Did Neo-Creationists Get Some Things Right?
Gordy Slack, writing in The Scientist seems to think so. First things first, I am not in the camp that looks on honest questions as deserving of a declaration of war in that sort of 'you are with us or against us' way the more militant atheist science writers in some places do. So I looked at Slack's piece on its merits and he makes one point I have often made - it isn't just uneducated religious fundamentalists who maintain a belief without knowing what they are talking about. Plenty of atheists do the exact same thing without knowing a thing at all about adaptive radiation. They believe in evolution because scientists do. Their faith in science is blind and unquestioning and at the end of the day it's no different than the religious kind. Slack is by no means an Intelligent Design apologist or advocate. He just acknowledges that there are unanswered questions and his book, The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything: Evolution, Intelligent Design, and a School Board in Dover, PA, is well regarded. Jeffrey Shallit is a professor of computer science at University of Waterloo and he isn't so generous. In Oh, the Inanity! Slack in The Scientist he takes Slack to task for a spelling error (maybe a trifle petty) but then makes a logical fallacy of his own ('ID hasn't made any progress in understanding abiogenesis so the progress of mainstream science is irrelevant') before deciding that Slack is defending ID. Well, he isn't defending ID. He is conceding that not every issue, even in established science like evolutionary biology, is without weak spots. That's why scientists still have jobs, because everything is not known. It's not a bad idea to tackle ideas on their merits. It either shows us where arguments are weak or reaffirms where we are correct. Introducing questions does not make Intelligent Design right but striving for answers is what makes science great.