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Saturday, October 04, 2008

Theistic evolution: Straw men forked? Arguments for intelligent design addressed? Pigs fly?

Sure pigs can fly. But they must travel in the cargo hold.

An interesting discussion is now taking place at the American Scientific Affiliation list, led by science historian Ted Davis.

In the past, that list has struck me as a home of faith and science has-beens (and never-wuzzes) bashing intelligent design.

Basically, these guys were trained to stump for religion at a time when everyone thought life could be created just by zapping a test tube. Oh yes, and space aliens were just around the comet, computers would soon run the world, and "goo to zoo to you to poo" was a perfectly realistic explanation of the history of life. Pop science mags couldn't make up the silliness fast enough to meet the demand.

So the chant was, Francis Collins-style, "Do not look for evidence of design in nature. Look for faith in your heart, and be content with that."

Fast forward to a 2008 world where cells are mini supercomputers (so much for Zap!), the space aliens are our cultural past, not our science future, we have no idea how to make computers think like people, and the history of life shows sudden emergence, not long slow development.

In other words, in this new era, intelligent design theorists make a reasonable case that the universe shows clear evidence of design. No, the atheist lobby doesn't like that. And this is news?

Itr's been fascinating watching the old-style "theistic evolutionists" bash intelligent design. Many never got past the fact that constitutional lawyer Phillip Johnson (author of Darwin on Trial) got sick of jawboning with them, and went away and godfathered the intelligent design community. The ID community was supposed to go extinct every five minutes, remember? I wrote a book in 2004 (By Design or by Chance?) on the basis of the fact that - since I first started covering the controversy in 2001 - a pretty long five minutes had passed. And now four years later the ID community is going extinct every two minutes, it seems.

Anyway, check out Ted Davis's attempt to get these guys to address reality.
To follow the discussion, you need to keep clicking Next Message, and skip freely to the thoughtful ones, like Davis's and a few others.

Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:

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