Mr. West, Mr. West, there’s an elephant here!
John West complains that the media can’t keep the definition of intelligent design straight. He claims they keep getting confused, saying that intelligent design suggests that God or some other guiding force is responsible for the diversity of plans and animals on earth today. Sounds about right.
John West complains to the
Orlando Sentinel Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel that, “Contrary to your article, the scientific theory of intelligent design makes no claims about "god" or a "guiding force." Instead, it merely proposes that there is good evidence that some features of nature--like the intricate molecular motors within cells and the finely-tuned laws of physics--are best explained as the products of an intelligent cause, not chance and necessity.”
He can't understand how the media can be confused.
Except he complained tot he wrong newspaper in the wrong city!
If he can't keep his newspapers and his Florida cities straight, what makes him think he can keep his definition of ID straight?
Intelligent cause, he says….let’s ponder that. How is that different than "guiding force." Just as Orlando and Fort Lauderdale are both Florida cities, there's no meaningful difference between intelligent cause and guiding force, is there? It's so easy to get them confused, isn't it?
What intelligent causes are we aware of, other than humans? I offer three hypothetical ones: (1) advanced extraterrestrial civilizations (2) time travelers from our own future and (3) divine causes. It is not even clear that we could distinguish between the three. Arthur C. Clarke observed that technology sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic.
Does Mr. West have any other suggestions?
If not, then the
Orlando Sentinel Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel is quite correct, it’s either “god” or a “guiding force.” One or the other (if there's a difference). Surely, Mr. West will not make commit the same sin Michael Behe accuses scientists of doing in Darwin's Black Box. In DDB Behe says there's an elephant in the room and scientists,limited by their prior commitment ot materialism, ingore the extra-material elephant of intelligence. Philip Johnson has made the same observation, and they aren't the only ones who failed to get Mr. West's memo. Mr. West apparently wants the Sentinel whoever to overlook one potential possibility for the designer(s)’ identity.
And what about Discovery Institute’s own Rare Earth – The Privileged Planet? What kind of intelligence would be able to direct the development of entire solar systems to make one planet “privileged?” Could that intelligence be “divine, by any chance?” Why does West igore the obvious conclusion. Is he afraid? Others aren't.
Mr. West is simply two-faced here. First Phillip Johnson and Michael Behe accuse science, based on philosophical materialism, of ignoring the extra-material explanations about nature. Both suggest that iD is not so constricted.
Now Mr. West constricts ID itself, claiming it does no more than science does, and ID *also* ignores Phillip Johnson’s extra-material elephant.
No wonder the media is confused. Unfortunatley that happens when you follow the schizophrenic Discovery Institute versions of ID, changeable as needed.