Discovery Institute Fellow Tells the Truth: "Intelligent Design … is not a theory."


Syndicated conservative radio shlockmeister and newly minted Discovery Institute fellow Michael Medved tells the truth about intelligent design in a Jerusalem Post interview:

[Post:] Speaking of your desire for this kind of particularity, you are a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute that studies and believes in Intelligent Design. How do you, as an Orthodox Jew, reconcile with this kind of generality—with the view of their being a hierarchy with a chief "designer"—while believing in and praying to a very specific God?

[Medved:] The important thing about Intelligent Design is that it is not a theory—which is something I think they need to make more clear. Nor is Intelligent Design an explanation. Intelligent Design is a challenge. It's a challenge to evolution. It does not replace evolution with something else.

[Post:] The question is not whether it replaces evolution, but whether it replaces God.

[Medved:] No, you see, Intelligent Design doesn't tell you what is true; it tells you what is not true. It tells you that it cannot be that this whole process was random.

Medved is off message–he clearly needs to call back to Discovery Institute headquarters for his proper marching orders. Why? Because in public, the Discovery Institute does want to argue that intelligent design is a theory in the same way that evolutionary biology is a theory. Of course, the Discovery Institute's real motives were revealed in the notorious "Wedge Strategy" document.

Medved also shows a profound misunderstanding of natural selection. The mutations are random, but natural selection is not random-it is the process by which favorable mutations are preserved and deleterious ones are weeded out. Cumulative selection is a fundamentally nonrandom process.

Go here for a slightly revised version of my remarks during a recent debate on intelligent design in Las Vegas pitting Michael Shermer and me against the Discovery Institute's Stephen Meyer and George Gilder.

Hat tip to my colleague Dave Weigel & R.Hampton.