Barash on ID Dogmatism
David Barash, a psychology professor at the University of Washington, has this interesting op-ed in today's Los Angeles Times. The article is about “Brahean Blunders,” the reference being to 16th century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. Though undoubtedly a major figure in the history of astronomy (for the then unprecednted accuracy of his star charts), Brahe is also remembered for his stubborn refusal to accept the heliocentric model of the universe.
Part of Barash's article deals with evolution and ID:
I suspect that a Brahean Blunder lies at the core of the widespread refusal (at least in the United States) to accept an evolutionary origin for the human species, even among people who acknowledge the reality of natural selection.
Thus, current promoters of “intelligent design” generally accept the power and primacy of natural selection to generate small-scale evolutionary change. (The evolution of antibiotic resistance among bacteria, for example, is beyond dispute.) Ditto for the biochemical and genetic similarity of closely related species. But when it comes to their fundamental belief system, advocates of intelligent design aren't really very intelligent at all. Or rather, like Brahe, they have checked their intellects at the door, clinging desperately to the illusion that human beings are so special that only a benevolent god could have produced them and, therefore, the material world — like Brahe's sun and its five planets — must revolve around them.