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Evolutionists attack intelligent design by appealing to each of these three aspects of rhetoric. Accordingly, they attack intelligent design with respect to logos by claiming that science utterly fails to support it, whether on evidential or theoretical grounds. What's more, they attack intelligent design with respect to ethos by charging its proponents with being morally and intellectually deficient. And, finally, they attack intelligent design with respect to pathos by instilling the fear that intelligent design means not just the end of science but also the end of rational discourse in a free and open society.

Wouldn't it be simpler, and more honest, to evaluate objectively the merits of the evolutionists' arguments rather than assuming they are simply rhetorical strategems?

I think everyone should read the Dembski link because it clearly illustrates the difference between the Intelligent Design argument and a scientific theory. Controversies in science are generally resolved by appeals to empirical evidence in the form of experiments and observations. The way for me to convince you about my theory is to generate better evidence in support, not better rhetoric. That's how Einstein's relativity replaced Newtonian physics. That's how germ theory replaced an imbalance of bodily fluids as an explanation for disease. That's how Kuhnian paradigm shifts occur. It is noteworthy that Dembski does not suggest this. Instead of more experiments and observations he prescribes "logos, ethos, and pathos". That ID should best be defended by rhetorical rather than scientific strategies suggests it is a more rhetorical than scientific theory.
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