I have a few minutes before the plane home loads up, so I
will have to be brief.
The basic thing to know is that the primary things about
this event was that it was a Michael Ruse and Bill Dembski
show. The rest of us were distinctly in the “and many more”
section of the billing.
Bill and Michael led off with talks on Friday night. Bill’s
talk was similar in content to one I heard in 2001, with
many of the very same talkings points: ID being a new way of
doing science, evolution as an incomplete theory that cannot
deal with certain “patterns” in nature. Michael’s talk was
basically that what we see in nature is “design-like”, but that
he agrees with Dawkins that the adaptation of organisms may
be sufficiently explained by natural selection.
Ruse asked Dembski what science stand behind ID. Bill’s answer
was pretty much the same I got in 2002 when I asked about
progress on research for ID: that his own work is laying a
theoretical base and stuff is coming.
Each panelist got to ask a question. Since Ruse had, in essence,
asked what I was going to , I had to think of what to do. I noted
that within the past month or so, I had searched for “cold fusion”
as a term on the “Web of Science” database and got 900 hits. Since
“cold fusion” is the archetypal “not-ready-for-prime-time” theory
in physics, we note that it doesn’t belong in 9th grade biology —
er, physics, that is — textbooks. So, is there a justification for
giving ID a pass on the scientific process and dropping it into
high school science classes.
Ruse simply replied, “No.” Bill had more to say, but basically
agreed that it was premature. The additional stuff was about how
he had thought that the Dover policy was misguided.
OK, I think I will break here and take things up in another