Ed Feser has posted his reply to Torley and Cudworth. I think this post brings a great deal of clarity to the debate and is very helpful. In fact, I think it shows that there is no fundamental disagreement between A-T philosophy and ID theory. The comment I put in his combox:
I think this post brings a great deal of clarity to the debate, and I think it shows that there does not need to be a fundamental disagreement between A-T philosophy and ID theory. My guess is that if Dembski reads this post, he will agree with what you have said, and correct or clarify his own statements regarding the incompatibility between Aristotelianism and ID. But if I'm mistaken about Dembski, then I would agree with you that Dembski's form of ID is philosophically and theologically problematic. But let's get down to details. You write:
"For something to be an “artifact” in the Aristotelian sense, it is also necessary that its parts have no immanent tendency to function together as a whole, and this is not true of corn any more than it is true of the various dog breeds or of human infants, while it is true of a hammock or of the other examples of artifacts."
Agreed!!! It is patently obvious that the parts of living organisms have an immanent tendency to function together as a whole. I think Dembski would agree with this. If he doesn't then he's mistaken. However, I don't think this is what he meant by referring to living things as artifacts. What I think he meant is that it was exceedingly unlikely that the parts could be brought together and in the right order so that they could then function together as a whole. So unlikely, that a reasonable person would infer that an agent must have brought the parts together and in the right order.
"In the case of a snake or a strand of DNA, for example, there is for A-T simply no such thing as a natural substance which somehow has all the material and behavioral properties of a snake or a strand of DNA and yet still lacks the “information content” or teleological features typical of snakes or DNA. And so, when God makes a snake or a strand of DNA, He doesn’t first make an otherwise “information-free” or teleology-free material structure and then “impart” some information or final causality to it, as if carrying out the second stage in a two-stage process."
Agreed!!! And this provides the answer to Mr. Green's question about the robocow. If a robocow has all the identical parts, arranged in the right way, of a living cow, then it is not a robocow. It is a living cow.
Now whether the living cow evolved from a different kind of animal, without the need of an agent imparting additional information, or whether it evolved with an agent imparting additional information, or whether it had to be specially created is a separate question.
So I see no fundamental disagreement between A-T philosophy and ID. Only, perhaps, between Dembski's version of ID. Let's hope he replies. I'm betting he will correct or clarify his position.