Intelligent Design Stealth Creationism

RECEIVED Tue., Sept. 23, 2003

Dear editors:
   Ray Bohlin's petulant letter in last week's "Postmarks" [Sept. 19] prompted me to make a few observations about the quagmire the Intelligent Design movement increasingly finds itself in.
   They've failed to meet the "five year plan" (I kid you not) of their "Wedge Strategy," to "replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God," as well as "to see intelligent design theory as an accepted alternative in the sciences and scientific research being done from the perspective of design theory." This is because they don't understand that science is about cold hard facts, and it could care less about reinforcing the sociopolitical agendas of fundamentalist religious special interests. (It's also worth noting that no I.D. proponent has actually advanced a "design theory" of any kind.)
   So they've pared down their demands. They've gone from "equal time" for creationism, to changing the label to "Intelligent Design" in the hopes no one will notice it's still creationism, to, finally, simply requesting that alleged "weaknesses" in evolutionary theory be printed in textbooks. As Dr. Alan Gishlick of the National Center for Science Education amusingly pointed out at the SBOE hearings, it makes no sense to publish information you think is wrong in a textbook, only to tell students it's wrong – unless you have an agenda to push. Mostly, wrong information is that which you delete from textbooks. Evolution is certainly open to valid scientific criticisms, but none of what the Discovery Institute claims is wrong with evolution is a valid criticism.
   As to Bohlin's insulting remarks about the "incredible arrogance" of the eloquent Dr. Steven Weinberg – who has a Nobel Prize, which Bohlin doesn't – this is something I think psychologists usually refer to as "projection." I would invite all Chronicle readers to visit, where you can listen to MP3 files of numerous testimonials from the SBOE hearings, and judge Weinberg's "arrogance" for yourself.
Martin Wagner
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