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Intelligent Design: The Faith That DareNot Speak Its Name

Henry Coyne

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IDhas to appeal to 2 separate constituencies - to the secular public it pretends to be pure science; to evangelical xians they admit that it's simply biblical creationism updated and disguised to enable it to sneak into education.

A scientific theory isn't just a guess or speculation, it is an explanation that makes sense, and is backed up by facts. And it must make tesable predictions and be vulnerable to falsification.

Modern evo theory has 4 parts:

1) living species have evolved from ancestors in the past

2) evo occurs throughgradual genetic transformation of populations

3) new life forms emerge through the splitting of asingle lineage into two or more strands.

4) much of evo occurs through natural selection - the fittest get to reproduce more

Even in Darwin's time the fossil record organised to show oldest and most primitive organisms in lowest strata, and species inhabiting area tended to closely resemble fossils found in same place.

Plenty of evidence in modern world - vestigal wings in birds such as kiwi, cave-dwelling species who's eyes have degenerated (what ID would give animal useless wings or eyes

Humans have anatomyj which can only be explained by evo. Vagus nerve runs from brain to the larynx to control both speech and swallowing. Distance of few centimetres. But the nerve goes from brain, down into the chest,loops around aorta near heart, then runs back up to the larynx. Identical in all mammals, with giraffe being extreme example - the nerve is 15 feet long (14 feet longer than it needs to be) because it has to go down and then back up the neck.

Humans, unlike most primates, need to get Vit C from diet, bc, unlike most primates, our body can't make it. Humans still have all the genes to synthesise it in 4 steps, but the gene to produce the enzyme needed for the 4th step is broken, so whole process inactivated.

Powerful evidence of biogeography: islands like Hawaii and Galapagos are missing many types of species (specifically, the ones which couldn't fly, swim or raft there), but do have a profusion of species similar to those found on nearest mainland. And thesespecies have radiated out to fill unoccupied niches. ID cannot even begin to explain these bizarre patterns of colonisation.

Other modern examples of evo in action - antibiotic resistance, insect resistance to DDT, HIV resistance to antiviral drugs, grey moths/black moths industrial England.

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