Conservatives Versus IDers
INTELLIGENT DESIGN ROUND-UP [John Derbyshire]Go read the whole thing.
Just a round-up of points from the ID folder.
First, a general remark. I like a good knock-down argument as much as the next person, but I must say, ID-ers are low-grade opponents, at least if a bulk of my e-mails are any indication. They are still banging away with the arguments I first heard when the whole thing first surfaced 10-15 yrs ago. "What use is half an eye?" "The odds against this are a trillion to one!" etc. etc. There is nothing new here. I understand why biologists get angry and frustrated with ID-ers. All the ID arguments have been patiently refuted many times over. The ID-ers response is to come back with... the same arguments.
Anyway, here are a few of the commonest things I hear.
Those promoting Intelligent Design are an interesting lot. I've been meaning to write about the evolution-creationism spectrum and what various people believe, but one of the interesting things is IDers don't seem to be promoting anything in particular. Near as I can tell, they just look at evolutionary theory and criticize it and they've come up with a serious of somewhat sophisticated arguments to do this, but they don't promote any particular theory of their own. If you draw a line, put the pure Biblical creationists on one side and the pure Godless evolutionists on the other, filling out all the shades in between, IDers aren't even on the line. ID is a methodology, not an ideology; a tactic, not a belief or theory.
By the way, Kevin states (referring to this):
For those who haven't followed this issue, Behe is referring to the fact that IDers accept the idea of macroevolution — that one animal can evolve from another — but not the existence of microevolution. Behe, for example, argues that some of machinery deep within the cell is too complex to have evolved by random mutation and natural selection.Kevin needs to be careful, while he gives the accepted definition of macroevolution, he uses a reasonable but unconventional definition of microevolution. Microevolution usually refers to evolution that occurs within a species, something even the hardcore creationists accept these days. Though, some creationists have stopped using the word, preferring to focus on loss/gain of information and evolution within kind. (Something else I've been meaning to write about -- I need to give up sleep altogether).