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Ron Numbers in Salon

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There’s an interesting interview with Ron Numbers in Salon: http://www.salon.com/books/int/2007/01/02/numbers. Here’s an excerpt.

. . . More recently, we’ve had the intelligent design movement. I know some people just see this as a new version of creationism, stripping away all the talk about God and religion so you can teach it in the schools. Is that true?

RN: There’s a little bit of evidence to support that. But I think that both demographically and intellectually, it doesn’t hold a lot of water. The intelligent design leaders are people, by and large, who do not believe in young earth creationism.

So they would accept the Earth’s being four-and-a-half billion years old.

RN: That’s not an issue with most of them. They want to create a big tent for all anti-evolutionists, even non-Christians. Whitcomb and Morris and the Creation Research Society wanted to create a tightly knit group of people who all subscribed to flood geology. The intelligent design leaders say it’s premature to insist on a particular interpretation of Genesis. This approach has really irritated many of the young earth creationists, who feel they’re being told by these intellectual leaders of intelligent design, “You’re just a divisive group dedicated to a particular interpretation of Scripture.” They are. But they’ve been very successful. And they’re not about to abandon their crusade to get people to accept scientific creationism in favor of some mushy intelligent design. . . .

It seems to me that in ID we have a lot of scepticism. We tend to focus our scepticism on Darwinian theory, Ron Numbers has used up all his on Adventism. It can be seen from many comments at UD that we in ID are not suckers for a good story. I think many of us do not go much for any religious untruths either. Truth in science yes! Truth also in religion yes! "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." idnet.com.au
"Because in the United States, our public schools are supposed to be religiously neutral. If evolution is in fact inherently atheistic, we probably shouldn't be teaching it in the schools. And that makes it very difficult when you have some prominent people like Dawkins, who's a well-credentialed biologist, saying, "It really is atheistic." He could undercut -- not because he wants to -- but he could undercut the ability of American schools to teach evolution. " Bring it on! "I'm shocked by how much publicity the intelligent design movement has gotten in 15 years. They have a very good public relations machinery. So you have a handful of people in Seattle at the Discovery Institute and a few million dollars a year to play with, and they've convinced Time, Newsweek and others that the whole scientific community is divided over intelligent design. It's amazing!" Yeh it's amazing if you think it results from public relations and money! It is strange that a "historian" is surprised by anything. Perhaps Numbers doesn't understand what ID really is. To define the requirement for intelligence as "supernatural" is to ignore the existence of intelligence in people. That is if people are "natural". Maybe we're not? idnet.com.au
Fascinating interview! I read Ron Number’s 1992 book right after it came out—before I’d heard about Intelligent Design. Interesting how this man lost his faith because of Young Earthism. In this interview he comes across more open minded than I had remembered from the book. Of course it would take a lot of courage to go on and admit that one had been wrong the second time, that redefining “Science” as epistemological materialism has not served us well, and that the emperor of Darwinism has no clothes, but you never know. And speaking of Newton—the interview speaks of Newton—I notice that Newton’s 1733 The Prophecies of Daniel and The Apocalypse is available now in paperback. Rude
For a movement that nobody is taking seriously, a lot of people talk about it. tribune7

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