By “shill” I meant only that Fuller does not practice the “science” of Intelligent Design himself; he merely works as an enthusiastic bystander, urging others to do so. My remark was meant not to suggest that Fuller has “gained financially” from his advocacy of intelligent design, but to suggest that the entire enterprise of ID is fraudulent.
Fuller seems to think that something counts as a science if sufficient numbers of people are “practitioners” of it; another aspect of his testimony in Dover, to which I did not refer in my essay, involved arguing that ID will be a legitimate science once Darwinists loosen their grip on the field and allow for a critical mass of “practitioners” of ID to develop a viable research program. This argument neatly ignores the fact that ID has no research program, and no method of determining when in fact one has discovered the Designer.
Good pragmatists like myself don’t buy the “had they enough practitioners” argument. Instead, we want to know why, precisely, alchemy and phrenology didn’t pan out pragmatically as sciences -- and whether, by Fuller’s logic, astrology (whose “practitioners” certainly outnumber evolutionary theorists today) deserves a place alongside ID in the science curriculum.
posted by Michael Bérubé
December 23, 2008