Intelligent Design Is Not Science

Filed in Science and Health by on March 20, 2011

Read this statement:

The measure from Republican state Rep. Bill Zedler would block higher education institutions from discriminating against or penalizing teachers or students based on their research into intelligent design or other theories that disagree with evolution.

Zedler said he filed the bill because of cases in which colleges had been hostile to those who believe that certain features of life-forms are so complex that they must have originated from a higher power. [emphasis mine]

Let’s start with the first phrase I emphasized.  What research?

The Templeton Foundation, a major supporter of projects seeking to reconcile science and religion, says that after providing a few grants for conferences and courses to debate intelligent design, they asked proponents to submit proposals for actual research.

“They never came in,” said Charles L. Harper Jr., senior vice president at the Templeton Foundation, who said that while he was skeptical from the beginning, other foundation officials were initially intrigued and later grew disillusioned.

“From the point of view of rigor and intellectual seriousness, the intelligent design people don’t come out very well in our world of scientific review,” he said.

Of course, the research never appeared.  Intelligent Design is about faith, not fact.  It is about, as Zedler claims, “those who believe.”  For anyone with a basic understanding of science it is a given that disproving something is as important as proving something.  Advocates for Intelligent Design have no interest in disproving their beliefs, and given their laziness when it comes to research it seems they have no interest in proving them either.

Here’s another scientific rule:  You have to be willing to accept research results that differ from your original hypothesis.  Are Intelligent Designers willing to consider the possibility that their “theory” is wrong?  Of course not.  They’re not even willing to do research.

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A stay-at-home mom with an obsession for National politics.

Comments (11)

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  1. Of course – you can’t research I don’t understand it so God did it.

    Like all conservative skepticism of science it’s always about nitpicking certain evidence, like falsifying one thing falsified everything. I actually think it’s more insidious than that, it’s forcing scientists to debate on some narrow question (like in intelligent design the evolution of flagellum or they eye) while the anti-science types pursue a political agenda.

  2. heragain says:

    The difficulty will be ( and you can remember I told you) that the right-wing branch of the education movement ( represented by a well-funded minority of home schoolers) is going to win this, and science has no mechanism in place to prevent it.

    I participate in a ‘science-positive’ homeschool information exchange, nationally, and the evidence is that more and more, even of the secular homeschoolers, get their science education from right wing curriculum vendors. Since the definition of “science” is determined collectively by practicing scientists everyone reading this blog has the potential to finish their lives in a world where ID and its attendant notions are “accepted’ parts of scientific discourse.

    If people with science educations here spent one afternoon reading a school textbook in science taught today in public schools, you’d see how close we’ve gotten.

    It terrifies me.

  3. pandora says:

    I’ve read my kids’ science textbooks. Last year, my son’s AP Bio text was excellent. I’m equally impressed with his AP Chem text this year. My daughter (8th grader) has not been instructed in ID at all. The closest we came to craziness in the classroom was a Social Studies teacher who was a climate change denier.

    The only bright side I find in all this nonsense is less competition for my children.

  4. jason330 says:

    I’m old enough to remember when these people were embarrassed by their stupidity.

  5. Liberal Elite says:

    Where does this craziness come from? Even the Pope says evolution is fine, and not inconsistent with his beliefs. And this doesn’t seem to be an issue with Christian beliefs in any other country. Why is this a problem for just a handful of American sects?

    Why the desperate cling to something that’s laughable at face value? ..and even more so under any sort of honest attempt at scientific scrutiny?

    I think that church leadership here has made a serious mistake at drawing a line in the sand on this. Religion in America is declining faster than almost anywhere else and this issue is a key part of the driving force that is making America more secular. It’s almost like there are moles in the church aimed at its destruction.

  6. Dana Garrett says:

    The sooner the American public consciously identifies more with secular values over religious ones the better as I am concerned. But I am not holding my breath that it will occur in my lifetime. When it occurs we’ll probably cross that threshold just ahead of countries like Saudi Arabia.

  7. Phil says:

    An online ID textbook:

    Extensive research and scientific evidence into the case for intelligent design. Maybe if you actually looked into it, you wouldn’t bash it so fast.

  8. Liberal Elite says:

    @Phil “An online ID textbook:”

    I’m pretty sure that’s satire designed to make the ID folks look foolish.

  9. pandora says:

    I loved that textbook, Phil! It summed up ID perfectly. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Publius says:

    “Are Intelligent Designers willing to consider the possibility that their “theory” is wrong? Of course not”

    Are those who believe in evolution willing to concede that it might not provide all the answers either? I doubt it.

    And for the record, who said: “the more I study science, the more I believe in God.”

    Answer below:


    Albert Einstein

  11. cassandra m says:

    Yes, but Einstein was *studying* science. Unlike these ID’ers who just want the rules to be whoever talks the loudest wins.