Why Intelligent Design Is Going to Win

From: janice matchett <janmatch@earthlink.net>
Date: Fri Oct 07 2005 - 09:23:54 EDT

Interesting analysis. ~ Janice
Why Intelligent Design Is Going to Win By Douglas Kern

It doesn't matter if you like it or not. It doesn't matter if you think
it's true or not. Intelligent Design theory is destined to supplant
Darwinism as the primary scientific explanation for the origin of human
life. ID will be taught in public schools as a matter of course. It will
happen in our lifetime. It's happening right now, actually.

Here's why:

1) ID will win because it's a religion-friendly,
conservative-friendly, red-state kind of theory, and no one will lose money
betting on the success of red-state theories in the next fifty to one
hundred years.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: families that reproduce people
tend to reproduce ideas, as well. The most vocal non-scientist proponents
of ID are those delightfully fertile Catholics, Evangelicals, and similarly
right-leaning middle-class college-educated folk -- the kind whose children
will inherit the country. Eventually, the social right will have the sheer
manpower to teach ID wherever they please.

Despite what angry ID opponents may tell you, the advent of ID won't hurt
American productivity a bit. Belief in ID does nothing to make believers
less capable in science or engineering. No geek in the world will find his
computer mojo diminished because of his opinions on irreducible complexity.
To the contrary: ID might make biology and the natural sciences more
appealing to believers who might otherwise find science to be too far
removed from God's presence. As ID appeals to the conservative mindset
without hurting anyone's skills, why wouldn't the social right embrace it?

To be sure, believers don't need ID to accept modern science. The Catholic
Church, for example, made peace with traditional Darwinist theory long ago.
Many scientists see no contradiction between Darwinism and their own
religious beliefs. Rightly understood, Darwinist theory doesn't diminish
God's glory any more than any other set of rules governing the world. An
omnipotent God can act through scientific media as well as miraculous

But if ID is correct, then the intelligent designer of life must have
lavished astonishing care and attention upon the human race to give it
unique dignity and value -- as well as handicaps and temptations that only
virtue can overcome. The God of Moses and Jesus didn't leave fingerprints
at this scene, but it's His MO all the way. And as believers are detectives
of the Almighty's presence, they're naturally more inclined to follow the
clues revealing that familiar pattern.

2) ID will win because the pro-Darwin crowd is acting like a bunch of

"Ewww…intelligent design people! They're just buck-toothed Bible-pushing
nincompoops with community-college degrees who're trying to sell a
gussied-up creationism to a cretinous public! No need to address their
concerns or respond to their arguments. They are Not Science. They are

There. I just saved you the trouble of reading 90% of the responses to the
ID position. Vitriol, condescension, and endless accusations of bad faith
all characterize far too much of the standard pro-Darwinian response to
criticism. A reasonable observer might note that many ID advocates appear
exceptionally well-educated, reasonable, and articulate; they might also
note that ID advocates have pointed out many problems with the Darwinist
catechism that even pro-Darwin scientists have been known to concede, when
they think the Jesus-kissing crowd isn't listening. And yet, even in the
face of a sober, thoughtful ID position, the pro-Darwin crowd insists on
the same phooey-to-the-boobgeois shtick that was tiresome in Mencken's day.
This is how losers act just before they lose: arrogant, self-satisfied, too
important to be bothered with substantive refutation, and disdainful of
their own faults. Pride goeth before a fall.

3) ID will win because it can be reconciled with any advance that
takes place in biology, whereas Darwinism cannot yield even an inch of
ground to ID.

So you've discovered the missing link? Proven that viruses distribute
super-complex DNA proteins? Shown that fractals can produce
evolution-friendly three-dimensional shapes? It doesn't matter. To the ID
mind, you're just pushing the question further down the road. How was the
missing link designed? What is the origin of the viruses? Who designed the

ID has already made its peace with natural selection and the irrefutable
aspects of Darwinism.

By contrast, Darwinism cannot accept even the slightest possibility that it
has failed to explain any significant dimension of evolution. It must
dogmatically insist that it will resolve all of its ambiguities and
shortcomings -- even the ones that have lingered since the beginning of
Darwinism. The entire edifice of Darwinian theory comes crashing down with
even a single credible demonstration of design in any living thing. Can
science really plug a finger into every hole in the Darwinian dyke for the
next fifty years?

4) ID will win because it can piggyback on the growth of information
theory, which will attract the best minds in the world over the next fifty

ID is a proposition about information. It contends that the processes of
life are so specific and carefully ordered that they must reflect
deliberate action. Put simply: a complex message implies an even more
complex sender.

Separating ordered but random data from relevant, purposeful data -- that
is, separating noise from messages -- is one of the key undertakings of the
21st century. In nearly every field, from statistics to quantum physics to
cryptology to computer science, the smartest people on the planet are
struggling to understand and apply the unfathomable power of information
that modern technology has bequeathed to them.

We have only scratched the surface of the problem-solving power that the
Internet and cheap computing power open to us. As superior intellects
strive to understand the metaphysics of information, they will find the
information-oriented arguments of ID increasingly sensible and appealing.
ID will fit nicely into the emerging worldview of tomorrow's intellectual

This emerging worldview will take a more expansive view of science than
does the current elite.

Consider the "meme" meme. We all know what a meme is: a thought pattern
that spreads from person to person and group to group like a viral
infection spreading through a population. Yet memes cannot be bisected, or
examined under a microscope, or "falsified" via the scientific method.

Even so, we can make statements about memes with varying degrees of
objective truthfulness. Is it possible to speak of a "science" of concepts?

Right now, the scientific establishment says no. This unhelpful
understanding of science will soon be discarded in favor of something more
useful in the information age.

5) ID will win because ID assumes that man will find design in life
-- and, as the mind of man is hard-wired to detect design, man will likely
find what he seeks.

The human mind seeks order in everything. The entire body of knowledge
available to mankind reflects our incorrigible desire to analyze,
systemize, hypothesize, and theorize. It may well be that our brains are
physically configured in such a way that we can't help but find order and
design in the world. Don't look so surprised, evolutionists -- a brain
attuned to order and design is a brain more likely to survive.

The ability to detect design is essentially the ability to detect patterns,
and the ability to detect patterns is the key to most applications of human

Hammers tend to find nails, screwdrivers tend to find screws, and the human
mind tends to find design.

Of course, the propensity to see designs doesn't mean that the designs
aren't actually there. But the quintessential human perception is one of
design -- and, to the extent that perceptions define reality, a theory
built on the perception of design has a huge advantage over its competitors.

The only remaining question is whether Darwinism will exit gracefully, or
whether it will go down biting, screaming, censoring, and denouncing to the
bitter end.

Rightly or wrongly, the future belongs to ID. There's nothing irreducibly
complex about it.

Douglas Kern is a lawyer and TCS contributor. To see another view of the
debate over ID, read "Descent of Man in Dover" by Sallie Baliunas on TCS today.
Received on Fri Oct 7 09:30:08 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Oct 07 2005 - 09:30:08 EDT