The brave troop of ID critics (most of whom, I'm fairly confident, would quickly scurry for cover if I changed the setting on my blog to require them to identify themselves) has asked several questions about my views on several questions related to Intelligent Design. And if you peel off all the invective, the questions themselves are perfectly fair, although I have answered most of them in previous posts or in the comment sections of other posts.
But I suppose there are new readers here who have had not had the chance to read the previous posts. So this is the first of several posts answering questions about my views on Intelligent Design and science.
Several posters have called on me to say why I think Intelligent Design is science. I have delayed answering this question for a few days because I wanted to go back and verify my recollection on what my position on this has always been. Well, I had some time yesterday afternoon to do that, and my memory was indeed correct.
I have never said that Intellectual Design was science. In fact, as my search verified, I have said this--or, rather, said that I have not said this--several times.
So let me just repost a comment from my post, "Is Intelligent Design Science (cont.)," which ran on Oct. 3, 2006, since it adequately sums up what my position has always been. It was my answer to a commenter's question, “Can you propose a test of science that you think ID can pass?”:
My answer to that question is, I don’t need to, because I have not made the claim that ID is science. I don’t know whether it is or not, and am not sure it matters a great deal, except to people who think science is the only legitimate form of inquiry. But I am curious, as a cultural observer, about the enthusiasm with which the scientific establishment has attacked ID, an enthusiasm that results in reckless assertions about what science is and isn’t that bring even theories well within its own domain into question.That last sentence was a reference to superstring theory and some of the more exotic aspects of physics.
Now "Evil Bender," in a post yesterday, said the following:
You’ll notice, despite repeated attempts by commenters to get him to explain himself, Cothran hasn’t done so. He has not weighed in on what science is, nor has he explained why ID should be science. He has not explained what ID predicts, or added anything to the conversation. He’s instead asking a question that brings nothing to the discussion, and steadfastly avoiding coming to any conclusions.Please note again the date of my post quoted above: October 3, 2006. You can also throw in comments in various posts on this blog to the same effect. "Cothran hasn't done so"? Actually Cothran has done so. He did it a while ago, and has done it repeatedly. Evil Bender would be a lot more credible if he checked his facts out before making reckless charges.
Oh, and while we're at it, let's deal with another myth I see making the rounds: that I think Intelligent Design should be taught in science classes.
Maybe the people who are making this claim could do their own little search and tell me where I said this. My position (and I haven't done a search on this one, but I'm fairly confident I've never said anything else) is that what science teachers teach in their classrooms should be left up to science teachers. I'm against mandating it and I'm against prohibiting it. If teachers think that it is appropriate to mention the raging debate now going on about this issue, and explain some of the issues that we are discussing on this blog, I don't think that would be inappropriate.
I also think that if I were a science teacher, and if I believed that Intelligent Design did fall into the realm of science, that I would continue to be reticent about spending classroom time on it (other than mentioning that it is an issue) until it had had a chance to show whether it can succeed as a more formal scientific enterprise. But it the meantime, I'm going to continue to point out the curious enthusiasm shown by Darwinists to makes sure ID doesn't get that chance by doing things like shutting down programs that even try to inquire into it.
Finally, Evil Bender also made the following remark in his last post:
Once again, I’ll predict: this is all about trying to get ID defined as science. If Cothran ever follows up with any real discussion (which I doubt–he completely avoided my point that we’ve already seen ID folks do what I’m predicting he’ll do) and he does not use all this as a prelude to claiming science includes his favorite God-of-the-Gaps theory, I’ll happily retract my claims, and admit it publicly. But I’ll only do so if he demonstrates his agenda is anything other than re-defining science to get ID the credibility it can’t find in the scientific community.Okay Evil Bender, I'm waiting...