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Kubrick's Avatar Jump to comment 4 by Kubrick

Grayling is quite right.

Richard, I seem to recall you claiming that, before Darwin, Intelligent Design was a defensible position. (I hope I'm not distorting your view here; I'm thinking of the passage in "The Blind Watchmaker" in which you suggest that Darwin made it possible to be "an intellectually fulfilled atheist.")

I'm sympathetic to this view--after all, Darwin did provide a breathtakingly parsimonious and empirically sound argument for natural selection as the the cause of the illusion of design. Still, I'm tempted to say that even before Darwin, there was a fatal flaw in ID arguments, precisely the one that Grayling foregrounds here. Saying "God did it" does not solve the problem--it merely replaces the original problem with a new (and more insoluble) one. Perhaps this means that we should be careful not to overstate the link between Darwinism and atheism. In other words, even if there weren't a shred of evidence for Darwinian evolution, wouldn't ID remain an illogical and unsatisfying position?

Thu, 26 Jul 2012 17:15:36 UTC | #950114