ID often seems to be a perspective that is associated with science, philosophy, academics, and people who deal in ideas for a living. For its supporters it can sometimes feel like a lonely road, and for its opponents it can appear as an irritating, but minority view. But is it possible that ID is breaking out of these confines and becoming an idea that is being echoed elsewhere in the popular culture? By the term “popular culture”, I do not mean the entertainment industry, or opinions propagated via media outlets. I mean the real, serious, fabric of our civilization. Here are a couple of straws in the wind.
I am not sure how many readers of UD work on Wall Street, but those who do may well be familiar with the company Interactive Brokers. This company offers a variety of technologies for trading financial instruments, commodities, etc. One of these is called IB Smartrouting which searches for the best prices for an order . The company has developed the following slogan for IB Smartrouting:
“Intelligent Design that even Darwin could appreciate”
This slogan is trademarked to Interactive Brokers. Take a look at Interactive Brokers
Why would an important company take the trouble to develop and then trademark a slogan like this, unless it had significant meaning for the vast majority of its target market?
Another straw in the wind is something I have heard at conferences on information technology. There is a widespread perception that over the past 30 years enterprises have create large IT infrastructures that are now impossible to manage. When you hear about “lack of transparency” in the current financial crisis, it is in part due to the fact that nobody understands how to get data out of IT architectures unless these architectures explicitly provide it. But I digress. The cause of the mess is held to be “organic growth”. Some speakers and writers are now using the term “evolution”. One very famous speaker uses phrases like “How do you think you are going to get this stuff right – by evolution?” The implication is that evolution represents lack of planning, lack of design, and inevitably leads to a gigantic mess. In other words, evolution is a bad thing – it creates chaos. The technologicists in the audiences get it.
Straws in the wind? Signs of things to come? Maybe. But the idea of ID is surely percolating far and wide.