What's in a name?
So who cares what "intelligent design" is called? As Juliet said in the play "Romeo and Juliet," What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet." And the corollary is that a skunk by any other name would stink as bad.
By making such a big stink over the term "intelligent design," the Darwinists are creating confusion in the English language by encouraging ID proponents to use some other term. Part of the problem is niggling questions like, "who is the intelligent designer?", "what does the intelligent designer look like?", and "who made the intelligent designer"?". Judge Jones' infamous Kitzmiller v. Dover decision has made a big contribution towards discouraging use of the term by ID proponents. The term "sudden emergence theory" has been proposed as a substitute for "intelligent design." IMO the term "intelligent design" was a poor choice because it implies the existence of an intelligent designer, but I use the term so that people will know what I am talking about. Yet another part of the problem is that the term "intelligent design" has been misused as a general term to describe all criticisms of Darwinism, including non-ID criticisms.
Today there is no universally accepted catch-all term that covers all scientific and pseudoscientific criticisms of Darwinism, including ID and non-ID criticisms; the terms "creation science" and "scientific creationism"used to be such terms, but these terms were outlawed by the Supreme Court in Edwards v. Aguillard (BTW, these terms also refer to creationist ideas in non-biological scientific fields, e.g., geology and astronomy). Part of the problem is that Darwinists have made a big stink over use of the terms "science" and "scientific" in referring to ideas that suggest creationism, but bad science as well as good science can be called "science" and "scientific."
Another example of a misused term is "judicial activism"; it used to simply mean a lack of judicial restraint, but the term has been so badly misused that we just don't agree anymore on what the term means. Judge Jones is definitely an activist judge because he showed no restraint in his Kitzmiller v. Dover decision; for example, he did not have to rule on the scientific merits of intelligent design and irreducible complexity, but he did. However, he asserted in the Kitzmiller opinion that he is not an "activist judge" and he later defined "activist judge" as meaning that the person using the term disagrees with the judge's decision! That is no definition at all. And I can think of much better terms -- many of them unmentionable -- to describe Judge Jones.
There is also the Darwinists' objection to the use of the term "Darwinism." "Darwinism" simply means evolution by random mutation and natural selection. The term "neo-Darwinism" is sometimes used instead.
Labels: Intelligent design