Every year, for the birthday of Charles Darwin, aka Darwin Day, Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture is naming a Censor of the Year, or COTY. David Klinghoffer, a proponent of the pseudoscientific principle of intelligent design and a Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute, announced its winner for the Censor of the Year award, which is given to the media that refuses to acknowledge the other side of a story. And this year the winner is the omnipresent online encyclopedia, Wikipedia. Wikipedia has the following definition of Intelligent Design:
Intelligent design (ID) is a religious argument for the existence of God, presented by its proponents as "an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins", though it has been discredited as pseudoscience. Proponents claim that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection." ID is a form of creationism that lacks empirical support and offers no testable or tenable hypotheses, so is not science. The leading proponents of ID are associated with the Discovery Institute, a fundamentalist Christian and politically conservative think tank based in the United States.
According to David Klinghoffer, there are three lies (in the definition).
Here’s the truth: ID is a scientific, not a religious argument. It is a theory of evolution, of why the forms of life originated and changed over the past 3.9 billion years. An alternative to the increasingly shaky neo-Darwinian theory of blind churning, it argues exclusively in scientific terms, never from religious authority. It’s an argument for design in biology and cosmology, not for the “existence of God.” Compatible with methodological naturalism, it candidly professes that science sheds no light on the source of the design in life, other than to say that source operates with purpose and forethought. And while it has certainly been attacked in scabrous terms, it hasn’t been “discredited.” Far from it.
“Wiki editors, behind their masks, also depart from the ways of past Censors in how frank they are, on their User pages, in admitting their biases,” Kinghoffer writes in his article ‘Wikipedia Earns Censor of the Year Tag for Botching Evolution, Intelligent Design.’
Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District was the first direct challenge brought in the United States federal courts testing a public school district policy that required the teaching of intelligent design. The plaintiffs successfully argued that ID is a form of creationism, and that the school board policy violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The judge's decision sparked considerable response from both supporters and critics. ID has been discredited not only in court but by the entire respected scientific establishment. It obviously couldn’t be called science so Wikipedia fairly calls Intelligent Design pseudoscience.
Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, created and edited by volunteers around the world and hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikipedia certainly doesn’t say ID is wrong but it writes about ID objectively, referring to the criticisms that have been directed to this concept.
Photo Credits: The Responsive Universe