January 11, 2005

HE'S NO LEFTY: John Derbyshire criticizes Intelligent Design:

Lots of scientists believe in God. Einstein seems to have, for instance. So do I; and so do a great [many] other people who think that ID theory is pure flapdoodle. It is possible to believe in God and not believe in ID; it is possible (as I pointed out in a previous post) to believe in ID but not God.

ID theory posits that certain features of the natural world CAN ONLY be explained by the active intervention of a designing intelligence. Since the entire history of science displays innumerable instances of hitherto inexplicable phenomena yielding to natural explanations (and, in fact, innumerable instances of "intelligent design" notions to explain natural phenomena being scrapped when more obvious natural explanations were worked out), the whole ID outlook has very little appeal to well-informed scientists. A scientist who knows his history sees the region of understanfing as a gradually enlarging circle of light in a general darkness. If someone comes along and tells him: "This particular region of darkness HERE will never be illuminated by methods like yours," then he is naturally skeptical. "How can you possibly know that?" he will say, very reasonably.