Tuesday, February 06, 2007


In an interview of Nancy Pearcey by Charles Strohmer which can be accessed here, Nancy Pearcey commented on meta-theory. It was her contention that both ID and Darwinism were meta-theories. A meta-theory can have an empirical aspect to it but it is more.

Meta-theories encompass data from various fields that are not necessarily closely related to each other. It creates a unifying paradigm that explains disparate data.

Standard evolutionary theory has been known to do just that and ID has the same characteristic. The disparate data can be scientific in nature but the impact of the paradigms extends beyond the scientific world and influences philosophy, religion and the values we hold to.

It is not surprising then that disputes between the opposing camps are often hostile. Even when the scientific means to an end are agreed to by both sides, the tension persists. This is evidenced when IDers, who accept evolution, nevertheless impute intelligence or purpose to an evolutionary chain of events. That inference is generally hotly contested even when a physical causal mechanism is agreed to by both camps. Witness the reactions to Behe who accepts common descent. The common descent belief did not satisfy his critics who recognize that Behe's ID stance conflicts with philosophical and religious aspects of their meta-theory. Nancy Pearcey has a knack for identifying underlying or secondary objections and bringing them to the forefront.


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