Posted by PvM on August 30, 2005 10:31 PM

On Pharyngula, PZ Myers reports how the Lehigh Department of biological sciences has taken a position on intelligent design.

Of particular interest is that this is Michael Behe’s university.

PZ Myers reports that, as was the case with Guillermo Gonzalez, “Behe’s academic freedom is fully supported by his department, but this is a loud vote of no confidence in his work. That sounds like an unpleasantly uncomfortable environment to be in.”

First Sternberg, then Guillermo Gonzalez, and now Michael Behe. What is going on here?

Scientists are finally taking a position on the scientific nature of intelligent design (or rather the lack thereof). While for years Intelligent Design has been ‘spreading the faith’, I have found it often hard to get scientists interested or involved in addressing the errors in Intelligent Design arguments. This task was limited to a small group of dedicated scientists who effectively rebutted many of the more common arguments proposed b[y intelligent design proponents. The list includes Richard Wein, Wesley Elsberry, Mark Perakh,] Jeffrey Shallit, John Wilkins, Massimo Pigliucci, Paul Gross, Richard B Hoppe, Ian Musgrave, Kenneth Miller, and many other PandasThumb Contributors. I apologize for missing many of the other names of contributors who I must have missed. Such people as Matt Young, Taner Edis, Gary Hurd, Barbara Forrest, and the dedicated people from the NCSE, Nick Matzke, Glenn Branch, Eugenie Scott and countless more.

But when I contacted scientists for their comments on the usage of their work by ID proponents, the common response: was “I am too busy to deal with creationists. It’s not worth it”.

So what changed? Well several wake up calls have been given. Intelligent Design was introduced in some form or manner in curricula around the country, an Intelligent Design paper finally made it into a peer reviewed paper and more recently Bush made his infamous statement about Intelligent Design.

Finally a wake up call. And what is the response from Intelligent Design proponents? Accusations of harassment, creating an unpleasant work environment and more start flying around.

First Intelligent Design craved to be taken seriously, now that it is, it seems to be uncomfortable with the attention. The reason is self evident and obvious, it lacks scientific relevance and its socio-religious progress has outpaced ID’s contributions to science significantly. In fact, other than some “God of the Gap”-like arguments, ID has contributed little or nothing to science.

All over the country we see both communities, scientists, religious people, educators and media people come to the realization that not only is Intelligent Design scientifically vacuous but also theologically risky.

Let me join in the statement by Lehigh, and ISU that I am committed to the highest standards of scientific integrity and that this is exactly the reason why I, and with me undoubtably many others, oppose Intelligent Design.

PS: A whole line of contributors got deleted when I inserted Shallit’s first name. I have tried to reconstruct from memory the missing text and use [] to indicate this.