Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Arriving at a Conclusion Should be a Process

This is from an Uncommon Descent post.

Wesley Elsberry, in blogging about Denyse O’Leary’s recent coming on board here at UD, refers to her as a “pseudo-journalist” (go here)? What a curious designation. Does Wesley’s use of the prefix “pseudo” simply indicate his disapproval of O’Leary and, in particular, her failure to accept his brand of evolution? Or does the prefix indicate something substantive (Denyse, did you come on board here under false pretenses? Are you really a journalist at all? What exactly have you published in recognized media outlets?)

If Denyse is in fact a real journalist, does that make Elsberry a “pseudo-blogger”?

And the following comment and response to the comment from Austringer's blog Comments italicized. Denyse's remarks in bold print.

What do you mean, she pouts if you call her an ID advocate?

Austringer Says:
July 20th, 2006 at 5:05 am
Maybe she’s given it up recently, but for several years whenever she was called an ID advocate, her response was that she was an objective journalist and not an advocate of anything.

Given Denyse's journalistic history the above statement exactly describes a period of time in her life. Her arrival at an ID point of view was the result of a process of investigating the evidence pertinent to the controversy. Actually there should have been a point in time in all of our lives when we could have stated that we were not an advocate for evolution or ID until... If that was not the case for Wesley Elsberry then why not? Wasn't it an objective assessment of scientific data that led him to his own convictions and if that is so, was there not a time prior to his familiarity with the evidence that he would have truthfully said he was not an advocate for evolution? Now Wesley, don't tell us you were an advocate before becoming familiar with the evidence. Is that the case? It appears either there was a time when you, like Denyse, were not an advocate or you were an advocate before familiarizing yourself with the facts necessary to make an intelligent decision. Which is it Wesley?

Consider her response from this interview:

There are lots of books attacking evolution or advocating for intelligent design (ID)—such as Darwin on Trial or The Case for a Creator. What’s different about your book?

By Design or by Chance? wasn’t written to attack evolution or to advocate intelligent design. It was written to explain what all the shouting is about. It is aimed at a general audience, not necessarily a Christian one. In 1996, a political science prof based in Toronto urged me, as a journalist, to address the unseemly and unscholarly attacks on mathematician David Berlinski, for daring to question Darwinism. I ended up writing a book. In the course of writing, I came to the conclusion that intelligent design is more plausible than Darwinism, as an explanation for the life we see around us. By Design or by Chance? is not written to advocate Christianity. I am a traditional Christian, but I recognize that most faiths represented on this planet can account for intelligent design. Only atheistic secularism cannot. The question must be decided on evidence.

Sounds like a reasonable approach. Evaluate the subject matter before coming to a conclusion. So what's wrong with that Wesley?


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