Darwinism Versus Intelligent Design 
by David Berlinski & Critics    Selection below: Paul Gross other sections to 
get comment later.

This month's commentary has a series of responses to Berlinski's piece on 
intelligent design. With his usual pomposity Paul Gross intones. I try hard 
to restrain myself from foaming over the science wars, but mere contact here 
tends to get me going. Darwinism deserves a kick in the pants. 

 I am no fan of the design argument, but the arrogant tone of such as Gross 
is a bit much. What more can he want? Berlinski sensibly critiques Darwin's 
theory and with intelligent restraint doesn't go to the opposite extreme of 
seeing the design argument as a simple antithesis. 
The facts are clear, there is something wrong with the Darwinian theory. 
And it would be nice if this could be understood in mainstream science 
instead of being pointed out by the Creationist movement. 

After tangling with the NCSE (they got me unsubbed from Anthro_L, typical 
chicanery from that outfit, the archives there have a lot on design issues) I 
suddenly realized this whole game isn't naivete, it's brazen deception, 
except for the exceptionally sincere idiots and positivist dinosaurs of Big 
Science like Gross. 
NCSE style education has made idiots of a whole generation, and I am alarmed 
at the discussions I have on the net with such. What I find appalling is the 
shallowness of competent sciences in these responses, the rote answers, the 
lack of any dimension to the argument. 

The reasons Gross gives for the failure of intelligent design theory are not 
correct. Darwin's theory did NOT refute such things. 
The question of design is really a spiritual version of something 
missing/factored out of current science. Indeed, if you read Dembski closely 
he notes that if something like the argument of the old teleomechanits were 
true, his argument would fail. He was righter than he knew, but at least he 
was clear. 
The whole Darwin debate has become stultifying. In a sensible culture, the 
beauty, but the limits of the design argument would be clear, clear in a 
non-theist version perhaps, without cultural politicians making people stupid 
trying to suppress the obvious. 
Schopenhauer in many ways saw the point before even Darwin, in his remarks on 
Lamarck. Design is only the Christian version of the question. As Berlinski 
honestly confesses, it is hard to really arrive at an answer. 
It is worth searching for the Schopenhauer version. The design issue should 
be both the limits of science, and the limits of religion. 
All that is needed for this debate is some acknowledgement that the 
developmental process isn't quite like anything we know, and that the usual 
scientific conception doesn't fully encompass it. 
But that is too much to hope for from this value free jerkoffs. 

Propagandists have to have answers, so the whole thing is simply gangbanged 
by rival factions. 

What a strange situation. The whole science estab is lucky here, given  the 
weakness of their opponents theistic obsessions. The two viewpoints seem 
tailor made to fix public opinion for consevative control of the dialectical 
wings. It is all rot,
as even a smattering of the eonic model would show. 

Time for some real science wars. You don't get to be this mendacious with 
kids and call it science. The worthlessness of the Creationists' arguments 
notwithstanding, etc....

Congratulations are in order. In his latest COMMENTARY essay on “Darwinism”—
as it is often called by those who do not know much evolutionary biology—
David Berlinski seems to have reversed himself [“Has Darwin Met His Match?,” 
December 2002]. He is now critical of the effort to rehabilitate the ancient “
argument from design,” these days holiday-wrapped as “intelligent-design 
theory.” This change of mind is all the more praiseworthy because Mr. 
Berlinski is not only the author of “The Deniable Darwin” (Commentary, June 
1996) but, according to his current author’s note, closely associated with 
the Discovery Institute, the conservative Christian think tank that serves as 
the primary promoter of “intelligent design.” The manner of Mr. Berlinski’s 
dismissal is less creditable, however. His argument might be paraphrased as 
follows: intelligent design has failed, evolutionary biology has failed, and 
therefore nobody has a plausible scientific explanation for the diversity of 
life on earth. This is absurd. The reasons Mr. Berlinski gives for the 
failure of intelligent-design theory have all been given before—in the 
professional literature, in the introductory biology courses of all decent 
colleges, in half a dozen very recent specialist books, on fifty flourishing 
scientific websites. However well intelligent-design apologetics is doing as 
politics, there is nothing new about its abject failure as science. On the 
other hand, none of the reasons Mr. Berlinski hints at for rejecting “
Darwinism” stand up. They are the familiar creationist pabulum, supposedly 
demonstrating the grand flaws and gaps in evolutionary biology. But these 
arguments, too, have been addressed in the professional literature, in tens 
of thousands of papers, and in dozens of excellent, best-selling popular 
science books—and they have been soundly refuted. Unfortunately, a 
non-biologist reader of “Has Darwin Met His Match?,” innocent of this vast 
body of knowledge, will have no notion of its content or even, perhaps, of 
its existence, and may therefore take Mr. Berlinski’s assertions as true as 
well as deep, which they are not. Mr. Berlinski says that the argument from 
design has been taken up again in evolutionary biology and mathematical 
physics. This, if true, would give it some scientific seriousness. But it is 
not true. There is not one publication in recent biological journals, out of 
the tens of thousands of articles published annually—a huge subset of them 
devoted specifically to evolution—that undertakes to rehabilitate the 
argument from design. None of the intelligent-design “theorists” mentioned 
in his essay has ever published the claim in an original article in a 
regular, refereed biological journal. Nor, of course, has Mr. Berlinski 
himself done so. As for William Dembski’s lucubrations on chance and 
probability—which even Mr. Berlinski now finds flawed—I know of no 
professional publications (other than Dembski’s own books and his frenetic 
responses to critics) that treat them as of interest for mathematical 
physics. There are, however, a dozen point-by-point refutations of those 
claims, many of them available on the Internet, by well-known physicists, 
philosophers, mathematicians, and biologists.   


John Landon
Website for
World History and the Eonic Effect