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Phillip Johnson Gives State of the Debate Report in Think Philosophy Journal

In Think, a philosophy journal published by The Royal Institute of Philosophy, Phillip Johnson has published an article entitled “Intelligent Design in Biology: the Current Situation and Future Prospects” which assesses the current state of the debate over intelligent design. The full article may be read here.

Johnson explains that, despite the advances of the 20th century, many Darwinists still use old arguments that merely reflect microevolution. Johnson writes regarding the Galapagos finches:

To make the story look better, the National Academy of Sciences improved on some the facts in its 1998 booklet on Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science. This version of the story omits the beaks’ return to normal and encourages teachers to speculate that a “new species of finch” might arise in 200 years if the initial trend towards increased beak size continued indefinitely. When our leading scientists have to resort to the sort of distortion that would land a stock promoter in court, you know they are having trouble fitting their evidence to the theory they want to support.

(Phillip Johnson, “Intelligent Design in Biology: the Current Situation and Future Prospects“)

Despite the lack of significant scientific roadblocks to the advancement of intelligent design, Johnson explains that Darwinists have worked hard to stifle discussion of intelligent design by misconstruing the theory as “creationism.” Johnson observes that “[b]ecause a gag order is in force, ID is not discussed in the scientific literature.” But he is nonetheless optimistic that this gag order will be lifted:

Today authoritarian rules ban the hypothesis of intelligent design from scientific discussion and fiercely suppress it by lawsuits. A genuinely confident scientific culture that was making continual progress in confirming its theories and solving problems would not need or want to rely on intimidation to silence dissent. It may require many long years of struggle before the hypothesis of real design in biology will be able to receive a fair hearing, but the day of that fair hearing will arrive, and eventually people may wonder how a materialist theory as shaky as Darwinism was able to captivate so many minds for so long. … I am still convinced that the possible role of intelligent causes in the history or life will eventually become a subject that leading scientists will want to address in a fair-minded manner. For now, the influential scientific organizations are passionately committed to explanations that consider only material causes, so they reject out of hand any suggestion that intelligent cause may also have played some role. It seems that supporting materialism, rather than following the evidence to whatever conclusion it leads is their prime commitment.

(Phillip Johnson, “Intelligent Design in Biology: the Current Situation and Future Prospects“)

Will the gag-order be lifted and other explanations be considered? Only time will tell, but the empirical data supporting design will never go away.

Casey Luskin

Associate Director and Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Casey Luskin is a geologist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and BS and MS degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His law degree is from the University of San Diego, where he focused his studies on First Amendment law, education law, and environmental law.



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