Angels, apes and pandas; an analysis of the intelligent design movement
Bell, John Joseph
MetadataShow full item record
There exists a longstanding continuity between creationism and intelligent design. Proponents of intelligent design purport the idea to be a scientific theory. The scientific community criticizes intelligent design for being not only false, but also for lacking any scientific content. I argue that intelligent design is the current argument advanced by the anti-materialist movement, which opposes the idea of explaining reality in materialist or natural terms. Furthermore, I argue that intelligent design is best viewed not in terms of its truth or falsity, but in light of the objective of changing the nature of science to include the supernatural. It is this objective that defines anti-materialists and unites creationism, creation science and intelligent design, all of which are distinct but differ little substantively. The change in argumentation from creation science to intelligent design is a response to the 1987 Supreme Court ruling in Edwards v. Aguillard. I test this contention through qualitative analysis of a field test manuscript and its published version, entitled, “Biology and Creation” dated 1986, and, “Of Pandas and People,” dated 1989, respectively. The manuscripts are analyzed for their content, specifically for the presence of creationism and intelligent design. Findings of the analysis reveal that instances of creationism and its derivatives are simply replaced by intelligent design, though the ideas are substantively equivalent, in approximately half of all occurrences across the two manuscripts. Almost all occurrences of creationist concepts in the earlier manuscript are omitted from the published version.