ID’s true calling–inspiring fiction
It appears that ID has achieved one of its 20 year goals. It’s been able to influence wider culture, as the Wedge Document forecast:
We intend these to encourage and equip believers with new scientific evidence’s that support the faith, as well as to “popularize” our ideas in the broader culture.
On the flip side, however, science fiction’s use of ID has only underscored how extremely different this world would be if life actually were designed:
What these authors are doing is even more tricky, if you look at their work as a sneaky critique of ID theory. Essentially they’re saying, “Let’s invent a universe where ID is truth. Oh, that would be the universe that science will build for us.” And ultimately, in these novels, the Designer is not a God or even gods, but instead a whole bunch of sentient creatures harnessing the power of science and technology to design worlds and bodies intelligently.
This is the truly proscience version of ID theory: The notion that humans will eventually live in an ID universe, where our bodies and everything around us is designed. Only it will have been designed by us, in the service (hopefully) of bettering humanity. We won’t be the playthings of some third party entity whose motivations are unclear. In the end, we will become our own intelligent designers.
That’s the trouble with trying to get people to take your pseudoscience seriously–they actually may do so.
I think this is a very positive development. On blogs and the like we often point up the fact that this biological machines, systems, and organs are not at all like what any intelligent designer would create, and this is all well and good. But your typical IDist simply runs straight into denial. Book-long stories about actual designed worlds, on the other hand, should get through to people who are immune to the science just the sorts of differences there actually are between the wide-ranging possibilities inherent in design, and the constrained world of heredity and limited change with which animal evolution was produced.
In other words, we have the arguments. Sci-fi writers can get through to people on an emotional level. And even if the IDists won’t read their stories, we can always bring up the fact that when people take design seriously and imagine worlds in which intelligence is responsible for complexity, the results are nothing like the life that we know now.