Dr. James F. McGrath has a blog where he effectively accuses us of dishonesty. He writes:
The Intelligent Design movement accuses biologists of claiming to know more, and with a greater degree of certainty, than they do. I would like to suggest that the proponents of ID are claiming to know less than they think they do.
Notice that McGrath has failed to define the "Intelligent Design movement." In fact, he immediately leaps from the "movement' to "the proponents of ID" as if they are all one and the same thing. One wonders whether McGrath can make a distinction between a socio-political movement and individuals who explore the concept of ID. Does he believe that anyone who explores the concept MUST be a card-carrying member of The Movement?
No true scientist, whether driven by intellectual curiosity or the desire to be famous, would claim to have found evidence that there was intervention by some powerful intelligence in our world, and then throw up their hands and say "but we have no way of knowing whether it was a deity, an alien, or what." That isn't an instance of humility, but of strategy, and we all know why the strategy is being used: to wedge ID into science classrooms by disconnecting it from religion.
Ah, the "no true scientist" argument (it reminds me of the "no true Christian" and "no true Atheist" arguments). Unfortunately for McGrath, his argument is premised on an historical anachronism. We happen to live in the post-wedge world, where any such "strategy" is no longer relevant or useful. That is, with or without such a "strategy," a federal judge has decided that ID is religion and his legal opinion carries far more weight than any movement's "strategy." The Dover decision has rendered McGrath's 2007 argument as nothing more than vacuous rhetoric.
Since McGrath is painting with a broad brush, I interpret him to be accusing me of dishonesty. So let me set the record straight.
1. I have been publicly opposed to teaching ID in the science classrooms long before the Dover decision was made. In fact, I was publicly criticized for this position.
2. I have long gone on record as acknowledging that ID does not even qualify as "˜science.'
3. My unwillingness to "identify the designer" is NOT a strategy, but is indeed humility and a recognition that the methods behind ID cannot deliver such an answer. Instead of peddling stereotypes, I suggest McGrath educate himself with some of the freely available information on the internet that can be found here and here.
McGrath then goes on to complain as follows:
Yet I'll be criticized, in completely hypocritical fashion, by proponents of ID if I mention that evolution avoids some of these unpleasant implications and is theologically preferable.
No, Dr. McGrath, I will/would not criticize you for this point. As an ID evolutionist, I would agree with you. Did that ever occur to you?
Of course, some readers may think I am being hyper-sensitive and argue that McGrath is not talking about me (us). The problem is that McGrath paints with a broad brush. He refers to "the proponents of ID" and never qualifies this claim (for example, as "some proponents of ID," "many proponents of ID"). Intead, he seamlessly weaves the Movement with Creationism with the ID proponents. Most importantly, McGrath knows of the existence of Telic Thoughts and has even posted here before (for example). Thus, he consciously chose to paint with this broad brush after he knew of our existence.