Thursday, September 29, 2005

Miller's Explanation . . . Sort Of

I earlier commented on the strange testimony by Kenneth Miller, who is a professing Catholic, as quoted by MSNBC:
If nearly all original species are extinct, he said, the intelligent-design creator was not very intelligent.

He has now sent an open letter to people who wrote to him about his testimony. He had this to say about those comments:
Many of you accused me of “mocking God” for pointing out that remarkable frequency of extinction would make an “intelligent designer” look ridiculous. In fact, it was exactly because I do not mock God that I pointed out how ridiculous this view of an “intelligent designer” would be. It is those who advance the opposite view, in favor of ID, who must actually argue that the “designer” isn’t competent enough to make organisms that would last.

He has somewhat satisfied my curiosity on his Catholic theology by seemingly clarifying that he does not think the God of Catholicism is unintelligent. But his explanation seems wholly illogical. He seems to be saying that the Catholic God creator is not unintelligent, but the ID designer is. But on what basis? The ID designer could be the Catholic God, Allah, or an extraterrestrial creature or culture. If he asserts that his Catholic God is not unintelligent, then there is no basis for asserting that ID proponents "must actually argue that the “designer” isn’t competent enough to make organisms that would last." If he can explain extinctions in a way that keeps his Catholic God all wise and all knowing (which, of course, is quite easily done by referencing the Fall), then so can the proponents of ID, whose designer is far less specific and broad enough to include his Catholic God.

This is such a basic and obvious logical flaw in his reasoning; I am frankly shocked that a Brown University professor could make it.

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Deuce at Telic Thoughts has other comments on Miller's explanation here.


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