When I wrote on intelligent design last week, I knew I was in for some fan-mail. The interesting part about the fan-mail is that instead of effectively criticizing my article, it actually proves my point.
The column takes no position on intelligent design, namely it does not defend it as science (and, in fact, outright says it isn’t science) but suggests that it should not be treated as a forbidden question to ask. There is no indication to the intelligent reader that the position is to remove evolution and replace it with ID. That is, unless the reader is encumbered by thought-blocking pettiness.
In fact, the column even goes so far to suggest that evolution as a theory of creation may be proven true over time. However, the search for truth is not aided by insisting assumptions go unchallenged and that certain questions must not be asked.
However, when the responses came in through the blogosphere or through e-mail or the paper it became clear why many people are concerned about the level of literacy among undergrads, the common citizens, and for that matter the Ph.D. holders.
Skipping past the absurdity of making an “intelligent defense” of science using ad hominems, it is clear that those authors are not actually responding to what was said in the column but engaging in trench warfare at the mere mention of intelligent design. It demonstrates not that science is defensible, but that the modern state of “science” militantly demands certain questions and fields on inquiry should be banned. ID may or may not be science… but is it true?
The behavior exhibited by those who man the trenches at the moment ID is mentioned is not that of a free, open, and inquiring mind, but the behavior of a mind that snaps shut like a steel trap when their assumptions are challenged.