Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, September 16, 2005

ID Rages On

Scott of An Examined Life brings his typical insight to the most recent round of spats concerning intelligent design throughout the blogsphere. I must confess that I myself got sucked into the controversy over on Mark Shea's blog. (Never get into an online discussion of evolution if you have deadlines to hit.)

I'm sure those who disagree with me would object to this observation, but I shall be so rash as to make it anyway: One of the things that often strikes me about the ID movement is that many ID adherents are people who frankly aren't interested in the more speculative aspects of science anyway. The most extreme example of this was one I encountered back in my Steubenville days. I had succeeded in getting a negative review of a creationist book published in New Oxford Review, and the a temporary associate classics professor had written a pro-ID article for the same issue. I'd never taken any classes from him, but it struck me as an interesting coincidence, so I dropped by to talk. (As it turned out, he hadn't read my article anyway...) At one point in our conversation he brought up the gaps in the fossil record and lack of transition forms. My responded that while transitional forms are fewer among higher vertebrates (where the record is sparse in general) there were actually some quite well documented transitions in sea invertebrates such as mollusks. His response was: "Yeah, but who cares about mollusks?"

Now, his primary objections to evolution were moral. He was convinced that if evolution was true it was harder to believe in God, and if we did not believe in God than how could we lead a good life? But really, given that he had not interest in paleontology anyway, why go around arguing in favor of ID instead of arguing that we can tell from the existence of goodness that God exists? It's simple, it's easy, it's convincing, it was good enough for Aquinas, and it doesn't involve trying to do a hostile take-over of a field that doesn't interest you anyway.

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