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Stifling the Intelligent Design Debate Is Bad Science

Wesley J. Smith

intelligent design

I am not involved in the intelligent design issue here at Discovery Institute. My fields are human exceptionalism and defending the sanctity and equality of human life.

I may be a mere lawyer — although I once played a scientist on TV — but I am well aware of intelligent design research and advocacy conducted here and by others. Alas, in his contretemps with my colleague David Klinghoffer about the issue, Kevin Williamson avoided dealing directly with ID as it is actually conducted, and instead, deployed an absurd reductionist construct of the field as consisting of ideological assertions by “lawyers” and “amateurs.”

Not true. ID is a heterodox scientific hypothesis that challenges reigning Darwinian theories. (It is not alone in doing that, by the way. Darwinian understandings are under sustained questioning throughout biology.) It also rejects rank materialism — as I believe Williamson does. And contrary to its detractors’ claims, ID does accept the natural selection process as real — just not as everything — and it is not a “God of the gaps” approach.

Scientists around the world are conducting multiple inquiries and active research into intelligent design. Despite mighty efforts by those who wish to stifle such efforts and punish questioners of Darwinism as heretics, many articles in support or applying theories of design have been published in peer-reviewed science journals.

Here are just a few with links:

More scientifically peer-reviewed ID articles are listed here and here.

Such heterodox research and analyses are crucial to the scientific method, which is why the sector — when not hobbled by ideology — is so dynamic, powerful, and effective. In this sense, efforts to suppress discussion of ID — as opposed to grappling with and rebutting its intellectual challenges — is bad science.

Photo: Statue of Charles Darwin, Natural History Museum, London, by Bruno Martins via Unsplash.