Monday, April 26, 2010

Is "Intelligent Design" Scotistic?

I've been following the recent series of posts comparing "Aristotelianism-Thomism" (A-T) and "Intelligent Design" (ID) by Edward Feser and opponents, together with the (sometimes very lengthy) discussions following them, on Feser's blog, What's Wrong With the World, and Uncommon Descent, with considerable interest. I hadn't meant to weigh in, but now I (or at least someone here at The Smithy) have been invited twice, including by Dr Feser himself, to comment on a recent post by V. J. Torley suggesting that, rather than naturalistic mechanists, Intelligent Design advocates are Scotists, or at least closer in inspiration to Scotism than to Thomism, and that this is a legitimate and laudable stance.

I'm reluctant to stick my oar in this debate, since I know comparatively little about biology and less about ID theory. I mean, I've poked my head into a few of their books and glanced at a few of their blogs, but I couldn't say that I'm thoroughly conversant with even the leading ID proponents. So what business do have commenting on the matter? I hope that at this point I've achieved at least the minimum modicum of wisdom which is knowing when I don't know anything about the matter.

Since I've been asked, however, I'll give a few comments on Dr Torley's post and on the discussion in general from my more or less Scotist perspective. Since the discussion up to now has been vast, and since Dr Torley's post is itself very long and deals with a lot of issues, and since I don't have a long and synthetic essay to write about this, I'll distribute my points among a couple of posts, one for each point.

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