Hi all. I think it’s a stretch to say that I left the ID community. I interact with ID folks almost every day. What I had suggested to Joshua was that I had some concerns and reservations about the current direction (and what I perceive as stagnation or failure) of the ID enterprise. I could get into more detail about this, but it has been an in-house discussion, not some public display.
As for the other items that Joshua suggested, I think that’s fair, based on our conversations. I think there are many in the ID community that ascribe to evolution, if we’re talking about the pattern (not the process). And, by my count, most are OE. What I would say is that I have become more and more persuaded by the general evidence for common descent. I could be wrong, and it would be absolutely fine if I was. But, based on the scientific evidence in hand, I think the most parsimonious interpretation is that most of life is represented as evolutionary chains of relatedness. I do point out a few personal beliefs, which I outlined in my book, and have expounded upon since. I actually reject UCD at the moment, because I think it’s a case of us forcing a model on data, not making a model from data. There may have been many “first” forms of life. It’s entirely within secular models on origins of life to believe this, so I’m not saying something maverick here. 2) I have some thoughts that we may find that there is a gap between eukaryotes and prokaryotes (and within prokaryotes as two or more domains) that cannot be reconciled. The jump from prokaryotes to eukaryotes is simply too massive, and there’s no clear bridge at the moment.
Additionally, I think one of the things that ID has gotten right is to critique attempts by the adaptionists to explain everything by some Darwinian process. It’s been interesting to see both paleontology and phylogenetics show the power of neutral evolution in spades. Joshua and I are very much on the same page here, as are a few other ID folks. This of course is not specific to ID, but ID has latched onto it (whether from Gould and Benton or Kimura, Hughes and the like). So, while many may want to tar and feather me as being anti-science, I feel I’m actually trying to be consistent with the leading edge of modern science. Modern science has demonstrated that you need things other than DE to get the job done. It may also be more than just neutral evolution atop the hill. The other extreme edge has some support too. The “front-loaded” arguments for evolution suggest that life was engineered to navigate adaptive space in a non-random way. This sets up a third tower of evolutionary models. 1) Neutral evolution (“chance” and no selection). 2) Darwinian evolution (chance and selection). 3) Front-loading (directed evolution and selection).
In closing, the real issue (which I also raise in my book) is what to do with humanity, given the theological implications. I believe modern humans can be pinned at about 180K-200K years ago, with that “Great Leap Forward” at about 12K-16K years ago. I don’t see any mathematical reason why we must contend that there was no actual Adam & Eve. But, based on what I’ve already said, I don’t advance a special creation of Homo sapiens. Though, to repeat myself, that would be fine if it were true. I have blogged extensively on the thorny theological issues that arise from this, and have obviously critiqued TEists for their rather glib dealing in the public on this issue. It is an issue, and we all need to talk about it openly and honestly.