to Einstein’s.1

Cunningham does not have to invent this “biology of being”; it is already present in developmental evolution and systems biology (p. 152). Cunningham writes, “Evolution, or at least biology, is not all about the flux of phylogeny, for nature manifests structure and form. There is a form of progress and inevitability in evolution, one that is lawful and thus demonstrably antireductionist. . . . Consequently, not only will the great chain of being be reinstated (as if it was ever removed, except in the vanity of man’s mind) but also mankind, more importantly, will be shown to be both ‘cross and crown’ of creation. This claim precludes, rather than accommodates, anthropocentrism, for it is a matter of participation (methexis) rather than exclusivity. Indeed, accompanying man’s ascendancy or uniqueness is a growing sense of vulnerability, even danger” (pp. 149-50).

Cunningham helpfully uses the analogy of the production of a play within a theatre to describe the interaction between synchronic and diachronic events within evolution: “The play of evolution (that which becomes, namely, phylogeny) takes place within a theater; in terms of that theater’s structure, the play is constrained and therefore informed” (p. 159). Within this theater humans play a significant role in the drama because of what we are – the “cross and crown of creation”; the mode of transportation through which we have arrived at the “theatre” is irrelevant.

Cunningham reminds Christians that the “what” of humanity is special (their form on the stage of the theatre); pressing theologically the “how” question actually takes us towards a paganism where we conceive of god as a big, more powerful being like us. As Cunningham writes, “If we conceive God in terms of power, we have actually managed to reduce God to our own level, because divinity becomes a matter of something we cannot do – namely, suspend the natural order – rather than it being about someone we are not” (p. 172). As Cunningham notes, Thomas Aquinas would heartily agree (p. 151).

Cunningham’s retrieval of “form” becomes the basis for his theological reflections. Properly construed, evolution signs that life’s origin and end lies beyond itself in the Invisible “seen” in the visible. The “forms” of evolution, its “being” within which random “becoming” occurs, signs Transcendence beyond itself. Humanity results from the material process of evolutionary becoming; nonetheless we have a distinct form which allows us to participate in the symbolic science that biology is: “biology is a semiotic science, a science where significance and representation are essential elements. Thus evolutionary biology stands at the border between physical and semiotic science, just as man does” (pp. 165-66).

Combining concepts from Augustine and Kierkegaard, Cunningham describes how humanity results both from “recollection” and “non-identical repetition”: “Yes, humans are different. Yes, they forge whole new levels of existence. In so doing they are only recollecting evolution’s history, yet at the same time they are nonidentically repeating it” (p. 159). He finds a parallel between this evolutionary understanding of humanity and that proposed by the early church fathers: “cooperation is the truth of nature and . . . competition is secondary; . . . more basic forms of nature are themselves not devoid of intelligence, or rationality; and . . . there is definite progress in evolution, with man at the pinnacle, because man is a microcosm of the universe, both recollecting and nonidentically repeating the lives of his ancestors, right back to basic chemical, as the Church Fathers correctly saw. But such ascendancy is not simple, for with increasing complexity comes increasing danger, to the point that what theologians term sin becomes possible” (p. 163). Evolution does provide progress, but progress itself has an inherent ambiguity. Again, welcome to humanity--the “crown and cross of creation.”

This is no “creation science” or “intelligent design” argument. While matter has an inherent rationality, Cunningham, with the historic Christian tradition, refuses to reduce God to an agent of design. Cunningham concludes the chapter with a wonderfully provocative shift in our language in order to not make God a “creative force” that guides an evolutionary process: “if we are going to employ such terms as ‘natural’ and ‘supernatural,’ then it is better (at least for theology) if we think of God as the only truly natural phenomenon, while the world around can be thought of as ‘supernatural.’ For what else is creation meant to signify? Indeed, is creation’s status as signifier not reflected in the very fact that when we try to return what exists, here in our universe, to itself, we fail to save the phenomena. Rather, the phenomena are shown to exhibit the one thing that is intrinsically their own, namely, the nothing from which they came” (p. 177).

If the book stopped with Cunningham’s provocation at this point, it would represent a tremendous accomplishment. Cunningham teaches us how to order the language of post neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory in light of the classical Christian understanding of the world in which essences are “seen” in, but never abstracted from, the materiality of God’s good creation. Creation itself becomes a sign of a radically transcendent God from whom and through whom and to whom are all things because God created all things from nothing. Cunningham, however, extends his argument farther.

Chapter 5 critically examines attempts to generalize the neo-Darwinian synthesis beyond biology. As Cunningham has already found “ultra-Darwinism” limited in explaining evolution itself, it is no wonder that he finds its extension in evolutionary psychology (and its earlier vehicles, social Darwinism and Sociobiology) severely lacking. Cunningham uses this opportunity, however, to show the underlying logic of ultra-Darwinism. Ironically, by stressing adaptivity, such generalized ultra-Darwinism evaporates truth, the good, even science itself into what Nietzsche called “the true lie”. Beliefs themselves become “intrinsically fictitious” (p. 214), repeated only because of their adaptive function – including the belief in evolution. Our lives are really about sex and sex is really about the survival of genes and thus evolution.

Attempts to generalize ultra-Darwinism require a concept of evolution that itself stands outside of time. To save evolution, therefore, we must de-mythologize it and return it to a biological theory. We must save it from the antievolutionary reductionism of the ultra-Darwinism whereby evolutionary thought functions as “a security blanket, one loved by willful secularists who demonstrate no reluctance at destroying the natural world” (p. 262). Such a cultural bias is thoroughly “unnatural.”

Through the evolutionary emergence of humanity, the human mind, and human language, the symbolic activity of thinking about “God” became profoundly natural. Cunningham cites the research of Justin Barrett: “With the arrival of our minds in the story of evolution, religion became inevitable. It was, quite simply, not an option” (p. 252). At the same time, the symbolic, the “cultural,” directly shapes the “natural”: “Symbols have true causal powers over the physical, though the language here is potentially misleading, for we must resist the temptation of setting symbols over and against the purely physical, at least in any naïve sense” (p. 256). As culture is thoroughly natural, nature becomes thoroughly cultural. Therefore, “there is no mere animality, and thus we can have neither a pure culture nor a pure animality” (p. 239). In the emergence of the uniqueness of the human being, Cunningham argues, “the elements gifted to us at the beginning of time are, quite literally, transubstantiated, and new, real relations are forthcoming, relations that then recapitulate the entire process” (p. 242). Evolutionary psychology, as set of ultra-Darwinism, cannot account for such an evolutionary process. They seek the security for their secularity in the ahistoricism of the endless repetition of the same neo-Darwinian natural selection.

Cunningham will continue his attempt to save evolutionary theory from its ultra-Darwinian supporters in chapter 6. But he will also increasingly have to save Christian orthodoxy from its ultra anti-Darwinian supporters as well. If Darwin’s theory signed the death of Protestant fundamentalist readings of the Scriptures (even as it created them), Darwin’s Pious Idea itself signs the death of the “true lie” that God is dead within a secularist, scientific culture. Such secularists will have to go perhaps to Huxley for their security blanket; the blanket that was theory of evolution of the ultra-Darwinists has dissolved. Perhaps they can meet their fundamentalist Christian allies there.

Notes

1. Commentators in the previous discussion of the blog have noted Cunningham’s dependence on the work of Simon Conway Morris, a dependence that Cunningham notes in the acknowledgements. In a recent article, Conway Morris reviews research that “point to a biology that will move far beyond the Darwinian formulation. . . . Today our understanding of evolution is immensely widened, but naturally it remains thoroughly Darwinian. The aim of this review is not to dispute this synthesis, but simply to enquire if it is complete” (p. 1337). See Simon Conway Morris, “The Predictability of Evolution: Glimpses into a post-Darwinian World,” Naturwissenschaften (2009) 96: 1313-1337 (http://www.springerlink.com/content/b46l378pju61h6k2/).


John Wesley Wright, Ph.D. is Professor of Theology and Christian Scriptures at Point Loma Nazarene University. Dr. Wright has published numerous articles and edited a number of books, including Priests, Prophets, and Scribes: Essays on the Formation and Heritage of Second Temple Judaism in Honor of Joseph Blenkinsopp, which he co-edited with Eugene Ulrich, Robert Carroll, and Philip R. Davies. (JSOT Press, 1992) and Conflicting Allegiances: The Church-based University In A Liberal Democratic Society, co-edited with Michael Budde (Brazos Press, 2004).

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Gregory - #49745

January 31st 2011

“You intimated that all ID people were so driven by a desire to prove the existence of the Christian God that they would resort to invalid arguments which tacitly presupposed the existence of that which they were trying to prove.” - Rich

No, this ‘driven by desire’ language is also only yours.

First, I don’t know what *all* ‘ID people’ refers to. Myth? But I don’t wish to ask you @ that.

More importantly, *if* they were not Christians or monotheists, they would not have ‘coined’ the concept-duo ‘intelligent design’ in the 1st place. They believed in Designer/Creator (they prefer ‘Designer’) *before* they theorized ID. Do you disagree?

If you’d studied reflexive approaches, invoking self-criticism, Rich, this would seem easy for you.

When you say “based on the Bible, the Creeds, etc.” this is incomplete because there’s more to Behe’s faith than those things. You’ve argued for this yourself with Martin, re: Ecclesia & Tradition + Scripture. But now you use such a narrow definition of Behe’s religion, to only include the Bible & Creeds, etc.? Dehumanize?

The duo ‘irreducible complexity’ is more philosophical than religious. Irreducibility is a hot topic, not just in natural sciences.


Rich - #49760

February 1st 2011

Gregory:

This is not productive.  You are cavilling.

You implied that ID people’s theology has corrupted their scientific and/or philosophical reasonings about design.  If you weren’t implying that, you weren’t writing clearly.

I said “all” ID people because you referred to ID and IDists and IDism without restriction.  If you intended to exempt certain ID theorists from your sweeping statements, you should have specified the exceptions.

You apparently don’t the meaning of “etc.”  It stands for the Latin words “et cetera.”  It means literally “and the rest,”  and commonly it means “and all the other relevant things.”  Here it obviously meant “and other Christian documents, statements, and beliefs.”  I had considered putting in a couple more examples—such as Papal decretals—but I thought that “Creeds, etc.” made it plain enough that I was speaking of Scripture plus tradition.  I gave you credit for being able to expand on “etc.” without my help, but I presumed too much.

“Irreducible complexity” is neither a religious nor a philosophical concept.  It’s an engineering concept.  I get the sense that you have not read Behe very extensively or very carefully.

(continued)


Rich - #49765

February 1st 2011

Gregory (concluding):

*Of course* ID proponents believed in the Creator before they came up with ID.  So what?

Either you are claiming that this belief corrupted their arguments, or you aren’t.  If you are, prove it!  Show passages from their texts where the corruption is evident.  And if you *aren’t* claiming that, what is your point?  Don’t make vague insinuations.

Aquinas believed in the Christian God before he came up with the Five Ways of proving God’s existence.  Does Aquinas’s prior belief invalidate his arguments?  If so, why?  And if not, why would you treat ID people any differently from the way you treat Aquinas?

Finally, you write:

“More importantly, *if* they were not Christians or monotheists, they would not have ‘coined’ the concept-duo ‘intelligent design’ in the 1st place.”

Christianity was the local but not the ultimate source of the idea.  Greek and Hindu non-monotheists also came up with design arguments   The concept of a designer inevitably emerges as a possible explanation for the world in the philosophical analysis of experience.  And the arguments for and against the concept are independent of faith.  If we uncovered Jesus’s bones tomorrow, no ID argument would be affected.


Rich - #49766

February 1st 2011

Gregory:

I’m waiting for your list of passages (brief quotation, author, title, page number) in which the phrase “reflexive science” is used.  I’d also like at least one passage in which “reflexive science” is defined.

Thanks in advance.


Alan Fox - #49806

February 1st 2011

Gregory

Having googled a little it seems reflexive knowledge is a concept in sociology where bias is introduced via self-fulfilling prophecy. The way hard science avoids (if successful) this pitfall is via repeatability.


Gregory - #49813

February 1st 2011

Alan,

No, reflexive science & reflexive knowledge are not Mertonian terms (s-f-p above) Merton did not display reflexivity much in his writings; he attempted to produce positive science or positive knowledge in sociology.

I have looked long enough at ‘hard vs. soft’ to describe sciences. It serves several purposes, one of which is to claim superiority, as if harder is better. Exact is more exact.

In fact, softer sciences are *much more complex*. So for any who believe evolution = more complex = better (i.e. ‘more fit’), then you’ll admit that ‘soft science’ is actually better.

The point is, 2 realms of NPS & HSS have been separated for a long time (less understood in N.A. than in Europe), with HSS expected to ape NPS methods. “Valid” has meant = copying NPS methods, as if it’s the Method(s) that brings us knowledge.

The conceptualization & methods of ‘Reflexive Science’ bring a new playing field on which to discuss things. It is a gathering of 20c. ‘advances’ made in phenomenology & hermeneutics, critical theory, psychology, social anthropology, and others.

Reflexivity is a big-time issue that many in N.A. are probably not (yet) prepared for. Yet they do it in science already anyway!


Gregory - #49819

February 1st 2011

Corrupted, corrupted, corruption!

Defining ‘etc.’ to someone who obviously already knows what it means.

Really, Rich, this is unbecoming of friendly discussion.

Please stop putting words in my mouth.


Rich - #49826

February 1st 2011

Gregory:

I’ll gladly stop “putting words in your mouth” the moment you stop implying that ID proponents let their faith in God cause them to do prejudiced science or make prejudiced design inferences. 

The easiest way to get people to stop putting words in your mouth, Gregory, is to write clearly and directly, so that people will *know* what you are arguing, instead of having to *guess* it from your insinuations, your rhetorical questions, etc. 

I suggest abandoning your highly rhetorical style of writing for a more expository one.  If your thesis is that ID arguments are tainted or weakened or invalidated (or whatever) because ID people let their faith assumptions control their reasoning and their research, then you need to state that without pussyfooting around, and provide evidence.  If your thesis is something else, you need to do the same.  As it is, you haven’t offered a thesis; you’ve just taken potshots at my remarks without proposing any view of your own and without explaining where you are coming from.

If my last reply seems “unbecoming of friendly discussion” it’s perhaps because your criticisms have seemed anything but friendly to me.  I don’t think you hear yourself as others hear you.


Christine S. - #49838

February 1st 2011

Hi everyone,
been reading here a while now, but never felt like commenting so far. I am very interested in the subject of intersubjectivity, which is admittedly rather subjectiv.

Alan wrote:

The way hard science avoids (if successful) this pitfall is via repeatability.

I think, this is only part of the story. To ensure that not only you,  but everybody else can repeat an experiment, we employ calibration. The text, you linked to, is at a short glance talking about intersubjektivity as something ‘looks more or less the same to almost everyone’. This is not the case if you calibrate external observations against an external standard. You make two observations in relation to each other which are both tainted by your own history and world view in the same way. After all, that is what is behind making a measurement.
Defining these standards is hard to do, even if it seems relativly simple as in cases like ‘meter’ and ‘kilogram’. But making this work for other fields like sociology, you would struggle to calibrate something like ‘cuteness’ or ‘happyness’ without a barrage of qualifiers.
Without calibration, we can never be sure if we are talking about the same thing.

Cheers


Gregory - #49921

February 2nd 2011

Prejudiced, prejudiced!?

You seem unwilling to learn, Rich. Why do you keep putting words in my mouth? I don’t appreciate it. It is rude.

I have made very clear that the person speaking @ ID in a (probably evangelical) church & the rare ID ‘proponent’ who trys to speak & ID in a laboratory are the same 1 person. Do you disagree?

You won’t call ID ‘science’; same with me.

“Never heard of “reflexive science”.” - Rich

This explains a *lot*, Rich. More than you know. I thought you were phd in intellectual history. & you’ve never heard of reflexivity (1970s), reflexive knowledge, reflexive science (2000s)?! Shocking.

The qualifier ‘intelligent’ in ID duo *demands* reflexivity. We cannot imagine ‘intelligence’ w/out human intelligence…though we can speak of Divine Intelligence. Do you disagree?

Putting words like ‘corrupt’ & ‘prejudice’ into my mouth *is* disrespectful. Please change your ways on this. It is not @ my writing style.

I don’t find it admirable that you defend a ‘theory’ at all costs that is not a good theory. It might deserve Robin Hood honours, but you’ve made no progress convincing people @ ID here. To discredit ‘intelligent design’ is good & + behaviour at BioLogos.


Gregory - #49923

February 2nd 2011

“If your thesis is that ID arguments are tainted or weakened or invalidated (or whatever) because ID people let their faith assumptions control their reasoning and their research…”

No, that is not my thesis. My thesis is science, philosophy, religion (SPR) cooperating.

So, on 1 hand you want to protect seemingly ‘the right’ of IDists to claim that they are ‘doing science.’ Yet otoh, you have stopped short of calling ID ‘science’.

Theistic evolution/ Evolutionary creation are obviously not ‘science’ either. I believe A. Louis clarified this here early last year. It is an interdisciplinary view. It includes features of SP&R.

This is what gingoro wrote, with which I agree: “If what you are saying is that we are whole people and that our world view influences all our thinking then I agree with you.”

Do you disagree, Rich? If not, then you’ll realize my position does not charge ID ‘proponents’ with corruption, prejudice, control or taint.

ID is nevertheless a *weaker* theory than it could be because it *refuses* to speak & the ‘process of designing.’ Do you deny this, Rich? You may say that is not what ID was ‘designed’ for. But that does nothing to refute my comment @ ID weakness.


Rich - #49927

February 2nd 2011

Gregory:

I’m going to ignore all the flak in your posts, and concentrate on trying to get an answer to one question.

You have made a *big deal* for several days now about the fact that ID people have private commitments to the Creator God whose existence they are (according to you) trying to prove with their design arguments.  The fact that you keep pressing this observation implies that you think it has some significance.

I think you have, in your mind, a particular thesis about the relationship between (a) ID proponents’ prior Christian belief in God and (b) what they argue for, and how they argue it, when they write as design theorists.  But I think that you are not being explicit about this thesis.  Whether this is due to caginess on your part, or due to difficulty in articulating your thesis, I don’t know.

The words I’ve been “putting in your mouth” represent my desperate attempts to infer the thesis that you keep hinting at but refuse to state.  So shut me up by stating your thesis: 

*Exactly how do ID proponents’ prior beliefs in God condition *what* they argue, and *how* they argue?*  Please devote one entire post to answering this question, and make it expository, without rhetorical forays.


R Hampton - #49948

February 2nd 2011

Christine S.,

I believe experiments can get around subjectivity in clever ways, so to me the real problem is that - for any given phenomena - many more variables are involved in the social sciences as compared to the “hard” sciences.

For example, measuring the galvanic skin response of subjects who are shown a battery of faces can illuminate the emotional/psychological connection we humans attach to symmetry. But this is only one very small step towards a measure of a universal (human-centric) of beauty. One obvious problem with GSR is that a fearful, shocked, or aroused response can be mistaken for one another. Another is the assumption that symmetry is a defining characteristic of beauty. Consequently a whole sequence of carefully constructed experiments are necessary to account for all the variables (social, personal, etc.) to define an external and unbiased measure. So more so than the hard sciences, the social sciences rely upon hand-picked associations of results to measure nebulous terms or actions.

Provided that science continues to progress, in time (decades - centuries) an accumulation of results should refine the findings of social sciences to be much closer to the empirical precision we all would want.


Steve Ruble - #49975

February 3rd 2011

I agree with R Hampton. There’s also the problem of complexity with regard to our limited ability to comprehend the theories we can come up with, even when the can be shown to be objective and reliable. Certainly physics goes beyond my ability to understand it long before it comes near the limits of what professionals currently agree on - and physics concerns itself with the simplest and most predictable phenomena we know of. How much forther beyond my comprehension should I expect a rigorous theory of, say, developmental biology to be? Let alone something like economics or sociology.

That’s why I rate the generation of successful predictions so highly when I’m assessing knowledge claims. Even if I can’t understand cosmology, I can understand that cosmologists predicted that the background radiation would be found to fall on a particular curve, and it was. That seems to me to be a good sign that they’re on the right track.

The same standard leads me to see theology as about as pointless as possible: no consensus, no predictions; even when I can’t immediatly detect the problems myself, I have no reason to think there’s any knowledge being generated by theologians. I really don’t know what people see in it.


Gregory - #49978

February 3rd 2011

“the Creator God whose existence they are (according to you) trying to prove with their design arguments.” - Rich

Still at it, putting words in my mouth, Rich? Please go above, re-read & stop this behaviour.

“Exactly how do ID proponents’ prior beliefs in God condition *what* they argue, and *how* they argue?” - Rich

No answer can be exact here. This is not a ‘hard/exact science’ question.

ID ‘proponents’ prior beliefs in God are correlated with what & how they argue. They see order, reason, intelligence, etc. in the universe. ID could *only* have been made by a monotheist.

The ‘argument from/to design’ i.e. apologetics is rife in IDM.

“a scientist in trying to understand some aspect of the world, is in the first instance concerned with that aspect as it relates to Christ – and this is true regardless of whether the scientist acknowledges Christ.” - Dembski

Quid pro quo: Please say how positing the existence of a ‘id-er’ in one’s theory has *NOTHING* to do with one’s prior belief in a Creator/Designer.

You cannot & will not do this, Rich. I am in the middle ground, while you lie on the outskirts.

Even if you are desperate, please don’t put words in my mouth. It is bad form!


Gregory - #49979

February 3rd 2011

“Rather than arguing that there is one model of science that is best carried out with reflexive awareness, I propose a methodological duality, the coexistence and interdependence of two models of science – positive and reflexive. Where positive science proposes to insulate subject from object, reflexive science elevates dialogue as its defining principle and intersubjectivity between participant and observer as its premise. It enjoins what positive science separates: participant and observer, knowledge and social situation, situation and its field of location, folk theory and academic theory. The principles of this reflexive science can be derived from the context effects that pose as impediments to positive science.” – Michael Burawoy (1998)


Rich - #49998

February 3rd 2011

Gregory:

Finally, you’ve given something resembling an answer, though you are still skirting around a direct statement.  You wrote:

“ID ‘proponents’ prior beliefs in God are correlated with what & how they argue. They see order, reason, intelligence, etc. in the universe. ID could *only* have been made by a monotheist.”

“Correlated” is a vague assertion.  I’d like more precision.

Are you saying that ID people have a prior motive for wishing to find design in the universe?  (Yes or No).

Are you saying that ID people are sloppy, lacking in rigor, intellectually dishonest, or otherwise inadequate in their framing of scientific arguments for design, *because* they are eager to see their prior theological commitment confirmed?  (Yes or No.)


Jon Garvey - #50001

February 3rd 2011

@Rich - #49998

Rich, without wishing to hi-jack your discussion with Gregory, your Yes/No questions seem a little unfair.

In political, legal or academic affairs where interests are required to be declared, nobody is claiming that the commentators have conscious prior motivations, or that they are sloppy, lacking in rigor, etc. But clearly some influences on their thought process are deemed likely enough to require their hearers to take their interests into account.

Is Gregory’s thought nuanced? Yes/No?


Rich - #50008

February 3rd 2011

I’m sorry Jon.  Normally I’d agree with you about Yes/No answers, but Gregory has been steadily evasive, after implying something negative about the motives and/or behavior of ID proponents.  It is not arguing in good faith to leave insinuations like that out there, and then, when repeatedly asked to clarify, complain about the exact wording of the requests for clarification.

If I said to you:  “Well, of course, we all know about your sister, Jon, heh, heh!” you would rightfully ask me with some indignation to clarify my implied charge.  And if you asked me if I was implying that your sister was less than virtuous, and I replied, “You’re putting words in my mouth, Jon,” you wouldn’t accept that as an honest reply, would you?  Yet that’s what Gregory’s been doing to me, complaining about my guesses regarding what he means, when he could simply state what he means.

If Gregory doesn’t like my Yes/No format, he can instead write a simple declaratory sentence stating exactly what his charge against ID people is.  That will include the Yesses or Noes that I’m looking for.

I’ll add, Jon, that there is a history on this site of uninformed ID-bashing by Gregory that long antedates your coming.


Jon Garvey - #50010

February 3rd 2011

@Rich - #50008

If you maligned my sister, Rich, I’d have to ask you to introduce her to me…


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