Friday, October 21, 2005

Intelligent-design backer [Behe] fires back at critics, etc

Here are news items about the pro-ID defence's second day (Tuesday 18 October) of giving and defending its side of the story in the Dover case (Kitzmiller, et al v. Dover School District, et al), with my comments in square brackets. Again, I have tried to reduce duplication and repeating what I have already mentioned in previous posts (19-Oct-05; 18-Oct-05; 10-Oct-05; 08-Oct-05; 03-Oct-05; 01-Oct-05; 30-Sep-05; 29-Sep-05).

Intelligent-design backer fires back at critics: Professor accuses scientific organizations of getting political, MSNBC, Oct. 18, 2005 HARRISBURG, Pa. - A leading proponent of "intelligent design" acknowledged Tuesday in a trial over the concept's place in public schools that major scientific organizations and even his own colleagues oppose his ideas. However, "not every statement issued by a scientific organization, even on science, is a scientific statement," biochemistry professor Michael Behe said, testifying Tuesday in the case of a school board being sued for requiring high-school biology students to hear about the intelligent-design concept. The landmark U.S. trial could decide whether the concept can be mentioned in science classes of taxpayer-funded schools as an alternative to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Behe contends that evolution cannot fully explain the biological complexities of life, suggesting the work of an intelligent force. The intelligent-design concept does not name the designer, although Behe, a Roman Catholic, has said he personally believes it to be God. The eight Pennsylvania families suing to have intelligent design removed from the Dover Area School District's curriculum say that the teaching essentially promotes the Bible's view of creation, and therefore violates constitutional restrictions on the establishment of religion. ... Behe teaches at the Lehigh University - which has distanced itself from his views on intelligent design. He claimed that Lehigh's biology department gave no scientific evidence in its Web site statement that says intelligent design "has no basis in science." "It doesn't carry the weight of a single (scientific) journal paper," Behe said. Behe also took aim at scientific organizations such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Academy of Sciences, which have spoken out against teaching intelligent design in science classes. "The National Academy of Sciences treats intelligent design in a way what I consider utterly misleading. Talk about scholarly malfeasance!" Behe complained. He disputed the academy's statement that the intelligent-design concept attributed the complexity of nature to "the hand of God." "I advocated none of those ideas," Behe said. "I take this as a political statement unsupported by any references." Behe also accused the AAAS of issuing a "political document" when it stated that intelligent design should not be taught in high-school science classes. ... Behe said intelligent design relies on observing the natural world, not on religious belief. "Intelligent design requires no tenet of any specific religion," he said, "It does not rely on religious texts, messages from religious leaders or any such thing." Behe claimed that teaching intelligent design would clear up what he said were students' misconceptions that evolution is fact and not a theory. Intelligent design, he said, provides students with another way of looking at the facts. ... [A good defence of ID by Prof. Behe. Check out his new web page at Lehigh University.]

Critic of evolution attacks scientists, ABC News/Reuters, Oct 18, 2005 - By Jon Hurdle HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania - A leading U.S. critic of evolution accused two scientific organizations on Tuesday of politics and misleading the public in their rejection of "intelligent design." He also compared intelligent design -- which holds that nature is so complex it must have been the work of a creator -- to the "Big Bang" theory, saying it just may take time for scientists to accept it. ... Behe personally believes the designer was God but said that belief was not part of his intelligent design theory. .... Behe repeatedly compared intelligent design to the "Big Bang" theory of how the universe began, saying it took several decades for scientists to accept it. ... A lawyer for the parents produced an article by Behe saying the theory of intelligent design would be undermined without the existence of God. Earlier in the day Behe denied intelligent design was equivalent to creationism. "Creationism is a theological concept but intelligent design is a scientific theory," Behe said. "One can be a creationist without any physical evidence. That's 180 degrees different from intelligent design." ... [I am not sure in which article Behe is supposed to have said that "the theory of intelligent design would be undermined without the existence of God". I did a search on "Behe"+"undermined"+"God" and could not find where Behe is supposed to have said that. Since this appears to have been only in the report of this Reuters journalist, Jon Hurdle. I presume it is just his spin on what the ACLU lawyer said. I would like to see Behe's exact words in that article before I comment on it. Behe's point that . "One can be a creationist without any physical evidence" is an important one. Some leading young-Earth creationists have effectively stated that "one can be a creationist without any physical evidence", e.g. Duane Gish who admitted (and never retracted and in fact later reiterated) that "We cannot discover by scientific investigations anything about the creative processes used by God":
"By creation we mean the bringing into being of the basic kinds of plants and animals by the process of sudden, or fiat, creation described in the first two chapters of Genesis. Here we find the creation by God of the plants and animals, each commanded to reproduce after its own kind using processes which were essentially instantaneous. We do not know how God created, what processes He used, for God used processes which are not now operating anywhere in the natural universe. This is why we refer to divine creation as special creation. We cannot discover by scientific investigations anything about the creative processes used by God." (Gish D.T., "Evolution: The Fossils Say No!," [1972], Creation-Life: San Diego CA, Second edition, 1973, Third printing, 1976, pp.24-25).
And another leading YEC Kurt Wise, admitted that "if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would ... still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate":
"Although there are scientific reasons for accepting a young earth, I am a young-age creationist because that is my understanding of the Scripture. As I shared with my professors years ago when I was in college, if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate. Here I must stand." (Wise K.P., in Ashton J.F., ed., "In Six Days: Why 50 Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation", New Holland: Sydney NSW, Australia, 1999, p.329).
As Prof. Behe pointed out, "That's 180 degrees different from intelligent design." I hasten to add that YECs like Gish and Wise do not speak for my old-Earth creationist position, which is that both nature and the Bible are two `books' with the one Author and are therefore complementary. Later news: I emailed Casey Luskin who is an observer at the trial and he kindly referred me to this blog post of his:
"Backer of Theory Never Contradicted Self, Truth Shows, Evolution News & Views, Casey Luskin ...Firstly, the article claims that Behe contradicted his claim that ID theory cannot identify the designer. According to Worden, plaintiffs' counsel Mr. Eric Rothschild found that Behe had written "that intelligent design is 'much less plausible for those that deny God's existence.'" Behe's statements were taken from an article he wrote in "Reply to my critics: A response to reviews of Darwin's Black Box: The biochemical challenge to evolution," a peer-reviewed article published in Biology and Philosophy (Vol 16 (5): 685-709, Nov. 2001). Let's read a more complete version of the text of what Behe wrote:
As a matter of my own experience the answer is clearly yes, the argument is less plausible to those for whom God’s existence is in question, and is much less plausible for those who deny God’s existence. People I speak with who already believe in God generally agree with the idea of design in biology (although there are certainly exceptions), those who are in doubt are interested in the argument but often are skeptical, and as a rule those who actively deny God’s existence are either very skeptical or wholly disbelieving (Apparently, the idea of a natural intelligent designer of terrestrial life is not entertained by a large percentage of people)." (Michael J. Behe, "Reply to my critics: A response to reviews of Darwin's Black Box: The biochemical challenge to evolution," published in Biology and Philosophy (Vol 16 (5): 685-709, Nov. 2001).
As can be seen, Behe here was talking about the general psychology of how people deal with accepting intelligent design theory. This is appropriate for a philosophy journal, which looks at how people accept the philosophical implications of various scientific theories. All Behe is saying is that for those who already believe in God, it's often easier for them to accept intelligent design. And Behe qualifies his statements by noting that there are "exceptions" to his experience--showing that he's not talking about hard-and-fast conclusions from ID theory, but the general psychology and philosophical implications that people often find from it. This does not mean that the scientific theory of ID mandates that the designer is God. If this is the best quote that can be dredged up to try to claim that Behe believes that ID theory identifies the designer, then the plaintiffs' case is indeed very weak."
Agreed! This makes it clear that all Behe did was state the obvious that design arguments are more plausible to those who already believe in God and less plausible to those who don't. Behe could have pointed out that the anti-ID side itself in this very trial produced two who claimed to be theists, i.e. Catholic biologist Kenneth Miller and theologian John Haught, who are anti-ID. So as the anti-ID side must admit (unless they were just cynically using Miller and Haught as token Christian theists), ID's design arguments are not only not part of many (if not most) theists' reasons for believing in God, they are actually opposed by some who claim to be Christians.]

School defends intelligent design, BBC, 18 October 2005 ... Prof Behe was the first witness called by the school board, after the dissenting parents presented their case. He said evolution should still be taught, as "any well-educated student should understand it", but said it could not fully explain the biological complexities of life. He said intelligent design questions whether life at the molecular level could have evolved through natural selection. "That's the most poorly supported aspect of Darwin's theory," he told the federal court. ... [This last is actually freely acknowledged by molecular biologists. For example University of Chicago Professor of molecular biology James A. Shapiro, in a review of Behe's Darwin's Black Box conceded that "In fact, there are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations":
"Compared with mousetraps, biochemical systems are incredibly intricate, as illustrated by the blood-clotting system. Clots are meshworks of one protein, fibrin, whose molecules rapidly link together into a fine web. To prevent inappropriate clotting, fibrin is made as an inactive precursor. Another protein, thrombin, cleaves the precursor to liberate fibrin when clotting is needed. As a fail-safe backup, thrombin itself is made as an inactive precursor whose activation in response to tissue damage requires a cascade of half a dozen proteins, sequentially cleaving and activating each other. There are also additional regulatory factors which either stimulate or inhibit the activation cascade. A schematic illustration of these biochemical interactions resembles the wiring diagram for an electronic circuit. This apparently baroque complexity is essential because, for circulation to be maintained, clotting must occur only at the right time and place. For Professor Behe, only intelligent design could explain such a complex, sophisticated, interdependent mechanism for sealing leaks in the circulatory system. The argument that random variation and Darwinian gradualism may not be adequate to explain complex biological systems is hardly new. Behe quotes Darwin himself considering this possibility: `If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.' Surely, then, contemporary Darwinists have answers to rebut critics like Professor Behe. In fact, there are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations. It is remarkable that Darwinism is accepted as a satisfactory explanation for such a vast subject -- evolution --with so little rigorous examination of how well its basic theses work in illuminating specific instances of biological adaptation or diversity." (Shapiro J.A., "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution. book reviews," National Review, September 16, 1996. My emphasis).
So it is clear that the problem is not Behe's claim that "Darwin's theory" theory cannot explain how "life at the molecular level could have evolved through [random micromutations and] natural selection" (since most, if not all, molecular biologists would at least privately concede that), but his claim that that is evidence for intelligent design. Yet that is just stating what Darwin and modern Darwinists say, namely that "The old argument of design in nature, as given by Paley ... fails, now that the law of natural selection has been discovered":
"Although I did not think much about the existence of a personal God until a considerably later period of my life, I will here give the vague conclusions to which I have been driven. The old argument of design in nature, as given by Paley, which formerly seemed to me so conclusive, fails, now that the law of natural selection has been discovered. We can no longer argue that, for instance, the beautiful hinge of a bivalve shell must have been made by an intelligent being, like the hinge of a door by man. There seems to be no more design in the variability of organic beings and in the action of natural selection, than in the course which the wind blows. Everything in nature is the result of fixed laws." (Darwin C.R., in Barlow N., ed., "The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809-1882: With Original Omissions Restored," [1958], W.W. Norton & Co: New York NY, 1969, reprint, p.87).
"[C]One of your books, The Blind Watchmaker, argues the case for the cumulative power of natural selection in the adaptation of organisms. Tell us about the metaphorical title of that book. [D]The "watchmaker" comes from William Paley, the eighteenth-and early nineteenth-century theologian who was one of the most famous exponents of the argument of design. Paley the eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century theologian who was one of the most famous exponents of the argument of design. Paley famously said that if you are wandering along and stumble upon a watch and you pick it up and open it, you realize that the internal mechanism-the way in which it's all meshed together-is detailed perfection. Add this to the fact that the watch mechanism has a purpose-namely, telling the time-then this compels you to conclude that the watch had to have a designer. Paley then went on throughout his book giving example after example of detailed structure of living organisms-eyes, heart, bowels, joints, and everything about animals-showing how beautifully designed they apparently are, how well they work, how intricately the parts mesh together, just like the cog wheels of a watch. And if the watch had to have a watchmaker, then of course these biological structures also had to have a designer. My reason for beginning The Blind Watchmaker was Paley. He really saw the magnitude of the problem of adaptation when most people just didn't see how elegant, how beautiful, apparent design in life is. Paley saw that, and Darwin saw that. And Darwin was introduced to it at least partly by Paley. All undergraduates at Cambridge had to read William Paley. He at least put the question right. So the only thing Paley got wrong, which is quite a big thing, was the answer to the question. And nobody got the right answer until Charles Darwin in the nineteenth century." (Dawkins R., "Interview," in Campbell N.A., Reece J.B. & Mitchell L.G., "Biology," [1987], Benjamin/Cummings: Menlo Park CA, Fifth Edition, 1999, p.412)
That is, if "the law of natural selection" is not a "law" (or general theory), then "The old argument of design in nature" never was refuted by it and therefore is still valid as a scientific theory, unless and until it is refuted! As the late Fred Hoyle noted:
"The speculations of the Origin of Species turned out to be wrong, as we have seen in this chapter. It is ironic that the scientific facts throw Darwin out, but leave William Paley, a figure of fun to the scientific world for more than a century, still in the tournament with a chance of being the ultimate winner." (Hoyle F. & Wickramasinghe C., "The evolutionary record leaks like a sieve," in "Evolution from Space," [1981], Paladin: London, 1983, reprint, pp.100-102)!]
Backer of theory contradicted self, lawyer, Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 19, 2005 , By Amy Worden ... HARRISBURG - An attorney representing parents suing a Pennsylvania school district over the teaching of intelligent design raised contradictions yesterday in the arguments presented by one of the concept's leading advocates. In his second day of testimony in federal court, Michael Behe, a biochemistry professor at Lehigh University, said that intelligent design does not rule out Darwin's theory of common descent, which states that all organisms descend from common biological ancestors. Behe also said intelligent design does not maintain that life began abruptly, and does not specify God as the unidentified designer. But plaintiffs' attorney Eric Rothschild produced documents, including Behe's own writings, that suggested otherwise. Among the documents Rothschild highlighted in a PowerPoint presentation was an article in which Behe wrote that intelligent design is "much less plausible for those that deny God's existence." Rothschild also showed a section of the intelligent design book Of Pandas and People, in which Behe contributed a chapter and was listed as a "critical reviewer," stating that intelligent design means life forms "began abruptly." Behe said under questioning that he did not agree with that definition of intelligent design. Behe, who defines intelligent design as "the purposeful arrangement of parts," defended the concept as a "well-substantiated theory" that seeks to explain gaps in Darwin's theory of evolution. "The concern of intelligent design is to examine the empirical, physical and natural world," he said. "It is no more religious than the big bang theory [of the origin of the universe] is religious. Both rely on observed evidence." .... During cross-examination .... Behe acknowledged that no articles defending intelligent design have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He accused scientific organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science - the nation's largest scientific group - of being politically motivated in their denouncement of intelligent design. "It was a political statement," Behe of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's declaration. "They are very hostile to the idea of intelligent design." Behe repeatedly compared intelligent design to the big bang theory, saying the big bang was rejected by mainstream scientists for decades before being accepted. "Intelligent design is in the same category as the big bang," which took 30 years to become widely accepted by scientists, he said. ... [See above on "intelligent design is `much less plausible for those that deny God's existence.'" I doubt that Behe "acknowledged that no articles defending intelligent design have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals" since apart from IDist Stephen Meyer's paper on the Cambrian Explosion being published in the peer-reviewed Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, as I posted previously, the New York Times reported that Behe had testified in this very trial that "he had been able to publish only one article on intelligent design in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, a piece he co-wrote in Protein Science in 2004."]

Witness Defends Broad Definition of Science, The New York Times, Laurie Goodstein, October 19, 2005 HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 18 - A leading architect of the intelligent-design movement defended his ideas in a federal courtroom on Tuesday and acknowledged that under his definition of a scientific theory, astrology would fit as neatly as intelligent design. Prof. Michael J. Behe of Lehigh University took questions after his second day in court in Harrisburg, Pa., explaining intelligent design. ... Under sharp cross-examination by a lawyer for parents who have sued the school district, he said he was untroubled by the broadness of his definition of science and likened intelligent design to the Big Bang theory of the origins of the universe because both initially faced rejection from scientists who objected for religious and philosophical reasons. "Intelligent design is certainly not the dominant view of the scientific community," Professor Behe testified in Federal District Court, "but I am very pleased with the progress we are making." ... In two days on the stand, Professor Behe has insisted that intelligent design is not the same as creationism, which supports the biblical view that God created the earth and its creatures fully formed. .... The cross-examination of Professor Behe on Tuesday made it clear that intelligent-design proponents do not necessarily share the same definition of their own theory. Eric Rothschild, a lawyer representing the parents suing the school board, projected an excerpt from the "Pandas" textbook that said: "Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency with their distinctive features already intact, fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks and wings, etc." In that definition, Mr. Rothschild asked, couldn't the words "intelligent design" be replaced by "creationism" and still make sense? Professor Behe responded that that excerpt from the textbook was "somewhat problematic," and that it was not consistent with his definition of intelligent design. Mr. Rothschild asked Professor Behe why then he had not objected to the passage since he was among the scientists who was listed as a reviewer of the book. Professor Behe said that although he had reviewed the textbook, he had reviewed only the section he himself had written, on blood clotting. Pressed further, he agreed that it was "not typical" for critical reviewers of scientific textbooks to review their own work. Intelligent design, according to Professor Behe's definition, is a scientific theory that is able to accept some aspects of evolution, like change in organisms over time, but rejects the Darwinian theory of random natural selection. He said intelligent design "focuses exclusively on the proposed mechanism of how complex biological structures arose." Scientific critics of intelligent design - and there are many - have said for years that its proponents never propose any positive arguments or proofs of their theory, but rest entirely on finding flaws in evolution. In an attempt to pin Professor Behe down, Mr. Rothschild asked, "What is the mechanism that intelligent design is proposing?" Mr. Behe said: "It does not propose a mechanism in the sense of a step-by-step description of how these structures arose." He added that "the word 'mechanism' can be used broadly" and said the mechanism was "intelligent activity." Mr. Rothschild concluded, "Sounds pretty tautological, Professor Behe." "No, I don't think so," he responded. He likened the process to seeing the sphinx in Egypt, or the stone heads on Easter Island, and concluding that someone must have designed them. Listening from the front row of the courtroom, a school board members said he found Professor Behe's testimony reaffirming. "Doesn't it sound like he knows what he's talking about?" said the Rev. Ed Rowand, a board member and church pastor. Mr. Rowand said the "core of the issue" is, "Do we have the academic freedom to tell our children there are other points of view besides Darwin's?" ... [I cannot see in the actual cross-examination that Behe was asked, and "acknowledged that under his definition of a scientific theory, astrology would fit as neatly as intelligent design." But the point is that philosophers of science generally agree now with Laudan that the attempt to demarcate what is "scientific" and "unscientific" has failed, and the real question is not whether (say) astrology is "scientific," but rather whether it is true:
"The function of auxiliary hypotheses in scientific testing suggests that many scientific theories, including those in so-called hard sciences, may be very difficult, if not impossible, to falsify conclusively. Yet many theories that have been falsified in practice via the consensus judgment of the scientific community must qualify as scientific according to the falsifiability criterion. Since they have been falsified, they are obviously falsifiable, and since they are falsifiable, they would seem to be scientific. [Laudan L., `The Demise of the Demarcation problem'; Laudan, `Science at the Bar,' p.354]. And so it has gone generally with demarcation criteria. Many theories that have been repudiated on evidential grounds express the very epistemic and methodological virtues (testability, falsifiability, observability, etc.) that have been alleged to characterize true science. Many theories that are held in high esteem lack some of the allegedly necessary and sufficient features of proper science. As a result, with few exceptions most contemporary philosophers of science regard the question `What methods distinguish science from non-science?' as both intractable and uninteresting. What, after all, is in a name? Certainly not automatic epistemic warrant or authority. Thus philosophers of science have increasingly realized that the real issue is not whether a theory is scientific but whether it is true or warranted by the evidence. Thus, as Martin Eger has summarized, `demarcation arguments have collapsed. Philosophers of science don't hold them anymore. They may still enjoy acceptance in the popular world, but that's a different world.' [Eger M., quoted by J. Buell in `Broaden Science Curriculum,' Dallas Morning News, March 10, 1989]. The `demise of the demarcation problem,' as Laudan calls it, implies that the use of positivistic demarcationist arguments by evolutionists is, at least prima facie, on very slippery ground. Laudan's analysis suggests that such arguments are not likely to succeed in distinguishing the scientific status of descent vis-a-vis design or anything else for that matter. As Laudan puts it `If we could stand up on the side of reason, we ought to drop terms like 'pseudo-science.'... They do only emotive work for us.' [Laudan L., `The Demise of the Demarcation problem', in `But Is It Science?', Ruse M., ed., Prometheus Books: Buffalo N.Y, 1988, pp.337-350] If philosophers of science such as Laudan are correct, a stalemate exists in our analysis of design and descent. Neither can automatically qualify as science; neither can be necessarily disqualified either. The a priori methodological merit of design and descent are indistinguishable if no agreed criteria exist by which to judge their merits." (Meyer S.C., "The Methodological Equivalence of Design & Descent: Can There be a Scientific `Theory of Creation'?," in Moreland J.P., ed., "The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent Designer," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL., 1994, p.75).
After all, astrology presumably meets all the criteria of "science" that Darwinists advocate, e.g. testability and falsifiability (i.e. tested and found to be false), etc. As I may have already stated, I agree with the criticism of that definition of intelligent design in Pandas that "Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact-fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc":
"Darwinists object to the view of intelligent design because it does not give a natural cause explanation of how the various forms of life started in the first place. Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact-fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc. Some scientists have arrived at this view since fossil forms first appear in the rock record with their distinctive features intact, and apparently fully functional, rather than gradually developing. No creatures with a partial wing or partial eye are known. Should we close our minds to the possibility that the various types of plants and animals were intelligently designed? This alternative suggests that a reasonable natural cause explanation for origins may never be found, and that intelligent design best fits the data." (Davis P. & Kenyon D.H., "Of Pandas and People: The Central Question of Biological Origins," [1989], Foundation for Thought and Ethics: Richardson TX, Second Edition, 1993, pp.99-100).
This is separate ex nihilo / de novo creations, not necessarily ID. It presumably reflects Pandas 1980s origins as an early transitional creationism-ID text. While an intelligent designer may have brought into being "various forms of life ... abruptly ... with their distinctive features already intact-fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings", it is not a necessary claim of ID. As Behe says above, and has stated, he (like me) accepts universal common ancestry:
"Evolution is a controversial topic, so it is necessary to address a few basic questions at the beginning of the book. Many people think that questioning Darwinian evolution must be equivalent to espousing creationism. As commonly understood, creationism involves belief in an earth formed only about ten thousand years ago, an interpretation of the Bible that is still very popular. For the record, I have no reason to doubt that the universe is the billions of years old that physicists say it is. Further, I find the idea of common descent (that all organisms share a common ancestor) fairly convincing, and have no particular reason to doubt it. I greatly respect the work of my colleagues who study the development and behavior of organisms within an evolutionary framework, and I think that evolutionary biologists have contributed enormously to our understanding of the world. Although Darwin's mechanism-natural selection working on variation-might explain many things, however, I do not believe it explains molecular life. I also do not think it surprising that the new science of the very small might change the way we view the less small." (Behe M.J., "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," Free Press: New York NY, 1996, pp.5-6)
and also Demsbski has stated that "intelligent design is compatible with ... God seamlessly melding all organisms together into one great tree of life":
"Where does intelligent design fit within the creation-evolution debate? Logically, intelligent design is compatible with everything from utterly discontinuous creation (e.g., God intervening at every conceivable point to create new species) to the most far-ranging evolution (e.g., God seamlessly melding all organisms together into one great tree of life). For intelligent design the primary question is not how organisms came to be (though, as we've just seen, this is a vital question for intelligent design) but whether organisms demonstrate clear, empirically detectable marks of being intelligently caused. In principle an evolutionary process can exhibit such `marks of intelligence' as much as any act of special creation." (Dembski W.A., "Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1999, pp.109-110).
Of course Behe's critics know all this, that "the creationist label is inaccurate when it comes to the ID movement" (especially Behe), "But ... its `the easiest way to discredit intelligent design'":
"The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press signaled ID's growing importance in January, issuing an 805-page anthology titled `Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics.' That book title depicts ID as a variant of creationism, which reads Genesis literally and says the Earth was formed thousands of years ago - rather than billions - all species appeared immediately and a flood engulfed the globe. Yet ID actually insists on none of that. And while creationists are mostly conservative Protestants, ID theorists come from a wider range of faiths and some are nonreligious. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled creationism is too biblical for public schools, and ID proponents sought to distinguish themselves from that label in a long Utah Law Journal article arguing that ID is fit for public schools. University of Wisconsin historian Ronald L. Numbers, an ID opponent and author of `The Creationists,' agrees the creationist label is inaccurate when it comes to the ID movement. But, he adds, its `the easiest way to discredit intelligent design.'" (Ostling R.N., "Ohio School Board Debates Teaching 'Intelligent Design'," The Washington Post, March 14, 2002).]
Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).
"Problems of Evolution"

No comments: