Slate: Monty Python's flying creationism

William Saletan has a very funny article on Slate titled The Brontosaurus Monty Python’s flying creationism.

Behe offered a number of interesting criticisms of Darwinism. But it’s impossible to focus on any of these criticisms, because they were so completely overshadowed by the brontosaurus in the room: ID’s sophomoric emptiness.

It seems that more an more media and scientists are realizing the scientific vacuity of Intelligent Design.

Note: I have corrected the many spelling errors. I blame it on an unfamiliar keyboard:-)

Saletan then shows the similarities between Behe’s testimony and a famous Monty Python sketch.

Saletan concludes that Intelligent Design remains totally vacuous.

The interrogation goes on like this for pages and pages. Like the theorist in the Monty Python sketch, Behe throws up a blizzard of babble: process, intelligent activity, important facts. What process? What activity? What facts? He never explains. He says the designer “took steps” to create complex biological systems, but ID can’t specify the steps. Does ID tell us who designed life? No, he answers. Does it tell us how? No. Does it tell us when? No. How would the designer create a bacterial flagellum? It would “somehow cause the plan to, you know, go into effect,” he proposes.

The new definition of Intelligent Design: “Somehow, somewhere, someone used something to cause some unknown plan to go into effect.”

Can ID make testable predictions? Not really. If we posit that a given biological system was designed, Rothschild asks, what can we infer about the designer’s abilities? Just “that the designer had the ability to make the design that is under consideration,” says Behe. “Beyond that, we would be extrapolating beyond the evidence.” Does Behe not understand that extrapolating beyond initial evidence is exactly the job of a hypothesis? Does he not grasp the meaninglessness of saying a designer designed things that were designed?

Indeed, and yet Behe’s ‘arguments’ seem to still appeal to the creationists who seem to be deaf and blind to how non-scientific they are. All they hear is what they already know, namely that life was designed. Who needs more details…

Saletan gives his own definition of Intelligent Design as follows

So, this is my theory, which belongs to me, and goes as follows. All intelligently designed things are brought about by an intelligent designer through a process of intelligently conducted design. If it’s good enough for Monty Python, it’s good enough for biology class.