Joined: Mar. 2013
One of the interesting things about Gregory is how deeply he's been influenced by Steve Fuller. Fuller is an American sociologist of science who teaches at the University of Warwick. Fuller considers the strict division of "church" and "state" to be a feature of the American political system that ought to have no bearing on intelligent design. Rather, on his view, there is no scientific objection to just biting the bullet and saying that biology is divine technology.
Gregory seems to have taken this to heart in a very odd way -- he thinks that intelligent design ought to be a comprehensive metaphysical system, rather than an empirical scientific theory. (That's what he was getting at in trying to distinguish between "big ID" and "small id." Gifted with words, he is not.)
But, unfortunately for Gregory, the entire design movement is premised upon a contradiction -- the cultural-political movement wants to blur the boundary between science and metaphysics, but the epistemic authority of the theory requires a very sharp distinction between science and metaphysics.
Some of them will insist on a distinction between "the content of the theory" and "what the theory implies" or "what the theory might imply". But this simply collapses, on closer inspection. Firstly, no scientific theory has implications which go beyond the boundaries of the theory itself. A theory just *is* a set of sentences and the implications between them. So anything implied by those sentences just is part of the theory itself. Secondly, there are no "possible implications" -- if one sentence implies another, then it does (and, according to some philosophers, does so *necessarily*).
If they wanted to maintain a strict line between science and metaphysics, then they'd have to say something like, "here's this metaphysical view which has it's own <I>a priori</I> basis, and here's this scientific theory which has its own <I>a posteriori</I> basis, and they sort of line up with one another". It's a much weaker relation than any sort of implication, and much more like mere association -- and association has an epistemic authority of fuck-all. (One nice thing about AFBC -- I can curse all I want!)
They want this to be "just about the science" ("following the evidence wherever it leads"), and they want this to be a culture-war fight for the soul of Western civilization, but they can't have it both ways, and they don't like being told so.