Grey Thoughts
Tactics in defending evolution
Charles, from Little Green Footballs posts about a redstate article which defends the idea that conservatives are not anti-science, but that it is the liberals, using the frame of the ID-evolution debate.

Charles, from what I understand is a conservative or libertarian who has a strong dislike of anyone questioning evolution.

A few things stick out about Charles' post though.

A quick problem is that he uses the term 'creationist' to describe 'Intelligent Design' (ID), thus trying to link the ID movement with young earth creationists like Answers in Genesis and progressive creationists like Reasons To Believe. This is a common debating tactic of trying to make your target seem less main-stream than they really are. But Charles seems unable to consistently use this categorization as he then goes on to claim that 'We’ve dealt with this silly argument so many times at LGF that it gets tiresome to keep repeating it, but “intelligent design” creationism has absolutely no legitimacy as a scientific theory; there isn’t a single peer-reviewed paper that supports it, there is no research behind it, there are no reputable scientists who promote it, and the most famous (actually, the only) biologist identified with ID, Michael Behe, has been explicitly denounced by his own department at Lehigh University.' Charles is trying to have it both ways, using the small size of the ID movement as a negative, but lumping it with 'creationists' to also cast it in a negative light. Of course, someone should remind Charles that the vast majority of Americans would agree with the statement that 'God was directly involved in some way in the creation of the various forms of life on the planet.' So really it is Charles' position which is the fringe position (amongst the general population). There are many creation scientists, from all strands of science, but of course, the vast majority of scientists support evolution.

So Charles accepts the authority of some scientists but not others. Preferring the majority to the minority. Nothing wrong with that, but he doesn't seem to do the same thing with Global warming, which he calls the "international left’s newest article of blind faith".

Charles is probably a very intelligent guy, but at some point we all choose which authorities to accept.

The question is why do you choose some authorities and not others to believe. Do you fairly evaluate the alternatives or do you dismiss arguments simply because they mention God? Do you think evidence for Intelligent design is even possible? Because if not, then your begging the question, not weighing the options, and that isn't reason, that's blind faith.

Intelligent Design is a concept that has been discussed and promoted for thousands of years by philosophers and religious folk, all the way back to luminaries such as Socrates. To ridicule it and dismiss it out of hand is to show yourself to be ignorant, not educated or intelligent.

I know I'm "late to the party", since you wrote this several weeks ago, but I only learned of your blog today, while looking for information about physicist, D. Russell Humphreys, about whom you posted last year (in March 2008, I think).

One thing that I wanted to mention about your question of "evidence" for intelligent design is the following: Everyone, whether they be a "scientist" or not, whether they be an evolutionist or a young earth creationist, has the SAME EVIDENCE.

The interpretation/understanding of what that "evidence" means is the only thing in dispute.

Thanks for your post.
Hi Andy,
I agree that everyone has the same evidence, but to clarify, my mention of evidence in this post was more abstract, in that the question is 'Is it possible that evidence (possible or actual) could support the concept of intelligent design'

Most of the evolutionary preachers seem to say no. (Richard Dawkins is a good example). What this means is that they think there is no way to determine whether any object is intelligently designed or not.

This leaves them simply begging the question, as opposed to having evidence that someone happened by purely unguided natural forces. Naturalism of the Gaps so to speak.

Another side question would be whether the evidence is good or not...for instance, the RATE report by AIG/CMI/ICR scientists gives us experimental evidence, but critics can say that it was a poorly designed experiment, and so the evidence is not useful....

Thanks for the comments
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