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"Intelligent Design" Theory is not Creationism By: Jennifer Kabbany
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, August 23, 2001


CRITICS OF ROBERT LOCKE’S two recent pieces for FrontPage Magazine, "Should Conservatives Defend Evolution," and, "The Scientific Case Against Evolution," are, in many cases, as misinformed as they accuse Mr. Locke of being. Many of the responses to Mr. Locke’s articles appearing on our Go Postal message board are both condescending and ignorant.

"FrontPage magazine should be deeply ashamed of a regular columnist promoting such nonsense," runs one quintessential example. "There are few scientific ideas as simple, elegant and obvious as the theory of natural selection. Giving credence to the sham science of Creationism just gives ammunition to those who characterize conservatives as intellectually challenged zealots. Please keep this website on the high road of intellectual freedom and truth, and show Mr. Locke the door."

FrontPage’s fight for intellectual freedom and debate is exactly why we publish ideas and discussions like the ones Mr. Locke presented. Furthermore, this particular debate is not going away. Readers who poohpoohed Mr. Locke’s arguments must consider the proliferation of "intelligent design" scientists who are fed up with being lumped together in one monolithic evolutionist bunch.

Thousands of creationist scientists, in America and around the globe, have recently become more voluble about refuting the assertions evolutionists make. They have banded together and created museums, written dissertations and books, started Web sites, sponsored debates in short, done whatever it takes to get the word out that not all scientists agree with the theory of evolution.

In 1979, Science Digest published an article that stated, "Scientists who utterly reject evolution may be one of our fastestgrowing controversial minorities... Many of the scientists supporting this position hold impressive credentials in science."

In the 22 years since that article appeared, these scientists have joined forces. The Creation Research Society has some 650 degreeholding scientists on its roster. ChristianAnswers.net lists 89 creationists holding doctorates in science. Each entry not only offers information about where the scientists earned their degrees, but also lists the awards they’ve won, books they’ve written, and facts they have uncovered. The Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture is another leading think tank boasting a plentitude of respected PhD’s who attempt to prove creationism through scientific methodologies.

In addition to the two books Mr. Locke reviewed for his articles, ChristianAnswers.net chronicles "a tidal wave of new books ... (that) threaten to shatter (scientists’) confidence titles like "Darwin Retried" (1971), Macbeth; "The Neck of the Giraffe: Where Darwin Went Wrong" (1982), Hitching; "The Great Evolution Mystery" (1983), Taylor; "The Bone Peddlers: Selling Evolution" (1984), Fix; "Darwin Was Wrong A Study in Probabilities" (1984), Cohen; "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth" (1987), Lovtrup; and "Adam and Evolution" (1984), Pitman. Not one of these books was written from a Christianapologetic point of view: they are concerned only with scientific truth." (Emphasis added.) This list is just a minute example of publications arguing against evolution, using scientific evidence.

Moreover a recent San Francisco Weekly cover story titled, "Looking for God at Berkeley," chronicles the latest developments of the "intelligent design" crowd a growing faction of scientists who assert that nature’s complexity suggests some form of guiding intelligence behind it: "The mainstream scientific community's response to (intelligent design) ranges from howls of laughter to raw fury. Yet … the proponents of ‘intelligent design’ theory have gradually coalesced into a bona fide movement. Until recently, attacks on evolution have usually come from the pulpit. For decades, `creation science’ tried to debunk Darwin by using the Bible to explain the origins of life. An oxymoron by definition, creation science was easily dismissed by the scientific world. Intelligent design theory, however, uses science itself to undercut evolution, and many of its adherents are scholars from leading universities such as UC Berkeley. Cal, in fact, has produced several vocal proponents of intelligent design."

In light of this, FrontPage readers who were shocked, dismayed, and utterly disappointed by Mr. Locke’s two articles better brace themselves for more of the same, and not just from this Web site but from scientists on the frontlines.

Still, the fight for honest debate about this issue is an uphill battle because the mainstream media is biased. For example, a recent Time Magazine cover bears the headline, "How Apes Became Human." The story inside chronicles the discovery of eleven bones found in the hot African desert, apparently 6 millionyearsold. The magazine hails the bones as yet another missing link. But the 3,464word story fails to mention intelligent design.

What is Time’s version of "How Apes Became Human?" Authors Michael D. Lemonick and Andrea Dorfman concede that the elaborate theories formed around chips of bone are, at a minimum, very shaky and unproven: "While this view of human evolution has generally been accepted by scientists for decades, no one has yet been able to say precisely when that first evolutionary step on the road to humanity happened, nor what might have triggered it."

Further on in the article come sentences such as: "(scientists) haven’t collected enough bones yet to reconstruct with great precision what (the new discovery) looked like"; "exactly how this hominid walked is still something of a mystery"; "if paleontologists argue about why (walking upright) evolved, they’re even more contentious over the organization of the human family tree"; "there are all sorts of hypotheses, and they are all fairy tales really because you can’t prove anything."

Time, in this instance, is guilty of misinformation by presenting evolution as a fact rather than as an increasingly controversial theory.

But this simple example is commonplace for the vast majority of the mainstream media’s science reporting, and might explain why some socalled intellectual FrontPage readers responded so fiercely against Mr. Locke. To those of you who did so, I recommend that you rethink your position. Debate is healthy. Disagreement can even be healthy. Shutting your mind and heart to a theory that is gaining scientific support by leaps and bounds only shows fear. Let the debate continue.

 




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