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Thursday
Feb022006

Reason has many methods

Godspy has a good interview with Michael Behe about Intelligent Design. It shows very well what the core issues under discussion are. Affirming that Mt. Rushmore was designed is a perfectly reasonable statement but not a scientific statement because it derives from a different method. The real danger here is that rationality is identified with science. This is explained very well in a new essay by Card. Schonborn.

Reader Comments (1)

I don't agree that the real 'danger' within Intellignet Design is that reason becomes identified with science. And common lets be honest, Card. Schonborn in fact does not say this at all. From reading his letter in First Things I did not find your concerns about ID whatsoever from his response. He does warn of the positivitic and materialistic approach of science that seems to value it's own method over all other methods of knowledge (which I think is your concern about reason identified with science). And clearly he reminds us from the Catechism that human beings can grasp design in nature by the light of human reason and also says that reason can grasp this because of a philosophical truth that he call 'common experience'.

He also mentions that modern science excludes all formal and final causes and therefore (though Schonborn doesn't say this) one could object to Behe's stating that ID is a scientific (in the modern sense) theory.

Your fears and many others I have encountered with ID is that it claims to reach its conclusion through the scientific method and because this method excludes final causes ID must use another method. So maybe they are breaking a rule - using two methods when they say they use one. Wow, that doesn't seem so terrible to me. Maybe Michael Behe (and other ID proponents) has a personal approach (method) to science that doesn't exclude final causes and so to him it is just one method. Anyway I think this fear of science overwhelming all other forms of knowledge today is a real problem but I don't think ID is making any contribution to this.

Mark Baumeister

February 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMark

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