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Meyer’s paper predictably follows the same pattern that has characterized “intelligent design” since its inception: deny the sufficiency of evolutionary processes to account for life’s history and diversity, then assert that an “intelligent designer” provides a better explanation. Although ID is discussed in the concluding section of the paper, there is no positive account of “intelligent design” presented, just as in all previous work on “intelligent design”. Just as a detective doesn’t have a case against someone without motive, means, and opportunity, ID doesn’t stand a scientific chance without some kind of model of what happened, how, and why. Only a reasonably detailed model could provide explanatory hypotheses that can be empirically tested. “An unknown intelligent designer did something, somewhere, somehow, for no apparent reason” is not a model.
STATEMENT FROM THE COUNCIL OF THE BIOLOGICAL
SOCIETY OF WASHINGTON
The paper by Stephen C. Meyer in the Proceedings (“The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories,” vol. 117, no. 2, pp. 213-239) represents a significant departure from the nearly purely taxonomic content for which this journal has been known throughout its 124-year history. It was published without the prior knowledge of the Council, which includes officers, elected councilors, and past presidents, or the associate editors. We have met and determined that all of us would have deemed this paper inappropriate for the pages of the Proceedings.
We endorse the spirit of a resolution on Intelligent Design set forth by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (www.aaas.org/news/releases/2002/1106id2.shtml), and that topic will not be addressed in future issues of the Proceedings. We are reviewing editorial policies to ensure that the goals of the Society, as reflected in its journal, are clearly understood by all. Through a web presence (www.biolsocwash.org) and contemplated improvements in the journal, the Society hopes not only to continue but to increase its service to the world community of taxonomic biologists.
The Council of the Biological Society of Washington
7 September 2004