The problem with your response is that you are bringing in all kinds of statements and arguments that I wasn’t purporting to defend. Most of your response doesn’t deal directly with the simple point I was trying to make, i.e.: suggesting that the designer of life was God doesn’t reduce God to a being unworthy of worship.
At the end, you mention withdrawing the charge of idolatry. If that means that you accept the argument I have laid out above, then we are in agreement: it’s not unworthy of God to suppose that God designs things. If so, that’s great!
Some arguments I would not make include:
- “XYZ is so complex that it could not possibly have evolved.”
I would instead argue:
“XYZ is so complex that it is very unlikely that it could have evolved in the manner conceived of by Darwin or the neo-Darwinians.”
And I wouldn’t bring “God” into the discussion at all.
- “disproof (evidence against) of evolution is positive evidence for design”
I would never say this, since I would never oppose “evolution” to “design” in the first place.
I would oppose “chance” to “design” and “evolution” to “special creation”. “Design” and “evolution” are not necessarily at odds, as the positions of Behe and Denton show. And even Dembski, who opposes evolution (in the sense of macroevolution), doesn’t say that common descent is incompatible with ID, as a quotation of Dembski by Jon Garvey on another thread here shows. It is unfortunate that some ID supporters continue to oppose “evolution” to “design”. In almost every case where this happens, the ID supporter in question is also a creationist, and quite often a young-earth creationist. What can I say? I’m not a creationist. I’m not in that wing of the the ID movement.
One last point. You wrote:
The antecedent of “it” is not clear. Does “it” refer to the argument for design in nature, or the argument that the designer is God? ID people claim that the first type of argument is scientific, not that the second type of argument is scientific. They are very clear that the second type of argument belongs to philosophy, religion, theology, faith, etc. Another way of putting it: according to ID, the argument to design is scientific, but the argument from design [to God] is not scientific. So I don’t see any deliberate attempt to obfuscate.
Of course, I am speaking of how ID proponents argue when they are consistent with their own definitions and stated principles. It is unfortunately the case, especially in debates on blog sites but also in churches, in popular books by Christian apologists, etc., that some ID proponents (or people who claim to speak for ID, but may not understand it very well) are not very consistent about definitions and principles, and I think that is the sort of argument you are running into, and protesting against. Well, I too am against lack of clarity, inconsistent application of principles, etc. It’s too bad there is no “ID exam” that people have to pass before they are allowed to speak for ID in public; an exam which required the examinee to show knowledge of official Discovery statements and the main writings of the ID leaders would get rid of a lot of the confusion. But the nature of internet discussion (and popular discussion generally) is such that, in the absence of such an exam, your are going to get a lot of sloppy arguing done in the name of ID.