Besides, it's not really the science that bothers him. Vox understands that scientific claims are always tentative, always subject to review/modification/rejection in the light of new findings...No, what gets Vox exercised is the uses to which the 'evolutionists' he knows about put that model. And that usage is clearly atheism.And as Vox responds, there are actually three such uses that get under his skin: atheism, socialism, and eugenics.
I'll say right up front that I lack the technical knowledge to take part in (hell, even to follow much of) the debate. That's one reason I seldom discuss my own reasons for being an evolutionary skeptic. I'll happily admit that a knowledgeable evolutionist could eat my lunch (as could a knowledgeable proponent of any other view). I not only lack the knowledge, but I lack the interest. I'll be happy to discuss Morgan's maneuvers at Cowpens or Nennius' sources - and I expect that I can more than make up for my biological ignorance there. We can not all be experts in everything, and since I don't assert any other theory of origins, I don't feel much need to get involved in the discussion*.
But I did note one article tonight that makes me doubt that even if Scott and Vox reach some kind of accomodation upon where science ends and its non-scientific applications (especially its religious applications) begin, I doubt the rest of the scientific world will go along:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Around the world, a handful of scientists are trying to create life from scratch and they're getting closer.What is most interesting to note is that the first named application of this science is purely religious, that of determining humanity's place and role in the universe. And while I doubt seriously that it would do that, at least for me**, it is of interest that the scientists who are using material forces to (intelligently, I chortle) design life fully expect their work to answer non-material questions that lie at the heart of the traditional spiritual inquiry that nearly defines religion.
Experts expect an announcement within three to 10 years from someone in the now little-known field of "wet artificial life."
"It's going to be a big deal and everybody's going to know about it," said Mark Bedau, chief operating officer of ProtoLife of Venice, Italy, one of those in the race....
"Creating protocells has the potential to shed new life (sic) on our place in the universe," Bedau said. "This will remove one of the few fundamental mysteries about creation in the universe and our role."
Scientists' assertions, like those of Stephen Jay Gould, that religion and science exist in "non-overlapping magisteria," that they do not and need not intersect***, are shown to be bunk in practice. Religionists who intrude on the claimed realm of science are called out by scientists, yet those same scientists can't wait to tear down their philosophical Berlin Wall from the other side.
That being said, a more pragmatic issue is raised, reflecting perhaps one of Vox's favorite assertions, that if religion is responsible for the damage done by those acting in its name, then science is similarly responsible**** for the damage caused by its own offspring:
Bedau said there are legitimate worries about creating life that could "run amok," but there are ways of addressing it, and it will be a very long time before that is a problem."Never in our imagination" seems like a very dangerous position for those who are in practice trying to think the thoughts of God after him to take. After all, in how many imaginations could housing prices go no direction but up?
"When these things are created, they're going to be so weak, it'll be a huge achievement if you can keep them alive for an hour in the lab," he said. "But them getting out and taking over, never in our imagination could this happen."
* Not that I never have, as this post illustrates. But you will note in my discussion with John Rogers, my knowledge is undergrad-level and 'popular' at best. I can pick apart bad arguments, but not bad 'facts.'
** As one who believes that Man is created in some sense "in the image of God," I fully expect that we can and will create life as well. Why should we not be able to given sufficient planning, materials, and experimentation?
*** Read: Bug out of our schools, creationalist!
**** And far more dangerous.