FMGuru points us to this:
Yours truly thinks the “intelligent design” idea is being given the short shrift by the mainstream media. Yes, some intelligent design advocates want to use I.D. as a Trojan horse to put religious doctrine into public schools — forbidden by the First Amendment, and wisely so in the opinion of this churchgoer. And some intelligent design advocates believe young Earth creationism, a nutty idea for which there isn’t one iota of scientific evidence. But as they mock the notion of intelligent design, the mainstream media are systematically avoiding a substantial question mark in evolutionary theory: it does not explain the origin of life. That organisms evolve in response to changes in their environment is well-established — anyone who doubts this doesn’t know what he or she is talking about. But why are there living things in the first place? Darwin said he had no idea, and to this day science has little beyond wild guesses about the origin of life. Maybe life had a natural origin that one day will be discovered. Until such time, higher powers or the divine cannot be ruled out. Exactly because I think intelligent design is a more important concept than the mainstream media will admit, I really wish right-wing screwballs would stop advocating I.D. — they’re giving the idea a bad name!
Where to start? First, it’s kind of hard for me to imagine how to define the “mainstream media” such that it doesn’t include Greg Easterbrook; he’s not exactly spent his career on the fringe. Nor, it should be said, can he compellingly argue that intelligent design hasn’t been treated more than fairly by the New York Times and similar organizations.
But the much bigger issue appears to be Easterbrook’s basic ignorance as to the foundation of the intelligent design movement. Saying that the right-wing screwballs are the problem with the ID movement is kind of like saying that the Republicans are the problem with the Republican Party; true, but irrelevant. There is no compelling need for a movement to argue what Easterbrook wants to argue, which is that the scientific record has gaps. Scientists themselves are more than aware of this, and most of them (along with, I think, a substantial percentage of the general population) accept that scientific and theological conceptions need not (and indeed, cannot) wholly contradict one another.
You don’t need a political machine like the one that invented ID to make the above point. The purpose of ID, which the movement craftily gives away in its name, is to indicate the necessity, rather than the possibility, of an intelligent creator. Moreover, Easterbrook seems not to understand (perhaps he simply has not made the connection) that for a scientist to assert an unknowable cause not susceptible to investigation (which is what an intelligent creator is) is to reject science.