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Opening Arguments

Bad science, bad theology

Intelligent design has been roundly -- and rightly -- criticized for being bad science. David Darlington at In the Agora makes the valid point that it is also bad religion (or at least incomplete theology):

The god of Intelligent Design is not even an identifiably Christian god. Any religion that posits the existence of a supernatural creator-being can fit under its umbrella. At best, Intelligent Design represents a warmed-over deism, with an eternal watchmaker god.

With ID, all you're saying is that the universe is too intricate to have happened by chance. The "designer" can be anything or anybody. The designers could be, as postulated by Curtis Berndt, in a guest column for our editorial page, space aliens. And, of course, there is growing sentiment for the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Those who keep trying to get religion into the science classroom by way of intelligent design might be dismayed by what they end up with.

(Joe Weiler, who used to be the executive editor here, always warned about the use of humor. No matter how outrageous you make a parody, he would say, there are some people who won't get the joke and will try to argue with you as if you had made a serious point. You need look no further for proof than the fact that Berndt's space-alien satire column has been linked to by some UFO sites. Come to think of it, "bad science" and "poor theology" is the intersection where UFOlogy is spawned.)