Friday, August 26, 2005

"Don't tar us with that brush!"

Guillermo Gonzalez, co-author of "The Privileged Planet" considered in other posts on this blog, has attracted the attention of other faculty members who are opposed to Intelligent Design theory.
"We certainly don't want to give the impression to the public that intelligent design is what we do," said Mr. Avalos, who is an associate professor of religious studies.

But rather than engaging with the book - examining its propositions, refuting its arguments, proposing alternative explanations of phenomena - the statement simply returns to the position that ID is not science by definition.
Methodological naturalism, the view that natural phenomena can be explained without reference to supernatural beings or events, is the foundation of the natural sciences.
As I've said before, this would come as news to most of the people who established the natural sciences - a list which includes Newton, Galileo, Kepler, Copernicus, Maxwell. Actually it is one philosophical framework for natural science - but not the only one. However, it's nice to see that they are at least recognising that belief in methodological naturalism is the distinguishing mark of a worldview that can't accept ID.
Whether one believes in a creator or not, views regarding a supernatural creator are, by their very nature, claims of religious faith, and not within the scope or abilities of science.
If views regarding a supernatural creator are claims of religious faith, "whether one believes in a creator or not", then ruling out the relevance of a creator to the pursuit of science is also obviously a claim of religious faith. The philosophical basis for rejecting the existence of an intelligent external agency can be no more sound than a basis for requiring it - and (given the argument of "Privileged Planet") won't even have the advantage of accounting for the evidence.