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Excavating the Intellectual Roots of Intelligent Design

There’s a pair of matching, bookended myths about intelligent design — one pertaining to its origin, the other to its purported demise. Darwinists claim ID goes back about as far as Michael Behe’s 1996 book Darwin’s Black Box and that a judge in Pennsylvania finally ruled it out as science in 2005. Therefore a lifespan of just under ten years. Even most dogs live longer than that.

We’ve pointed out before that judges — even federal ones appointed by President G.W. Bush — don’t get to decide, for all time, huge questions of science like whether nature reflects purpose. Science historian Michael Flannery addresses the corresponding myth of ID’s recent origins. Others have pointed to Plato and Aristotle as design proponents, but Professor Flannery traces it back to a Pre-Socratic, Anaxagoras.

In a conversation with Todd Butterfield for ID the Future, Flannery discusses an article for Evolution News on that historical background:

Download the episode by clicking here:


Excavating ID’s intellectual roots is a bit of a theme here this week, as Michael Denton similarly recovers the structuralism of Richard Owen, isn’t it?

Image: Anaxagoras, Nuremberg Chronicle, via Wikicommons.

David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.