There may be nothing new under the sun, but occasionally the novel ways in which an old-fashioned cash cow (the business seminar) is repackaged are surprising. Case in point, the must-see event of 2007: Intelligent Design in Business Practice.
When I first heard about this, I assumed it was a garden variety business seminar that co-opted a recognized phrase, intelligent design, just for a bit of pizzazz in its title. A little excusable redundancy, because it would be hoped that any design promoted at a business seminar would be intelligent.
But no, a quick review of the schedule and the speakers reveals that it is the capitalized Intelligent Design we're dealing with here. Richards will present ID "from cosmology to capitalism." Dembski will discuss "what is ID and why is it important?" Michael Neubert will lecture the business icons on the "implications of ID for business leadership."
Is our auto industry too materialist and too Darwinian? Are we losing the fight because the Japanese use ID? Will the Explanatory Filter finally be tested, demonstrating that GM's process is not intelligently designed while Toyota's is? Perhaps the EF should be patented?
Of course a business audience is less likely to ask annoying questions such as: if this be science, what does it predict? They would be more interested in what does this do for my bottom line?
The ID movement has failed to convince many that it is not about religion. Maybe they're right. Maybe it's all about the money.