The Corner

The Last Word

I think it’s time to wrap up the ID debate, and a reader has supplied my

with an appropriate valediction to the issue, by expressing a sane point of

view on the matter with exceptional lucidity. Thank you, Sir.

“John Derbyshire—I have written a few e-mails to you about the dishonesty

on the part of the ID deniers. Now to the dishonesty of IDers. Intelligent

Design supposes that supernatural forces have crafted the world as we see

it. Supernatural forces are simply not within the scope of science.

Science necessarily only concerns itself with natural phenomena and natural

causes. Supernatural causes are not testable, quantifiable, or qualifiable.

They are simply not the scope of science. ID is unscience. Those

proponents of ID are simply not insisting on better science. They are

insisting on being antithetical to science and sitting down at the science

table. Science cannot and should not concern itself with causes that it

cannot empirically demonstrate or test. It should make no assertion that

cannot be shown to be false by another scientist using the scientific


“No one should insist that science not be science. It is akin to Stephen J.

Gould telling the religious community that they are still valuable because

of their strong system of morality, while insisting that the belief system

on which that system is based be consigned to the ash-heap of history.

Religion seeks transcendant powers at work in the world. Science concerns

itself only with the temporal and the natural. Why insist that either side

bend to the other? Is either correct? Probably not. Science is

perpetually being reinvented. Religion, while dogmatic, is also dynamic and

engaged. Why insist that at this time in history one element is entirely

correct to the exclusion of all future discovery?”


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