Krauthammer on ID
Periodically I go off on a rant about the anti-science tendencies of the modern Republican party. I do so knowing that in response I can expect some well-meaning commenter to lecture me about how not all conservatives are anti-science and that I shouldn't paint with such a big brush and all that.
In that spirit, allow me to link to this excellent column from Charles Krauthammer. It gets off to a shaky start, talking up the religiosity of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. Einstein, however, was not religious in any sense an evangelical Christian would recognize. In fact, he once ridiculed the idea of a personal God as a childish delusion.
But Krauthammer gets it gloriously right later in the column:
Let's be clear. Intelligent design may be interesting as theology, but as science it is a fraud. It is a self-enclosed, tautological “theory” whose only holding is that when there are gaps in some area of scientific knowledge -- in this case, evolution -- they are to be filled by God. It is a “theory” that admits that evolution and natural selection explain such things as the development of drug resistance in bacteria and other such evolutionary changes within species but also says that every once in a while God steps into this world of constant and accumulating change and says, “I think I'll make me a lemur today.” A “theory” that violates the most basic requirement of anything pretending to be science -- that it be empirically disprovable. How does one empirically disprove the proposition that God was behind the lemur, or evolution -- or behind the motion of the tides or the “strong force” that holds the atom together?
In order to justify the farce that intelligent design is science, Kansas had to corrupt the very definition of science, dropping the phrase “natural explanations for what we observe in the world around us,” thus unmistakably implying -- by fiat of definition, no less -- that the supernatural is an integral part of science. This is an insult both to religion and science.
It's hard to improve on that.