Calvin Ball at USA Today

Jonathan Witt

Remember Calvin Ball? Calvin and Hobbes played a ball game where the victor was the one who could most nimbly change the rules to assure victory. Well, they’re playing Calvin Ball over at USA Today again. Gerald L. Zelizer writes:

Can intelligent design and evolution reside in the same school building? Yes. In the same curriculum? No. Intelligent design belongs in history or social science class. Evolution belongs in science class.

If one merely defines the scientific evidence against Darwinism as not-science, then, presto, you’ve cleared the field of all those stubborn, uncooperative facts that are better explained as the product of intelligent cause. Science writer Denyse O’Leary wrote USA Today, commenting thus:

Regarding Rabbi Zelizer’s comments (February 6, 2005), could you please provide some real coverage of the intelligent design controversy instead of the usual uniquack [i.e., uninformed groupthink]?
Imagine my amazement at reading, “Among its most prominent spokespeople are scientists such as Michael Behe of Lehigh University, who point out major flaws in Darwin’s theory of a continuous evolutionary chain from a few original forms. For example, many of the necessary transitional fossils that would link ancient forms to their contemporary ancestors are missing. Therefore, only design (or God) and not evolution could create the intricate diversity of life, he says.”

Concerning Zelizer’s underinformed commentary, Discovery Institute senior fellow Jay Richards has this to say:

Nonsense. Behe has never argued any such thing. Quite the opposite. In his best selling book “Darwin’s Black Box,” Behe says that he does not question the common ancestry of life. Rather, he challenges Darwin’s mechanism of natural selection at the biochemical level. In particular, he points to features of certain microscopic molecular machines, which he argues are best explained by intelligent design rather than natural selection and random variation.
What this means is that Rabbi Zelizer is criticizing intelligent design, which he goes on to assert is unverifiable, without bothering to verify his own knowledge of the views of one of its chief proponents.

O’Leary concludes her letter to USA today:

Please, no more rubbish about religion and science. It is the SCIENCE issues that cause increasing numbers of people to turn away from Darwinism. Bloviating from science boffins is increasingly ineffectual when so many people can find out so much from the Internet.

In a personal note to Discovery Institute, O’Leary adds, “My letter has a better chance of ending up on Saturn than being considered [for publication at USA Today], but it would be nice. In any case, it’s the legacy media’s own fault if they don’t listen. I did not advise them to go be road kill on some information highway. I have repeatedly warned them to do the opposite.”

Jonathan Witt

Executive Editor, Discovery Institute Press and Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Jonathan Witt, PhD, is Executive Editor of Discovery Institute Press and a senior fellow and senior project manager with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. His latest book is Heretic: One Scientist’s Journey from Darwin to Design (DI Press, 2018) written with Finnish bioengineer Matti Leisola. Witt has also authored co-authored Intelligent Design Uncensored, A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature, and The Hobbit Party: The Vision of Freedom That Tolkien Got, and the West Forgot. Witt is the lead writer and associate producer for Poverty, Inc., winner of the $100,000 Templeton Freedom Award and recipient of over 50 international film festival honors.

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