Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

It’s Really not Rocket Science


In the 2010 book interview for the first edition of my Discovery Institute Press book David Klinghoffer asked me, what do you think will be the turning point in the ID-Darwinism debate? I answered (approximately) “the turning point will be when scientists believe they will be considered intellectuals for doubting Darwin rather than for promoting Darwin, and not before.” Ten years later, Intelligent Design has gained some respect but we have certainly not yet arrived at my turning point. If we get there eventually, it will be thanks to our experts like Michael Behe, W.E.Loennig, Doug Axe, and many others, whose knowledge of biology and biochemistry matches that of any Darwinist expert. But if you just want to know whose experts are right, and don’t care whether you will be considered an intellectual or not, you don’t have to wait for this turning point. Most important scientific controversies do require advanced scientific knowledge to decide, but this one does not; the main issues are really very simple.

Mathematicians are trained to value simplicity: if we have a simple, clear proof of a theorem, and a long counterargument, full of complicated, unproven assertions, we accept the simple proof even before we find the errors—which we know must exist—in the complicated counterargument. Unfortunately, many scientists don’t seem to be impressed by simple arguments, no matter how clear: they prefer arguments which show more detailed scientific knowledge, even if full of complicated, unproven assertions. But, as a mathematician, all I need to decide who is right are the very simple, clear, arguments (particularly points 3-5) in the video below, “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design.” (This video is based on an October 28, 2020 post at Evolution News.)

But if you prefer a bit more detailed, and a lot more professional-looking, presentation of some of these simple arguments, perhaps you will want to also watch:

The video "A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design" now links to a new version, which was much improved by my brother Kirk (the little guy in the picture). Granville Sewell
Polistra, That's a very good point. If Discovery Institute received a billion dollar grant, it might be interesting to see how many ID scientists would come out of the closet. If you'll give them 500 Million, I'll match it. (I assume that's safe to offer...?) Granville Sewell
There's more to it than just being considered intellectual. Existing theories have huge BUREAUCRATIC AND ECONOMIC FORCE behind them. College administrators and accrediting agencies follow orthodoxy and listen to the orthodox profs who already have all the grants. No matter how intellectual or valid, new thoughts can't get the grants, therefore won't be respected and ACCREDITED, and won't get new grants. Only a new organization or foundation, with massive funding, could make a difference. When unorthodox ideas start to get money and buildings and equipment and postdocs, the existing grantors will respect them and start to turn away from orthodoxy. polistra

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