Screw The Guardian, I’ve really made it as a blogger now: David Klinghoffer mentioned me (twice!) in a recent post on Evolution News & Views, the Discovery Institute’s main blog, on the supposed link between ID and agnosticism. Of course, I’m pleased (in a masochistic-ish kind of way), because this is something I’ve been working towards for a few years now, but I can’t help but feel a little let down by the context in which I was mentioned.
You see, David took my Panda’s Thumb-crossposted article on my thoughts about the possibility that intelligent design isn’t based upon theism but dualism and twisted my words a little:
At Panda’s Thumb, Jack Scanlan stirred up a huge number of comments for the site with the revelation that ID seems to imply not theism but dualism, the notion that there’s a separate realm of the mind and of ideas that may interact with the physical world and influence or direct it but is not reducible to material terms.
Unfortunately for David, the thesis of the post was that ID assumes dualism, not that it implies it. I thought this was fairly clear – after all, the title of the piece was “Does intelligent design have a dualistic assumption, not a theistic one?”, can it get much clearer? - but, well, apparently not. To restate my main point, which David apparently missed, ID proponents seem to use language that assumes that any product of a mind (“information”) is the product of a non-physical cause and hence is not materialistic. This would mean that even my alien civilisation “sci-ID” hypothesis would be non-materialistic, as the aliens have minds, which must be non-physical under dualism.
I don’t support dualism – I’m not a dualist. And this brings me squarely to my second mention in the EN&V article:
Intelligent design offers the hope, by the refutation of materialist science, that “something is out there,” whatever it might be, capable of granting genuine purpose to our existence. An agnostic like James Kirk Wall or a — I don’t know what exactly — like Jack Scanlan should easily appreciate this. [Emphasis mine]
Come on. My PT post has four links to this blog, where, on the About page, I clearly state that I am a “a philosophical naturalist, agnostic atheist and scientific skeptic”. Am I that insignificant a person that I don’t even warrant a quick check? A quick Google search? The first six hits on “Jack Scanlan” are all me, most of which link to this blog or my Twitter account, which states that I am an atheist right at the top…
Oh well. I guess I’m a nobody blogger who David only mentioned because I seem to, somehow, support his position that ID implies dualism. Maybe I’ll get a more intellectually rigorous mention next time.