The Implications of the Hypothetical Discovery of Martian Life for Intelligent Design

I recently received an e-mail asking about the most recent Mars lander (Phoenix) and the implications for intelligent design (ID) if amino acids, proteins, or life were found on Mars. The person asked, “would this not mean that Neo darwinism is correct and that life occurs if you ‘just add water’?” I’ve posted a modified version of my reply to this person’s question below: These are complex questions you ask, but a scientific “conclusion” is only as good as the starting assumptions that underlie the scientific reasoning involved in making that conclusion. Now I am all for searching out the universe to determine whether life exists outside of Earth. But at present, the research that searches for extra-terrestrial life — Read More ›

Is “Evolution” a “Theory” or “Fact” or Is This Just a Trivial Game of Semantics? (Part 5)

[Editor’s Note: This is a Part 5 of a 5 part series on whether evolution should be called a “theory” or a “fact.” For the installments, see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5. The full article can be found here.] Many intelligent people use the “evolution is just a theory, not a fact” line–but they immediately get into trouble because, as I discussed in Part 1, the formal scientific definition of theory is typically understood to mean a “well-substantiated scientific explanation of some aspect of the natural world.” In other words, when talking to a scientifically minded crowd, calling evolution “just a theory” is not a good way to express scientific doubts about neo-Darwinism. As Read More ›

Is “Evolution” a “Theory” or “Fact” or Is This Just a Trivial Game of Semantics? (Part 4)

[Editor’s Note: This is a Part 4 of a 5 part series on whether evolution should be called a “theory” or a “fact.” For the installments, see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5. The full article can be found here.] Darwinists love to bash Darwin-skeptics who call evolution “just a theory, not a fact.” The truth is that I rarely, if ever, hear people who are closely involved with the ID movement using this line to oppose evolution. The “evolution is just a theory, not a fact” phrase tends to come from the vox populi–intelligent people who studied this issue in their biology class or perhaps have read books like Darwin’s Black Box, Icons of Read More ›

Is “Evolution” a “Theory” or “Fact” or Is This Just a Trivial Game of Semantics? (Part 3)

[Editor’s Note: This is a Part 3 of a 5 part series on whether evolution should be called a “theory” or a “fact.” See: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5. The full article can be found here.] Darwinists claim that it is inappropriate to call “evolution a theory, not a fact” because a theory means “a well-substantiated scientific explanation of some aspect of the natural world.” In Part 1 and in Part 2, I discussed the fact that the word “theory” can have multiple meanings, ranging from a conjecture or guess (the soft definition) to “a well-substantiated scientific explanation of some aspect of the natural world” (the hard definition). In this installment, I will address the Read More ›

Christopher Hitchens and His Cave Myths

In his book God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, atheist author Christopher Hitchens calls intelligent design (ID) “tripe” and “a huge menacing lurch forward by the forces of barbarism.” While supporting the evolution of humans, he asserts that there is “[n]o divine plan” and that “[e]verything works without that assumption.” Hitchens laments the existence of religion because “millions of people in all societies still prefer the myths of the cave and the tribe and the blood sacrifice.” (pg. 282) In his debate against Jay Wesley Richards, Hitchens reportedly argued against God by alleging that God would not create certain features we observe, to which Richards aptly replied, “A sneer is not an argument.” Unfortunately, Hitchens is still using Read More ›