I read about the concept of ID in the August 15 issue of Time magazine.
It seemed to me to be just a rehash of the creationists argument that because we have such magnificent adaptations, e.g. the human eye, we must have been created by god (… for some ID believers, designed by an alien).
According to the article in Time magazine there has been lots of outrage because President Bush suggested “lessons in evolution include a discussion of Intelligent Design.”
The piece at OLO includes,
The battle lines are rigid. The US science establishment is adamant that ID casts doubt on well-established science, using specious evidence and faulty logic. The attempted incursion into the classroom is not to be tolerated. End of story. Add to this the legal campaign to maintain an iron wall of separation between church and state, and you have a belligerent “them” and “us”.
For their part, the ID leaders are a different breed from evangelical creationists who insist on a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis and Bible Belt morality. They hold PhDs in biology and mathematics from leading universities; some are tenured professors. Their organisational base, the Discovery Institute, located in Seattle, Washington, makes effective use of online, print and DVD promotion. By such means the institute reaches any teacher or student curious enough to run a Google search. Those who look discover telling points scored against the standard position, at least for those at the beginner level, and this embarrassment partly accounts for the science establishment’s anger.
I actually agree with Bush in so much as contrasting belief in ID (and creation)with the theory of evolution is a good way of illustrating the difference between belief and faith versus evidence and science. Let the students learn the difference (between faith and science) and make up their own minds.
PS I really enjoyed discussion of Gould and Ethridge’s ‘punctuated equilibrium theory‘ when I was at university.