Evolution Under Siege: Day 114 (Gasp! This Time They’ve Brought Scientists!)

That great bastion of journalist integrity (no not the Washington Post) L.A. Beat has a laughable story about the recent Kansas SBOE hearings on evolution.
Andrew Gumbel, Darwin’s pitbull in this instance, reports in breathless tones of the evolution of creationism and warns left-coasters that it could happen there too.

“They no longer talk about creationism or biblical literalism but rather about Intelligent Design – a much more sophisticated argument that merely seeks to leave open the possibility that science, on its own, cannot account for the full story of life on Earth and that therefore some designing consciousness (for the sake of argument, God) must have been involved.”

CSC senior fellow Jonathan Wells has already well clarified how to define science — and it doesn’t include calling it evolution. But, let me straighten out Gumbel’s gobbledygook attempt to redefine science as evolution. The theory of intelligent design does not claim that “science” on on its own, cannot account for the full story of life on Earth” but rather that Darwinian evolution cannot. Science, is not the same as evolution, Darwinian or otherwise. Cleverly trying to accuse critics of neo-Darwinism –falsely– of attacking all of science, as opposed to its most dismal failure, is a common Darwinist tactic.
Moving right along Gumbel chafes over the fact that many skeptics of Darwinism are actual scientists. Imagine! According to Darwinists these folks aren’t supposed to exist, and yet as the New York Times reported, the hearings were a veritable “parade of PhD’s” criticizing Darwinian evolution. Gumbel is aghast.

“The most public proponents of Intelligent Design have Ph.D.s from universities, often quite prestigious universities, [gasp!] and some are even scientists [gulp!] with direct experience in genetics and other evolution-related fields. [choke!]”

But wait! For Gumbel it gets even worse. Imagine, even New York Times reporters were “enthused by at least some of their arguments against scientific orthodoxy.”

After a day of listening to their arguments at the Kansas state hearings, in which they chipped away at the less easily provable assertions of the neo-Darwinist mainstream, the correspondent for The New York Times acknowledged that she found them pretty convincing. (This even though three of the more prominent witnesses that day said they didn’t accept the idea that humans are descended from ape-like prehominids.) A second correspondent, for the Times’ Sunday magazine, was equally enthused by at least some of their arguments against scientific orthodoxy, and was certainly a very long way from dismissing them out of hand.

And it isn’t just the New York Times’ reporters who are too stupid to understand that evolution is a proven fact. High school students are also this stupid, as CSC senior fellow William Dembski noted. It’s expected that a tenth grader is expected to learn about, and understand, the evidence that supports Darwinian evolution. Why then should we believe they’re too stupid to learn and understand the evidence that challenges Darwin’s theory?
Gumbel’s article rambles along –predictably following the well-worn path so often used for these sorts of thumb-suckers– throwing in some tired old arguments against irreducible complexity that have been refuted elsewhere.
He then closes with what I call the red-state rampage that I’m sure avowed agnostic –and avid critic of Darwinian evolution– David Berlinski would get a good laugh out of:

It is, much more seriously, an attack on rational thought itself, an insane attempt to promote the political ambitions of biblical literalists and their sympathizers over and above the advance of world civilization.