A few years ago (2009) he published a book with a provocative title: Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design. Normally I wouldn't pay much attention to such a book but Salvo magazine ("Society, Sex, Science") just published an interview with him [Beyond Belief (or the Lack Thereof)]. It ain't pretty.
Let's see how he answers two of the questions.
Why do you think some scientists refuse to take intelligent design seriously?Actually, the question is much easier to answer than Bradley Monton realizes. Scientists don't take Intelligent Design Creationism seriously because it's very bad science. (It's also very bad philosophy according to most of the philosophers I respect.)
That's a hard question to answer because it's almost an issue of human psychology and sociology. But I would say that some atheists exhibit a fundamentalism that prevents them from even imagining that someone reasonable, rational, and intelligent could hold views different from their own. Others believe that science is the end-all and be-all—that it can answer all of the important questions about reality. There are even scientists out there, such as the theoretical physicist Steven Weinberg, who proclaim that neither religion nor philosophy can tell us anything important about the world. I totally disagree. Philosophy is actually an important field of inquiry. It can figure out the nature of ethical truths and what specific truths might be. Philosophy can also be used to investigate the existence of God in a way that science cannot.
About 99% of everything the IDiots publish consists of various attacks on modern science and evolution (which they refer to as "materialism" and "Darwinism"). It's easy to show that those attacks are not based on sound reasoning and are not based on evidence. In other words, they are not based on reality. That's something Monton would have known if he had really studied the movement.
Monton says that philosophy can "figure out" ethical truths. Really? I wonder what ethical truths he has in mind?
He also says that philosophy can investigate the existence of God in a way that science cannot? I wonder what he means? Either there is evidence of God(s) or their isn't. That's a question that science can address. What else is there that only philosophers can explore?
You write in your book that you don't fully endorse intelligent design. In your opinion, what are some of the weaknesses of ID?This is why philosophers should stick to "ethical truths" and leave science to the experts. If he were knowledgeable about biology he would realize that ENCODE did not "confirm" any such thing. In fact, the fallout from the ENCODE publicity disaster has made most scientists realize that the case for lots of junk in our genome is much stronger than they realized.
At one time, I would have said that the greatest weakness was the failure of ID proponents to put a theory on the table that makes testable predictions, but that all changed with Jonathan Wells's book The Myth of Junk DNA. In it, Wells predicted that this purported junk DNA—these stretches of DNA in our genome that many scientists had claimed were useless—would be purposeful for the structure of human biology. Well, within the past year or so, empirical investigation has confirmed that there is in fact much less junk DNA than scientists had previously thought. It's just a great example of a testable prediction that was made by a proponent of intelligent design that turned out to be successful.
Bradley Monton has a blog [Bradley Monton's Blog] where he discusses Intelligent Design Creationism. A lot of his post are very sympathetic to that form of creationism. If he's familiar with the blogosphere then surely he has read some of the critiques of Jonathan Wells' book and the recent debate about ENCODE and junk DNA? If not, he better try and catch up on real science before he embarrasses himself in another interview.