Teoria inteligentnego projektu

"Report Magazine" December 18, 2000

      Darwin dethroned

      Intelligent design theorists are winning the battle against evolution

      by Kevin Michael Grace
 

      STOCKWELL Day suffered many grim days during the federal election
      campaign, but November 15 was probably the grimmest. As Paul Wells
      described it in the National Post, Liberal hatchet-man Warren Kinsella
      "had a talking-head gig on CTV's Canada AM. He sent a staffer to Wal-Mart
      with $75 to make a purchase. He arrived at the CTV studio with his prize
      tucked into a duffle bag. Tim Powers, the burly young Newfoundlander who
      speaks for the Alliance on such shows, was mighty curious about what was
      in the bag. Mr. Kinsella wouldn't say. When the cameras started rolling,
      Mr. Kinsella reached into the bag and pulled out a stuffed Barney the
      Dinosaur toy. Even Mr. Powers couldn't stop laughing. The transformation
      of Mr. Day, from Stock to Laughingstock, was complete."

      A day earlier, CBC's The National had aired a documentary on Mr. Day's
      religious beliefs. According to Pliny Hayes, a Red Deer College
      professor, Mr. Day had years earlier expressed his belief in a literal
      interpretation of the Book of Genesis to a group of students there:
      "Humans coexisted with dinosaurs, that there is as much evidence for
      evolution, or for creationism, rather, as there is for evolution, and
      that he's upset that creationism can't be taught in public schools."

      Mr. Day accused the CBC of "yellow journalism." He argued, "I don't think
      the particular beliefs of an individual in public policy [are] any more
      [relevant] than asking a Roman Catholic what their belief is related to
      the Virgin Mary." He was referring to the dogma of the Immaculate
      Conception (that the Mother of God was born without original sin) and to
      the fact that Prime Minister Jean Chretien and Conservative leader Joe
      Clark both claim to be Catholics.

      In any event, Alliance headquarters quickly confirmed that Mr. Day was
      still a creationist. His demand for religious tolerance was ridiculed.
      For the remainder of the campaign, he was met with spirited renditions of
      the theme song from The Flintstones.

      Mr. Day's enemies cited his creationism as further evidence for their
      contention he intended to "impose" his religious beliefs on the Canadian
      public. Even as prime minister, however, Mr. Day would have no power to
      force provincially administered schools to teach creationism. He declared
      repeatedly throughout the campaign that he had no intention of forcing
      his faith on anyone, and this was proved by the fact that while he did
      not campaign on the Christian Sabbath, he had no objections to his
      candidates or staff doing so.

      Mr. Kinsella's stunt was intended to demonstrate that Mr. Day was
      mentally unfit to be prime minister--that he was, not to put too fine a
      point on it, a kook. If so, he has a lot of company, even among Liberals.
      A Compas poll released November 24 revealed that 43% of Canadians
      "believe in the theory of evolution to explain the origins of life,"
      while 38% "believe in a Biblical understanding of creation." Liberal
      supporters split evenly on the question, while Alliance supporters
      revealed a slight preference for "Biblical understanding." Conservative,
      NDP and Bloc supporters were solidly evolutionist.

      Mr. Day's rejection of Darwin's theory has academic support as well. As
      Jonathan Wells wrote in the November 17 Globe and Mail, "A growing number
      of biologists question whether [evolution] can account for the major
      changes we see in the history of life. At the very least, our students
      deserve to be taught the truth about the so-called 'evidence' for
      Darwinian evolution. They also deserve to hear about alternative
      theories."

      Mr. Wells, who holds a doctorate in biology from the University of
      California at Berkeley, is a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute in
      Seattle and a member of what has come to be known as the "intelligent
      design" movement. These scientists believe that the random variation
      posited by Darwin is not sufficient to explain the incredible complexity
      of life on earth. Mr. Wells is not a "creationist," as that term is
      normally applied. "Young earth" creationists like Mr. Day believe God
      created the universe in six days and that the earth is 6,000 years old.

      Intelligent design theory holds only that life must have had some kind of
      designer; it does not specify what kind. So Mr. Wells was distressed when
      his Globe op-ed was titled ("In defence of creationism") and the text
      altered to make it appear his cosmology is identical to Mr. Day's. Mr.
      Wells reports, "I complained, but as far as I know, nothing has been done
      about it."

      Mr. Wells comments that the conflation of intelligent design theory with
      creationism is a "standard ploy" used by Darwinists to discredit the
      movement. Some prominent members of the movement, such as Michael Behe
      and William Dembski, are Christians, but Mr. Wells explains, "I'm one of
      the more obvious non-Christians. The equation of intelligent design with
      Christianity is false." (David Berlinski, another prominent member, is
      Jewish.)

      It is one of the great under-reported stories at the end of the century
      that Darwinism is under furious attack. Opponents of Darwinism make the
      following claims; not one has been successfully refuted.

         * The fossil record does not support evolution.
         * "Survival of the fittest" is a tautology. (How do we know that the
           fittest species survived? Because they survived.)
         * There is no evidence of a common ancestor of all life on earth.
         * Biology is incredibly more complex than Darwin knew, and random
           variation is mathematically insufficient to explain the development
           of such systems as DNA and proteins.
         * Evolution is not "falsifiable." A theory that cannot be proved wrong
           is not a theory. As intelligent designers like to say, a theory that
           explains everything explains nothing.

      Yet evolution is taught almost everywhere as an uncontested "fact." Mr.
      Wells explains in his new book Icons of Evolution that writers of
      textbooks commonly used in high schools have resorted to outright
      falsehoods to obscure the crisis in Darwinism. Here are several:

         * The "life-in-a-test-tube" experiment ignores the fact that earth's
           early atmosphere consisted of gases that were not hydrogen-rich but
           volcanic.
         * The similar embryos depicted to prove common ancestry were faked
           over a century ago, a fact known to Darwinists for decades.
         * The "Tree of Life" depicted to prove common ancestry has been
           disproved by molecular biology.
         * The photographs of peppered moths used to prove natural selection
           were faked.
         * Photographs of increased beak size in Darwin's finches (they
           increase in times of drought) used to prove natural selection
           neglect to mention that the beaks return to normal when the droughts
           end.

      Despite the accumulation of evidence against Darwinism, public advocacy
      of intelligent design is dangerous, even in Christian colleges. In
      October, mathematician and philosopher William Dembski was removed as
      director of the Michael Polanyi Center at Baylor University, a Baptist
      institution in Texas. The author of The Design Inference: Eliminating
      Chance Through Small Probabilities explains that many Christians,
      particularly evangelical Protestants, are terrified of appearing
      unsophisticated. He says, "They are enlightened figures that can make
      peace with Darwin and still retain some semblance of their faith. And
      then it's woe to those benighted people who are trying to reopen this
      question that has been 'definitively settled.'"

                                        [Image]
                               An aging champion:
                               Evolutionary theory is
                               'going to disappear
                               almost overnight.'
                               ------------------------

      Prof. Dembski argues that, for many secularists, Darwinism has become a
      religion: "Canonization is not done just by the Catholic Church. Darwin
      has become St. Darwin. To accept his theory often has the effect of a
      conversion experience."

      Michael Behe, Lehigh University biology professor and author of Darwin's
      Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, argues, "Darwinism
      promised to bring a tough problem into scientific understanding. But then
      it got mixed up with opposition to religion and with a materialistic
      worldview. More is at stake now than just a scientific theory. As
      [evolutionist] Richard Dawkins says, 'Darwin made it possible to be an
      intellectually fulfilled atheist.'"

      John Baumgardner believes it is possible to be intellectually fulfilled
      young earth creationist. A born-again Christian, he is a geophysicist at
      the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. "My views are very
      close to Stockwell Day's," he says. While the vast majority of scientists
      hold that carbon dating has established the age of the earth to be 4.5
      billion years, Mr. Baumgardner contends that carbon dating has been
      fooled by a "global tectonic catastrophe" that occurred 5,000 years ago,
      coincidental with this flood described in Genesis. This
      catastrophe--similar to one known to have occurred on Venus--melted the
      crust of the earth and thus "wiped out roughly 500 million years of the
      fossil record."

      He is not alone in this contention. "I'm a member of a group called Radio
      Isotopes and the Age of the Earth, a young earth group, all PhDs, and
      we're seeking to come up with answers for radiometric dating in terms of
      a young earth framework," he reports. He expects to see scientific
      confirmation of his hypothesis within 10 years.

      Perhaps surprisingly, Mr. Wells says he is an "agnostic" on the question
      of the earth's age. "I haven't studied the data," he declares. But he is
      confident that Darwinism's days are numbered. "It's like the coming of
      spring," he says. "The ice on the ponds gradually gets honeycombed with
      water, but the ice still looks pretty solid. Darwinism still looks pretty
      solid, but the thaw is coming, and when it comes, it's going to disappear
      almost overnight."

      Perhaps that will be some small comfort to Stockwell Day.

Oryginal: http://report.ca/Magazine/p34i001218f.html
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"Report Magazine" January 22, 2001

Textbooks prove evolution
(12th letter)

Your article "Intelligent design theorists are winning the battle against
evolution" (Dec. 18) was a masterpiece of propaganda. Not surprising,
perhaps, because the "battle against evolution" is a political battle, not
a scientific one.

The intelligent design movement has failed to produce a single
peer-reviewed scientific publication outlining the theory. Experiments and
predictions are hallmarks of science, but no proponent of intelligent
design has proposed a single experiment to test it or a single prediction
that could be confirmed.

Your article was filled with nonsense, such as "the fossil record does not
support evolution" and "there is no evidence of a common ancestor of all
life on earth" that could be easily refuted by consulting a university
textbook on evolutionary biology. In addition, you failed to interview even
one scientist who would oppose the intelligent design position.

Prof. Jeffrey Shallit
Computer Science
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ont.
----
Note: In both the print and online editions, to the right of Shallit's
letter is the cover from "Human Evolution: An Illustrated Introduction" by
Roger Lewin. Beneath the cover is the caption:

[Proof of evolution: Any textbook fits the pieces together nicely.]
 

Oryginal: http://report.ca/MAGAZINE/p06i010122f.html



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