A brief defense of ID

April 21, 2008

In response to this. The Slashdot community mods down Christian responses, so I figured I’d be better off writing on my own blog where I’m in charge. I haven’t seen the film Expelled, but I have a pretty good idea what it’s about. I’d like to address a couple criticisms I frequently read about the ID movement, usually on Slashdot.

1) “Religion belongs in a religion or philosophy class, not in a science class.”

In general, this should be true. The problem is when religion and philosophy are addressed and commented on in the scientific arena. When your science class teaches, say, naturalism (“there are no miracles, everything that happens has a natural origin, there is no God”) then it has stepped into the realm of philosophy.

2) “Darwinism has been proved over and over, you might as well believe in flat earth”

The evidence for microevolution is reasonably solid (the concept that species adapt to their environment). We can observe this over time as insects adapt to pesticides, etc. Things like macroevolution (the concept that all species were differentiated from a single organism over millions of years) belong in a philosophy class. Why? Because they can never be proven, and they can’t be observed. You cannot sit down and watch a new species formed by macroevolution, neither can you go back in time and observe the development of all species on earth from a common ancestor. I’ve never been presented with solid geological evidence that macroevolution must be the mechanism of initial speciation, and in any case that would be an epistemological question (that is, how much evidence is enough to determine that which cannot be directly observed). It could be true, certainly, but that kind of speculation doesn’t really belong in the realm of observable, testable phenomena.

3) “Peer review and the scientific community ensure objectivity”

Peer review and journal articles etc. don’t enforce truth unless every person involved is infallible. It tends more towards groupthink than towards objectivity in any situation, particularly when there’s a lot at stake. If you poll 1000 Christian theologians, people who have built their careers and lives on Christian theology, and ask them the question: “Is Buddhism a viable alternative to Christianity?” … you haven’t gained objectivity. If you want a better example, here’s one: how many politicians do you trust? If politicians can’t be trusted to be objective, competent, and work for the common good, why would you think that scientists can be?

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One Response to “A brief defense of ID”

  1. Lee Says:

    3) …why would you think that scientists can be?

    Because scientists only have to be concerned with where their next grant will be coming from, tenure (or both), “publish or perish”, and other such insignificant and non-pressurizing influences on their objectivity.


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