"Intelligent design" — who asked for that?
The October 2010 issue of Discover commemorates the magazine's thirtieth anniversary by looking back at, among other things, the scientific debacles of the past three decades — including "intelligent design" — under the rubric "Who asked for that?"
Not satisfied with the biblical God who created the world in six days, creationists developed a "science" that aims to explain the supernatural force behind the whole shebang: intelligent design. Because we cannot reverse-engineer things like the human eye, they say, it follows that all must be designed by a higher being. (The human knee presumably came together during a moment of distraction.) This tactic had some success easing intelligent design/creationism into American public-school science lessons. But in 2005 a jury prohibited its teaching in the schools of Dover, Pennsylvania, delivering a stinging rebuke.(Discover errs in attributing the verdict in Kitzmiller v. Dover to "a jury"; it was a bench trial, and the decision — which was indeed a stinging rebuke to the scientific pretensions of "intelligent design" — was due to Judge John E. Jones III.)