A Call To The Humanities To Reclaim Its Concious Self
- Written by Shaun Johnston Shaun Johnston
- Published: February 21, 2013 February 21, 2013
I've just discovered the website uncommondescent.com and I'm trying to figure out what to make of it. It appears to be a forum for non-creationist advocacy of intelligent design. I am of course intrigued, being a non-creationist IDer myself. But reading the definition of ID on the site made me realize what concessions I've made to avoid confrontation on the topic. In my experience, confrontation prevents discussion from taking place on any other terms than the discourse of darwinism. In effect, scientism filibusters any discussion of human origins.
Why bother fostering belief in ID? My primary motive is not to straighten out science, it's to protect the general culture from being damaged by scientism, now made respectable by appearing in the form of theories of evolution that limit the agents in our origin story to physical processes. It's not so much those theories I object to (though I do think them shockingly flawed science), it's how the scientism they promote can coarsen society at large. So I've decided to go around science and talk directly to the humanities, in terms of a discourse based on not on flaws in darwinism but in terms of ID itself. Only the humanities have the clout to speak to science on anything like equal terms. I'm working on coming up with a discourse in terms of humanities concepts that skirt confrontation with darwinism, such as consciousness and the self.
Below is the first paragraph of the site's definition of ID, and what my version would be:
The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. ID is thus a scientific disagreement with the core claim of evolutionary theory that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion.
My version: I choose to account for certain features of living things in terms of an intelligent cause rather than in terms of a purely physical process such as natural selection. This doesn't constitute a challenge to other people's belief that what I think is intelligent design in living creatures is an illusion. I can develop my account of living creatures in terms of intelligent design any way I want as long as I don't claim it's science.