Saturday, June 16, 2007

On Behe's New Book

There have been posts in the anti-ID part of the blogosphere that have taken note of a surprising (from their perspective) lack of attention given to Behe's latest book (The Edge of Evolution) among ID blogs. Speculation then abounds as to why this is so. There probably is less than expected attention devoted by ID blogs but the reason for this is unlikely to be found in posts authored by anti-IDists. Anti-IDists feel comfortable with one or two individuals they can point to as authority figures for ID. Behe and Dembski fill that niche well. Aiming at those two and thinking they have scored well emboldens anti-IDists.

A brief tour of the two main ID blogs- Uncommon Descent and Telic Thoughts- indicates that the number of commenters with ID viewpoints has risen over the years. Many are knowledgable and some have intriguing ideas to offer that will not be found in books authored by Dembski or Behe. ID has broadened well beyond the literal handful of individuals that initiated things in the 90s. So too have the ideas that proliferate among IDists.

As the number of adherents to a viewpoint increases so too does diversification of concepts. It is simply a reflection of the fact that a greater number of minds are focused on an issue. It happened in the latter part of the 19th century among Darwinists and is a pattern that has been repeated throughout history. It also explains the decreasing reliance of ID on its founding fathers; accounting for Behe's declining influence among IDists. It is not that he is no longer respected. Only that he has now become one voice among many, albeit still a prominent one.


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