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A Dialogue Concerning Intelligent Design

Casey Luskin

Somewhere a dialogue is presently taking place concerning intelligent design, and it may be going something like this:

ID Proponent: DNA. Genetic code. Language. Commands. Information. Intelligent design.

Darwinist: Wedge.

ID Proponent: Cambrian Explosion. Pattern of Explosions. Cosmic Fine-Tuning. Intelligent design.

Darwinist: Wedge.

ID Proponent: Complexity of life. Irreducible complexity. Specified Complexity. Intelligent design.

Darwinist: Wedge.

ID Proponent: Human intelligence. Creative Genius. Love. Music. Art. Leonardo da Vinci. Beethoven.

Darwinist: Wedge.

ID Proponent: Molecular Machines. Molecular motors. Cellular factories. Intelligent design.

Darwinist: Wedge.

ID Proponent: Science. Evidence. Data. Observations. Intelligent design.

Darwinist: Wedge.

ID Proponent: Atheism: Richard Dawkins. Daniel Dennett. Sam Harris. Eugenie Scott. Barbara Forrest. Stephen Jay Gould. E.O. Wilson. Michael Ruse. P.Z. Myers. Many others. Wedge? Irrelevant.

Darwinist: Hmmf. Kitzmiller.

ID Proponent: Judges can’t settle science. Courts can’t change data.

Darwinist: Kitzmiller.

ID Proponent: Judge adopted false definition of ID.

Darwinist: Kitzmiller.

ID Proponent: Judge ignored positive case for design.

Darwinist: Kitzmiller.

ID Proponent: Judge copied many errors into ruling from ACLU. Judge ignored ID rebuttals. Judges make mistakes all the time.

Darwinist: Kitzmiller.

ID Proponent: Judge ignored peer-reviewed pro-ID publications. Meyer, Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. Dembski, The Design Inference. Beye/Snoke, Protein Science. Others.

Darwinist: Kitzmiller.

ID Proponent: Judge ignored pro-ID research. Minnich’s flagellum research.

Darwinist: Hmmf. Type III Secretory System has ¼ flagellar parts.

ID Proponent: Not an explanation. Huge Leap.

Darwinist: Type III Secretory System has ¼ flagellar parts.

ID Proponent: Flagellum: Rotor, Stator, Bushings, Motor, Propeller, U-Joint, Rotary Engine 100,000 RPM. Irreducibly complex.

Darwinist: Type III Secretory System has ¼ flagellar parts.

ID Proponent: Then provide step-by-step evolutionary model.

Darwinist: Hmmf. ID has no research.

ID Proponent: Minnich. Axe. Dembski. Marks. Meyer. Behe. Snoke. Gonzalez. Biologic. Others.

Darwinist: Hmmf. NAS rejects. AAAS rejects. “Steves” reject.

ID Proponent: That’s Politics. Thomas Kuhn was right. “Science not a democracy” –Eugenie Scott. All majority views started off as minority views.

Darwinist: Hmmf. ID = Politics.

ID Proponent: ID also has science. Plus Darwinism has politics: NAS anti-ID edicts; AAAS anti-ID edicts; Witch hunts (Sternberg, Crocker, Gonzalez, others).

Darwinist: Hmmf. ID = Creationism.

ID Proponent: DNA. Genetic code. Language. Commands. Information. Not Bible based.

Darwinist: ID = Creationism.

ID Proponent: Cambrian Explosion. Pattern of Explosions. Cosmic Fine-Tuning. Not Faith based.

Darwinist: ID = Creationism.

ID Proponent: Complexity of life. Irreducible complexity. Specified Complexity. Not Divine Revelation based.

Darwinist: ID = Creationism.

ID Proponent: Molecular Machines. Molecular motors. Cellular factories. Not Religion.

Darwinist: ID = Creationism.

ID Proponent: World’s most famous evolutionist Richard Dawkins (who is anti-ID): “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

Darwinist: Hmmf. TalkOrigins Quote Mine Project.

ID Proponent: DNA Nobel Prize winner Francis Crick (who is anti-ID): “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”

Darwinist: TalkOrigins Quote Mine Project.

ID Proponent: Former NAS president Bruce Alberts (who is anti-ID): “The entire cell can be viewed as a factory that contains an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each of which is composed of a set of large protein machines. . . . Why do we call the large protein assemblies that underlie cell function protein machines? Precisely because, like machines invented by humans to deal efficiently with the macroscopic world, these protein assemblies contain highly coordinated moving parts.”

Darwinist: Hmmf. Then who designed the designer?

ID Proponent: Theological Objection–Irrelevant. Theological Answer: God is eternal, has no designer.

Darwinist: Who designed the designer?

ID Proponent: Knowledge of designer not necessary for design inference.

Darwinist: Who designed the designer?

ID Proponent: Why does the universe exist?

Darwinist: Hmmf. Progress of science. God of the gaps.

ID Proponent: Science seeks truth. If ID is right, ID is progress.

Darwinist: Progress of science must be NATURALISTIC. God of the gaps.

ID Proponent: That’s my point: Naturalism failing. How did flagellum evolve? Evolution of the gaps.

Darwinist: Progress of science. God of the gaps.

ID Proponent: Where are Cambrian ancestors? Evolution of the gaps.

Darwinist: Progress of science. God of the gaps.

ID Proponent: How did the first cell arise? Evolution of the gaps.

Darwinist: Progress of science. God of the gaps.

ID Proponent: ID is positive. DNA. Genetic code. Language. Commands. Information. Cambrian Explosion. Pattern of Explosions. Cosmic Fine-Tuning. Complexity of life. Irreducible complexity. Specified Complexity. Human intelligence. Love. Music. Art. Leonardo da Vinci. Beethoven. Molecular Machines. Molecular motors. Cellular factories. Science. Evidence. Data. Observations. Information in nature requires intelligent design.

[Empty Silence; Crickets]

ID Proponent: How did any single biochemical pathway arise? Evolution of the gaps. ID dramatically superior.

[Empty Silence; Crickets.]

Darwinist: Wedge. You’re ignorant, insane, and wicked.


Note: This was intended as a parody only, although sadly it represents the many fallacious objections to ID raised by Darwinists. If anything, this parody underestimates the amount of name-calling and personal attacks that a Darwinist would have probably leveled (in this case, the Darwinist refrains from personal attacks until the very end.)

A real scholarly debate between those on both sides of the intelligent design controversy would have much more technical arguments. Nonetheless, the sad truth is that when many criticize intelligent design in the media, courtrooms, classrooms, and even scientific journals, their arguments often fail to rise above those of the “Darwinist” antagonist presented here. For those interested in serious, scientific discussions of intelligent design, check out any of these two books that have both pro- and con- arguments regarding intelligent design:

Casey Luskin

Associate Director, 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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