Creationism Intelligent Design

ID continues to invade creationist culture

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The intelligent design movement has celebrated ID-friendly developments within the Roman Catholic Church. A comparably important development is the ascendancy of ID within the insular enclaves of creationism.

At some point, if a group of people will not give ID a fair hearing, it is time to “shake the dust off your sandals” and reach out to others. I have often thought that the die-hard critics of ID will never be persuaded. The only reason to engage the die-hards is to expose their fallacies, not to persuade them. If the die-hards remain resistant to considering ID, it would be good to search for new places where ID theory may find a welcome hearing.

ID has its best chance in 2 communities:

1. creationists (about 50% of the population)
2. the undecided middle among the Theistic Evolutionists (about 25% of the population)

Which is roughly 210 million people. It is within this pool of people that ID can cultivate fruitful inquiry to advance science. I intend to write on the superiority of the ID paradigm for advancing medical research and biotechnology in an upcoming essay at Uncommon Descent. I alluded to some of the ideas at : How IDers can win the war and Airplane magnetos, contingency designs, and reasons ID will prevail.

Creationists have been the unsavory associates of ID. Johnnyb and myself are among these unsavory associates, but I’m glad we’ve been given an opportunity to reach out to our unsavory brethren through Uncommon Descent because these unsavory associates have the potential to be a vast pool of future talent for ID research. And if any one accuses me of shameless marketing of ID to people of faith, I point them (again) to the Nation Center for Selling Evolution (NCSE) to People of Faith.

If one carefully examines ID literature, one will hardly find appeals to Biblical authority in ID arguments. I have often said that it is the theology-free nature of ID which makes it especially appealing to people in insular creationist enclaves.

Deep down, within these insular enclaves, some are too afraid to open their eyes to the physical facts lest they be de-converted. Deep down, some wonder if their faith is only rooted in their biases and upbringing and might not withstand exposure to theology-free science.

But ID is breaking down the barriers through theology-free science. It’s been heart-warming to see pastors, campus missionaries, church workers with no scientific background studying Michael Behe’s writings. They get more exposure to bio-chemistry than they’ve ever known in their life through Behe. They then become more friendly to encouraging the next generation to attend the nation’s best secular universities to study science, medicine, and engineering. They have far less fear that somehow Darwinian evolution can de-convert their kids because their kids are now armed with material and resources which were not available in generations past.

We now have the potential of a large infusion of creationists who were once scared to enter scientific fields. These large numbers of workers will be a great development for everyone. I should mention, that since the advent of ID, the field of biology has been exploding. There is no evidence the strong pro-ID leanings of this nation are eroding interest in the life-sciences. Where we’re really hurting is the other sciences and engineering, not biology!

Testament of the ascendancy of ID within the creationist community is the fact a major organization with strong creationists ties, in a month-long, multi-million dollar outreach, prominently featured four ID luminaries affiliated with the Discovery Institute.

Darwin’s Deadly Legacy

FORT LAUDERDALE, Aug. 18 /Christian Newswire/ — Author and Christian broadcaster Dr. D. James Kennedy connects the dots between Charles Darwin and Adolf Hitler in Darwin’s Deadly Legacy, a groundbreaking inquiry into Darwin’s chilling social impact. The new television documentary airs nationwide on August 26 and 27 on The Coral Ridge Hour. For station listings, go to www.coralridge.org/darwin.

What: New TV documentary, Darwin’s Deadly Legacy

When: August 26, 27, 2006

Where: Nationwide; details at www.coralridge.org/darwin

The program features 14 scholars, scientists, and authors who outline the grim consequences of Darwin’s theory of evolution and show how his theory fueled Hitler’s ovens.

The one-hour program features Ann Coulter, author of Godless; Richard Weikart, author of From Darwin to Hitler; Lee Strobel, author of The Case for a Creator; Jonathan Wells, author of Icons of Evolution; Phillip Johnson, author of Darwin on Trial; Michael Behe, author of Darwin’s Black Box; Ian Taylor, author of In the Minds of Men, and Francis Collins, Director of the Human Genome Project.

These are good developments. I welcome creationists going even farther and studying the works of Michael Denton, Frank Tipler, John Barrow, David Berlinski, John Angus Campbell, John Davison, Jeffrey Schwartz, Charles Townes, and more people than I can possibly list….

Creationists should view the theology-free science of ID as a science like any other (such as physics, chemistry, information science etc.). ID should be viewed as a theology-free ally, not a replacement for creationist beliefs. And with this in mind, I believe ID can find, through the creationist community, a welcome place where ambitious explorations of ID can be made in various fields of science, medicine, and biotechnology.

Salvador

PS
Incidentally Coral Ridge was the same organization which aired my interview in The Intelligent Design Controversy in Higher Education. If the main stream media refuses to cover these issues fairly, and if educational institutions impede the flow of information on these issues, then other avenues of getting ID into public awareness can and will be explored.

40 Replies to “ID continues to invade creationist culture

  1. 1
    jpark320 says:

    Though I hate the term “theology free” b/c it can be interpreted in many ways (like Can Jesus really be “theology free”) ID has def. helped out Creationists b/c of the great research that have come from this movement – regardless of their religious background – I know I’ve learned a tremendous amount. The paradigm shift is slow to come, but nonetheless its coming.

    I’m just longing for the day when ppl say the word Physics they think relativity, Chemistry they think quantum mechanics, and *Biology – Design. ID is essentially just biology.

    [As a side note, its funny how in all my science classes all the prof. have to use the words “designed” or “created.” They really can’t escape it]

  2. 2
    SCheesman says:

    Sal: “Which is roughly 210 million people.”

    Sal, might I gently remind you of the international nature of this debate and that one of the co-principals does not live in the United States?

    As a Canadian, allow me to apologise for possible embarrassment this comment may bring (Canadians are well known for apologising for everything).

  3. 3
    scordova says:

    SCheesman,

    My apologies, I can only write regarding the community I have familiarity with, and there are too many countries for me to keep track of. If you have statistics of your country, you are invited to provide them here. The readers would welcome getting more numbers than the limited ones I provided.

    Incidentally, on Canadian, Ian Taylor will be featured in this grand special by Kennedy.

    Salvador

  4. 4
    austinite says:

    Sal, I’ve watched some of the clips from the Coral Ridge Hour from the past month and Ken Ham most assuredly appears in at least one of them. Kennedy also still continues to use many young-Earth creationist arguments in his radio broadcasts that fit right in with Answers In Genesis and the ICR.

    From what I have heard over the past few weeks, D. James Kennedy has not moved one inch from his staunch young-Earth creationism position. The lack an appearance from Dr. Dino in the broadcasts is probably more to do with his current legal problems than any backing away from Hovind’s claims.

    So af least as far as Kennedy is concerned, your hope that there is an “ascendancy of the theology-free science of ID within creationism” is most likely unfounded. If you want to impress people with the scientific merits of either ID or creationism, you would be better off steering them elsewhere.

  5. 5
    jerry says:

    Salvador,

    I think you overestimate the immediate potential for intelligent design. I just don’t run into anyone who thinks about it. Many are aware of the controversy but really don’t care or know too much. We are odd balls here because most of us are well informed on the topic but most people out there think ID is some sort of oddity and religion based. The Darwinists rule the popular press and have successfully conflated ID with creationism.

    It would have to take something big to change people’s knowledge or affect the educational hurdles, like a well-argued case before the Supreme Court. There are currently five Catholic Supreme Court justices who might be sympathetic especially if the Catholic Church took a stance on it as an acceptable position. Though I am not sure about Kennedy.

    It would be interesting if the Catholic Church did take some sort of position and the ACLU asked all the Catholic justices to recuse themselves. Who would they appeal to?

  6. 6
    tribune7 says:

    What has always puzzeled me is why theistic evolutionists react so violently towards ID.

    And actually the conclusion that I have reached is that they put fashion ahead of belief.

  7. 7
    scordova says:

    Jerry,

    Thank you for your comments.

    The Darwinists rule the popular press and have successfully conflated ID with creationism.

    Therefore, imho, it must be through routes outside of Mainstream Legacy Media and Public Education that ID is spread. Naturalistic evolution is a minority position in the most technologically advacned society in history. It was through channels outside Mainstream Media and Public Education that naturalistic evolution has been kept in a minority position. It is through these same channels ID has its best chance of getting a fair hearing and being understood accurately.

    ID is not just about persuading people Darwinian evolution is wrong, ID is about understanding design and purpose in nature. If nature is fundmentally designed, science cannot understand nature properly through an anti-teleogical framework, and thus anti-teleological thinking will hinder the advance of science and technology.

    Thus even if a child has decided Darwinism is wrong, he still would greatly benefit being exposed to ID literature. We have been so conditioned (for various reasons) into thinking ID is about destroying Darwinian evolution and persuading people Darwinism is wrong. What is forgotten is that ID should still be taught to people who already reject Darwinism. ID should be taught even to full blooded creationists who’ve gone to week- long creation conferences.

    Thus I’m not as much worried about getting more people to reject naturalistic evolution, as many already reject it already and a good number are ambivalent to it. I’m more worried about getting potentially ID-friendly people familiarized with sound origins science.

    Even the ambivalence of the sort you point out here is not bad:

    I just don’t run into anyone who thinks about it. Many are aware of the controversy but really don’t care or know too much.

    What is important is that ID gets into the hands of those who do care and into the hands of those who find the issue relevant to themselves.

    There may be creationist Physicicians, Vetrinarians, Biotechnologists, who might make a breakthrough with ID. For them there is no controversy already, Darwinism is dead as far as they are concerned. But they still need exposre to ID so that they can further research into ID. They may be well positioned to assist in using ID for breakthroughs in their field. Because lives and profits and well-being of people are involved, not just one’s persuasion about origins, there may be more incentive to study ID. I’ll have to write more on this topic later….

    In contrast, regarding the average person, they do not need to spend a lot of time thinking about ID. Ideally, they can be exposed to it briefly and set on the right path for the rest of their life.

    Many who are very much pro-ID today can point to that first brief exposure to ID which opened their eyes for the rest of their lives. Names that come to mind:

    Kenyon reading A.E. Wilder-Smith’s Cybernetic Approach to Evolution
    Johnson reading Denton
    Behe reading Denton

    An important first step is getting Unlocking the Mystery of Life viewed by every Christian home-schooled child, every kid in Christian private schools, and then by large number of sunday schools around the country. Small amounts of ID exposure combined with pointing the young to the appropriate resources is usually sufficient to immunize the young against Darwinian brainwashing (unless of course the kids reject their values for reasons unrealted to scientific evidence….)

    But again, the goal is not just about getting people to reject Darwinism, it is getting them to consider the theology-free science of ID. If every creationist in the world can be exposed to ID, that would a major accomplishment to the furtherance of ID and of science.

    I may not live to see the day when ID’s greatest contribution to society will be the medical and technological advances it brings and the defeat of Darwinism will be only one of IDs anecdotal accomplishments. Recall what happened to epicycles and phlogiston theory? These mistaken theories barely enter the awareness of modern man in light of the theories which supplanted them (namely celestial mechanics and atomic chemistry.) It is for this reason that the theology-free science of ID must ascend within creationist circles, and for that matter all circles, not so much to defeat Darwinism (as Darwinism is already doing a good job of self-destructing), but rather to ultimately advance science and technology.

  8. 8
    StephenA says:

    As a young earth creationist that has been investigating ID quite avidly for the last few weeks, I can say creationists would do well to familiarise themselves with ID. Many of the ID arguments are much the same as ones put forward by creationists, but more formalised. So thank you for doing the hard work for us. 🙂

    As for reaching social circles other than creationist ones… I do happen to work for a small media company based in South Australia by the name of Bushvision (see http://www.bushvision.com) that is looking for all the content it can get. If you have any videos that you would like us to put to air send me an email at stephen@bushvision.com .

  9. 9
    Jack Krebs says:

    Tribune7 writes, “What has always puzzeled me is why theistic evolutionists react so violently towards ID.”

    In general, the ID movement had denounced theistic evolution (TE) as a sellout to naturalism. Given the ID has rejected TE, it is not a surprise that theistic evolutionists have reacted negatively to ID.

    In Kansas, both at the May 2005 science hearings and recently at the Intelligent Design network’s DDD6 tour, it has been clear that the supporters of ID believe in special supernatural creation for some aspects of life, while the TE’s believe God’s works are manifested throughh natural causation. This is the key point, I believe, that separates most ID advocates from the TE’s.

  10. 10
    Chris Hyland says:

    ID advancing science and technology would be the best way to defeat Darwinism.

  11. 11
    jerry says:

    Salvador,

    People here have many objectives. Some are obviously trying to establish their religious beliefs. Witness the frequent quotation of verses from the bible. Others are genuinely trying to establish Intelligent Design as a viable discipline. Some are promoting their version of ID. Many others however, while supporting ID as a potential separate discipline have other objectives. The most important is to get Darwinism out of the education system and in the process out of the mindset of Western culture where it is firmly entrenched. That is my primary objective and I think we are doing a poor job of this given that the evidence is on our side.

    If it eventually happens by establishing ID, then fine. If it happens without ID then fine. But to me it is the most important objective. I am finding that to reach that objective ID is sometimes getting in the way. Just witness Dover. We sit here very confident that our ideas will rule the zeitgeist in a short time and I don’t see it happening. I hope I am wrong but it will take something dramatic to happen to even make a dent.

    I appreciate the idea of a “theology free” ID but how is that happening when one of the main ways of disseminating it is through religious venues. You speak of alternative distribution mediums but are these alternative mediums “theology free?” When you use a religious venue it not only causes a negative reaction in the materialists it often causes a negative reaction in those of other religious beliefs.

    Many see ID as a tool for conversion and as such will resist it in any way they can. Based on many of the comments by those on this site, I can see how they can get that impression. That is what you are fighting, not just materialist intransigence.

  12. 12
    Mats says:

    What has always puzzeled me is why theistic evolutionists react so violently towards ID.

    In my view, they do so bkz:
    1) Long time standing with atheistic evolutionism, and fear of admitnig they were wrong. (“Pride goeth before destruction”)
    2) Fear/Disdain of Christians Fundamentalists (“We would rather side with atheists than with those intolerant Fundies!”)
    3) Baseless faith on Darwinism and ignorance how the evidence favours ID. (“I am sure the scientists are telling us only the truth”)

  13. 13
    scordova says:

    jerry observed:

    The most important is to get Darwinism out of the education system and in the process out of the mindset of Western culture where it is firmly entrenched.

    Thank you for your comments. I appreciate what you hope for, but as long as there are determined elements to push a pro-Darwin agenda in our society, getting Darwinism out of the school systems will take a long while.

    I’m afraid it the change will have to come about through the scientific community rejecting Darwinism first, then everything else will ensue. The way to do that is not to persuade the existing community of die-hards, but to supplant them. The process is finally beginning to happen, and it will take time.

    When biotech and pharmaceutical corporations realize that discriminating against pro-ID engineers and biotechnologists are eroding their bottom line, an important cultural shift will begin to happen. What the heck will they care if ID-steganography research enables medical advances, the bottom line counts for them. For example, gene-centric neo-Darwinism may have been a strong impediment to the development of cancer research. A pro-ID viewpoint might open the field to new avenue of understanding and treatment…

    When CEO realize that Darwinism is impacting the supply of qualified scientists, that will bother them. It will also bother university presidents if Darwinism is impeding enrollments in their science programs. Notice the cold shoulder the University Presidents gave John Rennie when Rennie tried to promote his agenda in the Universities: Cowardice, Creationism and Science Education. Several university presidents and the CEO of Intel politely told Rennie take a hike. That was one of the nicer things to witness, seeing Rennie put in his place. 🙂 The ambivalence you point to is there, but I think the ambivalence is bothering the Darwinists more than the pro-IDers.

    Regarding the education system there are several aspects:

    1. Public Grade Schools
    2. Private Grade Schools and Home Schools
    3. Colleges and Universities

    I’m afraid #1 will be the last place we can expect to defeat Darwinism with one exception, the children themselves taking on the teachers and peers in class.

    I don’t trust that a large number of anti-ID teachers will follow through teaching what may be required of them. Heck, the public schools barely perform what they’re required to do right now, so why should we expect them to follow through with some mandate from the federal government regarding criticisms of Darwinism?

    I am finding that to reach that objective ID is sometimes getting in the way. Just witness Dover.

    ID was the victim in Dover, ID was not the cause of what happened in Dover. The cause was a bunch of idiots in the school board. What happened in Dover were creationists trying to evangelize through the public school curricula. Such behavior does not honor the faith one professes nor does it further the faith. It only generates antagonism, and it doesn’t even do a good job of critically analyzing evolution, teaching ID, nor teaching the theory of creation. The behavior of the Dover school board disgraced the Christian faith and disgraced the infant science of ID.

    I appreciate the idea of a “theology free” ID but how is that happening when one of the main ways of disseminating it is through religious venues. You speak of alternative distribution mediums but are these alternative mediums “theology free?” When you use a religious venue it not only causes a negative reaction in the materialists it often causes a negative reaction in those of other religious beliefs.

    I have long decided that people prejudiced against ID for whatever reason will never be placated, no matter what IDers do. Let’s say for example ID is not spread through religious venues, will that stop the misperception being promoted by people like Barbara Forrest and the Mainstream Media. I seriously doubt it. The blame for the mis-perception rests with the misinformation disseminated by the critics of ID and idiots like those in the Dover school board (who frankly didn’t even know what ID was), not intrinsically because ID spreads through religious venues.

    Already, evolutionary biology is being dwarfed by the other biological disiplines: micro-biology, molecular biology, and so many other specialties. I highlighed this fact : In sciences pecking order, evolutionary biology lurks somewhere near the bottom. With the rise of Systems Biology, evolutionary biology will be dwarfed even more. Systems biology is extremely Design-friendly, and Design friendly is one step away from being ID-friendly.

  14. 14
    jerry says:

    Mats,

    The theistic evolutionists reject ID because it cheapens the omnificent God they believe in. ID makes God a super engineer Who has to tinker every now and then to get what He desires. Having it all roll out from an incredilby complex initial plan is more in sync with traditional theological views then is ID. Unfortunately, the Darwinists have made the implication that there is no initial plan and thus no God. And there in lies the problem. ID counters the Darwinists but in the same time undermines the power of God. So I can understand the resistance.

    Of your reasons, I think #2 has some merit. Constantinople refused help from the Roman Church to defend against the Turks and essentially said we would rather be conquered by the Muslim Turks then be saved by Christian Rome. After the sack of Constantinople in 1204 they hated the West.

  15. 15
    jerry says:

    Salvador,

    I have to disagree with you though I support your goals for ID. I think it will take forever to get Darwinism out of the school systems based on establishing ID within the science community. It would be nice to be proven wrong. But we may not have time.

    What I see in the Darwinist community is not that they see a threat from ID as a new kid on the block in science but rather that Darwinism is being undermined. That is what they are fighting for, not the prevention of ID per se. They are running scared of losing their control of their proselytizing machine and their behavior emphasizes that. They would be equally afraid of someone coming in and saying Darwin is bogus so just get it out of the curriculum. You do not have to replace it with anything, just get rid of Darwinism.

    You and I agree that biology would do just fine and more likely be much better since it would not be saddled with a constrictive philosophy. Just the pleasure of getting the “it evolved” statements out of the literature would be a delight.

    So I see establishing ID as just one strategy but it should not be the only strategy. Each strategy should be evaluated on its effectiveness. A positive Supreme Court decision would be the fastest way to raise the consciousness of the debate and from what I understand there are some cases processing at this moment.

  16. 16
    johnnyb says:

    “ID makes God a super engineer Who has to tinker every now and then to get what He desires.”

    Except that this is false.

    “Having it all roll out from an incredilby complex initial plan is more in sync with traditional theological views then is ID.”

    Actually this is known in ID as “front-loading”.

  17. 17
    kyevo says:

    I don’t think many creationists will accept ID because it doesn’t contradict common descent and in fact supports it.
    That’s the whole ball of wax as far as defending literalism,
    They would see ID just as unbiblical as darwinism.ID supports a higher power just not the kind they want to believe in. I honestly think most creationists think ID is
    completely anti-evolution,many will reject it if they discover that It isn’t

  18. 18
    scordova says:

    jerry wrote:

    So I see establishing ID as just one strategy but it should not be the only strategy. Each strategy should be evaluated on its effectiveness. A positive Supreme Court decision would be the fastest way to raise the consciousness of the debate and from what I understand there are some cases processing at this moment.

    I agree with that. Let us hope then that Darwinism is defeated on many fronts and in many ways. The war will be fought on many battlegrounds. Perhaps no one battleground will be the sole reason for ultimate victory in this war.

    If I seem ambivalent over the public school issues, its not because public school issues aren’t important, its just that its an area I can not do much for.

    The Dover school board managed to get only 1 minute of ID to at most a few hundred students. Not much of an accomplishment for all the trouble it caused. In contrast, the 4 tiny chapters of IDEA in Virginia have gotten quality ID exposure to a couple thousand high-school and college students of all faiths in the last couple of years.

    I do hope ID will prevail in court battles, and I understand the feeling of anxiety that time is running out. However, deep in my heart, because evidence is on the ID side, ID can never die, and that is why I worry less for its ultimate future. If someone like Michael Denton can walk away from his creationist roots, become a Darwinist, only later to become so appalled at Darwinism’s lack of science, so much so that he wrote the classic anti-Darwinian book, Evolution a Theory in Crisis, which jump-started ID, then I am hopeful the facts will ultimately prevail over any agenda which man will contrive.

    Where I do share your concern is for the students of today, and I can only be faithful in the opportunities I’ve been entrusted with. At this time, the public school issue is something outside of my calling. I must fight the battles on my battlefield and hope the ID-soldiers on the other battle fields can win their battles. I wish my comrades well on the public school front, and they can wish me well on the creationist and university fronts.

  19. 19
    kvwells says:

    I say it is impossible to call oneself a “Theistic Evolutionist” with any kind of self-consistent meaning and NOT subscribe to ID. This should be obvious:

    1. What do you mean by “Theistic” except for “I believe God or god/gods exist.”

    2. What sort of “Evolutionist” are you? ND (effectively) cancels #1 so “TE” is meaningless, in this case; If “evolution” is God god/gods guided then this is the ID position anyway, for most IDers (Front-loading would be considered ‘guided’ as in providing initial input which guarantees or makes likely an outcome desirable to the designer).

    I wonder if Anne Coulter’s comment that many people call themselves “liberal” merely because the label “…sounds kinda nice…” would apply here.

  20. 20
    jerry says:

    Johnnyb,

    I was responding to a comment about theistic evolution and giving an opinion.

    From everything I have read ID is not the same thing as “front loading.” Certainly John Davison’s ideas would be consistent with ID but I am not aware of any effort to push this particular hypothesis and as such does not appear many places in ID discussions or in the popular press. So if someone is reading about ID they will not get that as central dogma. And the way people on this site and others respond to John is an indication that many do not espouse it here. To be quite honest about it, I have not read his work on PEH so I do not comment on it. When I have a week with little to do then I will.

    I cannot speak for theistic evolutionists but I don’t think they believe in a front loaded approach in the sense that cells were seeded and they contained the information for all subsequent evolutionary events. If I am wrong then I stand corrected. I had the idea that they believed in a Darwinian approach except that it was orchestrated by God.

    You repeated my comment

    “ID makes God a super engineer Who has to tinker every now and then to get what He desires.”

    and said

    “Except that this is false.”

    How is this false? This is just an opinion based on reading discussions by others and reading the ID literature. If I am wrong here, then again I stand corrected. If God intervenes to affect some changes in nucleotides in order to facilitate a new life types, then He could be said to be “tinkering.” I think that is within the ID paradigm and it is an opinion that many think applies to ID. There are lots of likely suspects, Cambrian explosion, land animals, birds, bats, mammals, humans etc. You are more knowledgeable than I am so you could probably suggest many others.

  21. 21
    scordova says:

    To familiarize the readers with the battle ID has in creationist circles, I point to this by Answers in Genesis: Intelligent design: is it intelligent; is it Christian?.

    Though I think this sort of anti-IDism is mild, like a bad cold, its something that still could use a remedy. I really hope the YECs reading UD will begin to understand that ID does not:

    1. purport to be Gospel or infallible truth
    2. is not meant to replace creationism
    3. is not meant to be any more theological than any other operational discipline (math, physics, chemistry, information science)

    And then we have Henry Morris aiding and abetting the enemy against ID:

    To him [Massimo Pigliucci] Intelligent Design is: “a thinly veiled version of creationism, a pseudo-intellectual enterprise that has nothing to do with science or philosophy (or indeed, good theology), and everything to do with inserting a religious wedge into public school education.” (Massimo Pigliucci:

    As a matter-of-fact, he is at least partially right.

    One can almost say, with friends like that who needs enemies! Well, God bless you any way Dr. Morris, ID would not be alive today without you….

    If the ID system has to be so diluted as to be acceptable to any religion or philosophy except raw atheism, then why bother? Would believing in some false god or goddess and following some cultic system of practice be preferable to believing and practicing atheistic secular humanism? Think about it!

    ID was not formulated so as to be acceptable to any religion or philosophy. It was formulated to be good science, period!

  22. 22
    scordova says:

    [alert: several comments may be trapped by the spam buffer and moderation queue. One of my comments just got held up, so please be patient.]

  23. 23
    Mats says:

    Hi Jerry.

    The theistic evolutionists reject ID because it cheapens the omnificent God they believe in.

    I am not sure of that. In my view no theist rejects ID for scientific reasons. (I am assuming that the theist believes that God is able to create the universe, and we are able to empirically see the effects of such creative activity).
    In my view, T.E. (Theistic Evolutionists) have given belong to one or more of the 3 sub-divisions mentioned above. They reject ID for pride, disdain (of Fundies) or due to just ignorance of what ID claims, and the implications of Darwinism.
    Now, you may consider this a gross over-simplification (perhaps you are right) but I think that most anti-ID T.E. fall into those terms.

    ID makes God a super engineer Who has to tinker every now and then to get what He desires.

    I don’t think so, since ID doesn’t say that “God tinkers every now and then to get what He desires. By the way, I don’t know what you mean by “tinkering every now and then”. Do you mean intervening in the natural realm, or creating new life forms every now and then?

    Having it all roll out from an incredilby complex initial plan is more in sync with traditional theological views then is ID.

    Would that complex initial plan manifest itself in the nature realm with highly complex life forms and organisms?
    If so, then scientific theory of Irreducible Complexity says just that. All had to be there in order for work, or it wouldn’t work (complex from the start).

    ID counters the Darwinists but in the same time undermines the power of God.

    Hardly!

  24. 24
    johnnyb says:

    jerry —

    I agree with your definition of tinkering, I was just pointing out that a lot of ID’ers (including pretty much the whole gang at Telic Thoughts do not believe in tinkering, but in front-loading only. Now, I think that Dembski is a “tinkerer”, but I think the movement itself embraces people even from the non-tinkering standpoint.

    Interestingly, for the most part, Creationists believe in front-loading, not tinkering. It’s just that we think that there were multiple (but near-simultaneous — part of one Creation event, not spread-out) front-loading events.

  25. 25
    tinabrewer says:

    MY impression of the ‘tinkerer god’ idea which is falsely associated with ID goes something like this: ID is not claiming that ONLY in certain instances is there evidence of design. It is saying that in certain instances, it is possible to apply objective means of detecting design. This is VERY different. I am sure that most ID proponents would NOT say “well, purely naturalistic and random undirected processes brought about NEARLY all of life, but in these few instances, God had to help.” They would say, rather “The designer/s designed all of life. Due to the limits of our ability to detect design objectively, we must rely on this smaller set of irreducibly complex structures to make our case for design”. Am I wrong?

  26. 26
    scordova says:

    johnnyb observed:

    Interestingly, for the most part, Creationists believe in front-loading, not tinkering.

    The creationists in the time of Paley believed in the fixity of species, maybe minor amounts of variation (ala Blythe).

    Many modern day YECs believe in high degrees of front-loaded evolution. Stephen Gould’s student Kurt Wise being a prominent pioneer of this view, a view articulated by the discipline called Baraminology.

    I think it would be fair to say, a great number of YECs don’t even understand front-loading or even know about Baraminology. However the more educated ones are acquainted with it. It seems the YEC community itself has evolved quite a bit since the 60’s as front-loaded hyper evolution has not appeared in a lot of YEC literature until recently.

    One thing that really bugged my eyes out was that Jonathan Wells criticized horse evolution and then some Baraminologist YECs (using Sternberg and Cavenaugh’s ANOPA systematic methods) sided with the Darwinians and affirmed it! Whoa!!!

    I’m undecided over the horse evolution issue, but its amusing to see YECs evolving into very sophisticated evolutionary biologists. And I still think ther will be money and glory if someone solves: Marsupial and Placental Convergence.

    Salvador

  27. 27
    johnnyb says:

    Sal —

    Speaking of ANOPA, in my spare time I’ve been working on a 3D ANOPA viewer, though I’m still talking w/ Cavanaugh about whether or not I got the code right. I _think_ I did it right, though I didn’t base it on Cavanaugh and Sternberg’s equations directly, but on the description of how it worked. Once I’m sure the algorithm is right, I’m planning, just for fun, to do a parallel version using IBM’s new Cell processor. Playstation 3’s for biology — woohoo!

  28. 28
    johnnyb says:

    Doh! I left out the URL for the paper with the equations. It’s:

    http://www.worldscinet.com/jbs.....01117.html

  29. 29
    VOICEofREASON says:

    Um. You are banning StephenA, right? His comment linking creationism and ID is not good, or am I wrong about that?

  30. 30
    scordova says:

    Thank you austinite and SteveA for your visit. My comments were also held up in the queue, and I thank you for your patience in waiting for your comments to appear. I fixed something in my oppening post prior to austinite’s comment, as I saw Ken Ham on the Darwin’s Deadly Legacy clip.

  31. 31
    scordova says:

    VOICEofREASON ,

    Creationists use math and chemistry in their arguments, does that make math and chemistry theological?

    Answer: no

  32. 32
    StephenA says:

    Is it really so horrible to think that ID and creationism might use some of the same arguments against Darwinism? Why should I be banned for mentioning this in a topic about ID reaching out to creationists?

    My first post here and people are already saying I should be banned. Maybe I can set a record… 😉

  33. 33
    scordova says:

    StephenA,

    I think you set a record. 🙂 I look forward to seeing you around!

    Salvador

  34. 34
    Barrett1 says:

    Comments by Mats and Jerry and TinaBrewer are illustrative of the confusion surrounding ID. Unless these issues are clarified, Darwinism will prevail.

  35. 35
    jerry says:

    Barret1,

    If I am confused and maybe you should be specific to set me straight. I can only relate what I have read and what others accuse ID of being and some of these accusations by others are within the realm of the definition of ID as defined on the side bar. For example, did God create birds in what is known as special creation or did birds evolve someway from previous species by some unknown mechanism. I picked birds because they have a very unique anatomy. Not just wings but oxygen transport and bone construction. So I have a problem with any sort of gradual or even sudden scenario that led to birds. Too many DNA hurdles to overcome without a lot of help and zillions of intermediaries which are not there. It is one of John Davison’s many quotes that a bird one day appeared out of reptile’s egg but I find this a little too much for even a pre loading.

    If God created birds 200 million or more years ago, then this act of special creation would be an example of the “Tinkering God.” Of course this creator does not have to be God and ID makes no claim that it is. I think that this is certainly within the ID paradigm but many would not like it because it implies that God mettled very specifically in the environment and somehow this rearrangement of the nucleotides is beneath what an omniscient God of most traditional theologies should be doing or had to do. If the agent was other than God, then that opens whole lot of other discussion which we avoid when discussing ID. A plan, whether front loaded or the result of natural laws which led to the bird would be much more in tune with the omniscient God view than having either God or some other intelligence acting in these events.

    Either way, all are design events which is what ID cares about. But few out there are picking up on any front loaded hypothesis. When I first came here I had never heard of it and had read quite a few ID books though certainly not all. If this is current thinking among a lot of people, it is certainly escaping the popular press on ID.

    Traditional theology includes other events that are consistent with the “Tinkering God.” Prayer is one of them. Every time we pray for someone or some event we are asking for intervention somehow by God. Also the old testament has lots of examples of a “Tinkering God” such as the flood, parting of the waters, manna from heaven etc. However, I don’t think this is the place to discuss any of this since this is supposed to be about science and not theology so I hope this does not lead to a discussion of prayer or Old Testament incidents.

    People keep bringing up theistic evolution and why they seem to ignore the science. I was trying to explain why I think they do because as I said the evidence points to tinkering which I said some believe is beneath their vision of God. That is a wide spread impression that is out there in the real world about ID. It may not be ID’s intention but a frequent attack is an aggressive question such as “How many species did God create? Which ones did He not create?” meant to trick you or put you in a box.

    At one time I fitted into the category of theistic evolution because I thought Darwinism was the mechanism for evolution but felt it was guided by God. When I started to read all the evidence, my view changed because Darwinism only accounts for trivial stuff and I am open to where the evidence leads. Interesting, if the materialist found some really magical way that speciation happened, it might make me return to the theistic approach. Because, it was built in.

    Theistic evolution has been discussed numerous times before so it seems like it shouldn’t have to come up time and time again. I bet you can find 25 threads which wonder about theistic evolutionists. The answer is usually all the same.

  36. 36
    scordova says:

    Jerry,

    At one time I fitted into the category of theistic evolution because I thought Darwinism was the mechanism for evolution but felt it was guided by God. When I started to read all the evidence, my view changed because Darwinism only accounts for trivial stuff and I am open to where the evidence leads.

    I can relate somewhat to what you said. Being raised a Catholic (I am now a Presbyterian) I was an Old-Earth Darwinist. I rejected Darwinism while I was still in the Catholic church. It had nothing to do with theology, it had to do with the fact Darwinian evolution seemed scientifically indefensible. That impression has only gotten stronger over the years.

    Regarding Theistic Evolution, in a limited sense, modern creationists are TE’s in that we believe some degree of pre-programmed evolution occured. I pointed out a good example in : Marsupials and Placentals. Those examples seem very reasonable, and there is empirical support for that kind of evolution, where God front-loaded the creatures with these capabilities. However, some forms of front-loaded evolution seem to be a real stretch, such as a front-loaded common ancestor of plants and animals, especially plant-eating animals!

    Salvador

  37. 37
    jmcd says:

    kvwells said: “I say it is impossible to call oneself a “Theistic Evolutionist” with any kind of self-consistent meaning and NOT subscribe to ID. This should be obvious:

    1. What do you mean by “Theistic” except for “I believe God or god/gods exist.”

    2. What sort of “Evolutionist” are you? ND (effectively) cancels #1 so “TE” is meaningless, in this case; If “evolution” is God god/gods guided then this is the ID position anyway, for most IDers (Front-loading would be considered ‘guided’ as in providing initial input which guarantees or makes likely an outcome desirable to the designer).”

    I would say that the chief flaw in that argument is the assertion that ND effectively cancels #1. It only does so if we insist that we are able to understand the ways in which God works. I have no reason to suspect that this is the case. Therefore I have no problem searching for natural explanations that can be understood by us knowing that any scientific theory is merely our most accurate representation of reality. ND incorporates the only mechanisms for change that we know off and applies those mechanisms to life’s patterns of change. Is it flawed and incomplete. Well sure it is and few to no scientists would argue otherwise.

    I would say that it certainly appears that the universe was in some way designed to create life. However, I do not doubt that it unfolded through natural processes. Why are there not an equal number of people insisting on supernatural processes in the evolution of the universe.

    It seems to me that the issue of design is a metaphysical question. We can say that given what we know the natural evolution of life is incredibly improbable, but how useful is that when we know so little?

    I just cannot see how believing something is designed or not affects science one way or the other. What is important is understanding how things work not why things work. Scientific methodologies have a tremendously successful track record in this regard. Understanding the how is what allows us to manipulate nature. That ability is otherwise known as technology.

  38. 38
    jerry says:

    Salvador,

    I am like Diogenes looking for an honest man. I am still waiting for someone to present a cogent argument in defense of Darwin.

    There is so much to read so I can only keep up sometimes with the logic people use. If they don’t present relevant facts then you know what they are about. It is easy to see most of the sophist arguments that are used though some are more clever than others. Some are especially clever at putting you down than others but to a person they don’t present a defense of Darwinism.

    On a side issue, we never discuss plants and they make up most of life. There should be some sort of education section here to get up to speed on plant life, its genomes, taxonomy etc. I feel completely inadequate to discuss it and it doesn’t seem to be covered much in any of the books on evolution. Our power is out so I will get one of the biology books I own and go outside and read about plants (I work at home which lets me comment when I want and work late when I comment too much.)

  39. 39
    Ragman says:

    While science and theology should be distinct disciplines, “theology-free science” perpetuates the detachment of science from theological limits. Over time that will lead back to naturalism because there’s nothing to prevent it and everything to foster it.

    “If nature is fundmentally designed, science cannot understand nature properly through an anti-teleogical framework, and thus anti-teleological thinking will hinder the advance of science and technology.” Yes. Teleology should be considered a criterion for theory acceptance, along with parsimony, etc.

  40. 40
    scordova says:

    Here is a fundraising document of a prominent Baptist Seminary:

    Institute for Cultural Engagement ($6,000,000) Biblically-based principles like Intelligent Design will shine the light of truth into our culture through world-class professors who both teach and sponsor public and academic forums.

    I consider ID Biblically based in as much as the Bible teaches that an essentially theology-free starting point will point to design in the universe. (Romans 1:20, Acts 17, John 10:38).

    This is welcome news that the Catholic Church as well as various Protestant Denominations like the PCA and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary are welcoming ID.

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