Leap of Faith: Intelligent design’s trajectory after Dover

 posted on this Neo-ID Board on 2/17/2011.

This video does not make much sense. The title references ID, but the content is about the latest anti-evolution activity in such states as Texas and Louisiana. There is so much content in the video aimed at Creationism [i.e, Institute of Creation Research (ICR) at the 21:18 mark in the video] that it’s nearly impossible to decipher what is actually intended to represent ID, which does not seem like much at all. ID has nothing to do with refuting Darwinian mechanisms.

ID Theory is a study of how information increases in the genome of a population, which supplements Darwinian mechanisms. ID works in conjunction with evolution, and by no means is a substitute that replaces evolution. ID assumes natural selection, genetic copying errors such as frameshift mutations and gene duplication, and everything else we have discovered about DNA and molecular biology.

The video makes some false allegations concerning ID Theory, and so the following is a response to those false claims:

1. Contention: Intelligent Design is just another form of Creationism.

It is true that the ID movement began with a break away from Creationism, and its roots are in Creationism. ID proponents do not deny or dispute this fact. Although ID is Creationism friendly, ID disassociates and repudiates Creationism because Creationism is based upon a philosophical/religious basis, and not the scientific method. Whatever connection there was historically with Creationism, ID has severed its self from any philosophical contemplation and does nothing but science. It is irrelevant that ID’s roots were in Creationism. An analogy would be a girl who is raised in a Mormon family in Utah moves to the Middle East, marries a radical Muslim, and converts to Islam. It would be improper to continue to call her a Mormon because she has changed her beliefs. Another analogy would be someone being raised in a conservative family, but abandon their family’s views to embrace liberalism and Marxism. The point is that just like individuals, organizations likewise can change their ideological views, such as abandoning religion, which is exactly ID proponents have done as well.

2. Contention: The textbook, “Of People and Pandas” is a Creationist textbook.

It is true that the original edition of the “Of People and Pandas” textbook was a Creationist version, However, the textbook was revised such that there is no longer any Creationism content in the book whatsoever. The “Leap of Faith” video reminds us all of the very comical gaffe where a word processing error in an earlier revision to change the term “Creationism” to “Intelligent Design” left the blooper, “cdesign proponentsists.”

The original edition of the textbook read like this:

Edition 1:
“Creation means that the various forms of life began abruptly through the agency of an intelligent creator with their distinctive features already intact. Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc”

The textbook was later revised to read as follows:

Edition 2:
“Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency, with their distinctive features already intact. Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, wings, etc.”

ID does approve the revised edition of the “Of Pandas and People” textbook.

The first “before” sentence (Edition 1) obviously supported Creationism. Edition 1 was revised so that it expresses an entirely different statement. The final “after” sentence (Edition 2) is not a Creationist statement.

Edition 2 removes the conclusion that some supreme deity is the Creator, which implied the Book of Genesis account. The revised Edition 2 statement is consistent with ID Theory. For example, ID fellow, Steve Meyers conjectures that there might have been a frontload of genetic information from an intelligent source, This could be due to a biological bacterium cell being left behind by a visit from extraterrestrial beings containing the genome populations of life on another planet. There are all kinds of speculation and scientific models that could be derived from Edition 2 such that it is no longer a Creationist statement.

The problem with a Creationism statement is that it requires the supernatural, which is not testable or falsifiable, and hence not science. Creationism could be the correct explanation for cosmological questions and development of the first cell. But, science is about being inquisitive and exploring all possibilities. Creationism is based upon faith as opposed to a scientific interpretation of empirical data. Unlike mainstream science, ID is open to non-natural explanations, which include a supernatural cause promoted by Creationism.

There’s nothing wrong with maintaining a Creationist view of the origins of the universe and life. Creationism is simply not a scientific view but a religious belief. ID is separate and distinct from any philosophical contemplation and does nothing but science.

It is important to note is that it is a huge logic failure to argue that ID is not science based upon its roots in Creationism. ID is science because it does science.

3. Contention: The ID Movement (Discovery Institute) is nothing other than a covert operation to teach Creationism/Religion in public schools.

This is false and unfounded. The Discovery Institute (DI) was not interested in the Dover case, or has ever been in the business of promoting Creationism to be taught in the public classroom, The DI only assisted the school board by presenting expert witness testimony as the only involvement in that trial. The notion that the DI was a party in the case is false. In fact, the DI was so disinterested in the Dover case, that two (2) fellows (William Dembski and Stephen Meyer) withdrew their participation in the Dover case,

Some might raise the Wedge document as evidence that there has been an ulterior motive. The DI has a response to this as well:

The questions I would like a response to are:

(a) Why is the Wedge doc a conflict of interest?
(b) To whom or what is there a conflict of interest with, and
(c) How is the Wedge doc relevant or connected to science in any way, shape, or form.

4. Contention: ID promotes euphemisms, such as (a) Evolution is a theory, not a fact, (b) teach evidence for and evidence against evolution, (c) teach strengths and weaknesses, and (d) teach the controversy.

This is a false, unfounded and unsupported allegation. There are no such representations being promoted by ID proponents. If you review the description of this Neo-ID Board, you will see that ID is not about refuting evolution. ID makes its own affirmative hypotheses. For more information on what ID Theory really is, please click here,

5. Contention: The ID argument is old repackaged non-science Creationist arguments.

False. In support of this claim, the Leap of Faith video (at the 7:16 minute mark) had to go all the way back to 1987 in order to propose this argument. The anti-ID opposition ignores the actual genuine science that ID has done and presently researching. To review a sample of ID research, click here, There is no attempt by any ID proponent to win by default by doing nothing other than attacking evolution. Falsifying ID does not prove evolution. Evolutionary theory must be upheld on its own merits. The same holds true for ID.

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