ID musings (was: Judge orders removal of anti-evolution stickers from textbooks inGeorgia school district)

Richard Pyle deepreef at BISHOPMUSEUM.ORG
Fri Jan 14 11:53:07 CST 2005

John Grehan wrote:

> Personally I would have no problem with statements about evolution being
> just a theory or hypothesis if the same were said about every other
> mundane phenomenon (such as the existence of electrons, atoms, the earth
> being round, that fire is the release of chemical energy, plants use
> chlorophyll in photosynthesis, that we are alive, that we thing, that
> yesterday actually existed etc. etc.).>

That's generally the point I try to make when discussing this issue with
non-scientists who fall into the trap of seeing this "debate" as having two
equally meritorious sides. The strengths of evolutionary theory must be put
in the context of other major "theories" in science (e.g., heliocentric
solar system). It has been a very clever strategy among both creationsists
and ID proponents to single out evolution as though it was somehoe more
feebly-supported than the other major "pillars of science".

What I find most ironic is that many of the proponents of "Intelligent
Design" as a real scientific alternative to Evolution (i.e., equally
supported by unbiased empirical evidence and worthy of equal time in the
classroom), are often the same people who find the scientific evidence
supporting trends of global warming to be dubious. Sadly, it seems the
President of the U.S. is among them (having used the expression "the jury is
still out" in reference to both evolution, and global warming).

On my way to work this morning, it occurred to me that the ID hypothesis has
some pretty huge implications for taxonomy.  I have had some interesting
discussions with ID proponents, who acknowledge that so-called
"microevolution" is real, but that major lineages (what would otherwise be
the product of so-called "macroevolution") were designed independently and
are of separate origin.  The task of the ID-taxonomist, therefore, would be
to try figure out which clusters of divergent populations of organisms
represent the product of microevolutionary radiation; and which represent
the products of separate and distinct origins.  I imagine that in place of
the Linnean taxonomic ranks, ID-taxonomy would have only two: "Created", and
"Evolved".  That would sure make my job of developing taxonomic databases a
WHOLE lot easier....


Richard L. Pyle, PhD
Ichthyology, Bishop Museum
1525 Bernice St., Honolulu, HI 96817
Ph: (808)848-4115, Fax: (808)847-8252
email: deepreef at

More information about the Taxacom mailing list