A Rorschach Test for Our Times
Something called "intelligent design" is the "number one" discussed topic on the internet today (August 4, '05), according to the web and blog watch group Technocrati.com. But what do people mean by the topic? Forget the old fashioned question -- what do the scientists propounding ID mean by the term? This is the post-modern age. What do YOU want ID to mean?
Hermann Rorschach (1884-1922) invented the famous Rorschach test that long was used to see what different meanings people would project onto a series of abstract inkblots. I see a butterfly, you see a porter carrying water, the man down the hall sees a spy plane. Supposedly, it was a key to understanding personality.
Intelligent design, I am afraid, is in danger of becoming a contemporary Rorschach test. Everyone in the media and all those bloggers seems to have his own interpretation of ID and each and every opiner thinks he really knows exactly what he is talking about.
It has left several ID scientists affiliated with Discovery Institute--the people doing the real scientific research and scholarly writing--tearing their hair, shaking their fists and shouting at television sets and radios.
The worst thing is that reporters and others simply will not be satisfied with suggestions that they do some reading before they start talking. No, they want to put a mike on you or start scribbling your answers to questions they have made up on the fly.
To hear Charles Krauthammer, a fine fellow one normally respects, bloviate on this subject at FOX News, for example, is enough to wear down the bicuspids that a designer (or millions of years of evolution) developed for one's mouth.
Has he read anything the intelligent design theorists have written on this topic? It doesn't sound that way.
But isn't it up to the ID scientists rather than some rewrite man at the night desk--or some opponent of ID called by a reporter--to do it?
(Hint: "The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process like natural selection.")
Wouldn't it likewise be useful to have readers and viewers know that ID accepts the old age of the earth and therefore cannot be fairly conflated with creationism that holds that the Earth is only 6000 years old and came about in six literal days?
Next, since schooling is on almost everyone's mind, wouldn't it be useful to put it out clearly that Discovery Institute and scientists affiliated with it do NOT support requiring the teaching of intelligent design in schools, but only teaching the scientific evidence for and against Darwin's theory?
And that behind it all is documented concern that scientists who dissent from Darwin are being discriminated against in academia and government?
Is this so hard to grasp as a policy stand? Or do you insist on free associating from some inkblot provided by the Darwinists?