Is Richard Dawkins a Raelian?

This is rich: Richard Dawkins—whose official website claims modestly to be “a clear thinking oasis”—made an incredible statement in the new movie Expelled, asserting that it is “an intriguing possibility” that space aliens “seeded” life here on Planet Earth. (I haven’t seen the movie, but did obtain this partial transcript. The emphasis is mine.) Moderator Ben Stein asks Dawkins how Read More ›

Steve Fuller: Designer Trouble

This article, published by The Guardian, mentions Discovery Institute Center for Science & Culture Senior Fellow Michael Behe: Michael Behe, the architect of ID and the star witness in the Dover trial, was publicly disowned by his biological sciences department at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. The rest of the article can be found here.

Intelligent Design: Professors discuss Teaching the Controversial Subject

This article, published by The Cornell Daily Sun, mentions Discovery Institute Center for Science & Culture Senior Fellow Michael Behe: Psiaki discussed the mechanism of blood-clotting in mice, an example used by leading I.D. advocate Prof. Michael Behe, biological sciences, Lehigh University. The rest of the article can be found here.

The Discovery Institute and ID

Until about two months ago, I hadn’t read much material put out by the Discovery Institute. Their Center for Science and Culture is one of the main forces behind Intelligent Design. What little knowledge I had of them was based on what I would occasionally read in news articles and perhaps Panda’s Thumb. Then after reading one of my posts Read More ›

Do We Need a National ID Card?

Are you in favor of a national identity card? Even though many Americans are against the idea of a national identity card, it is coming. In fact, in many ways, it is already here. Every American citizen and every foreign worker in America is required to have a Social Security card. Your Social Security card is only supposed to be Read More ›

DNA by Design

This paper will develop a design hypothesis, not as an explanation for the origin of species, but as an explanation for the origin of the information required to make a living system in the first place. Whereas Darwinism and neo-Darwinism address the former question, theories of chemical evolution have addressed the latter question of the ultimate origin of life. This essay will contest the causal adequacy of chemical evolutionary theories based upon “chance,” “necessity,” and their combination. Instead, a third type of explanation — intelligent design — provides a better explanation for the origin of the information present in large biomacromolecules such as DNA, RNA, and proteins. To paraphrase Sober, this paper will present a version of the design hypothesis that disagrees with strictly materialistic theories of chemical evolution and provides a better explanation for the observed complexity of the simplest living organisms. Read More ›

Transcript-NPR Talk of the Nation / Science Friday

IRA FLATOW, host: This is TALK OF THE NATION/SCIENCE FRIDAY. I’m Ira Flatow. Efforts to influence how evolution is taught in the classroom has been picking up steam lately. This month, the nation’s largest scientific organization, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, passed a resolution urging policy-makers to oppose teaching what is called the ‘intelligent design’ theory within Read More ›

Becoming a Disciplined Science

Keynote address delivered at RAPID Conference (Research and Progress in Intelligent Design), Biola University, La Mirada, California, 25 October 2002. The aim of this conference was to examine the current state of intelligent design research.

Recently I asked a well-known ID sympathizer what shape he thought the ID movement was in. I raised the question because, after some initial enthusiasm on his part three years ago, his interest seemed to have flagged. Here is what he wrote:

An enormous amount of energy has been expended on “proving” that ID is bogus, “stealth creationism,” “not science,” and so on. Much of this, ironically, violates the spirit of science. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. But on the other side, too much stuff from the ID camp is repetitive, imprecise and immodest in its claims, and otherwise very unsatisfactory. The “debate” is mostly going around in circles. The real work needs to go forward. There is a tremendous ferment right now in the “evo/devo” field, for instance. Some bright postdocs sympathetic to ID (and yes, I know how hard a time they would have institutionally at many places) should plunge right into the thick of that. Maybe they are at this very moment: I hope so!

Every now and again we need to take a good, hard look in the mirror. The aim of this talk is to help us do just that. Intelligent design has made tremendous inroads into the culture at large. Front page stories featuring our work have appeared in the New York Times, L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, and so on. Television, radio, and weeklies like Time Magazine are focusing the spotlight on us as well. This publicity is at once useful and seductive. It useful because it helps get the word out and attract talent to the movement. It is seductive because it can deceive us into thinking that we have accomplished more than we actually have.

Two animating principles drive intelligent design. The more popular by far takes intelligent design as a tool for liberation from ideologies that suffocate the human spirit, such as reductionism and materialism. The other animating principle, less popular but intellectually more compelling, takes intelligent design as the key to opening up fresh insights into nature. The first of these animating principles is purely instrumental — it treats intelligent design as a tool for attaining some other end (like defeating materialism). Presumably if other tools could more effectively accomplish that end, intelligent design would be abandoned. The second of these animating principles, by contrast, is intrinsic — it treats intelligent design as an essential good, an end in itself worthy to be pursued because of the insights it provides into nature.

These animating principles can work side by side, and there is no inherent conflict between them. Nonetheless, there is a clear order of priority. Unless intelligent design is an intrinsic good — unless it can be developed as a scientific research program and provide sound insights into the natural world — then its use as an instrumental good for defeating ideologies that suffocate the human spirit becomes insupportable. Intelligent design must not become a “noble lie” for vanquishing views we find unacceptable (history is full of noble lies that ended in disgrace). Rather, intelligent design needs to convince us of its truth on its scientific merits. Then, because it is true and known to be true, it can become an instrument for liberation from suffocating ideologies — ideologies that suffocate not because they tell us the grim truth about ourselves but because they are at once grim and false (Freud’s psychic determinism is a case in point)….

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ID Will Win in the End

his article appeared in a discussion on the topic of intelligent design published in the July/August, 2002 issue of Research News & Opportunities In Science And Theology. Other contributing writers included Karl Giberson, Michael Ruse, Michael Behe, Eugenie Scott, Jonathan Wells, and Robert Pennock. When the Athenian court convicted Socrates for subverting the youth of Athens, he was given the Read More ›