The Bad News of Intelligent Design
Regis NicollRegis Nicoll's weblog
- 2010 Mar 26
Darwinian evolution is the creation story of atheism. It is the tale of nothing becoming everything through an incremental, unguided process of random change and adaptation.
Yet despite its many logical and technical difficulties—not the least of which is explaining how nothing became a "something" to get the whole process started—the narrative has captured the imaginations of a wide spectrum of individuals, religious and non-religious alike.
Today nearly any article or television program, covering any aspect of the natural world, from the eating habits of chimpanzees to the dreams of humans, is sure to make mention of "our evolutionary heritage." What's more, phenomena as counterproductive to Darwinian fitness as homosexuality and altruism are increasingly being traced to some evolutionary advantage. It is as if to be taken seriously as a researcher, writer or thinker, one must pay homage to Darwin, no matter how tenuous the connection to the subject matter, or fatuous.
The charm of the tale comes not only in what it has to say about history, but in what it has to say about the future—the eternal struggle for survival will lead to change; change will lead to progress, and progress to perfection.
As the story gained currency, faith in a caring Superintendent began to be displaced by hope in an indifferent, impersonal mechanism of change—"Change we can believe in," change we must believe in, if we reject the antediluvian myth and its Author.
It is no wonder that few phrases in recent memory have provoked as much comment, criticism and derision as "intelligent design."
Since its introduction into modern lexicons, intelligent design (ID) has been called everything from "creationism in a cheap tuxedo" to a "Trojan horse" to a "sham." And those are some of the kinder put-downs.
And ID opprobrium has not been restricted to the fever swamps of atheism. Educators, judges, politicians, scientists, journalists, and even Christians have logged withering comments about the science of design. But why the invectives over a non-sectarian enterprise that makes no claims about the identity of the Designer?Continue reading here.