Even if a funder of the Discovery Institute is a Christian reconstructionist (and I don't know this claim to be true), this has no relationship with my views or with the content of "The Privileged Planet." To think they do without evidence is to commit a form of the genetic fallacy.
Allen also introduces a new ad hominem - she likens my intelligent design work to the practice of astrology. If she were consistent with her charge, she would also have to label SETI researchers astrologers, since their program is similar to intelligent design research. Her charge, however, doesn't surprise me. She sounds like she hasn't even read "The Privileged Planet."
In addition, Allen writes, "... how much harder it must be to believe that a Great Designer able to conceive and execute such complexity could have arisen ex nihilo, existing always and forever without an origin." Here Allen is saying both that a "Great Designer" had an origin ("arisen ex nihilo") and that it "existed forever without an origin." She contradicts herself in the same sentence.
The traditional theistic view of God is as an uncaused being existing in a timeless eternity, one still defended by professional theologians and philosophers in the refereed literature. Material entities (particles, energy, fields) are the most commonly invoked alternative to such a being, but they are very poor candidates as the ultimate ground of existence, since self-existence is not a property they possess.
Regardless of Allen's confused ontological notions, this topic is not one we address in our book since our argument is not a theological one. We make no specific claims about the nature of the designer, as none are needed to infer design.
That strikes most people as an obvious point. Nevertheless, Allen presses ahead, insisting I must answer the question, "Who made God?" (or "Where did the Original Designer come from?"). But if we discovered an alien spacecraft on a distant planet, we wouldn't need to know the designer to infer design, much less who designed the designer. My co-author, Jay Richards, answered this objection at greater length in his June 21 posting at www.idthefuture.com.
As if this weren't enough, in a July 15 letter to the editor, Sam Wormley declared that, contra "The Privileged Planet" and reality, "The Copernican Principle is one of the most successful scientific hypotheses in the history of science." In fact, the Copernican Principle is based on historical fiction.
The chapters where we cover the history and science related to the Copernican Principle are among the most carefully vetted of the book. Some half-dozen historians of science read them prior to the book's publication and found them to be just fine. Richards and I also describe several important examples of the Copernican Principle's failings.