Home » Intelligent Design » Is ID science?–a 30-year old opinion

Is ID science?–a 30-year old opinion

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.

Granville Sewell

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4 Responses to Is ID science?–a 30-year old opinion

  1. When it comes to biology, the “scientific” world has gone stark raving mad. Design screams from every corner, but it is denied with the most ridiculous excuses.

    My younger daughter is a freshman in high school, and what she is learning from her biology textbook — Biology, Concepts and Connections, fifth edition, Neil A. Campbell, Jane B. Reece, Martha R. Taylor, Eric J. Simon — is a gigantic propaganda piece for Darwinism, without a single mention of any scientific problems with the “theory.” It’s all the usual stuff.

    Darwin is idolized, and there are fully 156 pages on “evolution.” There is not a single mention of the problem of the origin of biological information or machinery, and it includes section after section of pure speculation presented as science (“Are birds really dinosaurs with feathers?” “The first polymers may have formed on hot rocks or clay,” “The first genetic material and enzymes may both have been RNA,” “Membrane-enclosed molecular cooperatives may have preceded the first cells,” etc.) My daughter is forced to memorize this stuff and regurgitate it on tests.

    My favorite chapter is entitled, “Evolutionary trends do not mean that evolution is goal directed.” This is a not-so-subtle way of saying that humans are the result of blind, purposeless, uncaring, materialistic forces that didn’t have us in mind.

    Please pardon my righteous anger, but I don’t feel that, as a parent, I should be tasked with teaching my daughter that she is being fed a Himalayan-sized pile of crap by the public school system.

  2. To: GilDodgen

    “not-so-subtle way of saying that humans are the result of blind, purposeless, uncaring, materialistic forces”

    Thats exactly what Evolution is saying. So whats the problem ?

  3. “Evolution” says nothing.

    ‘Evolutionists’ say many (foolish) things.

  4. Gil: “not-so-subtle way of saying that humans are the result of blind, purposeless, uncaring, materialistic forces”

    OilBoy: Thats exactly what Evolution is saying. So whats the problem?

    Supporting evidence. What is the convincing evidence for a process that generates a cell in the first place? If it did would it come replete with a self-replicating genome having all the encoding sequences required to sustain life? What natural forces make the evolution of nucleic acids not only inevitable but specific with respect to their sequential encoding properties? What did you learn about organic chemistry or biochemistry that convinced you that a functional genome would remain that way in a prebiotic environment without intricate repair mechanisms front loaded into that genome? What evolution is “saying” and what can be verified experimentally are very, very different things.

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