Tuesday, June 24, 2008

William Dembski Takes on Theistic Evolution

Much ballyhoo has been raised about William Dembski's post on his blog Uncommon Descent that rails against theistic evolution. It is time I weighed in. He writes:

Theistic evolutionists hold that Darwinian evolution is God’s way of bringing about the diversity of life on earth. They used to be content to criticize ID on scientific grounds. But that’s no longer enough. They are now charging ID with undermining the very fabric of civilization and even the Christian religion itself.

Dembski's gripe, it seems, is with the new book by Kenneth Miller (who can be a tad caustic—see the appearance on the Colbert Report for an example) called Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul. He argues that those that support Miller's supposition that ID is bad science are willing to sidle up to people like Richard Dawkins against the Christians that support ID. Perhaps, in fact, what is going on is that both Dawkins and we see the same problems with ID. There is a serious lack of operational models and hypothesis testing. This is an unavoidable problem. He continues:

You know, I would be happy to sit down with theistic evolutionists and discuss our differences. I think they are wrong to baptize Darwin’s theory as God’s mode of creation. But I don’t think they are immoral or un-Christian for holding their views. But ID proponents, for wanting ID to have a place at the table as a scientific alternative to Darwinism, are, according to Miller, Collins, Alexander, etc., immoral, undermining Western civilization, and destroying America’s soul. Well, you want this fight, you’ve got it.

Time to pick up Miller's new book. Dang, I have to get through Your Inner Fish first! Miller can be arrogant and condescending and needs to be called on the carpet for that. On the other hand, the whole Dover trial reeked of creationism trying to be ID. Dembski is upset about the attacks on ID? As of yet, no one has explained why Of Pandas and People took such a prominent role in the ID movement when it was clearly a creationist textbook. In that case, it really was a Trojan Horse. If Dembski wants ID to be taken seriously, he has to suggest they completely cut ties with creationism. Until this happens, and until ID has some working scientific models, I can't take it seriously either. Game on!!


  1. I've never found Miller caustic. Do you have examples beyond the Colbert Report appearance?

  2. If there was ever any doubt that ID is at its core a religious movement, Dembski's post blew it out of the water.

  3. It comes out more in his interviews than anywhere. I will have to go and dig one up. And yes, the ID movement is, at its heart, religious. That is why they will never cut their ties with creationists, even while the creationists accuse them of watering down the scriptures.