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National Geographic News: “Evolution vs. Intelligent Design: 6 Bones of Contention” It’s the sort of headline that both excites us and worries us: will National Geographic News’s portrayal of “evolution vs. intelligent design” be fair and balanced?
The article then lists six major empirical disagreements between “evolution” and “intelligent design.”
“[T]he theory that new species can arise from old ones through natural selection is still met with some resistance,” the story begins (in understatement). The article then lists six major empirical disagreements between “evolution” and “intelligent design.” (That dichotomy is imperfect, however; many intelligent design advocates [IDers] still accept billions of years of evolution between the hypothesized instances of intelligent design.)
We were pleasantly surprised to see that National Geographic let each side (or, at least, one representative from each) speak for itself, although the evolutionary perspective was given the last word on each debate. On the whole, the six-page article gives not a bad overview of evolution versus bare-bones intelligent design—i.e., a view much more open-ended than young-earth creation.
Here is a summary of the six debates, along with intelligent design and evolutionary perspectives offered by the Discovery Institute’s Casey Luskin and Occidental College’s Don Prothero, respectively:
For those familiar with the creation/evolution debate (including intelligent design perspectives), the back-and-forth is nothing new. We take the intelligent design side in each of the debates above, of course (minus some disagreement on the nature of the Cambrian explosion in the fossil record; we do not consider the fossil layers a continuous record of billions of years of earth history).
What is as important to us is what evolutionists cannot do (at least, not with scientific—as opposed to philosophical—arguments): they cannot show why intelligent design is inferior, as a belief, to evolution. That is, even if we agreed that natural selection was a plausible way to generate the complexity observed in life (and we don’t), such agreement does not reduce the plausibility of an intelligent creator. And evidence from the fossil record merely begs the question, since no fossil can prove either evolution or the lack thereof.
Most evolutionists (and many creationists, we’ll admit) fail to recognize that the debate isn’t ultimately about scientific evidence or interpretation. Instead, the creation/evolution controversy cuts much deeper, pitting two worldviews—one materialist, the other supernaturalist—against each other. For those of us who start with the Bible, the science isn’t where the big debate lies; it’s about God’s Word and its ultimate authority.
Remember, if you see a news story that might merit some attention, let us know about it! (Note: if the story originates from the Associated Press, Fox News, MSNBC, the New York Times, or another major national media outlet, we will most likely have already heard about it.) And thanks to all of our readers who have submitted great news tips to us.