This was spurred by a comment on my previous post. It contains this excellent link (Unintelligable Redesign). I’m not convinced of the assertion that ID is DOA. It seems to be gaining support. It is supported by many people with political weight and lots of money. Rest assured that not all ID promotion is innocuous. If I seem upset about all of this, it’s because I am. Intelligent Design is nothing less than the last, desperate, gasping breath of vehement creationists to squeeze Creationism back into the country’s schools. The courts threw them out long ago, for violating separation of church and state, but they’ve removed anything (obviously) smacking of theology from their agenda. Desperation is a dangerous state.
Let me just ask this. If God wasn’t the designer, who was? Does it make a difference? I say not, because whoever is the creator is then functionally equivalent to God. Therefore, insisting that someone must have designed the critters you see frolicking about is tantamount to insisting that it was God, and there again we have creationism.
What really makes me sad is how eager people are to believe any of this. People abandon reason and enlightenment values for fairy tales. ID proponents are fond — read the PDF mentioned below — of saying that the US and the democracy that runs it were founded on religion. This is bullshit. Read, say, Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography, or study some history, and you will find that the US was created based on enlightenment thinking, practically anathema to theology, though people have done a lot of rationalizing to the contrary.
Beware – ID is not the end goal. ID is the intermediate step, which is required to renew the push to teach creationism.
All of the current ID websites I can find vehemently deny any relationship to creationism or theology. Compare the current site with the site over the years courtesy of the internet archive:
- 1999 – Where does that image come from? Can anyone tell me? A chapel, maybe?
- 2003 – Whoa – where did God go? Did the web designer have a falling out with Michaelangelo? Maybe they’re wising up as they get criticism.
- 2004 – Paydirt – Look up “The Wedge Strategy” and intelligent design. Here’s a copy of the document. Here’s an excellent discussion of it. From reading around, at first I thought that the veracity of this wedge document was controversial. In fact, it is not. On the first link in this bullet (2004 – Paydirt) you will find a link, What is the Wedge Document? (PDF). It not only affirms ownership of the document — it provides a copy at the end. Here’s a nice quote from the “Governing Goals” section:
To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.
Excuse me — did they say God, with a capital G? But God has no role in intelligent design.
I’ve also uploaded this document to my own server, and you can download it here. It doesn’t take a mind created by intelligent design to notice what’s going on here. This movement was started by creationists. It’s funded by creationists (read the PDF — the wedge was used as a proposal to generate financial support), and it still maintains a creationist agenda. And yet, the current website (linked above) acts as if none of these previous sites existed. Too bad, guys. Once it’s on the internet, it’s there forever.
This one by an ID proponent deserves some quoting:
Onto this dubious edifice Charles Darwin added a fifth conjecture: All the sophisticated organisms around us grew from a process called natural selection: this process seizes and passes along those minor, random variations in a population that provide a survival advantage. With this, Darwin explained away the apparent design in the biological world as just that—only apparent.
And here’s something about what hypocrites we scientists are:
There is one god, matter, and science is its prophet. It hides behind its more modest cousin, methodological naturalism. According to this tidy dictum, scientists can believe whatever they want in their personal lives, but they must appeal only to impersonal causes when explaining nature. Accordingly, any who discuss purpose or design within science (the founders of modern science generously excepted) cease to be scientists.
Here’s a little collection of some of the articles I’ve found on “ID”, mostly from Butterflies and Wheels:
- Why Intelligent Design Isn’t
- Smithsonian Disavows ‘Intelligent Design’
- Some excellent ID essays with better refutations here
- Similar discussion, but not very thorough
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I can’t spend any more time writing about this for the moment. I have scientific research to do.