Dipping an Oar at Amazon

I entered the following bit into the comments on a negative review of Michael Behe’s new book, The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism. Another commenter had asked about other scientists who held views like Behe’s; were they all in collusion?

You ask, “Are they all in collusion?” The short answer is, “Yes, they are.”

The longer answer would take some time, as I outlined it in a recent keynote talk I gave. The Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture was the sole source of experts who could speak to “intelligent design” as adherents for the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District case. The DI CSC has consistently (and this is one of the few things that they approach consistently) denied that anyone else has spoken accurately concerning the content of “intelligent design” or the other buzzphrases they use for re-packaged and re-labeled religious antievolution arguments. When the DI’s honchos figured out that the KvD case was a looming disaster in the spring of 2005, Bruce Chapman requested the [DI’s] five experts picked by the Thomas More Law Center to participate in the defense to tell TMLC they would not participate. Three out of five complied with Chapman’s request. TMLC’s Richard Thompson complained later that the DI’s interference had harmed their case. The reason that was true was that all the high-profile “intelligent design” advocates are officially associated with the DI CSC, and even the second-tier “experts”, such as the various people called to testify in 2005 before an informal meeting of the Kansas State Board of Education, are almost all linked via the DI’s communication channel, the “phylogenists” email list.

So, on the one hand, outsiders not approved by the DI CSC cannot speak for “intelligent design”. (An amusing recent case concerned the dismissal of a senior member of the DI’s “Biologic Institute” for going off script during a media interview; apparently not reading the memos can be extremely hazardous to your standing in IDC advocacy.) On the other hand, those who can speak for “intelligent design” are obviously affiliated. See the DI CSC list of “scientists who dissent from Darwinism”; pretty much all the folks who ascribe to a substantial chunk of Behe’s views and hold a Ph.D. are on it.

For comparison, check out the National Center for Science Education’s “Project Steve” list (Google for the page), which is a list that purposely is restricted to a very small subset of all those who might otherwise sign on to the statement.

As for “universal intelligence”, if you are talking about God, then, yes, I am a believer. I also happen to think God takes a dim view of falsehoods, which is part of why I have been a long-time critic of all forms of antievolution.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.