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.
The real tragedy is not the exclusion of intelligent design. It is that where ID succeeds politically - and, if President Bush gets his way over future appointments to the Supreme Court, I fear that it will succeed mightily, politically - students are not being taught the best of modern science and the methods to carry the enterprise forward. Good science means sweating it out with nature, trying to uncover her laws, pitting your wits against the evidence. It does not mean appealing to miracles when the going gets rough. This is neither good science nor good religion. For remember: There is nothing in Christianity (or Judaism) that demands the invocation of miracles to explain the wonderful world around us, and much that tells us that it is a denial of our God-given powers of sense and reason to take such an easy route. It is in the struggle for scientific understanding that humans do truly show that they are made in the image of their creator and are not simply modified monkeys.