Those crazy rascals behind Expelled have some new games they want to play: they’ve put out a casting call for victims of persecution. It’s a pitiful plea, but it will probably net a nice collection of complaints — because it’s true. We do reject Intelligent Design from the academy, from science, and from science education, and there’s a very good reason for that: it’s the same reason we reject astrology, alchemy, creationism, haruspication, necromancy, ornithomancy, and witchcraft from our science courses. Because they aren’t science.
Taylor Kessinger gets it. He’s a junior at the University of Arizona who wrote a nice, lucid opinion piece for the school paper.
What the movie, due in February, won’t tell you is the truth regarding intelligent design. The “theory” is so embarrassingly poorly argued and devoid of scientific merit that even the Rev. George Coyne, director of the Vatican Observatory — not exactly a bastion of anti-theistic vitriol the last time I checked — has denounced it as an unscientific idea that simply “pretends to be” science.
Exactly right, Taylor! The Intelligent Design hypothesis has been examined by the scientific community to a degree far in excess of what it deserves, and it has been summarily dismissed. There is the reason that ID is not taught in school and professors who study it are mocked — it’s not science, it’s unscientific.
Taylor hammers on another important point. These creationists often demand fairness, that they should be given some kind of equal time in the schools.
But freedom of speech doesn’t protect the rights of professors to make claims with no scientific backing without repercussions. Universities don’t stand for professors who waste funds and time researching astrology, parapsychology or other pseudoscientific ideas, and they never should.
Stein and his fellow design advocates don’t care about equality or fairness. They want intelligent design to be “special” in this regard, so that they can pretend their belief in God – a faith-based belief – somehow has scientific backing.
The creationist’s version of “fairness” is to be given special privileges and be allowed to cut ahead in line — to be granted the respect of a genuine scientific theory without having done the work. I think we all know that that is the opposite of fair. That’s cheating. That is wasting our time.
I think young Mr Kessinger struck a nerve, because now he’s the target of an unhappy tirade by the Discovery Institute. It must have hurt their feelings to discover that an undergraduate at a state university could so easily see through their strenuously wrought smokescreen of lies. So now they accuse him of being a “dogmatic Darwinist” when it seems to me that Kessinger instead is someone who applied basic critical thinking and a little knowledge to the claims of creationists.
Sadly, Kessinger is not the only student who has been taught that it’s good and entirely appropriate to discriminate against intelligent design supporters. I once told a good friend of mine in college about a professor I knew who lost his job over his support of intelligent design. Her response? “Silly ID people — that’s what you get.” Upon further examination, she admitted that she didn’t know much about intelligent design, just what her professors taught her — that it was merely a negative argument against Darwinism without any scientific research.
This second misapprehension is what students are being taught by many Darwinist professors about intelligent design, and this is why some actually support persecuting ID proponents. Much like my friend, the author of this editorial was told somewhere along the way that “[i]ntelligent design simply asserts that structures like the human eye and bacterial flagellum couldn’t possibly have formed by random chance, so an intelligent designer is needed.”
Oh, no, they complain — all these people have this horrible misapprehension that ID is only about negative arguments against evolution, or that a designer is needed to fill in the failures of evolution. I think the DI is trying to argue that this isn’t at all true, until you read down to the second paragraph after the above. Here, they try to clarify the situation by offering their official definition of Intelligent Design creationism:
intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.
In other words, their own definition says that evolution is inadequate, that certain structures (like, for instance, the eye and flagellum) cannout be accounted for by the proceses of evolution, and that they will fill in those gaps by postulating a designer.
This refutes Taylor Kessinger’s argument how?
We know the definition they use, and it exactly fits our understanding of the ID guess.
We can also point you to the various books they peddle — Darwin’s Black Box, Icons of Evolution, Explore Evolution, The Edge of Evolution, etc. — and they all have the same tedious, unfounded, fallacious message: that modern biology is all wrong. They don’t propose any new ideas to replace the natural principles that have been identified, they can’t and they know it, because their “Designer” is a supernatural being, so they have to avoid discussing it with any detail or any testable mechanisms at all. They know that as soon as they mention anything about the nature of their proposed mechanism, the designer, the jig is up — it’s an admission that they are trying to push a religion into the schools.
They’re screwed. They fail. That’s why they’re so upset with Mr Kessinger, because he has clearly explained what everyone knows, but what they want to hide. It’s also why they’re pushing Expelled hard — their last hope is to play the martyr card and beg for public sympathy because they’re being so soundly crushed in the marketplace of scientific ideas. This is the Miami Dolphins begging the public to ignore their 0-7 record so far and give them a place in the Superbowl because their uniforms are pretty, and because those other big mean teams outscore them and keep on beating them badly; it’s simply unfair that the rules demand that they win some games.
How stupid do they think people are to fall for that?