I can't say I know enough about intelligent design (ID) to say whether or not it's true. But at this point, one doesn't have to be an expert in Darwinism to tell that his theory is trouble: one only has to know a little street sociology.
The Darwinians and the major media have taken great pains to convey to any and all their histeria that ID might even be discussed (should we call it "the theory that has no name"?). Actually, let me take that back: their histeria is actually that Darwinism just might possibly be questioned. As I wrote in the past couple posts, despite their claims that this is "science," their belief is a matter of faith and an inflexible fundamentalist faith at that; their blind rage is the proverbial blood in the water...and even the dumbest piranha can smell it.
In researching for the evolution posts, I ran across some interesting material on Carl Sagan. Dr. Sagan opens his book Cosmos with this:
The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us—there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.
The religious tone of this paragraph screams out.
As an analytic exercise, let's examine just the first sentence. Is there scientific evidence to back up the claim that the universe is all? A better question would be: is it possible for science to address this claim even in principle? The basis of everything we call "science" is empirical verifiability. We can't measure the past1 and we can't measure the future. By its nature, science deals with the here and now: anything else is extrapolation, supposition. Even more importantly, science can't say anything about anything outside the universe.
It's not a scientific claim, but a religious claim. Sagan tells us "we are approaching the greatest of mysteries"—the materialist Sancto Sanctorum, it would seem. Sagan is the high-priest of smug atheism (pantheism?).
There is only the Cosmos and Sagan is its prophet.
I ran across a summary of Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit on one of his disciple's pages (also here: www.carlsagan.com). The Kit is drawn from Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (oh yes, scientists like Joseph Mengele "illuminating" our path to paradise on earth...).
It is more than ironic that many of the Darwinian arguments rely on these logical-rhetorical fallacies from Sagan's "detector":
Slippery slope - a subset of excluded middle - unwarranted extrapolation of the effects (give an inch and they will take a mile). [Cf., the secularists' blind terror at the idea that Darwinian "science" might undergo rigorous scientific examination] Straw man - caricaturing (or stereotyping) a position to make it easier to attack. [E.g., calling a non-religious film "religious"]
Further, they ignore Sagan's tools for detecting fallacious or fraudulent arguments:
Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view. [E.g., firing anyone even sympathetic to dissenters to Darwinism, like Rick Sternberg.] Ask whether the hypothesis can, at least in principle, be falsified (shown to be false by some unambiguous test). In other words, it is testable? Can others duplicate the experiment and get the same result? [in the minds of its proponents, Darwinism it seems is beyond question]
I had thought that non-hypocrisy was to the modern mind a virtue, but perhaps hypocrisy is a modern virtue... and the howls against it simply mask a more cynical hypopcrisy.
1. We can argue about the past based on the explanatory power of theories about it, but this form of argument is much less convincing.
In looking up Sagan, I ran across this provocatively titled piece by Terry Mattingly: "Carl Sagan: TV Evangelist."
Phillip E. Johnson, "Book Review: The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark," National Review (April 22, 1996):
Plainly, one thing that is missing from Carl Sagan's baloney-detector kit is a device capable of distinguishing science as a method of investigation from scientific atheism, a philosophy uncritically accepted by many scientists. Have scientific experiments demonstrated that non-living chemicals can arrange themselves spontaneously into living organisms? Does the claim that natural selection can turn a bacterium into a butterfly rest mainly upon an unsupported extrapolation from instances of variation within a species? Perhaps we should consider the alternative hypothesis that it is the dogmatic Darwinists who are less than assiduous in exposing themselves to the evidence, and that the reason so many Americans are skeptical of the more expansive claims of Darwinism is that they have their own baloney detectors working.
Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (Ballantine Books, 1997).
Carl Sagan, Cosmos (Ballantine Books, 1985).