<i>Science</i> Editorializes over Discovery Institute - Evolution News & Views

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Science Editorializes over Discovery Institute

The current issue of the journal Science gave us further proof that the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has no interest in being a neutral or fair participant in the debate over ID and evolution. In what purports to be a news article, Constance Holden wrote:

"It's 'a victory as it throws out the problematic ruling [made by] the trial court,' says Casey Luskin, a lawyer at The Discovery Institute, creationism's main think tank in Seattle, Washington."

("Court Revives Georgia Sticker Case," by Constance Holden, Science Vol 312:1292 (June 2, 2006))

By labeling Discovery Institute "creationism's main think tank," Holden engages in blatant editorializing and abandons her role as reporter for that of mouthpiece for ID's critics.

Despite Holden's editorializing, ID is not creationism because creationism always postulates a supernatural creator, and/or is focused on proving some religious scripture. But intelligent design does neither. As a passage from the early pro-ID textbook Of Pandas and People explains, there is "intelligence, which can be recognized by uniform sensory experience, and the supernatural, which cannot.... All [ID] implies is that life had an intelligent source." (Pandas, 2nd ed., pgs. 127, 161). ID does not postulate a supernatural creator, and it is not focused on proving any kind of religious scripture. (See Appendix A to Discovery's Amicus Brief in the Dover Trial for extensive documentation.)

Of course the AAAS, which publishes the journal Science, has repeatedly shown that it is primarily an anti-ID political partisan in the debate over ID. In September, 2002 they issued a press release condemning ID. Are scientific organizations acting like scientists when they issue a citation-less press release against an idea? Then in 2002, Constance Holden again showed the flippant attitude of the AAAS towards ID by finding it newsworthy to approvingly quote Eugenie Scott mocking the name of Discovery's Center for Science and Culture, saying "There is still a superfluous word in the center's name: 'Science.''" (Design's Evolving Image by Constance Holden, Science, Vol 297:1991 (Sept. 20, 2002)).

Even the ardent Darwinist philosopher of science Michael Ruse has noted that there is an anti-ID political bias from the AAAS:

"[ID] is opposed, often bitterly, by the scientific establishment. Journals such as Science and Nature would as soon publish an article using or favourable to Intelligent Design as they would an article favourable to phrenology or mesmerism -- or, to use an analogy to the claims of the Mormons about Joseph Smith and the tablets of gold, or favourable to the scientific creationists' claims about the coexistence of humans and dinosaurs. Recently, indeed, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (the organization that publishes Science) has declared officially that in its opinion Intelligent Design is not so much bad science as no science at all and accordingly has no legitimate place in the science classrooms of the United States."

(Michael Ruse and William Dembski in General Introduction to Debating Design, pg. 3-4 (Cambridge University Press, 2004))

So Science, often via Constance Holden, has a history of a sarcastic, mocking, anti-scientific attitude when it talks about ID. Why should we take what Contance Holden says about Discovery being "creationism's main think tank" as anything other than another clear example of Science playing politics? One can call contemporary design arguments "creationism" or "fundamentalism" but none of these labels do anything to address the physical evidence or arguments put forward by design scientists.

(And neither did the Bridgham et al. paper, which Science claimed helped to "solidly refute all parts of the intelligent design argument.")