|"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank
Joined: Feb. 2005
|Quote (Kristine @ Mar. 18 2007,19:36)|
Always on the Dawkins. Dembski could have his students write about Gould, or Sagan, or Bertrand Russell for that matter. Dembski must feel some contra-connection to Dawkins, like arguing with a father figure. As for me, I only started reading Dawkins (because I was a Gould girl) after he and Behe kept mentioning him (so thanks, you two!).
|Critical Thinking (SWBTS #PHREL 5373 A)|
<> NEW! The midterm will be a take-home exam in which you write a 1500- to 2000-word critical review of Richard Dawkins’s two-part video series against religion/ Christianity … Try to focus especially on Dawkins’s rhetorical moves to influence his viewers against religion. How skillful and effective is he? Where is his approach weak?
There’s something that Dembski said in an online sermon that caught my attention, because I’m beginning to understand what makes him (and his Paley watch) tick:
|You’re at a football stadium and there’s a 100,000 people there, and everyone gets a coin, a penny, to flip. And you flip. And you say, “Okay, everyone who has heads, stay standing, and everyone who has tails, sit down. Now those who are still standing, you flip your coin again…” And the laws of probability are such that you can get 17 heads in a row, wherein somebody is still going to be standing. Okay, now: 17 heads in a row, one person is still standing in this football stadium of 100,000 people. And you say, “You are just a wonderful coin flipper! It’s just amazing what you’ve done!” [audience laughter] |
Well, I laughed too, because this is such a mischaracterization of evolution once again! For one thing, it omits natural selection altogether (natural selection is not like coin flipping). But if Dembski is serious in viewing evolution in this manner, small wonder that he tries so hard to refute it. But after everything he’s written and said there’s just no excuse for him to be so uninformed.
Dembski contrasts this misconception of evolution with the analogy of the artist Michelangelo carving David out of marble, with no acknowledgement of the fact that a sculptor never just imposes his design upon his medium – the medium changes his design as he learns the limitations of the rock. Yet Dembski eschews God being limited at all by his medium, so the analogy with Michelangelo is not apt.
Dembski goes on to say in the lunchtime lecture that Intelligent Design is only really good for “clearing away the rubble” of atheism/naturalism/materialism, and is itself only a “negative” paradigm—Dembski actually says this, and I think what he means by that is that ID can only poke holes in evolution (quite an admission, that)—whereas “if you want to have a positive paradigm, study theology.”
[From "ID: Yesterday's Orthodoxy, Today's Heresy"]: “What we see with design in the world and in biology is God’s wonderful handiwork, and for God not to get the credit for that… If we’re not psyched about what we see in nature, if we don’t have a sense of wonder about what God has done there, I don’t see how we can sustain any vibrant Christian faith. If we don’t have a sense of wonder about creation, what God has wrought about creation, then what are we doing?...I think that’s what I find so disheartening about the Darwinian worldview, that it just destroys a sense of wonder about what God has done.”
Dembski also defines intelligent design “loosely” as “God, by wisdom, creating the world” and says, “If our doctrine of creation is wrong, then everything else down the line [the Fall, Christ’s sacrifice, redemption, etc.] is going to be wrong as well” and criticizes Process Theology and, apparently, theistic evolution (the "master of stealth" argument) which “dominates the mainline seminaries” too. Whoa, so Dembski says he accepts evolution, but he really doesn't.
So now I finally have proof that he’s trying to trick us, first into believing in design and in a generic Designer; second, into believing in the Christian God as the Designer who, as he says, “spoke the world into being.” Okay, William Albert Dembski. I’m an atheist and you’re a Christian, and you’re trying to convert me (whereas I don’t need you to give up Christianity but I wish you would first look at nature as it really is and acknowledge what it really does). Fine—that’s the right of free speech—we have the right to try to persuade each other. I just resent it when people are not honest about it!
Well, now we know why the, uh, Isaac Newton of Information Theory didn't want to testify under oath at Dover . . . .
Editor, Red and Black Publishers