It’s getting harder to pretend that no reasonable person notices any design in nature. Danish ID proponent Karsten Pultz sends a report:
Normally ID is expelled from the public domain, so it feels like a miracle that Norwegian state TV hosted a short debate between Dag Erlandsen, the leader of the newly established ID foundation BioCosmos, and representatives of the academic and political establishment. “Challenging Darwin’s theory of evolution” was broadcast on NRK TV 23 in October 2019.
The debate was sparked by the fact that BioCosmos soon will be able to make ID material available to Norwegian schools that want to include the ID perspective in the biology curriculum. This project is now possible because of a large donation from a Norwegian shipping magnate (here).
Apart from the usual accusations that ID is merely creationism, one concern, raised by leftwing politician Thorstein Tvedt Solberg, who debated Erlandsen, is that a rich person can pay to influence what is taught in public schools. As benefactor Einar Rasmussen explained, ID is not being forced upon the schools, it is fully up to the local school boards to decide whether to include it or not in the biology curriculum. In neither Norway nor Denmark is it illegal to introduce ID concepts into the classroom.
The logic behind Stolberg’s concern seems to be that an individual’s motives are always dodgy, while tax money administered by bureaucrats always are good and clean. It´s remarkable, that as soon as the money from tax payers has entered the bureaucracy, they immediately become clean and untainted. And of course such good money can only produce good, objective and inherently unbiased teaching. I know that this idea of public money only supporting good and unbiased purposes is widespread because I suffered myself from this delusion for many years.
It didn’t come as a surprise to me that Solberg, the young leftwing politician, living under the delusion that public money only funds the promotion of universal truths, would see ID as dangerous propaganda equal to climate- and vaccine skepticism.
In this short debate, Erlandsen managed to make a good case for ID being a sober scientific alternative to evolution that ought to be welcomed as an option for schools in Norway. Biology professor Glenn-Peter Sætre´s only contribution to the debate was to utter the obligatory mantra that ID is creationism, not science. (For more on Saetre, go here), Erlandsen pointed out that agnostics like Michael Denton and David Berlinski should make it obvious that ID is not a religious enterprise. To refute the claim that ID is nonsense, Erlandsen also referred to Marcos Eberlin´s book, Foresight: How the Chemistry of Life Reveals Planning and Purpose, to show that the question about design in nature is a legitimate scientific one.
I’m sorry for late reporting on this debate which took place last year, but it was only now brought to my attention. But still, it’s good news that ID is a hot topic just now in Norway and that it is permissible for debate on mainstream news. The host and moderator from NRK was remarkably unbiased which helped viewers assess claims about ID.