Thank you New York Times. Jesus, it's about time for this article to come out.
The truth of the matter is that ID isn't supported by science. It *is* a political issue and it *is* a religious issue. And one supported only by a relatively narrow religious viewpoint too.
John G. West, a political scientist and senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, the main organization supporting intelligent design, said the skepticism and outright antagonism are evidence that the scientific "fundamentalists" are threatened by its arguments.
"This is natural anytime you have a new controversial idea," Mr. West said. "The first stage is people ignore you. Then, when they can't ignore you, comes the hysteria. Then the idea that was so radical becomes accepted. I'd say we're in the hysteria phase."
"The future of intelligent design, as far as I'm concerned, has very little to do with the outcome of the Dover case," Mr. West said. "The future of intelligent design is tied up with academic endeavors. It rises or falls on the science."
This guy's pretty savvy, because he knows that if you make your opponents look unhinged, you undercut their credibility. It's good politics. But then, if the scientific community is hysterical, it's because there are actually people claiming to be scientists working as hard as possible to destroy the very notion of science. That makes me angry too. But that doesn't mean i'm unable to make a rational argument. I'd like to think he's right about his last statement, because it works to the advantage of the scientific standpoint. This segment from earlier in the article is very telling :
The Templeton Foundation, a major supporter of projects seeking to reconcile science and religion, says that after providing a few grants for conferences and courses to debate intelligent design, they asked proponents to submit proposals for actual research.
"They never came in," said Charles L. Harper Jr., senior vice president at the Templeton Foundation, who said that while he was skeptical from the beginning, other foundation officials were initially intrigued and later grew disillusioned.
"From the point of view of rigor and intellectual seriousness, the intelligent design people don't come out very well in our world of scientific review," he said.
That says an awful lot to me. You keep hearing about the "science" behind ID, but I don't see it being produced. Here's an organization who's dedicated to reconciling science with religion *asking* to spend money on this research. But no, nothing. So the claim that the liberal academic elite have been blocking ID from the journals falls a little flat. If the science was there, someone could have published it by now.
But that's not the point is it. Mr. West's claims not withstanding, this issue has almost nothing to do with teaching science or doing science. It's a front in the war against intellectualism in favor of religious fundamentalism. I'm not saying every supporter even thinks of it that way, but then, many wars have been fought by people who didn't know what they were actually fighting for.
Finally, of course, I return to my longstanding belief that there's nothing about evolution that contradicts christianity (unless you're one of those "literal reading" folks, in which case, no amount of logic will help you). People on both sides of the debate are wrong for propagating an either-or mentality on this issue. I thought briefly about getting one of those "Darwin" fish, but i won't because it's an anti-debate symbol. It says "I'm right and you're wrong." Even the most fair minded ID supporters don't get it
The slogan, "Teach the controversy," has simple appeal in a democracy.
Simple is right. It's a simplistic cop out and a means for promoting religion in the classroom. The fact is that there need not be a controversy. I have no problem believing god created the universe and then man, in His image, and all that, and then thinking that he used evolution as His tool for doing so. It's presumptuous in the extreme to claim that God would not have done such a thing. Simplicity is the enemy of intelligent, rational debate, and the desire for people to have an easy black or white choice is the reason why this issue (and SOOO many others) still has currency. Intellectual laziness.
Intelligent Design Might Be Meeting Its Maker