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How far has ID come in the last five years?

Recently, someone drew my attention to an Australian biology student who blogged,

The intelligent design (ID) movement has been around for over 20 years, and few (if any) of its stated and implied goals and plans have thus far come to fruition.

Most of what he has to say is self-importance cubed – the usual stance of Darwinists expecting a lifetime on the government payroll, tending a state cult (but then who else would need a Darwinist anyway?) Still, the question is interesting.

In principle, it is hard to evaluate how far a community has come with its stated and implied goals because some goals are corporate, some factional, and some individual, and that means different checkoffs. Also, ID theorists may see some developments as advances or setbacks that others do not.

Here’s a possible approach: Every year starting with 2006, the not-for-profit Access Research Network has put up a list, publicized by ID folk, of the year’s top ten stories on design vs Darwin. Here are UD News’s three top picks from each year. Obviously, the following list omits many stories that matter, as did the original list of ten, but it does address stories on which there was a consensus among the jury. Sometimes, similar stories have been grouped.

Next: 2006: Dissent from Darwin is becoming more open among professionals

All posts in this series:

2006: Dissent from Darwin is becoming more open among professionals

2007: Darwinist efforts to stifle the ID community are failing

2008: Lots of people doubt Darwin that you didn’t think would, and are not afraid to say so

2009: The modern (neo-Darwinian) synthesis is – safely – admitted to be fading

2010: Layer on layer of intricacy outstrips Darwinian just-so stories

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13 Responses to How far has ID come in the last five years?

  1. Yes, yes. Dissent from Darwin, and Darwinism is failing. This is the same song and dance that’s been played for 20 years.

    But what have been the specific advances in ID? Let me say it again: specific…advances..in…I…D.

    The response should start out like this: Oh, the specific advances in ID have been X, Y, and Z.

    The apparent success in sales/publicity of Stephen Meyer’s book is nice, if all ID is actually interested in is market share.

  2. Every single one of those headlines is about “Darwinism” and “Darwinists” (whoever they are – their most important common characteristic appears to be they are government funded which rules me out).

    Looking at the detail on the posts the only positive achievement I can see for ID is the controversial Dembski and Marks paper. All the rest is about perceived failures of this Darwinism.

  3. I don’t think the “most important common characteristic” of darwinists is that they are “government funded”, Mark. Rather, all darwinists believe that life on Earth can mainly be explained by natural selection acting upon random mutations. As darwinism is the only real contender to ID, the more that darwinism is undermined by 21st century science, the better news that is for ID. Don’t you agree?

  4. The importance of government funding to Darwinism, Chris, is that funding keeps bad ideas in circulation much longer So do judicial rulings.

  5. Agreed: when any idealogy is backed by massive investment and influential institutions, it will attract a massive following regardless of its truth value.

    Or, at least, that is the strong impression we’ll get from mainstream media outlets.

  6. markf’s observation is interesting. If you want to answer “How far has ID come in the last five years?”, rehashing rhetoric about “darwinism” doesn’t provide an adequate answer.

  7. The only person rehashing rhetoric here, Gumby, is yourself. Consider this: if ID proponents have destroyed darwinism on rational and empirical grounds, then the answer is more than adequate. Then there’s Meyer’s “Signature in the Cell”: which most ID opponents have been too afraid to read (let alone answer)!

  8. Strange how anti-IDists cannot understand that the way to a design inference is THROUGH their position. That means it is mandatory to eliminate Darwinism and neo-darwinism before even considering a design inference.

  9. One way of looking at this. If ID can only measure its progress through objections to “Darwinism” then how is progress in ID different from progress in any other creationist movement such as AIG?

  10. A significant part of strengthening an inference to the best explanation is eliminating competing explanations. The institutional downfall of darwinism clears the way for ID: the bigger they are, the harder they fall and these stories show that fall in progress.

    Very reassuring to someone like me. How do you feel about them, Mark?

  11. What exactly is the ID inference, anyway, other than objections to Darwinism? I don’t see any positive inference. No times, no places, no mechanism, no designer.

    All I see is the claim that the Darwinian design mechanism is insufficient. I see people like Douglas Axe, a premier ID advocate, saying things like:

    But I’m really not competent myself to comment knowledgably on the current state of such research, so I will grant the possibility, at least in principle, that the search space of functional folded proteins could have been traversed by relatively simple (and mathematically probable) mutational steps in sufficient time to produce those we see today. My sense is that, as the length of proteins increases, the degree of connectedness decreases, and quite rapidly, too.

    I wouldn’t call that progress for ID.

  12. I am not particularly impressed by these examples of “Darwinism” failing. But that is not my main point. ID leaders such as Meyer have always been adamant that ID is positive programme – not just a programme for opposing “Darwinism”. So it is rather telling that virtually everything that is claimed as progress are objections to “Darwinism”.

    Perhaps you can answer my question in 4?

  13. Well, to be fair to “ID leaders”, they get virtually zero coverage from the vast majority of outlets: and any coverage they do get, usually equates ID to Biblical Creationism. Which is exactly what you’re trying to do in question 4 and I know you know better so I’m dismissing it as lazy mischief on your part.

    The destruction of darwinism is big news so, if you are “not particularly impressed” by it, then you must have gone beyond the point of being impressed by anything that challenges your evolutionist beliefs (if you honestly are unimpressed, then why are you wasting your time here at Uncommon Descent?)

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