Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Complaining that a Scale is not a Microscope
"ID sucks because it can't tell us who the designer is"
Or, more generally,
"ID sucks because it does not give a complete account of origins and doesn't resolve the theological debate entirely"
The issue is that ID isn't meant or designed to do that. ID answers ONE QUESTION and ONE QUESTION ONLY -- was X designed? That can only have three answers -- yes, no, and I don't know (actually, ID can only answers that question two ways -- yes and I don't know). ID is simply a TOOL. To complain about ID because it doesn't answer every question about life, the universe, and everything is just as silly as complaining that a scale doesn't have the same features that a microscope does. A scale only weighs things. It won't tell you why it weighs that amount. It won't tell you what color something is. It will only answer the question WHAT DOES IT WEIGH. Likewise, ID only answers the question IS X DESIGNED?
I find it odd that scientists would reject a tool on the grounds that it has a very specific purpose, and answers a very specific question.
Another attack on ID (this one from theologians) complains that ID gives the false impression that the way life exists on the earth was the way that it was created, which is biblically false. Again, this is another misunderstanding of what ID is -- ID does not say that everything was created as it is. ID allows for both designed and undesigned biological systems, and for designed systems to falter. The ONLY QUESTION THAT ID ANSWERS is WAS X DESIGNED?
I think that a lot of these "misunderstandings" of ID arise because of one of two reasons: (a) people don't want ID to be true, and therefore purposefully have a false impression of what it is or does, or (b) some creationists are overly-pushing ID as being the answer to all of their ills in the science/religion conflicts. I think both answers are true.