Wednesday, February 14, 2007



Paleontologist Leonard Kristalka famously called intelligent design nothing more than creationism in a cheap tuxedo. Philosopher Barbara Forrest has likened it to a Trojan Horse. Both allusions suggest an attempt by creationists of the intelligent design flavor to disguise the real nature of their beliefs.

Lately, we've come to think of ID as something of a shell game. In certain settings, in a church for example, the pea can be produced under the walnut shell labeled "Old Testament God." In other settings -- a debate on a college campus, say -- the pea turns up under the shell marked "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause." In certain rare circumstances, the pea can even show up under the shell marked "space alien."

Depending on what day you read the posts on the Discovery Institute's Evolution News and Views or William Dembski's Uncommon Descent blogs you may find the pea under any of those shells.

The beauty of the ID shell game is that it keeps defenders of science off balance. Guess that the pea is under the "God" shell and someone like Casey Luskin will say you're wrong, "Look here, it's under the 'intellitgent cause' shell."


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