The fledgling "intelligent-design" movement, which says Darwinian explanations of human origins are inadequate, is aiming to shift from the margins to the mainstream.
The first major gathering of intelligent-design proponents took place in November at Biola University in La Mirada, California. Many of these scientists, philosophers, and theologians believe that Darwinian evolutionary theory has failed to solve the puzzle of life's origin and development.
If the turnout at the conference is any indication, intelligent design is gaining a following. More than 160 academics, double what organizers had envisioned, attended from 98 universities, colleges, and organizations. The majority represented secular universities. A central tenet of intelligent-design theory is that it is extremely improbable that the high level of complexity found in most life forms could have resulted from chance occurrences, as Darwinists believe. The inference that life's complexity is a result of an intelligent design forms the backbone of the movement (website: http://www.arn.org/arn).
SCIENTIFIC HERESY? To evolutionists such as Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education in El Cerrito, California, the concept of intelligent design is scientific heresy. Scott argues that bringing together science and religion—which she accuses intelligent-design proponents of attempting to do—flies in the face of the very nature of scientific inquiry.
"Doing so may be psychologically important, but it weakens this very good procedure we have for understanding the world," she says.
Biblical traditionalists also have disagreements with design theory. Larry Vardiman, an astrogeophysicist at the Institute for Creation Research ...1