Sunday, January 15, 2006


Letter to Focus Magazine

A copy of the e-mail I just sent Focus Magazine about their inaccurate article on ID. Just writing this sort of letter feels like striking one's head against a brick wall. I did once write a letter to a journalist praising their even-handed coverage of ID... Ah, memories.

Dear Focus magazine,

I was disappointed to find David Whitehouse's article on intelligent design (issue 159) littered with inaccuracies: ID does not say ‘all the living things we see around us... are too complicated to have been produced by natural processes’. ID says evolution is an adequate explanation for many things. ID theorizes that some things weren't produced this way, but by design. The criteria used to justify this claim is not that (some) living things ‘are too complicated to have been produced by natural processes’, but that they exhibit a particular type of complexity, called specified complexity, which is best explained by design. Even those ID theorists who believe the source of design is God are clear this conclusion is not a part of ID as a scientific theory. ID is not 'creationism', as any creationist would tell you. The science standards adopted by the Kansas Board of Education in 2005 did not insist that ID ‘be taught in a science class alongside evolution’. Whitehouse confuses the ‘formal verdict’ of the court case concerning Pennsylvania's Dover School Board with the Kansas Board of Education’s science standards (where no lawsuit had been filed as of December). As for there being ‘no serious controversy raging over the basics of evolutionary science, in the same way there is about intelligent design’, it should be clear to everyone that the debate about ID just is a controversy about the basics of evolutionary science!

Your Sincerely,

Peter S. Williams (MA, MPhil)

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