David Klinghoffer, a senior fellow at the Intelligent Design-promoting Discovery Institute, just announced its winner for the Censor of the Year award, given to the media outlet or publisher that refuses to acknowledge the other side of a story.
This year’s winner? Wikipedia. Because apparently the article about Intelligent Design doesn’t treat the concept on par with evolution.
… It commences with a lie:
“Intelligent design (ID) is a religious argument for the existence of God, presented by its proponents as “an evidence-based scientific theory about life’s origins”, [sic] though it has been discredited as pseudoscience.”
Actually, there are three lies. Here’s the truth: ID is a scientific, not a religious argument. It is a theory of evolution, of why the forms of life originated and changed over the past 3.9 billion years. An alternative to the increasingly shaky neo-Darwinian theory of blind churning, it argues exclusively in scientific terms, never from religious authority. It’s an argument for design in biology and cosmology, not for the “existence of God.” Compatible with methodological naturalism, it candidly professes that science sheds no light on the source of the design in life, other than to say that source operates with purpose and forethought. And while it has certainly been attacked in scabrous terms, it hasn’t been “discredited.” Far from it.
Calling Intelligent Design scientific doesn’t make it so any more than calling myself a professional athlete means I deserve a multi-million-dollar contract. For all their bluster, proponents of ID don’t publish papers offering proof of the theory while discrediting evolution in the process. Hell, if you’ve ever read anything about ID, it’s probably from a book written for the general public, not a scholarly article.
It’s a fair point that Intelligent Design isn’t necessarily an argument for God, but saying that something had to design various life forms because natural selection couldn’t possibly have accounted for them either points to God or… nothing. ID proponents say that “something” could be anything. But God is the most common explanation. It’s not like they talk about aliens.
And yes, ID has been discredited. Repeatedly. Not just in court, where a judge ruled in 2005 that teaching ID violated the First Amendment since it’s essentially Creationism rebranded, but by the entire respected scientific establishment. There are no credible scientists promoting ID because there’s no evidence in favor of it. ID mostly exists in the spaces where we have gaps in our knowledge, but not because the theory offers any solutions. ID is just presented as a magical answer to everything we don’t know.
Wikipedia doesn’t say ID is wrong, but it does present the criticism against it. The site’s editors aren’t there to act as a public relations team for the Discovery Institute. If ID backers want their beliefs taken more seriously, they should put in the work, do the science, and get published.
They’ve never bothered with any of that.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)