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Friday, June 20, 2008

Straw in the wind: Science writer tries to figure out why intelligent design theory doesn't go away

In "What neo-creationists get right" in The Scientist (June 20., 2008), Gordy Slack, an Oakland-based science writer who is not sympathetic to intelligent design theory attempts to explain why it can't be stamped out, and makes a
few reasonably good guesses, for example,
When they say that some proponents of evolution are blind followers, they're right. A few years ago I covered a conference of the American Atheists in Las Vegas. I met dozens of people there who were dead sure that evolutionary theory was correct though they didn't know a thing about adaptive radiation, genetic drift, or even plain old natural selection. They came to their Darwinism via a commitment to naturalism and atheism not through the study of science. They're still correct when they say evolution happens. But I'm afraid they're wrong to call themselves skeptics unencumbered by ideology. Many of them are best described as zealots. Ideological zeal isn't incompatible with good science; its coincidence with a theory proves nothing about that theory's explanatory power.
Actually, I hope someday to prove that the most raucous Darwinists have had their bar bills paid by the evil Discovery Institute (intelligent design central) for many years. They have done more to promote intelligent design than many of its strongest proponents.

Unfortunately, Slack confuses science with materialism, which means that most of his other observations are forgettable - but it may be worth the trouble of free registration to view the article.

If you are wondering why there is an intelligent design controversy, read

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