Why scientists get angry with ID proponents

The latest phase in the creationism debate centers around "ID," or "Intelligent Design." Basically, some Creationists have figured that if you change the word "creator" to "designer," you can get around all of those pesky limitations on teaching religion in science class. A lot of real scientists in the field get angry with ID proponents when they start making their arguments. A recent article in Creation Watch by Jason Rosenhouse explains why:

[I]f the evolution/ID dispute were simply a discussion of rival scientific claims, say about whether known evolutionary mechanisms are capable of explaining the formation of complex systems, then the discussion would be far less acrimonious. In reality, however, ID proponents spend most of their time leveling bogus charges against evolution. Professionals in the relevant fields possess the expertise to see immediately that the charges are scientifically untrue, but the lay audiences to which these charges are directed are unlikely to be similarly equipped. The result is that ID proponents present a picture of modern biology that is completely unsupported scientifically and disingenuous. And this is what causes ID proponents to be so reviled by scientists.

He goes on to give examples, such as that of ID proponent William Dembski misquoting real scientist Peter Ward:

Dembski tried to imply that the non-creationist Peter Ward nonetheless agrees with Dembski’s view that the Cambrian explosion is a problem for evolution. In reality, Ward’s clearly stated view is that while the Cambrian explosion used to be viewed as a problem for evolution, recent fossil discoveries actually show that it is a vindication for Darwin. Hurd and Mullenix pointed this out, showing in great detail that Dembski had not only distorted Ward, but had done likewise to Gould. They also showed that Dembski’s version of the facts was simply wrong. Dembski ignored what Hurd and Mullinex had said and repeated his earlier error about Ward’s intentions.

Of course, if the ID proponents were really about doing science, they would be presenting their findings to the scientific experts. Rosenhouse explains why they don’t do that:

This [is] why ID proponents rarely make any attempt to present their case to professionals. In front of such an audience their distortions would be immediately obvious. They are on far safer ground in lobbying school boards and state legislatures. When making your case in front of audiences that do not know the facts of the situation, it is easier to lie with impunity.

You can read the entire article here.

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