Is ID science?–a 30-year old opinion
|March 31, 2007||Posted by Granville Sewell under Intelligent Design|
In 1978-79 I was visiting professor in the computer science department at Purdue University, when the student newspaper (the Exponent) published a letter to the editor comparing “creationists” to “flat-earthers”. My reply, given below, was published a few days later. The reason I thought this 30-year-old letter might be of some interest to UD readers is how nicely it anticipates the current debate on whether ID is science or not (especially the last paragraph):
Last year I surveyed the literature on evolution in the biology library of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and found Olan Hyndman’s “The Origin of Life and the Evolution of Living Things” (1952) in which he calls the neo-Darwinian theory of random mutation and natural selection “the most irrational and illogical explanation of natural phenomenon extant” and proposes an alternative theory; Rene Dubos’ “The Torch of Life” (1962) in which he says “[The neo-Darwinian theory’s] real strength is that however implausible it may appear to its opponents, they do not have a more plausible one to offer in its place”; and Jean Rostand’s “A Biologist’s View” (1956) in which he says that the variations which have made up evolution must have been “creative and not random.” Rostand, who elsewhere has called the neo-Darwinian theory a “fairy tale for adults,” attributes this creativeness to the genes themselves, and says “quite a number of biologists do, in fact, fall back on these hypothetical variations to explain the major steps in evolution.” … Only in a couple of high school textbooks did I find no trace of doubt that five billion years of struggle for survival could have led to the development of all the magnificent species in the living world.
I was not, however, able to find any books which suggested that this creativeness originated outside the chromosomes–these are restricted to theological libraries, because they deal with religion and not science, and their authors are compared to flat-earthers in Exponent letters.