Self-refuting headlines

The IDosphere (IDome?) is oddly enthusiastic about an article in the Christian Post about Paul Nelson’s attempts to defend ID. The problem is, the title of the piece refutes itself: Intelligent Design Defended by Unsolved Genetic Puzzle.

Set aside (at least momentarily) the issue of whether the author intended to refer to Nelson as an unsolved genetic puzzle (we have a pretty good idea of where his genes came from, after all).

The problem is, an unsolved problem cannot be an argument for some theory positive statement about the world. If the problem is unsolved, it suggests that IDC doesn’t solve it either, after all.

I struck out “theory” above because Nelson insisted “that you don?t need a theory of design to know that is design.” Alas, this isn’t true. Without a theory, all you have is hand-waving, maybe with some intuition thrown in. You have no explanatory power. And the world isn’t always intuitive, so you really have nothing at all.

Essentially, the headline’s accurate summary of IDC is that it can be best defended by ignorance. And if that’s so, I have to wonder why anyone would find it worth defending.


  1. #1 Jeremy Mohn
    November 21, 2006

    A scientific theory? Who needs one?

    Intelligent Design: IT JUST IS!

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