Creationist files lawsuit after being laid off from NASA
For those of us not blinded by faith, Intelligent Design is nothing more that the “intellectual” leftovers of creationism. While its proponents will argue that there is no specific mention of God, once you read ID literature and listen to its defenders, a clear pattern emerges: ID is simply creationism that’s been dressed up for the prom.
Part of the reason ID’ers fight so hard against this creationist label is pragmatic: their goal is to undermine scientific education, but since being overtly religious has a tendency to get your materials excluded from public education, they’ve taken the approach of claiming to be an alternative theory to Evolution. Under the guise of intellectual freedom, they maintain that evolution is only a theory and that their “explanation” (that some super-intelligence started it all) is as valid a theory as any other.
The problem is that Intelligent Design isn’t a theory. It doesn’t offer any model or make any predictions. While it does make claims about the natural world (mainly that life is just too complex to have started on its own), it offers no way of testing them. In fact, their premise that the natural world is too complex or well organized to be the result of undirected processes is the very antithesis of science. It gives up on trying to find a material explanation to any phenomena. If something isn’t well understood, then it must be magic!
Believing in such non-intellectual nonsense can often result in conflict, as former JPL employee David Coppedge recently learned. He was laid off in 2009 and decided to sue the company for religious discrimination. During his time as a team lead, he was often reprimanded by his supervisors for distributing his DVD “Unlocking the Mysteries of Life“, a rather shoddy crapumentary about the “growing consensus among scientists that Darwin was wrong”. His fellow employees also complained that his political views (supporting Prop Eight) and religious proselytizing did not belong in the office.
The Discovery Institute helped him build a case, arguing that his beliefs did not conflict with the general goals of a scientific organization. They even try to argue that Intelligent Design is not creationism:
Intelligent Design and creation science use different methodologies and assumptions and proffer different objectives, Coppedge explained. Creationism starts with the Bible, the book of Genesis, with God having created the heavens and the earth in six days. From there, creation scientists see how science fits in.
Intelligent design, however, begins with observations of the natural world and uses well-known tools of science to draw the inference to the best explanation or phenomenon, he said. It has no religious presuppositions and makes no religious assumptions.
Reliance on the supernatural is, by definition, a religious assumption. Sure, they aren’t specific about what kind of “intelligent agent” was at work, but unless you’re a Raelian, odds are you favor a big, bearded creator in the sky when talking about this kind of “magic”. It’s true that creationism starts and ends with the Bible, and that believers will only believe in any science that confirms their pre-held notions. How is this different than ID? Given the fact that all of the examples ID proponents have used over the years have all been shown to fit our current understanding of Evolution (the bacterial flagellum is a good example), I find it hard to see a distinction here. What conditions would be necessary to disprove Intelligent Design? What “science” infers that a problem is simply too complex to have an answer?