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Plantinga Changed His Mind

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  • Plantinga Changed His Mind

    The book ™Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design" says that Alvin Plantinga believed that ID was legit science.

    The book was co-authored by Barbara Forest, the expert witness in the Dover trial who discovered the transitional manuscript of "Of Pandas and People," which showed strong evidence of a global replace of the term "creation science" with "intelligent design," as well as other damning substitutions.

    ID began full force in 1992 after Stephen Jay Gould's review of Phillip Johnson's "Darwin on Trial." After that, Johnson's supporters William Dembski, Stephen Meyer, and others formed a group called the Ad Hoc Origins Committee to make their skepticism of evolution known. The book claims that Plantinga was one of the signatories on a letter that requested that theistic science get a fair hearing. Earlier than that in 1991, he complained about ID progress being slowed by prestigious universities who refused to give theistic science a fair shake.

    Is there any way to determine what changed Plantinga's mind and when?

  • #2
    It seems we're relying on what other people say Plantinga said in this. I'm not sure if he ever did change his mind -perhaps his current position is what he's always felt. Being unconvinced by arguments for design doesn't mean that you think that design should be a priori ruled out, nor that further research on the matter is a waste.
    ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by MaxVel View Post
      It seems we're relying on what other people say Plantinga said in this. I'm not sure if he ever did change his mind -perhaps his current position is what he's always felt. Being unconvinced by arguments for design doesn't mean that you think that design should be a priori ruled out, nor that further research on the matter is a waste.
      That's the part that he probably regrets. He had strong confidence in Behe's research, but that amounted to nothing. What I wondering is whether he still believes godless mainstream science stymies research in theistic science, and the reasons he offers for that. He said as much in 1991 but didn't elucidate.

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      • #4
        You seem to be missing an "after" paragraph in the OP.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by seasanctuary View Post
          You seem to be missing an "after" paragraph in the OP.
          How do you mean?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by whag View Post
            How do you mean?
            Usually, when someone changes his mind, he believes one thing and then something different. But I'm not seeing the "something different" part in your OP.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by seasanctuary View Post
              Usually, when someone changes his mind, he believes one thing and then something different. But I'm not seeing the "something different" part in your OP.
              My bad. I assumed people interested in this topic knew that Plantinga has defended himself against Michael Ruse's charge that he supports ID. I'll try to find his response to Ruse later. In the meantime, I believe Oingo Boingo quoted Plantinga as saying ID isn't testable (in Shuny's thread).

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              • #8
                Ah, thanks.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by whag View Post
                  My bad. I assumed people interested in this topic knew that Plantinga has defended himself against Michael Ruse's charge that he supports ID. I'll try to find his response to Ruse later. In the meantime, I believe Oingo Boingo quoted Plantinga as saying ID isn't testable (in Shuny's thread).
                  Actually, I would like to see this quote in more detail and context, because Plantinga has strong bent and conditional justification of design on his view that Naturalism cannot justify design based on his theistic view of 'proper function, but then takes his view of evolution justifies 'design' and his specific theistic 'proper function' in his argument against Metaphysical Naturalism.

                  His conflating Methodological Naturalism with Philosophical Naturalism further complicates his argument.
                  Last edited by shunyadragon; 03-24-2014, 02:38 PM.
                  Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                  Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                  But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                  go with the flow the river knows . . .

                  Frank

                  I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                    Actually, I would like to see this quote in more detail and context, because Plantinga has strong bent and conditional justification of design on his view that Naturalism cannot justify design based on his theistic view of 'proper function, but then takes his view of evolution justifies 'design' and his specific theistic 'proper function' in his argument against Metaphysical Naturalism.

                    His conflating Methodological Naturalism with Philosophical Naturalism further complicates his argument.
                    Read the book yourself. My tablet won't let me copy text from it in Google Play.

                    Better yet, read his response to the Dover decision (which is much more recent than the Ad Hoc Origins Committee letter).

                    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2006/03..._de002054.html

                    I'm that article, he repeatedly mentions methodological naturalism. There's no better example of how he applies his argument to real life.

                    ETA: the actual link to the article:

                    http://www.discovery.org/a/3331
                    Last edited by whag; 03-24-2014, 02:59 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                      Actually, I would like to see this quote in more detail and context, because Plantinga has strong bent and conditional justification of design on his view that Naturalism cannot justify design based on his theistic view of 'proper function, but then takes his view of evolution justifies 'design' and his specific theistic 'proper function' in his argument against Metaphysical Naturalism.

                      His conflating Methodological Naturalism with Philosophical Naturalism further complicates his argument.
                      I misunderstood you.

                      Oingo Boingo, can you provide the context of Plantinga's quote saying he didn't think ID was testable?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by seasanctuary View Post
                        You seem to be missing an "after" paragraph in the OP.
                        I do not believe there is an after. At least as far I have found there is not change.
                        Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                        Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                        But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                        go with the flow the river knows . . .

                        Frank

                        I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                          I do not believe there is an after. At least as far I have found there is not change.
                          It'd be useful if he clarified his position given the mixed messages he's sent. The absence of that clarification is why Ruse pounced.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Looks like this is Plantinga's response to Ruse. The quote below relevant to this discussion is taken from the full article, found here:
                            http://chronicle.com/article/Evoluti...ths-and/64990/

                            Plantinga writes:
                            ----------------------
                            I do think that evolution has become a modern idol of the tribe. But of course it doesn't even begin to follow that I think the scientific theory of evolution is false. And I don't.

                            Ruse claims I am an "open enthusiast of intelligent design." ("Open" enthusiast? Is enthusiasm for intelligent design supposed to be something you should shamefacedly conceal, like addiction to watching soap operas?) Another missed distinction. Like any Christian (and indeed any theist), I believe that the world has been created by God, and hence "intelligently designed." The hallmark of intelligent design, however, is the claim that this can be shown scientifically; I'm dubious about that.

                            "Why," asks Ruse, "does Plantinga feel this way?" Because, he says, "In his view, Darwinism implies that there is and can be no direction in life's history." Still another missed distinction. As far as I can see, God certainly could have used Darwinian processes to create the living world and direct it as he wanted to go; hence evolution as such does not imply that there is no direction in the history of life. What does have that implication is not evolutionary theory itself, but unguided evolution, the idea that neither God nor any other person has taken a hand in guiding, directing or orchestrating the course of evolution. But the scientific theory of evolution, sensibly enough, says nothing one way or the other about divine guidance. It doesn't say that evolution is divinely guided; it also doesn't say that it isn't. Like almost any theist, I reject unguided evolution; but the contemporary scientific theory of evolution just as such—apart from philosophical or theological add-ons—doesn't say that evolution is unguided. Like science in general, it makes no pronouncements on the existence or activity of God.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              And for completeness, here is Ruse's article that Plantinga responded to:
                              http://chronicle.com/article/What-Da...rs-Get-/64457/

                              Ruse writes (I've snipped out some parts below, as indicated by '...'):
                              ----------------------------
                              Exciting times, which makes it all the more remarkable to hear voices from within the mainstream of philosophy questioning the veracity of evolutionary theory. I'll mention three. First there is Alvin Plantinga. Although he teaches at the University of Notre Dame, a Roman Catholic institution, Plantinga is North America's most distinguished Protestant philosopher of religion...

                              Plantinga, however, has long harbored a distrust, even an ardent dislike, of evolutionary theorizing in general and of Darwinian thinking in particular. In an essay published in 1999, he wrote, "Consider the role played by evolutionary theory in our intellectual world. Evolution is a modern idol of the tribe; it is a shibboleth distinguishing the ignorant fundamentalist goats from the informed and scientifically acquiescent sheep. Doubts about it may lose you your job. It is loudly declared to be absolutely certain, as certain as that the earth rotates on its axis and revolves around the sun—when it is no such thing at all."

                              Plantinga is an open enthusiast of intelligent design, the belief that at some points in life's history an intelligent being intervened to move the process along. I am not quite sure whether this makes him a full-blooded creationist, although he has in the past said he does not think it an impossible position... Wherever Plantinga stands on this spectrum, he stands with the intelligent-design theorists in strongly emphasizing what they see as the falsity of Darwinian evolutionary biology.

                              Comment

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