I find reading Steve Fuller to be incredibly frustrating, in part because he often says things that just don’t make any sense. For example, consider the below passage from his book Science vs. Religion?. He is talking about the pro-intelligent design textbook Pandas and People, which was approvingly referenced by the Dover School Board in the disclaimer they wanted to be read to biology students, the disclaimer that sparked the Kitzmiller v. Dover case.

While Pandas is not the book I would write to introduce IDT [intelligent design theory] in a scientific light, it does imply that some forms of philosophical idealism and social constructivism might be considered versions of IDT. For example, in the Kitzmiller trial, the following quote from the textbook was cited as evidence that “intelligent design” is synonymous with “special creation”: “Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency with their distinctive features already intact: fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc.” (Davis and Kenyon 1993: 99-100). However, at this level of abstraction, it could equally well serve as a somewhat reified account of how, in Kuhn’s (1970) own words, “the world changes” in a paradigm-shift after a scientific revolution, since the paradigm-shifter acquires a new world-view as a whole, not in parts. (pp. 121-2)

But this is pretty nonsensical, isn’t it? The quote he gives from the textbook is a straightforward quote about special creation. What does that have to do with philosophical idealim or social constructivism? The “it” in “it could equally well serve” presumably refers to intelligent design theory, but I’m not sure. If that’s what the “it” refers to, then it’s crazy to say that intelligent design theory could be an account of how the world changes in a paradigm shift, based on the statement that intelligent design theory is about how species are created. 

For what it’s worth, I should point out that Fuller’s recent set of interviews on the Discovery Institute podcast ID the Future was much more clear. This is surprising to me, because I would think that it would be easier to be clear in print, when one has time to think about what one is saying, than in an interview, where there is pressure to keep talking.

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