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
Intelligent Design NEWS

Darwinists' Continued Yelping About Signature In The Cell Reveals Their Desperation

The continued success of Signature In The Cell has driven Darwinists crazy. They're desperately making louder and ever more ridiculous denunciations of the book and anyone who might have the temerity to suggest people read it for themselves.

An interesting and informative back and forth has been taking place on the pages of the Times Literary Supplement, where last month noted atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel recommended SITC as one of the best books of the year. Not surprisingly, he was attacked (he responded, and he was attacked again) by a Darwinist who told people forgo reading SITC and instead just read Wikipedia. Is this what passes for civil discourse on important topics now? Just ignore the arguments you don't like? A pretty pathetic state of affairs if true.

Nagel wasn't just attacked in the TLS, but also by Darwin activist Brian Leiter, who as far as I can tell is grossly ignorant or a liar when it comes to the issue of intelligent design. (He writes as if he knows something about what we do at Discovery Institute, attributing to us things which we in fact do not do, so he is either ignorant or a liar.)

Today, Leiter was taken to task for challenging someone obviously his superior when it comes to philosophical arguments. Over at the Libertarian-leaning Lewrockwell.com, David Gordon has a very good essay on the whole frakas where he explains:

Nagel's remarks on Intelligent Design are of great philosophical significance. He is an atheist and does not accept the view that a designing mind directed the evolutionary process. But he opposes what he deems a contemporary prejudice in favor of reductionist naturalism. He doubts that Darwinism can adequately explain the existence of objective value ...
Gordon goes to call Leiter's temper tantrums unedifying and points out that Nagel is "one of the foremost philosophers of the past half-century".

He concludes by defending civil debate and discourse and denouncing the attempts to suppress such debate as deplorable.

I have gone on at some length about this, because the attempt by Leiter and others to block inquiry that challenges naturalism seems to me altogether deplorable. To some people, evidently, the first line of the False Priestess in In Memoriam is Holy Writ, not to be questioned: "The stars, she whispers, blindly run." But even if these avid naturalists are correct in their metaphysics, debate needs to be encouraged rather than suppressed. Perhaps Leiter should reread On Liberty. Pending that happy event, one can only say of his abuse that the barking of Bill Sikes's dog just tells us that Bill Sikes is in the neighborhood.