2011: Does anyone remember the Clergy Letter Project?
In case you had any doubt, the last nail was just placed in the coffin of intelligent design (ID). And, in case you had any doubt, that last nail joins many others that have been in place for quite some time.
The latest attack appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) and provides conclusive evidence that the design of the human genome is incredibly imperfect, or, in other words, very far from being intelligently structured. As John Avise, a University of California-Irvine biologist, noted in the paper, his focus “is on a relatively neglected category of argument against ID and in favor of evolution: the argument from imperfection, as applied to the human genome.”Michael Zimmerman, “Intelligent Design: Scientifically and Religiously Bankrupt” at HuffPost
All genomes are a river of languages of creative information flowing through time. Sometimes, where the information ends up, it is not useful. We know a lot more about the human genome (and others) now than we did then but none of it suggests that there is no underlying intelligence.
2011: From a novelist and screenwriter:
Thanks to Michele Bachmann, the tired concept of Intelligent Design has once again become a topic of conversation among Creationists, most of whom, ironically, often sound like Neanderthals. In case you don’t know, this boneheaded theory claims that the human body is simply too remarkable to have come into being through millions of years of haphazard evolution, and that some super-intelligent deity must have been the engineering wizard behind the miracle of our anatomies.
Miracle? Really? If you’re over 50 and your body is starting to fall apart, it’s pretty obvious that the design is anything but intelligent.John Blumenthal, “Intelligent Design? Not If You’re Over 50” at HuffPost
Somehow, Blumenthal has built into his definition of design the idea that in a finite and temporal world, designs should be ageless and invulnerable. Sure. That’ll work.
2012: A “physics professor, minister, major fan of Johnny Cash and the planet Saturn” holds forth:
For a person of faith, ID is not just an unnecessary choice; it is a harmful one. It reduces God to a kind of holy tinkerer. It locates the divine in places of ignorance and obscurity. And this gives it a defensive and fearful spirit that is out of place in Christian faith and theology. …
ID denies its proponents that freedom. Having opted to close the door on science, they steal from themselves the opportunity to see nature more deeply. In so doing they dig in their heels, refusing to be drawn, Kepler-style, closer to the creator God they all believe in. This is the great irony of ID.
Because ID is established in scientific ignorance, it cannot last. It is passing even now. And its religiously-motivated rejection by Kepler 400 years ago suggests that the seeds of its demise were planted even then. In this long view, it may be that ID never even managed to arrive.Paul Wallace, “Intelligent Design Is Dead: A Christian Perspective” at HuffPost
As it happens, Darwin is in way bigger trouble now. One regularly sees stuff walloping along in the current of science information that isn’t consistent with any plausible interpretation of biology’s Big Theory. Not only does no one do anything about it but the worry that they ever will is beginning to fade.
See also: Direct Experimental Falsification Of Darwinism? (The Selfish Gene was heard to sob uncontrollably in the background.)
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