Telic Thoughts member kornbelt888 makes a point that I like:
Well, one definition is: Relating to the use of science or technology in the investigation and establishment of facts or evidence in a court of law. Except for an actual "court of law", I think that sounds closer to what is going on with Mike and his fellow-travelers. I don't normally think of detectives when I think of "philosophers", and I think of this as more detective work than anything else. Plus I just like the sound of the word "forensic."
The analogy between The Design Matrix and a police investigation is useful in many ways. Here are three:
1. The analogy helps us appreciate what the DM is. A police investigation is an attempt to use empirical facts and our knowledge of other intelligent agents (humans) to determine what happened in the past. It is not purely subjective, but neither is it purely objective or science. It exists somewhere on the continuum between the subjective and objective and makes use of both. This is all similar to The Design Matrix.
2. The analogy helps us understand how the DM relates to science. A police investigation can make use of scientific findings without itself becoming science. Just because a detective may use DNA fingerprinting as part of his investigation does not mean the detective is trying be a scientist or imply his investigation is science. Likewise, The Design Matrix makes use of scientific findings without trying to imply it itself is science.
3. Finally, the analogy helps us understand how the DM relates to critics/skeptics. Most critics/skeptics seek to pass judgment, wanting precise definitions, evidence, and even a complete theory. But this is akin to playing the role of judge or jury, something that does not come into play until after the investigation is completed and deemed successful. The judge and jury do not pass judgment on the investigation while it is in progress. Only the investigators themselves are making judgment calls. The Design Matrix outlines the characteristics of a good investigator on page 33.
The Design Matrix will not help you win the Culture War or Convince the Skeptics. But if you have an open mind and share in the suspicion of design, and would like to join the investigative team, The Design Matrix is your training manual.
We salute you, Mr. Design Matrix Reader Guy