Joined: Dec. 2002
There are a lot of "subtle clues," but they add up. I will present the case for Paul Nelson and Principle of Least Action. Apparently both have kids (at least one of which is a young girl).
|Lots of talk around here lately about "arguments from ignorance." Time for a new thread.|
One of my kids loves mathematics (bless her). Hypothetical: suppose one day I find her sitting at her desk with a pile of paper, a straight edge, and a compass. I ask her what she's doing.
|Paul Nelson's research interests include the relationships between development biology and our knowledge of the history of life, the theory of intelligent design, and the bearing of theology on science (and vice versa). He is married to Suzanne Nelson, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University, and has two daughters, Hannah (age 10), and Olivia (age 8). Paul enjoys reading, listening to classical and rock music, going to movies, coaching his daughter Hannah’s ice hockey team, and walking his dog Beau, a golden retriever.|
Also, in the ARN thread quoted above, Paul accidentally posted as ARN Moderator (a common mistake for him), who apparently has the title of "Administrator." Of course, sitting on ARN's Board of Directors puts him in position to have that kind of power. Both ARN Moderator and Nelson have been at ARN forum since its inception. The thread also illustrates an interesting personal facet:
I wonder whether this hypersensitivity to anti-Christian sentiments is correlated to a creationist stance. Also, Nelson got his doctorate in 1998. The student loans reference is not unreasonable.
|Re your list of theist evolutionary biologists above: Ruse is not a theist; Collins is not an evolutionary biologist, nor is Ken Miller; Dobzhansky is dead (although I'll still count him in the list; however, I've read that he was closer to pantheism than orthodox theism); Gee and the other Miller (Keith) are, if you will, the exceptions that prove the rule. (Ayala is extremely coy about his theological opinions, but I know of no hard evidence, after he left the priesthood, that he declared himself publicly to be a theist.) The level of vocal irreligion among evolutionary biologists is much higher than among other scientists, and much higher than among the population as a whole. This is not an accidental correlation.|
It's instructive to wander the halls of an evolutionary biology building, as I've often done when lecturing at other institutions, to see what sort of cartoons and jokes people post on their lab doors. If I had a dime for every anti-Christian or anti-theist cartoon, every "10 Reasons Why Beer is Better than Jesus" list, or every Darwin fish eating a Christian fish, I could pay off my student loans tomorrow and have cash left over for a very fine vacation in Nova Scotia. Again: these aren't accidental correlations.
Nelson is a philosopher by training, and has a rather unique writing style. For instance, his use of arcana is sprinkled across many of his posts. Here is just one example I found through a quick scan:
|Just kidding. Defining "best explanation" will only move the chess pieces a few squares, to some other epistemological desiderata, where you can again ask, "[blank] in what sense?" So if it's OK with you, I'll just leave "best explanation" undefined, and we can spare ourselves the tiresome game of chasing adjectives across the philosophical landscape. The best explanation for the origin of the Pyramids is intelligent design. The best explanation for the brown color of the lawn outside my office is the lack of rain in this area. Et cetera. |
|Your point, however, seems to be that rarefied design is inadmissible as a scientific inference in principle. That is, we are forbidden by the rules of science to infer an unobserved designer (a) irrespective of the evidence, and (b) irrespective of the predictive power or explanatory strength of our design theory. It wouldn't matter -- to use Kitcher's desiderata -- how well-articulated the design theory might be, or how empirical its character.|
Furthermore, he makes heavy use of stories and hypotheticals to illustrate his points. For instance, compare the OPs in these two threads.
Finally, checking his posting schedule:
http://www.arn.org/cgi-bin....0000142 (or do a search for his Member# at ARN)
I notice conspicuous and simultaneous absences at both places. One is from around the beginning of Aug. 2002 to Sept. 2002. Another is from the time coinciding with the RAPID meeting:
Neither has posted anything of substance since mid-Dec.
|I'll be away from Brainstorms until 10/30, lecturing in Los Angeles (public event: "Darwinism in Crisis," Chase Gymnasium, Biola University, Thursday, October 24, 7:00 pm; speakers include Jed Macosko, Bill Dembski, Jonathan Wells, John Bloom, Fuz Rana, Hugh Ross, and Paul Nelson). |
Finally, for those of you who have been at ARN a while, you can convince yourself by asking whether or not Paul makes consistent arguments across threads at both sites (e.g. his staunch defense of Wells and Dembski, etc.) and his other writings. I am fairly convinced, but I could be wrong.
As for Behe and Richards, I'll PM my suspicions if you are curious.
PS: I realize that members here may be sensitive to "outing" pseudonyms. If this is the case, please let me know, and I (or the Moderator) will delete this post.