Intelligent Design: Bad Science, Bad for Religion

There is nothing in religion that demands the invocation of miracles to explain the wonderful world around us.

BY: Michael Ruse

 

Scientific creationism is as dead as the dodo. Even ardent American evangelical Christians are starting to realize that there really is no good scientific evidence to take the early chapters of Genesis absolutely literally. God's creative efforts took more than six days, and Noah's flood did not cover the whole earth.



Unfortunately, "creationism lite," better known as intelligent design [the

theory

that a supernatural designer guides evolution], continues to thrive like a virulent social disease. Its supporters push it with enthusiasm and skill, and by appealing to ignorance and to the American sense of fair play - "If they can have their views expounded in schools, why shouldn't we have ours?" - it is an ongoing threat to biology education in state-supported schools. Therefore, I welcome the sound endorsement of evolution and criticism of intelligent design, and I am quite unmoved by the mishmash of half reasons given in defense of intelligent design by William Dembski.

I have said it before. I will say it again. The fact of evolution is as well established as the heliocentric theory of the solar system. The evidence - fossils, homology, biogeography, systematics and much more - is overwhelming.

As the great evolutionist Theodosius Dobzhansky used to say: "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." The theory of evolution is still much debated, but no one denies that natural selection is a very important mechanism, explaining at the physical level the eye and the hand and at the micro level the various essential processes and parts of the body, including those highlighted by the intelligent-design enthusiasts.

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