There is a rich debate going on about intelligent design. Here's my two cents:
The secular left should love this. In fact, I think some of them are loving it. A new idea to demonize; something to fight against. I pity them, especially on this issue. Ideas are the easiest thing to spread when banned. That's why they're going to lose on this one.
...OK, so they're not loving it. They're fighting against it, tooth and lawsuit (hello, ACLU-see link). It seems that some ideas arrived that fell "outside of doctrine." You know what "doctrine" I'm talking about? Why, Evolution! Everyone knows about evolution, and accepts it. That sounds great, except for the fact that everyone doesn't.
Professors of the theory of evolution are missing critical data to prove it. If we are talking about pure science, then it takes a leap of faith to believe in, and teach evolution. Why should this faith in flawed and incomplete human knowledge be the only theory allowed to be taught in schools? The answer is simple: It shouldn't!
Imagine if educators just taught the facts, and let the student's come up with their own ideas on how and why life "happened" (now there's an ass-backwards liberal formula, if you remove the "facts" part!-LOL!). My point is that the I. D. theory is experiencing the same reception that secular theories have experienced in the past, by both the religious and secular scientific establishments. If this new theory is proposed by serious scientists, in serious forums (which it is), then it needs to be heard.
Intelligent design may become a fully accepted theory by all the people who believe in God. It may also convert some to believe in God. This may end up including a majority of scientists, though academics will wait until the court forces them to accept it, and teach it as a theory. Maybe not even then, judging by past reports of school administrators having to read a statement about it (I.D.), when teachers refused to mention it in the classroom.
Another problem is that this new theory insists on life being created by an intelligent being (or beings-thinking about this in a totally atheistic way), which only a few fringe secular lefties will admit to believing, and they're the ones who think we were created by aliens. (LOL!) -But seriously, this is the line that the left will not cross. No-one in the Democrat party will defend this idea; not even religious Dems will step up, which is a shame. They see this as a covert action by the "religious right" to get religion back into the classroom.
This goes further than the classroom. Dr. Richard Sternberg (click on link for his personal take on the story), the editor of the scientific journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, published an article on intelligent design. I'd compare his treatment to Galileo's defense of Copernicus at the hands of the Inquisition, but I'll let three of his quotes from his Bill O'reilly interview suffice:
RICHARD STERNBERG, FEDERAL SCIENTIST AND EDITOR: Well, it took a number of forms, Bill. First of all, immediately after the article was published, there was a very tepid reaction with a museum.
However, a number of outside groups and individuals began writing e- mails, letters of protests, phoning the museum, phoning my employer, demanding my ouster for this. Apparently, there was an unstated rule that you do not accept a manuscript for peer review that counters Darwinism, or seriously counters Darwinism.
And furthermore, I was a gatekeeper. I allowed the paper to be peer reviewed and furthermore, I committed the terrible sin of allowing it to be published.
STERNBERG: "It was a concerted - it was - the retaliation occurred in concert. It was between the officials of the Smithsonian Institution, curators, various administrators and the National Center for Science and Education, based in Oakland, California.
They - they orchestrated, for example, at least the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) orchestrated a repudiation of the article, actually helped the repudiation to be drafted. That is a statement of retraction. And then turned around and cited it on their web site as evidence, not so much evidence, but allowed them to strongly insinuate editorial malfeasance on my part.
They aided in drafting, for example, a statement by the council that oversees publication of the journal to suggest that somehow I had broken the rules."
STERNBERG: "There - there is a - I think it's religiously and politically motivated. It's a form of projection. You have groups like the NCSE and others who argue that the intelligent design advocates, the creationists, etc., are trying to suppress information, trying to hinder science. And - and ironically, quite the opposite appears to have occurred in this situation.
They felt that, you know, if, for example, the pros and the cons of the issue are placed on the scientific table, then essentially the whole edifice is going to unravel, and that simply cannot be allowed."
FROM LEAV: Back to the doctrine. Evolution, as a doctrine, cannot be contravened, especially in academia. The professors of atheism will fight anything that deviates from their strict interpretation (Darwinian fundamentalism?) of evolution, especially the detested religious deviation. Not even the idea that evolution was created by God can penetrate their doctrine. You will hear talk of "turning back the clock," and perhaps historical comparissons to the same thing I cited above. What hypocracy that would be!
Especially remember that in this case, the "perceived" religious idea is the one being persecuted. The theory makes no mention of a specific God, or whether there is one God at all, yet it implies a greater power or intelligence, which forces the secularist to say, "who created God?" This is how the secular mind operates, or doesn't, depending on your point of view. Their only answer to this debate is to sue to stop it. They must not succeed.
The idea of intelligent design is a fascinating theory, if developed. The only way for it to be fully supported or countered is by investigation. The secular scientific and academic establishment should know this already. They have had their ideas protested throughout history. The irony is that the secular scientists are repressing the "religious" ones, instead of opening their ideas up to debate, as they once pleaded for secular ideas to be. Now that they are the establishment, they do the typical thing, attempting to discredit any idea that might upset the established order of doctrine.
Again, a rich debate is going on over this issue. Those are my two cents, but I'm willing to raise the bet, if anyone wants to match my ante. Calling all atheists! Come and get it! Especially that one particular atheist who has commented over at the Knickerbocker News blog! I invite you, sir, to debate this one!