Letters to the Editor

Intelligent design theory is belief, not science

Re: “Design Dilemma” by Jacob Tillman, Oct. 2.

The Oracle printed a story about an intelligent design conference held in the Sun Dome. The intelligent design community questions the validity of evolution, or what members of the intelligent design community call Darwinism. I find the article’s unquestioning labeling of this meeting as a “scientific discussion” and the presenters as “scientists” to be quite troubling. Although it is true that intelligent design portrays itself as a scientific movement, it is missing some essential elements.

Primarily, intelligent design does not make any testable hypotheses. Without assertions that can be tested, the theories are nothing more than stated beliefs. This highlights the truth about intelligent design – it is not science. It is a political effort to create a public doppelganger, to dress religion up in the clothes of science, but without the skeleton. There is no structure to this movement, other than the hot air of the creationists who have thusly re-branded themselves.

There are legitimate questions that still exist in the boundaries of the theory of evolution. These are being studied and answered by real scientists. One of the primary arguments of intelligent design – the complex molecular structures inside living organisms are too complex to have come into existence without the hand of some supernatural being – has been answered by scientists in recent years.

The proponents of intelligent design have ignored the answer: The intermediate structures with uses other than those used by the final form evolved in step-wise form, with each step giving the organism some reproductive advantage. An example? The wings of dragonflies were originally short stubby forms that allowed the insect to “paddle” across water. Those with slightly longer wings could even “hop” away from predators. Eventually, thanks to their higher chance of living long enough to reproduce, the paddles grew longer and wider, and these creatures were able to fly.

At the beginning of the article, the writer states that the only thing these intelligent design advocates want is “a crowd with an open ear and scientific legitimacy.” I have no problem with them being granted a crowd, but they should not be granted even the slightest semblance of scientific legitimacy. Jay Oyster is a graduate student majoring in business administration.

Media biased against intelligent design theory

Re: “Design Dilemma” by Jacob Tillman, Oct. 2.

At the “Darwin or Design?” conference Friday, Michael Behe emphasized several times that it is the job of science to go wherever the evidence goes, regardless of the implications it may have. He stated many of the reasons his theory is not widely accepted: Roughly 90 percent of “eminent” scientists are atheist or agnostic; intelligent design has implications that rival the ideological philosophies held by the majority of scientists; there exists a negative bias against intelligent design in science, academia and the media.

This has not always been the case. As noted at www.discovery.org, “Scientists who assumed a deity are not unusual; Newton, Pascal, Copernicus and Einstein are just a few of the more famous. But, today is different. Deity is neither a premise nor a possibility in traditional science.”

The best way to find out about something is to go to the source. There are many filters information must pass through before it appears in the media. These filters provide an opportunity for information to differ significantly from the source at the time one absorbs the information.

I recommend everyone go to the source and read Behe’s book, Darwin’s Black Box, so they can make the most informed decision regarding intelligent design. Darwin’s Black Box discusses “irreducibly complex” biochemical systems, which he claims allude to an intelligent designer. The book was internationally reviewed in more than 100 publications and recently named by National Review and World magazine as one of the 100 most important books of the 20th century, according to discovery.org

What I want to stress is that there is evidence for intelligent design. If I were to base my understanding of what intelligent design was on the articles I read in the Oracle, I would think the theory was similar to that of older tribes associating the process of lightning formation with a creator because they could not understand it. But there is, in fact, fruit to the intelligent design argument. There is evidence to support the claims. There is an opportunity for people to become enlightened through science once more.

Thomas Jewels is a junior majoring in anthropology.