Sunday, December 5, 2010

Things looking bleak for the Discovery Institute -- We can all hope!

In all honesty 'The Huffington Post' is not something I read regularly. While they frequently do have great articles by folks like Michael Zimmerman, they also tend to offer platforms to folks who support such pseudo-science as the anti-vaccine movement, climate change deniers, and Creationism. Today they had a pretty good article by John Farrell: "Intelligent Design: Losing the Catholics". The article does a good job of discussing the . . . well to borrow a quote from the article:

"the vapidity of intelligent design."
It also has a quote from another article that asked and answers "What has the intelligent design movement achieved?"
"What has the intelligent design movement achieved? As science, nothing. The goal of science is to increase our understanding of the natural world, and there is not a single phenomenon that we understand better today or are likely to understand better in the future through the efforts of ID theorists."
I am not sure i would call any of the fellows at the DI 'Theorists', but I don't agree with some of the authors terminology. The author does mention something I have to disagree with:
"The irony about the intelligent design debate today, is that the intelligent design proponents, like the Darwinists, presuppose an opposition between chance and design. They necessitate an opposition between chance and design."
Science does not presuppose such opposition. It does say that the evidence supports chance over design. Science also states that no one, including all of the design proponents, have offered one shred of evidence supporting design. Science is not opposed to design, but has said time and time again that proponents of design need to show the evidence. 'Why is it design?' 'How did it become designed?' 'What methodology indicates design?' These questions, among others, have been sidestepped by design proponents. As such, any opposition to their ideas is based on their LACK of evidence, not on the concept of design. I also wish the author would not use the term 'Darwinist', for reasons I have spelled out many times. There is no scientific discipline or ideology called 'Darwinism'.

The final quote from the article is a nice one:
"So, all is not well in Seattle. For Christians who support solid science education, that's something to celebrate. The more the vapid arguments of the Discovery Institute are exposed, the smaller and smaller their audience will become."
The 'Big Tent' approach envisioned by Phillip E. Johnson, ID's daddy rabbit, is showing signs of significant wear and tear. The problem comes not only from the outside, but from within from their own inability to support their own ideas. Many Christians who were initially positive about Intelligent Design are realizing now that is was an emotional appeal rather than an intellectual one that attracted them. As we all know an emotional appeal tends to fade over time, especially when it is the only appeal anyone is making. All the marketing in the world can only prop up a bad idea for a short while.

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