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Making the Case for Intelligent Design

CSC Senior Fellow Dr. Michael Behe has an opinon piece in today's New York Times briefly laying out key aspects of the theory intelligent design. To date the MSM has been sadlly deficient in reporting what intelligent design theory is, and what it is not. This piece marks one of the first times that a major news outlet has let design advocates explain the theory in their own words. Hopefully other media will follow suit and instead of just regurgitating definitions from elsewhere they will accurately describe the theory itself.

Let's roll the highlight reel:

"the theory of intelligent design is not a religiously based idea, even though devout people opposed to the teaching of evolution cite it in their arguments. . . . Intelligent design proponents do question whether random mutation and natural selection completely explain the deep structure of life. But they do not doubt that evolution occurred. And intelligent design itself says nothing about the religious concept of a creator."

"the contemporary argument for intelligent design is based on physical evidence and a straightforward application of logic."

"The first claim is uncontroversial: we can often recognize the effects of design in nature."

"the second claim of the intelligent design argument: the physical marks of design are visible in aspects of biology. This is uncontroversial, too."

"The next claim in the argument for design is that we have no good explanation for the foundation of life that doesn't involve intelligence. . . . although natural selection can explain some aspects of biology, there are no research studies indicating that Darwinian processes can make molecular machines of the complexity we find in the cell."

"Scientists skeptical of Darwinian claims include many who have no truck with ideas of intelligent design, like those who advocate an idea called complexity theory, which envisions life self-organizing in roughly the same way that a hurricane does, and ones who think organisms in some sense can design themselves."

"The fourth claim in the design argument is also controversial: in the absence of any convincing non-design explanation, we are justified in thinking that real intelligent design was involved in life. . . . Design should not be overlooked simply because it's so obvious."

I pity David Shipley, the Times' op-ed editor, as he has to wade through the truckloads of letters this column will inspire."