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INTELLIGENT DESIGN: A PRIMER
I am a pediatric neurosurgeon. I operate on children who have life-threatening brain diseases and injuries. If I may be immodest, I'm well-respected in my field. I'm a professor and the vice-chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. My research is on blood flow and spinal-fluid flow in brain diseases, and my work has been presented at universities in the United States, Canada, and Europe. I'm on the editorial board and the scientific advisory panels of several brain-research organizations, and I was recently profiled in one of New York Magazine's "Best Doctors” issues.
Despite such successes, however, angry scientists (some from my own university) regularly call and email my office and demand that I be fired. Why? Well, a few months ago, I publicly expressed my support for intelligent-design theory, and I expressed doubt about some aspects of Darwin's theory of evolution. Plus, I've been blogging since March for the Discovery Institute's "Evolution News and Views.” This is why such scientists hate me.
Please note that although I'm a Christian, I do not consider myself a "creationist.” I accept that life appeared on earth several billion years ago, that all living things probably share a common ancestor, and that random evolution does occur. But I also believe that Darwin's theory falls short of explaining all of biology, and I believe that its importance to medicine is overrated. I believe that the scientific evidence supports the view that certain parts of living things—the genetic code, the intricate nanotechnology of molecular systems in living cells—are best explained as the products of intelligent design. I have said so publicly, and I've been vilified.
Am I exaggerating? Just Google my name. You'll get thousands of hits. And you can see what people in the blogosphere have to say about me. For example, there's this from the blog of Dr. Burt -Humburg, a Darwinist and fellow physician: "Egnorance (noun)—the egotistical combination of ignorance and arrogance.” And this is from Dr. Reed A. Cartwright, a Darwinist post-doctoral researcher at the Bioinformatics Research Center at North Carolina State University: "[D]r. Michael Egnor is a creationist neurosurgeon at SUNY Stony Brook—an embarrassment to that fine institution.”
Dr. Steven Novella, a Darwinist neurologist from Yale, wrote:
This is not an excuse for Dr. Egnor's ignorance—he threw his hat into the ring, he deserves what he gets. He should have had the proper humility to stay out. . . . Now I don't blame the rank and file for not having read dozens of books and hundreds of articles on evolution. But I do blame them for thinking they deserve to have an opinion if they haven't.
Some bloggers compare my venality to that of tyrants. This is from "Deadlysweet,” an anonymous Darwinist blogger on the TristanCafe Pinoy Forums: "Let me share with you some obvious examples of egnorance: Hitler, Stalin, Idi Amin, Saddam -Hussein. . . . Origin of the Term: after Dr. Michael Egnor who routinely displayed egnorance.” And some bloggers hate me personally. Consider this from Darwinist Mark Chu-Carroll, a computer scientist who blames me for his father's illness from a strain of antibiotic-resistant bacteria:
[T]oday's bit of basics is inspired by that bastion of s**theaded ignorance, Dr. Michael Egnor . . . and a f***ing surgeon, who should g*d-d**ned well know . . . This s**tbag is going around telling people that surgeons don't need to know about evolution [asterisks not in original].
Yet I've gotten off easy; some scientists have been denied tenure or have lost their jobs for -speaking out. Intelligent design is a direct challenge to dogmatic materialism and atheism, and Darwinists realize that their worldview is at stake.
If you express doubts about Darwin's theory, count the cost. At the least, you should expect hate mail, ridicule, and even slander, much of it from doctors and professional scientists.
Why is there so much venom directed at me? After all, I've merely stated my scientific opinion. The essence of good science is to follow the evidence, and it's increasingly clear that Darwin's theory of random mutations and natural selection is inadequate to explain the intricate molecular nanotechnology in living cells. The molecular components of cells are analogous to elegantly designed machines. The scientific evidence in biology points to design.
I've come to understand that Darwinists don't really have anything against me personally. It's the scientific evidence that makes them angry. •
Phillip Johnson on the importance of ID. Michael Behe on ID and biochemistry. Guillermo Gonzalez on habitable planets. Don't miss a single one of the 33 new articles on intelligent design and evolution.
Buy the print edition of Salvo 4 today!
More articles from Intelligent Design: A Primer
The Last Days of Darwin? by James M. Kushiner
What Does Information Tell us About ID? by William A. Dembski
Can ID Explain the Origin of Evil? by Jay Richards
Has ID Been Banned in Public Schools? by Casey Luskin
Do ID Proponents Get Persecuted in the Academy? by Caroline Crocker
What Happens When You Challenge a School's Science Curriculum? by Larry Caldwell
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