Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A New Year for the ID Movement

On Uncommon Descent, Dembski is promising a banner year for ID, including three major developments:

1) A new ID friendly research center at a major university. (This is not merely an idle wish — stay tuned.)

This one is intriguing only because of the mystery regarding the university. Does anyone know? Is it common knowledge and I just missed it? I'm guessing Biola? At any rate, that has already been tried, at Baylor, until its head (Dembski) got himself fired for "Gloating Unbecoming the Head of a Research Center Who is Expected to Know How to Handle an Emotionally Charged Political Victory with Grace, Dignity, and Humility." You can read about it here.

Here are my related predictions:
  • The worst thing that could happen to ID is that it creates a "research" center at a Christian university while still proclaiming that ID has nothing to do with theism and everything to do with science. The heads of more scientists who are somewhat sympathetic to ID will, as mine already has, explode from the unbearable dissonance pressure. Prediction: this will happen!

  • A good thing that could happen to ID is that it created a "research" center at a Christian university and proclaimed that ID will refocus its mission to an apologetic one: namely to demonstrate to believers that science is not the enemy, and that the bible instructs us to study creation for God's glory. Prediction: this will not happen!

2) The publication of Michael Behe's book with Free Press: THE EDGE OF EVOLUTION.

Regardless of the quality of Behe's book (and I'll certainly read it), a popularized book is no substitute for published research. Guys: there's an established order to this process:
  1. Do the science, publish papers, gain credibility and then
  2. Publish popularized accounts, do the book tours, get the honoraria.
For a while we could hope that you were boldly reversing the order—a new paradigm as it were. But now it just looks like you've decided to skip step one altogether.

3) The publication of the sequel to OF PANDAS AND PEOPLE, authored by Jonathan Wells and me [Dembski] and titled THE DESIGN OF LIFE: DISCOVERING SIGNS OF INTELLIGENCE IN BIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS.

As for this—sigh. One piece of advice: keep those galleys under lock and key boys—just in case you have to go back later and do a global search and replace. That's caused a bit of embarrassment in the past, you know. I'll only add the observation that Dembski is the only person I know, and I do mean the only, who would list his own soon-to-be-published book among the three major milestones he anticipates for his discipline in the upcoming year.

OK, not a Research Center but, to be precise, a Think Tank. However for ID, so far, the terms are synonymous.

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