Full disclosure here: I skipped over a lot of the second half of Part 1, as it really has nothing to do with me. Part 1 in this book seems mostly intent on describing the motives and purposes behind the Creationism/Intelligent design movement. Seeing that I’m part of that movement, I really don’t think any of it will teach me much or apply to me. I’m more interested in the science.
However, there are several things through this part that I would debate. First off, the assumption seems to be made—through the entirety of Part 1—that anything anti-Evolution is religiously driven (Page 93, one of many examples). The complete equation of religion with anything anti-Evolution is entirely ridiculous, but necessary in order to defend the idea that Evolution is accepted by all rational scientists. I’m sure Dr. Berlinski, Dr. Behe and Dr. Denton, among many others, would find major issue with the idea that because they stood against what they considered a flawed theory they were considered religious! In the end, this instance on the equation of two unrelated beliefs because they are often found together is quite unscientific and is merely a way to discount the opposing view.
To state it bluntly: Everything anti-Evolution is not religious!
Okay, now that that is out of the way, onto the next part. To quote from the book itself in Eugenie C. Scott’s portion of it (Page 71):
“When one has an ideological, political, or social goal, it is all too easy to misrepresent or ignore the empirical data when they do not support the goal…”
Wise words indeed, but they create quite a double edged sword. What you accuse your opponent of doing, might also be what you are doing. See, in reading Part 1 of this book, I noticed a very interesting fact. Evolutionists pre-assume that all things must be caused naturally, and preemptively roll out all supernaturalism. (See pages 19 and 20 of the introduction)The reason they do this, is that science is powerless to find evidence about something admittedly beyond it—supernaturalism. Therefore, religion cannot have anything to do with science and Intelligent Design is unscientific. Perfectly sensible, actually. Until, you stop to think about it for a moment
Because, the truth is, that Intelligent Design is an option and a possibility. Like it or not and whether you believe the evidence supports it or not, creation is a possibility no matter how ludicrous you personally believe it is. To rule out supernaturalism without first seeing if there is evidence for it, or rather, lack of evidence for rationalism, is to ignore possibilities and stack the odds. If the goal or preexisting belief then is that supernaturalism is not an option, then the evidence will never be seen to support it no matter what. In which case, the quote from the book above comes into play.
Interestingly enough, while science cannot prove any form of supernaturalism, I would submit that it can provide evidence for it. To assume all of the unexplainable phenomenon around the world will someday be explainable by naturalism is rather single minded and, if I may so, an assumption not supported by facts. To summarize: For science to rule out supernaturalism because it cannot prove it, seems comparable to a blind man ruling sight because he can’t ‘see’ and ignoring that just maybe there is something beyond what he can know.
I look forward to moving onto Part II of this book, which will hopefully give some more of the scientific evidence for Evolution.