A couple of the signers of the letter to Congress featured at The Edge (and discussed on Viewpoint here) are quoted below the letter at the Edge. For bright people they sure say some dumb things. Here, for example, is Stuart Kauffman:
[T]he energy behind Intelligent Design is deeper than a debate about evolution. It is, in part, a profound fear among its advocates that without God, values and ethical conduct will find no basis. Even if we inhabit a "nice" universe only by virtue of the Weak Antrhopic principle, the wonders of this, our universe, and co-evolving biosphere invite reverence and stewardship. I hope this will come, some day, to be the received view of many, and serve to quiet the distress of the religious fundamentalists....
Ah, yes. Reverence for the earth and a sense of stewardship. That'll fill the enormous existential vacuum that atheism creates. That'll inspire people to stop killing, raping and stealing from each other. A sense of stewardship of the earth is just what we need to satisfy our hunger for justice, dignity and meaning. All we need do is ponder the wonders of natural selection and all of our deepest yearnings will be fulfilled. God will become supererogatory and man will live in peace and harmony ever after.
Then Scott Atran delivers himself of this profundity:
[T]here is such a long way to go [to disabuse the masses of religiously inspired creationist sympathies]. I'm just out of Azad Kashmir where there are beheadings galore at the moment (unreported in the press) for political reasons (carried out with the connivance of the Pakistani intelligence services, ISI) but in religion's name (jihadi groups, though officially banned, drive around in vehicles provided by the army).
By the way, here in Pakistan there is no teaching of evolution allowed. And this is America's great ally.
Let's see. Muslims behead in the name of religion and forbid the teaching of evolution. So what follows from that? Apparently Mr. Atran wishes to imply that these premises entail that any opponent of evolution is a cultural primitive such as populate the Pakistan countryside, ready to lop off the heads (metaphorically, of course)of the Darwinists. I can't see any other way to interpret what he writes, but unless there is another rendering, what he's saying has to be one of the dumbest remarks ever made in the contemporary debate over Darwinism.
His implicit argument, if one can call it that, is that since religious extremists forbid evolution, therefore those who want ID taught alongside Darwinism in public schools are also religious extremists cut from the same bolt of cloth.
I know. It's a hopelessly muddled piece of thinking - like insisting that since dogs and horses both have four legs that therefore dogs are just like horses - but what else can the man mean?
By the way, where does he get the idea that Pakistan is seriously regarded by anyone as a "great ally" of the United States?