Saturday, 27 December 2014

Why Intelligent Design and ground-breaking research are mutually exclusive

The 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover trial which ruled that Intelligent Design was religion rather than science dealt the ID movement a body blow from which it has never recovered. While propaganda outlets such as Evolution News and Views and Uncommon Descent still peddle the usual mendacity, the intellectual battle has been well and truly lost. In 2005, ID spokesman Paul Nelson admitted that the movement did not have a robust theory:
Easily the biggest challenge facing the ID community is to develop a full-fledged theory of biological design. We don’t have such a theory right now, and that’s a problem. Without a theory, it’s very hard to know where to direct your research focus. Right now, we’ve got a bag of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions such as ‘irreducible complexity’ and ‘specified complexity’-but, as yet, no general theory of biological design. [1]
Nearly ten years later, the movement still is without anything remotely approaching a theory. That can be seen when one looks at their 'flagship journal Bio-Complexity. Computer scientist and noted critic of ID Jeffrey Shallit notes that in the last year, Bio-Complexity has barely published anything of note:
Klinghoffer [a leading ID figure] claims "In the evolution controversy, it's supporters of intelligent design who stand for ideas (disagree with us or not) and idealism." Well, that's something that we can actually check. Since ID is so brimming with ideas, let's look at ID's flagship journal, Bio-Complexity, and see how many papers were published this year. ID supporters are always complaining about how their groundbreaking word is censored by evil Darwinists. If true (it's not), then in Bio-Complexity they have no grounds for complaints: nearly all of the 32 people listed on the "Editorial Team" are well-known creationists and hence automatically friendly to any submission. 
How many papers did Bio-Complexity manage to publish this year? A grand total of four! Why, that's 1/8th of a paper per member of the editorial team. By any measure, this is simply astounding productivity. They can be proud of how much they have added to the world's knowledge! 
Looking a little deeper, we see that of these four, only one is labeled as a "research article". Two are "critical reviews" and one is a "critical focus". And of these four stellar contributions, one has 2 out of the 3 authors on the editorial team, two are written by members of the editorial team, leaving only one contribution having no one on the editorial team. And that one is written by Winston Ewert, who is a "senior researcher" at Robert J. Marks II's "evolutionary informatics lab". In other words, with all the ideas that ID supporters are brimming with, they couldn't manage to publish a single article by anyone not on the editorial team or directly associated with the editors. [2]
This is one of the many reasons Intelligent Design is regarded as a pathetic joke by mainstream scientists.


1. PvM ID in their own words: Paul Nelson The Panda's Thumb June 7 2005
2. Shallit J Groundless Annual Ritual of ID Self-Congratulation The Panda's Thumb Dec 19 2014