Dembski doesn't mention the "version 0" of Pandas, Biology and Origins, which is mentioned in some of the 1980s FTE fundraising letters and other material. I am reasonably sure that the word "creation" would be substituted for "design" or "intelligent design" at many points within that manuscript. This would prove our point in many ways. We have a couple written sources indicating that picking the words "intelligent design" was one of the very last things that Charles Thaxton did during the development of Pandas. We don't know:At the time, it was far from clear that creationist drafts of Pandas still existed. But Eric Rothschild knew what to do. He immediately issued a subpoena to the Foundation for Thought and Ethics for any documents relating to the origin and development of Biology and Origins and Of Pandas and People.
(a) Whether any copies of Biology and Origins still exist, e.g. at FTE in Texas or in the files of Thaxton, Davis or Kenyon;
(b) Whether Dembski has seen them (based on the expert report, Dembski either doesn't know the prehistory of Pandas, or is leaving that out).
THE COURT: Counsel, do you have anything further before we adjourn these proceedings? From the plaintiffs?Everyone in the fully-packed courtroom stood up, clapping, as the judge walked out. At this point I halfway expected a movie director to emerge and shout, "Cut it, print it!" This was one of those moments where real life and fiction merged.
MR. ROTHSCHILD: No, Your Honor. Thank you.
THE COURT: From the defendants?
MR. GILLEN: Your Honor, I have one question, and that's this: By my reckoning, this is the 40th day since the trial began and tonight will be the 40th night, and I would like to know if you did that on purpose.
THE COURT: Mr. Gillen, that is an interesting coincidence, but it was not by design.
(Laughter and applause.)
With that, I declare the trial portion of this extended case adjourned.
Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn't changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transitions than we had in Darwin's time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information — what appeared to be a nice simple progression when relatively few data were available now appear to be much more complex and much less gradualistic. So Darwin's problem has not been alleviated in the last 120 years and we still have a record which does show change but one that can hardly be looked upon as the most reasonable consequence of natural selection.In contrast to the impression that Hanegraaff is trying to give, Raup is discussing how — not whether — evolutionary change has occurred. Raup clearly accepts evolution, but he is not convinced that the paleontological record supports Darwinian gradualism.
By irreducibly complex I mean a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning. An irreducibly complex system cannot be produced directly (that is, by continuously improving the initial function, which continues to work by the same mechanism) by slight, successive modifications of a precursor system, because any precursor to an irreducibly complex system that is missing a part is by definition nonfunctional. An irreducibly complex biological system, if there is such a thing, would be a powerful challenge to Darwinian evolution. (Behe 1996: 39)Biologists recognize that integrated system complexity is a feature of living systems. That is, some biological systems consist of component parts that interact in a coordinated way so that the system as a whole exhibits a specific function. It is questionable, however, whether any such systems are irreducibly complex as Behe claims (see Coyne 1996; Doolittle 1997; Miller 1999; Shanks and Joplin 1999). But even if examples of irreducible complexity are found in living systems, the origins of such systems are not necessarily outside the realm of natural processes (Orr 1996; Miller 1999; Thornhill and Ussery 2000; Catalano 2001). That the function of a highly integrated system may collapse with the removal of a component part does not mean that the system in question cannot be deconstructed to reveal an origin by undirected evolutionary processes.
Many scientific hypotheses regarding the manner in which various transformational processes may have contributed to the actualization of some new biotic structure might fall short of full causal specificity — even though they may be highly plausible applications of mechanisms that are at least partially understood. When that is the case, the ID approach tends to denigrate them as nothing more than “just-so stories” and to remove them from further consideration. (Van Till 2002)Dembski’s demand for greater details is reminiscent of earlier anti-evolutionists’ demands for more transitional fossils. Undoubtedly, there will always be gaps in the fossil record, and there will always be room for more details in evolutionary scenarios. The biologist’s search for these details is ongoing.
The bacterial flagellum is indeed a discrete combinatorial object, and the self-assembly that I describe is the one we are left with and can compute on the basis of what we know. The only reason biologists would refuse to countenance my description and probabilistic calculations of self-assembly is because they show that only an indirect Darwinian pathway could have produced the bacterial flagellum. But precisely because it is indirect, there is, at least for now, no causal specificity and no probability to be calculated. (Dembski 2002c)There will always be a level of uncertainty in elucidating an evolutionary pathway for the origin of a flagellum or any other biological system. Dembski hides behind this uncertainty, content to continue using a pure chance model regardless of the fact that it bears no relationship whatsoever to our understanding of evolutionary processes.
[D]ifferent members of a holobaramin could have resulted from a sorting out to the offspring of different genes (DNA) from parental organisms. This is a common occurrence today. Or, since the time of creation there could have been some hereditary modifications of the DNA (mutations), and these were passed on to the diverging offspring. Selection in nature could have influenced the potential for survival of the diverse siblings. (Frair 2000)Finally, it is interesting to note that baraminologists, like phylogenetic taxonomists, claim to eschew "essentialist" thinking, which seems odd given their notions of limited created "kinds"; however, this is because they recognize that diagnostic baraminological features can be lost through variation within a kind. The result is that combinations of other features in the "kind" are used to unite them in a monobaramin (Wood and others 2003).
The baraminological groups were originally codified by ReMine (1993) and expanded by Frair (2000).
Holobaramin: All known living and extinct forms understood to share genetic relationships. It is the entire group of organisms related by common ancestry. This would correspond to Mayr's (1963) holophyly or Hennig's (1950) monophyly.
Monobaramin: A group containing only organisms related by common descent, but not necessarily all of them. This could be a group containing one entire holobaramin or a portion of it. This would correspond roughly to Mayr's (1963) monophyly or Hennig's (1950) paraphyly.
Apobaramin: A group consisting of one or more holobaramins. The group of holobaramins may share similar morphology, ecology, and function, but, by definition, not common descent. This may be somewhat like polyphyletic groups.
Polybaramin: A grouping of two or more individuals who are part of at least two holobaramins. It may be a combination of holobaramins, monobaramins, apobaramins, and individuals that by definition do not share a common ancestor. This is consistent with traditional notions of polyphyly.
Baraminologists also recognize a number of taxonomic groupings — archaebaramin (the original created individuals of a holobaramin), neobaramin (the extant individuals in a holobaramin), and paleobaramin (the extinct members of a baramin, or a wholly extinct baramin) — that do not have counterparts in traditional systematics.
Then God said, Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds. And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. …So long as people have been farming plants and raising livestock, they have been aware that one organism gives birth to another very like it. That is, they have known that living things come in kinds. This is not confined to the Bible, of course. Aristotle knew it. So did Theophrastus, his student, sometimes called the father of botany. It is not, as they say, rocket surgery.
And God said, Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky. So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. …
And God said, Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind. And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1, verses 11–2, 20–1, 24–5, New International Version
After long and considerable investigation, no surer criterion for determining species has occurred to me than the distinguishing features that perpetuate themselves in propagation from seed. Thus, no matter what variations occur in the individuals or the species, if they spring from the seed of one and the same plant, they are accidental variations and not such as to distinguish a species … Animals likewise that differ specifically preserve their distinct species permanently; one species never springs from the seed of another nor vice versa.This was the first recorded biological definition of "species", although the logical term had been used in biological contexts for a long time prior to that. But his was not the traditional view. Following a suggestion of Aristotle that new species were formed by hybridization at water holes in Africa, St Augustine, among others (including one of the translators of the King James Bible), happily accepted that new species could be formed out of old ones. Linnaeus himself, who is sometimes regarded as the originator of species fixism, observed hybridization between two plant species in his own garden, and late in life revised his view that species were as the "Infinite Being" had first created them. Certainly there was no tradition in Christian theological circles that species had to be unchanging before then.
… it will be seen that I look at the term species as one arbitrarily given, for the sake of convenience, to a set of individuals closely resembling each other, and that it does not essentially differ from the term variety, which is given to less distinct and more fluctuating forms. The term variety, again, in comparison with mere individual differences, is also applied arbitrarily, for convenience's sake.On the basis of this and other comments, he seemed to be saying that a species was not a real thing, but that it was just what we called something for convenience. But in his works overall, he treats species as real things, mostly (but not always) isolated by infertility, with different ecological adaptations. His point was, and it remains a sticking point today, that the difference between a species and a variety within a species was vague. This, of course, is due to the fact that species, like sand dunes, rivers and clouds, have no hard and sharp boundaries between them because of evolution.
[I]f species do not exist at all, as the supporters of the transmutation theory maintain, how can they vary? And if individuals alone exist, how can differences which may be observed among them prove the variability of species?Darwin rightly snorted to Agassiz's one-time student Asa Gray:
I am surprised that Agassiz did not succeed in writing something better. How absurd that logical quibble — "if species do not exist how can they vary?" As if anyone doubted their temporary existence.Creationists will often claim that they are not interested in the species level, though. Initially, creationism did require fixity of species. In the 1920s, when George McCready Price equated "species" to the biblical "kinds", he was forced, to allow for the Ark to carry "every kind", to raise the bar higher. Even this was not original. In the late 18th century, Buffon, Cuvier's predecessor, had suggested that there was a "first stock" from which all members of a kind had evolved, so that all cats evolved from an original animal, modified by geography and climate, for instance. So creationists themselves have a "vagueness problem" no less than evolutionary biology does. Life is vague. Certainly the creationist "kind", or "baramin", as they mangle the Hebrew for "created kind", is extremely elastic. Given that elasticity, the motivation for the inference that was made naturally during the 17th and 18th centuries that species do not evolve is undercut. If kinds are not exact in reproduction, why think that the Genesis account is enough to prohibit evolution? The answer is, of course, that biblical literalism is not the primary motivation here for opposition to evolution.
… a group of individuals fully fertile inter se, but barred from interbreeding with other similar groups by its physiological properties (producing either incompatibility of parents, or sterility of the hybrid, or both).This was the original genetic version of reproductive isolation concepts (Buffon had proposed interbreeding as a test a century and a half earlier, which Darwin rejected). Unfortunately, a version framed by Ernst Mayr got called the "biological" species concept, in contrast to what were seen as "nonbiological" concepts that relied largely on form and based in museum taxonomy, which were called "morphological" concepts by Mayr. But I think it is better to call these Reproductive Isolation Species Concepts (RISC) than "biological" ones, for any decent species conception is biological. Mayr's version changed over the years, but the one taught to most undergraduate biology students is the original:
A species consists of a group of populations which replace each other geographically or ecologically and of which the neighboring ones intergrade or interbreed wherever they are in contact or which are potentially capable of doing so (with one or more of the populations) in those cases where contact is prevented by geographical or ecological barriers.Or shorter:
Species are groups of actually or potentially interbreeding natural populations, which are reproductively isolated from other such groups.Much of the focus on species after this centered on Reproductive Isolating Mechanisms, or RIMs for short. Mayr's view was that species are formed when part of the species is geographically isolated from the main range and evolves in its own way such that when it gets back in contact, RIMs have evolved, as it were, by accident, and the two no longer interbreed successfully. Selection against hybrids, which are, so to speak, neither fish nor fowl in ecological adaptations, then strengthens the isolation (a process called "re-inforcing selection"). Mayr's version of the origin of species, published in 1942 and reiterated for the next 60 years (Mayr survived to 100, outliving many of his adversaries, and thus getting the last word), is called the allopatric theory of speciation. Allopatry means that two populations, or species, or groups, of organisms live in different areas (allo- = other, patria = homeland). The alternative kind of speciation, which is in effect Darwin's view, is called sympatric (sym- = together) speciation, and it is highly contentious among specialists, with some thinking that it occurs, particularly among fruitflies and lake-bound fishes, where it has been studied, and others thinking that it does not, and the debate goes on. It requires that RIMs evolve in place, so to speak, and the naysayers think this is unlikely to occur. If sympatric speciation does occur, then there can only be one reason — natural selection. Recent theoretical work shows that it is possible if the conditions are right. What we do not yet know for sure is how often the conditions are right.
An evolutionary species is a lineage (an ancestral–descendant sequence of populations) evolving separately from others and with its own unitary evolutionary role and tendencies.What counts here is that no matter what happens in terms of gene exchange, the populations remain distinct, and have their own forms, adaptations, and fate. The term "lineage" used here is particularly important, as it focused biologists' thinking more in evolutionary terms, and gave rise to yet another class of conceptions — phylogenetic species concepts.
Please note: This text is part of Species, Kinds, and Evolution, by John Wilkins, Reports of NCSE 26 (4), 2006.Summary of 26 species concepts
Supply resources for the rapid development of civilization and technology and the achievement of global occupation.God's mechanisms for achieving his purposes, according to Ross's model, involve a puzzling blend of naturalistic and supernatural processes. For example, Ross believes that God initiated the Big Bang under a precise set of conditions so that, over 13 billion years later, a planet would form on which God could create humans and where they could survive. Ross never explains why God did not create the universe and the earth in the same sudden and miraculous way that he created humans. Here is an example from the fossil record:
Provide humanity with the best possible viewing conditions for discovering, through a careful examination of the cosmos, His existence and attributes.
Set up the optimal physical theater — including an optimal human life span — for conquering sin and the evil it produces. (p 68)
… the Creator worked efficiently and effectively to prepare a home for humanity. A huge array of highly diverse, complex plants and animals living in optimized ecological relationships and densely packing the earth for more than a half billion years perfectly suits what humanity needs. These life systems loaded earth's crust with sufficient fossil fuels and other biodeposits to catapult the human race toward technologically advanced civilization. (p 140)Here we see Ross's astounding double standard. When it comes to astronomy and geology, Ross believes in an old universe, so he seeks reasons why God needed so much time. But when it comes to biology, Ross invokes a miracle at every turn:
From a biblical perspective, one reason so many apparent transitions appear in the fossil record for whales and horses is that Creation had a particular time, place, and purpose for each one in the ecosystem. Because these kinds of species go extinct so rapidly, the fossil record shows frequent replacements, or "transitions," for them. It seems God frequently created new species to replace those that went extinct. … The biblical creation accounts describe God as continually involved and active in creating new species until he created human beings. (p 143–4)The irony is this: the direct formation of fossil fuels would require far less creative effort than creating thousands of new species over millions of years. In a similar manner, Ross proposes that God compensated for changes in solar luminosity (apparently outside divine control) with a host of geological and biological miracles on earth and then concludes: "The number of just-right outcomes converging at the just-right times to compensate for the decreasing brightness of the youthful sun seriously strains naturalistic models" (p 132–3).
If earth's rotation rate slowed to 26 hours per day, no hurricanes or tornados would ever occur. … [Earlier in earth history] 21-hour days spawned enormously more destructive hurricanes and tornados. Placing humanity on earth when the rotation rate had slowed to 24 hours meant that the Creator timed the human era to correspond with the ideal hurricane and tornado era in geologic history — another piece of evidence that the timing of humanity's advent was planned rather than accidental. (p 171)Earth's rotation is not the main driving force for these storms — solar radiation is. If solar luminosity increased during the history of terrestrial life, as Ross contends, then intensity of storms could have increased. Slowing of earth's rotation would tend to reduce wind speeds, but hurricanes and tornados would not cease if the rotation slowed to 26 hours per day. Since primitive trees and land animals survived during 21-hour days, then there is no reason to doubt that humans could have also. Many other examples of Ross's dubious science could be cited.
One way to motivate students to study science and to think critically is to examine case studies of scientific controversy. Through case studies, students will gain insight into the standard scientific procedure of inferring the best explanation from among multiple competing hypotheses. ...These sorts of claims have been endlessly rebutted, most recently in Kevin Padian's dissection of Pandas's Cambrian arguments during his Kitzmiller testimony (available on-line, complete with the slides Padian used, at http://www.sciohost.org/ncse/kvd/Padian/Padian_transcript.html), but the creationists seem undeterred. Keas's handout shows that Explore Evolution will be more of the same in other areas as well. According to point #2 of the handout:
In today's climate of public educational policy, this would mean, at a minimum, teaching not just the strengths of Darwin's theory, but also the evidence that challenges it. For example, any complete theory of biological origins must examine fossil evidence. The fossils of the "Cambrian explosion" show virtually all the basic forms of animal life appearing suddenly without clear precursors.
2. Explore Evolution (supplemental textbook forthcoming in early 2007)Longtime Pandas watchers may be having flashbacks at this point, but there's more!a. Evaluates the main arguments for and against neo-Darwinism (does not teach about ID)i. Common descent (fossil succession, homologies, embryology, & biogeography)b. When used with a basal biology textbook, this supplemental curriculum provides an effective way to fairly teach the strengths and weaknesses of Neo-Darwinian evolution.
ii. Creative power of mutation and natural selection (mechanisms of evolution)
iii. Recent challenges to neo-Darwinism: Molecular machines (irreducibly complex?)
All in all, this looks like the long-rumored Discovery Institute "intelligent design" curriculum. After the Discovery Institute began moving away from ID and toward "critical analysis", the curriculum probably moved with it. From what the above material shows, the Explore Evolution curriculum closely matches the 2005 Kansas Science Standards and the most recent version may have originally been aimed directly at that market.c. Our curriculum primarily consists of a colorful 130-page book and a series of PDF slide shows (PC or Mac) that contain the book's main talking points and illustrations (plus additional images). We also include student study guides, sample lesson plans, quiz questions, and other auxiliary materials that may be printed and photocopied.
The indefatigable Michael Shermer has joined the lists of those authors bent on providing ammunition for the ongoing struggle against that old shape-shifting dragon, creationism, in its latest avatar, the "intelligent design" movement. His new book, Why Darwin Matters, gets high marks for its amiable style, its readability, and the unmistakable moral passion of the author. It is impressive in the wide range of issues and questions it addresses. Most important, it is likely to be a useful contribution to the unfinished task of providing the resistance to creationism, among both scientists and laypeople, with a repository of direct arguments, rhetorical devices, and philosophical themes useful in defeating or deflecting the spectrum of creationist assaults now directed against the educational system. On the other hand, if one is looking for a definitive volume of heavyweight analysis of theoretical questions about evolution and its place among the sciences, or about the history and sociology of American creationism, or about the interface between science and religion, Shermer's brisk little volume is not really in the running. It has flaws, gaps, and lapses, none fatal to its intended purpose, to be sure, but cumulatively serious enough so that it has to be said that a reader armed with this book alone will not be entirely prepared for a full-bore debate with a seasoned creationist, in or out of the context of fights over curricula and biology textbooks.
Among its virtues is the fact that Why Darwin Matters covers a very wide range of topics, citing a host of arguments against standard evolutionary theory from a number of strands of creationist ideology, and providing brief, accessible rejoinders — for the most part effective — to those arguments. Among its defects is the problem that this breadth, combined with the brevity of the book as a whole and its occasional digressiveness, inevitably renders some of the counterarguments sketchy and even shallow. The unpretentious informality of Shermer's style is welcome, but the downside is that some of his debating points have an improvised and off-the-cuff feel to them, and lack the depth and heft necessary to make really telling points in serious debate. They are starting points indicating the possibility of more elaborate and focused lines of argument, rather than crushing weapons in their own right.
The wide range of issues considered by the author also has the lamentable effect of diffusing the ostensible focus of the book, that is, how to counteract the ambitions of the "intelligent design" movement per se. The somewhat haphazard organization of chapters and topics has a similar effect. There are some matters that Shermer ought to have thought through seriously, from both a theoretical and expository point of view. Instead, he seems to have tried to work them out on the fly, at the cost of precision and even relevancy. In particular, the notion of what is supposed to be meant by "intelligent design" is somewhat wooly in this treatment, leading to the needless conflation of very different positions and attitudes.
What does "intelligent design" of the visible universe mean? Presumably, any religion or set of spiritual convictions that posits some kind of shaping intelligence in the cosmos and its history, some kind of entelechy, no matter how vague, providing purpose and direction for the universe, ipso facto incorporates a kind of "intelligent design theory". These belief-systems range from dogmatic, orthodox religion to non-sectarian theism, Deism, and even Spinozan pantheism. Rank atheists (like me) might not cotton to any of these ideas, but the point is that "intelligent design" in this very broad sense includes many creeds not particularly inimical to evolutionary theory or its privileged presence in biology classrooms.
But "intelligent design", as formulated and promulgated by the paladins of the Discovery Institute, is a very different matter. To keep things clear, let's refer to this as Intelligent Design™. This is a very narrow doctrine, or rather, scheme for denigrating standard evolutionary theory. The core tactic is to provide "scientific" arguments purporting to show that the quintessential Darwinian mechanism — random variation at the genetic level acted upon by various selective forces — cannot possibly account for the observed complexity and intricacy of living forms. It is conjoined with the thesis that the putative inadequacy of selection in accounting for various biological phenomena leads inexorably to the inference that a creative intelligence must be directly responsible for these phenomena. Intelligent Design™, moreover, incorporates a highly focused legal, political, and cultural strategy for making its ideals ultimately prevail in popular opinion. Its further goal, which it has been indiscreet enough to display from time to time, is to re-legitimatize the biblical creation story, rendering it immune to scientific refutation. Its ultimate goal is to remake this country and perhaps others as virtual theocracies subject to the dogmas of conservative Christianity.
Shermer finally gets around to defining and analyzing Intelligent Design™, as such, about two-thirds of the way through his book. But first, he spends quite a bit of time refuting some very different aspects of the broad notion of "intelligent design" — sometimes aptly, sometimes not. Finally, he appears to contradict himself, in that he adds a chapter on the desirability of irenic and mutually respectful relations between science and some kinds (necessarily liberal) of religious and spiritual belief. To the extent that these are teleological in character — and it is hard to think of any that are not — they encompass an "intelligent design" in the broad sense indicated above, albeit one that may be quite benign in the context of the current bloodletting over Intelligent Design™.
Shermer would have served his book and its readers better had he focused primarily on Intelligent Design™, its godfather Phillip E Johnson, and its hit squad, notably Michael Behe and William Dembski. Still, a parent or student menaced by an aggressively creationist school board would be well advised to get hold of a copy of Why Darwin Matters as a ready-to-hand source of arguments useful and pertinent enough to force the battle-lines to be accurately drawn.
Since there are no transitional forms ("missing links"), German geneticist Richard Goldschmidt, speculated that there must have been quantum leaps from one species to another. He wrote, "The major evolutionary advances must have taken place in single large steps. … The many missing links in the Paleontological record are sought for in vain because they have never existed: 'the first bird hatched from a reptilian egg.'" His ridiculous theory is called: (A) cataclysmic escalation; (B) precipitous equanimity; (C) punctuated equilibrium.There is no (D): None of the above — a choice necessary for an accurate answer to most of these questions. The answer they are looking for is (C): punctuated equilibrium. What's more, the same choices with the same answer are on a different question, this time for a "theory" advanced by a 1958 children's book about dinosaurs. Another pair of questions use the same Stephen Jay Gould quote with different words left out — but one cites the original Paleobiology article and the other from a book by creationist Jonathan Sarfati.
Christianity is not burdened with the requirement that everything result from natural processes. … either natural or supernatural explanations of nature are allowed. In the study of biology, … Christians have a broader palette of explanations to draw on than do materialists. (Timothy G Standish, p 119)Clearly, the conference participants quoted above have found it difficult or impossible to reconcile the generally accepted evolutionary theory with their personal religious views. The one speaker at the conference who accepts evolution, the philosopher and "friendly critic" Michael Ruse, summarizes the intention of his contribution in the sentence, "My aim has not been to defend Christianity, but to defend the integrity of the Darwinian who wants to be a Christian" (p 148). In the light of what the other twenty contributors have to say, he was probably wasting his time at the Biola conference.
The revolution from the paradigm of Darwinism to the paradigm of intelligent design will undoubtedly be accompanied by a metaphysical shift from materialism to theistic realism. (David Keller, p 159)
Years before, as a seminary student at Unification Theological Seminary in the late 1970s, I had become convinced that there is a fundamental conflict between theistic religions and Darwinian evolution. Among the former I include Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Unificationism and Zoroastrianism. … Now I realized I couldn't be a theist and a Darwinian. (Jonathan Wells, p 164–5)
[I]f Darwinism is true, Christian metaphysics is a fantasy. (Nancy Pearcey, quoting a 2002 interview of Phillip Johnson, p 228)
Complexity theory views the essence of life as independent of its particular physical medium, consistent with Christian belief. … We are thankful that the God of Christ's love is also the God of purpose and order who superintends complexity and chaos. (Wesley D Allen and Henry F Schaeffer III, p 300)
We have this going for us, however, which the evolutionary naturalists don't, namely, the evidence and arguments are on our side. It's therefore to our advantage to discuss intelligent design and naturalistic evolution on their merits. Conversely, the other side needs to delegitimate the debate, … casting intelligent design as a pseudoscience and characterizing its significance purely in political and religious terms. As a consequence, critics of intelligent design engage in all forms of character assassination, ad hominem attacks, guilt by association and demonization. (p 82)Part III, "Two Friendly Critics," is an odd fit in the general context of the book. The ever-idiosyncratic David Berlinski contributes two short fables. He attributes them to the Argentine literary giant Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986). Though the fables clearly attempt to mimic Borges's dry, witty, and often hieratic style, Borges is a hard act to follow. The first fable ridicules the idea of evolution; the second does the same to the idea of IDC. Both sport a stiff manner that does Borges injustice. Nice try but no yerba maté.