It’s always refreshing to find a journalist who has thought through the scientific issues related to intelligent design for himself. This is unfortunately rare, and not least among writers who, you would think, “ought to know better.”
So here is Forbes contributor Jerry Bowyer who interviewed Discovery Institute’s John West about his two recent documentaries, Revolutionary: Michael Behe and the Mystery of Molecular Machines, and the upcoming Human Zoos. The conversation is wide-ranging and very interesting, running to nearly 40 minutes. You can listen to it here, and watch Revolutionary here.
West discusses the way that Behe started the fire that became the modern ID movement, opening up the “black box” of the cell with its remarkable nanoscale machines, giving powerful testimony of purpose and design. The fact that these molecular machines are as well known as they are to the public today is, in large measure, a tribute to Dr. Behe.
But not least remarkable about the discussion, frankly, is Bowyer himself. He writes:
I am not a committed ID guy. I am merely open to the hypothesis. I find the evidence well worth considering. I suppose that I’m less an ID guy than I am an anti-anti-ID guy. I find the pattern of public ridicule, suppression of dissenting views, and career destruction bullying techniques which have been applied to the ID crowd to be less a sign that they are ridiculous, too dangerous to be heard or unemployable, and more a sign that they are hitting a (intelligently designed, but not intelligently utilized) nerve.
What a frank and, again, rare statement that is. He’s saying he is open-minded!
In the interview with West, covering the two films, the two touch on Richard Lenski’s disappointing (for Darwinists) Long-Term Evolution Experiment, the erasure of Günter Bechly by Wikipedia, and more. Bowyer hits the nail on the head more than once.
On Lenski’s experiments with E. coli bacteria and the interpretation of his work by evolutionists:
It’s interesting to see scientisim at work here and a real-life experiment [which is] on, if there’s a conflict between materialism and empiricism, which one gets thrown out of the lifeboat. Materialism gets to stay, empiricism goes out into the drink.
On Wikipedia’s coverage of intelligent design, and the comment of co-founder Larry Sanger that the ID page in particular is “appallingly biased”:
One wonders if Jimmy Wales is going to take a close look at this one. Because it seems to me there’s real abuse going on here. And Wikipedia’s credibility is going to plummet because of the politicization.
So one hopes. On eugenics and the racist Civic Biology (1914) textbook that was at the heart of the 1925 Scopes trial:
I think most moderns have absolutely no idea whatsoever how utterly interlocked Darwinism and eugenics were, almost from the instant of the publication of Darwin’s book.
As an aside, Bowyer makes the insightful comment that it’s not called Civic Biology for nothing. The emphasis is on the “civic” aspect of biology. Hmm, what does that mean? As author George William Hunter writes (p. 10), his “topics” are “given in a logical sequence so as to work out the solution of problems bearing on the ultimate problem of the entire course, that of preparation for citizenship in the largest sense.” I’m going to say more about that shortly.
Photo: A scene from Revolutionary: Michael Behe and the Mystery of Molecular Machines, via Discovery Institute.