ID 3.0? The new Bradley Center at the DI – is Dembski returning from retirement?

Back in 2016, William Dembski officially ‘retired’ from ‘Intelligent Design’ theory & the IDM. He wrote that “the camaraderie I once experienced with colleagues and friends in the movement has largely dwindled.” https://billdembski.com/personal/official-retirement-from-intelligent-design/ This might have come rather late after Dembski’s star had already started to fade. Indeed, it was more than 10 years after the Dover trial debacle and already long after I personally heard another of the leaders of the IDM at the DI in 2003 say he no longer reads Dembski’s books. Yet no doubt Dr. Dembski was one of, if not the leading voice of the IDM for almost 2 decades. Here’s one UK IDist lamenting Dembski’s statement: https://designdisquisitions.wordpress.com/2017/02/19/william-dembski-moves-on-from-id-some-reflections/ Yet when a new paycheck from the Discovery Institute was offered in the Bradley Center, Dembski seems to have gotten right back on the ideological bandwagon in Seattle & reversed his dwindling of IDist camaraderie.

Contributor Eddie (“Religious Studies and Natural Theology”) over at PS just referred to Dembski in the present tense as “one of the leading ID proponents.” Supposedly that means he’s back on board, now returned from retirement & promoting IDT/IDism again, as Eddie seems to have a direct line to ID headquarters in Seattle. https://discourse.peacefulscience.org/t/why-does-id-criticize-te/143/132

What do folks here see in this new Bradley Center? I suspect it will almost entirely negative feedback & that the few pro-IDists will provide only general & probably largely incoherent or merely superficial support of it. EricMH, who has visited & posted here a bit, contributes at the site: https://mindmatters.ai/
Johnny B (Bartlett), a known IDist who was proposed & accepted as the first religious moderator here, but who never actually did anything as moderator, is officially involved in the DI project too. And of course, so is Denyse O’Leary, the DI’s journalist for hire.

Here’s what Dembski wrote about the recent launch of the Bradley Center: https://billdembski.com/science-and-technology/launch-of-the-walter-bradley-center-for-natural-and-artificial-intelligence/

Don’t forget, Director Stephen C. Meyer isn’t backing down in the slightest to ‘challenges’ to the DI’s IDist ideology & neo-creationist propaganda. In fact, he believes the Discovery Institute is actually ramping up to what he calls “Intelligent Design 3.0”. What on earth does that name suggest? They won’t recognise the double-talk or they’re even more openly now embracing it? https://www.fieldstead.com/2018/03/10/intelligent-design-3-0/

91 Replies to “ID 3.0? The new Bradley Center at the DI – is Dembski returning from retirement?”

  1. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    One of Dembski’s key narratives in the aggressive ‘us vs. them’ tradition of ‘attack or be attacked’ is to suggest:

    “Darwinists have been very successful at demonizing anyone who dissents from their materialistic view of evolution. They have essentially established a Stalinist regime over the western academy.” – Dembski

    It is no wonder S. Joshua Swamidass is seeking peace when USAmericans are speaking to each other like that! = P

    Theistic evolution, on the other hand, is likewise ‘demonised’ as ‘bad theology’ & ‘bad science’ by the DI & IDM. Thus, what goes around now comes around at the DI as these two ‘positions’ or ‘tents’ fight it out in front of us. Thankful to be neither piece nor party of either of these opponents! _/_ To notice this, one just has to open their sociological lens’ & lower their focus on philosophy (analytic-style) &/of biology.

    Dembski’s father was a biologist/professor and often notices a reactionary element that cannot be avoided in Dembski’s writings, other than via the counter-narrative of Dembski as benevolent revolutionary some IDists have preferred.

    Still, this Center is a tilt towards the ‘artificial’ & with that the name of George Gilder has to come up. He’s another voice behind the IDM, one of the co-founders of the DI & his “information theory of capitalism”. That’s the kind of thing that will bring money to the DI through political means to continue funding the CSC as a partner ‘department’ within the Think Tank.

  2. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    This interview with Dembski published in September 2016, confirms he is just “largely retired” from IDT & the IDM. https://seanmcdowell.org/blog/how-is-the-intelligent-design-movement-doing-interview-with-william-dembski

  3. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    OMagain,

    Are you Jewish?

  4. Neil Rickert
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo,

    Honestly, phoodoo, if you don’t want to participate at TSZ, you can just leave voluntarily. Your attempts to get yourself banned are tiresome.

  5. J-Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo:
    OMagain,

    Are you Jewish?

    It depends what one means by being Jewish… I hope this will shed some light on the matter…

    https://youtu.be/qvSOgB-JPy0

  6. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Neil Rickert:
    phoodoo,

    Honestly, phoodoo, if you don’t want to participate at TSZ, you can just leave voluntarily.Your attempts to get yourself banned are tiresome.

    You have no problem with people asking if others are Christian. You have no problem with Omagain calling others trolls. You have no problem with Entropy claiming that the only thing he has learned here is that the other side lacks the mental ability to understand anything. You have no problem with him calling them imbeciles. But we can’t say the word Jewish?

    Can I ask what food he likes?

    Ok, then can I ask about what kind of quilts he prefers? Lots of people like quilts, not only some races.

    Your attempts to make this site an echo chamber of only people who agree with the materialist, atheist worldview are tiresome. I suggest you allow Mung to moderate the people whose viewpoint you don’t agree with. The rest of the moderators have a stated bias so are incapable of maintain a website open to all. Why have him for a moderator, if the rest of you are always overriding him?

    Are you a Christian?

  7. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo,

    Are you a religiophobe? Otherwise what does asking about a person’s religion have to do with this thread in particular about the Bradley Center, ID 3.0 & Dembski? Or are you intent on trying to derail it because you don’t like such attention given to the DI’s projects?

    Actually religiophobia can be safely included in some relevant discussions of the Discovery Institute, since one of the strongest reactions against it, though not the only & often not the clearest or fairest, is by atheists who are more than mere ‘skeptics’, but who have become a kind of social ‘activist’. Those people sometimes appear religiophobic towards the DI.

    Does anyone here avoid IDism because of religiophobia? Direct responses to that question here will be (crickets) largely negative; they will instead be pro-Science, Reason & Progress via Technology. The question is when religiophobia turns into anti-religion that reveals some skeptics’ attitudes; can they ‘peacefully coexist’ with ‘religion’ in the public sphere or not? They do appear quite angry right now especially.

    The DI is trying to take uppercase Intelligent Design public by hiding it under lowercase intelligent design & intentionally avoiding ‘real design theory’ that isn’t IDism. I find this to be of low character & priority, since the DI is at the same time tucking their tails & running away from significant Muslim, Christian & Jewish critique (I am not aware of a Baha’i critique of IDism, though the same feature would hold), rather than showing the best of any, all or none of those traditions. There are thus very good reasons, even for those who appear as fideists like phoodoo, to question the ‘scientific’ methods & the personal motives of the DI in Seattle with its ‘revolutionary’ hyper-capitalistic vigour.

  8. petrushka
    Ignored
    says:

    I am confused by the current practice of labeling disagreements, disinterests and dislikes as phobias.

    I find religions to be unconvincing. When religious people proselytize, I tend to dislike them. When they use or threaten force, I really dislike them. When the threat is against me, i fear them.

    In situations where I am barred from criticizing religion, I dislike the people enforcing the bar.

  9. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Neil Rickert: The ID proponents frequently rail against mechanism. And AI is very mechanistic.

    So are molecular machines.

  10. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    EricMH: What have the critics done to merit their moral high horse?

    They have THE TRUTH on their side.

  11. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Joe Felsenstein: Mostly they simply aren’t making any argument about evolution, except to the extent that their advocacy of human exceptionalism denies connection of humans to other animals.

    Why can’t humans be “connected” to “other animals” and still remain exceptional?

  12. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    EricMH: If the mind is immaterial, then it certainly cannot have evolved.

    This is a non sequitur. What leads you to believe that non-material entities can’t evolve?

  13. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory: The insinuation that ‘only IDists search for truth’ is of course tragically, arrogantly wrong.

    Exhibit A:

    The Skeptical Zone: Atheists Seeking Truth

  14. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: But it also may turn out that they are making quilts!

    Can you think of a better way to influence the quilting wars?

  15. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    OMagain: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

    You care about evil? Good for you!

  16. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: Exhibit A:
    The Skeptical Zone: Atheists Seeking Truth

    TSZ: ASTride reality

    Well, Lizzie will likely not explain again what she was a casualty of (Uncommon Descent) in creating this site because all of this time she’s been busy ‘evolving,’ which is part of her worldview. That means she must inevitably come back even better than as she was before an apostate agnostic-atheist, unless somehow she’s turned on her path away from or safely through the so-called ‘post-truth society.’

    “Seeking Truth” is somehow rather far from the 1st thing that comes into mind regarding the majority of ‘skeptic’ posters (aka ‘secular humanists’) here; rather promoting scientism as an ever present ideological feature of the leading voices here (including the resident philosophists). This, along with usually pitiful indifference to a greater life that combines science with such things as: art, literature, music & religion, at least in something greater than themselves that they don’t just in glossy terms refer to as ‘Society,’ is a typical sign of at TSZ: ASTride reality.

  17. Tom English Tom English
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory: “Seeking Truth” is somehow rather far from the 1st thing that comes into mind regarding the majority of ‘skeptic’ posters (aka ‘secular humanists’) here; rather promoting scientism as an ever present ideological feature of the leading voices here (including the resident philosophists). This, along with usually pitiful indifference to a greater life that combines science with such things as: art, literature, music & religion, at least in something greater than themselves that they don’t just in glossy terms refer to as ‘Society,’ is a typical sign of at TSZ: ASTride reality.

    You’re dehumanizing your adversaries. I don’t believe that’s characteristic of you, and I hope that on reflection you’ll see that you’ve lapsed into overstrong statement.

    There’s a lot going on with Zoners that you don’t know about, because there’s no reason for them to comment on it. (My first master’s thesis was a collection of forty poems, along with a poetics. I wrote the “Books” column for a medium-circulation magazine while working on my master’s degree in computer science. In later years, I worked as a volunteer docent at an arts center, curated a couple of exhibitions, and served on the steering committee of a film festival.)

  18. petrushka
    Ignored
    says:

    Although I disagree with creationists about creationism, I would be surprised not to find some common ground in the arts.

    I tend to like “modern” art and music, but that doesn’t seem to correlate with either religion or politics. My tastes are in the minority, regardless of economic and social factors.

  19. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    Tom English,

    My opponents here have dehumanised themselves with their anti-religious attitudes & speech. That seems almost bound to happen with the ‘skeptic’ focus here. What else did you expect here, Tom? Can’t blame that on non-atheists/agnostics.

    It just doesn’t strike me that Lizzie’s call fell on the ears of people who were 1st ‘truth seekers,’ at least not the way I understand that term. ‘Skeptics’ as ‘truth seekers’ is rather a cunning contradiction of sorts, indeed, don’t you think?

    “There’s a lot going on with Zoners that you don’t know about, because there’s no reason for them to comment on it.”

    Certainly there is a lot going on with everyone. But suggesting they have “no reason to comment” about things more meaningful that mere ideological skepticism seems wrong-headed & wrong-hearted. It’s like Tom is making excuses for people to be apathetic about their own worldview, when their worldview (what it allows them to see or miss) is indeed relevant to understand many conversations here.

  20. Tom English Tom English
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory: My opponents here have dehumanised themselves with their anti-religious attitudes & speech. That seems almost bound to happen with the ‘skeptic’ focus here.

    It just doesn’t strike me that Lizzie’s call fell on the ears of people who were 1st ‘truth seekers,’ at least not the way I understand that term.

    Damned if I can see a focus. You’d be on much better ground if you stuck with sociological analysis/criticism. Uncommon Descent egregiously abused dissenters. Lizzie wanted to establish an alternative forum in which everyone had a voice. She had to give it a name. So she gave it a name. I don’t believe that the title The Skeptical Zone says much of anything about the community that formed. There probably are some folks here who identify as skeptics. But the fact of the matter is that what you see here is generally not what you see from people who go to “skeptic” conferences.

    Gregory: ‘Skeptics’ as ‘truth seekers’ is rather a cunning contradiction of sorts, indeed, don’t you think?

    I don’t know about your skeptics-in-square-quotes, but my skeptics-in-scare-quotes equate scientific inquiry with skepticism, and I do see that as sadly wrong. As the Greeks knew, a thoroughgoing skepticism is skeptical even of itself.

    Gregory: It’s like Tom is making excuses for people to be apathetic about their own worldview, when their worldview (what it allows them to see or miss) is indeed relevant to understand many conversations here.

    Much of my life has been a process of rooting out the lies I like to tell myself about myself. I doubt that I will eliminate all of the lies before I die. Hence I do not believe that people know their own worldviews. There is a huge difference between the pretty stories we tell about our views and the views that are manifest in our day-to-day lives. I cannot tell the story without coming to realizations, in the telling of it, that the story I’m telling is wrong.

    I have to believe that people who earnestly seek the truth about themselves have deep misgivings about their own capacity to know and tell the truth about themselves.

  21. Joe Felsenstein Joe Felsenstein
    Ignored
    says:

    As I understand it “The Skeptical Zone” was the name Elizabeth Liddle gave to her blog long before she offered it as a place for discussion after Barry Arrington’s crazed and self-defeating banninations at UD.

  22. Tom English Tom English
    Ignored
    says:

    Joe Felsenstein: As I understand it “The Skeptical Zone” was the name Elizabeth Liddle gave to her blog long before she offered it as a place for discussion after Barry Arrington’s crazed and self-defeating banninations at UD.

    Perhaps my recollection is wrong. But, looking at the archives, I find that the fourth post is by Neil Rickert, and that there’s a fairly rapid increase in the number of authors.

  23. petrushka
    Ignored
    says:

    Tom English: I have to believe that people who earnestly seek the truth about themselves have deep misgivings about their own capacity to know and tell the truth about themselves.

    I just look at how the people around me react to me. Off the internet, I’m mostly a placator.

  24. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    Joe Felsenstein:
    As I understand it “The Skeptical Zone” was the name Elizabeth Liddle gave to her blog long before she offered it as a place for discussion after Barry Arrington’s crazed and self-defeating banninations at UD.

    Yes, that is my understanding too. Without UD’s banning of Lizzie, this site never would have been started. Thus, this thread: http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/peaceful-science-has-eclipsed-uncommon-descent-how-will-that-impact-tszs-reason-to-be/

  25. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory: Joe Felsenstein:
    As I understand it “The Skeptical Zone” was the name Elizabeth Liddle gave to her blog long before she offered it as a place for discussion after Barry Arrington’s crazed and self-defeating banninations at UD.

    Yes, that is my understanding too. Without UD’s banning of Lizzie, this site never would have been started. Thus, this thread: http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/peaceful-science-has-eclipsed-uncommon-descent-how-will-that-impact-tszs-reason-to-be/

    Um, um…Oh, sorry, I am forbidden from commenting on this.

  26. OMagain
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: Um, um…Oh, sorry, I am forbidden from commenting on this.

    What is the magic spell that makes it so?

  27. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    OMagain: What is the magic spell that makes it so?

    Oh, I see, you want me to say his name, so he can ban me. Oh you are clever…clever like a Fox.

  28. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    Without naming Alan Fox as if I’m only going to be rude to him because he is apathetic about his worldview … why not trying playing nicely for a change, phoodoo? I don’t remember you being a ‘credible scholar’ (who’s at least run through the training ropes before making massive claims about their ideas) who was involved in the conversation publicly beyond just internet blogs & outside of the mainstream anyway. Is that wrong? You’re basically a somewhat trained, largely autodidact, armchair enthusiast, rather than someone to be trusted because they’ve been trained to at least know what the stage & play is. Obviously, in offense of race & religion, you’ve got a political agenda here that sours the broth.

    TSZ is without doubt largely made of of atheists and agnostics, some of whom are blatantly anti-religious. keiths was one obvious example of this, but there are several others who just ‘don’t play well with religious people’ in conversations because they are ideologically against religion & theology. TSZ has always been filled with that kind of stuff from those who were attracted to Lizzie’s call against Uncommon Descent. Mung & Torley are highly unusual here; Salvador Cordova is borderline slimy with YECist/IDism & sees no other way out.

    The DI, to its freedom-loving credit, is ideologically *for* conversations about religion & theology; it is not against them. But these take place only under closely scripted situations and usually, nay, almost always, in ‘safe spaces’ of their own choosing. They don’t ‘debate’ in public because this isn’t their particular think tank’s style of presentation & engagement.

    Mind Matters might/should be a place to keep an eye out for curious content, surely more interesting content than Uncommon Descent, from which this site got it’s dark intention to form in apostate Lizzie’s determination. This was mainly in the service of atheist free expression of irreverence about ‘Intelligent Design’ theory, rather than a desire to create a social good along largely the same grounds as Peaceful Science. Since science is often elevated into ideological scientism here, with many scientists, skepticism of the immaterial & invisible, the mythical or even mystical, isn’t surprising.

    https://mindmatters.ai/about/

  29. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    Tom English,

    “I do not believe that people know their own worldviews.”

    That’s a nice way of avoiding exploring & articulating more clearly than you can now, your own.

    “You’d be on much better ground if you stuck with sociological analysis/criticism.”

    Um, yeah.

    “a thoroughgoing skepticism is skeptical even of itself.”

    So you’re skeptical about your skepticism? Is that your point? Mung’s gonna wanna listen to your explanation about that, surely. = P I don’t think most ‘skeptics’ here are skeptical about their skepticism. Granted, I’m sometimes ‘skeptical,’ but not a ‘skeptic,’ so perhaps it’s just hard to understand the degree of skepticism among the fanatical anti-religious here.

    “the story I’m telling is wrong.”

    Yeah, I’d say the anti-religiousness in you reflects something deeply wrong. But I’m not your shrink! ; 0 )

    What you’re touching on can be sought in apophatic theology, Tom. But theology isn’t something you’re looking for, is it? It’s not enough to suggest “people don’t know / I don’t know my/their own worldview.” Go further, try to find out & stop thinking you can ‘know’ everything.

  30. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory: Mung & Torley are highly unusual here

    I’m highly unusual anywhere. 😉

  31. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory: You’re basically a somewhat trained, largely autodidact

    Well, I am pretty handy around cars I guess, but I don’t know if I would exactly call myself an autodidact. I am mostly self-taught really.

  32. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo,

    Well, ok. On the topic self-taught but don’t know if autodidact. Right. ; )

    Well, I hope you’re better with cars than you are with ‘evolution, creation & intelligent design’ discourse. It would probably have helped/help if you had/have someone to guide you who knows more about these things, where you could apprentice, instead of messing up the discourse with esoteric ‘novelty’.

    Amateurs are allowed, of course, & welcome. Origins & processes of change over time are a topic for anyone & everyone. Nevertheless, when you say things here that obviously miss the mark, at least expect to hear about it directly. & don’t dig in your amateur feet as if you must be right, when you barely know the field & haven’t been trained or educated to ‘know better’.

    The Discovery Institute (topic of this thread) has shown themselves incapable of enabling a dialogue space that is positive in the way that they want it. So they block the conversation with the public & with ‘certain scientists’ as they attempt to gerrymander the origins topic for their purposes. It’s shameful, but that’s the DI full of pride in the ‘innovation’ which isn’t an innovation at all & only survives by ignoring the real ‘design theory’ & ‘design theorists’ who are doing actual work, unlike the ideologically driven IDists.

  33. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung,

    You’re a religious theist. Here, that’s makes you unusual, as it does me, among largely atheists & agnostics (umbrella: ‘skeptics’). Torley is even far more unusual than you; he’s a religious theist, particularly a Catholic Christian, living in Japan, where there are very, very few Christians. However, since you still give money to the Discovery Institute, Mung, that makes you ‘just like all the other’ IDists who’ve been duped (by weak American philosophy) in a righteous-appearing way, only to go down a dead-end road.

  34. newton
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory: However, since you still give money to the Discovery Institute, Mung, that makes you ‘just like all the other’ IDists who’ve been duped (by weak American philosophy) in a righteous-appearing way, only to go down a dead-end road.

    It would depend on the goal that one hopes to achieve in order to judge if one is being duped. If the goal is the delegitimization of evolution by political and judicial means then the mechanism used is judged by its usefulness in that goal not its philosophical juice.

  35. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory,

    I’d like to lower ‘very, very few’ to just 1 ‘very’ (around 1%-0.5%). I double-clicked post, & now it seems the editing software is off.

    The Discovery Institute is dealing with what they seem to call ‘secular culture’ in contrast with their ambiguous ‘non-secular’ (but not ‘theocratic’) cultural preference, in a rather different way than they would if they were in Japan. That’s likely at least in part why Torley couldn’t get along with them in the past, even though he recorded an interview for the DI’s podcast & became an ‘IDist’ for some months or even a few years, until he finally came to his senses.

  36. phoodoo
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory,

    I used to subscribe to Autodidact Weekly. I liked it because it had a lot of articles about people making home made hot-rods in their garages.

    Also some great stuff about saving repair costs by doing it yourself, instead of going to professional mechanic shops. And they have a pull out sections where you can skip the middle men, and advertise your cars for sale online, so you don’t get ripped off by car dealerships.

    Speaking of the Discovery Institute, there is a great article right now in Discover Magazine, about the The Long History of America’s Anti-Vaccination Movement. Maybe doctors aren’t always right. I will probably subscribe so I can help support the ID community.

  37. Mung Mung
    Ignored
    says:

    Gregory: However, since you still give money to the Discovery Institute…

    That may change if they continue to post articles which pretend like there is no evidence for common ancestry.

  38. Entropy Entropy
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung:
    That may change if they continue to post articles which pretend like there is no evidence for common ancestry.

    Since you know they’re pretending that there’s no evidence for common ancestry, what makes you think they’re not lying about anything else?

  39. Joe Felsenstein Joe Felsenstein
    Ignored
    says:

    phoodoo: Speaking of the Discovery Institute, there is a great article right now in Discover Magazine, about the The Long History of America’s Anti-Vaccination Movement. Maybe doctors aren’t always right. I will probably subscribe so I can help support the ID community.

    I hadn’t been aware that Discover Magazine was put out by the Discovery Institute.

  40. Gregory Gregory
    Ignored
    says:

    Mung: That may change if they continue to post articles which pretend like there is no evidence for common ancestry.

    Hmm, one would think your integrity would have stopped you from giving to them based on the double-talking re: ‘design theory’ = ‘intelligent design theory’ & ‘design theorists’ vs. ‘intelligent design theorists,’ that they continue to commit.

    Not bothered by their double-talking or unaware of it, Mung? Or do you disagree they are double-talking? Which is it?

  41. newton
    Ignored
    says:

    Joe Felsenstein: I hadn’t been aware that Discover Magazine was put out by the Discovery Institute.

    In a world where Autodidactic is a magazine for hot rod enthusiasts , Discover Magazine has always been put out by the Discovery Institute .

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