Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

"Uncommon Descent" Strikes Again

It seems that the folks over at Uncommon Descent are up their their usual games: first mis-quoting a piece in First Thing by Michael Liccione and then criticizing the words they have put into his mouth.

Dr. Liccione sets the record straight.

Whenever I run into Dembski's crew, it stikes me that with friends like this, truth hardly needs enemies...

**Update**

DaveScott (one of the above mentioned Uncommon Descent folks) takes issue with Liccione's characterization below in the comments:
Luccione wrote: According to Arrington, I wrote that "agency cannot show up within the layers of scientific explanation, for to do so would invoke the rightly dreaded God of the gaps" (I have added the emphasis).

Arrington wrote: Liccione writes that agency cannot “show up within the layers of scientific explanation,” for to do so would invoke the “rightly dreaded” God of the gaps.

It appear[s] Liccione doesn't understand how quotation marks are used. Liccione put quotes around the word 'agency' and Arrington did not. Arrington DID NOT quote Liccione as using the word agency.
I apologize for quoting a mistake without following up on it. I'll admit that I generally don't bother to read Uncommon Descent, since the fact that they (indeed DaveScott specifically) banned me from commenting there because I disagreed (politely) with them didn't exactly impress me with their interest in open and honest discussion among Christians interested in science and philosophy.

Having apologized for perpetuating a mistake use of quotation marks, I would, however, say that Arrington significantly misrepresented Michael's original statement: "God as final cause cannot show up within the layers of scientific explanation, for to do so would invoke the rightly dreaded God of the gaps."

This seems to be the continuing blind-spot of ID advocates, that they reflexively make the substitution of "final cause" for "agency" and insist that since it is clearly possible for scientific investigations to point towards certain kinds of agency (specifically those with frequently observed physical manifestations) that therefore since God's design if a type of agency, it must be the case that one can scientificaly prove God's design.

Arrington may or may not have meant to grossly misrepresent Liccione's argument by substituting "agency" for "God as final cause" but regardless of his intention (and use or non use of quotation marks) he certainly made Liccione appear to be arguing a position he was not.

2 comments:

Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

Ahhhhhh I see that you have labels now.... the switch has occurred ;-)

DaveScot said...

Your link appears to be broken.

Luccione wrote:

According to Arrington, I wrote that "agency cannot show up within the layers of scientific explanation, for to do so would invoke the rightly dreaded God of the gaps" (I have added the emphasis).

Arrington wrote:

Liccione writes that agency cannot “show up within the layers of scientific explanation,” for to do so would invoke the “rightly dreaded” God of the gaps.

It appear Liccione doesn't understand how quotation marks are used. Liccione put quotes around the word 'agency' and Arrington did not. Arrington DID NOT quote Liccione as using the word agency.

But hey, don't let the facts get in way of bashing anyone who believes that some complex patterns found in nature are best explained by intelligent agency.