Friday, March 11, 2011

Can someone who does not agree with Intelligent Design also disagree with Darwin's theory of evolution at the same time?

David Deming is one scientist who criticizes Intelligent Design movement but signed the 'Dissent from Darwinism' statement by the Discovery Institute, the most vocal advocate of Intelligent Design movement.

Nonetheless, Deming is an evolutionist. What he disagreed with Darwin is his notion of common ancestry. Recently he just published a two-volume 'Science and Technology in World History'.

In recounting his position, Deming wrote (H/T: Uncommon Descent):

"In 2008, I published a critique of intelligent design theory in the peer-reviewed journal Earth Science Reviews. I concluded that intelligent design cannot be construed as a scientific theory, and that the apparent goal of the intelligent design movement was to restore Christian theology as the queen of the sciences.

But I also argued that to the extent creationists were highlighting areas in which scientific theory was inadequate they were doing better science than biologists. We ought to stop pretending that science has all the answers. Science is an empirical system of knowledge, and we never have all the data. It is the fate of every scientific theory to be superseded.

And that’s why I signed the Discovery Institute’s Dissent from Darwinism. Not because I’m a creationist, but because I’m a scientist. Religion is conservative and dogmatic. But science is progressive and skeptical. We can’t save science by turning it into religion." [Bold added]

There are those who reject macro-evolution but affirm micro-evolution. This group usually reject 'common ancestry' theory as well. Then there are those who affirm macro and micro-evolution but reject 'common ancestry' theory.

Deming belongs to the latter group. What I appreciate is Deming's acknowledgment of the merits of proponent of Intelligent Design. He is not afraid of giving credit to where it is due.

Another remarkable thing that Deming said is his impression that some scientists are turning science into religion. This tendency is real but who can blame these scientists? 'Religion' as a social phenomenon is the easier way to draw financial grants. That's the point of making science into religion.

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