Physicist takes shots at intelligent design

Richard Dawkins feels sympathy for science teachers in Kansas.

“I know you here are in the front-line trench against powerful forces of darkness,” Dawkins told a more-than-full audience at Kansas University’s Lied Center Monday night. “I salute the science teachers of Kansas. Fight the good fight.”

The good fight, Dawkins said, was one in favor of the science of evolution rather than the “rotten logic” of intelligent design and creationism, he said.

The award-winning Oxford University theoretical physicist talked on “The God Delusion” at the Lied Center as part of the KU Hall Center’s Hu-manities Lecture Series.

While the evolution debate has quieted since a majority of pro-intelligent design Kansas Board of Education members were voted out in this year’s primary elections, Dawkins still stressed the importance of not buying the logic behind the design theory.

Design proponents, Dawkins said, believe that any flaw in evolution theory means that biological design by a higher power must be the answer.

That, he said, is flatly not true.

“I.D. is granted immunity from the rigorous standards of science,” he said.

Those gaps in theories are what scientists fill with research, with their lives’ work. It’s also what creationists and intelligent design proponents fill with a divine being.

“If you don’t understand something, forget it,” Dawkins said. “Just say God did it. Don’t squander precious ignorance by researching it away.”

But Dawkins said that he and scientists wouldn’t abide that reasoning, and that despite quick, pro-intelligent design flare-ups like this recent squabble in Kansas, he still would fight the good fight.