Judge Andrew Napolitano was the guest host on Bill O'Reilly's "Radio Factor" Thursday, and he was a delight to hear. He is unfailingly courteous, but he also is no-nonsense and direct on point. In this case, he was blasting the Bush administration over misuse of the National Security Agency, but he was, if anything, even more critical of Congress for failing to reject the Patriot Act. Fun stuff.
He also was critical of the judge who ruled against intelligent design. He kept asking callers, Why aren't evolutionists willing to argue about competing theories? I didn't hear anyone make the obvious point: Because intelligent design doesn't provide anything to argue about.
Intelligent design is the Sherlock Holmes of scientific theories. Holmes said: When all other possibilities have been eliminated, then the possibility that remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
Intelligent design says that all theories that attempt to explain the origins of life by examining what we can see, taste, touch, hear and see must inevitably fail. Life is too complex and improbable to have come about without intervention by some higher intelligence. So as long as intelligent design advocates can shoot holes in other theories, their theory remains the one possibility that hasn't been eliminated.
But shooting holes in existing theories does not amount to offering an alternative theory. And figuring out life is far more complicated than narrowing a short list of suspects or possible points of entry. When Copernicus shot down the Ptolemaic system, he didn't just point out the defects in the system, he offered an alternative that explained the facts better. And his theory has held up under testing thousands of times in hundreds of different ways.
When intelligent design is able to do what Copernicus did, then it deserves a place in science class.