Doug Theobald pointed out to me this morning that there is a larger misrepresentation in Paul Nelson’s comments of a couple weeks ago. In his comments he said, in response to the list of theistic evolutionists that included Keith Miller, Howard Van Till, Ken Miller, Terry Gray and John Polkinghorne:
“Here’s the problem though. All of them accept a philosophy of science that excludes intelligent causation by definition.”
But that is absolutely false, as the response from Keith Miller shows (and it is equally demonstrable from the writings of the others on the list). And this lie has been told time and time and time again by ID advocates, not just by Nelson. In fact, no one in their right mind – no scientist or philosopher of science that I have ever heard of, accepts a philosophy of science that excludes intelligent causation. No archaeologist would excavate an ancient village full of artifacts like pottery and houses and such and think, “Well gee, science won’t allow me to conclude that this was made by humans, so I guess I better explain this as being caused by wind patterns and erosion.” As Keith Miller makes clear in his comments, science does not rule out intelligent causes, it rules out disembodied intelligences (whatever those are) that exist beyond nature and are not bound by nature’s laws. And it does so because there is no way to design a test for such causes. In many ways, this is a much more important lie than the specific one about Miller because it’s a lie told by many ID advocates about virtually all scientists and it fosters a major misunderstanding about the nature of science.