Evolution News and Views (ENV) provides original reporting and analysis about the debate over intelligent design and evolution, including breaking news about scientific research.

Evolution News and Views

We Agree! Let's Have a Real Debate on Intelligent Design

In a column in USA TODAY (December 1), conservative columnist Cal Thomas and liberal Democratic strategist Bob Beckel reach unusual and welcome agreement on a policy of openness toward intelligent design. "Let's have a public debate on the merits," they suggest.

What a radical proposal! Imagine, we live in a democracy, we have a field of science that supposedly is open to constant self-criticism, and here we see introduced a totally new and amazing concept: "debate on the merits"!

We fully agree and are ready and willing.

Unfortunately, as the article makes clear, the Darwinists are neither ready or willing. They will do anything to avoid a serious debate "on the merits". For example, a conference organized by the American Museum of Natural History this past week, and reported breathlessly in the mainstream media, describes the kind of deliberation on intelligent design the Darwinists propose.

That is, put four speakers on a panel, and make sure all of them are opponents of ID. The only disagreement allowed is over which pejorative explanation for the success of ID is most persuasive. In the AMNH meeting the answer was that ID is the product of a truly historic public relations campaign.

I hate that kind of statement. Not only does it demean the AMNH by showing an unwillingness to hear the actual evidence for ID from fellow scientists who support the theory, but it is bound to give Discovery's over-worked media relations director, Rob Crowther, a big head. He will want a raise. What an underhanded way for the Darwinists to put more financial pressure on us!

So I have another suggestion. Maybe they should introduce into their thinking, if not their meetings, the mere possibility that the reason ID is on so many minds and is causing the AMNH to hold one-sided academic conferences, is that the scientific case against Darwinism and for ID is building by the month--with an increasing articles, books, lab work and more individual scientists deciding to throw in with us (30 in the last month alone). Maybe the reason Harvard is raising money to conduct research in support of Darwin's theory and Cornell's president is declaring ID a national threat is that the Darwinists are not confident at all. Why, when I was at Harvard, the evidence for Darwin's theory was already proven for the ages--supposedly. Are the Darwinists possibly seeing the scientific sand wash out from under their feet?

If that's not the true explanation, and it's just PR prowess that is making a name for ID, then the way the Darwinists can really demolish us is to hold the kind of fair and extensive scientific debate that conservative Cal Thomas and liberal Bob Beckel propose, right? In such a scholarly setting, the likes of Darwinians Ken Miller and Larry Krause and Genie Scott should be able to crush the scientific pretensions of ID scientists, agreed?

But perhaps those two fine gentlemen writing the USA TODAY article probably don't fully appreciate that science has now changed, and that the "new scientific method" is to smear anyone raising doubts about Darwin and, at all costs, avoid an objective debate about the evidence.

Actually, we suspect that Mssrs. Thomas and Beckel may have figured that out, too. Still, even raising the issue of debate helps point out the actual issues at hand, doesn't it? We are grateful for their proposal. We accept!