Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Jakob Wolf on Design Theory

Jakob Wolf has a thoughtful new article on design theory, demonstrating that anti intellectualism is not a prerequisite for design critics. He writes:

As long as it is not falsified, there is no reason why we should accept that our perceptual, phenomenological knowledge is an illusion. Why should we betray our senses and immediate experience of nature? The reason why we so readily betray our senses is that scientism has become such a strong ideology; and ideologies make blind.

The burden of proof is on the side of natural science. As the phenomenological recognition is spontaneous and universal, proof is not required to prove it is true, but proof is required to show it is false. The burden of proof rests with the person claiming it is an illusion.

The piece is insightful and scientism can be a problem, but unfortunately Wolf misses the important influence of theological naturalism. The reason we betray our senses, ultimately, is not scientism. Indeed, it couldn't be for the simple reason that science never discovered plausible naturalistic explanations for the origin of complexity in the first place. The mandate for such naturalistic explanations has always been theological. Wolf's insights are helpful, but they are missing the elephant in the room.