Endorsing Design

This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," August 3, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: The fight over how to teach the creation of life and evolution is getting some high-ranking attention, with President Bush (search) saying he believes that intelligent design (search) should be brought into the classroom. But, so far, efforts to get this theory into textbooks alongside evolution have been met with strong opposition.

So, will the president's support make a difference?

Joining us now is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, William Dempsky.

Mr. Dempsky, first of all, you were one of the guys heading up an intelligent design center at Baylor University in Texas. And you kind of got run off the campus. What happens when somebody brings up intelligent design on a campus?

WILLIAM DEMPSKY, DISCOVERY INSTITUTE: Well, I think the first thing that happens is, you get tarred and feathered as a creationist. And the two really are quite distinct.

I mean, creationism (search), as it's commonly used, refers to a young Earth creationist position that tries to harmonize the Bible with science. Intelligent design is really a stand-alone science. It's looking for the engineering features, as it were, of biological systems. There have been tremendous advances in molecular biology, biochemistry, the information sciences, in the last 30 years, which clearly indicate that we need engineering principles to understand the tremendous complexity of...


DEMPSKY:.... no conception about.

GIBSON: The reason I've got you on is because I've read much about what happened to you at Baylor.


GIBSON: You were being treated as if you were a witch in Salem.


GIBSON: They were burning you at the stake for even bringing it up. What kind of abuse can the president expect, seeming to endorse intelligent design?

DEMPSKY: I think more of the same.

I mean, I commend him for his courage and I would say even wisdom in this, because I think he is looking to the future. Intelligent design is the future of biology, in terms of understanding biological complexity, but it's tremendous opposition that you face, because what you are confronted with is really a monopoly in the scientific world, which takes a very materialistic view of science.

It says that, basically, the world, at its nuts and bolts, is just matter and energy working out by blind natural laws. There's no intelligence or purpose behind things, as far as many scientists are concerned. And so, for intelligent design to come in here, we do have reputable scientists who are behind this. But it is a minority position.

GIBSON: But, Mr. Dempsky, is intelligent design religion?


It's not. I mean, Aristotle (search) would have been an intelligent design person. He was doing science, what used to be called natural philosophy. But held to no transcendent greater God. He saw intelligence as a perfectly natural force in nature. And that's what the scientists, by and large, are...


GIBSON: William Dempsky at the Discovery Institute in Seattle. Mr. Dempsky, good to see you. Thanks for coming on.

DEMPSKY: Thank you.

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