The Center for Inquiry offers up this excellent summary (PDF format) of the nature and goals of Intelligent Design Creationism. Its author is philosopher Barbara Forrest, whose expert testimony in the Dover trial played a significant role in the successful outcome of the case. Think of it as the Cliff’s Notes version of her excellent book (coauthored with Paul Gross) Creationism’s Trojan Horse, coupled with an update on relevant happenings since the book’s publication. Well worth a look.
Of course, ID folks react to Forrest the way vampires react to sunlight. Here’s William Dembski responding in full whimper mode:
As you link to read the following by Barbara Forrest, ask yourself if ID proponents are really that big a threat to the body politic and if in fact it isn’t the dogmatic materialists, such as Barbara, who pose the bigger threat to our democratic institutions. Also ask yourself who is drawing on public funds to promote his/her point of view (hint: the notorious “Wedge Strategy” is not tax-supported).
Well, at least he’s on a first-name basis with her.
There’s something ironic in Dembski bragging that the Wedge Strategy is not tax-supported. The whole point of Forrest’s essay is that the ID folks are trying to coopt the educational and political systems in this country to promote their religious views. She proves very effectively, with page after page of examples and documentation, that the ID movement is a wholly owned subsidiary of the religious right. It’s not by choice that the Wedge Strategy is not tax-supported.
Even sillier is the response of Larry Caldwell, over at the Discovery Institute’s blog:
One of the key expert witnesses for the ACLU in the Dover trial was Barbara Forrest, a Professor of Philosophy at Southeastern Louisiana University. She recently authored a paper entitled “Understanding the Intelligent Design Creationist Movement: Its True Nature and Goals,” (May 2007) in which a major theme is that, since nearly all of the leading intelligent design proponents are Christians who have expressed a preference for a Christian influenced culture, their scientific efforts cannot be trusted as bona fide science. Forrest’s claim, echoing a common theme of Darwinists, is that since the vast majority of intelligent design promoters are Christians, their scientific work must necessarily be so biased by their religious beliefs as to be compromised. On this basis, Forrest essentially argues that anything Christian proponents of intelligent design say about science must be rejected as real science. (Emphasis added.)
That bold-face part is total nonsense, of course. You will search Forrest’s essay in vain for any suggestion that you should dismiss ID’s scientific claims because its leading proponents are Christians. Instead she references various refutations of ID claims by scientists, and then goes about her stated business of exposing the goals and intentions of the movement. She finds that the goals and nature of the movement are religious, and have little to do with the advancement of science. She could hardly find otherwise.
ID’s scientific claims should be rejected because they are totally and laughably wrong. The intentions of the leading mouthpieces for the movement should not be trusted because their public statements about wanting to advance science are easily shown to be false.