I’ve been made aware of a new blog belonging to a pharmacy student, and he had this great quote in response to the Discovery Institute’s accusation that PBS had “turned to the usual suspects” to promote their “agenda”.
If the usual suspects are a basis for judging, their agenda is to educate people with information from credible sources. If only all media had such an agenda. If only young earth creationists and cdesign proponentsists had that agenda. (By the way, I am determined to keep calling them that from now on. If it gets old, let me know).
On both Panda’s Thumb and Pharyngula, P. Z. Myers has drawn attention to the Discovery Institute’s response to the documentary, and notes that it doesn’t address the charges that were at issue in the Dover case, and thus in the documentary. Very few of its complaints about minor details, even if they happened to be correct (at least some of them clearly are not), would affect the substance of the issues about either the Dover trial, the evidence for evolution, or the status of intelligent design.
Let me give Michael Behe the benefit of the doubt for the moment and treat intelligent design as science in the same sense that astrology is: the formulation of theoretical explanatory frameworks positing causal connections between seen and unseen forces. On this account, intelligent design is (as Philip Kitcher has suggested) “old science” rather than “non-science”. Even if one were to grant this, then it would still be a pre-Darwinian model that has been supplanted by the evidence. And when someone tries to forcibly resurrect an older scientific model because they don’t like the supposed implications of a current one, with no actual scientific evidence to justify such a resurrection, then the “old science” in question clearly moves back into the non-science category.
Returning to the quote of the day, to be fair, let me end by noting that this isn’t the first time the Teletubbies have been accused of having an agenda…