Shermer debates Dembski on CNN

Via Telic Thoughts, I've discovered this debate (warning: 27 MB Windows Media video file) between Michael Shermer and Bill Dembski on Daryn Kagan's program on CNN. It amazes me to what lengths "intelligent design" advocates will go to deny it when asked point blank if the "intelligent designer" behind "intelligent design" is God. In this case, Dembski demurred that "there is an intelligence involved" in evolution. He even went to far as to admit that the "designer" could be an alien intelligence. But what drew my attention most of all and made me want to blog about this interview is that Dembski made an astounding speculation that, instead of God, it could be a "natural intelligence built into the world" that is responsible for "design."

To me that sounds an awful lot like the Gaia hypothesis. I wonder how long conservative religious advocates of ID will stick with the concept of a "designer" if adherents like Dembski, in their zeal to avoid being labeled "creationists," trot out on national TV New Age, even pagan, ideas about about what this "intelligence" might be. Look for a comeback of old-fashioned young earth creationism if that happens.


  1. I just stumbled upon this relevant and funny site today:

    Screw evolution and I.D., and all hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster!

  2. I too have been touched by His Noodly Appendage...

  3. Oh - a scism in the ID movement? Do we really dare to hope?

  4. Love your blog, but I got to call you on a straw man when you link "Gaia hypothesis" to some New Age idiot. I know it's been taken up by a lot of New Age kooks, but I think Margulis and Lovelock's original proposal should be taken seriously. This is an appeal to authority, but if Lynn Margulis takes it seriously, I think we should too. Is it really crazy to think the biosphere and geo-physico-chemical processes are looped together? There doesn't have to be any spooky world consciousness involved. Now of course we should consider the critiques seriously too but we shouldn't confuse critiques of Margulis and Lovelock with those of New Agers -- or worse, ignore Margulis and Lovelock because New Agers are stupid.

  5. I agree that Gaia has been undeservedly tarred. Certainly, the way Margulis - by any informed measure a truly brilliant, dedicated scientist - has ben treated is truly shameful.


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