Tuesday, August 30, 2005

What Did He Say?

Heaven help me, I once referred to Thomas Fleming as "the most intelligent man in America." My wife always says that I'm a lousy judge of character.

Fleming is the editor of my favorite magazine--the acerbic monthly Chronicles, which is usually filled to the brim with punchy and powerful polemics. I've been a faithful reader of Fleming and company for fifteen years and highly recommend Chronicles as well as "The Morality of Everyday Life" and his survey of post-WWII conservatism, written with paleocon fellow traveller, Paul Gottfried.

Having said that, check out this quote (link requires registration) from Fleming in the London Spectator. Trying to assure Europeans that American Christianity is a mile wide and an inch deep, Fleming tossed in a shot at proponents of Intelligent Design. "Intelligent design," Fleming says, "is a boneheaded piece of pseudo-science, almost as simplistic as the naive materialism that Darwinists teach."

What exactly is "Intelligent Design," anyway? ID simply advances the patently absurd, ridiculous, ludicrous notion that the complexity and organization of life are evidence that living things having been designed, and point to the existence of an intelligent creator or designer that is responsible for their complexity. Perish the thought that there might someone who assumes that life is the product of purposeful creation rather than natural selection and random mutation.

I'm unclear what point Fleming is attempting to make. Though Fleming, like Steve Sailer, is much too enthralled with the "pseudo science" known as sociobiology, he is certainly not a hard-core Darwinist and describes himself, correctly, as "an increasingly reactionary Christian." Hopefully he will explain himself at some point. I would also hope that he would cease with the occasional misrepresentations and distortions of Calvinism

As to the assertion that ID proponents are "boneheaded," well, I will grant that some of the scholars associated with the ID movement might not be conversant in Scottish poetry or experts on the culture of Montenegro, but more than a few are pretty sharp cookies, Tom.

William Dembski, to take one example, has done postdoctoral work in mathematics at MIT, in physics at the University of Chicago, and in computer science at Princeton University. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago where he earned a B.A. in psychology, an M.S. in statistics, and a Ph.D. in philosophy. To top it off, he received a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Chicago in 1988 and a master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1996. Well, he certainly sounds like an imbecile to me.

Links for further review:
William Dembski's website.
Micheal Behe
Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center
International Society for Complexity
Discovery Institute
Origins
Phillip Johnson Weblinks
ID the Future

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