Friday, November 18, 2005

Pastorius on ID

My friend Pastorius cites this story about the Vatican denying that ID is science. I would have thought that the whole Galileo episode would have taught the Vatican to stay out of questions of what is and isn't science, but apparently they feel the need to make up for the former error by falling off the other side of the horse.

Regardless, Pastorius comments:

In science, it doesn't much matter if God created the universe or not. Scientists still have to use the scientific method to figure out how things work. If, instead, a scientist looks at an organic process, and simply says, "It works that way, because God created it," then that's the end of science.
My responses are on his comments section, but I thought I should post the latter one here as well, since he is asking for sources showing that ID really does science:
Michael Behe's Darwin's Black Box and the various books by William Dembski (especially The Design Revolution) are good places to start. These are popular description of ID, though, so they qualify more as meta-science rather than actual science (in the same way that Origin of the Species or The Blind Watchmaker are not science but meta-science.)

For articles, I would recommend this analysis of The Scientific Status of Intelligent Design. It is rather long and some of the points are more philosophical than scientific, but the gist is that ID and Darwinism use essentially the same methodology. I am comfortable with the charge that this doesn't prove that ID is scientific, (they might both be unscientific), but at least it is relevant to the question of whether ID should be taught in schools.

Here is a list of peer-reviewed scientific articles on the subject of ID. Note that not all of the articles mentioned are by members of the ID movement. Unfortunately, the actual articles are not linked to, just the summaries, but you can see by the description that they are the standard sort of thing you find in scientific analysis.

This sort of begs the question at hand since it basically answers the question, "What is science?" by stating, "Science is the stuff that scientists do." This has a disturbingly circular ring to it as well as invoking the spectre of an appeal to authority that Galileo would no doubt find humorous. Nevertheless this does seem to be only definitive way to answer the question. Any attempt to define science rigorously will run into the problem of who is doing the defining, which is pretty much at the center of the ID debate.

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