Krauthammer assails "intelligent design"


"Intelligent design" is the target of Charles Krauthammer's op-ed column "Phony Theory, False Conflict" in the Washington Post (November 18, 2005), and no punches are pulled. Describing the fight over evolution as "so anachronistic and retrograde as to be a national embarrassment," Krauthammer commends the voters of Dover, Pennsylvania, for "throwing out all eight members of its school board who tried to impose 'intelligent design' -- today's tarted-up version of creationism -- on the biology curriculum," and condemns the Kansas school board for redefining science in the newly adopted state science standards, thus "unmistakably implying -- by fiat of definition, no less -- that the supernatural is an integral part of science."

"Let's be clear," Krauthammer writes. "Intelligent design may be interesting as theology, but as science it is a fraud. It is a self-enclosed, tautological 'theory' whose only holding is that when there are gaps in some area of scientific knowledge -- in this case, evolution -- they are to be filled by God. It is a 'theory' that admits that evolution and natural selection explain such things as the development of drug resistance in bacteria and other such evolutionary changes within species but also says that every once in a while God steps into this world of constant and accumulating change and says, 'I think I'll make me a lemur today.'"

Deploring the "relentless attempts" to confuse science and religion by "by teaching warmed-over creationism as science," Krauthammer concludes with the thought, "How ridiculous to make evolution the enemy of God. What could be more elegant, more simple, more brilliant, more economical, more creative, indeed more divine than a planet with millions of life forms, distinct and yet interactive, all ultimately derived from accumulated variations in a single double-stranded molecule, pliable and fecund enough to give us mollusks and mice, Newton and Einstein? Even if it did give us the Kansas State Board of Education, too."