What’s wrong with Intelligent Design and the Discovery Institute

Readers know that I agree with Intelligent Design in the general sense that it rejects the Darwinian evolution of species by random accidental genetic mutations plus natural selection, but that I do not think much of their main argument which is deeply flawed. Instead of simply showing the unsustainability of the Darwinian theory, ID posits its own rather vague and implicitly God-based theory of evolution, thus putting the critical spotlight on its theory rather than on Darwinism. I’ve castigated the Discovery Institute’s role in the disastrous Dover, Pennsylvania ID case.

Now the blog Occam’s Razor has a short, stupid article, “Why the religious should reject Intelligent Design.” But it makes one interesting and provocative point: that the Intelligent Design movement rejects the Darwinian view of evolution because it is “racist.” In other words, ID, as a typical contemporary Christian or Christian-oriented movement, is, notwithstanding its conservative appearance and reputation, at bottom liberal.

— end of initial entry —

Joe S. writes:

There is a subtle flaw in the irreducible complexity argument. It proves only that the irreducibly complex system cannot have arisen gradually from simpler systems.

But if any system at all can evolve that performs the same functions, even a very redundant and “reducible” one, it will tend to evolve further by simplification until it reaches an irreducibly complex form—if you switch off redundant pieces, eventually you can’t anymore.

LA replies:

I think the irreducible complexity argument is a good one. The problem is that it’s become;boring through the ID people’s endless, unimaginative repetition of it. It’s a narrow and mechanical argument. Except for the fact that the ID argument is correct, the ID people seem to me to be the neocons of anti-Darwinism, constantly repeating one argument, one slogan, as though the endless repetition of one verbal formula will assure success for their side. There’s so much more to say on the subject of Darwinism, and it’s so much more interesting than the irreducible complexity argument, but the ID advocates don’t say it.

Here’s a funny thing. In my experience truth is never boring, it’s always new, fresh, and exciting. But the irreducible complexity argument, at least in the hands of the ID people, is boring.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 10, 2013 02:53 PM | Send

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