Stranger Fruit

ID needs a “big event”

PZ has noted that the boyos over at Uncommon Descent have deep-sixed a comment thread that (rightly) pointed out that he bested DI-fellow Geoffrey Simmons in their debate yesterday (it will be interesting to see how the DI spins this one). Happily, After The Bar Closes has the comments archived. Therein, you can find this gem from Louis Savain (yeah, that Savain):

The ID movement is wasting its time and resources, in my opinion. This ID vs. evolution fight will never be won with either debates, arguments, brochures, web sites or what have you. The opposition has a propaganda machine that is impervious to this strategy. If public debates and discussions are the best that we can do, I’m afraid we have lost the war before it has even started.

ID needs a BIG EVENT. It needs something that will get everybody (laymen and experts alike) to stand up and take notice, something that will quickly and decisively nullify the enemy’s defences. I don’t see these endless debates and arguments making a dent in their armor. They’re stronger than ever.

Education and arguments are nice but they will only be effective after we’re on top, not before.

["mapou", 01/31/2008 5:27pm]

It’s not that public debates and discussions are the "best" that they can do, it’s that public debates and discussions are all that they can do. The evidence clearly hasn’t worked out in their favor and the ID movement has turned to attempts to win over the public through op-ed pieces, websites and "debates." And now they are losing that engagement as well because, as PZ ably demonstrated, their ignorance of scientific findings becomes obvious when they are questioned.

What sort of "BIG EVENT" Savain envisions is anyone’s guess – short of the appearance of Xenu, the FSM, or You-Know-Who, it’s hard to see what could pull ID out of its current tail-spin.


  1. #1 Jeb, FCD
    February 1, 2008

    More people flying airplanes into buildings perhaps? That’s what helped drive this resurgence in religion we are experiencing.

  2. #2 Dave X
    February 1, 2008

    Who was it that said a rabbit skeleton in the precambrian would falsify evolution?

    Finding that would be big.

  3. #3 John Lynch
    February 1, 2008

    @ Dave X

    JBS Haldane, if I remember correctly. Of course, finding such a rabbit wouldn’t prove design.

  4. #4 J-Dog
    February 1, 2008

    I can not think of any single “Big Event”, other than a Real Live Authentic Old Testament Style God-Done Miracle(TM), that will save ID.

    Even if Huckabee gets elected (small chance) and institutes a Nehimiah Scidder-Like USA Theocracy, it would not necessarily be that good for ID, because the Huckster would just legislate Genesis as science, so there would be no need to resort to the subterfuge that is ID.

    Poor ID. Even a theocracy won’t save them and God, I mean The Designer, just can’t or won’t do what the Old Testament God could do. Even if The Big Event would be Dembski strapping on his Nixplanatory Filter to his waist, and blowing up the DI’s office in Seattle, it wouldn’t help.

    ID is a dead theory walking. Like a Zombie, it staggers around making noise, but it is dead, and it’s starting to smell. Real bad.

  5. #5 SteveF
    February 1, 2008

    They had a big event. In a little town called Dover.

  6. #6 Lewis
    February 1, 2008

    As an atheist, I am all for marginalizing the bozo irrational actions of the Discovery Institute (DI). They deserve all of the scorn that we can heap upon them.

    Yet, in line with the old Jesuit saying: “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness”, I believe that scientists should be impartial enough to acknowledge that some in the religious community have chosen a path more in line with the findings of science.

    For a more encouraging view of how science has had a positive effect upon religion I refer readers to the United Church of Christ Pastoral Letter On Faith Engaging Science and Technology (

    I offer, below, the comments by Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, American Association for the Advancement of Science ( regarding the UCC pastoral letter.

    “I am delighted to see the United Church of Christ’s clear support of science. I believe that science and religion are complementary to each other, and should not be seen as competing ways of looking at the world; they are concerned with different questions. In an era of such rapid science and technology advances – advances that bring benefits as well as, at times, risks — and when science and technology are becoming ever-more imbedded in every aspect of modern life, it is essential that we maintain an active dialogue among scientists, ethicists, and religious communities. In the same way that UCC states that it cannot ignore the context in which it functions, neither can the scientific community ignore its societal context. For this reason, we see a dialogue between science and religion as vital.”

    [Apologies for the fact that this comment spent over eight hours in the spam box -jml]

  7. #7 dave X
    February 1, 2008

    What will come after the cdesign proponentsists? cdesigndid-tooproponentsists?

  8. #8 John Pieret
    February 1, 2008

    What sort of “BIG EVENT” Savain envisions is anyone’s guess …

    Can you say “Rapture”? 😉

  9. #9 Marion Delgado
    June 13, 2008

    deevolution explorernents.

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