Saturday, June 23, 2007


Handful of Notions

In 2004, ID activist Paul Nelson created something of a stir when he presented an accurate assessment of the state of intelligent design:

Easily the biggest challenge facing the ID community is to develop a full-fledged theory of biological design. We don’t have such a theory right now, and that’s a problem. Without a theory, it’s very hard to know where to direct your research focus. Right now, we’ve got a bag of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions such as ‘irreducible complexity’ and ‘specified complexity’-but, as yet, no general theory of biological design.
That statement was accurate then. It's still accurate today. It will remain accurate ten years from now.

In a post published yesterday on William Dembski's Uncommon Descent blog, Nelson again made a comment, this time about science, that goes against the grain of the conventional thinking so common among intelligent design activists. After crowing, in a mild mannered sort of way, about the difficulty scientists -- real scientists -- are having in understanding the origin of life, Nelson observes:

... scientists don’t listen to federal judges (thank goodness) or the pronunciamentos of national science organizations. Rather, they alight on any interesting question, kick it around, and let the results fall where they may.
Leave aside the bit about judges and pronunciamentos and you're left with a fairly accurate portrayal of the scientific process. And one that surely undercuts from within all the ID propaganda about science as religious dogma, scientists with closed minds who want to censor ideas, and Darwinbots.


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