Home » Intelligent Design » Is ID getting anywhere? Three thoughts, and a suggestion, and other news

Is ID getting anywhere? Three thoughts, and a suggestion, and other news

I’ve been covering the ID controversy for about seven years now, as one of only a handful of journalists to make a specialty of it.

Along the way, I have encountered several j’s who were scared off by threats of career ruin. I thought that too bad.

If your stories are consistently about stuff that’s in the news, it’s actually hard to ruin your career covering them.

When people ask me whether ID is making an impact, I usually focus on three criteria I developed back then and monitor routinely:

1. Google hits. Seven years ago, I had to wade through tons of (allegedly) intelligently designed windows, washrooms, and software. Today, in the top slots, Darwinsludge predominates, but the ID guys have obviously captured the term “intelligent design” as such, because the sludge is principally heaved against them.

Example: Right now, a politician would hardly describe her proposed programs as “intelligently designed” when canvassing voters unless she knew they were sympathetic to design in nature. Score one for the ID guys, for capturing a term.

2. Alarmbots. For example, persons proclaiming the crash of civilization whenever – for example – students are allowed to know in school that nature shows lots of evidence of intelligent design.

For millennia people have observed design in nature, yet civilization did not (particularly) crash. Quite the opposite.

But today, everyone is either a selfish gene-driven robot (saving civilization) or a mind, courtesy of the cosmic Mind (destroying civilization).

So selfish-gene driven robots (most Darwinbots?) are the guardians of our current civilization?

Very well. That sounds right - in the age of reality TV and wardrobe malfunction, the guardians should all be Darwnbots.

The increase in alarmism among upper Darwinbots in recent years is then further evidence that the ID guys are making their case.

3. The need of legacy media to “refute” intelligent design is taking precedence over normal story values. For example, reviewer Sara Lippincott in the Los Angeles Times, looking at ‘When Science Goes Wrong’ by Simon LeVay s that the book, “despite its provocative title, will not give particular comfort to proponents of intelligent design.”

Huh? So that’s what’s on her mind? Wasn’t on mine, and yet this is my key beat and she probably knows nothing whatever about it.

Similarly, Anne Minard writes in National Geographic News (July 9, 2008), “The discovery of a missing link in the evolution of bizarre flatfishes-each of which has both eyes on the same side of its head-could give intelligent design advocates a sinking feeling.” I know for a fact that it didn’t give the key ID guys that I keep track of a sinking feeling. Their interest is the vast information bulge in nature and the new find doesn’t really address that*.

But Minard herself needs to believe that it does give them a sinking feeling. More to the point, her job is to communicate that idea to her faithful and grateful Geographics. Yet even now, the Altenberg 16 meet to decide how they can save their exploded idea, reminding me of Glasnost.

With that kind of opposition, the ID guys will lose only if they lose heart. But who knows?

Suggestion: ID or not, oppose any effort to institute thought control where you live. Read up on where it has led in Canada. I dare to hope that we will win against the thought controllers, whether dogmatic Darwinians or (in Canada far more often) unstructured professional busybodies.

Also, just up at Colliding Universes

Water? On the moon? And what else?

Political correctness stumbles on science: “Black hole” to be a banned word now? (This is truly amazing.)

Earth to Mercury: We love you, don’t quit. Read the note, smell the flowers …. please forgive us

Outlaw journalist David Warren disparages Extraterrestrials- and WHERE, I ask you, is the Canadian Human Rights Commission?

*A missing link does not explain a huge information bulge. It is like finding intermediate drafts of a historic novel. One would hardly be surprised to discover such drafts. (Recently, I went through five drafts of a 1500 word story, for heaven’s sakes … ) The idea that intermediates show that there is no design in nature is inherently ridiculous to anyone who does not need to claim it as support for materialist ideology.

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18 Responses to Is ID getting anywhere? Three thoughts, and a suggestion, and other news

  1. Denyse noted,

    “Right now, a politician would hardly describe her proposed programs as “intelligently designed” when canvassing voters unless she knew they were sympathetic to design in nature. Score one for the ID guys, for capturing a term.”ockquote>

    But score two for the ones who have severely denigrated the term.

    “ID or not, oppose any effort to institute thought control where you live. Read up on where it has led in Canada. I dare to hope that we will win against the thought controllers, whether dogmatic Darwinians or (in Canada far more often) unstructured professional busybodies.”

    One of the reasons, if not the prime reason, that ID appears to be lacking somewhat, is that the ‘thot controllers’ are still in control, and appear to me to be acting out of desperation to maintain that position. Point be known; it is their position that appears to be in decline. Who speaks loudest, PNAS or an upcoming science student? Let’s call it ‘latent scholarship’ or to be more succinct, ‘latent authority’.

    One problem has been one of scholastic inertia, a kind of cultural inertia, that acts in a way that upcoming students are often constrained to prevailing biases. I flunked American History twice due to disagreements with the prof regarding interpretations and/or motivations behind colonial and governmental acts. The text was skewed in places in chauvinistic ways that I simply could not accept. Stubborn was I, but realizing that to move on I must conform to a degree, I did so.

    I see a parallel regarding the presentation of evolutionary theory today. But I also see a widening acceptance of ‘free thought’, i.e. the allowance of coming to your own conclusions, in areas where there are legitimate alternatives. I also see the Internet as a source of knowledge beyond the classroom.

    A common criticism of ID promotion is that it’s simply ‘bending ear’, and feeding a frenzied culture war, rather than furthering valid scientific pursuit. At this juncture, It is to a degree, but to win the minds of those who are the scholars, teachers, researchers and yes, controllers in latency, this must be accomplished. Have patience, as a brand new enlightenment period may be in the offing.
    http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/201750.html

  2. in the age of reality TV and wardrobe malfunction, the guardians should all be Darwinbots

    Chuckle.

  3. 3

    I think that people may be starting to tire of ID and that critics of evolution have put too many eggs in the ID basket. I think that we need to diversify more into non-ID criticisms of evolution (e.g., criticisms concerning co-evolution, the propagation of beneficial mutations in sexual reproduction, and chromosome counts). I emphasize non-ID criticisms of evolution on my blog.

    The Kitzmiller opinion’s ridicule of ID (e.g., “breathtaking inanity”) has done tremendous damage to ID’s reputation — as a result, government officials trying to introduce criticisms of evolution into public school curricula have found it necessary to disclaim that they are trying to introduce ID.

    An amicus brief from the Discovery Institute urged Judge Jones to declare the controversy to be non-justiciable — questions are non-justiciable when there is “a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards.” Vieth v. Jubelirer, 541 U.S. 267, 277-78 (2004). An amicus brief filed by 85 scientists said, “Courts are ill-suited to resolve debates over the validity of controversial scientific theories. In particular, the scientific theory of intelligent design should not be stigmatized by the courts as less scientific than competing theories . . . .” Megalomaniacal activist Judge Jones didn’t listen — he was determined to make a big name for himself by ruling that ID is unscientific.

    Judge Jones revealed extreme prejudice by saying in a Dickinson College commencement speech that his Dover decision was based on his notion that the Founders based the establishment clause upon a belief that organized religions are not “true” religions. He should be disqualified from hearing any more establishment clause cases.

  4. Rewriting Darwin:

    New Scientist

    http://www.newscientist.com/ch.....tance.html

  5. I saw the new move “Hancock” the other day. The movie was alright, but what caught my attention was an explanation as to where our superhero came from. The was told that “we were made in pairs.” That is very interesting. This is a major summer box office movie. It did not say “we evolved along a separate path.” While it may be possible to be made by evolution, that would be a stretch. It seems to me that the movie makers are acknowledging an important shift in their audience. This tells me that ID has been making significant progress.

  6. Peter, with all due respect, I don’t think a story about the origins of a fictional superhero in a movie is an indicator of anything.

  7. Why is it that none of the progression you write about is in any way scientific? Isn’t that where the real progress should be made?

  8. johnny, it’s certainly a contrast to the X-men movies, which made us endure pointless narratives about the power of evolution.

    Pop culture indeed qualifies as an indicator, and movies are right up there with music in cultural influence, and can be a reflection of cultural attitudes. I’d say that even a minor reference to creation as opposed to some hogwash about natural selection is not nothing, and is a possible indicator of a shifting status quo, albeit a small one.

  9. 9

    Just keep doing what you do Denyse.

  10. Apollos,

    Pop culture indeed qualifies as an indicator, and movies are right up there with music in cultural influence, and can be a reflection of cultural attitudes. I’d say that even a minor reference to creation as opposed to some hogwash about natural selection is not nothing, and is a possible indicator of a shifting status quo, albeit a small one.

    I don’t deny that pop culture can be used as an indicator of cultural trends and attitudes. What I am finding hard to believe, however, is that the fictional origin of a superhero — Hancock in this case — is any sort of indication of the attitudes of popular culture. It may reflect the attitude of Will Smith, or of the writers, but to me it seems like quite a stretch from even beginning to represent the attitude of a culture as a whole.

    I think there are far better indicators that could be used to gauge ID’s social impact than Hancock’s origins.

  11. Foiled by the blockquote tag again.

  12. I think there are far better indicators that could be used to gauge ID’s social impact than Hancock’s origins.
    I’m certain there are, but I don’t discount even subtle pop culture trends when it comes to recognizing the validity of design scenarios — even fantasy ones.

    Do you have any favorite examples? I know that opinion polls show a high amount of skepticism regarding undirected processes, and a surprising support for a special creation scenario. That’s not bad in and of itself, and confounding to the materialist establishment.

  13. Heh I’ve been bitten by blockquote too. I checked and triple checked. The HTML validation is eating entire paragraphs.

  14. I think there are far better indicators that could be used to gauge ID’s social impact than Hancock’s origins.When you consider how liberal Hollywood is, you have to stop and consider the signifigance. Producers routinely make ‘R’ rated movies rather than ‘G’ movies to satisfy their own interests. In doing this they intentionally make less profit for their companies. So to have a major movie that overcomes the personal bias of Hollywood producers is very signifigant.

  15. When you consider the liberal bias in Hollywood producers, this is significant.

  16. You may want to confirm this by hard evidence.

  17. Robert Lockett advises me “Just keep doing what you do.”

    Thanks, Robert. No fear, I will.

    - d. – “Confronting the fascists where they live.” (In Canada currently that’s no joke.)

  18. 18

    Denyse, if you’ll accept the opinion of a truck driver here in the states, I am quite pessimistic about our current culture, just as many others such as Andrei Sakharov were in their respective times.

    That does not mean, however, that the truth should not be proclaimed, or that it should be tempered.

    Proclaim it. And do so with all the legitimate angles such as the connection between Hitler and naturalism (sorry Dave).

    But let us proclaim it to those who can hear it, and not to belittle those blowing with the zeitgeist.

    It’s not that I have done what I preach in my own sophomoric debates, and I am no Sakharov…

    But I am learning…

    And I believe all will be vindicated. I believe that Justice is absolute. And yes, that is a whole subject in itself, but worth remembering.

    God bless

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