Re: HUMOR: Open Letter to Kansas School Board

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Wed Jun 22 2005 - 11:45:08 MDT

> That's why I prefer to call ID neither a theory nor
> a dumb theory, but no theory at all. I spent many years advocating in
> favor of Creation Science and Intelligent Design before I left
> Christianity, and didn't know the difference at the time, but I do
> now. Far from dumb, it is formidably clever at surviving, adapting and
> reproducing in the mental environment of pew-sitters, inspired as it
> is by a professor not of biology but of law, who specializes in
> persuasion.
> -Matt Arnold

Well, I think ID is dumb as a scientific theory, and I justify this by
reference to Lakatos's theory of progressive vs. regressive research

ID is a regressive research program, natural selection is a progressive one.

However, this doesn't mean ID is ineffective as a belief system or social
movement. Plenty of dumb theories are highly effective in these regards ;-p

As far as my use of the word "theory" goes, this is a natural language term
with a lot of ambiguity like most NL terms. I understand your point about
ID not exactly being a scientific theory in the same sense that natural
selection is, but still, I choose not to constrain my use of the word
"theory" in the way you select.

-- Ben

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:51 MDT