Dear Dr Mohler
I hope you don't mind me mailing, but I read your recent fascinating article on Richard Dawkins in the Christian Post, and this led me to your blog.
There, in an entry entitled "Evolution vs. Intelligent Design in Kansas", you say this:
"The fact is that the Darwinist club is running scared. Their failure to show up in Kansas is evidence of a massive failure of nerve... Scholars with the Discovery Institute testified on behalf of Intelligent Design. We'll watch this closely."If I may make a jokey aside, you may need to watch this closer than you have been.
Scholars from the Discovery Institute most certainly did not testify "on behalf of Intelligent Design". They testified as to alleged problems with the theory of evolution.
I'm sure that you will be as surprised I was to read the recent frank admission from Paul Nelson, a fellow of the Discovery Institute, in Touchstone Magazine July/August 2004:
"Easily the biggest challenge facing the ID community is to develop a full-fledged theory of biological design. We don't have such a theory right now, and that's a problem. Without a theory, it's very hard to know where to direct your research focus. Right now, we've got a bag of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions such as 'irreducible complexity' and 'specified complexity' - but, as yet, no general theory of biological design."Dr Nelson clearly believes that the design of the Universe is obvious - but he is honest enough to admit that "Intelligent Design" is not (yet?) an alternative to standard evolutionary theory.
Further, a recent Open Letter to the Kansas State Board of Education from the Discovery Institute regarding the current controversy does not mention Intelligent Design - as regards teaching or otherwise - once!
As you know, the scientists themselves who boycotted the hearings claim they did so because there is no real scientific controversy over evolution. They claim this supposed "controversy" is politically (or religiously) rather than scientifically motivated.
You are of course entirely entitled to disagree... But given your very measured article on Richard Dawkins, I have no doubt that you will also wish to accurately represent what "Intelligent Design" - and the current debate in Kansas - does and does not say.
On this point, I thought you might be interested in the recent Open Letter Concerning Religion and Science, signed by over 3,500 Christians (including at least one Southern Baptist!) who say:
"...We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as 'one theory among others' is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children.... We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge..."I hope this information is of interest to you, and would like to thank you for taking the time to read this far.
(In closing, I would be obliged if you could let me know whether you would have any objection to me posting your reply, if any, on my own blog).
Very kind regards