The New Republic: How intelligent design hurts conservatives

More cracks are starting to show.

In How Intelligent Design Hurts Conservatives (By making us look like crackpots) published in The New Republic on 8/16/05, Ross Douthat argues that Intelligent Design will hurt the conservatives.

In short, the scientific vacuity will catch up with the religious and political motivated arguments and back fire.

And intelligent design will run out of steam–a victim of its own grand ambitions. What began as a critique of Darwinian theory, pointing out aspects of biological life that modification-through-natural-selection has difficulty explaining, is now foolishly proposed as an alternative to Darwinism. On this front, intelligent design fails conspicuously–as even defenders like Rick Santorum are beginning to realize–because it can’t offer a consistent, coherent, and testable story of how life developed. The “design inference” is a philosophical point, not a scientific theory: Even if the existence of a designer is a reasonable inference to draw from the complexity of, say, a bacterial flagellum, one would still need to explain how the flagellum moved from design to actuality.

Intelligent Design is becoming its own scientific enemy, as it, in its attempts to disprove Darwinian theory, resorts to poorly written papers, unsupported scientific assertions and outright misunderstanding of scientific issues. Only by ‘quote mining’ can ID attempt to create an impression that there is a controversy over Darwinian theory beyond the relative importance of various mechanisms.

We have seen how this leads to poor arguments about the Cambrian explosion, but even more extensively in the total lack of any novel, scientific insight born out of the intelligent design perspective.