Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Case In Point: Why Intelligent Design Is A Growing Movement

The ID vs Darwinism debate continues to grow. To really understand it, it's important to read the key books themselves, and not just rely on internet hearsay. Key titles on the ID side include "The Design Revolution", "Darwin's Black Box", "Darwinism, A Theory In Crisis", "Darwin On Trial", and "Icons Of Evolution". On the Darwinist side we have "The Origin Of Species", "The Blind Watchmaker", "The Selfish Gene", "Darwins's Dangerous Idea", etc.

Now the ID books are making arguments based on the scientific evidence, the rules of inference, whether Darwinist extrapolations from the evidence are warranted, the role of metaphysical assumptions, etc. They are not talking about, or from, the Bible (BTW, many good ID papers are online here).

The arguments seem sound to me, and I haven't seen them refuted. However, I have seen them talked around, I have seen them misrepresented, I have seen papers that purport to demolish an ID argument doing no such thing, I have seen repeated insistence that there's always some other paper published somewhere that knocks the arguments down (but I never seem to see the paper itself; every good scientist just seems to know that other scientists somewhere else have proven Darwinism beyond all possible doubt), and most of all, I have seen ruthless ad hominem attacks.

Last night on Nightline, Bill Dembski appeared with Michael Ruse. It wasn't nearly as good a format to get any info across as the C-Span thing I linked to yesterday, but here was the gist: Michael Ruse's primary argument against the truth of ID is that if it's given any kind of hearing, then the theocrats will put everyone into reeducation camps.

To which I can only say, "That's it? That's all you've got? Maybe there really is something wrong with the whole Darwinist materialist philosophy!"

It is very hard for me to see how someone who puts out an argument like this is not making the (barely) implicit assertion that there is no god, and that science proves it. What do the implications of a scientific finding have to do with whether or not the finding itself is true? Nothing whatsoever. By not addressing the scientific arguments, Ruse is basically saying, "If there is a god, we don't want to know about it! I don't care what you have to say scientifically, having a god would just plain suck! So it's not true!" Come on, it can't really be the case that if God did create the world, and made it clear that he did so (Romans Chapter 1, people!), that science will still be defined so that it must make the assertion that God didn't do it (after all, to make a scientific argument that there is evidence that he did leads right to the camps)!

With bigoted, weak-assed arguments like this against it, it is no wonder that ID is a growing movement.

You can see the Nightline segment (complete with commercials) here.

Also, Paul Nelson points out an interesting property of logic here. Personally I wouldn't have used his particular examples, but the point stands. It can't be the case that factual evidence in favor of blind evolution is "scientific", but factual evidence against is "religious", can it?

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