Henry Brinton characterized the intelligent design movement as religion in contrast to science [Outlook, Sept. 18]. But proponents of intelligent design limit themselves exclusively to scientific arguments. For example, Michael Behe in "Darwin's Black Box" and agnostic Michael Denton in "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis" make no theological arguments against Darwinism. Instead, they contend that natural selection is incapable of producing what we see, and their scientific arguments need to be countered by other scientific arguments rather than being dismissed as religion.
Mr. Brinton seems unaware of this when he says, "Intelligent design will be worthy of mention in a science classroom only when scientists find empirical evidence to support it."
The intelligent design movement is about empirical evidence. I attended an intelligent design conference last summer, and all the presentations were scientific, except for one report by a lawyer.
Despite this, intelligent design continues to be called religion. As I heard Mr. Behe say at an earlier conference, much of the criticism seems to have been along the lines of, "He has been seen entering and leaving churches." If intelligent design arguments cannot be refuted scientifically, then Darwinism must indeed be a weak scientific theory.
CHRISTOPHER R. LYNDON
I was amazed by the narrow-mindedness of the people from Dover, Pa., who want to block their school board from requiring the reading of a four-page statement that criticizes evolutionary theory ["Intimidation Alleged on Intelligent Design," news story, Sept. 27].
Don't they realize how much they sound like those who did not want Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory included in school textbooks? To present only one side of an argument, discussion or theory is to render it, as such, one-sided.
A man whose intellect and foresight became legendary, whose questioning of socially accepted truths would ultimately seal his fate, summed up the search for answers to age-old questions about the universe both eloquently and poignantly. "The unexamined life," he said, "is a life scarcely worth living."
That man's name was Socrates. But I guess we all know what happened to him.