The reason I asked is because in spite of our best efforts over several decades, the Intelligent Design Creationists still don't understand modern evolutionary theory. We see this all the time whenever they start criticizing evolution. It gets them into all sorts of trouble, especially when we debate junk DNA.
Many of their objections to evolution would be easily answered if they only understood that there's more to evolution than natural selection and the appearance of design. They would understand why Michael Behe is wrong about the edge of evolution, for example, and why their pseudoscientific probability calculations are nonsense. They can't possibly understand molecular evolution and phylogenetic trees based on sequences unless they understand that it has almost nothing to do with "Darwinism" and the appearance of design.
They can't understand the evolution of chlorquine resistance in malaria parasites unless they understand modern evolutionary theory but that hasn't stopped them from making false claims. They can't understand Lenski's long-term evolution experiment because they don't understand evolution. Does that stop them from criticizing Lenski?
The immediate stimulus for last week's post was the Dissent from Darwinism claim.
We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.The reason this is so upsetting is that the IDiots know full well that the complexity of life is due to far more than just mutation + selection. They also know that evolutionary biologists have been "examining" Darwinian theory for a century and have decided that it is not sufficient to account for evolution.
The obvious question is: are IDiots stupid or liars, or both?
Jonathan Bartlett, a computer programmer from Oklahoma, tries to answer the question on Uncommon Descent: ID and Evolutionary Biology. As you read his comments, keep in mind that Bartlett is a Young Earth Creationist (February, 2015).
Hmmmm ... this is a tough one to evaluate. I think I'm going to go with "stupid" but I could be convinced that "both" is the correct answer to my question.
- Dr. Moran fails to understand that ID is not inherently at war with every possible theory of evolution, or evolutionary biology as a whole. The fact that the ID movement doesn’t address your favorite part of evolution probably means that this part of evolutionary biology does not confuse mechanism and design.
- Dr. Moran fails to understand that the shift of evolutionary biology away from Darwinian mechanisms shows that ID and its proponents were correct. ID was the one to predict this move, while everyone else was hailing Darwinism as the highest point of evolutionary biology. Darwinism is no longer the pivotal feature of evolutionary biology, thus ID was correct.
- Dr. Moran fails to understand the different roles that different theories of evolution play, and why they are important. Genetic drift and neutral theory are not theories of the origin of complex adaptation, thus, they do not function as design substitutes like Darwinism does. They are theories of what happens to the organism after the design. These fail, too, when stretched beyond their bounds to become design substitutes, but that happens much more rarely. Many design opponents tend to agree with ID’ers assessments of this possibility.
This response was posted on one of the main Intelligent Design Creationist blogs. It's safe to assume that this represents the best they have to offer in this discussion.