You know I don't trust anything the Discovery Institute (DI) has to say. I do also believe that I have amply justified why I do not trust them, over and over again. Just in case you missed any of my other 300+ posts that mention the DI, here is another example.
In a post over on the Evolution 'news' and Views site, a site nearly completely dedicated to the views more than any real discussion of news, one of their friends posted this "Why Should Evolutionary Biology Be So Different?". The author is Grant Sewell, and he opens with this:
"In the current debate between Darwinism and intelligent design, the strongest argument made by Darwinists is this: in every other field of science, naturalism has been spectacularly successful, why should evolutionary biology be so different?"Really? That's the best argument for evolution? The DI is telling us what our best 'argument' is, does anyone else see a problem with that? This is why I think the Discovery Institute has never been, is currently not, nor will ever be considered a reliable source for information on any subject. Does anyone believe that this argument is the strongest argument made in favor of evolution over the non-scientific intelligent design? Is it an argument? Certainly! But the strongest? Not by a long shot! But if you put even a smidgen of trust in the DI, you probably get your science news from Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly, so you probably buy into this. Thankfully the majority of the world knows better.
As for this specific argument, you might also think about this. Biology, like all natural sciences, follows the Scientific Method. Which is explained well from Wikipedia:
" . . . a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry is commonly based on empirical or measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning" (Wikipedia: Scientific Method)
If you read Grant's article, which apparently comes out of one of his books, you might wonder why it wasn't published by the Discovery Institute Press (DIP), the DI's internal publishing group. You should know that there are many other publishers who have the same 'standard' of evidencial support as DIP does (which is none at all), and the publisher, Resource Publications, is one of them. In fact here is something from their own About page:
"For the first time, scholars within the churches of Christ are producing a complete book-by-book commentary on the entire Bible. Every church library, every Christian school library, and every Christian home will benefit from this reference set."
I did find it interesting that Grant had to go back to 1888 to find information that he quotes, like this:
"Joseph LeConte, professor of geology and natural history at the University of California, and (later) president of the Geological Society of America, provides an insight into the way most scientists think about evolution, in his 1888 book Evolution."Aside from Professor LeConte's primary contributions to science were in Geology, not Biology, I have to wonder why Grant couldn't find something more recent. He goes on to make a pseudo-valid point:
"That's the way science works, if one theory fails, we look for another one; why should evolution be so different?"
"Many people believe that intelligent design advocates just don't understand how science works, and are motivated entirely by religious beliefs."Finally he said something I can sort of agree too . Not completely. I believe ID advocates do understand science and scientific methodology. How else do they avoid it so conspicuously? You do know Grant can't just leave it at that, he goes on a diatribe, including pictures, and makes a restatement of Hoyle's Fallacy, the tornado argument.
"The original context of Hoyle's argument was against abiogenesis, not evolution. Nevertheless, opponents of evolution occasionally use it when discussing aspects of evolutionary biology. The analogy is exceptionally poor when compared to the process of evolution, as one of the main mechanisms of evolution is natural selection which is non-random." (Rational Wiki: Hoyle's Fallacy)
"Anyone who claims to have a scientific explanation for how unintelligent agents like tornados might be able to turn rubble into houses and cars would be expected to produce some powerful evidence, if they want their theory to be taken seriously. "