I was pleased to discover that Dr. Swamidass hosted Dr. Randal Rauser to discuss the question of charitable dialogue with atheists. Dr. Rauser has written a wonderful book, Is the Atheist my Neighbor?, and I was glad to see that Dr. Swamidass wanted to discuss the book. Randal posted Dr. Swamidass’s blog, so I was able to come here and look around.
To my dismay, the first thing I saw was this:
“He … is a skeptic of Intelligent Design and scientific creationism. Agreeing with the non-theist Eugenie Scott, he argues science is silent on God’s action, and cannot properly consider theological claims, like the existence or action of God.”
Clearly, Dr. Swamidass was equating ID with a form of scientific creationism, which claims that science can detect God’s action and consider theological claims. And that is a very uncharitable characterization of ID. ID only claims that there is evidence of intelligent design in nature, detectable by empirical observation and reason. It does not claim that it can detect that God is doing the designing.
I ask that in the spirit of being charitable that Dr. Swamidass amend his introduction of himself. As a suggestion, perhaps something like this:
“He doesn’t think ID has succeeded in providing good scientific grounds for believing that there has been intelligent design in nature.”