Anthony Dick, an associate editor of National Review , reviews Flock of Dodos, a film lampooning the ID controversy. This review should be treasured as a classic in the reiteration of vacuous materialist platitudes. Dick is entirely sure that the Darwinists are right and the ID guys are wrong. He writes, "By definition, scientific inquiry is limited in scope to providing natural explanations of the physical world." Fine, ... but what does the natural world include? Exclude? Can design arise from chaos or life from non-life without intelligent input? These are the very questions at issue. Only a materialist - a person who believes that brute nature is all there is - would assume that they are, by definition, outside of science.
The Darwinist has not demonstrated that materialism is true; rather, he is committed to materialism as a philosophy. And if materialism is not necessarily true, then intelligent design may really be an intrinsic part of nature.
More tellingly, Dick writes,
Positing the existence of an Intelligent Designer doesn't really solve the problem of how human intelligence came to exist. (The answer, "A higher intelligence made it," only provokes a further question: "How did the higher intelligence come to exist?") It is precisely the aim of evolutionary theory to address this problem, by explaining how intelligence could have evolved through a bottom-up process. (Whether or not such a bottom-up process was established and/or guided by a higher intelligence would remain a question for philosophers and theologians).
Surely Dick must realize that the whole purpose of the evolutionary theory bottom-up enterprise is to demonstrate that such concepts as self, consciousness, and free will are merely illusions. That neatly disposes of higher intelligence and the need for theologians, doesn't it? After all, there isn;'t really lower intelligence, just a fog of user illusions with no user. If he doesn't realize it, he is ignorant, and if he does realize it, he is deceiving his readers. Tom Wolfe knows way better.
The silliness about who made the higher intelligence is a telling detail; obviously, any series either stops somewhere or else is infinite. If indeed a higher intelligence made us, as in
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights ...
- US Declaration of Independence, 1776
it is trivial to claim as an objection that there might be a higher intelligence behind it. What if that is true? What follows then? Does that make intelligent design of the universe or life forms untrue?
Note: One statement Dick makes is completely in error. He writes, "But, as the Catholic Church has acknowledged, religion is not necessarily threatened by Darwin: As an empirical extension of natural science, evolution can in no way disprove the existence of a supernatural God, and it has absolutely nothing to say about matters of morality. By making this message more explicit, Olson could have made evolution even more palatable for a religious audience." He is entitled to a private opinion but not to private facts.
In reality, the Catholic Church has been at great pains recently to make clear that Darwinism is not compatible with Christianity.
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