Rob Crowther complains about a story in the New York Times:

First, Dean mistakenly refers to intelligent design as the ?ideological cousin of creationism.? It is not.

No indeed. It is exactly the same thing. The rest of what Crowther writes is so astoundingly wrong that I’ll just let his words speak for themselves.

As for whether or not evolution is the foundation for modern biology, like Dean I will turn to the National Academy of Science–specifically to Dr. Phillip Skell of the NAS, who has written on this subject extensively. [Skell’s unsourced claims that scientists don’t use evolution omitted]?

I think I?ll side with the scientist over the science writer on this one.?

Referring to the National Academy?s official stand against ID, Dean writes?

Wait. Stop. The National Academies of Science have an official stand against ID? So why are we accepting one NAS member’s opinion over the studied assessment of the entire scientific body? Especially if the body itself is so credible?

It isn’t that I don’t know the answer, I just wish the IDolators would fess up.


  1. #1 J-Dog
    October 27, 2006

    I hope she realizes that getting the DI and/or Rob Crowther to whine means she is doing a good job!

  2. #2 quitter
    October 27, 2006

    Denialism plain and simple.

    Classic example of selectivity. The use of one small insignificant piece of information to try to counter the overwhelming amount of significant information. In this case, one NAS member who is cranky about a perceived exaggeration of importance in biology counteracts the entire NAS position on Darwinism (and Skell wasn’t denying evolution happened either).

    Then you go to their list of papers that supposedly must be answered before evolutoin is safe from scientists, and it’s another beautiful example of selectivity. Quote-mining galore combined with the exaggeration of conflicts within a field to make it appear as though there is dispute about evolution.

    Denialism up the wazoo. Classic.

  3. #3 Josh
    October 27, 2006

    This is the rough equivalent of saying that a poodle is not a dog because it isn’t a bulldog or a German shepherd. ID creationism is a different kind of creationism than YEC. That doesn’t mean it isn’t creationism.

    While there may be atheist IDolators, it’s a little hard to imagine what they think the IDol is, exactly.

    I’ve explained what I mean by creationism before, click on “Why it’s called intelligent design creationism.” If you disagree, present an argument, not ad hominems.

  4. #4 Paul Decelles
    October 28, 2006

    Clarissa is right, many ID believers don’t accept literal creation. BUT what they do accept is the existence of some non material cause and intentional force that they view as necessary to the development of the complex adaptations that we see even at the cellular level. Intelligent design is the cosmological equivalent of the discredited vitalism concept that said basically that since we can’t (right now) explain how cells operate there must be some non-material force involved in animating cells.

    Just as vitalism has proven useless as an explanation of how cells work, intelligent design-postulating an intentional creative force is useless and an appeal to ignorence. May not be SPECIAL creation but it is still creationism. As Daniel Dennett would say intelligent design is postulating a skyhook (for instance God) when cranes will do to explain the apparent design we see in the biological world.

  5. #5 Tony Whitson
    October 28, 2006

    Crowther cites Skell’s essay as being published at the New Scientist, and he links to a posting of the essay on DI’s own website.

    The essay was not published by New Scientist. It was published by The Scientist, which seems to serve a different mission. For links & more, see

  6. #6 Tom Terry
    October 29, 2006

    I’d like to know how many “atheists” Clarissa personally knows that endorse ID. I know probably 200 to 300 because I belong to several groups,some for academic, and some for personal reasons, that seem to be very magnetic to atheists and agnostics-not just scientists. I have never met anyone aware of the complete lack of supernatural intervention evidence in this universe that also thought any designer was a smart alternative…or that didn’t see through the transparency of ID…instantly.

  7. #7 mark
    October 29, 2006

    Ignoring for the moment the words of numerous leading ID proponents IDentifying the Intelligent Designer as the God OF The Bible, perhaps we ought to be fair and allow Clarissa the opportunity to explain how arguing that the cosmos was designed and put into production by some “intelligence” not part of the cosmos somehow does not quality as supernatural, and in essence, Creationism?

  8. #8 Liz
    October 30, 2006

    Yes, Clarissa. Besides Berlinski, the mad mathematician, can you name any other ID-believing atheists? That phrase seems to be an oxymoron, like “a sharp, blunt instrument.”

  9. #9 Dan R.
    October 31, 2006

    I think there is also a disconnect between what the DI means (or we mean) when we say belief in an intelligent designer — and what most people not involved in evocreo wars believe.

    For instance, my uncle, a retired tenured professor of cyrobiology — believes in an “intelligent designer” — but believes that the existance of such is unprovable and unknowable through science.

    His views would best be described as theistic evolutionist — but if you asked him if he believed in an intelligent designer, he would answer yes.

New comments have been disabled.