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Biologist’s New Argument Against Intelligent Design: Under ID, Gazelle Should Run Toward Cheetah

Gardner cheetah slide.jpg

It will be a treat to have the recording of last week’s Royal Society conference, “New Trends in Evolutionary Biology,” to confirm the exact wording of a few choice quotes from the event. We’ve already pointed out this slide from Andy Gardner of the University of St. Andrews. It says that Darwinism’s “process” is “natural selection,” its “purpose” being to “maximize fitness.” ID’s “process,” on the other hand, is “God did it” while its purpose is “???”
What a way to turn a serious argument into a ludicrous cartoon. Completing the picture, Evolution News contributor Jonathan M., who was in the audience, notes on Facebook today that Dr. Gardner added a further observation. We alluded to this briefly before, but it deserves special highlighting. Jonathan writes, “And of course, if God made the gazelle, he would have made it run towards the cheetah. He really said this.”
We’ve now had two reports of this. I double-checked to make sure there was no misunderstanding on my part or humorous intent on Jonathan’s.

I am not joking. He said that, if the gazelle was designed, then its “purpose” is to provide food for the cheetah; and so we should expect it to be designed to run towards the cheetah rather than away. I think he was being slightly facetious but he really did say that.

“Slightly facetious” or not, folks, what we have here is a biologist speaking on “Anthropomorphism in evolutionary biology” before the world’s most august scientific body and telling those assembled that, if ID is true, the direction of the gazelle’s fleet running is in the wrong direction. It ought to jump straight into the cheetah’s mouth.
Can you make this stuff up? Maybe you could. For myself, I don’t have the imagination for it.
I’m on Twitter. Follow me @d_klinghoffer.

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.