ID explained (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Saturday, March 27, 2021, 17:17 (47 days ago) @ dhw

Why God is not mentioned:

"There are three general definitions of evolution used in the scientific literature:

"Evolution #1: Change over time: small-scale changes in a population of organisms.

"Evolution #2: Universal common descent: the view that all organisms are related and are descended from a single common ancestor.

"Evolution #3: Natural selection: The view that an unguided process of natural selection acting upon random mutation has been the primary mechanism driving the evolution of life.

"Everyone agrees that ID is compatible with Evolution #1 and Evolution #2. Everyone also agrees that Evolution #1 is true. There is a diversity of views within the ID camp about Evolution #2. But design proponents all agree that as a scientific theory ID is at least potentially compatible with some form of common descent. Whether the evidence supports common descent is a separate question.

"All ID proponents also agree that Evolution #3 has some merit and explains at least some features of nature. The vast majority of ID proponents would hold that Evolution #3 has explanatory limits, meaning there are many complex features of biology not amenable to neo-Darwinian explanations, nor explanation by other related blind mechanisms (e.g., neutral mutations, genetic drift, etc.). But everyone agrees that natural selection and random mutation are real forces in nature with at least some explanatory power. We’d all agree that neutral evolution occurs as well.

"Because ID proponents (a) agree with certain definitions of evolution and/or (b) agree that certain definitions of evolution are true, to use the term “anti-evolution” against ID misrepresents us. ID is not “anti-evolution” and in fact, depending on how you define evolution, ID may be quite comfortable with evolution. Depending on how you see ID, it could even form a type of theory of evolution.


"If ID is anti-anything, it’s anti-presupposed answers. What accounts for life’s complexity and diversify? If the answer is evolution (in one or more of its various definitions), then great — the ID community wants to know that. For my part I’ve taken or TA’d over a dozen courses covering evolution at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. I did this because I wanted to learn about and study evolution. I’m not anti-evolution – I want to know more about what evolution can and cannot explain!

"In my view, the term “anti-evolution” ought to be rejected by everyone in the ID debate because (a) it is inaccurate as a description of ID, and (b) it aims to paint ID in an unfair and negative light. As I said, the term has a long history of use by ID critics who want to obscure what ID is. Such a low level of dialogue — seeking to win by obfuscation — is unworthy of serious debate."

Comment: ID simply accepts that obvious design in life forms indicates a designer at work. Many will admit in public writings it reinforces their belief in God, but they will never use God in their scientific papers on design. When dhw wonders if ID'ers support my theories, the answer is obviously no. I use their theories and plug God in. I am not limited by their self-imposed restraints about references to God as the designer. They refer to the need for a designing mind. I just give it a name.

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