From Melanie Phillips today comes possibly the most intellectually aware statement I have seen from any journalist on the Intelligent Design controversy, including this:
While materialist fundamentalists can deal with religious believers by scoffing they are in a separate domain altogether from the real ie scientific world, the suggestion that science might itself arrive at the conclusion that there are limits to what it can understand is a heresy that directly threatens the materialist fundamentalist closed thought-system — and therefore must be stamped out.
… they cannot grasp that ID is a metaphysical idea that comes out of but stands separate from science, in that science leads here to an idea with which by definition it must abruptly part company. Instead they insist that the two must be fused – and when that proves impossible, they cry victory.
As Charles Johnson asks on LGF:
If ‘intelligent design’ is really based on science, why have their advocates failed to produce any scientific evidence for that claim, despite millions of dollars worth of funding and years in which to do it? Instead, ‘intelligent design’ proponents spend all their time on public relations. Where are the peer reviewed studies? Where are the experimental proofs that can be duplicated by other scientists? Answer: nonexistent.
Well of course they are non-existent — because ID is not in itself a scientific discovery. It is rather an inference from scientific discoveries. Looking at the complexity of the created world, it says the evidence points inescapably to a guiding intelligence as the cause of that complexity. It is an idea, a conclusion to a chain of observation and thought. When people demand proof of this idea, what they are actually demanding is proof that an ‘intelligent designer’ exists. The fact that there are no peer-reviewed studies (!) demonstrating the existence of such a cosmic ‘designer’ provokes this yah-boo response. But it is obviously no more possible to prove the existence of an ‘intelligent designer’ than it is to prove the existence of the Biblical God.
ID is thus a paradox. The whole point is that it states that the ‘intelligent designer’ it posits as the only logical inference from scientifically verifiable complexity cannot be known through scientific means. This is because the essence of the ID idea is that there is a limit to science beyond which it cannot go….