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Brian Miller Pets a Cheetah, an Icon of Intelligent Design

At the 2016 Royal Society meeting, some proponents of intelligent design in attendance were amused by one speaker who thought he had scored a clever point against ID. Andy Gardner of the University of St. Andrews said that under intelligent design, a gazelle instead of running away from a cheetah should run toward it. Our contributor and informant Jonathan M. was in the crowd and reported:

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.

A Semi-Icon for ID

Ever since then the cheetah has been a semi-icon for ID — if only in a “slightly facetious” sense. Of course, the cheetah’s remarkable design for speed would qualify in itself for this distinction. 

Center for Science & Culture Research Coordinator Brian Miller is just back from a trip to South Africa where he had the opportunity to meet and pet a representative of this iconic ID-friendly species. For your Labor Day enjoyment, he submits the picture above in which we see Brian interacting with Annabelle, said to be a good-natured girl who purred for the duration of the meeting, expressing her approval of our work.

Below see Andy Gardner’s slide from the 2016 conference. It indicates that Darwinism’s “process” is “natural selection,” while its “purpose” is to “maximize fitness.” ID’s process, however, is said to be “God did it” while its purpose is “???” It’s remarkable how childish the scientific critique of intelligent design can be.

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.



Andy GardnerBrian MillercheetahsDarwinismgazellesintelligent designJonathan M.Labor DayRoyal SocietySouth AfricaUniversity of St. Andrews