People are still talking about the tentative gains toward public recognition Intelligent Design has achieved in a few places. The most common attack is to call it all unscientific, by which they usually mean one of the following:
1 the faith of the scientists in question means they can't be good scientists because scientists should have no framework drawn from any source other than that allowed by NSF (or other currently governing scientific guilds)
Your position on the relative position of the universe to yourself is part of your belief system (aka religion, with or without a God. Atheists must also have faith, because you can't truly disprove God)
I have read any number of quotes and refs that have established beyond doubt that many who push(ed) the evolutionary framework have had their own humanistic faith (bias) to guide them. This included Darwin, though he may or may not have repented of it at the end.
They did NOT leave their faith at the laboratory door, Sir. They left everybody else's there.
2. No good scientists are involved in this effort.
Actually MANY good scientists have questioned evolution. Many of these were not believers in the Bible at the time, but being pilloried for daring to hold a 'religious' view, when they were only (initially) questioning a detail in the evolutionary framework, opened their eyes. Not all became believers then, but they ceased to be blind followers of Darwin.
Some were actually trying to improve upon evolution in a new direction, but found themselves on the receiving end of demonic attack, at last understood that there WAS a battle going on, that it did concern faith in God, and that they had been deceived by the system.
The pilloring itself, (ie the sort of garbage thats currently aimed at Behe), is part of what has become a standard process to demonize and discredit anyone not following the party line. Behe was recognized as a leading scientific light before his 'defection.'
Please understand that not all those who have given some credence to ID, or who question the Darwinian framework, are Christians, let alone conservative believers. The common identification made by the media/establishment is for two reasons 1) evangelical believers have been the quickest to recognize the importance of the debate. 2) These believers were already being demonized and there are those who see tarring all dissenters with this label as a way to discourage other defections. Its an implicit threat. Anyone NOT a believer would prefer not to have to seek conservative Christian support in order to continue their scientific studies. Once you are portrayed in this manner, it is likely to be very difficult to receive grants or gain tenure.
If the evolutionists truly believe they are correct, why do they feel the need for so many political dirty tricks ? The truth should be self-evident. If they truly value all searchers for truth, why be so hostile to those exploring another paradigm?
Currently those who do not already hold very strong positions or very strong beliefs are going to be discouraged to speak of any doubts they may have in such a charged atmosphere. At its base, this shrill cry is persecution, plain and simple because it doesnt respect any other point of view than its own. Worse, it insults people of faith as being incapable of logic. (They teach that at some colleges too, but its a different course).
Bluntly, our society is becoming increasingly intolerant of monotheists/dissenters from the current media-drenched culture. It just hasnt gotten down to the level of concentration camps and gas chambers...yet.
3. Mixing science and scientific study with elements of one's faith will produce not produce 'pure' science. The results should not be treated as though they were equal to purely scientific studies
Most people have yet to realize that their view of science reflects a taught bias most received from their earliest years in education. One of my children's textbooks, purchased from a public school, cheerfully informed them that scientists are impartial beings who set up studies purely for the love of knowledge or to solve a problem. They were assured that all real science is based on laboratory results and theories based in impeccable logic. T'ain't necessarily so.
I've already mentioned the current bias against monotheism, but there are other issues.
First off, science, as defined by that textbook, has overstepped its bounds. If only that which is reproduceable in a laboratory is good science, then most of what I see, hear, and read from the scientific establishment is the worst sort of charlatanism. They can not reproduce fossils by a slow process over millions of years. They cannot make a universe with a big bang in one. They cannot show a slow change, unaided by intelligent agents, even within a species, let alone a change from one to another. Closest they can get is to show single cell organisms using their amazing, built-in adaptive mechanisms to defeat the challenges we put in their way. Adaption within a species is designed into the creature. It is not 'progress' in the evolutionary sense.
Most think science and worldview can be separate at all levels. On some levels it can, as per chemistry and most Mythbusters experiments. But when you get into the age of the world and other BIG questions you start accepting some other unproven (and unprovable) hypothesis in order to move forward. Evolution is one of those uber-theories. Its a belief framework under which other hypothesis can be framed and tested, but the results will likely be interpreted ONLY in terms of the base belief/theory. Unless another truly different paradigm is substituted, you will probably never know if the results of your test/study could have a different meaning than the one you assigned to it.
The interesting thing to me is how many results of known studies change so drastically in significance when the ID framework is adopted.
Evolution has been billed to young children (and the general public) as the only good theory that covers all the facts, despites its many contradictions and failures. Students, being younglings, usually believe what they are told. Even by college days, they are still highly influenceable. They follow their professor's lead and continue to frame all questions in light of what they were told. They wish to look good to their elders. They wish to be recognized in the world. They are told evolution is the one ring of science that rules all others. One day, some of them become professors themselves...and Mordor's influence grows. (Sadly, I believe this West-dominated, scientific monoculture has not been wholly wonderful for the advancement of mankind.)
Imperfect humans rarely engage in perfect activities of any sort. Most logical constructs of any complexity develop flaws that may or may not be readily apparant to reviewers. They may or may not recognize their own prejudices. Some quite racist studies at late 19th/early 20thC held many societal and prejudicial errors in both the framing of the questions and in how the scientists in the experiments sought their answers. Those studies stood for decades. It was not pure science that budged those 'laboratory results' in the end. It was social pressure and a change in public attitudes. The mistakes are fairly obvious to any educated modern audience ~ who does not share their views. So much for 'pure' science. :P
The world doesn't have to get saved to recognize intelligent design as an alternative. The recognition for the catastrophic framework need not be religious per se. There are several possibilities that could account for their discoveries. The Bible's account would do so but so would the transplanting of species from elsewhere to this planet, once a catastrophically unstable world (that eventually settled down). Direct intervention of the Arthur C. Clarke variety, but earlier in the day, would have the ID effect. Cyclical quantum effects, especially between universes, might also produce dramatic effects that could account for an ID framework. Who knows?
*I* believe God is the cause, true. All I ask is that you recognize that He is a possibility and show me respect as a fellow, thinking human. Anything else is between you and Him.
Yes, the results do encourage Christians...and Hindus and ufologists and certain New Age sects. Christian ID scientists have found that allowing the words they believe came from the Maker of the universe to guide their searches has an illuminating effect.
but that doesn't make their work based on this alternative framework non-scientific.
Besides, its about time somebody else got a word in edgewise.