I think we have a new tactic being tested out by the Discovery Institute (DI). In this post: "Theory of Evolution? Call It a "Narrative" Instead" by one of the more prolific DI talking heads: little davey 'klingy' klinghoffer, he would like you to think of Evolution as being just a 'Narrative'. Is he kidding? Actually I have trouble distinguishing when klingy is trying to be funny or serious, but that's neither here nor there. So let's briefly discuss.
What is a Narrative anyway? Wikipedia defines is as:
"A narrative or story is any report of connected events, real or imaginary, presented in a sequence of written or spoken words, and/or still or moving images."
So how do I feel about calling Evolution a narrative? I'm not that bothered by it that much because by the definition, you can call it that. Just like by definition you can call a diamond 'a rock' and The Biltmore 'a house'. But by doing so in any way do them justice? What you cannot do is to call a diamond just a rock, or the Biltmore just a house, can you?
So what is the Discovery Institute (DI) up to? What we have is nothing more than another word game, something the DI does instead of actual science. By calling Evolution 'a narrative', they are trying to make it less than it really is, trying to box it into something they can throw away. Since they have made very little headway getting people to question evolution, they keep trying to re-define it. Not too long ago their tactic was 'it's only a theory.', today is 'it's only a story.' In between their original attacks they tried to pass off Evolution as a philosophy called 'Darwinism', a religion, an antiquated concept, and even a violation of physics. They keep trying to re-define it, but none of it seems to stick. They keep failing because Evolution tells a compelling story, one loaded with evidence, predictive power, and because it works. They consistently keep trying to denigrate evolution using such word games because when it comes to the science, they have been failing miserably.
Intelligent Design can also be called a narrative, but without supporting evidence, that's about all you can call it. No one has done any scientific work that lets you call it much else. It's not a scientific theory, it's not a valid explanation of how life changed on this planet over millions of years, it's not even a good bedtime story because one you hit 'god-did-it', the story is over. So while you can call Creationism/ID a narrative, you really can't call it much more than that.
Of course klingy doesn't say that. He just tries to reduce down evolution to the status of just being a story. He also does it by trying to mischaracterize evolution as only being:
"evolution by natural selection operating on random mutations"