Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"The Epistemological Nihilism of Intelligent Design"

I got another chuckle from of the turn of phrase in the title of this post found in this review from The Guardian. I would be curious to know what definition of intelligent design the writer thinks leads to "epistemological nihilism." Certainly not the definition put forward by most ID proponents. ID is a theory, and it raises interesting and exciting new questions for exploration, examination and evaluation.

The reviewer observes that the language used suggests design:
The book also shows how hard it is to get away from the constant application of engineering metaphors, such as Amos's claim that genes are "computing components", and anthropomorphic language, as when it is said that ribosome works by "interpreting mRNA messages". This is manna to creationists, who insist that where there is a computer, there must be someone who designed it. Amos skips lightly over such philosophical problems, but it is a serious question whether appeals to "self-organisation" or "information" are themselves in some sense metaphysical, even if one rejects the epistemological nihilism of "Intelligent Design".

I find it fascinating that the writer can acknowledge the "philosophical problems" and note that "it is a serious question whether appeals to 'self-organisation' or 'information' are themselves in some sense metaphysical," and then denounce ID in the same breath with nary an explanation.

Excuse me, your rigid worldview is showing.


At January 22, 2007 6:37 AM, Blogger Paul (probably - maybe Liz) said...

Ah, yes, but *their* worldview is based on The Scientific Method - that's reason - so it must be true. Because it's based on reason. Which is ... er, reasonable. You can really believe in reason, in a really special way. Whereas ID is based on faith. Which isn't reason. So believing in it isn't ... er, reasonable.

Um ...


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