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'Intelligent Design' 104KB


I was asked to contribute a chaper in a volume on the debate about Intelligent Design, a positioin held by some who dispute the adequacy of the Darwinian theory of evolution to account for some biological phenomena and who wish to provide theistic explanations to fill these purported gaps. I do not myself advocate the theory of Intelligent Design, and I am no expert on Intelliget Design or on recent theological debates, but I have studied the nineteenth-century debate on science and religion and have made a close study of the origins of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. I have also studied and have some sympathy with philosophical critques of the reductionist and materialist paradigm of explanation of modern science. After some considerable initial hesitation I set out to show how some aspects of Darwin's thnking and the writings of some philosophers of science can perhaps provide some insight into the roots of some of the discomfort of the believers in Intelligent Design, arguing that the theists and certain philosophers of science share a certain metaphysical malaise.  The essay appears in The Panda's Black Box: Opening Up the Intelligent Design Debate, edited by Nathaniel Comfort. Johns Hopkins Universirty Press, 2007.

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