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The View Takes on Intelligent Design, Sort Of

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You have to grant some grudging admiration to evolutionary advocates like our friends at the National Center for Science Education. They've done an impressive job of misleading the media with the false equation between creationism and intelligent design. Case in point? Read this. It's from Raw Story and describes an exchange today on ABC's The View:

Candace Cameron Bure, the sister of evangelist actor Kirk Cameron, insisted on Wednesday that creationism was compatible with science. But she was then left speechless after Joy Behar asked to defend her remarks.

A discussion on The View about reports that GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson's own advisers doubted his grasp on foreign policy prompted Behar to remind her co-hosts the that former neurosurgeon also rejected evolution.

"I take issue with that," Bure interrupted. "Because that does not mean that he is a dumb man or unintelligent."

"To use that as an argument -- I don't believe in evolution, but intelligent design, there are many people and great scientists that are all over the world that believe in intelligent design," she continued.

"Really?" Behar replied skeptically. "I'd like to meet them."

"To say that someone who believes in intelligent design does not believe in science is silly," Bure insisted. "The two are compatible."

"How?" Behar wondered. "Explain it."

Bure took a deep breath and let out a nervous laugh.

"You're putting me on the spot," she told Behar.

Sensing that Bure was struggling, co-host Whoopi Goldberg called for a commercial break to allow her to collect her thoughts.

"I think I just want to make the point because it's such a big conversation about science and intelligent design," Bure explained after returning from the break. "But I believe that the two are not mutually exclusive. And Ben Carson is a man of science, he's a doctor. I mean, he is a great and intelligent surgeon."

We've already commented on Dr. Carson's thoughts about intelligent design. See here. More:

"And so, I think for you to say that because he does not believe in evolution, to dismiss him as a candidate or an intelligent candidate is just silly," [Bure] added.

Behar argued that anyone who visited the Museum of Natural History or studied anthropology should be able to accept that evolution was a fact.

"You see that we did not arrive in this condition over the millions of years," she said.

Watch the whole segment here:

I must say I'm impressed that the group waded into the subject, however imperfectly. Alas, it appears no one on the panel knew what intelligent design means. The View isn't a philosophy seminar, nor do the co-hosts include any scientists or science journalists. I'm not blaming them. They get their information the way most Americans do -- from the media, which on the subject of evolution has collectively capitulated to a misinformation campaign.

Candace Bure was indeed put on the spot, though co-host Paula Faris came to her defense. Joy Behar's rejoinder about the Museum of Natural History isn't really relevant. A museum can display a spectrum of fossils demonstrating that animal life has a very long history and has changed very dramatically over the course of hundreds of millions of years. That says nothing about the mechanism or agent behind that change, which is the question that the theory of intelligent design addresses.

The broad shape of the fossil record as we know it today was already familiar in Darwin's day. It's nothing new. The Cambrian explosion 530 million years ago, in which the diversity of animal life exploded on the scene without fossil ancestors, was a source of grave concern to Darwin, as he candidly admitted. The puzzle is described in Stephen Meyer's book Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design, and it not only remains but has intensified greatly as we've learned about the role of information in biology. See the Discovery Institute video "The Information Enigma" featuring Meyer and Douglas Axe:

Pressed to name a scientist who supports ID, Ms. Bure at one point said, "I would love to bring them on the show." Joy Behar agrees, "Let's have a debate between Darwinism and intelligent design," to which Whoopi Goldberg responds: "We will invite folks on because we want to have as many conversations as we can."

Whoa. No kidding? That is a fine idea. Please be in touch and I have no doubt we can offer an appropriate and illuminating conversation partner.

Image credit: Barwall Productions (Disney-ABC Television Group) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.