We've been saying it all along: "We have concluded that (intelligent design) is not [science], and moreover that (intelligent design) cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents." - Judge John Jones, Harrisburg, PA, December 20, 2005. The judge also stated: "It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy." These religious fanatics have lied to us before, and they will continue to lie to us. Remember that. (Read the judge's opinion.)
In her latest obscenity-ridden book Godless: The Church of Liberalism (Crown Forum, June 2006), Ann Coulter, the designated spokes-harridan for the foaming-at-the-mouth ultra-right-wing, devotes two chapters to a bizarre attempt to discredit evolution and support Intelligent Design. She regurgitates the faulty arguments of creationists from whom even many religious conservatives distanced themselves long ago. She writes "I couldn't have written about evolution without the generous tutoring of Michael Behe, David Berlinski, and William Dembski, all of whom are fabulous at translating complex ideas..." Berlinski, Dembski, and Behe are senior fellows with the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute (see below). (Read much more on Coulter's utter ignorance of evolution at http://mediamatters.org/items/200607070010 or at http://www.talkreason.org/articles/coulter1.cfm or at http://www.talkreason.org/articles/coulter2.cfm.)
Coulter's diatribe against evolution is only part of her book, of course. But if there was ever any doubt of the close connection between the anti-science opponents of evolution and the right-wing whacko fundamentalists, Coulter's book makes it abundantly clear.
And speaking of anti-science opponents of evolution, here's a little tidbit on who votes for Bush: The Centers for Disease Control, a Federal government agency that keeps track of health information, did a survey a couple of years ago of what percentage of the population age 65+ had had all their teeth pulled. The data was ranked by state: Connecticut at the top with only 12.4 per cent of their 65+ population toothless and West Virginia at the bottom with 42.8 per cent of their 65+ population toothless. I thought the table of ranked states looked interesting, and decided to add value to it by color-coding each state red or blue, depending on whether that state voted for Bush or Kerry in the 2004 Presidential election. So here's a listing of states, ranked by toothlessness, showing that the toothless prefer Bush...look at the bottom. To see the data, click here.
In the last few years, creationists have tried to hide their anti-evolution religious fanaticism by re-naming creationism "Intelligent Design," ("ID") in an attempt to fool the lay public into accepting their anti-scientific fundamentalist religious doctrine. (They have also attempted to define "evolutionism" as a religion.) They claim there is controversy over intelligent design in the scientific community, but that is completely false. All the pressure and support for intelligent design is coming from religious fundamentalists, whose tactics have evolved (heh-heh) as creationism has been rejected time and again by the courts, to whom it is obviously religion and not science. The very existence of the "intelligent design" movement is, in and of itself, proof of the truth of evolution: Creationists' arguments have changed so much over time that they have evolved new species of discourse in their attempts to disprove and discredit evolution.
Creationists are, by their own admission (see below), actively trying to hide the religious basis of "intelligent design," and have learned to avoid at all costs admitting that the "intelligent designer" is the creater god of Genesis.
For the record: "intelligent design" is not science, but a parody of science; "intelligent design" is not a scientific theory, but a pseudoscientific burlesque of scientific theory; there are no peer-reviewed articles in any scientific journal supporting "intelligent design" (the only one they managed to sneak into an obscure journal has been refuted and withdrawn); there is no scientific research supporting "intelligent design," and there are no testable hypotheses supporting "intelligent design".
The primary supporter of intelligent design, the Discovery Institute, a conservative think tank in Seattle, is financed
of the same Christian conservatives who helped President Bush win the White House. The Discovery Institute's so-called
"Center for Science and Culture" is supported by religious groups such as the Maclellan Foundation, which supports only
organizations "committed to furthering the Kingdom of Christ." The Center for Science and Culture supports a group of
"Fellows," who, while they have advanced degrees from prestigious schools, are fundamentalist Christians first and
For the record: Not a single one of the Discovery Institute's "Fellows" got any of their degrees doing scientific research based on "intelligent design," and not a single one of them makes their living doing scientific work based on "intelligent design." (See below for more on the Discovery Institute's religious - not scientific - background.)
On August 1, 2005, President George W. Bush, who is "known more for his faith than his intellect" (thanks, http://bbsnews.net), defended intelligent design. "The President laughed when Knight-Ridder’s Ron Hutcheson asked for Mr. Bush’s "personal views" about the theory of "intelligent design", which religious activists advocate should be taught in U.S. schools as an alternative to theories of evolution. After joking that the reporter was "doing a fine job of dragging me back to the past," to his days as governor of Texas, Bush said: "Then, I said that, first of all, that decision should be made to local school districts, but I felt like both sides ought to be properly taught...” “Both sides ought to be properly taught?” asked Hutcheson. “Yes,” Bush answered, “so people can understand what the debate is about." (Time Magazine, 8/3/2005)
In 1999, Bush was reported to have said "I think it's an interesting part of knowledge [to have] a theory of evolution and a theory of creationism. People should be exposed to different points of view."
White House science advisor John H. Marburger III told The Chronicle of Higher Education, “Evolution is a cornerstone of modern biology” and “much of the work supported by the National Institutes of Health depends heavily on the concepts of evolution.” In a speech last February, Marburger said, “Intelligent design is not a scientific theory. I don’t regard intelligent design as a scientific topic.”
("Intelligent design" is already beginning to evolve, morphing into the next stage of creationism: "EAE" or "evidence against evolution." See http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/8521_in_my_backyard_creationism_in_8_18_2005.asp)
Books to Read - buy these and read them and give them to your friends to read - look at their reviews on Amazon.
Intelligent Thought - Science versus the Intelligent Design Movement, edited by John Brockman. A collection of essays debunking "intelligent design."
Unintelligent Design, by Mark Perakh. Refutes ID claims by Dembski, Behe and Johnson in easily understandable terms, clearly showing that ID is a pseudoscience, not science. See also Mark Perakh's website at http://members.cox.net/perakm/.
Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism, by Matt Young (Editor).
Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design by Barbara Carroll Forrest and Paul R. Gross. (See the Discovery Institute's "Wedge Project" below.)
The Republican War on Science by Chris Mooney - describes how the right-wing fundamentalists who have taken over the Republican Party and the Bush Administration are perverting science not only relative to evolution, but global warming, reproductive biology and stem cell research. The book also has a web site at http://www.waronscience.com/introduction.php.
The Good Guys: Resources
Evolution Library - from the Public Broadcasting Service
Frequently Encountered Criticisms in Evolution vs. Creationism
National Center for Science Education (NCSE)
Understanding Evolution, from the NCSE (see above) and the University of California Museum of Paleontology
The National Association of Biology Teachers, web resources on evolutionary science
What the Real Scientific Community Says about Evolution and Intelligent Design (from the ACLU)
Evolution Versus Creationism at Syracuse University
Intelligent Design? A special report reprinted from the April 2002 Natural History magazine
"Intelligent Design" - the Skeptic's Dictionary
The Bad Guys:
The Discovery Institute - http://www.discovery.org/
- a right-wing think tank that is the source of many intelligent design resources
(Here are some quotes from William Dembski, a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute: "Christ is never an addendum to a scientific theory but always a completion." - from his book, Intelligent Design, page 207.) More quotes from Dembski's book: "[A]ny view of the sciences that leaves Christ out of the picture must be seen as fundamentally deficient." and "[T]he conceptual soundness of a scientific theory cannot be maintained apart from Christ." Here's another quote from Dembski: "...I think God's glory is being robbed by these naturalistic approaches to biological evolution..." Here's another article exposing Dembski's cowardice and dishonesty in dodging questions about intelligent design: http://www.talkreason.org/articles/revolution.cfm. And here http://www.designinference.com/documents/2005.04.ID_Orthodoxy_Heresy.htm is a 2004 talk “Intelligent Design: Yesterday’s Orthodoxy, Today’s Heresy” Dr. Dembski gave in a church. That's a peculiar title, given that intelligent design is being recognized as heresy by Christian scholars - it is being called equivalent to the Gnostic Heresy and even the Manichaean Heresy...but that's another story.
Here's another quote, from Johnathon Wells, one of the Discovery Institute's leading propagandists and the author of Icons of Evolution, a lifelong member of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church (the Moonies): "[The Reverend Moon's] words, my studies and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism..."
Here's a 2003 quote from Philip Johnson, one of the originators of the intelligent-design movement, on a Christian radio talk show: "Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit, so that we can get the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools." And here's a 1996 quote from Philip Johnson: "This isn't really, and never has been, a debate about science. It's about religion." This is as good as it gets, straight from their prophet's mouth.
"The Discovery Institite - Genesis of Intelligent Design"
The Discovery Institute's "Wedge Project"
And, in the spirit of fairness, the Discovery Institute's denial of some implications in the above article.
Here is the text of a lecture given by Steven Layfield at Emmanuel College, Gateshead on 21 September, 2000, on the topic "The Teaching of Science - A Biblical Perspective" http://www.darwinwars.com/lunatic/liars/layfield.html
Institute for Creation Research (ICR), a leading creationist "think tank," clearly demonstrating the religion
behind creationism and "intelligent design"
"Design is not enough," an article from the ICR written by its leading theoretician, Henry Morris, about methods to
be used by religious fundamentalists when discussing "intelligent design" without openly declaring their Biblical principles
when arguing against evolution.
The Creation Research Society (CRS), the other main creationist "scientific" organization, which requires members
to subscribe to a statement of belief, including among other things "The Bible is...historically and scientifically true;...All basic
types of living things, including man, were made by direct creative acts of God during the Creation Week described in Genesis;
(Noah's) Flood was an historic event worldwide...."
Creation Resource Foundation, where you can "Discover the scientific
accuracy of the Biblical Creation account...(and)...unveil the
fundamental fallacies of evolutionistic myth."
Timeline from the Creation in 4004 BC to Noah's Flood in 2348 BC
Answers in Genesis "is a Christian apologetics ministry that equips the church to uphold the authority of the
Bible from the very first verse. The thousands of articles and media programs on this site answer questions about
creation/evolution, dinosaurs, and much more."
The newly opened Creation Museum in Kentucky: http://creationmuseum.org: "Dinosaurs on Noah's Ark; Grand Canyon created in a few days only 4,500 years ago; Earth created in 4004 BC..." See http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/05/the_creation_museum.php for a "fair and balanced" review.
The Fixed Earth: http://www.fixedearth.com/: "The non-moving Earth & anti-evolution web page; Read all about the Copernican and Darwinian Myths; The Earth is not rotating...nor is it going around the sun. The universe is not one ten trillionth the size we are told. Today’s cosmology fulfills an anti-Bible religious plan disguised as "science". The whole scheme from Copernicanism to Big Bangism is a factless lie. Those lies have planted the Truth-killing virus of evolutionism in every aspect of man’s "knowledge" about the Universe."
The Flat-Earth Bible: http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/febible.htm, and a discussion of The International Flat Earth Society: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/flatearth.html
The Bible Code (sometimes referred to as the The Torah Code) - Michael Drosnin's book The Bible Code and its successor, Bible Code II: The Countdown as well as followers/imitators such as Jeffrey Satinover's Cracking the Bible Code and Grant Jeffrey's The Signature of God, purport to "prove" the existence of messages about future events from an omnipotent creator by playing word games with and finding hidden messages in the plaintext of Genesis and/or the Bible/Torah - for instance, the assassination of Israeli prime minister Rabin. Debunkers using the same techniques have found "messages" predicting the assassination of Rabin, but also Indira Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert Kennedy and others...in the book Moby Dick. Also using similar techniques, debunkers have found the message "The code is bogus" 60 times in the book of Genesis. See, among others, http://www.valleyskeptic.com/biblec.htm.
Using the above techniques, here is an example of how the Bible Code and the Torah Code have proven that intelligent design is bogus: http://www.paulburnett.com/idbogus.htm.
In another exercise, an article in the Skeptical Inquirer (http://www.csicop.org/si/9711/bible-code.html) using the "Bible Code" technique found both "Roswell" and "UFO" in one verse of Genesis. All this proves is that the "Bible Code" has about as much validity as records played backwards or the Face of Elvis on Mars.
Unfortunately, creationism and "intelligent design" advocates have found aid and comfort in the "Bible Code." "Intelligent Design" proponent William Dembski has written a favorable review of Satinover's book (at http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft9808/reviews/dembski.html). Looks like it's time to resurrect Erich von Daniken's Chariots of the Gods and Immanuel Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision.
Disclaimer stickers for science textbooks: http://www.swarthmore.edu/NatSci/cpurrin1/textbookdisclaimers/ (and some interesting links)
If the intelligent designers win:
Chemistry will be simplified - the Periodic Table will have only four elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water
The practice of Psychology will be simplified - the DSM VI will list only four diagnoses: melancholic, phlegmatic,
choleric, and sanguine
Mathematics will be simplified - Pi will be legislated to be 3.0000... (or 3.2 - see http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a3_341.html)
Geography will be simplified - no more Mercator or other goofy projections distorting the edges of the known-to-be-flat Earth