An array of slam dunks

by Neil Rickert

I try to follow the Uncommon Descent blog, in order to keep up with what is happening in the Intelligent Design world. What I notice is post after post that claims to refute the theory of evolution. Sometimes these posts mention a feature of nature, and present an argument as to why that feature is evidence of design.

What interests me, at the moment, are the posts that don’t even give any pretense at argument. They just assert the design as obvious. Consider, for example, the post “People will say anything to defend Darwin“, where some research is cited, and then the poster says “You know Darwinism is a religion when you see how people will twist themselves into corkscrews in order to avoid considering design.” Apparently, the appearance of design seemed so clear to the poster, that no actual argument was needed.

I am using the basketball term “slam dunk” to refer to that kind of post. Apparently the ID proponents think that this kind of evidence is just a slam dunk for ID, and obviously could not be the result of evolution. Evidently they see no need for an argument. Yesterday, one of the UD bloggers even used “slam dunk” as part of the title for a post (“Close Calls Versus Slam Dunks“).

What becomes obvious, is that the ID proponents really do see the world differently. They really do see their examples as clear demonstrations of design, and they really do find the idea of biological evolution quite implausible as an explanation of nature.

I suppose it could be a religious kind of thing. However, I am not so sure about that. I grew up as a member of a conservative Church. I went through a period where I would describe God as creator. I used to sing “All things bright and beautiful“. Yet it seemed to be an empty attribution. When my father made something, I could ask him “how did you do that” and “why did you do that”. With nature, such questions were discouraged and never adequately answered. Somehow natural things were always very different from designed things, so saying that God was designer of all lacked explanatory power.

If it is not a religious kind of thing, then why do ID folk see things so differently? Perhaps it is a “Two Cultures” kind of thing. I cannot judge. I mostly see things from the science side of the two cultures, and never could make much sense of the other point of view.

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