Monday, April 21, 2008

From Creationists to Cdesign Proponentsists: The Fraud of "Intelligent Design"

A recent MetaFilter thread on Ben Stein's (allegedly) awful anti-evolution documentary Expelled, pointed me to a hilarious gotcha I'd previously missed relating to the landmark "Intelligent Design" court case Kitzmiller v. Dover:

For years, ID proponents have denied that ID is just a new label for creationism. Just google the Discovery Insitute website on the phrase “not creationism.”

It is now well-known that the first “intelligent design” book, Of Pandas and People, was originally a classic “two-model” creationism vs. evolution book named Creation Biology. (See a list of the Pandas drafts, with quotes, here.) As Barbara Forrest showed during her testimony, Pandas was reborn as an “intelligent design” textbook in 1987, mere months after the Supreme Court ruling against creation science in Edwards v. Aguillard came down.

But ID proponents were undeterred. Discovery Institute spokesperson Casey Luskin bravely retorted,

No ‘word-processor-conspiracy-theory’ from Forrest can change the fact that Pandas’ arguments were always distinct from those of traditional ‘creationism’.*


Well, courtesy of the sharp eyes of Dr. Barbara Forrest, we have now discovered the Missing Link between creationism and ID. Since these unpublished drafts of Of Pandas and People have been introduced as exhibits in the Kitzmiller case, they can at last be quoted...

In summary, we have:

Creation Biology (1983), p. 3-34:
“Evolutionists think the former is correct; creationists because of all the evidence discussed in this book, conclude the latter is correct.”

Biology and Creation (1986), p. 3-33:
“Evolutionists think the former is correct, creationists accept the latter view.”

Biology and Origins (1987), p. 3-38:
“Evolutionists think the former is correct, creationists accept the latter view.”

Of Pandas and People (1987, creationist version), p. 3-40:
“Evolutionists think the former is correct, creationists accept the latter view.”

Of Pandas and People (1987, “intelligent design” version), p. 3-41:
“Evolutionists think the former is correct, cdesign proponentsists accept the latter view.”

And the creationists say transitional fossils are never discovered…


Tigerboy said...

Oh, Ben.

You had such an interesting place in American culture. I have always loved the idea that a boring policy wonk from the Nixon administration could use his boringness as entry into the world of Hollywood and launch a new career as a Pop Culture gadfly.

Unfortunately, you have read too many of your own press clippings. It is so embarrassing to listen to a really smart guy expounding on an issue that he clearly doesn't understand.

Put "Ben Stein Expelled" into YouTube. There are all kinds of entertaining interviews of Ben Stein with the likes of Hannity and Colmes, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, even Pat Robertson!

Darwin's theories are suspect because they have no answers about gravity? Planetary orbits? Physics? Mr. Stein, these are entirely different topics.

If I am interested in an informed opinion about economics, I might look you up. CLEARLY, on matters of science, you are out of your element.

Darwin's theories lead to the Holocaust? What a shameful distortion of the facts. Darwin's book was called "Origin of the Species" not "Origin of the Ethnic Races."

Mr Stein, you are not nearly as smart as I had supposed.

Tigerboy said...

The book's title is:

"The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection"
"The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life."

"Races" is used here to denote varieties, not people.

"Nevertheless, as our varieties certainly do occasionally revert in some of their characters to ancestral forms, it seems to me not improbable, that if we could succeed in naturalising, or were to cultivate, during many generations, the several RACES, for instance, of the cabbage, in very poor soil (in which case, however, some effect would have to be attributed to the direct action of the poor soil), that they would to a large extent, or even wholly, revert to the wild aboriginal stock."
- The Origin of Species; Charles Darwin, 1858

"The Origin of Species" says very little about people.

Jewish Sceptic said...

There are plenty who use Darwin's ideas to indicate that races exist now (they don't, at least not in Darwinian, biological or anthropological terms) or that they will eventually emerge - and that is plausable, I think.

Sadie Lou said...

I'm disappointed. I want a real review of Ben Stein's "Expelled". I quite enjoyed it--I really enjoyed the interview with Richard Dawkins.
Happy New Year!