Leave IDas cult fiction

January 13, 2006

Although reluctant to give more oxygen to religious fundamentalists, I have been surprised by the rather muted response in your letters page to Steve Fuller's piece on the intelligent design movement ("Schools for the Enlightenment or epiphany?", December 23/30).

For a forensic dissection and destruction of ID ideology, one need look no further than the lengthy and well-argued judgment by Judge John E. Jones III in the recent Dover, Pennsylvania, school board case.

Judge Jones is a conservative Republican appointed by President George Bush to the federal court - hardly a liberal underminer of community values. The attempts of the defendants and their expert witnesses (including Fuller) to suggest that ID is science were summarily dismissed: "We have concluded that it is not (science), and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents." The fact that the judge concluded that defendants had lied under oath to hide their religious agenda did not help their case.

ID is no more an alternative to evolution than astrology is to cosmology. I hope that The Times Higher will not waste any more time on this subject, except perhaps as an excellent example of the sociopathology of cults - something perhaps for sociologists, such as Fuller, to really get their teeth into?

Peter J. Brophy
Edinburgh University

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