Intelligent Design

Monty Dembski’s Life of Brian

On Jan. 30, 2006, DaveScot
in Uncommon Descent:

I will remind everyone again – please frame your arguments around science. If the ID movement doesn’t get the issue framed around science it’s going down and I do not like losing. The plain conclusion of scientific evidence supports descent with modification from a common ancestor.

What we are fighting is the idea that the modification was unguided. ID can fight that without ever leaving the battleground of plain scientific conclusions. If we try to argue against anything else we’re are going to lose. Plain and simple.

In the comments, he adds:

Creation science already lost. Didn’t you get the memo?

Pretty strong words, and certainly a welcome change of direction. But
first, here’s what this posting (and the subsequent discussion in the
made me think of:

Reg: Right. Now, item four: attainment of scientific supremacy
within the next twenty years.
Francis, you’ve been doing some work on this.

Francis: Thank you, Reg. Well, quite frankly, siblings, I think
twenty years is optimistic, unless we can crush Darwinism within the
next five years.

Reg: Five years?

Francis: Yeah, five years. And let’s face it. As scientific
theories go, this is the big one, so we’ve got to get up off our arses
and stop just talking about it!

Peanut Gallery: Hear, hear!

Loretta: I agree. It’s scientific evidence that counts, not
words, and we need science now!

Peanut Gallery: Hear, hear!

Reg: You’re right. We could sit around here all day talking,
rehashing Paley,
fantasizing about putting Darwinists on trial,
It’s not going to change one scientist’s mind!

Francis: So, let’s just stop gabbing on about it. It’s
completely pointless and it’s getting us nowhere!

Peanut Gallery: Right!

Loretta: I agree. This is a complete waste of time.

[Judith breaks in]

Judith: They’ve won in Dover!

Reg: What?

Peanut Gallery: What?

Judith: The NCSE and the ACLU won in Dover! The judge
said that ID is creationism re-labeled!

Reg: Right! This calls for immediate discussion!

Loretta: New motion?

Reg: Completely new motion, that, ah– that there be, ah,
immediate action–

Francis: Once its constitutionality has been established.

Reg: Well, obviously once its constitutionality has been
established! You can’t introduce a new version of Intelligent Design
if you haven’t scrubbed it of all explicit references to God!

To be sure, DaveScot’s call for
cdesign proponentsists
to try doing some science for a change is a bold new direction for ID.
But this is also odd: one of the
five-year goals
laid out in the Wedge Document was “scientific research being done
from the perspective of design theory.” This was supposed to have been
done by 2003. Why are they only now getting started?

The most amusing part about the comments was the people to whom it was
evidently a nasty shock to realize just how much IDists are willing to
concede to science, as exemplified by this comment by russ:

To suddenly discover last night that ID says I’m almost certainly descended from an ape-like creature, and a bacteria or something a few million generations prior that is somewhat of a surprise. If this is what ID really says, then the PR problem caused when ID presenters give talks in churches and other houses of worship is solved. Those venues should dry up pretty quickly.

Remember the Dover Area School Board witnesses who, it turned out,
didn’t know diddly-squat about ID other than that somewhere, somehow,
it was opposed to evolution, and that was good enough for them? Same

As russ points out, DaveScot is shaking the tent poles of the Big
Tent. If it collapses, the ID creationists will be out in the cold,
accepted neither by the scientific community with its insistence on
data and testability, nor by the I-don’t-come-from-no-monkey
creationists who have been propping them up so far.

another comment
Dave says:

To the Peanut Gallery at “After The Bar Closes”

I know you clowns are reading this and just wanted to let you know
that I deleted my own article at no one’s urging

So there. He doesn’t like being made fun of. I can sympathize. At the
same time, he shouldn’t make it so easy.