Inferring the Supernatural: Forrest v. Beckwith

Barbara Forrest’s “The non-epistemology of intelligent design: its implications for public policy”1 is at the center of what has been dubbed “The Synthese Affair“. The bulk of her paper is a sustained and often dismissive account of Francis Beckwith’s arguments in support of Intelligent Design. Although I think Forrest’s attacks constitute a relatively minor transgression of academic norms, I find myself perplexed by some (though by no means all, or even many) of her substantive arguments. I will be teaching a unit on Intelligent Design for an undergraduate course this year, so the purpose of this post is to sort out my ideas on some issues. I would greatly appreciate feedback.

  1. Forrest, B. 2011. “The non-epistemology of intelligent design: its implications for public policy.” Synthese.