In my article New Evolution I argued “Intelligent Design” was neither “Intelligent” nor a “Design” and it was in no way Science. I am pleased to report yesterday the Vatican’s chief astronomer, the
Rev. George Coyne, joined me in proclaiming Intelligent Design as a
fraud masquerading as faith:

Intelligent design isn’t science even though it pretends to
be. If you want to teach it in schools, intelligent design should be
taught when religion or cultural history is taught, not science.


Rev. Coyne runs The Vatican Observatory and that is one of the oldest
and most respected research programs for astronomy in the world. Rev.
Coyne went on to say:

If they [those who push “Intelligent Design” as a science]
respect the results of modern science, and indeed the best of modern
biblical research, religious believers must move away from the notion
of a dictator God or a designer God, a Newtonian God who made the
universe as a watch that ticks along regularly. God in his infinite
freedom continuously creates a world that reflects that freedom at all
levels of the evolutionary process to greater and greater complexity.
He is not continually intervening, but rather allows, participates,
loves.

The problem with “Intelligent Design” is that it is Creationism and not
Science and you know this simply because Science is the ongoing
discovery of knowledge and the seeking of momentary answers to
continued and changing questions.

Nothing is ever absolute or sacrosanct in Science.
There is no search for meaning in Science.
Science is about wondering and pushing the envelope of the unknown.

Creationism and its “Intelligent Design” argument provokes nothing but
stasis and the end of wonderment and imagination: We don’t need to keep
asking or discovering because all is known and finite and decided.

18 Comments

  1. Yes, AdjunctX, it is a curious situation with the Vatican coming out against “Intelligent Design” as science. Perhaps this fits the philosophy of Pope John Paul II who said several years ago Catholics could believe in Evolution as long as they also believed it is God who puts the spirit into the body. I thought that was an interesting take from a Pope who spoke 11 languages and was, in the very best and honorable and true sense, a Scientist. As Science progresses and carbon dating and DNA testing and other disinterested means of discerning facts become more commonplace some of the religious timelines found in the Bible and other similar texts become murky and unobedient.

  2. Heya Simmering! Nice to see you back here after a bit of a break. I hope you are doing well. Yes, it’s unfortunate a teaming of science and belief can’t be better managed. Even the Vatican astronomer’s attack is quite definitely pointed against “Intelligent Design.” The problem a lot of people have with science is its non-emotional perspective — it isn’t believing or not — it’s simply a matter of facts supporting or disproving a supposition and moving onward from there.

  3. Heya Simmering! Nice to see you back here after a bit of a break. I hope you are doing well. Yes, it’s unfortunate a teaming of science and belief can’t be better managed. Even the Vatican astronomer’s attack is quite definitely pointed against “Intelligent Design.” The problem a lot of people have with science is its non-emotional perspective — it isn’t believing or not — it’s simply a matter of facts supporting or disproving a supposition and moving onward from there.

  4. I recently heard a radio interview with Richard Dawkins, author of “The Selfish Gene”, a wonderfully interesting book on evolution, and it was wonderful how openly angry he was about the ridiculousness of the intelligent design argument. He said how absurd it was that he was even having to debate about it at all and succinctly, beautifully summed it up in this way: “Discussing the intelligent design theory seriously is as legitimate as discussing the stork theory of where babies come from.”

  5. I recently heard a radio interview with Richard Dawkins, author of “The Selfish Gene”, a wonderfully interesting book on evolution, and it was wonderful how openly angry he was about the ridiculousness of the intelligent design argument. He said how absurd it was that he was even having to debate about it at all and succinctly, beautifully summed it up in this way: “Discussing the intelligent design theory seriously is as legitimate as discussing the stork theory of where babies come from.”

  6. Thanks for the informative comment, Blair!
    I agree “Intelligent Design” is a misnomer that is, unfortunately, gaining ground in the community of some minds.
    There is a lot of money behind the “Intelligent Design” movement — so it cannot be lightly dismissed as a fad — and a gigantic museum has even been dedicated to its foolishness as an attempt to legitimize it as a historical process of thought.
    Supporting “Intelligent Design” is a plan to spread religion out of the church and into the public domain and the people who are pushing it are rich and smart and well-connected.
    Those of us who know better must stand up against the charade and the anti-intellectual attack of “Intelligent Design” and we must fight the notion that blind faith should be given equal footing with hard science.
    Creationism has no science to back up its notions so those who believe created “Intelligent Design” as a method of “scientific” delivery of a narrow religious dogma into the mainstream mindset and if it settles there, Science as we know it will be in for a bloody long haul.

  7. Thanks for the informative comment, Blair!
    I agree “Intelligent Design” is a misnomer that is, unfortunately, gaining ground in the community of some minds.
    There is a lot of money behind the “Intelligent Design” movement — so it cannot be lightly dismissed as a fad — and a gigantic museum has even been dedicated to its foolishness as an attempt to legitimize it as a historical process of thought.
    Supporting “Intelligent Design” is a plan to spread religion out of the church and into the public domain and the people who are pushing it are rich and smart and well-connected.
    Those of us who know better must stand up against the charade and the anti-intellectual attack of “Intelligent Design” and we must fight the notion that blind faith should be given equal footing with hard science.
    Creationism has no science to back up its notions so those who believe created “Intelligent Design” as a method of “scientific” delivery of a narrow religious dogma into the mainstream mindset and if it settles there, Science as we know it will be in for a bloody long haul.