I've never used the Discovery Institute's list of scientists skeptical of Darwinism to argue for my views, but I must admit that it has helped expose some of the ID critics' misunderstandings. Like in this post from Time's Michael D. Lemonick. He writes about one of the signers of that list, Dr. Michael Egnor. Dr. Egnor is a professor of neurosurgery and pediatrics at State University of New York, Stony Brook and is named one of New York's best doctors by New York Magazine. Lemonick is not amused:
Yes, he actually is a brain surgeon, and yes, SUNY is a reputable place. Which is very important if you need your brain operated on, but which says nothing whatever about your sophistication about biological theory or about evolution. Discovery counts on your awe of brain surgery and your awe of magazine "best" lists to keep you from thinking about the fact that there's nothing here establishing Dr. Egnor's expertise on the topic at hand.
This is all true: Like most scientists, surgeons don't spend much time thinking about origins, as they don't need it in their day-to-day work. But did you notice that Lemonick just harpooned one of the critics' favorite arguments? If you ask the "pro-science" bloggers, any skepticism about orthodox evolutionary biology is "anti-evolution", and nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. But if this was correct, Dr. Egnor wouldn't even be a competent brain surgeon, let alone one of New York's best doctors. In pointing out that a brain surgeon has no particular expertise on the topic of evolutionary biology, Lemonick also helps us put our finger on the reason they have no such expertise: They don't need it to practice their profession.
As philosopher of biology Michael Ruse remarked: "When Dobzhansky said that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution, he was not just making an epistemological claim. He was making a political statement. A war cry to rally the troops."