For those of you who do not know the name, Dr. Jason Rosenhouse, I urge you to read an article this distinguished professor of mathematics wrote in 2001. It fully refutes all those supposedly “brilliant” minds who peddle Intelligent Design and suggest it to be a) appropriate and factual, b) an accurate refutation of Darwin and his theories, c) at least an equally valid set of scientific insights missed by the great many biologists, chemists, physicists, anthropologists, astronomers and geologists who either ignore or actually refute ID.
Here is a link to some of Rosenhouse’s publications http://educ.jmu.edu/~rosenhjd/Evolution.html. The one specific title is, “HowAnti-Evolutionists Abuse Mathematics.”
The attack on Darwin from the real scientific community is zero. Natural Selection really isn't a "theory" although we define that word in science differently then lay folk. Natural Selection, like gravity, is actually a law and should be considered as such by everyone. It is only those who wish to refute natural selection in favor of Intelligent Design that do not accept the processes of evolution and the organic basis of all life, which are accidental but follow natural and mathematical laws.
I will admit, the math in this article is very dense, but Rosenhouse’s arguments against ID and its sometimes vocal proponents are very solid. He shows mathematically for instance that evolution does not violate the laws of thermodynamics, as certain ID peddlers will tell uneducated believers to bolster the idea that Darwin was and is wrong. As is the case, Rosenhouse eloquently notes that genetic mutations, which occur naturally, are for the most part neutral in any given species. He suggests that the real battle is between (natural) selection, which is attempting to send beneficial mutations through a population and genetic drift which tends to remove these genes from the population before they build up in any species
Rosenhouse takes on Michael Behe, Berlinski Sewel and other pseudo scientists of the ID movement. The author notes, most of these “armchair philosophers believe they can refute in a day what thousands of scientist have build over the course of a century.”
As Rosenhouse notes in this article, the math these guys get wrong and the concepts they change to meet their ID needs are major mis-applications of thoughts and good science. He also notes that real scientists and mathematicians ID proponents as being on the fringe, and that they are not respected by the actual science community. He notes:
ID theorists, much like the creationists before them, know they will not convince scientifically knowledgeable people. Instead, they market their ideas to a public untrained in both the methods and findings of science. And all too often theirs is the only viewpoint readily available.
But it’s the final paragraph of the article that reinforces for me that we must meet all ideas which are pseudoscience with disdain for their incorrectness, but must also treat those who peddle such ideas with common human respect. In this case, we must attack the message and not the messenger, especially since most people are not scientists and can be easily mislead by ID and Young Earth Creationists. If we come off nasty, we look like bullies rather than defenders of actual science inquiry and methods. Rosenhouse states:
When scientists are presented with subjects that invoke the terminology of science to
defend nonsense, like astrology or creationism, they use the term pseudoscience. I
suggest we need a similar term, pseudomathematics perhaps, to describe mathematical
formalism, used to promote bad arguments. As professional mathematicians, we all have
an interest in protecting the integrity of our subject. We have an obligation to be aware
how mathematics is being used in the public square. When we see pseudo mathematics, we
should not be afraid to identify it.
This is exactly why science works. It explore ideas rather than starting from a conclusion and working backwards, ignore or manipulate evidence, data or other research, so it fit one’s personal perspective. Darwin’s many works remain seminal in that they support the best, most accurate way we have to explain the rise and changes in organic and cosmological life. This is why Evolution is science and ID is pseudoscience. Darwin’s work is foundational to so many areas of science because his research was detailed and based on rationality, a naturalistic view of the mechanics of the universe and that of biology.
To believe ID can lead to any true knowledge outside of substantiating forms of current theology is in itself dishonest. Intelligent Design is not biblical heresy, but it certainly is heretic to our understanding of how the universe operates. This is why ID must not be avoided but actually confronted. If we do not confront bad ideas with the better ideas of reason, logic and science, then the United States, indeed the world is setting itself up for yet another Dark Age. And if history were to repeat itself in this way, no one would be better off – with the exception of many houses of worship and those who lead them.