These Eminent Type II Darwinist Critics Didn't Get the Memo
by Casey Luskin
On September 9, 2005, 38 Nobel Laureates wrote a letter to the Kansas State Board of Education urging them to not teach intelligent design. There were only 2 small problems with the letter: 1) The Kansas Board isn't considering teaching ID, and 2) The reasons they reject design are based upon a completely false understanding of ID theory. Additionally, these Laureate Darwinists reveal the religious implications evolution has for them ("evolution is understood to be the result of an unguided, unplanned process"). Apparently they didn't get Eugenie Scott's memo to cloak your metaphysical implications for Neo-Darwinism when talking to the public.
The rest of this article was originally posted at EvolutionNews.org at http://www.evolutionnews.org/index.php?p=773&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=773:
In my "The Darwinist Misinformation Train," post from last week, I explain that there are 2 types of Darwinist critics of ID out there who misrepresent ID:
Type II Darwinist critics: These are the people created by the activities of Type I critics. Type II critics misunderstand ID because they have been told by Type I critics that ID is an untestable appeal to the supernatural. This causes them to think it is makes exclusively religious claims, is not scientific, not empirically based, and not appropriate for the laboratory or the classroom. Type II Critics aren’t necessarily to blame for their misapprehensions because they have been misled. Nonetheless, it would behoove them to pick up some of the scholarship of ID proponents they are criticizing before they speak about it publicly. If they did so, they would realize their misunderstandings.
(From The Darwinist Misinformation Train)
Note also how the Nobel Laureates' letter describes evolution:
Didn't these Nobel Laureates get Eugenie Scott's memo? ("don't let your metaphysics slip into your science!"--or is it the other way around?) I can imagine her e-mail tomorrow: "Um, Yeah. If you could just fix that letter, that would be great. Oh yeah--but then don't forget to tell the public, 'No-design is science while actual design is an untestable religious appeal to the supernatural. You can have your Neo-Darwinian cake and eat it too!' And I will go ahead and make sure you get another copy of that memo."
Returning to seriousness, these 38 Nobel Laureates are undoubtedly brilliant individuals. But they have become Type II Darwinists after having been misled by Type I Darwinists who told them that ID theory postulates a supernatural agent. So, once again I'll give a few good quotes demonstrating how ID theory doesn't identify the designer:
"The most important difference [between modern intelligent design theory and Paley's arguments] is that [intelligent design] is limited to design itself; I strongly emphasize that it is not an argument for the existence of a benevolent God, as Paley's was. I hasten to add that I myself do believe in a benevolent God, and I recognize that philosophy and theology may be able to extend the argument. But a scientific argument for design in biology does not reach that far. This while I argue for design, the question of the identity of the designer is left open. Possible candidates for the role of designer include: the God of Christianity; an angel--fallen or not; Plato's demi-urge; some mystical new age force; space aliens from Alpha Centauri; time travelers; or some utterly unknown intelligent being. Of course, some of these possibilities may seem more plausible than others based on information from fields other than science. Nonetheless, as regards the identity of the designer, modern ID theory happily echoes Isaac Newton's phrase hypothesis non fingo." (Michael Behe, "The Modern Intelligent Design Hypothesis," Philosophia Christi, Series 2, Vol. 3, No. 1 (2001), pg. 165, emphasis added.)
Kansas is not considering teaching ID. John West explained back in June that Kansas specifically was not considering teaching ID. West noted how the journal Science misreported the events of Kansas, as the journal wrongly claimed that "Evolution is under attack again, as school boards in Kansas and other states consider whether to mandate teaching of 'intelligent design.'" (Standing up for Darwin, Science, Vol 308, Issue 5730, 1847, June 24, 2005) But that statement was never true.
It is false facts like this which probably led to these 38 Nobel Laureates wasting their time and ink.
Incredibly, the Nobel Laureates wrote this letter despite the fact that the latest version of the Kansas science standards (adopted a full month before the Laureates wrote their letter) says the following which goes completely out of its way to dispell the notion that they were considering teaching ID:
But this issue is serious. If the Nobel Laureates aren't informed enough to know that the whole message of their letter to the Kansas State Board of Education is moot, then how informed are they about the actual nature of intelligent design theory? I place the blame not at the feet of these undoubtedly brilliant scientists who are Type II Critics, but at the feet of the Type I Darwinists who mislead people about the actual nature of ID theory.
But in the end, it's the public who loses:
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