Intelligent Design, Part 1b

The latest PCID is out (Dembski never disappoints!), so I thought I'd make a brief note on something that lately has struck me about intelligent design. For reference, this is my position on what intelligent design actually is. The present post is not quite the followup I had intended to make to the preceding, but I may be working on something more substantial over the break. There is the more general goal I have next semester of perhaps leading a small group on Christian apologetics, including of course the implications of intelligent design. :)

Anyway, I have recently been considering the implications of gentically modified organisms for the debate on whether intelligent design is good science. I think admitting that GMOs exist not only validates ID, but makes it a forensic necessity for science.

For a while now there has been a lot of research dedicated into modifying the genome of existing organisms to augment them with certain specially desired characteristics. Agriculture has long used genetic modifcations to make crops heartier. There are naked chickens which don't have to be plucked. There are now cats which won't set off allergic reactions. In fact, I personally made such a modification in high school: in my AP Bio class we spliced a gene from an arctic jellyfish into E. coli so that the cultures would exhibit fluorescence under a blacklight.

So what is the position of anti-ID folk on the forensic study of these genetically modified organisms? If I asked them to analyze Monsanto's "Roundup Ready canola," would they be able to identify the genetic modifications made by Monsanto? Would they instead incorrectly conclude that the modifications were evolved ? Would they come up with an evolutionary pathway for the modifications?

Clearly, evolution is not sufficient to explain the characteristics manifested by these organisms, because we know by virtue of having made the modifications ourselves that not all of the modifications arose in an evolutionary fashion. Someone supposing that only natural processes could be at cause for the gentetic characteristics of these organisms would by virtue of that arrive at a number of false conclusions when studying the nature of such organisms. Yet, this is precisely the attitude of the militant-evolutionists. They seem to scoff at the very notion of making an honest inquiry into determining whether an organism mightn't have characteristics of an imposed design.

Whose is the bad science? The one that allows for the discovery of artifacts we know exist, or the one that attacks such artifacts as non-existent and undetectable? (except perhaps for when the artifacts are irrefutably documented at the relevant patent office)

I cannot believe that at the same time we are designing organisms that we should call investigations as to their possible design "bad science." That type of the position is the hallmark of fanatical atheism, not science.